2971 Tasting Notes
This is a generous sample provided by Life in Teacup. Thanks!
Dry, this tea is in nugget form, in shades of jade, forest, & other appealing greens with a sweet Nectar of the Gods aroma of yellow spring flowers. When warmed, add butter to that.
I gave it a rinse & went with 20 second steepings, immediately it was sweet rain water, in a forest with lots of Orchids. Over the next couple of steeps the sweetness grew, as did the floral, sort of like an aromatherapy bubble bath, but not too soapy or anything like that.
Other impressions, as I continued down the steeping path:
Very fresh & spring-like, like fresh linens drying in the sun.
Beautiful iridescent green leaf
Fresh Green beans with their flowers
Long beans, also with their flowers
I haven’t been drinking my oolong teas much lately. No real reason, just too much tea & not enough time, I guess, LOL.
So far I ate breakfast, took my son Drew on the garden tour to make sure he knows what to pick & where to pick it, because he has an eye detail & he’ll be in charge of picking produce & dealing with it while I’m gone. I also packaged up 2 copies of my CD, Cynical Serenity, for distribution! Yeah!
This review is regarding a tea from Life in Teacup that isn’t listed in the database, but it’s also no longer listed on their website, so rather than create a listing for a one time review, I’m just putting it here. It’s a 10G sample of 2013 Yunnan Black Pine Needle, & I’m using half of it for a gongfu session, & sending the other half to my tea sister, Sil.
Dry Leaf: No noticeable dry aroma, well…maybe some faint malt & hay. The appearance is very autumnal, with flat pressed needles in shades of tn, charcoal, wheat, brown, & black.
15 sec – mild & tasty honey wheat breath broth with a homey comforting feel
30 sec – The front of the sip is super clean & shiny, like hand blown glass…or the sound of a glass flute. The back of the sip is rich wood, honey, & melting caramel as it spreads out across my tongue & plate. Immediate good tea vibes.
45 & 60 secs, combined in one cup – I feel like I’m drinking a pure rain water that was stored in an oak tree stump. That probably sounds gross, but it’s not. I feel like I’m an old oak tree, after a summer rain, drinking in that rain that fell over night & filtered down through ever older layers of leaf & forest floor debris, absorbing animal, vegetable, & mineral. I’m that tree, sucking up that heavenly life sustaining elixir through my roots, & it is heavenly.
2min & 3min – Kind of a savory dark chocolate pumpernickel vibe…& my crown is glowing, I’m sure you could see it if you were sitting here.
The next couple of steeps reminded me of White Willow bark tea, kind of bitter.
Onward through the fog…
I’m having a hard time getting motivated this morning. I’m leaving town on Thurs, & even though I’ll only be gone 5 days, there is SO MUCH TO DO before I leave, & I’m feeling overwhelmed, which only makes it harder to get started because then I can’t decide what to do first. In fact, I was also feeling a little overwhelmed about what tea to start the day with, I have so many teas I still haven’t tried. Decisions…decisions…LOL. So I relaxed, took a few deep breaths, & opened to the universe…
And chose a gongfu session with this one! I can’t remember if this was a free sample (& if it is, thank you Gingko), or if I purchased it, but anyway, I have 10 G here, so I put 5G in my tiny 4oz teapot (the pretty white porcelain one I got from Garret, with the blue lotuses on it), & gave it my usual treatment of 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45 sec/1min/2/3/4/ etc
The first cup immediately had good color & strong energy, going straight to the throat & third eye. The flavor was sweet wood, the mouth all a tingle…ahhh I needed this!
With the 2nd cup the flavor becomes rich of toast, cedar, malt, & forest, with a camphor sensation as if I were drinking a puerh…
I combined steeps 3 & 4 into one mug. There was a slightly sour edge to this one, like a sourdough rye bread. Chewy, dense, & sweetened, but not heavily, with a dark molasses, and I can almost taste orange peel, a little clove, & other spices. This is the deep woodwind & low string group: bassoons, bass clarinet, english horn, cello, bass, marimba, wood block, bamboo wind chime…
In the 5th steep a little bitterness, but its the kind that comes with a really dark chocolate. I’ve got a really good tea buzz going on now. I love the sensation of a really good cup, spreading out into my extremities…every breath…
Next cups: Definitely a more chewy, peppery savory tea now, spicy even. The bitterness is gone.
I’d like to close my eyes & meditate. I have a nice mindfulness thing going on, a good vibe in every cell, feeling much more peaceful. I might go with a few more cups of this, but for the final note the flavors of spice & such have mellowed, & it’s a sweet creamy elixir, reminiscent of Yabao.
The rest of this sample goes to Sil, so this is a sip down.
This is actually pretty good.
Of course, I enjoy a good lapsang, & if I hadn’t already had a week’s ration of Maple syrup this morning with breakfast, I’d probably try some in the 2nd half of the cup. But there is no need to, as it is tasty plain. I love roasted chicory root, alone & in blends.
To my knowledge, I’ve never drank roasted cedar in a tea, & now I’d like to drink a cup of it alone, just to give it a real try.
Just for the record, I can still taste & feel the spearmint from this morning, & my sinuses are remarkably clear, all day!
It might seem like I’m playing favorites with WP this weekend, & well…I guess I am, LOL.
That’s because I recently got a box of teas from there, & most of them are samples that I want to split with Sil. Also, our shared order from YS came this week, & I want to finish all the WP samples, so I can include them in her box. Finally, I’m leaving for FL on thurs to visit my mom & dad for 5 days, so I’m hoping to mail Sil’s box off before I leave.
Of course, I could wait until I get back…we’ll see. Anyway, I brought the WP box with me to Tony’s for the weekend, so that’s what I’m drinking.
Per my usual sunday morning routine, I made an awesome pancake breakfast for Tony & I, with bacon, fried apples, & a drizzle of maple. This tea was the obvious choice to go with the pancakes! I used 1 TB, & enjoyed the first cup straight, & the 2nd steep with a little maple. I might as well try for a third steep, but I’ll take that one plain.
Now we’re watching cardinals baseball in our PJs.
OK, first off, I don’t recommend spearmint first thing in the morning if you are planning to sample something new afterwards, LOL. Here I am an hour later, & my mouth is still minty fresh, which feels good, but interfered somewhat with the tasting of this tea.
Also, I followed the instructions on the packet, using 1/2 TB, & I really wish I’d just gone with a whole TB, cuz I do tend to like my teas on the strong end of the spectrum, but I want to send the other half to my tea sister Sil, & I’m trying to get better at following instructions in general.
Anyhoo, this is a tasty cup of pre-breakfast tea, though not particularly bold. Very light on the smoke, IMO, with bread notes, & milk chocolate made with that condensed canned milk. It’s nicely sweet, & I’ll have to get an oz so that I can give it a more fair review eventually.
The moon is amazing tonight, huge & full. W have a nice clear sky here in St. Louis, with fireflies. There is no lake…no mist to hover over it, but this tea has a misty quality, & it evokes such things. To be honest, I didn’t think I would like this tea. I’m not really a big fan of spearmint, but as it turns out, it’s an interesting cup. Lightly smokey from the Keemun, I think I’d like more elderberry, & my mouth is minty fresh. I’m on the 2nd steep, & although the first steep was better, this one is still pretty interesting.
BTW, I used the entire 1 Tb sample.