1300 Tasting Notes
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.
It has been two weeks already since I last had his tea – seriously? Where does time go? It is reasonably cool this morning and raining. Perfect weather for some smoke! Bring on the Lapsang. The tin aroma is intense but the cup itself is sweet and mellower. I mean it isn’t mellow but more so than the aroma would suggest. The smoke stays pine focused and does not stray into bacon or BBQ like a lot of LS. It is just a good hefty cup that is perfect for this morning.
I mentioned Buffy getting her cast off in my last post this morning. So another Buffy note follows – I have got to get a close up face picture of her face. She looks like Paul Stanley. Yep, from KISS. The fur on one side of her face is white with a black mascara look around the eye. The other side is all black (sadly not a star pattern). The black fur around her head is so long and shaggy you almost can’t tell where her ears are, so it looks like big ’80’s style rock and roll hair.
I tend to start every morning with this mixed with milk, vanilla, and caramel. I bought a 100 g and it has lasted a pretty long time. The taste is darker than what little matcha I have tried. It is slightly bitter but mixing it with the syrup I use makes for a nice morning glass. I get a serving of dairy, a serving of vegetables (it is tea, its green, so I’m counting it), caffeine, and sweetener. Four of the five basic food groups – the other being bacon. ;)
Buffy the chihuahua slayer, our Japanese Chen / Pomeranian mix puppy finally got her cast off yesterday. She was a terror, with the cast on, running through the house. Taking it off has calmed her down a lot – at least temporarily. She is kind of running three legged because of the joint stiffness. Spike our chihuahua is hoping she doesn’t learn to jump into his chair anytime soon. From watching, I would guess in less than a week poor Spike will lose his sanctuary. hehe
Started off today with yesterday’s abundant leaf. Approx 3 g and it filled the water in my crystal teapot. You could not see through the pot. When I poured I noticed the tea is neon yellow. Looks cool. Tastes nicely sweet and mellow floral. If I were to become a regular oolong sipper it would be one like this. I don’t really care for the dark roasted oolongs, except occasionally. The green ones that are overly geranium/latex also only appeal rarely. This one is just lovely with sweet creamy notes and mild floral. Me like.
This is creamy with floral notes that lean towards lavender without crossing the line into perfume or overwhelming. As it cools more typical green oolong flavors mix in with the unique floral notes. Also present is a nice cooling sensation. Cup two raises the bar a little by adding on to the first with a light butteriness and hints of mint. This is a very lovely cup. I wiil be steeping this leaf again tomorrow.
Back shopping again today. Had my usual two cups of restaurant bagged for Saturday breakfast then off to Lowes in town. Yesterday just scoping the other stores out of town saved me almost $120! Lowes price matched and some of it was on sale. On top of that we had a cash card from when we bought appliances late last year, and some money off cards that came in the mail that expired soon. I didn’t intend to buy until after the porch was built but saving that much I pretty much couldn’t resist. Basically it was like we only paid for the grill and they through in the patio table and four chairs. Boxes are shoved to the back of the garage for now. Builder can’t start on the porch for a couple more weeks.
Now I’m home and relaxing with a delicious Assam. Two words I never put in the same sentence when I used to drink only bagged. Rich, malty, tingly – refreshment! Did I mention I have a new grill? :)
Went shopping with my wife all day yesterday. Mostly we were looking at grills and patio furniture. Of course since we were in the big town of Bloomington, my wife had to hit Joann’s which is a fabric/craft store. I stayed in the car. Lastly we went to Sahara Mart which is a world food market. They have the largest tea aisle I have ever seen. It is mostly bagged tea. They did have a full range of Ahmad both bagged and loose but I resisted. I bet they had a dozen 500g boxes of Green Tea with Earl Grey but I resisted. I did however grab a box of Better Rest from Two Leaves. It is kind of pricey at $7 for 15 sachets. However when you are barely sleeping it seems like a small price to pay.
We used two sachets last night. I don’t recall how I described this the last time I had it, except I gulped it down. Last night we finally agreed it tasted like a Rock N Roll from our local shaved ice shop. A R&R is black cherry, grape, and blueberry. Now none of that is in this herbal but it still reminded us of those flavors. Really easy to drink. Looking at the way Steepster lists ingredients (alphabetically) many of you would avoid this as it lists anise and fennel early in the list. In truth, I caught the fennel, but just barely and I did not know there was anise in it until I read it here.
I was so tired last night that I could not tell if this relaxed me or not but I went to bed at 10 and woke up at 6, so a good night! My wife however said she was up most of the night. She came back to bed just before I got up. She is stressing over a wedding she was volunteered to help create decorations for. The bride to be thinks there is plenty of time – 2 1/2 months – and won’t resolve anything or help shop. She really does not understand how much time and work is involved. I’d walk away. As for me, I’m not stressed at all. Our one year old mattress seems to not like me. I hurt all over when I get up in the morning.
Sorry didn’t mean to write a book.
Needed Earl Grey this morning. Started to grab Ahmad but I have been hitting it pretty regularly of late (just not recording it), so digging through my ever increasing, never will see the bottom ever again, stash, I spotted this one. It really smells nice. Lots of vanilla. It is a bit drying but then it is EG. They tend to be that way. For me personally, I think if I cut this with a strong straight bergamot EG, I would love the result. On its own, I like it a lot. It is balanced, but I miss my citrus blast. I don’t really seek balance in my Earl Greys. On the other hand this isn’t particularly dainty. The flavors are big. I just crave a more bergamot to vanilla ratio.
Now, I know tasting notes are shared personal experiences. I also know each of us interprets the flavors differently. I know this, but my experience does not seem to parallel anyone else on this tea. Where everyone else got flowers and fruit, I got corn with a creamy feel. I did notice some bite early on that faded as it cooled. Also a bit of dryness as the floral notes finally show up in the aftertaste. As the cup cooled I did have a brief Pina Colada moment. With cup two I swear I got potato with a spicy note similar to cinnamon. Where are these coming from? I washed everything before I started. Just weird. Good, but weird. The floral notes once again hold off until the aftertaste and come out to play a bit more when the cup cools. It isn’t until cup three and four that this started out floral in the nose and stayed that way. Of course odd ball me also had earthy or gentle cave notes on cup three and the spicy note returned on four. I very much enjoyed this tea but my experience is so different from what I expected and what others had that I am left puzzled. Cups 1 and 2 were sipped yesterday with 3 and 4 brewed today. I used one tsp of leaf and a 5 oz cup. The water was at 190 F. Steeps were 1.5 m, 1 m, 1 m, and 2 minutes.