Keep Moving Forward… 08.09.10

Today’s Tea

Yúnnán Féngqìng Gǔshù Hóng Chá, 云南凤庆古树红茶, Yunnan Fengqing (Wild) Ancient Tree Black Tea

#TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

This is a spring picked, 2019 Yunnan (Dian) style black (hong) tea, sourced from wild/ancient (gushu) tea trees (>100y.o.) growing in the Fengqing region at an elevation of around 1600-220m.


Wèn Xiāng Jīn Zhēn Diān Hóng Chá, 问乡金针滇红茶, Yunnan Wen’xiang Golden Needle Black Tea

Autumn, 2020; var. Camelia sinensis; (Lucy WangYNteas Agri Tech Co., Ltd.) Menglian, Yunnan; bud and one leaf, EU Organic, Dianhong black tea process; 1400-1800m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 20-30sec.@90-95deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: carob, malt, and honey
Wet Leaf Aroma: strong, aromatic, sharp, orchid?
Liquor: reddish amber colour with a faint malty aroma;
Mouthfeel: tingling, a slight bitter bite, moderately viscous, moderately sweet finish, and late onset of mild, lingering astringency;
Taste: malty, with retronasal honey and floral hints;

Opinion: This is a mature style of tea, insofar as its flavour, whilst notably malty, is complex and nuanced mostly in its aftertaste and finish. This tea demands your attention, and refuses to be ignored, in a good way. Worth drinking.


Wǔ Hào Sī Xiāng Jīn Zhēn Diān Hóng Chá, 5号思乡金针滇红茶, #5 Golden Needle Yunnan Black Tea

Autumn, 2020; var. blended cuttings; (Lucy Wang YNteas Agri Tech Co., Ltd.) Menglian, Yunnan; bud & 1 leaf, EU Organic, dianhong black tea process; 1400-1800m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 20-30sec.@90-95deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: roasted malt and chocolate, with a slight suggestion of cherry;
Wet Leaf Aroma: spicy, peppery,
Liquor: brassy gold in colour, with a faint malty, buttery aroma;
Mouthfeel: immediately creamy and smooth followed by a watery thinness, sweet with a mild tannic presence;
Taste: mildly sweet and very malty, with a familiar vegetal finish.

Opinion: Both the wet leaf aroma and the aftertaste of the tea has a familiar vegetal presence, that left me wondering for a while. It “kinda” reminds me of the aroma of Yǎ Shī Xiáng Oolong Tea All in all a pleasant, not particularly confronting, easy to drink tea.

Particularly nice with fresh baked bread. This bread was a Parsley and Onion bread from last night’s bake.

A special thanks 🙏 to Lucy Wang from YNTeas Agritech Co., Ltd for supplying this, and several other tea samples for #TodaysTea.


Nán Nuò Gǔ Hóng #ShàiHóng Chá, 南糯古红晒红茶, Nannuo Ancient Sun-dried Black Tea

2016, Spring; var. yunnan big leaf; Yunnan; bud and 1-2 leaf, sun-baked, 300+y.o. trees; elev. various; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3g in 159ml for 20sec@90deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: plums, raisins, dates, rich, dark, a touch of dried tangerine peel;
Wet leaf aroma: earthy, woody, raisins;
Liquor: amber yellow colour with mild, cinnamon, and honey aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: moderately viscous, mild stimulation with a minty fresh character, mouthwatering, and a sweet fresh finish;
Flavour: mostly a soft malty presence, with slight honeyish, sweet, floral finish;

Opinion: a very soft, unassuming, easy to drink, daily tea. It’s preparation is a sensory delight which lends itself well to focusing on the ices of tea making as well as the end result. A true, tea ceremony tea.


Gǔ Shù Shài Hóng Chá, 古树晒红茶; Ancient Tree Sun-Dried Black Tea

Spring, 2019; var. Yunnan Big Leaf; Bing Dao, Lincang, Yunnan; bud and 1-2 leaves, sun-dried, 100+y.o semi-wild trees; elev. 1600m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3.65g in 150-200ml for 20-30sec@95-100deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: malty, plums, dates, raisins;
Wet leaf aroma: spicy, sweet, ginger,
Liquor: malty, peppery, earthy;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thick, viscous, syrupy, watery finish, mildly stimulating and tingling, with delayed sweetness;
Flavour: cut flower stems, malty, creamy, hint of apricot;

Opinion: The “other” Yunnan Black Tea, #ShaiHong kinda sits between black tea and dark teas, such as pu’er.

