This week has been a wild ride mainly because of the season six finale of Game of Thrones. I didn’t think this show could get any better, but it did. Without getting to much into to it, I’ll just say that my elevated levels of ‘hype’ raised my blood pressure higher than Snoop Dog on any given Tuesday. I’m glad that we have to wait another year for the next season because it’ll take that long just to calm down from all of what went on. So what do I do to lower my heart rate? Caffeine, in the form of tea of course.
I decided that I’d put in a different address in the GPS for this review and go into uncharted territory. Before I go into this, I have a question to ask. When you think of tea, what places of origin do you think of first? Do you think of England? Do you think of China? What about Japan? Why yes, those are the most well known places of origin. But did you think of Russia? You heard me correctly — Russia.
Tea culture in Russia is just as large as it is to anyone else of the world. They drink it and seem to be obsessed with it. However, due to politics in the current state of world affairs, the West doesn’t get to experience the greater-aspect of Russian culture. However, thanks to the internet, we can enjoy a piece of their every day life. There’s also a tea company that caught my eye while scrolling the endless seas of web pages, and that company happened to be Moychay. They seem to have a larger following in Russia, and some Russian tea drinkers rate them as one of Russia’s best tea companies. So whats the hype about? I’ll be reviewing three tea’s from out tea brothers of the far far East within the next few months.
I’m starting my line of reviews with Moychay’s 100g bing made of 2011 Menghai Jin Shu. As I open this wrapper, which represents a sleepy cozy fox on the front, I noticed that this cake has a beautiful compression. As well as the compression, this has a great visual of golden ripe puer that smells like musky earth.
As always, I start my session of 6.5g of tea with a quick rinse. The first thing I noticed upon my first infusion is how foggy the liquor is, and I thought it was rather interesting because I’ve never experienced this before. Anyways, my first impression of this tea was that it held a light sweet wood note with a bit of a rough finish. It had an earthy undertone that was slightly bitter. As I continued on my steeps, the teas bitterness kept coming out more and more, along with the stand-out flavor of earthy wood. Up to the 6th infusion, this tea kept growing stronger and stronger. The bitterness kept building up and almost became unpleasant. The unpleasantness, or the pleasantness of this tea if you prefer, is debatable as I’m sensitive to the taste bitter.
Notably, the flavors of earthy wood continued to keep growing. Around steep 7, when I usually draw the steeps for the longer infusion times, the bing took a Game of Thrones type plot twist. When I was starting to grow bored of this tea, the bitterness disappeared and a strong velvety huigan (which means sweetness in the mouth) emerged. Out of nowhere the bitterness completely disappeared at the ninth infusion, and the taste of sweet cherry wood overtook this tea. The way these flavors erratically change caught me completely by surprise, as I was previously assuming this tea was going to take a gritty mouth-feel at any moment. However, it defied my expectation as it transitioned to a silky smooth texture as it made it’s sugary broth known. Up until the 12th infusion, which is when the tea started to phase out, I thought I was drinking something completely different than what I started out with.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at Fox Trot. As I was growing tired of this tea and thought it would only stay at the consistent one demential state, it took a completely different turn and turned out to be an excellent shou. Further, Im glad this tea proved me wrong in the idea that it was flat, because I had high expectations for it. It’s not overly complex as far as flavors go, but it does have a strong body that grew sweet and strong that was saved by the longer infusion times. Considering that this tea has a price tag of around $10.00, it took me by surprise that its as good as it was. I want to compliment this tea on is it’s wide range of accessibility. Fox Trot is something that I can imagine being enjoyed by beginners and experienced drinkers alike.
Lastly, I’m happy that Fox Trot is the first tea I’ve ever tried from Moychay because it really does set up a good expectation for the rest of their teas. If any of their other teas are as good as this one, I can see why they’re so popular with Russian tea drinkers. If you believe that Fox Trot is really from 2011 to not, I’d still snag a bing of it if I we’re you. For a shou to be this good at that priced, well, just try it for yourself…
"Blissfully Tea Drunk"