Today, was the crucial day to slurp some of our lovely tea samples. We had two “not intentional” reasons for it 1) the weather - as awful as it can be in lovely Scotland. Muddy, soggy, wet with 24 hours of rain accompanied by mr. pale grey sky which was without any visible shape – murky as sencha tea brewed with wrong water temperature. Not a start or end of any cloud, just a huge pale mass (that kind, which you get when you take a photo of wide gorge or massive mountains when it's rainy – photographers know exactly what I'm talking about and nodding understandingly).
2) no connection – we have been given the gift of time :) We had a whole nice day without an internet connection (oh the beautiful Scottish highlands and their freeeeeedom) good we are not playing World of Warcraft or any other online game! - cause in that scenario we would be really upset :) And because we ran our lovely mountain the day before, we felt a lazy day would be well deserved, not only for the muscles but also for our overworked minds.
So we sat down, considering to peel the old wallpapers upstairs in our house or drink all the samples until the sun comes out. As you see, we have decided for the better option and grabbed the first batch. Yaaaay! From all the samples we got, we were particularly keen on some and not so thrilled about others, but we are doing tastings thoroughly and accordingly – not like any of our travels, which is usually a hasty mess to view everything in short period of time (our day feels more like 48 hours instead of 24 hours, just to find ourselves dropping dead on bed exhausted and hungry in midnight and that goes for all our travels – don't miss anything is our moto!
And so we began. We have tasted our tea samples from the lightest tea to the darkest one – same as any human life goes....really :P.... humanity isn't becoming more saint by each year.
Into our first batch of lighties we have added one dark tea – just to fix the taste buds for the day – and also cause we were super keen on this Yunkang Pu Erh.
1) First tea was Chinese Gao Shan “Green Mist” green tea. The most famous Gao Shan teas – high mountain wulongs - are usually grown in Taiwan, but we were curious about this Chinese green Gao Shan which is also a Ming Qian Special grade (plucked before April 5th, before the Rains). The class said it should be a magnificent grade but after our tasting we have evaluated this tea as a basic grade - (nothing too significant) as the tea was very unbalanced with not enough aroma, strength nor lingering persistence. It was rather bold, sharp green and astringent liquor. We have no desire to drink more of it – so here it goes our first spits..... :) We came back to it later on, but it haven't improved and it even became cloudy in the glass!
These are our tasting notes for Gao Shan “Green Mist” green tea:
Dry Leaves: dark green (milky) tiny leaf, loosely twisted and very dry on touch. Aroma of fresh mint, rose and geranium.
Infused Leaves: Evenly light green leaf with yellowy parts. Aroma of wild flowers, herbally and vegetal – courgettes.
Liquor: Clear and bright golden cup, smooth, vegetal but somehow very unbalanced. Astringent and bold.