I thought the water would never boil! Finally, my first cup of the day!
I’m steeping this western style again: dump the whole package in a cup, steep 3 mins, with subsequent steepings @ 4 & 5 mins. It’s very satisfying this way, & although I enjoy it in a Gaiwan as well, this is easy & I want easy.
943 Tasting Notes
I thought the water would never boil! Finally, my first cup of the day!
The gig I played today went very nicely, then I returned home & took my Harley out for a spin. It was such a nice day, 70 degrees, & Ruby (1200 custom sportster, lava sunglow red) has been stuck in the garage forever. It always seems like the days when it’s beautiful weather I’m playing a gig or teaching, & the days I’m free to ride it rains.
So we buzzed around town, it felt so good to feel the wind! When I got home I went on a crazy tea frenzy! I pulled out the Nov TOMC selections, & actually followed the suggestions for once.
First I Steeped Mt Banzang’s Sheng. If I could buy a whole cake of this, I would, but at $300 the answer is no.
Then I made some Autumn picked laoshan green. It really is a lovely contrast. The Banzang is rustic, smoky, tangy, tongue numbing & 3rd eye opening, then the laoshan green is so fresh tasting, buttery greens. I sipped back & forth between 2 Gaiwans, & then did a few more steeps on yesterday’s Big Leaf Sheng too. The next part of the suggested instructions was to mix the sheng & green together, 3G green to 1G Sheng. So I had 4 Gaiwans going. Finally, “add a pinch of the toasted rice to each one”. That took them all over the top!
That was the end of my tea drinking for today :)
Headed to the bubble bath with this wonderfully bold & chocolatey tea.
Good morning Steepsterites!
I’m up earlier than usual, as I have a concert today at noon to play.
I’ll play a mix of Irish & Classical, and I woke up hungry, so my morning routine order is a little switched: Breakfast & tea, bubble bath, yoga (that’s usually first), warm up on my harp, then hit the road!
So far I have only enjoyed this tea Gongfu style, which is the only recommendation on the Verdant website. I made the mistake of brewing Yu Lu Yan Cha in a mug as if it were Laoshan black, & the results was not pleasant, at least not for me. So I’ve been a little hesitant to make that mistake again, Fo Shou. (Sorry…couldn’t help it)
But what the hell! Tea is all about the experience, all about the experiment, right? As in tea, so in life, right? So I went for it. I opened the little red package, it’s roughly a Tablespoon, dumped in the steeper basket, & added hot water. I let it go for 3 minutes, just like Laoshan Black. It was AWESOME! 2nd cup steeped 4 minutes, 3rd cup = 5 minutes.
I’m a happy camper! Now I know that I can take this tea either way, & that just made my day!
There is a big pot of stew waiting for me, but after reading Bonnie’s Sheng post, I wanted some.
This is a super ‘clean’ tasting sheng, very mellow, with a nice energy about it. I already did a more extensive review, commenting on the tangerine peel flavor, so that’s all I’m saying.
I’m gonna relax & enjoy this for awhile.
mmMMMmmm….I’m enjoying this :)
This tea arrived today, & I immediately drank a cup, & then resteeped the leaves for a 2nd cup. Even though I shook the package up real good for that first cup, it mainly tasted like Laoshan black, with a little extra roasty flavor. It was awesome, but I wasn’t really getting the chocolate & toasted rice vibe that much. So I drank a cup of Keemun, which is very different, drank a glass of water, & measured out some more of this tea to try again. This time I inspected my spoon, making sure that all of the ingredients were well represented, & the 2nd cup definitely had the tasted of toasted rice & cacao! They add a satisfying depth to the cup, not tasting like coffee, but with the full body of coffee. On the re-steep I added some orange peel to the cup, just for a fun experiment, & it was a nice addition! Halfway through drinking that cup, I also added a drop of stevia, & THAT was also nice!
Now I’m reminiscing about Laoshan Bergamot Rose, hoping that David will bring that one back, fantasizing about adding roses & vanilla to this blend, enjoying this cup, & I think I need a hot bubblebath.
