I wanted to try the Yunnan again today even though I was quite unsure of how it would go with breakfast. It went surprisingly well. I wasn’t able to really taste this cup as well as the previous ones due to some slight nasal-throat things I have going on due to the cold dry weather and heat running a lot. Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten sick.
501 Tasting Notes
My sweetie and I enjoyed two pots of this yesterday afternoon while waiting for it to start snowing and reading on the couch with the cats. 2nd steep: 4 min.
I have a bit of a dry scratchy throat and a bit of a dry sniffy nose today. I am hoping it’s from not sleeping well and not from getting sick. I thought some warm tea would be soothing and picked this out at the last minute from the cupboard. It tastes exactly like you might think a lemon and ginger tea would taste. I’m not super fond of it though. I had originally thought I’d like it more than I did. I did steep it for less time and liked it better this way. I believe this one was a gift from mom, who sometimes buys me tea when she buys herself some.
The eagerly awaited A&D DFT Yunnan arrived today!
The husband brought it up. We didn’t wait until I’d rescheduled his eye dr appointment tomorrow. We didn’t wait for the husband to take a shower. We didn’t wait until we were ready to drink it. We opened it up within moments of it entering the apartment.
The tin was wrapped in brown paper instead of in a bed of shredded zig-zags. I liked the art better on this tin than tins from Series 1. This tin opens like a mini paint can lid. I had to open it with a flat screw driver and bang it closed with it. I do not like that about it but am hoping it becomes easier to open and close with time. In the meantime, I’m keeping a screwdriver over the stove in the misc. cabinet. Oh, and we got two Series 4 stickers in our box. Anyone else get two?
The tea leaves were dark brown with golden yellow brown and ash gray mixed in. They smelled smokey and like something else that I can quite put my finger on right now but am hoping will come to mind when I’ve smelt the tea more. It smelled strong, bold, and good but not what I was expecting.
After putting a huge pot of chilli on to cook, the husband pushed to try the new tea tonight even though it was after 7pm at the time and it’s a black tea. So we steeped up a pot. The wet leaves were a dark brown of two shades and smelled smokey, like burning paper in a good way if that is possible. The tea was deep brown in color. It smelled smokey, rich, and full.
Sip sip. Sip sip.
It tastes smokey, no surprise there. But yummy smokey. I thought I wouldn’t like a smokey tasting tea. It also tasted ashy, non-cigarette ashy though, unctuous, and bold. The surprise was no bitterness or dryness. More notes on taste will comes as I drink more of this tea I’m sure. It’s unlike any other tea I’ve had. The husband also liked it but wasn’t as surprise he liked it or as into it as I was.
We steeped a second pot for 5 min. I was expecting it to be watery and need a pinch of fresh leaves to keep the taste strong enough. It was not at all. It was as full of flavor as the first steep but muted, less smokey. I think I liked this steep better. I also drank the end of this steep as I started to eat my chilli and was surprised that it held up to the chilli and complimented it well.
I decided to steep the leaves a third time to see what happen since the second steep went well. I steeped for 6 min this time. It was watery with nearly no tea taste. I threw it down the drain.
In conclusion, A&D’s Yunnan is a damn fine tea, I look forward to drinking it again quite soon, and it’s possibly better than Series 1’s black teas.
A&D Ceylon won the Battle of the Black Teas today. The Ceylon is complimenting my turkey wheat wrap with red onion, tomato, cumber, spring mix, feta, red pepper white bean spread, and balsamic vinaigrette. Will I win the Battle of Bathroom Cleaning after lunch though?
Bad days are good for tea. Or is it tea is good for bad days. Either way, I knew I’d be having a few cups more than my usual single late evening cup so I went for a rooibos. I steeped this one with less time and less tea than usual. It’s lighter but not by much.
I noticed again that my choice in non-caffeinated teas is limited. But I still have so many tea odds and ends to drink before I order more tea. I have plenty of blacks and greens, which is what I mostly drink. But I’ll need to beef up on rooibos/herbals, whites, and oolongs, both of which I am new to. More tea is in my future. Or rather, new teas are in my future, I should say.
Napal looked at me this morning and said no more yucky black tea for you today now that you’re feeling more perky. What can I say? He basically told me I had to drink him. Then he went a bit floral on me. He was a most lovely golden brown color today though. 2nd steep: 4 min and a pinch of fresh leaves.
Vanilla Bean is one of the few tea I remember disliking the first time I tried it. I’ve largely left it alone since then. The husband and I were in a massive slump at 5pm this evening so I dragged myself off the couch. Vanilla Bean, being a bagged tea, was an easy black to brew to pick us up a moment when we weren’t looking for a great tasting tea. I tried more milk, a shorter 3 min brewing time, and slightly cooler water, looking to reduce the bitterness and perhaps bring out the vanilla. It was a decent cup but still without much vanilla taste. I’m currently drinking a 2nd steep made with both of the bags. Plenty strong enough for a 3nd steep but still a so-so tea.
Chrine drank a non-A&D tea and A&D smited her tea. Normally she finds this Lemon Green to be a decent, if not great, cup of tea. Tonight, she did not finish the cup or resteep, which was sad because she was looking forward to having this one tonight as she is nearly out. Perhaps it was not the best pairing with Hunan Chicken and Shitake Beef from Red Orchid.
Two steeps of Ceylon during a slightly stressed out morning makes for a short Tealog and tea drank a little bit warmer than lukewarm but still needed. Steep #2: 5 min.
Steep #2 went into the bath with me while I read the October Believer. It was drank quickly.
Wuyi Oolong, I haven’t had you in awhile and you’ve just been sitting there in your tin on the top shelf of the cupboard, getting bored perhaps. You sounded like you’d go good with a Jonagold apple and natural almond butter for a snack.
