344 Tasting Notes
Major backlogging here
The first thing I noticed about this roasted bancha was…well…how roastly and – uh – bancha-like it smelled. All leaves and burnt nuts – a very autumn smell. The leaves basically looked like cut leaves – brown and oxidized-looking. All pleasantries and no pomp, regardless of circumstance. It reminded me of a San Nen (three-year-aged) bancha I had some three years back. Whoah, how fitting!
The Tealet profile on this bancha recommended bringing water to a boil, letting it cool for up to three minutes, then steeping for about the same time. I cut the “wait” part out and just waited until the water came to almost-a-boil before stopping the kettle. However, I did adhere to the three-minute steep.
The liquor brewed dark amber instead of radioactive green (like other senchas). The aroma was just as autumnal as the dry presentation, all nuts, leaf, and…tartness? Okay, now I had to sip this to make sure that was what I smelled. Oh my, yes it was. This was both roasty and tart, not unlike another bancha I tried – an awabancha (pickled green tea). However, this didn’t taste like pickles – just like a green with a dash of hibiscus on the palate. I first noticed the tartness in the middle, but it continued with the trail-off to the finish. The aftertaste lingered on the roasty notes but still had a bit of zest to it. Very unusual…-ly wonderful.
The cat woke me at the crack of 8
Begging for water, attention or some other ill-fate.
Since sleeping in was no longer the ideal,
I figured I’d start the day with a liquid meal.
Let’s get the “dirty” outta the way.
I’m kinda drunk as I write this..today?
I needed a tea capper for an evening well spent.
Joseph Wesley was where I paid my black rent.
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I was having a conversation with A Gift of Tea earlier this eve – via Twitter – about pomelo-scented black teas. Then I remembered, Oh yeah! I have one!
So…I brewed it up.
Unlike jasmine, honeysuckle, rose congou-ish, or other flower-scented teas, this one had a distinct taste of fruit to go along with the honey-ish lean of the Bai Lin Gong Fu black tea base. It lasted a good four steeps at three minutes each, and the sweetness was thirst-quenching.
In the running for my favorite floral-scented tea.
Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey
I needed some caffeine as the sis, niece and I plopped down to watch American Hustle. No idea why I felt a white tea was necessary for this viewing, but I’m glad I went with it. First off, it’s a resilient white tea. There was even a steep that I forgot about for an hour, and the brew still turned out good.
Second, the taste: Holy whoah.
I’ve had wild and semi-wild white teas before, but this was the best of the lot. It was fruity, herbal, and just altogether robustly awesome. I can’t think of anything more fitting or flowery to say other than that. The perfect nightcap tea.
Now, if only I could find a way to go to sleep.
My morning started off on a down-note. I called up a tea company, following up on a resume I submitted. Unfortunately, it wasn’t news I wanted to hear. And…that put me in a foul mood. The type of mood that only alcohol would cure.
Well, it was only 10AM, so that would’ve looked a little – um – sad. So, I went with something moderately fermented, but far less damaging. A young sheng pu-erh. This was a loose sample I received back in January, but was just now getting to a write-up on.
As a lot of young sheng pus go, it’s very youthful in its flavor presentation – a lot like a green tea but without the bitterness that comes with it. That and it holds up to boiling water well. No vegetal kick. It was all fruit, earth and flowers. Oh, and youth.
A good way to start the day and kick away job-related doldrums.
Blog featuring this tea: “Do Tea Drinkers Dream of Electric Kettles?” – http://steepstories.com/2014/03/24/tea-drinkers-dream-electric-kettles/
Instagram pic: http://instagram.com/p/l719Laknc_/#
Flavors: Earth, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grapes
This is the first Quanzhou milk oolong I’ve had in awhile. I’ve always been fascinated by all the care that goes into making an oolong that reminds me of buttered popcorn. Seriously, that’s what it tastes like – well, minus that feeling of artery-hardening failure afterwards…and greasy hands. Great way to start the mornin’.
Yet another tea I forgot I even had. This is starting to become a trend. Not sure how I missed the giant bag! this was in…but whatever…
I hadn’t opened these little suckers from their vacuum-sealed packages since I got them. And that was back in 2011. So, in theory, they’ve been accidentally “aging” since then – airtight. Three years ago. That’s a long time to forget about a tea.
Straight butter and lotus blossoms. I’m not usually a fan of the Iron Goddess, but given three years to cool down and she’s as sweet as the rest of ‘em. I should forget about teas more often…but I don’t think I’d have the patience for it.
Mum and I ended up at Smith HQ today, and – contrary to my usual sensibilities – I was craving Chinese tea. On a sunny day like this, I usually aim for Darjeeling…but for some reason I itchin’ for robust wood-sweetness. Who knew?
Anywho, I ended up with a wonderful two-person pot of the stuff, and sipped it rather deliberately. Not spoiling one cup of it. Meditative yet wakeful.