289 Tasting Notes
You know what? I’m just ready to be done with this tea. I’ve got ~2 cups left before it’ll be all sipped down. I keep telling myself I should go ahead and drink it just to finish it, but I don’t ever want to do it. I loved it when I first got into tea and was really, really into jasmine, but I have lost the taste for it. I’m tired of jasmine, and I’m tired of this jasmine. There’s this quality to it that makes it pretty much always taste like I’ve oversteeped it, even when I haven’t. Is it trying to be smoky? Is that what it is? Because smoky and jasmine do not go together. And the jasmine just goes right into the same part of my head that any food does when I get really tired of it. I used to love it, but now it’s too much like drinking perfume.
And the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s mostly this particular tea. Teavana’s Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl is less burnt and a bit sweeter; it actually works surprisingly well as an iced tea.
Just get this thing out of my damn cupboard, please.
My day off begins with some comfort food: buttered toast and ice cream for breakfast, me looking at floor plans for the Enteprise NCC-1701D, ambient noise of the 1701D bridge playing in the background, and a bit of English Breakfast. Dammit! I should have done my Earl Grey this morning to complete the theme! Ah well. I have an Earl Grey, but everything I’ve heard seems to hint it’s not the best one out there. I don’t think I’ve had a legitimately great Earl Grey yet.
Back to English Breakfast! The flavor I’m getting this time around is on the tip of my mind. It’s some kind of fruity thing. Not raisins, but similar kind of profile. What the hell is it?!? I’ve tasted it before in something else but for the life of me I can’t remember! Gaaah!
I need to start using my timer. I’m traditionally slightly haphazard when it comes to steeping times and temperatures, which is part of why I’ve veered away from green teas in recent history. I’ll watch the clock to make sure I get five minutes, but sometimes I go a little over and get some kind of flavor I wasn’t planning on getting! My boo boo.
Sipdown. Infusion number one before I head off to work.
(Edit several hours later)
So I did like 2.5? teaspoons of this in ~2 cups of boiling water. Didn’t let it steep quite as long this time, maybe 4 to 5 minutes.
PER. FEC. TION.
It was so good, when I drank it at work I had to stop and close my eyes for a moment, even though I was drinking it out of the traveling cup that tends to taste like dishwasher detergent. All of the right amount of malty and none of the wrong amount of mushroomy. This is how it’s done. Having a second infusion tonight as I practice my bass. A great way to finish off this sample I’ve had kicking around for a few months.
It’s one of those days you gotta laugh a little. So it’s my Friday off, a day I’d been really looking forward to. So far, my hair appointment for today, which I’d scheduled 24 days ago after needing it for two months, got cancelled; I agreed to go to the bike trail with my parents after we’d already ridden our bikes around the neighborhood, only to get rained on once we got to the trail; and when I went out this afternoon to catch a brief bit of sun, some painful buggy thing got under my shirt and stung me twice ON THE BOOB, both times hard enough to draw blood. So right now, I am sitting in my room, trying not to make Mother Nature any angrier than she already is, with an ice pack wrapped in my crappy tank top and tucked under my bra, listening to this one Parliament song I really should have previewed before I sent it to my bass teacher saying, “I wanna learn this! I think I can do it!” And drinking my keemun.
So. This keemun. I don’t remember it being so smoky the last time I made it. It’s not a good smoke like my lapsang souchong, either. It’s burnt-rubber smoke, in the aroma as well as the flavor. I hope it’s not the influence of the yunnan noir from yesterday and today. There’s a dark fruity? taste that I think I got more of the first time around, but it’s only an undertone. I know there are different grades of keemun; I’m wondering if this is a lesser-grade one. I need to pour it into my clear bowl to look at the liquor, but the impression I’ve gotten is that it’s fairly light. Knocking the rating way down.
God I did not sleep well last night. Wake up wake up wake up. Yesterday I had a cup and a half of this same stuff, somewhat oversteeped on the first infusion, AND took an Excedrin because I had a headache. Can you say Twitchy Thursday? But today I am not twitchy. I am le sleepy.
Second infusion, from the giant batch I made yesterday. Damn did I use a lot of tea leaves. That may have also helped to explain the mushroominess. Today it’s… a bit mushroom-like, but much lighter on the flavor. My taste buds are still a bit muddled after “first breakfast,” as it were, so my taste might not be up to par.