240 Tasting Notes

81

Once more I return to the LS. It is familiar and comfortable like my old Norwegian woolly jumper. The campfire and pine elements seem just perfect for celebrating the Norwegian national day (17th May, in case you come to this note late. : ) ). It is the bicentenary of the signing of the Norwegian constitution and you can find out a little more on my blog if you wish (http://ruarighdale.wordpress.com/). It also provides links for further exploration. I recommend having a nice cup of suitably Scandinavian tasting tea while you read. ;)

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Sweet and malty. I have just finished off the last of a tin of this, yet I note that I have only logged it once. Ah well, I should try harder in future, but I probably won’t! I liked this tea and will be adding it to the list of teas to stock up on again once my samples run low.

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I was sent a sample of this tea by a fellow Steepsterite and it has sustained me through today. It’s a sheng, and it smells like a sheng: hay and horses to my nose. The liquor is a yellowish amber and smells sweet, but not strong. It tastes sweet too with a smokiness that I liked, but the promised cha qi did not appear. Never mind. I’m convinced that cha qi is more about your relationship with the tea than it is about inherent qualities of that tea. Even without that, I enjoyed this tea and it has sustained itself well through the day. I am still getting a smoky sweet liquor after about a dozen cups although I am now up to a 1 minute steep. Still that’s pretty good. I’m off for another cup now and then a large glass of port before bed. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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I started drinking this yesterday and it is still doing well. As I noted on the pu drinking thread in the discussions area, my first thought upon drinking the first cup was “Crikey, that’s smooth!” So, time to write it up properly before getting back to my revision. Only two days to go! Eek!! I’m not panicking much. Honest. Actually I am calmer that I might be but I put that down to the tea.

The beeng is loose. Not so much as to just fall apart but a far cry from the iron hard beengs and bricks I seem to get so often. This makes it easier to pick apart and means that the leaves remain whole, which is no bad thing. It smells of horses and hay, a sweet aroma that carries good memories.

The liquor is a yellowish amber in colour. It smells of hay and honey. Sniffing the empty cup, I am struck by how much it smells of honey and fresh flowers. I think it might be a magnolia aroma, but I cannot quite put my finger on it precisely.

The first sip, as noted above, was incredibly smooth. It was sweet with a creamy mouthfeel. There’s a walnut nuttiness to it and the astringency only starts to make itself felt as the liquor cools. The aftertaste is sweet, sparkles and lasts for ages.

After the first cup, the tea starts to make itself felt in my whole body, especially in my legs. I can feel it forcing me to relax and I almost immediately feel slightly tea drunk. This tea seems to have a fairly strong cha qi. It calms my mind and I almost feel like I am entering a meditative state while becoming more focused. It is quite remarkable and certainly helps with the work I am doing.

The tea seems to tail off after a dozen steepings, but I probably need to increase the duration of the next one to see where that goes. I also found that it did not respond as well with steeping at 90 degrees C, whereas 85 degrees C works beautifully. I’m off to do that now, then it’s back to work for me.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Nuts

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
TheTeaFairy

I love when that special feeling kicks in with pu’erh. Hope it helps you with your studies, good thing that you’re not too nervous about that, keeps you focus…good luck with everything :-)

Roughage

Thank you. I really like it when a tea gives you that feeling, and I found that once it started with this one, it really kicked in hard. I shall need both luck and a clear head to get through it all on Tuesday. A two hour oral exam is not really my idea of fun, and is now making me wonder why I started a PhD after all these years away from university! Perhaps I should take a portable tea station with me so that I can have this tea to help me. Does that count as using performance enhancing drugs? :)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Well assuming that the deciding committee never experienced a good cha qi, you might be able to get away with it!
Oh my, I don’t even want to think about what a two hour oral exam would do to me…
I’m assuming your PhD is related to your existing field of expertise, history?

Roughage

Yes, it’s a PhD on Vikings. The oral exam takes on average two hours. I have heard of them taking up to nine hours before now, and if it is less than two hours I shall be rather worried because that probably means bad news. It could be worse though. In Scandinavia you have your viva on stage in front of an audience! That would completely freak me out.

