2859 Tasting Notes
My morning session of students has ended, & after four back to back steepings of Jin Jun Mei, it’s time for something light!
This tea is a pleasant one. Opening the canister I get a tingly whiff of ginger, then a mild citrus & bergamot, & a hint of anise. It brews up a pale orange liquor, naturally sweet & juicy. It’s nice counter balance of flavor to the deep dark chocolatey brew I had earlier, & will cleanse my palate for what is to come.
*Sweet potato hash browns cooked in coconut oil with cinnamon added.
*Locally raised eggs scrambled with locally made chorizo (from locally
Tea: Wild Picked Junnan Jin Jun Mei
Dry: What a pretty tea! Skinny little strands of black & tan, with an aroma of sweet potato, sprinkled with cocoa & cinnamon.
Prep: I actually followed David’s instructions, 2 t (rounded) in my cup, brewed 1.5 minutes.
Cup #1: It’s a very dark, chocolatey looking brew!! That alone excites me! There’s also a foam on top, which is unusual & enticing, so I scoop it off with a spoon, & I swear it has a cocoa powder taste! I sniff the cup. Undeniable scent of buttery toast with honey. I burnt my tongue, I couldn’t wait…malty, robust, & peppery! Yum! I added a tiny bit of Stevia & almond milk for the last couple of sips, & that touch of sweetness brings forward chocolate & a very small hint of orange (it’s probably in my imagination…I used to love love love orange marmalade on my toast).
Cup #2: (2.5 min) The peppery notes are definitely more prominent in this steeping, & my tongue is wrapped in velvet. A little stevia, & it’s the sensation of a chocolate croissant.
Cup #3: (3 min)Still a very dark tea! I went ahead & steeped #2, 3, & 4 while I was drinking the first cup, so that I could attempt to compare them. In this cup I begin to notice cloves & a tiny bite of tannins.
Cup #4: (3.5 min) a little tannic, but still a deep, toasty, tasty cup!
My first student of the day has arrived! I just combined what’s left of brews 2, 3, & 4 into one cup, & “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go!”
I am out of Meditative Mind Tea, & I keep waiting for Whole Foods to get some more. I think I’ll have to order directly from the Tea Spot. I wanted a cup this afternoon (on Tuesday) to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, the saddest day of the 21st Century. Even now I can’t begin to comprehend the tragedy of that day, I am still numb.
Meditative Mind is a beautiful tea to look at: an amazing blend of white peony tea, green jasmine pearls, mint, & lovely pink rosebuds!! The first time I bought this tea, I opened it & it was a visual feast! I breathed in, & the combined scents of Rose, Mint, Jasmine, & Tea are pure Heaven.
This is a tea for healing the soul, for soothing the spirit, for opening the heart. It is a tea for Peace, which I hope we will someday find in this crazy world of ours. Preferably sooner than later.
I’m a lousy employee (at least when it comes to doing desk work), but luckily, I’m a really NICE boss! I spent the morning drinking tea & basically trying to get motivated, & stayed in the tub way too long. I had a more productive afternoon, what with the gig, & some errands. I booked a funeral for this Saturday morning, scheduled a new student, & I also have a wedding on Saturday afternoon.
Being a musician is not all just sitting around, being creative, & plucking & strumming. I’m a performer, sure, but I’m also my own promoter, manager, & everything else (teacher, composer, arranger…)
The desk work is always the hard part. I have a whole list of things to do: phone calls & emails to return, website to update, bills to pay…
I’m (suppose to be) working at my desk now (“Actually, I am working at my desk, this is my break”, she said.), so a little more caffeine was in order.
I drank a cup of Chocolate Phoenix Chai last weekend, using 2 tsp & brewing as directed, & it wasn’t really what I expected, I was kind of disappointed. I really hate saying this, but it wasn’t as spicy or as chocolatey as I thought it would be.
So today I used a heaping tablespoon & brewed for 3 full minutes. Much better! This is a tasty treat! The background is dark unsweetened cocoa powder, with a gingerbread flourish. There is both a powdery feeling on the back of my tongue, & the decadently rich sensation of vanilla tinged whipped cream. I re-steeped, & the 2nd cup was tasty too! I also started a pint of cold-brew, & tomorrow I’ll let you know what I think!
Now for some administrative work…
I took a long hot bubble bath, with a book, 2 cups of tea (premium Taiwan Assam & Zingiber Ginger), a glass of ice water, & the “calm Meditation” setting on Pandora. The EO company makes a wonderful line of essential oil bubble baths, by the way, & the one I like is ‘Renew’, which is scented with Rose & Chamomile. …ahhhhh….
