1310 Tasting Notes
Queued post, written June 22nd
This one also came from Auggy and if the LS I wrote about earlier was really more of an afternoon thing, then this is the one I should have chosen for the smoky wake-me-up in the morning.
The aroma is quite earthy, reminding me a bit of puerh, actually. Not nearly as much earthiness as in puerh, but something along those lines.
It’s really quite smoky in flavour, but also with a little sweet honey in the aftertaste along with that hay note. There isn’t too much of that hay, actually, which is the note that I don’t really appreciate much in Yunnan blacks. That’s the second Yunnan I’ve had where it’s been there but not super prominent. Either Auggy has a good idea of how much or little of that hay note I like, or I’m learning to appreciate it more than I used to. It’s not strong here, but it’s there. The primary note in this tea really is the peppery smokiness.
I found this quite enjoyable. I suspect if you enjoy shu, you might like this one as well.
Queued post, written June 22nd 2014
Here is an LS that Auggy shared with me in the most recent care package. It was had on the morning after a family outing when quite whacked and rather in need of a good strong morning tea.
And here we ran into a problem, because this particular LS is actually rather mild. Oh well.
The leaves were quite smoky and the aroma was as well, but the flavour, especially when it started cooling down were only just mildly so. Quite sweet and a bit fruity and it had a sort of mineral, chalky touch to it, but not really the sort of kick in the face that I was hoping for under the circumstances.
That doesn’t mean it’s a bad tea, because it’s not at all. It’s just more of an afternoon one than a morning one, and this is going to take some getting used to as I’ve always thought of the smoky ones as morning teas.
Queued post, written June 21st 2014
Finally getting around to this one. I’ve had the sample since forever, from the last time I made a (successful) NBT order. I don’t know what it is with me and that site. I’ve done this thing twice now where I make an order and wait for it to show up and then when nothing happens I discover that I have no order confirmation or any sort and no money has gone out of my account or anything. The order was never actually placed. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. I must have somehow managed to miss a step in the process or something, but seriously, how hard can it be to place an order on a website??? I think I’m losing my marbles… The sad thing is it’s turning me away from ordering from NBT in spite of the fact that I’ve otherwise always been very happy with them. It’s not their fault that I’m apparently incapable of using the internet.
Anyway, last time I actually managed it, I got a sample of this. Mostly because at the time I had never seen elderberries or elderflowers represented in tea at all. The forgotten berry! I love elderflower cordial, though, so I was very pleased to see it at last. I’ve had a couple of things since then with elderflowers in them. That’s how old this sample is.
Last night I finally got around to it. I need to empty this box of untried things! I wasn’t certain if I wanted to try it more as a hot beverage or as a cold one, but it’s a big sample, so I did both. I’ve got a good helping in a jug cold brewing in the fridge and I put another spoonful in a filter bag last night for the before-bed-beverage.
Hot, it was just lovely. Sweet and elderflower-y. That’s really the only way I can describe it and it’s spot on too because this isn’t blended with anything else. It’s only elderflowers. I’m used to elderflowers being in a chilled drink, though (see: cordial) so I’m rather looking forward to the cold brew. I don’t think it’s quite ready yet, though. This is where I’m really expecting it to be fabulous.
Having now tasted the cold brew, I have to say it was rather more bland this way. It’s like drinking mildly flavoured water, which is also very nice, but not really what I was going for. Maybe it needs a longer time, but at this point it was a little disappointing. I suspect mixing it with a little apple juice would be very lovely indeed, or perhaps adding a slice or two of fresh lemon to the jug.
I could also easily see myself experiementing with combining it with other things. A spoonful of elderflowers in with an Assam for example strikes me as something that might be really nice.
