Continuing my quest for relaxing teas, this will be my last tea of the evening.
It is also the last cup of this in my cupboard: another sip down :)
This really is a flavorful cup, bright with the taste of fresh mango, a little spice. I’m not a huge fan of rooibos, it tends to remind me of tobacco for some reason, but here it gives a caramelized flavor as a backdrop. I sweetened my cup with Stevia, & it is perfect for tonight.
939 Tasting Notes
Continuing my quest for relaxing teas, this will be my last tea of the evening.
I wanted more tea, but not more caffeine. I used to have a lot of herbal teas, but somehow that is no longer the case. I did come across a sample box from mighty leaf that was given to me from one of my students, & this one looks interesting.
In my mind, this is a classic herbal tea. It is aesthetically beautiful, & the flavors are nicely balanced so that I can taste each ingredient, without anything being in my face. There is just enough chamomile, just enough citrus, etc.
As a side note, I’d like to say that I don’t care for the ‘silk’ bags. They are not biodegradable, & the proof is in my compost pile. If I were to order more of this, I’d want it loose.
This is my first cup of tea in 2 days. I woke up in the early hours of monday morning with a stomach bug, which seems to be going around. I spent all day monday sleeping away the delirium of feverishness, & today have mostly slept as well. I was awake for a few reading sessions (I’m now past 50% on American Heiress!).
This brings to mind an Irish Fiddle tune, “When sick, is it tea you want?” I can’t drink tea on an empty stomach, so I had none.
Now I’m on the mend, having a bowl of soup. It’s late in the day, but I really wanted some tea! I opened the cupboard & went straight into the ‘hoarding’ section, & I knew I wanted this. Such a richly balanced blend, I know that many of us had hoped that David would create a Winter blend, but since winter is almost over, that seems unlikely. I can only hope that he will make another summer blend. Until then, I will continue to hoard this until it’s gone.
I got an order from adagio, which included some rooibos samples. Those who know me will be thinking, “why did she get that? I know she doesn’t care for rooibos.” And you’re right!
I don’t dislike the flavor, it’s that one piece that always manages to somehow get stuck in my throat…akckckck
So why did I buy this (and a few other samples)? Because I’m trying to cut my caffeine back in the evening a little, but I still want to drink something.
So with this tea I did not have the “ackckck” experience, I’m grateful to say. But the tea was pretty lame.
I’m thinking a chicory chai might be interesting…hmmm…
The only decent tea I’ve had all day was the Keemun I had this morning. I just need one more cup of something black, something with some flavor, something satisfying. This is it. :)
I drank this yesterday, and it’s so nice that I’m drinking it again today while I eat breakfast & get ready to go play a gig.
I’m calling it a sip down, because although I have enough left for one for cup, I’m going to package that up with another sample & send it to one of my steepster friends as a surprise!! I’m not telling who, hehehehe, but I don’t think she’s ever logged it. :D
It’s been a long day.
I got up early & drove 2 hours with Ari to play at the memorial service of one of my dearest & oldest friend’s grand-daughter, who left this world a week ago at the age of 11 months. I had only met the baby once, but she was a delight, as all babies are. My heart aches for my friend, her daughter & other children, & her grandchildren, & for their tragic loss.
I’m home now.
I brewed this tea following the Xingyang workshop recommendations:
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 2 minutes
This is a potent, smooth, & slightly bitter brew. Just what I need at this moment: grounding, introspective, a reflection of the harsh realities of life.
I’ll review it in more depth on another day, when my heart isn’t aching.
Last night I was fantasizing about this tea, after smelling it’s wonderful aroma. I wanted to drink it when I got up, but I knew I didn’t have time to truly take it in. I went to breakfast & ran errands. Among other things, I met with a man who’s mother was a harpist, & who wanted to donate her harp to the University that I teach at. It’s an older instrument, but appears to be in good shape, & once I put a new set of strings on it, there will be lovely music!
The early steepings of this tea brought to might Plums & toasted hazelnuts, with the toasty-ness becoming more predominant. Around steep 3 or 4 the plum became Elderberry, especially in the aftertaste.
There was a moment of astringency, and my throat became dry.
That evolved into a bright mouth watering, valencia orange flavor, with sweet spices.
I’m not finished with it yet, but I have a student coming soon, so I’ll wrap this up by saying that it is tasty!
First Tea of the Day!
My friend V hired me to play at her daughter’s wedding. She came by to give me the final payment, so I took her out to breakfast. I knew the selection at the restaurant wouldn’t be all that great, so I had some tea at home before she arrived.