Next on my agenda for the day was a one hour ‘Tea time’ performance at a local nursing home. I’ve been playing this tea event on the 2nd tues of every month for over 12 years! I brought along my own teabag, because the stuff they serve is terrible! As far as bagged English Breakfast teas goes, Stash is currently my favorite. I think it’s really because the name of the company harkens back to my Hippy days, when I often carried illegal contraband. Of course, now my only vice is tea (the legal kind), & I always make a point of having a tea Stash with me at all times.
For Tunes & Tea, I’m including a list of the pieces I played:
Blue Bossa – Kenny Dorham (made famous by Joe Henderson)
How Insensitive – Antonio Carlos Jobim
All I Ask of You – From Phantom of the Opera
Equinox – John Coltrane
Footprints – Wayne Shorter
Georgia on my Mind – Hoagy Carmichael
Misty – Errol Garner
Black Orpheus – Luis Bonfi
Corcovado (Quiet Night of Quiet Stars) – Antonio Carlos Jobim
Over the Rainbow/What a wonderful world medley
(there may have been a few more…that’s all I remember)
The audience is wonderful there, a fairly lucid group, & they especially love the Latin Jazz. My favorite moment ever playing there: I was playing ‘How Insensitive’. 2 80+ old gals were sitting at one of the tables with blissful expressions, teacups in hand, eyes half closed. One turns to the other and says, in a sultry voice, “This music makes me feel SO Sexy”, & the other says, “Oh yeah”.
I’m getting ready to start on my 3rd cup of black tea this morning!
First, I want to say that the dry leaves are wild & crazy looking, & I like that! Dense, almost black with a green undercast & occasional peek-a-boos of mahogany (that seems to be my word of the day), hint of malty aroma. I struggled with measuring it out, as they are unruly, crazy little snakes, unwilling to conform (kind of like me). In the end, I just put some hefty pinches in my cup (probably way more than the recommended 2 tsp)
Brewed, it is what I’m looking for this morning. A deep brown red, bold mildly malty flavor, & with the addition of a little soymilk & stevia, I’m off to bubble bath land.
Breakfast is over, and I’m relaxing in my sun room, sipping this bold tea, still trying to wake up. The color is a dark honey, the aroma toasty, the flavor is not as malty as I’d hoped, but robust & smooth at the same time. A few granules of stevia for the last sips lift the flavors, & I close my eyes: Collin Farrell winks at me & says, “Ay lass, pass me a sip.”
I’m having a slow morning. Last week I couldn’t sleep, this week I’m having trouble waking up. I hate allergies!
So, Stacy sent me this sample with my order, & I meant to enjoy it much sooner! It sounds so delicious! It is my first cup today, my breakfast tea.
Before brewing: Visually, it reminds me of Arame, a sea veg I used to eat a lot of. Almost black, thin twisted strands, with an underlying greenish tinge & accents of Mahogany. I don’t smell a lot, but it’s allergy season, & although my sinuses aren’t clogged (it goes straight to my lungs), they are still dulled a little. I turn on the kettle…
As I pour the water & breath in the steam, a begin to experience that essence of apricot that everyone has raved about. The beautiful amber color in my cup says, “Drink me”, and I do. My breakfast gets pushed off to the side…
This is a very gentle, mildly sweet tea, with a lovely mouth feel. No need for sweetener here. I had actually planned to add a pinch of stevia to the last couple of sips, to see what came forward, but, alas, it’s too late, I finished the cup! Very tasty, thank you Stacy!
This is my last cuppa the day. I wanted something sweet, soothing, yummy, & here it is! I LOVE love LOVE Ginger, & I also love coconut, & in this tea I get a little of both, & some almond. I always expect more of a Chai taste (& as they’ll tell you at Teavana, it’s also great mixed with Chai). Of course, if I really wanted Chai, I could have brewed some of this. This has some Rooibos, which I usually don’t care for much, but in this tea, I’ll make an exception. I use 1 T (sometimes more)per cup of hot water, leaving a little room at the top for some almond or coconut milk, & some stevia. I wanted a treat, & it is!
After teaching on & off throughout the day, & revisiting my Gaiwan for additional oolong steepings, I needed something different, preferably sweet, & without caffeine. Digging through the cupboard, I came across the Twinings Fresh & Fruity sampler box. There’s not much left in the box, but I figured I’d give this one a try.
It is tart & mildly sweet, more cranberry than rasp, & with the addition of a little stevia, juicy! Really, it’s like warm Koolaid. Now I want something else…