1693 Tasting Notes
I bought a bunch of random tea the other day from a hole in the wall shop at Pacific Mall. It wasn’t bad! and at ten dollars for 100g, I am pretty impressed. Yah it is a little dusty tasting, but I think an extra rinse will fix that :)
Anyhow, I’m going camping tomorrow!!! Gotta pick the teas I’m bringing. My friend has limited me to a small container, AND we are planning a tea party so I need to choose carefully. Probably a genmaicha, and a black tea. I know one girl there loves sencha. Hmmm.
My breakfast tea. It was quite good! I was relieved because I had one a few weeks ago, and it was very ho hum. Even still, I don’t think I’ll be buying any more of this if I see a box at Xmas,unless someone wants to split it with me. As much as I adore it, it isn’t something I could drink regularly. Because of this, I’m lowering the rating a few points.
When I had it the first time, there were only a few bags laying around in the work kitchen, so I didn’t realize how much of a novelty taste it is, for me anyhow.
Now, on to my life outside of tea.
I’ve been learning Spanish the last few months through a free website called Duolingo. This is something I’d been meaning to do for years and finally got around to. I had a few false starts, but then for some reason out of nowhere the “fire” took hold and I am obsessed with it!! That giddy feeling I used to get about tea seems to have been transferred into learning Spanish. Now, it isn’t as strong, but that may change(as did my tea love, it grew exponentially).
The funny part is that I’m not sure how or why it fits into my life as a useful skill other than getting to visit my family in Argentina, and a possible second language in the workplace.
I’m getting to the point here, I swear.
Right now, I’m very much a beginner, though I’d eventually like to try writing a review or two in Spanish. (I have ADD, subset SCT, a condition that means I learn/work a bit slower, so I’ll be “here” for awhile)
So I got to thinking… in the meantime, how I could keep myself engaged outside of my espanol mania, and figured I could ask around Steepster if there are any native language Spanish speakers? I’m curious, is tea big where you live, or in your culture? I know mate is in some places. And what are some tea related terms in Spanish?
This really hit the spot today. I’ve been craving keemum teas a lot lately.
(sorry James, I couldn’t stop thinking about Tealet and finally caved :(
There is a hint of spiciness that I really like, and a distinct raisin note which seems to hide the spice. The tea is rather light but feels like it should be heavier.
Overall, I quite like it. The smooth way it goes down is great. Sadly, I can’t afford much at that price. Oh well.
Also, does anyone have ADD (inattentive)? I could really use some advice
What a day, I am pooped!!
Bachelorette party yesterday, bridal shower today. Whew. I need to a nap.
Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the theme for the shower was… TEA PARTY!!! woot :)
The selection was pretty good. Three types of black, three greens, and two herbals. Plus red rose OP.
I enjoyed this cuppa. a solid black, with some nice malt and a hint of briskness. I let the sachet sit in the cup because there was no garbage and it did get a little bitter, no surprise there!
Bonus: thunderstorm time. I need a cuppa tea to enjoy this…
I see black tea! I see chocolate! Where oh where is the cherry… hmmm…Was really looking for it too. I’ll try sugar next time.
Still, it’s a pleasant chocolate cuppa. Nice and comforting.
and now because we had to evacuate the cupboard after a leak, I have NO idea who sent me the sample. Teabrat? I think? Thank you! :)
Yay free tea!! A friend gave me the rest of his sample. He doesn’t like coconut… I’m not sure why he bought it, maybe just to see if DT could change his mind :)
In any case, there are moments where I get some serious coconut macaroon mojo in my sip! I’m impressed, they managed to get the essence down pretty well.
But then, for the most part this is your average coconut black tea. Only sweeter.
The other odd thing is that I find my cuppa pretty smooth, with the occasional twinge of itchy throat.
Anyhow, this gets an overall ho hum from me. Not bad, but not great. Then again, I judge any tea with coconut in it pretty harshly so I’ll stick to the higher end of the rating I’m thinking about here. Fleeting moments of spot on taste gets you only mediocre points!
A colleague shared some Pu-erh tea picked from a 200 year old tree.
What an experience! A light tea with a sweet, maple syrup note throughout all infusions, and intermittent notes of clay, malt, spun sugar, linen and oak.
