donderdag 27 juni 2013

Origin's tea winter Da Yu Ling

Tea! At last! After a tough exam period and a lovely trip to Budapest, I'm finaly back home with my beloved tea and where better to start than with teachat's praised winter DYL of origin tea. You can smell it's outstanding price/quality ratio from the moment you open the bag, strong flowery aroma which makes my expectations sky rocket. It seems to be rolled fairly loose, with highly visable stems. Tony from origintea told me to brew with ample leaf and it upgraded my tea experience big time.

Time to unleash this (elegant) beast! I've taken tasting notes from every brew but because of the complexity of this tea it is completely useless for others, I'd rather tell you my impressions I had of this tea. It has all of the classic goashan elements: crisp, sweet floweriness with a deep aftertaste and a slightly buttery mouthfeel. The difference is in the intensity of those particular elements. I'm impressed by this tea's everchanging aftertaste that starts of with vegetal green, evolving into an intense floweriness that lingers on in the throat and ending with a dry, peach flavour that seems to last an eternity.

Every brew seems to bring this tea to a new level as new flavours arises. One of the strangest - please, hold your heart for this one- flavours I've experienced in this one has to be paprika and cookie dough. My facial expression when tasting this had to be exactly the same as yours will be right now... it was only there in that particular cup and brew but it was there for sure! I wouldn't have noticed the juicy paprika feeling if I hadn't been to Budapest, paprika seems to be their staple food.

The leafs are looking thick and dark and were able to produce more than 10 brews - I tend to stop counting after 10. So far I've only had 1 session with this tea but I can tell you already that it has a lot to offer. It is a bargain that doesn't come around often and atleast I am not able to resist
Now it's time to try to squeeze out some more tea out of these leafs!

dinsdag 18 juni 2013

Teamania Thai Oolong was so kind to sent me 3 samples of their Thai oolong. I'm always open-minded when it comes to tasting things, so why not give it a go. Thai oolong seems to have a bad name, mainly because it is sold as Taiwanese oolong. I believe that Thai tea can stand on its own, they just need some time to develop their own 'signature'. All of the tea's below are of the 'Royal Project' which offers new oppertunities to farmers to minimize the opium production, not only in tea but also fruits, coffee etc... All of these products are said to be grown organic.
Correction: My humble apologies, it seems that I've been mistaken. These teaproducers started under the royal project but are completely independent family bussines right now.

From these 3 samples there was 1 I liked, 1 that was ok and one I didn't like at all.

The first one is named 'Oolong Black pearls' and is from Doi Mae Salong, Provinz Chiang Rai, Nordthailand. It says it was made from the jinxuan cultivar and oxidated for 100%. I'll make it short on this one: aggressive, overwhelming with an almost synthetical flowery taste. No, this is not my cup of tea. Luckily the other samples are a lot better than this one.

The next one is from the 4 seasons cultiver and the most 'expensive' from the bunch. It's from the same area and is made in the gao shan style with a light roast. It has a nice thick vegetal body with a longering flowery aftertaste. Later on it becomes a bit more fruity with an apricote aftertaste. Quite nice if it wasn't for the fishy aroma which doesn't smell appealing for me. In any case, it's a big improvement on the first one.
This one is already great bang for your buck.

The jinxuan has to be the pinnacle of the 3 samples I received. The aroma is good and so is the taste, it's very classical: nothing special but not bad either. For the price - if I'm correct- a merely 10 euros/200g, it is great! It would be an ideal tea for every day drinking for someone who doesn't want to spend a lot of money.

The quality of the leaves seems to be excellent. It almost solely consists of young buds with 1 or 2 young leafs. They are all quite small and some of them have some red spots because of irregular oxidation. I also noticed they contain less chlorophyl than most Taiwanese grown teas.

I'm to have received the oppertunity to compare these Thai oolongs against their Taiwanese counterparts. It has given better insights in the cultivars as well as in the production proces.
All of them lack a bit in the finesse and elegance the Taiwanese oolong tea provides but what do you expect for such a price?

vrijdag 7 juni 2013

Short break

Dear readers,

As some of you've probably have noticed, I haven't been that active lately.
I'm right in the middle of my exams now and barely have time for tea, and if I do, I don't want to worry about taking notes or writing reviews.

I'll be finished the 26th of June, so expect many reviews over the course of summer.

Thank you for your patient and see you all in a few weeks ;)