2480 Tasting Notes
I counted up all my teas, including the samples & trades that aren’t listed in my cupboard, & the total is…(trumpet call)… 230… TaDa!
So, this tea harkens back to the early days of my re-introduction to caffeine. I gave up caffeine when my first daughter (now age 30) was born because it caused her to break out in a rash. (No, she wasn’t drinking it, silly!) The Republic of Tea was a new company, & I saw their display at the store & was mesmerized. Initially I tried some of the caffeine free varieties, but as I read the labels, I wanted to try others.
This is still my favorite ‘cherry’ tea, the least phony tasting one I’ve tried. The cherry is very subtle, so it doesn’t taste like cough syrup. The sencha doesn’t taste anything like the green teas I drink these days. I don’t drink this often, but I always drink some in the spring, when my cherry tree blooms. I like to have a little picnic & ceremony under that tree, calling upon the nature spirits & birds (especially the blue jays that nest in my pin oaks) to remember that I love cherries too, so let’s enjoy a bountiful harvest, & if you don’t mind, leave the lower branches for me!
What was I thinking?
Oh, who knows…
I haven’t been a big fan of bergamot or smokey teas in the past, but have recently started enjoying ‘some’ of them.
It started with The Tea Spot’s Earl of Grey. I bought a little for Tony to sample, & although it didn’t really thrill him, I enjoyed it! It has a lemony pastry quality & is delicious.
I started enjoying some of roasty oolongs I was getting from Verdant. Not the same as smokey, but kind of opening the door in that direction.
Then I got into drinking some Keemun from the LTR, that has a nice smokey character to it. I also noticed with some smokey teas, a little sweetening gives that smoke a caramelized taste, which I like.
So then I went off the deep end & bought some of THIS!
It’s basically a smokey tea with an earl grey addition. I’m not really sure how I feel about it, to be honest, but I’m trying to go through some of my flavored teas. It is, of course, a tribute to Winston Churchill, who smoked cigars & drank watered down whiskey. He was known for his wittiness, and here is my favorite quote:
Lady Astor (first woman MP in the House of Commons): “Mr Churchill, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your tea.”
Winston (getting unsteadily to his feet): “Madam, if I were your husband … I’d drink it.”
He was not a tea drinker.
So far today I did a little yoga, had a yummy breakfast (broccoli, poached eggs, & bacon), taught 2 students, re-tuned the 2 harps I recently restrung, & I just finished off an excellent lunch: a salad with homemade caesar dressing (I love my immersion blender!).
I’m having this tea because it is very bold! I need something bold like this to reset my taste-buds after a very garlicky salad. Usually I have students from 10am to 7:30pm on weds, but due to spring break my teaching calendar is clear until 6:30 tonight. That’s a good thing, as I have 3 different projects I’m practicing for (& also still haven’t finished my taxes). This tea packs a pretty nice caffeine punch, which will keep me focused for awhile!
This is a nice delicate tea, very clean tasting. Very soothing.
It’s also really pretty, with it’s yellow flowers & such.
I bought a small amount of it, & I know I served it to Tony once.
Neither of us were enamored. It’s not bad, just kind of je ne se qua…
“Boring?” little Terri offers.
“Shhhh”, Ms. Theresa says, “We don’t want to hurt Ms Stacy’s feelings!”
“Oh! Sorry Ms Stacy! We love you!”
I think we (that’s me, myself, and I…among others in my head) would all prefer a pear tea that is more of a caramelized kind of taste. Maybe with some ginger…
Anyway, I admit, I tend to lean more to the bold end of things. The quality & flavor of this tea is excellent, & is a better choice for when I want to be quiet & introspective.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a cup of Matcha, but I’m pleased to report that my whisking technique is still top notch! I got a nice head of foam on my cup, no clumps, & enjoyed a tasty cup of green goodness!
Ms Theresa (who had the idea for the chart, & the analysis I reported on earlier) has pointed out that I need to drink up more whites, greens, oolongs, & puers before I can have another cup of black tea. So here we go…
First Sip down on the day!
This was sent to me by Ysaurella, & it’s a very interesting tea.
It is a strong Assam, laced with a very buttery caramel & topped off with bitter chocolate. To me it really tastes like there is a shot of expresso in there too, because of the bitter edge.
I drank 2 cups of this. The first one was plain, & the 2nd with stevia.
I love them both!
Thanks again Ysaurella!
First cup of the day!
This is a lovely Dian Hong, not too bold, but sweetly smooth, & a nice wakeup to enjoy whilst fixing my breakfast. The flavor is full & rich, but mellow, with a caramel & sweet potato essence, & a linen thick mouthfeel. I steeped the 1st cup for 2 minutes, 2nd cup for 3. Both are delicious & satisfying (I guess that’s my word of the week!).
Recently I cataloged all of my teas (including samples & trades), & am checking them off as I drink them, in an effort to work my way through everything on a regular basis. I have 18 straight unflavored black teas, with 4 more on the way. Here’s the analysis of my drinking habit over the past week (probably really just 5 days), just for fun. The number represents either a cup of that tea, or in the case of teas that were brewed in a gaiwan, a session:
White – 0
Green – 2
Oolong (any style, flavored or plain) – 1
Black (plain) – 14 (on some I cheated & drank them more than once, but I’m not counting the cheats)
Black (flavored) – 12
Puer (shu) – 1 (I really like shu, & I have plenty, just been busy)
Puer (Sheng) – 2 (same as above)
Puer (flavored)- 3
TOMC samples that don’t fit: 3
Samples from friends: 8
So we can see where my true allegiances lie, where teas are concerned.
This has been in my cupboard for quite some time. I’m not really hoarding it, it’s just not that exciting of a blend for me.
I love Big Red robe, I love Laoshan black, I love chocolate, I don’t mind a little chamomile. I want to like this blend. But for me, it’s just ok. I drank the first 2 steepings plain (2 min, then 3) & on the 3rd steeping I tried a little honey. :P meh…
I have enough to drink it one more time, which I plan to do soon, & I think I’ll up the first steep to 3 minutes, as it just doesn’t seem all that exciting (I already upped the amount of tea to a Tbl).
Yesterday I drank several short steepings of this, using the gongfu method. It was a satisfying late afternoon.
Today I ended my caffeine day with several xingyang style steepings, 2 minutes in length each (the last few were 3 minutes), & it was another satisfying late afternoon, a little more robust, but every bit as tasty.
This Shu has an interesting incense like flavor, not as sweet as some of the other shu’s I’ve drank, but earthy & satisfying, for sure.
I just realized I used the word ‘satisfying’ 3 times. Whatever…
This is a nice creamy one, with almonds & flowers in the flavor!
My guitar player friend came over to rehearse today, for a concert we’re playing next week at Webster University. It will be all his original compositions, with harp, guitar, bass, strings, & some vocalizations. It’s pretty cool stuff, with influences of Raga style music (he studied with Imrat Khan, famous sitar player from India who teaches in St. Louis), jazz, & other styles.
He is a tea drinker, & the last time he came over I turned him on to one of the Laoshan greens & Ms He’s Dragonwell. He loved them both! So today it was this Tieguanyin, of which I still have enough for one more session! Of course, it was a big hit! How could it not be? He’d never had a green oolong, & was immediately enamored with the floral taste.
Maybe I’ll make him a sampler bag of amazing teas as a gift.