2855 Tasting Notes
After I claimed a sipdown on this tea, I realized I had a secret stash at Tony’s. so this was the first tea of the morning, which I drank on the way to the airport. My mistake was forgetting there is green tea in here, which makes me sick to my stomach if I haven’t eaten. That queasiness started, but luckily I brought my own food: a frittata & paleo banana muffins, so I am saved.
For those who don’t know me, I have a very deep cynical streak (the title of my first CD was ‘Cynical Serenity’). I also have trust issues, especially when it comes to ‘guru’ types. So, having said that, when I hear people referred to as ‘Master’ this, or whatever, I’m always a little suspicious. Also, when companies give all these amazing descriptions & make things sound so unbelievably good, I secretly roll my eyes with doubt. Even Verdant. Sometimes it just seems a little over the top.
Having said that, where Verdant is concerned, I am almost always impressed, & today is no exception. I don’t know why I should still be skeptical, except that it is just my nature, I guess.
So…I’ve been enjoying this Shu all afternoon, steeped in a Gaiwan, steep after steep. Everything about this tea speaks of quality & craftmanship. From the awesome banana-leaf wrapper, (or whatever it’s made of, your damn right I’ll be buying a brick!), & the dark beauty of the leaf itself, to the bright clean flavor that is fruity, creamy, & slightly tart, this is a lovely Shu! I’m not done with it yet, & next time I’ll use the Xingyang workshop parameters.
Master Han is the Jedi Master of Tea. Thank you David & Lily, for all that you do for us crazy tea drinkers! I love you guys!
Tomorrow morning I’m flying to Orlando, FL to visit my folks, who live in Apopka. It will be a week of no real responsibilities. At least once a day Dad will ask me to show him something on the piano, as I’ve been teaching him theory & improvisation for a few years now. Mom will find reasons to go to the health food store, the book store, or other locations to get some time alone with me. We’ll hang out relaxing. I’m smuggling some Egyptian Walking Onions for their garden. (Last time I smuggled 2 of their amazing aloe plants home, they are very different from the ones I have here). I don’t care much for FL, but I like to go visit my folks each year for their anniversary. Last year we had a family reunion in Springfield, MO to celebrate 60 years. It was the first time all 5 siblings had been in the same place in about 30 years! This year it is back to a nice quiet week of goofing off, watching movies, gardening, & eating. And drinking tea. The hardest decision I have to make today is which teas to bring:
A) My favorites…but there are so many!
B) A sipdown sampler collection
I still haven’t decided, LOL.
Meanwhile, the TOMC bundle came on Saturday, & today I’m working my way through some of the selections.
Don’t think I’m any kind of authority on Sheng, because I’m not, but for a year old Sheng, this seems amazingly smooth, sweet, & even kind of creamy. Most of the other young Shengs I’ve tried have been kind of harsh, especially if I use more than 3G. The chaqi hit me after the first cup, & I’ve been sipping cup after cup, in between doing various things that need to be done before I leave town: a few loads of laundry, water all houseplants, etc. The flavor is rich with a full maltiness, a bright citrus sensation, steam sauteed cabbage, & a lingering herbaceousness & thick tongue. I like it!
I’ve officially designated Monday as “White Tea” day. This started at the beginning of July. I don’t have a huge selection of white teas, as I’m not crazy about them, & tend to find them a little lame, to be honest, but I do enjoy trying them out & am gradually developing an appreciation for them. So every Monday I will drink a white tea, either plain or flavored (I currently have a total of 5 in my collection).
Today, it is this one. Steeped according to Verdant’s suggested gongfu parameters, more or less:
4G + my glass test tube steeper X 5 sec (adding 5 per steep)
This is a pleasant cup that starts out creamy & sweet, with the flavor & texture building with each steep. Gradually an blanched almond flavor emerged, & that was really nice. I am also thinking of a really creamy oatmeal, the kind you make from steel cut oats. The later steepings are more savory, with a bit more vegetal taste, & an almost citrus like sensation. As far as white teas go, this one is really nice!
First tea of the morning, enjoyed while fixing breakfast.
First steep = 4min
2nd steep = 5min
Both were delicious, smooth, with a nice thick sensation, flavors of Malt, a little chocolate, & that hint of coriander. And NO astringency! Upon finishing the 2nd cup, I have a tingle on the tip of my tongue & thickness along the sides. A wonderful way to start the day!
Another tea from Sil, Thanks! You’re slacking on your reviews, sister, get with it! ;)
THIS is more like it!
I’m enjoying these teas from Taiwan Tea Crafts. I’ve decided I like the Assams from Sun Moon Lake. They all share a rich fruity flavor that is very different from the Assams I’m used to, but in a really nice way. This one is really lively in the mouth, with a full sensation, & a nice high note that reminds me of Apricot.
Another tea from Sil. :)
So, when I opened the bag, I was like, “Oh crap…rooibos…meh…”
But I made a cup anyway. The aroma was a turn off for me, & the first couple of sips were a little to bright for me, too intense.
I almost dumped it out.
I’m sitting around watching old episodes of NCIS. I let the tea cool for a few minutes, taking an occasional sip, & it sort of grew on me a little, at least enough to drink the rest of the cup.
It’s wierd…I don’t really know how I feel about it. I have mixed feelings. The flavor has the intensity of cough syrup, that would be the combo of rooibos & hibiscus, then there is the fruity currant, which I like. There is a pleasant creaminess from vanilla & some white chocolate as well.
So I don’t really like it. There’s something over the top & fake about the taste, that lingers in the after-taste & gives me a queasy feeling.
Hmmmm….I’m not really sure how I feel about this one. I’m not used to finding Fenugreek in a tea, & admittedly, I’ve never been a real fan of it. I guess it’s interesting enough to finish the cup, with a rich mouth, but it IS a sipdown, so I doubt I’ll ever drink it again.
Thanks for the sample, Sil.
Look what I found in Tony’s cupboard! I also found some Vanilla Caramel Assam (Butiki) AND a secret stash of Bilbo Brew (Adagio)!
We’re hanging out having a PJ day, being couch potatoes. Right now we’re watching “Ray”, for the third time. Jamie Foxx is so awesome in this movie.
This is tasty, malty, & a little fruity.
This is another tea from my trade with Sil, & my first tea of the day.
The other sun moon Lake blacks I’ve sampled were rich with fruitiness, both in the flavor & aroma, & very smooth. They are very different, really in a lovely & unique way. If I understand it, this is one of ose same teas, aged 30 years. It is very smooth, & the fruit flavors have transmuted to root veggies: notably beets & carrots. There is also an earthy taste, like a root cellar, hinting at a Shu puer, but just a hint, with a touch of salt. It’s mellow & grounding.