672 Tasting Notes
Thank you Stacy for this sample tea!
I have TROUBLE with Bai Mu Dan and I have no idea why! I didn’t even know that this tea had bai mu dan in it when I brewed it…thinking nothing in particular past the name of the flavor in the sample.
What happens is either I can’t taste the flavor at all, or I get a furry kind of feeling in my mouth with no flavor. It’s odd (to say the least).
Being fair about reviews (and fair to Butiki)…and seeing that I couldn’t really taste the tea, I thought I’d share a funny story from my daughters blog about what happened this morning when the appraiser came to her house.
Annalisa has 9 children at the moment (3 are Foster Children under the age of 3), their 8 year old son in the story is bi-polar and gets excited easily.
Her blog is: http://[email protected]
So, dear friends,the appraiser came. He was very nice and thankfully he has two sons of his own because my 8 year old followed him around the house with his mouth going probably two miles a minute. My son showed the appraiser the plans we have for our micro farm and told him if he didn’t score us well we’d end up on the street (thank you 10 year old brother!). It was amazing what my son fit into a 10 minute interaction. Up to this point while he had been talking this poor man’s ear off he had not said anything particularly shocking. But we weren’t finished yet.
I learned a lot about appraisals and how FHA guidelines differ from conventional guidelines. I learned what a conforming window really meant and what actually counted as a bedroom. We were almost free and clear but just as he was slipping on his shoes to leave my son said “I want to be a pole dancer when I grow up.”
Then he added enthusiastically, “And my oldest sister told me she secretly wants to be one too!”
The man just looked at me and smiled and told me it was okay before he headed out the door. I asked my son if he even knew what a pole dancer was. “It’s someone who dances on a pole.” Hmmmm. “Like at the circus where they climb up and down the pole and do tricks?”
I asked. “Yeah, just like that!”
Of course the appraiser didn’t get to hear that part. All that poor man knows is that we are a extra large family with children who aspire to be pole dancers!
Thank you Lord for the innocence of my son! I hope you enjoy this little chuckle today!
Without my realizing it was happening, my taste in tea and my desire for it has changed.
In the beginning, there was a glittering path with lots of tea all of which I was ready and willing to try out. You could say that I binged on tea much like a child in a candy shop.
I soon realized that some tea’s I was binging on tasted better than others. The best tasting tea’s rose to the top and became the tea’s I craved!
As my appreciation for tea developed, I found that the tea that I loved the most were often harder to acquire. Tea from small farms, seasonal or wild picked soon became part of my new love affair.
This past month in particular, I’ve had some of the best tea’s of my life. Oolong from Verdant and Mr. Han’s Black, a Red Blossom 2010 Wuyi Oolong and Taiwaniese Wild Mountain Black Tea from Butiki have all been outstanding.
The experiences drinking the tea’s stopped me from writing as much as usual. These moments go by quickly, and I need to pay attention to the voice of the tea’s I’ve been drinking. It is very important to be still with good tea.
I kept the steep time rather short with this Oolong. 5 seconds on the first steep after a rinse, then 10-15 seconds.
I’ll discuss the flavor in a somewhat static way…
Fruit leather, stone fruit…plum, peach… Autumn brandied fruit compote. Slight smoky roast with cinnamon stick finish. Cooling on the tongue. Lingering flavor with the memory of Oriental Beauty sweetness. Creamy smoothness.
The first three steeps were best. Later pours were weaker but worth brewing.
When I say “the later pours were weaker but worth brewing” here’s what I mean: The taste of the tea is so good, that even when weaker, there is a longing for more and more…even if it’s a shadow of the first glorious cup.
Fine tea produces that longing for more. A desire for more than flavor. A desire for the entire experience that reaches a quiet place inside.
I put this on the ol’ blog too… www.teaandincense.com
I know, I know, I know…but this is a partial of a story and review on my blog…OK! www.teaandincense.com
I had an appointment with my Priest.
I regularly request time to meet and discuss various things with Fr. Evan. Sometimes we just talk, sometimes I have confession and most times we have TEA.
Previously I had introduced Puer (which he likes a lot) and Laoshan Black from Verdant. This time, I brought Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black Tea from Butiki.
With a smile, he brought out his electric kettle, filtered water and cups for me to prepare tea. Today, I gifted Fr. a fat white Gaiwan and showed him how to use it.
We smelled the aroma of the leaves in a heated dry Gaiwan. Then we steeped the leaves, poured the liquor into the fairness pitcher and into our cups…stopping to smell the wet leaves.
“WOW!” exclaimed Fr. Evan.
“I taste cherry, no peach…wait…plum…some kind of stone-fruit, and the flavor… stays in my mouth!”
Thank you Eric (think it was Eric and not Joe) for this interesting sample tea!
The world of herbal tea is interesting. Leave it to scientist Eric to produce something new for me to try out on a recent visit to my tea shop.
