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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – April 2023 Tea #5 – A grassy tea
A Zen tea that I have never written a note for, and it looks like no one else did either. I think I bought this because it was on sale during their closing (or at least, their sale for not selling teas anymore, rather than only teaware.) It doesn’t get much grassier than gyokuro. It looks like fresh spring grass clippings. The flavor is okay, but obviously the nuance at this point is missing. I bet it was much better… many… years ago. Tastes a bit like matcha, a bit like sweet corn. I was intending to finish this tea for the prompt, but it’s such a rarity at this point, and I don’t have much Gyokuro otherwise, I think I won’t be in a rush to finish it. I wish I had gotten around to writing a note years ago…
This masala chai blend is heavy on aniseed, far too heavy on the aniseed.
I get around that by adding a spoon of the ultimate black tea improver, Keemun Classic by Capital Tea Ltd, and then a glug or two of store-bought eggnog.
This new, to me, eggnog I bought is thinner and sweeter that the previous one. Works well.
After more than a week of drinking only straight teas with no additions, this cup feels quite rich and extravagant.
The last time I steeped this up, the anise was too intense, even with my eggnog solution. I don’t know whether it was just that spoon of leaf or whether it is all the leaf.
Regardless, I added a half spoon of Capital Teas Ltd’s Keemun Classic to the leaf to tone it down. It worked. A glug of eggnog and Bob’s your uncle.
So, I went shopping in my stash for a chai and came across an unopened packet of this one. The sensible thing to do would be to keep all my chais cloistered together, but I may not have the organizational wherewithal to get this job done .
My neighbours—Bless their hearts—woke me up at four and kept me awake till past seven at which point the condo construction began.
I am knackered, clearly, and need something reliably punchy. Even then, I may not be all that functional, but let’s see.
The past few days, I’ve been drinking lovely delicate French teas and what a delight that has been.
This moment calls for something else entirely, either a fiesty breakfast blend or chai, which is often a breakfast blend plus a whole whack of spice. And that is exactly what this is.
I tend to be a big fan of Anne’s chai blends, so this one has sat neglected for a long while. The spice blend is different but good.
The anise competes with the cardamom. I prefer anise far more in the background, so instead of milk and sweetener, I added a big glug of eggnog. Exactly what is needed here.
The vanilla and creaminess of the eggnog soothe and sweeten the spice and strong base.
It may not be enough to put me in motion, but it is certainly doing much to put me out of my misery.
And I do miss Zen Tea Life.
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #113 overall / Tea #29 for March /
Thursday 3/25/21 — ZenTea Atlanta almond papaya rooibos. So a few weeks ago was my 3 year anniversary of dating Micah. 2017/18/19 was also my heyday of traveling like mad and working a lot trying to afford the trips. In September 2018 I found this tea shop in Atlanta and this was one of the 15? 2 oz foil bags I got after spending awhile deciding what teas to get. I have learned that I don’t enjoy rooibos but it is one of my my boyfriend’s favorites. In fact he literally texted me other day ‘Thank you for the tea I like the almond’ (although I can’t remember if it was this tea. I think so.)
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge
I’m sipping down old tea samples that have probably lost a little of their potency, so bear with me. I’m trying to clear through several of them today. I had a sample of this in the cupboard awhile. It’s unusual for me since I’m more of a black tea drinker familiar with that; green is a world waiting for me to try.
I liked this one. It’s mild but different. I steeped the minute with 2 tsp. as recommended, then added a bit more time to see the difference (again, older). It’s very earthy and makes me think of mushrooms a little. It’s roasted and cozy. I’d buy more of this one.
Day 5 ADVENT CALENDAR
I’m loving trying new loose leafs and finding new tea companies I never would have heard of if I didn’t participate in this project!
I double steeped a tablespoon to make a big 54 ounce pot – I had three cups. my roommate had two, and we refrigerated the leftovers for breakfast this morning. This tea was great – I loved that there were no notes of bitterness in it – it was smooth – I feel like I"m one of the few people I know that actually enjoys rooibos teas – this was a good one – I am sure I will order this at some point!
