2913 Tasting Notes
I’m posting this under last fall’s Bilochun, but actually I’m drinking the spring one, which looks VERY different from the fall version. The fall version was rolled into nuggets, which is the way I’ve always seen bilochun, but the spring version is rolled longways. If you want to see it, here’s the page.
Anyway, it’s very tasty! It’s amazing to me that simply by rolling up the leaves you can alter the flavor! So this is delightfully green like spinach or other greens fresh from my garden, but with a hazelnut taste to it as well. It’s sweet, but it’s also nicely savory.
Recently I placed an order from The Tea Spot, & Katie was very generous in sending me a few samples, including a sample of their Russian Caravan! Thank you Katie & The Tea Spot.
Opening the package, the aroma of Lapsang Souchong was the first thing I noticed. I used to be a little freaked out about smokey teas, but they have grown on me. The first sip was a tad marine, but that subsided immediately. This tea does have a smokey nature, but it is also earthy, malty, bold, & sweet. I’m avoiding any form of sweetener right now, but I bet that if I added a little Maple syrup, this tea would be a cup of rich smokey caramel. Maybe next time.
Enjoyed plain, this blend of Lapsang Souchong, Oolong, Assam, & Puerh is a very satisfying cup, reminiscent of the Camel trains transporting tea from China to Russia in days of old. I can see the camel drivers, reaching into the bottom of large baskets that the different varieties of teas are bundled in, gathering a mix of leaves that had broken loose & fallen along the journey, combining them & adding hot water for a morning brew guaranteed to knock their socks off & energize their day.
I can get behind a brew like that!
For more info on this tea: http://theteaspot.com/russian-caravan-tea.html?catid=253
First tea of the day, a nice bold cup of Assaaaaaam (said with a growl in my throat, pretending to be a tiger). I thought I had to be at the salt room at 9 this morning, so I slurped through my breakfast soup, & poured this cup of tea back & forth through a couple of ceramic cups to bring it down to sipping temp quicker so I could drink it before I go. About half-way through the cup, I realize my appointment at the salt room is tomorrow at 9, so I sat back down, sipped the last couple of sips, & I suddenly I don’t have to do anything until my students begin to arrive at 11:00. Bubble bath!!
What’s the salt room, you ask? It’s a place near my home where you can relax for an hour & breath in microfinely salted air. It’s like gargling with salt water with your whole body (minus the water, nobody wants to drown!). It’s especially helpful for people with respiratory issues, which is why I go from time to time, but has also been shown to help skin problems, etc. There are salt rooms in Australia, Toronto, Dallas, Detroit, Knoxville, Cleveland and Chicago. Anyway, there’s a ton of info about salt therapy on their website,
This is a sipdown of the sample of this sent to me from TastyBrew. Thanks! When I drank the first half of this sample about a month ago, I was watching the last inning of a St. Louis Cardinals game, which they won. Coincidentally, we’re sitting around in PJs watching the Cards again today! It’s the 8th inning, & we’re playing against our nemesis team, the Cincinatti Reds, & currently kicking their butts, 11 to 2!
So this is a nice tea, rich & chocolaty, & today I’m tasting a little more of the hazelnut. I’m drinking it straight, as I’m doing a Whole30 right now, & so no sweeteners of any kind. Of course, adding a little sweetness would bring out the toffee flavor more, but this is pretty damn good as is! If you’d like to know what a Whole30 is, here’s the link:
This is a sipdown, but not really, since me, sil & cavo placed a joint order a few weeks ago from the Tea Spot. It turns out the price is even better if you buy a case of 4 tins, so we did! Sil & Cavo each got one (which should be arriving soon) & I kept 2 of them, LOL, so I won’t have to worry about running out of this one for quite some time. And that’s a good thing!
Most of the time I don’t necessarily want an 8 oz quantity of 1 tea, although there are exceptions, & since this is black & puerh, it’s not going to lose flavor before I drink it.
So this is on my unwritten list of favorite breakfast blends. Currently it is a short list. In no particular order (yet… maybe ever) there’s this, Brahmin’s Choice, Imperial Summer (although I still haven’t tried the newest rendition, it’s on it’s way & I’m sure it will be great), Double Knit, Butiki’s Irish Breakfast, Bilbo Brew, & Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha. There are others I’d like to try, including Tea Spot’s Russian Caravan, which I have a sample of. I’m also open for suggestions, so feel free to tell me what your favorite breakfast blends are. I really enjoyed Organic Morning’s Journey, but am unable to get it now. When I think of a breakfast blend, I’m thinking more than one variety of tea (Tiger Assam is not on the list because, although it’s one of my favorite Assams, I’m not counting it on THIS list because it’s a blend of Assams only. So it’s on my list of favorite Assams, if that makes sense to anyone).
Anyway, this one is earthy, rich, bold, chocolatey, & it packs a nice punch! It’s also on my even shorter list of flavored puerhs…with Sichuan Caravan.
It’s also on my list
First tea of the day, & a sipdown!
Confession: I only had 4 pearls left, & I like to use 6, so I sort of bastardized this a little (probably for better) by adding 2 pearls from my bag of Mandala’s Black pearl. I steeped for 3 minutes & enjoyed a yummy malty cup. Re-steep @ 5 minutes = another tasty cup. It’s noon, I’m hungry, time to make some breakfast!
I’m so happy & grateful to see Steepster functioning again! I was pretty busy yesterday, playing a wedding with the trio (which went beautifully, I might add). I tried to post this tea in the morning before I left the house, I tried to post in the early evening upon my return. I started a big batch of cultured green beans with fresh dill heads & garlic (photos will probably show up on my FB later), strained a huge crockpot of chicken stock & froze it in single servings, picked a bunch of lemon cucumbers, most of which I’ll start as cultured pickles tomorrow, & I drank more teas: Hattialli Golden Lion (sipdown) & Khongea Golden Tippy, each separately, to fully appreciate them as 2 of the components of this tea. I already loved them both, but in this blend, they complete each other. Still no Steepster…by the evening I was in full Steepster withdrawal mode.
Usually I’m disappointed with Irish brekkies, they rarely seem to deliver what I’m looking for: a bold but sweet & full, well balanced, eye opening cup. I want a nice deep base note, a malty rich middle, & a high end that is bright but not too shrill. This Irish Breakfast is wonderful, IMO, & it delivers! Stacy picked the perfect combo of teas, in just the right amounts, & it’s as if I requested this as a custom brew, because its just what I needed.