Vital Tea Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

Most of my day was spent working in my office, & I’m please to say my tall file cabinet is done! It feels so good to have finished that project. My recycling bin is overflowing!
Initially while I was working I was drinking gongfu sessions of:
Mengku Pure Old Tree Golden Buds Black (2012) from JK Tea Shop. CharlotteZero shared some with me, & although I don’t really have much to say, it’s because I was busy. But it did bring me joy while I worked, & I love the caramel color of the leaves, which are dense & sturdy, & the tea was delicious. I’m sharing it here because I couldn’t find it on JK’s page, & it is a sipdown.

Next up was this Shu, sent to me from Spencer. I usually give shu’s one rinse, & then taste them. If I don’t care for the first pour, I’ll dump it (that counts as a 2nd rinse).
After the first rinse I can only describe what was in my cup as cream of mushroom soup. It had a strong mushroom taste, & also a buttery taste. I took a few sips, & that had to go.
Next cup: A slightly less pronounce cream of mushroom soup with buttered hominy. Yes, it had a very strong hominy taste. I like hominy, although I no longer eat it, but I don’t really want my tea to taste like that.
Next? This is a rich cup, still with the buttery hominy (think grits), but also a deep taste of leather, woods (cedar?), a growing boldness, mushroom, umami almost like a meaty broth.
I feel the beginning of a camphor type sensation as well.
Next?….
Sipdown! (322)

gmathis

Yay for file cabinet organization. My totally organized moments are few and far between these days, but man, do they feel good!

Terri HarpLady

They do! You know, I’ve been complaining lately that no matter how much I accomplish, I always feel like I didn’t accomplish enough each day. I don’t feel that way today. It feels so good to have gotten this done!

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Enjoying this cup of tea from Spencer. For some reason I thought this would be coconut & rooibos, but it’s actually coconut & black (aka red tea). Anyway, the black tea has a chocolaty quality to it. The coconut is not too far out front, & this is a pleasant cup of tea.
Thanks Spencer!
Sipdown :)

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drank Blue Tea by Vital Tea Leaf
152 tasting notes

I sampled this while visiting Vital Tea Leaf in San Francisco a few months back. It was not at all what I expected, but not bad. Just not something I’d drink regularly.

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drank Lemon Red by Vital Tea Leaf
152 tasting notes

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drank Rose Puerh by Vital Tea Leaf
152 tasting notes

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81

We found this wonderful tea at a tasting house in San Francisco. It has an awesome cool note on the back of the throat. It is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.

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85

You’ll see pieces of ginseng in your cup of brewed tea. I like the fresh, sharp flavor of the 1st steeping.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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77

This tea is more medicinal than for pleasure though you get used to the bitterness. It can be very strong in the second brewing so I typically drink a little at a time. Not as dry as a traditional green tea because it’s “bitter leaf” and apparently not from camellia sinensis. This is why I put it under both green and herbal. The color is a true, bright green. Definitely not for everyone.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

Going for a second cup. Added some new leaves and kept the old ones. Bit of a darker brew, slightly more “black tea” flavor with a touch more astringency.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

Just a sweet cup for the morning.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

Drinking a couple of cups of this, cold-brewed! Quite pleasant.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

Sipping a mug of this fruity drink, this morning, and looking forward to the weekend, when my mother will be in town, and we will be going tea tasting.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

Making tea for my section of the office.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

Drinking this delicious, fruity mix on a pleasant Saturday morning.

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drank Blueberry Red by Vital Tea Leaf
1812 tasting notes

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81

I wouldn’t describe this one as very vegetal actually, it really has more of a smooth creamy taste with a little tannin bite. I remember the price being quite high, something like $140/160 per pound. It is a very good tea but can probably be found for much less. In the mid-80s, I’d say, not the best oolong I’ve had but not far behind either.

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec

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A nice Shu, sent to me by Spencer, that is earthy & woody, with a little camphor in the later steepings. There were some chocolate notes somewhere in the middle. I gave a quick rinse, then steeped in my yixing: 15 sec/30/45/1min/2min/3min etc.

In these later steepings, it’s mellowed to a nice semolina sweetness, with a creamy texture. Still sipping…

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Had a small cup of this (4oz), so I could sample it one more time before sending the last bit to Lala. It has a very nice lychee flavor too it, not overly done, just right! Thanks again Spencer for sharing a bit of this with me!

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This one is a trade from Spencer. It’s a lightly refreshing gently fruity & sweet one, which was nice to sip on while I was practicing. My daughter, who recently moved back in with me (along with my grandson), woke up, & we ended up visiting for a little while, so my 45 minute practice session ended up starting about 15 minutes late, but I skipped the 15 minute break & played 90 minutes instead. So I’m basically back on track, more or less. My next 45 minute ‘work’ session will be working on my nanowrimo novel, but the truth is, I need a little food first, so that session will probably also last 90 minutes.

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48

Tastes like rice. But not just any rice. Sticky rice. Smells like it too. It’s like someone ground up the rice and made it all liquid. I like rice teas (mainly Genmaicha) but this one kinda weirds me out too much. Also good cold. but the rice flavor is even stronger.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Jasmine Ring by Vital Tea Leaf
560 tasting notes

It’s a weird looking tea. I wasn’t sure what she was giving us until she told us and even then I thought maybe she grabbed the wrong bin. But as soon as the leaves were steeped you could smell the jasmine. For those of you who are big jasmine tea drinkers (like myself) this one is very light. The jasmine flavor is there it’s just not as strong as most other jasmine teas are. I think it would be good with a spot of honey.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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62

The smell is very good. The flavor is very grassy. But it’s another one I didn’t buy though cause it just didn’t make me go “ooooo I want this.” I’ll need to try it again at some point to get a better description.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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