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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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!