81

Not sure why, but the inside of my mouth is feeling a little sore. I hope I’m not getting sick. I felt a little achy yesterday, I was really dragging on my run today (of course it was ridiculously hot which could have something to do with it) and I know there’s something going around. The 4 year old was visited by the puke fairy Sunday night. Neither of my kids are big pukers, thankfully, so I’m hoping it was the stomach virus I’m told is on the loose around here. And I’m hoping I don’t get it.

This is my last TeaFrog sample from both sample orders and so something of a milestone. I just placed my order for those things from both sample sets that I liked enough to get more of and I didn’t put this on the list. But now I’m second guessing myself. Initially I didn’t think it was anything special, but then again I don’t think I’m tasting it properly because of my mouth issue. I will say that as I sit here typing, I’m finding the aftertaste from the second steep of this really wonderful. It’s sweet, almost sugary, with a very light, very subtle essence of slightly roasty vegetable that almost isn’t there.

I love the way this looks, too. The eyebrows are adorable. Like tiny green commas; almost like green caraway seeds. I can’t smell the dry tea because of the fruit smell-impregnated sample packet. But I’m having a lot of fun looking at it.

I’ve experimented with different times on this one. I started at 1:30, then went down to 1 for a resteep. Then with the rest of the sample I started at 2. All at 175 degrees.

Right now I’m drinking the 2 minute steep. The liquor is pale yellow, basically clear, with some visible solute but not nearly as much as I typically see in sencha, for example. It smells delicately and sweetly vegetal with a dab of butter and an interesting almost floral note.

At two minutes I’m getting a flavor that seems like it would be due to the pan fried nature of the leaves, or perhaps I’m just projecting. But it’s a lightly carmelized vegetal flavor with something dusky at the finish.

The deliciousness of this tea, I’m discovering, isn’t necessarily immediately apparent. I almost wrote it off because it didn’t have a strong initial flavor. I was thinking, oh no, one of those green teas that is indistinguishable from plain hot water. But as it turns out, the lack of seriously strong vegetal flavor initially (reminiscent of drinking the run off from your steamed vegetables at dinner) is part of the charm of this tea and there is a lot of flavor if you’re patient enough to linger over it.

Dammit. I wish I had stuck this in my order. Now I’ll have to wait until I have enough reorders to merit free shipping, and since I just ordered pretty much everything else I like of TeaFrog’s that is bound to take a while. Sigh.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Rabs

Sorry about this missed order opportunity — I hate it when that happens :(

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Rabs

Sorry about this missed order opportunity — I hate it when that happens :(

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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