Getting ready for today’s Georgetown Tea Salon at Motovotano. We got through six of the eight teas shown in three comparison pairs. We began with two very nice Tieguanyins from Verdant Tea. A traditionally fermented and roasted TGY and a new style green one with lighter fermentation and no roasting. Both where fine examples of type with characteristic floral notes. The green style had a pleasant, lingering sour-ish quality and a balanced new-green overall impression. The traditional style balanced the deeper, more complex flavors with a warm, roasted finish. We next compared a Verdant Tea 2017 Da Hong Pao with a 2016, Wuyishan Shui Xian sent to me from a friend in Beijing. The Shui Xian was nicely made with rather large leaves and a deep-roasted overall quality and a sweet finish after a bit of cooling. The Da Hong Pao was lighter with a distinct dried peach taste note, lovely aromas and a softer, more lingering finish. The next pair of teas was a smoke vs. smoke extravaganza. First was a well-made Lapsang Souchong from my same friend in China and a Hunan Heicha from Phoenix Tea in Burien. If you love smoked teas this was your pair, otherwise proceed with caution. The LS was all steely and smoked pine, smooth and clean after a few infusions. The Heicha was much more complex with a rich, pleasant mouthfeel and overall complexity. It was also older and had a nice amount of golden-flower or Jin Hua on the dry leaves. A most enjoyable and educational way to spend an afternoon.
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