Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lao Cong shuixian

I lied in my previous post about lowering my infusion times. Earlier today, I brewed some of the rougui from JTS using 12g of leaf and 15s infusions. That made kind of a boring tea. The mouth feel was on the thin side, and the flavor was light.

So, now that I'm more confident that 30s will make a good infusion, I decided to brew some the the lao cong shuixian I got with my first '07 green tea order from Teaspring.
I used 12g in a 150ml pot, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 20s, 45s, 120s.

1: I can already notice a good amount of complexity just by the smell. Charcoal, spice, creamy, and slightly medicinal. Charcoal and creaminess seems to dominate this fairly young tea (may be from old bushes, but it was produced not too long ago). There is also a bit of chocolate and coffee, but it's not as noticeable as other teas. It leaves a pleasant, fruity aftertaste.
2: This one has more notes of spice, mixed with the charcoal. A bit of creaminess works it's way out in the aftertaste. After some time, it has kind of a menthol-like coolong effect on the tongue.
3: Creaminess came back, and now mixes with spice and charcoal. It leaves a faint fruity aftertaste.
4: Spice is a lot stronger in this infusion. Not much charcoal is left, and there is only a faint creamy taste.

This is one of the more enjoyable yan chas I've tried recently. The strong creaminess of this tea isn't something I've found in yan cha for a while. Although, I think this tea would benefit from a year of aging to tone down the charcoal.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Shuixian and Liu An

This past week hasn't been the best week for trying new teas. Earlier in the week, the temperatures went up enough that the only teas I wanted to drink were green teas, and maybe young sheng. The last couple days were cooler, but I wasn't home enough to make tea. I was out practicing driving for my driving test, which was today. It took a few years, but I finally got my license. Now that that's over, I finally have time to try more teas.

I tried this tea yeserday, but I was unable to post this. I tried the '92 shuixian from the three shuixian samples from Tea Masters. I probably should have saved this tea for when I had more time to drink tea. I ended up using less leaf, and same times so that it would only get three infusions. I think I need to go back down to shorter infusions because 30s is starting to be a bit too harsh.
I used 10.5g in he 150ml pot. After a quick rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 30s, 90s.

This is probably the most interesting yancha I have ever tried. There are a few flavors I haven't noticed in any yancha before, and I cannot describe them. Other than that, it slowly changes into a light coffee taste, and then leaves a lingering floral aftertaste. In the second two infusions, the flavor lightened up enough for the chocolate taste to come out more, and an herbal taste also came out.

My second Teaspring order came yesterday, and one of teas was liu an. I have been curious about he liu an is like for a while now, so I decided to order a sample.

I used 7g in a gaiwan, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 15s, 15s, 30s, 120s, and one last, really long infusion.
1: It looks like shu, smells like shu, and tastes like shu. The flavor then turns into a bit of woodiness, and a slight vegetal taste. Strangely, it finishes off with a slight smoky taste.
2: This one has a more noticeable musty smell. It came out with a much thicker mouth feel, but i didn't seem any different from last infusion.
3: It lightened up a bit. It's mostly woody, and kinda "earthy."
4: Sill light, but now the flavor seems a bit different. Is it possible that there is some floralness in this tea?
5: Dead.

If I tried this tea without knowing what it was, I would think it was a shu. Although, I kinda like it more than the shus I've already tried. It just seems like it's a more interesting than shu.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

'97 Shuixian

This the the second tea of the three shuixians. I reviewed the '04 one before I got sick. Now it's time to see what it's like 7 years later.

I tried this tea in a gaiwan yesterday, but it came out kinda weak and boring. I didn't want to post those notes, so I'm trying it again, this time with yixing.

I used 12g of leaf in a 150ml pot. After a quick rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 30s, 60s.
The dry leaves are fairly broken, which is probably from being roasted so many times.
1: Fairly strong coffee taste with some dark chocolate, and slightly woody. It slowly changes into a strong, lingering dark chocolate flavor.
2: Lightened up quite a bit. This one has more chocolate than coffee.
3: Lighter version of the last.

This kind of brewing made it more interesting than when it was brewed in a gaiwan, but 30 seconds did not work for this tea. Since most of the leaves are broken up, it probably needs shorter brewing times.

