1877 Tasting Notes
Here is a sample I got from Stacy, who is awesome, at Butiki. Thanks Stacy!
This is very different from the other teas I have been drinking.
The dry leaf had a fruity & floral aroma.
The tea itself has an amazing array of flavors:
Initially I’m hit by a ‘perfume’, of sorts. It’s a floral, but not orchid, rose, or any of the floral tastes & smells that I recognize. It has an incense quality to it, & then there is a deep fruity flavor as well. It’s very earthy, a little malty.
Not my cup of tea, but an interesting experience, none the less.
I’m finally sampling Bailin Gongfu, thanks to our dear friend Angel, @ TeaVivre.
I’ve read various peoples reviews of this tea over the last few months, & as I recall, it is a bit temperamental. I was careful to make sure the water temp was 185, meanwhile wafting the addictive smell of cocoa tinged maltiness emanating from the leaves as I painstakingly weighed them, first all in one cup, 7oz, & then taking away leaves until I was down to 3.5 oz. The other half of the sample got tucked back into my black tea sample bag for another day.
I got a massage this morning. I’m feeling very ‘open’, my breakfast is sitting here waiting to be eaten. This tea is luscious, mouthwatering, and delicious: Malt, chocolate, & bit of caramel sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt. My mouth is watering, my qi is flowing, & I’m smiling. Good start for my day!
I bought this awhile ago, simply because it is my sun sign, & I like hazelnut. Once it’s gone I probably won’t re-order, but sometimes when I’m playing a gig, I enjoy something a little sweet. Brewed with stevia, this is another nice diversion to sip on. Kind of bold & Hazel-nutty, with a little vanilla (a little more would be nice).
Backpeddling a little:
For a tea to drink on the way to my gig today, I made a travel cup of this creamy eggnog. It is sweet (with the addition of stevia) & creamy, & definitely has an eggy creamy taste, with a hint of nutmeg. Not something I’d purchase, but a pleasant diversion.
We used to make homemade eggnog when I was a kid all the time (that was our version of instant breakfast). In later years it required a shot of rum or brandy. I haven’t had it for a long time, but I’m thinking I could make some with eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, & nutmeg. That sounds good!
I’m the first to review this?
I’m home from my gig, relaxing in my PJs, & haven’t had any puer for a few days (sorry, from now on I’m leaving out the apostrophe & the h, there’s just so many ways to spell this, I’m making it easy on myself.)
The dry leaf smells very green, & wet it smells smokey as well.
1. My formula: 3G + 4oz (one rinse) + 4 sec = a very drinkable yellow infusion, slightly saline, but in a pleasant way.
2. 10 sec: It’s still mildly salty, but not so much sea salt, more like a mineral salt. I’m getting a nice mouthwatering up the center of my tongue. Bright yellow! I’m steeping in my Earthen Gaiwan (Butiki) & drinking out of my glass Gaiwan (TeaVivre) so that I can really enjoy the color.
3. It looks like I’m drinking a urine sample, sorry, I know that’s crude, but little Terri can be pretty crude…
I forgot to count, but I’ll guess 20 sec: Umami! I’m thinking fish sauce. It doesn’t really taste like fish sauce, but with it’s pleasant saline mouth-feel, & savory greens taste, my mouth is really watering.
This also reminds me of the soup broth I used to make with Kombu &/or Wakame.
4. 30 sec: Now a sweetness begins to emerge. It is both sweet & savory at the same time, and a little creamy texture under my tongue. I’m tasting a faint hint of bitterness up the center of my tongue, so maybe 30 sec was a little long, but I actually like a little bitter edge occasionally, as it makes the sweet taste more noticeable.
As in tea, so in life: Sorrow enhances Joy, Having less helps to heighten appreciation for what we do have. My mouth is watering wonderfully!
5. Another 30 sec infusion, still bright yellow! One thing I’ve noticed about drinking puer in the early evening. It doesn’t make me wired, but instead I feel very relaxed, very present, very open. I don’t have to do anything, so I’m sitting here in a semi-meditative state, breathing deeply & enjoying this cup. I’ve got the skull shine on a little bit, I feel subtle movement in my body, & this moment is fine!
6. 45 sec: A fresh taste, like spring green sauteed & sprinkled with a few drops of Mirin, tingly numb tongue, watering in the back of my mouth.
7. I’m letting this one steep for 1 min. (Meanwhile, I still had the Laoshan black in the other Gaiwan from earlier today, & I drank a cup of that. So sweet! It’s caramel & chocolatey goodness!) This cup has a quality & can’t quite define. It’s sweet & savory & mineralize & …earthy! That’s the only word I can think of.
I’ll continue to steep this out for a little while longer.
Yesterday I had a wonderful pajama day, no gigs anywhere, no students, just me, Tony, tea, & relaxation. We sampled the Exotic Pear (Butiki), but I didn’t write a review on it. That’s a tea I’ll have to drink a few times before I have anything to say.
I have a gig today at a retirement home. I’ll be playing for their Holiday Open House. I started the morning with an English Breakfast (Adagio), and now I’m doing Gaiwan steepings of Laoshan Black.
5G + 4oz (quick rinse) = one of the best teas ever!
I’ve reviewed this tea several times, as have many others, & if you are one of the few who hasn’t tried it, you’re missing out!
