252 Tasting Notes

76

I’m not feeling particularly inspired today so I went for an old faithful rather than something that requires concentration and attention. This is still my go-to shu even after all this time and all these teas that I have been trying.

It brews dark reddish-brown, reflecting beautifully in the glass cha hai and gleaming with an internal light. There is something marvellous about seeing my yu ru pot steaming on the chapan with a full cha hai next to it. The earthy aroma wafts upwards from the tray and I sip the tea down. It is round-ound-ound and rich, a freshly ploughed field. There is no fishiness to the flavour or to the aroma. Lovely. A perfect accompaniment to my lunch (a bacon and stilton sandwich). The flavours seem to complement each other beautifully: sweet, salty, sour and earthy all together. And while I digest it, I read The Wanderer again (Anglo-Saxon poem not Dion or Quo!) and contemplate my need to include so many parenthetical statements in my tasting notes. I should be contemplating my lesson plan for tomorrow, but parenthetical statements just seem so much more interesting than what I am supposed to be doing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

This is lovely. I want to look at the pot of shu and eat a sandwich while you mumble the poem with crumbs spilling out or your mouth (that would never happen, I can’t imagine it)…with proper BBC British vocalization that a Yank like me expects of course. Now I’ll have to go buy Stilton at the cheese shop and cook up some bacon!

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84

Thank you to Bonnie for this sample. I have had it a while and have been saving it for when I felt I could properly appreciate it.

The ‘cigars’ of tea look fab and brew up with a vegetal, lemony aroma. The liquor is very pale, possibly slightly green, but clear and light. Sipping the tea, my first thought was that I was drinking a lemon torte. There is a definite lemony flavour to it alongside something vegetal that I am not certain about. It is light and refreshing and just what the doctor ordered this morning.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Uh Nurse Bonnie here! You can find me in binder B for Bonnie or N for Nurse.

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95

Sipping this while seasoning my new Yixing travel tea tumbler. Thank you hugely to Bonnie on both counts. It’s sweet and very smoky. It makes me feel good. I love it. Thank you, Bonnie.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Welcome. You need it in the damp U.K.

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70

Sunday afternoon and feeling a bit frail. No, I did not have a skinful last night! I just have a bad back and a few other aches and pains. It’ll clear up soon enough, so no worries there. Anyway, I felt in need of a bit of colour, so I made a pot of Canton’s Dancing Dragon in my large glass pot. I love watching flowering teas unfurl and this one does not disappoint at all. The green leaves fold outward and allow a string of jasmine flowers topped by a red globe amaranth to pop up and wave gently in the warm currents of water. Now that’s the sort of gardening I like! Better yet, I don’t have to wait weeks or months for the crop to ripen. A few minutes later I am able to harvest my crop, and it was well worth the wait. It’s a delicate jasmine green tea. The jasmine is not overpowering and the green tea flavour shows through quite clearly. The whole is sweet, refreshing and lightly floral. Perfect for making me feel better. Better yet, the tea meets the approval of Mrs Roughage too. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Sounds identical to Two Dragons and a Pearl from Teavivre. If it is the same tea, it does have the power to soothe a wretched soul….or body! Hope you are feeling better soon!

Roughage

It certainly sounds like the same tea and it has revivified me just nicely.

Bonnie

Hope you feel better. Too much time at the computer and standing in class teaching probably didn’t help the back much either.

Roughage

I think you’re right, Bonnie.

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79

The dry leaf smells grassy and is a light olive colour. It is almost flat and looks great. The wet leaf smells meaty but retains the light olive colour. It looks fantastic suspended in my glass teapot. The liquor is almost clear. For all the colour it has, it might be plain water! But then the tasting proves this tea. It has a silky smooth mouth feel. It is light and refreshing. The meatiness of the wet leaf does not come through in the taste until the third steeping. Instead it is really light, sweet and a bit floral. All in all, this is a lovely, refreshing cuppa that is perfect for days when you need a light pick-me-up.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

Glad to hear from Sir Roughage.

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66

Sample from Bonnie. Thank you.

The dry leaf smells of sesame oil. The tea tastes of sesame. Although light, it has a very round flavour that is silky in the mouth and pleasant. I suspect this is a tea that I need to be in the right mood for. Still, I am enjoying this pot of it and shall no doubt enjoy the next pot too. Thank you, Bonnie.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Righto Sesame…I like this when I’m having a chicken sandwich…yum…sesame and chicken. Bet your cats would siff around it too.

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81

Well, that’s the end of it. I have loved this tea all the way through the packet. It is smoky and sweet, like drinking a packet of smoky-bacon flavour crisps. Lovely.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Hallelujah my two bags of it FINALLY arrived today!

Bonnie

Poor Roughage…glad you made him feel better ashmanra! ;)

ashmanra

Oh dear! I didn’t mean it that way! Lol!

Bonnie

I know him…he’s laughing his head off.

ashmanra

Whew! That’s better than sobbing into a tea cup!

Roughage

Don’t worry, ashmanra, as Bonnie wrote, I find it amusing. I am also plotting another order to Teavivre. After all, running out of LS seems like a great excuse to put a new order in. :)

ashmanra

Indeed! I love that you used the word “plotting.” I think we do sometimes rub our hands together gleefully and give a little evil laugh when getting an order together. I actually got the Lapsang mostly for my youngest daughter who loves Lapsang teas. But there were some of the Downy Superfine Jasmine Dragon Pearls for me in there as well! :)

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83

I bought a beeng of this because it was in the sale and I had heard good things about it. I’m glad I did. The dry beeng is warm and inviting with a grassy aroma. The tea, when brewed, is mellow, with a slight tongue puckering astringency that I really liked. I should note at this point that I was destruction testing this tea and brewing it western style per the instructions on the packet. I would not normally make it that strong or brew it for that long. Anyhoo, the astringency was quite pleasant with no hint of bitterness. The tea was earthy, mellow and slightly grassy, and I really enjoyed it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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76

Still enjoying this one. It is floral with a tiny hint of caramel at the back. I may have made it weaker than last time I reviewed it, but the flavour is still great.

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Profile

Bio

I am a qualified peripatetic berserkerologist peddling berserkjaknowledge wherever I can. I have always liked decent tea, but in 2011 I started working at learning what good tea really is. I continue to expand my horizons and discover new teas with the aid of my chums on Steepster, much to the chagrin of my wife, who despairs of my enthusiasm.

My favourite teas are Darjeelings, sheng puerhs and Anji Bai Cha. I return to these every time, after whatever flirtation with other teas I have been involved with.

I no longer rate the teas I drink because keeping ratings consistent proved to be rather hard work while not really giving me anything in return.

Location

East Yorkshire, England

Website

http://ruarighdale.wordpress....

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