2347 Tasting Notes
For those who don’t know about it, Steepster has it’s own bookclub! We’re over in the discussions section, & we are on our 2nd book, The American Heiress. In addition to reading the book, we divided into groups (based on tea preference), & are doing tea swaps to match the book!
This tea came from threewhales! It’s bold & brisk, with a malty character & a bright fruity spiciness. A little on the astringent side for my tastes, but still a good start to my day! Thanks threewhales!
Now I’m headed downtown to the London Tea Room to pick out some teas to share with my book club buddies!
I drink different teas for different reasons.
In the morning I tend to drink bold & rich black teas.
Sometimes I want something green & fresh, sometimes I want something floral or roasty.
Sometimes I want something sweet & flavored like a dessert.
Other times I want an experience, not a flavor. A feeling of introspection, a feeling of ‘this moment’. The feeling of qi flowing through me…
That’s when I turn to this Shu. I love this tea! It is like a revelation every time I drink it. The leaves just keep giving, & I’m certain I’ll continue steeping them tomorrow. It’s not a dessert tea, it is a tea for the moment. It is a tea for all eternity.
I’ve been sipping on this for the last hour or so.
This is the 3rd time I’ve sampled this tea, I think.
I do not taste any chocolate. I taste semolina & cream. There is a nice bold depth as well, kind of a coffee edge, which perhaps could be interpreted as dark chocolate, but that is not what I taste.
Over the course of several steepings the cream became butter, with a nice buttery sensation lingering in my throat.
It’s a pleasant tea, & maybe next time…
Tea of the Month Reserve Club – February
It’s been awhile since I drank Sheng. It’s been 11 days.
Sheng is one of those teas that takes time. The flavors are subtle. You can’t just brew it & drive around running errands. If you did, you wouldn’t appreciate what it has to offer. Plus, Sheng tends to be high in mind-blowing chaqi, & for me, it’s better to enjoy when I’m just hanging out, teaching & relaxing. Which is what I’m doing this afternoon.
Dry, this tea smells a little musty & woodsy, like alfalfa in a cedar chest. The color is gray/green with tan highlights.
The wet leaf smells more of cedar, with a tart citrus aroma.
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 6 seconds
Some shengs (the younger ones I guess) can be very intense & in your face, but the flavor of this sheng is very mellow & mild. Early on there was the tongue-tingling sensations, a vague bitterness that I like, & a very clean & clear resinous flavor. This gradually evolved into an almost citrus like essence, nice & bright.
I love the way I feel right now: clear, clean, alert, intuitive.
One of my adult students was coming for his lesson, & right before he arrived I felt I should brew him a cup of Meditative Mind, a blend from The Tea Spot of white tea, green jasmine pearls, & Rose buds. It’s a beautiful tea & felt right for him. He arrived, stressed, & loved it.
I love Yunnan teas.
That’s not to say that I don’t love other teas, because really, I love them all. But Yunnans seem to resonate with me the most.
I have enjoyed this tea a couple of times now. I’ve used the cup & brewed western style, & I’ve used the Gaiwan.
The dry leaf has a wild & rustic look, which is always appealing to me! The dry aroma smells lightly salty & reminds me of potato chips cooked in olive oil.
The wet leaf has a fruity astringent aroma.
This is not a chocolaty tea. This is not a malty tea.
This is not Laoshan Black or it’s contemporaries.
There is an interesting grape-like sensation down the center of my tongue, a nice creamy texture, mild mouth watering salty sensations, linen mouth-feel, olive oil cooked potato chips, tingling tongue, sweet aftertaste, & here, on my 3rd steeping, a most wonderful sensation of chaqi, flowing in & around me.
Perhaps this is not my favorite black tea. It is not so glamorous as some of the others. But I’m picturing Master Han & his apprentices, climbing trees, picking tea, savoring each moment out in nature, & I suspect that a tea such as this is much more like the traditional teas people have drank forever. A nice peaceful hippy-like vibe now :)
I recycle tea canisters. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I peel off the labels, little Terri decorates a section of paper, & we tape it on as a new label. I have to have at least a couple oz of a tea in order for it to warrant it’s own canister. The reason I’m writing this is to explain why my 2nd cup of Kenyan from LTR ended up being a cup of Bolder Breakfast. The Kenyan is in an old Bolder breakfast canister, & because the canister is square instead of cylindrical, we just decorated a stick on label. So the 2 canisters were side by side, I suppose, & I reached in, grabbing the ‘wrong’ one, didn’t really pay attention while I measured it out, sat down with the cup, breathed in, as I always do, & “huh?”
There are no mistakes in life. I had oversteeped the first cup of Kenyan, & although I drank it, it was somewhat bitter & I was going to remedy that with a 2nd cup. Instead I remedied it with a completely different cup.
Bolder breakfast is both bold & mellow, at the same time. There is chocolate, there is a substantial tea base, the puer is somewhere in the back. It is a contrast from the kenyan, as it doesn’t have that bright fruity element, it’s more of what I’d call a ‘matte’ texture.
A nice contrast.
This is my first cup of the day. The first of many cups. I plan to sit around drinking tea all day, while my students come & go. I think I’m meeting someone for lunch at a place 5 minutes from my house, but that will only take about an hour out of my tea drinking…
This is a rich & earthy brew, as it says in the description. The store description compares it to a yunnan, but I find that it is more like an Assam, with an edge of bitterness & a fruity brightness. Maybe I’ll have another cup.