Keep Moving Forward… 08.09.10

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Táiwān Jīnxūan Gāoshān Chá, 臺灣金萱高山茶, Taiwan Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea

Táiwān Jīnxūan Gāoshān Chá, 臺灣金萱高山茶, Taiwan Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea; Spring, 2020; var. Jinxuan #12, Milk Oolong; Alishan, Taiwan; 1 bud 2 leaves, light roast (naixiang) oolong process; 1400m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3-4g in 200ml for 2-3min.@90-100deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: subtle, herbaceous, hints of apricot and sweet melon;
Wet Leaf Aroma: butter and mildly floral;
Liquor: pale yellow colour with faint almond, nutty aroma;
Mouthfeel: smooth, viscous, creamy, mildly stimulating, peppery, with a sweet and mildly bitter finish;
Taste: floral, mildly herby, hints of orchid, with a refreshing aftertaste and minerality on the tip of the tongue;

Opinion: I believe this is an unscented, milk oolong, its aroma and flavor is more muted that precious milk oolongs that I’ve sampled. For that it is a much more refined and pleasant tea to drink.

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

“Vahdam” Darjeeling Spring Black Tea, 大吉岭泉红茶. Dà Jí Lǐng Quán Hóng Chá; Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin, Darjeeling, India; hand picked, blended black tea; elev. various. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.
Infusion: Steep for 2-3min in 375ml@100deg. C

Opinion: This would have to be one of my goto favorites from #Vadham Tea. It has a light and delicate flavor, is hard to overbrew, and has a pleasant aftertaste. It is a great tea for the afternoon but if you prefer something strong for the morning, this is not that tea.

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

Best Before: 13.07.2023; var. Assamica blend (Kenya, Malawi, Assam, Indonesia, China); Prod. Poland; Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (BOPF) in folded paper bag without metal staple, black tea process; elev. unknown. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 2.07g for 2-3min. in 375ml@100deg. C.

Opinion: Twinings of London’s history as a tea supplier and blender goes back to 1706. It certainly has a reputation for “premium” tea for a premium price, yet it is also a flagship target, in the battle against, “teabag tea” by traditional or orthodox tea producers, and proponents of whole leaf, single origin teas.

Is such a situation fair? Absolutely! Especially when its tea bag offerings hit the store shelves at more than twice the price of its competition, without noticeable difference in quality either in packaging, or in the cup.

There is no doubt that this tea is convenient, but in spite it occupying a pedestal for my entire life, to date, there is nothing about it to recommend its place there, other than open faced, shameless, bragging rights that one is happy to waste money, on nothing more than a brand name. Luxury in name only, unfortunately.

Gāo Shān Gòng Méi Chá, 高山贡眉茶, Gaoshan Gongmei Laobai Cha, Alpine Tribute Eyebrow “Old White” Tea

2017, Autumn; var. Dabai; Fuding, Fujian; bud & 2-3 leaves, white tea processed, aged, loose leaf; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 5g in 250ml, steeped for 5min. @90deg. C

Opinion: From Five Element Tea Theory, Old White Tea can be drink anytime. This tea, today has a beautiful glowing, golden amber colour, a creamy mouthfeel, sweet, honeyed taste with hints of tangerine and grapefruit, and a mouthwatering, freshmint finish.

Shēng Tài Chá Lǜ Chá, 生态茶绿茶, Ecological Tea Green Tea

Spring, Mingqing, 2020; var: Ya’an Lao Chuan Tea; Mending Shan, Sichuan; one bud & 1-2 leaves, semi-manual green tea process; 1000m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 10-30sec@90deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: spiced egg biscuit;
Wet Leaf Aroma: spicy, peppery;
Liquor: pale yellow-green liquor with a buttery, bready, mildly cinnamon spiced aroma;
Mouthfeel: moderately viscous, creamy, smooth, stimulating, mouthwatering, with a metallic, sweet finish;
Taste: bready, malty, light, peppery, mildly astringent, with a sweet, lingering lemon-citrus aftertaste;

Opinion: The lingering fresh aftertaste of this tea is highly enjoyable. My initial response was, “Wow! Lemon Biscuits…”

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

#VahdamTea, #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: Steep for 2min in hot copper pot.

Opinion: Teabags! For several years all I’ve heard is that, “Tea Bag Tea” is bad tea because it’s alleged that the paper bag contents are tea dust and floor scrapings. Not a pleasant image.

Yet, over that time, various companies have tried to gussey-up their bags with cotton, silk, and nylon, changing the shape in different ways, even pyramid shaped!

The issue however, is not the bags per se but the contents. It always has been. Today, I find the argument against Tea Bag tea to somewhat loose its power as the contents have vastly improved especially with whole leaf teas.

IF Tea bags are still an issue? THEN they are so, for environmental reasons. Being made from nylon, one must consider what happens to the waste bags after consumption?

