3046 Tasting Notes
I ate chocolate last night. It was the deep dark dairy free & barely sweet kind from a local chocolatier, Kakao. I also ate a few bites of coconut milk ice cream. I normally don’t eat any sweets, not even a lot of fruit, as it isn’t good for me, but the revelry of Pirates brought out a surge of daring, bold, & reckless behaviors in me.
NaNoWriMo began at midnight, & I WAS going to write my first 2000 words (like I did last year), but I’ve also been working on making sure I get enough sleep & do my yoga, so I went to bed instead. I slept like a vampire at dawn, & woke a little groggy at 8:00, with my guts & head achy, ah the price we pay for sugar consumption. But I did my yoga, meditation, & journaling. I ate my BAB (Paleo-speak for Big Ass Breakfast), I taught my first student of the day & we shared a pot of English Breakfast (two leaves & a bud). Now on with the day. I wanted something deep, dark, & grounding. Plus I’ve been reading David Duckler’s notes on his trip to China, & the comments from Wang Yanxin about using more tea for less time. I also read the notes on the Verdant site regarding this tea.
I’ll admit, I’ve had this tea sample for awhile. David included it as a freebie in one of my orders & I’ve been a little nervous about trying it. It is described as "musty, sparkling, linen, cedar, stone, rock sugar. Normal people probably wouldn’t want to drink that! LOL!
I opened the package to find a most beautiful tea, deep mahogany, nice & leafy, a slightly musty aroma that left my nose with a salty sensation (not smell). Following the XingYang workshop recommendations, I put the entire 5oz sample in my 4oz Gaiwan, gave it a quick rinse, but only steeped for 1 minute. It tasted like a revelation. 2nd – 6th steeps for 2 minutes. I’ve drank them all & savored every moment of each sip. This is what I needed this morning. This will carry me into my day. I have no words for this tea, it tastes exactly as described. It is so smooth, so clean, it feels ancient like the earth.
Steeps 7 – 9 @ 3 minutes each: just wonderful. I feel that this tea is more about sensations & images than taste. A bright sparkling quality has risen, & I’m loving it. For me, today, it is about Mindfulness, groundedness, acceptance of myself, & Tea. I love this tea.
After lunch, Drew & I shared a pot of this tasty tea for dessert!
This is a cup of Yummy, with flavors of coconut, cream, & a hint of lime.
We sipped & slurped. It’s Halloween, & we haven’t really done Halloween for a couple of years, so I said, “I think me & you & Leif should dress like Pirates & hand out candy”. So at 3:00 I went to the salt room, Drew went & bought candy, then we came home & pulled out my ‘dress up’ box, which is full of belly dance clothes, a variety of scarves, cloaks, pin on flowers, all kinds of things. I used to Belly Dance, I used to play at a renaissance festival, I also ride a Harley, so between all that stuff, we put last minute costumes together. When Leif got home from his college classes, we were setting things up on the front porch.
Drew (age 23) wore a scarf, a tie-die jacket, he held a 3 prong garden tool in one hand which I wrapped a scarf around (so it was his ‘hook’), & tie die baggy pants.
Leif (20) wore my old renaissance festival cloak, a bandana covering one eye, & a black beret.
I wore purple harem pants tucked into black harley riding boots, a white lacy shirt, my black harley leather vest, a scarf on my head, an ugly necklace, & an eye patch.
We sat out on the front porch, with “Yo Ho Yo Ho a pirate’s life for me” playing over and over again, singing along with the recording we had downloaded, stomping in unison, speaking pirate lingo to all the little kids, threatening to make them swab the deck & walk the plant & such, and making plans for next year. LOL, it was a great night!
photos are available on my FaceBook, Terri Stamper Langerak.
After getting plenty of black tea into my system this morning, I followed up by using the rest of this Jingshan green sample, this timing opting for the Gaiwan & short (3 seconds!) steeps.
1. was buttery, mouth watering, & bright, with a very green almost matcha like taste!
2. similar, but with a little more bitterness.
3. the butteryness starts to slip away, there is an edge of lime & a nutty flavor
The next 3 steepings were for 6 seconds:
4. Asparagus, that’s what my son drew & I agreed the flavor was!
5. Drew drank this one while I drank number 4
Now my tummy was starting to ache. Green tea often does that to me, so Drew & I fixed lunch together & ate in the sunroom.
It’s been a little while since I had a cup of this lovely Assam. I’ve had a love affair with Assam teas, they are so satisfying, & this one doesn’t miss it’s mark! It’s a wild & crazy looking tea! Long irregular strands of black with some mahogany tinging, like some unruly sea veggie, & not easy to measure, at least not by the spoonful. It brews a pleasant malty cup with a hint of cocoa, & the re-steep, although not as deep, is nice too!
first steeping: 2 tsp heaping, 3 min
second steep: 5 minutes
Thank you Stacy, for this tasty tea. I now have money in my playpal account (someone bought my CDs! Yeah! www.harpsinger.net), so I’ll be visiting you soon to place an new order!
I’m sending good wishes for all those effected by the storm.
I started the day slowly: hot bubble bath, yoga, a walk in my garden, & a breakfast of fresh picked Chard, leftover winter squash, & 2 basted eggs. I wanted to dark tea to accompany the meal, & Zhu Rong satisfies! I brewed the first cup (1 T to 8oz water) for 2 minutes, & immediately re-steeped in a different cup for 3 minutes. Both cups are rich & flavorful (although I think next time I might to 3 min & 4). Hints of dark chocolate & spice, a little woodsy too.