I’ll buy more…yes, I’m sure I’ll buy more…
Another tasty cold brew, & the final sip down from my trade with Azzrian.
The box is empty! Thanks Azz!
No notes yet.
Another cold brew sip down, and this is delicious!
I think I am now hooked on cold brewing tea!
Sipdown of this sample from Azz.
I cold-brewed the last of it, & I like it better this way! Tasty!
Some of us were talking about Black Dragon Pearls on here the other day. I was passing the mall, so I stopped in again to see if they have any. They didn’t, & he isn’t even sure if they’ll be getting them ever again!
He recommended the Golden Monkey, saying that it is essentially the same tea, so I bought some. It has basically been my tea of the day, not because it’s better than everything else, but because I’m busy, it’s easy to brew another cup, & I’m trying to decide if it really tastes the same as the pearls. And I don’t think it does. I know that’s probably absurd. Anyway, it is malty! It’s tasty in it’s own right, but I’m not getting the chocolatey essence. Still it’s not bad. Maybe I’ll add more tea next time, as I always use considerably more pearls than recommended.
Time to move on to something else…Next!
I’ve been practicing like a crazy woman all evening!
First it was the first harp part for Schelomo, the cello concerto by Bloch. Then there’s another piece for that concert, which is on Monday.
Next I worked on Clair de Lune (Debussy) because I have to play it at a gig in a few weeks & it’s been awhile…I also worked on my arrangement of Girl From Ipanima.
Finally, I’m playing a meditation concert at a church this friday, as part of their Lent series & since St Pats is this weekend, I came up with a set that includes a mix of Irish tunes, & some classical stuff to, like the Swan, such a beautiful piece…sigh…
When I finished practicing, I wanted a cup of tea to help me unwind, & here’s what I threw together:
Chamomile – purported sleep aid
Oat straw & nettle – good source of calcium’ for relaxing
Double shot of valerian tincture – nature’s version of Valium
Orange peel, lemon verbena (homegrown!) & vanilla for flavor
A few drops of stevia for flavor enhancement
I think that’s everything. Add hot water, steep, & enjoy!
Another tea from Azzrian!
This is a nice dessert tea!
I have cold brews of the remainder of Angels Dreams, Fruit d’Alsace, & Maracuja going in the frig. I’m kind of new to cold brewing, so not quite sure how long to leave them.
So I only have one tea left, & then it will be a total SipDown of all the samples in the box! Thanks again, Azz, for being one of my first tea trades!
And speaking of trades, I know I’ve spoken to a few people here about trading, & I want you to know (if you’re reading this) that I haven’t forgotten you. I’ll get my act together shortly…
This is from the Verdant TOMC Reserve Club. Although my inclination is to sample each of the TOMC teas once & then hoard them, LOL, I’m trying to rotate through them instead.
This is a very appealing & wonderful Sheng. If it was available by the cake, I’d buy it! The wet leaf has a fruity smell, like tart plums. The early steepings are lightly sweet & fruity, with none of the harshness that some Shengs start out with. Just a nice mellow cup, and vibe, with a touch of the yunnan oral sensation. Later steepings have a hint of lime, & a tongue tingling effect, with a chaqi tickle moving through my body. It feels so good…sigh…
Still working my way through the Azzrian Tea Box! Thanks again, Azz!
This is a nice potent black tea! I’m not really getting the maple flavor much, but the Berry flavor is definitely there! I think the rest of this sample will become another cold brew.
Speaking of blackberries, as I was walking in my garden the other day, I realized I need to do a LOT of pruning that should have been done in the fall. Last year’s blackberry boughs are still there! I made a plan: I’ll prune them out & use them to form the sides of a raised bed! They are definitely long enough & sturdy enough, so I can anchor them together, line the inside with burlap coffee bags, & they will add nicely to the ambience of my strange but wonderful gardening methods!