As for the tea, I did notice a change. This one is a bit more complex than the '04 one. It also didn't seem like it had any charcoal flavor left.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Homebrews

I started brewing my own beer sometime after Christmas, and in the time I have brewed three beers. The first one was an Irish Dry Stout, which was from a kit. This beer only sat in primary, so it was bottle conditioned. Bottle conditioning using dry yeast was a big mistake. There is more yeast in the bottle, so the beer picks up more of the yeast's flavor. This review is after the beer has sat in the bottles for more than two months. From previous experience, I know that it should be chilled to numb the palate (it's that bad). A slow pour creates a good sized head. The first noticeable thing about the beer is the soda pop like carbonation. It also feels like it coats your mouth just like sugary soda. It tastes like it's possibly contaminated, but it's possible that taste is from the yeast. After allowing the beer to warm up, and the carbonation to die down, the flavor started to come out, which actually isn't as bad now. Still has the nasty coating, but the roasted grain came out more. It's not exactly coffee or chocolate, and it's not exactly a roasted flavor, but I can't describe it any other way. It's still pretty bad though.

The second one is a mystery style. It started out as a Vienna lager, but the lager yeast that was used didn't start within 48 hours, so I pitched in ale yeast. It's possible that the lager yeast later kicked in because this only took two days to finish primary fermentation. So, it might be an amber ale/California common (lager yeast fermenting at ale temperatures). This one was not made from a kit. I made my own all grain recipe, but when I got to mashing the grains, I failed to extract much fermentable sugar, and flavor. In attempt to get it to normal, I added a can of amber malt extract. When adding it, I was careless, and didn't sterilize anything. After 4 days in primary (including the two days of inactivity), 2 weeks in secondary, and a month sitting in the bottles carbonating, the result was a very nasty beer. The lack of sterilization allowed bacteria to grow in the wort, and it only got worse as it got older. I ended up dumping nearly 48 bottles of beer down the sink. That later turned into a controversial decision when one of my brother's friend found out that I had alcohol I didn't want. It's funny when 17 year olds beg for alcohol.

Dumping that beer allowed me to make the next beer: a porter. Porter is one of my favorite styles, so I didn't want to be careless about brewing this one. Instead of using dry yeast which isn't very good, I used WYeast British ale yeast which is a strand that works well for porters. I also sterilized the hell out of everything to prevent contamination. The beer sat in primary for a week, and then in secondary for 3 weeks. I bottled the beer only a week ago, and added enough priming sugar to create only a small amount of carbonation. One week isn't enough to fully carbonate the beer, but I'm impatient to try the beer. I tried the beer after letting it warm up about half an hour. Opening the cap made a faint popping sound, so some carbonation has been created. Although, there is not enough to create any kind of head, even with a forceful pour. There is still some sweetness from the priming sugar that will be fixed in time (about a month). The first noticeable taste is the esters, or fruity tasting by-products of the yeast. There is still a good amount of active yeast floating the the beer that might be increasing that taste. The normal porter flavors aren't as noticeable. It takes some time to taste the coffee/chocolate that is normal in porters. It will probably take some time for those flavors to come out more.
This is the first beer that I'm not disappointed with the outcome. Sterilizing the hell out of everything and using better yeast has paid off.

Two Yiwu puerhs

Lately, several people have ordered samples of two Chen Guang-He Tang Yiwu puerhs from Hou De, and posted reviews of those teas. Thanks to Salsero, I now have a chance to try them. I got the teas a couple days ago, but a cold has prevented me from trying any new teas. My sense of taste and smell has returned, and I can finally try the samples.

I'm going to start with the '06 Autumn Yeh Cha. This would be a good learner piece as I already know what more experienced puerh drinkers think of it. All the reviews I read said that this is not a good puerh. I wonder if I will think it's like other puerhs I've tried, or if I will be able to tell that it's not a good puerh.
I used 7g of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan. After a quick rinse, I brewed it for 15s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 90s.

1: Starting out a bit light. Mostly floral, and there seems to be a hint of honey. It doesn't leave much of an aftertaste.
2: The leaves are waking up. More floral, and also is more bitter. It seems like an aftertaste wants to come out, but is muted.
3: Floral and woody, but somehow, it seems like it turns into a watery taste. The watery taste is the closest this infusion came to an aftertaste.
4: Nothing new.
5: Dying.
6: Mellowed out, but is pretty much dead.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to tell if this was a good or bad tea. It seems like everyone who has reviewed this tea thinks that this is not a good tea, and I was expecting that I would not have the experience to tell. It did seem rather boring. There wasn't much complexity, and didn't leave much of an aftertaste. I didn't write about the clarity in the notes, but this was a fairly cloudy tea. From what I read, that is not good when considering aging potential.

