3074 Tasting Notes
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!