I found this tea to be an excellent pairing for a standard lager, its malty backbone and mild sweet and bitter finish contrasts well with a mildly hopped pale lager. Further, its mild finish doesn’t challenge or tire the palate.


New English Tea – English Breakfast Tea, 英式早餐茶, Yīng Shì Zǎo Cān Chá

Summer 2019; var. Assamica; Western Hills, Sri Lanka; Ceylon Broken Pekoe, CTC BP1, black tea process; >1200m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: “One tsp per person and one for the pot!” In 150-200ml for 2+ min.@100deg. C

Copper tea pots are amazingly deceptive. Being so good at transferring heat through the metal, it is easy to burn your fingers on the knob of the lid. 🤪


Anastasia Scented BlackTea, 阿纳斯塔西亚香红茶, “Ā Nà Sī Tǎ Xī Yà” Xiāng Hóng Chá

Best before Autumn 2020; var. sinensis, China & Ceylon; #KusmiTea Co., Paris, France; broken leaf black teas, a Russian blend with scents of bergamot, lemon, lime, & orange blossom; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 1 tsp/pax + 1 tsp/pot, 90-100deg. C, steep for 1-2 min;

Dry leaf aroma: lemon, lime, citrus, sweet;
Wet leaf aroma: lavender, citrus, floral;
Liquor: orange amber colour with dusty, minerally, earthy, aroma with hints of dry tangerine peel, and ginger;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thin to mildly viscous texture, mild peppery stimulation, slightly astringent, drying, and bitter, with a mouthwatering finish;
Flavour: Seville orange marmalade, citrusy (lemon-lime-tangerine-pomelo), with lingering retronasal floral hints of lavender and orange blossom.


Mao Yan Mei Herbal Tea (Tisane)

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Dry leaf aroma: like dusty raisins, and stone fruit pits;
Wet leaf aroma: similar to dry;
Liquor: pale yellow, first wash looks like swamp water;
Mouthfeel/Taste/Flavour: a mouthwatering immediacy on the tip of the tongue, with a slightly bitter, sour astringency followed by a thick creamy mouthfeel, leaving lingering metallic tingling and noticeable sweetness.

Opinion: The tea was given to me by a friend who could not remember what its was, or where she got it from. After posting it as an identity challenge within my LinkedIn Network it was identified.

Mao Yan Mei, (Ampelosis Grossedentata) is a rare, wild natural herbal tea from Hunan. It grows wild, in the red sandstone soils on Yunwu Mountain, which is located in Zhang Jia Jie (张家界), in the northwest of Hunan. Ampelosis grossdentata has been called, “longevity vine,” or “folk magic tea”. It is used as a medicinal tea and contains 17 amino acids, including methionine, leucine and glutamic acid, etc., 14 trace elements such as K, Ca, Fe, Zn, Mg, etc., and a total of over 6% biological flavones, apparently.


Guā Fēng Zhài (Pǔ’ěr Chá Shēng Chá), 刮风寨(普洱茶生茶), Guafeng Village Sheng #Puer Tea

Summer, 2020; var. qimao(big leaf); Guafeng Village, Yieu, Xishuanbanna, Yunnan; sun dried mao cha, raw pu’er process, pressed cake; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 5g in 110ml for 20-30sec.@90-95deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: lemon, tangerine, pomelo;
Wet leaf aroma: prunes, hint of something metallic like a machine shop;
Liquor: pale yellow, with vague white peach aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thick, syrupy, creamy, smooth, mildly tingling, some sweetness and mild astringency in the aftertaste, and watery finish;
Flavour: tangerine, ginger, honey, floral peppery notes with retronasal orchid hints.


Hóng Chí Chá Shì,Jīng Pǐn Pǔ Ěr Chá Gòng, 竑祺茶室,精品普洱, 茶貢, Hung Chi Tea Room, Boutique #Puer Tribute Tea

1982; var. assamica, and/or Qimao( taliensis); prepared in Menghai, Yunnan, packaged in Hong Kong, stored in Kunming, Yunnan; bud & 3-4 leaves, Menghai Wò Duī(握堆) Shou Pu’er process; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, #JīnTiānDeChá.

