1559 Tasting Notes
I started today with my usual green tea powder frap and then a breathing treatment. I sound like Darth Vader when they broke him at the end of Episode IV. I guess that is better than the gasping martians of yesterday but not great. Called the clinic to find out what happened to one of my prescriptions – turns out someone forgot to hit send. Drove to town. Wife went in to pick it up for me. Now I am steeping this up thinking it is probably a good idea to mix puerh with antibiotics. We’ll see.
20 second steep. This one is another very nice tea. The wet leaf scent is kind of strong but there is nothing off in the cup. Kind of dusty with a light bite and plenty of old leather and loam or a woodsy taste. There is also a fruity or floral note way in the back. It becomes very smooth if you add just a bit of sweetener.
I am not good at describing the subtle differences between various similar puerhs. I do know what I like when I taste it, and this, I like.
I stayed home this morning. I play guitar with the praise team and I never miss. I’ve even played with a broken arm. I’m tough and playing is something I have to do. Until I nearly suffer the fate of H.G. Wells martians as the tiniest of microbes plot their attack. But O’ happy day, I’m not a martian and I have an immune system and a walk in clinic. And now I have steroids, anibiotics, and albuterol. My head will probably not explode and I will get over this. My taste buds and sense of smell are dulled but they mostly work. My biggest issue is this allergy/bug/whatever has made my O2 levels uncomfortably low. I’ve dealt with hypoxia my whole life (told you I’m tough) but I find as I get older I have to stay on top of it more. Golden years my butt.
I grabbed this one because it is warm and comforting. The grassy malt of the dry leaf has me feeling better already. Mug method with about 3.5 g of leaf. It is sweet and smooth with wonderful malt and light cocoa/ caramel notes. There is just a slight bite to it that I appreciate. Excellent choice for an early cup.
My second tea this evening trying to stay hydrated. New box in fact – well newly opened from last winter. As I tore into it I thought, O good Christmas in July… and then I realized it is August O.O Where’d the year go? Very minty. Had a very small handful of M&M’s with it. Interesting combo.
Not sure why this tea intrigues me so, but it does. I think it is because I won’t let a tea with potential beat me or maybe just because the leaf is pretty to look at. For flavored teas I tend to like The Persimmon Tree as they generally don’t go in overdrive with the flavors. This one, however, prepared per their general white tea guidelines is strongly alcoholic in flavor – too much for me. The next time I heated the water up and shortened the steep time and it was much better. Today I used about 3 g of leaf and a cooler mug of 175 F water for a 1 minute steep. The color is much lighter than the deep honey from before. Now it is white grape. The aroma is pleasantly butterscotch. The taste is more like a butterscotch chai with some spicy notes from the cinnamon and peppercorns. This is a really nice cup. I knew this was worth the effort.
EDIT – My wife, who generally doesn’t like my teas, took one sip and went Mmmmmmm. So yeah, cooler water and shorter steep time on this one.
I think I normally review this as TAZO. O well. We were out and about, wife needed coffee and I needed Earl Grey. I asked for this iced. I forgot what they were about to do to my tea so I had to add 1 Splenda. You people that hate bergamot – never order EG at Starbucks. Based on my experience (every time because I always forget) I would hate bergamot too. First off they steep it for 5 minutes. That is just too long. I always forget to tell them 3 minutes – tops. Just like their coffee it smells strong enough to melt your face. Plus all the ice is melted. If they can fix a frappuccino why can’t they fix iced tea? I should have asked for a glass of ice. I didn’t so this is my own fault. It is very bitter – face puckeringly so – and the bergamot that should be wonderfully refreshing is overwhelming my senses. I’m typing my complaining out so maybe, just maybe, I’ll remember next time and explain too them how to prepare it correctly.
I’ve been sipping this one for the last couple days. It is just so smooth. There are all the good things I like about ripe pu-erh with none of the bad. The taste is very much horse tack leather. It has an old dustiness about it without seeming musty. There is a kind of fruity note, not exactly raisin but that is the best I can come up with. Also a certain amount of woodsy without being dirt or mushroom. Here is the only issue I have with this one , it is so easy to drink I have to stop myself from chugging the cup.
About 3 years ago China Cha Dao sent out some puerh samples. I tried them, then put the rest in storage. This morning I was in the mood to dig in the poo drawer and try something I haven’t had in a long time.
I used my $7 yixing pot. It makes me happy. It’s 10 oz, so its big enough for an entire party in yixing circles. To me in amateur land it is the perfect personal size.
The dry leaf smells of hay. Gave it a one minute steep. The color is a warm orange. Wow this is still quite bitter when hot. I should have done a wash. So I added sweetener. That calmed down the bite. The taste is kind of raisin, woodsy, mineral, with a hint of smoke.
Looking forward to many cups with this today.
I thought my internet would be shut off this morning – I got the overage notice yesterday dated the 27th. They haven’t flipped the switch yet – so yeah!
Happy third anniversary Teavivre! You are the standard by which I measure all other teas and all other tea companies.
Shortly after discovering Steepster this brand new company offered to send me samples.One of those was Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls. Until tasting that tea I never liked jasmine but I loved, no, LOVED dragon pearls. Later I got to try Jasmine Silver Needle White. I was equally blown away. Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls continued the awesome trend – though for my tastes I actually still prefer the Premium version.
So a while back I ordered the Silver Jasmine green tea. I just got around to opening it yesterday. For the first cup I followed directions and used a lot more leaf than I normally would and steeped for 1 1/2 minutes. It was better than most non-Teavivre jasmine I have had but didn’t quite speak to me. It was a little too intense in floral notes though still natural tasting. Definitely not that fake jasmine perfume that lesser teas taste like. My other thought was it tasted, at first, like a jasmine blooming tea. That taste always makes me think globe amaranth. As the cup cooled or possibly as I got used to it that passed and it smoothed out. It was ok but I was pretty sure it could do better.
So today I followed my own rules by using my normal leaf amount of 1 rounded tsp (half what I used previously) and cut the steep to 1 minute. Now this I like. The jasmine is the main taste element but it doesn’t overwhelm my senses and it doesn’t drift into globe amaranth. Another thing I noticed was how the leaf made my fingers smell of grape Kool-Aid. Seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of grape Kool-Aid? And yes, I can’t help but play with my leaf. It is a very lovely less complex cup for simple enjoyment. I can see this being wonderful with a meal or snack.
Next time I plan to kick it back up to 1 1/2 minutes but keep the reduced leaf amount to see if I can pull a little more depth out of this everyday tea. Looking forward to many good cups out of this. Recommended but you may need to tinker with steeping parameters.
Yes, I saw the premium dragon pearls are going on sell and yes, I hope to have a large bag join me soon.