1900 Tasting Notes
Ughghghg! Steepster ate my note! I’ll try again…
The Tale of 3 Yixings – Chapter 1
This is a lovely, tasty, roasty chocolaty Oolong. I love it, & it’s one of my top 3 (so far). I bought a chocolate colored yixing awhile back just for Wuyi Oolongs, did all the initial seasoning stuff, & have been giving my teapot a bath once a week or so since. Basically, I steep tea in it, taking a sip or 2 out of each pour & then putting the rest in a bowl. I reserve a couple of the tastiest cups to drink, of course, & when the bowl is full I put the pot & lid in there, with the tea leaves, & leave them immersed in the hot bath until it’s completely cool. I’m still learning about yixings, but this seems like a good thing to do, I like it, & they seem to like it too! :)
The hardest part is not drinking all the tea, especially when it’s something as delicious as this one!
I shared several steepings of this with one of my adult harp students this afternoon, & also drank a few more cups after she left. I think my favorite steeps are #4 – 6.
A pleasant & light floral essence, a sweet fruitiness, a slight tangy edge. My student had never tasted a tieguanyin before & was enthralled by it!
I drank several steepings of this during my morning teaching sessions. It’s a pleasant creamy cereal kind of tasting tea, with a vanilla mouthfeel (not taste). There is more subtleties to it than that, but I’m just trying to play catchup between students, so for now, that’s all I got!
This tea & I have had a rough relationship.
The first time I drank Yu Lu I got a tummy ache, but in all fairness, I drank her on an empty stomach, which is not always a good idea for me, brewed in a cup as if she were Laoshan Black, & those are not good parameters for this tea. Since then, Yu Lu & I have gotten to know each other better. Today we are going with a gongfu session in my little porcelain blue lotus, a teapot that I absolutely love! Don’t worry, I had a good breakfast first!
We started with 5G & 3 very short (3 seconds!) steepings, with the flavor being sweet & rich: malty chocolate & sweet potato, with an underlying creaminess. The first pour of each round goes into my cup, with the 2nd & 3rd being combined in a cute little white porcelain cream pitcher that I bought at Target.
The next round of 6/9/12 seconds – still nice, but a little thin. I’ll probably give the 2nd round more time, next time. Like 10/20/30 seconds.
Third round: 1min/2min/3min These are not exact times, but estimates.
This round features more of a rocky highly mineralized flavor, a crisp clean texture, & a skull shining chaqi sensation, which I’ve come to enjoy. My mouth & head feel bright & shiney!
Good morning Steepster!
Did you know that I had a crush on a boy name Steven Smith when I was growing up in San Diego, CA. It was during 4th grade, I think. I like to imagine that he grew up to be a tea proprieter ;)
If he did, he has done well. This in definitely one of my most favorite Assam (along with probably 10 others…they are all so wonderful in their own ways). This morning it is perfect for a slightly cool day & a bowl of breakfast. Bold, malty, sweet, & there is a bright fruitiness to it as well.
I don’t have to do anything.
That’s not entirely true…there is a list of things I should do, but years ago someone said to me, “Don’t should on yourself”. LOL
I have one thing that I know I’ll do this afternoon: season 2 yixing pots & drink from them. Yes…I am confessing, Sil. In a moment of crazy compulsiveness I placed a Mandala order last Friday, that including 2 more yixing pots. I had been contemplating them for awhile, I love my other tiny teapots so much, & when I went to shopmandala.com to order the blooming black, I was like an alcoholic in a blackout. The next thing you know I was staring at my receipt, wondering WTF happened??? Oh well! Thus is life. I’m really not allowed to order any more tea or paraphenalia for awhile.
Before I get started on seasoning pots, I’m enjoying this tea! I like to pack my little blue lotus porcelain pot (same size as a yixing, but suitable for whatever I feel like steeping at the moment) about half full & do lots of short steeps with this tea. I’ve got a pretty good tea-buzz on right now!
I used to have a Harp program in the St. Louis Magnet Schools Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) Middle School (Carr Lane) & High School (Central). The VPA schools were the crowning glory of St. Louis Public Schools, with amazingly talented students in all forms of art: dance, music, visual, drama, etc. We also had the highest test scores in the district, & our school motto was, “Smart through the Arts”.
The district went into disarray, & as cuts were made & the schools went downhill, along with the pressure to make everything you teach somehow fit into ‘preparation for standardized testing’, & a new principal at the middle school who did everything he could to dismantle the arts from the curriculum, I quit a few years ago. I had given it 12 years (part time), I have students studying at colleges here & there, & I feel grateful that they keep in touch.
Today I met with the new principal at the middle school, who wants to start my program up again. This was our 2nd visit, & he is a graduate from the VPA program & even studied Harp (under a previous teacher). He really wants to have Harp available again, AND he’s a really nice guy! So, we talked about my ideas for how the program could be even better than it was, and he’s looking for funding. I leave it to the universe to decide, knowing that either way, all of my needs, desires, & dreams are abundantly fulfilled.
What does all this have to do with this tea? LOL
I steeped this before I left the house for 3 min & resteeped for 5 min, combined both in my porcelain lined stainless steel cup with a little stevia, & this was my driving tea today. Chocolate rice crispy treats!
So of course as soon as Garret mentioned these last week, I had to place an order, right? I’m not really a big fan of blooming teas, but this is a blooming black tea, so that’s my excuse!
These are malty little flowers with a sweet backdrop! I’ve tried them 2 ways this morning:
First, while I was fixing my breakfast (leftover homemade soup), I put one in my little glass gaiwan, which I don’t use much because it gets way too hot! But it was perfect for this because the flower bloomed nicely! I did 4 steepings: 1min, 2min, 3min, 4.
They were all tasty, but I think #3 was my favorite. I can foresee just blooming a single flower in a 4oz cup for 3 or 4 minutes, when I want something quick & easy, just a small cup of tea.
Then I put 3 of them in my regular cup & steeped 4 minutes. That one was my true favorite, with the full richness of what these little cones have to offer! The final cup is a resteep of all 4 cones @ 5 min, & that’s pretty decent too!
I think this is sipdown #7 today, although I’m not quite sure, LOL.
I’ve had these tuochas for awhile, & that first 1 minute steep is a little on the watery side for me. I gave the 2nd steep 1.5 min, 2 for the third, 3 for the 4th, & 4 for the 5th steep.
Leather, Oak, sweet earth, & semolina are the tastes I received.
I wanted to share a pot of this with one of my students, so I did!