Sunday, May 22, 2011

JingMai Moonlight

Life for me has been a whirlwind of activity, opportunity, events, homework, duties and movement.

I am finally settled down and in my zone to be able to flow through this part of my life with ease, and with that, comes more tea sessions and reviews.
I apologize for my lack of posting up until this point.
I have just had too much on my plate, but now its time to turn that around and make sure there is always something in my cup instead.

Gingko, as always, provides exceptional quality, and I will stand by this statement for any one of her teas, even ones that I have not personally sampled. I trust her opinions and learn from her vast knowledge.
This tea is a special one and just the right treat for an occasion such as this.

The JingMai Moonlight white tea is unlike any white tea I have had the opportunity to taste. This tea changed my perceptions of what a white tea was and what it could present to the palate.

The dry leaf is fruity, very fruity. Pears, peaches, apples, nectarines and strawberries come to mind. This in itself was a surprise upon opening the package.

As the beautiful leaves are unraveling and pouring their bounty into the water, I get wafts of the aroma. In many aspects, this tea highly resembles a Bai Hao; honey sweetness paired with a floral delicacy. Even the copper/amber color and look of the leaves slightly resembles an Oriental Beauty.

Now, the aroma was powerful.
I can remember nights where my mother would make a large pot of apple cider and leave it on the stove for us to sip on throughout the evening.
The aroma was quite similar to what this smelled like.
Apples, cloves, orange zest, cinnamon; the works.

The taste was not quite unlike the taste of the apple cider either!
Diluted apple cider with rock sugar.
There was a candy sweetness that was saturating and salivating. One comment by my roommate after he sampled the brew: "I thought you didn't add sugar to your tea."
Indeed I do not add sugar to my tea, but this certainly tasted as though I did.

The second infusion was rich with savory honey notes and tastes more like a Yunnan Golden Bud tea than a white tea. The liquor is dark in color but not heavy in taste.

This is quite the perplexing, although immensely enjoyable tea.
The infusions that follow become more woody in nature, but never lack an outstanding sweetness.
The leaves have a determined endurance and produce many wonderful infusions for me to enjoy.

Life is good today.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Wuyi ShuiXian

For a rainy day and a stressful week of finals ahead of me, I have a wuyi to warm both body and spirit.
The full title of this beautiful tea, as provided by Gingko, is Hand Processed Wuyi Shui Xian Heavy Roast Grade I.

As the dry leaf should already prove, this tea was definitely made entirely by hand. The lengthy, slender leaves are the work of a skilled artist, carefully created into this masterpiece.

The leaves, right from the start already have an aura of warmth about them and comfort my slight melancholy.

These leaves are peachy-keen to say the least. The smell of the stone fruit can be detected from a distance. Caramel, butterscotch and vanilla aromas become stronger as the leaves inch closer to my nose. There is a mild scent of burnt toast, which reminds us of the laborious art of roasting the leaves to perfection.

The water warms the vessel and leaves, and out comes a fragrant steam;
burnt toast, wood and vanilla.

The liquor smells of roasting nuts and savory sweet caramel, so much so that I consider labeling it as a rare indulgence.

Thank goodness the liquor was not as saccharine as it may have suggested in its previous forms.
This tea has a cherry-like resemblance, with a mild hint of burnt gingerbread (by no means is this negative). It is syrup-y in texture, and bright and clear.

The tea, after a rousing session, leaves a puckering, zesty sourness/numbness on the back of the tongue and the sides of the mouth.

As the tea cools, apricot and vanilla flavors soothe me.

"So much to do, so little time," as the saying goes...
...but there will always be time for tea.