|A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to participate in the online Holiday Tea Tasting for T Ching and sampled three lovely teas. Additional reviews and some of the teas themselves can be found on T Ching‘s site. The three teas selected were very different from each other and complimented each other, resulting in an interesting and rounded tasting.
The pre-infused leaves of the Morning Dew White are long, green and moist with a scent like most white teas, but a little brighter. The pale yellow liquor is very nice and not as grassy or hay-like as many white teas. The flavor of the liquor is subtle but fills the palette, with a lingering bite on the tongue. This tea did not hold up well under multiple gong fu short infusions, but would probably benefit from a longer single infusion.
The pre-infused leaves of the Margaret’s Hope Muscatel have a lovely and distinct scent, almost port-like. For the tasting, the tea leaves were rinsed before the first drinkable infusion. The taste of the liquor is rather acrid with a long-lasting aftertaste, but quite enjoyable. A longer infusion would bring out more of the desirable maltiness.
The leaves of the Keemun Hao Ya are tiny and very black with a nice woody scent. The liquor is fuller and has a more mature flavor than the Indian black. It has nice, complex flavors with a strong mouthfeel that lingers on the sides of the tongue. This tea is smoother, maltier and less acidic than the Margaret’s Hope. The second infusion was brighter and less full, but with the same long, pleasant aftertaste. I preferred the Hao Ya considerably over the Margaret’s Hope.
The tea set pictured above has become the “official tasting set” because of its flexibility and lack of flavor absorption. It is one I had not had reason to use yet, and found it worked quite nicely for a number of different styles of tea and brewing methods.