920 Tasting Notes
The last few days at work have been busy. My own fault, really – I procrastinated on a project and so the final stages trying to get this thing ready got all jammed up.
Wednesday and onwards have felt like I’m a spring under compression. Now that it’s Friday evening (and a long weekend to boot!), I can feel things relaxing and loosening.
Part of that is because of this tea. I didn’t do the whole “boil it in boiling water for 10 minutes or so” that the instructions say. I just steeped it in freshly boiled water instead and let it sit.
The result was a less pungent version of this tea. But it’s cold out, and it’s been a busy week, and I just want to give my brain room to expand, so less pungent is fine with me.
I had some this morning and it was SO GOOD. Malty, bready, biscuity, but not overpowering. I love how the dry leaf has a hint of dark chocolate to it.
This is some seriously good stuff. Once I have my cupboard under control (and hopefully, by then, currency conversion won’t suck so bad), I’d love to get more Laoshan Black in general.
Shou and I are not exactly on the best of terms. It’s too earthy. It’s too fishy. I hear people say they like it, that it’s so rich, but when I make it, the results just leave me….flat.
I gotta admit, when I took the tea out of the bag to measure it and start steeping, it looked… dubious. The nuggets were small, matte, dark brown, and just in general highly suggestive of some other type of substance.
I took 5.25 grams of these nuggets and made sure to give them a good, thorough rinsing before drinking: two rinses of 30 seconds each with just-boiled water.
After that, I did a first steep of 20 seconds. The resulting liquid was a deep reddish-brown, like beef broth. The flavour was light, but overall it was earthy, slightly fishy, somewhat salty and savoury. Kinda like soup broth.
The second, third and fourth steeps were all for 30 seconds, and they were pretty similar in taste to the first, if only a bit more intense in colour and flavour. The smell was savoury, brothy, and earthy, with notes of spices like cinnamon, star anise and clove. The mouthfeel here was also pretty thick, like soup broth.
Over time, I also noticed grainy notes that reminded me of popcorn. However, I’m not getting the chocolate or caramel notes the description above promised. Where is my chocolate, White2Tea??
On the fourth steep, I started to notice a cool sensation creeping across my mouth and throat, like menthol or camphor. My lips also started tingling.
The fifth, sixth, and seventh steeps were 40-50 seconds long. The flavour still hadn’t developed those chocolate notes I was told to expect but when I smelled the lid of the gaiwan after the sixth steep, I noticed scents of tobacco and a sweetness that reminded me of red bean past. The second steep was a bit lighter in colour, but by that point I had pretty much used up the water in the teapot so I wasn’t interested in drinking anymore.
At least I didn’t get any caffeine rush this time.
What’s amazing is that even after seven or so steeps, these nuggets still hadn’t unfurled. They were still compact, dark, and tightly packed.
Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2016/02/lao-cha-tou-ripe-puerh-white2tea/
This was a sample that Sil gave me when we met at the Toronto Tea Festival. I know that August Uncommon has some unusual blends, but I’ve never really cottoned on to the idea of mixing green tea and vanilla, or green tea with chai spices. This has green tea, vanilla, and cardamom.
It smells lovely, I will give it that — vanilla and spice and cake. But the taste is pretty much what I was expecting: vegetal and vanilla. It was smoother than I expected, but it didn’t quite win me over.
I finished this off last night after coming home from watching Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior in the theatre. The theatre near us is doing this “digital film festival” thing and bringing a bunch of old classics to the screen. So yesterday my hubby and I watched both The Road Warrior and Ghostbusters in the theatre. In a few hours we’ll be watching Labyrinth, so I can bask in the wonder of David Bowie’s Magic
I don’t know, but The Road Warrior really bummed me out last night. It was a fun movie, and it definitely had a spark of something interesting in it, an authenticity and uniqueness. But it also acted as a trigger for a source of anxiety I don’t talk about very much: climate change. Thinking about stories set in a post-scarcity world always freaks me out because I can’t help thinking we’re close to the cliff’s edge, about to catapult into such a world, and I think that if only I had turned my lights off more or used less plastic, we’d be a bit farther away from that cliff.
Anyways. What I mean is that I really wasn’t in the best frame of mind when finishing this tea off last night. Thinking about the fate of the world and the possibility of living in a scarred, ravaged landscape doesn’t really go well with herbal tea.
Sample sipdown – this was a swap from Sil at the Tea Festival yesterday (holy alliteration, batman!)
This smelled like grapefruit dry, and it still smells pretty citrusy brewed. I’m surprised by how true to taste and tart the tea is, and how well the hibiscus is blending in. This tastes kind of like really sour orange juice, and the flavour of the orange peel is bang on. I also get a hint of chamomile here, even though it’s not included in the ingredient list.
Sipdown backlog from a few days ago.
I generally dislike teas that are heavy on peppermint (I prefer spearmint), and I really dislike white chocolate, so I wasn’t really looking forward to trying this. But I summoned the courage when I got it in a gift box set.
It’s not bad, but not that great. Minty, chocolatey, meh.