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Recent Tasting Notes
First cup of the day!
This is a lovely Dian Hong, not too bold, but sweetly smooth, & a nice wakeup to enjoy whilst fixing my breakfast. The flavor is full & rich, but mellow, with a caramel & sweet potato essence, & a linen thick mouthfeel. I steeped the 1st cup for 2 minutes, 2nd cup for 3. Both are delicious & satisfying (I guess that’s my word of the week!).
Recently I cataloged all of my teas (including samples & trades), & am checking them off as I drink them, in an effort to work my way through everything on a regular basis. I have 18 straight unflavored black teas, with 4 more on the way. Here’s the analysis of my drinking habit over the past week (probably really just 5 days), just for fun. The number represents either a cup of that tea, or in the case of teas that were brewed in a gaiwan, a session:
White – 0
Green – 2
Oolong (any style, flavored or plain) – 1
Black (plain) – 14 (on some I cheated & drank them more than once, but I’m not counting the cheats)
Black (flavored) – 12
Puer (shu) – 1 (I really like shu, & I have plenty, just been busy)
Puer (Sheng) – 2 (same as above)
Puer (flavored)- 3
TOMC samples that don’t fit: 3
Samples from friends: 8
So we can see where my true allegiances lie, where teas are concerned.
This is a wonderful tea with a creamy smooth textures, hints of butter and chocolate. Really, there is so much more depth to it than that, but I’m not always the best at describing these things. Let’s just say that it is incredibly satisfying today!
I’ve already had a long day. I got up At 5, left the house at 6 for a Gig, armed with a 12 oz cup of this & a 16oz of Shagadelic English Breakfast (tea spot). When I arrived at the Gig, which was the lobby of an office building, I immediately noticed a Starbucks just off the lobby. Now, I’m not a real frequenter of that place, as I don’t drink coffee, although they do have some decent gear for hauling your beverages around. I once had a Tazo iced Chai habit that required me to either stock cartons of the stuff, or visit starbucks often, and as we say in 12 step programs, addiction runs deep. My 12 oz cup was empty and was miraculously immediately filled with a hot soy Chai. It had been awhile, and let me tell you, that was a serious sip down, because in the 10 minutes it took to tune my harp, I had already drank it and started on another one. I nursed that one, and the Shagadelic, throughout the gig. Now I’m home, and just polished off a re-steep of the Yun Nan, & it held up well for a 2nd cup!
Now off to get a massage…I love being self-employed!
Thank you to Angel & Teavivre for this generous sample
These are among the most beautiful tea leaves I’ve seen. Perfectly straight, in shades of olive, wheat, charcoal, & rust. Wet, they swell up lushly, taking on a copper color, with an olive undertone.
The scent is of chocolate & peppercorn, & the flavor satisfies: bold without being bitter, deep & smooth, essence of chocolate, a little spice, & there is the ‘clean’ sensation of linen, but it’s not an astringent type sensation, & it’s not so much a taste either, more a freshness, like sheets drying in the sun on the line. This is the kind of tea I like to start my day with!
I drank the first cup & a half plain, thought I’d add a little stevia to the 2nd half of the 2nd cup, just to see what it brought up, & it ruined it for me. :p
Not so much that I couldn’t polish it off & go for one more steeping, though, & the leaves delivered.
I got this in a swap with Queen of Tarts and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it work for me. Right now I’ve found the tea works best on the lowest temperature setting on my kettle (below the green). I’ve also found I have to steep my tea a minute or under or else it gets too bitter too quickly.
But I’m still trying to figure out the ideal leaf for 8 oz of water. Teavivre says 7g which seems awfully high! I’ve been using 4-ish which isn’t bad. I don’t know. I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of it.
What have everyone else’s experiences been with this tea?
Although my knitting hobby is currently on hold, my friend that’s teaching me to knit gave me an amazingly intricate alpaca shawl. I had admired it whenever I saw her wearing it, & when she developed an allergy to alpaca, she gave it to me. Its a full circle that you fold in half to wear, heirloom quality, with luxurious texture, & super comforting, which is why I’m wearing it now, cuz my day, make that my weekend, is all about comfort.
That’s why I’m drinking this tea. It’s a rich, familiar, sweet comforting cup.
I think I’m one cup away from a sipdown…sigh…
Day 4 of the Qimen Quandery!
I’ve already drank every Keemun in my collection, including sipdowns on grade 1 & 2 from Teavivre. I’m starting over with the ones I still have, mainly because I realized that I didn’t necessarily use the same parameters, nor did I decide on my preferred parameters with each one either. So this one:
I’ve tried it using 1T + 8oz X 2min/3 re-steep, & that was a little too floral for my taste. If I try it again using that quantity, I’ll go for 1min/2/3.
