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91

First of all, the music for today is the album Beethoven: The Late String Quartets by The Emerson String Quartet. Anyway, I was generous with the amount of leaves I used, and I let it steep a bit longer than usual, but the result of the first steep was still great. The tea is blacker than my ex’s heart, but very warming when you actually take a sip. The flavor is intensely malty, with some nice cinnamon undertones, which results in a pleasant tingling sensation that lingers on the tongue for about two minutes. It’s a very intense experience, and was perfect for waking me up (I’m barely sentient until I have my caffeine). Anyway, this tea pairs well with my music and my activities (reading a bunch of books and articles to study for finals), so I’m really glad that I picked it for today.

The second infusion is still malty, but the cinnamon as gotten more prominent, the taste has sweetened a great deal, and the overall experience is smoother. The aftertaste has a smooth, almost-mineral quality to it. It’s like the tea is starting to become creamy, but it isn’t quite there yet. This is probably due to how strong I brewed the tea, but I’m certain that the next cup will have the creamy goodness that I remember. In the mean time, I’m going to enjoy the current flavor as much as possible.

The third infusion is malty, creamy, and a touch spicy due to the cinnamon flavor. There’s no linen (not that I’ve ever tasted the illusive linen flavor of this tea before), and the citrus flavors hasn’t made an appearance yet. Regardless, it is a well-balanced cup of tea, where the flavors harmonize quite well. On a side note, I switched my music over to J. S. Bach’s Das Musikalische Opfer, a delightfully complex piece of music to complement the tea’s development. My recording is even better because it is a Historically Informed recording, played on period instruments with a tuning system that Bach preferred. The end result is an astounding. Anyway, the tea is getting more complex, and it’s various flavors mesh together well to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

There is no tea blacker than an ex’s heart. But I love that phrase! I give you an A+!

Joshua Smith

Bonnie – Thanks! I chuckled a bit when I wrote it, as it is a bit absurd, but then I asked myself what one of my professors would say. He’s an editor for the Washington Post, teaching a course about narrative journalism, so I though he would have said to use it for the emotional impact. Then I realized I was over-thinking the problem, and left it there.

Incidentally, A+ is the grade this professor gave me on a recent paper, so I’m glad you agree with him! XD

Bonnie

The only A+ I ever received was in advanced comp at San Jose State Univ. which knocked me over! It was on the day my ex-(darker than tea..) went into the Vet’s Rehab for alcohol and I had 2 kids to support all of a sudden! I needed that A+! Treasure your A+ and congradulations! (an aside the ex- has cancer and just came to say goodbye to his children 43 and 39 and asked me to forgive him which I had done long ago. Black as tea hearts do change!)

Joshua Smith

The paper I wrote was about the book Hiroshima by John Hersey, a very influential and thought-provoking novella from 1946. It’s interesting because it is told from the point of view of people who were living in the city, and follows them through the immediate aftermath of the explosion. If you ever run out of material to read, you should check this out. Also, this is one of maybe five A+’s I’ve gotten in two years of college (the rest were for programming assignment, so they hardly count). I’m honestly thinking of having it framed…

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, and hopefully your ex- gets better. I’ve seen a good third of my family get cancer, and I really don’t wish it on anyone, regardless of their past.

Bonnie

Great read! I had A ‘s too that meant less. My A+ was for a paper on my work at the Children’s Shelter School in San Mateo County. A one room class K thru 12th with. 1 teacher and myself. Awesome experience! I was allowed to create art, music, field trips, cooking etc on my own and had a ball! I think this is why my daughter is a foster parent today. Frame your A+!

Joshua Smith

That sounds kinda fun, but I don’t have the right personality for it. I’m just not a very patient person, so I get frustrated with children. That, and I have a really hard time explaining things to them. I tried to teach my younger brother some basic calculus once, but things that I take for granted were like magic for him…

Anyway, the stuff that you talked about seems like it was a really great experience. A lot of the stuff that you mentioned is difficult for teachers in Norther Virginia because you need to deal with stingy bureaucracies. My mother (a second grade teacher) needs to do hours of paperwork to get a field trip scheduled. It’s obvious that you were either working during a more ideal time (the 60’s or 70’s?), or your school district was a bit more liberal than mine.

Geoffrey

You have good taste in music, Joshua. Beethoven’s Late String Quartets are among my favorite pieces of music. First you got David’s, now you’ve got mine. I particularly like the recordings the Vermeer Quartet made of this. To date, they give the most moving treatment of the Heiliger Dankgesang (op. 132) I have heard. The third movement, and centerpiece of the whole quartet, is what I use to measure all performances and recordings of these works.

I’ve at times said that if I were facing the prospect of going deaf, and given the choice to listen to one last piece of music, I would choose this. Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart (A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode)… A fitting title for an amazing work of art. It’s final climactic passages especially, when done right, and listened to with the appropriate quality of attention… it’s like hearing the very heart of existence break open and throb.

Joshua Smith

Hm, the Vermeer Quartet recording sounds interesting. I need to do a bit more research, but it’s likely that it will end up on my wishlist. I bought my recording because it was by the same group that did my wonderful recordings of Shostakovich’s string quartets, and in retrospect, it’s one of my least researched purchases…

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, and if you have any more please feel free to pm me or drop a comment after one of my notes here. I’m always looking for more music, especially classical music.

Daniel Scott

Oh hey, just realized this is a really recent review.

That being the case, do you mind if I ask where you got the specific recording you mention in the last paragraph? I mean, how would I find it?

Joshua Smith

I actually got it on iTunes. The name of the album is “Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue BWV 1080”, and the artist is Musica Antiqua Köln. That should be enough to find it on iTunes. If you want to look for other recordings, I would suggest looking at this site:
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=527&name_role1=1&genre=227&bcorder=19&comp_id=103

This is a list of recommended recordings, of which the one I mention is part of.

