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322 Tasting Notes

(I don’t know why I can’t get the image to attach)

Well, it appears I am the first to get to talk about this 2012 pre-chingming da hong pao!

This tea is a real eye opener to the significant differences that time of harvest can make with a tea. After my rinse, when the aroma of the wet leaf reached my nose, I had to run back and double-check the canister. I thought I had the wrong tea! “It smells like tiguanyin” I thought.

An amazing balance is present here between a floral, green oolong, and an amber, roasted one. It really is almost like a blend of da hong pao and tiguanyin. The result really is a “best of both worlds” flavor profile.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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We’ve been keeping a box of this in the cabinet for a long time now, and I never reviewed it as a hot tea (that I recall), but what I have been doing lately is steeping it cold, and the results are much better than the hot results.

I put 8 bags into a 3 quart vessel with tepid water, and stash it in the fridge over night.

The result is bright and green and that vegetal quality which is so great in expensive green tea and so lousy in cheap green tea is very muted here.

As I drink through the bottle, I keep adding back water (the tea bags are still in there) and I just keep drinking it down until the results seem to be getting thin, at which point I stop adding water. I probably get a gallon or two of green tea out of these 8 bags.

As refreshing as lemonade or sweet tea, but without the sugar, in Houston’s crushing Summer heat and humidity.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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Sometimes I make this tea, and I stare into the cup, and I think “I wish I could quit you”.

There are days you just don’t understand why you like lapsang. Today is that day.

I love drinking this tea with lots of different steeping techniques because you get a different flavor profile every time. Today is a medium short steep in a big pot, and it couldn’t be more different from recent gongfu steepings. This pot is all sharp edges and bristling questions, like an arson investigator picking his way through the lingering smoke. There are days this is what you want. If today is not that day, I have found that small, very short steeps produce a much rounder, softer cup.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I desperately want to try this one, I plan to order a sample when I get more Baker Street Afternoon Blend.

Jim Marks

Oh pants. I meant to order that, and completely forgot. There was something else someone had mentioned from Upton I’m realizing I forgot, too.

ScottTeaMan

I agree completely with your review and my feelings on LS tea.

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I haven’t had this tea in a long time, having long ago “upgraded” from this to Upton’s slightly pricier “Wang” offering.

But I’ve learned a lot about pu-erh since then, and I wanted to circle back around and see how this struck me differently, now.

First and formost, gongfu steeping brings out a much broader and brighter access to the “dusty, damp cave” flavor profile of this tea. I’m going to enjoy these leaves.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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Birthday ==> shipment of teas!

How can you go wrong with “ancient forest”?

This is an unusual leaf. I’ve never seen sheng leaf that looks like this.

Excellently, this lack of the every day translates into the cup, as well. A thick, brothy cup is easily achieved and the flavor profile is bold and bright without being too wooly or sharp.

I picked this up on a whim as I was placing an order and I’m glad I did.

It has been raining for a week solid and forecasted for a week more (when did I get transported to Seattle) and this is a great “cozy” cup.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Scatterbrain

I have to admit, little phrases in a tea’s title can make me a lot more likely to buy the tea. “Ancient Forest” is something that would definitely lure me in.

gmathis

Rain…I vaguely remember that… (Funny; not four months ago, I was looking at a creek bank in my neighbor’s backyard; now I’m looking at shredded wheat growing in my own.)

Bonnie

MANY YEARS TO YOU!

ashmanra

Happy day to you, happy blessed year to come!

Invader Zim

Happy belated birthday! Hope many healthy years to come.

LadyLondonderry

Belated best wishes, Jim! May the year ahead be a healthy, happy and prosperous one for you!

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Today I found the upper limit of “less leaf” by exceeding it.

sad face

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Jim Marks

I was able to salvage later steeping by just not filling the pot with water.

Bonnie

I knew you would! We don’t waste good Pu’er! I just got a recipe for butter chai from roughage in the U.K. and some fine tea and Pu’er. Let me know if you want the recipe.

Invader Zim

It’s a learning experience.

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drank Bedtime by Yogi
322 tasting notes

My ailment was improving nicely until I was forced to go mow the lawn in 100 degree heat.

So, I am going back to this old stand by to ensure a deeper sleep tonight.

I try to avoid using it too often so that it remains effective, and if I stick to that, it “really works”.

Liz hates the way Yogi teas taste, but I like the licorice esque sweetness.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Bonnie

Feel better friend! Licorice esque is a cool wordishness.

