Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Sourenee FTGFOP 1 CH Muscatel Second Flush Darjeeling

With the long summer and early start to Winter here in Victoria, Autumn has seem to come and gone way too fast. Now most leaves are in piles on the ground and the temperature is typical wet and cold- Winter's familiar feel. Today, in an attempt to warm up, a sample of second flush Darjeeling tea is nothing but comforting. This sample from Sourenee Estate was gifted by the Lochan's of Lochan Tea. The 2011 harvest of this tea is also available from Tea Trekker, where their page for this tea offers brief but valuable info on Sourenee's recent organic certification, its history, and its name.

The redish coloured dry leaves are sweet and smell of candy, lilac, and is overly light, airy, and sweet with very faint suggestions of woody-licorice-grape.

The first infusion is prepared and a sweet, candied, soft grape like taste is left in the mouth from this reddish broth. This taste turns slightly into a forest wood and yam taste before turning slightly licorice and sweet with just an edge of grape. The mouthfeel is full and turns the tongue and lips somewhat rubbery. Minutes later a licorice grape taste is left in the throat. There is a unnoticeable menthol taste and feel which is slightly cooling in the mouth especially in the aftertaste. The qi is more leaning to a warm-neutral and is not harsh on the stomach. It brings about a strict but not edgy alertness.

The second starts off with that same candy-like, but now almost more rubbery, and distinctly soapy-floral sweetness which carries a muscatel edge. There is a quick muted suggestion of coco that is quickly and powerfully suppressed by the predominant soapy-grape taste which is reminiscent of Thrills gum, a Canadian classic. There are some woody tones that pop up later with licorice then fade into a rubbery, slightly soapy-grape taste. The mouthfeel is still full but not so stimulating for the tongue and lips.

The third gives off a soft, smooth simple monotone soapy-floral-grape taste that spans the simple profile. It becomes just slightly woody for a few seconds then slightly sour in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel weakens a bit but is still slightly rubbery on the lips and tongue. The fourth infusion is even softer now with bland notes encroaching now.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 "Roasting Sejak" Ssang Kye Semi-wild Jiri Mountian Green Tea

First things first... Yes, there is an obvious mis-translation here. The translation of this tea should actually be "Roasted Sejak" not "Roasting Sejak". The name differentiates it from Ssang Kye's other saejak, their "Jaksul Saejak". This is Ssang Kye's premium saejak offering that is all hand picked in late April and undergoes special, traditional, all hand made processing. The traditional processing that this tea undergoes uses oak firewood and mulberry leaves to heat the iron cauldron rather than the much more economical and easier to control gas heat. This tea is finished off with a sandalwood charcoal roasting.

This tea was purchased in an order from Good Green Tea this summer. Sam still has this tea available. Have been drinking it off and on for a few months now- the onset of cool damp weather has put one off regular green tea consumption. Well, let's see if all this effort produces a superior saejak?

The pale, deep green dry leaves smell of fresh, smooth, almost creamy, minty-forest odours. They are added to the warm pot...

The first infusion is very sweet. Light sprouts and creamy-milky-foresty tastes appear with deeper forest taste lingering underneath The aftertaste is very sweet, light, soft vegital-celery taste. The mouthfeel is light velvet and slippery and is felt mainly at the back of the mouth and into the throat. It is not that present in the front half of the mouth.

The second infusion starts once again very sweet, light, creamy-forest. It ends with creamy floral notes and almost unnoticeable dry wood notes lingering underneath. It develops into a creamy-chalky, candy-like sweetness in the mouth. The mouthfeel is felt slightly cooling in the mid and upper throat. It now fills out the rest of the mouth with nice stimulation. The qi warms the chest and the heart and makes them light along with the head. The limbs feel of a slight coolness so does the back.

The third infusion starts off with a soft, unassuming, minty-forest taste which turns slightly sweet, barely woody, and very creamy-chalky. It flourishes into a chalky full taste in the mouth and leaves a somewhat long aftertaste. A faint, sweet melon taste lingers in the mouth. The high notes drop a bit in this infusion.

The fourth infusion sees a more wood-forest , barely sweet, minty-cool-melon initial taste. A woody finish becomes more pronounced now. Then it transforms to a slightly cereal note before quickly disappearing into faint roasted barley. The barley stretches into some barely noticeable fruit notes that hide under faint roasted cereal suggestions. The longer the aftertaste the more distinct the melon taste becomes. The qi brings one into a relaxed alertness.

The fifth infusion has sweet, dry, woody-forest initial tastes. These tastes turn slightly chalky then slowly stretch into a taste which has sweet edges of melon that hide under dry wood tastes. The dry wood taste is now predominant throughout the profile of this tea even masking some of the aftertaste. The full mouthfeel becomes dry and stimulates the mouth and offers a slight cooling in the throat still.

The sixth is much the same as the fifth but it is more watery now. Loosing the stronger wood tastes of last infusion, it is much smoother throughout the profile. The mouthfeel has softened and the aftertaste is much more creamy. The seventh is pretty much the same as the sixth, a bit more watery.