148 Tasting Notes
Just a short note for this one! This is a good blend, but there’s not much complexity to talk about (well, not that I can pick up).
I had a little sample of this today – like the Malachi McCormick, this is quite decent! It’s got plenty of malty body thanks to the Assam, with just a hint of Darjeeling to brighten it up. This does get really astringent as it cools, though.
I’m in the home stretch! Only 3 weeks until winter break, and then Rayn and I head to Utah for 6 days to see the in-laws.
We love peppermint tea in this house. Right now I’m sipping on a combination of Peppermint from Adagio (good all by itself) and catnip from an herb shop here in SF (not that kind, tsk tsk, I mean HERBS). I read that catnip is calming and can also be good for tummies. I’m happy to report that unlike when my cats have some catnip, I am not attempting to travel as far as possible simply by rolling, nor have I slapped or bit Rayn yet. ;) This is a pretty nice bedtime/happy stomach tisane.
And if you want a quick laugh, here’s a short video of my kitties hopped up on the ’nip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrpFPPf3MMo&feature=plcp
Garret kindly sent me a sample of this in my Mandala Tea order!
I don’t have much experience with sheng, but this shows signs of good aging, I think. The liquid is slightly sweet and grassy, with the tiniest hint of sour. I’m picking up a bit of a floral note in here as well, like a subdued oolong. I tend to get this interesting back of the throat scratchy feeling with some puerhs too, and while it feels a bit odd, I’ve come to associate it with good puerhs since it’s occurred with most good ones that I’ve had. I’m getting the throat feeling with this one! I also have lots of energy right now after 2 cups (about 8oz).
Thanks again for the sample Garret, and I’m hoping I have the funds to pick up one of these cakes up in the future! :)
This is my first shipment from Handmade Tea, and it’s delicious!
I’ve tried this a couple of different ways now: first, given Caleb’s suggestion of a 4 min steep. The rose and jasmine are really strong with that method and it reminded me a lot of Lupicia’s Yume blend. What made it stand out compared to Yume was the hint of lemon in the background.
The second way I’ve tried this (and my favorite) is with short subsequent steeps, starting around 15 seconds. The smell is lightly chocolate-like and floral, and the lemon balm really pops with the short steeps!
I got the mini subscription to Handmade Tea, and this arrived in two small tins. I gave one to my brother-in-law and he wrote the other day to say he loves this too!
Can’t wait to see what comes in the mail in December. :)
It feels like a long time since I’ve logged a tasting note. This past week I’ve mostly been drinking Phatty Cake from Mandala and this fantastic Tieguanyin from Verdant!
The orchid notes in this are very strong and the sweetness lingers for a long time after every sip. The mouthful is incredible on this tieguanyin, creamy and thick.
One of the things that’s fascinated me the most about this harvest is the color of the liquid. It’s a really vivid yellow, even with short steeps (15 seconds). Almost an unbelievable shade of lemon, as if it can’t be natural (but is).
This is a fantastic little fat cake. I’m on the 8th or 9th steep now (I lost count) and it’s STILL going. And on top of that, it’s still going with short steeps, like 15-20 seconds.
This is the kind of shu that I just love. Deliciously earthy and mushroom-like, no fishy sneaking in there, slightly spicy and reminiscent of hanging out on some pine needles with giant redwoods. I know there are some puerh purists out there who would snark at this description, but that’s just what it does for me!
I had some really mellow and euphoric feelings with this shu as well, especially in the first few steeps. Ever since then I have been AWAKE. Of course now it’s (checks time) 11:30 and very soon I need to be asleep…
I drank this from the time I got home from work until now, when I need to crawl into bed. Such a good (cute, it’s cute darn it) little cake.
I got this little sample along with my tasting cup.
I have had tea EXACTLY like this before. This tastes just like bagged yamamotoyama oolong. In fact, a lot of the leaves in this sample are crushed enough that I think it might literally be the exact same tea!
This is my second time trying a Korean green tea, and what can I say except that I really like the taste of seaweed. This is similar to the Daejak I had from Upton, but the flavor is much stronger from what I remember. It’s brothy and salty. I got about 5 small steeps out of this, and past steep three it starts becoming unremarkable, tasting like a generic green tea. That second steep though – mmm, just like seaweed salad!
