Besides klutziness, there’s another hurdle to get through when it comes to learning about tea, especially Chinese tea: my Mandarin is pretty bad (of the ACS varietal – those of you who are Singaporean would get it) .
As such, I was really happy to meet Derek, who has just set up an online store selling Chinese tea called Peony Tea Solutions. If you check out the website, it’s all about making Chinese tea more accessible and fun. That’s a great idea!
Last week, I met up with him and another friend to drink tea. He really knows his stuff – as a gauge, check out this very comprehensive post he wrote about tea storage. He also gave me a stash to bring home to try. I like the fact that he likes to labels things with orange stickers.
So anyway, here’s how the “tasting session” went. I decided to do it the Western cupping style, mostly because I’ve been really wanting to use these cutesy Almigh’tea Bag Infusers that Jean gave to me for Christmas.
Kun Lun Snow Chrysanthemum Tea (雪菊): It’s very different from the chrysanthemum teas that you buy in boxes/cans or even those that you find in the Chinese restaurants. It tastes more herbaceous, and has sweet plum notes.
Yellow Gold Oolong (黄金乌龙): My favourite of the lot – so much depth! It’s like fresh grass with nectar combined and ends off with just a slight hint of bitterness. Love its pale yellow colour.
Lapsang Souchong (正山小种): This is an “entry level” Lapsang Souchong so it is just a teensy weensy bit smoky. Its taste is really interesting though – a very mellow woody and fruity combination.
Big Red Robe (大红袍): I quite like this – it has smoky, chocolate, nutty notes.
Aged Pu-erh(陈年普 洱): I just keep thinking of dim sum when I drink this (in particular, siew mai). It’s for the “strong tea drinkers” – bitter, mossy, woody – haven’t quite learned how to appreciate this yet!
Anyway, you know what’s cool? If you want to get to know Chinese tea better, Peony Tea Solutions is offering free samples at the moment, so do check it out!