I think this swap sample came from Arby. It’s in the tiniest ever little kraft paper zip-top bag. I was chortling to myself trying to imagine how she managed to get the tea in there while I was steeping it… XD
This is an interesting one, and not at all what comes to mind when I think of Taiwanese black teas. It seems closer to an Indian Assam to me, with the main notes I’m picking up on being malt and raisin. Luckily, it lacks the strong astringency of a typical Indian Assam, though there is perhaps a hint. It’s a rather smooth and somewhat light tea, and I can taste a bit of grain and slightly musty hay.
I enjoyed the small cup, though it was not at all what I expected. Typically with a Taiwanese black tea, I find strong honey and usually cinnamon notes, which I didn’t get here at all. Still very pleasant though!
Flavors: Astringent, Grain, Hay, Malt, Musty, Raisins, Smooth
Cold Brew Sipdown (329)
This is one of the teas from my swap with Evol Ving Ness back in 2017 that is sort of just lingering around. Thank you Evol! It’s been a while since I have seen her on here though so hopefully she see this…and perhaps I shouldn’t take forever to go through swaps
This tea is the same as the blend that I really enjoyed from Tea Desire. I had a lot of that and grew tired of it. Plus, it got sort of bland so I mixed it with things near the end of my stash. It was nice to have just enough for a few cold brew cups to revisit it.
This is not punch-you-in-the-face flavorful but it does have flavor. It is soft, light, and refreshing with a fruity sweetness. I actually get more goji berry than anything else but overall it is like a generic fruit flavor with a goji note at the tail-end. Nice and definitely different from a lot of the other herbal/fruit tisanes out there…except for the Tea Desire version which is the same tea.
Sadly, I’m coming to the end of this bag. I didn’t love it quite as much as the other black tea I tried from Zen, but it’s still very nice: long, unbroken twisted black leaves that brew up smooth and malty and rich. Perfect for this grey, rainy Wisconsin morning!
Flavors: Malt, Smooth
Brews up deep golden and there’s a satisfaction in watching the tightly curled leaves unfurl in the infuser. Definitely one that needs room to breathe – very tempting to just drink the second steep grandpa style and say screw the finely honed infusing process.
There’s a mellow earthy flavor that reminds me of the smell of freshly broken twigs with a mouthfeel that’s almost silky. It’s not a robust kind of tea, but the mild comfort of its mineral notes are soothing in a way that entices you into multiple cups before you realize what’s happened.
Earl Grey is usually black tea, but this one is white. I didn’t like it at all; the smell of the lavender was so strong it burned my nose. The taste of lavender was so strong it made me cringe. Oddly, the lavender taste was so strong, it almost tasted like lemon. It was just bad.
Flavors: Lavender, Lemon
I was not a good as other oolong teas that I’ve had, but I don’t know if it’s just because of how I brewed it. It wasn’t as flavorful as other oolong teas that I’ve tried, but I still liked it because i just like the wonderful tea taste. It was kind of disappointing because the tea was grown in the Wuyi Mountains in China, and that location is supposed to be famous for really good tea. Of course, again, it could have been my own fault, or it could be because of how it was stored and shipped.
It was very bitter and tasted like grass, but somehow I still liked it. If anyone wants to make matcha themselves, I would recommend straining it. I don’t have an appropriate strainer so the powder clumped together even after mixing it and it was kind of gross. Besides that, it was good. If you like bitter tastes, matcha is the right choice
I don’t like green tea as much as other teas but this one is okay. I didn’t notice the nutty taste until I read the other reviews, but when I had some more I could taste it. I would recommend this tea to people who enjoy green tea.
Zen Tea’s ceremonial matcha was a little more bitter than their regular organic matcha. (Although this could be due to user error, since this was my first time making matcha the traditional way.) It was still very enjoyable, though, both with and without sweetner. If you feel the need to sweeten it, sugar tends to taste better than honey in this one. For now I’ll say that I liked the regular organic better, but I appreciate how the higher quality one doesn’t clump up at all.
Flavors: Grass, Green