702 Tasting Notes


You know, the weather the last couple days has been kinda great. Not too hot, just warm enough to wear loose ‘floaty pants’ (I honestly do not know what else to call the things, not yoga pants, not leggings, too loose…so floaty pants) or a ‘floaty skirt’ (see a theme?) and a short sleeve tunic or t-shirt, while also having my lap blanket to keep my perpetually cold feet warm. The humidity has been thick, meaning lots of storms, and of course that makes me immensely happy. Everything is so lush and green, I love late spring, and truly hope we have a mild summer.

So, it is Wednesday, meaning it is time to visit the ever expanding tea collection from What-Cha! Today I am taking a look at Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Kanchan View White Tea, a delightfully fluffy and verdantly green White Tea from Darjeeling, I love trying the atypical teas coming out of Darjeeling, the Yellow Tea I tried a while ago became a favorite, so it makes sense I would want to try the White Tea, even if it is from last year’s harvest (don’t judge, it was on sale and I wanted a sample!) Kanchan View Tea Estate is gorgeous, high in the mountains with a view of the Kanchanjunga, it also has one of the oldest and largest tea factories in the world, which is pretty cool. The aroma of the leaves is nothing short of bright and brisk! Like someone mixed up grapefruit peel, orange blossoms, wildflower honey, and lilies with a green broken vegetation undertone. It is really quite aromatic, and honestly kinda reminds me of my favorite soaps…not that this smells at all soapy, I just have a very tea smelling soap!

Into the teapot it goes, and yes, that is a Yixing teapot, I figured it would be safe to use my first flush Darjeeling seasoned Kyusu style Yixing teapot (it is just touching on all the cultures, what a mish-mash) since it is still pretty young in its life. After brewing the leaves you can definitely tell this is a first flush Darjeeling, it takes the slightly peppery note of nasturtium and fresh scuppernongs that I associate with FF Darjeelings and mixes it with grapefruit peel and lemon verbena. It has a distinctly green note along with the citrus, much like lemon verbena. The liquid is very sweet, blending honey and wildflowers with scuppernongs and a distinctly bright note of grapefruit and lemon verbena.

First steeping time, the taste manages to be very clean and crisp while also being mellow and mild. It starts out with a mild lettuce and nasturtium note. This moves on to an intense sweetness of honey and scuppernongs with orange blossom and grapefruit. The finish is grapefruit and lemon verbena with a slight note of cucumber that lasts as the aftertaste. The mouthefeel is a bit dry, adding that edge of a crisp texture to a crisp taste.

Second steeping has a very intense grapefruit aroma, not just the fruit but the blossom too! You smell that flower once and it will never leave your memory, I know I can never forget it. The taste and mouthfeel are no longer crisp, instead the taste is honey sweet, like gentle orange blossom and wildflower honey with a finish of hay. Fun fact, if you forget about this tea and come back to it once it goes cold the citrus notes really pop, making for a super refreshing cup on a hot afternoon. I think I will come back and try this tea cold steeped once the really crazy heat of summer comes on.

This tea session is dedicated to Martha, I am sad I will not get to visit you and have tea together. You will be missed, sweet lady.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/what-cha-darjeeling-1st-flush-2014.html

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If you follow my Instagram, you might have noticed I have not been in the best condition, healthwise, yes, I did a dumb and pushed myself into a really awful flair up. Stupid Fibromyalgia, and stupid me for not listening to the signs my body was sending me! All is not lost though, I realized that I can take this time of physical recovery to exercise my brain and get back to work on my much neglected tea research. Currently researching the different tea producing regions of Africa!