And now to try the '06 Autumn Cha Wang. This one got higher ratings than the Yeh Cha.
I used 7g of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan and after a rinse, I brewed it for 15s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s.
1: After rinsing, it has a very pleasant, kinda fruity aroma. The liquor is very clear. It is floral, but it seems like there is also some fruitiness. The aftertaste is similar to the sweetness of green tea. Very enjoyable so far.
2: The flavor came out more. It's still floral, and slightly fruity, and now more woody. It leaves a fruity aftertaste. It still has a nice sweetness that is balanced with some bitterness.
3: It seems like there is now more of a berry flavor. Other than that, it's about the same.
4: Same, except that some astringency is coming out.
5: Same.

I'm noticing a pattern, and since I'm starting to notice the harsh effects on the stomach, I'm going to stop here.
I think this is definitely the better of the two. It's actually probably the most enjoyable young puerh I've tried so far. I really like the fruitiness and the berry flavor of this tea. I think this one has a better aging potential than the yehcha.

Friday, March 16, 2007

2004 Shuixian from Teamasters.

No school today. :)
I got a surprise in the mail today. The mailman came up to the door, and I was expecting it to be my order from teaspring. It turned out that it was a package from Tea Masters with three shuixian samples. Wait, I didn't order anything from Tea Masters... It turns out that it was a gift from Salsero (thank you so much). I'll try these going from youngest to oldest to get a better idea of the change.

I used 10.5g in a 150ml pot. I brewed it for 30s, 45s, 90s, 180s, 300s.
1: The dry leaves have a pleasant chocolaty aroma. The aroma of the liquor has a bit of dark chocolate, and some roastiness. It's a very smooth tea with a full mouthfeel. The taste is kinda chocolaty, and nutty. It seems like it has been aged long enough to mellow out the "fired" taste. The aftertaste is almost coffee-ish. It slowly changes into a little longer lasting floral aftertaste.
2: Not quite as smooth and mellow. A charcoal flavor is more noticeable. There is still a good amount of dark chocolate, and now has a bit of a coffee taste. It has a slight astringency. The aftertaste isn't as strong as the first infusion. Maybe it should be brewed for a minute.
3: the smooth taste returned, but it could probably be improved with a longer infusion. Still has a charcoal taste, but the chocolate lightened up. Not much more.
4: The color of the liquor got a lot lighter, and so did the taste. I'll try one more with 5 minutes, but I think it's dead now.
5: Dead

I'm now really curious how longer aging will affect this tea. I may have underbrewed most of the infusions, but the first was enough to know how interesting of a tea it is (interesting in a good way).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

2006 Yiwu maocha from Dragon teahouse

I just recieved a few more teas from Salsero (thanks!). He had 5g of Harney dahongpao left and he wanted my opinion of it. He also included two other teas, and since I don't know how to brew the dahongpao with only 5g of leaf, I decided to try this one first.

This time, I'm going to try using yixing. I have a very dense pot that I have been considering using for young puerh. I used 7g of leaf in a 120ml pot. After a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 5s, 15s, 30s.

1: Mostly floral. Some vegetal, and some menthol. Leaves a floral aftertaste.
2: Mostly the same but stronger. I'm not sure if I have a taste stuck on my tongue, but it seems like it left a floral and a grainy aftertaste.
3: Floral, camphor, slight grain and hay. The aftertaste isn't as floral, and is mostly grainy.
4: I didn't reheat the water for this infusion, so it's slightly cooler than boiling. Noticeably lighter, and tastes slightly watery. Flavors still the same, and the aftertaste is mostly graininess.
5: Back to boiling. Not much flavor, and is fairly bitter.

If this wasn't a Yiwu puerh, I would think that it won't age well. It will probably be good now, just with different brewing parameters. Either less leaves, or more leaves and cooler water.

I think I have made up my mind about this pot. It was destined for bitter young sheng. Since it's fairly dense, the flavor won't be altered much at all, and it will still have the benefit of the higher temperature.

Monday, March 12, 2007

8 year old Tieguanyin

I used 7g, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 60s, 60s, 90s, 180s, 300s.

1: A little light. It still has a roasted/charcoal flavor. There is also some graininess, and maybe a plum flavor? It seems like there is some kind of fruit in the taste. It leaves a sweet creamy and fruity aftertaste. Where's the floralness?

2: A little more aged character came out. It's kinda hard to describe the aged character. Maybe herbal? There is a slight orange peel flavor mixed in also. Again, it leaves a creamy and fruity aftertaste.

