2329 Tasting Notes
Some teas are hard to let go of. You know you can only drink it one more time, & then it’s gone forever…sigh…
I listened to “Time to Say Goodbye”, sung by Bocelli & Brightman, on youtube while drinking some of the steepings of this tea, tears streaming down my face because the song is beautiful, their voices are so beautiful…sigh…farewell.
Not really much to say, as I just reviewed this one last week.
It snowed yesterday, & even though it’s really only a couple of inches, one by one all of my students are calling to reschedule their lessons, so it looks like I’ve got the day off, from teaching anyway. A good day to work on my office, although so far I’m just goofing off, drinking tea. Oh, & returning/answering phone calls. So I AM working! :)
Welcome to day 5 of little terri’s Sipdown Extravaganza!
I have to start the day by issuing a retraction: yesterday I logged sipdown #28 as Yu Lu Yan Cha. This morning I was looking through my files, & realized that I still have some Yu Lu in one of the Verdant TOMC files, so no sipdown there. Yet.
So Sipdown #28 is this Anniversary Blend. Thank you Spencer!
I love my unblended black teas, but I also enjoy a good blend, & this one is particularly nice because it includes Jin Jun Mei, which I am in love with. Sweet with a nice cocoa powder base & a malty middle, what more could I ask for this morning?
I’ve been drinking this all evening. I didn’t read the suggested steeping parameters, so I only used 4G, instead of the recommended 5G. After letting the leaf relax in a prewarmed yixing, it smelled of honey & apricot!! That was enticing! And the tea didn’t disappoint, not at all! I gave a quick rinse, & steeped 5//10/15 sec/ etc all the way up to a minute & a half.
I didn’t document anything about it, but am looking forward to drinking it again.
The main features were a lovely apricot flavor throughout all steeps, a sweet fruit & honey taste as well, & a lingering tangy mouth. I’m no expert, but IMO this is a really lovely sheng. My only complaint, if there is one, is that the paper the brick comes wrapped in is very flimsy, & has already disintegrated on the edges.
This is my only non-sipdown tea from yesterday.
It’s an interesting tea. The tea leaves are twisted & layered into delicate little ‘ropes’, which I’m sure takes a lot of practice, & then the tea is aged in cakes. It’s amazing looking, & I’ve wanted to try it since the first time I saw a picture of it. I used to actually do rope braids with my hair, so I admire the people who spent hours creating this interesting looking tea. And of course, I’m always a sucker for novelty in presentation, right?
So I gave this one a try, treating it like I would any other Sheng. I tend to go conservative on Sheng, so I dropped 3 G worth of pigtails into my pre-warmed green yixing (it’s really sand colored, IMO), & let the leaf relax for a minute. Opening the lid, the aroma was light smoke, greenness, & a little spice. Nice!
Steepings of 5/10/15sec/etc…
The earliest cups were a pale green taste with a pinch of salt. Gradually the flavor of Cherrios built up, which later transformed into the flavor of oatstraw tea (yes, I drink it sometimes. It’s a great source of minerals, like calcium & Magnesium, & it actually tastes pretty good too). A creamy vanilla sensation emerged, & at 40 seconds the cup was sweet & mild, still with a pinch of salt & an almost buttery taste, and a touch of almond.
The later steepings took on a slick texture, reminding me of Aloe, & a soapy aftertaste.
At this point I had a bad memory of drinking blue unicorn horn tea, which had a salty soapy tasty & made me sick to my stomach, so I ended this session. Overall, it was a pleasant session. It’s a very mild sheng, & I have enough to drink it one more time, so I think I’ll try to go a little stronger next time. :)
I had my tea count figured out, but more tea arrived in the form of an awesome trade, & I have to factor it in, so I’ll get back to you on that.
I shared this tea with a 30 something friend of my daughter. He’s having some rough times, so we’re keeping his dog for awhile, & trying to help him get back on track. Ari had to go to work, so he spent the earlier part of the evening hanging out & drinking tea with me. He had only ever had Lipton tea, which he didn’t care much for. Needless to say, he enjoyed this one, & we went through several steepings of it. We also drank a few others.
This is my least favorite of Verdant’s Black tea offerings. In fact, the only reason I had some on hand was because they included a sample in one of my orders. Sure, there’s some chocolate in there, it’s roasty & sweet, but there’s an undertaste that just doesn’t appeal to me. Nothing wrong with the tea, & I don’t mind drinking a cup or 2 once in awhile, but it’s not a tea that I will ever crave.
I didn’t detect any smoke, Sil, but I wish I did, LOL. My sample has been around awhile, so it may be from a previous batch.
So it snowed in St. Louis today. They were called for a few inches, which really doesn’t bother me at all, & I doubt that we even got an inch, the roads were slick or anything, but all of my students called & cancelled, one by one. To be fair, Tuesday is a pretty light day for me, & the students I have on Tues all have a pretty good drive, with the longest being an hour. So I had a very busy day, basically doing nothing, LOL. I did cook, & I went to the PO, & I entertained a friend of my daughter’s, serving him tea & chatting about mindfulness philosophy, & finding your own unique spiritual path in the world.
My sipdown extravaganza is going rather well! Most of the teas I’ve polished off are teas I’ve already reviewed, so I’m just going to list them here:
15 Wuyishan Black – Steepster Select
16 Obukucha – Steepster Select
17 Yunnan Beauty – Mandala
18 Noble Mark – Mandala
19 Bu lang Gong ting – Mandala
20 White Rhino – Butiki
21 Steamed Purple Green – Butiki
22 Laoshan Bilochun Green
23 & 24 were teas I posted this morning…
25 Justea Black (Thanks Sil)
26 Assam Mangalam 2nd Flush – Zen Tea – thanks for this one too!
27 Organic Long Jin #03 – Steepster Select
These teas were drank over 2 days, & actually some were passed on to a friend, who I hope will enjoy sampling them!