3262 Tasting Notes

This was a very mellow and mild cuppa.
The initial aroma was of tangy green apricots and burning green wood. It wasn’t necessarily smokey however.

The initial steeps were of a lightly salty mineral broth, gradually building a little apricot tanginess, then morphing into a tasty roasty cup, and then gradually getting sweeter. At that point, I had drank plenty of tea and it was getting later in the day, but I plan to revisit this more today, after a quick rinse, because I’m certain that it has much more to offer, and I’d like to be there to find out. Overall, I found this to be a very smooth and soothing session.

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drank Bai Rui Xiang by Verdant Tea
3262 tasting notes

For the last week or so, I’ve been focusing on the Wuyi oolongs in my tea collection, particularly the ones that were close to sipdown, and most of these come from Li Xianxi and her family. I haven’t done any really comprehensive tea reviews in awhile, like talking about each steep as you’re drinking it, but maybe today will be that day.
So, I followed the typical gongfu steeping parameters: 7G + yixing X 5sec/8/11/14/ etc…
1. Light & clean, and a lovely incense aroma and sensation, both floral and vanilla, with a hint of green apple.
2. This tea features that much sought after (at least by me) ‘after aroma’, where the incense sensation rises into the sinuses and lingers long after the sip is complete. I’m sure there is a Chinese word for it, and I think maybe I knew that word a few years ago when I was posting here more often, but anyway, I enjoy it greatly.
3. This steep reminds me of a vanilla marshmallow, except there is an underlying woodiness and the sensation of metal, neither of which are really appealing to me at this time.
4. Creamy vanilla marshmallow, this is creamier than the last one, and more enjoyable, as it cooled it gave off more of a floral taste as well.
5. pretty much more of the same…
6. Pretty much the same creamy feel, but with a more mineral undertone and a little bitter
7. This is a little sweeter, still creamy vanilla, but with a touch of an floral aftertaste, kind of like you were rinsing your hair in the bubble bath and got a little bubble bath water in your mouth…
I think I’m ready to move on to something else. This is a pleasant tea, but of the 3 Li Xianxi teas I’ve drank in the last few days, my favorite was probably the Mei Zhan.

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drank Huang Mei Gui by Verdant Tea
3262 tasting notes

Yesterday I polished of the last of the Mei Zhan that has been gracing my tea cupboard for awhile. Today I’m working on the Huang Mei Gui. I am a big fan of Li Xianxi’s Oolongs, and Fujian teas in general, so it is no surprise that I’m enjoying cup after cup. I tend to prefer the roastier oolongs over the greener ones, just as I prefer Black tea over green, however there are exceptions all around, and of course, when it comes down to it, I love drinking tea, any variety, as long as it’s of good quality and free of BS flavorings.

I’m currently on the 3rd round, and my overall impressions are Rose & Jasmine (more rose than jasmine), orange peel, charcoal, caramelized stone fruit, and a heady floral incense overall. The corn and taro references were present in the first round, which have gratefully faded, as those were the least desirable features for me personally. This tea leaves a lingering bright sensation in the soft palate, a earthier thick chocolate sensation (not taste) on the tongue, and a decent head buzz. It’s also kind of tangy, which brings to mind an ensemble of double reeds: Bassoons, Oboes, English horn, various woodblocks, some tinkly percussion, a gong, and Guzheng, a chinese Zither, a harp related instrument that I’d like to have someday :) Although I guess I can probably do anything on the harp that can be done on a Guzheng, still…
Here’s a link, if you’d like to hear one. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujzMHLac404

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Golden flat needles, of a lighter shade.
Aroma of hay, earth, and wood.
Taste of Malt, earth, wood, Bamboo…
This tea has a smooth mouth, a fulfilling feeling about it, and a satisfying earthy depth, almost like chocolate or coffee, almost like a shu puerh, although that may because I went a little heavy on the leaf, since this is a sipdown.
For me, this is a more savory Dian Hong, not as sweet as some, a little more earthy and Manly, but perfect for this morning, when I’m prepping to go out to play in my garden.
Ensemble: Bass, cello, viola, bass clarinet, clarinet, Bassoon, English Horn, Bamboo flute, wind chime, wood block.

Arby

I almost had this for my morning cup before I left the house. The description of “earthy and manly” made me laugh, I think I’ll have to try this when I get home or sometimes this weekend.

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I’ve been neglecting my raw puerh teas for awhile, and I believe I’ve noticed a pattern, which is that during the cooler winter months I tend to gravitate towards Shu, and during allergy season (spring, summer, and fall for me) I tend to reach for the Sheng. If I’ve mentioned this before, that is because I tend to have these kinds of revelations over and over again (and each time they seem new to me, LOL).

A few years ago Tea Explorer and I shared an epic tea exchange, and I’m still working on the box of teas he sent my way! This is one of them, and today it is a sipdown! Only 11 more varieties to go!

It is a known thing, at least to me, that raw puerh is beneficial during allergy season. It improves my state of being in multiple ways, and especially once the pollen is in the air, which is apparently already is in St. Louis. We’ve had a few days of sunshine and that’s pretty much all it takes. I wouldn’t say that Sheng works as well as Nettle Leaf tea, but on it’s own, it definitely makes a difference in the quality of my breathing, thinking, and overall day. I’ll probably brew a qt of Nettles too.

Flavorwise, this tea is a little tart, kind of a savory berry taste with a touch of smoke, thick & lively on the tongue, and a good head buzz!

tea-sipper

Pollen already?!

tea-sipper

I can’t even imagine pollen right now under all of this snow.

Terri HarpLady

I was driving down the road today (after this post) and noticed a few red bud tree’s with a faint shade of purple. I’m pretty sure other trees are at least testing the air with a little pollen. It happens here every year.

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Boychik sent me two of these a couple of years ago, and since I’m working my way into year 3 of my Sipdown Extravaganza, it’s about time I start drinking things like this. Plus I’ve had a headache for a few days, and drinking Sheng seems to help, at least sometimes. I have noticed that it is beneficial for allergies, so there.
I do like Sheng, but as a general rule, I don’t care for Sheng Tuocha’s, and this one is no exception.
Yesterday I dropped one into my sheng yixing, keeping the steeps short, and as the tuo fell apart, the spout kept getting semi-clogged with all the powdery stuff. And it was mostly powdery stuff. There were some smaller leaves in there, and they unfolded nicely, and really, the tea itself was ok, good for a headache, bitter & somewhat astringent, and it did get a little sweeter after awhile.
Today I dropped the other tuocha into a steeper basket in a full size mug, and I actually preferred it that way. First, because I just didn’t want to have all that powdery crap in my yixing, and 2ndly because it actually tasted better with more water and a little more time. I went with 15 secs for the first steep, adding 15 to each consecutive steep.
I still haven’t cured my headache, but at least I get to count a sipdown!
Not something I would purchase, but thanks to Boychik for the opportunity to sample it :)

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Bio

I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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