Got a call on Friday saying that the 2013 Ben Shan is in, so I bought some! You guys, I am spending too much on tea. In the shop, I tasted an A Li Shan and a Li Shan, which were excellent. I also met a man who sings in the Beijing Opera, I think! My Chinese is hell of rusty and his English was nonexistent, so what I gathered may not be entirely accurate.
Anyway, here it is, and here I am blogging while I taste it. I go for these teas over the Li Shans, etc., because it is grown at a lower altitude in Taiwan and consequently has a milky, smooth taste that is preferable to the floral, lighter flavors. What I actually like are dark, charcoal roasted teas, and so I generally avoid mountain teas entirely, but the flavor we describe as “milky” is one I particularly like and will pay for.
I usually throw in just a little bit of tea, but whatever, tonight I am throwing in a bunch. Let’s stuff this gaiwan. I’m also going to hit it with some boiling water that I cool once in the cha hai. I get nervous with a new tea, especially a lighter flavor, and too-hot water. I’ve also busted out the aroma cups. Generally they are pretty, but sort of a pain in the ass unless I am particularly interested in the tea’s aroma, but even then I feel like I get more out of stuffing my face into the gaiwan just after brewing the leaves.
This tea is not so smooth as what I have had before, but maybe in a few steeps. It is super delicate though. I might drink it for summer, or offer it to a friend disgusted by my own choices (Philistines). These teas always come off as sweet to me, but I can’t imagine why, I mean, chemically, that would be.