2913 Tasting Notes
OK, first off, I don’t recommend spearmint first thing in the morning if you are planning to sample something new afterwards, LOL. Here I am an hour later, & my mouth is still minty fresh, which feels good, but interfered somewhat with the tasting of this tea.
Also, I followed the instructions on the packet, using 1/2 TB, & I really wish I’d just gone with a whole TB, cuz I do tend to like my teas on the strong end of the spectrum, but I want to send the other half to my tea sister Sil, & I’m trying to get better at following instructions in general.
Anyhoo, this is a tasty cup of pre-breakfast tea, though not particularly bold. Very light on the smoke, IMO, with bread notes, & milk chocolate made with that condensed canned milk. It’s nicely sweet, & I’ll have to get an oz so that I can give it a more fair review eventually.
The moon is amazing tonight, huge & full. W have a nice clear sky here in St. Louis, with fireflies. There is no lake…no mist to hover over it, but this tea has a misty quality, & it evokes such things. To be honest, I didn’t think I would like this tea. I’m not really a big fan of spearmint, but as it turns out, it’s an interesting cup. Lightly smokey from the Keemun, I think I’d like more elderberry, & my mouth is minty fresh. I’m on the 2nd steep, & although the first steep was better, this one is still pretty interesting.
BTW, I used the entire 1 Tb sample.
This is sublime…simply sublime.
Picture this: It’s a really hot day (& it IS in St Louis). Hot & humid, & you’re literally dragging yourself across that field of dreams, because you know that if you just take that walk, there will be relief.
And so, finally, you arrive at the edge of the forest, & as soon as you duck into it’s shade, your entire day begins to unwind. Even in the heat of summer, the coolness of being beneath the canopy is all enveloping. The smell of layer upon layer of decomposing leaves rises to greet you, the humidity in the air immediately becomes cavelike. You walk until you reach a bubbling spring, you find a sizable patch of moss, & you lie down in that shady place, with the sounds of water, birds, & leaves gently rustling .
Heaven doesn’t always include a Harp.
I’m in a better mood now, just like that. I would like to credit this tea, at least in part, for my mood elevation. I have known for awhile that Raw puerh teas seem to improve my outlook & clarify my thinking, & so there you have it!
Just for the record, I didn’t give this tea the usual gongfu treatment. Instead I put a TB in my Traveler Zita cup, added hot water, & carried it with me last night, getting refills wherever I could. Admittedly, the first cup or 2 was rather potent, but it revved me up nicely for the gig! So just now I gave to leaves a hot rinse to refresh them, & I’m drinking from them again. A little tart & tangy at first, but by now I’m drinking a light plum drink with a sweet taste & a very smooth body. I’m looking forward to a gongfu session, which I’m sure will yield a much better review as well.
Yesterday evening I stopped by ‘Traveling Tea’ shop in Maplewood before I started playing. This is the same place where I get the much adored & coveted pumpkin ginger tea that Sil & I love SO MUCH. I talked to Kateri (the owner) about getting more of that this fall, even offering to roast as many pumpkins as she needs to guarantee an ample supply for the winter. Here’s her blog – http://www.traveling-tea.com
So while we were chatting, she offered me samples of various things, including a Vanilla Oolong that was nice, & this cold drink. She actually opened a fresh bottle to offer me a little taste, and it was tasty, so I bought the rest of the bottle from her. Unlike some overly tart hibiscus drinks, this one has just enough of that herb to lift the flavor up. I haven’t drank much guayusa, so I don’t really have much to say about it, but this was a pleasant cold drink to enjoy while I was playing my first set, kind of light, kind of sweet, & gratefully cold!
I’ve bitched about making tea at Tony’s before, & I might as well admit that I’m a grumpus today, although I’m trying to get over it. Anyway, I took the kettle off the heat before it reached boiling, & even let it sit for a minute before I steeped my tea, but for some reason this cup came out incredibly bitter. That pisses me off, but I’m sure it’s not the tea’s fault, cuz I enjoyed it before. Sorry for the crappy review, Stacy.
I’m recuperating from a 5 hour gig last night. (Just for the record, WTF is up with auto correct these days? It just tried to turn recuperating into * recto opera* . Seriously! )
A 5 hour gig is a very long gig, for a harpist anyway. It was a fun gig, mostly Jazz & Originals, & I got to really crank up the volume on my Electric Harp. Maplewood, where I live, is the first suburb west of St Louis city, & this is our big annual event, a huge art show, with one of the main streets blocked off, music everywhere, food, belly dancers, hula hopers, all kinds of art on display, all kinds of artists in the act of whatever art they do. They call it Let Them Eat Art because the event is loosely based on Bastille Day, with crazy contests like The Marie Antoinette hairdo contest (think huge tall crazy white wigs), dog contests, etc.
Lots of fun for the entire family, & I’m sure there will be lots of photos too, cuz I think they have a photo contest as well.
Regarding this tea: it’s still good tea, but not the same as the original zhu rong I fell in love with.
Tony became a gramps last night! His daughter & her wife had their first baby, a little boy, & of course, he is adorable!
On another note, Leif (my son, age 21) & I made an awesome breakfast frittata this morning, & I enjoyed my half with a pot of 1910, the quintessential English Breakfast. Next up: Bubble Bath.
This tea was my gardening companion of the day, as I watered the Southern Hemisphere, ate a few blackberries, pulled a few weeds, picks some tomatoes, cukes, & red russian kale, & really just enjoyed the early morning. I’ve been waking up earlier lately, no matter how late I stay up, but it feels good to get out there in the morning.
When I opened the tin of this tea, I had a vision of cinnamon toast, which I sorely miss. That image stayed with me while I sipped both steepings of these leaves, and it was good.