2344 Tasting Notes
Another tea for the Qimen Quandery
I was out & about today, & stopped by the London Tea Room, which recently moved to the Tower Grove neighborhood (for those familiar with St. Louis, which is probably almost nobody). It is now much closer to my house (in the Maplewood neighborhood), & I’m in that area fairly often, usually on Fridays. So I stopped by there, with plans of having lunch & tea, because that’s what I usually do when I go there. Sadly, they no longer have a full kitchen, so they only serve quiche & a few other already prepped things. They still have lots of scones & such, but with all of my allergies etc, there was nothing for me to eat. I still drank a pot of tea, & then picked up a couple of oz each of the following:
Keemun – which I’ve been drinking. It’s what I think of, when I think of a Keemun: a little pine smoke, a little brown sugar, a nice middle body, no highs, but not overly bold or bassy.
Kenyan Kaproret Estate – to share with the BBBB & NofarS
Jubilee – for Tony – it’s basically an earl grey plus orange, he loves it.
Parisian Breakfast – Black tea, orange, vanilla, & chocolate, as I recall…
Including the Taiwanese Oolong I received as a gift, this bumps my total back up to 331.
Thus ends my Qimen Quandery for now. There are now 5 in my collection, & although I enjoyed all of them, I’d say my 2 favorites are Verdant’s Qimen Anhui, & Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Fragrant.
This tea arrived yesterday in the Steepster Select box, conveniently in time to be part of my Qimen Quandery for today :)
I followed the steeping suggestions of 4 min. I’d say there was roughly 1.5 tsp in the packet.
The cup is rich, sweet, & earthy, with a light smokiness. It’s also somewhat bitter & kind of tart, like the peels of red grapes. As it cooled, the taste of Cacao nibs became more noticeable. That was the first steeping. I suspect it would be really wonderful with a little maple syrup added, but I already drank the whole cup, so obviously the bitter edge didn’t bother me too much. The re-steep is nice enough as well.
When I steep the 2nd serving, I’ll probably play around with the steep time a bit, maybe going for 3 minutes instead of 4.
I have a new student who’s Mom is from Taiwan. When she found out I was a tea drinker & saw my collection of teas & tea paraphenalia, she said, “I will send you some tea.”
Yesterday her husband & child arrived, bringing a bag. In that bag there was a lovely stainless steel tea caddy (although the inside of it smells as if perfume has been stored in it), a pretty glass steeping lid, & a 200 gram (maybe 250) foil bag of Taiwanese Oolong, that has already been opened, but is still mostly full. I think it’s a medium roasted dong ding type, or maybe a gui fei, although honestly, I’m no expert! The only writing on the colorful package that I can read says ‘from Taiwan Tea’. This was my first tea of the day, & it was a pleasant series of cups, with the earlier steeps having essence of honey & peach, & a toasty flavor. There is a hint of bug-bite flavor, & a bit of a citrus edge.
(Here I go complaining again) It’s very windy this afternoon, & the power keeps going off. It doesn’t stay off, but of course, the computer shuts off momentarily, & I’m trying to bake sweet potatoes for dinner, & the over keeps shutting off, even though it’s a gas oven.
I did fill my stove top kettle & light a burner with a match, so there is still tea, regardless.
I’m drinking another tea from awkward soul, this one is creme brulee black, by Simple Loose Leaf. Nobody has added it to the database, & I’m sorry for being a grumpus, but I’m not going to add it either. As for the tea, it’s ok. I’m counting it as another sipdown, since I’m sending it to Sil, mwahahaha
Other teas from Awkward Soul that are also going to Sil include a milk oolong, because she likes those, what’s left of the Ginseng Oolong, which I sampled awhile back, Raspberry Vanilla Mint Green, which I just can’t get myself to sample, & a few others that I haven’t tried yet, but will before I send them.
Here is another tea sent to me by Awkward Soul, for Sil & I to share.
It’s ok. Not really my thing, which is surprizing to me, as I was really feeling like I wanted something decadent, but there was something in the taste that just didn’t appeal to me. The rest of it goes to Sil, so that’s another sipdown for me (330).
I’m having a rough day. Yesterday was also a rough day. I have a kink that runs from the base of my skull on the left, through various points in my neck, shoulder blade, rotator, elbow, wrist, & down into the hand. Over the years I’ve sustained several injuries to my left side, & I’m here to tell the young people in the room, be good to your body, because as you grow older (I’m 55), every injury you’ve ever had will come back to haunt you…again & again. So…whether it’s the junk food I ate over the weekend (chronic inflammation flareup = the cause of most autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, tendonitis, diabetes, heart disease, etc), the weather changes, the fact that I just started Taichi again after a fairly long hiatus (you get that energy moving along those meridians & it hits blockages, which results in pain, at least at first), or a combo of all of the above, I’m kind of bitchy right now, & my only friends today have been an ice pack alternating with a hot rice sock, & another sock with 2 tennis balls in it. I hate pain. I suffered a week ago from accidentally eating something with nitrates in it, & I used to be in pain all the time. So after months of living pain free, due to changes in my diet, I’m not very happy today.
As my dear Tea Fairie said, “We can still enjoy tea” (or something like that).
So I’m doing some flavored teas now…this one is from Awkward Soul, sent for Sil & I to share. It has coffee in it, I saw the granules in the mix. It also has chocolate. I don’t drink coffee, but I also don’t hate coffee, so I’m actually enjoying this cup a little. I added stevia & vanilla almond milk, because I was feeling whiny & nostalgic, & without the sweetening, the tea sucked. The rest goes to Sil, so I get to claim a sipdown. I was at 327, but I just added 6 teas that came in the mail today, so now I’m at 331.
I’ll quit bitching now.
Day 4 of the Qimen Quandery!
I’ve already drank every Keemun in my collection, including sipdowns on grade 1 & 2 from Teavivre. I’m starting over with the ones I still have, mainly because I realized that I didn’t necessarily use the same parameters, nor did I decide on my preferred parameters with each one either. So this one:
I’ve tried it using 1T + 8oz X 2min/3 re-steep, & that was a little too floral for my taste. If I try it again using that quantity, I’ll go for 1min/2/3.
1tsp X 2/ 3 was nice, but a little weak.
2 tsp x 2/3 = a nice rich, slightly floral cup. I’ll probably continue my experiments, including 2tsp X 1 min, 1 tsp X 2, etc. If this one is steeped too long it takes on an edge that I’ve realized I don’t really care much for. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this one, but I have noticed that.
In other news, I plan to get some Keemun from the London Tea Room tomorrow (along with some Kenyan Kaproret, to share with Nofar, Sil, & Tasty Brew), AND the Steepster Select box just arrived, with another Keemun that I can include in the mix!