Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tanlong Premium Tea Collection: Old Tea Tree Golden Needle of Yunnan, A Tea Review

I am filled with tiny, squishy, hope and trepidation! Today a package I have been greatly anticipating arrived, said package had a bottle of pills, those pills might make it where I can eat again without pain. Those pills are Diamine Oxidase Enzyme, an enzyme that helps squash the histamines released while eating (be it foods high in histamines or just food in general) and if my theory is correct, a large portion of my food related grief is Histamine Intolerance. Pity that I could not get tested for it since my Allergy specialist (like a lot of doctors in the US) thinks it is not a thing that exists. I am not sure it exists, but all the other things doctors have suggested do not work, and I am tired of being in pain while I eat. So, this might just be 'snake oil' but, maybe I will have the results that a lot of people who have this stupid intolerance have, and maybe I can eat freely! Wish me luck!! 

Ok, enough about me, how about you Old Tea Tree Golden Needle of Yunnan? How are you, you beautiful fuzzy tea? You all know my weakness to fuzzy golden teas, I will not say that they are my favorite teas (I cannot narrow it dow...ok it is probably Oolongs, but shhhh) but it is definitely my favorite tea to look at, if I am sad all I need to do is look at that golden fuzz and I am in a better mood. It is like a teddy bear for tea loving adults (who also might still sleep with a stuffed animal, but whatever, I'M AN ADULT!) I am getting off topic again! So, Tanlong Premium Tea Collection put out these beauties, and as the name says, they hail from the beautifully tea rich region of Yunnan, China, grown high in the mountains and plucked from tea trees that are at least 100 years old. The aroma of the delightful fuzzies is rich and sweet, blending notes of cherry, cocoa, a tiny hint of pine wood, a little pinch of yams, and a nice roasted peanut fish. The pine wood note gives the rich tea a hint of crispness, it makes what would be a heavy aroma profile livelier. 

Into the bat gaiwan of auspiciousness the beautiful needles go, this part always fills me with joy and sadness, the fuzzy golden leaves are no longer as golden (or fuzzy) but that means I get tea, so I can live with it. The leaves have become very bright and sweet once brewed, blending notes of malt, dried cherries, honey, pine wood, and a tiny hint of smoked peanuts at the finish. The liquid is sweet to the point of being creamy, like cocoa butter and cherries, with a nice tingly note of pine sap. 

The first steep starts with a very pleasantly creamy mouth feel, surprisingly little 'tickle' from the fuzzy trichomes. It starts with gentle notes of cocoa and peanuts, this transitions to malt and honey at the finish. The first steep is very mild, sometimes when the first steep is mild you can just tell that it is not really going to evolve into anything spectacular, the flavor notes are mild because they are flat. This is not the case with this tea, you can tell the flavors are really going to pop in later steeps. 

Ooh the aroma of the second steep is snappy, it mixes cocoa and roasted peanuts with, oh my, it is like sniffing menthol but without the mint, it has a delightful cooling cleaning note at the finish, that is just fun! The taste is just a mouthful of deliciousness! It starts off with a cooling and creamy mouthfeel, and then a boom of malt and cocoa. It mixes sweetness and a cooling sensation so fantastically, it is like a party in my mouth. The finish is cherry and honey, and that honey taste lingers for quite a while. 

This steep's aroma is more like the first, it loses its cooling nose tingle and brings back the pine sap and gentle smoke note along side cocoa and cherries. The taste is also similar to the first, as in it is super creamy and sweet, but does not have the cooling effect. There is a strong malty bite and a hint of woodiness at the middle, the finish is a touch of smoke and honey. This tea was a sensory treat, one that will linger in my memory for quite a while. 

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