Today we take another look at TanLong Premium Tea Collection, specifically their Primordial Purple Tea Buds! You are probably looking at this strange little buds in my picture and wondering what on earth they are, well in a nutshell, they the buds from a tea tree, some sources I have read say that this style tea (Ya Bao, Zi Ya Bao) is plucked in the very early spring, more or less late winter, as the trees are starting to produce their new growth. This particular tea comes from an ancient forest and harvested by one of the native ethnic groups of Yunnan (there are several and I am not sure which one or which part of Yunnan these are from) and since this is a purple tea, that means it is high in that much loved pigment, Anthocyanin! It seems I am slowly becoming a connoisseur of purple teas. One thing I do know about this tea (other than it is very pretty) is that it is sun dried making it similar to a white, but comes from the same trees that produce the much loved Puerh and have the capability to be aged…the ever present conundrum of what category to put them in. The aroma of the buds is quite unusual, it blends herbaceous notes of sage and a bit of thyme with sweet honey, rich loam, and a finish of smoke. There is also a mild hint of camphor, but that comes in almost as an afterthought, this very much so is like a smoked white tea, which is fascinating.

Into the gaiwan the buds go, and does anyone else think they look like baby pinecones? Giving the buds their needed steeping brings out a whole bunch of fun new notes! Most noticeable would be plums, slightly sour plums, with accompanying notes of hay, spinach, sage, pepper, camphor, and a finish of spice. Well that got pretty complex when soaked! The liquid has the plum aroma as well, though it is not as strong as the wet leaves, it also has notes of honey and hay, and a delicate finish of wood.

So, funny story, I started writing this blog fairly early-ish in the evening, and made the mistake of walking away from my computer for a bit. Ben snatched it up and by the time he was finished I was super sleepy and had a mushy brain, so I took a nap…a 3am blog, haven’t done that in a while! Anyway, with these funky bud teas I find giving them a longer steep really brings out the flavors, so it sat in my gaiwan for a good 2 minutes before pouring off. The taste is still pretty subtle, though far from mild, it is very much so a preview of tastes to come. It starts off sweet and slightly spicy, like honey and nutmeg, this moves on to smoke and plums at the midtaste. The finish is a lingering woodiness bordering on resinous. And speaking of resinous, the mouthfeel is just fun, it almost feels tacky, like I have had resin or sap mixed in with the warm water, that is an entirely new sensation for me with tea.

The aroma of the second steep is very richly plums, no sourness, very ripe and sweet, with an added bonus of hay and smoke, with a nice cleansing burst of camphor at the finish. Breathing in a camphorous note is like breathing in fresh alpine air. The taste is not too shabby (really, I wrote that in my notebook, I would take a picture to show you, but my handwriting is so atrocious I doubt you could read it!) the resinous mouthfeel is gone, replaced by a smooth and slightly fuzzy one. The taste starts off with rich very ripe and sweet plums, and then boom, right in the middle is an explosion of smoke and camphor! That signature Yunnan taste of camphor lingers into the finish where it mingles with woodiness.

This tea is also pretty fantastic steeped bowl style, lingering for a while, and getting quite sweet by the fourth refilling of the bowl. For extra fun, I like to occasionally take one of soggy buds out and chew on them (I do this with the not purple variety as well) it is very woody, but also very enjoyable, one of those ‘absorbing the feeling of the land and trees’ moments, plus it tastes good. And now, with that done, I am going back to sleep.

You know the drill, blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/tanlong-premium-tea-collection.html

Liquid Proust

I’ve been comparing purple buds before I buy one… this one looks fantastic when brewed though!


I really hope you get better :) I know for me turning to tea always helps :) btw these sound fantastic and a lot like Yabao

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Thank you!

I really do agree, this is a unique Yabao, and hey it is purple so extra awesone ;)

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It is a sad day today, last day of the Dropzone Commander Tournament, and yours truly will not be in it because I lost. Ben (who is the Best General, he got an award for it and everything) is still in, and I would not be at all surprised if he wins, even though I was so hoping to go against him in the finals. Honestly it was not even because I wanted to win the tournament, I just really want a rematch against Ben and his stupid Shaltari! So tonight I will bring my tea and equipment and make people tea if they want it, and maybe pick up a game with one of the other people, and if that does not pan out I can always paint my golden Prowlers to go with my crazy looking golden Annihilator!