1tsp X 2/ 3 was nice, but a little weak.
2 tsp x 2/3 = a nice rich, slightly floral cup. I’ll probably continue my experiments, including 2tsp X 1 min, 1 tsp X 2, etc. If this one is steeped too long it takes on an edge that I’ve realized I don’t really care much for. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this one, but I have noticed that.
In other news, I plan to get some Keemun from the London Tea Room tomorrow (along with some Kenyan Kaproret, to share with Nofar, Sil, & Tasty Brew), AND the Steepster Select box just arrived, with another Keemun that I can include in the mix!
Part 2 of Ms Theresa’s new protocol, which is to drink & compare Keemuns, since we have several in our collection. So after breakfast teas, Keemuns are sort of the black tea of the week. I’m not gonna try to drink them all in one day, I’ve decided the flavors get muddled in my tastebuds if I do it that way. I’ll just drink my way through them as my 2nd tea of the day for awhile.
This one is the current favorite, a lovely smooth tea with a subtle taste of chocolate & a hint of roses. Some Keemuns are more smoke & brown sugar, which I also love, but this one is not.
This was the tea I started my day with! My tea drinking gameplan today had been to sample all of the Keemuns in my collection, so I started with this one. Then I left the house to meet my friend, we lingered over Brekkie until noon, then I ran a few errands, & by the time I got home, I realized that having an all day Keemun day just wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore.
AND guess what….My box from SIL, my awesome steep-sister, came today!!!
And there are a few Keemun samples in there as well!!
I drank this yesterday, and it’s so nice that I’m drinking it again today while I eat breakfast & get ready to go play a gig.
I’m calling it a sip down, because although I have enough left for one for cup, I’m going to package that up with another sample & send it to one of my steepster friends as a surprise!! I’m not telling who, hehehehe, but I don’t think she’s ever logged it. :D
It took awhile to get out of bed. I laid there with my ipad, half asleep, reading & commenting on Steepster reviews. Tuesday is officially my day off, at least from students (although I do have a gig later today). Of course, it’s not really a day off, as I have desk work to do, music to practice, etc, but it’s nice to sleep in a bit & laze around. Besides my bed is SO comfy, it felt good to just lay there for awhile. The only thing that would have made it better was a hot cup of tea. My room is on the 3rd floor, so by the time I made it down to the kitchen, there was no point going back to bed. I drank my tea in the sunroom.
My first cup of the day was this wonderful Keemun. The dry leaf is SO fragrant! The tea itself is so smooth & flavorful. My formula:
1 T + 12 oz (195 F) X 2 minutes = Yeah, baby!
The re-steep was for 3 minutes & it was every bit as delicious.
Sitting here in the sun, my houseplants have reminded me that I forgot to water them yesterday & they are also hungry. There is work to do, even on my day off.
My first gig of the day is done. It was 4 hours long, but it was fun.
I’ve been sitting here, eating a little leftovers, & sipping this yummy tea. Essence of sweet potatoes & rose petals, it really is nice. I’ve been drinking a lot of Yunnan lately, but I like Keemun too. It’s different, especially in the mouth-feel, but wonderfully tasty.
Now I’m off to play the church gig for the 2nd night, which will be easy. Then I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep!
In spite of the fact that I have a gig this morning (I have to leave by 10:30, which is way better than yesterday when I had to leave around 6:00), I stayed up kind of late (“how late?” you ask. “I’m not telling”)
So Little Terri, Theresa, and I were jammin’ with the AX, and IT IS SO MUCH FUN!! We’re already fantasizing about Youtube videos with Little Terri playing Bass on the AX, Theresa playing some percussion toys (yes, I have quite a few of those too), and me playing my electric harp & singing a Janis Joplin number. We’re all gonna dress up to express our personalities, and it will be awesome. Oh, the possibilities!!
I originally got this tea as a sample from Angel@TeaVivre. It was quite tasty, and she was sending me some more samples, so I ordered some more of this lovely tea (along with several other items), and had her package them together. No point wasting shipping costs!
I steeped one T in 8oz @ 195 for 2min. It’s a very gentle Keemun, essence of malt, sweet potato, and roses. It makes me wonder if there are rose bushes planted around the tea plants, but probably not. The re-steep was 3 minutes, and that’s a pleasant cup as well.
It’s not particularly smokey, like some of the Keemun’s I’ve tried, but it is tasty, and that’s the most important thing!
I’m trying to get rid of a headache by slamming down several cups of black tea, this wonderful Keemun being one of them. I’ve already reviewed it before, but I’d like to say that I really love the backdrop of rose petals that I taste (although it doesn’t have rose petals in it, it just has a taste of them). I’ll need to order some of this, because it is tasty!