Hesper June

I hope you arise tomorrow morning feeling refreshed!

ashmanra

I bought Get Some Zzz’s for hubby. Is this better? I like licorice esque, too. Hope you rest well and feel better. My hubby has been sick for almost a week with a summer cold.

Jim Marks

This works. I don’t know if that’s better or not :)

ashmanra

Just remembered I had a sample that my daughter ordered. I gave him Stress Relief instead of this one, but he said it seemed to help! He said his brain wouldn’t stop spinning when he went to bed…lots of changes at work coming, but most of them really good! Still, you need to sleep!

Jim Marks

I know that mental sensation. It is the primary reason I don’t sleep well, in general.

Fever delirium makes it much more acute for me. Ugh. fever delirium is a preview of Hell, I’m quite convinced.

Bonnie

I get that sensation regularly from my migraines …almost like vertigo or being seasick. I close my eyes and play Chant or Russian Liturgical Music very low …drink cool not cold 7 up or mint tea (first I have to drink something high in caffeine which helps migraines) ..
but for cold and nausea …sticking with brat diet (bread, rice, applesauce, tea) helps the tummy and head feel better.

Jim Marks

This is a metaphorical spinning. Thoughts that are caught in a loop going around and around. Tuesday evening I had all the hymns I’d worked hard to chant correctly “stuck” in my head as my fever got worse. Not in a calming way, but in a skipping record on the wrong speed kind of way.

During a bad migraine or fever delirium I’ll be frantically trying to compose software code in my mind to “break” the loop I’m stuck in. Of course, then the code itself becomes the loop.

Bonnie

Methinks both are horrid! I grab my Icon of the Theotokos and cling as I try to keep from spinning off the edge of the planet!

ashmanra

Ugh! I get the thoughts spinning thing sometimes, so that is why I thought Stress Relief might be the better tea for him. If he could quit thinking about work, he could go to sleep!
Next time, I will try the Bedtime tea and see what works best for him, and ask him to compare the effect of those with Get Some Zzzz’s.

Jim Marks

I steep for 10 minutes and drink it 15-20 minutes before turning in.

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Gaaaaaaah, Summer head cold.

That’s the last time I shake hands with a child.

Fighting back the congestion with pu-erh.

I can’t taste anything, sadly.

And I have to chant a vespers service this evening alone.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Spoonvonstup

Hope you feel better soon!

Bonnie

Oh no! How bout some gunpowder mint? Chanting alone with a cold is challanging! I feel sorry for my brother when his asthma is kicking up and he has to chant and is using the censor at the Alter. Part of the journey though isn’t it! God Bless you Jim!

Bonnie

Glad Vespers is relatively short!

Jim Marks

Thankfully, the frankincense does not seem to impact me the way it does with most. Our deacon seems to have a permanent head cold.

I’ve got a vaporizer full of eucalyptus oil cranking away on my desk.

Bonnie

Thankful for that! Hopefully you will recover! Those nettie pot things with saline are useful.

Jim Marks

Oooph. Those freak me out.

Charles Thomas Draper

Salt water cures everything….

Bonnie

Come on Jim…there’s the spray bottle kind…it’s not that bad and works. People with allergies and sleep apnea use them all the time. I used to. Just water with saline. NEVER regular water, has to be mineral free.

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I woke up very bleary this morning, unexpectedly, and actually drank coffee for the first time in a long time.

But as late morning begins to drag on towards lunch, it is time to settle into something softer, so here I am with the last of this free sample and it is just right.

Hopefully it will settle my stomach a bit before it is time to eat.

I am surprised I like this tea as much as I do, but I really do.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Did you still taste bell pepper and roasting pan? I tasted toasted sesame seed and some honey…grass at one point.

Jim Marks

No, brewing it this way has produced a radically softer cup. The first two steeping were very sweet, from the ginseng coating, but now that it has washed off, the liqueur from the fully opened leaves is very much like a tieguanyin.

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Profile

Bio

I am rarely, if ever, active here. But I do return from time to time to talk about a very special tea I’ve come across.

You can hear the music I compose here:
http://jimjohnmarks.bandcamp.com

I have a chapter in this book of popular philosophy
http://amzn.com/0812697316

I blog about cooking here https://dungeonsandkitchens.wordpress.com

I blog about composing music and gardening here
http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress.com

Location

Houston, TX

Website

http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress...