1998 Tasting Notes
A neighbor gave me a tin of shou mei a long time ago. I liked it, but somehow it got pushed aside over and over as not being something I was really in the mood to drink. I enjoyed a number of flavored white teas, and over time this one became a bit of a burden. I wanted to finish it, it was too old to give away in good conscience, but I didn’t really want it.
I decided to flavor it to make it more like The White Wolf from Belloqc. I fully intended to add some spearmint leaves this morning but was multitasking and too rushed, so this is just shou mei that has been sitting sealed with some crushed star anise in it for a couple of weeks.
It did the trick! I will probably try it again with spearmint and maybe chunks of cinnamon added, but this was good and made a nice addition to our breakfast.
This is one of the best teas carried by A Southern Season In my opinion. This as the first tea of tea party Wednesday. I always choose a nice black tea to start with if we are having a rich dessert, which we usually are.
Our dessert this time was Fudge Pie, the recipe from a local beloved restaurant that closed decades ago, and I made a raspberry sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream, also drizzled with raspberry sauce, to go with it. A single raspberry topped each serving. It was so rich that we needed a nice, plain black tea that had good body and flavor to stand up without standing out too much.
This was a very good tea with it, but I think that an even stronger one, like a Keemun, would have been better as the raspberry sauce was really flavorful.
On a side note, I have just been joined by the dog because my daughter’s hedgehog is keeping him up. He just started running on his wheel and he runs all.night.long.
I have never ordered this tea but I have received samples of it several times over the years. The first time I tried it was also my first time tasting black currant so I couldn’t know if it was a true flavor. It just isn’t common in the USA and what we do have most of the time is actually Zante grapes rather than black currant. They were banned here over a hundred years ago because of a disease that spreads to certain pines and was a threat to the lumber industry.
Then I went to Ireland and saw – and tasted – lots of black currant everything and really loved it, so I wanted to revisit this tea. I had two bags that had come as samples and I made them in my smaller Stump teapot.
I believe I have read that this was one of the first flavored teas sold by Harney and Sons. It is good, easy to drink plain as it is smooth and sweet enough, and the flavoring is pleasant. I suspect it would make an awesome sweet iced tea. I believe I prefer Tower of London or Paris if I am going to drink a flavored tea, though. Still very nice, and great for people who are really crazy about black currant flavor.
I bought several packets of this blend and it never fails to draw a strong reaction when served. It really does have a natural sweetness with no sugar added and a strong resemblance to cream soda and root beer. It has so much body!
Because it is so rich and flavorful, it was served as the last tea of tea party yesterday so as not to compete with the flavors of our dessert.
My daughters have landed in Toronto and will be attending the Tea Festival on Saturday. Youngest and I were drinking this before they left and I am still drinking it tonight, and it seems so strange to me that they are so quickly so far away!
This is the last of my sample, and it has been a real trial knowing that my tea is in town but didn’t get here in time for today’s mail truck, so I will be out of this tea for twelve hours. TWELVE HOURS. First world problems, lol!
This has an amazingly sweet edge that woos everyone who tries it. I teach voice to four quadruplet siblings, two at a time. They just started this week. Two of them tried this tea today and they have never had any “exotic” teas before. They liked it, and are eager to try more teas.
I will be glad to see the postman tomorrow!
I haven’t had a Chun Mei in ages! This is a great tea to pair with food because the briskness lets you taste it and keeps the food from covering up the tea. This also makes it a great tea to serve after a meal to clear the palate, and the briskness is followed by a sweet aftertaste. Served with orange chicken, veggie lo mein, and pepper steak. One of my daughter’s favorite greens.
I am surprised I am not sloshing. We had this again yesterday with some additions to our party. Everyone preferred this over the others puerhs we had. My son and his girlfriend were going to have me order for them again, which I don’t mind doing, but I told them they might as well start getting some rewards points and save on future orders, so we made a Steepsterr account, drank LOTS of tea because they want to order some green tea as well, and they placed their very first Teavivre order of their own! If you see ChelseaR, please follow her so she can get a good start on Steepster!
Some tea is brisk or astringent, and supposed to be that way. But not this one. This tea is smooth, creamy, and JUICY. The cedar and earth flavors are so sweet and smooth that your mouth never feels dry.
I had ordered a large beeng of a different sort before Christmas and I do like it, but in spite of good sense I am ordering this one, too. I won’t run short of puerh for a while!
We are tasting some puerhs tonight that my son has never tried because he wants to place a puerh order during the sale. This was the final tea we tasted and everyone loved it most of all.
It has a nice, full. round mouthfeel with that creamy/oily feel. The first steep is reddish and the next three are very dark. By steep five (and I did rinse first) the color is starting to get a little lighter but these leaves are by no means done, and we have had six or seven steeps.
I was surprised to get this much smooth flavor from a 2013, but then I saw that it was actually picked in 2006. And it is from Lincang, one of my favorite sources! No wonder we loved it. Going on the order for sure. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but it is a HUGE cake at 400 grams and well worth it.
Just as I had expected, my son and his girlfriend were eager to try some new pu-erh teas tonight. This seems to have become a tradition now for family gatherings. They have never had a sheng that I can recall and have asked me to order some puerh for them during this sale, so I am having them sample a number of my teas on hand to see what else they would like.
Even though it is their first sheng, they are drinking it heartily and really like it. We have made about one liter of tea from one little tuo cha. I think they are very interested in having more of this one.
I am tasting very little of the jasmine tonight, perhaps because of how I stored it. I will have to remember that. What I am tasting is a nice young sheng, and we remarked that it would be a wonderful tea for clearing the palate after a meal, especially after Asian buffet takeout.
Now we move on to some shu!
I drank this again last night and this morning. I must say I think I have to order it while they are having their sale.
I am finding that I taste so much more in my puerh teas when I let them cool a bit. When they are hot, they are so similar but as they cool I detect more flavors and more delicate nuances. This one developed the wonderful cedar oil flavor that I adored in Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds, which is no longer available but was my favorite puerh of all time. Perhaps the elusive flavor is coming from the golden buds.
This is a small beeng which I think is really nice. It makes the price very similar to the one I bought myself for Christmas, which was double the price but also much heavier.
I plan to get this one, the rice-ripened (which I loved and wish came as plain loose leaf and not just as bags!), lots of the plain tuocha, and maybe some rose or chrysanthemum! I think I have until the 20th to decide what to buy on their sale!