3001 Tasting Notes
I have so many teas here, but most of the time I end up drinking black tea, because I love it so much. But lately (ok…not really lately…I go through this from time to time) I’ve been thinking I need to start drinking all the other teas in my collection. This month I really am going to try to make more of an effort to do so. I also want to start working my way through collections of tea, so I’m starting with Tieguanyins. I have a pretty nice collection of them, mostly from Verdant, mostly from when I was in their original TOMC (which was pretty awesome).
Yesterday I drank the 5 year aged, but I didn’t get around to posting about it.
So, my goal is to work my way through the collection, starting today with this wonderful spring offering, & then moving on to more & more aged varieties, just to really taste the progression (I think my oldest is 15 year aged).
Regarding this one, it really is the essence of spring itself. A pale yellow with a gentle but heady aroma of spring flowers (I’m thinking white lilac), a buttery caramel corn taste arises, as well as a creamy vanilla orchid essence & mouth. People who know me would be surprised to find out that there was a time when I didn’t drink black tea at all! I drank lots & lots of green tea & springy oolongs. (Actually, for a long time I only drank herbal teas). Somewhere along the line I fell in love with roasty Wuyi oolongs, & then Black tea became the love of my life. (About the only teas I don’t love are Rooibos & Mate)
Drinking teas such as this one hold a certain amount of nostalgia for me, & I honestly don’t know why I don’t drink them more often. Add to that, the quality of Verdant’s Oolongs (& other teas) is always wonderful.
I’ve said it before, & I’m sure I’ll probably say it again: I’m a sucker for novelty tea shapes!
So there! Pearls, cakes, twists, brooms, tuochas, flowers….my eye delights in them all.
Of course, if they don’t deliver in the flavor department, they get pushed off to the side.
Or given away to friends who aren’t as picky as I am, because they will enjoy them.
And this one is delicious. My previous attempts were made with a sample, trying a few different parameters, & that sample is gone. So I ordered more, & today we’re going gongfu, baby! Yeah!
5G + beautiful 4oz or so yixing (rinse) X 15/30/45 sec/1/1.5/2/3 min etc
I drank the 1st steeping by itself with my adorable little yixing cups & pitcher, then combined the rest of them in a mug in pairs while I was fixing breakfast.
Although I enjoy watching these spring snails unfurl, without a doubt, this is my favorite way to enjoy this tea. Everytime I open the tiny teapot, the leaves have expanded & are posing, like a series of photos. The texture is creamy, the aroma is honey, maltomeal, & milk chocolate. My mouth is tingly & I got a nice morning tea buzz to enjoy with my breakfast (after I finish drinking the tea).
A wonderful start to my busy day!
Heading out the door with the following teas in various sized containers to enjoy over the course of the day:
Irish Breakfast – Butiki – yes, I still have some of this beloved tea
Black Dragon Pearl – Teavana – the only teavana tea in my cupboard
Wu Liang Hong Mao Feng – YS
Yi Mei Ren – YS
Yes, Sarah, I did place a YS order over the weekend, including a portable gongfu thingy…
Here’s another hoard-worthy tea. Damn, this stuff is SO GOOD!
If I were to pick one tea that was the most awesome breakfast blend ever, this might be it. But then again…why choose, right? :D
Anyway, in all of it’s various incarnations, this blend always combines the best of all of Verdant’s teas: a few awesome blacks, a rich Big Red Robe type oolong, a white tea, & a shou puerh. All of these teas can stand alone in their awesomeness, of course. But together? Yeah baby!
My breakfast tea of the day, a rich cup of malt, a little chocolate, & the tanginess of plums.
Speaking of breakfast, I made myself a gluten free banana muffin that I’m feeling pretty pleased about. Here’s the recipe, for all my gluten free steepster buddies:
1/3 cup almond flour
1 T coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
heavy sprinkle of cinnamon ( I also wanted nutmeg, but Tony is out)
2 T coconut oil
1T Maple syrup
(I was gonna add some vanilla, but I forgot)
1/2 a banana, diced up small
Oil a large mug or a pint size glass measuring cup with coconut oil.
Press the batter, which will be pretty thick, into the mug, trying to press out air bubbles.
(disclaimer….these muffins are the only thing I use my microwave for)
Microwave for 1.5 minutes. If the center still is soggy, add more time at 30 second intervals.
Sometimes the center stays soft, btw…
Once you take it out, let it sit for a minute, & then invert it onto a plate.
For the original recipe, omit the cinnamon, Maple syrup, & banana.
Add 1 – 3 T water if the batter seems too dry.
This muffin makes a great cornbread substitute. It can also be sliced into 3 rounds & toasts beautifully.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet it would great sliced & egg battered to make a great french toast too.
And finally, I think I’m gonna try spreading it into a ramekin & baking it in the actual real oven some time. I could slice it into 2 rounds, toast it, & spread it with avocado & tomato, for a sandwich.
I drank this yesterday, & I’m drinking it again today.
Sometimes when I first start to sip the cup of LB, it tastes kind of like beans & is watery to me, & I’m thinking, “wtf? Why did I make such a big deal over this tea? Why do I have such a crazy hoarded stash of it under my bed? What was I thinking?”
But then, as I get a few more sips in, the flavors start to build up on my tongue in layers, kind of like when you’re basting a chicken in the oven & it gradually developes a lacquered skin, or laying down stain on a nice piece of wood. Each sip makes it richer, adding more highlights of awesomeness.
I swear when they’re growing this tea they must be mulching the plants with cacao compost, that’s got to be it.
So glad I’m a tea hoarder.
This is my 4th tea of the day. I started in bed reading Doctor Sleep, Stephen Kings long awaited sequel to The Shining, with Laoshan Black, steeped at 3 & then 5min. Then it was Butiki’s Dinjoye Estate Assam while cooking breakfast, & Kenyan Obsidian with breakfast.
Now I’m relaxing, watching the Cardinals/Cubs baseball game, contemplating getting back to work on the sock I’m knitting, & sipping this tea.
I steeped 1 T for 3min. I also added a pinch of stevia from Cheryl’s Herbs. Most stevia’s have a bitter anise aftertaste. This one does not!
This tea is vanilla ice cream. It also reminds me of a really fine Vanilla pipe tobacco (no, I don’t smoke). Tony says it smells like vanilla pastry to him.
Afternote: I tried a 5 min resteep, but it didn’t really offer much. I gave it a few more minutes, pretty much the same.
I’m not going to go into a long review, since steepster is on the fritz anyway, but I wanted to acknowledge this beautiful tea, which has a rich flavor of melon, asparagus, pumpkin seed, & the color yellow. I originally tried it as part of the green tea sampler sent to me by the wonderful Angel, & although I rarely purchase green teas, I did buy some of this one.