2344 Tasting Notes
What a great contrast to the Irish Breakfast & Malty Irish Breakfast. Sure, it’s another bold tea blend, but this one features a decent level of smokiness, which at one point would have made me feel panicky, but now I really enjoy. Adding a little sweetener of some kind (sigh…Maple syrup) really brings out the caramel notes of the smoke, but I really enjoyed it today just plain, & it really is a nice sweet blend!
(part 2 of attempting to compare Irish Breakfast to Malty Irish Breakfast)
So…I compared the look of the leaves…I drank a small 4oz cup of each, side by side, steeped 3 min, with a resteep of 5. Then I drank a pot of each. The main difference, I’d say, is that this one is bolder & more rustic. It’s got a chewy quality, like a slice of rye bread.
I love them both, but I think I may love the newer one better.
When Stacy made this blend, I felt that she really knew me, LOL.
This is the blend I wanted for the base of my custom blend. Then it sold out! And one of it’s components, the Hattialli Golden Lion, also sold out! Panic!! So today I’m drinking this one & it’s replacement, Malty Irish Breakfast side by side, just for fun, really.
I love the Khongea Golden Tippy Assam, which adds a rich bass-note & depth, & the Hattialli, which in mind is more of a smooth gentle middle, filling in the spaces, & I have some of both in my cupboard, because they are also nice alone. I don’t have any of the ceylon in my cupboard, as I’m not really much of a ceylon fan by itself, but it does brighten up the blend, giving it a lively finish.
The leaves on this one are slightly tippy-er than the newer version, but otherwise they look about the same, & really, both cups are pretty similar. (to be continued)
I love the aroma of this wet leaf! It has a tangy fruity apricot or plum smell, & it also smells kind of like beer, well, more like Hops really. The tea is a lovely brew, very smooth & sweet, a little hoppy, a touch of tang to it, & a shiny kind of feeling in the mouth, like polished stone or maybe metal. That was around steep 5 or 6.
I’m maybe at steeping number 11 or so now. I’m working on creating promo materials for my upcoming annual birthday gig, & kind of lost track of the count, but I just keep going back for more. Now it’s a light buttery creamy mushroom broth, more or less. This really is a nice Sheng, & although in some ways it seems absurd for me to keep buying cakes of puerh, as I already probably have enough tea to last the rest of my life, I still would like to add this one to my collection at some point.
I’m really grateful for Yunnan Sourcing’s sample sizes, as they give you enough to try a tea out several times.
I spent most of the morning & early afternoon drinking resteeps of the 3 TOMC teas from Dec, which were still in their Gaiwans. I just gave them each a rinse, & then started up where I left off last night. That carried me through a 90 minute lesson with one of my students (piano & harp), & lunch. Finally, I had to load up to go play High Tea at the nursing home, so I made a cup of this to take along. It’s been awhile since I had this one, & we’ve had a few ups & downs, mostly me adding too much tea (uh, I think we can blame that on little terri’s usual over-exhuberance). Also, although this is nice plain, it really shines IMHO with a little sweetness added. I really love using Maple syrup as a sweetener, but unfortunately I can only get away with that once in awhile. All forms of sugar make me feel like crap. It’s just the facts. I use to use stevia (sweetleaf), but I’ve gotten where I don’t like it so much either.
So the other day while I was at Cheryl’s Herbs I bought some of her stevia powder. It resembles something I might have snorted back in the day, & I’ll have to say that a pinch goes a very long way, it doesn’t have any fillers in it, & it doesn’t seem to have that bitter anise taste that some stevias have. And it set the yumminess factor of this tea on high!
I guess my Keemun ‘trials’ are beginning.
I drank the ‘Superfine fragrant’ yesterday, & I’m drinking this one today. I’d still say that this one is more masculine, more bassy, more smokey. It’s funny, but I do have trouble explaining the difference between teas sometimes.
Looking at the leaf, the ‘super fragrant’ is more tippy, & slightly bigger sized. As for this cup, I’m enjoying it’s light smoke, notes of brown sugar, slightly floral, pine mulch, red grape awesomeness. Oh…& a dark chocolate lingering after – feel.
I need breakfast!
This was the tea I started my day with! My tea drinking gameplan today had been to sample all of the Keemuns in my collection, so I started with this one. Then I left the house to meet my friend, we lingered over Brekkie until noon, then I ran a few errands, & by the time I got home, I realized that having an all day Keemun day just wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore.
AND guess what….My box from SIL, my awesome steep-sister, came today!!!
And there are a few Keemun samples in there as well!!
The third selection from the Dec ‘12 TOMC box was Golden Fleece.
I have to say that I really loved my early TOMC boxes from Verdant the best. The way they created stories & one tea led into the next was really fun, & this one is no exception. I love the gentle spiciness of Golden Fleece, especially when I take the time to do short steepings with it. It’s a lovely savory & sweet cup, with so many nuances that I’m pretty sure I’ve described in detail on previous posts, so lets just say I love it, & it’s a great tea to end the day with!
The 2nd offering from last Dec TOMC was the Yabao. I don’t drink yabao often, but it’s interesting to drink once in awhile. The main features with this one are it’s sweetness, & it always tastes like oatmeal with a touch of cinnamon to me. I’d also like to add that as I continued to steep, an evergreen tree kind of element came into play. I don’t know if I’ve noticed that before. I also think this has gotten sweeter as it sat on my shelf for a year.