1015 Tasting Notes
As I was eating toasted raisin bread with butter for my first meal today, I decided to brew up a medium-sized tetsubin of the Tealux Dong Ting Bi Luo Chin. I was looking for something less savory and vegetal, and this was an excellent choice.
The flavor is quite subtle, so I would not pair this tea with very forceful foods, but it works well for this kind of light, slightly sweet meal.
I’m still not at all sure how much dried tea should be used as it weighs nearly nothing! I tried three heaping teaspoons today, but I may have to break down I get me a tea scale—yet more confirmation that I am officially OCD (I already have a thermometer, lol)!
I tried the loose leaf form of Numi White Rose today and was quite impressed by the proportion of rose petals present. The dried tea smells equally of roses and white tea (apparently silver tips), and the brew, too, offers a harmonious blend of the two elements.
A very good and balanced blend of roses and white tea. Perhaps if I drink enough of this blend I’ll end up wafting naturally of roses!
second infusion: just as good as the first. The liquor is slightly more yellow than the first infusion, but the flavor is close to the same.
In third place in today’s steep-off chez sherapop was Numi’s Cardmom Pu-erh. It’s not that it was bad, but it was not quite as good as Emperor’s Pu-erh and Chocolate Pu-erh. I do like cardamom, so that’s not the issue, and it definitely was not overdone (as it so often is in what I call “spice-cabinet chais”). But the flavors were less deep and complex than in the other two Numi filter bag pu-erh entries.
The color of the brewed liquor was exactly a cross between the dark red of the Emperor’s Pu-erh and the orange of the Chocolate Pu-erh. This color was more like a dark gold. The flavor was good, but not quite as smooth and inviting as either the pu-ehr au naturel or adulterated with lots of chai spices and cocoa (in effect, Chocolate Pu-erh is very similar to chocolate chai, albeit sans cardamom and cloves).
I’ll definitely try this one again. It would probably go great with a buttery cake.
A tasty unsweetened cocoa tea! The Numi Chocolate Pu-erh brewed up quite a bit lighter than the Emperor’s, with an orange-colored liquor. That made me worry that the brew would be too weak, but with cream it ended up being quite delicious. A very good cocoa-powder-enhanced black tea. Without being told that it was pu-erh, I’d never have guessed!
I definitely recommend Numi Chocolate Pu-ehr as a less sweet chocolate-flavored tea. Both the chocolate flavor and the base tea are very good—but this is not sweet like a milk chocolate bar. The other ingredients add to the complexity, especially the vanilla, the nutmeg, and the cinnamon. There’s almost a chai quality to the blend—or to be more precise: chocolate chai!
In this afternoon’s steep-off chez sherapop, the three filter bag organic puerhs from Numi were brewed up side-by-side and compared. The results are in, and my favorite was … drum roll …
The brew was dark red, which was already an auspicious beginning. The flavor was smooth and delicious. I drank my glass with light cream, and found this tea to be unexpectedly tasty—first, because it was made using a filter bag; second, because it’s pu-ehr!
I’ve had mixed experiences with pu-erh in the past, and it’s safe to say that I’m something of a gringo in this category. This must be pu-erh for gringos, because it was as smooth and luscious as a very high-grade Assam. So maybe I enjoyed this because it doesn’t have so much earthiness? Well, it’s good, especially for a filter bag, and I’ll definitely be drinking more of The Emperor’s Puerh!
The somewhat middling ratings on this tea suggest that other reviewers may be disappointed by the gentile quality of this imperial beverage…
I brewed up a medium-sized tetsubin of Thé Santé Sencha Shizuoka today to have with lunch: toasty french bread and soft-boiled eggs. It turned out to be a great accompanying beverage: slightly astringent and vegetal but not overly so. The liquor was pale greenish yellow with a touch of halo-like viridescence.
Prepared correctly (cooler temperature, short steep, sufficient leaves), this is a solid savory green tea for me, and I’ll probably restock…
In a recent steep-off chez sherapop, I found this Long Jing from Tealux less impressive than the one from Norbu. I must say, however, that today’s medium-sized tetsubin (two Bodum glasses’ worth) is tasting mighty fine. I kept the steep time down, and the flavor of the light gold liquor was smooth and Long Jingy—for lack of a better description.
I’d thought that this would be a sipdown, but there turned out to be enough leaves left in the envelope for another medium-sized pot. After that, I’ll probably restock.
I was looking forward to my first experience of the Teavivre Lu Shan Yun Wu, my second encounter with this particular China green tea. The crispy, wiry leaves are a beautiful tealish-dark slate color, and to my surprise, they smell like a fresh-baked pastry!
I brewed up a large pot, and the first glass was delicious. I drank it alongside toasted English muffins slathered with butter. A very harmonious pairing!
Unfortunately, I discovered upon pouring the next glass that I had not properly prepared my new tetsubin (just arrived today). I had run a bunch of hot water through it, followed by boiling water, but I did not follow the instructions and wipe it dry. As a result, after the first glass the tea still in the pot began leeching off the residual black enamel, turning the liquor a somewhat scary brownish gray color. Naturally I dumped the rest of this pot. However, since I used the deep infuser basket, this afternoon I am going to try a second infusion of the already infused leaves, which smell very fragrant and full of potential..
If that doesn’t work, I am relieved that Angel graced me with a second generous sample of this tea, so I’ll be able to brew up a large pot again in the not-too-distant future.
A propos of tetsubin: I have several, in various sizes. I realize that some people complain about the “made in China” variety, but I have not noticed a huge difference in quality between the Unity teapots (distributed by Old Dutch), and the ones made in Japan. The Unity tetsubin are FDA certified lead free, so I am assuming that even if I drank some of the black enamel coating today, it did not poison me. Well, let’s hope not!
No rating yet… but the first glass of this Lu Shan Yun Wu from Teavivre was excellent!
second infusion: This worked fine with a resultant brighter yellow liquor and full flavor. I poured all of the glasses out of the tetsubin just to make sure that the same problem would not occur. So now my new tetsubin appears finally to be clean and I’ll be able to enjoy the first infusion of this tea again in the not-too-distant future….