As mentioned, it’s a big sample. 10 grams of elderflowers is a LOT of elderflowers, so I have an ample sufficiency to work with.Additional, August 27th 2014
I have since discovered, I think, why elderberries are few and far between in tea and indeed other fruity things that aren’t cordial. Turns out raw elderberries are mildly poisonous. They contain cyanohydrins, but this is broken down when the berries are cooked, preferably for around 15-20 minutes. I didn’t know this. I was looking up what to do with elderberries as there are a some in the hedge between our drive and the neighbour’s, and they’re ripening now. I’m not sure if I’ll do anything with them now though. There aren’t enough to do much of anything at all, really, to make the detoxification process even remotely worth it. I can’t really be bothered to ‘save up’ berries in the freezer for years just for one batch of cordial or marmalade or what have you.
I have seen that some of you liked at one point to use dried elderberries as an addition to your tea. Please, if you can, make sure that your berries have been COOKED BEFORE DRYING. I’m sure they have, though, but even so. If they haven’t, remember to cook them first. Some varieties are more toxic than others and none of them will actually kill you, but they might make you ill.
Possibly the need for cooking isn’t as urgent as all that and the warnings I have read somewhat exaggerated, but better to be on the safe side and cook them first, I feel. People saying, “I have eaten raw elderberries for 50+ years and never been ill from it, therefore they can’t possibly contain toxins!” don’t really sway me much on this point. One does not automatically follow from the other. It’s like saying “I’ve been smoking 40 cigarettes a day for 50 years and have never had cancer, therefore smoking must be good for you,” which as we all know (or bloody well should know) is wildly untrue!
From what I’ve been able to gather, the flowers don’t appear to have toxins in them, though. Just about every other part of the plant.
And that’s all the paranoid rambling from me today.
Queued post, written June 18th 2014
Here’s another one from Auggy. This is one I’d never ever have bought for myself. Maté? Meh. Ginger? Bleh. Cinnamon in tea? Bleh. Green tea? Hmmm, sometimes meh. Cardamom pods? Could go either way. I’m just not a chai-y person, although I do tend to find it fairly pleasant on the rare occasion when I have one. Furthermore, maté and green tea is just not a combination I can in any way imagine. It’s… well, to be honest with you, it’s a bit bizarre.
However, it was sent to me by someone whose taste I trust implicitly and I have to try it at least once. Besides, it’s called ‘boost’ and a boost is what I could use just now as I’m preparing the foods we need to take with us for the Family Outing on Saturday. (A new-ish tradition in my family. For my grandparents’ Christmas present they get an outing with as much of the family as can be drummed together.) I’m in charge of a mixed green salad, a potato salad, biscuits and something that Husband (being vegetarian) can have for dinner. Husband is cooking his own dinner, I’ve got an almost full biscuit tin already (and it’s a large tin), so those things are easily dealt with. It’s limited what I can do on the mixed green salad before Friday, but I can can do most of the potato salad, so that I only have to mix it all together. I’m trying to have it all done before Husband gets home, because he’ll be spending a few hours working when he gets here, and I’d rather avoid doing noisy tasks in the kitchen while he’s working. The only problem I’ve run into is that I (fortunately) made a mental count of how many people we’ll be and realised to my horror that I’d have to double up on the salads. I don’t know why I thought the recipe would be enough as it was when it clearly says 4-6 people on it! O.o Off to the shops with me to get more stuff, then.
Hence the need for a boost.
Potatoes are cooking now, and there’s nothing else left to do until they’re done, so here I am. Boosting myself. By ranting, apparently.
Now, this blend smells earthy like maté, sharp like ginger and spicy like cinnamon. I’m getting a little bit of floral as well (cardamom) but nothing that I can translate to green tea. I fear it has been drowned completely by these other things. I still don’t understand what it’s there for in the first place. I can’t work out what it’s supposed to do for the blend.