3: Same, except herbal hint came out more.

4: More fruity, but still mostly herbal.

5: Same, but lighter.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

'04 Six Famous Tea Mountain "silver tips"

I used 7g, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 60s, 60s, 90s, 120s.
The leaves after the rinse have a fairly strong menthol or camphor smell. Even with the long 60 second infusion, it's not very harsh at all. The camphor smell in the leaves didn't come out much into the tea. It has the usual floralness. The second infusion brought out a lot more flavor, as well as bitterness and astringency. There is a fairly strong camphor taste, and some floralness. There isn't much smokiness. The third infusion had a stronger camphor taste, and also has a good amount of smokiness. Still has floralness, and maybe some hay-like flavors.

I'm not sure if this would be a good one to age. Obviously my lack of knowledge when it comes to puerh is the reason why I don't know, but I'm not sure if this is strong enough to age. I brewed it with 60 seconds which is longer than normal, and it still wasn't very harsh. Also, the tightly compressed tuocha will age very slowly.

Does anyone know where the leaves were harvested? Hou De doesn't list the harvest area.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

'04 Six Famous Tea Mountain shu

Today seemed to be a lazy day when it comes to tea. The spring weather made it possible to spend most of the day outside, so I didn't have as much time to make tea.

The only tea I reviewed today is the '04 6FTM shu. Salsero included a suggestion on how to brewed it, but I first wanted to try it using a method closer to western brewing. When I first got some shu, I would just throw some leaves in a cup, fill with boiling water, cover and let sit for up to half an hour. It used to work very well. So, I brewed it with 3g of leaf in the new 150ml thick-walled gaiwan. The tea had almost no mustiness, which would make this better than the other shus in my opinion. The overall flavor is mostly just earthiness and some woodiness. I don't think this kind of brewing is strong enough to get a good idea of the tea. It was lacking mouthfeel, which could be blamed on the brewing. I'll give Salsero's suggestion a try. I'm sure it will be a lot better than this.

Update: I tried it again using Salsero's suggestion. I had a hard time getting the leaves to an exact 7.5g, so I used the 8g I already had cut out. After a rinse, I brewed it for 60s, 60s, 90s, 120s. The result was a fuller bodied tea. I'm used to shu coming out very dusty. The dust in the tea makes it seem like I'm drinking dirt and hot water. This tea didn't have any dustiness in it. The flavor is pretty much earthiness and woodiness. Again, it lacked mustiness, which is definately a good thing. Overall, this was definately the most enjoyable shu I've tried. I'm still not a big fan of shu, but this wasn't bad.

Friday, March 9, 2007

'05 Ming Yuan Hao Yiwu

I already have one of these cakes sitting in my closet slowly aging, and I already have tasting notes, but I need to try it with more leaves to get a better idea of the tea. Previously, I only use 3g of leaf, and it came out like green tea. Something like that doesn't sound like something that would be good for aging.

I used 7g leaf, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 30s, 60s.

I wish I had a camera to take a picture of this tea. The chunk of leaves just looks so artistic. The long leaves definitely make this a "spaghetti" tea. The very long leaves needed the rinse to loosen up, to fit in the gaiwan. It's definitely not like green tea anymore. The flavor is a little stronger, and now tastes more like the average young sheng. Is that a camphor taste? It seems like it's possibly camphor, just not a very distinct flavor. It also has a good amount of smokiness. Although, it turned out a little watery.

For the third infusion, I decided to up the infusion time to 30 seconds. It brought out a little bit of bitterness, and a fairly strong astringency. Smoke is the first noticeable taste. It's kind of hard for me to describe the other flavors. My best effort would be to describe it as floral, fruity and vegetal. The longer infusion brought out a lot more interesting flavors, and also brought out a fairly sweet lingering floral aftertaste, with hints of what seemed to be malt.

Will this age well? I still have no clue. Apparently Yiwu puerhs are normally not harsh, and can be sweet, but still manage to age well.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Second Best Teahouse

Ok, maybe the Best tea house is in China, but Salsero has devised a plan to make it possible to have a second best tea house, here in the US. He sent packages with four puerhs to Mary, Even Odd, and me. I got the package today, and was surprised to see that it was a rather large package. I was only expecting three puerhs, but he threw in a lot more. Lot's of interesting looking teas (who knew Assam had a great fruity aroma?) Salsero, thanks for all the tea!

Menghai Dayi 0622 Chi Tse
I used 7g in a 100ml gaiwan, and after a rinse I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s, 20s, end.

