Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Anodyne on Hong Tao Mao Feng from Silk Road Teas, Redux

On October 24, 2005, I posted at length about this tea in an entry titled Anodyne on Hong Tao Mao Feng "Red Peach." I've tasted a recent sample shared by a friend and not sourced directly from Silk Road Teas (labeled B-KMF-O). I haven't any idea of the date when this tea was purchased.

I may be using more leaf than I did back in 2005, but the aroma on this tea is quite full as I've made it today. I've used two rather full teaspoons in a 6 ounce porcelain cup, water to boiling, 3:30 steep. This is my taller footed porcelain cup that has the fluted edge which seems to hold and concentrate aroma better for me.

The tea has those honeyed overtones with deeper dark bitter cocoa and an edge of something rather burnt-toasty or grain-like as well as a subtle hint of floral. This is pretty comparable to what I was finding in the autumn of 2005 when I first encountered this tea. There is, perhaps, almost a dark plum-like note in the taste as well as a light touch of iron-edged earth. The floral experience is quite subtle in the tea liquor itself but also comes into that in-drawn breath after you've swallowed the tea. The aftertaste of the tea does linger on a bit.

The "perhaps" fruity plum-like note in this tea is muted compared to the very distinct plum note I find in Imperial Tea Court's Hong Mei Mao Feng (from Zheijiang province). See July 7, 2006, an entry entitled Anodyne on Hong Mei Mao Feng from Imperial Tea Court.

I've not gone cup-to-cup (yet) on these two teas. But I have a feeling that if I could choose only one, my choice would be the more dramatic and concentrated plum-like presentation of the Hong Mei Mao Feng.

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