3294 Tasting Notes
Hello steepster friends! Sorry I’ve been such a slacker for so long, thus is the life of a successful musician, right?
Anyway, I’m loading up a box for my tea sister Sil (finally) and some of the teas I’m sending her have been drank, but not reviewed. So I’m gonna try to make up for that by drinking them all! First up, 10AM Morning Cleanse, by The Tea Spot. I’m writing this review on Random Steepings (which I actually created, back in the day) because there is no heading for this one, and it’s no longer being offered on their website. I got this sample ‘awhile back’, and am just now sampling it. It’s a blend of Black, Puerh, Rooibox, Cardamom, ginger, Cinnamon. Although it’s not overly remarkable, it’s not bad. Kind of a light chai, and although I rarely sweeten my teas, this one is happier with just a touch of maple syrup.
I find it hard to believe that I have never reviewed this tea.
I’ve enjoyed this tea in a variety of ways:
5G + tiny yixing X 10/20/30/40/50/60sec/1.5min/2/3/4/5 min
That parameter starts out herbaceous, with a sweet after taste of sugarcane and grapes, and a eucalyptus quality that rises into the sinuses as an after aroma. Steep by steep the sweetness abates and is replaced by a grapefruit taste, including the bitterness of the inner peel. In spite of the growing bitterness, this is another one of those teas with a great cosmic energy too it.
4G + 10oz mug X 3/5 min
Interestingly, this has been my preferred method with this tea. Somehow it was sweeter and I didn’t get as much of a grapefruit peel effect.
Overall, not my favorite of the purple teas, and I know this is a lame review, but that’s because I want to get back out into the garden, where I belong :)
I have always loved this tea, written 36 reviews on it, and although Verdant is out of it for now (probably until fall I guess), they did send me their last sample when I placed an order a month or so ago, so I’m sure they know how I feel. I’ve been saving it, and today seems like a good day.
This is the tea that makes the BEST homemade Kombucha, in my opinion. There are other black teas that also result in wonderful Kombucha, but this one is my favorite. It takes on a pineapple tastes during fermentation, pair well with a variety of flavors (my favs being homegrown berries, esp black currant and vanilla bean…or, and also ginger root, of course).
Speaking of Kombucha, while I was in NOLA recently, I tried a locally made roasted chicory and vanilla Booch that was awesome! Anyway, my Kombucha making is currently on hold, as there was a mishap involving fruit flies and mold (for the first time ever), so I decided to take a break, but now I’m ready to set my crock back up and get started again.
SO, I’m not going to go all long winded on this, but I’ve written so many other reviews & nothing has really changed. It’s still deep,bold, dark chocolate & malty goodness, and I still love it.
I’ve written 9 other reviews about this tea, and this will be the finale, as it is a sipdown as well. This tea is from 2014, but it’s still as awesome as ever, and it still brings to mind the same set of elements: Essence of rice congee, an oolong like incense/eucalyptus/herbaceious after aroma in the sinuses that lingers, the sweet after taste of Cherry/plum, and an incredible Sheng like Chaqi, that provides a clarity to both my allergies and my head in general, a really nice tea buzz.
Teavivre makes a really lovely smokey Lapsang Souchong, one of my favorites, and although I know that all Lapsangs aren’t smokey, I kind of assumed this one would be.
It is not smokey, but it is delicious!
I dumped the 7G sample into a 16oz teapot and steeped 3 min, resteeped 5min.
The aroma of the leaf is sweet, bready, fruity, and a little floral.
The tea is essentially the same: honey, molasses, malt, stone fruit, and roses (in the 2nd steeping). I’ll have to remember to add some of this to my next Teavivre order.
I got some of this from a local tea shop, Traveling Tea. She got it from this source, so I’ll just write my little review about it here. I’m not as big of a fan of Taiwan blacks as I am of Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, but I do prefer Taiwans over most of the black teas from India and other places.
This is a classic #18, tasting of cherries and sarsparilla, kind of a fruity root beer, with a lingering menthol chaser. It’s tasty, but not really my thing. There’s enough for another cup or 2, and that’s going into a box that I’ve started for my tea sister Sil, because I think she’ll love it.
I made a deal with myself, to get out of my lethargy. I set the timer for 45 minutes and cleaned the kitchen. The deal was once the kitchen is clean I can relax for 15 min or so with some tea. I chose this one because
A. I haven’t pulled it out for awhile
B. My tea sister Sil drank some
Either of those is reason enough, but it’s also a tasty tea with powerful good energy.