Daniel Scott

Awesome, thank you! It being on iTunes is very convenient.

Joshua Smith

If you really start to get into classical music, then your going to get very disappointed with iTunes. They just don’t have the selection that can even begin to compare to Arkivmusic.

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Comments

Bonnie

There is no tea blacker than an ex’s heart. But I love that phrase! I give you an A+!

Joshua Smith

Bonnie – Thanks! I chuckled a bit when I wrote it, as it is a bit absurd, but then I asked myself what one of my professors would say. He’s an editor for the Washington Post, teaching a course about narrative journalism, so I though he would have said to use it for the emotional impact. Then I realized I was over-thinking the problem, and left it there.

Incidentally, A+ is the grade this professor gave me on a recent paper, so I’m glad you agree with him! XD

Bonnie

The only A+ I ever received was in advanced comp at San Jose State Univ. which knocked me over! It was on the day my ex-(darker than tea..) went into the Vet’s Rehab for alcohol and I had 2 kids to support all of a sudden! I needed that A+! Treasure your A+ and congradulations! (an aside the ex- has cancer and just came to say goodbye to his children 43 and 39 and asked me to forgive him which I had done long ago. Black as tea hearts do change!)

Joshua Smith

The paper I wrote was about the book Hiroshima by John Hersey, a very influential and thought-provoking novella from 1946. It’s interesting because it is told from the point of view of people who were living in the city, and follows them through the immediate aftermath of the explosion. If you ever run out of material to read, you should check this out. Also, this is one of maybe five A+’s I’ve gotten in two years of college (the rest were for programming assignment, so they hardly count). I’m honestly thinking of having it framed…

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, and hopefully your ex- gets better. I’ve seen a good third of my family get cancer, and I really don’t wish it on anyone, regardless of their past.

Bonnie

Great read! I had A ‘s too that meant less. My A+ was for a paper on my work at the Children’s Shelter School in San Mateo County. A one room class K thru 12th with. 1 teacher and myself. Awesome experience! I was allowed to create art, music, field trips, cooking etc on my own and had a ball! I think this is why my daughter is a foster parent today. Frame your A+!

Joshua Smith

That sounds kinda fun, but I don’t have the right personality for it. I’m just not a very patient person, so I get frustrated with children. That, and I have a really hard time explaining things to them. I tried to teach my younger brother some basic calculus once, but things that I take for granted were like magic for him…

Anyway, the stuff that you talked about seems like it was a really great experience. A lot of the stuff that you mentioned is difficult for teachers in Norther Virginia because you need to deal with stingy bureaucracies. My mother (a second grade teacher) needs to do hours of paperwork to get a field trip scheduled. It’s obvious that you were either working during a more ideal time (the 60’s or 70’s?), or your school district was a bit more liberal than mine.

Geoffrey

You have good taste in music, Joshua. Beethoven’s Late String Quartets are among my favorite pieces of music. First you got David’s, now you’ve got mine. I particularly like the recordings the Vermeer Quartet made of this. To date, they give the most moving treatment of the Heiliger Dankgesang (op. 132) I have heard. The third movement, and centerpiece of the whole quartet, is what I use to measure all performances and recordings of these works.

I’ve at times said that if I were facing the prospect of going deaf, and given the choice to listen to one last piece of music, I would choose this. Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart (A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode)… A fitting title for an amazing work of art. It’s final climactic passages especially, when done right, and listened to with the appropriate quality of attention… it’s like hearing the very heart of existence break open and throb.

Joshua Smith

Hm, the Vermeer Quartet recording sounds interesting. I need to do a bit more research, but it’s likely that it will end up on my wishlist. I bought my recording because it was by the same group that did my wonderful recordings of Shostakovich’s string quartets, and in retrospect, it’s one of my least researched purchases…

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, and if you have any more please feel free to pm me or drop a comment after one of my notes here. I’m always looking for more music, especially classical music.

Daniel Scott

Oh hey, just realized this is a really recent review.

That being the case, do you mind if I ask where you got the specific recording you mention in the last paragraph? I mean, how would I find it?

Joshua Smith

I actually got it on iTunes. The name of the album is “Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue BWV 1080”, and the artist is Musica Antiqua Köln. That should be enough to find it on iTunes. If you want to look for other recordings, I would suggest looking at this site:
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=527&name_role1=1&genre=227&bcorder=19&comp_id=103

This is a list of recommended recordings, of which the one I mention is part of.

Daniel Scott

Awesome, thank you! It being on iTunes is very convenient.

Joshua Smith

If you really start to get into classical music, then your going to get very disappointed with iTunes. They just don’t have the selection that can even begin to compare to Arkivmusic.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

I am a university student, studying Computer Science, who found that I really enjoy a nice cup of tea. I finally got into loose-leaf tea in August of 2011. I am currently in the process of expanding my horizons, and have found that I have a particular fondness for Oolongs in general, and Wuyi Yanchas in particular. The unique mineral taste is very appealing to me, as well as a nice Sencha. More recently, I’ve developed a taste for Sheng puerh, white tea, and black teas. The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t like was Shu puerh, but that might have been because it was quite young. Regardless, I’ve been slowly expanding my horizons, so if you have any recommendations, please feel free to send me a PM.

Just for the heck of it, my other interests include classical musics (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Wagner, to name a few composers). I also have a fondness for a bit more modern music, like The Beatles, all Jazz (by all, I really do mean all), Gorillaz (I love Demon Days), and a couple of Indie artists you will never run across unless you play a lot of semi obscure Indie games. Also, I love cats.

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