Let it be known, when I opened my box of samples from Teasenz and saw they had included their Red Robe Da Hong Pao I did a little squee of joy. I had run out of the good stuff and only had some really low grade (really I think I paid $2 for it at my local International Market, and it is…interesting) and Teasenz has never disappointed me with their teas, so I had high hopes for this one. You all know me, I have a serious weakness for Wuyi Yancha (Rock Oolongs) their rich mineral and char notes ground me, I am not sure if it lines up with Traditional Chinese Medicine, but they seem to have a strong Earth and Wood Cha Qi (why yes, I have been brushing up on my studies lately) to me. Metaphysics aside, this tea smells really good, in fact I will go out on a limb and say this is the sweetest Da Hong Pao I have ever sniffed! There are strong notes of rich cocoa, hovering between dark and milk chocolate, toss in the notes of baking biscuits, moderate notes of slightly fruity pipe tobacco and autumn leaves, and finish off with a blend of char and myrrh. This finish reminds me of the charcoal incense burner and resins I used to use a lifetime ago (ok, it was only 15 years ago, so half of a lifetime!)

Into my Yancha pot the substantial amount of leaves go, I think it was the incredibly valuable resource of TeaDB where I learned the fine art of brewing Yancha traditionally. Lots of leaves, almost boiling water, and super short steeps! I can safely say that brewing Yancha that way was an eye opener, so much so that it was the second tea I dedicated a Yixing pot to. The aroma of the wet leaves is super strong in the cocoa department, leaning toward cocoa butter with its creamy sweetness. There are also floral notes of spicebush (or, I was just recently reminded, the flower Dianthus, they smell almost identical) and orchid. At the finish there is a hint of char and mineral, like wet stone. The liquid is very creamy sweet with notes of honey and cocoa, there is a gentle lingering floral, along with a nice kick of char and mineral at the finish giving the tea a bit of depth.

Yep, this is the sweetest Da Hong Pao I have ever had, there is a dance of honey, milk chocolate, cocoa butter creaminess, and flowers on my tongue at the beginning. That lasts until the midtaste, at the end of the midtaste, but before the finish, a very distinct orchid note for lack of better word blooms in my mouth before moving right along to a robust finish of char and wet rock. The aftertaste is a blend of loam and myrrh, this first steep was a powerhouse of sweetness and those familiar rock notes.

The adventure continues with the second steep, the aroma is still really sweet, though the cocoa and honey notes have a stronger accompaniment of spicebush, char, and wet slate (if you were curious which specific wet rock it is) along with a gentle finish of tobacco and myrrh. This steep is quite intense, though not as sweet as the first. Starting off with strong notes of mineral and char, then moving into a fruity tobacco. After that there is a pleasant explosion of spicebush and honey, the spicebush notes lingering into the aftertaste to be joined by notes of cocoa at the finish.

For the final steep, the aroma is a bit mellowed out, notes of char and mineral with a sweet gentle floral note and a honey finish. This steep really lets the rock part of the name Rock Oolong shine, with notes of wet slate and even a bit of fresh spring water mixing in with rich char and a finish of cocoa. Not a very complex final steep, but a very mineral heavy one, which I enjoy.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/teasenz-red-robe-da-hong-pao-tea-review.html

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Many of my fellow tea bloggers have been covering teas from Nepal this past week as a way to bring attention to the recent tragedy that struck the region on April 25th. The rising death toll, the complications with bringing in aide, and the many aftershocks which are making people terrified to sleep in their houses is, for lack of a better way to put it, staggering. I learned about it when I checked my phone that morning and saw that my friends in that region were checking in safe, half asleep I had no idea what was going on, and when I found out my heart broke, I knew it was going to get a lot worse before it was going to get better. The one positive thing about any disaster is the rallying together of people to lend aide to those suffering, and this is no exception, one of those restoring faith in humanity things