My 100th tasting note on Steepster! Thanks to everyone for making this community what it is: a friendly and fantastic hangout for tea fanatics. I visit this place at least a couple times a day (usually more) because it’s just a great place to be!
This was a sample I got with my last Verdant order, and I tried it gongfuish style in my tasting cup, with subsequent short steeps. Like the Laoshan black, the little curly dry leaves gradually unfold into full tea leaves. On my first sip I was immediately hit with asparagus! Thankfully I love asparagus. Next there were green beans. On the second steep the beans were still there but also a bit of toast flavor. Third steeps and after it got really creamy and buttery, almost like the bi luo chun I had a few months back but the sesame oil flavor was not quite as strong. Unfortunately I didn’t try the summer harvest while it was available, but this is a really delicious and well-made green. What can I say? The He family just makes fantastic tea.
Warning: this ended up really long!
I’ve been swirling something around inside my brain for awhile now on the nature of snobbery as it relates to tea and literature, and I think I will finally share it. Without going into too many details, awhile back someone came on the Steepster forums and said something about a much loved tea company that was not nice (or true), and it was pretty snobby too. It got me thinking.
At the time I was working on a paper comparing Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” to Thomas Kyd’s “The Spanish Tragedy”. I had a couple of thoughts on how I think of snobbery, and I think Shakespeare serves as a good example for both of them. First, that sometimes people make things highbrow or “fancy” when the original creator did not intend for it to be highbrow or fancy. Second, that being able to appreciate what is “fancy” does not necessarily take away from one’s enjoyment of things that are not. (Can you tell I just put on my academic writing hat?)
To tackle the first issue, let’s think about Shakespeare and “Titus Anddronicus”. Our society absolutely views Shakespeare as highbrow entertainment. In part, this is an issue of language; the English language has evolved quite a bit since the Renaissance. However I think Shakespeare is largely thought of as highbrow because academia has made him so. How many times have we heard Shakespeare referred to as the greatest author that ever lived? And yet, Shakespeare was far from highbrow in his own time. In later years his troupe performed for royalty on occasions, but if you were a Londoner in Shakespeare’s day you could see one of his plays for a penny. You could also see a bear-baiting for a penny, in fact those took place right down the street. Shakespeare wrote from popular demand; playwrights had to keep up with popular opinion if they did not want to lose a sale to bear-baiting. “Titus Andronicus” is a prime example of this; it’s full of revenge, spectacle, and dead bodies. Revenge tragedies were very popular when he wrote it. People wanted to see revenge and dead bodies, so Shakespeare gave it to them. It’s only now that we make it highbrow entertainment. Likewise, I do not imagine that all tea makers think of making tea as a “highbrow” beverage, but how often do people make it so?
Secondly, I understand that as we enjoy better tea, our tastes change. As I have learned more about literature, I’ve gained a better appreciation of certain authors and books. Five years ago I would not have written a six page paper based off of four lines in a Shakespeare play. However, this knowledge has not made me only happy to read Shakespeare or classic authors. In fact, many of the books I read for enjoyment are new and popular books. I may not feel they are as complex as Shakespeare, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them. However, there are limits to this; there are some massively popular books out there that without naming titles, I just think are bad. Likewise, there are many teas I might have enjoyed years ago that I now think are bad. What I hope is that I continue to find a balance. I want to be able to appreciate very fine teas as well as the ones that are decent, or middle of the road. I hope that I also always appreciate fine literature, as well as the books that are just decent. I think sometimes we can like things that are not “highbrow”, and things that are fancy don’t have to be fancy.
And if you’re still with me after all that, I award you five gold star stickers.
I won this in Teaves October giveaway, and they sent me a really big sample! I brewed up a cup this afternoon while Rayn and I watched some Avatar episodes and we both liked it. The flavor is right on the nose a big, juicy, ripe peach! I also tasted a little hint of lemon in the background. I think this would make a fantastic iced tea – in fact, I think I’ll do that.