94

Prologue: It took me for bloody ever to update Steepster with his tea. Ten minutes! That’s ten minutes that could’ve been spent sipping tea. Grrrr….

Anyway…

I originally was saving this for a special occasion, or for when I accomplished something magnificent – like curing cancer of the butt or something. I figured, however, that surviving the work week was just like surviving butt cancer, so, I whipped it out on my day off.

I’ve only heard of (and had) two other teas that were cask-aged. Those were from Smith Tea. I was glad to see that others were taking up this trend. This autumn flush Nepalese was cask-aged in Cab-Franc and Merlo barrels for…I-dunno-how-long.

The result was a tea that smelled vaguely of wine, but mostly of Himalayan black, which was fine. On the taste, it was really hard to tell the difference between the natural muscatel notes of the leaves and the wine-scenting from the barrels. If I were a betting man, I would say they showed up in the aftertaste the most. More Cab-Franc than Merlot (thankfully).

If I were to impart a suggestion on further experiments, I would say to use a wetter barrel when beginning the casking process. Otherwise, this was awesomeness in my mornin’ cup.

Edit: Would you believe this tea was somewhat instrumental in saving my trip to World Tea Expo? Well, it was. http://steepstories.com/2013/02/11/high-fives-to-o5-and-a-world-tea-expo-update/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Claire

“surviving the work week was just like surviving butt cancer”. I laughed so hard at that.

Geoffrey Norman

Ah good, the desired effect. Didn’t know if that’d offend or not.

Ysaurella

oh lord what kind of work are you doing to feel like this kind of survivor ? :D

Geoffrey Norman

Hotel housekeeping. ’Nuff said. ;-P

Bonnie

I’m suspecting that a wetter barrel would promote mold in the tea. The barrel surface would be acidic but the leaves would still pick up moisture so mold could grow. Wet barrels can be rank. I’ve worked in the barrel room and they smell overwhelming sometimes before they’re scraped, burned out or used as vinegar barrels (what is done with unused wine from the tasting room at many winerys). Maybe a spicier wine would be nice, Sangiovese or Zinfandel (I like mine from Paso Robles where it’s hot!),Carignan or Carbono from Fortino’s (where I worked). If I was still in that area, I’d B-Line to Gino and ask to try aging tea in one of the used wine barrels after the hot son dried it a bit! You should do your own!!!

Geoffrey Norman

All fair points. I know nothing about the process other than how it is used to cask-age beers. I assumed the same was the case for tea leaves. I dunno, I need to research it more.

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Claire

“surviving the work week was just like surviving butt cancer”. I laughed so hard at that.

Geoffrey Norman

Ah good, the desired effect. Didn’t know if that’d offend or not.

Ysaurella

oh lord what kind of work are you doing to feel like this kind of survivor ? :D

Geoffrey Norman

Hotel housekeeping. ’Nuff said. ;-P

Bonnie

I’m suspecting that a wetter barrel would promote mold in the tea. The barrel surface would be acidic but the leaves would still pick up moisture so mold could grow. Wet barrels can be rank. I’ve worked in the barrel room and they smell overwhelming sometimes before they’re scraped, burned out or used as vinegar barrels (what is done with unused wine from the tasting room at many winerys). Maybe a spicier wine would be nice, Sangiovese or Zinfandel (I like mine from Paso Robles where it’s hot!),Carignan or Carbono from Fortino’s (where I worked). If I was still in that area, I’d B-Line to Gino and ask to try aging tea in one of the used wine barrels after the hot son dried it a bit! You should do your own!!!

Geoffrey Norman

All fair points. I know nothing about the process other than how it is used to cask-age beers. I assumed the same was the case for tea leaves. I dunno, I need to research it more.

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I moonlight as a procrastinating writer and daylight as a trader of jack. I appreciate good tea, good beer, and food that is bad for me. Someday I’ll write the great American novel. And it’ll probably have something to do with tea or beer…or both. In the meantime, I subsist.

Tea Blog: http://www.steepstories.com

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/

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Oregon

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http://www.lazyliteratus.com

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