550 Tasting Notes
I got a new round of tea samples from the wonderful Angel at Teavivre. This is the first one from the new set and I decided to actually write down the steeps in my journal before logging them into Steepster. It was fun actually writing down a tea tasting in my neon pink ink.
Steep 1: Brewed for two minutes. The tea smells dark and the liquor is a deep warm brown. The first taste is more earth and then a slightly sweet taste creeps in along the sides of your tongue. I looked at the tea packet and saw that it suggested a lower water temperature than I used so I am going to try a lower water temperature with the next steep and see if that changes things.
Steep 2: Brewed for 2.5 minutes. The liquor is slightly paler, but not by that much. It looks more like a dark topaz. It smells slightly like a sweet potato that has been taken out of the dirt and then quickly sprayed off so that it is clean but bits of earth are still clinging to the skin.
The taste is amazing. A very faint cocoa note that mixes with the previous taste to make an amazing slightly sweet rye bread. The kind that is just out of the oven. The crust is crisp and the crumb (the soft part of the bread) is so soft that it deflates in your mouth and releases a burst of flavor. So delicious.
Steep 3: Brewed for 3.5 minutes. The liquor is a light bronze. The flavor of rye bread is still there but it has a slight sweet potato taste to it now. This steep is a little watery, but I think if I had brewed it for another minute it would have been better. This is the last steep for the night.
Overall, this tastes very different from the full leaf version, but I love that it is so different. It just tastes good and makes me think of a warm kitchen when I was little. My mom doesn’t like rye bread so she never made it, but she did make bread. I can let my imagination fill in that it tasted like this tea and I would be content wherever I was at the moment. Delicious.
I was getting ready to brew up some of my Jasmine Silver Needle only to find that I must have used it all up already! I must remember to keep track of my teas better and to check how much is in the bag before I get ready to pour water in my pot.
So my eyes turn to my Dragonwell and it was exactly what I wanted. Buttery and grassy with a hint of astringency. Just the thing before I start to move on to my new round of sample teas from Teavivre. Have I mentioned how much I love that they let me sample different types of tea from them?
I have been craving chai, so I picked up a box of this when my mom and I went shopping this evening. Hot and plain, the scent is wonderfully cinnamon! It smelled like liquid Red Hot candies. Brewed up it didn’t taste like much.
So I did what any person familiar with chai would do, I put a splash of milk in it. The milk brings out the other flavors. The prominent flavor is actually a blend between the allspice and the nutmeg. Cinnamon is still the most aromatic.
This would be lovely in the cool winter mornings which is what I was hoping for. I’m not sure I would pick it up again so I am still on my quest for the perfect chai. It will make me very happy to drink it though.
It is time for the last of this sample. There was a little bit more in the bag than I would normally put in, but it wasn’t enough for two french presses, so I poured in the rest of my sample bag.
Starting at two minutes and going to keep re-steep it until I kill it. So probably six steeps worth of tea. A very good choice for an afternoon tea.
Wow, for the first time my basement room is warmer than the rest of the house and I don’t have the heat on that high. I went upstairs to make a cup of tea and ended up shivering. So this tea came out and I decided to brew it a little differently.
Since I like this best with milk in it, I put an extra teaspoon of tea in my french press and brewed it for an extra minute. Then I added a splash of vanilla almond milk. The chocolate is a little more prominent while the spices are downplayed. I think this would be best brewed double strong with milk and I’m going to use the rest of the remaining leaf for my next cup when I have it.
Not a bad chocolate chai once you figure out how you like to drink it.
I thought it would be a good way to wind down the day with my favorite jasmine white tea. I like this better than the green jasmine pearls because it isn’t as astringent as the pearls which means it goes better on its own.
I had a fun day today. My mom, dad, and fiancee took me out to The Gentle Arts yarn shop. They have a pair of plastic sheep when you first enter the store. One looks like it is eating a basket of yarn and the other is wearing a stylish hand knit hat. My mom took a picture of them to show me when they first went there and I got to see them in person today!
I also got to spin on four different spinning wheels! I discovered that I do really like spinning on a wheel and the style I like best is the double treadle wheel castle wheel. Yes, I did get to spin on a baby version of the traditional wheel that looks like the one is Sleeping Beauty. I also got a ball of red sock yarn and 4 oz of light brown alpaca to spin.
It was a fantastic surprise and I love that yarn store. Hopefully, I will be able to visit it again. Maybe next time they will show me how to work a loom!