Sunday, October 5, 2008

Late nights and Old Shoes (06 Twelve Gentlemen Yi Wu)

There's just something about a quiet evening alone in the early fall when I feel content, no matter what is going on in my life. That favourite old pair of shoes come out of the closet on nights when you don't remember just how many cigarettes you've smoked. Walking home with a friend and forgetting to turn down your own street because it didn't really matter. It's that time of year when I just don't worry. Tonight I am drinking a 2006 Twelve Gentlemen Yi Wu that I ordered from Nada a little while back. I've been drinking a lot more tea now that the weather is starting to cool down a bit. I'm taking the extra five minutes to brew a cup for the drive to work, even if it means I'll be a minute or two late. Last winter, I had a really good hand for timing and water temperature. This year, I'm consistent with water temperature, but not so much with time. For that reason, I've decided to use a tea timer to help me get back on track. I figure that by staying consistent, I'll even gain some insight on what has happened to my teas this summer while I was drinking water (or beer) instead. Here's the times I'm starting with. I'll adjust if I need to.

Rinse - 15 sec
2nd Rinse - 15 sec (only for cooked)
1st - 15 sec
2nd - 12 sec
3rd - 25 sec
4th - 35 sec
5th - 50 sec
6th - 1 min 15 sec
7th - 1 min 25 sec
8th - 1 min 35 sec
9th - 1 min 45 sec
10th - 2 min

Also, brewing in yixing clay with water filtered through a charcoal filter.

This was a fairly enjoyable tea, and I'm glad I have a chance to taste it. It's smooth, clean, and leaves my teeth feeling like I just had a flouride treatment. The soup is thick enough to make up for the fact that it doesn't really have any mysteries. Small choppy leaves which have made quite a pile in my mesh strainer. Kind of a caramel/maple aroma to it. I honestly thought it was just going to be a straight shooter, because the first five infusions were all pretty bland. Not bad, just not terribly exciting.

At the sixth infusion, it did it's first trick for me. It started to tease the tip of my tongue a little bit. I'm not feeling any kind of lift from it, like I do with some of my other teas, but the added bit of ku along with that tingle isn't bad. It seems to go on forever, and the flavour really hasn't weakened at all after seven infusions. If anything, it's become more prominent. It definitely has a sweetness to it. All in all, a pretty good tea. I must say I'm far more impressed with it's later delivery than what it did early on. I went eight sessions with it, although I'm totally convinced I could go more. I'll leave it overnight and try it again in the morning with breakfast. Final thoughts: This was a consistent tea with good texture. I enjoyed the taste; even moreso at the end of the run. I still don't think I'd pay $76USD for it, but a sample is definitely worth investing in.

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