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Recent Tasting Notes
I find that I crave a nice cup of Chinese black in the mornings. It’s just a lovely way to start the day. I love the preserved plum flavor in this one. The lingering maltiness.
As I mature in my tea adventure, I find myself not appreciating teas as much as I used to. It’s such a shame. I’ll drink while reading or working and I just don’t notice the nuances anymore. I try to put time aside for a new tea to truly appreciate it, but my schedule is not what it used to be. When I started my tea adventure, I was unemployed and my husband wasn’t out of the house all day going to work and then school. While I’m grateful to be employed and happy that husband’s continuing education will open up opportunities for him, I really miss having TIME. Time to just do nothing or focus on hobbies.
Anyway! Good tea!
I’ve been brewing up a cup here and there over the past couple days, thanks to Heather, who provided me with a sample. I’m still trying to figure out where I stand on Dragon Well.
So far, I’d say this is the most well-balanced straight Dragon Well I’ve had. There’s a balance between the sweet and vegetal flavours. Slightly grassy, slightly buttery, basically what Dragon Wells are all about.
I personally wouldn’t buy any since I’m not a fan of grassy and/or vegetal greens, but it’s always nice to further explore a particular type of tea.
We had a few people absent from our writers’ group tonight, and since several of the attendees have really been loving the tea, I offered to use the extra time to do a gong fu tasting of this tea.
The tea was passed around the circle in the display dish. One of the younger members has been to China a couple of times and she really loved the aroma of the dry leaf. These are tight, hard pellets. When I poured them in the pot, they barely covered the bottom of the little 8 ounce vessel. It was going to be fun to watch their reaction to the unfurling of the leaves.
I did a quick rinse and then a short steep. The liquor was a nice solid yellow and the taste was smooth and buttery with a light floral taste. The girl who had been to China said it was nice, and she liked it, but it wasn’t going to be a favorite. Knowing the flavor profile she has liked in the past, I made the next two steeps longer. Now the tea had that little bite with the sweet aftertaste that is found in some green teas like Chun Mee.
As I expected, she said those were her favorite steeps. We made about 35 ounces in all tonight and there are still some good steeps left in these leaves.
Thank you, Teavivre, for the wonderful samples!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample tea!
At first, I underbrewed this tea. It was very pale and delicate…
I let the leaves steep longer in the gaiwan, observing the transformation…playing with the water, moving the lid back and forth in a figure eight then straining the liquor.
The color had changed only a half tone and the taste was as it should be. A delicate whisper.
The flavor was a thin coat of unsalted sweet butter brushed lightly across my tongue, tingling towards the back and a subtle floral finish.
I would never drink this tea in the morning. I’d roll over and go back to sleep if this was next to my bed.
It’s too…relaxing…it…floats in my mind…like sunbeams flickering through the trees.
I’m sipping this Ali Shan and I want to sit by a stream, lay in a hammock, watch the Fall leaves waving back and forth…back and forth out my window.
This is a soft, gentle, tranquil tea.
I’ve had this for nearly a year and I still have 2 oz of it! :O I nearly forgot how tasty it is. It’s very malty with a bit of honey. It’s dark and rich and a nice start to my morning. I’m off work today and tomorrow to cover for J (he has to invigilate some exams/do office hours) so I’m just hanging out with my toddler, watching her run laps in her room around her train table!
I think today will be another Adagio sampler tasting day as I build a sampling box for Ozli and think she’ll enjoy some of those. Maybe I’ll send her some of this too…. It’s just so tasty and I’m pretty sure I bought it during the last spring sale so it was well priced. Teavivre is pretty great.
I think it’s been over a month since I had this one, which makes me want to yell at myself because this is really good. It’s dark and rich, without being overly malty. (which is what I was afraid of). I’m getting sweet honey, and caramel too!
I guess the secret for this one is to err on the side of understeeping!
Each sip is seriously like walking along the danger zone – it smells like it’s almost too strong and I don’t want to sip it, but when I do it’s just rich and perfect.
Comparison notes here for Organic vs. Non-Organic version: http://steepster.com/cavocorax/posts/194378
This is another sample I was a bit worried about trying because I only had enough for the one cup, and wanted to make sure I could give it a proper review.
Time to stop stalling! (Although, I wish I’d brewed up some of the non-organic version for comparison. Maybe I’ll do that right now? Done. Both are about ~7 grams at 85C for 2.5 minutes, because THAT’S SCIENTIFIC.)
I quickly smelled both of these and found that the organic version (OGV) smelled darker and a bit like chocolate, while the non-organic version (NOGV) smelled malty and rich.
The OGV tastes dark and rich but I can definitely taste the caramel notes in it. It’s very smooth and luxurious too and I still swear I’m getting cocoa. Once it’s cooled a little it actually tastes better too.
The NOGV has a very similar profile. Maybe slightly less caramel? But I might be getting honeyish notes in there.
Hmmm. I’m really have a tough time digging right in there and finding the difference. The OGV is a bit earthier than the NOGV, while the NOGV might be slightly sweeter. I guess that means that I’ll re-order the cheaper one? :P Both are fantastic teas and I’d recommend them.
Thank you Angel for this sample. I have 100g of the NOGV, so it was nice to have just a cup of the other so I could see what I was missing.
Now, what am I going to do with all these steeped tea? That’ll be a lot if I re-steep them both! Ha! But then I might be able to add more to this comparison.
Also, I don’t recommend drinking THIS MUCH tea (especially rich black tea) on an empty stomach! :P Whoops.
This is definitely a favorite tea of mine. For a long time, my favorite Chinese green tea has been Tai Ping Hou Kui, but, this one might be edging out that tea for me! This is just so good!
