2765 Tasting Notes
I feel bad that the rest of the country is suffering from a heatwave and it’s still foggy and overcast here. The house we were staying at in the Oakland Hills was freezing! The downside of that is I feel tired all the time when the fog is around.
Anyway I am back at home with my massive tea collection and I really need something to perk me up before I go to the movies with a friend. I reached for this again because I was in the mood for something sweet and hoping the black tea will revive me! I liked this one, especially with a bit of soymilk and some sugar, it’s like a decadent dessert without all the calories.
I want to try Frank’s new black tea base soon, but I’m waiting for a flavor to come up that really appeals to me. Meanwhile, this is really tasty!
I don’t have too much to write about teas today, since I am not at home and the only two teas I have are this and the golden monkey from Aroma Tea Shop. I am actually fairly happy with these two, which makes me wonder why I have so much tea in the first place? Perhaps I should work on paring down my collection to an essential few… (probably won’t happen)
I decided to purchase one of these mini sheng bricks recently after Phoenix told me via Twitter that there was not a lot of bitterness in them. When it arrived, I immediately thought I should have purchased two because they are so cute and the packaging is really lovely!
Anyway, I could hardly wait to try it this morning. I attempted to break a piece off but it is compressed very tightly and I ended up with mostly tea dust which is okay. I steeped that up in my yixing.
Steeps #1 and #2 of this tea were about 15 seconds. What I got was a light yellow tea liquor. For a young sheng, it is fairly mellow with a nice sweetness and a definite acidity, but not one that I am finding terribly bitter. After the first two steeps, it is starting to quiet down a bit more and is becoming mostly pleasant and mild.
I steeped this tea 10 times and after the first 3 infusions, I was enjoying it a lot more.
This is my first Douji sheng tea, but I spent a little time this morning looking up Douji on the ‘net. They certainly seem to have a good reputation and they have these bricks made from different source materials, I’m just not sure which this one is because the label is written in Chinese. I can see more experiments will be required in the future. I think perhaps sheng is an acquired taste, and one I am still getting used to. I think this will be excellent with a few more years of aging.
I really like tinkering around with my own blends, I think it’s the artist/creative weirdo in me that can’t always leave well enough alone.
I thought I’d try this tea steeped today along with some dried ginger root; I was feeling a bit queasy and thought the ginger would help. The result is delicious, like a sweet ginger candy! A great experiment which I will be repeating again soon. I find ginger root goes well with many teas, I’ve also tried it in green, black and rooibos, but the white tea and ginger might be my favorite yet. Fun and healthy.
This is a very lovely green tea, which is full of surprises. The long, needle like leaves are very green and smell delightfully fresh when you open the package.
I’m not enamored of too many Chinese green teas, but I did like this one. I steeped it for 3 minutes Western style and got a very light colored infusion. I’d say I used 4 grams of tea in an 8 oz glass cup.
The aroma of the tea is vegetal and almost floral like in nature. It has a very mild flavor like sugar snap peas, with a touch of orchid-sweetness and almost seems to posses a kind of rare purity. It’s very refreshing and smooth and has a slight sweet aftertaste that has a bit of macadamia nut yumminess mingling on my tongue. Makes me feel relaxed and delighted at the same time.
According to RateTea, this green has a high percentage of theanine which is likely responsible for the relaxing feeling.
I would definitely get this one again and I’m not the biggest fan of Chinese greens – on the list it goes since all I got was a 10g sample, yummy yum yum!
Thanks to Garret and Krystaleyn I decided I needed to have one of these this morning. It happens to go very well with the vegan chickpea mini quiches I made for brunch. I steeped one toucha in an 8 oz cup with my Finum filter for about 60 seconds and this was perfect for me. Looking forward to more steeps!
I was really looking forward to trying this sample today, but also unsure of how to steep it. Norbu’s instructions recommend the gong fu method so I thought I would try it that way.
My first steep was for a 1 minute infusion in the Jingdezhen gaiwan pictured here: http://www.redblossomtea.com/teaware/gaiwan/gaiwan-spring.html
I got a nice organish-brown infusion which smells faintly of malt. Now that I’ve had a few dan cong oolongs I am really picking out that flavor in this tea, but this is darker, more robust. Really not sure about it, a bit on the side of bitterness for me.
2nd steep: 30 seconds. To me it smells a bit malty, I can’t find the honey flavors that others have described. It’s woody, sour & astringent. the other reviewers loved this tea but it’s leaving a bad feeling in my stomach, so out it goes.
Sorry Norbu, this one is not for me… evidently I am really picky about all things dan cong related :(
Please let me know if anyone wants the remaining 5g of this sample, the other reviewers loved it. I hate giving a bad review to a tea.
Some days I seem more sensitive to caffeine than others. Okay, I’ve had 6 cups of tea today already but some of them were re-steeps. :-P
Anyway it’s time to go for something herbal for a while. I’ve gotten a bit enamored of tulsi lately but this is really not the best blend. It doesn’t taste too chai like to me, more like a mix of straight rooibos and tulsi. It’s a little bit better with some soymilk but not my favorite from this company, oh well. I’m drinking it anyway!