300 Tasting Notes
Sipdown. I’ve been drinking this tea all day, like since before breakfast. Over a dozen infusions and trips to the bathroom, just kept adding more water to the Zojirushi and only now has it started to go “flat”.
It’s a lovely tea, truly lovely. I had Verdant’s Taiwanese Dong Ding yesterday evening and while it was nice and green and bakey it was only after six infusions that it got the nice sweet notes that this has from the beginning.
I imagine they’re processed different, this tastes more roasted than Verdant’s but not nearly as much as the Tung Ting I had at a Essencha Tea House in Cincinnati. All wonderful teas, but this was a great companion today.
I’m recovering from another cold, this one picked up in Indiana visiting the in-laws, but you know what after, a three week cold last month, this time I said to hell with only drinking certain tea and have allowed myself white, green and greener oolongs which is good because I have sooo much tea to drink through and I’m feeling much better for it.
I’ve been drinking almost exclusively green and herbal teas for the last three weeks due to cold turned flu turned cold and lingering crud. No fancy oolongs or pu-erh for me until today. This is nice, smokey, roasty, sweet with a parchment-like quality. I did three short infusions, mostly offered at our kitchen shrine, but I got a few sips of each.
I’m a little shaken at the moment, my dad is going to be having quadruple bypass surgery sometime this week, they just did the analysis this morning, he did not have any sort of cardiac episode, just some tightness in the chest which led him to take a stress test and another test which showed some blockage, turns out its 80% in two areas. So he’s fine and in good spirits and hopefully it will all go smoothly, though he will have to rest for 4-6 weeks and not travel for his work. I’ve had two uncles who have had stints put in, my dad’s brother has had more than one heart attack, their father survived several though he had some very debilitating strokes, but I’m trying not to think about that as a possibility.
Any positive thoughts or prayers for our family would be appreciated, though no worrying please. Hope you and yours are all well.
Boo my browser crashed during this note. Thanks to tperez for sending this in our swap. I was excited to see it included as I love the yabao from Verdant and this is very similar. Herbaceous and coniferous notes that remind me of sweet grass, rosemary, pine and artichoke. The only thing I can tell without doing a side by side brewing is that this doesn’t have the sparkling quality Verdant’s does, still wonderful though!
Last night I attempted to get tea drunk but did not get very far as it was close to Rowan’s bedtime and I was exhausted and ended up staying upstairs. I have revived the buds this morning and its just as good. I had an emotional breakdown yesterday after registering Rowan for preschool, not because I’m emotional about him growing up but because the class we wanted was closed and I had to choose between the morning class 8:15-11:15 or an afternoon class at a different location. I chose the latter initially for my sanity and sleep (we have some major schedule adjusting, Rowan is hard to get dressed and out the door and even though they are both three hours, 11 am seems like less of a break in my day. However this other location while part of our school district is technically in Cleveland on road I don’t care for and not at the brand new elementary school just 5 mins away).
I started sobbing on the way home, I pulled over to call the office saying I’d made the wrong decision but they had just closed so I left a message and sobbed some more, on the phone with the husband and my mom, through the drive-thru and over my shamrock shake. Anywho the lady called back this morning and switched him to the morning class at Grindstone. Crisis averted, going out to the Brew Kettle with my sister tonight anyway, beer not tea, she said there was a lot on tap right now that I would like.
I was going to write this in my Dragonwell note, but I figured that’s not fair. I’ve been having some bum sessions with pu’erh and oolongs, ones I should like, that I know are good quality, but they haven’t shined for me lately, nothing has stood out. Perhaps it’s my water?
On a more uplifting note either Friday or Saturday, Rowan suggested we have a tea party. He brought me his little cup and creamer and even grabbed my little silver filigree over the cup strainer. He wanted tea with milk as opposed to raspberry tea which is his usually request. So I gave him options, he chose Baker Street Blend from Upton Tea. He chose this not for his love of Sherlock Holmes, but because we live on Baker Street.
He thoroughly enjoyed it and kept asking for more, I probably reinfused it four times, though his tiny cup was usually half full with milk. I don’t think I had tried this one with milk before, but it was quite nice. So after tea and waffles Rowan announces he wants to play a game, Jenga and Clue together. Now this is something we’ve played before though more often than not we play them separately.
Yes, my three and a half year old loves playing Clue though it has taken a lot to get him to not say what he has out loud and mark his sheet correctly (it is a 8 yr+ game). And he mostly just loves building wonky towers with the Jenga blocks. However the first time Rowan saw these two games we were playing them together at my sisters house. Now due to the irony of the tea and the game I had to explain the Sherlock- Baker Street thing to him. He’s seen Great Mouse Detective but I don’t think he’s ready for BBC or Robert Downey Jr.
I keep on meaning to get on here an log some tea, this one which I enjoyed on Sunday, has stood out the most in the last couple weeks. Sunday was beautiful, sunny and in the 60’s, it felt very much like spring and we took Rowan to a playground and out for ice cream.
But before that, I threw open all the windows and brewed this tea and it was perfect! Bright and fresh and sweet with notes of cherries! I didn’t take notes but I thoroughly enjoyed it over several infusions. Thank you tperez for sharing a sample with me, I have another serving left that I shall be sure to savor.