So, it is with a heavy heart that I review today’s tea. First a bit of info about Jun Chiyabari First Flush from Curious Tea, grown on the Jun Chiyabari Tea Estate at an altitude of 1,800 meters, this tea is classified as a SFTGFOP1 (or Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe top grade, quite the mouthful.) This tea is similar to its cousin Darjeeling grown right across the border, though like all the other teas from Nepal I have tried, it has its own distinct quality that makes it different, my theory is the proximity to the Himalayas which makes them special. I will not lie, if you took this tea and a first flush Darjeeling and put them next to each other, on looks alone I doubt I could tell the difference, until I sniff it. The aroma is both sweet and green, like fresh golden grapes and honey, with a note of orange blossom, and a distinct lettuce and celery note. At the finish there is a gentle note of sage and a hint of spring rain.

Into my fancy steeping apparatus the leaves go, ok maybe I can tell a difference (I totally did do a side by side comparison) and these leaves are smaller than the first flush Darjeeling of the same grade that I have. The aroma of the now steeped and soggy leaves is quite fragrant, with distinct floral notes of orange blossom and a bit of a pansy note. Alongside these floral notes are notes of celery, celery seeds, and a finish of grapes. The liquid, freed from its leafy creator, is very sweet, with strong notes of honey, orange blossom, clover flower, and an almost heady note of scuppernongs at the finish.

Tasting time! Finally decided to break out the new (to me) vintage German cup I found at the thrift store a week ago. The taste is a bit brisk while also being pleasantly mild, not a kick you in the face briskness that you can get with black teas, it is a gentle briskness not unlike biting into a crisp vegetable. The first note that pops up is orange blossom, this moves into golden raisins and honey, lastly into a unique blend of celery and thyme. That herbaceous note at the finish is quite enjoyable, it lingers into the aftertaste, which I rather like, it is not everyday you run into thyme as a note in tea.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/curious-tea-jun-chiyabari-first-flush.html

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So, now that the adventure of the traveling tea has come to a close, it is on to one of the teas in the box: Sencha Fukujyu, hmm, maybe that is why the box went to Japan, it wanted to return to its roots! A bit about Sencha Fukijyu, it has one of the best names ever, it translates to Green Spider Legs, which makes me happy because I adore spiders! Why it is called that, I have no idea, it might not actually be a translation, information on this tea seems to be a bit sparse, but I do have some tasty facts. This tea comes from Shizouka Prefecture and is one of the later harvests, but it has some similarities to Gyokuro since it gets covered in the last part of its growing. The aroma of this Sencha is quite delightfully toasty, with notes of sesame and toasted nori and a distinct note of pine needles. Along with those notes are faint notes of spinach, a touch of broken grass, and a very unique note of mint, but without the menthol aspect, really it smells like broken mint leaves with all the cooling, sharp, menthol notes. It is very peculiar and quite fun!

Into my new and annoyingly chipped Kyusu the leaves go, ah beautiful Kyusu, you would be so perfect if not for that chip you took in the mail due to terrible packaging. Sigh. Anyway, the aroma of the now very soggy leaves (that do not resemble spider legs at all, but do look a lot like chopped up grass) is still very wonderfully toasty, I am such a sucker for toasty teas, add a bit of honey and sesame seeds with a pinch of fresh green pine needs and what you get is a very pleasant pile of leaves. The liquid is mild and sweet with notes of sweet toasted sesame seeds, pine needles, and a pleasant finish of bamboo shoots.

This Sencha is full of surprises! It starts mild and very sweet with notes of honey and sesame, much like those delicious sesame honey candies I rave on about. This immediately moves on toasted nori and those pine needles again. The finish is a blend of sunwarmed hay with an afteraste of grass. I say this Sencha is surprising, I have had toasty tasting Sencha before, but never one with pine needle notes before, it gives it a very clean taste which I am very fond of.

