59 Tasting Notes

Yes- I’ve been steeping this up again from yesterday (all morning and afternoon). Such a treat!

Yogini Undefined

wow, how many steepings have you been able to get out of it?

Bonnie

You can’t beat really great tea for how much heart it has. Keeps on giving!

Spoonvonstup

Good question! Hard to say, because I’m not steeping it as I normally would in a gaiwan or even a large pot. Instead, I’ve thrown leaves into the bottom of a mug, and then added water.. I haven’t taken the leaves out. The leaves keep steeping, I drink it down, then I add more hot water.

Yesterday, I think I did about five or six cups? Then I drained my leaves before I left, and wrote a pleading note for no one to touch the cup overnight. I started steeping again this morning around 10, and now it’s 5pm.. so another six or seven cups?

Put another way, the leaves have been steeping for about 10 hours, with an overnight break. Still warm and sweet and delicious with amazing mouth-feel. The aftertaste is reminding me at the moment of Rice Krispie treats and marshmallows (also reminiscent of the last few steepings of a more roasty DanCong).

I will definitely be sad to leave this cup at the end of the day. I know from experience that I can leave these buds out to dry, and when they’re done, they will look as gorgeous as they did when they came out of the bag.

Bonnie

Where I live it’s so dry I can put the wet leaves on a paper towel and they dry in 20 minutes so bacteria doesn’t form. Then I can resteep the next day. When I’ve pretty much exhausted myself or the leaves I throw them in ice water and cold brew which always produces a good tasting tea. There is no way I waste great tea! I’m with you on that!

Jim Marks

This is one reason I’ve moved to largely gaiwan steeping. I can wring out all the life in a set of leaves during a single set of waking hours.

Tea leaves take three or four days, at a minimum, to dry out here.

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drank Tieguanyin by Unknown
59 tasting notes

Steeped this one again for the first tea of the morning. Re-steeped pretty well, all things considered. Sweet, mildly vegetal with some powdered-sugar-spring taste. Aftertaste a bit metallic and lemony, but still a very pleasant thing to wake up to.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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continuing the challenge: Backlog

Had a big pot of this last night. Yum! I am so glad to have Laoshan green available to me anytime I want. When I moved back to the States, I thought I’d never get to have any again, and kept a vaccuum-sealed stash in my freezer.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Yummmmm.. indulgent and amazing. A late afternoon-evening treat. I am definitely going to keep steeping this tomorrow.
Lots and lots of baked goods in this cup today: pumpkin pie (creamy, silky, so delicious) and baked apple pies (yum!). Can you believe the mouthfeel on this? And how stunning the buds are? Mmm.. also a field of clovers.
I’m a very lucky duck that a little sample of this found it’s way into my “Drink at work!” baggy.

Spoonvonstup

Music and Tea pairing: “New Amsterdam” by Moondog (Sax Pax for a Sax)

for she’s been lovely to me
and I’m the better
for having met her

Relmaster

Spoonvonstup Really cool song..I downloaded it ;) Reminds me alot of “Milosh” (You Make Me feel) and “Thom Yorke” (The Eraser album is awesome) (Radiohead lead singer)..Highly recommended!! ;)

Spoonvonstup

Relmaster Thanks for the recommendations! I was listening to Milosh today, and will keep my ear out for The Eraser album.

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:-/

Made this the old stick-in-a-glass-and-keep-drinking-off-of-it method as a personal dare. It was… uh… yep.

EDIT a real tasting note, thanks to Bonnie!
Normally, I wouldn’t have written anything about this, since I tend do go for the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” approach (if not nice, at least helpful to someone else). But since I’m currently challenging myself to log every tea I drink in a day, no matter what, I couldn’t leave this one out!

Here’s the story:

I still have a few good friends in Qingdao who sometimes send over tea and fun stuff (and we send over chocolates and other fun US stuff). One of my friends is quite a funny gal who isn’t actually a fan a pu’er, but she knows that I am! So in part of a care package that included great TGY and green tea, there was this tea tucked away in a triple sealed bag. How could I resist! It was like a giant “:-P” face..daring me to try it. So we did- it was very funny in how little sense it made. A super duper dark base (not the greatest shu, not revolting but definitely murky..sour…ashy..drying) plus, for no particular reason, jasmine? Honestly, it was much better in a giant mug than it was when I first tried it in a gaiwan. Strangely juicy, with not a trace of jasmine or florals.. why were they stuck into it in the first place? In the mug, they are swallowed up by mud. In a gaiwan, they stick out like a sore thumb from the base.. but so unrelated, it’s more like a disembodied floating sore thumb.

Poor little tuocha- I know the plant that grew its leaves worked hard all season gathering the nutrients to turn into sugars and cell walls and everything needed to make it’s little tea leaves. So full of promise and good things! And someone picked those leaves and pile-fermented them and then said to themselves.. you know what? I’m going to take these jasmine flowers over here, and for no reason at all, I’m going to stick ’em onto this pile ’o leaves and make inexplicable tuochas! My friend also thought is was funny in how inappropriate it was.. but it can only be share through experience.

