3071 Tasting Notes
I’ve had trouble getting myself to wake up this morning, & would still like to go back to bed, but I goofed off for most of tuesday (the day I usually do a lot of food prep for the rest of the week), & there is just SO MUCH that needs to be done. So I got up at 8:00, dropped my car off to get a new alternator belt & check a few things, walked home, & started watering my seriously neglected garden. I’m using the small sprinkler method, where I set up a sprinkler somewhere, do a little weeding nearby, move the sprinkler, come in & drink a steep or 2 of tea, move sprinkler, pick something like tomatoes, or graze on raspberries (that was actually one of the first things I did). I’ve been doing this for the last hour or so, during which time I sipped a cup of bone broth laced with a pinch of salt & crushed homegrown garlic, sipped a smaller cup of my Elderberry Kombucha (it’s SO good!), & sipped several steepings of this tea, which is from the spring of 2014 .
I’ve really been enjoying the wild purple varietals of tea for awhile now. I think I have 4 or maybe 5 in my collection (not counting purple puerh). They are not a tea I drink all the time, because I feel like it’s the kind of tea I want to really take my time with.
This one has a dry aroma of tart plums, & once the leaf is warmed, it becomes fruity & rich, even a little malty, like some kind of baked plum dessert. That alone is a beautiful thing, just breathing the aroma from my tiny teapot. After lingering for a few breaths, it’s time to drink some tea! The tea itself starts out reminding me of congee rice, only sweeter, with a brothy quality as well. Through multiple steepings it blooms into full flavors.It is sweet, it is tangy, plumy good, with a Eucalypus sensation, an awesome tongue tingle, & a growing strong & peaceful energy that is perfect for just putting one foot in front of another: Walk to garden, move hose, pick something, enter house, pour more tea & savor. Repeat. Don’t forget to breath deeply. This is my morning.
Here is the September offering for Jalam’s tea club, which features a different 100G puerh cake each month. I love that size of cake :) Most of the teas have been sheng, but a few have been Shou, with this being one of them. Today was my first sampling of this one, which started out with an immediate sweetness & graininess, like boston brown bread, sweetened with molasses. It quickly developed a cream taste & quality, somewhere in the middle it tasted kind of like copper, followed by a kind of sour rye taste, and although that might seem weird to some of y’all, I’ve been enjoying every steep. Now it’s a sweet
There was nothing funky about this cake at all, no weird tastes or smells. It has a very clean quality, a strength to it, & immediately I felt great energy spreading throughout my body, revitalizing me from head to toe!
I love working from home!
I slept in until 8:30, such a luxury these days. It felt good just to lie in bed & gradually unfold into the world, sunlight streaming through my south window, filtered by the plants that reside there. I knew I wanted some kind of golden yunnan type of tea, with a laid back gongfu session, using my golden yunnan yixing & other beautiful teawares.
5G x 4oz yixing (rinse) X 15/30/45sec/1/2/3/4/5min
And breathing…lots of slow deep relaxed breathing.
This is such a lovely tea, perfect for waking up to. It’s not bold & brash, it’s comforting.
Dropping the long beautiful leaves into a preheated yixing, the aroma of honey & malto-meal immediately rises to greet me. I breath it in, & exhale, saying, “Thank You”.
The tea itself becomes toast with butter & honey. Sweet, rich, satisfying, delicious.
I savor every drop.
I was feeling in need of a perk-up earlier, so I decided to pull out one of the many YS Sheng samples I haven’t tried yet. The dry leaf is predominantly in shades of gray (50? no not quite, heh), with strands of beige & olive, & an aged but sweet hay aroma.
Warming the leaf brings out a sweet creamy barley shroom soup essence…hmmm…!
I’ve been through several steepings, but I can tell there are still quite a few to go.
