2855 Tasting Notes
100 Grams is really not a very big tea cake, however at 5 G per session, it will make tea 20 times, & of course each session will make many cups of tea to savor. I weighed it, & it actually weighed in at 92G, but my guess is that it was originally 100, & lost weight as it aged.
I started with a rinse, which admittedly, I drank, savoring the gentle essence of semolina & vanilla cake. The wet leaves smell of Kugle. What’s Kugle? It’s a dish made with buttery noodles & custard, which can be made either sweet or savory. I used to make it for my kids when they were young, everyone loved it so. In this case, I’m thinking of the sweet kind, with vanilla.
Here’s my impression of the steepings:
1. 10 sec: It’s so creamy & sweet, & it’s Kugle!
2. 15 sec: Even creamier & sweeter!
3 – 5 at 20, 25, & 30 sec were combined into a pitcher, to enjoy while I was teaching a student, & the flavors continued.
6. 45 sec: the butteriness is replaced by a golden sensation, as if my tongue were covered in a sleeve of pure thin gold. I know that sounds weird, but it’s the only way I can describe it. Still sweet.
7. 1 minute: It feels like I’m drinking cream. The flavor is of a brown crust of WW bread.
I had to leave for awhile, but when I got home, I ran through several more steepings, & could probably continue, but I have somewhere to be, so maybe tomorrow? This is a very nice tea!
This was the tea I chose to start my morning with. I drank 2 cups, then met someone at a coffeeshop & drank 2 hot chai with almond milk, then returned home & had one more steeping of this.
I’m a little overwhelmed: I’m surrounded in tea: Some puers I ordered from Mandala, Verdant tea of the months, plus some other samples from here and there.
Of course, it’s a good problem to have. I’m only overwhelmed at where to begin! Eenie Meenie Mynie Mo…here I go! ;D
As the afternoon passed, I became interested in drinking some sheng.
The first time I drank this, my formula was:
5G + 4oz @ boiling (rinse)X 4 sec. = Way strong!!
The 2nd time: 3G + 4oz @ boiling (rinse) X 4sec = ok…
This time: 4G + 4oz at 175 (rinse) X 4 sec = eureka!
This is probably how I’ll do Sheng from now on…at least this one!
It is very green in taste, like newly baled Hary, with the sweetness of clovers mixed in. There is also a resinous flavor and the sensation in my sinuses and roof of my mouth of Eucalyptus or camphor. This tea is young, but it has chaqi! I feel it in my neck, my 3rd eye, my sinuses, & my brain. This feeling came on very quickly, & I had a little bit of a headache briefly, and the desire to close my eyes & meditate. I took a few relaxing breaths & visualize a flower blooming on my forhead. I also did a little Reiki on myself, & the headache subsided.
Later steeping had a very mineral taste, almost metallic, the taste of iron.
My friend Barb called this morning to tell me that her food coop order came, & they had extra cukes & Kale, if I wanted them. Yes!
So she came by for tea, bringing the veggies, & this was her selection.
I used to be a huge fan of oolongs, with their floral essence & green backdrop. The first cup or 2 are always wonderful, but then I start to lose interest. Nonetheless, I continued to steep a cup here & there during the afternoon, in between other things.
This tea makes me think and feel the color yellow, and surrounds my tongue with a bright sunny sensation. Bright florals up front, with later steepings a little astringent. There arose the taste of blanched almonds & a mouth-feel somewhat like almond milk.
What more can I say of this tea, that I haven’t already said?
My son Leif (age 20) had breakfast with me this morning, & this was his selection!
Previously I’ve weighed out 5 oz, trying to get a mix of the Yanxin’s Reserve nuggets & the various other smaller components of the tea (licorice root, elderberries, ginger, & sichuan pepper).
This time I weighed out 5 oz of the puer, then added a few oz of the ‘other stuff’. I’ll do it that way from now on!
It’s been in one of my Gaiwans, & I’ve been sipping on it on and off, throughout the day. I just drank the final cup, and at this point the flavor is gone, but the bite of the ginger still lingers on.
I enjoyed drinking this throughout the afternoon & early evening. I’ve reviewed it before, & my previous comments hold. To me it doesn’t taste so much like ginger, rather it has the warming sensation of ginger, along with some nice fruity sweetness. I wanted something bold, yet grounding, & this hit the spot.
I’m feeling much better than I’ve felt for a few days, & energized, so I spent the evening starting 2 new batches of cultured veggies.
The first one is a root kimchi: Daikon & Turnips from my garden, carrots, burdock. All are cut in matchsticks (I’ve been known to cut them in much more novel shapes, but I wanted to keep it simple). They’ll soak overnight in a salt brine, & tomorrow I’ll drain them & add ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish, & chilis. It will take about a week to mature. A potent, earthy Kimchi!
The 2nd one is a new batch of sauer kraut, which we eat a lot of around here. This one is a coleslaw style kraut: green cabbage, onion, garlic, grated carrot, dill seed, & salt. Once everything was chopped & mixed together, my son Drew & I ate a few bites. Like a young puer that you know is going to only get better, that’s how I feel about this kraut. Right now it’s a tasty & somewhat nippy salad. A month from now it will be tangy, delicious, & loaded with probiotics.
I currently have 3 in the frig that we’ve been eating:
1/2 qt of pink kraut (we went through almost 4 qts in a month!)
1/2 qt of kimchi (the regular kind)
4 pints of newly ripened Christmas Kraut: purple cabbage, cranberries, apples, cinnamon sticks, ginger root, orange juice, & salt. I’m still not sure how I feel about that one…its VERY tangy…
1/2 qt of green beans, peppers, & garlic cloves.
This satisfies my ‘mad scientist’ tendencies!
and the sipdown continues:
This is the remainder of the sample I received from Angel @ TeaVivre. Thanks again, Angel, for this generous sample!
I had thought at one point of steeping several dragonwells, side by side, & comparing them. This never happened, and really, it doesn’t need to happen. Why compare? Why not enjoy each alone, for what they offer? So that’s what I’m doing.
Beautiful flat green leaves, sweet, crisp, & green taste. I used to steep green teas in a cup, but more & more I prefer short steepings in a Gaiwan. The ‘fresh’ taste is like a reminder that spring will come soon. I look out over my garden, & begin to contemplate the season…
I was gonna have a cup of Dragonwell, but I overheated the water, so I had some of this instead. We (that would be me, little Terri, & the cup of tea) went out onto the pack porch & stood in the sun, the beautiful glorious sunlight, sipping & absorbing: the golden warmth of the sun on my skin, contrasting with the coolness of the air; the rich and buttery sweet smoothness of this tea, the song of birds, the glorious blue sky, the view of my garden in winter. As I breath these in, I feel uplifted.
I re-steep & return.
And the sip down continues…
Another grumpy morning, I still feel like I’m fighting something, even though I don’t actually feel sick. Monday it was trying to hit my lungs & throat, yesterday it was my head. My eyes had that feeling you get when you have a fever & I ended the day with a burning headache (maybe it was from that big tea order I placed…). So I woke groggy for the 3rd day, and after my morning cup of elderberry tea, I treated myself to a breakfast of a pork chop, sweet potato, & cinnamon fried apples. This must be accompanied by a robust & malty black tea, & this one fits the bill nicely. The sun is shining & I think I feel better already! :D