5 Tasting Notes
This tea sits squarely at the crossroads of “I want to drink this every day” and “I can afford to drink this every day”
It has now had a couple years to calm down, but still packs a punch. Very nice bitterness and viscosity, with a subtle smokiness that I really enjoy. My favorite part of this tea is the calming energy. I definitely drink tea for the effect, and the effect of this tea is basically prescription strength! Relaxing to the point of sedation. I do most of my tea drinking at work, so this one is particularly well suited for stressful days. However, side effects make include a severe case of the fuckits.
This is the same material as the single sessions, but I really wanted a cake, and CLT was kind enough to oblige. Thank you so much Glen and Lamu! I really enjoyed this experience.
1st steep: Soft, but bright and fruity – perhaps del monte fruit salad… but the one without cherries. very sweet – feel alert immediately.
2nd: This steep has a bit of an edge – sort of peppery on the aftertaste. dances on the tongue – hard to describe – feel immersed in the taste-experience
3: very strong returning sweetness – does not seem to fade
4. need to poop. Sorry to those of you who don’t want to hear that, but I’m recording my experience here, and some teas have that effect on me. The taste (of the tea) is like fresh forest air. clean and crisp. with sweet notes floating on top like a birds song. I feel the effect of this tea mostly in my head, but some warmth in my shoulders and upper back as well.
5. Feeling very stimulated as I start this 5th cup. This is a potent tea. The texture is thick and smooth like melted butter, the flavors open and airy… like standing in the woods with my mouth open. the note of sweetness (rock candy now) is just delightful.
6. now I’m getting a mineral taste, like pottery, and a faint nuttyness… like cashews. The returning sweetness may be stronger than the taste when the tea is actually in my mouth.
7. The flavors have now all rounded out and melded together so they seem like one continuous flavor… this frequently seems to mark the beginning of late steeps to me, as if the taste profile is now fully developed… or something. also, my pen is having a hard time keeping up with my brain, and I keep starting to write the next word before I finish the current word, so there are many scribbles on this page.
8. mineral and bazooka joe bubble gum. Laser focus.
9. I’ll try not to complain about “long” steeps everytime I write tasting notes… but almost a minute!?! cummon! mmm… delmonte fruit cocktail again.
10. My co-worker just stopped by my cubicle to comment on how I’m sitting. Fully reclined in my office chair (as far as an office chair reclines) straight lounging… with my teacup held approximately at eye level, perhaps a just hair above. The real joy of this tea is in between the sips – big, mouth-filling sweetness. I just might still be tasting this tea tomorrow!
11. I think I’ve said enough. I’m going to put my pen down and enjoy these last few steeps without thinking too hard about it.
Since I am the first person to write about their experience with this tea here, I am going to use that as license to ramble… because that seems like fun to me, and I like the sound my keyboard makes when I type stuff… but out of courtesy for those who have no desire work through my muddled blathering, I will confirm now what you most likely already suspect… this is a REALLY nice tea.
As a side note, I don’t measure my tea, I eyeball it. I’m guessing I put 7 g or so in my 100 mL gaiwan. Started with 5 second (or less) steeps.
Here I sit… Notebook out, pen in hand… anticipating a new experience with a high tier tea.
wet leaf aroma: vegetal, artichoke
1st steep: very light flavor – delicate, but fills the mouth. Rich and thick, subtle notes of tobacco and artichoke. No drying or astringency. My whole body feels good, all of a sudden I’m in a good mood.
2nd steep: a bit more strength behind the flavors but very far from overpowering. I’m catching a slight note of sweet/sour – it is elusive though… cant quite put my finger on it.
3rd + 4th: feels so good in my mouth and body. I’m relaxed and focused. I feel warmth at my temples.
5th: this tea is so smooth. The flavors are subtle and delicious. I seem to have lost the touch of sweetness that I had on the second steep.
6. Hearty… like stew. I’m catching a glimpse of the sweet/tartness again – actually… reminds me of sweetarts candy
~went for a short walk to refill my kettle. I feel good. Healthy, vital, powerful (in a kind/loving way, not a BWAHAHAHA type of way)
7. mild astringency, but the sweetness is shining a bit brighter now. The tobacco and artichoke flavors are little more than a light fragrance at this point.
