1315 Tasting Notes
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.
You ever start through your tasting notes to find the tea you want to review because you THINK it will be easier than finding it in the database only to realize several pages in that it was a stupid idea but then you are so determined you just keep going? Sure would be nice to be able to search our own notes. Yeah I know you have a few sort options but it isn’t quite the same.
Anyway I had this one this afternoon because I didn’t want to concentrate on my cup. I just wanted to mindlessly sip while attempting (and failing) my latest rescue attempt in the Kerbal Space Program. I am so addicted. My wife says its a dumb game. I love the design challenge. I put one poor Kerbal on planet Moho (Mercury equivalent) easy enough, but getting a ship that can return home is proving near impossible. I almost did it today – I had enough reserve fuel, it touched down softly, then fell over and exploded. Maybe my wife is right, but like the database search I am determined!
Tea accomplished its mindless purpose. So assuming it was acceptable by previous experience.
I know nothing about matcha but I do know I have a serious Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino addiction. In the never ending quest to duplicate same in a slightly healthier home version I tried this one today. 8 oz cold 2% milk, 8 oz shaved ice, 2 packets of Splenda, & 1/2 tsp of matcha.
While it does not taste like Starbucks it is really good. It made a rich creamy froth. The sweetness was to my liking and a lot less sweet than Starbucks. I pretty much drank it straight down.
The taste difference of the matcha is Starbucks seems brighter and greener (and actually is greener in appearance). This is halfway in taste between Starbucks and Teavivre’s powdered green tea (not matcha). Saying that, this one I liked immediately. The Teavivre version I am still trying to work out proportions. I also see nothing on The Persimmon Tree’s website to suggest this is not actual Japanese matcha.
So I am looking at the picture and thinking, why is there a pentagram on the label? Then I read the description and I am all like index and pinky in the air screaming (in my head) Yeah! – Let me just say Dio would be pleased. Then references to Burn and Smoke on the Water keep bouncing through my skull. As you can tell I am amused. Where is my Paranoid album?
Opening the bag, this is not fire and brimstone. I first notice sweet smoke with light hints of cinnamon and vanilla (there isn’t any in the blend – just my perception). While the brewed cup is pine smoke bbq scented, the sip is sweet and not at all overpowering. I can even taste the tea. Just like in the movies this bad boy has a tender side.
Despite my initial inclination this would be a sensory assualt, it actually turned out to be a very pleasant caravan tea. Smoky yes, but not offensively so. Quite enjoyed this one. Thanks Terri