My tastebuds are dull from allergies, but I’m tasting cream of wheat with a little earth thrown in. Not as sweet and ‘cake’-like as I remember it, more herbaceous.
The texture is initially creamy with a matte finish, but it becomes very electrical and lively on the tongue, sinuses, brain & body very quickly! And that is probably the real reason I enjoy it so much, the excellent buzz & clarified brain sensation!
I got back in town from a 10 day road trip on Sunday and this whole week I’ve been lagging, just not really on my game, dragging myself through weed pulling (maybe my garden IS too big?), errands, and a few household things. After my meditation this morning I went out into the garden & collected a few volunteer white turnips, a bunch of red carrots, a beet, and a pile of Kale. I had a student for an hour, ate a bowl of leftover Asian greens and chicken soup, and a cup of some unimpressive but drinkable black tea. One of the perks of being a self-employed musician is teaching from home. It’s a mellow job that can include pj like clothes & lots of tea. I only had one student today, so the rest of the day and most of tomorrow are mine. No gigs this weekend either!
That means I have time for a gongfu session or 2, and this tea was long overdue for some quality time. I had a love affair with Purple teas 3 years ago, and bought a ridiculous amount of this one, because it’s just SO awesome! It’s one of those teas that defies explanation, because although it is technically a black tea, it has qualities of an amazing oolong, with incense like aroma’s and after aromas and a fruity taste, but it also is kind of like a sheng puer with a real mind clarifying kind of energetic tea buzz, and like a sheng, it will help clear out your sinuses a little if you have allergies. For me this tea is more about texture, which is ultra smooth & clean, and the overall ambiance of how I feel. It’s a feel good tea. And it also tastes good, sweet and fruity in the early steeps, more herbacious near the end.
It’s been awhile since I drank this tea…like 3 years ago.
The occasion was awesome: My Tea Sister, Sil, was in St. Louis on some kind of business, and we got a chance to hang out! She came to my house & we drank a ridiculous amount of tea, including this one. And we both wrote reviews. And we went out for Vietnamese food. In those days I was much more active on Steepster, sharing tea trades with a bunch of people, joining one tea club after another, getting in on Traveling Tea boxes, including the BBBB (the badass bitches black box), which was a box Sil, TastyBrew, and I sent over and over to one another, with mostly black teas. I miss that box!! Ah, it feels so good to reminisce…
On with the tea…
Confession: I’m not really a huge fan of most Dancongs. It seems like they tend towards bitterness too easily. Maybe they’re just a little too fussy for me, or something. But as far as this one goes, it’s a pleasant brew.
I tried it 2 different ways: First, per the suggestions on the package, I went with the following formula: 5G + 8ox @194F X 1min. Resteep at 2 min. That resulted in a tangy grapefruitish brew, with toastiness and florals as well.
However my preferred method is:
9g in Gaiwan + 208F X 6sec. Add 3 – 4 sec to each additional resteep…more or less
I’ve been sipping this all afternoon, and each round starts out a little bitter, and then sweet. The flavors are fruity, rich and tangy, with heady incense-like florals, but the really exciting thing about this tea is the way it makes your mouth feel, like electricity is running through every tastebud on your tongue. That’s the sort of thing I do love about certain teas, and of course, that electricity spreads to give an awesome tea buzz and overall feel-good sensation. And there’s also the after-aroma, wherein after you take a sip, you can still feel the aroma lingering in your sinuses. I also want to mention the aroma of the wet leaf, which is juicy and peachy and also incense-like. Here’s a link to the company.
Four years ago I loved this tea so much that I purchased a ridiculous amount of it. I bought my first yixing pot in honor of this tea as well, and a special ceramic container to store it in, and then proceeded to hoard it, pulling it out for special occasions.
Today is not really a special occasion, but a worthy one, and really, every day is special and worthy, right? I got back from a 10 day road trip last night, so I’m pampering myself a bit to recuperate. I slept in, ate a light breakfast, and then wandered around the garden, cup of black tea in hand, to witness the overgrowth of weeds during my absence, along with the formation of melons! Then I spent the afternoon sipping steep after steep of this lovely oolong, just as wonderful and flavorful and nuanced as it was 4 years ago. I’ve written multiple reviews over the years of this tea, so that’s all I’m saying.