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Recent Tasting Notes
Rant:Ugh, I can not wait for this freaken week and semester to end. I spent the night in the art build finishing my final 2d art project. Started around 10 pm and finally went to sleep around 4:40 on a bench in the building; my class starts at 8:30. At least it seems like people liked it.
That being said, I have com to the conclusion that when you are running on 2.5 hours of sleep food tastes 30% than normal; though McDonald’s would still suck. I am not even going to go into the laborious details on how crappy my time at UCF has been here, but I am so glad I am never coming back and will be able to get a better education at my old school; it is now offering my degree.
I have been getting a lot of my lunches at this pita place on campus. They let you get a combo with small side salads and a choice of drink; obliviously went for the tea. I don’t know what temp their hot water contain maintains at, but I have never gotten a bad cup of tea for any of the bags I have tried; and I tried a lot of brands. Today I mixed Twinings Darjeeling and a bag of Twinings pomegranate-raspberry I think is what it was called. The clean floral taste of the Darjeeling blends well with the fruity flavors, the latter of which is the dominate flavor.
If you have a chance to try that combo, go for it.
I went to the coolest place for dinner today. Chefs from awesome restaurants in the area all contribute a sandwich recipe, and they are all offered at this cafe. Anyway, seeing as it is a weeknight, I decided to order the mint peach iced tea over an alcoholic beverage. It was a bit too minty for my taste, but it was a nice sweet tea. Plus, it was refreshing on this very warm evening. Just thought I’d share :)
Earlier today I was in the mood for some Shu, so I reached into my box & came out with this one. I can’t find a listing for it, & so here we are again, in the Random Steepings page:
Palace Grade Puerh Lincang Gong Ting – Silk Road Teas
I originally kept this tea from the first TTB I was part of, a year or so ago. I was pretty new to puerh, & honestly by the time the box got to me, it was about the only thing in there that was interesting. Anyway, I went a little heavy on the leaf, as I was close to a sipdown with this anyway. It’s earthy & a little musty, but no ammonia or other horrible aromas, LOL. I packed it into my yixing, gave a rinse, & multiple short steepings. Nothing particularly special stood out, but I got some good energy from it, enabling me to be a lively & good humored harp teacher all afternoon!
Knocking out another Design A Tea single serve sample. This one is orange spice. I could swear I had this one before but maybe not.
Orange and spice in black tea is one of my favorite flavor profiles. It also reminds me of the holidays. Remember when you were a kid and you would stick whole cloves into oranges to make a decorative and great smelling thing to hang up at Christmas? The first smell of this leaf reminded me of that.
There were whole pieces of orange peel in there, and that was nice too. The flavor of the tea is fine, I get more clove than anything, and it’s a bit astringent at their suggested 4 minute steeping time (although the tea isn’t terribly strong). It’s another itty bitty tea packet out of the basket though, so it feels like progress.
First exam today, and I decided to go with LB and Cacao this morning. And a bowl of Fruit Loops. YUM.
This class has been frustrating all term and I’m finally almost through. For the exam he told us “This isn’t the sort of exam you can study for, so there’s no point in poring over your notes”, and in the next breath, “but you will need the entire 3 hours to write it”.
Today’s random tea was another Design a Tea creation: pineapple orange oolong.
It was also my first oolong.
I was surprised at the quality of the leaf mixture. There were pieces of pineapple and orange in there. I just expected flavored tea since this was one of the single serve sample things. My husband said that the steeped leaf looked like potpourri.
Anyway, it was nice, not Earth-shattering. I got two nice steeps out of it….or was it three….anyway, the last one (which was either the third or the fourth) was pretty weak. Up until that point they were nice.
And, it got rid of something in my tea basket.
I’ve been SO busy this week, but it was a good busy! The weather was beautiful all week, & Tony was in Michigan, so I spent every waking hour that I wasn’t teaching or playing in my garden, planting stuff! Broccoli, Brussels, Cauliflower, lettuces, various greens, radishes, turnips, beets, etc. In some cases I planted plants (instant garden!), & in other cases I planted seeds.
Needless to say, I’m so behind on my tea logging, that I’m just gonna post a list of the highlights from the last couple of days. I hope nobody will mind, but they are all teas I’ve reviewed pretty extensively by now, I think. In no particular order:
Double Knit Blend – more woody than I remember it
Premium Taiwanese Assam – so good
Devotea’s 1910 English Breakfast – So awesome with brekkie
Butiki’s The Black Lotus – ditto
Upton’s Russian Caravan – not as smokey as I seem to recall
Teavivre’s Rose Dian Hong – to share with a student
TTC’s 2005 aged songboling oolong – sipdown
YS’s Imperial Gold Needle (sipdown) & Imperial Mojiang golden bud
Verdant’s Zhu Rong Chai – my crockpot method reigns supreme!
Verd’s Fujian White Jasmine – with a friend
Peach Rooibos – trail lodge tea
This morning I had Teavana’s black dragon pearls, & I’m having Ms Stacy’s Irish Breakfast with my breakfast. I am hoping to play catch up on reading everyone’s reviews later today, but now I must rush off to play a wedding! It’s a beautiful day in St. Louis!
So my cupboard…back up to 163, though i’ve managed at least a couple sipdowns tonight. Here’s hoping i can get to 150 this weekend at the least. I suppose i MIGHT be able to hit my sipdown goal but only if i don’t go crazy in vancouver AND i get through at least 15 this weekend. otherwise, not going to happen lol. 4 more teas on their way that will show up on monday AND i’m working on a couple swaps at the moment. I just can’t help myself.
