52 Tasting Notes
It’s been almost 10 months since I last wrote a tealog on here and a whole lot has changed in those 10 months!! I really need to make an effort to start getting on here again, I’m just so busy these days. I’ve got enough tea to last me a good long while and I really need to get to drinking it. I’ve been on a coffee kick lately which I know isn’t all that great for me. But I feel like I need the pick me up in the morning! Bad bad bad….
I am so extremely worn out this week between school and work. And I’m getting sick on top of it. I could barely sleep last night because my nose and throat were hurting so badly. I almost failed a test this morning and I decided to leave school early just because I’m feeling so crappy and I’ve got to work again tonight. I’m spreading myself awfully thin…but such is the holiday season. My customers need me to take care of their pooches.
I thought I’d rip into this sample today as a pick me up. I don’t think the sample was quite big enough to put into my breville, but it was just so easy to brew it in there and forget all the hassle. It came out pretty weak. Or maybe it’s the sickness coming on. Or the fact that I haven’t been drinking much tea lately. Something’s definitely off here. But it does feel amazing on my throat. And for that I am thankful.
I’ll hold off on rating this one.
Edit: used less water and still not terribly impressed. It still feels great on my throat though.
Oh, steepster! How could I have abandoned you? I’ve been in quite a funk lately. I mean a seriously depressed funky state of anxiety. Due to financial setbacks we had to push our big move to Portland back and sign a six month extension on our lease. That has really been depressing me and I’m extremely worried we won’t be able to pull it together in the next six months. I don’t care what I have to do. Come June I’ll sell all my stuff, pile the rats in the car and just go. Forget my stuff I don’t need it (except maybe my breville haha).
The delivery of my tea of the month from Verdant has been one of the only things that has really gotten me excited. I haven’t made tea in so long. I even got the 12 Teas of Christmas from 52Teas and was too depressed to even do it. I had a few – but the whole box is just sitting in my kitchen basically untouched. I was so excited to participate and then I just neve did. =(
This morning when I woke up, after a particularly low day yesterday, I looked around my apartment and decided “this has got to stop”. So I pulled my beautiful gaiwan tea set off that damn shelf and got right to setting up a little relaxing tea session for myself.
I think there’s something magical in that little red packet. This tea is exactly what I’ve been needing. It’s sweet dark chocolate and honey. A really beautiful way to prepare mentally to face another day.
hugs I so relate. I’ve been depressed for over a year now and in my worst funks I don’t feel like brewing tea, exactly when I need it, eventually I come out of them for awhile and feel better while sipping. I really enjoyed this tea as well and Verdant boxes always lift my spirits, though I’ve had a harder time getting around to try everything.
Most of my anxiety and depression issues have to do with moving and finances as well, only we are looking at building a house but have to get this cluttered bungalow in order (refinishing floors, painting and most of all cleaning and getting rid of/storing our crap). I hope Portland does happen for you, we had dreamed about moving there before having a baby, but baby came first. Let me know if you would ever like to get together for a tea date, I’m in Berea. I’m going to be out of town at the beginning of February, but will be back after the 10th. Your rats’ Christmas cage is adorable!
Ugh I am really tired of feeling depressed lately. I can usually pull myself out of it, but this bout has been really difficult to deal with.
A tea date would be exciting! I’m actually in Elyria… I just say Cleveland because more people understand where Cleveland is. Where are you planning to move to? And how old is your little one?
I just saw you have a rat named Fievel and I had an idea. On the show Community, Troy & Abed take care of a rat named Fievel. I don’t remember which episode it is, but it’s in season one. Oh, just start watching the series, if you aren’t already. It will make you feel a little better.. and I hope you will feel better!
Hey I’ve never heard of that show I’m going to check it out! Thanks!
