1315 Tasting Notes
Last night I ran several pots of hot water through my new yixing teapot. Then I used a cheap shu to brew a pot and let it set and steep to help season it before pouring it out. I chose this 2010 Menghai Dayi today for my first session. I like the rich cedar and spice of this one with underlying leather notes. I imagine this early in the life of this pot I am imagining it but the flavors do seem more pronounced. Good start.
I know next to nothing about Yixing. I’ll do a formal review after spending some time with it. This is a very inexpensive machine molded pot. I am OK with that. It has what appears to be hand added graphics lightly etched on the sides. This one will hold about 10 oz and looks much larger than I expected and is quite heavy for its size. I have never used or even held a pricey Yixing so I can’t compare. I am sure the experts could easily tell. What I know is, the pot was hot and the handle stayed cool. it pours well without making a mess and only a small amount of leaf passed in to my cup. I couldn’t be more pleased at this time.
It is a good thing I like this, its as close to tea as I have had since yesterday afternoon. I sat with my wife at her craft show booth last night and all day today. I am such a good husband – I have been tracking a package of teaware as it traversed the continent. It arrived today without me being present. It was setting next to the garage when I got home. So I have my first Yixing and a small clear teapot for visual teas. To late for caffeine tonight. Depending on what my wife has planned for me tomorrow, I may have to wait until Monday to try them out. Sigh, but in a happy anticipating way.
My first experience with Ocean of Tea. I am no stranger to Earl Grey. I know what I like, what I’ll tolerate, and what I won’t. If you are going to call your tea Earl Grey it better not have anything but black tea and bergamot. That is cause for immediate dismissal (I don’t mind additional flavors but don’t call it Earl Grey because its not). This one passes the first hurdle.
I also cannot stand a wimpy Earl Grey. It is Earl Grey – give me bergamot! I don’t want faint traces of it. Don’t make me search. This one has a bright lemony citrus scent when dry and even more potent in the wet leaf aroma. I could sniff it all day and never grow tired.
On the other hand don’t overwhelm me, or give me a weak base, I want to taste tea. I like Twinings Earl Grey but find its base to lack presence. Admittedly my tastes run towards a Ceylon base that fights back. This one is more refined. It has depth without the rough edges. I can definitely taste the base without it moving to the forefront.
Earl Grey Premium has enough bite to be satisfying while remaining very well balanced. The bergamot is the primary note but is not overwhelming. The bergamot is very natural and pleasant. I can’t think of anything to complain about with this tea except my cup is empty.
Rant on. I am right at the limit on my monthly internet (20 Gb) They will probably shut my account down shortly. It will restart tomorrow on the first of the month. Verizon suddenly refused to renegotiate with our provider. Verizon’s greed knows no bounds. They doubled our monthly bill when they took over. $100 for internet and I can’t even watch TV shows or movies – seriously? I live in the middle of nowhere. It is overpriced wifi or nothing. Rant off.
So this morning I mixed some organic green tea powder with 2% milk and added a splash of caramel syrup (zero calories) and a half splash vanilla syrup. I got them in the coffee/tea section at Walmart. Have so say, it is pretty tasty. It is not quite Starbucks but it is as close as I have gotten. Also have to say that as cheap as this green tea powder is, it is close enough. Basically the only calories are in the 2% milk. I try to start my day with a glass of milk. I usually use chocolate syrup. I think I like this better, which is good because I have like 5 ounces of green tea powder. I do miss the vivid green of Starbucks – this is more clay colored – but I’ll get over it.
See you on the first. Stupid Verizon.
Morning cup. First off I just noticed this is Bolder Breakfast not Boulder Breakfast like I spelled it on my blog a while back. Had to fix it. Second, I didn’t feel like searching to post, so I typed bolder breakfast into the search. There seems to be at least 3 different listings for the same tea. Such is Steepster in the morning. My blurry head tastes chocolate, something mildly spicy, and pu’er. That’s all I got until I wake up. I recall it being awesome from last time.
I thought this tea had at least two listing. I picked one and went with it. Then realized it was in the wrong place. I’m not OCD but I fixed it anyway.
Scouring through my drawer today I stumbled upon this one. Apologies to Life In Teacup for misplacing it. It’s all good as today was the perfect day to sit with this lovely tea. The leaf pellets are very tiny and dark but really expand. The wet leaf is highly roasted in scent. The sip is medium to light roasted. I really like this one. It is sweet and tastes like roasted honey (can you do that?). I can definitely see why some called this nutty. After reading it, I totally agree. Seems thick like milk but has more glide. Not sure that makes sense either. This is light and refreshing and not the heavy chunk of roasting I normally associate with darker oolongs. I taste the Taiwan mountain oolong in the lingering aftertaste but it isn’t super floral or latex like some. This is just all around a nice cup for a rainy dreary day.
This is my favorite tea from The Persimmon Tree. The other reviews run the full range from hate it to love it and all points in between. The base green is a strong vegetal tea bordering on bitter but it is the good kind. The lotus is light. Mixing with the green base it takes on anise and vanilla notes. Unlike anything else I’ve had. Nothing like Tazo Lotus which is decaf bagged with a wimpy green base. That one is a lovely simple floral tea. This one is full bodied and complex with the base standing along side the floral. Love.
Afternoon tea. When you sniff the wet leaf you can almost smell the green tops on the strawberries. Yum. The taste is lighter than the aroma. On one hand I kind of want more, on the other I realize it would be more like Kool-Aid or something if it were more strawberry. It is a fine line. As I continue to sip I decide this has been done correctly. I can taste tea, and the strawberry lingers nicely in the aftertaste. I keep thinking I’ll add ice but it keeps disappearing before I get the chance. Good choice today.
Look at me, grabbing an Assam first thing in the morning – on purpose. It has taken a very long time to get over my mistrust. Cheap bagged Assam tea will do that to you. This one is helping in my recovery. Not sure what I did differently today but this is nicely malty.I thought it was very light last time. More leaf maybe. Yes, it still has some cheek tingle and I think I need to get something to eat with it but it is hardly the beige meh I considered all of Assamdom in the past.
Terri was amazed at the dry leaf scent. I didn’t really detect much of any. That is OK because the wet leaf more than made up for it. While the leaf was still steaming hot, this was mostly just dark roasted notes but as it cooled a moment it made a magical transition. This aroma of spices and a fruit (maybe apple?) came forth. It reminded me of an incense I burned years ago. I don’t recall ever smelling sandalwood before that that is the description Verdant uses. I’ll agree because I don’t know better :)
I have never had aged on purpose tieguanyin so I did not know what to expect. The taste is far smoother, silky even, than I expected. It has a little side tongue tingle but no harsh edges. The roast and the oolong notes are mild and very well behaved. The aftertaste is sweet like a mix of honey and raisin.
I am not normally a big fan of dark roasted oolong but this was a wonderfully surprising cup. I very much enjoyed it and am looking forward to more steeps. Thanks Terri for sharing.