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Recent Tasting Notes
Mrmopar sent me a few small Tuo cha’s around Christmas (nice of him) so this morning I rinsed one piece for 20 seconds in boiling water, poking it gently with my Puer knife. I used a small pot for brewing tea instead of a Gaiwan.
The steep time was 1 minute because I prefer a strong brew.
Surprisingly, the flavor wasn’t strong but bland. Uninteresting, bland Puer is something I rarely encounter.
Recently, I put together a bin of herbs, spices and berries for adding to tea when I feel like experimenting with flavor.
The list contains:
Elderberry, tulsi and various kinds of mint, goji berries, lavendar, cinnamon bark chips, dry ginger, burdock root, jasmine flowers,
chrysanthemum blossoms, cranberries, orange peel, cassia seeds and cocoa hulls. (Most items cost about $2 an ounce)
I had this blah tasting Puer and I knew that I could do something to improve the flavor with an ingredient from my bin of goodies.
I chose the packet of cocoa hulls and steeped a very small amount in the brew basket with the bland Puer tuo cha.
The addition worked! I created a tasty pot of very Cocoa PU! I added cream and sweetened the cocoa pu to make it even more delicious.
Can’t wait to see what else can be created from this bin of flavor boosters!
My daughter called…
“Mom, guess what? We just got a ‘Star Award’ for best Foster Parents and I don’t know what to say? How can I accept the award when I get mad and frustrated at my children and lose it sometimes?”
It didn’t surprise me that she and my son-in-law recieved the award, or that she would say that she didn’t deserve it. People who deserve awards usually don’t realize that what they do is special, or heroic. It’s in their character to go beyond normal.
That same day, she got another call and was informed that they had received ‘Foster Parents of the Year’ for our County.
Now she was complaining again! “How could this be?!”
Blubber, blubber, blubber!
Calmly I explained that life has to have balance. The many nights sitting up with the bi-polar 8 year old who can’t sleep and is bouncing off the walls. The baby on oxygen who was crying. Then I remembered the baby who was thrown out the window and had broken bones, and the many newborns they had nursed off drugs.
The rest is on www.teaandincense.com with a picture…
Final three! Oh god I am so tired of Final Four stuff around Atlanta. I’m not even going downtown Monday because I am going to hate everyone.
I also cannot register for classes, “the 3,000 students able to register today” crashed it. Funny, this has never been a problem ANY OTHER TIME. The last time I have to register? Down for hours. Ridiculous. If I miss out on this Politics and Film class I’m gonna lose it.
So I swear there was an entry for this somewhere but I can’t find it so whatever. This is a really savory green. Seems like there’s a hint of smoke in there, and it’s still a bit sweet and grassy.
It’s okay, but it’s going to continue on in one of the boxes because…well too much tea already.
This was given to me by a friend. The package is all in Chinese characters. She gave me about six of these little foil packets, each containing ~3 tsp of leaves. They smell oolongy, but not sweet or floral at all. Very woodsy. There’s something reminiscent almost of a Yunnan black in the scent.
Taste is similar to the smell. It’s a darker oolong, but it doesn’t taste roasted. Just… dark. I may have oversteeped as it was a little bitter, but I still finished a large mug.
Got this from my favorite tea store:)
This has become my newest favorite white tea. I have done 2 steeps, (the 2nd is ok, not very impressive, though still some taste.) The peach flavor is subtle but recognizable, (Less so in 2nd steep.) The vanilla bits in the tea make it seem like marshmallow. I most likely would be getting this tea again.
Thank you mrmopar for this pu-erh sample!
Yikes! What a hardened packet of pu-erh nibs! I had to SOAK the little devils for a bit to soften them enough to break apart, all the while letting no color from the nibs leech into the water.
As I said, “Hard!”
Once they were pliable, color began to swirl rapidly in my glass pot and timing began.
A minute later, I pulled my basket and took a sip of the dark coffee brown liquor.
The flavor was savory mushrooms, sweet and salty. When I moved my head back from the cup, I smelled vanilla tobacco as the scent of the mushrooms mixed with vanilla wafer.
Late in the tasting, the feel of spice tingled my tongue the way cinnamon feels.
I wasn’t expecting this much complexity out of the work I put in breaking up the nibs. They were pretty ugly and the liquor was uninteresting to look at.
People can be like tea. Not much to look at and uninteresting on the surface. Some are very hard and take time to get to know! If time is taken, and if we can look past that initial hardness they can be the most interesting, unique and memorable people of our lives.
Like always, tea is an awesome teacher.
I’m not sure if the “Company Name” would be Three Rivers or what I got this one at an Indian store across town, Its not a chai or anything like that it’s just green tea, i tasted it made straight in the gaiwan and it taste similar to maybe a gunpowder green tea to me,slightly smokey with a pleasant bitter, but when I make it a certain way with a little milk turns Pink somehow.
I had to look online for an better way to make it rather than follow the jar instructions because instructions on the jar was obviously for making a really large amount at once AND the english was so bad I really didn’t know the amounts of water to use.
So I found way to make a smaller amount and I had to show lance and ask him “what color is this tea?” and he confirmed to me that it was Pink tho it looked more reddish to me.
Interesting, i’m really not sure how the Pink colour come about but it does, I also wonder if it is something they did to the tea or can ANY green tea do this when made this way or maybe a white tea?
I’ve googled pink tea and how to make pink tea and I see similar type methods of making it and some of them use Baking Soda to make it turn pink and that confuses me, I didn’t use baking soda.
I poured 300ml filtered water into saucepan with 1/2 teaspoon of the Kashmiri Tea and brought to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes, I then added 100ml of cold filtered water to it and brought it back to a boil once again, then I added milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it turned pink.
When it turned pink i added some sweetener and sipped it like a breakfast tea, It didn’t taste bad or super good to me tho i did like it, it just tasted like a strong green tea with milk in it which was something I haven’t had before so it was different.
I’ll drink it sometimes for breakfast if I want something different, I’ll likely not add anything to it to make it a chai tho because I think I like it just plain pink with only milk :)
This tea smells more interesting then it tastes. I never have had a Mojito, so could not tell you if the tea tastes like one. There are subtle hints of lime and mint, (Though the mint impression might be due to my last cup from last night, I may not of washed out the cup and strainer as well as I should of.)
So, I might be inclined to get this one again…we’ll see. (LOL. Got this from my favorite tea store, which while it is a ways from my house, it’s practically down the street from where I am staying this week. I find it amusing that if this tea were from DT, or another tea store that I couldn’t get to without alot of hassle, the lack of interest in it so far would of provoke an automatic ‘no’ in whether or not I would get it again.)
Got this yesterday while hanging out with My Mom for our dual b-days (Mine was the 2nd, her’s is the 3rd.) and took her to my favorite tea store nearby where I am staying this week. I had wanted to get this tea the last time I was there, but it didn’t make the cut list.
The directions say to use 175 F on it, yet the taste is a bit off, like not as flavorful. Kind of like when tea had been boiled when it shouldn’t be. It smells wonderful though. I am kind of picky when it comes to cherry flavored things, whether it’s real cherries or not. But the smell isn’t really cherry-ish to me, it actually smells like caramel. I just wish I knew why the taste is off though. Maybe once it cools off more the flavor will come thru. I could always try to get my Dad to taste it…he loves cherries. Good thing we live in a state known for it’s cherries (Michigan.) smiles
This was a little sample that came to me in a set of itsallabouttheleaf.com review teas, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what company provided it. Do any of you recognize a company whose samples are vacuum-packed in pretty little pink pouches?
Well, whoever provided this gets a salute from me. It’s a medium honey-succulent tea that doesn’t have the mouth-drying astringency of some fancy-schmancy oolongs. Quite pleasant. Looking forward to sleuthing out its origin.
This anonymous family favorite is launching my first excursion into cooking with tea. We found a lookalike recipe for P.F. Chang’s oolong marinated sea bass online and it’s soaking in the fridge right now. Well, cod instead of sea bass…availability and frugality caused that substitution. (The beauty is the fact we haven’t tasted the original yet, so we won’t know if it’s way off the mark!)
So I got this tea in a little baggie from one of my coworkers a while ago and while I have almost no idea what’s in it (besides some sort of chocolate flavour, almond slivers, and whatever those little round red balls are (peppercorns?)). It’s got more ingredients than that, but I’m not going to go tasting each one to figure out what it is. I’m just going to steep this in my Breville. Made a wild guess at steeping parameters.
This really smells very chocolatey along with some other dessert-y flavours that I can’t identify very well. Caramel perhaps. Something else, definitely. The taste doesn’t really live up to the smell at all, even with a bit more sweetener than I normally use, still not sweet. The initial aftertaste is quite nice, though it fades very quickly. I think this is going to be a quick drink after the second cup cools down as I can’t see myself sitting here and savouring it. I have about a cup’s worth left, I think, so this is not a sipdown of…whatever this is.
I wanted to log this because I drank it and I think that’s important, but I really have no clue what this is.
Well, for a bank-busting $3.60 at Fox Farm Whole Foods, I have just embarked on an enjoyable experiment. Based on my consistently positive experience with calendula as a blend-in in many varieties of teas, I wanted to try it on its own. I will likely be trying it for years to come: one packed-tight little bulk bag, loosened, filled two quart jars with nearly a pint of dry leaf left over!
First impression is good. Looks like chamomile in the cup, and tastes similar, but sweeter. Sunshiny and a little coppery without being citrusy, if that makes sense.
Furthermore, according to many magnanimous health claims, this will fix tummy troubles, girl problems, skin wounds, and my dog’s fleas (if I had a dog). According to one recap:
Calendula is so gentle, it is often given to children for upset stomach. It’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties make it particularly useful for treating heartburn. As a skin wash, calendula stimulates the grows of skin cells to fight wrinkles, keeps complexion smooth, moist, and helps fight acne breakouts. (More info at http://www.calendulatea.net/).