So much so that I went in for another steeping! The aroma of this steep is much nuttier, with a tiny bit of cashews with notes of toasted sesame seeds and a bit of crushed grass. The taste is also a bit grassier this time around, still strong notes of toasted nori and sesame seeds, but now there is the taste of crushed vegetation and broken blades of grass, it has taken on a very green taste. Overall, this would be a great everyday Sencha, and conveniently I have enough to have some everyday…for at least a few days anyway!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/curious-tea-boxes-sencha-fukujyu-tea.html

Liquid Proust

Interesting… darker sencha with a lighter liquid.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

It was certainly a fascinating Sencha

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This tea rambling is going to start out with an adventure, specifically the adventure the box from Curious Tea went on! A while ago on Steepster, Curious Tea offered a box for review purposes, and I offered my writing and sipping services. The first box vanished into the aether, and as soon as the proprietor and I realized this tragedy, another box was sent, this time it came from its home and London and ended up in customs in Chicago, and here is where the fun begins! According to my app that tracks packages, it went from Chicago to Japan, and then to Korea, and then to New Jersey, and finally it showed up at my door. I was so happy when it did! The tea portions are massive (a whopping 50g of each) with clear instructions and lovely packaging, all things I am very pleased about in a tea subscription box. I do want to say that the customer service was awesome, my box decided to go on an adventure, but Curious Tea was quite supportive and awesome, even sending me a new one, how cool is that? So yeah, combine that with some epic teas and you have yourself a quality subscription service! I want to be a permanent subscriber…just need more money!

Snecha Fukujyu Review and box pictures: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/curious-tea-boxes-sencha-fukujyu-tea.html

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Happy May Day! Or Beltaine if that is your Holiday of choice, regardless, ‘tis the first of May and the weather is wonderful. Though I celebrated a day early and did not go out frolicking in the morning dew like I should have today. I did my nature-ing yesterday, over-did it a bit, so today I just lounged in my comfy clothes tasting teas and reading fellow tea-blogger’s posts. Alas, I have only scratched the surface, having lagged behind on my reading.

Today is the final day of my little Teavivre Spring 2015 Green Tea feature, and I am wrapping it up with the delightfully fuzzy and curly Bi Luo Chun (Pi Lo Chun) Green Tea. This Green Snail Spring was harvested on April 8th, 2015 on Dong Ting Mountain in Jiangsu Province. The plantation this tea is grown on is peppered with fruit trees, in theory imparting the tea with a fruity aroma and taste, and maybe the fruit tastes more like tea? The aroma of the curly leaves is indeed a bit fruity, with notes of lychee, but there are also notes of water chestnuts, sesame seeds, tomato leaves, and a finish of gentle lettuce notes. Subtle sweetness with hints of vegetal and nuttiness, a mild aroma overall.

Brewing the tiny leaves, really they are quite delicate and fluffy, I am afraid a strong breeze will carry them away! The aroma of the soggy (and less fluffy) leaves is a blend of tomatoes, lima beans, okra, and with an undertone of sesame seeds and lychee. The liquid is very faint, not a ton of aroma notes wafting up with the steam, just gentle notes of lychee and honey, and a tiny touch of sesame.

First steeping! My favorite part of drinking fuzzy teas is of course the trichomes, I love those ticklish fuzzies on my tongue, such a delightfully fun feeling. Some people insist on always straining out the fuzz, but I never will. The taste is super mild, but with very strong notes, specifically notes of lychee and sesame at the first, moving on to okra and snap peas, and a gentle finish of sesame seeds at the finish that lingers on for a bit.

For the second steep the aroma is still pretty mild, with notes of snap peas and lychees with a gentle not of sesame again. The taste starts off with sweet peas and lychees and then pretty quickly switches to the savory with notes of tomato and green beans. Lastly the tea finishes off with a lingering note of okra and snap peas. I steeped for a third time, but it was much diminished, which was tragic, just finishing notes of okra and snap peas. Bi Luo Chun is a very mild tea, one that is perfect for drinking on a warm day, which is a thing with all of the spring greens I covered this week, they are iconic for this time of year not just because it is when they are harvested but because they match the season so well!

For blog and photo: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/teavivre-bi-luo-chun-green-tea-pi-lo.html


Love this tea!

