3091 Tasting Notes
Here I am again…the only person reviewing one of the Verdant Reserve TOMC teas. Oh well…This is from the FINAL month of the Reserve club.
Inspired by KS, I was determined to make it through the full 15 recommended steepings, & I did.
The dry leaf fragrance was rich & fruity, with roasty peachy notes.
Following suggestions, I heated my little pot, added 4G of tea, put the lid on for a minute to heat the leaf, & then took another whiff. OMG! This is like smelling the best incense & some peach dessert in the oven at the same time.
After a quick rinse, the aroma was rediculously awesome, like peach jam with a little orange marmalade mixed in.
I’m not going to bore you with notes on every single steep, even though I actually wrote them down. The early steepings featured a very ‘fresh’ taste, lightly fruity like dried peach, a little citrusy too, but all very delicate. The ‘after aroma’ in my sinuses was really amazing, again like an wonderful incense. By the 3rd cup a camphor-like essence rose, which gave a tingling sensation to my sinuses, soft palate, & lips, but the background of dried peach & the tangy citrus mouth were still present. During the next couple of cups the roastiness evokes a fruity wood in the smoker, at least in my imagination. My tongue became tingly & tart. There was a briefly astringent cup, & then sweet peach, drizzled with OJ, grilled over a fruit smoke fire.
In the middle tastings the fruit flavor changed, the roastiness faded. By cup number 10 it was all delicate sweet fruitiness, & I developed a craving for pancakes. I took a break from tea sipping, made a batch of almond flour pancakes, consuming massive quantities with apricot jelly.
Then I resumed my steeping. The last several cups had a kind of cereal like taste, a little metalic, slightly astringent, with a tinge of bitterness & brightness, like grape peels.
Whew! BRB…GGP!! ;)
This is SO delicious, an awesome ‘dessert’ tea. I’m getting ready to go over to Tony’s for a little while, because in case you haven’t heard, The St. Louis Cardinals “own” the Central Division of the National League, & today is the first game of the playoffs, against Pittsburgh. I can’t believe game starts this early in the day, & I won’t be able to watch all of it, because I have a student at 6:00, but I’ll enjoy what I can.
This tea is especially nice if you let it steep an extra minute, & drizzle in a little maple syrup. :)
One of my college students came for her lesson earlier today. I know she likes green tea, so I make a point of serving her some every time she comes. As it turns out, she’s only ever had bagged green teas, so I got to make her very first cup of Matcha a few weeks ago, which foamed up beautifully (yay!). She was totally blown away by it’s ‘green-ness’.
Her lesson is an hour in length, so while she was doing a warm up run through the sonata she is working on, I steeped a few rounds of this
Dragonwell style Laoshan green, combining them into my small cast iron green dragonfly teapot, which holds heat better than the ceramic pots. We worked on her piece for awhile, & then I served the tea, giving us a chance to talk about school, classes, harps & pieces we love, etc. Then back to working on the piece.
Another tea, enjoyed while watering the garden this morning. There is a black swallowtail that has been hanging around my garden a lot lately. Earlier in the summer there were swallowtail caterpillers on the parsley & Parsnips, which some people would be unhappy about, but for me it is a thrill, because I know that caterpillars result in beautiful butterflies!
This is a tasty tea, with a chocolate mouthfeel, & a sweet fruity kind of taste. I went with 1 Tbls in my mug for 3 mins, resteep @ 5mins. Both were delicious, but I’d also like to try a longer single steep, & maybe a gongfu session too.
First tea of the day, enjoyed hours ago while I was watering my garden!
I went with 3 cones @ 5 minutes. Admittedly, I didn’t watch them bloom, but that didn’t take away from the deliciousness of the resulting cup of tea. Walking around in the garden, watering hose in one hand, cup of tea in the other, butterflies & other insects flying around.
What could be better?
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.