8 Tasting Notes
~ 3gms / Small tea bowl from Living Tea / ~180 F / steeping time: ~ 30 seconds
Dry leaves again beautiful curled whole Assamica leaves, large with very little dust, toasted sweet apricot/fruity aroma. Leaves coloured auburn and chocolatey, with a few leaves still holding onto some green.
Leaves awaken beautifully and gracefully within the openness off nice tea bowl. Tea liquor refreshing, somewhat earthy with a slight hint of toastiness, less astringency noticeable this time around . . . slight hint of the dried toasted apricot/fruit. After fourth bowl, tongue begins to acquire the buttery like coated feeling associated with Bai Hao.
Beautiful whole leaf tea. Leafs gently twisted, auburn to chocolate in colour. Upon receipt, leaves were placed in small porcelain tea caddy to rest and relax. 5 days later, first opening, smell was somewhat honey like, with a hint of toasted Apricot.
Steeping: ~ 2gms / 180 F / Taiwanese Tea Bowl – tea liquor became a light golden/honey colour. Leaves awakening slowly . . . maybe wanting a warmer bath to stretch and help to awaken, or maybe just a slow morning awakener like myself. :-)
Smell more smokey than toasted, fruity/apricot sweet smell still present, smokiness very faint and whispy . . . almost more sensed than smelled. Taste carries the same bowl smell, slightly sweet . . . coats the tongue, very slight astringency at the edges of the tongue.
Wonder complex and alive tea that I will have to continue steeping, swirling, and sharing time with . . . until it has shared all its many complex awakening aspects.
Small Taiwanese Tea Bowl / 170 F / ~ 2gms
This evening I chose to experience this tea in a very basic way . . . together we shared an experience with a Tea Bowl. It’s funny how we often get caught up in the business of the day, and forget about the beauty which can be experienced in simplicity. This is a wonderful tea to enjoy in bowl steeping. The leaves gently awaken, and the transitions of flavour as the leaves awaken can be more thoroughly experienced in a most flavourful and visual collection of moments.
The tea this time began as a soft whisper of a delicate green tea . . . with just a hint of sweetness . . .
Slowly the strength increased, but never so much as to bring any bitterness or astringency to the experience. The sweetness leveled off and a hint of fruitless carried through several bowl. Steeping times lengthened from 30 seconds to ~ 2 minutes . . . not so much to retain a discernible flavour, but more so due to loosing track of time swirling the leaves to watch and appreciate the awakened and alive tea leaves.
This Oolong was a surprise find for me. I originally walked into this shop thinking it was just a nature loving, vegetarian visiting shop. I was very surprised to find that this carnivore actually loved the wrap that I ordered, and was amazed to find a lovely little Oolong like this one being made in a steeping dump type pitcher, the type you set on the top of your cup and it dumps. Haven’t used these before, but it did afford me a wonderful front seat view as the leaves gently opened, awakened, and stretched back to life. I wish I could share the water temp, or volume . . . but I’m just not sure. I would say the dry leaves were around . . . 4gms.
The tea was very nice and toasted . . . not my way of steeping, preferring one of my Gaiwans or my little baby 50ml toasted Oolong Yixing . . . but so darned good, that 4oz’s made the trip home with me.
After steeping around 10 times . . . Observation of the leaves classified this as an ‘Alive’ tea. The leaves were whole and large, mostly green with some nicely toasted auburn leaves.
Will be steeping up and making some future updates on this tea . . . when I can introduce this lovely tea to my little tea toys.
Package Opening: Aroma and appearance is very much like that of Monkey Picked Oolong. Leaves are a vibrant green, rolled into tight little balls.
4oz / 180 F / Yixing Pot – Heart Sutra / single rinse
1st Steep: 30 sec – Liqueur very pale, resembling more that of a very light green leaf cold steep. Pot smell – resembling that of a monkey picked oolong, yet softer, subtler. Taste – very delicate green in body and initial taste. Nowhere is there any bitterness to be found. Slight hints of toastiness, soft green straw type wisps during after taste.
Leaves look very nice, bits of green and purple colour. Leaves broke apart nicely and allowed for whole breaks, very little crumbs/dust. Dry cake and leaves has a very smoky aroma, almost liquid smoke like, very overpowering. 4 gms / Yixing Pot / 200 F – Steep 1: 2 rinses / 30 sec steep – very strong and overpowering smoky aroma prevails. Tried to finish steeped liquor, just too smoky for my pallet. Will put this one away for a few months, and see if the smokiness settles.
4gms / small Gaiwan / 180F / 15sec – Gorgeous golden liquor, slightly toasted aroma. Wonderful toasted Oolong flavour began with first steep through 4th. Subtle changes in tongue feel begin to develop on 5th steep. Beautiful golden colour holds through 7 steeps, flavour lightens slightly, but could continue to steep longer. Wonderful tea to try, very glad to have added to my tea chest.
The leaf awakens nicely with short steeps @ 180 F. Steeps begin @20 second steeps, thus allowing each subtle change in liquor character to be experienced. Colour is deep golden, almost honey like with a highly crystal reflective surface. Low dust, bright in character.
Enjoyable steeps, used small Gaiwan to allow clear observation as the remarkable leaves awakened. Flavour held throughout 6 to 7 steeps, slightly increasing time to keep golden colour.
Observation of leaves following final steep, revealed beautiful two leaf and a bud sections. Each whole and perfect, not crumbled or over processed.