Monday, January 31, 2011

Spring come early

There's something about unseasonably spring-like weather that causes me to revert back to my hopelessly romantic teenage self.

shan lin xi dry leaf
I thought I might find some inspiration to write about this gorgeous tea— a 2009 Shan Lin Xi oolong from The Tea Gallery— but it turns out I'd much rather just get tea drunk and listen to old crooners sing love songs. I'll get back to you about the tea. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010 Rou Gui, from Teacuppa

Class: Wuyi yancha, oolong
Origin: Wuyi Mountains, Fujian Province, China
Year: 2010
Vendor: Teacuppa (Product page)
Price: $13.80 (50g) / $24.00 (100g)

It's been a while since I wrote about anything from Teacuppa! Look past their goofy name and you'll find that these folks have many lovely teas available, particularly their Wuyi yancha.

This Rou Gui does not disappoint. The dry leaf has quite a range of brown tones thanks to its lighter firing, making it a pleasant tea to look at. Chocolate, caramel, and cinnamon are all clearly present in the dry leaf aroma. The brew itself tastes of caramel and spice, but more remarkably its texture is smooth (especially for such a young tea) and oily, coating the lips and mouth long after it is reluctantly swallowed.

It isn't too heavily fired, so its aromas and flavors are more rounded-off, and less harsh or edgy than high-roast teas. This can be a good or bad thing depending on what you're looking for— this isn't a terribly complex, floral, or fruity tea— but I think the velvety texture is worth the trade-offs.

One thing about Teacuppa's yancha is they are almost all light-to-medium roast with a smooth, coating mouthfeel— so if you enjoy that style as I do, be confident and sample ferociously.