2972 Tasting Notes
This is really nice!
I think I needed something with Keemun to help me get grounded.
The banana adds a nice touch, & the walnut is there without being bitter. I didn’t add any sweetener of any kind, as it’s got a natural earthy sweetness to it that I also needed!
Now I’ve got a gig to get ready for!
So this is actually ‘Two Friends’, but I’m ‘Too Lazy/Busy’ to create a listing for it. It is Sil’s custom blend from Butiki, & as always, Stacy is the awesome Mistress of the Arts of blending! Here’s what I like about it:
1 It’s bold! The chocolate isn’t some wimpy milk chocolate flavor, it’s dark chocolate, all the way. Very satisfying!
2 The orange is very juicy, very mouth watering, & it’s not ‘life savers’ kind of orange flavor, it’s more like a grown up orange, like an orange liquor.
3 They are blended together perfectly, & remind me of candied orange slices dipped in dark chocolate.
4 It’s decadent!!! I’m kind of grumpy. I need decadent! It’s tasty plain, it’s delicious sweetened, add french vanilla coconut milk creamer & it’s chocolate & orange pots of cream. I love them all. Its probably also delicious cold, but I haven’t tried it that way yet.
I’m not having a very good tea day so far. I got up, did my yoga, made a cup of this, took a few sips, & jumped in the shower. It didn’t settle well with my stomach. I couldn’t drink any more of it, or I would have barfed. Plain & simple, some teas do that to me on an empty stomach, mostly green teas & ceylons. I can drink Assams, Keemuns, & Yunnans before breakfast, but this tea fits into the ’don’t drink before breakfast’ category. It also reminds me of the ‘iced tea’ kind of tea, so I put the cup in the frig, & left to meet a friend for breakfast, basically tea-less.
My son Leif (age 20) came to me this morning, informing me that we have just enough of this brew to make a large pot of it.
“How about when I get home from classes we do a sipdown together?” he suggested. And we did!
We’ve really enjoyed this tea with it’s sweet potato & cinnamon flavorings, & the irish breakfast base makes it nicely bold too. My sons & I all agree that this is probably our favorite adagio fandom blend, & it is definitely the best of the ‘Hobbit’ brews.
So…this is another part of my secret formula I’m working on (But NO MATTER WHAT, I’m not gonna tell you what ELSE is in it!!!).
My initial response to Lapsang Souchong was not favorable.
“People drink this sh*^?”
I had purchased some to use in a chicken recipe, “Tea-Brined Five Spice Roast Chicken”, from Mindy Fox’s cookbook, “A Bird in the Oven & then Some”. You brine the whole chicken in a mix or orange, lapsang, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, ginger…etc. Then you air dry it, then you bake. What results is a delicious beautifully lacquered looking bird with a subtle smokey spiced exotic flavor. The carcass makes great soup stock too!
So naturally I drank a cup…& it was strange. Interestingly enough, my love of Keemun has led me to realize that I do enjoy a bit of smoke, & I’ve discovered that if you add stevia, smokey flavors can (sometimes) taste like caramel.
My younger sister, Liz, goes by MsWhatsit on steepster. She’s not as out going as I am, so most of you probably don’t know her, but she’s a fun & wonderful writer, so I’ve cut & pasted her review of this Lapsang into my review. I hope you enjoy it!
Some teas evoke images of pagodas and elegant ceremonies. That’s the sort of thing I was imagining at the first whiff of this in the package. I’m still not sure what happened. Perhaps I’m a lousy judge of character where teas are concerned. Or maybe this tea, which rode in with a sample package from Harplady (Thanks Sis!), picked up some of the more refined fragrances from those surrounding it. Or maybe, as when a rugged man tidies himself up like a gentleman to win over the ladies, it just gave me the wrong impression. No matter. The minute the hot water touched it, this teas true nature emerged. The scent did NOT evoke images of pretty ceremonies in little rice paper lined tea rooms at all. No, my imagination told me I was camping out with Genghis Khan and his rowdy entourage. It tastes like…well, tea, but with an interesting smokiness. I have read reviews of smoky teas with some skepticism. I wouldn’t have expected to like a smokey tea but found it surprisingly pleasing. Maybe it has something to do with my love of barbeque. Perhaps it’s the yen I’ve had for seasonal flavors. Pumpkin spices aren’t the only thing you smell in Autumn, it is also the season for smoky bonfires and firing up the wood stove. What better than a smoky blend such as this one to celebrate this time of year? The tea itself is a subtly fragrant presence with no bitterness, just a light familiar background flavor. As a girl with some Southern influences, I thought of barbeque and of sweet tea. I thought, ‘this would make the perfect sweet tea for an event without barbeque.’ Near the end of my cup, I tried it sweet and it was good. Then I added lemon. That was a little strange. I reflected that my husband (resident hillbilly and sweet tea expert) is right, lemon isn’t necessary or helpful. During the unprecedented second steeping I did consider going with the barbeque theme and adding a bit of cider vinegar and molasses. I’ve always been a fan of switchel and suspect this would make a good base. Perhaps when I try this a a cold brew, I will. But that second steeping was as good as the first and I had it all by itself savoring it’s uniqueness. I think I’ve found my new favorite autumn tea.
I’m experimenting with making my own adagio blend…maybe…
It starts with Tiger Eye, which is actually very good on it’s own.
Then it includes a few secret ingredients…
I was working on it for awhile, then got sidetracked, because, let’s face it, I have tons of other teas to drink!
So today I remembered that I had sort of forgotten all about it, & started experimenting with it again. Basically, I know what I want in it, but I want to get the ratios just right.
Dunno if I’ll ever actually order it, but it’s fun to contemplate…& sip…
This is from the Verdant Reserve TOMC. Due to it’s dark color, I originally thought this was going to be a Shu Puer, but all the other Yiwu’s I’ve tried have been Shengs, so I was a little unsure. Reading the tasting notes, there was no indication either. But the steeping instructions make it sounds more like a sheng. So I steeped. It is a Sheng, without a doubt. I’ve been enjoying it all afternoon. Here’s the basics of my tasting notes:
Dry appearance: Dark brown & gold leaf
Dry Aroma: Fresh bale of straw, loaded with mintiness, as if mint were growing in the field when it was mowed.
Wet aroma: Ohh..ahhh…sweet caramel apple!
3G + 4oz X 5 sec (plus 2 per each steep afterwards)
So the early steepings were nice, sweet, & aromatic. Definitely got a eucalyptus thing going on. There’s almost a genmaicha underflavor as well. This is probably the sweetest sheng I’ve tried, with a nice rounded out flavor, & I’m really digging the aromatic quality, which is tingling my tongue & my sinuses, & spreading throughout my system, along with a nice Chaqi feeling. One of the reasons I enjoy Sheng in the late afternoon is the sense of clarity it tends to bring on. Right now I’m feeling very clear headed, very ‘fresh’, revived & focused!