242 Tasting Notes

94
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
242 tasting notes

This tea is great for editing a term paper and listening to Mozart’s Requiem mass (if only I had a better recording…). Anyway, I don’t have time for a full review of the tea, but I can say that the first infusion is a bit sweeter than last time, which results in a fruity flavor is making itself known. The flavor profile claims it’s currant, but I’ve never had currant before, so I don’t have anything to compare to. Regardless, this is delightful to drink, especially when frantically working on a paper.

The second cup was marked by an increase in the sweetness, the development of a floral flavor (Hibiscus? I’m not sure, because, once again, I haven’t had all that much exposure to this flower), and the completion of my paper! I’ve started to read a book You are not a Gadget: A Manifesto, which I need to read by Wednesday for my final in Posthumanist philosophy. I also had a delightful little discussion on classical music recommendations (see the comments, and if you like classical music, check these albums out.).

Anyway, music and philosophical ramblings aside, The tea continues to develop along the same lines as last time, providing a delightful experience. I’m actually kind of sad that my living situation doesn’t really allow for a gongfu tea set, as I would really like to experience this tea’s development in smaller increments. When brewed the western way, the flavor profile changes greatly between your steeps, and I’m sure that smaller steps would provide a more rewarding experience. For example, the first infusion was a delightful mix of dark chocolate, with undertones of fruit, yet the second infusion was much less chocolatey due to the strengthening of the fruit and the emergence of flowery flavors. The flowery taste came out of nowhere, but if I had been brewing gongfu style, it is likely that this flavor would have emerged more gradually.

The third infusion hasn’t really gotten malty, but the cinnamon is definitely present. It isn’t very strong yet, but it strong enough to be distinct. This steep is really complex, which means that I’m in the latter half of this session (which is kinda sad, but that’s how western-style breweing works. I really need to put some effort into getting a gonfu set…), and I can certainly expect the tea to gain complexity over the next two infusions. If I end up getting more than five, I’ll be surprised.

This is the forth and final infusion, mostly because if I wait longer, I’m going to have too much caffeine in my system to go to sleep at 1. Anyway, the cinnamon has developed nicely, but the chocolate is now gone. It is also interesting to note that the fruit flavors have changed. Again, the flavor profile claims it’s the appearance of raisin flavors, but I haven’t had raisins by themselves in years, and I certainly don’t remember what they taste like. Hmm, actually, that might make a good snack right about now…

Anyway, it’s still delicious, and I’m glad that I’m ending my day with this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Geoffrey

Re: Mozart’s Requiem – Try the recording conducted by John Elliot Gardiner. David says that’s the best one, and it’s his favorite piece of music. I’m sure he’ll be quite pleased to read that this tea is being enjoyed in the company of Mozart’s Requiem.

Joshua Smith

Thanks for the recommendation! I find that the hardest part about being a fan of classical music is the amount of research I need to do before buying a recording. If you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them. Actually, that might be an interesting

Also, to return the favor, you should check out recording of Don Giovanni featuring Anton Dermota, Cesare Siepi, and conducted by Josef Krips. The recording is from 1955, but the remastered version (There are several of these floating about, but I have the one from 2009) is amazing.

David Duckler

Hi! Thanks for the recommendation, and for the excellent music pairing. I just have to correct the Requiem recommendation. REquiem is my absolute favorite piece of music. I have listened to just about every recording available. My favorite is actually Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra conducted by Morten Schuldt-Jensen. There are none like it. Usually Requiem is so sombre in its performance that it drags its heels. I actually used this recording to teach a lecture series at Qingdao University on the Western Philosophies of Death. (Sorry- kind of dark, but it was a really interesting class). This recording makes Mozart make sense, especially the Kyrie which usually falls short, but in this case it is perhaps the most powerful part. Here is a link to the amazon page for previewing purposes: http://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Mozart/dp/B000B6N6AE/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1336339253&sr=1-2

I hope you fall in love with this recording like I have. I am not usually one to comment on non-tea related subjects here, but you found my true weakness here. Very pleased indeed.

