111 Tasting Notes
Late last evening, I opened the second tea from the White2Tea Tea Club. Had I known this was a prized tea, I’d’ve saved it for last. Alas, I didn’t until finally reading the full letter.
I brewed this up to 6 times. Each sip I drank, with the exception of a single (sake) cup. I wanted to dive into it layer by layer, with a proper boiling water palate cleanse.
Cup One: cocoa & sweeten milk
Cup Two: tobacco, darker chocolate, buttery, nutty
Cup Three: Surprisingly less notes than cup two, but mostly the same.
Cup Four: Steeped way longer than expected. Add cannabis and “cooked florals” (whatever I meant by that).
Cup Five: No, no. Please don’t fade out on me, you beautiful beautiful tea.
Cup Six: End Scene.
Flavors: Butter, Cannabis, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Nutty, Tobacco
A lovely tea for sure. I had two cups today since after the first there was very little leaf remaining. The first cup was western brewed and the second was gongfu’d in my 60ML gaiwan (3.2g).
- Western brewed was definitely stronger. I brewed the leaf with 205 F water and steeped 3 minutes. There were heavy jasmine and floral notes. A mild bitterness lingered, but it wasn’t off-putting.
- Gongfu’d was lighter, but more balanced. The jasmine/floral notes weren’t as heavy. I could really tell there were more layers – such as cucumber, earthy, and mineral notes – which made for a more pleasant experience.
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Jasmine
From the Verdant Tea Club
This a pretty gentle sheng puerh – forgiving, too. I let the first tea ball steep 5+ minutes yesterday while I was in the middle of exchanging laundry. I realized that I left hot (boiling) water in the pot. However, I was surprised that it wasn’t bitter. It had a thicker mouthfeel and heavy florals. Whenever one brews it slowly, such as I am this morning, it’s a little floral, but there’s a soft ‘fruity’ note making it’s debut. A good tea, but nothing I’d personally buy.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity
First tea this week to allow me a moment to think on it. My wife wanted to play a game of 500 Rummy and drink coffee.** It was nice to have a moment where we both had energy (physical or mental) to play cards. I will note that I’ll avoid rating this based on the last cup, due to getting all ‘bits’ and little tea. This was essentially sugar crystals, very very little leaf, and white chocolate flakes. If memory serves me well, I do believe I liked this whenever there was a better balance of material.
**Tea has been one of those automated processes which I do to manage. My wife has been sick since Tuesday (Urgent Care on Wednesday to find out the issue) and work wasn’t allowing me the time to get stuff handled. But that’s life, right? Thankfully she’s been on the mend and finding the energy to eat a little more and have her first cup coffee today. She said that when one feels as she has, Green Tea + Ginger + Honey is ideal, but once you’ve started to recover, it’s a mixture which makes you think of illness.
This was the first tea to be had during the February Tea Club. It was a terribly windy day. I wanted to drink some tea after waking too early on little sleep.. It was a rough morning and a rough evening, as nobody could sleep last night – the wife sick and I worried. She currently has a fairly high fever, but the doctor advised that if it remains in the morning, it’s recommended we take a trip to Statcare. Poor dear.
Notes: This was a warming tea – both in smell and flavor. I’m a sucker for a yancha and this was the type that really hits the spot. There were ‘soft’ mineral notes and a nice lingering sweet citrus aftertaste.
Flavors: Citrus, Mineral
My wife is sick today. She wanted hot tea with honey. I thought that sounded quite lovely, so I brewed a big batch of this (32 oz iced/32 oz hot) to top off the the first bag we purchased a few weeks ago.
Notes: The black tea base and bergamot are both forward in the sip, but the lavender really takes charge in the aftertaste. I really like that this tea holds up hot or iced.
*Adding ice brings the lavender out more, while the bergamot plays the biggest role in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Lavender
I grabbed this from the storage, after a recent rotation, and decided it’s time to start hitting the tea cakes more often. I have so many partial cakes remaining, so it’s only necessary to top them off. I really want to reduce buying any more tea, with the exception of a couple monthly clubs, to help reduce the pile of teas I own….
I don’t remember where or how I acquired this cake. I’m thinking that it may have been a Liquid Proust tea snag, but it’s possible I searched for it on my own. All I know is that this tea has been in my stash a long while, and I hoarded the last 14g for a reason (likely I enjoyed it so much, I wasn’t ready to part ways, yet). I split the remaining 14g into two 7ish gram sessions.
Notes – Part One: The first session was 7-8 infusions. I was in the middle of working, and work can easily distract me from the tea. I didn’t make any notes.
Notes – Part Two: Last night, I made myself take a lunch, so that I could give the time for the last session with this tea. My storage (semi dry – I will monitor the humidity and throw in a Boveda packet or two, as needed) has proven to allow this tea to keep the original “aged” taste, but has really reduced the previously noted menthol taste. It was still there, but the bitterness had faded some. The tea was smooth and sweet – I noted some menthol/mint notes. The qi was calming, and allowed me to feel creative and journal, prior to returning to my workload.
PS. I did manage to find the tea online. Roughly $25 per 100g. Not too shabby. I’ve added it to my wishlist.
Flavors: Menthol, Mineral, Mint
I had this before heading to bed this morning. I wanted tea, but 12 A.M. seemed a bad time to drink any. However, I spotted the remaining few grams of this in my sipdown stash, so I figured it’d make for a great read & tea before drifting off.
Notes: Nutty & savory (salted nuts, potato chips, & umami). It’s a good alternative when one is craving a roasted oolong or puerh, but it’s too late to indulge on the mild caffeinated teas or an herbal like chamomile.
Flavors: Nutty, Potato, Savory, Umami
I finally brewed this up today…I was feeling yancha after a stroll in the park. It was cold enough for my face to freeze a tad bit, so I wanted a warming tea. This was ok. Honestly, I love Wuyi/rock oolongs, but this was perhaps too light in flavor. There was a good bit of the roast playing the part in the flavor, but the tea was mild and wasn’t as elevated as some yanchas are…