1812 Tasting Notes
Congratulations to Teavivre for being named on the Top Ten Teas in the World list by Fox News! You deserve it!
I can’t believe I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard! I love love love Teavivre’s jasmine. The first jasmine I had as a newbie loose leaf drinker was not good – it was so perfume-y and fake it almost made me sick. I thought I would never have jasmine again, and then I tried Teavivre’s jasmines. I think I have had every type they sell. And it is almost a drug for me. I unwind and unclench and drift away when I drink it. Aaaaaaahhhhh.
I think my favorite is their Jasmine Silver Needle White tea, followed by Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls, then this one, then Silver Jasmine Green. The last one is excellent with a meal and so economical, but the others are my favorites for drinking alone.
I have been aging this one for a few years now. I have expanded my puerh horizons but I am far from an expert. There are so many flavors I can not equate with something else for a description, especially in a sheng.
I like to steep a shu puerh a nice long time, relatively speaking, and I don’t mind if the cup is inky black. I like it, whether it is horsey, mushroom-y, cedar-y, fallen leaves on a wet woodland path, or leather and barn. I don’t like fishy, not at all.
With a sheng I like to keep things a little milder. This one has now been steeped about nine times and it is still going. The color remains a light amber, and the flavor is hard for me to pinpoint. There is definitely a mineral aspect, like wet stone in a forest with deep shade, a fresh and natural taste, and a muted vegetal flavor. The minty flavor of a few years ago is no longer apparent to me, which could be due to my cold, but I think my sense of taste has come back. I am not getting camphor at all. I have a bit left to continue aging. It will be fun to see if it changes further.
I found the last little bit of this sample from K S in my box last night as I was sorting and set it aside to have in the morning. I was excited all night thinking about having it for breakfast. Ha! We tea people are strange beings!
This is Sweet Sixteen birthday weekend for youngest so we met big sister and her hubby at the beach for three days last week and then came home to have the weekend with my son, godson, and her best friend all staying for the whole weekend. Middle daughter already lives here. That’s right, bodies everywhere. I haven’t had a den in three days, but that’s okay. It’s fun!
Her friend doesn’t eat much, but she seems to like to try new “adult” things, so I offered her Bohea and gingerbread almond biscotti for breakfast. She thought it sounded good and accepted. I only had two teaspoons left but the package said it resteeps well, so I steeped it, poured it in a pot, and resteeped it, combining that into the pot as well.
The tea still had nice body and flavor. I found it to be barely smokey, if there was any at all it was mainly in the aroma, but it was sweet and good. I drank it plain, she took it with milk and sugar, and we dunked our biscotti happily through the whole pot!
Still feeling a bit stuffy, blah, and icky. I can’t taste my Premium Silky Green so I made this to go with lunch since son said he would like green tea instead of lemonade. (Let me squeal with excitement here over that statement. The two eldest kids used to HATE all tea including sweet iced tea and now they ask for it for Christmas and birthdays!)
This one had the guts to go with our meal and not disappear. It is also a SIPDOWN, which is probably good since it is now just over a year old. I am beginning to think that it is time to seriously pare down my cupboard and keep a small number of dearly loved teas…and then I get on here and find ten more I want to try.
My daughter and new brand new husband invited us to spend a few days at the beach with them, and I packed this as a never fail take along. I know it was good and I drank two whole pots of it while we were there but I still have a somewhat stuffy head and a cough and it is affecting my taste worse now than it did at the beginning of this cold over a week ago.
While we were at the beach, a dear lady who taught us to work with stained glass at her studio there died from lupus and complications of H1N1 virus. She never ever complained but just kept going and blessing people with her generous heart and her art. If you think of it, raise a glass to Pati and say a prayer for those who will miss her so much. She was an inspiration.
This is another that JacquelineM sent a while back for hubby when he was having problems sleeping. She uses Fidnemed to sleep but her husband likes this one. I have had a head/chest cold and since this was formerly named lung tea I thought it might do me good.
We went to a movie tonight and I kept hard candy in my mouth the whole time and barely coughed. Then I had a Coke float when I got home since it is family night and we get an ice cream dessert. Apparently, the cold triggered spasms of coughing and my muscles felt like they were being ripped right off my bones. If cold set it off, maybe heat would stop it.
I actually like this! No honey or anything, just the tisane, and definitely licorice root saying “HERE I AM!” There is a momentary taste that makes me think of…laundry detergent? Some scent I am familiar with but it isn’t coming to me right now. The coughing has stopped, probably just due to the fact that I switched from a super cold beverage that was no doubt constricting my airways/throat to a nice, soothing hot one. I don’t think the ingredients in the tea would work this fast.
So this is the tea I meant to drink two nights ago but I made Dream Tea instead. I remembered that the tea I had heard would knock you out was also called “Sleeps on Rocks” so I dug in my samples box until I found this.
This is the most unusual tea I have ever had. Some of the leaves were huge, others were so fine. I used a large basket with fine mesh. When I lifted the basket out of the cup there was a yellow liquor with a single hovering spot of red, like blood in the bathwater when you cut yourself shaving your legs. The red spot expanded until it slowly stained the whole cup. Wow.
From what I could smell, it was going to be a savory tasting brew. I almost added a bit of honey but then decided to treat it like a savory broth and not even try to pretend it was “tea”. I had no trouble drinking it down. I did have trouble functioning after that. My fingers felt a little….alien and clumsy as I ever so carefully carried the cup back to the kitchen. Hubby had fallen asleep on the sofa citing a headache, so I resteeped the leaves and carried him a cup. I told Mr. Picky not to sniff it, taste it, or say anything about it, just throw it down and go to bed. I don’t want him to get sick, too! He dutifully obeyed.
I went to bed and while I did not fall asleep right away I did utterly and completely relax and could indeed have slept on rocks without moving. Hubby’s head hit the pillow and the snoring commenced.
Is this stuff legal? You bet I am giving some of this to friends in stressful situations who desperately need sleep (bestie works hard and has a special needs son who now has seizures added) and could use a little safe help now and then. My hubby has a lot of trouble shaking a cough when he gets one, but what really throws him under the train is the sleep he misses. That part almost kills him. (Literally, he was hospitalized nine days with pneumonia years ago and got it again six months later.) I think with this in the cabinet, he won’t miss any sleep again.
So….I thought I was getting better and expected to be 100% today, and instead find myself back to where I was day before yesterday, just not coughing as much. My throat is raw and sore and feels best when I am drinking tea so I prepared another gong fu session for hubby and myself tonight.
As I went through the envelope so generously sent by K S I read off the name of each tea, trying to pick. I was a little wheezy and my voice is a lot deeper than usual. When I got to this one I said, “Jade Oolong from Little Red Cup? Aren’t you pretty! Yes, I believe I will have you tonight.” And I totally sounded like a perve. A weird tea perve, but a perve nevertheless. Seriously, I creeped mySELF out.
So in an embarrassed silence I prepared the tea with a single moderate wash of the leaves and then about five steeps. My tastes are the most occluded tonight that they have been all this while, but the impression I got was fresh, green, sweet veggies, not roasty, rather light. It definitely blooms when it cools a wee bit. We made over a liter of tea from one teaspoon of leaves and I really want more, so I am off to the kitchen to get more water and more leaf.
Hubby liked it. I asked his opinion since he hasn’t been sick and he said it was very good oolong and he would call it vegetal. He’s come a long way, baby!
Thank you, K S!