Sunday, November 28, 2010

British style

Sorry it has been such a long time. I have not had access to my computer in quite some time.

One day while in Florida I woke up to find a teapot on the table next to me. Apparently my parents bought me a new teapot. (probably an early birthday present I guess) Being it was opening day of Harry Potter and that the teapot looks like a snowy owl the pot quickly got the name Hedwig.
I have always wanted to try the British milk and sugar type tea. To me there has always been something odd about adding milk to water/tea. Being in the south I am used to sugar in tea, it is actually rare to get tea without sugar here. I thought it was about time I try milk and sugar in my tea.

I selected "Ceylon" tea from red leaf teas. This was because of it's British ties and because I didn't want to experiment on s better quality tea.

Plain Tea: Was very strong and tasted sort of like how damp earth smells. However it was surprisingly smooth with a bitter aftertaste.

Milk And Sugar Tea: The first taste was alright. I did not put a lot of milk in the tea but a sickly creamy presence was there. The liquor had a weird texture to it, almost like the tea was thicker and smoother. I did not like that. It has some merit and I am glad I tried it but frankly I don't think I will be trying it this way again, but you never know.

I do however want to try milk tea where you add tea leaves directly to the warm/boiling milk. I think this would get ride of some of the weird texture that I wasn't fond of.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 Yunnan Golden Bud

This is another wonderful tea Gingko so graciously let me sample! Thank you.

The dry leaves are so stunning. I never thought they could be such a golden color. The aroma from these lovely dry leaves is a sort of dry bitterness.

While brewing this tea a lovely smell of sweetness came up with the steam swirling from the brewing vessel. I always enjoy watching steam come up from the tea and swirl around in the air.

The dark ruby brew lead to a perfectly balanced bitterness and sweetness. It was such a smooth flavor. I literally sipped this tea all day. Though it did get weaker overtime it remained balanced the entire time. I could drink this tea all day. It is a wonderful way to start the ever busy day. Sorry for the short post, I am busy packing and getting ready to leave for Florida in the morning.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

2010 Sun Moon Lake (Small-leaf cultivar)

Once again thanks to Gingko for this great tea!

I have always heard about Sun Moon lake tea, admittedly the "Red Jade" cultivar, and have always wanted to try some of this well known tea. Also it is Organic, at some point in time I would like to compare organic vs nonorganic tea from the same region. Also I would like to taste the difference between the "Red Jade" cultivar and this "Small-leaf" cultivar. The smell of this is spiced and sweet, it also smells like damp grass. It is a wonderful aroma.
Brewing the tea lead to an even more powerful aroma that lost it's spiced smell the sweetness changed to make it even more noticeable.
I could not wait to taste this tea.
Three wonderful infusions came from this tea, without any change really other then the flavor becoming weaker. This tea has a wonderful darkness to it. It is sweet yet there is this subtle flavor underneath that I am having a hard time to describe. It's not really spicy, but is a warmness that you can feel inside and taste in your mouth. What a wonderful feeling and calmness it creates. This is a wonderful tea and I suggest anyone who likes black/red tea to try it.
On a different note I am sorry I have not been posting as much. This was because sampling teas that I feel that I cannot blog about because they are frankly not my cup of tea. So I have an excess of Red Leaf Tea's products that I probably won't be drinking myself so let me know if you are interested in trying any. Also college applications had been taking up most of my time. Thankfully those are finished for now!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 Wild Orchid Fairy Twig (Lan Xiang Xian Zhi)

First off I would like to thank Gingko from Life in Teacup for this absolutely amazing tea!

Opening the package led to a smell of damp forest ground and a flowery sweetness that takes over the air. I could not wait to try this tea!
Waiting for the water to cool was just terrible. At 180 degrees I decided that I couldn't wait anymore. The brewing leaves were even more enticing then the dry leaves.
The first brew led to an amazing greenish yellow soup that had a rather fruity sweetness to it and yet still had a woody taste which created a perfect harmony of tastes. Also a very floral taste came out, an orchid like floral taste. I continued brewing this tea four more times and the flavor never really diminished.
This tea is truly a magical experience! I strongly suggest you try this tea.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010 Kim Shin Ho Sejak

Another wonderful sample from Dao Tea!
I would like to start out by saying I do not drink a lot of green tea, but I have been inspired to try and drink more now thanks to this tea.

The smell coming from the broken package was that of wet freshly cut grass. It had a pleasant sweetness about it as well. The color of the leaves were that of a dark forest moss.
While brewing more and more smells came out. The sweetness was more apparent and the grass smell left.The soup was a yellow-orange color. Each brew had an unique bitterness to it. I got three infusions out of it. The first two were the same vegatal taste with the bitterness and a hint of sweet grass. The third infusion however was very different tasting. There was a different bitter that overpowered me at first but then as the soup sat in your mouth it became the vegatal taste.
All and all a great refreshing tea!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2009 Kim Shin Ho Balhyocha

Another sample from Dao Teas. Thanks again Matt and Pedro. Also Kim Shin Ho should be thanked for producing this amazing tea!
I opened the bag of 2009 Balhyocha, I had no idea what to expect, a wave of dark sweetness wafted out. The smell alone made my mouth water.

While brewing I could smell a bit of fruit but was not able to place what kind of fruit.
The first sip I took from this dark amber brew was just astonishing. It was spiced almost. It was not a really spicy just enough for a little kick. The sweetness and the spiciness were perfectly balanced. I got to experience three amazing infusions of this magical tea. The first infusion was very strong, but not overbearing. You could really taste the sweetness, which was a grassy kind of sweetness. The implacable spice was there as well.
The Second and Third infusions were a bit more mild but still fantastic. The Spice changed into a ginger sort of spice.

It is really hard for me to describe this tea. There are just so many tastes in it that I have never had the opportunity to taste. This tea is just so unique and has a kind of magic present in it. Kim Shin Ho is truly a tea master.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

2009 Kim Shin Ho Jungjak

First off I would like to thank Pedro of Dao Tea and Matt from MattCha's blog.
This tea is the first Korean tea I have ever gotten the opportunity to drink. So thank you for sharing.

After weeks of anticipation and waiting, mainly because the post office workers lost the package, I finally received the package. I opened it up and this tea was the first one to come out so I decided to try it first.
The smell that came out of the little silver sample package was so sweet and fruity with a hint of fresh cut grass. If only this is what the brew actually tasted like. Even while brewing this smell was all around. I thought I was about to experience a new kind of sweetness.
Needless to say my hypothesis was incorrect. The neon yellow brew was extremely bitter. Not just bitter but oleaginous as well. This is definitely not my cup of tea. The only positive I got out of this tea was the caffeine which I actually could notice unlike most teas I drink.

I can't wait to try the others though! I have already tried the 2010 Sejak and really enjoyed it.