1475 Tasting Notes
I almost feel sorry for Good Life Tea reviewing this tea when Steepster is being so wonky. Yeah, I first typed about 4 things other than wonky but changed them for conscience sake. Hopefully someone actually sees this.
This is very smooth. The vanilla and bergamot are very balanced but light. The black base is present but not assertive. It comes out most clearly in the aftertaste. There is no bitterness. A slight dryness with light cheek tingle. What made this one a stand out and different for me was once I added sweetener to it, after first tasting without it. Sweetener brightens the flavor without increasing the intensity (does that make sense?). The real bonus was a fruity/floral/spice note that joined the party. At first I thought cinnamon, then after another sip it was Orange Creamsicle. I highly recommend adding the sweetener with this one.
The rain was really coming down this morning – after we left the house for breakfast with friends. Stayed gray all day with occasional thunder. Fixed this one and it was a great choice. This is way better than I remember… and I gave it a 93 the first time. I let it steep longer today and the cinnamon note was really obvious. The honey was more intense as well. This is a really excellent tea.
Last time I had this was 5 days ago. At that time I was going to organize my tea. Yeah, I’m still going to organize… maybe. I did get two packages of tea mailed out. I still have a couple to go. With the construction going on I am not getting much else done. This was the only tea I had time to drink today. At least it good.
I had this one a couple days ago when Steepster was down. Adding it now. Edited from my blog post:
I used my press and water heated to the recommended 95 C (203 F) and steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes. The guidelines say 2-3 minutes. The result is a nicely orange liquor that sparkles as I pour it.
Cooled to drinking temperature – which is probably cooler than most of you like it but I don’t care for extremely hot tea. My first sip is… really nice. This is extremely smooth. Honestly I was expecting a lot of throat grabbing bite. Nope. None. No bitterness. If it is astringent, I am immune. I am also not noticing any problem with stomach burn on an empty stomach.
What I am getting is a really smooth malty sip with a fruitiness mid sip. This dissolves into as close as this gets to bite, which is really more of a woodsy taste. What-Cha calls it an earthy finish.
Second cup: While the cup was hotter than I normally like it, I took a sip and thought it was kind of mushroom and pond water. However, as the cup cooled the smooth malt returned at the front of the sip, then finished with earthy woodsy taste blended with the mushroom. The really hot cup was not my style but I quite enjoyed this second cup, once it cooled. It remains very smooth.I am once again impressed by the offerings of What-Cha. This is a very delicious black tea.
So had to dump my morning matcha milk. The milk had turned. Wasted a tsp of leaf but at least I realized it before taking a drink. Grabbed this one as alternate. Went great with grits. Nice sturdy but smooth cup.
I have a bulldozer in my front yard. A load of dirt was spread to bring the grade up so my basement will stop leaking. Now a back hoe is digging like mad putting a drain across my front yard. Meanwhile two guys are re-roofing my garage. The materials for my porch will be delivered soon. Apparently we are really going to do this thing.
This is a test of the Steepster broadcasting system. This is only a test…
Lapsang Souchong to the rescue this morning. Steeped at 200 F for as long as it took to play about half of Stairway to Heaven on my guitar. So nicely sweet and smoky. Very good at a slightly lower temp than I usually use.
This has been a test of the Steepster broadcasting system. We now return you to your normal reviews… or total silence, depending on whether Steepster is actually functioning….
Found it! It was right where I said. The reason I overlooked it, besides it was 6:30 AM was the Teavivre bag I stored the baggie in originally held Golden Tips, and I just recently opened a new bag of Golden Tips so… Anyway, the loose version of this tea is actually a green tea with the addition of a tiny amount of bergamot. It smells much stronger than it tastes. Why do I like it so much besides it is so cheap? When Earl Grey was destroying my stomach years ago I switched to Twinings Earl Green. It did not hurt me but they stopped selling it right after I became addicted. I discovered the bagged version of Ahmad Earl Green online. It is very close to the Twinings version but better in my opinion. I originally bought a bx of the loose leaf thinking it was the same but it is altogether different. It is not Earl Grey but it spoke to me. Yes I hear voices and they tell me to drink more tea. I must obey.
After my morning smoothie I still had plenty of time before I needed to leave to set up at 8:30 (that happens when you get up at 5:00), so I thought perfect time for some much neglected Green Tea with Earl Grey…. except I can’t find it. I know it is here. I double baggied it and put it inside an empty Teavivre pouch. I was certain it was on the desk. Came to the conclusion someone has too much tea and needs to go through it and organize. I plead momentary insanity for the first half of that statement and laziness for the need to organize. Chose the Earl Grey black instead because it sits out in the open in plain sight on top of the four foot high tea cabinet. Very satisfying for the EG cravings. So now this afternoon I either start going through my pile(s!) or launch Kerbals into space… who am I kidding, I’ll organize later :) I do hope to start boxing up some of the stuff I have been promising to send out in the next couple days. Things are becoming much less rushed now, so yeah for slowing down.
After having a mug of Bailin Gongfu black tea early this morning, we did our usual Saturday breakfast out. I hated to leave the only steeped once leaf at home so I put it the infuser basket of this mug. When asked if I wanted my usual hot tea, I told them I just wanted hot water. They are so used to me they didn’t care. Poured the water into the mug and placed the lid on top the infuser. Worked pretty well. The lid then served as a tray to set the infuser on while I sipped. I do have a few complaints. The lid doesn’t fit securely, so don’t expect it to stay put in the car – it won’t. The handle is thin and oddly shaped. I think it was most noticeable next to the regular very heavy mug in the restaurant. Final complaint is it is normally $15. I only paid $10 so I guess I shouldn’t care. I was looking for a Finum basket and bought this instead for the same price. I’m content. The infuser mesh is fine enough to suit my needs.
After downing 3 mugs, I told our server to go ahead and bring my usual tea – Mother Parker’s Orange Pekoe in a bag. She actually brought me two. Score! Had one cup of it. Put the unused bag in my pocket. Then after a quick stop at Walmart, and another at Lowes, we went country cruising. By the time we got home I was very happy to see indoor plumbing!
This was one of the early teas I experienced when Teavivre first introduced me to fine loose leaf tea. I remember being blown away. I added some to my recent order as it has been a long time since I last had Bailin Gongfu and I wanted to see if it stood up to my earlier experience and my memories. The first thing I’ll note is looking back through my notes, this was usually accompanied with food – and almost always food that is bad for the waste line but good for the soul. I don’t currently have any good junk food, so sad as that sounds I’ll proceed. Opening the package fills my nose with cocoa. Brewed this is cocoa, malt, and honey. Man this stuff is almost like junk food all on its own without the bad stuff. It really is as good as I remember.