I have a method for smelling things. Breath in and out a few times, nice slow breaths, then after exhaling through your nose, stick your nose in the cup (or wherever you want to stick it), and just barely inhale, like almost not inhaling, just barely let the air begin to enter. A friend of mine had lost his sense of smell, and he used this technique, and after awhile he got his ability to smell back. He was elated.
This smells like buttery salted caramel. It’s also very attractive to look at, at least to me! I’m using one of my new Earthen Gaiwans that I got from Stacy @ Butiki. They really are adorable!!
1. My formula: 5G + 4oz (1 rinse) @ 4sec = nice deep color of burnt orange, aroma of cream & cinnamon (very mild), and the taste is sweet! There is a very slight bitter edge, kind of like coffee, but not. There is also a vanilla sensation, & tingling on my tongue.
2. 10 seconds = There really is a spicey cinnamon-like flavor here, and a grown-up kind of sweetness, like the sweetness of dark chocolate, although it does not taste like dark chocolate.
While I’m reheating my water, I’m packaging xmas CDs that I sold from my website! www.harpsinger.net (sorry for the shameless self-promotion)
I’m also packaging up samples of the czar nicholas II St Valentine for the people in our steepster bookclub that are reading Anna Karanina. If anyone else wants some, let me know, cuz the package is HUGE, 8.8 oz!
3. 20 sec = I can tell, just by looking at my cup, that this is going to be an awesome brew!! It’s very deep, dark, & full bodied, and at first I was thinking Raisin Toast, but really it’s more like Boston Brown Bread with lots of raisins in it. Years ago, I used to steam-bake Boston Brown Bread in progresso soup cans all winter long. It’s fruity & dense, with a darker flavor than regular bread. My kids & I adored it.
4. 30 sec = molasses gives boston brown bread part of it’s dark flavor, & that’s what I’m really thinking of. This is kind of like having boston brown bread & a cup of coffee.
5. 1 minute: I figured I’d go for the gusto, and I’m glad I did! This is deliciously bold & sweet! The raisin & molasses & cinnamon flavors are really out there now.
My SigO, Tony, just showed up, so I’m done writing this review, but I’ll keep sipping until the flavors are gone. Meanwhile, I’m glad I bought a cake of this, & am excited about seeing how it ages! This is being added to my ‘favorite’ puer’s list in my tea journal.
BTW, the Earthen Gaiwan is performing beautifully, & you can see it, and get one @ http://www.butikiteas.com/Teawares.html
I’m not a huge fan of white teas.
I have to be in a really zen mind-frame, with time to really sit and breath & open to the subtle qualities that white teas offer.
I’m not really in that mind-frame right now.
I should probably set up an electric kettle in my bedroom (on the 3rd floor), then in the morning after I do my free-style taichi/yoga/quigong, I can drink a cup of white tea while I’m writing in my journal.
Yeah, I’m thinking that’s the time to do it. I’ll be all zen-like, really in my most mindful state of the day (although I try to maintain this practice all the time, like all others who don’t live in a monastery, I get caught up in life).
Fully oxygenated from all that deep breathing, all my chakras wide open and spinning, Reiki flowing…
I think maybe then I will truly appreciate the beauty, the grace, & the intricacies of plain white tea.
I decided to try this tea because it looks awesome! The leaves are huge, and they remind me of the oak leaves in my yard. It is a tea that looks like fall. I got a hint of vanilla & rose.
Thank you Angel & TeaVivre for this wonderful sample of tea.
I have to say, I LOVE the samples from TeaVivre, they are SO generous!
After all my gigs these past 3 days (and students), it’s really nice to have a morning to chill out & just sample some teas. It’s taken me an hour to get through my breakfast, simply because I was more interested in the teas. This will be my final review of the morning, as I have to meet a friend at noon for, you guessed it, Tea! LOL!
This is really nice. The dry leaf smells of hay…& chocolate…& there’s one other aroma I’m trying to place…it’s sweet…its…caramel!
2t + 8oz @ 2 min = YUM!
It’s smooth, dark, sweet, and its…its gone??? Little Terri!! You drank the whole cup!
Here’s something funny. I knew that I had reviewed this tea before, and as I’m sitting here smelling & sniffing it, making notes about it’s deliciousness, I did the unthinkable & went back & read my previous post. I was still new in the neighborhood (hell, I’m still new, I only joined Labor Day weekend, but I feel like I’ve been here for years, LOL). So, I could almost cut & paste that other review, all the way down to pushing my breakfast away to just enjoy the tea.
Last night’s gig was awesome! I was decked out in black, playing a mix of Holiday music, Jazz, & Rock. It was a corporate party, so they started off with Cocktails & then had dinner, continuing to drink more cocktails all the way through dessert. Their personalities were all initially rather stuffy, but by the end of the evening they were all laughing, hugging, & exuding compliments, like people often do when they drink. (not judging, just saying) I went from being ‘the harpist in the corner’ that everyone pretends is part of the scenery, to people coming and hanging out & wanting to talk to me & ask questions while I played, & finally some guy hit on me, saying he’d like to see me again & was I married. I lied & said yes (don’t tell Tony, he gets crazy jealous).
This tea is so delicious. Although I tend to lean more towards the deep & dark varieties, the taste of Mi Xian is just so delightful. Lightly floral, buttery, fruity, & honeysweet. When I was a little kid we used to have cream of wheat cereal, & my favorite way to eat mind was with butter and apricot or peach preserves stirred into it. This tea reminds me of that. It’s not malty, but there is a certain cereal quality to it. Of course, all of these flavors are subtle, with the honey on top!