Unfortunately I had a few interruptions that threw off my timings a bit, so I had to fudge the follow up infusions a bit.
Also, I really need a way to maintain water temperature! My teapot cools down fast and I haven’t got a thermos big enough to hold that much liquid. For some reason my kettle keeps the heat, but it stays above where I need it to be, and then when I pour it into another vessel, its below where I need it because of the air exposure… tea snob problems
Not that it bothers me TOO much. Still, I wouldn’t mind doing it as per instructions the first (and in this case, only!) time.
Ah well. I really enjoyed it, and methinks I had a tea-buzz going on as well. Sweeeeet
So Friday was my last tea sommelier class. I’m done!! Sighs.
This is gonna be a long note so apologies in advance. I really want to remember the day and I think writing about it is the best way. That and I want to see if I can replicate some of the experiments at home one day :)
It was a great class to end on. We had so many teas that day, I swear I was a little drunk by the end of it!
The course was just presentations… I guess sommeliers are expected to have public speaking skills. It was a little stressful, but fun.
Well, we did start off the class with beer infused with Oolong. That was really tasty. Kindof floral and it blended well together. And it kicked off the “party” atmosphere.
Next we had some aged puerh with pretty intense menthol notes. Tasted great but the leaves smelled like moth balls! Errr…
After that we had more puerh (each class is dedicated to a type of tea. Can you guess what this one was??)
The lady who presented brought in tea eggs for us to try and they were the best I’ve ever had. Then again, I’ve only ever tried them at the old tea house I used to frequent before they closed down, and a sushi house that is also now closed. Hmmm.
Apparently the eggs are boiled in a brew of soy sauce, cinnamon, clove, sugar, salt, and guess what… tea! So flavourful and pretty. I love the marbled effect! I wonder what type of tea they used.
After that, we had another oolong, infused with presoaked (in tea!) pumpkin seeds. Our Prof is really nice, and doesn’t really care if we follow the schedule, and we weren’t being marked that day anyhow.
First steep was super pumpkin like, a little harsh, but rather tasty. I quite enjoyed it. Second one was much smoother, rounder, a little milder, and overall amazing. The package was written up in Japanese, so I’m not even sure what they are called… but I really wish I could find me some!
Anyhow, our last experiment was a bit more serious. One of my classmates bought a pesticide detection kit at Essence of Tea, that teaches you how to notice the difference between organic vs pesticide free food and beverages. They tested both teas in a lab and showed the results on a handout. I have it if anyone wants a copy. (though I would have to scan it)
It was not a perfect experiment because it came with two teas that weren’t identical besides the pesticide factor, but I did learn quite a bit anyhow. Mind you they were both uncooked puerhs made in a similar fashion, so it was easier to compare atleast.
It turns out that the way you can tell is not by taste at all! Not the main factor anyhow. Nope, it is more of a sensation thing. The organic version had a slight bitterness that came back with a honey sweet aftertaste. There was definitely more flavour there, while the pesticide version was less defined in that way. I would even say that it was kindof bland, more like something you could use for a flavoured tea, or in a blend.
The sensory part comes in with the pesticide version, and was really only noticeable when I sat down with a glass of both types. With the pesticide one, there was a very slight tingling/numbing of the tongue and roof of my mouth, and a tiny little pinching in my sinuses. You know when you have a headache, it comes in tiny stabs? somewhat like that, only very brief and not something I would normally pay attention to, although perhaps I should! Of course, organic is only one thing that contributes to quality tea. The richness of the soil, how it’s processed, how much sun it gets, those all need to be in balance as well. Bah. I had fun. Hopefully I’m not ruined for non-organic teas now heh. Ah well. The Prof pointed out that first or second flush teas are more likely to be organic anyhow, because pesticides are expensive and they don’t spray until the bugs come out… which is of course later in the season.
That was the end of it, sadly. It was a melancholy moment for me. But I really had to get going, as by the time I left class it was almost 10:30pm. We tea folk know how to partay.
Next up for me… a friend just gave me Turkish tea that she brought back from her trip! 500 grams I think. Oh dear. Should be interesting.