So here the tuocha’s are.. sitting in a baggie on my desk in all ways like a bad joke. I don’t want to laugh at you but.. there’s something in your complete lack-of-sense that also makes you endearing.. like some sort of terrible internet preposterous joke. I imagine unwrapping you and sticking googly eyes on you: that’s who you are.
http://i.imgur.com/4qiQy.jpg

It’s been quite a while since I tried this tea last, and when I came upon it in the giant TO-DRINK-AT-WORK bag, I giggled and said to myself.. Ok- I dare you! Do it! And I did. And survived with some fun! :-P
http://i.imgur.com/7RGy7.jpg

Bonnie

Uh Yep…Uh No, I want more than that! If I pour out my guts here Spoon! I want to know what happened with this little TUOCHA!

Relmaster

I was wondering about this Pu-er? What is it like, compared to “Jasmine dragon pearls” ? Overly floral?? What company is it from? I Love jasmine teas ;)

Spoonvonstup

Haha! :D You’re right- Anything for you, Bonnie.

Normally, I wouldn’t have written anything about this, since I tend do go for the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” approach (if not nice, at least helpful to someone else). But since I’m currently challenging myself to log every tea I drink in a day, no matter what, I couldn’t leave this one out!

Here’s the story:

I still have a few good friends in Qingdao who sometimes send over tea and fun stuff (and we send over chocolates and other fun US stuff). One of my friends is quite a funny gal who isn’t actually a fan a pu’er, but she knows that I am! So in part of a care package that included great TGY and green tea, there was this tea tucked away in a triple sealed bag. How could I resist! It was like a giant “:-P” face..daring me to try it. So we did- it was very funny in how little sense it made. A super duper dark base (not the greatest shu, not revolting but definitely murky..sour…ashy..drying) plus, for no particular reason, jasmine? Honestly, it was much better in a giant mug than it was when I first tried it in a gaiwan. Strangely juicy, with not a trace of jasmine or florals.. why were they stuck into it in the first place? In the mug, they are swallowed up by mud. In a gaiwan, they stick out like a sore thumb from the base.. but so unrelated, it’s more like a disembodied floating sore thumb.

Poor little tuocha- I know the plant that grew its leaves worked hard all season gathering the nutrients to turn into sugars and cell walls and everything needed to make it’s little tea leaves. So full of promise and good things! And someone picked those leaves and pile-fermented them and then said to themselves.. you know what? I’m going to take these jasmine flowers over here, and for no reason at all, I’m going to stick ’em onto this pile ’o leaves and make inexplicable tuochas! My friend also thought is was funny in how inappropriate it was.. but it can only be share through experience.

So here the tuocha’s are.. sitting in a baggie on my desk in all ways like a bad joke. I don’t want to laugh at you but.. there’s something in your complete lack-of-sense that also makes you endearing.. like some sort of terrible internet preposterous joke. I imagine unwrapping you and sticking googly eyes on you: that’s who you are.
http://i.imgur.com/4qiQy.jpg

It’s been quite a while since I tried this tea last, and when I came upon it in the giant TO-DRINK-AT-WORK bag, I giggled and said to myself.. Ok- I dare you! Do it! And I did. And survived with some fun! :-P
http://i.imgur.com/7RGy7.jpg

Spoonvonstup

@Relmaster- no, not even floral at all. That’s the funny thing about this tea! Nothing like jasmine tea at all. More like.. “hmm, I have this pu’er.. now what do I do with it? I know! Market it as jasmine pu’er and stick some jasmine in, too. GENIUS

I’m not sure where you’d find it, since my friend sent it to me from China. I also wouldn’t particularly recommend it, except for April Fools? All I can make out on the wrapper is “Moli bing Yunnan pu’er cha” (jasmine bing..yunnan pu’er tea).
http://i.imgur.com/XSSPc.jpg
from 2006 looks like

Spoonvonstup

@Relmaster cont.: “all I can make out”.. because my reading Chinese is so terrible!! I’m like a little 3yr-old.. looking at signs and getting all excited. “Look: it says ‘Mountain!’ That one has a ‘Person’ in it and that one has the number 3!”

Bonnie

This is one of the most entertaining reviews I’ve read this year! Sure there are those beautiful reviews that are poetry that make me hold my breath and fall in love. This one makes me chuckle and smile the whole time! Thank you for reaching inside and pulling out this gem!

Spoonvonstup

Thanks for asking for it, Bonnie! I think I will have to do googley-eyed personaliTEA portraits more often.

Bonnie

You should cut and paste the comment in the review though so everyone can see it easily

Spoonvonstup

Quite right. Thanks, Bonnie! :)

Bonnie

wow…love that!

Scharp

I believe this is the tea you drank:
http://www.yunshow.com/htmlys/yiyoupuer/2012/0515/goods_book_178996.html

I still can’t find the brand name or company. But I found the tea!
云南普洱茶 is written on the right side, and 茉莉 is part of the middle.

Spoonvonstup

Wow! That looks like the one. How did you ever find that? (and were you looking for it in particular?)

Scharp

I looked at a Simplified Chinese online database, and matched up those characters. The others, I could not find. So I searched those few characters in, and Voilà: I came across that page. But I wouldn’t mind tasting it for myself if I had this tea.