Infusion: 5g in 150ml for 30sec.@90-95deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: dusty, dank, old;
Wet leaf aroma: old wet carpet, must, dank, hints of peppery spice;
Liquor: deep red colour with dank, dry, musty aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: peppery, viscous, oily, with a mildly camphor or mint-like fresh finish;
Flavour: dusty, fresh, a vague touch of sweetness with a retronasal suggestion of swamp water;

Opinion: Drinkable. This was supposed to be a special Tea. Unfortunately the can was quite corroded and the sealed bag inside had two small perforations. It was stored with other cans in a cardboard box in Kunming.

With corrosion of the canister and failure of the bag, only an expert Tea Taster and connoisseur of pu’er teas, can determine if this Tea is good, or spoilt. However, it may be possible to improve its condition by storing in a zisha clay canister from several months.

Such a shame really, in two years time it would be an extremely rare, 40 year old Tea. Ah well, we shall see what we shall see.


Jīn Zhēn Diān Hóng Chá, 金针滇红茶 , Golden Needle Yunnan Black Tea

Summer, 2020; var. Yunnan Big Leaf; Fengqing, Lincang, Yunnan; bud and leaf; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 20-30sec.@95-100deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: malty & candy-bar sweet, with distinct carob overtones;
Wet leaf aroma: vegetal, carob, undertones of raspberry and fig;
Liquor: pale amber with mild hints of chocolate, and malt;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thick, viscous, syrupy, oily, sweet, ever so slightly peppery;
Flavour: malty, forest honey sweet, hints off milk chocolate;

Opinion: From the long, pine needle-like golden buds, to the amber colored tea, this tea is very pleasing. The surprising carob-like aroma bleeds into a pleasant chocolate aftertaste leaving a sweet and mellow feeling after. Very nice indeed!


Jīn Luó Diān Hóng Chá, 金螺滇红茶, Golden Snail Yunnan Black Tea

Summer 2019; Fengqing, Lincang, Yunnan; bud and 1-2 leaves, snail rolled leaves with prominent golden tips; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion:
1st: 3g in 150ml for 30-40sec.@85-95deg. C;
2nd+: 3g in 150ml for 20-30sec.@95-100deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: malty, hints of chocolate or cocoa;
Wet leaf aroma: malt, hint of coal/wood fire tar;
Liquor: bright amber colour with a slight malt aroma, with hints of laundry bleach;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thick, viscous, oily, with a trailing sweetness, and late astringent finish;
Flavour: malted milk with mild honey sweetness, and retronasal hints of chocolate;

Opinion: An interesting and engaging Yunnan #DianHong black tea. Typical malt flavors with a honey sweet and chocolate twist. Very pleasant. When brewed color some incongruous “off” aroma appear present but these disappear with hotter and shorter infusions.


Yǐ Shēng Gǔ Shù Bái Chá, 野生古树白茶, Wild Ancient Tree White Tea

Post-Spring Festival, 2017; var. 300+ y.o. wild trees; #DayaoShan, Lingcan, #Yunnan; very young juvenile buds, Sun Dried, minimally processed #WhiteTea; 1800+ m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 50-60sec.@90-100deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: lemon, apricot, tangerine peel, hint of fresh ginger;
Wet leaf aroma: spicy, black cardamom, smoked ham;
Liquor: pale lemon yellow, with a dusty, cinnamon, vanilla, and slight candy cane aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thick, viscous, creamy, mildly tingling, sweet, with a mild fish bone, prickle the throat aftertaste;
Flavour: milky, floral, sweet spice aromatics, with a mild florist shop vegetal finish;

Opinion: This Tea is a party for the senses. It made from 300+ year old, #wildarbour, Tea trees that grow above 1800m. The hand picked buds are picked each year immediately after #SpringFestival when they are still covered in what is called, “Bamboo Skin.” Sun dried with minimal other processing to retain the white downy coating on pale, yellow buds. This is a delightful and treasurable tea.


Què Shì Jīn Yá #DiānHóng Chá, 雀古金芽滇红茶, “Golden Bud of Sparrow” Yunnan #PureGold Black Tea

Spring, 2019; var. Yunnan big leaf; Fengqing, Yunnan; bud and 1 leaf; elev. various; #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 15-20sec.@90deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: sweet, malty, vibrant;
Wet leaf aroma: molasses, malt, black peppercorns;
Liquor: brassy golden colour with mildly spicy, nutty, malty aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: thick, viscous, creamy, mild tingling on the tip of the tongue, salivating finish;
Flavour: malt, honey, mildly bitter and spicy like long pepper and ginger, lingering sweet finish;

Opinion: Most off the leaves are whole, with only a few broken pieces here and there. Quite possibly package damage. The colour is incredibly vibrant and leaves a bright yellow stain on white porcelain. The flavor, taste, and aroma are all very delightful. This is a lovely, enjoyable tea.