At first sip, the initial flavour is lemon-y. This would be the ginger. It has a sort of lemon-y flavour, only sharper and throat-itchingly hot. The latter quality is the reason I don’t much like the stuff. (A popular winter ‘tea’ where I work is to take a cup of boiling water and put a slice of fresh ginger in it. Nommmmmmm!!! says most of my colleagues. Eurgh! says I.) The ginger starts burning my mouth just before I swallow, but there is sweetness from the cinnamon as well. Cinnamon is weird. It can be quite sweet and surprisingly spicy at the same time. It’s managing to do so here. Being spicy but also keeping the ginger down a bit. It has been my experience that ginger flavours only develop stronger as the cup cools, so I hope the cinnamon will continue to serve this purpose as that happens.
The cardamom is only vaguely there, with a tough of floral perfume in the very very background, and the base is earthy from the maté.
The green tea? Still can’t find it. Perhaps it’s softenening things up and smoothing things out. Otherwise these are all some pretty harsh flavours. I can’t be certain though.
It’s drinkable this, but it’s not exactly awesome. I might finish it. I might give it away. I might toss it. We’ll see.
Queued post, written June 18th 2014
A random grab in the box this time. Here’s one that Auggy sent me this year. Yunnan is the type where our tastes part company a little bit. She seems to appreciate them a little more than I do, but it’s still close enough I think. It depends on how hay-like they are.
This one doesn’t strike me as very hay-like. I think it’s the sweetness in them that sometimes comes across as a haystack to me. In this one it’s more just sort of sweet-sweet with a bit of hay on the side.
I don’t really know what else to say about it… I try to analyse it a bit, but the words aren’t coming. It won’t show me its secrets. Maybe there’s a little honey note in there? I think so. Perhaps with a bit of grain? Yes, maybe. Only when I try to think about it more, all that comes to mind is that it’s a very long time since I baked a honey bread…
I think what I’m trying to get at is that this tea reminds me of my honey bread recipe.
Difficult to decipher as it may be for me, it’s still a quite good tea, even with the hay-y notes. They could have been worse, a LOT worse. I don’t really like them stronger than this, but at this level it’s nice. It’s a bit like herbs and spices in food. Too much is awful, too little is meh and bland, but just right is lovely.
I made a cup of this (Western style) and while I was waiting for it to steep, I had the sudden overwhelming instinct to add a splash of milk to my cup.
But… I never use additives! I don’t know where this came from, but I couldn’t fight it, even though I felt decidedly silly even considering it for this type of tea. Not really a classic milker, is it?
It was stronger than me, though, so I added a small splash. The tea has now turned a funny colour. It’s gone pink! Not hot pink like hibiscus does, but definitely decidedly pink. Like a red berry milkshake!
It doesn’t appear to be having much of an impact on the flavour though, other than I keep expecting it to taste like fruit and sugar with this colour.
Queued post, written June 11th 2014
Auggy sent me three different kinds of Lahahaha touchas, so let’s try this again. This one has lotus in it, which… I’m not sure I’ve ever had before. I think I might have, but I can’t remember what it would have been in, so I’m going to assume that I haven’t. I can’t remember anything about whether or not I liked it anyway, so either way I’m pretty much starting with the beginning.
This gaiwan business went relatively well last week, so I’m going to try it again. I’m still not sure how to go about deciding how long or short each steep should be, but this time I started with
5 sec (or so. I counted elephants instead of using the timer): Just to get it to start breaking up a bit. I understand that lots of people do this and discard it, but as I’m not afraid of puerh flavour in general, I thought I might as well see what was what.
At this point it becomes clear to me that I’m possibly somewhat handicapped due to grass pollen. Apparently I’m developing a sensitivity. It’s been very high lately and making me a bit sniffly. It’s worse for Husband, who can sneeze an incredible amount of times in a row after having mowed the lawn. Having a shower and change of clothes afterwards helps him a lot, but yes, in general, we’re both being pollinated. Even now, first thing in the morning my nasal membranes feel a little bit swollen.
Caveat aside, I’m getting sweetness from this and a little bit of a floral aroma. Not something that screams flowers, but it’s just sort of hovering around the edge a bit. The flavour is the same. It’s a bit sweet and a little tiny bit floral, but other than that it strikes me as default mild puerh. Not particularly earthy, mushroom-y or farm-y, but just puerh. It’s actually very very pleasant.
