2859 Tasting Notes

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.

Sil

I totally just sent an email to Garret asking him to take pity on me and help me with some suggestions for a birthday order lol

graceatblb

Special Dark, Sil. Special Dark. I’m a bit obsessive :)

Sil

hahaha well i can’t place the order until July but i’m trying to sort out what i want to try ahead of time. That also means i need to try the other 2 you sent me!!!

Dexter

If I can put my two cents worth in. The Noble Mark is amazing (http://steepster.com/teas/mandala-tea/33934-noble-mark-ripe-puer-blend-2011). I would also trust Garret’s advice, I think next time I might just send him money and let him choose. The samples I get are usually right on the money to my tastes.

Sil

haha all recommendations welcome. I know i’ll be reading reviews etc but i’m a relative newbie in the puerh world so i figured i’d see what his thoughts were. :)

graceatblb

I’m sorta convinced that Garret has sample selecting superpowers. He added a sample in my birthday order that I had on my list to order but, for some reason, didn’t. I may let him just select my order the next time. May save me math stress and I know the teas will be great.

And I second the Noble Mark. In a big way.

Dexter

Me too, newbie to the world of pu’erh. Noble Mark is special, needs to be treated with respect, take your time savor it. Bu Lang Gong Ting, I wrote almost exactly what Terri is saying here. It’s great, but it’s more an everyday, easy tea. Pour some water over it and enjoy kind of tea.
(I also really really really liked the Mandala Tea Silver Buds Raw 2011 – totally different, equally amazing).
Phatty Cake and Special Dark are next on my to try list – I have them just haven’t tried them yet.

Terri HarpLady

Sil, I’m gonna send samples of all my puerhs to you, including the Noble Mark, the gong ting, the King of bulang, & a bunch others. That’s your birthday present from me, a rediculous collection of puerh samples. Do you want both shu & sheng, or just shu?

Sil

Terri….uh no idea! Lol and that’s awesome, thank you! I really haven’t tried much or what I I did try I had in china and have no idea what I was drinking lol

Terri HarpLady

You’ll get both then!
(Pulling out her scale & baggies, like a dope dealer from the 70’s)

Cavocorax

Hahaha Terri – I totally feel like a dope dealer when I’m making my little sample packs.:P

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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.

Sil

cough

Terri HarpLady

its in the box.
Did you think I wouldn’t send you some? ;)

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This is a crisp & clean Dragonwell, with a rich taste that makes me think of a dense pottage of split pea soup & leaves the tongue with a thick almost resinous sensation & aftertaste. Delicious!

Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for the opportunity to sample this tea! It is excellent!

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drank Dragonwell by The Tea Spot
2859 tasting notes

Sipdown 287!

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.

Bonnie

Me too!

Terri HarpLady

I made a cup of the ‘aged’ dragonwell, & it was terribly bitter & stale. I count that as a sipdown, as it’s no longer drinkable. I’m sure it will make good compost!

Rie

Hmm, the thought that a slice of life from ten-years-ago Zhejiang, will come to life again in your Missouri garden in the present day. (‘u’)
Which Dragonwell is your favorite?

Terri HarpLady

Which Dragonwell is my favorite? I have no idea, LOL!
I keep drinking them, trying to compare them. I’ve tried lining them all up, brewing small cups of each, & doing a taste test, & I honestly can’t say that its conclusive. For some reason when I try to drink them side by side, I’ll notice differences but I can’t quantify/describe them, if that makes sense. So I think I’m just gonna keep drinking one a day for awhile (or at least one green tea of some kind per day), & maybe I’ll have an answer in a week or 2? :)

Rie

Sounds like fun! :’D At least you certainly have some good Dragonwell in your company during that week or two.

Terri HarpLady

true! They are ALL nice Dragons (except the one that is now becoming compost, & it was really nice 10 years ago, LOL).

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Sipdown 288!

This one also has sat on my shelves taking up space for awhile. I’m not a huge fan of white teas, although there have been a few that did actually impress me. This one is interesting with it’s notes of lime & lovely smoothness, but not something I would crave.

