Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Anji White tea review and poem

Anji White loose leaves
 As I softly sip
my Anji White
this is what I taste:
a flavor that is
subtly grassy
yet very vegetal
it is slightly toasty
yet 'er so slightly nutty
a hint of fish
with a hint of spinach
come in the aftertaste
there's another flavor too
one I simply cannot place
yet still I like this tea
that actually is a green!
Anji White brewed tea
Also, how do you like my new blog header?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Iron Goddess of Mercy tea tasting notes in a poem

Iron Goddess of Mercy tea

The taste of this tea
Iron Goddess of Mercy
is slightly nutty
yet very toasty
hints of oats and barley
and the hints of honey
are subtle yet strong
'tis classic but unique
for oolong tea

Written by Clara Stone

Iron Goddess of Mercy dry loose leaf

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Jinggu "Golden Strand" Pure Bud Yunnan Black Tea

The tea is a very beautiful golden-brown color.
You can see our kitchen-ceiling fan reflected in the tea!

I got given a tea sample, I guess about two years ago, by a friend that worked for Kaldi's coffee and the tea sample had been sent to Kaldi's.  The package says: Jinggu "Golden Strand" Pure Bud Yunnan Black tea* Autumn 2012 and is from Yunnan Sourcing.  I really liked it when I first tried it, but then put it in a tin can and put it on a shelf and forgot about it.  Then about a year ago, I was looking in all my tin cans (I do that occasionally), and found it.  I re-tried it and this time did NOT forget about it, it is a very rememberable tea.
These are my tasting notes; First sip: fresh strawberries, juicy, creamy mouthfeel. Second sip: vanilla, sweet, still a hint of strawberries, the juiciness can be tasted with every sip-all through the entire pot, cream aftertaste. Third sip: vanilla, cream, and sweet notes are more intense, hardly any fruitiness left, a slightly toasty note.  The tea is very slightly astringent, and is surprisingly mellow for a black tea.
I think it is very interesting that you taste different things with every sip when you are drinking tea.  I think that one of the things that makes this tea so good is the fact that it is made from only leaf buds.
The leaf buds of the camellia sinensis make the best teas, depending on what you are looking for in a tea, I suppose.

The loose leaves.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Six Teas (Poem)

The calm and floral
notes of Jasmine Green
first they dance, and then linger
and remind me of
the flowering spring

The earthy-smoky 
hints in Keemun
remind me of the 
sightly smoky woods
into which I walk

The nutty-grassy 
taste in Kukicha tea
is one in which I do delight 
it tastes like autumn, it tastes of lake
and of the fresh-cut grass

The buttery-nutty taste 
can be found in Milk Oolong
it tastes of fresh churned butter
and holds me many memories
I smile when I taste this tea

I like the taste of White Peony
that reminds me of
the summer rain
of fresh fallen autumn leaves 
and of melting winter snow

The taste of Pu-erh of many kinds
always has and always will
remind me of the spring
whether walking in the rainy wood
or in my garden planting seed

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A tea class, and a new tea blend

My tea blend, I still have not named it!

I went to a tea blending class at The London Tea Room November 21st, I know it is a long time afterwards to be posting about it, well, it is not the fastest thing to download photographs onto the computer! 
I am not quite sure what to write about a tea class, I guess it would be either what I learned at it, or what I would be most likely to write about is anything that I learned about that is extremely different, or very interesting to me. Or I guess maybe I will write what others could learn from.

What the tea blending class mostly consisted of is: Tasting several of the London Tea Room's blends, learning about the basics of tea blending, and blending your own tea blend. So I will start with the tasting tea blends. 
We tried three different blends (I will include a link to their site so that you can see how they describe their teas, not just how I do! ) 
Duke and Duchess, a blend of...I think it was: Darjeeling, Silver Needle, and a Kenyan tea; Moroccan Mint (not one of their own blends), which is a blend of green tea and spearmint; and The Earl Claus , which is tea (I forget what variety), and many different spices. I liked them all, but I also have yet to taste a tea that I do not like, excluding "not good" and flavored teas, of course!

Tea Blending class at The London Tea Room

And then leaning about the basics of tea blending, I think that for tea blending, you would want to start with a base tea and add other teas or flavoring (herbs, flowers, spices, fruit, there are probably a few others as well) and add as many other other teas or flavorings as you would want. I think though that one thing that is essential to a well-balanced tea is taking into consideration the strength of the different flavors in your ingredients. You don't want one flavor drowning out all the rest (or maybe you do!), and you probably don't want all the flavors being very strong and competing with each other.  Another thing that I learned is important to take into consideration is the volume of the tea. Since you don't measure out your tea leaves by weight to brew them, you measure them out by volume, what I think is, you might want to blend your tea by volume, rather than weight.

Learning about blending tea
 Now, finally, about blending my own tea! I based my tea bend on Jade Cloud, a green tea, and then added: Iron Godess (oolong), and, Jasmine Green (a green tea with jasmine blossoms). If anyone reading this blog has a suggestion as to what to name it, I would like to hear it.

Blending tea
I uploaded a short video I took of the tea class above. The camera stopped taking the video without my realizing it, I was just trying to adjust the camera so it was not catching the light at such an angle so that it made purple-white lines. So if it stops suddenly, that is why.