I wanted to say thanks to everyone on here who reached out to me yesterday. It really means a lot. You guys are all awesome and I’m so glad I belong to this little community =)
I made my first order with Della Terra on black friday and I was very excited that my order showed up at my apartment yesterday. I had a stressful night last night and I couldn’t sleep very well. We started rattie introductions and the first meeting was stressful. Hadley is definitely a little high strung compared to my other furkids. I know a little agression is normal, but I’m a total worrier and intros are just so stressful for me. So naturally I stayed up all night wondering what might happen. How things might turn out. If they would ever be friends.
Tonight we’re going to add a little rescue remedy to the mix to relax everyone a bit. And if that doesn’t work then I’ll schedule her for a spay next friday. I wanted to wait until after the holidays, but maybe a spay will straighten her hormones out. We’ll see…
Eight candles looks so fun. The little candies and gold pieces are so cute! This tea is yummy. Caramel marshmallows? Yes please! I am loving the sweetness. This is a good pick me up. I wish I could be more descriptive, but I’ve barely slept and I couldn’t stay in bed past 3 am. I’m running on empty here. I’ll have to review this again when I’m more clear headed.
On a positive note I got the Christmas cage set up! Of course I have to show off some pictures of my Christmas decorating madness…
http://flic.kr/p/dx8yvx -— The whole cage
http://flic.kr/p/dxe2uJ -— Top half
http://flic.kr/p/dxe2GY -— Bottom half
I wonder what santa will leave in their stockings this year?!
I hate when you wake up a couple hours before your alarm goes off and can’t fall back asleep. I laid in bed for a good 45 minutes before just giving in and getting up.
Last night I brought home a new member of the family. Her name is Hadley and she is a beautiful little rat I was able to adopt from work. You see, they got a shipment of babies in and they just threw the new babies into a cage with Hadley and other rats for sale. It’s standard when newcomers enter an established pack of rats for the newcomers to get picked on a little. She was just showing them who was boss, but apparently everyone agreed that she was some sort of spawn of satan or something and so they took her out and put her in the back room in isolation. She was doomed to be sold a single rat because she was so “aggressive”. I couldn’t leave the poor thing there…rats are extremely social animals who do best in large groups. I just couldn’t imagine that little girl spending her whole life alone.
So after much debate and 5 days of losing sleep I finally brought her home. I think she’s going to be really happy here. I can’t wait until she settles in and I can introduce her to my crew. She’s going to have a long happy friend filled life.
Hadley and I are having some peaceful bonding time together this morning since my body had plans for me that didn’t include sleeping until my alarm went off. We’re watching the news and she’s exploring the couch while I enjoy a cup of caramel pumpkin cheesecake. I swear this tea gets better and better every time I have some. I’m sad to say my bag is starting to look a little slim. I’ll be sad when this one is gone, but tis the season to finish off the pumpkin flavored things! I’m going to bump the rating up a touch because I really have been enjoying this one lately.
http://flic.kr/p/duuzFr -— Welcome home Hadley!
http://flic.kr/p/duuBak -— Obviously pure evil look at that monster face!
I love rats as pets! They are so much smarter than they seem! I am glad you were able to give her a new home!
Adorable! I’ve had hamsters, mice, guinea pigs and degus, but never rats. :| I know I’m missing out – maybe someday…. They’re such smart and cute little guys.
This was a sample I received from David’s Tea with my last order. Last night my sister stayed the night. We had a few drinks and things got a little crazy! And I still always wake up at 7 am no matter what went on the night before. Go figure. I opted for this tea because I wanted to make a single cup without being too disruptive.
I’m not sure if something went wrong here or not. This cup doesn’t taste very strong at all. It’s like cinnamon water. Where’s the black tea base? I don’t taste it at all. Maybe there was too little leaf in that package for a full mug of tea? I guess on the resteep I’ll try less water and see what happens.
I do have to say I absolutely adore the sparkly gold liquor though! I love love love gold glitter. Eye makeup, nail polish, and tea too I guess! Although I don’t think I’ll be ordering this one…
Ugh it happened to me! Steepster just malfunctioned and I lost my entire review I spent all morning typing up for this one! What a bummer.
