Wednesday, May 2, 2012

First Tea Review

Tea: 2010 Winter Harvest High Fired TGY

Vendor: Norbu Tea

(This is not so much a review as it is a monologue on my experience with this tea, as this is a first time jump into blogging about tea.)

I have had this tea since early last year, in fact it was one of the last teas I bought before falling off Planet Tea and so sadly this is about the freshest I have on my shelf currently.  I bought it with a light fired TGY as well and both were very interesting and fulfilling (especially when I first bought them over a year ago *looks down in shame*).

I have no clue what the aging quality of high fired TGY is, but I do know that this tea does still have something left in it, despite its age.  For this session I used my semi-dedicated Lao Zi Ni "Xi Shi" 160mL teapot.  I originally wanted to use it for the greener Chinese TGY I usually drink.  The problem is I know next to nothing about yixing and tea pairings so I am still experimenting.  This is the first time I've used it for this tea.

Here's the little guy (please forgive my crappy camera).

This tea is my first high fired TGY so I don't really know what to expect from it.  I just go with my gut when it comes to labeling tastes and aromas.

The dry leaves are dark and rather large compared to the green TGY I usually drink.  They smell roasted and a subdued scent of flowers teases my nose.

These leaves are begging to be steeped.

I brew it with water near 195F and very short infusions at first.  Afterwards I checked Norbu's site and found that I might have got more out of it with longer steep times.  Another note for the next session.
My brew times were as follows: 1st ~8 sec., 2nd ~15 sec., 3rd ~30 sec., 4th ~45 sec., etc.

The liquor opened up with an aroma of caramel/molasses and a slight floral note.  The taste is very floral and sweet at first, something I have never had when brewing this in my gaiwan.  The smell of the wet leaves in the pot is very roasted and thick in the nose.

The second infusion loses the sweetness and gains a strong roasted aroma that's hard to describe.  The bottom of the empty cup has a small hint of fruitiness (maybe dried stone fruit) and is mouth watering.

In the third infusion the aroma of roasted molasses and dried fruit comes out more fully.  The taste is something like cherry blossom, fruit and some mineral notes.  The wet leaves smell very acidic and still very roasted.

1st infusion

2nd infusion

3rd infusion
6th or 7th infusion

Spent leaves.

Giving my pot a tea bath.

Later infusions the aroma really opens up and the taste begins to diminish.  I took this tea into four more infusions, but nothing really changed past number five except an almost pineapple like aroma in the sixth infusion.

 During my session I had a couple visitors.
Alex loves my seat.

Tika watching gong fu.


  1. Welcome back to Planet Tea! And what a tea to come back to, it sounds! I've been searching high and low for a decent TGY. Unfortunately, that search has come to naught. The 3 Stamps I wanted to get has sold out.

    Do you recall where you got the little teapot from?

    Aww, poor little kitten - how come the halo of shame?

    1. I got the pot from Yunnansourcing. I saw it still on their site just the other day, I think it went a little bit up in price ($35 to $44). The halo of shame is because she had an abscess and is still in the recovery process. Though right now she's on my lap bathing without the cone on. I try to be a good daddy.