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Today did not go nearly as expected, the car work (that is costing a small fortune, so there goes any fun money for who knows how long) that was supposed to be finished this morning won’t be done until tomorrow. Since my plans did not come to fruition I decided to go visit the Kauffman Gardens, they were beautiful, but oh man I am so tired now!

The journey through Green Tea week continues with Teavivre’s Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea, one of my favorite green teas, see, I said I would say that a lot this week. These slightly fuzzy green needles were harvested April 13, 2015 in the beautiful Xinyang County in Henan Province. The leaves remind me of tiny pine needles, and apparently this tea is frequently drunk in China during the summer for its robust and refreshing qualities. The aroma is delightfully savory, mixing notes of sundried tomato. tomato leaves, spinach, and a bit of sauteed mushrooms. At the finish there was a tiny hint of cut grass and a surprising note of dulse.

Into the gaiwan the little needles go for their steeping, and the aroma stays quite savory, with notes of savory sauteed spinach, lima beans, vegetable broth, and a little like sauteed mushrooms. The liquid has notes of edamame, mushrooms, and a slight sweet pea note at the finish. The aroma is very mild, but the trichomes floating along the surface of the water amuses me and makes up for the lack of aroma.

The first steep keeps up the savory notes, blending sauteed mushrooms, some mild bok choy, a bit of edamame nuttiness, and a tiny bit of potatoes and dulse at the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and the taste is mild at the first, but delightfully savory.

Second steep smells so much like sauteed veggies and vegetable broth, with a hint of toasted sesame at the finish giving it a touch of sweetness. The taste is still savory! There are notes of stir fried vegetable with a bit of sesame seeds there are stronger notes of zucchini and bok choy, and lesser notes of asparagus and bell pepper. At the finish there is a bit of potato and dulse, an interesting finish giving it a bit of a starchy finish, and lingering savoriness.

The third steep changes things up a bit by being more sweet than savory, with notes of sweet pea, sesame seeds, and a gentle grass like aftertaste. The taste is also more sweet than savory this time around, with notes of sweet pea and toasted sesame, it does fade to savory with notes of sauteed mushrooms and dulse at the finish. This tea had some notes I do not run into very often, which I found greatly amusing, and I certainly agree that it is refreshing, especially now that the days are getting warmer!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/04/teavivre-xin-yang-mao-jian-green-tea.html

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Guys, I finally think I need to break down and buy a scale. See, I have a project coming up that will require very exact tea measurements, and I do not think my vintage kitchen scale will cut it. I am a very ‘free flow’ in my tea preparation with eyeballing tea amounts and water amounts, count time out in my head (unless it is more than a minute) the only thing I am strict to is water temperature. So, this is going to be different for me, though not unpleasant, though it will interrupt the flow of my tea ritual, but not in a huge way. Maybe my vintage scale will work, clearly I will need to calibrate it and find out!

Today on the Green Tea Week from Teavivre, we take a look at one of my favorite spring greens (I am going to keep saying that everyday I think) Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea! Good old Yellow Mountain Fur Peak, as it translates of course referencing where it is grown and the appearance of the leaves, this particular harvesting was…harvested…on April 6th, putting it the day after Qing Ming. The aroma of these very pretty leaves is very fresh, very fresh and green indeed, and nutty. So, it starts out with a blend of chestnuts, water chestnuts, and edamame. After that the aroma fades to sweet peas, fresh spinach, and a tiny bit of smoke, like just a very very tiny whiff of smoke.

