Friday, November 4, 2011

It's been a long time, hasn't it?

I've almost matched Tea Nerd's record for not posting.

To be perfectly honest, it's been a long time since I've drunk tea with any sort of serious intent on analyzing it. Tea has become much more a luxury of time for me, since I can almost never fit it in, even though the professors at my university have been on strike for almost a month now and school is not a factor.

I'm working on getting back into drinking tea every day, though, or at least every day I can fit it into my morning. I will eventually brew those damn pu'erh samples that have been sitting in my tea chest for four months, intimidating me with their myriad of brewing methods.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taste Test: Wuyi Shui Xian Heavy Roast Grade I from Life in Teacup

Ahhh, Wuyi oolong. Heavy roasted Wuyi oolong, in fact. This tea was the first wuyi I ever had, and once you've had one...well, you can't go back. Those darn Wuyi mountains just have something about them that makes their tea totally unique and memorable. It also makes their tea pretty expensive, though this is a pretty affordable example of the genre (especially as compared to Da Hong Pao, taste test coming soon!). Being affordable doesn't mean it's terrible, though, as we'll see below.

The dry leaves smell as roasted as they look, with a hint of raisins or other dried fruit mixed in with tobacco and chocolate. They're lovely big leaves, too. One gets the sense that this tea was picked and processed with care.

The wet leaves are basically a more intense version of the dry, very punchy and complex. The tobacco is a little more pronounced, while the chocolate is less so, but overall the aromas are the same.

Finally, the brew, and hoo boy were there a lot of them. I managed to get eight really good infusions and about three more after that were alright. I imagine that if I adjusted brewing parameters I'd get significantly more, but still, this is a robust tea.

Most of the flavours remained consistent over all the brews, with some popping in and out. Raisins, chocolate, a bit of sourness...the gangs all here. The mouthfeel remained smooth until the end, and perhaps slightly oily.

To be perfectly honest, my palate is not developed enough to really tell you everything that's going on here. I taste certain things that I know I've tasted before but I can't's frustrating, because this is a very good tea and I wish I could express the whole thing to you. the same time, maybe it's just more impetus to buy it and try some out for yourself.

Overall: Buy this tea, it's really great for the price.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm a Bad Blogger

So I've got this job. It's an alright job, but it entails waking up at 5:30 in the morning to catch the bus, working out in the sun all day, then walking back from the bus stop.

Thus, I have had no time in the mornings for tea, nor do I have the energy or time at night to do any useful writing about the teas that I drank before I started this job.

I really do apologize. Hopefully this weekend I'll muster up the strength to type up at least one review.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Taste Test: High Mountain Fairy Orchid Twig wild tea from Life in Teacup

Time for another Taste Test folks! This the first of many, many of teas I bought from Life in Teacup. Due to me being a laggard in posting these, you probably won't be finding these too useful, as it will be impossible to get any of these teas until September due to Gingko (who runs Life in Teacup) going on Summer holidays. So yeah, bum timing on my part. Still I hope you get SOME value out of this.

Today's tea has a real mouthful of a name: High Mountain Fairy Orchid Twig wild tea. According to the Life in Teacup page, it was harvest in the spring of 2011 in Jiangxi Province, Wuyuan, China, was grown at an altitude of 900m (2700ft for you Imperial system slowpokes).

The thing that stands out the most about this tea is the smell of the dry leaves. I've never smelled anything like it before. It's an odd mix of spice, ripe fruit, and something kind of like sweat, though a good kind of sweat. Lover's sweat. It's totally unique and really enjoyable. The dry leaves themselves are very wiry and so pale green as to almost be white.

The wet leaves smell like the dry, though with an aroma of wet vegetation thrown in for good measure. It smells better than the wet leaf of any green tea I've tried thus far (which I'll admit hasn't been too many). My nose constantly dipped back into the gaiwan for another hit.

The first infusion produced a pale green liquor (as did all the rest) with a slightly fruity aroma. The mouthfeel was nice and thick, almost oily, and very satisfying. The taste was just as complex as the aromas found in the dry and wet leaf: a slight buttery note, a pleasing astringency, and a very nice peachiness/necatriness that helped tie everything together.

Subsequent infusions yielded similar tastes, though things got kind of bland by the fourth one, with the peach note remaining fairly strong. Being able to taste anything at all past about three infusions is pretty rare for green tea, and I bet I could have done a fifth infusion had I really wanted to.

It is the goal of these reviews to help you, the reader, decide whether or not a tea is worth your time and money. In this case, if you like green tea and want to try something really different, this one is definitely worth both.

Friday, June 10, 2011

ANOTHER Shipment from Life in Teacup!

Yes, I ordered two shipments back to back, but this second one was with a friend, so I have an excuse.

Anyways, I now have three more teas to review. Isn't it exciting?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shimpment Recived from Life in Teacup

Despite the postal strike, my tea from Life in Teacup has managed to arrive in pretty good time. They threw in three samples, too, so I'm going to have a lot to review in the future. Not a bad thing, no?

I have another shipment coming in sometime later this week or early next week, as well. I'm going to hold off on reviewing the teas until I spend some quality time with each of them. In the meantime, I have some articles in the works to fill the gap.

Drink on!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Illness, Postal Strike, & Other Stuff

So I've been sick for a bit. Some kind of flu or something, I don't know. It wasn't fun, I can tell you that, and it certainly didn't put me in the mood to review tea. Sorry for being away, all three of you who read this.

Now, to business. Taste Tests will resume when I get my two orders of tea from Life in Teacup. It's going to take longer than expected due to the postal strike that's going on up here in Canadaland right now.

I've also decided to only review teas that YOU, the reader, have a chance of buying. I realized a bit too late that reviewing tea from my local shop helps exactly zero people with their own buying decisions. So the Taste Tests are going to now focus on teas from internet vendors that you yourself may be able to buy.

So that's that. I'm going to post some other things between now and when my tea comes, just to keep up the habit of writing. Looking forward to it?