40 Tasting Notes
When I was fourteen or fifteen I signed up to go on a mission trip because a girl I liked was going on it. So I flew to Argentina from the God Bless the U. S. of A., because it seemed like a better idea than just asking her to the movies or something. In fact, if I ever say, “Man, I’ve got a great story,” and you interrupt me and demand to know if there is a female in it, and I say “no”, I’m lying about it being a great story or about being a female in it.
While down there I was introduced to this whole mate business. I was also introduced to this whole caffeine business, which I didn’t really understand prior to drinking a ton of this at 11pm at night and then not sleeping. At all.
As far as the caffeine content goes, yeah, it’s on the high side, but black coffee (which is rare) gives me jitters, while mate doesn’t. I think that Guayaki is the closest thing to name brand mate in the USA. Pretty good stuff.
Mine was actually Teavana’s discontinued Organic Pu-erh. It tea and dirt had a baby, that’s what this tastes like. I do enjoy it quite a bit, but I have to be in the mood for it. Usually it goes like this: I’m looking through my tea collection trying to decide what I’m going to drink, because I’m feeling indecisive, usually I know exactly what it is, and I see it and I say, “Hell, why not?”
I was inspired to put in a bunch of work in my mouth by Owl City’s Dental Care. Not sure if I have weak gums, but the floss caused most of the spots between my teeth to bleed. Then I decided to eat pizza from breakfast (because I’m an adult and adults can make these type of decisions) which I added a thick layer of crushed red pepper (because I’m an idiot, and that’s the kind of choices we make).
Busted gums + crushed red pepper = ow ow ow
White needle tea actually does seem to help. Unlike regular water, which makes things worse.
Sunday night I came home late (1 am), and turned on my music. I forgot that I had my volume turned all the way up from when I left the house in the morning. This was corrected within seconds, but my neighbor (who I share a wall with) started banging on the wall in anger against me five seconds of noise. Today I come home from work with a note on my door about a noise violation from my leasing office. Give me a break.
After finding the note I decided this tea was in order. That choice is, of course, based on nothing. I’m skipping the rating on this, because I’m neutral on recommending this. If you like a lot of jasmine, it’ll be great.
The matcha bender continues.
I put back a bowl of this just before going to “show tunes” night at a gay club. A friend of mine from out of town was having a bit of a reunion there. Somehow I know my life is a bit more complete after seeing a bar full of gay guys sing along with a clip of Whoopie Goldberg in Sister Act, specifically the “My God” song.
Also, I was encouraged to try and pick up “fruit flies”. Personally, I’m not one for hitting on females in a establishment that serves refreshments of a spirituous nature. Also, I’m not sure if picking up girls with a title derived from an creepy and/or crawly is a good idea, i.e. “black widow”. In fact, I’ll wager that any female that has a cool nick name is a horrible girlfriend by day two of the relationship. Day one, fantastic. Day two, you’re locked in the bathroom, on the phone with the police, hoping they get to your door before she gets through the bathroom door.
As a tea drinker, this wild life is simply not for me.
A bit down on myself today. I’ve been listening to Cat Power’s Werewolf on repeat for an hour, and later I’ll go see a friend’s modern dance piece later. Sencha is something that feels so common that it seems to meet my mood.
When looking for something grassy, this is my current favorite.
This is Teavana’s crème de la crème of white tea. This is my bread and butter tea. While I’m on the topic of bread, I’ll also point out about the flavor that if tea and butter had a child, this is probably what it would taste like. The texture of the tea liquor has almost a viscosity to it.
After a day with challenges, this is my tea. After a day with something to celebrate, this is my tea. Fortunately, today I am celebrating a good day with this tea and the Avett Brother’s Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane.
The past few days have been a matcha bender. Purchasing a traditional bamboo matcha whisk changed my matcha experience from a mixed one to an absolutely positive one. Prior to the bamboo whisk, I’d been using a standard metal kitchen whisk, and not a very flexible one at that. For tea veterans, I’m sure you can appreciate why that was a poor choice on my part.
Matcha poorly made can be particularly bitter and heavy. That’s how I’d make it before, and I’d reserve it for a time of focusing before something of significance, like meeting someone new or prayer.
Drinking it now, my mind hangs on to my old ceremony of having some sort of reverence for the task at hand during and after drinking the markedly better made bowl of matcha. Drinking matcha and thinking about the direction of my life while I listen to the Moth podcast or find some music I think is appropriate for this kind of mind, like Radiohead’s Idioteque or a live version of Tool’s Pushit.
The tea itself is different from any other tea you’re likely to taste, being the whole tea leaf dried and ground and immersed with hot water. If you’re going to take the time to try this, I’d encourage you to get the whisk, get a decent bowl, and get the water temperature right the first time. This will greatly increase your experience.
Mixing this stuff with vanilla ice cream and splash of vanilla soy milk is also fantastic.
Fruit and flowers added to rooibos blend very smoothly together. A very enjoyable red bush blend that reminds me of warmer days.
The current Dragonwell I have comes from the Essencha tea house in Cincinnati. Dragonwell is my current favorite green Chinese, and this specimen is a fine one. Smelling the leaves, before and after steeping, remind me of chocolate.