1696 Tasting Notes
Been awake since 3:00 am. Not on purpose. Later I will be helping my wife with an all day craft show. It is going to be a long day. Miraculously I do still have internet at the moment. Thought it would be gone this morning.
So last night I continued my perfect Earl Grey quest. I mixed 2 parts Nina’s EG, with 2 parts Ahmad EG, and 1 part The Persimmon Tree Lapsang Souchong. Nope this ain’t it. Even at 4/1 the LS overpowered the bergamot. It was a good cup but not what I was going for.
This morning I prepared by volume 1/3 Nina, 1/3 Ahmad, and 1/3 RiverTeas Golden Yunnan. It is real fluffy so I used more and it is only very lightly smoky. I am taking it to the craft show so won’t know till later how it turned out.
I may have just brewed almost my ideal cup of Earl Grey. I mixed half a scoop of my comfort tea, Ahmad Earl Grey, with a half scoop of the much fancier Nina’s Earl Grey. I love both these teas separately. Looking at the dry leaf, I can’t tell them apart. Nina’s new Ceylon blend has the most glorious bergamot scent in the tin. Ahmad brewed has that ragged drying edge I crave and is quite brisk. Brewed together they meld to near perfection. I think it would take only a tiny bit of smoke to reach that hallelujah choir moment. The only tea I recall having that is smoky enough to stand up to strong bergamot is The Persimmon Tree Lapsang Shouchong. I may try a pinch in the mix and see if magic happens yet again. Even if that doesn’t work, I will definitely drink many more cups of this rags and riches blend.
It’s 48F, cloudy with intermittent rain. Perfect day for an icy cold Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino with Pumpkin Spice syrup. I always get skinny, no whip cream, but forgot to tell them one less pump on the syrup. So it is sweeter than I normally get. It is still very delicious. It is more pumpkin pie like with less sweet but I didn’t mind today. Recommended.
Next time I am going to try peppermint syrup.
If I disappear from Steepster it will just be until I figure out an internet alternative. We may or may not lose service Saturday. Our current company went out of the internet business. To compound it my son, who I was splitting the bill with, decided he didn’t need internet anymore. Like most younger folks he now uses his phone instead of a computer. I am not willing to pay what the big phone company wants for a large wireless data plan for the computer. We have no access to cable, or DSL. That leaves satellite. I am probably going that route if I can get them out here. If I lose connection, I’ll be checking in from Starbucks at least once a week. Frap addiction you know.
This is worth trying a sample just for the dance of the leaf. The unscented bi lou chun is long twisty curls of delicate silvery and dark leaf. This jasmine version rolls it into balls resembling a cross between dragon pearls and tieguanyin. It is highly jasmine scented dry. In the water the pellets drop to the bottom and bubble. Then like Godzilla rising out of the ocean, the expanding and relaxing whole leaves begin to slowly rise from the bottom. Most fun I have had steeping in a while. Best viewed from the front row.
The tea is delicious. It is fairly heavy on the jasmine up front along the lines of Silver Jasmine Green rather than the more delicate grapey premium dragon pearls. The tea flavor comes in later and is quite nicely brisk and somewhat grassy. I found it a touch drying. In the aftertaste it adds on a fruity element, that I think it was Kitty Loves Tea, compared to melon.
Usually I freeze everyone in the house because I am always hot. Today, I cannot get warm and my wife says she is comfortable. Uh Oh. I need hot tea – of course. I have been craving LS for days. Every time I smell burning leaves, or a fire – my brain goes, need LS! We went to a new BBQ place a week ago. All I could think was it smells like LS in here (really good food by the way). So it is definitely much welcome today. I even added sweetener, which I haven’t been doing, to bring out even more smoky goodness. Hope it helps warm me up, and if it could help with the headache, well, bonus! Probably should have been wearing a jacket the last week. Not ready for cold weather just yet.
The last few days have been lousy weatherwise. This afternoon it was partly sunny and low 50’s. I made a hot cup of this jewel, after Sil’s review had me craving it, and headed for the porch. Light touch of smoke, malt, caramel, honey, and more than a hint of leather. I really like this one.
Spike and Buffy went out with me. Spike is sill hobbling around from surgery and is kind of pathetic at the moment, but at least he is up and eating. Buffy on the other hand is the Tasmanian Devil on Redbull. Down the ramp, out in the yard through every pile of leaves she could find. From one gate to the other, then up the steps with a leap over her collection of sticks and around again as hard and fast as she can run. I don’t know about her, but I’m worn out.
Kind of laughed at myself this morning. Chinese green tea powder is what many companies call their food grade matcha (check the label). It is kind of the white package, blue letters version (you know, Walmart Great Value) of matcha. I’m OK with that because I like it. The syrups I am using in it right now are name brand (Torani) and I don’t care for them – I miss my more generic version. So any way, this morning with this I had GV brand wheat bread toast with GV brand peanut butter. I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the name stuff that costs twice as much. I guess I am not much of a champagne and Cadillac kind of guy, at least not this morning.
The last of my What-Cha samples for a first time review. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to new teas I never knew existed. You know, like green tea from Nepal. This one has a scent of dry autumn leaves until steeped. It then has a steamed vegetal scent with notes of nectarine. This is light and crisp. I get vegetal with a light bite up front that drifts in to spring water before changing to a long lasting grassy floral aftertaste. Uniquely different from the black or white teas I’ve tried from Nepal. This compares well to a Chinese green. Delicate and refreshing.
Got home this afternoon from picking up Spike at the vet (he had surgery today). My son was sitting on the porch. As I got out of the car he yelled, pop fix a pot of tea so we can set on the porch. It was only 50 degrees but the sun was shining so, why not. He often drinks Bigelow K-Cup earl Grey so I thought I would pull this one on him. His opinion – this is really good earl grey, and I agree.