543 Tasting Notes
Holy crap I love this tea. It fits me like a good pair of pants.
Summer 2018 harvest, gongfu.
The fragrance and the way it carries into the mouth and lingers is on point. A caramel sweetness is suspended loftily by intense creamy white floral perfume maybe with orange blossom, the kind of heady scent that relaxes you. The deeper notes of the tea are distinctly sandalwood, nuts, musk and banana leaf. Great body with mineral brightness and salivation. Later, a succulent white peach aftertaste develops as the strength of the florals subsides. The finished cup smells so strong and sweet. Initial violet floral bitterness and vegetal-woody astringency grow ever stronger with each steep, eventually numbing the tongue. While I find those qualities to add depth to the experience, if there is one thing to turn others away, it’s the combination of growing bitterness and astringency. That and the low brewing temperature, which is a necessity. And the price. And the lack of availability. Shucks.
I wonder why it’s called Moondrops.
March 2019 harvest.
The best morning/afternoon Assam I’ve ever had. Very complex and layered taste and mouthfeel yet approachable due to a distinct lack of bitterness, very light astringency and an inviting aroma. Savory and mineral backbone with plenty of berry tones and a lemony taste that zings. Emergent menthol. The leaves are alive and have plenty to give.
I would serve this to anybody entering my home.
Not for small pocketbooks but well worth a try! It’s very forgiving :)
Choking down a cup of a flavor combo I detest — lemongrass strong enough to make me snarl in disgust and licorice root. They overpower everything else except for a hint-o-mint. EuuUGUGHGH.
Too bad. The dry bag smelled lovely with a good hit of sage.
Why do I do this to myself.
Back to back Flapjacks, this time a shou cookie instead of a sheng wafer. Brought to my cupboard by Kawaii433.
My experience was strikingly similar to BrewWhatThouWilt’s, who gave this tea more justice than I could: https://steepster.com/BrewWhatThouWilt/posts/388193#likes
Dry cookie smells like brownies with walnuts, caramel, mushroom, grain.
Good body and initially oily. Savory — so much walnut, brown mushroom broth, cooked grains, rainforest floor, wet wood. Thin mineral sweetness, light bitterness. Nutritional yeast and slight wet pile show up when it starts thinning out. The aroma is similar but I also pick up on hints of spearmint, coriander seed-citrus and spicy wood.
Kind, good quality shou for anybody who doesn’t mind the lack of overt sweetness or even prefers such.
Teafriend tea! From the lovely Kawaii433.
The most striking aspect of this sheng is the liquor color. I love when the tea soup has a tinge of pink that reminds me of champagne. It’s Initially oily and sweet with honey butter and syrup, nuttiness, some nondescript florality, green bean-grass undertones and a metallic quality. Citrus surprise in third steep like white pomelo. Rough tongue astringency is there along with bitterness which presents by the second steep and later lingers superficially on the back of the tongue, tonsils and throat. Peach-osmanthus aftertaste presents early and is very short-lived.
Overall, this tea has a standard young sheng profile. Probably good for people new to puerh but even then I’m apprehensive about recommending it in its current state. Maybe give this one some age and approach it as a daily drinker in the future.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Citrus, Flowers, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Metallic, Nutty, Osmanthus, Pancake Syrup, Peach, Sweet
Used up the last of my sample today with the thermos stew treatment, 4g for 20oz with water off boiling.
Fuuuuug, this tea ruined me at work. I was a dope for a few hours. Strangely, the cha qi of this sheng has been consistent throughout all samplings, which have occurred in different settings and mind states. That’s not the case for most sheng I’ve had.
Penetrating bitterness, those pungent herbs, lavender?, apricot-osmanthus, and hints of smoked meat suspended in a thick and oily sweet creamed honey-nectar-white chocolate? matrix. I loved the tea stew, but not as a work beverage. For one, it’s a raw green punch to the gut that causes some intestinal upset when had without food. Another reason is the meditative and masculine-aggressive cha qi (the term is ba qi?) needs to be accepted and cultured in the confines of my bedroom (teacave). As experienced by my human female being, this tea is masculine intimacy to the extreme.
Cryptic, I know.
Very much need to order another sample of Swinedog 76 for intense introspective body-mind occasions but ultimately I think this needs to be aged to avoid assault.
Teafriend tea! Thank you, ashmanra :)
Repasting the ingredients for reference:
Organic Assam tea leaves, organic Pacific peppermint, organic spearmint, organic Washington cherries, organic lemon peel, organic black peppercorns, organic pure extracts
Used 1 heaping tsp to 8oz boiling, first steep 6 minutes, second for upward of ten.
This was a ridiculously smooth and bold blend. Well, the black tea was bold with good body. I think due to age, most of the other flavors like peppermint, spearmint (could smell in dry leaf), lemon peel (maybe brought some brightness) and peppercorns fell out. The cherry stuck around, though! So basically this tea was a dark and malty Assam base with a smooth and tangy dried cherry tone that often vied for first place. Solid morning brew that served as a vehicle for smooth, high caffeine delivery.
How many times can I say smooth? No jagged edges here.
I’ve not had a chamomile like this before so that’s cool. Honeyed straw aroma. Tastes like straw with typical chamomile floral and, I swear, fleeting citrus and a cooling sensation. Aftertaste stronger than the flavor. There is a drawback — I can taste the paper teabag and in the aftertaste, too.
Song pairing, perhaps my first to a nighttime cuppa chamomile:
Prince — Controversy
I cut open a bunch of bags to make a Christmas gift blend and noticed that the material inside is 100% chamomile petals. The aroma is assertive for a flower I generally find demure. Definitely more apple in taste than floral or haylike. Sweeter than expected but it does finish a tad drying. Leaves a lingering sweet pollen-fruity-floral aftertaste which is surprising!
This one’s pretty impressive as far as bagged chamomile goes.
Aside: My cupboard has finally reached sub-230 teas, the majority of which are puerh samples. I am excited about this.