159 Tasting Notes

81

Another retrospective post, as I often have this tea late at night. I’m writing while something else brews.
I arrived home after teaching a four-hour barista course. Four hours in a small room, with a bunch of students, with the air gradually becoming laden with a blend named Café Noir. And of course, I was tasting all night.
I made the Darjeeling up and this time, it actually looked to be a more traditional Darjeeling colour – perhaps I’ve used a smidge too much tea on previous occasions.
Anyway, I was soon in possesion of a steaming mug of this great second flush.
It never lets me down.
Great gentle aftertaste was with me for a while, but the gum leaf quality up front is so refined that I had one and a half mugs at 11 at night.
I hoped that this would help me avoid waking with a coffee headache. (See next post to find out)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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79
drank China Gunpowder by Unknown
159 tasting notes

In a pensive mood after responding to someone’s troubles. It would be nice to fix everything that’s wrong with the world.
So I need a tea that might offer some optomism.
So, China Gunpowder gets a go.
It’s dark today (the tea, not the gloriously sunny day outside) and the aroma from the cup is very deep foresty. A liitle sugar to take the edge off, and mmmm the smoothnes comes through.
A little cup of sunshine, the world a little lighter.
I think “Make tea, Not War” might be today’s credo !

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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92
drank Pai Mu Tan by Unknown
159 tasting notes

Had to have another infusion. Just had to!
I wonder why I need to sweeten the first cup, but not thereafter?
Is it that the tea is sweeter every infusion?
Or am I sweeter for having consumed it?
Big questions indeed. perhaps another cuppa to help me think….

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 15 sec

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92
drank Pai Mu Tan by Unknown
159 tasting notes

Didn’t have this yesterday. It’s been a while since I went a day without.
Nice long steep in a one person pot, then decant all of the liquor into a mug.
The aroma is so delicate that the anticipation of this tea is not in the smell, it’s in the memory. i know how good it’s going to be.
Even though it’s summer, this tea always tastes like spring. It’s like the smell of fresh pine needles after a rain; it’s a mood elevator.
Currently my laptop is playing up, and my tea is behaving. I think the answer is to enjoy the tea and worry about the work later.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 15 sec

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61

Went back for another serve. Slightly weaker this time. Nice colour, nice aroma, nice taste!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
gmathis

And deserves at least 5 extra points for the name. Kerfuffle. Love it.

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61

Time for Clarence, a slightly bigger teapot, because it’s tea for two. Interesting mix of brown and black colours with a fair bit of really small stuff.
The liquor is reddish brown, the aroma quite Assamese.
I think it works better in my bertter half’s cup (white with two) than mine (black with oneish)
But pleasant. And my late Grandmother, who grew up in the Great Depression, would ne mighty impressed with the effort of recycling the last few grams of three teas to get more tea.
Basic tea, well made if I do say so myself!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 45 sec
mermaidcatch

I am not a fan of Irish Breakfast Tea. Nevertheless, I hope it was your “cup of tea.” :)

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

Just attacked the espresso machine again to make this.
Made 100ml strong tea. As an experiment, I left the infiuser in the jug while I heated the milk and sugar to 70 deg C.
mmmmm, it’s smooth. I love the way the spices line up in order on your pallet. Sugar / Cinnamon/ Cardamon/ tea/ milk / aniseed and cloves. Then sip again

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec
Robert Godden

Might have to up the black pepper quantity.

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92
drank Pai Mu Tan by Unknown
159 tasting notes

At this point, according to my tea log, which probably gets half my tea activity, this is my favourite. I doubt that at any time in the past my top tea would be a white or green.
This morning, it’s 6:30 and it is my first cup of the day. I haven’t eaten for two days, apart from the mildly controversial jelly regular readers have commented on.
So, it’s a pai mu tan.
I haven’t used some delicate 120ml teacup, here I have a mug the size of a handbasin. I’ve made up one Cyril’s worth – about 500ml – and I’m not afraid to re-steep.
The first sip of this, while it’s still a little hot, cools itself by burning my tongue and then slips across a very dry throat. It’s like bringing life back to the Sahara.
Never mind letting it cool, it’s into sip 2.
It’s warm and woody today. There’s a real melon taste to this brew. (In fact. I think I’ll nip out and get some rockmelon for breakfast)
After about 50ml, vitality is flowing again.
My mother is on EPO – you know the stuff athletes cheat with. In her case, she’s in her 60’s and has kidney disease. She describes the feeling immediately after she has her fortnightly injection as ‘making her want to go and jump over a house".
This feels the same. I wonder if they’ll ban it for runners?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 45 sec

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49

Ahhh, Nilgiri, it’s been a while.
Popped into Kappy’s for a Keemun or Blue Mountain, shelves were all over the place while trying to find them, my eyes alighted on Nilgiri, a firm favourite for years.
“A pot of your finest Nilgiri, Please”
First bowl is a little watery. Shouldn’t be. Perhaps it needs more time.
Second bowl is slightly less watery.
I think there’s just not ehough tea in the pot.
6mins is a bit long to steep, but it’s getting biiter and tanniny without having the right “bite” for this tea. (3rd bowl)

At the end of the day, it’s a good tea, but it’s not been done justice here today. Wondering where the slight metallic taste is from.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 45 sec

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

After a crack at Taylors bagged version yesterday, decided I’d better redress the balance and have a real one.
And the difference is indeed mighty. My kitchen already smells like an open campfire. Don’t want to steep too long…
Hmmm, it’s a lovely round taste that circles your mouth. Strong enough to chew, but fades in a surprisingly dainty manner.
A great tea to take just before I head into the city for some work. Of course, my first stop is actually a tea shop.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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It’s All About tea! The link is to my blog. Co-Owner of The Devotea.

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Adelaide, South Australia

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