It started off mellow with kind of a woodiness and some floralness. It started developing some harshness after the third infusion. I think part of the flavor is a developing camphor taste. The later infusions leaves a momentary sweet floral aftertaste, but then turns into a lasting menthol-like aftertaste. The wet leaves in the gaiwan are somewhat chopped up (Sorry, I don't have any pictures).

With my extremely limited knowledge about puerh, I think it might be a good one to age (don't listen to me, I know nothing about puerh).

The puerh isn't exactly soothing to the stomach, so now I'll make something that is. Salsero included two shuixians from Hou De (more over roasted oolongs?).

Regular shuixian
I used 9g of leaf, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 15s, 30s, 60s, 120s.

1: Starting out a little light. It has a toasted grainy flavor. The toasted grain kinda mixes with floral in the aftertaste.

2: A stronger roasted/charcoal flavor came out. There is a slight creaminess, and the normal floral aftertaste.

3: It's mostly a very mellow charcoal flavor. It doesn't have as much an aftertaste, but it has a cooling, menthol effect.

4: A little bit of coffee came out. This one seems to show the little bit of age the tea has. It's starting to taste similar to the other aged teas I've tried.

5: Same.

6: Same.

Brewing this makes me realize just how much better yixing brews tea. I need to brew this tea in yixing.

As for the tea, this is a pretty good tea. It's labeled as a good everyday tea, which I would agree with, if it was priced a little cheaper. There are better teas for the same price.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Dark roast Rougui

I already have tasting note for this tea, but this time, I'm brewing it in my yancha pot. I'm curious what kind of an effect yixing will have on the tea. Brewing tea in this pot has always made weak tea, and I thought that the pot would take, but not give back. I eventually figured out that this pot is 150ml, not the advertised 120ml, so, chances are that I didn't use enough leaves. I recently boiled the pot to remove the noticeable clay flavor, and I've been seasoning it with rinse rounds of yancha brewed in a gaiwan. I'm hoping that it will start acting normal so I can start using it whenever I brew yancha.

I used 1g of leaf for every 10ml. 15g of leaves. 14.5g in 150ml would be proportional to my normal 9g in a 100ml gaiwan, so it shouldnt't be much different from gaiwan brewing. Somehow, it seems like 15g crammed the pot with dry leaves. There is about 80-90% leaves in the pot. After a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 120s. This pot takes a bit longer than 10 seconds to pour, so the tea had a little extra time to brew while it was being poured out.

1: I can actually taste the cinnamon this time! The charcoal is still present, but at least it's not dominating this time. It also has a fruity, creamy lingering aftertaste. So far, yixing has made an impressive difference.

2: Very strong. It actually tastes just like a strong coffee. I'm just sitting here waiting to see if the flavor changes. Tick tock tick tock, and now it's starting to show up. Some creaminess developed, and is slightly fruity.

3: Charcoal and coffee. Not much else.

4: A little underbrewed. Coffee and charcoal lessened up, and a touch of creamy came out. It leaves a light, fruity aftertaste.

5: Oddly sweet flavor, that is balanced out by a slight bitterness that shows up a few seconds later. Light coffee taste persists.

6: Not much flavor.

This tea is much better the second go around with it. I'm not sure if it was the pot that made the difference, or the greater leaf to water ratio, but at least I know that it's an enjoyable tea, and that the pot will make excellent tea.

Another thing I noticed about the pot was it's ability to keep the leaves warm in between infusions. I try to not let the tea sit long enough between infusions to get cold, and since gaiwan cools fairly fast, it only lasts about an hour. I brewed this tea at a much more leisurely pace, and it took nearly three hours to finish. The leaves did not get cold at all in that three hours.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Everyday Milan Dancong from Jing tea shop

Time for a little recovering with dancong. Dancong has been one of my favorite teas for a while, and I have recommended this particular one many times because of the quality, and the 5 dollar price tag. I haven't written a tasting note for it yet, so maybe it's time to do so.

I used 1/2 (7g) leaves, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 10s, 15s, 30s, 60s.

1: Dry leaves have a strong, fruity, peachy aroma. The initial taste is a little light, but I noticed the normal fruity, and peachy. This particular one also has a more noticeable roasted taste. Although, the roasted taste is very light. The taste comes out more in a peachy, creamy aftertaste.

2: A touch bitter, but not unpleasant. Again, the initial taste is light, but the aftertaste comes out really strong. The creaminess isn't as strong, but the peachy flavor got stronger.

