971 Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon…..
I have new teaware! I ordered a gaiwan and two tiny cups, (and it looks like I should have ordered a fairness pitcher, too!) It looks so small next to my teapot, but I know it will be the tools I need for multiple infusions of the same tea without getting too saturated. I decided to try this tea out first, as I know how to make it and work some of the kinks out of my method. I discovered that my gaiwan holds much more than my two little cups…. And I did find a pyrex beaker to use as my pitcher for now….
As for the tea in loose leaf….. The liquor is light yellow green in color, and the pomegranate flavor is a little sweet and tart at the same time. I love that I can drink this one without any additions….. I had forgotten how much I like this one! The first time I had it was at the SoHo shop last Spring. I purchased 4 oz. of this at the Millerton shop in the early Fall as it comes by the pound in loose leaf on the website. I guess this tea also reminds me of the fun I had visiting the shops…..
Gaiwan, 1 tsp tea, about 180 water, 1 1/2 minutes. More steeping later!
Tea of the morning…..
I should know not to mess with the sample packaging from thepuriTea early on Monday morning. The package is too short and near impossible to measure out of because of its stiffness and the way it is gusseted, and too small to be folded over for later use. It is really annoying. I am sure I did not measure out enough tea for fear it would go all over my counter top, so my tea is weak. I hope they come up with a sample packaging solution that is easier to use, because frankly, it does not reflect well on the tea experience and how I as a customer feel about it overall. I really think they are trying to make the samples to fit in their little cardboard sleeves which do kind of make a good first impression, and it just is not working once you get to the tea. My advice: skip the cardboard. I just have to recycle it anyway.
So, I have weak tea this time around. I should just make another mug, right? Unfortunately, although they claim there is enough tea in this sample for at least 10 cups of tea, I have enough for maybe 3 total…really, probaby 3 weak cups as this is a fluffy tea. Maybe they include the resteeps in that number? I did get more like 7 cups from the flavored black tea sample I had and it was the only one that was close. I really don’t have enough of this one to make in my 15 oz mug set a second time….so, not even 4 cups worth….. Disappointing. The packaging certainly does not accommodate fluffier teas well, even though it sort of worked for the flavored black.
The tea is long fingered, fuzzy, and a beautiful golden color with only hints of brown. Beautiful. Too bad I will not get to really taste it. The moment for this tea to shine is ruined by the sample packaging and the amount in that package. I think it has potential, too.
On my resteep, I decided to add a little more tea. I am really thinking there was only enough tea in this sample pouch for just over two cups. Much better in taste. Notes of malt and honey. Roasty. I did just double check the website, and they suggest I can get 10-12 cups of tea out of this sample. Maybe if I resteep it 5 or 6 times?
tl;dr Yeah. It is Monday and I am a little cranky this morning.
Tea of the morning……
This time it is a 1:1 blend of my Mystery Assam and a good basic Keemun. I think we have a winner. It is not quite as rich tasting as Malachi, but this will definitely get me through until I can buy black tea again.
Usual mug method for 3 minutes.
Another tea of the afternoon….
I think I should have picked another one after my not liking the Chinese Sencha from thepuriTea very well. I fixed this up and then did my research on what was in it. It turns out that Bancha is a lower grade of Sencha. Man, do I have a long way to go on my education of green teas. Anyway, the roses help this, and I did sweeten it just a little. I think I don’t mind this as a tea with other things….. this one is less vegetal and more woody, maybe?
Tea of the afternoon…..
I still have a huge pile of samples from thepuriTea……at least 6 or 7. This was one I received for free. As it is my first Sencha, I really don’t know what to expect, and I have a feeling that my Premium Dragon Well has me spoiled. So far, it is fine, but not anything special. A little vegetal, light yellow liquor, only a slightly heavier mouthfeel than water, and a hint of something minty at the end. I would not choose this as a stand alone tea as it is very ‘meh’ compared to dragonwell. It seems very similar to the tea base in the flavored greens I have tasted. I wish I could tell you how it compares to other Senchas, but all I can say is the color of the leaves was a dark green, not dull, but somewhat bright, and the leaves varied in size from short to about half an inch.
