948 Tasting Notes
Tea of the morning……
Thank you to Amy Oh for this one! I had really been wanting to try this one in my recent quest for a new breakfast tea!
Well, I cannot seem to drink this one without milk! Hello, robust tea! It has a very strong malty flavor, and this one is a bit too strong and brisk for my tastes (I seem to be kind of a wimp when it comes to hearty teas…who knew?) Since I like adding milk to my tea only on occasion, I am pretty sure this is not the breakfast tea for me. However, for those of you who enjoy a good hearty, malty, brisk tea that stands up very well to milk, this is a good one for you to try. I do have some more left and might try a light on leaf cuppa to see how it goes.
Tea of the afternoon…..
I actually bought this tea to give to a friend, but I know she won’t mind if I sample it! I brewed this for a minute and threw out the first steep as kind of a rinsing phase. I can tell you that the smell was not great the first steep. I stuck with it and steeped for a minute the second time around. This time, I got something I actually did not mind the smell, and it was kind of chocolatey and tasted quite a bit like coffee. I am pleasantly surprised! I do see that I could be a real pu’erh drinker someday. While I did enjoy this cup, I don’t see myself drinking this kind of tea very often for now. However, a seed has been planted for sure. It is miles away from my first experiences with tuo cha from another vendor. Definitely an enlightening experience for me.
12 oz boiling water, second steep at 1 minute, 1 tuocha.
Tea of the morning…….
And a crazy morning it was! The school bus was early (the kids missed it), and as I opened the garage door to take the kids to school, the opener went kur-put which meant the car was stuck inside. Everything was resolved, eventually, and this tea along with a breakfast of wheat toast with soft boiled eggs restored my sanity. I am definitely buying some! Thank you to ashmanra for sending me a taste! It is more than a decent cup of tea in my book!
Tea of the afternoon…..
I was at the eye doctor today with my son. They happened to have this as a wrapped bag along with hot water, so I thought I would give it a go. It was pretty good. I don’t think I steeped very long, and the water was out of one of those office type hot water dispensers. I am surprised to read it is 100% Assam. I seem to have it in my head that Assam is bitter and over the top, but this one certainly was not. I did probably steep for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, so as long as I do my Chinese blacks for sure. Hmmm. I may have to consider this one!
Tea of the afternoon…..
I think I am going to have to rewrite my views on green teas after this one. I will have to admit that words like grassy and vegetal were not at all appealing to me before today. I also think the experiences I had with green tea in the past might have been influenced by lower quality tea as well as poor preparation on my part. Now, I must admit that Teavivre is going to make a green tea drinker out of me. The tea is smooth, lightly vegetal, and I am even getting a hint of butter. There is nothing harsh or bitter about this tea. While it is a relatively new frontier for me, I will say that I know I like this one. The leaves are long and very green. Brewed up, they look like they could have just been plucked from the bush. I am going to see how it resteeps, but this is definitely going on my shopping list. Imagine that. Me, a drinker of green tea!
Thank you to Teavivre for the sample! But mostly, thank you for showing me how wonderful green tea can be.
15 oz infuser mug with 180 water for 2 minutes and about 2 tsp tea. No additions.
Tea of the afternoon…..
We are preparing for a Girl Scout night…..we are watching both of the Harry Potter 7 movies tonight and then going out for a late night breakfast. Lots of cleaning to do since I am hosting. So, I chose this one in the loose version to see if it was as good as the sachet they sent as a sample, as it has the ability to really perk me up. I am not disappointed. The bergamot notes are so bright in this. It almost leans citrusy orange than citrusy, well musty, like some Earl Greys. I love this! It has a Keemun base. I compared this by sight to my Earl Grey from thepuriTea, and they look very similar. I will have to try them in succession some time….or if I wait long enough (I am planning to get another white ForLife mug the next time I am in Baltimore), I can do a side by side. I have a full pot today, so it is unlikely that I will drink more Earl than that!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…..
I am trying to get an idea of where this one sits in the line up of Keemun. It does have fewer yellowy tips than the Hao Ya A I have on hand, but it is very similar to my Hao Ya B in appearance. The golden tips are there, just not as prevalent in comparison to the Hao Ya A, and definitely more prevalent than the lower grades. I know that there is a specific grading system for Keemun tea, and in my short online research for a listing of the levels, I can’t really find a good guide in English. I might have to dig further. In comparison to my lower grades of Keemun, the leaves on this are narrower, but about the same length. I am throwing out a guess here, but the fineness might have to do with the part of the plant it comes from. Tips and first leaves are often smaller than leaves further down the stem in my limited gardening/botany experiences. So perhaps the higher grade Keemuns come from leaves closer to the apex of the branch? I did do a bit of reading on Teavivre’s website, and it also has to do with the part of the season they are harvested. My extrapolation of that….the earlier harvest would be the bud and first leaves of the season, the later harvest would still be the buds and first leaves, but produced a little further down on the plant? (I am going based upon my experience with roses and dahlias here…..the apex flower is always the best. Once it is picked, it will produce more flowers, but they are not as big or vibrant as that apex flower of the season.) One of these days, I am going to find that information!
As far as taste….I was thinking it would be easier to detect a difference in taste between this one and the Grade 2, since I am not a tea master. I do think this one is smoother and less earthy (although the Grade 2 is only lightly earthy in taste). Definitely a little less astringent at the end, even though neither is really all that astringent at the end when I brew them properly. The chocolate note in this is more of a darker chocolate.
A very good cuppa the morning!
Usual mug method, a little light on the tea, and a 3 minute steep.
Tea of the evening…..
And tea #6 out of my 2012 Lucky Bag……. This is nice and fruity. I seem to really like Lupicia’s fruit flavored teas. This one has tropical fruit notes on a light green rooibos base. I definitely like green rooibos better than red, and I think this will make a lovely iced tea in the summer. Oh, the summer….how far away you seem today! Probably not a tea I would have ordered, and I am not likely to reorder, but I will enjoy it.
Usual mug method with an 8 minute steep.
Tea of the afternoon….
I did finally purchase some of this for my cupboard. I am always trying to drink more green teas, and this one is just so interesting. I think I am getting a little more spearmint flavor this time. It is very mellow, slightly vegetal with an overtone of spearmint this go….. The leaves are not yet all the way opened up. I can’t wait to see what the second infusion does.
15 oz mug, 2 tsp tea, about 180 water, 3 minutes. No additions.