1855 Tasting Notes
It’s been a long day.
I got up early & drove 2 hours with Ari to play at the memorial service of one of my dearest & oldest friend’s grand-daughter, who left this world a week ago at the age of 11 months. I had only met the baby once, but she was a delight, as all babies are. My heart aches for my friend, her daughter & other children, & her grandchildren, & for their tragic loss.
I’m home now.
I brewed this tea following the Xingyang workshop recommendations:
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 2 minutes
This is a potent, smooth, & slightly bitter brew. Just what I need at this moment: grounding, introspective, a reflection of the harsh realities of life.
I’ll review it in more depth on another day, when my heart isn’t aching.
Last night I was fantasizing about this tea, after smelling it’s wonderful aroma. I wanted to drink it when I got up, but I knew I didn’t have time to truly take it in. I went to breakfast & ran errands. Among other things, I met with a man who’s mother was a harpist, & who wanted to donate her harp to the University that I teach at. It’s an older instrument, but appears to be in good shape, & once I put a new set of strings on it, there will be lovely music!
The early steepings of this tea brought to might Plums & toasted hazelnuts, with the toasty-ness becoming more predominant. Around steep 3 or 4 the plum became Elderberry, especially in the aftertaste.
There was a moment of astringency, and my throat became dry.
That evolved into a bright mouth watering, valencia orange flavor, with sweet spices.
I’m not finished with it yet, but I have a student coming soon, so I’ll wrap this up by saying that it is tasty!
First Tea of the Day!
My friend V hired me to play at her daughter’s wedding. She came by to give me the final payment, so I took her out to breakfast. I knew the selection at the restaurant wouldn’t be all that great, so I had some tea at home before she arrived.
I think what I love most about this tea is the sweet potato & spice qualities, and then again, we all seem to love chocolate too!
Confession: I haven’t actually tasted this yet, but I opened the bag and took a whiff (I couldn’t resist), & it smells AWESOME!
Hazelnuts & plums & caramelized brown sugar…
I need to go sleep, so I can wake up & drink some of this…
Tomorrow, Hurry up & come!
So…I’ve been lurking on the Adagio site, reading through the fandom blends, LOL. So have both of my sons. Leif has already ordered tea twice in the last week or so. I was contemplating the Tardis blend by Cara McGee. I’ve already tried a couple of her blends, & they’ve been quite good. This one contains: Earl Grey Bravo, Blackberry, & Vanilla.
I grow blackberries (blueberries, & 3 types of raspberries), but I know all too well that berry flavored teas are not always very good, so rather than buy the full amount, I got samplers of those 3 flavors, so I could experiment a little. I mixed 1/2 tsp of each, steeped 3 minutes, and it’s a tasty mix! Even better with some stevia stirred in.
I’m a sucker for almost anything Verdant lists on their website.
Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. With the exception of my bank balance, I’ve never been disappointed. :)
Some shengs are harsh, at least for the first couple of steeps. I tend to be very conservative on the amount of leaf I put in my Gaiwan, usually using 2 – 3 G, at least for the first time I try one, & I always keep those initial steepings really short. I keep notes in a tea journal, so that the next time I drink that tea I’ll be able to adjust things based on my previous experiences.
When I opened the package, I was delighted to see beautiful large flat pieces in the colors of a dry leaf pile. Whoever pried these off the cake did a beautiful job! The dry aroma was subtly sweet, fresh, & green. The wet leaf swelled to fill my Gaiwan, & it’s aroma was mineral rich. I was feeling daring, so I went with 5G in my 4 oz Gaiwan, one rinse, and 4 seconds (for those who aren’t familiar with my ’formula’s’, this translates into the following:
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 4 sec = A beautiful amber liquid with a sweet mild taste! Not a hint of harshness to be found!
I drank this all afternoon while I was teaching. The flavor continued on, mildly sweet & tongue numbing. Around the 6th steeping there was a little astringency, but this was gradually transformed into a citrus flavor that reminded me of aged tangerine peels, & sensation of allspice.
This is a pleasant sheng, with a nice sensation of chaqi as well!
Breakfast: A Hearty bowl of Stew, leftover from last night.
A breakfast like this requires a hearty tea, & this Assam fits the bill! It’s bold, with a bright sensation up the center of my tongue. Not as malty as some, but very substantial. I got this sample from Traveling Tea Box ‘A’. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Second Breakfast: Leftover baked sweet potatoes, which I cut up, peel & all, & sauteed in coconut oil with cinnamon & a pinch of salt until they were caramelized. Sometimes I add vanilla, ginger, & nutmeg.
Today I kept it simple.
For tea, I had another cup of this Assam, only I doubled the amount of tea & then spiked it with stevia & french vanilla coconut milk creamer.
This is like crack for me, LOL.
I have a sweet potato habit that knows no bounds. I eat at least one sweet potato almost every day. My son Drew shares my habit, & we bake whole trays of them. They are good hot, cold, or reheated. Leif & Tony think we’re crazy. Sweet potatoes are just SO AWESOME, I can’t stop myself. I grow them in my garden & my crop is always huge! Luckily they are also SO good for you. I don’t use butter, just a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. That’s all it takes. It’s dessert. Sweet potatoes taste the way winter squash is suppose to taste, & sweet potatoes make better pie than pumpkin could ever dream of. If you make the crust from pecans (gluten free), you have sweet potato pecan pie.
Oh sweet healthy decadence!!!
I used to have a soy french vanilla creamer habit. (along with quite a few other habits, but that was a long time ago…). Lately I’ve been thinking of Chai & other teas that are so nice with a little creamer once in awhile, & I remembered how much I enjoyed my Assam brewed extra bold this way. I like it straight up as well.
I think I’ll have another cup.
I ended my tea drinking (and harp teaching) day with this shu, which I’ve enjoyed a couple of times now. It reminds me of boston brown bread.
I love the taste of peaches! My adagio order came today, & this was in there. I’m not sure how I feel about it, so I won’t say much. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it wasn’t gross, & I have a pretty good supply of it, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it next time.
I’m not really a huge fan of flavored teas, but every now & then Little Terri talks me into something like this…
Here is another tea that I sipped all day while I was teaching. I wanted to do a comparison on this and the Yu Lu, but it never really happened. I just enjoyed both. The main feature of this tea is the German chocolate cake flavor, which lingers on & on!