2334 Tasting Notes
My dear friend BoxerMama informed me the other day on Facebook that I’m neglecting my duties on Steepster because I still haven’t reviewed the June Reserve TOMC teas yet. :D So here I am, & I can’t believe the month is almost over & nobody has reviewed this tea yet! I cringe to be the first, as I’m lousy at comparing 2 teas of the same variety. I can pick out tastes, like honey, musky, malty, bitter, etc, but I’m not so good at comparing teas, especially not 2 teas picked from the same plants.
So what can I say? My main comment is simply that I have concluded that I don’t like using the brewing method that Mrs. Li recommends. I have tried this method several times, including today, & it just isn’t for me. It almost always results in a bitter & astringent brew. I think I came to this conclusion once before, but today I thought I’d try it again. My mistake.
My preferred drinking method for all of these green teas from Verdant is to use 1/2 the amount of leaf & steep it in my glass test tube steeper (which I love). I wish I had done so today.
I enjoyed this with 2nd breakfast, which was basically 2 leftover pancakes (gluten free, almond flour), reheated in the toaster & slathered with coconut butter & a drizzle of Maple Syrup (slurp! I love maple syrup!). That treat required something with a bit of rustic-ness, which I feel this tea satisfied. It’s got a interesting musky low end, that complimented the sweet nuttiness & creaminess of the snack perfectly.
This is my first cup of just plain old black tea this morning. I’ve enjoyed the flavored teas with breakfast, although if Leif hadn’t been with me, I’d have skipped those in favor of something plain.
This is a rich & earthy, kind of middle of the road cup. It lacks the gentle smokiness that I tend to expect from a Keemun, but is still a nice ‘middle’ kind of feeling tea. No real high or low notes, if I were to assign a musical ensemble to represent it, it would probably be Cello, Viola, Clarinet, Oboe, & Bassoon, with some Marimba & Timpani thrown in. It would be a haunting lonely sound, but not necessarily sad. Like a cool walk in the woods. Nothing exciting going on, just communing with Nature.
Good Morning Steepsterites!
We had an amazing storm here last night, it was literally raining buckets! My ears kept popping, & for a little while I had an ear ache. I’m sure gmathis & my sister MsWhatsit will concur that it was a pretty wild evening. The Cardinals baseball game was delayed until about 10pm (they lost).
I had trouble sleeping & finally got up this morning at 9:00. Battled the birds in my yard over raspberries (they were all pretty pissed off that I ruined their berry picking extravaganza this morning). I think they got plenty to eat, & I came in with about a quart of berries!! Yeah! Nothing like homegrown berries! Here’s the photo:
So, on to Tea! Leif picked Tardis to have with breakfast, which I’ve reviewed plenty of times. For those who have not tried it, it is Earl Grey Bravo, Blackberry, & Vanilla. A perfect selection for this morning, given the berry picking theme! Today it was especially nice, as the vanilla seemed more present.
We followed that with Plum Oolong. Tony has 3 favorite teas:
Earl Grey (any will do, but he is currently partial to Ahmad)
Jubilee (London tea room…basically earl grey with orange added)
and this Plum Oolong. He gets it from Kaldi’s, a local coffee roaster that opened a coffeehouse several years ago. Kaldi’s has blossomed into several coffee houses, & their coffee is available all over the place. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I understand theirs to be quite good. They have also branched off to include teas, for people like me, & for awhile they offered Numi bagged teas, but now they offer looseleaf. I have no idea who they are getting their teas from, but I have to admit, this is a tasty plum oolong, with hunks of fruit in it. It resembles the plum oolong offered by the Art of Tea. The flavor is tart & tasty.
OK….this is amazing! It’s like have cinnamon toast! It has just the right amount of cinnamon, it has a yeasty taste, probably from the puerh & possibly from some maltiness from the black tea, & it’s even lightly sweet. I drank it plain, including a resteep that was just as good as the first cup. I’m heading back to the kitchen for a third steep.
I’m sure it would be nice with sweetener & creamer, but I’m pretty happy with it as is. And I’m going to have to have MOAR!!!
Thank you Tasty Brew! I’ve been wanting to try this one for awhile!
Another tea from TastyBrew! Thanks!
This is an interesting brew. I’m not a fan of Ceylon much, but I enjoyed this with breakfast. It was definitely fruity, in a winey sort of way, and a little tart. I’ve never had a tea that was aged in a wine barrel, & honestly never thought about that sort of thing. It’s actually a pretty cool idea though. Probably not something I’d ever purchase, but worth trying. Thanks Tasty, for the opportunity!
Yay, my swap from TastyBrew arrived yesterday, & she is awesome! Most of the samples are in foil pouches with her own cool logo on them: it’s a tea mug with a beer bottle in it, & the label on the bottle has her name on it! How cool is that?
Here I am, still rolling tea up in baggies, like the old dope dealer I used to be.
Ruby black is my first sample from the wonderful array of teas she sent. From the description, it sound like a super sweet & malty cup, and although it isn’t bad, it doesn’t really follow its bio.
The leaves are a nice dark reddish black, crazy & twisty like an oolong. TB suggested a steep time of 5 minutes. 4 min is usually my preferred time for black teas. I started steeping, dipping a spoon in for a slurp every so often, as I do for new teas sometimes, just to make sure I don’t go over. I let it go to 4min. The resulting brew is dark in color, sweet, with an orange veggie taste like roasted squash or carrots, & lightly malty. Definitely not the bold Assam like character I was expecting! There is a little tongue tingling sensation, & I think next time I’ll give it 5 min to see if it changes anything.
Thanks TastyBrew! I’m bringing Methode Noir to breakfast with me!