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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlogging from yesterday.
Yes, more lilac experiments. Having done the two extremes I decided to start exploring the middle regions of the tea spectrum and chose Life in Teacup’s 2010 Pre-Qingming Da Fo (Great Buddha) Long Jing first day harvest. After steeping, the liquor was the palest of pale green-golds (oxidizing to a slightly darker pale gold by the end of the pot). The lightly vegetal, acorn-like flavor was a perfect compliment to the delicate lilac note.
Backlogging from this morning.
One day you are walking through the woods. It’s a sunny day, new growth deciduous trees, past season’s leaves covering the ground in layers of leaf mold. A faint whiff of something floral wafts past you on the light breeze. Following the scent you come out into a clearing to discover an abandoned house, crumbling into ruin, with a giant lilac tree abutting the remains of a stone chimney, roots pushing through the age-softened mortar of the stone foundation.
Yeah…it’s kinda like that.
1st infusion: 2 minutes, boiling water
2nd infusion: 3 1/2 minutes, boiling water
The lilac note is barely noticeable this time.
I wanted a little pick me up this morning, but I also wanted that smooth rooibos flavor (plus, I was excited to try the rooibos I found in the bulk tea section of my grocery store!). This was a pleasant surprise. I tried a 50:50 blend (1 tsp each in 10oz boiling water) — I thought the Assam would overpower, but it was the opposite. Next time I might try a little less rooibos. With a splash of soymilk, this blend made a nice creamy, full bodied cup.
I have been longing to try some lilac tea…seeing as I have a lilac bush right in my backyard I decided to try making it myself! I wasn’t sure how delicate the flavor would turn out so I picked the lightest tea I had which turned out to be the perfect choice.
1st infusion: 3 minutes
The liquor is a pale gold, almost shimmering, with a delicate lilac note and a lightly vegetal aftertaste.
2nd infusion: 5 1/4 minutes
Same color but the flavor is a bit lighter.
I still have lots of lilac left…wonder what I should try blending it with next.
I think this is pretty close. There might be another spice in the restaurant version, but then again maybe not? Also, I’m not sure if flowery orange pekoe is “authentic” – I’ll have to do some reading, or maybe the restaurant would tell me if I go when it’s not too busy. This attempt is delicious anyhow. :)
I steeped this attempt in about 12 oz water.
Aha! This is the one! A perfect blend of jasmine silver tip with cut peppermint leaves, which somehow manage to compliment the jasmine quite nicely. I’m not normally big on either of these teas, but together they make for a decadant and refreshing cup. High five Steph, this is delicious!
This delightful jasmine/peppermint concoction was dreamed up by my co-worker Steph, who couldn’t remember if she’d used the pearls or a jasmine white tea previously. Naturally I made her blend both for me. This is a little awkward to brew, mostly because you need to make sure you scoop up some peppermint along with your preferred amount of pearls. I waited until all the leaves had unravelled in the cup before pulling out my infuser, which may have been a touch too long as the jasmine was a bit bitey and the peppermint overwhelmed a little. The second 4 minute steep of this is perfect though, it mellows out quite nicely!
Great way to close off a fantastic meal/dessert! It’s just a simply great digestive that takes the food down softly and smoothly with a touch of mint. The smell of this tea is just so relaxing and brings a smile to my face everytime. I guess it’s one of the classics that got me into drinking tea in the first place and revisiting it everyonce and a while with family and friends just makes it so much more enjoyable to drink. For effect: I reccomend Moroccan tea cups as it makes you feel like your really living it. like this : http://bit.ly/cnqN1w
Moroccan Mint tea is a classic of all teas, especially as it was the first tea I ever had.
My grandmother makes it all the time with sweet deserts and pastries. I am not the biggest fan of mint, but I think with deserts and a little bit of splenda sweetener it’s pretty unique.
The perfect way to do this custom tea is to use actual green tea leaves and mint tea leaves, once again this one is a classic.
This is a backlog from last night… I have just a little of my La Vert Pear left, and I blended these two teas to see what would come of it. Cherry and Pear work amazingly well together. Much better than I imagined. Delightful. Delicious… and a little sad because I only have enough La Vert Pear for maybe one or two more…
This morning, I woke up with a slight sore throat (my hubby has a bad case of a headcold so I’m sure that I’m coming down with it too) so to combat the sore throat, I decided to grab my “Kitchen Sink” breakfast tea which is a combination of small bits of black tea blends from all different companies and brew it, and then add some of my ginger/honey crystals to have a spicy hot soothing cuppa that did WONDERS on my throat. And it tasted good too. I’m glad my tastebuds haven’t been affected (yet) by the cold. Hopefully they won’t!
This particular custom blend is a blend of Nilgiri, Assam, and a high grown Ceylon, along with a few spices that I tossed in, just for fun.
The tea is very pleasant. STRONG. Got a lot of “get up and go” to it. Nice malty backdrop. Smooth transition of flavors. The spices I used (ginger and pepper) add a nice, peppery kick that compliments some of the Nilgiri notes quite well.
I must really be happy with me today, because not only did I have Norbu Oolong tea, but I’m treating myself to some Jasmine Pearls.
Now, a little explanation – these are “custom” because, well, I get my jasmine pearls from various sources. There are some perks to being a tea purveyor. Anyways… as I haven’t really found much difference from brand to brand, I just keep them in my pretty little washi paper tin, combining them as I get them… and to be honest, I really don’t know which source(s) I received these from.
Anyways, until I find the “perfect” pearl – if it exists – a pearl is a pearl is a pearl… and all are equally lovely in my eyes.
When it comes to pearls, I have found that a moderately low temperature and extended brewing time works wonders.
The flavor is amazing. Jasmine. Smooth, delicious, sweet green tea leaves, delicate in flavor. Sweet, floral jasmine tantalizing my palate. Delightful.
I was lamenting the fact that we didn’t have the ingredients for me to whip up some hot chocolate after our Epic Snow Shoveling Adventure, but then I realized I had a tea which is even better! This one is Harney & Sons Chocolate tea and Florence tea mixed, with some mini chocolate chips thrown in for good measure. So rich, but you can taste the tea too, which is utterly delightful. The real bonus is no horrid sugar crash afterwards – that always happens to me after hot chocolate and I am happy to avoid it!
I spent the day on friday at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. The supposed reason we went was to ride the rollercoasters (we did all 10 that were open!! The rollersoaker in the waterpark was not running for the season yet) but I ain’t gonna lie – I love going to Chocolate World. There you will find all the chocolate Hershey makes (including many things never seen in my local stores) in enormous quantities, all so perfectly fresh. We brought home some serious loot!
Last night it was our task to eat this enormous Reeses bar which I’ve never seen in a store with peanuts and wafers and a sort of peanut brittle in it (so good!) – and I decided to simply go for broke with the pairing – the most chocolate-y tea in my collection. Some half and half and sugar to just make the whole thing as decadent as possible.
The tea held up nicely to the strong flavors, and helped with the Peanut Butter Phenomenon – you know how peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth?!?
Great pairing – it was the equivalent of going on a roller coaster – a short, intense burst of WOW!!!