This is one of the Reserve TOMC teas from April. I drank from these leaves a few weeks ago, along with the other teas in this collection, but didn’t really get around to writing anything.
I enjoy this variety of tea, & have several in my collection from various sources, from the smokey brown sugar variety to TeaVivre’s highly fragrant version that smells like roses to me.
To me, Keemun teas have a nice rich middle flavor, but not so much of a bass or top note, which is probably why they get blended with other teas, such as Assam (very bassy). Anyway, I enjoy them.
So…I’ve been trying to decide what makes this one so special that it deserves a place in the ‘reserve’ club. It is very nice, but I’m still not sure. I’m lousy at comparing teas, just like I’m not an expert in visual arts, but if I see a painting that I love, I know I love it. If I taste a tea I love, same thing.
This tea appears as small black strands with red tinges.
The dry aroma is rich, earthy, sweet, with a hint of chocolate
The moist smell (heated in hot empty Gaiwan) = brown sugar & light smoke
Wet it smells of all those things, plus caramel apples & cream.
My formula: 4G + 4oz (quick rinse) X 3 sec

I wish I could say that I’ve been taking notes on every steeping, but I didn’t. I also didn’t write those things down last time. I don’t always know how to describe things, but I can say it tastes like Keemun! The smokiness is very refined, not an in your face kind of smoke. It’s a nice, earthy, caramelized brown sugar & apple. There’s also a light floral quality, & a sweet incense quality. And there’s chocolate. Of course, these are all subtle, & I have just enough of this to try it one more time. I plan on making the last cup in an regular cup with a longer steep time. Basically, I’ll brew it the way I brew my other Keemuns, to see how it comes out!

Rie

“To me, Keemun teas have a nice rich middle flavor, but not so much of a bass or top note, which is probably why they get blended with other teas, such as Assam (very bassy).”

Wow, this was such a clear and intriguing description, with the musical comparisons!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! That’s how I tend to experience things, LOL, in reference to music. The funny thing is I often tend to experience music in reference to aromas, along with other perceptions. I tried to explain these perceptions once to my piano teacher when I was young, assuming she saw the same geometrics I saw while working on Bach, & she just looked at me like I was insane & told me those things Didn’t exist. Much later in life I found out about synesthesia, & that I’m not the only crazy person in the world! :D

Rie

Is it that you sense music in aromas, or that you sense aromas in music? Or both? Either way, that’s amazing, especially since you have other associative perceptions too.

I once read about prominent composers who wrote music in color, and since then the concept has always been intriguing, if a bit mythical. It’s much more real and striking now, hearing it from you instead of a documentary, haha! Thanks for sharing.

TheTeaFairy

Thank you for this note terri, I would describe it as a «sensorial free style tasting» :-)
I really dig what you wrote and I liked the analogy about visual art. I «feel» more than I taste, see or ear most of the time. Some teas I like just cause the way they make me feel. I’ve noticed that most people with musical background have different ways of perception, it’s very interesting.

Terri HarpLady

Rie: When I’m playing, the vibrations of the harp especially create waves of sensations that I can literally breath in. It’s not necessarily floral or sweet, but like it’s own thing…how do you describe the aroma of happiness? or the taste of bliss? I know it sounds vague, because I guess it is, LOL. I also experience different things with different styles of music, different instruments, etc. Colors, geometrics, emotions, all kinds of things that are hard to describe & meaningful only to me. I don’t necessarily experience actual aromas as music, but aromas & flavors have alot of the same attributes as music/sound: High, low, sweet, dense, clear, pungent, complex…
TeaFairy: I love that! Sensorial free style tasting!! I think right brainers in general tend to have crossed wires where our perceptions are concerned. Then again, since everything that exists is really just vibrations anyway, it’s all interconnected anyway!

Rie

I see! Well, at least as close as I can know as someone who’s definitely not synesthetic in this way, haha! It must be quite a world through your senses. I hope you keep writing notes like this that share some of that with us. ‘u’- ♪

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Comments

Rie

“To me, Keemun teas have a nice rich middle flavor, but not so much of a bass or top note, which is probably why they get blended with other teas, such as Assam (very bassy).”

Wow, this was such a clear and intriguing description, with the musical comparisons!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! That’s how I tend to experience things, LOL, in reference to music. The funny thing is I often tend to experience music in reference to aromas, along with other perceptions. I tried to explain these perceptions once to my piano teacher when I was young, assuming she saw the same geometrics I saw while working on Bach, & she just looked at me like I was insane & told me those things Didn’t exist. Much later in life I found out about synesthesia, & that I’m not the only crazy person in the world! :D

Rie

Is it that you sense music in aromas, or that you sense aromas in music? Or both? Either way, that’s amazing, especially since you have other associative perceptions too.

I once read about prominent composers who wrote music in color, and since then the concept has always been intriguing, if a bit mythical. It’s much more real and striking now, hearing it from you instead of a documentary, haha! Thanks for sharing.

TheTeaFairy

Thank you for this note terri, I would describe it as a «sensorial free style tasting» :-)
I really dig what you wrote and I liked the analogy about visual art. I «feel» more than I taste, see or ear most of the time. Some teas I like just cause the way they make me feel. I’ve noticed that most people with musical background have different ways of perception, it’s very interesting.

Terri HarpLady

Rie: When I’m playing, the vibrations of the harp especially create waves of sensations that I can literally breath in. It’s not necessarily floral or sweet, but like it’s own thing…how do you describe the aroma of happiness? or the taste of bliss? I know it sounds vague, because I guess it is, LOL. I also experience different things with different styles of music, different instruments, etc. Colors, geometrics, emotions, all kinds of things that are hard to describe & meaningful only to me. I don’t necessarily experience actual aromas as music, but aromas & flavors have alot of the same attributes as music/sound: High, low, sweet, dense, clear, pungent, complex…
TeaFairy: I love that! Sensorial free style tasting!! I think right brainers in general tend to have crossed wires where our perceptions are concerned. Then again, since everything that exists is really just vibrations anyway, it’s all interconnected anyway!

Rie

I see! Well, at least as close as I can know as someone who’s definitely not synesthetic in this way, haha! It must be quite a world through your senses. I hope you keep writing notes like this that share some of that with us. ‘u’- ♪

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Bio

I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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