Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Jasmine Pearl Co: Yellow Mudan, A #TBT Tea Review

Yours truly has done a dumb, I lost my bottle of Tylenol, when I had the WORST headache. So here I am tearing my (at the moment slightly messy) desk apart trying to find the very visible bright red lid, to no avail. So I start hunting around the room, my purse, the bathroom...it was nowhere to be found! In a state of sadness I sat down in my chair and nurse my headache with a very large cup of tea, since caffeine has been a long time cure for my headaches. Really I think I started drinking caffeinated drinks as a kid because of my headaches, it is a family curse. So, me being dumb, my Tylenol was exactly where it was supposed to be, I realize shortly later, in my drawer with my other pills. Sometimes being organized means I can't find anything!

Since it is Thursday, that means I can whip out the hashtags and have a Throw Back Thursday tea review, covering a tea that has sadly been languishing in my notebooks, patiently waiting to be rambled about. A while ago, fellow blogger and lover of fine tea, Steph of Steph's Cup of Tea, had a contest and I was very fortunate to win. Today's tea was one of the awesome goodies I received in my pile of awesome. Tea aside, you should all go read her blog, she is a wonderful poet, has a love of nature, and is a lover of different tea cultures. I love her blog and recommend it highly.

So, The Jasmine Pearl Co. is a Portland based tea shop with a love for sustainability, which I respect immensely. Their tea that I am rambling about today is Yellow Mudan, a Chinese Yellow tea, specifically from Hunan, named similarly to the famous White Tea, Bai Mudan, this tea is essentially Yellow Peony when translated, though it looks more twisty, like a needle tea rather than the fluffy full leaf tea. The aroma is mild and sweet, with notes of dried cherry and peonies (aha, so that is where the name comes from!) with a very delicate note of nasturtium and raisins, vaguely reminding me of a Darjeeling.

Into the gaiwan the tea went, ah yes, back when I only had my white gaiwan, I now have...many, though never enough. I might have a tea gear hoarding problem. The aroma of the now soggy leaves is very sweet, lovely notes of now fresh cherries and crushed vegetation, add in a bit of peony and a touch of grapes at the finish. The liquid on the other hand is all peony and chestnut! Ok not all peony and chestnut, there are also notes of creaminess and nasturtium, giving just a tiny bite of pepper at the finish.

Ok, I have to say it, HOLY MOLY FLOWERS! Hehe, the taste is super flowery, with a blend of peony and honeysuckle with a tiny hint of orange blossom at the beginning. The mouthfeel starts out very smooth and then builds into a slightly sharp, almost resinous, feel at the end. Like sucking on a bunch of pine needles, a very similar texture to that. As the taste evolves, it moves into fresh cherries and wildflower honey, with a finish of nasturtium and raisins.

Second steeping has a very similar aroma, lots of peony and chestnuts, but with an addition of honeysuckle and a touch of nasturtium at the finish as well. The mouthfeel starts off smooth and very quickly moves into sharp and slight dry, again reminding me of resin, I find this texture very fascinating and not unpleasant. The taste is very sweet, dancing from notes of peony and honeysuckle to nasturtium and grapes, with a delightful finish of honey. I love this tea, I have had it with other names and by another vendor (same tea type, but for all I know it is not from the same farm, I have found this particular tea is a bit of a pain to research) and enjoyed it immensely. At the time of originally trying this tea The Jasmine Pearl Co. was out of stock, and now that it is back in stock I am going to have to get some!

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