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Recent Tasting Notes
Can brew English style or grandpa style, and still good even at room temp. Doesn’t need sugar but good with honey. Not at all vegetal, mostly a black tea. Almost no aftertaste at all. Not the most complex but just so easy to drink.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Honey, Malt, Plum, Raisins, Vanilla
Another tea removed from my cupboard! I had one single session left; from the days when derk sent it to my way, through it comes from White Antlers Swedish death purge days… so thank you both and missing the second one!
This tea actually aspires to be one of the strangest, weirdest and most unique teas I have ever tried. I prepared the chunk (5 grams I believe) in gongfu method starting with 15 seconds steep with 5 seconds increments. It went great this way!
On the packet, there is short, but absolutely correct description: “Unusual sour lemon taste”. When I saw it, I had no idea what to expect. I smelled the dry chunk and it was indeed sour, but like from fermentation, but also citrusy indeed. That caught my attention and I was looking forward to it.
In preaheated gaiwan I got even more of the sour notes.
But in taste they are indeed tamed. Derk describes it as “pungent, sour, and medicinal with notes of soy sauce and dried fermented lemon peel” and exactly same thoughts were mine. Indeed sour and slightly medicinal, indeed I got some notes of soy sauce… and fermented lemon peel was probalby the thing I was thinking the most about when drinking this. I believe I had fermented lemon peel in some blend from B&B — so that is my only limited experience with it. But it was that.
Certainly tea I need to keep an eye on — there is 2022 harvest available on What-cha website, but it’s UK based shop (sorry Alistair) and that means customs. Customs means VAT. VAT means extra costs and even worse… all the paperwork.
And in conclusion — it is actually pretty refreshing. Hearty meal is perfect pairing, pot steeping would probably work even better than my gongfu. And yet it is so strange, I want another session to be a more descriptive through session and not writing this post-session note.
First impressions: It reminds me of a Chun Mee from China in appearance. Though this seems to have a slightly dustier top and the green is a bit more… green, whereas I feel like Chun Mee tends to be greener. The dry aroma is very nice with corn cereal, vegetal notes, and dried grass. Ooo… Just smelled the wet leaf. Have you ever smelled something that made you close your eyes because it was just so nice? It is so pleasant. Vegetal notes galore, dried grass, asparagus, slight tomato sauce. Some grassy notes that range around summer, like piled clippings. Decided to steep at 140 because it is hot outside. And today really isn’t even that bad compared with yesterday. This is the type of tea I could see being passed over easily if you don’t sit down to really discover it. My first sip was subpar but I didn’t really read into it. Very vegetal and a bit astringent. I probably steeped a bit too long. Asparagus, green beans, a bit of kale, broccolini, and grassy notes to finish. Thank you to beerandbeancurd for the trade!!
Going back in the time machine. Lately, even 1 week feels like an eternity though not in a bad way. I’ve had so much going on between preparing for my trip and getting food poisoning this week that my brain has been Swiss-cheesed.
Subtle, delicate and fluid aromas and flavors. Something like white grape, lychee and mango, hay and cucumber. Viscous and sweet spring water, salty; hint of cream in aftertaste.
When prepared in a steeper basket, the most lovely aroma of cocoa butter wafts from the cup.
Excellent silver needle! Easy to drink and appreciate. Probably best for fans of subtlety.
Thank you again, beerandbeancurd.
Flavors: Caramelized Sugar, Chocolate, Cream, Cucumber, Hay, Lychee, Mango, Mineral, Mushrooms, Potato, Salty, Smoke, Smooth, Spring Water, Viscous, Wet Wood, White Grapes
So several weeks back I finally got hit hard by an ongoing health-problem, and landed in the ER after family medicine wasn’t cutting it. Cue several more ER trips, and finally an OR waitinglist layover, I got rolled into surgery on Tuesday and have been slowly recovering from home. July’s fucking sucked.
