1317 Tasting Notes
Last night I was so wired when we got home I couldn’t sleep. So my wife heads to bed and I head to the den to launch a rescue mission to save three brave Kerbals trapped on the surface of Laythe, a moon of the gas giant Jool. This morning they are still staring at the sky wondering if help will ever arrive. Yeah, the mission failed to make a good intercept, and rather than trap another, I returned to the space center.
I prepared a cup of this herbal while trying to unwind. I learned 3 things. I have never reviewed this on my blog – how did that happen? I didn’t realize there were so many ingredients in this. And finally, I learned even with chamomile there is no point going to bed when you are awake. My brain would not shut down. Tossed half the night. Had to get up early to set up my guitar for church. Now my brain hurts.
I did enjoy the appley coconut and vanilla of this last night. Just wish it had actually put me to sleep.
Up early this morning to go fishing in a friend’s pond. It was almost big enough to be a small lake. Lucky him. The weather was cool (for July) and only enough clouds to keep the sun from making it miserable. Caught several small bluegill. Such a stress busting day. So why am I so tired now? I’m getting there, but I’m not that old… or am I? Sheesh. This lovely tea is my attempt at re-energizing before going to play cards with my parents.
In honor of tonight’s Super Moon. A post fermented tea not from the puerh area, so I guess technically a dark tea. This looks like Bai Mu Dan but since it is slightly oxidized under moonlight this I guess is closer to White Monkey. I’ve had this for a couple years. I grabbed my Teavivre gaiwan and steeped the first cup at 20 seconds. My wife bought me a cute little cup and saucer that just happened to be 90 ml, same as the gaiwan. I have really liked this one every time I have prepared it. Today is no different. This time it tasted like apple wine. That was unexpected. Later cups were more like my other reviews of this one. A neat tea.
I’m not sure I have ever quoted George Takei before but, “Oh My!” Yeah this stuff is really good. With Honey Black, I pretty much thought Green Terrace Teas nailed the description. Here I am not getting peach. Instead, dry I get sweet and malty with grape. Not Darjeeling muscatel, just grapes. Maybe the difference is in the prep? I used 195 F with a 2 minute steep. Once water hit it the nose was cinnamon raisin whole wheat bagel covered in honey. Love! The taste is malt and wheat, cinnamon and raisin, and honey. I am not saying they taste alike, because they don’t, but my reaction to this was similar to my first exposure to Golden Tips. It is just so good and hits all the right spots in my taste requirements. This is one of the few black teas that I think does not benefit from additions, and this from a sugar junkie. If you don’t resteep this is probably a bit pricey but it is definitely worth trying a sample.
Had a long hard day yesterday. Won’t bother you with the details (how unlike me). Suffice it to say, I woke up today exhausted and in need of tea. I had my morning powdered green tea and milk breakfast. OK, I had a yogurt with it so it was officially a meal. Afterwards I was craving the hard stuff. I had a fresh tin of this just begging me to indulge. So I did.
Holy pine smoke Batman! This smells intense. Prepared it is lighter in taste than I was expecting based on the aroma, but make no mistake this is no light weight. This is without question Lapsang Souchong. The smoke is layered. It jumps through light and sweet crosses into the edges of ash (not ash tray) and then pulls back into sweet and smoky once again. Definitely not for the smoke wimps. Man if this only had some bergamot ;)
I crave LS regularly in the morning. This one left me satisfied today.
A lot of times I read a company’s description and wonder, “How did they come up with that?” Here I thought Green Terrace Teas was pretty spot on. The dry leaf smells of oats and honey. I used 3.5 g and steeped 1 minute with 190 F water. The wet leaf is like honey on raisin wheat bread. The taste is similar but adds a wine like note and malt. As it cooled I definitely picked up on the peach and plum in the aftertaste.
Cup two was the best of the four I prepared. The flavors were more pronounced. I also picked up a spicy note like maybe cinnamon apple? Honestly, I never could decide what it was. There is also a lot of caramel present.
Cup three was my least favorite. Too light. I added sweetener to coax flavor out of it. Light honey, mineral, earthy (as in woodsy). The last two were the most interesting as I wasn’t expecting them.
Cup four I steeped 3 minutes. It was still light but stronger than the third. I did add sweetener. This one was a mix of the previous cups. The honey was present from the first along with the spicy note of the second and the mineral/earthy notes of the third. In this cup I decided the earthy was actually more of a nutty touch.
I really enjoyed drink on this one this afternoon and look forward to trying my other samples.
I grabbed this one today for no particular reason. I like it. The peppermint gives it a nice cooling tingle. Mint is the primary component in the taste. The rose is secondary in taste but strong in the aroma. To me it is nicely done. Any stronger and it would be too perfumey. I can taste the white tea mostly in the aftertaste along with the tingle. Since it is a white you need to use a lot more leaf than you might normally use.
Update the guys below are correct the price I mistakenly thought was for 7 oz is actually for 20 g. Big difference. This is still a very tasty puerh.
Still drinking this one again today with yesterday’s leaf. I only went about 30s with my steep today and it is lighter and more orange in color. Still nicely leather. I looked it up today and there is a sale on it right now $5.12/7 oz with free shipping. That’s crazy cheap and had I not looked and found out this was an inexpensive puerh, I would not have known. If you are interested here is the link (hope I’m allowed to do this): http://www.ebay.com/itm/2011-Yunnan-Menghai-Dayi-Golden-Branch-Jade-Leaf-Loose-Ripe-Pu-er-Tea-/321166038132
In other news – our new porch is in the works. In preparation I had 3 oak and 2 persimmon trees cut in my front yard to make way. While the chainsaw masters were in my yard, we had 27 ash trees removed + 4 or 5 other trees. The ash trees had beetle infestations and were in various stages of being killed by the bugs. It is a big problem around here.
Not to worry, I still have lots of trees including about 80 persimmon and a couple humongous oak trees. Most of the ones we had cut were 50-70 ft tall. My yard looks like a war zone. I have a couple friends who are going to cut them up for firewood. It may take all summer. sigh.
I’m back after a week with no internet. No Facebook (didn’t miss it). No Steepster! Still shuddering over that last one. Today I broke in to this loose leaf offering. The leaf has lots of golden tips. The dry scent is light leather. I know we are going to be friends. In the Yixing it goes. The brew is a rosy orange as I pour. The wet leaf is a bit barnyard but there is nothing off about the mug. Mrmopar got apple out of this. I wish I did because that would have made this even more awesome. I got a cross between book leather and horse tack. As it cools a bit it takes on aspects of nutty – what many of you call chestnuts, although I have never had them so I can’t confirm. There is also a woodsy bark flavor. My brain keeps saying oak but the rest of me wonders how it knows. The point is this is very flavorful, at the same time it is a gentle easy to sip cup.
At first this is peppery with bite – not hot peppery, just spicy. Then the ginger, cardamon, and clove kick in to kick it up a notch. Under it I taste hints of apple coated lightly with cinnamon. There is pineapple and lemongrass here as well though I can’t single them out. The coconut adds just a touch of creamy to the mug. I would like the white base to be a bit more assertive but I really don’t miss a black tea base at all.
In other news, it is the 24th of the month and this will almost certainly be my last note until after the first of the month thanks to Verizon – the bane of my existence. I usually make it to the 30th. My son must be downloading games again. See you in July!