2495 Tasting Notes
This is a sample sent to me from Laurent @ Nina’s. Thank you!
I have to admit, after I gave Laurent my address, I think I was suppose to look at the catalog & pick out some teas for him to send. I got sidetracked & never got around to it. So I got random samples.
So…Cancer is not my sign. I’m an Aquarius. Also, I don’t usually like rooibos much, & in fact, for some reason the look of it kind of freaks me out. It just doesn’t look real, LOL. So, even though the rooibos in this blend looks creepy to me, it is the best looking rooibos I’ve seen, in that it’s not as chopped up as usual, & none of it managed to get through the filter & into my throat, so that’s a plus. I’m guessing that this is a higher grade rooibos than I usually end up with.
I decided to sample this because I’m trying not to stay up til 2am for once, so I’m avoiding caffeine for the evening in an effort to wind down. Initially, the rooibos taste was fairly strong, but then the pineapple flavor really stepped forward. The coconut was there too. I’ve still been working on restringing that harp (only 2 octaves to go), so my tea had a chance to cool a bit, & the flavors really blended together beautifully. It was quite good!
I’ve spent the whole day drinking ‘grown up’ tea, & while we were taking a break from re-stringing another harp, and reading Indigo Bloom’s post, little Terri started begging for a chocolate tea. And this one is awesome! First of all, the tea base is real full leaf tea, not chopped up stuff, & it’s a nice malty robust base! Then the chocolate! It reminds me of melted chocolate chips, the semi sweet kind. It has a thick feeling to it. I added stevia & coconut creamer, & I’m drinking hot cocoa! YUMMM!!
I’ve been sipping on this all afternoon, while I restring a harp for a student. It is one of the TOMC selections for March.
I open the package to find a chunk of a nice thick cake, loosely pressed in shades of tan, brown, olive, charcoal, & black.
Dry aroma: Hay & a hint of vanilla
Wet Aroma: very bright & fruity, Elderberry & green banana
5G + 4oz Gaiwan (rinse) X 5 seconds
The early steepings were tart, with almost a lemony feel. The first couple of sips etched my throat, like a very fresh green olive oil.
I lost track of my steeps, I’m probably at 9 or so, & the flavor has mellowed to a nicely savory, slightly creamy cup. It’s kind of buttery, & the flavor somehow reminds me of Kolcanon, which I haven’t had for a long time. For those who haven’t had it, it’s an Irish dish of potatoes & kale.
I can’t believe it’s almost noon, & this is the only tea I’ve had today so far. Of course, I stayed up late working on taxes, slept in a bit, did my yoga, & finally came downstairs about 90 minutes ago.
I’m finally doing a gongfu session with this tea! So far all of my steepings with this one have been western style, but today is the day.
I re-read David’s writings regarding this tea, & was inspired to go heavy on the leaf. I filled my gaiwan about half full & started with 4 second steeps, gradually adding time.
It started off very savory, with a slightly bitter edge. By the 3rd steeping the numbing sensations were there, along with a floral taste. 4th steeping the esoterical & metaphysical sensations of 3rd eye opening & mindfulness were lovely…
I combined 5 – 8 in a pitcher & enjoyed them with breakfast.
Steep 9 & 10 have a ’resinous’quality to them, kind of reminding me of my hash smoking days, & my nose feels as if I’m smelling the wafting smoke of incense. Maybe I’ll light some in a little while…
10 – 15 were together in the pitcher. To me, this is a tea that is more about sensations & effect than actual flavor. Right now my mouth feels extremely ‘clean’. There’s the linen, there’s a fruity brightness, there’s the ‘resin’ & yes, there is the green olive oil taste as well. But I think I’ve reached my limit on this one, & I have to admit, it’s not nearly as satisfying to me as many of the other teas in my cupboard. But it is a worthy experience!
Another Keemun, & this one is pleasant too. It’s hard to say, but I think my preference in Keemuns, so far, is:
Teavivre – organic superfine fragrant keemun
London Tea Room – Keemun Mao Feng
Teavana – Capital of Heaven
All 3 are pleasant. This one is a little more astringent the LTR’s, I think.
I really need to place an order from Teavivre & get more of their’s…soon…
Finally I’m home, in my PJs with my wool toe sox on, in my nice cozy house, drinking TEA!
The gig went great, I even made a couple videos of myself with my iPhone. The quality of the sound is probably crappy (I haven’t actually looked, LOL), but if you’d like to see them, I uploaded the to FB to share the love.
It snowed the whole time I played, so moving my equipment home sucked. But now I am sitting here, drinking tea, eating leftover stew, and enjoying the evening.
This Keemun is tasty, a bit smokey & sweet. That smokey character seemed like the perfect thing for a damp chill.