10 sec: Still quite sweet in the aroma, but I’m not getting that floral touch now. There’s much more puerh-y notes coming out now as well, but again it’s that sort of default one without any of the other notes that I associate with it normally. I’ve never considered puerh to be a particularly sweet type of tea before, but I’m beginning to change my mind a little bit on that. Mind you, I’m still slightly nasally handicapped, but perhaps there is a little bit of fresh soil notes in it now? Not the sort that you dig up in the garden. I mean the sort that Husband uses to grow his seedlings in.
Oooh gosh, there’s an awful lot of flavour in it now. It suddenly stopped being so mild. It caught me completely unawares and I wondered for a brief moment if I had over-steeped. Then I remembered the ten seconds… It’s got a smidge of bitterness and floral musty notes now. Especially when swallowing. It really does taste like something that was given ten minutes rather than ten seconds. That first rinse-y step? I liked that a lot better than this one. It’s really very floral. I wonder if lotus falls under that category of flowers that I just can’t really enjoy. Like jasmine.
10 sec: It’s more floral than sweet now, but it’s not perfume-y as such. Underneath that I get the same default puerhness but still with no real characteristics of its own. I can’t even find that smidge of soil notes now, so perhaps I was merely imagining it before.
It’s very darkly coloured, though, so I expect it’s going to be a strong flavour again. At least this time I’m prepared for it!
Yes, it’s still quite strong, but thankfully that near-bitterness that made it difficult to drink before is somewhat diminished. We’re back to something quite sweet, but also quite floral. Not actually the kind of unpleasant-floral that I had feared, though. It is however leaning in that direction. I’m not certain what I think of lotus at this point, really. (I don’t think I could recognise it in a blind test either. I can sometimes do that with jasmine. One supposedly orange blossom oolong that was really actually a stealth jasmine blend proved that.)
12 sec: I can’t really make myself go from 10 seconds and straight to 15. For these short times it seems like an enormous jump.
This seems to be chameleon tea. It went from slightly floral and quite puerh-y to quite floral and slightly puerh-y and now back again to… well. Not slightly, really. Moderately floral and quite puerh-y. It’s quite sweet again, too. The taste is still very floral, though, but that sweetness and default puerh-ness is coming through a lot more. It’s actually reminiscent of the very first five seconds wake-up go. Mild and pleasant again.
15 sec: Quite nasally challenged right now, but I’ve done all my housework for the day in an hour (I timed it), except the tasks that are to do with cooking dinner and clearing up after, so I deserved a cup of tea. In other words, while not really sniffly or sneezy, I can’t smell plock all.
I can’t really taste much either. Seems like a milder version of the previous steep though. Perhaps a little less floral too, but I’m uncertain about that. One sip I think it is, next sip I think it’s the same proportions only milder.
This is as far as I got today. It’s a hot day and I lost interest in favour of Ribena.
The following written June 25th 2014
Trying again but with a Western steep this time. I thought I should do both kinds since I’m far more familiar with (and likely to use) a Western steep.
Here it smells quite puerh-y; mushroom broth-y and earthy. There isn’t much of floral notes to speak of though. Perhaps a little bit, but not much.
It’s quite floral in flavour though. Flower is the first note I get and the last one too when I sip, and in between it all the mushroom notes.
Reading back through what I wrote on the gong-fu session, I find that this is a fairly accurate average of what I discovered then. Which again leads me to conclude that by foregoing that process and using a Western steep, I’m not actually missing out on that much. With such a small difference between the end results, I’ll prefer the more convenient method.
Because I’m that lazy. There, I said it.
