Here we go. Delightfulness on a cold, but not all THAT cold, winter day.
The candied pecan and sandalwood play nicely against that SunMoon base. We could do with more of this blend in the world.
“Here we go. Delightfulness on a cold, but not all THAT cold, winter day. The candied pecan and sandalwood play nicely against that SunMoon base. We could do with more of this blend in the...” Read full tasting note
“008/365 More Yunnan, which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I said most of this in my last tasting note, but I love the chocolate/pecan/brown sugar combination showcased by this tea....” Read full tasting note
“This tea had a vividly fruity scent while it was brewing with distinct apricot notes. There’s are hint of the fruitiness in the flavour as well as cocoa notes with a hint of nuttiness. It’s quite...” Read full tasting note
“Oh wow, this tea is incredibly delicious. The black tea base is just exquisite.” Read full tasting note
Liquid Proust’s first literary appreciation tea. Part on in a series for Marcel Proust masterpiece: In Search of Lost Time. Starting with the first of course: Swann’s Way captured me within the first 15 pages and once I got past how long Proust writes, I knew I would be spending hours and hours reading his work.
So while this is my attempt to capture a novel within the creation of a tea, which is actually impossible, I hope it is an enjoyable experience for others as well.
Starting with the base is important and while the link between such a long read and a long session would lead to a cooked/ripe pu’erh, I ended up going a different route because of ingredients being needed for the blend. Wagering between a unique oolong or black tea took a while, but I ultimately realized I have an abundance of oolong teas coming out so I went for a black tea base. Between the choice of using an Japanese black tea or finding an African one was the first choice, however I ended up finding an interesting sunmoon lake black tea. What captured me about this tea was the depth that it could reach after a few steeps. At first it isn’t the most thought provoking tea, but the potential it had made me go for it; after all, I haven’t seen a sunmoon lake blend yet.
So why did I need depth and something that had to slowly open and then die out in a flat way? Well, for me Swann’s Way is many things but one of the major thing that pop out is figuring out this thing called ‘love’. Love is a very deep and mysterious emotion; therefore I knew I needed something that takes a few sips because it’s not only complex but ask to be revisited.
Taste wise for a base tea was figured out and the other elements came into place. Did I want a mouth feel, a fruity taste, a sweet tasting tea, a flavored tea, a simple blend… so many options. I thought about what love would taste like if it was a tea and came up with such things as: meaty/thick/filling and sweet but fading due to needing a remembrance. Now I was not about to put beef jerky or milk candy in the blend so I thought about it. Roasting nuts has been on my list of things to do for a awhile so I went ahead and made the decision to roast pecans and then figure out a way to make them sweet.
The pecans are meant to represent a ‘meatness’ to this concept of love. Something had to coat that idea, being the sweetness. I recently found this odd black cane sugar from Yunnan and decided that I could caramelize it and pour it over the freshly roasted pecan. Well that sounded pretty simple so I decided to add cocoa nibs and vanilla extract to the process of making caramel.
Love doesn’t end up as sweet as it first was at one point in Swann’s Way which made this type of caramel that I produced to be a great resemblance of the novel. The sweetness fades away while the base become stronger. Learning more about this thing called love and facing it full on provides the possibility to taste/see what is really there. However, Swann’s Way is a novel and not an idea so that means that it is comprised of sentences and anyone who has read a little Proust knows that a sentence can last a whole page. This was probably the hardest concept to capture; my enjoyment of Proust’s writing style. Doing the best I could, I knew I wanted something with some malt and thickness to it that faded away like the others rather than opening up and came across the idea of using a dianhong. My search didn’t come up with anything that fit the idea of a sentence; appears to be a few words, but ends up expanding unto something larger and connected to others after it. Still couldn’t figure it out as I wanted something like those snake fireworks that just keep opening up. I came pretty close by using some Yunnan Bi Luo Chun. The mixture of chocolate and sweetness that fades away, while still being a nice dark brew, worked out quite well for what I was going for.
