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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teasprings Rou Gui

Rou gui is a very well known Wuyi mountain tea. Now I've heard that Teasprings Yanchas (rock teas, comming from Wuyi mountain) aren't as heavily roasted as you can find in other places. Though there seems to be a trend in teas to head towards less of a roast.

Nose: Cinnamon toast, Hints of honey, and maybe even a light
cherry. Some hints of roasting but not much.
Palate: Pungent cinnamon flavor, hints of possibly rubarb, and a subtle honey sweetness is in there too.
Finish: slight spicy cinnamon burn.

Nose: Floral sweetness, orchids.
Palate: Slightly bitter spicy cinnamon I know I keep saying that but it reminds me of having cinnamon on toast and eating it. But .
there are perhaps some hints of orange peel in there too.
Finish: Cinnamon. and almost acidic

Nose: Orange and Cherry, and hints of cranberry. With hints of toast.
Palate: citrus peels, and perhaps the sour from a sour apple.
Finish: Lingering Cinnamon

Nose: cherries, almost syrupy, but very sweet smelling, and slightly floral
Palate: Orange citrus, and just a very smooth feeling tea. Almost like a mild earl grey at this point.
Finish: Slightly bitter.

Most Yancha's give up after the 4th infusion, and this one is loosing a lot of the power in its flavors. But a very good different tea.

On looking up other names for Rou gui I stumbled upon the fact that several of its names are tied with the Cassia plant, which is what is really used to make what most of us call cinnamon. Well Cassia bark that is.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Teasprings Diao Yu Tai Te gong Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao, is a Yancha or Wuyi cliff/rock tea. Its English name is Big Red Robe. As the story goes an important person in China was rejuvinated in health upon drinking tea from the bushes on a nearly unreachable cliff face. So he wrapped the rest of his tea in his red robes. Now This tea does not come directly from one of those bushes, which can still be seen today. Rather they come from clones made from clippings of the original bushes, so they are nearly identical. Some further offshoots of these bushes are sometimes given the name "Little Red robe."

Nose: nutty and sweet, maybe a peanut brittle. Slight hints of roast, dried fruits.
Palate: Creamy mouth coating texture, very pleasent, slight hints of berries, a slight sourness almost like rubarb.
Finish: Refreshing, with a completely mouth covering taste of toast.

Nose: Floral, like a lily. Hints of cherry candies. Toast and burnt sugars come out in the cold aroma.
Palate: Honey, especially the slight bitterness you get from it. Hints of peanuts.
Finish: Bitter finish which is not overwhelming.

Nose: Hard Candies, caramel, slightly floral.
Palate: Caramel, honey, lightly roasted coffee.
Finish: Lingering dryness.

I'm sure it will go for a couple more infusions, but this post is getting rather long as it is.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Teasprings Yong Chun Fo Shou

This tea is very much like a Tie Guan Yin mimicker. Though I must say it is made from substantially older leaves, as they are large in comparison to all the TGY's I've had from the same vendor.

Its hard for me to rate this one accurately as I want to compare it to TGY's, yet it seems to be an entirely different tea. Slightly sweet, but even with shorter steep times it comes across as a bit more bitter, a bit more "mature." It smells like a grassland, dried grasses and wildflowers. And it has a lingering aftertaste, which is less of a taste and more of a sensation of dryness right on the back center of the toungue.

This tea is growing on me. When I first had it it struck me as rough, and somewhat unpleasent. But in learning how to work with it, its turning out to be pleasent, if not slightly tricky.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Teasprings Jade TGY

Today at the grocery store, I bought several gallons of spring water. This is my first trial using spring water over tap which is known for containing chlorine, Fluoride and other chemicals. Having worked for a Water and sewer district I know its true, but don't worry its for your health.

So I've had this tea many times before, so many that I'm about half way through my 50 gram bag. But with the spring water everything seems so much more pronounced. On the first infusion I'm already sure I'm going to be buying spring water on a regular basis. The nose is honey and orchids, and the taste is a very full cream and flower sensation. Its just slightly rough on the front edge of the tongue. Something I don't dislike but might be able to be dialed away with brewing parameters. The finish was quite pleasant, a hui guan which was slightly dry.

The second infusion smells very floral, and reminds me of a nice late spring day when all the flowers are blooming, especially the Giant Magnolia tree we have on campus. Their is no longer a roughness with a slightly shorter steep. about 25 seconds. Everything about this tea makes me think fresh.

Now I am very convinced that Spring water makes a huge difference, at least if your local tap water, produces less than satisfactory tea.

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