2900 Tasting Notes
I had students today from 10:30am until 6:00, with only 1 hour break at lunch time. I actually still have one more student at 7:00. I’ve been sipping this Sheng all day. I’m still fairly new to Shengs.
The dry aroma is rich with minerals, and a tickley salt sensation in my sinuses, and I love the way it looks! That pressed & dried cake look really appeals to me.
The first round of steepings started with 4 oz of tea with a quick rinse & 4-second steepings. I steeped 4 quick rounds in my Gaiwan, pouring them into 4 cups, all lined up in a row, and savored them, from right to left. Savory, smooth, even a little sweet, each cup just a little more potent, the taste reminded me of fresh hay. I did another round at 10-seconds each, & those were tasty too! Next I poured the leaf into a strainer and dropped it into my 8 oz cup for a 3 minutes steeping. I also had a 5 minute steeped cup.
I’ve enjoyed every drop, and although I’m not really giving much description here, it’s more because I’m still developing a context for the tastes & sensations I’m experiencing. I don’t want to just repeat what others have said, or use the product description page to come up with my description. I have enough to try it several times!
First, I want to say that the Tuochas don’t look like the picture. I didn’t see a flower, or even a flower petal on it. I even unwrapped another one, just to see if it had one, and it didn’t.
Otherwise, it was ok. Basically, green tea with a slight alfalfa taste, no real jasmine flavor, at least not that I noticed.
I’ve been working my way through all of my breakfast teas (there are SO many!),in a rotation of sorts, starting each day with one I haven’t had for awhile. It’s kind of silly, I guess, but my black tea shelf looks kind of like a slow-mo game of red rover: All the tea canisters started on the right side, & each day I choose one, drink it, and move it to the left. That way nobody gets left out!
Today I’m having the Imperial Breakfast. This is a tasty blend of all the flavors I love: chocolate, malt, caramel, pastry. It’s very smooth and has a really nice depth to it, & yet it also has a bright sunny ambiance, perfect for the morning.
This tea is out of stock on the Verdant page, and I’m getting low in stock myself. I’ve assumed that David is going to make an Imperial Breakfast Winter Blend, since Summer is long over, and I’m sure it would be interesting and awesome, & I’ll gratefully buy it!
However, if he makes more Summer blend, that will be ok too!
I would like to buy a large amount of this Shu, so that I can drink it for years. It is sweet, it is yummy. It is also featured in Sichuan Caravan, which is probably my favorite tea blend EVER! I should also order a ridiculously large amount of that, I suppose. :D
So…I haven’t written on my NaNoWriMo project for the last 2 days, & quite honestly got very little done over the weekend. I had planned on writing all morning, but Tony showed up, & I ended up fixing him breakfast & hanging out instead. Then the afternoon gig, errands, dinner, & now it’s almost 7pm & I’m drinking multiple steepings of this, and psyching myself up for some serious writing!
When I use my Gaiwan (4oz – 5 oz tea – 4 sec), I tend to steep 4 cups back to back (while the water’s hot), and the first 4 went down so quickly, they were just that good. Sweet buttery vanilla pastry.
I’m drinking the next 4 now: 2 at 10 sec, and 2 at 20 sec.
The 3rd steeping is also in process: I moved the tea to a steeping basket, dropped that into my 12 oz glass pot, & left it 5 minutes.
I think that will be enough tea for the night…lets see…4 oz x 8, that’s 32 oz, plus 12…that will be 44 oz of tea…good thing I’m gonna be up writing for awhile!
I thought it would be nice to follow the TeaVivre Chrysanthemum Puerh with this Xingyang Chrysanthemum Pu’er. I’m not actually going to attempt to compare the two teas, I’m just enjoying each for what they offer.
I’ve already written a pretty extensive review on this one a few weeks ago, & I love it’s earthiness, sweetness, a mild spice. I noticed that David made another Chrysanthemum Pu’er blend last year (or some previous winter), that had orange peel & some other things in it. I think I really would have liked that one too, and I really wish I could have tried it (so if anyone still has some of it lying around…hint hint hint…).
I have to leave in 15 minutes for the monthly tea party gig I play at a nursing home, and now that I’m thinking of it, I probably shouldn’t have drank so many cups of tea…ay yay yay! ;)
I’m a little behind on my tea sampling, at least in my opinion. Of course, in my opinion I’m behind on everything (ask my sis Ms Whatsit, who just listened to me whine for 20 minutes about trying to get things done…)
So, this is from a sample from Angel & TeaVivre, and I’d like to say, “Thank You” to them for the lovely teas that I’ve enjoyed so far.
