3091 Tasting Notes
It’s been so nice to have a day at home. I’ve had students since 9am, with a few breaks & I only left to vote. Otherwise, it was mostly this tea, an old friend I haven’t visited for awhile. This is a more savory Yunnan, and I like to go with a pretty high ratio of leaf in a little 4oz porcelain teapot, very short steeps to start.
The dry leaf has a texture about it that brings to mind ancient parchments, in a dark gray green, & the aroma is mildly sweet. All of the steeps were pleasant, smooth, & lightly sweet, with a nut butter kind of taste & feel, along with a slightly tart apricot glow. Several steeps in the flavor transformed to sourdough bread, & then went back to the Apricot, but sweeter & juicier than before. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, & I feel there are many steeps to come, but I’m headed out the door for now.
I see Steepster is in stuck mode again. Oh well, this too shall pass…
I woke up at 4:15, & since I was planning to get up at 5:00, I figured I might as well get an early start, & to honest, it’s kind of nice. I took a long shower, got dressed, went ahead & ate my breakfast (made last night), packed up all of my stuff to leave, & I still had time to relax with 2 steeps of this one, a tea I still enjoy. In my archives I have some of this from at least 2 different seasons, & someday maybe I’ll compare them, but for this morning I’m merely enjoying this final sip.
Today is day 3 of NaNoWriMo & I’m at 3560 words :)
Yesterday I played a wedding. I still have limited mobility with my right hand, I’m still wearing a splint, but I can use 3 out of 4 fingers (the broken pinky is never used for plucking harp strings anyway). The wedding was for my daughter’s sister in law, & I was scheduled to play it, but when I broke my finger I made arrangements with another harpist to play instead. The bride didn’t care what music she had, so it was just going to be your typical classical wedding at a winery about an hour out of town.
On Friday everything fell apart.
The Bride called the Harpist with a list of songs she wanted, such as One Love by Bob Marley, Stairway to Heaven, & tunes by Billy Joel, Sting, etc.
The Harpist said,“I am a Classical Harpist, I only play classical music.”
Also, the wedding had been moved outside on the patio (at sunset).
The Harpist replied, “I can only play outside if the weather is above 60 F”
The Mom called me in a panic.
I’m the only Harpist that plays stuff like that in St. Louis.
I’ve been playing a little bit this week, & so I did it, provided that I could be placed near the outdoor heaters, & my son in law had to move my equipment for me, because I still can’t lift anything. The other harpist was glad to get out of it, LOL.
I was glad to make some money, & it felt good to play.
Plus, I wanted to play this wedding, she’s a sweet kid.
So I’m back in business!
This is a wonderful cup of yum, sweet & milk chocolate, becoming maltier as it cools.
So I spent the entire day drinking multiple steepings of 3 different Hei Cha, & I enjoyed them all. Most of the steepings I drank plain, but with each one I sweetened one of the steeps, just to try it that way too, & I think I had forgotten how much I occasionally enjoy my tea to be sweet.
For my final tea of the day I went with this tangerine puerh. As a lover of novelty, I wanted to try these for awhile. At some point somebody sent me a sample, and it was ok, but not all that. Recently I got a sample from Teavivre, & was initially feeling the same about it, until I added a little sweetening, & then it was delicious. So although I don’t usually sweeten puerh, this tea is an exception (along with my beloved Sichuan Caravan), & delicious for having done so. I used 5G, plus a few chunks of the tangerine peel, steeped in 8oz for 5 minutes. The resteep was probably 8 minutes. I can probably steep it again for 10. Lightly sweetened with a pinch of stevia powder (I get mine from Cheryl’s Herbs, & it doesn’t have a bunch of crap in it).
I declare today to be Hei Cha Day
Yep, little Terri yelled that inside my head this morning while I was languishing in bed, savoring a dark rainy morning & my comfy cozy sleeping space. Reluctantly I finally got up & headed down the stairs.
So the idea is that we’re going to finally sample & attempt to describe all the different Hei Cha in my cupboard. I have a sort of fascination with them as of late, an irresistible urge to buy them, just to find out what they are really all about.
The leaf is dark & the aroma of it is of a sourdough pumpernickel rye bread. I know that might sound like a turn off to some, but for me it brings to mind a kitchen in winter, with loaves of dense chewy bread, a big pot of substantial stew, with homemade cultured kraut on the side…sigh…now I want that meal…
The taste of this tea is familiar, & yet not easy to describe. There is an underlying pumpernickel kind of sourness & there is a creamy sweetness that reminds me of that canned condensed milk that is thick & sweet (& would probably be really good in this tea). There’s a hint of orange peel, a pinch of salt, & a kind of ceylon after taste.
I steeped it a couple of different ways:
4G + 8oz X 30/60/etc 0- I tried it this way when it first came. It was nice, but I felt maybe I needed a little more tea. There’s instructions on the package that suggest a 1-40 ration, so today I tried
5G + 8oz X 30/60/2min/etc
It was a little stronger, & in the 2 min steep I added a little sweetener, & that was actually pretty nice! I feel like I might try this with less water next time, because I think I’d still like it a little stronger, maybe. This is one of those teas that you can use for Tibetan yak butter tea, & I can actually see how it would be complimented by some for of milk, butter, & either salt or sugar. I’d love to try it that way, but with my milk allergy its pretty unlikely.