When I poured hot water on the leaves, the smell was very strong: roasty, toasty, and grain-like with some dusty and earthy. It reminded me of something but I haven’t been able to place it and I’ve been sniffing at my cup as I drink. The taste is much as I remember and quite nice, although probably not the best paired with this snack.
Steep #4 occurred while taking my turns on Conquer Club last night. The husband had steep #3 (3 min 45 sec) while he took his turns on CC and drank it rapidly. I must have been more thoughtful cause most of my cup remain when I finished. So it transitioned with me into bed where I finished it while reading The Shipping News. Steep #4 was quite light in color and in taste but still relaxing, warming, and enjoyable right before bed.
Procrastinating tasks with my first steep of Dragonwell went very well. I am now making a new To Do list with my second steep. This is also a light steep with the vegetal coming through a bit more.
The Dragonwell served me well yesterday on a grey and bleary day. It’s much the same out today so I will go with the same tea for my afternoon consumption. And again, it is enjoyable. It seems lighter today, in a good way.
An Ode to A&D’s Dragonwell
Dragonwell, oh Dragonwell,
Your warmth, your taste, your smell,
Are all so wonderfully swell
When outside a heavy rain fell
Pelting the very place where I dwell.
Hopefully, tomorrow’s as clear as a bell
But, for now, drinking you, I am well.
My dear Steepsterites, long time no posts. At least, it hasn’t been long time no tea. I’ve just been busy, there is no particular reason. But I hadn’t thought it had been that long until I got on here to tealog this lovely Dragonwell. I’ve missed ya’ll.
I’m on my second steep, the first one being 2 min 30 sec. After this I shall reheat some leftover veggie pizza in the oven. I plan on resuming steeping this later in the evening.
The Napal continued its successful quest to please my taste buds. It is a bit drying at the end of each sip yet there is an underlying note of candied, think olden days confectionery type candied, in this steep. Perhaps I will only steep it for 4 min on the 2nd steep next time.
I went to my cupboard intending to have a nice ordinary cup of DFT’s Ceylon. I needed the caffeine, it was regular, nice, and easy. But then the Napal looked at me and said, “You drink me. You drink me now.” I looked at it and complied. It was right, it was bolder, stronger, and perhaps tastier. I think I need to add a pinch more of fresh leaves and steep a 2nd cup. The Napal concurs.
Ah, the elusive(-to-me) 4th steep. I rarely drink enough of one tea in a row before I get tired it or concerned about the leaves being out too long. More watery than the 1st steep but sweeter, the lemon more muted, the green tea completely hidden, only its essence showing, and a bit of drying bitter. But let’s begin at the beginning, shall we.
The husband and I had a silly not-quite-an-argument. He was tired and didn’t say much. I was upset and upset that I was upset, about nothing really. I steeped the 3rd steep in the kitchen talking to myself out loud.
It was good. The best of the three steeps. The baked lemon had a golden glow-y warm quality about it. It calmed me. I sipped, it soothed.
I’m not even that fond of this tea. Why it’s inspiring me to write such post-y posts, I do not know. Perhaps it is my muse today. An average, not-super-great muse.
I looked down and suddenly, it seemed, the 3rd steep was gone. It was time for more. There was no doubt that I wanted the 4rd steep. Tea made the not-an-argument badness go away.
On the way to the kitchen, I stopped and did a tea dance with song. The refrain went “Everybody wants more tea, more tea”, repeat. It was happy. I was happier. (Yes, there is probably something wrong with me.)
I’m so proud of myself. The way the lemon in this tea tastes reminded me of something else. So I thought about it and thought about it a bit more while steeping a second cup. Then I realized what it was exactly. I feel a bit like one of ya’ll that writes the really great Tasting Notes.
Now on to the tea. The lemon in this tea is not the bright fresh taste of freshly squeezed lemon nor is it like lemon candy or powdered lemonade. When I finally got it, I realized I thought it tasted like baked lemon. You know the lemon taste you get when you bake fish with lemon slices on top or when you roast a chicken with lots of lemon stuck in the cavity. There is a light hint of green tea but it’s not distinct in its qualities and it hides nearly completely behind the baked lemon. It has also a teeny bit of not quite natural to it but I think that might be because I expected a lemon tea to lean more towards the fresh lemon taste. The 1st steep was fairly watery. I expected the 2nd (at 1 min 30 sec) to be even more so but was surprise that the watery was nearly gone. I intend to do a 3rd steep.
With putting my finger on a flavor that I picked out of this tea, I now have hopes in improving my Tasting Notes and advancing my palate. I am more excited about this than I should be currently. Normally I’d have just been like ‘lemon-y’. But I tasted, I re-tasted, I recognized, I compared. Tea drinker break through!
4th steep! This is the first time I’ve done a 4th steep on any tea, I think. Yay tea! It’s good. I may do a 5th steep. I may not.
Clearing off my desk again is not good. Didn’t I just do this on Monday? Where did all this stuff come from?
I had natural peanut butter and plum jam on multi-grain toast and a cup of Ceylon for lunch. A delicious combo. I’m about finished with this cup and will steep one more with these leaves before heading out to run errands later.
My yummy Wuyi Oolong seemed different this morning. It was not as yummy as I remember it being. It seemed stronger, more bitter, and more dry. I shall have to see how subsequent steeps fair.
Yay for PMs!
I was looking for a non-black/oolong tea this evening and with my nifty new tea thermometer, I decided to give this one a try again. Upon smelling the leaves again, I noticed a strong orange-pineapple-coconut scent with no green tea scent and an odd non-sugar sweetener like scent. Tea has a pineapple-apple taste with not much green tea. Better brewed at this temperature correctly but still nothing great. 2nd steep included the husband’s leaves as well so I still only steeped it for 3 min.