1130 Tasting Notes
Having this dark, woodsy shou today. It’s grey and cool out with no snow, but still has a chilly dismal air about it that makes me want to stay cozy. I am curled up in a blanket watching curling and might continue reading my book soon. I will keep steeping this in my teapot from Crimson Lotus and relax today. Wish I didn’t have to work tomo :( see previous notes on this tea!
Mmm I like this tea. This will not be my detailed note on it as I’m at work and poured it out of my travel mug, so not the best conditions, but darn this tea truly does have a bread-like, french toast-esque flavor!! Yum yum, cinnamon, that bread-dipped-in-egg french toast sweetness, very impressed. Off to a good start with this year’s winter collection.
I hate those mornings when you wake up and are craving a tea you know you don’t have in your cupboard anymore lol. This morning, it was Laoshan Village Chai for me, which I haven’t had for ages! The chocolate notes of LB are what I needed, and I couldn’t find my sample of straight LB either (if I still have one even, I might have drank it!). So I got out the next closest – Verdant’s delicious Earl Grey, with LB!! The chocolate notes are present that I was craving, albeit quite muted due to the travel mug I brought this tea in to work haha. But it will do. See previous notes on this tasty tea!
Ahh I finally am getting to reviewing this tea, so sorry for the delay Teavivre!! A huge thanks for this free sample!
I was originally just going to make a big cozy mug of this as it’s freezing here on the first day of November and I have been trying to warm up enough to do something all day, but I looked at my little teapot from Crimson Lotus and thought man it’s been a while since I’ve used it! This is the teapot I didn’t season and just went for it when I first used it and it yielded excellent results, so I’m excited to try another shou in it today!
I used probably a little over half of my sample for this session, I was going to use it all but since the teapot is so small I thought I better use close to half to start, plus I will have enough for a Western cup another day! I did a quick 10s rinse with boiling water and poured this over my teapot, mmm there is a lovely musty, almost creamy rich smell about it. Man I always say this – I need to drink shou more often!
The first steep I did for 10s with boiling water as well, and the liquor is nicely dark already, not opaque but a nice rich reddish brown color. It smells sweet and woodsy. As for the flavor, mmmm this is a pleasant puerh, it is actually super sweet!! Like a drippy caramel flavor, toffee-like, melding with a rich mahogany wood with the barest hint of smoke to round it out and make it even cosier. It’s thick and rich and delicious. I’m not sure if some of the flavor of Lake Huron (the last tea I had in the teapot) is adding to the thick, rich flavor, but man is this ever good. I am also detecting a slight floral dryness in the aftertaste, hmm could be interesting to see how that develops!
Steep 2 – 20s with boiling water – also, I am following the parameters on Teavivre’s website haha, the liquor is about twice as dark and the sweet wood smell is growing in intensity. Mmm the woody flavor is growing too, still rich, becoming deeper, still with that mild smoke note. As it cools the sweetness disperses into a mild molasses hint and a great roasted cedar note comes through. The mouthfeel has changed from less creamy to deeper now too. Yum. Amazing how just letting it cool changes the flavor oh so much!
Overall, the first two steeps of this have been great, and I look forward to an afternoon of this, steeping it out and being warm. I’m excited to see how the flavor changes, since there has already been quite a change between the first two steepings. Hopefully I can get some cleaning done too now that I’m warmer, although I feel cozy and content, this tea is evoking a nice relaxed feeling rather than energetic so far haha. Once again, thanks to Teavivre, particularly Angel there, for giving me the opportunity to try this lovely shou!
This tea sadly appears to be losing a bit of flavor, it is a year or 2 old so it’s not surprising, but it is one of my favorite Earl Greys. There still is some marshmallow flavor which I am happy about, as I gave a friend a spoonful of dry tea to try just a couple weeks ago. Still warming and cozy and sweet as well. I am feeling mildly under the weather due to my sinuses being in crazy mode from swimming (I think there is still some water in them lol) and with pressure changes from the weather here. Ugh I hope it passes, that full sinus feeling is never good, and also makes my head kind of spin.
I’m having a cup of this as it is getting really cold outside here (although I’m not complaining, no snow yet :D which is rare) and I wanted something cozy and warming and also with a caffeine kick. This fits the bill in all aspects. I only steeped this for less than a minute today because it gets soooo strong haha, and added honey to the travel mug as well. The result is a strong, gingery, spiced chai that I am definitely feeling today! I am happy I made this, now hopefully the caffeine doesn’t take me out! I feel a migraine coming on from the crazy wind today so hopefully the caffeine helps ward that off haha.
In other news, I went swimming in a pool for literally the first time in years (last was like in junior high or high school haha). There is a pool super close to my house so I am going to try to get in the habit of swimming at least twice a week for the winter season, since I can’t go running outside when it’s so cold (read: will not go running outside when it’s cold lol). Last night was great and definitely a work out as well as being relaxing, so I hope I can keep it up, since my running has been nonexistant for a month, since I returned from Scotland lol. Hooray for trying to be active!
I’m finally trying this tea after having it for a while in my cupboard. It feels like a matcha morning today haha I guess I want some energy to maybe figure out my Halloween costume today lol.
I whisked a tsp of this in a bit of 175 degree water then topped it up in a mug with water of the same temperature. The dry smell was interesting, definitely matcha with some spices and a faint added creaminess.
The flavor is interesting. I haven’t had a flavored matcha since I used to drink RLTs flavored ones, so it’s been a while. This is definitely different than I’m used too. It is a mildly grassy matcha with added sweetness that kind of tastes like a whipped cream flavor, with mild spices that are not overly identifiable. I suppose if I think aboyt it, it kind of tastes like pumpkin pie, but still a bit iffy. It is pleasant enough to drink, but I prefer regular unflavored matcha haha.
Overall, for a matcha I imagine this is not doing a terrible job emulating a ‘pumpkin pie’ flavor, but it’s not my favorite. But I’m happy I tried it!
Looking at previous notes, I seem to make this tea on Sundays a lot and also once when the bf had to go into work at 6 am. Wouldn’t you know, today is Sunday and the bf had to go into work at 6! I swear there is a weird tea association that goes on when I look through my cupboard to pick teas to drink on certain days, so weird!
Anyways, I am enjoying a nice gongfu session with this sheng today. I have been craving sheng lately, must be the mild autumn weather we are having! I did 2 quick rinses with just under boiling water then about a 6s steep. Wonderful sharp, smoky green flavor that melds into honey and apricots. I forgot this is my most apricotty sheng, goes even better with this autumn day! I am listening to classical music and am hopefully going to get closer to finishing documenting our Scotland trip in my journal. Might brave the mall later for some new clothes, or start a new book. Looks to be a nice relaxing day! See previous notes on this delicious tea, I look forward to an afternoon of steeping this :)
On the weekend I did some cleaning of my tea cupboard and assessed the samples I have left that I need to get to and also put some teas in a give away pile and did give some to my mom yesterday too! I will try to give a few to my boyfriend’s brother then decide what to do with the rest. In turn this has helped reduce the number of teas in my cupboard and determine which ones I should sip down or at least open haha. I am also going to try to review a bunch of my new (read: unopened that I’ve had for a while) teas, as I really need to get back to some detailed reviews!
I found this opened sample in the top drawer and I would like to drink it down before it gets stale. So I made a cup in my travel mug for this fine Tuesday after the long weekend. The travel mug always mutes flavor, but this one is still creamy with some bergamot, not as much as in a regular mug, but still there. Also some caramel notes from the LB. Tasty and the caffeine should help me get through the morning! Not a detailed note but one day I will write a detailed one haha. See previous notes on this tea :)