2485 Tasting Notes
Today I got to meet a new student, along with her mother & sister. They are tea drinkers! Yay!! I made a nice big pot of this tea, & they loved it! There was enough for my next student to enjoy some too. I resteeped at 5 minutes & shared that pot with my final students & my son Leif. There is also a pint left over, which is in the frig chillin’ so that I can enjoy it cold tomorrow.
This is quite different from last year’s Imperial Breakfast Summer Blend. I SO wish I still had a few cups worth of that one, just because it would be fun to compare them. I actually have most of the components here so that I could mix up a batch of the old summer blend…Laoshan Black, I’ve got a couple of Big Red Robe type wuyi’s, Silver Needle, & Willow Grove Shu. The only thing I don’t have is the Wild Picked Jin Jun Mei (Oh….I miss it SO).
But why cling to the past? Embrace the day & what it has to offer!
This blend is rather different from last year’s. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good, & although I can’t really think of any real details since it’s been hours since I actually drank it, I did enjoy it & I hope to keep it around for awhile. It is pleasantly bold & earthy, with all the flavors that most of us love: Malt, cocoa, caramel.
There is also the Wuyi floral/incense after aroma in the sinuses that I find so sensual & alluring. I’m looking forward to the next cup!
I’m posting this under last fall’s Bilochun, but actually I’m drinking the spring one, which looks VERY different from the fall version. The fall version was rolled into nuggets, which is the way I’ve always seen bilochun, but the spring version is rolled longways. If you want to see it, here’s the page.
Anyway, it’s very tasty! It’s amazing to me that simply by rolling up the leaves you can alter the flavor! So this is delightfully green like spinach or other greens fresh from my garden, but with a hazelnut taste to it as well. It’s sweet, but it’s also nicely savory.
Recently I placed an order from The Tea Spot, & Katie was very generous in sending me a few samples, including a sample of their Russian Caravan! Thank you Katie & The Tea Spot.
Opening the package, the aroma of Lapsang Souchong was the first thing I noticed. I used to be a little freaked out about smokey teas, but they have grown on me. The first sip was a tad marine, but that subsided immediately. This tea does have a smokey nature, but it is also earthy, malty, bold, & sweet. I’m avoiding any form of sweetener right now, but I bet that if I added a little Maple syrup, this tea would be a cup of rich smokey caramel. Maybe next time.
Enjoyed plain, this blend of Lapsang Souchong, Oolong, Assam, & Puerh is a very satisfying cup, reminiscent of the Camel trains transporting tea from China to Russia in days of old. I can see the camel drivers, reaching into the bottom of large baskets that the different varieties of teas are bundled in, gathering a mix of leaves that had broken loose & fallen along the journey, combining them & adding hot water for a morning brew guaranteed to knock their socks off & energize their day.
I can get behind a brew like that!
For more info on this tea: http://theteaspot.com/russian-caravan-tea.html?catid=253
First tea of the day, a nice bold cup of Assaaaaaam (said with a growl in my throat, pretending to be a tiger). I thought I had to be at the salt room at 9 this morning, so I slurped through my breakfast soup, & poured this cup of tea back & forth through a couple of ceramic cups to bring it down to sipping temp quicker so I could drink it before I go. About half-way through the cup, I realize my appointment at the salt room is tomorrow at 9, so I sat back down, sipped the last couple of sips, & I suddenly I don’t have to do anything until my students begin to arrive at 11:00. Bubble bath!!
What’s the salt room, you ask? It’s a place near my home where you can relax for an hour & breath in microfinely salted air. It’s like gargling with salt water with your whole body (minus the water, nobody wants to drown!). It’s especially helpful for people with respiratory issues, which is why I go from time to time, but has also been shown to help skin problems, etc. There are salt rooms in Australia, Toronto, Dallas, Detroit, Knoxville, Cleveland and Chicago. Anyway, there’s a ton of info about salt therapy on their website,
This is a sipdown of the sample of this sent to me from TastyBrew. Thanks! When I drank the first half of this sample about a month ago, I was watching the last inning of a St. Louis Cardinals game, which they won. Coincidentally, we’re sitting around in PJs watching the Cards again today! It’s the 8th inning, & we’re playing against our nemesis team, the Cincinatti Reds, & currently kicking their butts, 11 to 2!
So this is a nice tea, rich & chocolaty, & today I’m tasting a little more of the hazelnut. I’m drinking it straight, as I’m doing a Whole30 right now, & so no sweeteners of any kind. Of course, adding a little sweetness would bring out the toffee flavor more, but this is pretty damn good as is! If you’d like to know what a Whole30 is, here’s the link:
This is a sipdown, but not really, since me, sil & cavo placed a joint order a few weeks ago from the Tea Spot. It turns out the price is even better if you buy a case of 4 tins, so we did! Sil & Cavo each got one (which should be arriving soon) & I kept 2 of them, LOL, so I won’t have to worry about running out of this one for quite some time. And that’s a good thing!
Most of the time I don’t necessarily want an 8 oz quantity of 1 tea, although there are exceptions, & since this is black & puerh, it’s not going to lose flavor before I drink it.
So this is on my unwritten list of favorite breakfast blends. Currently it is a short list. In no particular order (yet… maybe ever) there’s this, Brahmin’s Choice, Imperial Summer (although I still haven’t tried the newest rendition, it’s on it’s way & I’m sure it will be great), Double Knit, Butiki’s Irish Breakfast, Bilbo Brew, & Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha. There are others I’d like to try, including Tea Spot’s Russian Caravan, which I have a sample of. I’m also open for suggestions, so feel free to tell me what your favorite breakfast blends are. I really enjoyed Organic Morning’s Journey, but am unable to get it now. When I think of a breakfast blend, I’m thinking more than one variety of tea (Tiger Assam is not on the list because, although it’s one of my favorite Assams, I’m not counting it on THIS list because it’s a blend of Assams only. So it’s on my list of favorite Assams, if that makes sense to anyone).
Anyway, this one is earthy, rich, bold, chocolatey, & it packs a nice punch! It’s also on my even shorter list of flavored puerhs…with Sichuan Caravan.
It’s also on my list