2485 Tasting Notes
I really do love this tea! First off, just looking at the leaf is mood enhancing, as it is a beautiful reddish black, with some orangish tips here & there. The warmed aroma is heavenly. The tea itself is so mouth filling & satisfying, with a long linger.
Today I went with 4 minutes, with a 6 minute resteep. Usually I go with 3 min with a 5 minute resteep, which I like better. Next time I need to try 1, 2 & 4 minute steeps, which is actually what Garret recommends. I’ll need to get more of this…again! :)
This morning’s black tea gongfu session was with this one.
5G + 4oz X 15/30/45 sec/1min/2min/1min…
This started out lovely – a warm crusty bread, honey, malt, bee pollen…
But I increased the steeping time to quickly & it became bitter. When I backed it off, it was more enjoyable. In previous gongfu sessions with this tea I went with shorter steeps of 15 second intervals, & I’ll hopefully remember to keep it that way in the future, with this one!
A lesson learned :)
Final tea of the day, I reached in the sheng box, & this one came out!
The initial aroma of the warmed leaf was sweet & a little fruity. It brought nectarines to mind for me, although I can’t say that it actually smelled like nectarines.
I didn’t actually document my steepings on this, but I started with 4G, rinsed, & kept it short for awhile. The primary taste I’m getting is Grape peels, with a little bitterness, but as I said before, my allergies are horrendous right now, so I can’t really tell you if it is bitter or not, & my guess is that it is not. But it does have a bright grape/citrus edge to it. Otherwise, it’s smooth & a little sweet, kind of spring like, if that makes sense.
I’m several steeps in now, & picking up on a floral quality that reminds me of Lavender, kind of. And also apricot – kind of tangy!
This is from a sample that our awesome friend Garret sent to me awhile back. I have just enough for one more session, so I’m putting it in the official sipdown cannister, where I’m collecting teas for my upcoming Sipdown Extravaganza!.
Add on: The energy of this tea is very ‘open’, as in opening of the chakras & such. I can feel my energy field clearing, something I really need today. Gratitude. Breathing deep.
Day 2: Revisiting this yixing somemore today, after a quick rinse. It’s light & fruity & I love it.
It’s been a long busy day, with students, rehearsals, more students, & it’s time to post about the teas I drank.
This morning I continued my new gongfu protocol, of starting the day with a gongfu sessions, & this was the tea for it.
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45sec/1min/2/3/4/5
So, the earliest steepings started out as toast & honey, with a little bit of a creamy vanilla mouth, but this quickly began to morph into a grapey bright oral sensation.
At 1 minute I was drinking a mix of Dark Ale & Dark Bittersweet choclate, with an almost coffee-like quality.
At 2min the bitterness faded a bit, but there was a tangy grapiness to the tongue, & kind of Hoppy Spiciness.
3min – Wood, grape peel, I didn’t care much for the direction thing were going.
I sipped a bit of the other cups, but honestly had lost interest at this point.
To be fair, I have enjoyed this tea before, & some of my loss of interest might be due to allergies & the effect that they have on my tastebuds. My favorite steeps were at 30 & 45 seconds, & maybe next time I should continue with 15 second intervals.
I just realized that I never got around to mentioning that I drank this Shu earlier today. I have really enjoyed the Xingyang workshop teas that I got from Verdant awhile back, & this is one of them. I went with the xingyang workshop steeping suggestions:
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 2min
This makes for a potent cup!
The first steep is bold with an almost coffee-like bitterness, but it is also sweet, & reminds me of boston brown bread. I can’t really think of anything else to say about it right now, but I’ve reviewed it several times before.
Tieguanyin’s remind me more of spring than green teas do. With their golden liquor & light florals, they are like springtime in a cup. This one is no exception, but it also has a sweet buttery quality & a rich corn-like aroma.
5G + 4oz Gaiwan X 3rounds of 3 sec, 3 rounds of 6 sec, 3 rounds of 12 sec
I love how each of us can have our own tea esthetics, & my current setup for tieguantin includes 3 of these cups & the matching Gaiwan.
I steep the tea in rounds of 3 sets, pouring a little of each steep into one of the 3 cups, & the remainder into a pitcher. Then I drink from each cup (they are tiny, like 1 nice sip each), so that I can taste how the tea changes without having to drink an entire cup. Once I’ve enjoyed all three, I go sit somewhere with the pitcher & sip their combined remainders. Then I come back for the next round. I didn’t used to do it this way, but I really enjoy this process.
So this tea is recommended for 18 steeps. I have to admit, I got bored after 6, lol
My green tea of the day. I used to drink a lot of this one, & actually I still like it. It’s the best tasting cherry tea that I know of, as most of them tend to taste like cough syrup.
My cherry tree is blooming, but in reality most of that tree is dead, & I plan to have it cut down, probably this weekend. It’s a very tall & old tree, & when I first bought this house I had no idea that I had fruit trees in the yard. When that first spring came, I looked out my kitchen window, & saw red cherries on the tree! I ran out there & picked a bunch of them, brought them in & was SO excited, until I started cutting them open & realized that there was a worm in every one :p
The following spring was the beginning of one of my gardening rituals (yes I am a weirdo). When the tree bloomed, I had a picnic under it with a plate of sushi & a pot of this this tea. Afterwards, I made a declaration to the tree, the local bugs, & birds, expressing my gratitude & good wishes for a bountiful harvest, welcoming all to enjoy the wondrous fruit, & a request that the lower branches of fruit be reserved for myself & my family.
I swear to you that this actually worked, & we were able to harvest fruits that were mostly free of worms for several years. Then the tree started dying. This year there is only one flowering branch, the lowest one, & the rest of the tree is dead, with branches falling off.
I may plant a couple of dwarf cherries in the next week. I just have to figure out where.
Another morning of drinking a quality black tea gongfu session!
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45/sec 1/2/3/4/5 min
This is a lovely malty & sweet cup! The earliest steepings featured a creamy vanilla sensation, which quickly transformed into a rich toasty flavor & a thick mouth. This one shares some qualities with the Jinggu Golden strand that I drank yesterday, as if they were brothers, but of course, it has a personality of it’s own. My favorite steeps were by far the during the first 2 minutes, as the unfolding of a tea & it’s flavors & sensations excites me, but even the last cup had value, with a creamy kind of flavor.