2855 Tasting Notes
Yay, my swap from TastyBrew arrived yesterday, & she is awesome! Most of the samples are in foil pouches with her own cool logo on them: it’s a tea mug with a beer bottle in it, & the label on the bottle has her name on it! How cool is that?
Here I am, still rolling tea up in baggies, like the old dope dealer I used to be.
Ruby black is my first sample from the wonderful array of teas she sent. From the description, it sound like a super sweet & malty cup, and although it isn’t bad, it doesn’t really follow its bio.
The leaves are a nice dark reddish black, crazy & twisty like an oolong. TB suggested a steep time of 5 minutes. 4 min is usually my preferred time for black teas. I started steeping, dipping a spoon in for a slurp every so often, as I do for new teas sometimes, just to make sure I don’t go over. I let it go to 4min. The resulting brew is dark in color, sweet, with an orange veggie taste like roasted squash or carrots, & lightly malty. Definitely not the bold Assam like character I was expecting! There is a little tongue tingling sensation, & I think next time I’ll give it 5 min to see if it changes anything.
Thanks TastyBrew! I’m bringing Methode Noir to breakfast with me!
First off, I’d like to say that all of the black teas I’ve tried from Mandala have been awesome! Thank you Garret!
This one is very tasty, with a thick & resinous mouthfeel (like a good hashish…sorry, but it’s true. I remember that feeling, even though I’ve been clean & serene for over 29 years, LOL). I steeped the first cup for 3 min, 2nd cup for 4. Now I’m headed out the door, nicely alert & VERY present!
Both of the boys unanimously picked this as our breakfast tea, & it was perfect, with it’s essence of sweet potato, cinnamon, & vanilla layered over an Irish Breakfast base. Our tin of this is getting closer & closer to a sipdown. While we ate our frittata & raspberry muffins (gluten free, made with homegrown black raspberries), & sipped our tea, we discussed making our own Bilbo Brew. One of the things I told the boys is we don’t HAVE to use Adagio teas. I’d like the brew to be a little more stout, for example, so maybe a more potent Irish Breakfast/Assam might be in order.
Next topic: sweet potato…I’m actually thinking of baking a sweet potato to it’s fully caramelized glory, liquidating it in my blender, & then dehydrating & turning it into a powder, or at least slicing it into little slivers…
cinnamon chips: those are easily acquired
So…we may just order an oz each of irish breakfast, vanilla black (instead of green), sweet potato black, & then add some cinnamon chips, or we may try some crazy experiments. To be continued…
Backtracking from earlier in the day.
I’m trying to drink a green tea every day, & today it was this one. It really is a nice Dragonwell. I haven’t tried the ‘1st picking’ version yet, & I’m trying to drink all of my dragonwells, so that when I finally taste that one I’m hoping to notice a difference.
Anyway, this one is really nice. It’s very tasty. It was hours ago, so that’s really all I have to say. :)
This is a really tasty tea!
Once again, I’m not in the mood for fussing over a Gaiwan, nor do I have time. I steeped a 5G chunk of this for 3 minutes, & it is delicious. I resteeped for 4, still delicious. Now I’m going back for 5 min. Admittedly, this is the way I’m enjoying my Shu’s lately. I like them the other way too, but it takes time & if I wait around to have more time, I never end up drinking them.
So this one brewed into a nice deep cup of awesomeness. No fish, not even a compost pile, just a rich dark sweet cup with a nice cinnamon flavor to it. This was a sample from Garret, which I am very grateful for, & will probably need to purchase some of.
Meanwhile, I REALLY WANT the blue lotus teapot on the Mandala site. Garret, feel free to start wrapping it up for me, & if there is only one left, please set it aside, because I want it. When I buy it, can you send me a sample of the ‘not so mini tuochas’? They sound delicious!
Somehow, I drank green & white teas almost all day. A couple of Dragonwells, some white, & before I knew it the day was nearly gone. I realized around 6:00 that I really wanted something else. I wanted a nice rich dark cup that was full of grounding qualities. I wanted a cup of Puerh! I didn’t want to sit around with a Gaiwan, doing multiple steeps & comparing sips. Sometimes I like to do that, but sometimes I just want a nice fully brewed cup. So that’s what I had.
I got this Gong Ting a few weeks ago in my Mandala order, but this is my first time drinking it. I steeped a heaping tsp in an 8oz or so cup for 3 minutes. Smooth, rich, mellow, earthy, a little sweet. I sat with that cup, sipping & savoring while listening to my final student of the day, & it was just what I wanted, just what I needed.
Today I went to the farmer’s market. There is a guy who brings me eggs every week. I visited with him for awhile, & then wandered around, just looking. Most of the booths don’t have anything I need, but it is a great market. Locally made artisan breads, goat cheeses, salami, all kind of produce, meats, etc.
Trail Lodge Tea was there. Annette, the owner, is a tea lover, of course, & lives in the St. Louis area. She’s also really nice, & I enjoyed a pleasant visit with her. And I bought more tea, LOL. How could I not? I got half an oz each of peach melba & lemon meringue, both Rooibos/honeybush blends that I had before & enjoyed. I got half oz of Pumpkin pie, a black pumpkin chai type of blend. Then I wanted to try this black raspberry, but she only had a 4oz package, & that was the last of it, as she is out of the dried raspberries. I ended up buying it. I don’t usually buy 4oz of tea unless it’s something I’m really in love with, but, oh…I don’t know…I just did. I also don’t usually buy a lot of flavored greens or whites.
And guess what? I think I like it! Unsweet its ok, a little on the tart end of things, but with just a little stevia it is quite tasty! The green & white teas are fair trade certified organic, she uses real dried raspberries in it, & organic natural flavorings. All of those things make me happy, & the tea tastes good too! I think it will probably also make a very nice light & refreshing ice tea as well.
I am suddenly surrounded by Dragonwell teas! I have several options:
Mrs. Li’s Spring Harvest Shi Feng 2013 – Verdant TOMC May
Mrs Li’s 1st picking 2013 – Verdant Reserve TOMC
Dragonwell style autumn laoshan green 2012 – Verdant
Org. nonpareil ming qian dragonwell (TeaVivre)
Org Superfine Dragonwell long jing (TeaVivre)
There is also an older Tin of Dragonwell from long ago when I was in love with Dragonwell & ordered a bunch of it. Once I got more into black & oolong tea, it sort of disappeared into the back of my cupboard, & was only re-discovered recently. It’s probably not very good, I think it’s 10 years old or so…
So…I have all these dragonwells. Luckily I enjoy them, but probably not often enough, & rather than allow them to join that tin & become relics, I need to start drinking them. I’m also curious to figure out how much they really differ from one another.
This one has a pleasant green taste with a hint of smoke.
And now it’s gone.