41 Tasting Notes
Reading Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians” sitting on the linoleum floor of my parents’ kitchen at 1am drinking Dragonwell from one of their tea cups after decanting it from my guywan. The guywan is one of my surviving tea instruments. Most of them were left behind as the detritus that serves as material collateral damage in a sudden breakup.
I’d had enough of her behavior and enough of my own self-deceit that she’d live up to her promises that she’d get better. Be better. More reliable.
So a thousand miles behind me and just shy of all of my personal belongings shed during the last four months, I block her phone number and only communicate with her through e-mail. I pay her rent, partially as a sort of non-legally-mandated alimony, partially because my name is still on the lease, and I work at forgetting that those months even happened. E-mails from her have, in only days, started to feel like waking up from a strange, confusing dream only to find that one of the characters had left a note in the waking world.
It’s good to be home.
Firstly: note that the first steeping of this might as well be thrown away. The first rinse I’ve not been able to get anything other than the promise of a better steeping next. The second steeping, on the other hand is quite the opposite, with a surprisingly subtle flavor that I enjoy before a cheddar omelette in the morning. This has been my second loose leaf tea purchased while living in Tampa, the first being a stalwart sencha from a tea boutique on the north side near one of the larger campuses, who’s name escapes me.
I will try this same tea from a gaiwan and see how it fares.
Very smooth tea, but surprisingly not as bold as I’ve come to expect from most oolongs. I’ll be playing around with steeping temperatures and temperatures to get a bit more punch out of this tea. It’s really coming off as a slightly more grassy flavored version of Teavana’s Silver Needle… I’ll post any changes.
This morning I made the last of it and regrettably skipped the second steeping, which is far better than the first, which isn’t too shabby. It’s been a very busy last couple of days and this day will were to be a nice lazy pace by comparison. Because of my lazy pace, by the time I got to my tea, I had to rush to get to what I needed done. There is a certain enjoyment I find in gulping down tea at that almost-too-hot temperature. I wouldn’t trade the experience for savoring every mouthful, but there is a time to sit- and a time to run.
Mild grassy flavor, a good introduction to Kaleisia Tea Lounge. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere feels very hip-tea. Visited with my girlfriend, and was my first loose leaf tea in Florida. I like it in the morning with my apartment window open and warm Tampa breeze bringing the smell of my basil plant inside.
In a week, I’m moving. Being the sort of procrastinator I sometime am, I’ve waited until this last week to seriously organize the movement of my large furniture to other owners, as I’ll not be taking any of it with me. I’ll be traveling light and fast. Initially, I had planned on renting a U-Haul truck and taking the entirety of my material detritus, then I found out those trucks with a trailer would cost me about a thousand dollars. That works out to be about a dollar a mile, plus gasoline or Diesel. My furniture is worth about a thousand dollars, so it’d be cheaper to re-buy it all.
My second (or third, or fourth) hand washer and dryer were things that couldn’t go, because they’re very large, very heavy, and, in all likelihood, redundant to washer and dryer that would be in the apartment unit I’m moving into. I posted them on Craigslist for fifty bucks. No e-mails about them after several days, even someone trying to talk me down from the discount price. So, at work, I announced- “Hey, does anyone want a washer and dryer?” and someone said, “Yes, how much?” and I said, “If you can take it tonight, we’ll move it,”
We moved the white metal boxes to her apartment and she reheated some stew and cooked up a big bunch of this Vital Tea in a pot in the stove. I resisted being a tea snob and criticizing her for using way too much leaf and adding cold water to the leaves prior to putting the pan on the stove and not timing anything. Hey, it’s not my tea here.
Turns out it was great. She claimed she felt a good tea should be abuse friendly- that it shouldn’t matter how you cook the tea, it’ll turn out awesome. I reminded myself- “It’s just tea,”
I re-steeped the tea (in the same manner) three more times and each time, as a good oolong should, tasted a bit different and usually better. The third was my favorite. I’d definitely recommend this stuff, even though I don’t know where you get it.
This morning I allowed myself to doze in bed for an extra half hour, citing the Real Good work out I had at the gym and the habañeros I had for lunch as my excuse. Once up, for breakfast a bit of Dragonwell and a can of chili that I think the only difference between it and Alpo is the label. Then I listened to a good bit of my favorite album- The Who’s Tommy. This should shape up to be a pretty decent day.
Suddenly, and surprisingly, finding myself single, again, I find in myself, first a feeling of relief, but secondly, the returning feeling of being alone. I spend more time at work and the gym to have people around me, and avoid coming back to my apartment because here- I am alone. The cleaning here has found itself incredibly de-prioritized. While sencha in the morning with my waffles or eggs, of course, has not been.