3071 Tasting Notes
This is not the exact Chai Spice recipe from the Chai Spice that came in our January Tea of the Month package, however it has many of the same ingredients, with the addition of goji berries, so I’m just going to use it, because they have the same name. So there!
I just enjoyed a lunch of Greek sliders, baked sweet potato with cinnamon, & cukes. I wanted to follow that with something sweet & spicey. I combined 2 t of the chai spices with 8oz water, simmered for 5 minutes (really probably 6), added 1 t of Yu Lu, steeped for 3 minutes, meanwhile I heated up a cup of almond milk, then added it at the end.
Unsweetened: ginger & a touch of salt
With Stevia: oh baby! It really tastes reminiscent of a ginger snap cookie.
Sometimes when I’m sampling teas, I like to talk about each round of steepings, noticing how the tea changes as I go along.
I’m not in the mood for that kind of left brain tea drinking today. Luckily, I have several samples of this varietal, so there will be time to drink it that way. Today, I’m more in a right brain mood, & have other things to do (while I drink tea). So I’ll just give my overall impressions here.
Per David’s instructions: 5G + 4oz water (rinse) X 4 – 6 sec
I drank the rinse water, as I often do, LOL. Not bad!
The first steeping I drank alone & the immediate impression was German chocolate cake accompanied by a cup of coffee, no doubt about it! It is a deep flavor, a very earthy taste, roasted & malty, a rocky essence, but with a sweetness & a sense of buttery-ness as well.
Then I combined several steepings in my pitcher, because I just can’t keep returning to the kitchen over & over again. I have things to do!
I’ve refilled the pitcher & am sipping that now, taking a break. The buttery sensation has somehow worked it’s way into my sinuses, & this is one of those mouth watering teas, giving my tongue a bit of a thick feeling.
Steeping 8 or 9 (lost count) I’m drinking this one separately from the others. Now the chocolate & malt are mostly gone. Very mouth watering, very tongue tingling, there is a sweet creamy taste.
10. (more or less, which I allowed to brew for 1 minute) Rock, chocolate, & a really interesting aftertaste…
I wasn’t as mindful during this tasting as I like to be. Before I sample this one again, I think I’ll drink some Big Red Robe & other Oolongs, & then come back to this one.
On to lunch…
The Verdant Tea of the Month Club package arrived, & as always, I was very excited! I already knew that there would be a sample of Anxi Fo Shou Black, as we were given a heads up via email. I kind of assumed (wishful thinking) that the 2nd tea would be Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan, since it was also being newly unveiled. Imagine my disappointment at the 2nd tea being Yu Lu, which I have not really cared much for & already still had some of. Oh well…
Not to be unwilling, I gave it a go, per David’s instructions. To avoid muddying the waters, this was my first tea of the day. M
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 4 sec = a pleasant malty taste & creamy texture.
I resteeped several times, keeping all of the steepings short, & at one point the taste I don’t care for (see previous reviews) waved at me from a distance, but it wasn’t in my face. So now I know that this one only goes in the Gaiwan (no western brewing), & I can live with it.
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.