Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2011 BaXian "Eight Immortals"

Greg of NorbuTea kindly gifted me this sample along with a few teas I purchased.
What I didn't know about this tea was that there was only 4.4kg produced, and Greg had 2kg of it.

Man do I feel privileged!

I must say, this tea was a sight for sore eyes! The leaves are beautiful, both in shape and color. I had been wanting DanCong for a while and this tea definitely sufficed!

The aroma was strong and marvelous!
Very floral with notes of raw honey, melon, and fresh spring water.

This tea smells like it was just harvested and produced! DanCongs have a way with enchanting aromas.

When I put the tea into a warmed clay gaiwan, the aroma of the dry leaves was even stronger, and a nutty almond fragrance appeared.

If I had to stop here with this tea, I would still say it was a successful tea session.
I felt like I had already tasted it.

Fortunately for me and you, I had no restrictions and so I poured the water and watched the leaves swirl.

The resulting liquor was perfectly balanced.

It had the aroma of spring flowers, and a sweet, smooth taste that reminded me of tropical fruits.
Astringency lightly bit the back of my tongue and made me want more...more...more...

I was impressed to say the least!

This tea is stellar.
Its well produced and was obviously cared for at each point in its existence and production.

The leaves make a dancing display like I have never seen.

The flavor is crisp, fresh, and ripe.

I only have a few more precious leaves left and I will brew them with care.


Friday, March 23, 2012

2005 FengQing Golden Buds Pu'erh

There are quite a few pu'erh drinkers who choose not to post about shu pu'erh.
Some people find the taste revolting. Other people may think they all taste the same.

I find that when one is trying to learn about tea, or any subject for that matter, one must always learn all the angles to fully understand it.

With that being said, a shu from Teavivre.

The dry leaf is not too impressive.
It smells like damp soil and leaves, which is not bad, just very plain.
The cake is spotted with gold buds, but they are subdued.

It was a rainy day and shu sounded fantastic.

The liquor has the aroma of garden mulch with a hint of sweetness. There is a bit of a fishy smell to it, literally fishy, not skeptical.
It tastes a tad bit dirty with a hint of date fruit and moist earth.

For the most part, this tea is lackluster as can be. It is plain tasting and does not stand out among shu pu'erh I have sampled in the past.

This is not a good shu,
but it was a good day for shu.

The previous shu I had from Teavivre really impressed me, but this one really has nothing to offer, except of course an educational experience on shu pu'erh!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Premium Keemun Hao Ya

I have quite a few more samples from Teavivre to post on here, so keep on the lookout!

This is a Keemun from Qimen, a province in Anhui. It was processed in June, 2011.
Ignore the word "premium." It really doesn't have a meaning besides that the leaves may have been a better looking batch. Its all about taste!

The dry leaf had a typical Keemun smell.
Plum, raisin, and sweet bread, almost like pan dulce!
An evergreen smell wafted from the leaves as well. This component of the aroma balanced the sweet, fruity smells.

The tea was quite tasty!
A savory/sweet fruit taste dominated the entrance and filled my mouth and nose.
The aftertaste was comprised of light smoke and wood. The two different tastes made for a unique experience.

The tea is definitely not as smooth as it should be (in my opinion). There is a slight bite on the back of the throat when the tea is swallowed.
As I come to the end of the bowl, cinnamon and anise tastes come forward. I would have liked to see those tastes a bit more on the entrance.

All in all, not a bad tea, but not my favorite sample.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Premium Grade Dragonwell

Compliments to Teavivre for this next sample.

Usually I pay no mind to the grade of the tea, especially a Long Jing. I have really no idea what the word premium is supposed to contribute to the tea, but apparently its important. Personally, I think it is a marketing scheme. The taste is all about the leaves, not the fancy words and lovely descriptions. Its about pure, raw taste.

Again, as with all the teas they have sent, there is detailed information about the tea and where it comes from etc..

The dry leaf beautiful.
It smells fantastic! It has a sweet, nutty smell as its base with some grassy/hay notes to round it out. To top it off, it smells sort of how I would imagine the wok would smell when the leaves were put into it.
It is a tea from last year, but the storage has been great. It smells quite fresh and looks just the same!

As you can see above, the leaves look great! They look as though they have been handled by hands. They are uneven in both shape and color, and honestly they are even more vibrant green than the picture shows. This is truly (in my humble opinion) one of the best dragonwell teas I have seen, even if it is not the prettiest. It has a rawness and rugged look that really sets it apart!

The liquor smells like fresh grass and roasted chestnuts. The smell of a good dragonwell is hard to beat in the world of Chinese green tea.

The taste is perfectly balanced.

Sweet corn, chestnuts, fresh grass clippings (actually much more appetizing than they sound).
Everything about this tea has clicked with me.
I literally have no complaints.
When I have money (college really can make someone quite poor) I will most likely be ordering more of this tea, or hopefully a 2012 crop.

Thank you for the experience, Teavivre.