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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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.