8. feeling some slight perspiration on my face. Mild astringency is still present – sweetness is still subtle, no longer tart.
9. Steeps are getting annoyingly long… I market myself as a super patient person… and for the most part that’s accurate, but certain things, like having to wait almost a minute for tea, it drives me nuts. Lots of sweetness now, like elote candy, but with out the chili powder.
10. This tea could have been named “happy soup” – thick, rich, pleasing, feels good in the body. The sweetness has mysteriously vanished – totally savory now. If you can’t tell… Im totally tea-lit right now.
11. Sweet again! keeping me guessing… perhaps I should start keeping track of when I reboil…
12. (not a fresh boil) – Savory. I can sort of see where the sweetness is hiding… like getting a bit of carrot in a big meaty bite of stew.
13. This tea is running out of life… (more accurately, I’m running out of patience for steeps… Instagram can only keep me occupied for so long) still delicious though. I reboiled before this steep and it is sweet again… sticky and sweet
14. Yeah, I went one more. it tastes so nice I didn’t want to quit… and figuring out what to drink after this is tough. this has been a bit of an adventure!
15. so… after transfering all of these notes from paper to computer, I figured… what the heck, this tea is really nice – lets give her another run. I put a fresh kettle to boil, and, after a quick rinse to warm everything back up (even the rinse water had a pleasant sweetness to it) I let it sit for a while while I had a small snack. Not much left in terms of flavor, but it has a pleasant aroma, and great mouth-feel. quite nice.
All and all…. a great experience!
Starts out nice and light… maybe slightly floral, then out of nowhere… around the 3rd or 4th steep… bitter. good bitter though. nice, pleasant, with that light floral thing in the background. Nice tasting tea, but seriously… its the sensations that I feel in my body that make it amazing. Makes me feel like I’ve got a bullshit proof vest on. I have no words to describe how useful a bullshit proof vest can be. Highly recommend this tea. After one taste, I bought a cake. Now every time I drink it, I think to myself… I should probably buy a tong of this.
This is my first time sharing tasting notes… bear with me… or don’t.
Let me preface with – this was the first tea that spent time in my pumador before I drank it. I was having so much fun taking the cake apart (since it was not crumbly and flaky), that I put quite a bit more leaf in my gaiwan than I normally would have.
Early steeps, all 5 seconds or less: I taste paper matches, newsprint and tobacco. strong returning sweetness, like pure sugar. first time I have experienced it like this so sweet so quickly. pleasant mouth-drying astringency.
Start to feel the tea in my 5th steep. tingling on my scalp – warmth in my cheeks near my nose, heavy warmth in the center of my chest. dry/astringent/ paper like aspects of the taste are starting to fade, but the tobacco taste (along with a mild tongue numbing sensation) and the sweetness are in full force.
~Took a break after 5, chest feeling a bit tight, and I am at work! also, I like to walk around when my tea-high kicks in so I can better explore how it feels in my body.
Steeps 6,7&8 (10, 15, 20 seconds) Mild tobacco/tongue numbing, a slight back of throat tickle, nice viscosity. the aftertaste is sweet like honey, with just a touch of tartness, like fresh white nectarines. feels warm and comfortable in my shoulders.
Steeps 9, 10, … fucked up my steep counter. (first time counting steeps, dont yell at me!) 30 sec, 40 sec, 1 minute… or so… these longer steeps bring back some of the mouth-drying sensations. the sweetness reminds me a little of watermelon. I’m just now starting to sweat a little, definitely energized, and a bit hungry.
Whatever steep I’m on now… I let it steep while I walked around a bit. now I can feel it beneath my shoulder blades… perhaps I’m growing wings. Now it is pure sweetness like a watermelon jolly rancher.
The sweetness lingers in my mouth the entire time I wait for this next steep. this will likely be the last one – I get impatient when the steeps get a few minutes long.
Oooohhhhh! it’s so sweet! I’m going to do just one more.
Flavors: Honey, Paper, Stonefruit, Sugar, Tobacco