Mug method for green….about 180 water, 3 minutes.
Tea of the morning…….
This is my first attempt at something similar to Harney’s Malachi McCormick (yes, I should just buy some, and I will, but I am trying to see what comes close and use up some of the tea I have in my cupboard to make space….). I used a 1:2 ratio of the Mystery Assam from Heather’s Heat & Flavor (the hot sauce store) and my Keemun Grade 2 from Teavivre. It was good, but I think it needs a little more Assam. Next trial is a 1:1. Tune in tomorrow…..
Tea of the afternoon…….
Since I love coconut and was drawn in by all the reviews of this one, I broke down ordered it from a vendor other than Golden Moon that was running a free shipping special. It definitely was not a hardship, because I had to buy $5 worth of British chocolate to go along with it to reach my minimum. Yes, you can start feeling sorry for me, now.
As for the tea…..yum. Sweet and creamy, light and smooth. I could get used to this…..
Mug method with about 185 water for 3 minutes. I did very lightly sweeten this just to bring the coconut out a little.
Tea of the afternoon…..
And I am making a guess on this one. We do have a local shop in the fancy shopping area that specializes in Hot Sauce. They also carry bulk spices and a few teas. I have to admit, I am not super confident about how much turn over they have in tea. Since I was there today checking out their teaware (they do have my teapots there!), I figured I had best not leave without purchasing something. Since I rarely eat hot sauce, and I buy my spices at Penzey’s, it had to be tea……and since I am not confident about the turnover, it had to be black. At least I did go with Assam, something I did not have in my cupboard before. It is labeled as “Golden Tips Assam”, but from the looks of it, it is only about 10% or less tips. In perusing the database and looking at the pictures, I am just guessing this is what she stocks. It was stored in a dark glass canister, so kudos to her for that! Definitely tastes like a good quality Assam, but she charges $70 a lb. and the minimum to purchase is .1 lb. $7 I spent….. Should have just ordered Malachi. Oh well. I guess you have to do your part for the local economy, too. Hmmm….perhaps I will just blend this in with some Keemun along the lines of Malachi…..
Tea of the morning…….
Ever since reading JacquelineM’s post about this tea yesterday past my time for caffeine consumption for the day, I have been craving this tea. I am wondering if that is why I did not sleep well. Anticipation. Well, here it is, and it is just as good as I remember. How does this compare to other types of Keemun? The leaves are longer and finer, the taste is mellow and complex all at once. Notes of refined smoke and dark chocolate. Very smooth. Ahhh. My first love in black tea. I have gone on to love others, but there is just something about a first love.
I think I missed the timer by a few minutes this morning in the mad rush. The beauty of this tea? It is very forgiving in an oversteep. To quote JacquelineM. “De! Lish! Ous!”
Usual mug method, about a 6 minute steep. Very lightly sweetened.
Tea of the late afternoon…….
I completely forgot I had this. I got it as a free sample back in the Fall when I was going through all the issues that the first release of Adagio’s VarieTEA electric kettle. (If it is any indicator how that went, I have a UtiliTEA instead!) I did not realize that this sample costs $6. And 3oz of it is currently $19. Wow. Since I just had some of my favorite Premium Dragon Well earlier this afternoon (and it is about $13 for a similar amount!) and I had the Lung Ching from my local Asian Market yesterday, I thought I would be in a good place to compare the three.
Color on the leaves is kind of a dull yellow-green. Definitely yellower than the leaves from the Asian Market tea, but not nearly as bright green as the leaves of the Premium Dragon Well from Teavivre. It smells very similar to the market tea. It steeps up with a similar color to the market tea. The Premium Dragon Well steeps up a little brighter yellow, and this is more a golden yellow. The taste is somewhere between the market tea and the Premium. The market tea had a hint of smoke, and this might have a remnant of a similar flavor. I likened the flavor of the Premium to very fresh asparagus that is roasted, where this is more like spinach…roasted spinach. Not that great. I pretty much prefer the market tea to this as the slight smokiness makes it interesting. So glad I have tried these two other dragonwells, though. It makes no sense for me to try to find a better one than what I can get from Teavivre!