Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I didn't. When I received this tea, I assumed mao feng was fancy, pu-erh speak. Wikipedia's article wasn't much help, saying only that it was a green tea from Anhui. Further investigation revealed references to keemun mao feng and golden monkey mao feng. A bit confused I turned to Bablecarp for a literal definition, and it turns out mao feng is a grading term meaning downy tip, a step above mao jian.
The dry leaf aroma was nutty at times, melon-ish at others.
After brewing it in a gaiwan first, then a kyusu--both had similar results, fruity, light, though the tea in the gaiwan had a touch of astringency--I decided to finally get around to experimenting with glass brewing. The method is simple enough, take a glass, dumps some leaves into said glass, add water, and from what I understand, this is a fairly traditional way of drinking tea in China.
First let me say this whole using-your-teeth-as-a-filter takes practice. While this method was attractive, I did not much care for the tea. It was lighter, chewy and nondescript, though the dregs had more flavor, fruity and astringent, that made it similar to a decent young sheng that's not too harsh.
The wet leaves are comprised of full leaves and lots of bits.
I welcome some feedback on this style of brewing. I used 3 grams per 8 oz at 160 F. Did I do something wrong?
Then after that, on the 30th, Roy Fong is finally coming out to my store to teach us employees a thing or two about tea, an experience I've been looking forward to.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
(Well I guess you can't see, because I can't get the damn pictures to open in a new window).
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Now that I know the cause of the problem and how to prevent it, I am willing to leave things as they are. The build-up is rather mild at the moment, and unless it gets worse, I see no reason to try anything potentially harmful.
Take a look:
I first noticed it a few months ago, and it has been getting worse. Is this just mineral deposits? If so, how do I get rid of it? I've heard white vinegar, but not only is this my favorite and most used pot, it is the most expensive. I want to be very sure that whatever I do will not harm it. If it isn't mineral deposits, any ideas? Your feedback would be appreciated.(Edit) More information: Yes, the pot is porous. I use spring water to make tea, but I rinse my pots with tap water. Its this teapot right here.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
My notes on the winter oolong met the same fate as the long jing, but I completely botched it anyway, so no loss; I'll just skip it. I simply can not gong fu lightly oxidized oolongs; it never ends well. Yet I keep trying.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I've only had long jing a few times before, and always from stores that sold it in bulk glass jars, not ideal storage conditions. When it comes to Chinese green tea, its any port in the storm for me. I prefer Japanese green tea by far, but there are times I appreciate the more mellow, soothing qualities of Chinese tea. When I do, I am none too picky about what's in my cup. So not only was it a challenge to try and talk intelligently about this tea and do a proper review, but I drank it last week, and my notes have largely been obliterated by a spilled cup of tea.
I know, that was all kinds of helpful. But at least the fukugata was dusted off and got some love.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The bouquet was complex, layered. The dry leaf aroma was of roasted sugar cane with a fruity presence. After I rinsed the leaves the smell of chocolate was so strong I could taste it, feel it on the sides of my tongue. And after the first infusion a charcoal tang emerged, confirming that this was indeed a high or higher roasted TGY.
Monday, December 10, 2007
The thing I like most about pu erh is that I feel completely neutral about it. I enjoy it well enough, but I have no expectations. I am completely detached from the experience and free to fully enjoy even the humblest cup of pu. Because of this I have better luck with tasting notes, identifying different nuances. Its good practice.
Its a mini tuo cha of some shu pu, and my experience tells me that no one seems to waste quality tea on these things. When I first opened the package there was a stronger aroma that's gone now, but I can't remember it.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Making it for the first time was an experience. The timelessness of tea, the fusion of history and culture, has always been the primary appeal for me, but never before had it been this poignant, preparing tea from a family that has been growing and selling tea for 23 generations and using a chasen that was crafted by another family that has been making them for 35o years. I got kind of tingly.
The Manten tastes very green. I made same for Molly's friend, and she said the same thing. It is flavorful, bold, not quite sweet, but definitely not brassy or astringent. Quite smooth, but I didn't notice that at first, only later, after I drank some lower quality matcha that was rather harsh, then went back to the Manten.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
The Chrysanthemum was more successful and enjoyable, crisp and clear. RTD teas rarely taste like they "should," often only an imitation of whatever tea it claims to be, but this tastes and smells exactly like ju hua. My first thought was that they did a better job of making it then I did. It was refreshing and an agreeable change of pace.