Tuesday, November 6, 2018

AprTea Mall: Black and White, a Tea Review

I will be so glad when my geranium can go back outside, and yes that is many months away (I am thinking late April if I am lucky) Don't get me wrong, I love my geranium, I got it as a cast-off earlier this year, a sad half dead leggy mess of a plant that I nursed back to health. I have never done that before, I used to be the well known plant murderer. Now the geranium is huge, happy, and healthy, full of its big red bloom balls...that fall off leaving petals everywhere. Especially when I rotate the plant or water it, it becomes a rain of petals, and since I have carpet I can't just sweep them up (vacuuming would just leave a red smear) so I have to pick them all up by hand. Long story short, carpet is the absolute worst and when I am able to own a place there will be no carpet, tile or concrete for all the rooms!

Ok so none of you care about my hatred of carpet, you want tea! Today I am looking at two teas from AprTea Mall, a Keemun Mao Feng Special Grade Black Tea and a 2012 Bai Mu Dan White Tea, two of my favorite styles of tea, though hilariously drank before and after my move so the tea desk looks completely different. That is always funny when that happens I think.

Chinese Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea Special Grade

These are such pretty leaves, I love Keemun when it is super curly, and these are definitely curly and very dark with little hints of gold trichomes. The aroma of the leaves is delicious, super sweet and fruity, with strong notes of dark cherry and plum with a chocolate undertone making it smell like a chocolate fruit tart. Once you steep the leaves their aroma picks up notes of pumpkin and malt which goes well with the fruity chocolate sweetness. The color of the brewed tea is fantastically light which contrasts the intense richness of the taste, strong notes of cherries, plums, and pumpkin bombard my mouth, and I am totally ok with this. The later steeps bring in notes of dark chocolate and stronger notes of cherries that last long into the aftertaste, I think this might be the most cherry heavy tea I have had and that wins it major points in my book. It lasts for many steeps (a solid seven and three very sweet and light ones) which is pretty good for a Keemun.

2012 High Mountain Fuding White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)

Hey, an aged white tea, always a favorite! I have a few white teas that I have deliberately forgotten so that I can have more aged goodness, don't get me wrong, fresh white tea is AMAZING, but there is just something wonderful about it getting a bit of age on it. The leaves are very fluffy and fuzzy, but have turned to a dark sage green and a bit of a browning to it. The aroma is a combination of white grapes, hay, and a touch of an earthiness and wet oat straw that reminds me a bit of a mid-aged Sheng pu. Hilariously the wet leaves smell like wet dog, also oat straw, grapes, and honey, but that wet dog note made me laugh a lot. The taste has no notes of dog, it is sweet and well rounded, with notes of ripe persimmons, grapes, and honey with a touch of straw, cucumber, and celery (haha, this BMD still has a bit of its cooling youth in it) though later steeps lose that youth and go all the way to aged with intense rich honey drenched persimmons. It lasts for quite a while, one of those teas I just sat with all day, I was entertained by the cooling start and warming finish, which makes me think that this tea will be even tastier in a few years.

Tea sent for review

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