2855 Tasting Notes
I have to be out the door for a rehearsal in 15 minutes. Usually I’m still in my room doing yoga right now. So I’m attempting to shove food in my face & get some caffeine going too.
According to my chart, I’m suppose to be drinking the sipdown of Verdant’s Zhu Rong. I can’t do it. I’m not ready. It might be the last cup of that tasty tea ever, so it warrants a special occasion. I want to allow time to fully savor that last serving, in all it’s steepings. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have pumpkin waffles with maple syrup for breakfast…
I actually love this Sheng. I think it was the first Sheng I ever drank. My first review says everything I want to say, so I’ve cut & pasted it:
November’s tea of the month club package from Verdant arrived a few days ago. I would have jumped right on it, sampling and babbling incoherently about the wonders of the teas they sent, but I was busy then and wanted little more time to really focus on the teas.
This is the first one, and David’s notes suggest drinking them back to back, to enjoy the contrasts, etc
I have to admit, after my mind numbing puerh experiences recently, I’m a little nervous about trying pu’s that are new to me. Oh well, onward through the fog (yes, I just quoted the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, but if you aren’t a child of the 60’s, you probably missed the reference).
I like the idea behind this tea: In 2003 a rebellious group of farmers started their own pressings and told the big tea workshops to take a hike. It’s the locavore movement in China. As a person who eats seasonal produce out of her own backyard and tries to buy as much stuff from local producers as possible, I love artisans who produce genuine things, whether it’s tea, clothing, food, or whatever. I like people like that, I am people like that, and I love it when people find their passion and just go with it. I honestly believe that the Universe supports individuality, expressions of creativity and passion, and that all of our needs, desires, and dreams are abundantly fulfilled when we go for it! Of course, I can’t buy tea from local sources, because there are none, just like there are no bananas. So when it comes to things like tea, I aim for companies that truly support real people, wherever they may be, instead of big box companies.
This Sheng is very savory, with a strong green kind of a background flavor, like aging alfalfa and clover, and there is a smokey woodsy quality to it as well.
I’m starting to feel the ‘skull shining’ effect, so I’ll set it aside for now & try the other one.
TOMC Reserve for March.
This is yet another beautiful looking oolong, in little balls of variegated light & dark Jade. The aroma is mellow floral & has a kind of sweet breadiness to it, but not a maltiness, more like a quick sweet bread of some kind. After a couple of steepings the aroma of the wet leaf reminds me of lilacs & greenery.
I’ve been steeping & sipping during my break between practice sessions, & it is quite nice. The floral & green tastes are lighter than some of the other oolongs I’ve tried. After several cups (who’s counting anymore), I’m thinking of creamed corn. I haven’t had that for a long time! There is a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, reminding me of dandelion greens, which I eat in the spring.
In the final steepings, there was a sweet aftertaste.
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…