Joshua Smith

Thanks for the link. The way you describe it sounds great, especially compared to the Herbert von Karajan recording that I have. Karajan is very good, but he’s just so…rigid. Anyway, I’ll get this at some point, seeing as good classical should never be passed up, and I’ll leave you a link to the Don Giovanni I mentioned: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Don-Giovanni-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B001Q2RVQW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336341042&sr=8-1

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Backlogging. See previous notes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

I decided to drink this to celebrate my last class of the semester. From here until the 15th, all I have to do is study like crazy for exams.

Anyway, I kinda forgot about the tea for a bit while watching a friend play a game, and the resulting tea was actually pretty bitter. To be fair, it’s still way less bitter than the 2011 sheng samples I have from Douji, but it still had a lot more flavors than usual. Hopefully I won’t flub the next infusion.

EDIT – Yep, didn’t mess up the next infusion, and the bitterness is gone! See my previous notes for more info.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
unfeasible

Tomorrow is my last final. Good luck on yours!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

Just a quick cup before class this morning. I don’t have time to write anything now, but I’ll probably update this note after lunch, when I have a few hours of peace.

EDIT -

I got a good five infusions out of these leaves, which is why it’s my go-to black tea. You just can’t go wrong with it. I particularly like how sweet it got near the end, as I had been generous with the amount of leaves I used, and had brewed it extra strong, and I was probably due for something sweeter by that point…

Anyway, run-on sentences aside, I’m gonna be a bit infrequent with logging my teas until the 16th, when my finals are done. Such is the life of a university student. Best of luck to the rest of you!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I’m backlogging this as I woke up this morning, and found out that 8 hours of work I did yesterday all went down the drain due to a freak accident involving how SAS saves files. Needless to say, the past 6 hours have been full of frantic programming, colorful cursing, and tons of tea. I think I got five steeps out of these leaves, but don’t quote me on that. Anyway, check out my first note about this tea for more detailed information.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Spoonvonstup

Best of luck!

Bonnie

Sympathy…really!

Joshua Smith

Meh, it all turned out okay. I could remember what I did, so it went a bit faster this time, but thanks for the encouragement! The moral of this story is check what you saved before quitting!

Bonnie

He lives again! You need champagne tea!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

It’s been a while since I had this tea, and as I decided to work my way through my remaining samples, I picked this one. It’s pretty good, and it’s certainly a lot better than most Jasmine teas that I get at restaurants, but it’s not great. It’s sweeter than some jasmine, but I still prefer my Japanese greens.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 45 sec
TeaBrat

Me TOO! :)

Joshua Smith

It seems to be a trend that the Chinese invent something, and the Japanese refine it. They did it with green tea, bonsai, single-edged swords, ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement), and probably a few more that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

Backlogging this from yesterday. See previous notes for more info.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

It was still raining today. And it was cold. REALLY COLD. And it was windy, so my umbrella was pretty much worthless. I desperately needed something bold and warn to help recover from my brief trip through the elements, and this tea fit the bill.

I was generous with the amount of leaves I used (As much a one can be when using a tea ball), and I let it sit for a good five minutes for the first infusion. the result is a deep red, bordering on black, and with a taste that was a nice creamy, yet strong, malt. Anyway, I’m sitting here writing, this, and it’s already starting to warm me up, so it looks like this was the right decision.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Great choice! This is some good tea for a cold day!

Joshua Smith

I might be drinking this a lot this week. The weather decided that the high 60’s are the temperature this coming week.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Still working on stat (Linear regression can be really time consuming, especially when you keep getting distracted by stuff…), but my other tea gave up the ghost, so I threw some of this in a cup, and proceeded to to brew it grandpa style. See previous notes for details.

Preparation
Boiling

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

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.

Location

Fairfax, VA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer