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Recent Tasting Notes
Brr! 41 outside, doesn’t feel like much more than that inside but we are soldiering along without turning on the heat just yet.
Thus, the need for a warm-fleece-blanket tea. This is exactly that. The pu-erh earthiness balances the coconut sweetness measure for measure. Wish I had more information about its origins other than the store where it was purchased (Mama Jean’s in Springfield MO)…this would be a great cold-weather staple.
This is the result of some significant stash cleaning last night: (Tossing tea, books, or ratty clothing is difficult for me…you?) The upside was several rounds of, “Oh, I forgot I had that!”
Like this. The coconut side of this pu-erh is almost candy sweet. In all, reminds me of a dark chocolate Mounds. Wish I knew more about the source (bulk health food grocery buy) so I could share.
So this is what I get when I sleep in an extra hour. Wake up and somebody’s been messing around with the sock drawer—the socks are still there, just jumbled up :) I’m not as browser-setting-savvy as the rest of you, but at least for uh, those of us who are no longer 18, this is a bit easier to read through bifocals.
Wish I could tell you more about this cheerful and pleasant pu-erh. It’s one you want when you’re hungry for tea, so rich and thick and sweet—-but just enough mineral in the background you remember that it’s pu-erh, not pastry. If any of you frequent Mama Jean’s in Springfield MO, it’s available in bulk there, according to the friend who supplied this to me.
Wish I knew more about this one; provided by a friend, purchased at an indie grocery called Mama Jean’s in Springfield MO.
Pu-erh was just made for fuzzy-flannel additive flavors like chocolate and coconut. Half a cup made me crave a plaid shirt instead of the striped one I’m wearing.
Letting it sit to cool only improved the flavor. Sweet coconut + moist earth with a little mineral scent. Non-pu people wouldn’t get how wonderful that is, but I know you do.
This was delivered to me in a baggie from a work friend, so I’m not sure about brand. I’ll check and correct if I discover the source. (Do y’all get teased by coworkers about trafficking in contraband?)
Leaves are big as the elm leaves starting to sprinkle around on the lawn. Let it go about 3:30; the finished product is deep golden blonde. The scent of cloves and cardamom is medium; the taste of them is mild. Light and pleasant without sweetener, but a little honey or brown sugar would turn it into sugar cookies.
This little cheapie, dark and rich with just a little mineral, is further proof that prowling through the bins at your local indie vendor can pay off. Newbies on a budget—do some local exploring: it’s a great way to expand your tea wardrobe without deflating your wallet as much as you would with name brand mail orders.
(Not that we don’t love those name brands as well ;)
I am far too impressionable. I lit a French Baguette candle, started working on Thanksgiving cards, which prominently feature pie; son walked in and said “Pushing Daisies!” So here I am marathoning several episodes instead of tidying my messy craft table.
Speaking of impressionable, if you saw a lovely bulk jar of pu-erh at your favorite local indie herb and tea shop for fifty cents an ounce, wouldn’t you bring home two ounces simply on the merit of cheap-itude alone? (And if you wouldn’t, don’t judge.)
Return on investment: excellent. Big, thick leaves; leans to the sweet-earthy spectrum instead of the minerally-cave water wavelength, although there’s a little mineral in the background. I’m seeing a few tossed-in cocoa nibs next cuppa.
mmmm Mystery Oolong. All I know this was a milk oolong – it came vacuumed sealed in 5g packets for free with my yixing turtle.
The tea looked great – big curled up leaves that opened into giant leaves stemmed with 2 or 3 leaves together. However, the flavor was really grassy, a little bitter and very little milk. Wasn’t really sweet or floral either.
I’ve been spoiled by Mandala Tea’s Milk Oolong! The entire time I was wishing I was drinking that!
Note: This is not the exact variety of tea I have, which is named simply ‘Pu Li’. Wikipedia seems to think it’s a variety of Pu-ehr.
This tea is extremely smoky, and somehow still light, as Asian teas are wont to be. It’s got the subtle grassy undertones of a green tea, and the freshness of white, but the overarching flavour, which somehow seems to connect the two, is a smoky, dark tint.
