304 Tasting Notes
I had this on Thursday in the afternoon. I didn’t have much time to write about it, but I did record a message on the phone, reviewing the tea. There wasn’t much that I said about the tea, expect that it tasted like “old fruit that was sitting out too long; however, there’s an odd sweetness to this tea.” The “old fruit” flavor remained as an aftertaste that was almost unsettling. I usually like Zhena’s Gypsy teas, but this wasn’t one of them that I had enjoyed.
Well, today I’ve finally had a moment to sit and drink tea; to contemplate my life. The last couple of weeks of college are nearly complete (4 classes left until I complete my Education major, and then can continue onward for another year, to become a certified middle-grades History/English teacher!), my wife’s car is on the verge of falling apart, we’re waiting for our caseworker to get a hold of us to set a date for the home study, and we’re eager to have our children out of the terrible foster system—and into a loving home—where Mom & Dad will give them the best that we can give them….
Okay, that was sentimental….
Anyway, I’m currently drinking my third cup of Liquid Proust’s ‘A Dark Kitchen Sink.’ As of late, I’ve been wanting to eat everything candy and/or ice cream. However, I need to resist the temptation, and just pluck from the cupboard, these types of tea that I purposely have for these stressed induced situations. Fortunately, this was in there—and what a treat! If I were to close my eyes at this moment, I could say that you’ve watered ice cream down (particularly a Turtle sundae) by a whole lot, and reduced it to a simple drink; to which I’d say,
“My, oh my, what a fine treat! Is this hot watered down ice cream?”
Then I’d hear, “No you dope, it’s simply the best damn dessert tea that you’ve ever had.”
Alright, there’s a huge nutty flavor which comes from the whole pecans within the tea. There is definitely a nice black tea flavor after the third steep that jumps out a little (from the description, I’m assuming that’s from the Golden Pu-erh needles); which gives it the sweet cocoa note. The honey gives it a nice caramel note, too. I mean, I could list the ingredients that I try, but when I go about reviewing a tea that way, I get sidetracked, and then my review turns to mush.
I will just say that this is GREAT, remarkable, extraordinary, amazing, astonishing, astounding, sensational, stunning, incredible, and unbelievable! Buy it. Try it! Drink it! It’s liquid ice cream! What could be better?
P.S. Today’s tea soundtrack comes from the Japanese instrumental rock band, MONO, “Hymn to the Immortal Wind.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbnhjsDI_ho
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey, Pecan, Vanilla
I wanted to start drinking the Liquid Proust teas which I ordered last week. I know that there are so many teas that I have yet to try, but I’m slowly getting there. My tea drinking is most common during the weekend, since I work early in the morning, and I don’t dedicate my time to serve tea in anything other than the Ingenuitea or in a sachet. I prefer having at least an hour to devote to the craft, as well as writing on the typewriter and/or working on homework. Fortunately, the school year is nearly completed (25 days!), so there’ll be more time during the summer to have tea.
(Side Note: I try my best to give honest feedback on teas, and the best description of the flavors. Considering that I’m not as familiar with a lot of different flavors as some folks, I try to explain it as best as I possibly can. I will let you know that I’ve never tasted jackfruit, so my notes may not be the best to look at when considering the tea.)
Anyway, this is a pretty solid tea.
First steep: a lot of the base flavor (raw pu-erh), but there is a subtle note of the jackfruit.
Second steep: the raw pu-erh is coming out of the liquid, but the jackfruit gives the tea a sweeter note, which takes away the slight astringent notes. However, there is a “meaty” aftertaste which lingers in the mouth for a few seconds. There seems to be slight floral notes, but I’m not sure if that’s the jackfruit or the raw working itself into the flavor.
Third steep: The “meaty” flavor disappears after the third steep; the raw is really works itself into the flavor. There seems to be zero astringency to the tea, and it is still slightly sweet.
I’m still working on the tea, but after 3-4 gaiwans worth, I start to pace myself for the remainder of the next couple of hours. I like to savor the flavor, so I’ll drink more as I write my Lesson Plan for my last education course this Spring before I transfer to get my English/History Education certification, starting this Summer-next Spring. This semester has had a hold of me, but I’m nearly done. I have a few papers and exams to finish, and I’ll be done. However, there are still 3 weeks remaining. I figured that I would get the tea review in now, while I can focus on the flavor, before drinking it while multitasking, and forget everything about the tea.
I’ve been wanting to finally start drinking/reviewing the teas from the Dark Matter 2016 series; therefore, I decided that this would be a good one to start my day with before heading to the Asian Market in Cleveland, Ohio. My wife and her friend had planned this mini trip a few weeks ago, and were hoping that I’d go, too. It was pretty swell, if I must say so. We ate plenty of great food, as well as ventured throughout the markets there.
Anyway, the tea was okay. I’m not too into black teas anymore, unless they’re flavored or have cream/sugar in them. The aroma to the dry leaf was pretty splendid, though. It had a nice malty, rum, sweet—almost vanilla—scent. However, the flavor was alright. I gave it three steeps before quitting.
Overall, the tea was pretty malty with a nice rum aftertaste. I just prefer something other than a black tea. I think this would’ve been better Western style brewing, for 3 minutes, with a splash of cream. However, it wasn’t something that I’d consider unique enough to want more of.
Side Note: I was able to try some solid Asian cuisine: Beef and Tripe Soup (
Some lovely pastries from Koko’s Bakery (
And came home with plenty of tea and snacks for the week (https://www.instagram.com/p/BEjhgiqA—E/)!
