2859 Tasting Notes
I’ve probably written more reviews about this tea than anyone else on steepster. I love it. Ginger, Licorice, elderberry, Yanxin’s ’04 puer…wonderful! Everything is so perfectly balanced.
I started some in a Gaiwan yesterday evening to entertain & reward myself while working at my desk, & I plan on returning to that Gaiwan in a little while, after breakfast.
Theresa was a real task master yesterday, keeping me working in the office until midnight & beyond! We did get some things done, although there is always more.
I’ve been looking through my piles of samples from various places, & also trying to get myself to use up greens & green oolongs, to make room for the new ones that will be coming soon! So I had a sampler packet of this one. It is a delightful tieguanyin, brightest green, tighty pressed into little pieces that unfold amazingly to totally fill my Gaiwan. it is light, sweet, floral, fruity, & veggie-like, & quite honestly the epitome of spring!
I have a lot of desk work to do. I hate doing it. I try to stay in the Zen of the moment, pick one thing, & just do it. Then pick another, etc. But I really have to be in a special mood (i.e. Theresa has to be in charge), & because little Terri & I are rebels (without a clue), we avoid my office like a plague. Also, we are ADD, so any interruptions sabotage our efforts. And there is just SO MUCH to do, so we all get overwhelmed.
Today there was no excuse. I kept trying to make excuses, I just wanted to drink tea in my PJs all day. Suddenly Theresa remembered that somewhere in a box I have an electric stainless steel kettle from when I taught Harp in the Visual & Performing Arts school. Somehow I’d forgotten all about it, but I even knew where it was. So Theresa & I made a deal. We get to drink as much tea as we want, in my office, as long as we’re also doing some kind of ‘work’.
I have this tea in a Gaiwan on the 2nd floor with the tea kettle, a cup, & my strainer. We’ve been sipping it & smiling all day. We haven’t really accomplished that much, but we did finally do a CD count, calculate my sales tax for the year, & fill out all the forms. It’s only 3 weeks late (a little over a dollar in penalties).
I love the German chocolate cake-iness of this tea! I took a break for lunch, had a cup of Mi Xian, & now it’s back to my office. Next project, Theresa?
Since I stayed home & none of my students are coming, I’ve been working in my office.
I just took a lunch break, & now I’m enjoying a cup of honey & apricot goodness, otherwise known as Mi Xian Black. I’ve reviewed it in more detail a few other times, so I’ll just say that although this is not a tea that I would crave, it is a tea that I enjoy from time to time.
I do want to mention that I noticed something about this tea that I haven’t picked up on before. There is just a little bit of an orange peel taste to it, faint, but definitely there.
Golden Fleece, I love you!
You are so amazingly beautiful. As a dry tea, you have such a different appearance from any other Dian Hong I’ve tried, & I have tried quite a few at this point. Holding you in my hand, you have so much more texture & substance than your colleagues.
Your aroma: buttery & nuanced.
Theirs? There is none.
I’ve been drinking from your leaves for an hour:
a lightly salty buttery broth
a silky flavorful lightly salt honey caramel broth with a hint of cinnamon & a mild tongue-numbing & thickening sensation.
a buttery sweet mushroom mirin broth, with lingering thickness & sweetness in the back of my throat.
Thank you for adding a little sunlight to this wintery day.
Plans are made to be changed.
It appears that the inch or 2 of snow we were going to get, that would have turned to some form of ice later in the day, went straight from snow flurries to ice. Dammit!
As I stood on the precipice of my doorway, debating on whether I really needed to run errands before my massage, Tim (the awesome massage DuDe) texted, “Lets resched, it’s sleetin like a MoFo!” (Yes, that’s really the way Tim talks, LOL).