I think what I love most about this tea is the sweet potato & spice qualities, and then again, we all seem to love chocolate too!
Confession: I haven’t actually tasted this yet, but I opened the bag and took a whiff (I couldn’t resist), & it smells AWESOME!
Hazelnuts & plums & caramelized brown sugar…
I need to go sleep, so I can wake up & drink some of this…
Tomorrow, Hurry up & come!
So…I’ve been lurking on the Adagio site, reading through the fandom blends, LOL. So have both of my sons. Leif has already ordered tea twice in the last week or so. I was contemplating the Tardis blend by Cara McGee. I’ve already tried a couple of her blends, & they’ve been quite good. This one contains: Earl Grey Bravo, Blackberry, & Vanilla.
I grow blackberries (blueberries, & 3 types of raspberries), but I know all too well that berry flavored teas are not always very good, so rather than buy the full amount, I got samplers of those 3 flavors, so I could experiment a little. I mixed 1/2 tsp of each, steeped 3 minutes, and it’s a tasty mix! Even better with some stevia stirred in.
I’m a sucker for almost anything Verdant lists on their website.
Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. With the exception of my bank balance, I’ve never been disappointed. :)
Some shengs are harsh, at least for the first couple of steeps. I tend to be very conservative on the amount of leaf I put in my Gaiwan, usually using 2 – 3 G, at least for the first time I try one, & I always keep those initial steepings really short. I keep notes in a tea journal, so that the next time I drink that tea I’ll be able to adjust things based on my previous experiences.
When I opened the package, I was delighted to see beautiful large flat pieces in the colors of a dry leaf pile. Whoever pried these off the cake did a beautiful job! The dry aroma was subtly sweet, fresh, & green. The wet leaf swelled to fill my Gaiwan, & it’s aroma was mineral rich. I was feeling daring, so I went with 5G in my 4 oz Gaiwan, one rinse, and 4 seconds (for those who aren’t familiar with my ’formula’s’, this translates into the following:
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 4 sec = A beautiful amber liquid with a sweet mild taste! Not a hint of harshness to be found!
I drank this all afternoon while I was teaching. The flavor continued on, mildly sweet & tongue numbing. Around the 6th steeping there was a little astringency, but this was gradually transformed into a citrus flavor that reminded me of aged tangerine peels, & sensation of allspice.
This is a pleasant sheng, with a nice sensation of chaqi as well!
Breakfast: A Hearty bowl of Stew, leftover from last night.
A breakfast like this requires a hearty tea, & this Assam fits the bill! It’s bold, with a bright sensation up the center of my tongue. Not as malty as some, but very substantial. I got this sample from Traveling Tea Box ‘A’. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Second Breakfast: Leftover baked sweet potatoes, which I cut up, peel & all, & sauteed in coconut oil with cinnamon & a pinch of salt until they were caramelized. Sometimes I add vanilla, ginger, & nutmeg.
Today I kept it simple.
For tea, I had another cup of this Assam, only I doubled the amount of tea & then spiked it with stevia & french vanilla coconut milk creamer.
This is like crack for me, LOL.
I have a sweet potato habit that knows no bounds. I eat at least one sweet potato almost every day. My son Drew shares my habit, & we bake whole trays of them. They are good hot, cold, or reheated. Leif & Tony think we’re crazy. Sweet potatoes are just SO AWESOME, I can’t stop myself. I grow them in my garden & my crop is always huge! Luckily they are also SO good for you. I don’t use butter, just a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. That’s all it takes. It’s dessert. Sweet potatoes taste the way winter squash is suppose to taste, & sweet potatoes make better pie than pumpkin could ever dream of. If you make the crust from pecans (gluten free), you have sweet potato pecan pie.
Oh sweet healthy decadence!!!
I used to have a soy french vanilla creamer habit. (along with quite a few other habits, but that was a long time ago…). Lately I’ve been thinking of Chai & other teas that are so nice with a little creamer once in awhile, & I remembered how much I enjoyed my Assam brewed extra bold this way. I like it straight up as well.
I think I’ll have another cup.
I ended my tea drinking (and harp teaching) day with this shu, which I’ve enjoyed a couple of times now. It reminds me of boston brown bread.
I love the taste of peaches! My adagio order came today, & this was in there. I’m not sure how I feel about it, so I won’t say much. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it wasn’t gross, & I have a pretty good supply of it, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it next time.
I’m not really a huge fan of flavored teas, but every now & then Little Terri talks me into something like this…
Here is another tea that I sipped all day while I was teaching. I wanted to do a comparison on this and the Yu Lu, but it never really happened. I just enjoyed both. The main feature of this tea is the German chocolate cake flavor, which lingers on & on!