Eric handed me a tea bag and said, “Here’s something you might find interesting. It’s coffee leaf tea and tastes pretty good.”
Sure, I thought. How could coffee leaf tea taste good. I’m not really all that fond of herbal tea, other than mint and ginger. I love herbal blends that I can add real tea leaves or puerh to, but I don’t drink plain herbal tea very often.
I was a big time coffee drinker. Only the best for me!
My Aunt lived in Brazil when I was just beginning to drink coffee in my 20’s, and sent powdery packages of ink black coffee to me in California. I was hooked long before Starbucks existed.
(My family thinks it’s amusing that I’ve switched to tea)
Last night, I decided to try out the tea, with an attitude that was cynical. I didn’t think that the teabag was going to give me enough flavor. I was being a snobbish bore.
The taste was better than I deserved and very much like guayusa and orange peakoe. I had to admit that the flavor was really good! The tea was something that I didn’t expect (no, it wasn’t coffee flavored or weak I had to admit to my snobby self!) and taught me a lesson in pre-judging.
It’s unfortunate that this tea only comes in teabag form because the flavor is tasty and makes a good decaf alternative.
Wish I knew about the leaves when I had coffee trees growing outside my back balcony in Puerto Rico, I could have chopped up some leaves myself!
Chinese New Year!!!
Granddaughter Schey and I went to Happy Luckys after Church like we normally do, and hopped up onto the bar stools that we usually occupy.
“Hey, what did you bring us today?!” Preston asked.
With great excitement, I pulled out my bag of Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black Tea which caught Joe’s eye further down behind the cash register.
“Wow, is that it?!” Joe exclaimed. (He and Preston had tasted the previous small sample from Butiki but this was MORE!)
“Yep, I brought the whole bag in so Eric, Andi, and Schey could have some of this tea too!”
I’ve never seen Preston move so fast! He had a Gaiwan, 6 tasting cups and an aroma set (for me) ready in no time.
I invited a young man at the bar (he was drinking tangerine stuffed puer that the shop now carries thanks to advice from Steepster mrmopar) to join in the tasting.
Preston warmed the Gaiwan, placed the leaves inside…waited, then passed the Gaiwan for everyone to smell the aroma. Delicious waffles…this is what we all think the tea smells like!
We each held the first golden-amber pour in our cups up high as Eric made a toast in Chinese 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè) for Happy New Year!
All that I heard after that were….GROANS AND SIGHS OF DELIGHT!
I’ve seldom seen so many speechless, excited tea people. It was a pleasure bringing a grand tea to my friends.
In the past month…I’ve shared 2 tea’s that have been in the top 3 that Eric and Joe have ever tasted…Master Hans Black Tea from Verdant and Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black.
One final word:
What takes my breath away when I drink this tea is the finish.
Just when I’ve swallowed the tea it lifts me up and I’m floating on the most gentle ribbon of lingering flavor that undulates on and on like small ripples in the water. Eventually, my whole body feels the thrill of the tea. (Hard to explain how good it is)
This was a grand way to celebrate Chinese New Year!
Thanks Stacy for this tea sample!
The last time I tasted this tea, I had been drinking loose leaf tea for about 4 months, so tasting it again was a fun comparison!
I’ve learned that I LOVE strong Kenyan tea so I ignored Stacy’s suggested brew time of 2.5 minutes and opted for 3.5 minutes testing along the way. The longer time would suit others who like the bang of a bold tea that can handle the time.
The taste was black current, sweet dry prune and black pepper…all of which came as a swelling up of flavor towards the back of the throat.
I sweetened my tea and added cream (it was my morning tea)…then sat while my body continued to slowly awaken from sleep.
I’ve never been a morning person, even through three decades of work, I would arise an extra hour earlier than necessary to sit with ‘coffee’, until I had to get ready and could cope with the day.
Now tea is my morning companion, and I can make the wake-up time last as long as I want it to. What a luxury!
While I was sitting in appreciation of my wealth of ‘time’, my thoughts began to wander.
I’ve been making lots of curries, something that I find comforting in cold weather.
Because of my allergies, I’ve adapted recipes to remove beans, tomato, eggplant, green peppers and potato. Thai curries, instead of Indian Curries, have given me more options (Indian Curries use potato and beans in almost everything!) and are delicious.
Along the way, I’ve discovered that certain tea’s are better companions to the curries I make. Kenyan tea’s, some Puerh’s and Thai Chaa Khao Hoom Reistee stand up well to spice (depending on the dish).
I’d like to expand my list of tea’s and welcome comments from other people who make curry.
I appreciate the unique tea sourcing from Butiki (and we all love Stacy!)!
Thank you Nuvola Tea for this Sample!
I shared this tasting with my friend Eric who is a Science teacher at the College and serves tea at Happy Lucky’s several days a week. He’s here on Steepster, and a fellow tea geek!
When I want to discuss tea trivia, Eric’s my man!