I’d like to sit around drinking tea, but I’m headed out to the St. Louis Salt Room, to breath some salt & try to open up my lungs. Then I’ll run a variety of errands, before returning home to my desk work.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone would invent a kettle that can be plugged into your car, like a phone charger??
I got a second package in the mail today, from Rachel! We did a little swap, & she sent me some Harney & Sons samples, which I’m excited about, as I’ve never tried any of their teas! Thanks Rachel!
The predominant smell of this tea is Honey, & there is honey to the flavor as well, but it’s not particularly sweet on it’s own. I added stevia, to bring out the flavors, & it did! This is a mild cup of fruitiness, mostly of a peach-like nature. The black base is not particularly bold, but provides a mellow backdrop that makes me think of toast with jelly on it. The bergamot is very mild, just enough to add a little brightness to the cup. Yummy! I’m in the mood for sweet teas right now, & this was very nice (I say was, cuz it’s gone!).
First off, I just ordered this on Friday evening, & it arrived today! Now, THAT’s service! Thank you Hugo for sending it so quickly!
I’ve been feeling a bit unsatisfied tea-wise today, I’m not sure why. I started with my beloved Imperial Breakfast Summer Blend, which I love, running it through 3 steepings. There was nothing wrong with the tea, I just wanted more… I did a green tea sampling, but still I wanted more… Maybe it’s just because I only had one full strength cup of black tea today…yeah…that’s probably it. I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning, house-plant maintenance, & re-arranging of things today, & I haven’t sat around & enjoyed just sipping tea in my sun-room as much as usual.
Then the mail came, with my Hugo’s order! Now I’m enjoying a cup! I bought this tea because Nik pointed LiberTEA’s review of it out to me, & he was right, it sounded like my kind of cuppa! Thank you, Nik! You get a big HUG!
The dry leaves are a pleasing mix of charcoal, mahogany, & a little beige. The scent is rich & bright. My first cup was just what the doctor ordered: Bold, tasty, a little different from the teas I’ve been drinking of late. It’s a beautiful red orange brew, & there is a brightness & a grapey-ness to the taste that lifts the flavors & adds an edge. I brewed 3 cups in all: First, the original, 2nd a re-steep of those leaves, which still had a good color, but not a lot of flavor. 3rd I brewed new leaves & added Stevia, because little Terri wanted to try it sweet. (Her actual words, “I haven’t had anything sweet ALL DAY”.) Now I’m enjoying that sweet cup, as I feel the caffeine lifting my spirits.
This is a tasty, robust black tea. It’s a nice one, a change of pace that will make a good addition to my morning (& sometimes afternoon) black tea rotation! You can get it at http://www.hugotea.com.
Once upon a time I ordered a bunch of green tea samples from Verdant. I’ve only drank a few of them, because I wanted to brew them right, & so I held off until I got around to getting myself a better scale & a thermometer. “You don’t need a thermometer & scale” someone in my head tried to tell me, but the scale I had didn’t measure grams, & I have a tendency to over-estimate. So I finally ignored ‘the voice’ & got both.
There is enough of this sample to go for 2 different steepings, so today I’m enjoying it Jingshan style: I filled my glass cup 2/3 full, the water was too hot, so I did a few menial things, then the water was too cold. I turned the kettle back on, tried again. Of course, it was too hot again, but I paid better attention this time & once I got the temp to 175 I sprinkle on the tea.
Backtrack: dry, it smells fresh, like alfalfa. The leaf matter is smaller than dragonwell or some of the other green teas I’ve had, more broken up, very delicate. At first it was hard to sip off the cup, as there was a lot of ‘dust’ floating, but it finally sank down.
There is quite a bit of bitterness, which has an edge of lime to it. Although some of the green teas I’m drinking work well this way, I’ll use the gaiwan when I do my next sampling of this tea, because I’m not really getting any of the sweet tones that were alluded to here.
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend! Too bad it’s over, eh?
I spent most of the day playing a gig at the local Schnucks grocery, which was both fun & profitable. I drank:
Bolder breakfast (teaspot) with my breakfast before leaving home
China Breakfast at the gig (I think it is Numi)
Chai @ the gig, made with canned coconut milk I brought from home, LOL
The gig went great, I sold several CDs (www.harpsinger.net).
When I got home I made a cup of Mango Tango. The dry leaf smells bright, with mango & passion fruit. The tea tastes bright & fruity as well, & a little on the astringent end. It is a tea that I have to sweeten to enjoy, which I did with stevia. I would enjoy this iced, unsweet.
My gig schedule has been crazy for weeks, but I’m finally having a Saturday off with Tony. We had a nice breakfast together, started a crockpot of chili, & have basically lazed around in our PJs all day, watching back episodes of NCIS & a few other shows we like. So far today I’ve drank Shagadelic English Breakfast & Bolder Breakfast. Now Tony is is the bubble bath (real men DO take bubble baths), and I’m watching Snow White & the Huntsman, and sipping this Earl Gray. And I LIKE it! YEAH! It’s a nice variation from the usual: bright & lemony, sweet with a little licorice & vanilla. The black tea base is a little weak, in my opinion, but otherwise this is a tasty cup! I sweetened it with some stevia, & I’m enjoying every sip. :D