Xiǎo Jīn Sī Hóng Chá, 小金丝红茶, Small Golden Silk Threads Black Tea

Spring, 2019; var. Yunnan Big Leaf; Fengqing, Yunnan; buds only, fire baked; 1600-1900m.
#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 20sec.@90deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: apricot and citrus;
Wet leaf aroma: dark, murky, vegetal;
Liquor: golden amber colour with vaguely musty aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: light body, tingling, mouthwatering, sweet finish;
Flavour: orange citrus, ginger, spicy, hint of cinnamon, vague honey finish;

Opinion: Light pleasantly aromatic tea with a spicy character and tiny, dry buds have a delightful, enticing, fruity aroma.


Yuè Guāng Měi Rén, 月光美人, Moonlight Beauty

Spring, 2019; var. jingu big white leaf; Autumn Tower in Erjinggu, Yunnan; 1 bud and leaf, dark withered, micro-fermentation process, loose leaf; elev. unknown. Today’s Tea, 今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 15-20sec.@85-95deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: sweet, fragrant, kinda like candies fruits or boiled lollies;
Wet leaf aroma: spicy, peppery, vegetal, black cardamom;
Liquor: very pale yellow colour, with a vaguely citrus peel aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: creamy, syrupy, mildly tingling and spicy, sweet;
Flavour: sweet, honeysuckle, bright, vibrant, light, hinting of sweet stone fruits;

Opinion: A large leaf, white Tea that is lovely in the cup. The dry leaves are a beautiful two tone color, with long pale, tender buds, which take on mixed forest colors when wet. I would definitely recommend seeking this tea out. It does not disappoint!


New English Teas – London Tea, 伦敦红茶, Lún Dūn Hóng Chá

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: “One tsp per person and one for the pot!” In 150-200ml for 2+ min.@100deg. C

Liquor: deep red colour with a mild, buttery, peppery, aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: mildly viscous, astringent, prickling, and vaguely oily;
Flavour: stark and robust, tannic, suggestions of grapefruit or bitter orange peel; very late onset of a mild sweetness.

Opinion: This #Tea is sharp, strong, assertive. Perfect as a pick me up for the 4:00 o’clock slump. A couple of quick cups of this and you’ll know what’s what.

It is hard however, to get to understand a Tea when there is a dearth of information about it. Nor does it make it comfortably possible to compare and contrast it with other teas in the company’s stable. I would consider it to be more characteristic of a breakfast tea rather than an afternoon tea.

Yet, contacting the company, this “London Blend” is apparently similar to their English Afternoon Blend ???

This suggests its details are something like this: Summer 2019; var. Assamica; Western Hills, Sri Lanka; Ceylon Broken Pekoe, CTC BP1, black tea process; >1200m.

I wonder what the differences actually are? #EnglishAfternoon and #LondonTea, are vastly different teas, at least in my cups.


Vahdam Maharaja Breakfast Black Tea, 王公早餐红茶, Wáng Gōng Zǎo Cān Hóng Chá

Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin, #Assam, India; hand picked, leaves and tips, blended black tea; elev. various. #TodaysTea#今天的茶, Jīn Tiān De Chá.

Infusion: 2g in 180ml for 3-5min.@90-95deg. C

Liquor: deep amber to red colour with a mild malty aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: mouthwatering, spicy-peppery bite, mild sweet and tannic finish;
Flavour: malty, with hints of cinnamon and ginger, followed by a slightly earthy and vegetal aftertaste;

Opinion: This #Tea is a “Classic” #EnglishBreakfast style tea. It is robust and assertive in the cup, mildly and pleasantly aromatic. An all-round enjoyable tea.


Vahdam Assam Exotic Black Tea, 阿萨姆邦异域风情红茶, Ā Sà Mǔ Bāng Yì Yù Fēng Qíng Hóng Chá;

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin, Assam, India; hand picked, blended #blacktea; elev. various.

