I recently escaped with my husband to the Blue Mountains for a well-earned mini break (without children!). It was a welcome respite from domestic
servitude bliss. It’s been a hell of a year, so it’s nice to wind down and get away before Xmas chaos begins in earnest.
We stayed in a little hidden spot called The Falls Mountain Retreat, rather close to the walking tracks around Wentworth Falls.
We stayed in a loft apartment with cool ceilings, spa, COMFY king sized bed, free wifi, two balconies, adequate air conditioning and a fire place for winter. I could have stayed a lot longer than two nights. One of the things that got me was the affordability. I can be a bit picky where it comes to accom, but this ticked all the boxes.
One of the best things was the view of the stacked rock wall below. It reminds me of a Robert Frost poem.
We spent our time wandering the local villages and bushwalking around Wentworth Falls, where there is a well maintained track, which is a mighty good thing to have around so many cliffs.
I was quite struck by the rock walls with all their different layers and so many types of plant and wild flowers.
The falls of course are pretty, but unfortunately nothing you can swim in. These are all taken with my phone camera so they’re a bit dodgy, because I don’t like to take my big boof camera on adventures because I have a tendency to live through the lens and not in the moment.
We had great takeout from the Canton Palace, a multi award winning asian restaurant. I had a gorgeous seafood laksa, but in its plastic container the photo doesn’t really do the meal justice!
There was so much more I could have done if I’d had a week there. We left adamant that we will return sometime in future to give the area another going over, including buying ALL THE FRUIT while driving back via Windsor.
Teaview – T2 Yunnan vs T2 Grand Yunnan
I’ve been a fan of Yunnan since trying it at the tea tasting bar thing at my local T2. When raving about it one of the storepeeps suggested that I try the Grand Yunnan, so I thought I might do a comparison post for you.
The dark tea shown above is the Yunnan and the lighter coloured tea is the Grand.
According to wikipedia, the tea-growing province Yunnan in China produces a few different teas, but I’m willing to hedge my bets that this is Dianhong, which is often referred to as Yunnan tea.
“Dianhong tea is a type of relatively high end gourmet Chinese black tea sometimes used in various tea blends and grown inYunnan Province, China. The main difference between Dianhong and other Chinese black teas is the amount of fine leaf buds, or “golden tips,” present in the dried tea. Fermented with lychee, rose and longan, Dianhong teas produces a brew that is brassy golden orange in colour with a sweet, gentle aroma and no astringency. Cheaper varieties of Dianhong produce a darker brownish brew that can be very bitter.”
So from this we can guess that the Grand Yunnan is the high quality version with very visible golden tips, and the dark Yunnan is the lower quality leaf (which would be evident by the name and the price, with Yunnan at $11.50/100g and the Grand at $18/50g). They also stock a “Yunnan Golden Tips”, but at $48/30g, I don’t think they’re keen to give out samples!
In the pic above the Grand is on the left, the straight Yunnan on the right. As you can see the straight Yunnan produces a darker brew (100 degrees, 3 minutes).
The Grand Yunnan is a smooth, mellow tea with light flavour. While I’m assured it is a black tea it makes me think of green or oolong. Maybe a bit fruity, this is a tea that would probably satisfy a sophisticated palate.
The Yunnan is robust, full bodied, strong tea, with more bitterness than the Grand. This is a regular in my afternoon rotation, enjoyed with soy and sometimes sugar. It’s a great pick me up and quite a flavour punch in the face. Like me, it’s not subtle. It’s a loud, boisterous tea, and it is my favourite over the Grand by a long shot.
So after all this, it seems that I lack the sophistication to appreciate a higher quality Yunnan. Such are the hazards of growing up with a strong brew of English Breakfast brewed into my tea identity. If you like subtlety, go the Grand. If you like something louder, so the plain Yunnan. But don’t let me tell you how to live your life.