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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m finally sampling Bailin Gongfu, thanks to our dear friend Angel, @ TeaVivre.
I’ve read various peoples reviews of this tea over the last few months, & as I recall, it is a bit temperamental. I was careful to make sure the water temp was 185, meanwhile wafting the addictive smell of cocoa tinged maltiness emanating from the leaves as I painstakingly weighed them, first all in one cup, 7oz, & then taking away leaves until I was down to 3.5 oz. The other half of the sample got tucked back into my black tea sample bag for another day.
I got a massage this morning. I’m feeling very ‘open’, my breakfast is sitting here waiting to be eaten. This tea is luscious, mouthwatering, and delicious: Malt, chocolate, & bit of caramel sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt. My mouth is watering, my qi is flowing, & I’m smiling. Good start for my day!
I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping as long as I wanted/needed to today, laying there, coming in & out of consciousness until 10. I could actually probably sleep until noon, but I do have 2 weddings to play at today, one at 1:30, the other at 5:00, with quite a bit of driving in between, so I figured I’d better get rolling.
This is a lovely & sweet tea, with a rich flavor & fragrance: hay, malt, sweet potato, caramel. No blaring brass, not particularly bassy, I’d say it’s a woodwind quarter, with maybe a little cello & viola thrown in.
Good morning Steepsterites!
My dad is 80 years old today. Mom turned 79 on xmas eve. They live in Florida, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but I chat on the phone with them pretty much every day. It’s a bit scary watching your folks grow old, seeing them become children again in some ways, but I’m really grateful. I’ve always had a good relationship with my mom, my relationship with my dad was not so good. It took a long time to heal, a lot of song lyrics written, a lot of journaling. The path to peace is always acceptance & forgiveness, it seems, & honesty. Dad & I understand each other now, we’ve worked out our issues. I’m grateful for that!
This tea is a comforting cup of rich buttery sweet potatoes. Nothing bright here, nothing brash. It’s not particularly bold. It’s a quartet of clarinet, viola, Cello, & Alto Flute.
I’d like to start the day by saying, “Thank you Sil”
Thank you for being the best tea sister ever, & for sharing this teavivre order with me. Even with the crazy postal mix ups, its SO worth it. This cup of tea is lovely, a perfect start to what will be a busy busy day with me cloistered away in the practice room at UMSL, followed by a rehearsal with the choir, followed by more cloistering, a lesson with my student there, dinner at a BBQ joint nearby, a little more practice, & then the concert tonight. I’m bringing my laptop, just in case I have time to take a break from playing music & work on my novel a little. That’s my day. This tea is wonderful. Like a comforting baked sweet potato, straight from the oven. So rich, malty, & soothing.
Good morning Steepsterites!
I’m enjoying the 2nd steeping of this lovely Golden Monkey, with its malty sweet potato profile, a nice start to a busy day. I drank the first steeping while I fixed my breakfast. There is also a buttery texture, it’s the ‘sparkly’ sensation I get from some teas, it’s like my taste buds take turns twinkling like stars. I don’t really know how else to describe it, but I like it!
This is a wonderful tea to relax with, hanging around in my ‘roadie’ outfit (jeans & T shirt) before I head out for a very busy day. I have an Electric Harp gig at Whole Foods Grocery from noon til 3:00, where I’ll be dressed in a long red xmasy outfit with what I call Angel Sleeves (the kind that drape down), playing a mix of Holiday music (xmas, Chanukah, classical, peace & snowy weather related), along with my usual mix of Jazz, Rock, Originals, & Blues with vocals. Hopefully I’ll sell a bunch of xmas CD’s so I can buy more tea! (you can get yours at www.harpsinger.net)
After that gig, I’ll grab a bite to eat, change to a long black velvet outfit with draping chiffon sleeves, & go play a church service gig with the choir & orchestra. I’ll be done around 9pm, I think. Just in time to drive to Tony’s & watch SNL!
Thank you, Angel & TeaVivre for this delicious sample!
Thank you Angel & TeaVivre for this wonderful sample of tea.
I have to say, I LOVE the samples from TeaVivre, they are SO generous!
After all my gigs these past 3 days (and students), it’s really nice to have a morning to chill out & just sample some teas. It’s taken me an hour to get through my breakfast, simply because I was more interested in the teas. This will be my final review of the morning, as I have to meet a friend at noon for, you guessed it, Tea! LOL!
This is really nice. The dry leaf smells of hay…& chocolate…& there’s one other aroma I’m trying to place…it’s sweet…its…caramel!
2t + 8oz @ 2 min = YUM!
It’s smooth, dark, sweet, and its…its gone??? Little Terri!! You drank the whole cup!
I decided it was tea time and I was getting my tea ready when I noticed that my little sampler bag of tea was harder to open. It was the long skinny type and usually there is one serving in there. When I dumped it into my press it really started to look like two servings in there. Maybe it just looked like that because the leaves are so fluffy. I brewed it anyway for one minute and then poured it into my TARDIS mug to take downstairs with me.
The liquor was really yellow. I was expecting it to be pale since my other white tea was water-like in color. It smells like a flower. I’m not sure what a peony smells like but I imagine this is spot on. I could wear the scent as a perfume.
It tastes exactly like it smells. It is not chemically or perfume-like, but it tastes like a flower. I ate a dandelion one time and the way this tastes reminds me of that texture.
I’m not sure if I actually like this or not. I get the mouth feel of chewing a flower and it smells like a flower but it is tea. I can see why people like using it as a base for flavored teas. I bet this would add a lovely texture to other flavors. I can imagine making a really good vanilla cake tea out of this.
Well, since there’s no way I’m drinking this, I tried cooking with it. I infused butter with some of the leaves and brushed it onto a spaghetti squash to roast. Then I added a bit more in there, and tried it that way. Couldn’t take it.
I ended up making avocado sauce too (lemon juice, garlic, avocado, salt, pepper) and that went along even better, though the raw garlic is pretty strong.
I just don’t like the smokiness. I am going to try it with meat instead, maybe spaghetti squash isn’t savory enough for me to enjoy lapsang (not that it tastes like anything anyway!). I will find a way to make the smokiness enjoyable!
I was not too excited to try this one because I’m not a big ginseng fan. But I do like oolong, and Teavivre was nice enough to send me the samples, so time to finally do it!
As an oolong it was really good, kind of roasted, but still vegetal. The ginseng kind of reminds me of a hybrid of some kind of sweetener and eucalyptus. It had that cooling feel but the aftertaste was this lingering, back of the throat sweetness. I didn’t really like that part.
I started drinking it far too late to get any more steeps out of it, but I plan to try it again soon. I imagine past that first steep that sweetness is more subtle as the ginseng fades, and I am pretty curious now about the oolong in here by itself too.
I’m taking a few moments to enjoy a cup of this lovely one before I leap into action. This morning it is sweet, a little tangy, with a sweet potato richness. I’ll take my resteep to enjoy on the road. We got our first snow of the year this weekend, but of coarse, it wasn’t enough too cause any travel problems.
It’s been awhile since it had this one in my cupboard, so with all the recent sales, I restocked! Some of the bolder breakfast teas that I love make me queasy on an empty stomach, but Dian hong don’t share that feature. The buttery richness might be the reason, but more likely it is the lack of astringency. This is not a bold tea, but it’s not a wimp either. The ensemble it inspires In my mind is all wood, bamboo & air today: Breathy bamboo flutes of varying sizes, a variety of wood/temple blocks, rain stick (sound of running water), bamboo wind chime with a gentle breeze. Soothing, random, ambient.