698 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! I’ve had this one for a bit, and decided today was the day for it. It’s a day off today, and I woke up with a bit of a headache and sinus congestion. Headache days often start with straight blacks for me, sometimes pu erhs specifically, though I love a good yunnan on those/these days. I have surprisingly little straight black, at the moment, aside from the summer blend from Verdant, which I’m intentionally holding off on til it warms up a bit more.
As I was rooting through my teas, I found this one that I had gotten a while back in a swap with CrowKettle at a group meet up. I also came across one from Teavivre, and Shiva Chai from Tealux. I almost picked the chai because of my sinuses, but I decided to stick to my guns and go straight black as planned. I’m glad I did that, because I read my initial tasting note on this after I made it, just before writing this, and noted that I wanted to try blending this with a chai. So maybe a follow up steep I will add some chai in…
Anyway, I opted for this one because of the smell, and also because I felt it might be a little lighter than the Teavivre one, which is what I wanted. This was to be a middle of the road between a straight black like a yunnan and a strong pu erh. So, I decided to use the rest of this packet, which was about 2 tsp or so, but do a short rinse, and a short steep for this. I think my rinse was 15-20 seconds, and my steep was more like a minute. I also shook my steeper basket in my mug to let the leaves move some. This is probably the closest to gong fu style that I can do.
The initial sips were warm and earthy, but not as strong and musty as some pu erhs I have had. This is slightly lighter. I did add milk and sugar to this because it is almost like a coffee tea to me. I think I picked right in that it is a lighter/milder pu erh as compared to the one I have from Teavivre and heavier than a straight black like a yunnan. I think this fit the bill. Will be adding a dash of chai to the leaves for a follow up steep at sometime, but I think I am gonna go lie back down again in my bed, and let my tummy digest my yummy breakfast (avocado on a toasted multi-grain bagel with freshly ground multi peppercorn blend pepper, Hawaiian garlic salt, and chia seeds along with Victoria style cottage cheese and fresh nectarine slices.)
So, I’ve been having this tea a bit more, but just have not been recording any tasting notes. So…tonight I had the last of the sample that Bear With Me gave me, though I have since gotten more….I just didn’t want to mix the two, and since I didn’t have much of my original sample left.
What I think I notice most in this tea is the strawberry and amaretto, though I can detect a little of the raspberry from a juicy aftertaste. I think that I still prefer the Plum over the Rainbow, but I have upped my rating on this one.
I did add some milk to this one tonight, and I think this tea really holds up well to it. I’ve seen others add eggnog, so maybe I’ll try that. I’m not a huge fan of eggnog, but hubby is, so if he gets more, maybe I’ll eggnog latte this one. :)
This one is a really interesting one! It comes courtesy of the SSTTB #2. I have kind of been holding off on trying this one, because of the name…Summer Blend….and it’s winter. But I guess it was calling to me, so I made some today to take with me on my walk to get some acupuncture.
I did add milk and sugar to this because I was not sure whether it would need it or not, and I had to leave then, or be late, and it was too hot at that point to tell whether it was needed. I think it was fine with the milk, but probably would have been fine without it. I did make a second cup once I got home, and attempted to omit the milk, but it was too hot and I was impatient, so I added some to cool it down and I regret it, because this steep is less rich than the first. The first though, was malty and chocolatey, with some nice sweet notes…someone had said vanilla and caramel notes, and I could go with that.
I think that this tea will be a nice summer breakfast tea, and I am curious to see how it will cold steep in warmer weather. I’m not sure if I will drink this much in the colder weather, as much, because I think I will want to try it again once spring nears.
Had this yesterday as a tea to go…I was gonna get Yogi Berry, but then saw this and opted for bright sunny citrus to my rough day. And even though it had hibby in it, I seemed to recall I was ok with it in another Pu Erh blend that they had had in the past (Berry Good).
This one smelled reeaaaaallllyyyyy good, and it perked me up, so last minute switch to this one to take with me. Sadly, something in it gave me the same taste I get when I have licorice, fennel, or anise…but none of those were present in the ingredient list. I can only think it is one of the orange components, as I have had that same taste in teas with the orange whatever….I can’t remember which one it is.