Flavors: Malt, Rum
I haven’t had the time to sit down and enjoy tea in the Gaiwan lately. However, I’ve decided to skip class and relax today (shame, shame). The professor admitted that “We wouldn’t be doing much, and would probably get out two hours early;” therefore, instead of wasting an hour, I came home to drink tea.
Flash Steep: Cocoa, Raisins, Apple (?), dark color, sweet, and smooth aroma.
1st steep: Light, with a nice sweet malty raisin flavor; there’s a touch of apple in the aftertaste.
2nd steep: Light, the flavors are blending together throughout each sip. However, we’re introduced to a touch of cocoa within the aftertaste.
3rd steep (3 minutes in the Gaiwan): “Aunt Gerry’s Apple Raisin Pie.” Meaning: layered with raisin, a bit of caramel, apples, and slightly doughy.
I’ve dumped the other 4 steeps into a thermos for work. I have a late meeting tonight, to get ready for summer camp. I’ve told the students that I’m also ready for summer, and by showing them what I meant, I decided to wear a clown nose, while performing somersaults and “other daring feats!” A student told me that this was her “favorite day” with me; yet, she tells me this every day before she leaves. It felt good to have all of the students, even the wild ones, giggling their little heads off. I must admit, that there are days when I need to act crazy and wild as they do.
p.s. This is from the Dark Matter series!
Flavors: Apple, Cocoa, Malt, Raisins, Sweet
In the words of Daylon R Thomas, “Liquid Nutella is the best description I can offer.”I didn’t want to stop drinking this lovely sample from @Whiteantlers. I have a little more left over, but I think I’ll make a small amount of Sun tea with it. I might as well experiment with this tea, since it’s so good. Plus, iced chocolate tea—it could be good!?
These samples have so far proven that there are other types of tea out there that I’ve yet to try; which I plan on trying more of, once I drink down more tea. It’s not that I’m not committed to tea, but I’m literally running out of room in my cupboard. I’ve purchased an unnatural amount in the past few months (there’s no such thing as an unnatural amount of tea, though), and I want to create a challenge for myself to see if I can drink away 5-6 teas before buying more.
Anyway, thank you for this lovely sample, Whiteantlers. It has been an adventure thus far, and I can’t wait to try the rest this week. :)
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Nutty, Sweet
I wanted something to take to work with me in the afternoon; a little pick-me-up to help me have the same energy level as the students. They’ve been pretty antsy lately since there are only 28 school days left until summer. Therefore, it’s hard to control them.
Anyway, I received a sample of this from @Whiteantlers in the mail. It’s a splendid tea. It’s malty, has a black or blueberry aftertaste (pretty subtle) and the milk adds an element of creamy richness to it. I had this without sugar, with sugar, and added milk. For a black tea, it’s smooth and delightful. I’ve taken a liking to other types of tea throughout my journey, and had recently diverted from black tea. However, this is exactly what I needed for the afternoon, and would also consider making this as a sun tea and/or iced tea. Quite refreshing!
Flavors: Blueberry, Malt
I made this in my Kamjove Gongfu Tea Maker yesterday afternoon before going on a hike. I had noted “Malty, sweet, cinnamon, and nutty. Reminds me of cinnamon glazed almonds.”
I had a total of 8 steeps from this sample from the Dark Matter series. I will probably end up purchasing more of this eventually. It’d be a nice tea to have in the afternoon or morning. When you’re craving a doughnut or coffee cake, this is a great substitute! However, I wouldn’t take my advice on the account that I had ice cream for dinner! Ha-ha.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Nuts, Sweet
I’ve made a bad habit of stopping off at a local Coffee & Tea cafe by my job (there are two locations, each within a 6 mile radius from either my job or home) during the day when I’m awaiting to return to work.
Lately, I’ve been drinking their teas without complaint, so, I decided to ask the barista for something “tasty” and dessert-like. She pointed out the “Banana Bloom Tisane” which was supposed to be “like banana pie with lavender.” That’s false. It turned into a lavender nightmare, and there are cloves and cinnamon chunks within the tea. I like it, but since there is no banana flavor to it, I’m giving this the low rating.
P.S. It looked like lentil soup.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Lavender
I started drinking this earlier this afternoon, but wasn’t able to sit down and have a few cups before heading out to work. I just had my final cup for the evening (steep # 6), and I might get to the rest of it for the morning. As far as my week has been going, I need a solid tea to help me wake up tomorrow.
Anyway, this is good. I like the wet Earth aroma and flavor to this tea. Aged teas are mostly to my liking. They remind me of hiking and the outdoors; which, now that the late winter may be over, can happen. I must admit that the gym isn’t as appealing to me as being out in nature can be. This tea has a solid flavor, thick soup, and a not too overly drying mouthfeel. I might try to find a larger quantity of this tea so that I can enjoy it more often on days like today.
Side Note: On the plus side, I’m nearly done planning the one man trip in August. I want to do something with a lot of exercise (Appalachian Trail?) , historical (Gettysburg? Williamsburg?), and fun. I thought I’d have my wife join, but she’ll have to work, and we won’t have the foster kids, yet. So, since my summer schedule is in, I have to take the time to go somewhere before vacationing becomes less frequent.
Side-Side Note: Cat Steven’s “Tea For The Tillerman” is the album for tea sipping today.
Here’s the track, “Wild World:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj4ibL1VqDo&list=PLtS_jNy6-K_ceZvwxJH93XrWUqu1huEAV&index=11
Listening to this on vinyl is especially enjoyable :)
Flavors: Wet Earth