1894 Tasting Notes
Years ago on one of my very first swaps, someone sent me Coquelicot Gourmand from Dammann Freres. I was obsessed with it. I talked about it all the time. I talked about it so much that my eldest daughter wrote down the name and then ordered it for me as a gift.
Then I started reading tasting notes on this tea not long ago and I started drooling. When daughter asked what I wanted for my birthday, I sent her a link for this. She got not only this but also Easter Tea.
We drank this together this afternoon as we are cell rating my birthday with the family today. My daughter sniffed it and said, “Wow! Is that…bread?” I told her it is what they refer to as biscuit flavor, something that once wouldn’t have appealed to me until I tasted it in Coquelicot. I smelled the sweet almond and it reminded me of cherries. But the flavoring doesn’t overwhelm or conceal the puerh, and I am glad because I really like puerh. Daughter liked this one, too. Her husband drank it but said it was a little horsey for him, which surprised me because he rather liked the unflavored puerh we had a couple of weeks ago.
The tasting notes were all true. This is a delicious tea.
Pi Day is also my birthday so we have been celebrating! LOL! Well, it is probably a lot more subdued than most people’s celebrations, but that’s how we roll. Hubby took me out for steak, and although I love it, I rarely eat red meat. We have been eating a lot of vegetarian meals lately, we always have but we have increased it over the past few months. I knew I wanted to have puerh tonight just to make sure my tummy stays happy.
My cake of Red Rhyme is almost fully depleted now. I think I will be able to make this one more time. I made four steeps of 22 ounces each with what I broke off the cake tonight, and my hubby and my son and I drank it while playing game after game of Dominion.
Even though I had chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting AND filling – with strawberries on the side – after dinner, my tummy isn’t complaining. Oh, and there was buttered and seasoned popcorn during Futurama as well.
Even the fourth steep was plenty dark. Each steep was four minutes because we like a good strong puerh when it is high quality and not fishy. This one had a clean, slightly metallic or mineral fresh taste tonight that kept me pushing my cup to hubby for more.
I told him we are getting quite low on puerh, but he assured me that he knew there were ways to make more appear. LOL!
Last night I found myself between a rock and a hard place. The medication I take to help reduce the possibility of return of breast cancer has started causing side effects that are unacceptable, and it suddenly struck me last night that every scenario the doctor outlined for me ended with a surgery – albeit very minor. One scenario they hadn’t considered – me stopping the drug – MIGHT not end with surgery but I feel good about the possibility because I am extreme low risk for recurrence and am three years out from starting the drug.
But my head hurt from trying to decide what would be the best path and I started feeling a little overwhelmed. All I could think of was the package of tea that K S sent me a couple of months ago. I had a little of this oolong left and settled down on the living room carpet with a tray for a nice long gong fu session that lasted for two liters from my kettle! Yes, at bedtime. Yes, I had to get up twice in the night. LOL!
The leaves expanded mightily throughout steeping and yielded a medium yellow liquor with a light and airy flavor. Very comforting and just what I wanted last night. I believe I did four steeps and then got fresh leaves and did four more, though it may have been five.
This is a very green oolong, no roastiness, but the occasional attention-getting wang if it leave it a little longer, just enough to get your attention. I let it steep long a couple of times because I was in the mood for that sort of note.
I served this tea last at tea party today because I didn’t want the chocolate flavor of the tea to compete with the chocolate dipped strawberries. This is good but I think chocolate flavor in tea just isn’t a favorite thing for me, though I adore tea that has strong cocoa notes that are natural, like Emperor’s Red or Fengqing Dragon Pearls. I liked it, I drank it, but when it is gone I really can’t see myself reordering it – not because it is bad, but because I would rather have plain tea with real chocolates than chocolate tea!
It is Wednesday! That means tea party day and lots of tea. Today we served homemade sugar cookies and strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce that hardens when it is gets cold. It is super easy to do – just heat some chocolate chips with a bit of coconut oil until it is creamy and smooth, drizzle on or dip the strawberries, and put them on wax paper in the freezer briefly. Peel them off and serve.
This is the tea I chose to start with since we were having such sweet foods today and my guest really really loved the pairing. I like for the rich sweets and such to be paired with an unflavored sturdy tea usually, and it really worked today. The tea wasn’t harsh, but it didn’t disappear under the food.
For a long time I tried to like regular Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney and Sons and found it too spicy for me. All my friends loved it, though, so I kept it on hand. Then they sent me a sample of the green version and it converted me. I like both now! but green is my fave!
A friend from way back came over a few months ago and didn’t tell me she hated tea, so I gave her some puerh and samples of HCS to take home. She is now addicted to puerh tea and to Teavivre’s jasmine Silver Needle. Well, she came again today and I served her the green hot cinnamon and she loved it so much that she says is he will be ordering it first thing in the morning.
She also told me that her mother is now addicted to puerh as well and they gave each other tea and tea paraphernalia for Christmas, and her son asks for puerh every time his stomach bothers him. Yay for more tea conversions!
Someone I knew many years ago has been back in touch and had expressed an interest in trying puerh tea. She came today to get some eggs so we sat down for a quick gong fu session before she had to head out of town.
When people tell me they don’t really like tea or that they are afraid of puerh, I like to start them with this one. It is just so good and smooth and sweet! She really liked it and wants to know more. This is probably my all time favorite puerh.
She told me that her son-in-law has a Yixing but she doesn’t know what he drinks, just that he grew up drinking tea and his mother was very much into natural remedies and such, so I got a handful of Teavivre samples together and sent them with her for him to try,an d I am sure he will share a cup or two with his mother-in-law! I can’t wait to hear how he likes the teas I sent. I love introducing people to Teavivre. :) They are amazing!
I can’t believe it has been two years since I had this last. A lot has changed in that time. This is a very old sample, and when we last drank it, my husband was still partial to cheap black tea with lots of sugar and some milk. Now he prefers green, white, and oolong tea taken plain, and enjoys having puerh with me.
This is definitely weaker and that is my fault. It was a wonderful tea and I have let my samples and swaps build up to embarrassing levels. I don’t include them in my cupboard, so I have no idea how many I actually have but I have been trying to knock the numbers down for a while now. Ridiculously, there is tea I want to order and that is part of my incentive to make headway on sip downs.
The fruity aroma is still here. The tea was a medium light golden color. There was little to no astringency. We made five steeps using one teaspoon of leaf per eight ounces water. I steeped for about three minutes each time. The fifth steep was weak enough that I felt it futile to try for a sixth, but I did enjoy the ones we had.