This starts out with a very appealing taste that I can’t quite pinpoint. It’s fruity & sweet. It kind of reminds me of fruit loops a little bit, ha! In fact, for a moment I was afarid that my cast iron kettle, which I had combined a few steeps in, was contaminate by somebody brewing some flavored blasphemy in it, so I poured a few steeps directly from my yixing into a cup, & the taste continued down the sweet & fruity path! Yay!
A little tart, definitely sweet, a little floral…I’m really enjoying it, & would sit here & continue to steep it out, but I’ve got somewhere to go.
I’ll take this back up tomorrow…
Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum!
Do ye know what day ‘tis?
Why it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, ya scurvy brats!
This be little terri, & I hereby declare me self to be Captain of this here ship, the Black Dragon Pearl. Join up, me lads & lassies, let us set sail for the day, to savor our plunders, dig up buried treasures, feel the wind in our sails, & revel on without a clue!
When I opened this sample , it was a nice sized chunk of the tea cake, in shades of olive, gray, & wood. The dry aroma is that of grass, a day or so after you’ve mowed it.
It has a nice green fresh kind of scent.
The early steepings gave up a light wheat bread taste. The aroma of the wet leaf in my yixing smelled sweet, tart, & juicy, with a the promise of things to come.
Over the course of the evening & many steepings, a tangy flavor developed, like a mild sourdough bread. There was one pour that that bitter, another was astringent.
The later steeps were sweet & rather like a golden mushroom broth, with a buttery feeling.
This has been a lovely day, so far. I got up at 7:30, did taichi & yoga, & it felt so good to have time to just breath & stretch. Then it was out to the garden, where I picked a carrot, a parsnip, some egyptian walking onions, a radish, a few turnips, some tomatoes & peppers, & dandelion greens. My garden is a mess! I’ve had so little time, it really is a wreck, with tall weeds everywhere. I’m gonna try to get out there next week & get at least part of it under control, but I guess when winter comes all the weeds will die, & I can start next spring with a clean slate, LOL. Meanwhile, it is still producing! I have lots of fresh herbs, all of the aforementioned veggies, the fall raspberries are starting to come on (I ate the first small handful), & there are sweet potatoes, crowder peas, brussells, & butternut squash that will be ready soon.
I came in & made a pot of root veggie stew for breakfast, using some homemade chicken stock from my freezer, & added a cut up chicken thigh. I love soup for breakfast, and I got to sample the first cup of my continuous brew Kombucha! Yay! I’ll never buy the bottle kind again, cuz it is SO much more amazing! It actually reminded me of a fizzy apple cider :)
Teas I drank today:
Multiple steepings of Imperial Mojian – YS
I shared a pot of Two Tigers with wedding clients during their consultation – Devotea
A large mug of Elderberry brew, fairly strong.
And now this one, a much hoarded Wuyi oolong. I’ve reviewed it plenty of times, & it really is very nice: roasty, fruity, with a heady aroma that rises into the sinuses & lingers.
I woke up this morning & it was still dark outside. My alarm was set for 5am & hadn’t gone off yet. I laid there for awhile, luxuriating in being able to stretch & doze on & off a little. Some voice in my head (Ms Theresa, most likely) made a comment about going ahead & getting up, so that we’d have a little extra time to get ready. Needless to say, I ignored that voice, until suddenly I realized that the sun was rising.
It turns out, I forgot to turn on my alarm, & it was 6:15. I scrambled!
Luckily, I barely got to the school on time, but it was a long day, & the 6th grade group was especially obnoxious today.
Now it’s night time. I wanted more tea, but not more caffeine, so I’m using a teabag that one of my students gave me. It’s from the English Tea Shop, & it’s called ‘Happy Me’.
It isn’t listed on steepster, & I’m not adding it, because I can’t read the ingredients list, & I just don’t feel like adding any teas tonight. I taste chamomile, lemon &/or orange peel, coriander, cardamom, maybe a little apple…
It’s not bad, actually. A little fruity, a little sweet spice. Not something I’d ever purchase, but warm & relaxing. That’s all I want right now.