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83

Another Sipdown! 289!
To be quite honest, I haven’t been a huge fan of this blend, which is why it sat in my cupboard for some time. Today I enjoyed it as a hot latte, brewing it a little strong, adding stevia & a little hot almond milk (coconut milk would have been better though).

Bonnie

This one I’ll only fix with honey. Anything else doesn’t seem to bring out the flavors. I save it as a treat when the grandkids come over and brew a pot on the stove with whole milk straining the tea train to a tall, antique porcelain coffee server. They love it!

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Sipdown! After all the sipdowns that went into making yesterday’s ‘Suicide is Painless" ice tea blend, that puts me at 290!
My first tea of the day, & the first several sipdowns, I hope. I’d like to clear my cupboards out a bit, maybe narrow it down to my most favorites (stop laughing Sil, I know you are!)

This Irish Brekkie is ok, but not good enough to invoke images of Collin Farrell in a bathrobe saying, “Pass me a cup, Love” & winking.

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This tea is so popular at my house that it’s almost gone! We bought the 6oz tin, & we’ve probably only got about an oz left, if that!!

Anyway, it was the tea of choice for Game Night, along with the raspberry muffins we pigged out on. Drew, Leif, & I played Pirates of the Caribbean Monopoly. I went to jail almost immediately, & every time I got out, I ended up back in there! It was 6 times in jail before I finally made it around the board & passed go. I rolled doubles 3X in a row on 3 different turns, I landed on the ‘go to jail’ square 3 times, I drew 2 cards that send me to jail. I also drew one card that got me out. Needless to say, I think I only passed go 4 times in the whole game, & I was the first to fold. Leif had a glorious win, however, & was quite pleased with himself.

Drew & I also played a full 6 rounds of Yatzee. We each won 3, but I ended up with the highest score. Then we played competition Solitaire. He won 2 out of 3. And so ends Game Night, which we plan to alternate with movie night I think.

JustJames

well, you’re far more genteel than i… i was traveling all day to the mainland and back and played angry birds, lol. competition solitaire? haven’t heard of it. ‘speed’ is good though!

Terri HarpLady

I don’t know if competition solitaire is a real game, LOL. We just both set up solitaire, said go, & the first to complete their game won. If you busted, you just shuffled & started over.
The funny thing is, I’ve always loved solitaire, but this is the first time I’ve played it with actual cards in years. :)

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This is one of the Reserve TOMC offerings.
The dry aroma is incredibly sweet, & brings to mind the color orange, like the Day Lilies blooming in my yard.
I love the color green, it is my most favorite color, & one of my favorite things about Tieguanyins is the amazing almost irridescent green. This one looks pretty much the same as other TGYs: Beautiful!

I followed the recommend steeping parameters, using my test tube steeper (I LOVE that thing), as it allows me to control the steep time a little better.

The first steeping was a pale yellow, delicately floral, & in my mind I saw a field of buttercups.
The second steeping became even more floral & sweet, & I thought of when my kids & I used to make candied violets.
The Third steeping created a scene (in my mind) of tiny spring flowers: violets, wild strawberry, wild onion. Tiny flowers bloom all over my yard & my neighbors yards in the early spring.
Beginning with the 4th steeping, the florals began to gradually diminish the be mixed with a growing green flavor & a creaminess as well.

This is a lovely Tieguanyin. As with the other Reserve TOMC teas, I’m not sure that it’s really that spectacular, but it was a pleasure to drink.

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I’m enjoying a lunch of yesterdays leftover Potato & Lovage Frittata with some homegrown radishes & asparagus. A tasty black tea is just what I needed to complete the meal.

This Nilgiri is from an amazing assortment of mostly black teas that I got in an awesome trade with NofarS. This is only the 2nd tea I’ve sampled from the box, not because I don’t want to drink them, but because it’s just so hard to pick one. They are all beautifully packaged, I might add, & I’m truly grateful for the trade, Nofar! I’m also grateful that neither of our boxes got stuck in customs! Yay!

This is a medium bodied tea with some brightness too it, kind of fruity in the sense of blackberries. Not particularly bold or bassy, no bells & whistles, but it’s a pleasant cup & nice with lunch.

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Profile

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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