Overall, this tea is nice, and in a certain mood I could greatly enjoy it. As it is, I find it a little heavy right now; then again, I have never been a great fan of smoky teas, and greens are not my favourite.
Meeka picked up this tea while traveling and sent me a sample in a swap. Her note to me indicated that the company might be Homewood teas, but she wasn’t certain. I’m finishing off the last of the sample now (didn’t log it before). It’s a good every day white tea, not too heavy on the hay and barley notes (but these are the only notes that I detect).
I think this might become a favorite for when I need a tea that is nice, sweet and single noted. I am not in anyway a Oolong expert, and have not come across many that I really like…(So far have been preferring white fruity teas.) So I would not be able to say how much Oolong taste comes thru. I’ve made this hot, and it’s good. Fruity, just a touch flowery. Next time I have it, it will be icy cold, I think I might add just a tiny bit of lemon juice.
I actually had this tea last week, and got it the week before that from my favorite tea store in Plymouth, Mi.
This is kind of a fun, early afternoon tea that tastes best in a small to medium cup. I had put the appropriate amount of tea into my travel 16 ounce cup, and it didn’t taste as good. Was kind of bland.
I tasted in addition to a pineapple-y taste, also a caramel taste. I don’t remember any ginger pieces. Not sure if I would get this again, but we’ll see.
Sad, sad sipdown. I have enjoyed this little gem of a tea that I received in a swap from Artp. A friend of his brought it back from India, and Artp was kind enough to offer some for trade. This tea has all of the lovely muscatel flavors and a nice astringency that isn’t overpowering. The second steep of this tea has always been my favorite, and today is no exception. The grape-y flavor with and underlying earthiness is good, good, good. Yep, I’m going to miss this one.
Put this in my travel mug to drink on the way to church this morning. This is not a travel mug tea. My mug kept the tea too hot, and I couldn’t really taste anything. And I burnt my tongue. So basically I went to church in a very grumpy mood. Oh well, now I know to save this tea for my pretty mugs and to use my travel mug for a nice builder’s tea.
See my previous note for my thoughts on this tea and why I’m so sad I couldn’t taste it with a burnt tongue. :p
Another tea I received from a swap. This one came from Artp. A friend of his went to India and came home with tea. How great is that?
I don’t have any information on this tea except that it is a first flush darjeeling. What I can tell you is it’s a beautiful tea. It brews into a coppery colored liquid and has mild floral smell. The taste is initially floral before becoming fruity and sweet. The fruity note reminded me of apples or pears – very crisp with a clear sweetness. There is also a caramel flavor as the tea cools. It’s most noticeable at the end of the sip. There is a bit of astringency, but it’s a darjeeling so it’s to be expected. I like the dryness in combination with the fruity flavors in the tea. It’s funny, but even though this is a first flush it reminds me a lot of autumn.
This one is a winner all the way. Thanks again, Artp!
I just found out that one of the new grad students in my current department is a tea drinker, and even a loose tea drinker. Cool! We were talking about tea, I showed her my astounding amount of tea in my office, and then she came back with a tea that she said I might not have tried. She said it was a green tea from Vietnam and it smelled amazingly like vanilla, which she claims is all natural, not flavoring. So I grabbed a cup’s worth to try. But she just had it in an unmarked ziploc baggie, so I have no idea about what it is! The leaf dark green and somewhat broken up and it had a ton of stems in it. She warned me that it is most vanilla-y early on and gets bitter later, so I steeped conservatively at 1 minute (because it looked like it was done).
And man, do I need to find out what this is. Flavored or not, this is delicious. If it’s actually unflavored, it’s astounding. Almost like a milk oolong, but definitely not a milk oolong. It’s vanilla-y, but also a little creamy. Oh I think maybe toasted coconut? (It’s really interesting to try a tea “blind” when you don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like). Definitely toasted coconut. This has got to be flavored somehow, but it’s really well done nonetheless. It’s actually gotten more creamy and coconutty as its cooled and I haven’t had a problem with bitterness.
What a great tea! I will definitely have to figure out where she got it.