1857 Tasting Notes
I was gonna have a cup of Dragonwell, but I overheated the water, so I had some of this instead. We (that would be me, little Terri, & the cup of tea) went out onto the pack porch & stood in the sun, the beautiful glorious sunlight, sipping & absorbing: the golden warmth of the sun on my skin, contrasting with the coolness of the air; the rich and buttery sweet smoothness of this tea, the song of birds, the glorious blue sky, the view of my garden in winter. As I breath these in, I feel uplifted.
I re-steep & return.
And the sip down continues…
Another grumpy morning, I still feel like I’m fighting something, even though I don’t actually feel sick. Monday it was trying to hit my lungs & throat, yesterday it was my head. My eyes had that feeling you get when you have a fever & I ended the day with a burning headache (maybe it was from that big tea order I placed…). So I woke groggy for the 3rd day, and after my morning cup of elderberry tea, I treated myself to a breakfast of a pork chop, sweet potato, & cinnamon fried apples. This must be accompanied by a robust & malty black tea, & this one fits the bill nicely. The sun is shining & I think I feel better already! :D
The January tea of the month reserve club package arrived last week. Part of me feels that being a member is perhaps more money than I should be spending, but so far I have not been disappointed!
When I opened this first one, I was immediately caught up in the aroma of the dry leaves. Smokey & sweet, it brought up images of kettle corn, being made in large kettles the old fashioned way. The smokiness made me thing of a fine pipe tobacco as well. There are other faintly familiar aromas that I’m having a hard time placing. Like canned condensed milk (crazy, I know, but there is a hint of it) This is a very complex & interesting tea!
5G of tea + 4 oz Gaiwan (rinse) X 4 secs (+ 2 secs each steeping)
I’d like to say at this point that I have not always been all that into Lapsang Souchong. Having said that, I’ve been sitting here, sipping cup after cup. I’ve never steeped Lapsang this way, & I was missing out!
The smokey flavor is there, especially in the initial steepings, but not in your face.
There is a real nice sweetness that expands with each steeping. It brings to mind the aforementioned kettle corn, with it’s caramelized brown sugar.
I lost count, but after several steepings there is a creamy mouthfeel & the sweetness lingers, making me think of some kind of vanilla pudding topped with brown sugar that’s been given the flambe treatment. The smoke is still there, but in a very pleasant subtle way.
In the later steepings the sweetness gradually dissipated, giving way to a ‘rocky’ taste, a bright feeling on the tip of my tongue, & yet there were still sprinkles of sugar on top.
I actually made it through 15 courses, although admittedly I only drank about half of some of the cups, combining the 2nd half into a jar, which is in the freezer to chill. I’ll report on that in a little while.
A very yummy tea! Thank you David & Wang Shilin! I will savor it!
I picked a kumquat from my kumquat tree this morning. I’ll probably post a picture on my facebook (Terri Stamper Langerak, if you want to be my friend). I love my kumquat tree! Every winter I get a small crop of fruits, each bitesize. I savor each one! Some years there are many, this year is not that year. There were 2 ripe ones, & I ate one today. I thought I could probably use the boost of Vit C that it offers. There are quite a few green ones that will be ready in March. I also still have 3 meyer lemons on another little tree, & tons of key limes! Anyway, that kumquat was like heaven: sweet, tangy, juicy, yum!
I’ve been hoarding this bergamot rose tea for awhile now. Like toast with butter & orange marmalade on it, this will be my other bubble bath tea, & while I’m bathing I’ll try to get through more of Anna Karenina. At the risk of offending my fellow book club readers, I’m gonna confess right here: It’s not my favorite book. I don’t go in much for whining drama, angst, and intrigue. I have several other, much more exciting books in my Q, but I said I would read this book with the group, & I aim to finish it!
OK, if you didn’t know by now, I LOVE THIS TEA!
