50 Tasting Notes
So I don’t do tea bags much these days. I happened to get a chance to request a sample, from the company, and decided to try a “tea sachet” of the same stuff I drink hearty, strong, thick mug-fulls on a regualar basis.
I tried a cup of this at work. The tea has qualities that I don’t have a chance to savor when I overwhelm the flavor with lots of tea in the cup. This is a good reminder to explore, and not be so rigid with my brewing style.
So today I was a little testy. You know, not quite in a good mood, and trying to get through to Friday, smiling. About mid-morning, I needed a pick-me-up, without a lot of caffeine. I dumped a small heap of this in a mug, and it saw me through a rough patch.
Something about drinking tea flowers is uplifting. It’s not overly sweet tasting, but you feel a little sweeter afterward.
I always really enjoy this. It’s wonderful, and the people I share it with agree. It’s not hard to brew, either. Good to the last possible sip, and the aroma in the cup is still something I linger over, when it’s done.
I use a Brita filter on my faucet, and for many things, it’s fine. But for the oolongs I have been exploring, the water seemed to be getting in the way. I’m so over bottled water, and I don’t live by a stream……So lately I have been using a piece of bamboo charcoal in the kettle, when I boil water for tea or miso soup. It seems to act as a filter, and also mineralize the water, to some extent. It’s made a huge difference, with the results being amazing pots of tea. Should have tried this long ago.
As this is my daily drink, I’m surprised to find a few changes in the latest batch I got in. There are fewer twigs than my last few 1-pound bags, and the tea appears a little darker roasted. The flavor, while not light, is a hint sweeter, too. To me this tea has plenty of that savory quality, umami.
I start my day with a teaspoon now, in a lidded, ceramic mug, loose. As I go through my day, I add another teaspoon or two, finishing at night with just hot water on the still flavorful leaves. While I dip into other teas quite a bit, this one is like a comfortable pair of slippers…always welcome.
Played with this at the office today. The soft water and low temp in our filter dispenser leaves me wanting…..so I used a boatload at a time, maybe 3 tablespoons, and drank and refilled my ceramic travel cup all day. It’s definitely not a palate elevating experience, but it’s not a distraction at work, either. And I rather like the harsh first cups, which help me brace for the morning onslaught.
This is a deeply sensual tea, aged to complexity, that can be steeped more than 20 times, and keeps on giving flavorful cups. It took a while for me to be able to get any decent flavor in this at home. If you try it, don’t give up. The water needs to be just off boiling, not cooled, and I steep no less than a tablespoon, mostly a bit more, at a time. Best in my smallest guywan.