Tasting "notes"

So I got all my tea, still waiting on the "wares" from China.

I don't do formal tastings really, so I'm not going to do formal tasting notes, at least not at the present.

The first of the teas I tried was The Tea Gallery's Iron Bodhisattva "Classic Roast." I guess Iron Bodhisattva is another name for Iron Goddess of Mercy aka. Tie Guan Yin. I had only had TGY that was still very green and not roasted at all, I was very interested to try it.

The initial taste was of Hojicha. I think I brewed it a little too long the first 3 or so infusions. It kept tasting very Very VERY roasted and almost burnt. I shortened my steep time a few breaths and that seemed to allow the teas floral undertones to start coming through. By the time I was getting to 10 infusions or so I was really enjoying the toasty floral notes, like someone roasting orchids or lilies (as strange as that sounds, it actually tastes very good). However around that time it started to get very drying as well. My friend Sammy joined me at the 7th infusion or so and really seemed to enjoy the tea. I could've kept brewing it into the teens or tweens of infusions, but I had to get home. What I was entirely surprised about was how BLACK the spent leaves were. They were on par with a shu puerh. Overall, very solid tea, however a little tricky to get right.

The next tea I tried was the 2005 Jinggu Arbor Tree Beeng from puerhshop.com.
This is the first sheng I've tried to brew myself. I tried to mimic what I saw Dae do at The Tea Gallery. I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but the fact that it had sort of the same flavor profile as the sheng we tried at the Gallery was surprising, and sort of comforting. It was a year older than the other tea, and I know they're two completely different things, but this one was far mellower than the other.

The beeng was a darker forest green with a lot of silver leaves within. It seemed fairly uniform with medium-sized leaves. The first infusion was overwhelmingly bamboo and woodsy. I kept stuffing my nose in the gaiwan to try and figure out what the smell reminded me of. It was actually very similar to the way the town has been smelling with all of the dry fall leaves all over. It reminded me of my walk to work.

I was also pleased at how light the brew was. Even though it was lacking the harsh astringency I was expecting, it was still not too heavy and dark. The taste was really lovely. The bamboo was still there, but it stepped aside to notes of fruit and honey. White grapes, cherries, and lychee were all there. After a while it started getting more astringent and drying. Also, my phone started ringing and I had 8 million things to attend to. When I stepped outside to take a call I took a picture of the spent leaves in the sunlight for a brighter look. Enjoy.

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