I have a bit of a love affair going with Puerh Tuochas right now. I’ve been told somewhere along the line that Tuochas are made from the lesser quality Puerh, but if that is the case, and I doubt that it’s the case for all of them, then I don’t really care. Tuochas are cute, they are aesthetically pleasing, they are convenient, and they say, “Drink me”. So I do. Yes, some are better than others.
This Tuocha is especially attractive, with it’s Chrysanthemum flower ornament. It doesn’t lend a lot of chrysanthemum flavor, but that’s ok, because the Puerh itself is a tasty one. Deep & dark, with a mellow & slightly sweet woodsy flavor, & a buttery sensation. I steeped the first 8 oz cup for 2 minutes, & the 2nd cup for 3. Both are delicious & smooth, with NO fishiness or saltiness, just a pleasant minerally brew. I wouldn’t mind a little more intensity, and since there is another Tuocha in the sample, I will brew that one at a later date in my Gaiwan.
This is a continuation of my so called Tea Trials, LOL.
Now I’m sipping on steeps 6 & 7, and they are both lovely.
One of the things I love about both of these Tieguanyins (Summer & Autumn) is the way they look: Dry, they look very similar to one another, amazingly green nuggets with a heavenly smell of fields of flowers and sweet greens. Once I start steeping them, each nugget opens out into a full leaf. The transformation is amazing, they just keep getting bigger with each steeping, until they are overflowing from the Gaiwan!
The Autumn Tea’s color is a little greener, & after adding water its especially brilliant, and I swear, as it steeped, the leaves it took on an iridescent green that was otherworldly in color. The leaves of the Autumn tea are definitely greener and sturdier looking as well.
Both teas smelled like Heaven, with the Autumn having a slightly greener essence. Both had a floral taste & aroma, but the Autumn leans heavily (& heavenly) to the Orchid scent, which I confess, I love! I think the summer was a little more astringent.
I loved both! I admit, I preferred the Autumn slightly.
I thought I’d try doing my own Tea Trials. Why? Because ever since I was sick (a month or so ago), it seems like my taste buds are a little out of sync. It’s not that I can’t taste things, it’s just that I’m having some trouble defining what I’m tasting. I’ll taste something, and it’s familiar, but I can’t quite pinpoint it. So, with that in mind, I though comparing some teas might help.
Naturally, with my tendency to go overboard, I set out a lineup of every oolong I had in stock: 10 in total, LOL! I told my sister, Ms Whatzit, of my plan, and she laughed & suggested I narrow it down. So I did. I steeped side by side steepings of Verdant’s Hand Picked Summer Tieguanyin & their Hand picked Autumn one too.
After 3 steepings of both, I realized that although I can taste differences, describing those differences may not be as easy as I thought!
So, regarding this lovely Summer Tea (which I’ve probably reviewed before), closing my eyes I taste the yellow flowers of summer. It is a very yellow green in color, with a floral taste & definitely has an after taste of almond! I’m on cup 7 now (4 oz cups), and it’s a mouth watering cup, with buttery notes, but throat drying at the same time.
I’ll come back to it later, as it can be resteeped 18 times (although I confess, I rarely make it that far).
I haven’t been on Steepster most of this week. Our modem died, so we were without internet all week, which was really a drag. It was a fairly new modem, so we got a free replacement, but it took days to arrive. How spoiled we are!
Of course, I’ve been drinking tea like a freak all week anyway, just didn’t document any of it, & it was mostly teas I’ve already reviewed.
Today I’m finally getting around to sampling this shu, which looked very interesting to me. I actually love the look of it, don’t ask why, but it’s a warm cocoa brown, & it appeals to my visual sense.
I decided to go with the Xingyang workshop brew suggestions: 5 g of tea, 4 oz water in Gaiwan, quick rinse, steep 2 minutes.
1st steep: whew, now that’s some intense tea! It is strong, but still amazingly smooth. There is a bitter edge, but no astrigency at all. I like it.
2. The leaves smell of shrooms & old things (musty), making me think of an old cedar grove. The bitterness is gone from this 2nd cup, and although the flavor is still strong, there is a brightness around the edges of my tongue that is leaning slightly to sweet.
3. I’m not really getting the rum raisin taste, but I’m a little unfocused, as I have to leave to play at a wedding shortly. I probably should have waited until a less busy day to sample this, but that’s ok. I have enough for several samplings, so another day.
When I get home I’ll carry it through some more steepings.