This morning when I woke up I decided I’d spend the day listening to music, drinking tea, doing a face masque, curling my hair, and just spending some time with myself without the TV on. The rats had big plans for the day when they woke up too – peering at me with their sparkling eyes through their cage door like “mom we want to enjoy the day with you!” So now I’ve got all four of my little monsters running around on the couch begging for sips of tea. Thank goodness for black tea!
And what an interesting way to start the day out. This tea has such rave reviews on here! I’ve still been using my gaiwan faithfully. I wonder if the magic will wear off eventually?
This tea is rich, creamy, and deliciously sweet. I can see why this is a popular tea. It reminds me a lot of honey. With each steep the liquor turns a darker gold color and the leaves are unfurling with a curly madness. I adore the way these leaves look dry and damp. This is a very pleasant way to start the day.
Oh, and in case you were wondering the rats give Laoshan Black tea two paws up!
http://flic.kr/p/dtv82z -— Fintan and Derby enjoying some tea
http://flic.kr/p/dtAEsC -— Fievel giving a lick of approval!
Finishing off the last of this sample this morning. This is a nice strong morning tea. I wish I had time to make some pancakes to go along with this one. It really makes me think of hot maple syrup.
I steeped the leaves again this time for four minutes, threw it in a tumbler with half and half and sugar and plan to take it to work with me. I need some energy this morning! I just have to get through today and I have two days off. I plan to spend them with some pu-erh…
On another note, I think today is going to be the day I’ll put up my beloved Christmas tree. It’s almost time to get out all the Christmas decorations for the rattie cage too.
http://flic.kr/p/dtgFMz -—- A picture of my Fintan when he was just a little baby! Isn’t he just a ham?
Awww thanks ashmanra…I’m a little bit biased =)
Bonnie I wish I could knit or something I’ve always wanted to make them all sweaters! Boots would be pretty cute too! I love those big silly feet…
It’s a beautiful morning! And it’s just the perfect morning for some green tea. I’ve been in a gorgeous mood lately partly due to these steroids I’ve been on for this crazy skin rash I got a few weeks ago. At first I was on a very high dose and was extremely moody. One second I was happy and laughing, the next I was very depressed and crying for no reason. I don’t think the steroids and my anxiety go very well together. Anyhow my dose is much lower now and I’ve just got tons of energy without the extreme mood swings. Woohoo!
I wanted so badly to put up my Christmas tree yesterday. I know I know, it’s too early! But hear me out. When Nathan (boyfriend) and I bought it three years ago it was our first Christmas together and we were living in Texas at the time. I’ll never forget that part of our life together. Everything was so new and we were so fearless and free. So far away from our families having this crazy adventure together in Texas. We were so unbelievably happy even though things were tougher back then. That was the best Christmas of my life. Just me, Nathan, and Nixon (our first rat). No stress over where we had to be on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – just the three of us together enjoying the holiday in our pajamas. We had a great Christmas too. Nathan got me a Zune HD and I got him a PS3. Nixon got a brand new cage and tons of stuff to fill it with. I’d just love to go back to that time.
The next year we were living with my parents after having just moved back home from Texas so our tree was in storage. And it sat there all through the holiday season. This year I can’t wait to get that tree out and put it up! I don’t think three or four weeks to enjoy it will be enough this year! So I don’t care what anyone says, that tree is going up either tomorrow or the next day. Ahhh…memories
I’ve been making everything I can get my hands on in my gaiwan lately so of course I opted for gaiwan style here this morning. I’ve got time to really sit back and enjoy making this tea. I was a little surprsied by the brewing guide on Teavivre’s website. 4 steeps: rinse, 20s,40s,1m20s,2m. Only four steeps? And such long last steeps? I think I’m just going to wing this one because 2 minutes seems like a long time.
