2859 Tasting Notes

I went a little off the deep end a few days ago & bought a bunch of stuff from Garret @ Mandala, including the porcelain blue lotus teapot I’ve been pining for & my first Yixing, which I plan to use for Oolongs.
And some teas….sigh…
The pots are adorable, even smaller than I pictured them, & I’m in love.
The artwork on the Blue Lotus pot strongly resembles one of the upcoming tattoos I want, I mean when I first laid eyes on it, it was like…how did they know? So I obsessed for awhile, & finally got it. I haven’t gotten the tattoo…yet…

So…the tea! I’ve drank & written about this tea multiple times, both western style & Gongfu. Today, I’m steeping it in my little Blue Lotus pot, which just happens to hold the perfect amount of water to fill my favorite blue cup.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200993790822376&set=a.1840459966648.2104718.1095023403&type=1&theater

I’m using the green dragonfly pot to hold hot water, so that I don’t have to stand around the stove. It holds about 4 steepings-worth.
On my 7th steeping now, & what can I say that I haven’t already said?
This is not a chocolaty tea, not a sweet tea either. It is a wild & savory cup of mind-opening Qi-moving elixer, with a flavor of potato chips cooked in olive oil & sprinkled very lightly with a pinch of salt.

Bonnie

Happy new pots!

NofarS

Your first Yixing! Congratulation!

JustJames

very nice tea pots!

Terri HarpLady

I’ll put up a photo of the Yixing later, it, or perhaps I should say ‘He’ is taking a tea bath at this moment!

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I enjoyed this tea earlier today with a student. As I mentioned yesteday, I’m not a fan of the Dragonwell steeping method. The teas tend to get too astringent for my tummy when I steep them that way.

On the other hand, I love my glass test tube steeper, & with the other 1st picking tea it was perfect at short steeps. This one wants to be in the water longer, so maybe next time I’ll try the dragonwell method with it after all.

It definitely has a more mineral profile in the flavor, & a slightly ‘dry’ feeling, but not dry in the sense that my mouth is dry, but more in the sense of an almost powdery sensation & almost lemony feel in the later steepings.

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This is a serious blend of teas! Very bold, very bright, very earthy. When I think of a ‘Breakfast Blend’, this is the kind of cup I’m thinking of. It’s a little on the astringent end & considerably brighter than what I usually go for, but as far as blends go, this is pretty awesome!

gmathis

I don’t think this is one of the ones offered at the Fresh Market—but it sounds like something I’d grab immediately.

Terri HarpLady

I’d be glad to send you a sample!

gmathis

PM’d you.

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The birds informed me that the best time to eat homegrown berries is while you’re picking them, which I did this morning.
Then I fixed a Frittata for breakfast, & the boys picked Tardis to go with it.
Earl Grey Bravo, Blackberry, & Vanilla.
Not really feeling it today.
This tea goes better with pancakes.

JustJames

when i was a kid i went strawberry picking with my sister and my governess. we picked for hours but only had small buckets to show for it. the attendant had no idea what to do and grumbled that maybe she should put my sister and i on the scale. they taste better when you save them from a life of plastic captivity!

Terri HarpLady

It’s true!
I’ve been bringing them in & making (gluten free) muffins with them, pancakes, & throwing them in salads. Today I just wanted to eat them. :)

ashmanra

I always graze on my scuppernong grapes out at the vine. They rarely make it into the house to be washed and eaten! The first year we moved in this house, the rich scent brought the memory of getting caught in a bear trap under my aunt’s vines flooding back! I had nearly forgotten! I didn’t get hurt, just stuck, as the trap was old and rusty and closed on my Sunday shoes! But I couldn’t get my shoe off, and Dad had to “rescue” me. The trap was there because the vines were right beside the chicken house and bears like both!

Terri HarpLady

Wowza! What a story Ashmanra! Wow!

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Final tea of the day.
An earthy grounding tuocha, not as tasty as some of the other shu’s in my collection, but not bad either.

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The month is almost over & I’m finally drinking this one.
The flavor is SO green! I went with the test tube steeper, short steepings, & it’s so rich & full it reminds me of Matcha!

JustJames

i loved this tea…..

Dexter

Pardon my newbie ignorance. Can you please explain to me the “test tube steeper”? I’ve seen it mentioned in tasting notes but haven’t run across one (that I remember) on any of the sites. Where did you get it?

Terri HarpLady

Here’s the link Dexter
http://verdanttea.com/teas/glass-test-tube-steeper/
I love this thing! It is my favorite mode for steeping green teas. They are out of stock right now.

Dexter

Thank you. Will have to keep a watch out to see if they restock. Looks unusual.

yyz

Hi Dexter. If verdant doesn’t restock you might want to check out aliexpress retailers carry something similar starting around 11USD. Just make sure that they are charging per complete set and not per piece and that you check out the shipping costs when comparing retailers.

JustJames

terri! what an awesome link…. that’s a great device!

Dexter

Thanks for the advice yyz. Will take a look.

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I have to confess: I have a tendency to overleaf it with Stacy’s black teas. If she says ‘2 tsp’ I usually go with a loose Tbl, as those teas are so crazy shaped that there really is no way to measure out a tsp with them. If she (or anyone else on any tea…) says ‘a level tsp’, I usually go with a heaping one. On this tea (& the Assam leaf, even more so), I’ve learned to follow instructions, LOL. This is not a wiggly irregular shaped tea, the strands are thinner & shorter, so it is more well behaved.

Anyway, it’s a lovely boldish Assam with a light astringency & a nice malty flavor, with a hint of citrus to it. (Or maybe that came from the lemon pancakes I was eating?). Very rich & delicious. I steeped 4 minutes. Next time I need to remember to go 5, so I can see how it changes.

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I had originally planned to enjoy this yesterday after several steepings of Lao Tong Zhi ‘11 Sheng, but the day got late, dinnertime came, & I decided to wait. So I’m enjoying it now (still listening to the ladies play harp duets). This is a very nice fully flavored Shu, no fish or ammonia, reminding me of vanilla wafers, & also reminding me of the noodle kugle I used to make for my kids a long time ago. That kugel was rich with eggs, vanilla, cinnamon. This Shu has a richness like that, a smooth vanilla mouthfeel, a mouth watering sweetness, & it’s just plain tasty! It’s also rather bold!
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 2min (xingyang workshop method)
Subsequent steeps t 2 min, followed by steeps at 3 mins as needed.

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I haven’t drank this one for awhile.
I have 2 ladies here practicing their Harp duets & I always serve them tea. I served this one, in part because I’m really trying to make it through my entire menu of teas by the end of the month, which won’t actually happen, LOL, but at least I can make it through all the black teas then. Also, I haven’t drank this one for awhile, as ceylon teas tend to not interest me much, they tend to upset my stomach if it’s empty (along with white, green, puers & oolongs), and so I figured it was time to give it a try again. After breakfast!

It is, of course a much more gentle brew that what I tend to go for, very light & ‘clear’, with a taste closer to the ice teas of my youth, but today I’m really noticing a very lovely apricot flavor to it! Perhaps I originally judged this tea unfairly, for today it is quite nice! The ladies are enjoying it too. :)

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First tea of the day! I really enjoyed these pearls this morning, with their essence of malt & chocolate. I needed a black tea that wouldn’t upset my tummy on an empty stomach, because I had a student right away & didn’t have time to eat. This one worked just fine, using 6 pearls & steeped at 4 min, then 5, then 6 minutes. I made it through the first cup during the lesson, drank the 2nd while fixing breakfast, & the 3rd with my meal. A good start to a busy day!

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Bio

I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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