Before I forget I drank this one Saturday, the day after the worst migraine I’ve had it months, so I didn’t want to try anything aged or too roasted. I thought this would be greener but it was actually a perfect middle ground. Cute little pellets unfurling into delicious orchid candy-like tea. It tasted very familiar and maybe I had actually brewed it once before but it had a lot of the qualities I like. Will definitely revisit soon, perhaps western style. Yum.
This is seriously delicious. Brewed gongfu style the first three steeps were very savory and even smokey with signature wuyi mineral sweetness. Spice, nuts and even chocolate notes slowly emerged and now the tea is dessert like. As others have noted honey roasted nuts, orchid and yes banana notes. It’s another winner from Verdant, glad I ordered the 2oz. Going to spend the rest of the evening with it and maybe try the aged oolong or dong ding tomorrow. Husband is home early today which I am especially grateful for since he spent last night laying nauseous in the hallway. He’s better today, they just ran out of mail trucks.
Tea of three days ago (actually three and two days ago). I haven’t been posting as much as I would like, been occupied with re-reading the Silmarillion while pinning art from it on Pinterest, because if it’s not Steepster it’s Pinterest. I just got a Verdant order yesterday so there should be more notes here, but I wanted to get around to some of the straight Butiki oolongs I had been so excited to order almost two months ago, but hadn’t gotten around to.
This tea smells sooo amazing, I knew I would love it the moment the vapors reached my nostrils. I’ve had one or two similar smelling teas before a very roasted Tung Ting and Rou Gei, so this felt familiar and at the same time very unique. I brewed it gongfu style and it was perfect for me, but will be sure to try the recommended western brewing parameters. I had a big migraine yesterday and between that and not taking notes this log will have to be brief for now. I remember it being sweet and roasty, woodsy and a tad fruity as well as spicey, but a very sweet spice like cloves, star anise, cinnamon and almonds but with none of those notes dominating. I steeped it for a day and half and the leaves just kept on giving! This should definitely be a staple in my cupboard.
This tea smells immediately different from what I’ve had recently (which are savory Yunnan’s and dark malty black teas). The leaves are beautiful twisted loose curls, not golden nor black but silvered brown. The scent of the dry leaves are very hard to describe but the wet leaves smell floral and “dry”. The first sip is light and bright with a brief hint of cocoa and then sparkle, sparkle, sparkle, that fine mineral sparkle so lovely and cooling.
The second infusion is indeed dry but in a wonderful way like scotch. There are woodsy notes as well as the floral and bit of smoke. My thought is that this tea must indeed be made by a master. It reminds me more of Oriental Beauty and sheng than any Chinese black teas I’ve had experience with. Herbaceous notes and camphor pop up every now and then, with whispers of that first cocoa and prickles of pepper on the sides of the tongue.
Third infusion is herbaceous and peppery. Cooling and warming at the same time. Turns a bit savory and salty in the middle of the sip but not as much as the Jin Jun Mei I had yesterday and this morning, it is still floral in the beginning and in the finish and aftertaste. Now there is a battle on my tongue competing notes of sweet and salty, floral and peppery, cool and dry causing it to tingle and pulse.
In the first few sips of the fourth infusion, all the tastes of the third infusion are present only stonger and more solid. The tea is developing more body and less effervescence. And as the body develops, a slight butteriness is born and yet the tongue buzzes and the sensation from the tea is so thick and heavy you could bite into it. There is a hint of fruit here at the end of cup, that reminds me of gum and kiwi? And the buzzing of my tongue is spreading to the base of my neck and down my spine and arms and I am reminded that I must eat. Break.
Note that I wrote this note without looking at the tea’s description or other tasting notes (besides reading them a month ago) but now after reading, I realize now that the butteriness is more like olive oil and the notes I was finding similar to Oriental Beauty were muscatel and the fruit notes did have a grape and apple (gum) I got the sheng on my own though. Yay for sitting and listening to tea, it’s been awhile and this was certainly an intense experience that I hope to resume after food.
Just riding back from historic Naples Florida where my mother and I had lunch at Brambles English Tea Room, while Rowan and grandpa went to the park. The owners were Brits and our waitress Jasmine had a lovely accent from I’m not sure where. It was Victorian in decor, pink floral wallpaper and floral china tea cups and small pots. They served almost exclusively Taylor’s of Harrogate (a brand I had heard mentioned the opening weekend of our Teavana store by a busy body tea anglophile customer who just wanted to name drop an talk about who was drinking what) with the exception of a few house blends. My mom had their take on a Royal Wedding Tea with strawberries, kiwi and mango with a salmon salad I had this Lapsang Souchong with my Cornish Pasty which were a fine paring. The tea was medium on the smoke, slightly sweet and quite smooth. It was a bag but whatever. I asked what kind of oolong and she just tried to explain what an oolong was to me but in doing so described it as green and mild so that answered my question. I picked up an over the cup strainer to replace my one that was blackening, this one has a stainless steel mesh body and its own drip base so that’s fabulous. I also picked the husband up some Japanese Cherry Tea just because and treated my mom to some Royal Wedding Tea for at home. I accidentally tipped 20% on the subtotal (three items from the gift shop on top of the meal) tipping the final total to $81, oh well hopefully Jasmine enjoy, she taught is how to pronounce pasty. Lovely afternoon.