2971 Tasting Notes
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.
I have a series of ‘sample’ jars (or boxes), one for green & white, one for puerhs, etc. I set it up this way so that I can get myself to sample a variety of teas. Today I reached into my ‘green’ sample jar, and this one came out. Here’s the review:
Dry: I smell the light aroma of peas
1. In 4 oz Gaiwan, 4 oz of tea at 3 sec – once upon a time I made a soup stalk out of pea shells, & this reminds me of that stock. It’s a light fresh pea broth.
2. Same broth, add a little soymilk to give it a creamy texture. It really does have a creamy mouth-feeling, & a hint of bitterness.
3. a little more green-ness, but also a little more sweetness!
I want to inject here that I really have a hard time steeping things for ONLY 3 seconds. I most always end up going over that. The next 3 steepings were for 6 seconds each:
4. Very creamy, & it does remind me a bit of soymilk. The bitterness is mostly gone now, & its a nice, mouth watering cup, with a sweetness in the back of the throat.
5. Seriously, it’s even creamier, & I feel almost like I’m drinking liquidated oatmeal & soymilk. It’s not thick for real, but there is a thick & rich sensation to it.
6. And this one is tasty too! A little bit astringent.
This tea really has a delicate profile, a pleasant green sweetness.
Now, on to lunch!
I was digging around in my cupboard for something ‘different’, & I realized I still have some of this!! Wow! So this is bubble bath cup #2, sweetened with stevia. Yum! I better get to bathing, before my tea gets cold!
If you’re a US citizen, don’t forget to vote! It isn’t just your right, it’s your responsibility! Enjoy the day!
I got up unusually early (for me, anyway) at 5:00am, so that my 2 sons (Drew age 23 and Leif age 20) could be at the polls when they opened. Last year the line snaked all the way down the block. We arrived at 5:40, and the line was about 20 people, so I’m glad we got there when we did. Within a few minutes the length of the line had tripled, at least. After we voted, we went out to breakfast, then Leif went to school (college) & Drew & I came home & made tea. He’s having Chocolate ‘O’ by the Tea Spot. I brewed 2 cups, which I’ll take to the bubble bath.
Cup # 1 is this wonderful, savory, malty Jin Jun Mei. I’ve reviewed it before, & it is tasty!
I’m still not sure how I feel about this blend…The smell of the dry tea is unpleasant to me, kind of chemical, but my son Drew really likes the smell of it. I don’t taste any pumpkin, & at first sip, my mouth & all its part say, “yum”, but then after a few sips, it tastes kind of phony. I’ve tried it plain (mehhh), I’ve tried it with stevia, which is better. I also tried it with coconut milk, which wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I’ll probably let Drew drink up the rest of the blend, as he really likes it (along with Farewell Ponds)
I wanted something gingery, but probably what I really need is something a little more grounding, like a Puerh. In fact, what I REALLY wanted was a cup of Sichuan Caravan, which would satisfy both my desire for ginger & my need for grounding. I just got a new shipment from Verdant, which includes a new supply of the Caravan, still, I figured I’d have a cup of this first.
As far as the aesthetics of creating a beautiful blend, David has done it again, with a confetti of shades of beige, brown, red, hot pink, & green. The smell is earthy & enticing & bright, tickling my nose with the promise of ginger root. There are lots of excellent herbs in here, & my immune sys can always use support.
It looks lovely steeping, especially in glass. I drank most of the cup plain, adding a few drops of honey to the last couple of sips, and I enjoyed it both ways. It’s probably not a tea I will crave, but it does have a soothing quality to it, and is pleasant.
My first student of the day was a no-show. These things happen. People get sidetracked, or sometimes my calendar is wrong. Living in the Zen of the moment, as I like to do, I’m always secretly relieved when someone doesn’t show up. Suddenly I have 30 or 60 minutes to do whatever I want: Practice a song, wash a few dishes, make food, drink a cup of tea…
I had already started working on my novel this morning, so I just kept typing like a fiend! My 11:30 student was 10 minutes late, so I got in almost an hour of typing, which amounted to 2,109 words! I think that’s a new record of crazy typing for me! So now my current total is 6111.
The student who came is fond of green tea, so I served her Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls, and had a cup for myself as well. I’m on the re-steep now. It’s a pleasantly floral one, which I enjoy from time to time. I especially love the aroma when I open the canister! I’ve always loved jasmine, & for years I’ve put a drop of the real essential oil in my hair after bathing. (Used to it was a drop of Patchouli, & sometimes I still use that instead). And of course, I’m a sucker for novelty, so I love the little pearls!
The tea is bright, a little astringent, but tasty. I honestly never really care much for the re-steep.
I’m a little antsy today. It’s day 5 of NaNoWriMo & although I started day one off with a bang, writing 4002 words, days 2, 3 ,& 4 were a washout. I had gigs, I had a boyfriend to entertain (& he’s been neglected A LOT lately, poor baby). Today I have a mix of students & free time, & although there are some things I’d like to get done, writing is a priority. I’d like to get back on track!
I started the day with yoga, meditation, & journaling. Then I had an awesome pile of gluten free pancakes, possibly the best recipe I’ve found online yet. http://www.elanaspantry.com/silver-dollar-pancakes/
The tea? Hugo’s Organic Morning’s Journey. I’m on my 2nd cup (not a resteep, I don’t feel that it resteeps all that well) of this bright & yet dark brew. Ahhh, yes…I feel the caffeine level rising…good morning, all!