I decided to bowl steep this tea, it is one of those green teas that take to bowl steeping really well, it like never gets bitter! The aroma of the leaves floating around happily in the water is a nutty blend of sweet peas, edamame, and chestnuts. Subtle with a gentle edge of sweetness. The taste is pretty fantastic, it starts with a nectar sweetness of distant spring flowers (do I detect a hint of tulip?) and moves right along into green with notes of sweet pea, edamame, lima bean, and lettuce. Finishing up with a smooth chestnut and sesame and a lingering honey aftertaste. My bowl was refilled a few times before the flavor faded away to delicate sweetness and no more, not the most lasting of teas, but certainly very delicious.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/04/teavivre-huang-shan-mao-feng-green-tea.html

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I just finished an epic baking frenzy! I made a Matcha and Chocolate Marble Bundt Cake which is delicious, a chocolate cake mixed with orange blossom water and masala chai spice drizzled with a glaze of saffron, raw honey, and orange blossom water. That one is my invention, turned out really yummy, this is my first time going entirely experimental with baking using gluten free flour, so I am glad it was not a disaster. My potato flour and garlic biscuits, however, they are kinda gross…more proof that I should stick to baking sweets, since my savories almost never turn out! So I am worn out and of course have more cleaning, but I am so waiting to just toss everything that is left into the dishwasher, I am a lazy baker.

And so the journey through China’s spring greens continue, with Teavivre’s Premium Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea! They sell several grades of Long Jing, from their super fancy She Qian at the highest and most expensive (also earliest harvested if I am correct) to this one, the second least expensive of the Dragon Wells. Harvested on April 15, 2015, this tea is delightfully fresh, putting it between Qing Ming and Gu Yu (which was on April 20th this year, according to my handy calender, seriously it is the best app ever because it has all the Taoist holidays, Solar Terms, and things of that nature) two of the big spring harvest periods. The aroma of the little green swords (oh hey, a lucky ball of fuzz! You get those during the processing, I call them good luck because who doesn’t like balls of trichomes?) is sweet, green, and nutty, just the way a good Dragon Well is supposed to smell! There are notes of sharp artichoke, fresh vegetation, sweet peony, toasted sesame seeds, a bit of green beans, and a hint of orchids. This one is surprisingly floral, but it is more like the nectar of the flower rather than a heady scent, it balances well with the green notes.

Into my green tea Yixing teapot it goes! I started having this teapot for all robust, vegetal Chinese greens, but really I use it most for my much loved Long Jing. Brewing the leaves results in a soggy tea that is not longer floral, but is all vegetal. There are notes of artichoke, bell pepper, chestnut, a bit of bamboo leaves, and a tiny bit of chestnut at the finish. The liquid is sweet with notes of artichoke, wildflower honey, spicebush, and a hint of peony. It smells mellow but not delicate.

The first steeping lets me know it is a good, clean, Dragon Well, it does now bowl me over, but it certainly is tasty! It has a rich, full body with a smooth mouthfeel, the taste starts off with bell pepper and green bean, this moves to a tiny bit of artichoke and bamboo leaves, the finish is sweet chestnuts and peony nectar.

The second steeping’s aroma is crispy, yes that is how to describe a smell! There are notes of nutty chestnut and crisp broken bamboo leaves and bell pepper. The taste is rich, delightfully rich and green, with notes of bell pepper, green beans, with a nice slightly bitter cooked kale and a nice smooth chestnut midtaste. The finish, like the previous one, is a nice peony nectar which lingers.

Third steep, woo! The aroma is less vegetal this time around, it is sweet and nutty with a delicate peony flower and bamboo leaf finish. The taste is quite sweet this time around, like chestnuts and those delightful honey and sesame candies (not Halva, like I frequently rave about, but candies that are just honey and sesame…rather addictive) there is a light bamboo leaf and bamboo shoot taste with a gentle finish of green beans and peony nectar. This tea is one of those Dragon Wells that make for an excellent everyday tea without breaking the bank, which is always pleasant because Dragon Well can get really expensive!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/04/teavivre-premium-dragon-well-long-jing.html

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I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a large chunk of my life painting miniatures and contemplating my various army layouts. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading and researching category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. I love nature and worked as a Naturalist in the Northwoods one summer, it might have been the best job ever.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it so fair warning! I do tend to not vanish very long though. Also I have some ‘social disorders’ which basically translates to I am really awkward and bad at socializing, so forgive any lack of social graces.

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, have teal hair, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony black teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P


Kansas City, MO



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