1798 Tasting Notes
This is my second morning opting for this one. Sometimes I am on a Queen Catherine streak, sometimes an English Breakfast one. I was so disappointed, but not with my tea! I arrived at work this morning and found myself seated beside a REAL LIVE BRITISH PERSON complete with accent. She was drinking a diet coke. At 8 am. And didn’t bat an eye when I ummm’ed and ahh’ed over my HOT TEA thinking we would stike up a conversation and become tea buddies. Oh Brit! You have betrayed both your countrymen and my hopes!!!
Tired. Sore. Usually have Queen Catherine but in the mood for something different today. English Breakfast. Aaahhhhhh. Nice, 100% keemun. I am going to the living room alone and pretend I have shrunk myself r-e-a-l-l-y small so I can get in my teacup and sniff the lovely aroma and soak away my cares….
Setup last night at 8 pm. No one told us the room was being renovated and we would have to move piles of dismantled bookshelves.
Up at 3:45 am to get ready. Call at 4:00 am that one of my judges is unable to come due to illness. At 4:05 am have pulled records and appointed new judge for the day. Who do YOU think is in my cup? I’ll be off work in just 17 more hours…..
I really want to learn to like assam teas. I read the reviews about how wonderful and malty they are and I want to join in, but so far Chinese black camellia sinensis teas are still my favorites! Even Chinese camellia assamicas do not thrill me the same way.
But I do enjoy Irish Breakfast blends, and this one happens to be 100% assam. I take it with milk and sugar ALWAYS. Why do assam teas make me rumbly in my tumbly when Chinese teas do not?
I finally got to taste this tea, which was sent to me by Lori! Thank you, Lori! It took this long for me to get it to my friend in New Zealand so we could have a virtual tea tasting on Skype and then to arrange a time we could do this.
The funny thing is that I am in the States getting this in a swap from someone and I mailed a portion to someone who is two hours away from the plantation where it is grown! They have just opened a tea room there called the Camellia House.
The dry leaves smell really good. The wet leaves smell REALLY smokey! The tea is very smooth, not bitter or astringent at all, nutty, nice planty and not nasty planty. First steep was two minutes and I was generous with the leaves. WOW! They really open up!
The second steep was dark DARK yellow and full bodied, and there was a creaminess I hadn’t noticed in the first steep. I only added an extra 30 seconds.
I actually made this one twice – once last night to share a quiet cuppa with my hubby, and again this morning.
Last week I found out that one of my favorite teachers – fifth grade – had breast cancer and is about to undergo radiation. She has been working with me at the polls. She noticed my tea by my side every day and told me that she had never liked coffee, loves iced tea, and feels cold all the time so she thought, “Say, why not try HOT tea?” She bought some decaf Earl Grey at the grocery store and loved it. Her doctor says she is not allowed to have caffeine. She was so excited to tell me that she found out she loves hot tea. I was even more excited because now I have a NEW TEA PADAWAN! And it is one of my favorite people!
So this morning I took a thermos full of Vanilla Comoro to work, brewed fresh at home from loose leaf. SHE LOVES IT! Hooray! I gave her a good diffuser, some loose leaf, and a sample of decaf Irish Breakfast. Soon we are getting together for tea. I love what tea has done for friendships in my life!
As JacquelineM does, I add lots of extra leaf on this one. When I first started drinking tea it was plenty strong enough for me. Now I can tell it is decaf but still prefer it to almost any other night time alternative! Extra leaves makes it a bit stronger, and the aroma is always just heavenly.
I am only posting one tasting note, but the truth is that I have had this tea in a JoeMo XL every single day that I have worked at early voting. No one else can get you through saying, “Name? How do you spell that? Address? When did you move?” 950 times a day quite like Catherine. Oof. I love my Catherine. And what an amazing lady the real Catherine of Braganza was!
I had this one quite a while back. The friend drinking tea with me was a former coffee lover turned to tea, and takes all tea without additions. This one was a bit too peppery for me.
But JacquelineM suggested steeping for a much shorter time and at a lower temperature, and guess what? It really does improve this yunnan! I know she was using the Harney version which is probably a higher quality tea, but I want to finish this little tin! I didn’t get to try resteeps, no time today because of a writers’ group meeting, but this weekend I hope to try it.