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Gong Fu Sipdown (597)!

I sent the last of this to someone in a swap, so this was a sort of sipdown. My last session of it, anyway – unless I repurchase, which is certainly tempting but I recall this also being quite an expensive shou so we’ll see…

Very pleasant session though; I think this is an exceptionally smooth shou with a lot of very interesting tasting notes present. I started the session off taking physical notes about the tea, but my steep two I found myself lost in the flavour of the tea and just completely and utterly relaxed/at all (something shou does to me quite often) and I put down the pen/paper and just let myself be more sucked in to the tea. Those are the best sessions; where you’re just engrossed in the moment and nothing else.

I play music when I drink Gong Fu as well, always. Something about the combination of tea and music, especially when it’s music that compliments the tea, seems to make both the music and tea feel richer to me. Cage The Elephant recently dropped a new album so that’s what I was listening to – but this song in particular really captured my attention during the session:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM1S9S-Q2sU

I guess because I know some of the real life history of the song, and because I was very moved by the tea something happened and, during my third listen in a row of this song, I found myself tearing up until I finally just released and just started to softly cry while I was steeping my tea. We were like eight or nine steeps deep at this point, and I just couldn’t take it emotionally. I should stress that nothing is really happening in my life right now to put any sort of emotional stress of any kind on me; I have NO personal reasons to have a breakdown like that. It was just a powerful emotional moment for me.

Tea and music… Damn.

Photos (of the tea & not my breakdown): https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwo5gtVnt5G/

Also, the tea was thick and smooth with surprisingly sweet and dense flavour notes: petrichor/wet wood (my favourite shou flavours!), vanilla bean, blackstrap molasses, walnut skins (still have that nutty sweetness but also pleasantly astringent), minerals, and date paste. Mmm!

Togo

I like your tea and music pairings :)
I also always listen to music when doing gong fu sessions, be it on my own or for our tea tasting parties.

derk

I don’t purposefully start a gongfu session with music; rather, I find myself easily picking songs that amplify the feeling I get from a tea. Mood enhancement instead of setting the stage. Music and tea are a natural pairing and my favorite along with conversation and tea! Most activities go well with tea except showers. In that case, I need a shower beer.

Roswell Strange

Derk – this is sort of a weird tangent, but have you ever eaten an orange in the shower? I highly recommend it!

derk

I have not but I do have a bag of tangelos. Will report back tomorrow.

Also, I’m happy you had that gentle catharsis.

Mastress Alita

There is a whole subreddit dedicated to eating an orange in the shower, heh. I also haven’t tried it.

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Togo

I like your tea and music pairings :)
I also always listen to music when doing gong fu sessions, be it on my own or for our tea tasting parties.

derk

I don’t purposefully start a gongfu session with music; rather, I find myself easily picking songs that amplify the feeling I get from a tea. Mood enhancement instead of setting the stage. Music and tea are a natural pairing and my favorite along with conversation and tea! Most activities go well with tea except showers. In that case, I need a shower beer.

Roswell Strange

Derk – this is sort of a weird tangent, but have you ever eaten an orange in the shower? I highly recommend it!

derk

I have not but I do have a bag of tangelos. Will report back tomorrow.

Also, I’m happy you had that gentle catharsis.

Mastress Alita

There is a whole subreddit dedicated to eating an orange in the shower, heh. I also haven’t tried it.

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Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer originally from the prairies, but recently relocated to Quebec. I was introduced to DAVIDsTEA and started drinking tea fairly casually about six years ago. At some point, that casual hobby became an ingrained part of my daily life; I became a part of a greater community, incorporated tea into my daily routine, and it became my career.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

I drink a balance of flavoured tea and straight/traditional teas – in all formats. I prefer to have a wide, and general knowledge over many types of teas and catagories rather than focus on any one specific tea: a jack of all teas, master of none. Loose, bagged, matcha, Western style, iced, latted, Gongfu…

You name it, I probably drink it.

In that vein, I’ll drink just about any type of tea – the only ones I have a particularly strong distaste for are green teas and Chai, with some exceptions of course. I have a weird relationship with Sheng pu’erh, but have been gradually increasing the amount of it I consume – currently I have a particular fascination with Yiwu Sheng. Other types of tea that I greatly enjoy are Yancha and other dark, heavily oxidized or roasted oolongs, most shou, black tea, and compressed/aged white teas. I’ll absolutely try anything once though; and I like to have an open mind and explore lots of tea types, even if I have reservations. I’ll probably never leave that “exploratory” phase…

Usually I drink my tea straight, but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea, I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though. If I’ve not mentioned an addition, you’re safe to assume it’s been prepared straight up.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gongfu. Often I curate very intentional tea and music pairings, and sometimes I share them here in my tasting reviews. Music is something that I find can deeply affect the experience of having tea.

Favourite flavour notes/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strong Chai spice profiles, mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, artificial tasting mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/obsessed with: Sheng from Yiwu, Yancha (Qilan in particular), anything with a strong sweet potato note. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas! Searching for a really good caramel flavoured blend, ideally with a black tea base.

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Jade Pixiu Dragon: Whitaker
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Dragon: Pablo
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Sculpted Pig: Nelly
Sculpted Tuxedo Cat: Pekoe
Sculpted Tabby Cat: Marmalade
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Stringray: Irwin
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Man: Leopold
Brass Mouse: Stilton

Currently I’m employed in the tea department of the DAVIDsTEA head office. While I’m still sharing my own personal thoughts on new & existing DAVIDsTEA blends, I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any comments expressed are a reflection of my own thoughts and opinions, and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company. Any DAVIDsTEA blends you currently see with a numeric score were reviewed prior to my being hired there and have not been adjusted since becoming a DAVIDsTEA employee.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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