60 Tasting Notes
I think I need a tea cozy. Today’s tea is exactly the same as yesterday’s. (Which isn’t all bad, but this is science darn it!) I suspect that the teapot is cooling down so that the tea stops really steeping. For now I’ll just have to be content with some tasty Assam.
The long weekend is already over. So many things in life pass by so quickly. Pure Indian Zarin Tippy Kalmi is different. Not only does its name go on forever, so does its steepability. At 5 minutes its still going strong. Still lots of honey a little malt and a little astringency. The chocolate on Friday may have been a false positive. We’ll see if it reappears tomorrow.
I’m not going to change my rating for this tea. Its impossible to be remotely objective about it after three days of non-stop gardening. We now have a raised bed (due to invading tree roots) with onions, peppers, cucumbers and an extra tomato plant in it.
If you’re observant, you’ll notice this isn’t the first gardening related post I’ve made about this tea. Its grassy, vegetal and astringent. Imagine drinking a forest of wet trees, and the dirt they’re planted it. Um, next time I’ll try to think of a better metaphor, but in the meantime, try this tea.
Another day, another 30 seconds. The astringency is still not overwhelming and there is still a bit of honey flavor. This tea is so easy-going, its just hard to oversteep. I am noticing a new flavor rising to the surface after longer steeps. Uh, chocolate, is that you, seriously (insert interrobang here).
Hmm… I was expecting this to be the point where things started getting seriously astringent/bitter. Its astringent, but not terribly so, and finally a bit more malty (though still not what I expected). I may need to repeat this one since the actual amounts where different (3 cups and a heaping tsp of tea vs. 2 cups and a level one). I actually got out of bed early enough to have breakfast with Q. Q is now reliably able to distinguish this tea from green. That’s a big step for us, and its only 7. Who knows what else the day may hold.
Today I added 30 seconds to the steep time. There’s a bit of astringency that wasn’t there yesterday. I was expecting more malt, but I can’t really detect it. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing these tests first thing in the morning.
I really enjoy the malty honey taste at breakfast. This tea seems a better fit for my daily oatmeal than the heavily spiced Sadaf. I’m going to experiment with steep times this week. At three minutes, its very honeyed, no bitterness at all.
This is ideally a tea to savor with dessert and a bit of sugar. However, I’m having it straight with oatmeal in the morning. At least I put three cardamom pods in. The taste of actual tea is in the background at this point, behind the cardamom and bergamont. This ok since the tea is pretty one dimensional. It seems like this may be a good candidate for chrine’s London Fog recipe so I will probably try that sometime this week.
I’m not quite sure this is the right place to put this. Ten Ren sells several grades of black tea both loose and in bags. What I’m drinking is the loose second grade black tea. Its slightly astringent and slightly smoky. I’m sure that there are correct words to describe the rest of the taste and I am sure they are not ‘refined’, ‘pleasant’, or ‘fancy’. But I don’t know what they are, so that’s what you’re getting. This tea plays the BMW to my normal morning Assam’s Camaro SS. They’re both quick of the line, but one is much more poised (and expensive).