2896 Tasting Notes
I finished my tea drinking day off with a nice strong cup of Bengal Spice. It is a tasty chai-like beverage, with the caffeine. I didn’t add any sweetener or any kind of milk, I just enjoyed the spiciness of it as is.
I’m making an effort to curtail my caffeine consumption in the evening, at least for awhile, in hopes of going to bed earlier, although it’s almost midnight & I’m still not in bed. Soon…I’ll go to bed soon…
I’m trying to make an effort to drink at least one cup of green tea per day, not because it’s good for me or anything like that, but because I have quite a few of them, & I tend to let them sit there, neglected.
I don’t really why, they are delicious. It’s just that there are other teas I love more!
So today it was this one, from 2012. I was teaching while drinking it, so honestly, I didn’t make any notes, but it’s still delicious, still nutty & green, still lovely.
This is the 3rd tea from the 2012 TOMC offering, which I am re-visiting today. I don’t have the original xingyang Chrysanthemum blend, but I do have chrysanthemum flowers, so I added some of those to the gaiwan.
The first steep featured a rich earthiness, with a sunny flavor of the flowers, & a sinus opening camphor taste. Overall, this cup had a cooling sensation to it.
The 2nd steep reminded me of the flavor of cannabis, & by the way, yesterday I celebrated 30 years ‘clean & serene’. Ironically, I’ve had the song, “Passage to Bankok”, by Rush, stuck in my head for the last 2 weeks.
The 3rd steep was even heavier on the camphor, or maybe more of a Eucalyptus. I felt the Sheng I was drinking on the tip of my tongue, but I felt this Shu more in my sinuses. The Chrysanthemum definitely took on a Cannibus-like taste, & the Shu was sweet & earthy beneath it.
The next couple of steepings were enjoyed, but I was sidetracked with students, so I didn’t take any notes.
The final steepings had a ‘warm’ taste, a little bit of a marine essence, but not fishy or salty. Maybe more mineral-like, & also sweet.
I still have a little of this Shu left, but I think next time I’ll pass on the Chrysanthemums. I do like chrysanthemums as a tea by themselves, & might like them brewed with Shu in a western brewing, but for multiple gongfu steepings I don’t care for them as much.
This was a fun experiment, & a nice trip down memory lane with the Verdant TOMC from my first month of membership!
God, I love this tea!
This is part II of today’s tea paring, from last year’s TOMC offering for Oct. I think of all the TOMC boxes I’ve had from Verdant, this was probably my favorite one.
I went with short gongfu steepings, using my porcelain blue lotus pot for this tea (I’m sure eventually I’ll have to have a yixing for black teas…). The first steep was rich cocoa, with a hint of Roses. I never notices that before with this tea! The 2nd steep was even richer, & now the chocolate was dark chocolate powder. The 3rd steep was my favorite! The strong dark chocolate was toned down somewhat, leaving a sweet & rich caramel & malt taste, so mouthwatering, so good. Also, near the end of that cup, the taste of toast, spread with butter.
During the later steepings I was sidetracked with students, but I still enjoyed a few more cups as the flavors went through ‘peppery’, to dwindling down.
Have I mentioned that I love this tea?
It’s been a year since I joined the Steepster TOMC, so today I though it would be fun to sample the 3 teas from last October’s box. They are:
Zhu Rong Yunnan – I drank up all of last years, but luckily I have the newer rendition.
Xingyang Chrysanthemum blend – I no longer have this one either, but I still have some of the xingyang ‘07 Shu, so I added some chrysanthemum flowers to my cup. That blend also included coriander (which I could have added, but was being lazy), as well as burdock & juniper, which I don’t have at this time.
I followed the brewing suggestions & steeped all 3 teas, in side by side setups, so that I could get the full experience of the suggested pairing.
This is a gentle Sheng, with a sticky rice flavor to it. Around the 3rd steeping a strong numbing camphor sensation hit the tip of my tongue, by steep number 5 the rice taste had subsided, leaving a slightly metallic taste, along with the flavor of fresh straw & a pinch of salt. At this point the Chaqi was outrageous!
This is a pleasant gentle Sheng, & luckily I have enough to drink it a few more times.
Some of us have been talking about comparing all the ‘pearl’ teas to one another. This one is nice, bold enough, but with sweet fruity nuance. I steep 6 pearls in 12oz for 3 minutes, resteep for 5. The first steeping is sweet & malty, the second holds just a little bitterness but is still very drinkable. I think maybe last time I drank them I said I was gonna try a single steeping of 4 minutes, & I forgot to do that. Maybe next time…
I woke up with a bit of a headache, so I brewed a cup of this tea & crawled into the bathtub. It is one of the teas from the first round of the BBBB, contributed by Tasty Brew, & although I’m not in love with it, it’s a pleasant cup, perhaps a little on the floral side today. I’ve written a better review of it previously, I’m sure.
Not really alot to say about this tea. I’ve been staying up way too late, & although it won’t knock me out, it doesn’t have any caffeine, so if I stay up again late tonight, at least I can’t blame it of tea!
I used 2 bags. I like licorice root, & it gave me something to sip during the block party. I like my neighbors, but don’t really know them all that well, even though I’ve lived here 12 years. Everyone is always so busy, including me. I found out this one chick who is a religious fanatic makes her own kefir & cultured veggies, just like me. I might get a kombucha starter from her. The guy across the street & a few doors down is a professional cellist, who knew? We might get together & jam. There were other revelations, and a good time was had by all!
I’m trying not to ingest any more caffeine tonight. I’ve been staying up til 2 & 3 am for several days, which is great for creativity, but not so good for getting things done in the real world.
I just realized my neighbors are all out in the street. Looks like we’re having a block party, & once again I didn’t read the email.
I sent the boys out with a bowl of homegrown cherry tomatoes to add to the food pile. I’m headed out there with my cup of tea. I don’t eat off buffets usually, too many things I’ll probably regret. But I’ll have this tea!