Queued post, written June 8th 2014
Recently Husband went on a sailing trip with my dad and my uncle. My uncle has a sailing boat, it and scouting are his two major interests, so he’s had it for many years. Once a year he arranges a so-called Boy Trip, where they sail to Warnemünde (Northern coast of Germany) and back to Nykøbing Falster (Southern bit of Denmark) in a weekend. It’s usually some constellation of my uncle’s son, his step-son, his step-daughter’s husband, my dad and my husband. It all depends on who can go. This year it was just the three of them. Meanwhile I had a super-boring weekend while being home alone. Weird, because normally I enjoy being home alone, I have since I was a child, but this time it was just boring with nothing to do.
Anyway, to get right to the point, my father while in Warnemünde decided to break my new tea ban and get me two pouches of tea. He doesn’t drink it himself, disliking it immensely. (and before anybody starts going “oh, but have you shown him all the different ones there are? Maybe he hasn’t ever had a good one. Nobody can totally dislike tea!” Yes they can and no I haven’t. I haven’t tasted every kind of beer in the worl either, but I still know I don’t like beer. Why must some people always ‘convert’ others cost what it may? If I was the potential convertee and I hadn’t expressed interest myself, I would find that sort of thing extremely irritating. And that was just my little soap box moment) So he found a shop and took Husband with him for advice, which was good because the first tea my father went for was a Darjeeling… I think there were a number of other unsuitable choices as well, until Husband took over and chose a couple of Assams instead. Phew! Close call there!
We’ve started on one of the pouches, letting it replace one of the every-day tins in the kitchen cupboard. These are the things reached for when Husband is making a cup of tea for himself or it’s just something to drink without requiring too much thought.
I’ve had it several times, and I’ve tried to write about it as well, but all I’ve got so far are a number of false starts. It seems to be extremely difficult to describe. It won’t unlock any of its secrets for me. So now you’re just getting what I can wrest from it. I need to move on with my life, really.
It smells malty sweet but not super-strong. Only getting a very little bit of a raisin-y note. None of the Assam-y cardboardness.
Flavourwise it’s stronger than the aroma leads me to believe, but it’s a fairly standard Assam. Quite smooth, but malty with a smidge of raisin in the background and that funny cardboard-y note throughout.
This is all I can get. Really, I would love to tell you something far more inspired, but I can’t.
And that’s fine too, really. Just because a tea doesn’t invoke huge impressions, it doesn’t mean it’s not a very good tea. Which it is.
Queued post, written June 4th 2014
Auggy sent me some of these Lahaha touchas. Three different kinds, although one of them is one she’s shared with me before. I think they’ll be used on Wednesdays primarily. It’s no use sharing them with Husband, as he’s very unpredictable with puerh. He’ll find it quite nice one day and then the next day find the exact same tea brewed in the exact same way unpalatable. The only exception being Nothing But Tea’s orange puerh, which he found consistently nommy. It’s a waste of time to continue to gamble with it, so I’ll just drink them on my own from now on.
I thought this time, since I’m starting fairly early in the day, I would try and do it properly in my gaiwan. Yes, I actually have one of those! I just never use it, because I can’t get the hang of it without spilling or burning my fingers. I’ve practised by filling it with tap water and tried handling it, but I don’t think my hands are screwed on correctly for that sort of thing. It’s a plain yellow china thing, quite simple and quite cheap. When I bought it there were other much prettier ones available but I went cheap because I wanted to see if it was something for me before I invested what I recall as being nearly twice the amount of money. Today, being unable to make it work, I’m glad I went cheap. Even cheap and plain yellow, though, it’s still an attractive piece and it lives on a display shelf. You can all keep all your fancy yixing. I find china a far prettier material. :)
Now, let me see. I decided to give it a shot again today. Hopefully I won’t get too frustrated by the spilling and burning of fingers, so I took it down and dusted it off. I’m completely unused to writing posts this way. I’ve always felt like it too easily becomes too annoyingly list-like and I don’t much enjoy reading lists myself. I’ll do my best to flesh it out a bit as I go, though.
10 sec: It smells salty and starchy, primarily. There isn’t much flavour to speak of. It’s mostly sort of mineral and with a bit of wood in it, but there’s a fairly strong aftertaste of uncooked rice. I suppose this is what most people would just discard, but there was nothing unpleasant in it, so I don’t see why. Just a bit thin.