Infusion: 2g in 180ml for 3-5min.@90-95deg. C

Liquor: deep amber to red colour with a spicy, floral aroma hinting of vanilla and cinnamon;
Mouthfeel/Taste: peppery tingle, vaguely salty, slightly astringent, mildly moderate texture and creaminess, finishing with a late hint of sweetness;
Flavour: spicy, vegetal like canned tomato soup, hints of ginger and cinnamon;

Opinion: This is an assertive #Tea that if brewed strong is aggressively tannic, at lighter strengths it is bold and spicy with a sense of earthiness underneath. It stands on its own all by itself. A good breakfast tea.


Vahdam Darjeeling Summer Black Tea, 大吉岭夏红茶, Dà Jí Lǐng Xià Hóng Chá;

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin, #Darjeeling, India; hand picked, blended black tea; elev. various.

Infusion: 2g in 180ml for 3-5min.@90-95deg. C

Liquor: amber-red colour with faint, nutty, malty, aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: mouthwatering, stimulating, mild late lingering sweetness and peppery, minty (camphor?) freshness, thin to moderate texture;
Flavour: hints of malty, ginger, and cinnamon;

Opinion: In comparison to Darjeeling Spring, this tea is more earthy in taste and character. This is a refreshing and comforting tea.


Vahdam Darjeeling Spring Black Tea, 大吉岭泉红茶. Dà Jí Lǐng Quán Hóng Chá

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin, Darjeeling, India; hand picked, blended black tea; elev. various.

Infusion: 2g in 180ml for 3-5min.@90-95deg. C

Liquor: pale brassy gold colour with mild citrus aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: prickling, tingling, drying, astringent, vague late sweetness, thin texture;
Flavour: orchid, grapefruit, hint of ginger, not particularly aromatic;

Opinion: a light, fresh, beguiling tea that is easy to drink and not think about. A solid background supporter that would love the company of a petit four.


Vahdam Earl Grey Citrus Black Tea, 伯爵灰柑橘红茶, Bó Júe Hūe Gān Jiù Hóng Chá

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Kangra, or Sikkim, India; hand picked, blended black tea with 2% bergamot oil extract; elev. various.

Infusion: 2g in 180ml for 3-5min.@90-95deg. C

Liquor: brassy orange-red colour with distinct and fragrant aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste: slightly viscous, vague peppery tingle, that builds with subsequent sips, mild bitterness and astringency;
Flavour: aromatic, fragrant hints of bitter orange or grapefruit, floral;

Opinion: I’ve never been a fan of #EarlGreyTea, and bought this tea to help calibrate my palate for this specific flavor and aroma, which can present itself in some #Wuyi Rock teas. I am pleasantly surprised. I actually like and enjoy this particular Tea blend.


New English Tea – English Afternoon Tea, 英式下午茶, Yīng Shì Xià Wǔ Chá

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Summer 2019; var. Assamica; Western Hills, Sri Lanka; #Ceylon Broken Pekoe, #CTC BP1, black tea process; >1200m.

Infusion: “One tsp per person and one for the pot!” In 150-200ml for 2+ min.@100deg. C

Opinion: When my grandmother died, her #Samovar passed to me, along with a particular way of drinking tea. Black tea, In today’s case, #EnglishAfternoonTea, would be brewed strong and then served in small, dainty, porcelain tea cups. She always has a, “gift” set of tiny jam jars and 1/4 tsp teaspoons for dipping out your jam of choice. You see, the tea was diluted to taste with hot water, and sweetened with jam, thus balancing the strong tannic astringency with any of the jams, conserves, or marmalades that were on hand.


New English Tea – EnglishBreakfast Tea, 英式早餐茶, Yīng Shì Zǎo Cān Chá

#TodaysTea#今天的茶, Summer 2019; var. Assamica; Western Hills, Sri Lanka; #Ceylon Broken Pekoe, #CTC BP1, black tea process; >1200m.

Infusion: “One tsp per person and one for the pot!” In 150-200ml for 2+ min.@100deg. C

Opinion: Astringent, bitter/tart like Seville Orange marmalade, and Grapefruit, mildly viscous and drying. Robust. Adding a pinch of salt, brings out herbal and woody retronasal hints.

My mum taught me how to brew tea but it was my grand mother that has the greater influence on preparation and consumption. The tea infusion rhyme came, via mum, from her, and possibly from her parents and grandparents as well.