2855 Tasting Notes

This is one of Tasty Brew’s offerings for the Spring round of the BBBB.
It’s certainly an interesting idea, & I approached it with a mixture of fascination & reluctancy, if that makes sense to anybody. For those who know my history (a grand tale of addiction, an intensive wild youth filled with various substances, & although I wouldn’t change it, it definitely included some very low points), I tend to not care for most alcohol-like things, not because I’m afraid that they’ll send me into a relapse after 30 years clean & serene, (there is no actual alcohol in the tea), but really just because I don’t care for the taste. Or the smell.
But I was still fascinated. I mean, this was aged in a Bourbon barrel! It’s got to be interesting, right?
I wasn’t sure how much tea to use, or for how long, so for the first cup I went with:
1.5 tsp + 8oz X 3min/5min
Too weak :p
I should have gone with a full Tb. We live, we learn.
Initial perceptions? meh…I really want to be amazed by this, but I wasn’t.
Call it ‘user error’. I’ve made a note on the package to up the dose next time, & I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

TheTeaFairy

It does sound intriguing though…

inranger

Too bad, being an occasional bourbon drinker it sounded like a wonderful marriage.

Terri HarpLady

Tea fairy, I’ll set aside some for your next box ;)
Inranger, after sampling it, I read all the reviews, including the back story. Everybody else loves it, so next time hopefully I will too.

TheTeaFairy

Dunno what you mean Lady :-/

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I’d like to start out by thanking Angel & Teavivre for this wonderful sample. This is the most amazing looking green tea, absolutely beautiful. It looks like fronds of some exotic sea veggie, with iridescent shades of green that I can’t even begin to describe. Dried & pressed into long bud sets, averagine 2 to 2.5 inches long! It’s so beautiful that I took pics & posted them on my FB, for those who might like to see.
https://www.facebook.com/terri.langerak
The dry aroma is rich, thick, & buttery. I rehydrated single frond, just so I could watch it unfurl alone, & take photos of it. I gave the entire 5 G sample 1 minute at 180F in my test tube steeper, & the resulting liquor was a pale apricot color, with a sweet, thick, & buttery green taste, delicate & refined.
2min: still rich & buttery, with a yellow taste, bring to mind yellow flowers. As I continue with this cup I also taste saffron & pumpkin seeds.
3min: a little tangy-er, fruity like apricot, but also savory like buttered asparagus. Slightly astringent, slightly bitter.
4min: sweet melon/pumpkin taste.

Stephanie

I used TeaVivre’s Tai Ping Hou Kui in my new photo art because it is SO GORGEOUS https://www.etsy.com/listing/193212314/beautiful-tea-poster-photography-collage

TheTeaFairy

Wonderful pics! I love the test tube for green teas, isn’t it the best?

Terri HarpLady

That poster is awesome!!
And yes, I love my test tube steeper! :)

MzPriss

I was wondering about the test tube steeper…

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Teaware addict, busted!!

MzPriss I can’t help it. Or as we say in Texas, I CAIN’T hep it
TheTeaFairy

Haha! Just love your accent ;-)

Terri HarpLady

You gotta have one missy prissy!

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This is a lovely bi luo chun style black tea, very golden, nicely rolled up into the classic spring snail form. For my first cup, I steeped a tsp for a minute, which was weak. I sampled it again at 3 minutes, & ended up giving it a full 5 minutes. The resulting tea was tasty, like a pale milk chocolate, a little honey, & pastry. I’m also getting that flavor that translates to coriander for me, commonly found in ‘Beauty’ teas.

I gave it a 2nd try, this time using 2 tsp for 3 minutes. The flavors are basically the same, with a little more pastry, a little more honey, etc. This is a pleasant & gentle tea, nicely refined & sweet. I kind of wish, in retrospect, that I had dumped the entire sample into a Gaiwan & given it the gongfu treatment, but I wanted to save some of it for my dear Sil, and so this is a sipdown. Tea Sister, I’ve officially started a new box for you :)

Sil

uh oh… lol i need to get through some of the other teas from the last 2 BBB’s!

Terri HarpLady

That’s ok, it will be awhile. Also, I’m begging you now, please don’t send me 5000 flavored teas in the next box, LOL

Sil

Hahaha no that’s over…. You said you wanted the adagio ones so you got them. Otherwise I RARELY send you flavoured unless they’re uber special :)

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I’ve been busy all day. My grand daughter came to visit, we made raspberry chocolate chip almond flour muffins, we had tea, & for the most part, all of the teas I drank are teas I’ve reviewed numerous times, so I’m not writing anything about them.

Then there was this!
One of the oldest teas in my collection, & merely a sample (from Life in Teacup), I’ve pulled it out a few times, ready to give it a go, only to realize that it might be better to wait. This is a tea I really want to savor, to dedicate my full attention to. So this was how I spent my afternoon & evening.

