3051 Tasting Notes
Thanks to BoxerMama for this sample.
I love licorice root! There, I said it!
Having said that, this tea is OK. Not something I’d buy, there are way too many other flavors in there with the licorice, but something to sample in the evening when I really don’t need to add any more caffeine to my day. I have another early gig tomorrow, gotta leave the house by 6:15 again. I want to turn on my AX, but ‘you know who’ will start jamming & next thing you know, it will be midnight, or later!
Usually when I think of a Puer tuocha, I’m thinking of a cute little bird nest of tea, just right to drop into my filter & steep. That has been my experience so far. The ones I’ve had up until now have been Shu tuochas, none of them spectacular, but good to experience.
I ordered a couple of these Lao Tong Zhi ‘11 Shengs, thinking they would be those cute little nests. I would drink one, and save the others to drink a year from now, etc. Each one actually weighs about 100g! So I’ll really have an opportunity to let them age for quite some time.
My first steeping of this:
5g + 4oz (rinse) + 4 sec = a very strong, green, rustic & brassy brew!
Very intensive, with a sharp flavor & acidity, kind of like mustard greens. It definitely had a rawness to it, and a strong taste of wood.
Interesting sensations? Yes, I felt a mild itching in my lymph nodes on my neck, and my ears started popping (like when you’re flying), and a little of the head buzz. I don’t know much about puer yet, but I do agree that this one has potential, and it will be fun to see how it progresses, I’m especially interesting in seeing how it mellows over the coming years.
Later Steepings: after about 4 or 6 steepings (who’s counting?), all the brassiness disappears and a sudden delicate sweetness was there, that honestly was completely unexpected & very nice.
NOTE to self: go back down to 4g on puer for awhile, you crazy mad scientist!
In spite of the fact that I have a gig this morning (I have to leave by 10:30, which is way better than yesterday when I had to leave around 6:00), I stayed up kind of late (“how late?” you ask. “I’m not telling”)
So Little Terri, Theresa, and I were jammin’ with the AX, and IT IS SO MUCH FUN!! We’re already fantasizing about Youtube videos with Little Terri playing Bass on the AX, Theresa playing some percussion toys (yes, I have quite a few of those too), and me playing my electric harp & singing a Janis Joplin number. We’re all gonna dress up to express our personalities, and it will be awesome. Oh, the possibilities!!
I originally got this tea as a sample from Angel@TeaVivre. It was quite tasty, and she was sending me some more samples, so I ordered some more of this lovely tea (along with several other items), and had her package them together. No point wasting shipping costs!
I steeped one T in 8oz @ 195 for 2min. It’s a very gentle Keemun, essence of malt, sweet potato, and roses. It makes me wonder if there are rose bushes planted around the tea plants, but probably not. The re-steep was 3 minutes, and that’s a pleasant cup as well.
It’s not particularly smokey, like some of the Keemun’s I’ve tried, but it is tasty, and that’s the most important thing!
I have 4 confessions to make:
1. This is the first year I participated in “Black Friday”, ever.
2. I made up for all previous years of non-participation.
3. I bought a ridiculous amount of tea, including several pu’ers, & a few tea paraphernalia items that I had been drooling over.
4. I also bought myself a Roland AX Synth. Little Terri & I have wanted one for years, and one of the best parts of being a successful self-employed musician is I get to decide how to spend my money! I LOVE new toys!! AND it’s a tax deduction too, cuz you can bet I’ll use it at gigs at some point! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaXw9rWqGtw
So, a busy day: I played a gig, got a massage, went to the Salt Room to improve my breathing, & my AX arrived!! My son Drew & I have been playing with it all evening.
I’ve also been drinking this Shu. There weren’t any instructions, so I started with 5g in 4 oz of water, 2 quick rinses, and off we go! The first couple of steeps were 4 seconds. They looked like coffee, and although they were potent, they were also amazingly smooth & not bitter at all. The initial aroma was of a well aged wood mulch, with a sweetness to the smell.
Flavor-wise, it started out a bit woodsy, with a slight sweet spice, and as I went through the steepings it gradually took on a creamy texture, & a sweeter vanilla flavor. My AX arrived just as I poured maybe the 7 or 8th gaiwan into my cup, and in my excitement, I left it sitting and it got cold. Let me say this, when I finally came back and drank it, it felt like I was drinking a glass of milk! The later steepings have continued to have a creamy texture, and a vanilla caramel sprinkled with sea salt kind of taste. Not to say that it’s actually salty, but more that my taste buds are taking turns twinkling on and off, like they would if salt touched my tongue. So it’s kind of sparkly fairy-dust tasting!
This is, of course, a young puer, so it doesn’t have the skull shining effect (yet) of Old Banzhang or Willow Grove, or some of the others I’ve tried, but it did open my head a little, and now I’m gonna go play my AX! Rock On!