I really like this green. It’s so easy to drink. It’s just the right amount of vegetal goodness without any bitterness at all. It’s very smooth, relaxing, even a little buttery.
I’m on the fifth steep now and I’ve steeped this one for about 40 seconds. The wet leaves smell like spring time and look like fresh cut grass. The liquor is smiling yellow and it makes me really happy. The taste is a bit light (I’ll steep longer on the next one) but still very good. I’m finding a little nuttiness in this steep which is interesting. Something I hadn’t noticed before.
On to steep number six and I’m going to let this one go for a whole minute and see what happens. Learning how to use my gaiwan is so much fun to me. I’ve finally realized that you don’t need to be perfectly strict about the whole thing, trying to time everything down to the exact second per the steeping suggestions. I can just sorta go with the flow. It’s fun because you really learn about the tea this way by experiencing it in different layers. Seeing what a few extra seconds or grams will do to change the overall experience. A minute was a nice choice here. The nuttiness is coming out more and that smooth profile is getting a little more grassy. Delicious!
I finally recieved my beautiful gaiwan tea set from Teavivre yesterday. This morning when I woke up I knew exactly what I was feeling ready for, a pu-erh. Now I haven’t really tried much pu-erh yet so keep that in mind.
I spent lots of time last night pouring with my gaiwan and getting a feel for brewing this style. I feel so important and involved with this process.
I’m not really sure how to review pu-erh tea. I’m not really familiar with the termonology I see other people using to describe pu-erh but I’m going to wing it here. I’m using the suggested gaiwan brewing times from Teavivre.
The first steep is curious. Not as overwhelmingly strange tasting as I was expecting it to be. It’s an interesting flavor, something I’ve never really experienced before. Maybe a tiny bit fishy? But it’s actually not offputting….very weird…
Wow. The second steep looks like a completely different tea. It’s so much darker than the first! The wet leaves smell a little smokey. This steep tastes like the first one, but with a little more oomph.
After a third steep the wet leaves are starting to smell leathery. Now I understand what people mean when they use “leathery” as a description. This steep is surprsingly sweet in a way. Much different than the previous steeps.
By the fourth steep I’m starting to get stuck on the fish smell for some reason. It doesn’t really taste fishy, but it smells just fishy enough to be getting a little weird. I’m having trouble focusing on anything else. One thing I am noticing though is that my tummy is feeling much better than it did when I woke up this morning. It could just be in my head but either way it’s a plus.
I think I’m going to have to stop here. I know I could continue steeping but I think I’ll have to dive into a few more pu-erhs before I take this one all the way. I’m going to hold off on a rating for now.
And I almost forgot to thank LiberTEAS for sending me some of this! What an interesting start to the day =) Oh, I forgot to add I haven’t burnt my fingers once yet! Woohoo!
How fun to have a new set! I don’t know how long your steeps are but maybe too long? They should be 20-30 seconds in a gaiwan and you should have rinsed once first for that long too (which you probably did). I find that this helps. But, there are lots of milder pu-erhs out there too. Some like vanilla, some like bread, some like cedar wood or mushrooms. I wouldn’t stop trying.
I used the suggested times on Teavivre’s website which were : rinse(10s),10s,15s,20s,25s,30s, etc.
I’ve got quite a few more pu-erh samples around here that I have been saving to try so I’m looking forward to how the next one will compare. It’s not that I didn’t like it….just that I’m not sure what to make of it yet. Who knew tea could be so complex?
Brewing this way is so interesting and relaxing to me. It’s so much different than putting the tea in my Breville and letting it do all the work for me. Yeah, I’m definitely enjoying this tea set!
Bonnie, can you recall one that was especially cedar-like? I’m looking to find one – since cedar is one of my favorites :)
WP 2 that are carried by Mandala are 357 gram 2007 Menghai Jade Luster and 357 gram 2008 Menghai Dayi Hong (I reviewed both). Both have nice cedar. The Menghai Dayi 8592 2009 has nice Vanilla.