Monday, March 23, 2015

Green Gold - Mandala

Today, I'm having a nice cup of Green Gold from Mandala Tea!
Greens and oolongs are my favorite two types of tea, which is unusual considering my history with tea. I could probably dedicate a whole post to my background with tea and why I started drinking tea! Anyway, I was excited to receive multiple green teas from Mandala in a recent order and wanted to share this one with you.
Green Gold is magical to me - the curled dry leaf transforming in my glass teapot is extraordinary to watch. The smell of the dry leaf reminds me of Clouds and Mist tea, which can be found in many variants. The tea brews into a pale yellow-green (or green gold!) which has a mild vegetal smell to it.
The taste is a smooth, buttery, vegetal ride through the world of green tea. There is so much complexity through the sweet notes of the tea and the underlying vegetal taste, culminating with a palate-refreshing buttery finish. This is definitely a tea for morning, afternoon, and evening!

Steeping Instructions:
1 Tablespoon, 16 ounces, 175 degrees, 1 minute

Until the next cup.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2010 Da Ye Sheng Puerh - The Tea Kings

Today's tea is the 2010 Da Ye Sheng from The Tea Kings! Now, I'm relatively new to tea, so I'm also relatively new to puerh, leading to an interesting session starting with figuring out how exactly to break apart this extremely compressed toucha! Luckily, I purchased two of these toucha, so I found an opportunity to take the entire thing apart as an experiment (which didn't go so well...).
My feeble attempt at picking apart a toucha
Now, on to steeping! I steeped this with 6g of tea for a 100ml gaiwan. I rinsed the sheng quickly twice, then let the leaves sit for a short break. I started my steeping session with five second steeps and incremented from there accordingly.
Da Ye Sheng

The taste of this puerh is very smoky and wood-like. The further steeps added a slight sweetness to the golden-yellow tea, which balances the smokiness very nicely. I was able to get a nice 12 steeps from the 6g of sheng that I used in this session.
Steeping instructions:
6 grams, 100ml gaiwan, 185 degrees, 5 seconds (first steep)
Until the next cup.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong - Teavivre

Today's tea is a nice Jin Xuan from Teavivre. Now, if you didn't already know, Jin Xuan is also known as "milk oolong" because of it's naturally milky flavor. Now, you can buy flavored Jin Xuan, but I don't recommend it as the artificial milk flavor overpowers the natural flavor of the tea. The natural milky flavor that appears after the tea has been lightly roasted as a part of the oolong process is called Nai Xiang or "milk fragrance."
Now, onto the tea!
The dry leaf of the Jin Xuan smells very sweet and creamy - almost good enough to eat! A first steep for two minutes at 190 degrees yields a nice, light yellow tea with the sweet aroma of honey and milk.
Jin Xuan Milk Oolong
The taste of the tea is magnificent and transformative. The sweet subtle milk flavor takes over your palate and bursts with sweet honey flavors. This tea excites and calms, creating a pleasant feeling of warmth with every sip.
Further steeps of this tea (increasing by 30 seconds) yield the same quality tea with little to no transformation in flavor.
Steeping recommendations:
1 Tablespoon, 16 ounces, 190 degrees, 2 minutes
Until the next cup.