2895 Tasting Notes
About a week ago I was weeding my blackberry bramble, & as I breathed in the aroma of the mulch under the berry canes, it reminded me of Shu: rich, earthy, musty, damp, wonderful. I have 3 Oak trees in my yard, & every year I pile all the leaves in a very large bin, where they are allowed to break down for 18 monthes. I have 2 such bins, for alternating years, & the resulting leaf mulch gets piled under berry bushes, mixed into garden soil, etc, along with compost from my compost piles.
I haven’t been drinking a lot of puerh lately. I have plenty (believe me…), & I love both Shu & Sheng. I guess I’ve just been busy. Also, I’ve been sampling a lot of teas, & because I like to do long gongfu sessions with Puerhs (and oolongs), I end up just drinking one tea all afternoon, instead of several samples. Also, I’ve been running around on errands &/or gardening a lot lately too, so not a lot of time to sit around pouring gongfu steepings.
So today is the day! Tony & I have been in pajama mode all afternoon, & I’ve been enjoying this generous sample sent to me from Angel @ TeaVivre. Thanks Angel :D
I have a gaiwan at Tony’s, but no scale, so I don’t really know how much tea I put in there, basically the whole sample. It was a beautiful sample: nice dark fragrant chunks of teacake, beautiful brown with golden highlights. I gave it a quick rinse, then started steeping.
1st round, all combined in a cup: 10 sec, 15, 20, 25
2nd round: 30, 40, 50, 60
3rd round: transferred all the leaf to a steeping basket & steeped in the cup for 3 minutes.
I may do another couple of rounds at 4 & 5 minutes.
The resulting brew was a beautiful dark chocolate brown, rich with an earthy grounding flavor, smooth & sweet, with a pleasant qi feeling, & a delightful tongue tingling sensation. A perfect way to spend the afternoon.
I used to drink a lot of breakfast blends, & I still enjoy them. As much as I like straight varietals, with each of their special qualities, I also enjoy a blend that brings together the strengths of each tea. This blend combines the bold bassy strength & slightly bitter oakey edge of Khongea’s golden tippy, the malty fruitiness & more ‘middle’ flavor of Hattialli Golden Lion, & a little high end of Organic Ceylon. It is a nicely balanced blend, strong, bold, & smooth.
Thanks for the sample stacy, I’ll look forward to ordering some more sometime in the future, as a single sample is never enough!
First cup of the day, but I feel that I under-leafed this one, so I’m not gonna say much about it yet. Also, I haven’t drank my nettles for a few days & the downside of yesterday’s beautiful outdoor wedding is the allergy backlash that is muting my taste buds this morning. Nonetheless, I do feel a promising fullness & hints of a tea that is nicely bassy, if you know what I mean.
More will be revealed!
We went to breakfast & I brought the rest of this sample along. I estimate it at 2 tsp, & it made for a nice cup. Nothing spectacular, but enjoyable. I’d like to say more about it, but that was hours ago, so that’s it for now.
I actually started the day with a few steepings of Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam, which I love, & then I had a cup of this Fo Shou, which I also love. Then I drove to Godfrey, IL to play an outdoor wedding. It was a beautiful day for it, although there were some delays on my way over there, due to flooding in West Alton. The wedding was lovely, with the exception of the fact that it started an hour late.
Anyway, hours later, I’m back at Tony’s, finally enjoying the re-steeps of this tasty tea. There’s no place like home!
This is an interesting tea.
I think the name Black Beauty is appropriate, as this tea has that characteristic taste of those teas which have been bitten by the tea leaf hoppers & are given names like Oriental Beauty (an oolong). It is a mild coriander-like flavor in the background that seems to distinguish these kinds of teas, whether oolong or black (at least to my taste buds. Of course, I could be totally off base! LOL).
So this one reminds me strongly of Mi Xian Black, one of Butiki’s teas. It’s has a honeyed sweetness, a chocolatey thick mouthfeeling, & there is a little earthiness to it like a Keemun as well.
Very tasty, very smooth, really a lovely afternoon tea for me :)
Just finishing lunch after spending the morning at the courthouse with my daughter. This was our 2nd day in court over custody of her son, who’s father is a control freak & all around @$$#0!3. He has repeatedly tried to use their son to control my daughter & cause her pain, & today I think the judge & lawyers got a view of his true nature. Because of his antics we’ll have to go back AGAIN at the end of August, but today we did get some things ironed out, so that’s an improvement.
Needless to say, I’m behind on my tea drinking! I did have 2 cups of some black tea at the restaurant we went to near the courthouse for breakfast, & that was acceptable (can you tell I’m a grumpus today? LOL)
I also brought my thermal cup & sipped on Bilbo Brew until it was gone.
Now I’m having the last of the Russian Caravan that Sil sent to me on our first trade. It’s a pleasantly bold blend, & although I initially expected smoke, it is not a smokey tea. Thanks again Sil!
This is a lovely earthy tea that is bold but smooth. There are no sharp edges to this tea: no super bright brass, no overly wine-like flavors. But that isn’t to say that this tea lacks texture or flavor, as there is a nice yunnan-type fullness, a rich slightly musky & malty taste that I happen to enjoy, & a pleasant sweetness.
This is the first tea I am sampling from the amazing box of black, oolong, puerh, etc that I got in my swap with Nofar.
I love Dian Hong teas. They are so rich & buttery, & this one is right on the mark. It bears a very strong resemblance to our beloved Golden Fleece, with nice thick leaves in shades of gold, olive, & caramel. The flavor is rich, from the rinse water all the way through the final steeping. Gentle, sweet, thick. What does Amber taste like? Sunlight? For awhile I get a sense of Bee Pollen. I love teas like this. The flavor of mushrooms sauteed in Mirin. The flavor of honeysuckle in a later steeping. And I keep steeping. This is what I needed.