The leaves look so beautiful … like they’ve been meticulously rolled up like scrolls. Lovely.
The flavor is sweet … Juicy even! Soft, sweet, vegetative, with notes of spice. A really lovely tea!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/05/07/liu-an-gua-pian-green-tea-from-teavivre/
Water: 8oz at 180 degrees
Leaves: very large flat leaves
Color: Light Green
Taste: I was interested in trying this tea because I haven’t seen anything like it before. First steep was for 1 minute, the first sip was bitter then it mellowed out to a lighter non bitter note. On the other hand the second steep was the complete opposite 2m I didn’t like it at all. This time around it was very bitter, I couldn’t finish my cup. I’m not sure if I used too many leaves or if my water was a bit hotter than expected but overall I didn’t enjoy this tea.
I recently brewed this tea again this time following a different technique, it came out much better than the first time. Light smooth with no bitterness.
Made in my timolino while spending the afternoon finishing Christmas shopping. I hate shopping; it just stresses me out. So, it was pretty nice to have a hot cup of tea with me on the slightly miserable, cold day – and on top of that not only was it a warm cup of tea but also a soothing jasmine one!
And I know I said I had done that a while ago but I wound up with some surprise things I needed to pick up: namely a Secret Santa gift for a coworker. I was at Cuppa’T which is in the Cathedral area of Regina. For everyone who isn’t Lala or tigress_al that’s basically the really cool aesthetic/hipster-y/artsy area of town. If I could afford it, that’s where I’d want to live in Regina out of all the different neighborhoods.
At Cuppa’T I picked up some tea for myself, of course.
Hiatus be damned. I nabbed 50g of Pink Beauty because I wanted to restock that one and then I got 50g of two new teas: a white tea called Nights in Paris and a fruit blend called The Great Gatsby. I also looked for Ice Princess or Dragonfruit Cranberry to restock those blends but they weren’t in stock. For my Secret Santa gift I got this really cute small/personal sized blue bubble teapot and 50g of Chamomile. The woman I got for the exchange is pretty pregnant so I thought something caffeine free and soothing might be a nice gift for her.
Then, after Cuppa’T we stopped at Dessart, which is a super cool candy store. I didn’t actually buy much for me but I did get something like $40 of candy to make into these little stocking stuffer/gift bags for my coworkers. That was a gift I definitely didn’t expect to be grabbing but am really happy I did. I love giving gifts; I just wish I could afford to do so more often…
Final stop was a bust: we were gonna go look at this Chinese herbal store because a friend from work said she saw teaware there the other day. Sure enough, we got to the store and there were several gorgeous Gaiwans in the front window that had me practically salivating! However, turns out they were closed so I’ll need to sate my tea addiction some time in the future.
But overall, it was a good shopping trip as far as shopping trips go.
So, it rained yesterday…
Apologies Lala and tigress_al. It appears that the spider massacre that’s been taking place in my room all week finally caught up to me and I jinxed us.
This cold brew was lovely: such crisp, clean taste with a jasmine sweetness. The perfect tea for just sipping on throughout the work day and keeping hydrated with. Yummy yummy yummy.
Picked this one out specially in the morning to brew for my Mom and I; she absolutely loves just about anything jasmine and it was a really beautiful way to ease into the day! I drank mine pretty much piping hot, but she waited until hers was cold. I think she’d have enjoyed it hot but what can you do?
I feel like I got a lot done today though!
1. I did my blind cupping test/exam for Tea 103 with help from my mom, which I’m sure I’ll write about more in depth tomorrow. It was really hard to do, though – and I’m not confidant at all that I kicked ass at it…
2. Finished updating my resume, and applied to a couple places online.
3. I found our old printer and got it set up at home/installed the software on my laptop so I could actually print some resumes and bring them to places nearby. One of the place I want to apply is a British style tea house that’s not even two blocks away from where I’m living – I don’t think they’re specifically hiring but if my resume is solid, and I write a cover letter targeted specifically for them I’m hopeful I can convince them to hire me!
4. Painted my nails bubblegum pink, which probably seems small but it’s the first time I’ve done something that simple for myself in at least a month. Just taking the time to do a good job felt really indulgent.
5. I cleaned my mom’s fridge from top to bottom so not only does she no longer have any gross expired food in there but it’s practically sparkling – and even though it felt like it took ages (the amount of things I found GROWING in it is just disgusting) it feels really nice to have helped around the house and done something for her.
It was a productive day!
From yesterday; very robust jasmine flavour – nothing like the soft, fragile hot cups this steeps up, but really pleasant regardless. The intense jasmine flavour was pretty well a solitary flavour though. I’ve had hit or miss cold brews with this tea, this was on the better side of the spectrum.
Also, I just have to take a moment to rave about a movie I watched pretty recently! I first saw the trailer for it on Tumblr and I remember thinking it looked so good, but then kind of forgetting about it. That is, until I found it on Netflix a few days ago! It’s called Boy Meets Girl and it’s a RomCom style movie about a trans girl named Ricky and her best friend Robby (played by the GORGEOUS Michael Welch) and a girl she’s recently watched named Francesca.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNdW9TzxGrk
The representation is great; the trans actress who plays Ricky (Michelle Hendley) is such a cutie, and does this phenomenal job at delivering a really solid performance that shows her vulnerability and is really empathetic. Plus even the dialogue between characters is wonderful in regards to opening up healthy conversations about something a lot of people might not be familiar with like, say, my roommate Tre who said he learned A LOT he didn’t know just from the conversation between characters.
Wonderful movie; a new favourite of mine. You’ll probably cry, but watch it anyway!