10 sec: There’s a lot more going on here. It’s got a properly dark colour now. It still smells salty and starchy, but now it also smells rather mushroom-y and earthy. It’s not quite the farm animal note that I’ve mentioned earlier that I require(!) but it’s getting there. The flavour is still mineral and wood-y notes. I’m not actually getting any rice at all, save for a bit of uncooked rice in the aftertaste. Not nearly as much of that as before, though.
What is the ‘rice’ part of these puerhs, by the way? It seems to be a fairly common variant, the sweet rice or sticky rice. Is it something it does naturally or is is flavoured or is it because of something completely different? Explain.
12 sec: How do I know when it’s time to increase the time? It seems most people go 10/10/15/15 and then larger increments from there, but surely all teas are different and with different requirements? Surely you can’t really standardise this sort of thing? So how do I know? Or am I overthinking it too much? Does it really matter?
Uncertain of whether to do another at 10 seconds or go up to 15 seconds, I compromised at 12. :) I can’t believe I’m actually bargaining with myself. Oh well.
It smells quite salty at this point, but not so much starchy. The uncooked rice that I previously only really found in the aftertaste is there in the aroma now as well. It’s completely overwhelming the previously mentioned notes of mushrooms and earthiness. That’s strange. It feels a bit like having taken a step backwards. As though this steep and the previous has been swapped somehow. The flavour is stronger now and very different. It’s far more wood-y and leaves a wood-y reddish aftertaste. There’s a bit of salt in there as well, but the uncooked rice has gone from the aftertaste. It has a sharp stab of nearly bitterness as well, which is a little unpleasant. I’m not really enjoying this particular steep much.
This tea is beginning to strike me as rather disorganised… On the other hand, that gives me hope that the unpleasant note in this steep will miraculously disappear.
15 sec: The aroma is the same here. Salty and kind of uncooked rice. It does also have a touch of something that feels like it might be that unpleasant note from before. sigh. And yes, that’s still there in the flavour as well. It’s still unpleasantly sharp, perhaps even a bit tangy. There is now also a rice-y note to it. Not the uncooked one, but a more sort of a cooked rice note only not as starchy. Does that even make sense?
It seems to me that people who prefer this method often say that they enjoy the way the tea changes character gradually and that they get so many more details from it. I’ll give you the details, yes. Those are more clearly identifiable, but other than that… These first few rounds may sound like they were quite different, but really the changes were very subtle. I’m not really ‘getting it’ at this point. So I’ll press on.
15 sec: The aroma is still more or less the same. Salty, uncooked rice, but also a wee bit of mushroom now. The flavour has changed, though. The unpleasant note is gone or at least significantly diminished and there’s a strange sort of sweetness that has appeared. It’s just a little bit. Other than that it’s mostly wood-y notes but still with a bit of cooked rice in it.
20 sec: Having increased the steeping time, the colour is now much much paler and transparant! I was not expecting that, really. It still smells salty and rice-y, but the mushroom is in front now. Lots of mushroom aroma here. The comparatively pale colour seems to be an attempt to set me up for trap (Gosh! Gallopping kitty, coming through!) because it’s actually got a stronger, deeper flavour now. That unpleasant note seems to a thing of the past (hurray!) and the flavour is also fairly mushroom-y. There is still a good deal of sweetness, which shows up on the swallow and to a degree in the aftertaste, along with the rice-y note.
30 sec: It’s still quite pale compared to the first few gos. About the same colour as the previous steep. Is this normal? I would have thought it’d take longer before it started losing colour so significantly. It doesn’t smell as salty any longer, but still quite a bit like uncooked rice and again a bit of starch. The mushroom-y note has gone from the aroma again. Fickle, that one. It’s not there in the flavour either, but the bit of sweetness that was there before is much more prominent now and it’s present in the ‘whole sip’ if you get what I mean by that. I can taste it from the moment the tea enters my mouth and until I swallow. It’s fairly strong now, the sweetness. I can’t really identify it other than that. Something sweet. I don’t think it’s caramel-y or vanilla-y or honey-y or anything. If it is something it’s plain sugar, but even that doesn’t really seem accurate to me. Apart from that, there’s a bit of a wood-y note again, but the flavour seems a bit thin in general.