I’ve got a bunch of samples I want to try, gifted from derk during the travelling Nepal teabox, but Horrible Timing has them taunting me from a side table. I had to shift to working from home, which meant putting work-teas first.
But I’m stuck at home for a while now healing, which seems like a nice time to catch up.
Drinking the wash of this at 20 seconds, very light toastyness. Hasn’t fully opened yet.
First proper steep at 20 seconds isn’t overly complex, some grains, lightly sweet, toasty but leaning sliiightly burnt. No sourness in the roast.
Second, 20 seconds again, burnt and toasted, strong mineral note, and a bit of charred wood. Not getting a whole lot of nuance, the fruit noted in other descriptions not really coming through for me.
Third, 20 seconds, became lighter and sweeter. Despite being a pretty heavy roast, it really has zero sourness. The sweetness is definitely more starch-sugars than anything fruity. Since I’m not sure what year this sample’s from, it could be that it could use a re-roast to bring out some character, but it’s still quite pleasant.
Flavors: Char, Grain, Mineral, Roasty, Toast, Wood
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These long, luscious leaves steeped up light and sweet. The scent in the cup reminds me of homemade pumpkin bread. A little bread in the flavor as well; a little malt; a little brown sugar. Not a strong Assam, but an extremely pleasant one.
Husband put up the little canopy tent we use in the summer to shelter cats, plants, and glider. I sat underneath it with this cup and watched it rain this morning. Delicious. Thank you, derk.
I received this sample as a gift from Derk, thank you!
It’s a rainy morning here so a darker oolong just sounded right. The aroma is an amalgamation of roasty, earthy, and nutty notes… like nuts harvested from wet, metallic ground. Also a hint of nutmeg aroma on the nose.
It tastes as it smells. Rain-soaked earth, walnuts, a hint of spice. The roast is pleasant, giving it a mild char aftertaste without tasting like chewing on charcoal ash. There are some undertones of very dark, bittersweet chocolate. I don’t get the fruity notes that so many others have noted — maybe a hint of apple sweetness beneath the roast, nuts, and earth? — but perhaps that is due to my heathen Western brewing preference over gong fu.
The warm roastiness and metallic earth really do make this a nice accompaniment for a drizzly morning. Thanks for sharing, Derk!
Flavors: Apple, Burnt, Char, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Earthy, Metallic, Nutmeg, Nutty, Petrichor, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Spring Water, Toast, Walnut, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks
Finished up this tea in the gaiwan this past Sunday, it was very pleasant way to spend a day. After filling my gaiwan, there were a few crumbs at the bottom of the bag – definitely not enough for a full session, or even a small one. So I tossed those leftover bits in my ever growing Everything Jar. Gonna wait a little longer and toss a couple more teas in there before I give it a test steep. Cannot wait for whatever zombie brew it’ll produce hehe.
As I steeped this tea while doing my silly little tasks, I found it to be very soothing to watch the tea deepen in it’s golden color as the brews progressed. It gave me a warm honey flavor throughout with notes of dry prairie grass and a touch of vanilla.
Had this with friends recently, I received this tea from another friend, so I’m considering this a friendship tea lol. I gongfu’d it on a majorly rainy day, and it kept us happy and warm while we chatted the afternoon away.
This tea is very reminiscent of Nepalese white teas that I’ve had before. Soft hay, malted milk balls, a little bit of an overripe stonefruit tossed in there. A friend even mistook it for a black tea! I always enjoy unconventional tea growing regions/methods, and this is a fun one to try the next time you’re making a What Cha dream cart.
Flavors: Hay, Malt, Milk Chocolate, Nectarine
All ass, all the time. Straight from the horse’s butt.
This special style of tea is the clearest example of active fermentation funk I’ve ever experienced.
Still have enough left from beerandbeancurd to sample again and give a more appropriate review if I feel up to it.
Flavors: Barnyard, Beer, Cheese, Lemon, Mineral, Red Wine, Sour, Soy Sauce