Thursday, July 26, 2012

2011 Tea Urchin Autumn Mang Zhi

This is one of the samples I got around six months ago from Tea Urchin
I have tried it two times before when I first got it and am finally getting back around to it.
I think it has now rested well enough.
The dry chunk looks good still holding its farm straw aroma.
The leaves come apart easily with a pick, I think they do look a bit darker than I remember, with a bit of fuzzy hairs.

The first infusions have a peculiar sent if straw, mushroom, and maybe farm countryside.
I do like the aroma, now going to the flavor my first short brew is a bit empty, so I bump up the infusion time.
The second brew is quite good with a sweet, savory, mushroom flavor that lingers a bit. It does not have any bitterness, just a slight bite on the tongue, which I think is because of the autumn pick. After about four infusions the flavors start to mellow out considerably turning to a slightly sweet, salty, mushroom taste. I push the infusions for longer brews and the flavors come back a bit more savory, it is definitely very different that most of the newer teas I have encountered, I do enjoy it considerably although it is quite calm for its young age. It holds on until about ten good infusions. The mouthfeel is very pleasant and stays with me for a good while after drinking.

The spent leaves are a mix of red and dark green with stems and some buds. It actually gets me a bit sleepy, so with the sounds of thunder and rain outside I'm off to sleep in a bit.
I really like the fact that Eugene and Belle really give us a look into the areas where these teas are sourced, I think this is a big plus. The thing is they are on the higher price scale, as with most new productions nowadays. This one is very simple but still enjoyable, I probably wont get a cake of this one, but do want to get some of the others from them. I must say they have the best wrapper art, I would like to get even just the wrappers for collection. I will continue to retry the others. And will post about my favorite Tea Urchin cake from 2011 later, The summer Lao Man E. Then the 2012 cake samples I will try to get soon.

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