1493 Tasting Notes
As you may have noticed I am definitely not a tea snob. I enjoy a bagged tea from time to time. Today was experimental day. I have a bag that I brought home with me. A thought occurred to me that part of the reason I enjoy this one is the water. The restaurant is one block away from where I used to work. The tap water made awesome tea. Our county water is pumped out of the ground right next to the city water pumps. Basically it starts out the same and goes to two different filtration plants. Our county water does not make awesome tea. It has to be filtered to remove the chlorine stench.
There is no chance of making a short story out of this now. So I brew my cup at home. Wait for it to cool. Yeah, most of the flavor elements are there but muffled and twisted more earthy than the lightly smoked leather I get in town. I’ve tried bottled water and it does not seem to help. I may have to start filling up a five gallon bucket once a week in town. I’ve done crazier things. The weird thing is Denney’s is next door to Steak N Shake and our Denney’s tea (Lipton) tastes like fish. Gross as it sounds. Yeah, I don’t go there any more.
My back is better but not great. I took my guitar Sunday (just in case). I had no intention of playing until the Pastor told me the keys player wasn’t going to make it. So I played. It hurt. The third song was a fast and rowdy song where the beat is like galloping on a horse. If you haven’t heard Stand Up Stand For Jesus done that way – you should. I made it through but was out of breath. I am on portable oxygen for those who don’t know. The next song is a beautiful slow song (Your Beloved) where I make my electric guitar sound like an acoustic. I thought no problem. Wrong. I could not catch my breath but made it through. Fortunately, the lead singer had plenty to say before the last song. Back when I took guitar lessons, my instructor and I made up an arrangement to Holy Holy Holy. It’s not Led Zeppelin but it is a lot closer to it than my mom’s version of this song. I made it but it took all day to recover. Next time I do something stupid like that (because I will), I’m loading up on painkillers first.
I’ve already had several cups of restaurant tea and an RTD while straightening out the mods on the latest update to Kerbal Space Adventures. Then I got an uncontrollable urge for green tea. Digging through my out of control warehouse of tea (let’s be honest), I found this one. The shiny gold pouch made me think C-3PO. Then I noticed it was a Nilgiri. I don’t recall ever having a green Nilgiri – or for that matter no more than a couple black teas from this region.
Opening the bag I get malt, sweet hay, and grass. Smells good. The leaf is complete full leaves and buds. They have not been twisted, curled, or broken.
The taste is clean and surprisingly gentle. There is a moment of sharpness that seems a mix of mineral and slightly metallic. It is not really that sharp but in comparison to the gentleness it gets magnified. The taste is sweet grass with a touch of malt and corn, while hot, and more nutty when cool.
I thought it was interesting that the taste just suddenly drops off at the end before a light grassy aftertaste with a touch of good bite steps in. It leaves just a touch of astringency tingling around the cheeks.
This is a quiet tea. Almost as subtle as a white tea. If you like white and greens, this should work for you.
Chai – kind of never been a fan in the past. Rooibos – another hit and miss with me.
Last month I had The Persimmon Tree’s Masala Chai and was impressed. So I decided to try this one. This one seemed much stronger spiced to me. The ginger packs some heat. On the bright side the vanilla knocks the harsh edge off the rooibos.
Once milk and Splenda are added this became a warm cup of yum. The spices kind of mingled and washed past the tongue. It felt thick and creamy. Didn’t really notice the rooibos at this point. My only complaint is the ginger was a little intense but it is important to note I am not a ginger enthusiast.
This would be excellent sitting around an evening fire in the cool night air.
I have pretty much avoided Assams. Back in my early teabag days, Assam is the type tea I held most responsible for stomach burn. Besides, it tasted like, well, tea. So it was a real pleasure trying this one. The malty fruity aroma is definitely sniff worthy. The sip is likewise malt with hints of fruitiness. Mostly what impressed me was how smooth this was to drink. I steeped for two minutes and there was no bitterness. There is a bit of dryness but I’m ok with that. Grocery store assam almost ruined this type tea for me. I know better leaf means better tea. This is a prime example. If you have been avoiding Assam, this is a good one to rethink that move.
I liked this one. I can’t say I tasted the honeysuckle. I do see the petals in the leaf. It is kind of like the Rose Toucha from Teavivre, it smooths out the cup more than adding flavor. That said I did catch some floral in the second cup. The aroma early on is barnyard. Later cups were smooth and dusty horse tack in taste with a warm spice and maybe cedar? Anyway, I enjoyed it.
I continue my education with Darjeeling tea with this one today. This is completely different than the Giddapahar Muscatel I recently tried. With that one I caught a bready note along with fruit and hints of malt. It was quite brisk. This one is a beautiful golden color, tasting fruity and grape like along with wonderful floral notes. Neither the fruit or the floral are overwhelming. Actually, though obvious, they stay on the quiet side. Mostly smooth and mellow, with mild to moderate briskness (I really think mild but I seem to be a little desensitized to it from years of meh tea). It leaves only a light dryness. The aftertaste was my favorite part. It is a neat swirling of fruit and floral, that weave in an out of a woodsy leafy taste.
I’m not sure why, probably because its from Andrews and Dunham, but I kind of expected this to be more Grrrrr, before I tasted it. Then looking at the leaf I realized I should have known better. This has lots of golden tips from the Yunnan leaf. It has a malty, honey, chocolate scent that is so good. So the brew taste is kind of the same, along with smooth and complex. The Ceylon does offer a healthy briskness mid sip and lingering long into the aftertaste to counter the smooth nature of the Yunnan. The the Darjeeling kicks in late in the sip offering up a woodsy fruitiness that is a neat topper. Somewhere along the lines there is a touch of smoke. It isn’t obvious but there if you wait for it.
I am not sure why this is called a holiday blend and I don’t even care. It is really good. Thanks Stephanie for sharing this one.
Like many of you, we have been in the deep freeze this week. This morning the sun was shining and we ventured out for breakfast anyway just to blow the stink off from being cooped up ;) Anyway they were really busy. The manager brought my tea. Typical restaurant version – kind of steaming water in a metal pitcher, a cold cup and a tea bag. Some assembly required. Tea was good but not like usual.
A friend happened in at the same time and I asked him to join us. His 90+ mom was in the hospital and is now back at the nursing home. She has given up. My friend is coming to terms. He has been her care giver for as long as I have known him. He is a good man and a great son. It was sad talking with him but glad I could be an ear today.
The server who loves tea was working the other side of the room. My wife took her the chai I had sacked up for her. She told my wife she starts chemo tomorrow. It brought a flood of thoughts as we just lost my sister-in-law right before Thanksgiving. The server told my wife, so far the jasmine pearls are still her favorite. I don’t know if chemo and caffeine are OK so I may need to hold off any more sacks for a while.
Had a second cup of tea and gave thanks that today we are doing well.
Fixing a cup of this to get me through to suppertime. Cranking out some BTO and REO Speedwagon. These were a couple of my favorites back in the day (when I had hair down to my waist). The music holds up well, better than I have :) Anyway, this smells delicious. I need to add honey to my normal EG and see if it turns creamy nice like this. Delicious. Feeling the need for some Ted Nugent…