The dry leaf is compact & brown, with no real aroma.
Warming it up in a hot yixing, it bloomed into a marine aroma, but not necessarily in a bad way. Basically, it smelled a lot like spiralina, & as I breathed it in, I also smelled Matcha…
& pickles!
Pickles?
Yes, pickles!

I gave it a rinse & then started in with short steepings, with were immediately a beautiful orange amber color, & I only took a few sips before I was instantly transformed to a cosmic state of mind. The first cup or 2 tasted of aged clean straw & chalk, but with successive steeps there was a rapidly growing menthol quality, a vaporous sensation, wood, leather, & gratefully not a trace of anything undesirable.

I lost track of the number of cups I drank, but somewhere in the middle I passed through a tangy citrus/tangerine element for awhile, followed by a slightly bitter round which passed quickly, a briefly soapy taste, & then a pristine sweet spring. That’s where I’m at now, & I dare not drink any more tonight. Tomorrow I’ll probably give a rinse & see what else I can wring out of these leaves with some longer steeps. The color of the tea is still a beautiful bring amber orange. Absolutely gorgeous!

TheTeaFairy

Pickles and cosmic state of mind? Yes please!!! ;-)

Terri HarpLady

Speaking of pickles, my pickling cukes are now in production! I picked 6 today, & I predict by the end of the week I’ll start stuffing a crock of salt water with those, along with homegrown dill & garlic! Silly me, we still have cultured dills from last summer, I guess we’d better get serious about eating them!

TheTeaFairy

Mmmmm…love me some dill and pickles!

Terri HarpLady

I love dill. I plant it every couple of weeks, because it goes to seed so quickly, & so that I have a fresh supply of both herb & seed all season.

Stephanie

Shengs are cosmic!!!

Terri HarpLady

They are! I’ve had a few Shu puerhs that were also cosmic, but only a few.

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I’ve drank several teas today, but didn’t really get around to posting about them.
This is my last tea of the day,
It’s another one from Sil, sent to her from Schmiracles.
This is a black tea with peach flavor, & it’s not bad if you add a bit of sweetening, though it does get bitter as it cools.
Another sipdown!

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I know it’s my tastebuds for sure now, because this is a tea I know, a most delicious & wonderful tea, & sadly it doesn’t taste nearly as good as I know it should.
Maybe tomorrow things will be better.

MzPriss

I hate it when I get in that weird “all the tea tastes sour and bad” loop. I wonder why it happens

MzPriss

Also Terri – I have a question. Did I see on one of your notes you were going to make root kimchi? I can’t find that note so I’m not sure. But if it was correct – may I have your recipe? I want to try making kimchi and I was thinking a root one sounded really good.

Terri HarpLady

I do make root kimchi! It’s so delicious!
I’m probably gonna start a batch of the more leafy Kimchi this week, because I have a bunch of Chinese cabbage in my garden ready to go. Remind me tomorrow, cuz I’m at Tony’s, & I’ll send you the root kimchi recipe!

MzPriss

Thank you so much! I’ll remind you tomorrow :)

Amariel

I’m finally getting to try this one, and I cannot wait!

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Another sipdown from Sil, which came through her from Schmiracles.
The dry leaf smells like an amazing pipe tobacco. Not that I’m a fan of pipe tobaccos, but that’s what it immediately brought to mind for me.
Which was very unexpected.
With a name like ‘Forest Draught’, I was thinking this would have a base of Puerh, but that is not the case. This is blackberries, vanilla, & a tobacco-like taste. There is an underlying bitterness, & I want to sweeten it, but I realized a little while ago that I’m not really tasting sweet very well today, the entire center of my tongue is engulfed in a tart taste, that I can’t seem to shake. I brushed my teeth, scraped my tongue, sucked on an ice cube, ate some pears, rinsed with baking soda…everything tastes tart. Go figure…
So don’t take any of my reviews seriously today!

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Another Sipdown from my *Sil*box, which was sent to her by Cavo, I think.
I really enjoyed Tiger Eye, when I had some in my cupboard, but I don’t feel like there is a highest enough percentage of it in this cup. Honestly, I don’t really get this combination of teas, but then again, many of the Adagio fandom combo’s don’t make sense to me.
It’s not horrible tasting, but not really tasty either.
Darkworld…is it some kind of Legends of Zelda thing? I should have gave this to my 21 year old son Leif, he’s a long time Zelda fan.
I think I’m getting old…
sipdown

Lariel

It’s a parallel dimension.

Terri HarpLady

I’m sure both of my sons have probably been there, virtually speaking. :)

Terri HarpLady

I remember when my son Drew wanted an Ocarina for a birthday present, :)

Lariel

That was a good game.

TheTeaFairy

I still Love Zelda!!

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Black tea with almond flavoring, reminding me very much of Amaretto, which I never much cared for, although I do enjoy Almonds themselves. This is from the crazy box of flavored tea sample my dear Sil sent to me awhile back.
Sipdown
Next?

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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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