3: This is more fuller flavored. Initially, it has a creme brule flavor that is balanced with the peachy flavor. This one has a honey-like sweetness, but is balanced by a light bitterness. Again, it leaves a lingering aftertaste.

4: A little underbrewed. It's similar to the first two.

5: A little minty. I think the tea is pretty much dead.

6: Not much flavor, and is fairly bitter.

Dancong is still difficult to brew right. I should have brewed the first two for about 10 seconds, and maybe do the third for 15s. Then maybe 30s, then 60s. It definately doesn't have 9 infusions in the leaves like I used to think.

Bad brewing aside, it truly is a delicious tea.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Dark Roast Tieguanyin from Generation tea

This is the last tea from Salsero that I haven't tried yet.

I used 7g of leaves (a layer on the bottom of the gaiwan), and after a rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 30s, 30s, 45s, 90s.

1: I didn't know how long to brew it, so I jut let the color of the tea tell me when to pour. It turned out very light. It has a roasted taste similar to hojicha.

2: It's like a strong hojicha. I noticed that the leaves smell like the TGY I home roasted a couple monthes ago. Maybe the people at Generation tea roasted it?

3: Now it tastes like the my home roasted stuff. The home roasted stuff doesn't taste like normal high fire oolongs made by skilled tea makers. It's more like burnt popcorn kernels.

4: Same, but a little light.

5: Same.

My guess is that they took a light TGY and roasted it. It was like mine, only not so horribly done. It was basically a boring, and slightly sweet roasted flavor. It's not bad on occasion, but it does get boring fast.

Formosa Shui-Sa-Lian red tea from Hou De

Time for the next tea.

I used 5g of leaf, which was 1/2 the gaiwan. After a rinse, I brewed it for 15s, 30s, 60s, 120s.

I was going to write tasting notes for each infusion, but they all came out pretty much the same, so I'll just make it into a general description. It

It is kind of refreshing after trying the purple one. It's another fruity black tea that reminds me of Indian red teas. There is definitely some malty sweetness in this tea. The malty sweetness comes out even more in the aftertaste.

It might just be that anything tastes good after the purple one, but I actually enjoyed this tea.

Wild "Purple" Oolong from Generation tea

I just finished descaling my kettle and teaware, so it's time to try another tea. I think I might be able to try the last of the teas today, so I'm going to start with lighter with the purple oolong, and work up to the stronger dark roast tieguanyin. I was sure how to brew this one, so I used 9g, which is what I'm used to using. After a rinse, I brewed it for 1s, 5s, 10s, KO.

1: After rinsing, the leaves smelled kind of like yerba mate. Slightly grainy, with some smokiness. The taste is also similar to yerba mate. It has a grainy and smoky taste just like the aroma, but it also has a strong medicinal taste.

2: I removed a good amount of leaves from the gaiwan. The aroma is the same, and the medicinal taste lessened up. It's almost exactly like yerba mate. It has kind of a cooling effect on the tongue, and the medicinal taste is the one that sticks around.

3: It doesn't taste like yerba anymore. It's mostly just medicinal. That cooling effect with the last medicinal taste is just not pleasant at all, so I'm going to stop now. *gargles mouthwash*

I think this is more like Chinese medicine than tea. After drinking it, everytime I breath in, it's as if there is medicinal flavored dust in the air. It just won't go away.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Shuixian from Generation tea

Lately I've been trying several different teas Salsero gave me (other tasting notes are on the forum). This time I'm trying the shuixian.

I used 3/4 leaves (9g) in a 100ml gaiwan and after a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 60s, 120s.

The last few teas I've tried were very unusual teas, and this one actually smelled like a normal shuixian. Normal is good.

1: Smells a little grainy. It has a nice roasted flavor, with some grainy and nutty flavors. It left a sweet floral aftertaste, but didn't last long.

2: The graininess came out more. It actually seemed like there was a hint of floralness in the initial taste before the floral aftertaste came out.

3: Still grainy, but now with a bit of a woody taste. Again, it left a floral aftertaste.

4: initially, it didn't seem like their was any graininess, but it took a few seconds for it come out. I didn't notice any kind of floral aftertaste with this one. Maybe it was underbrewed.

5: Again, mostly a grainy taste. Again no aftertaste. I don't think it's underbrewed as I brewed it longer than I normally would, and it has a slightly more noticeable bitterness.

6: Flavor lightened up a lot. Again, mostly just graininess, and no aftertaste.

There isn't much more to say about this tea. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I just wonder why the aftertaste disapeared in the last 3 infusions.