1417 Tasting Notes
I wanted tea this morning. Thinking hurt. This is morning tea. Strong but not bitter. Brisk. Astringent – like most breakfast teas. Woodsy. Malt in the aftertaste. Never thought to call it this but Awkward Soul is dead one with raisin late in the sip. Not likely destined to be anyone’s favorite tea but it is more like that friend that is always there for you that kind of goes unnoticed – and shouldn’t.
The keys are located just slightly different on this laptop than on the desktop. I keep hitting something with my pinky and sending notes into oblivion. So I will try again. I wasn’t ready to part with the Zenjala Bohea leaf from yesterday. It still had some smoky goodness in the aroma. So I added some Ahmad Earl Grey loose leaf to see if I might end up with Cowboy Earl. Sadly, the Bohea is too far gone. Happily this is Earl Grey. Doing the dance of bergamot joy even as you read this. May explain why I keep hitting the wrong key.
Inexpensive but solid loose leaf Earl.
Today I prepared the last of this one. I made it last two years. I’ve changed my mind, this is my favorite from Zenjala. I am moving White Monkey into that second spot. This has a wonderful smoky aroma but it is not super intense. This is a milder version of lapsong souchong. There is also a hint of malt in the dry leaf. Brewed this is kind of sweet. It’s very easy to drink with no bite or astringency that I am catching. The smoke is more in the smell. You can feel the tea gently along the sides of your tongue. There is a fruity woodsy presence. This was one of my early ventures into loose leaf and it still stands the test of time. One day I will have more of this.
Hurrah! I seem to have my tastebuds back. Actually it was an impaired sense of smell due to allergens in the air. The wet leaf is intoxicating with its steamed vegative aroma. The sip is crisp with an edge. The leafy green scent is also present in the mug. There is a light butteriness, and a nutty element. Despite the description this is not a bold cup. It is one of those whose great strength is in drawing you in to relax and enjoy. It does it well.
This is a well reviewed tea and I have nothing new to say about it. It is very good and worthy of the attention it has gotten. Rich and smooth.
I’m sitting here trying to relax by sipping Laoshan Black while I wait for 2:00 pm. I have to go to the vet and pick up Buffy. Poor little fuzz ball has a broken leg. Last night my son was trying to get his cat over its loathing of the newest member of the house. The cat was having no part of it. Of course Buffy loved the idea. So when my son stood up to carry his cat to safety, it jump from his arms and landed paw first on Buffy’s back leg. Her crying in pain was almost unbearable. It was ten minutes to five. We called the vet and they told us “Sorry we are closing. Bring her by at 8:30 in the morning.” If there were a better vet in town I would not go back. We bandaged her best we could and put her in her cage. I think Buffy slept more than we did last night. Jerks. What if that were a member of your family? On the other side of the argument – when we got there this morning there were 3 other injured dogs waiting in line… but still Buffy is just a tiny ball of fur… and she is ours.
This one came my way from CelebriTEA. I love jasmine pearls when they are done well. The peals seem smaller than others I have tried. Could be my imagination. They smell lovely. The bottom of the unopened sample pack was not completely sealed. That may greatly affect this review. After steeping the leaf really expanded. Almost completely on the first steep. Tastewise this seems kind of metallic tasting. Otherwise the jasmine is very nice. The one question I have with the Steepster samples is what’s the point? I mean, if this were the most incredible tea I had ever tasted, it appears it can’t be purchased anywhere.
I continue to learn this morning. According to Teavivre, green tea powder is steamed not pan fried. I have no idea where the roasted nutty oolong notes are coming from. I prepared a mug with hot water using the amount of powder I have been using with my morning milk – about 1 tsp. The tea does not resemble the cup picture on Teavivre’s site. Their’s is bright algae green. Kermit would feel at home. Mine is murky deep olive brown and looks a little (lot) scary. What creature lurks beneath these waters. My mind wanders to Poke Salad Annie. The gators got your granny. Chomp. Chomp. I digress… So too much powder on my part I presume. The taste without milk, or other additives, is strong and bitter. Even with sweetener this is bitter. Wow. Time to cut back on the amount. I also need to dial way back the water temp. Teavivre calls for 60-80 C on the description. I was way hotter than that (d’oh). I probably won’t have this again today but I will change what I am doing next time and give an update. One of the things Teavivre suggests mixing this with is chocolate, so you know we are going there at some point.
I’ve learned two things already this morning and it’s not even seven. First, peaches and cream oatmeal sounds far better than the wretched stench that I just had in a bowl. Ick. Of course there are more packets of it than anything else in the box. So there’s that.
Second, a little tired of trying to stir green tea powder in to cold milk, I used some hot water first before adding milk. The hot water released a roasted almost dark roasted oolong flavor into my cup. Very unexpected. So this morning’s mug is not the frap alternative I’ve been drinking. I did have caramel and vanilla syrup in the hot mix as well. Later today I have to try this as just a tea.
I haven’t been writing many notes lately. Nothing seems to have flavor right now. Since 90% or so of flavor is smell, I assume some allergy thing is robbing me of my enjoyment. I first noticed it with the Mao Feng a few days ago. I thought I under leafed. Now I am not so sure. Big bold flavors like from bottled and highly flavored stuff are still detectable. Subtle teas are just lacking. This white monkey is maybe two years old and that may be part of the problem today. I have always enjoyed it every time I have brewed it. Today all that is present is sweet and a mild earthiness. Looks like I’ll have to put it back in storage for the time being. Maybe I’ll switch to hearty black or flavored teas for a few days.