This is a wonderful tea with a creamy smooth textures, hints of butter and chocolate. Really, there is so much more depth to it than that, but I’m not always the best at describing these things. Let’s just say that it is incredibly satisfying today!
I’ve already had a long day. I got up At 5, left the house at 6 for a Gig, armed with a 12 oz cup of this & a 16oz of Shagadelic English Breakfast (tea spot). When I arrived at the Gig, which was the lobby of an office building, I immediately noticed a Starbucks just off the lobby. Now, I’m not a real frequenter of that place, as I don’t drink coffee, although they do have some decent gear for hauling your beverages around. I once had a Tazo iced Chai habit that required me to either stock cartons of the stuff, or visit starbucks often, and as we say in 12 step programs, addiction runs deep. My 12 oz cup was empty and was miraculously immediately filled with a hot soy Chai. It had been awhile, and let me tell you, that was a serious sip down, because in the 10 minutes it took to tune my harp, I had already drank it and started on another one. I nursed that one, and the Shagadelic, throughout the gig. Now I’m home, and just polished off a re-steep of the Yun Nan, & it held up well for a 2nd cup!
Now off to get a massage…I love being self-employed!
I’ve had enough caffeine today!
I have an early morning gig, playing my harp from 7:30 – 9am in the lobby of an office building while the people who work there come in to work. The building manager will have a breakfast buffet set up for them as well. I do several of these types of gigs every year at this time. I’m not an early morning person, & it will take some effort to get myself to go to bed at a reasonable time so that I can get up early enough to leave the house by 6:30, so no more caffeine for today.
This is not a favorite blend, as I’m not a huge fan of sage (except in food) or tulsi, but it’s ok, all the ingredients are high quality, and I really like most of the other ingredients. Since I’ll be working a lot for the next 3 weeks, (I booked 3 more gigs today) I figure my immune sys can use all the help it can get. I’m still not sure what I did with that bag of Sichuan Caravan, so this will do for now.
This is another sample given to me by Eric Glass, the owner of The Fragrant Cup, a Tea Importer here in St. Louis. www.fragrantcup.com
It’s a ridiculously amazing day outside, clear skies, 75 degrees. I should be riding my Harley, but I’ve had students all day & have been sipping this tea, gongfu style, for most of the afternoon. Right now I have a bit of a break, & have been contemplating the re-arranging of my Studio & watering my abundant house plant. I was pleased to see that a few of the fruits on my Kumquat tree are starting to turn orange. It will still be at least a few weeks before they are ready to eat, and I just get to eat one here & there, but that’s nice because I don’t take them for granted, each one is a special treat.
This is a really nice bold brew. The flavor & aroma are both lightly floral, with a roasty kind of taste. There was initially a unusual sensation in the center of my tongue, and after several steepings I got that buttery feeling around the edges & under my tongue, kind of a sparkling sensation. I’m not always good at describing flavors: There’s a little chocolate, a little orange peel, maybe some cinnamon, and there is a deep fruitiness, & I keep thinking I should try adding some Elderberries to my cup. I love elderberry tea, for the taste, and for the medicinal value, & I think I may go ahead and mix some into my Gaiwan, just for the heck of it. Or not…
Oh Joy! The mail came & I just got packages from TeaVivre and Verdant!
After students from 9 – 1, a quick lunch, and the booking for 3 xmas gigs (Yeah!), I had a few errands to run and wanted something sweet, and a break from caffeine, so I went with the last cup of this, with some stevia. It is creamy, and well flavored, tasting of coconut, graham cracker crust, even with a hint of lime. I used the finum and was extra careful not to get any of the ‘shake’ into the cup itself, but still have that ’akkkk" feeling in my throat. Sometimes rooibos just breaks into teeny tiny particles, and they find their way into my cup. I should have included the muslin tea bag, as a double straining system. It works so much better that way. At least the tea tasted good!
I miss-placed 2 oz of Sichuan Caravan…(sigh)…I know it’s around here somewhere…there is no way I already drank it all!! Oh well…
I’ve drank this YuLu a couple of times now, both western brew and gongfu, and I have to say, it is not my favorite of Verdant’s Teas.
It does have a flavor profile that in some ways reminds me of Jin Jun Mei, with it’s peppery honey qualities, and a little of my beloved Laoshan Black chocolate-ness, and the color of the liquor is a beautiful honey, with a stunning saffron yellow backdrop.
So what’s my problem? It has a burnt smell to me, and after drinking it I had what I call the ‘rock gut’ sensation, which I don’t care for.
Will I drink it again? Sure, I still have plenty of it, so I’ll add it to my rotation and give it another try in a week or 2, and I may experience an entirely different feeling. That’s one of the things I love about tea! I can drink the same tea many different times, and it might not always be the same for me, as my experience is in part effected by my mood, and I’m a little grumpy today, and other factors.