1120 Tasting Notes
Hmmm. Reserving final judgment for later cups. I am generally very impressed with white tea. Yeah its often subtle but it has great depth. I have generally had great experience with Verdant Tea so far. They have all been high quality and interesting. This one just isn’t grabbing me. The leaf is beautiful. You can tell by looking it has silver needle mixed in. The wet leaf scent is melon and some other fruit. Why am I not amazed? The taste so far just isn’t living up to my expectation. I used 175 F water and a little over a minute steep. I am going to check how I brewed Concept Teas version (my favorite Bai Mu Dan ever) and go from there.
It was 50+ F today – Yeah! In the morning we are expecting to wake up to Ice + sleet + snow, BOO! So we ran around today. Judging by the roads apparently everybody around here did the same thing.
So this evening I had my first cup of tea. I didn’t even remember having this one. I reached to the bottom and grabbed. I really have got to organize. It is so out of hand.
Moderately roasted. It was not bad, but I have learned I just prefer unroasted greener oolongs.
It was only a couple years ago that I had my first taste of puerh. A lot of people seem a little freaked by the experience but I found it instantly accessible. At first I could only tell by taste if it was raw or ripe. Slowly I am beginning to grasp the wide range of flavor of each. This one gets my award as the best aroma ever from the dry leaf. It is hay, green tea, and citrus. Really nice. The steeped leaf is minty, anise, citrus, and deep green steamed vegetal. Again, really nice. The sip reveals the youth of this cake. It is not the bright metallic taste I usually expect. This is dusty and musty. The taste is very earthy like fresh clean damp soil. It reminds me of digging potatoes as a kid with my dad. So mega-points for memory association. I very much enjoyed this cup and look forward to seeing how it changes with age.
Feb 27 and its 20 F outside with strong winds making it feel much MUCH colder than it already is, so what do I order today during our shopping trip? An icy cold beverage. I haven’t had one of these in weeks.
The guy behind the counter had to be a first day confused fellow. Had to stop him from using whole milk as I wanted fat free – apparently he didn’t know the caps are color coded. I wanted it with Splenda not the classic syrup. He started to use the pink stuff affectionately known as rat killer. And he used two scoops of matcha instead of one – I kept quiet on that one. :)
The difference between their matcha and the two I own is extremely obvious. This tastes like sencha and it is bright green. Mine are kind of lime greenish brown and taste much darker. One by Teavivre is not matcha and they don’t call it such. It is green tea powder. The Persimmon Tree Matcha Grade A, tastes halfway between Starbucks and Teavivre. It is very drinkable but not even close to Starbucks in flavor.
Anyway, I’ve had my fix and now maybe I will make it until (if) we get warm weather.
Yesterday my grown sons put up a ceiling fan with light kit in my den. My golden fleece was is in the den. So I never got to fully exhaust the leaf. This morning I put it aside for later today and grabbed this one for blurry eyes first tea. I am having again at lunch with a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich – thanks whoever suggested it. The PBAB and EG went well together. This is essentially a earl grey creme. Vanilla almost always seems to dominate the cup to me unless it is paired with mint. So to my tastes this is a vanilla black tea with light hints of bergamot. Good choice first thing and with lunch.
Another one of those teas I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try. I mean almost everybody raves on it and I am never sure if it is really that good or if it is a peer pressure kind of thing. Well, I don’t think I succumb to peer pressure easily but I love, hear me, I LOVE this tea. Dian Hong is always at or near the top of my favorite list. So no surprise I took to this before it was even steeped. The wet leaf announces malt as soon as the brew is poured. Sipping, I thought honey, brown sugar, and fresh baked bread. It heads towards sweet potato but makes a turn in a different direction. A really satisfying cup. Thanks Terri.
Finishing off the sample while taking a break. Tonight is band practice and the singers want me to learn three new songs (only one of which do I have a CD to listen while working it out) nothing like pressure. Last Sunday was the first time ever that while we were leading song worship that I wondered how much longer I could keep playing. I love it but I am on oxygen and this last week was not a good week for breathing. I have always had restrictive lung function but as I get older, well… I have never smoked but if you do please stop. I have the equivalent of severe COPD and it is not fun to have blue fingers just going from one room to the other. Take care of your lungs and your body.
Anyway this tea actually reminds me a lot of sheng puerh. It is a green tea but it has that bright mineral/metallic taste I associate with sheng. I have enjoyed it.
This is the oldest sheng I have ever tasted. It held many surprises. The leaf is loose and looks like crumbled autumn leaves. It is mostly dark brown with some green and even fewer gold streaks. The dry leaf has traces of light smoke. I have read this in reviews before but it is the first time I have been able to detect it in a sheng.
My first steep was 30s with boiling water. It produced a golden amber liquor. I had imagined given its age it would be darker. The wet leaf has an aroma of smoky moss.
The taste has only hints of smoke and is probably more smell than taste. This is brighter than I expected. It is not metallic over bright like a young raw puerh. It is a mellow brightness if that makes sense. There is no bitterness. It is slightly drying. I have trouble coming up with descriptors for sheng. I can better tell you what it is not. It is not harsh, brassy, coppery, fishy, pond, barnyard, or any of the nasties. I guess woodsy best describes it. Later cups develop a sticky lip feel as it becomes more creamy and slightly mushroom. It holds on to the hints of smoke.
This was definitely my best sheng experience to date.
I blame TheTeaFairy. I had to skillet toast a PBJ this evening. I had it with Twinings Chai. It stood up to the challenge better than I imagined. Maybe someday I will actually learn to appreciate chai. This bagged one is nicely flavored with cardamom and clove. it is lighter on the cinnamon and ginger. Not bad. One day soon I will have to try a stove top version prepared with milk.