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More Yunnan, which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I said most of this in my last tasting note, but I love the chocolate/pecan/brown sugar combination showcased by this tea. I also love it for its depth, and layers, of flavour – it’s more complex than it first appears (and so very fittingly named.) I’m sad that LP doesn’t blend any more…he’s put some good stuff my way.
This tea had a vividly fruity scent while it was brewing with distinct apricot notes. There’s are hint of the fruitiness in the flavour as well as cocoa notes with a hint of nuttiness. It’s quite a smooth tea with only a little bit of astringency present. The tea acquires a sweetness as it cool, much like and oolong would. In fact if I didn’t know this was a black tea I would probably think it was a dark Formosa oolong.
I’m currently grandpa styling this as I get ready for work today. I’m going to work my way through it as long as I can……It’s a very fine tea with so many layers to it. However, in the moment, I’ve been wanting to eat my weight in chocolate, but had decided to drink this instead. I’ll definitely miss this tea, but am happy that I’ve had the chance to enjoy it.
Notes: Chocolate, nutty (pecan), syrup, creamy, rich, & malty.
I’ve tried this a couple times now and have been somewhat meh about it. I guess that’s why I haven’t written a note yet. Unfortunately I thought it would be nice to use the last of the leaf for a chocolate milk latte and it’s just not working. The tea is just too brisk combined with a lot of nuttiness that is making this taste like wood. The chocolate milk tries to undercut that but its efforts are fruitless. I think this tea is just not for me.
Drank this yesterday while at rhinke’s dad’s holiday gathering. Figured it would be a good idea to take something we could easily prepare western style and I was right. Brewed up a nice, deep red that was super smooth and thick in texture, with a sweet, rich taste with notes of cocoa, subtle caramel and a comforting creaminess. The flavors opened up more over a couple of subsequent steeps, which I always appreciate being able to get when gong the western route as I tend to for blends.
Definitely an enjoyable drink, and it was the perfect choice for navigating chilly kitchen conversations with new people during this time of year.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
I brewed this western style this morning in my new teapot and cups from Epcot China. The cups are kind of that bubbled shape where the middle sticks out wide and then tapers closer together towards the lip. This makes for a better trap to capture the scent of the tea, I am finding. And this tea is perfect for that.
If you can recall being at a spring or fall baseball game, there are usually a vendor or two who are selling those freshly roasted candied nuts that smell like the clouds of heaven. This tea captures much of that scent. It is delightful. The taste is a little less sweet but it does still carry sweetness along with the slight malt of a black tea. There is a nuttiness and a slight tang on the back of the tongue as well. A really enjoyable pot of tea this morning.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Nutty, Sugar, Sweet, Tangy
My first thought on the first sip was “WHOA, complicated.” There are a lot of layers to this tea. This is an introspective tea, something to spend a quiet afternoon on, thinking.
I like to call teas like this traveling teas—the teas whose different flavors light up the regions of the tongue as you swallow. The dark flavors are the ones that hit first, which are sweet potatoes and cocoa. Then the tea hits the middle of the tongue with brighter flavors, like sugary red fruits. I’m going to tell you now that I suck at identifying fruits in teas, so red is as close as you’re going to get. As the brew fades in the back of the mouth, there’s malt, a little bit of astringency, and a honey-like sweetness. I also got some vanilla caramel flavor.
Though I couldn’t find the nuts in the first brew, subsequent steeps yielded a sweet, creamy pecan flavor, while most of the chocolate and fruits fell away.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Honey, Malt, Pecan, Red Fruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla
Finally getting around to trying this one. Such an aesthetically pleasing tea.
Smells strongly of pecan in the dry leaf. Steepings lead first to strong pecan notes, which is really nice. I’ve not had a pecan tea that brought pecans into the flavor without maple. I didn’t get any cocoa until the last 2 steeps of 6 but then it came out and replaced the pecan. An enjoyable transition. The pecan and cocoa melded nicely with the base. This was a nice, pleasant way to spend the evening.
Really well done.