This tea is one that MissB didn’t add to steepster and since i’m only drinking a cup (sil sized) of it, i’m going to be lazy.
Rooibos Tangerine – The tea Place.
seriously? so. good. as in, smells AMAZING and tastes delicious! This would be one i could stock in my cupboard a bunch and not get bored of it…because it IS tangerine, not orange and the rooibos isn’t that woodsy weirdo taste i don’t like in a rooibos :) thanks missb! (84!)
Final count: 161
Blended Yamane-en’s ‘Toasted Mochi Rice & Tokachi Black Soybean’ with Meng Ding Huang Ya from Sun’s Organic here in NYC. I’m a crazy genmaicha person. This completely confirms it. Why make a genmaicha with a yellow tea? Why Tea Pet? It makes very little sense…. But gosh darnit, this genmaicha is so good! It’s such a soft and subtle tea. A good amount of malt and earthiness, with a lingering vegetal note. This is a perfect tea to calm down with. Kudos, me. :p
I’m drinking another Design a Tea creation, this time Pear Spice black. There are a few reasons that I picked this one. It’s black (and we are still in the “black zone” time of day). It’s a single serving and it gets rid of one of my teas – even though it isn’t one listed in my cupboard so the number doesn’t go down. And it sounded good enough.
I never met a clove I didn’t like, and the “spice” part of this is definitely clove. The dry leaf smell was strong with it. Interestingly, the tea itself doesn’t taste much like clove. It tastes like black tea with a little bit of pear flavor, and almost…banana? Not enough that I hate it but it’s sneaking around in there somehow.
It’s fine, but won’t make the reorder list. That’s what samples are for, right?
This was a caramel vanilla black tea mix from Design a Tea. Nice. A bit astringent. I have to say that I had a lot of fun mixing flavors on their site, and each tea came in a cute little one serving package labeled with the flavor and type of tea. Fun stuff.
In other news, I had some surgery in February and have been restricted since then with what I could do. Today I get a final review with the surgeon and hopefully all restrictions will be lifted. I hope so, I’m itching to do some yoga or something.
No idea where to categorize this tea or feel there’s a need to start a new tea entry on Steepster for it.
Anyways, drinking a pomelo herbal tea I found in Honolulu, just off a small shop in the mall. No labels on the tea, ti even came out “bulk bin” style. Expensiiiive! Looks like little cubes of melon, pineapple and other citrus. No apple (interestingly, herbals do like loading on apple for filler). I used 4t for a tumbler of iced tea, steeped for 8 minutes. The flavor is interesting. A little zesty and melony. Kinda grapefruity, but not like a pomelo really. It’s good, could be better.
Darn this tea was expensive, and heavy.
I’m drinking a locally purchased lemongrass/ginger herbal blend that comes to me courtesy of Stephanie. Thanks! Most of this actually went to my brother, since he loves lemongrass. But I made sure to keep a good cup’s worth for myself to try.
This is pretty darned good! It’s simple, straightforward, and elegant. The flavor is lemongrass up front. It gently transitions into a nice ginger flavor mid-sip. The ginger comes out fully at the end and lingers pleasantly. I added a big teaspoon of manuka honey to see how it would impact the flavor. It definitely softened it. The beginning of the sip is now more honey than lemongrass. The ginger flavor is also tempered by sweetness, leaving a lingering taste of ginger candy. Yum! I liked it better without the honey, but it’s delicious with honey too.
I ordered some samples from Design a Tea. Super cheap, pick your own flavors and base. I received them today… awesome. My first is a rooibos base with rum and almond. The aroma when I first opened the sample practically made me swoon. The rum and almond aroma go so well together. I added just a bit of Monk’s Fruit to sweeten it. Yummy! I might have to actually order some of this blend for my cabinet.
Used my An Ji Bai Cha and Yamane-en’s ‘Toasted Mochi Rice & Tokachi Black Soybean’ pack to create what I called “East of East” genmaicha. (Named after my favorite comic: East of West)
It was a nice combination. Though the more that I fool around with a pan-fried green base for genmaicha, the more I realize how much I prefer a steamed green base.
Backlog from last night.
This tea is Spicy Cherry by Herbal Infusions. Somehow I cannot find it on Steepster and I guess I am far too lazy to add it. Even more so because it’s not on Herbal Infusions’ website anymore.
It’s a flavored rooibos blend. The cherry flavor was mostly medicinal and not particularly tasty, while the spicy element was hardly there. Very boring cup. I have noticed it is so difficult to flavor rooibos just right.
Sorry Roswell Strange but I did not get to Camellia Sinensis today as I ended up going to the hospital instead to wait with my friend for test results :(. All is well though and my friend and I will be going some point soon enough.
As a thank you for coming to the hospital and supplying her with food she shared some tea from this really cute “tea book” (which basically looks like a tiny, elaborately decorated novel but is instead a small tea tin). I didn’t know what to expect since it had jasmine petals and cornflower and all sorts of random goodies but in the end, it almost tastes like Lupicia’s Sweet Potato Pie tea. I kid you not, and I have no clue why it would but that is what I am getting from this cup and I am loving it.
I am so upset with myself. I made a really great cup of tea and I have know idea what is in it. I unintentionally cleaned up the kitchen counter (Last time I do that!) and put the teas away. I think it was Angel’s Kiss from SereneTeaz and Apricot from Cameron’s. It seems to have black and green teas and some lovely fruits. I’d highly recommend it if i knew what it was! ;-p