3004 Tasting Notes
This afternoon I spent a couple hours in the recording studio with a couple of local Rappers, adding Harp tracks to a song called Angels.
I was nicely paid, I think the final product is gonna sound really cool, & they were really nice guys! I made them promise me that if/when they make a music video, I get to be in it, playing my harp dressed up like an angel. Turns out the owner of the studio was the engineer for my very first recording, which added a little nostalgia to the afternoon.
I came home & started enjoying cup after cup of this Sheng, which was the last of the TOMC Reserve teas this month.
What does it say about us Sheng lovers that we like teas that smell a little bit like a horse’s breath? LOL, sorry, I just had to say that!
The aroma of the dry leaf is heady, like incense or sweetgrass, a very rich & somewhat smokey vibe. This steeps into beautiful cup after cup of caramel colored tastiness. Initially it is a very pure lightly floral taste, but it gradually develops into an almost creamy sensation with a nuttiness that has me thinking Hazelnut Butter. It’s also very smooth & sweet, sweet like a spring rain. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. I still have more steepings to go, but I’ve probably reached my threshold for the night. I may take it back up tomorrow, doing a rinse first to reheat the leaves, & then see where it takes me.
Then again….maybe one more round…
To celebrate Leif’s birthday, Drew & I took him to lunch @ Cheesecake Factory. Actually, I took him to lunch & Drew came along & paid for his own lunch, LOL.
Here’s a photo:
Then I drank the last of this tea, in 2 steepings, 3 & 5min
I feel like cookie monster right now, this tea is so delicious. When I saw it in the Here’s Hoping TTB, I immediately said to myself, “That’s MINE! mineminemineminemine!!!”
I want to thank the people who had that box before me, you know who you are (awkward soul, claire) for including some really wonderful teas that I wanted to try!! Usually by the time the box gets to me, it’s just a bunch of chemical laden cast offs that nobody wanted, so I’m generally disappointed. THIS time was different, & I really am grateful. So again, I thank you!
Yes, I took all the awesome stuff from the box, & I would feel guilty, but as Tea Sipper will discover, I loaded it with goodies just for her! So I am absolved of all guilt! LOL, I also tossed in a few castoffs of my own, which aren’t bad, just not to my taste.
Today I poured the whole sample into a cup, steeped 1 min/2/3. All steepings were AWESOME! And it’s a sipdown, leaving me with only 265 teas!
Today is my youngest child’s 21st birthday. His name is Leif, & I posted his pic on my FB https://www.facebook.com/terri.langerak. He’s a great kid, in his 3rd year of college, & although he looks like a stoner, he’s actually as straight as they come, AND he drinks tea.
Feel free to wish him a Happy Birthday.
Geez, I guess I’m not the only one who hasn’t drank these August teas yet?
This is, first off, a gorgeous tea, IMO. It’s real delicate looking, in shades of palest greens, cream, & sage highlights. The smell is of delicate greens & cream. The brewing suggestions are my least favorite green tea brewing method: fill a 8oz glass cup with 195 degree water & sprinkle the leaves on top. Start sipping, blowing the leaves away until they sink, add more water as needed. This rarely goes well for me. By the time the first cup is cool enough for me to take a sip, it’s usually very bitter, no matter what tea I use. I’ve tried this method with Jingshan & Dragonwell both, & so I usually use my glass steeper instead.
Since there’s enough of this for me to sample it a couple times, I went ahead & followed the instructions this time. Doing things this way has it’s appeal, of course, because I get to watch the leaves doing their underwater dance, floating up & down in a random dreamlike way. There was a point where all the leaves were laying on the bottom, except for one that was standing on it’s tip, fully unfurled like a sail! Or maybe a seaweed frond.
This first cup was a little rough for me. By the time I was able to sip it, it was fairly potent, green, & kind of bitter. Then I started noticing the taste of lavender, which is a little out there for me, but ok. Each time I added water to the cup the flavors got a little milder, the 3rd of 4th cup has kind of a citrus flavor. I ended up enjoying it ok, although next time I’ll return to steeping in the test tube.
I awoke this morning, having made a decision to work my way through the Verdant TOMC bundle from August…finally! I’ve drank Zhu Rong a couple of times (& purchased enough of it to probably keep me set for life), and had cups of Yu Lu & Bai Mu Dan (a couple of days ago). Today I’m working on the Reserve club teas: Wang Yanxin’s Jin Jun Mei, 1st picking Jingshan Green, Haixintang Banzhang Mountain 2007 Stone Pressed Sheng, & this 15 year aged Tieguanyin.
What to say about this tea? I’ve been through several steepings & I would describe it as a very refined cup. The roasting is very light, the taste is gentle & sweet. The floral qualities are alluded to, but not dominant & more like a very light incense, which I can feel as a sensation in my sinuses.
Admittedly, tieguanyin is not one of my favorite teas, although I do enjoy a cup here & there. Having said that, this is a very mild cup, with a ‘pure’ quality to it, as if I were drinking from a mountain spring.
If I ever meet Wang Yanxin, I’d like to give her a big hug.
Her Jin Jun Mei is wonderful. I also have a secret stash of Yanxin’s Reserve Shu, which is lovely. I think she has excellent taste in tea, & have loved every tea that she’s been connected with (Golden Fleece immediately comes to mind). OK, I admit my relationship with Yu Lu Yan Cha was a little rocky at first, but I’m over that. It’s delicious.
This tea is everything I want it to be. A rich thick mouth, sweet honey that lingers, & a little tangy pepper in the later steepings. I’ve been drinking it most of the day.
I suffered a near tragedy this morning. I was prepping my little blue lotus teapot for gongfu steepings of this awesome tea. My little teapot came with a pretty yellow leash the helps keep the lid in place when you are pouring the tea. I learned right away that it is best to detach the lid from it’s end of the leash when not in use. Also, the leash can be used with my Yixings as well (a nice bonus!). Here’s what I’m talking about:
That site actually gives instructions for making one! yeah!
SO…the double strand that runs up the center of the knots accidentally got pulled most of the way out! Aughghghghghgh!!!
At first I though all was lost. I tried using tweezers to fix it, & that didn’t work. Then I remembered my crochet hooks. I used to crochet a looong time ago, & still have my hooks, just in case I ever have time to take that art up again. Of course,the smallest hook was missing. The next to smallest was small enough. I won’t bore you with the details, but it took awhile, with a few mistakes, but as they say in the i ching, “Perseverence Furthers”. (No, I don’t not throw the
i ching, but my ex hubby did & even went as far as to grow his own Yarrow so that he could do it authentically with yarrow wands).
So now my little lid leash is healed. This tea is the awesome reward.