With millions in the making, and their small size, what stops them getting into the environment and our water and sea ways? What stops them becoming micro plastics and fish contaminants?

The shape of the pyramid Tea Bag is great and it does facilitate good brewing of whole leaf tea, but perhaps manufacturers and the tea industry needs to revisit the waste management side of the equation?

Gāo Shān Gòng Méi Chá, 高山贡茶, Gaoshan Gongmei Laobai Cha, High Mountain Tribute Eyebrow Old White Tea

2017, Autumn; var. Dabai; Fuding, Fujian; bud & 2-3 leaves, white tea processed, aged, loose leaf;, Gaoshan Gongmei Laobai Cha, High Mountain Tribute Eyebrow Old White Tea; 2017, Autumn; var. Dabai; Fuding, Fujian; bud & 2-3 leaves, white tea processed, aged, loose leaf; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Opinion: Today’s tea is loose leaf aged white tea WITH dried tangerine peel, stepped for 4-5 min. I’ve been told that whilst on the vaccine I should not drink strong tea. Now, from published, Chinese research, tangerine peel may be good at combating the Corona Virus, and from Five Element Theory, Old white Tea can be drink anytime. So, needing something more than just warm or cool water, I’m drinking this tea.

Gān Lù Chá,甘露茶, Mending “Sweet Dew” Green Tea

Pre-Qingming, Spring, 2021; var. Xiaoye Zhong Lao Chuan Cha; Mendingshan, Sichuan; bud only/mainly, 3x frying & rubbing green tea method: Tea Master, Liu Wang Cheng; 1000-1450m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3.3g (1 sachet) in 150ml for 1-2min. @80-90deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: bready, biscuity, buttery, nutty;
Wet Leaf Aroma: slightly sweet, vegetal, cooked peas & lentils;
Liquor: pale yellow straw colour, with a sweet and slightly floral aroma;
Mouthfeel: moderately viscous, syrupy, mild spicy tingling and freshness, with a sweet finish;
Taste: mildly nutty, buttery, slightly vegetal, with retronasal orange/tangerine floral finish;

Opinion: Sweet or Honey “Dew,” “Manna,” or “Tea of the Immortal” (吴理真Wú Lǐ Zhēn,) is one of the oldest and revered green teas in China with almost 2000 years of continuous production history.

This is an overall pleasant tea but is susceptible to over brewing, which results in an orange pith-like bitterness. Whilst not entirely unpleasant, is not desirable either. When brewed correctly, this is a very pleasant drink.

Méndǐng Huáng Yá Chá, Mending Yellow Bud Tea

2021, Spring pre-Qingming; var. Sichuan Xiao Ye Zhong, small leaf; Ya’an Mountain area, Mendingshan, Sichuan; single bud, hand roasted by Tea Master Lìu Wànchèng, yellow paper wrapped, yellow tea process; 1000m. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: pre-steam, 3g in 150ml for 15-20sec.@90-95deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: buttery, nutty, and hints of unscented white rice;
Wet leaf aroma: fresh, steamed snow peas, with a bright, high, elusive note;
Liquor: very pale straw colour, with a vague buttery, almond scent;
Mouthfeel: viscous, syrupy, stimulating, with a lingering sweet melon finish;
Taste: creamy, buttery, with nutty, toasted/puffed rice notes, and subtle, retronasal maltiness.

Opinion: Preparing this tea today I tried a technique for Mogan Huangya: pre-steaming before the first wash. The leaves are placed into an infuser above some 90deg. C water for a short period of time to steam then they are washed, followed by first infusion. Looking back my tasting notes, this year’s tea tastes and drinks differently from last year, it seems to have a more earthy, mature character. It’s very pleasant to drink.

Lì Yáng Tiān Mù Hú Jīn Yá Bái Chá, 溧阳天目胡金牙白茶 , Liyang Tianmu Lake Golden Bud White Tea

Spring, Mingqian, 2020 ; var. bai ye yi hao – white leaf No. 1; Tianmu Lake, Liyang County, Jiangsu; Bud and 1-2 leaves, green tea process; 250-350m. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Dry leaf: alfalfa, straw, hints of dry biscuits, pea shoots or sprouts;
Wet leaf: strong vegetal aroma, fading to a mild fishiness;
Liquor: light yellow straw colour with a faint, honey blossom aroma
Mouthfeel: creamy, thick; lightly astringent, soft lingering hints of white pepper;
Taste: Chestnut, green, snowpeas, sweet, floral, honey;

Opinion: This is a confusingly described tea. It’s a, “golden bud” tea, which sometimes translates as, “yellow tea,” it’s called a, ”white tea,” and it is processed as a, ”green tea.” This really does my head in just thinking about it. Would love to have a more detailed understanding of this particular tea.