It’s loaded with a bunch of good stuff: ginger, licorice, elderberry…
This will be one of the 2 teas joining me in my bubble bath therapy session, where I will soak in the bubbles of my favorite aromatherapy bubble bath (EO brand, I think the flavor is ‘calm’, & it has essential oils of rose and chamomile).
Little Terri is grumpy. It started yesterday, & I feel that perhaps we are fighting a viral invasion, but fight it we will! We’re drinking elderberry, & various other medicinals, eating cultured veggies & drinking kombucha (probiotics, you know), & keeping a low profile today. Tuesday is my day off from students, although I have a ton of desk work to do, but that requires very little energy. I spent last evening returning calls & emails, booked 2 gigs, & updated my website (www.harpsinger.net). Today I’ll eventually do more of the same.
This is a very flavorful & grounding tea. I originally planned to brew gongfu style, but didn’t feel like messing with it, so I steeped four 8-oz cups back to back, using 2 heaping tsps of tea. 1 minute, 1.5 min, 2 min, & finally 3. I’ve been sitting here, drinking them in series.
The profile of this tea is malty, savory, with a nice thick feeling, & always reminds me of powdered unsweetened chocolate, but here I’m not so much talking about the flavor as the body & texture.
There is also that clean & smooth ‘linen’ feeling.
I like the description of buttery toast that many have used.
Each successive steeping becomes a little more peppery.
The 3rd steep offers a hint of orange peel.
The 4th reminds me of allspice…
I just packaged up some of this to send to my fellow “Anna Keranina” friends here on Steepster (if anyone else wants some, just let me know).
Little Terri said, “Can we have a tea party now?”, so we did.
It is a very heady blend of black tea, roses, & fruit. Honestly, it’s not something I want to drink everyday, I’m not all that into flavored teas, but once in awhile it’s fun, & it definitely packs a punch.
I’m not allowed to buy any more teas until I’ve eliminated some of the ones I already have. Also, I have a tendency to focus on black teas & puers more than anything, so I went wandering through my green tea shelf, and realized that this one was almost gone & needed to be polished off. I mean spring was almost a year ago, right? Before we know it, there will be a plethora of freshly harvested greens, so I’ve got to start making room for them now!
I love these Laoshan Greens, from the various seasons. They have basically ruined me for other green teas, but that’s ok, because they are just so…je ne se qua (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry)…so fresh, so green, so buttery, so creamy…
This one has been compared to creamy oats with vanilla soymilk, & that description still stands. I had some students to teach this morning, followed by a few repairs & string changes that needed to be made on one of my rental harps. I sipped cups of this all the while, steeping in a Gaiwan for 4 sec for the first 4 rounds, then 8 seconds.
I’m ready for something else now, but it has been a pleasure.
I’m a little groggy this morning, & have students most of the day starting any minute now.
This is a pleasantly bold cup that feels silky in my mouth. My taste buds don’t appear to be fully turned on yet this morning, so I’ll give it another review, another day. There is a coffee-like bitterness up the center of my tongue, but it’s not a bad thing. And now at the end of the cup, it’s more like unsweetened chocolate, which I enjoy in small doses.
Nothing to write about, but not a bad experience either.
I made pancakes for breakfast. My current favorite gluten free pancake recipe is this one, from Elana’s pantry http://www.elanaspantry.com/silver-dollar-pancakes/. I replace the honey with Maple syrup (grade B is the really good stuff), & I like to add a tsp or more of cinnamon, maybe a scrape or 2 of nutmeg, & sometimes I add powdered ginger too. They are excellent plain, or with a light drizzle of maple syrup. Yum!! I even have leftovers for a snack later. I’ll probably make a little almond butter & pancake sandwich to have with tea…
I drank a re-steep of TeaVivre’s golden monkey with my breakfast (drank the first steep in bed). So this Maple Pecan Oolong just seemed like the perfect follow up! I’m drinking it with stevia, & it’s rich & buttery, sweet & nutty.
And it’s gone! My 2nd sip down of the day!