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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh no, eeech, eeeeeecccchhhhhhhh
I’ve never had a tea before that I actively disliked. Oh boy, I don’t like this one. I don’t know if it’s a bad one or if I’m just an uncultured swine and truly can’t appreciate the finer things in life.
Dear God, it’s terrible. I’ve brewed it several different ways and each time I find it just deplorable. I’ve done water anywhere between room temp and 160F, steeping times between 2 seconds and 2 minutes. Some crazy person online recommended brewing it with straight ice but I just can’t imagine that’ll save it. It’s wretched. I’m wretched. The only thing worse than the broccolifish taste is my guilt for not having an appreciation for this supposedly fine tea.
I acknowledge that it’s complex. Somewhere past my horror I notice a fine balance of seaweedy umami and a good deal of sweetness. Still I have nothing but contempt for this vividly green, tepid fishwash that I find before me.
Forgive me, Steepster. I’m unworthy. I’m so sorry.
P.S. if there’s anyone out there with gyokuro experience who would accept the remaining leaves I will gladly send them in exchange for feedback on whether this is good gyokuro or deadly, deadly poison disguised as tea
Hey, I just noticed something. You may want to back off on the amount of leaf you’re using (10 grams for 3 fluid ounces seems like a lot to me). I do not have a ton of experience with gyokuro, but I seem to recall it being able to get vert astringent and seaweedy quickly. If you haven’t already done so, try using less leaf. If that doesn’t do it, then you may just have a bad tea. Either that or gyokuro may just not be for you. To be honest, it’s not one of my favorite things (bancha, genmaicha, and sencha are more appealing to me), so you wouldn’t be the only one of that’s the case.
This tea has been watching me drink countless other teas during the past few months since I had it last. This time I think the roast and the fruity notes have grown while the sweetness has faded. Most of the time the sweetness in Dan Congs will linger and the fruitiness or the roast will fade.
While the overall flavors are still quite good, it is not quite what it once was. I’ll revisit this again in a few months to see what else changes. It’s worth noting that I have been storing it in the ziplocked package it came in from Ming Tao Xuan which I put in another airtight tin.
For the Cha Xi, I used my Phoenix pot which even with its thicker walls brews a fantastic floral and lively infusion every time. The pot pours quickly and smoothly.
A crisp, sweet infusion of mango and apricot with a hint of hops. a warm sense of fulfillment as I take each sip. Not quite as good as the Song Zhong Phoenix but decidedly better than the Chi Ye from Camellia Sinensis. I would say that this is more fruity but less robust than the 2011 Feng Huang from Dobra equally as good!
San Lin She from Ming Tao Xuan in Montreal. This is a light roast with very green leaves in nice sets of three with a few fourth leaves around. Probably a Spring 2011 harvest. The rolled leaves are quite large and expand more than I was expecting. I had to remove some from the pot after the third infusion to allow the rest some room to expand.
The aroma of the leaves is sweet and green. The flavor of the pale yellow liquor is very mellow and soft with hints of the sweetness of lemongrass.
I brewed this in my purple Yixing pot from Maokong, Taiwan which I reserve for light roast Oolongs. I tried various timings, but the results were mostly the same.
Roasted and soothing. The aroma is so sweet it reminds me of sugarcane, but the flavor is sweet woodsmoke and plum. Golden amber in the cup. Not as fruity as other Phoenix Oolongs I’ve tried, but the very long twisted leaves are brimming with flavor nonetheless.