This could be the beginning of an interesting relationship.
Big surprise, after taking care of my sick boyfriend all weekend, I get sick. Fortunately, it hasn’t hit me anywhere near as hard as him. I’ve just been staying home all day, sipping tea and doing homework (and by that I mean playing Civilization.)
I started with a resteep of this one. Not much different to say. Probably a little sweeter, and less of the other flavors.
Another mysterious Japanese tea from my friend. I’m 90% sure it’s a bagged genmaicha. The bags have that distinctive sort of roasty smell, and it tastes like a genmaicha. So that’s what I’m calling it.
No information on the tea whatsoever, but it’s good. I just left the bag in my 8oz Pavina and it didn’t get bitter at all, which is wonderful and surprising.
I received this in a swap on r/teaexchange. I don’t know anything about it besides that it is a high mountain oolong.
I didn’t get much time for tea yesterday, as my boyfriend is sick, and I had to go take care of him at his apartment. It’ll probably be about the same today, so I’m getting this one in before I go over.
This is a really nice golden color. I’m still not really good at picking out scents and flavors in unflavored teas, but I’m working on it. I would say there is a vegetal smell, with a hint of something roasted. With the first sip of this, it is definitely sweet. Sweet, smooth, and creamy, though a little weak. Perhaps resteepings can fix that. There is a vegetal flavor in the aftertaste.I wish I had someone nearby who could be my tea mentor. We could taste different teas, and they could show me what all these different flavors are. Right now, I feel like I still don’t know what I’m talking about. Though, I guess the only way to fix that is to drink even more tea!
steeped about 10 mostly whole cacao beans in porcelain competition tasting set.
nice sweet tea with cacao aroma as expected.
the reason why I am reviewing it here, is because it appears to balance out the side effects of drinking too much caffeinated tea
I drank many cups of dan cong, until my hands were sweaty. just now, I drank a few cups of this, and I feel a pleasant, strengthening warmth along the sides of lower torso. a ‘refueling’ grounding effect. defininitely warming.
This one came from Fleurdelily and in a fairly large amount too. I actually had some trouble working out what it was, because the wrappings are all in Chinese and I think it came from Ebay or similar. I had to ask Fleurdelily for some more details and I also had a thread up on the boards asking people to help me read Chinese. Fleurdelily had originally bought it as being a Lapsang Souchong, and with the help from the nice people who could read some Chinese for me, it was determined that more likely than not what we’ve got here is some kind of unsmoked Lapsang Souchong. It’s definitely Fujian, though, because I got that much from the wrapper.
Mostly though, I’ve been thinking about it as ‘Fujian X’ which what I’ve called it here.
I’ve actually had it loads of times by now, and I’ve nearly used up all the little portion pouches, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m any closer to actually being able to write down a proper analysis of it. You see, we’ve mostly had it under circumstances where I just wasn’t paying that much attention to it. It’s that kind of tea really. I tried to when I started writing this post, but then it ended up turning into tea and homemade biscuits on the sofa with some Top Gear on the telly. (We’ve actually today, after having lived here for about one and a half years now, finally managed to have a proper look at which channels we’ve got and arrange them in an easy to find fashion! We’re not really big television-watchers, us. More dvd and blu-ray people. But maybe it’ll help now that we know what our options are. After all, we ARE paying for it.)
So yeah, that shot yet another attempt at proper tasting out of the water.
The overall impression I keep getting from this, though, is ‘Default Fujian’. It has all the qualities that I love about Fujian blacks. Kinda malty, but not too much, and a bit of fruityness to it, along with a grainy and cocoa-y note. I can’t seem to focus on giving it any real attention, but I have been enjoying it immensely.
It’s just the right sort of tea for having while settling in with something. Perhaps it doesn’t really need anything more than that.
It’s me with a new profile picture. My mom and I spent the day enjoying lunch at the Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage in Sylvania and shopping. It was lovely.
My mom had me choose the tea today because she says I’m the tea expert :) I chose this because my mom loves fruit teas. It is wonderfully fruity and sweet on its own. I’m learning to enjoy fruit teas more. If you’re ever in the Toledo area, the Dragonfly is the place to go!!
Have you ever had a busy few days, filled with festivities and fun… but when it was over, felt so tapped out that the concept of sleep sounded like the most wonderful thing in the world?
Well that’s me today! Hermit mode. Serves me right for booking almost a week straight of holiday celebrations.
Anyhow, I went for Chinese food yesterday… to sop up some of the alcohol that was consumed over New Years. They served Pu-erh tea, I have no idea what brand. But it was nice to sip on and kept me warm! Smooth and comforting. Though it didn’t go very well with my soup, which came after I had a few cups of tea!
Happy New year everyone!!!
I’m off to bed then. Nap time :)