I had students all day, from 10am – 8pm, with a one hour break at 12:30.
It’s a perfect day for the Gaiwan, as I’m just sitting around, listening to people of various ages & levels, while they play for me. I listen, I make suggestions regarding technique, interpretation, etc.
This is one of the teas I sipped. I don’t have a lot to say about it that I haven’t already said.
How many times have I reviewed this? Who knows, who cares? It’s delicious. Sweet, tongue-tingling, mouth-watering, amazing!
First cup of the day!
First 2 cups of the day, actually!
I’ve reviewed this tea several times, so I just want to say it is a wonderful, balanced start to my day.
So smooth, so grounding, so tasty!
I’m the last person to have Traveling Tea Box ‘A’ before it goes back to Momo. It’s been an interesting project to be part of, & although most of the teas in the box didn’t interest me much (to be honest), there were a few tasty blacks that I kept (& Momo is really going to enjoy the box when it gets back to her later this week!).
This tea did catch my eye. Why?
1. I absolutely LOVE ginger
2. I’ve been wanting to drink something without caffeine in the evening, as I’m a terrible night owl & maybe I’ll go to bed a little earlier…probably not…but it’s worth a try, right?
3. It contains chicory, which I actually like the taste of!
4. It doesn’t contain rooibos, which I’m not a huge fan of.
Some of us remember the good old days when more herbal teas had chicory in them, & I know some still do, but it seems like these days almost everything that is caffeine free is made with rooibos & honeybush. They don’t taste bad, but they tend to somehow get out of the filter/bag/strainer (even when I combine 2 methods of filtration) & end up in my cup. Then a piece attached itself to my tonsil, all it takes is one little piece, and ackckckck!
I’m pleased to say that this tea is quite tasty, in my opinion. It’s roasty & bold from the chicory root, a little heavy on the cinnamon, I can taste the licorice root (which I also love) & it’s nicely spiced like a chai of sorts. Little Terri & I absolutely adore Chai, so thank you to whoever added this to the box!
Actually, I didn’t drink the last cup, it was my son, Drew, but I told him I’d post it.
For those who don’t know, Gooey Butter Cake was invented in St. Louis in the 1930s when a local baker accidentally used the wrong butter (the gooey butter instead of the deep butter). Because it was around the depression, they sold it anyway, & people loved it so much that they started making it all of the time.
In St. Louis, you can get gooey butter cake almost anywhere, but it’s not something I’ve eaten, due to my intolerances to dairy, gluten, & sugar. The only other ingredient it contains is eggs!
So I can’t say for sure if this tea tastes like the real deal, but it was an interesting tea, with a nice lemony essence to it.
Today I played for tea at a nursing home that I’ve played at monthly for years (I’m not sure how long, but it’s been at least 12 years). Every month I play there. Residents come & go. My current favorite is a gentlemen who loves my arrangement of ‘Misty’. I play it for him every time, & he knows it’s for him. We always give each other the nod. He told one of the employees there that him & I “know each other. We have a special understanding.”
I always bring tea with me, as the tea they offer is plain & bland. Today I was in the mood for this one. I don’t drink St. Valentine often, but when I do, I make it strong & sweet. It’s awesome! Very heady with it’s rose aroma, very potent. It’s almost Valentine’s day!
I like to play a lot of latin jazz, which the residents seem to really enjoy, and as I was playing ‘How Insensitive’ today, I thought of 2 gals that are no longer in my audience. They used to sit at the nearest table, and once when I was playing that song, they sat there with dreamy expressions on their faces, lips parted, eyes half closed. One gal turned to the other.
“This music makes me feel SO sexy,” she said.
“Ohhhhhh yeah” her friend agreed, her voice smokey & sultry.
I love my job! I can help two 90 year old ladies re-live the sexiness of their youth, just by playing a song. How awesome is that?
The other bubble bath tea! Unsweetened, of course! This tea stands alone!
It’s bubble bath time! I wanted something sweet & exotic. I wanted Bergamot Rose Laoshan black. But I only have enough of that for one more time (on the verge of sobbing), & I want that last time to be extra special, so I’m saving it.
I confess: this chocolate chai initially disappointed me. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I followed the instructions, & it was ok…I’ve tried it steeped strong & blended with hot coconut milk, I tried it with almond milk. The problem all along was that I had a preconceived notion of what it would taste like.
As in all things, acceptance is the key. I steep 1 T in a mug for 3 minutes, add stevia, & enjoy.