4562 Tasting Notes
I’m loving reading through the discussion board thread of all the teas everyone started their Christmas with: it’s interesting seeing the teas everyone considers “fancy enough” to break out for the holidays or seeing how people are matching themes.
Personally, this is what I chose to start the day with. My reasoning is that I’ve always sort of low key felt like this tea in particular really matched the Christmas season. The flavour profile personally reminds me very much of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and for me that’s definitely a holiday treat/tradition. I know there are other chocolate orange teas out there, but I’m choked to see this one go though. I really, really thoroughly enjoyed it!
At this point, I’m not even surprised that this was already in the Steepster database.
One of my Aunt’s living in the US sends us some sort of gift basket every year for Christmas and this year’s basket showed up the day before Liam (my brother) and I left to spend Christmas with our Dad. This year it was primarily filled with different sorts of chocolate and cookies but in the bottom we found this little packet which had two of these teabags.
I’m curious; how exactly is this ‘filled with the Spirit’ of Ernest Hemingway? I mean, the only thing in the teabag is Ceylon tea fannings/dust. That, to me, doesn’t seem like a well thought out thing to name after someone with so much character. But I’m just nitpicking before even steeping this…
Honestly, for a teabag, it could be quite a lot worse. It’s not overly bitter or astringent in my opinion. Actually, it’s quite flat/dull in flavour with a very bland floral tone to it. I can’t quite tell whether that’s because it’s just shoddy tea or if it’s because I’m sick. I have an inclination it’s the former though.
First off, thank you OMGsrsly for the sample!
I enjoyed a large pitcher of this one last night brewed in the style of Lazy Man’s Gong Fu; something like six or seven infusions worth (minus the wash) all poured together. I was skeptical that I’d be able to taste this tea clearly given that my being sick and lent a slight ‘foggyness’ to the flavour of everything I’ve steeped recently. However, prior to drinking any tea I had a neo citron which for a brief period afterwards left me feeling and everything I drank perfectly clear. No ‘flavour fog’.
I’m still finding my sea legs when it comes to Pu’erh but it’s hard to learn without experiencing so I’m happy my observations with this tea can contribute to that growing knowledge.
First off, I thought this was definitely earthy in a particular ‘wet soil’ or petrichor type way. Those flavour notes were very smooth, and rich with this lovely depth to them that created a well rounded full bodied flavour. Even though it was literally Christmas Eve I felt the strong desire to go camping while I drank this tea because those very natural, earthy flavour notes strongly reminded me of the bed of a forest floor after a heavy summer rain. Additionally, the thickness and brothy texture of the liquor reminded me of a heavy vegetable stock with mushrooms and sort of green peppers? It’s a semi-sweet well rounded vegetal flavour with a meatyness to it and just a very slight bitterness. Finally, I also tasted hints of what I’d call walnut notes.
This was really interesting to me because I didn’t get to taste the evolution of the flavours; but rather all of the flavour notes combined. I enjoyed this immensely though; it’s one of very few Pu’erh that stick out in my head as having such a prominent vegetal taste. And hopefully I’ll get to experience that some more in the near future as one of my Christmas presents this year was $75 towards an order with Camellia Sinensis which I decided to use almost entirely on Pu’erh so I could continue this learning experience without any personal financial risk. Since I don’t really know where to start I just grabbed an assortment of things which were more affordable and which the descriptions appealed to me. Here’s the list of my Pu haul:
Pu Er 2005 Jingmai Mini Brick Organic – 50g
Pu Er 2005 Haiwan – 25g
Pu Er 2006 Macao Scenary – 50g
Pu Er 2011 Yibang Malishu – 25g
Laos Pu Er 2015 Ban Komen – 25g
For some of you major Pu heads it may not seem like a lot, but for someone just tapping into that area of tea I’m sure it’ll go a long way towards learning more about this massive category of tea and how my own personal tastes fit into that.
When I’m sick I usually reach for lemon teas though I have to say grabbing this one off the shelf was a first for me; it’s not really the same kind of lemon tea as normal ‘sick tea’. That said; since I’m not a drippy-nosed mess confined to bed and my sense of taste isn’t that off I figured that it would still taste like it’s normal yummy self with possibly some of the benefits of lemon on a sore throat still coming into play.
I wasn’t exactly wrong and I wasn’t exactly right: this still tasted much like it normally does but without any of the ‘brilliance’ I’m accustomed to. I couldn’t taste the nuanced, layered flavour: I just tasted smooth creamy lemon. As well, this didn’t really do much for my throat but at the same time it didn’t so much do anything negative for it either…
I wouldn’t call that a ‘win win’ or a ‘lose lose’ situation. Is there a word for something in the middle? If there isn’t, we should certainly come up with one.
First tea of yesterday morning.
