1403 Tasting Notes
These half day retreat days are flying by. The week is almost over.
I am still challenged in streamlining and simplifying in everyday life, aside from the time that I spend on the cushion.
Still drinking straight teas. For now.
Ok, I find this tea rather remarkable.
The dry leaf is long, thick, wiry.
Steeped, first, rich dense stone fruit, plum, prune and malt. Then, camphor and eucalyptus. Mineral, a bit metallic even. Almond. Followed by a honeyed finish.
Happy New Year to you, Steepsters!
May you be healthy and well. May your cups be full and warm, may your stashes be fresh and plentiful, may there always be room on your credit card for a coveted and desirable tea purchase or two. May your hearts be kind and compassionate to both yourselves and to those around you.
The dry leaf is lovely. Intense black mahogany flecked with gold leaf here and there.
As soon as the water hit the leaf and the cocoa honey scent rose, I knew I was going to love this smooth malty blend. And I do.
So pleased that I ordered directly from H & S after the Canadian distributor disaster.
I do have one irritant to share though. My order was a substantial one. If a Canadian is going to pay the hefty exchange rate and the generous shipping fee and risk getting dinged with more charges at the border, he or she is usually going to make it count.With my order came one teabag sample. What, really?! My first order with your company, and it’s a big one, and you send one teabag as a hello how are you thanks for coming?
Have I done something to offend you?
I am grateful for that one teabag, but gosh, really, you could do better.
So, I have been in the habit of ending the year with a weeklong meditation retreat.Enter COVId and lockdown and quasi-lockdown and the unease, if not paranoia, of emerging into the world. Needless to say, the retreats have been cancelled.
And then, as Omicron starts making a name for itself, another retreat is announced, both live and virtual.
Despite various precautions, I don’t feel comfortable spending half a day in a room full of distanced others breathing. Even with masks on. Even with the windows open. Nope.
So I am zooming in to be present. Hehe, excuse the pun. Sorry, not sorry.
Normally, the retreats are full days with heavily ritualized silent mindful breakfasts and lunches and clean-ups and individualized communal chores. Of course, now, none of this is on. Just the half-day meditations and talks and feedback/discussion.
So I am making an effort to insert a bit of streamlining into my home life to mimic the full retreat.
It hasn’t been all that effective yet. For one thing, I have been online, distracting myself with social media and films and such.
However, I have been waking up early, whether my neighbours have allowed me to sleep much or not. I have been reading dharmic texts. I have been more aware of my habitual patterns and thoughts, positive and not so much.
Also, I have been choosing to drink straight teas over my froufrou choices or over the top eggnog additions.
I don’t know whether I will continue with straight teas. After all, eggnog season is brief and I am weak. But for today…
This tea, of course, is not at all any kind of sacrifice, what with luscious scents and flavours of bittersweet chocolate and freshly baked bread. Occasional peek a boos of sweet potato and prune.
After the second steep, there’s a bit of raspy throat kind of harshness, but other than that, this tea is a great delight and I am grateful to have some in my cup.
There are several listings for this tea. More likely, according to tea reviews, this is the one I drank yesterday and I am having again today.
This oolong is a marvel. I wish I had more more descriptors to adequately convey what is going on in my cup.
Fragrant. Floral nectar. Sugarcane sweet. Gentle honeyed sweetness. Honeysuckle, maybe. A bit green with subsequent steeps . And juicy, very juicy.
Yesterday, this tasted a bit thin because the water was cooler than needed, so I thought I would give it another try today.
Lovely. That said, I feel the flavours could be fuller.
Perhaps the issue is that I had steeped quasi-Western style, flash steeping in my
Libre. Though this method has worked very well with a variety of milk oolongs. Maybe this particular tea requires more leaf.
Perhaps if I were to steep using a gaiwan, the flavours would be more concentrated and evocative.
Or maybe I have been frying my tastebuds with too many froufrou teas and an abundance of spicy food.
Gentle sweet mango and milk.It reminds me very much of the mango sticky rice with coconut condensed milk I was overdosing on throughout the summer. It was one of the few things that made the summer humidity remotely bearable.
The milk here is not over the top creamy and thick, but it’s present. Just mellow.
The sweetness lingers on the lips after each sip.
Quite a delightful way to start the day.
I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday.
Happy Christmas, Steepsters!I hope the year ahead is filled to the brim with kindness, peace, well-being, and health.