Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #35 - Panyong Golden Needle
By the time I got off the phone with a most unhelpful computer "customer support" person the other night, I needed some Valium. Instead, when the call was over, I made tea! I had already planned to do my tea tasting that night, and I decided that would give me time to clear my head before attacking the computer problem on my own some more. I set about sniffing, measuring, steeping, straining, pouring and tasting my tea, and I was amazed at how much better I felt about everything (even though I wasn't wild about the tea). Just goes to prove that the calming effect of tea even works with computer problems!
Category: Black Tea
Purveyor: Upton Tea
Dry leaf appearance: Dark brown spindly leaves with lots of golden tips.
Wet leaf appearance: Most of the large brown leaves opened to full size.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 4 minutes.
Scent: The dry tea's scent had an almost dessert-like quality to it, reminiscent of caramel or vanilla tea. The steeped tea's scent had almost mocha/chocolate notes.
Color: Deep copper brown.
Flavor: The first cup of tea had a nice mouth feel and a pleasant taste with a little zing of something that made me really like it. But near the end of the cup my mouth began to feel a little dry. By the time I got halfway through the second cup, it was so puckery I didn't care to finish it! I added cold water to the steeped leaves and put them in the fridge to cold brew overnight.
Additional notes: Michael Harney says that "unlike the more heavily fired black teas from the Wuyi Shan region, Panyong teas are finished in an oven. Discerning tea makers do not like fire flavors to overpower these rounded teas."
Next week's tea: Panyong Congou