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344 Tasting Notes

81

This tea scares me. More out of fear of what to think than…er…genuine fear. It’s CTC-grade, bitter as all heck, malty, and it kicks me in the skull. Normally traits that I wouldn’t like in a morning cup o’ black. Just so happens, I may have been wrong. (That happens a lot, actually.)

This tea is Excedrin in a cup – a headache reliever with a wallop of caffeine. But, dang, does it ever need milk.

Thank you, Courtney ( The Purrfect Cup ) for this sample.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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92

I’ll admit it…I’ve been drinking.

No, not tea-drinking, the “other” kind of drinking. It’s currently about 1AM, and I just got done with a two-pint night after an exceptionally crappy day. How crappy? Oh, one of those debt-looming, still-unemployed, hemorrhaging wallet sort of days. Closing the night off with one of my delectable sheng pu-erhs seemed like a wonderful nightcap. Fitting that this should be my last of this particular batch.

You might be wondering where the taster notes for this update are. Eh, I’ve done two others; you already know I love this stuff to death. It’s far more robust than the average sheng, but not overly robust like a shou pu-erh. I will miss it, heartily – like its taste.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a story about sex, drugs and spaceports to write.

EDIT: DONE! The story I was working on while drinking this: http://www.lazyliteratus.com/1750

I know…odd.

DaisyChubb

I know those days Geoffrey!
Best of luck, tomorrow’s a new day :)

I love your writing style – such a strong voice. I went back and now I’m reading everything and I can’t tear myself away!

The Purrfect Cup

@DaisyChubb Have you read his Steep Stories? That is some epic stuff!

Geoffrey Norman

@DaisyChubb – Dog days of fall, they are! Thanks for the compliment.

@The Purrfect Cup – D’awwwwww.

DaisyChubb

Thanks for the recommendation! I’m goin for it :D

Geoffrey Norman

@DaisyChubb: I can provide ’em as chapter links – in order – if you need to read them successively. One kinda tumbles into the other.

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100

This is my second time having this. And it was just as excellent the second time around as the first. Granted, they probably over-steeped it a little bit, but that’s the great thing about a damn good black – it takes a punishment with poise.

This was my tea of choice for a clandestine meet-up with a fellow tea blogger – An International Tea Moment. You can read about that here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/10/10/meeting-a-tea-moment/

Er…if you wish.

LiberTEAS

Which Tea Chai Te do you visit? I haven’t been to the one on 23rd yet (which is kind of surprising since I LOVE 23rd St) … but I LOVE the Sellwood district location.

Geoffrey Norman

The one off of 23rd. It was the closest locale. Urban but nifty.

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93

I acquired this little puppy through my membership to the Canton Tea Club. I knew that wasn’t a wasted effort. The first tea write out of the starting gate was a Nilgiri green! Nothin’ excites me more than notching off a new type of tea from a region I didn’t did this certain type.

Upon opening the bag, I was greeted by a really unusual scent – salty-sweet seaweed. It reminded me of those Japanese seaweed snacks one can pick up at an Asian mart. The leaves were huge – not the type I usually associate with Indian teas, probably large leaf assamica.

Taste-wise, it was really peculiar – somewhere between a Korean daejak, a Darjeeling green, and a Mao Feng…but more delicate. It easily lasted two infusions, and did quite a wake-up.

For more information on it, read Jane Pettigrew’s blog here: http://www.cantonteaco.com/blog/2012/10/week-1-green-twirl/

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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94

I actually acquired this at the Northwest Tea Festival this year. Love events like that where you can taste before you buy. This is an unusual post-fermented tea in the fact there’s no harshness to it at all – compared to the other non-pu-erh hei chas I’ve had, anyway. It lasted a good seven or eight infusions, and its deceptive gentleness was counteracted by a wallop of caffeine. Necessary fuel for a five-hour long writing streak.

Said writing streak was my coverage of said Northwest Tea Festival, which can be found here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/10/07/my-first-tea-fest/

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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92

Having a heck of a time getting started on anything awesome today. Lost out on a writing gig that I was in over my head for. Temp agency positions are scarce…and it’s a Friday. Well, at least my tea will be good. I love this stuff. I want to cuddle with the gaiwan I put it in.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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100

A vendor friend past on to me some of the Sakuma Bros. Sun Dried White for 2012. Holy heck, it’s like night and day from the 2011 batch! Their isn’t much of a creaminess there, as their was with the year prior. Instead, it’s fruit – particularly tart strawberry leaf, pears, and a dash of lemon. Not sure what happened to their plants in the last year, but wow…just…wow.

I’m sorry I don’t have any better superlatives.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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92

I’m a sucker for Darjeeling oolongs. Heck, I’m even a sucker for the one and only Assam oolong I’ve tried. Nilgiri oolongs…um…they mean well. This one out of Bihar is hard to pinpoint. So we’ll start with the obvious.

Do I like it? Oh, hell yes. Character-wise, it has the nuances of a Nilgiri OP (Tiger Hill-ish), but a lot of the fruity bend of a Formosa. There’s also a smoky aspect on the end, but it’s very minor. One thing of note, though, this tasting note was from trying it Western-style. It held up well in a “wrongfu” prep, but not quite as well. Go big and boiled with this one.

It also almost became the subject of a tea fiction story (along with one other Doke tea, a Taiwanese sencha, and two Nepalese whites), the “DVD commentary”-ish blog on that trainwreck can be found here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/10/03/blending-tea-and-fiction/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88

I received this one from the lovely The Purrfect Cup…and of course it had to be a Sherlock inspired blend. Wouldn’t except anything less from her. (If you haven’t, you should seriously check out her tea talk with the venerable Mr. Holmes on her blog. Awesome.)

Anywho…

This was already on the plus side for containing bits of Lapsang in the blend. Whiffing the dry batch was like smelling a good tobacco. Keemun contributed a necessary woodiness, too. On taste, oddly enough, the Lapsang hung back, allowing the Keemun to take point with a sweet and malty punch. The pinesmoked mouthfeel was kept pretty reserved. As blends go, sometime aspects of it were uneven, but still pleasant to sip. A very good afternoon tea.

Even though I had it in the late morning.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
The Purrfect Cup

Awww thank you for the kind words about that post. I’m working on another one along those lines soon. Glad you enjoyed it.

Geoffrey Norman

Good! I was hoping to see more of those.

The Purrfect Cup

Yup in the works. As you know those kinds of posts are not the easiest to just crank out.

Geoffrey Norman

Don’t I know it, dear. Don’t I know it. By the way, I made mention of your fictional works in my new blog that just went up…now.

The Purrfect Cup

I did see that. I was hoping to turn up as a cat in one of them with a penchant for puerh!

Geoffrey Norman

Sorry ’bout that. :-/

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91

Do you know what I like? Naps. I took one today, and it was glorious. But do you know what I hate? Recovering from a nap. For such a thing today, I went for a second pot o’ tea…but I didn’t want something black and migraine-inducing.

So I went for this little lovely – a step between green and white. It was peppery, light, melon-like, and a smidge on the floral side. Truthfully, I forgot I even had it, but it sure did the trick.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

Naps rock. Waking up from the nap… not so much. It’s kind of like that for me when I wake up too. Asleep mode = awesomeness. Awake mode = not so much.

Geoffrey Norman

And the longer the nap, the worse the wake-up.

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Profile

Bio

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

Location

Oregon

Website

http://www.lazyliteratus.com

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