I worked a regular eight hour shift yesterday even though it was Christmas Eve. However, since I’m spending Christmas at my Dad’s my mom is in Vancouver visiting a ‘friend’ for Christmas I had to get up way earlier than I would have normally in order to accommodate taking a different bus to work. I have to say though, for a shift on Christmas Eve all went surprisingly well. It was a blissfully slow day with very minimal expectations from management as they all knew that no one wanted to be there.
My Dad/Step Mom don’t have any milk in the house so I had this whisked into almond milk to kick start my morning. I have to say, of all the milk alternatives almond is very low on my preferred list. The only substitute I dislike more is regular old soy milk. That said, I thought this was very tasty in the almond milk! The coconut was creamy and delivered a rich flavour and the almond hardly noticeable at all. I don’t know if that’s a testament to the matcha, the ‘milk’, or the fact my tastes are just slightly altered because I’m still sick.
Merry Christmas to those on Steepster who celebrate!
And to anyone who doesn’t, I hope the day is still very delightful!
This cuppa was from yesterday, Christmas Eve. I’m like 90% sure I over steeped it but I’m still sick and my sense of taste is just off enough that I couldn’t really taste the bitterness that I’m sure was there. Instead it was more of a muted floral and foggy berry flavour that was pretty tasty all things considered.
Made in my timolino while spending the afternoon finishing Christmas shopping. I hate shopping; it just stresses me out. So, it was pretty nice to have a hot cup of tea with me on the slightly miserable, cold day – and on top of that not only was it a warm cup of tea but also a soothing jasmine one!
And I know I said I had done that a while ago but I wound up with some surprise things I needed to pick up: namely a Secret Santa gift for a coworker. I was at Cuppa’T which is in the Cathedral area of Regina. For everyone who isn’t Lala or tigress_al that’s basically the really cool aesthetic/hipster-y/artsy area of town. If I could afford it, that’s where I’d want to live in Regina out of all the different neighborhoods.
At Cuppa’T I picked up some tea for myself, of course. Hiatus be damned. I nabbed 50g of Pink Beauty because I wanted to restock that one and then I got 50g of two new teas: a white tea called Nights in Paris and a fruit blend called The Great Gatsby. I also looked for Ice Princess or Dragonfruit Cranberry to restock those blends but they weren’t in stock. For my Secret Santa gift I got this really cute small/personal sized blue bubble teapot and 50g of Chamomile. The woman I got for the exchange is pretty pregnant so I thought something caffeine free and soothing might be a nice gift for her.
Then, after Cuppa’T we stopped at Dessart, which is a super cool candy store. I didn’t actually buy much for me but I did get something like $40 of candy to make into these little stocking stuffer/gift bags for my coworkers. That was a gift I definitely didn’t expect to be grabbing but am really happy I did. I love giving gifts; I just wish I could afford to do so more often…
Final stop was a bust: we were gonna go look at this Chinese herbal store because a friend from work said she saw teaware there the other day. Sure enough, we got to the store and there were several gorgeous Gaiwans in the front window that had me practically salivating! However, turns out they were closed so I’ll need to sate my tea addiction some time in the future.
But overall, it was a good shopping trip as far as shopping trips go.
Finished this one off a few nights ago as a cold brew. It came out as more of the floral, ‘fresh from the garden’ raspberry type flavour I’ve experienced with this one with some very light peachy undertones as opposed to the more sweet, creamy and confectionery raspberry that this one often demonstrates. Not that that was a problem; I still adored the flavour and this tea will be missed. And I have to say, I hate that since I’m not in Saskatoon anymore I can’t just go down to the mall and easily grab myself another 50g to restock because if I could do it that easily I totally would. But next time I’m there I’ll aim to stop in to Tea Desire to restock anything I might want to.
Unrelated; but I am definitely getting sick. I’ve got the most stuffy nose right now and definitely look more ‘puffy’ than normal. GREAT. That’s totally what I wanted for Christmas, Santa! How’d you know?
Another abundantly festive tisane!
We’ve got so many cool work things going on for the month; already we had a Santa hat wearing contest where you could wear a hat all week and the coolest ones wore a prize. This week is “Ugly Sweater” week which is awesome because it lets everyone switch up their wardrobe/get out of the gross mandatory uniform.
As well, I participated in a baking exchange and a Secret Santa exchange! I haven’t gotten to open my Secret Santa gift yet ‘cause I wont be working tomorrow but I’m definitely excited to see who got me and I know I had a lot of fun coming up with an idea for the person I got. For the baking exchange I made lemon squares which came out pretty nicely considering it was my first time making them. Perhaps just a little bit over done? But personally I think if nothing else that just stresses that they were actually home made. …Right?
This is what I drank during the baking process though. I felt probably the most in the Christmas Spirit as I’ve felt all year: basically covered in flour and butter with my red and green oven mitts and a mug of creamy apple tea gingerly cradled in hand!
One more mug and I’m out of this one too, which will be quite sad.
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Custard, Vanilla