We talk about leaf hoppers, the bugs that make Oriental Beauty Tea so sweet, and have talks about Puer fungus.
Eric handled the gaiwan through 4 steepings of this Ti Kuan Yin.
(He teaches a gongfu class so I am more than happy to let him do this!)
The flavor if this tea was lightly sweet, with a mild roast nuttiness.
I tasted brown sugar but the more I drank, the more I tasted old fashioned Horehound candy…bittersweet and tangy.
I was about to hand my cup back to Eric when the sweetest fragrance rushed up at me. Wow,this was the scent in my empty cup… thick like a flower shop but as sweet as See’s Candy!
Each steep was pretty much the same. Nutty roastiness, sweet brown sugar and Horehound candy.
A creamy mouth-feel lasted through the first three steeps.
Tonight I made Pad Thai from scratch for the first time. Prawns, noodles, egg, sprouts, scallions, garlic, peanuts, and homemade sauce. It was Excellent!, if I do say so myself.
The last squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chopped cilantro was pure heaven in my big bowl!
I paired my delightful dinner with Congou Keemun Tea because of it’s sweetness. This isn’t a malty tea and I wouldn’t have wanted malt or cocoa with my Pad Thai. A fruit or floral tea with body works better, and this Keemun was a nice balance with the Pad Thai flavors.
When you get old, remember to cook with love even if you’re by yourself. Healthy food should taste good, especially with the right tea!
Thank you Roughage for this tea sample!
The tea was so sweet. Sweeter than most tea’s I’ve had, even other Oolongs, and tasted like ripe pear and creamy pineapple.
I put my nose close to the wet leaves in the gaiwan, and the perfume wafted up around me as though I had sprayed the air with an exotic floral mist. The end of the spray was sexy and peppery.
One evening in Kauai, I went to a beach where there were no other people. It was almost sunset, and the small beach had many rocks the size of small boulders, strewn about. They were like stepping stones going from the beach out to the sea. It was easy to walk for quite a distance before the water reached my knees, so I left the shore and chose a rock to sit on out where the only sound was gentle waves, and the water lapping against my feet.
Soon the sunset changed the sky to gold which reflected on the sand through the clear water. I was a glowing golden statue sitting on a rock in the sea. http://flic.kr/p/dT1Yd4
When I was drinking this tea, I remembered the beauty of Kauai and the golden sunset. This is a shimmering Oolong, smooth and sweet.
I love to drink tea and go back to places that have moved me. One of the reasons I drink tea often.
Thank you JC for this sample tea!
I’ve had Tibetan Pu-erh before and thought they were supposed to be pretty much the same.
What I drank before was ‘what the men drink who are herding animals Tibetan Brick Pu-erh’ which was a little on the rough side, although
fun to try.
I’ve been reading a book about the Tea Horse Road in Tibet, and slowly writing a story on my blog about ‘Ritual’.
It’s a story about how tea has become a Ritual in my life, and what that means to me.
The tea I decided to pair with the story is this one, a special Tibetan Pu-erh, because of it’s long and colorful tradition. I also wanted to make some Butter Chai Tea! (Can’t use Yak Butter Chai Tea unfortunately!) And this tea is the one to use.
Butter Chai Tea Recipe
A little milk (1/2 c) and salt (1/4 tsp), some butter (2 TB) and water (5 c) and Tibetan Pu-erh (1TB) and bring to the boil then simmer. (You can make adjustments to suit you.)
A tasty broth to stave off cold when treking through snowy mountain passes, donkeys heavy laden with tea… bound for waiting merchants on the other end of the Tea Horse Road. (OK, I’m a romantic!)
Before making the Butter Chai Tea, I made some regular Tibetan steeped (30 seconds) Pu-erh in my gaiwan.
The flavor was smooth and sweet with a refreshing taste. No extreme earthiness or thick mouth-feel.
The mellow flavor made the Butter Chai Tea light and smooth.
Because the Pu-erh boiled and then sat to simmer (the way it would on an open fire) I wondered how it would taste after a bit.
I waited while it simmered 20 minutes on the stove, poured a mug… and the tea tasted just as good as at the first!
Lovely Mild Puerh
Ritual is a story on my blog www.teaandincense.com
I began drinking tea as a way to be still (quiet) because my mind wandered when I tried to pray. I had difficulty quieting a zooming Silicon Valley mind that had rushed for so many years. Like most people I had worried so much about the past and the future, I didn’t know how to meet with God in the present.
Carefully learning to prepare tea several times a day, I didn’t just drink the tea but thoughtfully looked for all that was good in the experience.
First, I smelled the aroma of the tea liquor. Then I gave full attention to the scent of the tea leaves, observing the color of the dry and wet leaves. Finally, I tasted the tea prepared different ways (plain, with sweetening or milk, and after the second or third steeping ). I learned to use different types of tea equipment and the tea names from a vast array of tea previously unknown to me.
……and so on….