How many steeps was this? 7! Gosh! Perhaps the loss of colour is not so surprising after all. Because they were so short and I only get three mouthfuls each time, it feels like I’ve barely steeped it at all.
45 sec: Even paler now. Perhaps I’m increasing the time by too small bits? I’ve laid a plan, though, and I intend to follow it. The aroma is the same as the previous one, but there’s less of it. The flavour is quite thin as well, and all I’m really getting is a bit of lingering sweetness. Moving right along.
1 min: This one was quite similar to the 30 seconds steep. It was a bit stronger than the previous one both in flavour and aroma, but other than that, nothing new happened.
1 min 30 sec: Ow. Burnt my fingers. And here I was doing so well. The tea is even paler now. I wonder if it’s getting close to being used up. How many of these tiny steeps is it normal to get? The aroma is moderately strong again, with mushroom-y notes and a bit salty. A little bit of uncooked rice as well, but not super much. The flavour is pretty much just hot water, though. I’ll give it one more go and see if I can get anything. If not, I think this is where we call it quits.
2 min 30 sec: Yes, this is exactly the same as before. A little more starchy on the aftertaste, but that’s really all there is to it. I think we’re done here.
So, to sum up. Fairly sweet notes of rice both cooked and uncooked. Quite salty as well more or less all the time and occasional fickle notes of mushrooms that may or may not deign to show up.
At no point during this did I get anything resembling the strength of tea that I normally prefer. I always thought it was a bit on the thin side and would have liked to have fuller flavours. Perhaps it’s because I’m so used to a Western style brew. This method is rather too delicate and dainty for me, really. That said, I thought it was fairly succesful today. I didn’t spill too much and I only burnt my fingers on the last couple of steeps, most of which were really too thin to be worth drinking anyway.
I don’t know how to rate this. I’ll have to try a Western brew as well, I think. It definitely won’t be today, though. I’m very ready for something completely different.
Queued post, written May 28th 2014
The first cup of tea after having descaled the kettle is always a bit dodgy. Not taste-wise, mind. But oh-gosh-have-I-poisoned-myself-now?-wise. I’m always a very thorough rinser after that process, but even so.
I’m hazarding a cup, though. This is actually a resteep that I’m writing about here, since the first steep of these leaves that Auggy shared with me recently was consumed as part of a courage-gathering process before having to ring our former landlord to ask where the rest of our deposit had got to. I hate talking on the phone even when it’s about pleasant things and avoid it whenever possible, so you can probably imagine the amount of courage-gathering is necessary before ringing someone to quibble. So, yeah. Tea? Lovely, but didn’t pay attention.
So the second steep smells relatively grainy and quite malty. I do actually remember that I thought ‘malty and honey’ with the first steep. I’m not getting anything in the way of floral and/or smoky notes though.
The flavour is quite grainy, though, and VERY floral. It really lives up to the ‘spring’ part of the name. It’s like drinking a flowershop. When it cools down the flowers calm down a bit too, becoming a bit less overwhelming, but it’s still not the sort of keemun that I like best. I prefer them with a rougher, more smoky note.
This might, however, have something to do with it being the second steep. I really didn’t pay attention to the first one at all. I will do so next time I have this and add to the post.
If I remember. Also, no unforeseen poisonings of self, so I think the kettle is safe. The lid is still wonky, though.
Additional notes at the time of posting
I can report that the deposit issue has still not been sorted. We have been very very patient, but enough is enough. At some point during the next week we shall be contacting our solicitor.
In happier news, Husband worked out why the kettle lid had gone wonky and repaired it good as new.