2201 Tasting Notes
Yesterday I finally bought some other tea. I had been resisting until I make it to the tea market, but I don’t know exactly when that will be and I am tired of drinking the same tea day in and day out. So I bought some loose tea at the Carrefour (mega grocery store). I don’t know what brand this is, if it’s even listed, and I don’t have the energy right now to try and figure it out. I am so stressed about things at work back home right now, but being 12 hours off means that right now it is the end of the day there even though it’s the beginning of my day… which means I get to stew about my problems for at least 12 hours before anything happens with them. Guh.
At least the tea is tasty. This is a jasmine tea that translates to something like “Dragon Strip” or something. The leaves are nice and long with a few bits of flowers here and there. I let the just-boiled water cool for 4 minutes in my kettle before I steeped it. The resulting tea is sweet and jasminey, with a kind of robust green tea backdrop. Definitely tasty, and I’m glad I have it around. Now if only it would relax me enough that I will actually be able to get work done today instead of worrying all day… :P
Even though my head cold is next to gone these days, this morning I had some uugghh tummy troubles, no doubt from something I ate last night. I’m actually fine now, but I decided to brew up a cup of this to have with lunch anyway just because it’s soothing and pleasant and tasty. I added honey, which helps mask the flavor of this tieguanyin that I am tired of drinking but have so much of. Seriously, why on earth did I buy 100g of this? Clearly it was some misguided feeling that I had to, or something. I think I could have asked for less, but language barriers. They suck.
With this morning’s cup of this blend, I threw in a scoop of the dried jasmine buds I got at the store. I have to say I’m a little disappointed! This isn’t nearly as jasminey as I had hoped… in fact, the added flavor doesn’t seem like jasmine to me at all, just some kind of odd, earthy floral. Maybe I need to just do jasmine and tieguanyin without the rose and see how it plays out.
I am a sucker for pretty packaging, which is why I picked up this bottled tea in the grocery store the other day. Also the grocery store also labels things in (really small) English, so I knew this was a jasmine tea.
This has an odd taste that I can’t put my finger on. It was in my fridge, and thus pretty cold, but it almost tastes like ice, if that makes sense. Like jasmine ice. As it warms to room temperature, it tastes more like a standard jasmine green, but it’s still oddly “frosty”. I’m not sure where this flavor is coming from, and it’s not bad, but it’s unexpected. All and all a pretty decent bottled jasmine tea, but that weird flavor might keep me from returning to it.
Good news, guys, I got myself some Claritin (or “Clarityne” as they say here) and I am definitely feeling better. Not perfect, but much better.
This morning I made up the rose version of this tieguanyin, and I threw in some ginger for good measure. I didn’t taste much ginger (surprising with the amount I put in there), but that’s ok, it was all rosy and lovely anyway.
I haven’t had this plain since I first got it, mostly because I wasn’t that excited by it in the first place. I’m just not as much a fan of roasty teas, and this one is a roasty, more traditional tieguanyin, not a floral green one. How can two teas have the same name and be so different tasting? sigh For this cup I let the water cool (though I’m not sure to what temp), and I steeped it for only 2 minutes. The tea is perfectly fine tasting, but not very exciting.
Honestly I’m not sure that this note has much relevance because I can hardly smell anything right now. My congestion is one of the reasons that I haven’t tried to go tea shopping yet, because I feel like I won’t be able to taste anything properly. Hopefully it will clear up or I will find a remedy soon.
I discovered this bottled milk tea at the grocery store in Xidan Joy City the other day and snapped it up… I love love taro flavored anything, and especially taro milk tea which I usually get as a bubble tea. Maybe I’m overreacting but I am so in love with this bottled milk tea right now. I will be very sad when I can never get it back in the States. It’s milky and taro-y (which I always associate as kind of an almond flavor, but not quite), and the black tea (apparently a blend of Yunnan and Keemun) peeks through a little. I mean it’s not much but for me the star of the show is the taro so I don’t care. I have a bottle of regular flavor in my fridge so we’ll see how that goes, plus I found out that the green bottle is apparently jasmine so I am super excited to try that one too. When it comes to milk tea I am a girl obsessed, though I am sad to find that rose milk tea is not as prevalent around here as I had hoped (or at least, I haven’t found it yet).
At this point my sickness/allergies/reaction to pollution symptoms come in predictable waves… I have horrible coughing fits in the morning when I wake up, the middle of the day I often feel pretty good, and then night comes and my nasal passages close up completely and I feel generally like crap. Today I spent all day outside but a little ways outside the main part of the city, so hopefully the air was better there. Although I did pretty much confirm that the flowering trees are pretty much the only thing on the planet that I’m allergic to. Remind me to avoid Beijing in spring in the furture!
Today I used two lemon slices and it was almost too lemony! I think I’ll stick to one large or two small. I must have ended up with less ginger because I didn’t taste it as much, so I’ll try to remember to put more in. Added plenty of honey, too.
The air quality is supposed to be better today in Beijing (yesterday the air quality index was “Unhealthy”), so I’m hoping my lungs will get a relief.
I debated making a listing for this blend, but I figure I will likely be drinking it often while I’m here so I went for it. I went to the grocery store today, originally hoping to find just some bagged tea with lemon and/or ginger. Right when you walk in the grocery store, though, they have a ton of bulk loose green and oolong tea of various kinds, and while I was looking at what was available I realized that on the table there was also a ton of dried “mix ins” for your tea! All kinds of flowers, mostly, but also some herbs, goji berries, anise, etc. I picked up a bag of jasmine flowers to try, but I was most excited to see a lovely bag of dried lemon slices. Score! I couldn’t find any dried ginger so I picked up a fresh tuber. This cup of tea was made with a small scoop of the Wu Yu Tai Tieguanyin Third Grade, one large lemon slice, and about a half inch of ginger root. I also added honey for its throat soothing qualities. The result? Yummy! My random blending worked out. I could maybe go for a tad more lemon, but I can still taste it there no problem. The ginger is perfect. And it is soothing on the throat, with soothing vapors for my poor, battered lungs. This is definitely the fastest I’ve ever had a cough go from zero to very painful (1 day), and it probably won’t get any better until I leave Beijing and it’s pollution behind (a little over 2 weeks). So yeah, I’ll be brewing up this one often.
I feel like death warmed over this morning. I immediately caught some cold the first day I was in China, and it’s not improving so far. The fact that I don’t have easy access to western medicines I would normally turn to (omg I would kill for a cough drop) isn’t helping. Yes, there are places that sell western medicines, but there aren’t any around me and I don’t have the time or energy to go off looking for them. And it’s not like I can just waltz into a Chinese pharmacy and ask for cough medicine because I speak next to no Chinese. Trying to do that to find a decongestant got me some nasal allergy spray which is helping some but not exactly what I wanted.
Anyway, a cup of hot tea is helping a bit and I’ll probably try to go to the grocery store again and look for some others with some helping herbs. This tea isn’t as rosy today, or maybe I just can’t tell.