TheTeaFairy

I cannot even imagine how much knowledge on Vikings one must acquire to get PhD. This is fascinating. You must be one of very few with that title, I’m sure… Do you get hired when people write books or make movies for instance?

Roughage

I think that there are rather more of us than you might believe in the world. I just hope that Tuesday’s viva sees me pass with flying colours so that I can be Dr Roughage and a fully acknowledged expert. :)

I do work with authors when they want guidance about Vikings, and I was the historical advisor for a little Viking cartoon that is on the BBC Hands on History website. I have also worked with various other projects that wanted Old Norse dialogue, including a bit for the Vikings exhibition that is on at the British Museum at the moment. It’s quite cool really and a lot of fun. I really should write more about this stuff on my website so to promote myself.

MzPriss

You make this tea sound like an absolute dream and I’m coveting it now. BEST of luck on Tuesday – you WILL be Dr. Roughage! Let us know how it goes.

Roughage

Thank you, MzPriss. No doubt I shall be shouting it from the rooftops if the viva goes well. :)

TheTeaFairy

Good luck for tomorrow Mr. very soon to be Dr. Roughage!
(I looked at your website yesterday, super fun! Tried the quiz but for some reason it didn’t load on the iPad, will try on the PC later…)

Roughage

Have fun with the quiz. It can be quite hard if you get the wrong questions. I need to write more content for it but have been a bit distracted recently. Perhaps after tomorrow I can start adding more material. We shall see.

Thank you for the good wishes. I am busily practising answering possible questions and wondering how the heck I am going to survive. I should get a glass of port soon and go to bed so that I am well rested. :)

mrmopar

Good Luck!!!!! I know you will be fine and I will hear that “Roar” on my side! Vikings and drinking horns I have to agree with that. Nice info.

Roughage

I got a pass with corrections, which is a decent result and the corrections are not onerous. My prof. tweeted that I am now the world expert on berserkers, so it must be true. Yay! :)

MzPriss

World Expert On Berserkers is a most excellent title to have. Congratulations!!!

mrmopar

Yahoo! I thought I heard thunder last night but now I realize the roar has come my way!

TheTeaFairy

Ahhhh… Congrats, you must be so relieved!!!

Toutes mes félicitations Doctor :-) :-) :-)
Roughage

Thank you all. :)

OMGsrsly

Yay! Congratulations! Glad the corrections aren’t too much. :) Pretty much everyone has them, I think.

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I have spent the past few days drinking this tea and I have enjoyed it. The dry leaf is musky with camphor notes, while the liquor is mellow and dark with hints of cedar and allspice. It is a warming tea and one to keep you going on a cold winter’s night (or through the endless travails of revision, as I am doing at the moment).

Flavors: Cedar

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
TheTeaFairy

Osmanthus always taste like peach to my. Gui Hua Osmanthus from Tealux is even more peachy than Teavivre, but doesn’t have that olive oil quality I found in Teavivre. Both will be in your next box, so you can decide for yourself :-)

TheTeaFairy

Lol, roughage, ignore the previous comment, it is meant for another post OBVIOUSLY :-) Oops…sorry!

Roughage

No worries. You raised a smile from me anyway and gave me a laugh. :)

TheTeaFairy

Then if it gave you a smile, it was a good mistake :-) I would love to start a box for you some day too… I have too many things going on right now, but let me know if my cupboard is of any interest to you, I would gladly share whatever you fancy when time is right, overseas swaps are always interesting :-)

Roughage

Thank you. A swap might be a good idea in the future then. I look forward to it.

DigniTea

I picked up this cake several months ago but I’ve not yet worked on it. Your comments remind me that it is probably time to sit down and try it.

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Making myself take time out from my revision schedule to spend quality time with my beloved, I decided it would also be a good opportunity to sample this tea, which a good friend sent me. The leaves are thick, fuzzy and curly, ranging from almost white, through green to a brownish olive green colour. The dry leaf has a sweet earthy aroma with caramel overtones. It already does not feel like a normal white tea.