Spoonvonstup

@Scharp- would you like mine? I thought I had given all of mine away to a co-worker weeks ago, but I just found the baggie the other day.

Scharp

That would be very kind of you :) Thanks!!

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drank Tieguanyin by Unknown
59 tasting notes

“Backlogging” :-p

This was my first tea of the day: a pleasant, mellow spring Tieguanyin.

Prominent notes of sweet grass and melon. Made in a big pot: lots of leaves for about 2min.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Ah- that’s better. Found a little sample of this hiding away.

Note to self: get new Spring picking into the house!

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drank Anji Bai Cha by Unknown
59 tasting notes

Starting an experiment.. actually log the teas I drink in a day, caring not a whit about rating or even notes. Just logging.

An Anji Bai Cha (which is often classified as green?). I have little experience with this tea. The leaves are gorgeous floating in my cup. I’m having trouble figuring out what Anji Bai Cha offers that’s unique.. that’s craveable.. that sets it apart from all other green or green-white teas.

So far, it’s sweet. interesting mouth coating that puckers the back of my tongue- verging on unpleasant but not quite. A little.. chalky? In a way that reminds me of some matcha-dusted green teas (again, not sure if I enjoy it, but I certainly don’t not enjoy). Reminds me of a sweet dragonwell-style green that is over a year old and that I’ve been steeping all day. But gorgeous leaves, I must say.

Steeping this way is not astrigent at all (just floating in a glass), but there is a building dryness that I remember from gong-fu-ing this one. Since I’m brewing something up to combat morning dryness, I think I will move onto something else when I near the end of this cup.

Those of you with Anji Bai Cha experience.. what do you look for? What are you craving? What should I listen for?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more
chadao

I crave that freshly baked chicken aroma that only a Ming Qian Anji Bai Cha can give me. I currently have the 2011 crop in my cupboard from Seven Cups, and I’m saving up for some 2012. There is definitely a sweetness to it, from the high concentration of amino acids (again, only from a Ming Qian variety), but I cannot recall a dry finish to it. I’ll have to taste it again.

Spoonvonstup

Baked chicken, eh? I’ll have to look out for that! How far towards savory does that usually go for you? (in the butter —> smoked turkey spectrum)

As for the dryness.. it’s not really hard on the back of the throat but rather lingering at the back of the tongue (right underneath the point where the hard and soft palate meet). Nowhere near what I would expect from, say, a CTC Indian black, but definitely noticeable over time.

Thomas Smith

I like how light, sweet and refreshing Anji Baicha can be. Really nice to drink even on a hot day.

“Baicha” refers to the cultivar, which is an old style with inherently pale leaf color on the bush. Classically produced as compressed green tea followed by the light, nutty, open leaf loose green we have today.

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I feel very lucky to have received this gift of tea. So lucky, I have not wanted to write about this tea. What can I say about it that has not been said? To speak would imply judgement, and how can I pass judgement over a gift such as this? I am happy to drink and learn.

I can say nothing but Thank You.

It’s a pleasure to meet you, Golden Fleece. I am thoroughly enjoying our time together.

Bonnie

Awe, I think that what you said is just perfect!

CHAroma

I second that! :)

Charles Thomas Draper

I love your review!

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We did a cold press of this last night. 10 pinches in our gallon spigot/jar we got from Target.

Stirred it up and poured myself a glass just now. It tastes like chai.
Not kidding. Sweet sweet..with honey and cream and I don’t know what other magic. I had no idea.

yessssss…

Bonnie

Must try this!

Spoonvonstup

I’m so happy we decided to make this one. It’s so good! I think I’m on my sixth or seventh glass so far today….. At this rate, we’ll be through the gallon by the end of the day, ready to cold-brew the leaves again.

JC

I loved this tea. Mine was a sample but as soon I’m ready to order again it will be on my list!

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Bio

I generally drink Chinese teas.

I love things that are interesting, that force me to stop and think about and enjoy what I’m experiencing. Even better are those teas you just have to drink with a friend so that the outpouring of tastes and memories find a sounding board in a trusted companion.

I’m into tea as an experience rather than just a thirst quenching beverage. I love to learn- there’s so much to learn about tea.

I also prefer my teas to be exceedingly delicious, if at all possible. Luckily, I have great tea friends and teachers that can hook me up with the good stuff.

Something I’ve noticed about my ratings:
I tend to use Steepster more like Yelp and less like Twitter. I’ll generally only review a tea once in its life (though that review and rating might be edited over time to reflect changes in my own understanding of it).
I do not generally log each tea I’m drinking as I drink, since that feels like a distraction- I’d rather just drink the tea!
I tend to only review teas I really love or that I really did not enjoy. If it falls somewhere in the middle of “meh” and “that was pretty good, I suppose,” then I won’t be compelled to sit down and spend time giving a nice, fleshed out review and rating.
As such, it might seem like I give out high scores willy-nilly. Instead, I’m doing my first round of rating mentally off-site, and presenting only the teas I really want to share with everyone.

Location

Richfield, MN

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