Another selection from the wonder tea box I got from Azzrian! She is amazingly generous, but I’m almost at the end! Thanks Azz!
Didn’t really care much for this one hot, either plain, with stevia, or with stevia & french vanilla coconut milk creamer. I’m trying a cold brew with the rest of the sample. I’ll get back to you with the results.
“Dreary Winter Day
Early morning reverie
sipping cup of Spring”
LOL, I wrote this Haiku the last time I drank a cup of this Matcha. Today is not a dreary day, it’s a beautiful sunny day! The sun is so bright it hurts my eyes, but I am loving it. I’ve been taking a walk in my garden for the last several days, looking around to see what’s waking up, & fantasizing about this year’s garden. This morning it was so sunny that I stepped out back barefoot, sliced of a few scallion tops from my Egyptian Walking Onion bed to use in my breakfast. The ground is still cold, & actually there’s a cold wind blowing today, but I love this weather! I’m ready for spring!
No notes yet.
There’s nothing else I can say about this tea that hasn’t already been said, by myself & by others. It was just what I needed this morning!
I’ve had a couple of busy days, drinking lots of tea on the go, & it was nice this morning to just enjoy this. I steeped the leaves 3 times: 3 minutes, 4 minutes, & 5 minutes. I sipped while I fixed my breakfast, I sipped with my breakfast, I sipped after breakfast during my 1st student of the day. My morning is complete!
This is not the first time I’ve drank this, or even the 2nd, but apparently it is the first time I’m logging it here. It is very nice, with flavors of semolina & perhaps a dark dried fruit, like raisins or prunes. It’s very smooth, a nice depth to it, & doesn’t have any of the compost pile flavors that some Puers feature. It’s a little late at night for me to be drinking tea, but I’ve had a busy couple of days & I feel that I deserve some Shu, plus it doesn’t ever seem to keep me up, so I’m enjoying my last cup (steep # 8, I think).
I woke up with a headache, & so spring begins. I love spring, but my allergies tend to make it a rough time for me. I know other people that are also already having allergies, so at least I’m not alone. Anyway, the only thing on my mind was getting some caffeine in my sys, in hopes that the headache would pass. I drank, in succession, not all at once:
Keemun (London Tea Room)
Kenyan (also LTR)
Bolder Breakfast (Tea Spot)
Three Gardens Breakfast Blend (Rep of Tea, in bags)
I still have a headache, & inspite of my caffeine buzz, I’m not feeling particularly awake or alert. Gonna go practice for an hour, then I have to leave for a orch rehearsal.
Onward through the fog….
I’ve always loved licorice root. It is definitely one of my most favorite herbs. 30 years ago I used licorice root sticks to quit smoking, & I’ve turned others onto them for the same reason. Basically, I’d buy the sticks, which are about the size of a long thin cigarette, & chew on the end of one, holding it like I would hold a cigarette. The flavor is naturally sweet & pleasant, at least to me. What’s amazing about licorice is you taste it after you swallow it, & the flavor lingers for quite awhile. I have drank licorice as a tea for a very long time, both plain & in combinations. I originally became interested in it in my 20’s when I read that it is a natural antidepressant, helps balance your blood sugar & helps for chronic fatigue syndrome, problems I suffered from for a long time. (Not anymore, I’m cured from that, fibro-whatever, arthritis, & everything else).
So I used to get a licorice tea from an herb shop in Kansas City, “House of Hezekiah”. I’ve also enjoyed this blend from Yogi teas for years. It’s sweetly spicey & gently warming. I haven’t drank a lot of licorice lately, & I think I need to add some back into my life. I’ve even been thinking of adding it to my garden this year, along with Elderberry, burdock, & a few others.
The gig went great! I sold a bunch of CDs, ran into a few people I hadn’t seen for years, & as always, had fun doing my favorite thing. Before I left the house I filled my Starbucks 16oz Thermal thingy with the last of this Assam, & it stays so hot in there that it got me through the gig.
In my sippy cup to drink during the first set!
Basically an earl grey a la Orange, plus stevia