So I really wanted to like this, but it just started tasting bad from whatever it was in it. :(
Wow, what an interesting last 24 hours. Not in a good way. Battling a potential eye infection, stupid sinuses. stress from external situations, and today I woke up with a migraine (part sinus, part stress) annnnnnd…today my building was having its fire alarms tested. ALL 23 FLOORS. So they were going off for a few seconds, periodically every 30-60 seconds or so for about 2 hours. I think they started about 8 or 8:30, and they were still at it by the time I left for work, about 10:15. And the bell is right by my door. So yeah, I pretty much had a sucky morning and had a migraine at work, plus stress. Not a good day, except when my co-workers cheered me up some, and I got notified that the sweater I ordered from Ricki’s arrived at the store (free shipping to the store).
(I got the black one, when it was on sale for $19.99 … http://www.rickis.com/star-surrounded-heart-sweater-8137WED5144SRHRT.html?dwvar_8137WED5144SRHRT_colour=Black%2FTeal%2FGrey#sz=100&start=1)
I also went to pick up more Mighty Aphrodite from David’s while I at the store, and opted to make that my free 50g. I was originally gonna just get 30g. but then she over measured and was like, it’s 40g…is that still ok, to which I said yes, but then realized I can just get 10g more and make it free. It’s not the most expensive tea or value for money, but I got Gold Rush last time, and I refilled on Oolong Supreme when I was in last, which will last me a while, so I opted for more Mighty Aphrodite.
Anyway, my ranting aside…this is one of my favourite teas and I am drinking it because it is just so nice. It’s making me feel a little bit better about everything that’s been going on lately. I’m on my second cup. This is less a review and more of a rant….sorry everyone. Sometimes you just need to vent and let things out. Hoping I can get into a community acupuncture session over the next few days to help “bleed out” so to speak, the stress, and help me deal more and move on with things.
In the meantime, it is midnight, but I have chocolate chip peanut butter cookies that are cooling… :)
Sipdown…this is a go to when I have sinus headaches or it is particularly cold out. Today was the former. I like the spiciness of the chili in this, along with the chocolate…I don’t really care much about the rest of the chai spice because it takes a back seat to the rest, and blends in a bit, and that is ok for me.
It’s a winter staple, though it is getting to be a little bit redundant, and I may lower my rating soon. Either that or they’ve rebounded and it tastes a little more artificial now. But I’ll still get more again.
SSTTB #2…I’m having deja vu with this one…it tastes exactly like the Big Red Robe I had recently from Teavivre. Is this a Big Red Robe? It has to be. It is the same level of toasty-ness and body and everything, though the leaves were a bit longer than the Teavivre ones I had (also from the box). This tea was comforting today, as the toasty warmth seemed to keep the rainy bone chilling away. Either that, or me being under a blanket with my laptop watching youtube videos. Maybe all of the above.
That said, it is a little plain tasting, though I did get a whiff of chocolate from the dry leaf that was promising, but that is not very present in the steeped leaf. It;s an ok tea, but I feel like there is something missing. I keep thinking I am drinking a houjicha green, and not an oolong. I think, ultimately, I prefer more mineral or stone fruit dark oolong teas, or leaf hoppers, than this roasted one.
It’s a good tea, but not my fave. As I have Silk Road in town, I have the option to repurchase more in the future if I change my mind on it.
From the SSTTB2…following the directions on the package to use 1tsp to 1tbsp and steep 5-30 minutes, I opted somewhere in the middle. I used 2 heaping tsp and steeped about 15 minutes. I did add a touch of coconut sugar and milk to this. It’s way better than the HI stuff I tried a while back. This is still thin, but it feels and tastes creamier and richer. I’m glad I could try this!
Baklog…it’s been a while since I last had this. This batch was sent to me by a friend. I found that this brew was distinctly more grapefruit than I remember, but that’s hardly a bad thing, given it’s name. It was a nice way to brighten up a dark and rainy day. I can’t wait to have this iced or cold steeped when it is warm out. It’s tasty.