So there you have it. I’m back in my PJs, sipping a cup of Tony’s favorite. I bought a few oz at the London Tea Room the other day, as I thought it would be a nice one to share with my Steepster book club pals. The funny thing is, I used to not care much for it, but it has grown on me. It’s an earl grey type with the addition of orange. Although they denied it at the store, I think it also has grapefruit in it. I think an addition of vanilla would be nice. It definitely requires stevia. Anyway, it’s bright, acidic, & fills the mouth with the taste of juicy orange (& a little grapefruit), & that flavor lingers, to brighten up a wintery day.
I rarely watch TV, & I especially avoid the news. It is nothing but a soap opera, as far as I’m concerned, with very little actual newsworthy content. The worse part of all is the weather reports. If there is any inkling of any kind of adverse weather, the drama is unbelievable. It’s been that way all week over the ‘winter storm’ we’re suppose to get today. We’re talking about an inch or 2, maybe 3, of snow, probably mixed with ice, sleet, & freezing rain. All of the schools, including the colleges, made a decision to close for the day last night.
It’s now quarter to 10am, there are a few snow flurries falling. I am enjoying my 2nd cup of this bold Assam, & then I’m leaving the house to run errands.
The PO, where I’ll mail lovely little packages to my tea friends in various parts of the Globe, & check my business PO box for $$$
The Bank, where I’ll make a deposit of $$$
Then I get to spend 90 minutes getting an awesome massage!!
Am I afraid of a little snow? Naw! Half the time they make these predictions & we get little or nothing. The other half they say it won’t snow, & it does. I saw the clouds headed our way on the radar, using my weather channel app, & quite honestly, it doesn’t look all that exciting for St. Louis. Most of it is blowing north.
So I’ll do my thing, & then come home & have more tea, & hopefully watch a real snow storm actually happen, but I’m not really getting my hopes up.
Tea of the Month reserve Club – February
First off, this is a beautiful tea to look at: tight little clusters in deep & medium shades of green. Dry, the aroma is of salted flowers. Warmed in the Gaiwan, I smell a lovely floral scent, with a quality similar to lilac but not as strong & not really the same. The wet tea smells of longbean & green bean flowers, and expands beautifully to fill the Gaiwan with nice sized leaves.
The steeped tea is a beautiful yellow, & it tastes yellow too!
Light vegetable flavors were there, especially the flavor of long beans. I grow them every summer, & although they can be used just like green beans, their flavor is uniquely it’s own. They have lovely flowers, & they are very prolific. The flavor of raw soaked almonds was also present, along with an essence of pear.
All in all, it was very light & spring-like.
Awhile back Invador Zim & I did a trade. I think it was the first month of verdant’s TOTM reserve club, & not everyone got the same teas, but there was enough for more than one sampling. Since we had different teas, we swapped, so that we could each try them all. Thanks Zim!
This is one of the teas I sipped on over the course of the afternoon.
Dry, the leaves had a light roasty scent.
I pre-heated my Gaiwan & let them sit in there for a few minutes, & they took on a caramelized plum scent.
After the rinse, they smelled like smoked umeboshi plums.
The tea was golden in color. I was expecting more of a reddish color, as the dry leaves were tinged so, but once they hit the hot water they really were green.
I’m not a huge fan of dancongs, I might as well admit it. I went through many short steepings, & the flavors that I made note of were incense, a little toastiness, & a perfumey floral edge. There was gentle fruitiness, melon & plum. A little bitterness, a little salt in the aftertaste.
It was a pleasant tea, not something I’d buy, but nice to sample.
Breakfast: A baked sweet potato & chorizo
This tea is bold enough to stand up to a breakfast like that!
It is not loud or bright or acidic, like so many breakfast blends are.
The aroma is a balance of fruit & earth, with a hint of smoke.
The flavor is similar. I drank the first cup straight, & added a little stevia to the 2nd cup, & that’s nice too, bringing out a brown sugar taste & a butteriness in the throat.
Nothing fancy, no special steeping techniques, just a nice balanced cup of tea! Sometimes that’s all I need.