I brewed the tea in a gaiwan because my teapot had not been washed from my Lapsang binge this afternoon and I am rather glad I did. The experience was much enhanced by this. The steeped liquor is amber in colour with a strong floral aroma and a definite citrus edge to it. It tastes silky sweet and floral, with a hint of caramel and that citrus edge comes through to cut the other flavours and produce a very different experience for a white tea. The aftertaste is phenomenal. It is sweet and citrussy but goes on forever. The sweetness leaves after a while but the taste of fresh, sweet tangerines remains even almost an hour after finishing the cup. Better yet, this is a whole body tea infused with a sense of well-being and relaxation. As I drank the tea I could feel this week’s crap melting away. I really needed something like this and am so glad I picked the right tea.

This is a truly superb tea that deserves a quiet contemplative moment if you are to enjoy it to the full. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time because the tea will grab you and massage you into submission. This is no shrinking violet. It is a firm yet compassionate nanny that will take proper care of you. It is not cloying like some white teas can be and it has so much more depth than many teas. It rewards care and the attention you pay to it. I so need more of this.

Flavors: Caramel, Orange Zest

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML
TheTeaFairy

Oh my, this tea sounds exquisite…
P.S. «a firm yet compassionate nanny that will take proper care of you», lol, Roughage, make sure that sentence is never taken out of context ;-)

Roughage

I guess the nanny comment needs context or it could be misinterpreted rather interestingly, but we’re all adults here, aren’t we? :D

MzPriss

Dang, now I want this too.

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drank Awesome Assam by Eteaket
240 tasting notes

I had a 50g carton of Awesome Assam at the beginning of this week and have just finished it off. It was an impulse purchase while we were in the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore, driving home from Durness on the north-west coast of Scotland. Anyway, the tea was being sold at about 20% discount on a display next to the tills where I went to pay for our food. Big mistake. How could they possibly put a display with big signs informing me of discounts next to somewhere that I would have my wallet out? It’s not right, I tell you. They should make a law against it or something. At least I did not need to feel too guilty though, because Beloved wanted to buy cakes that were near there too, and they were not discounted! The food in the cafe was great, by the way. I recommend it, and I am not just saying that because it was the end of the day and the manager gave me free bread and scones to take home that would otherwise have been thrown out. They were good too. So, anyway, in my best rambling Abe Simpson manner I should try getting to the point. Yes, now where was I?

Oh yes, this tea. Umm, I finished the carton in a week. That pretty much tells you all you need to know. It’s malty and well-balanced, although I only got two good steeps out of each pot. I did not notice any great depth to the flavour but as a daily brew it really worked, which is good because I have plenty of teas with great depth that require real focus to truly appreciate them, and not enough that I can just quickly make and enjoy. That does not mean that I do not enjoy the other teas when I don’t have time to sit down and focus on them. I do enjoy them but I always feel like I am missing out on something by not exploring the tea in detail. Ah well, I had better add this Assam to my shopping list now.

Flavors: Malt

Angrboda

That’s so sneaky! It’s like they’re actually trying to get people to spend more money! O.O

Roughage

I know, right? What is the world coming to?

mrmopar

I would say good marketing technique.

Roughage

It certainly worked for me, mrmopar.

MzPriss

The tea sounds good too

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85

I have just finished off an old sample of this that I inherited from my mother. I think it must be a couple of years old now, but it was still a lovely, fruity tea with notes of hay and apples. The texture is creamy and it is quite relaxing, which is just what I need right now.

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I’ve spent most of this week enjoying the last of the sample I was sent. It has been a real pleasure to drink this tea, even though my life seems to be too busy and my mind racing too much to sit down and think hard about what I am drinking. The mellow character of the tea has forced a certain amount of calm. Nice.

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Profile

Bio

I am a historical consultant, Vikingologist and tea enthusiast! To be honest, 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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