Monday, February 29, 2016

Grey's Tea: Formosa GABA Oolong, A Tea Review

Hello everyone, back from my little hiatus! For those who don't know a close family member had to have crazy intense heart surgery and frankly worrying about that made my brain a pile of mush, so now that it is over and they are in recovery I can think again! I have of course been using this time with a mushy brain to play Ark and drink tea, like I do, Ark is great, set up a huge new base in The Gulch of Lamentation (best name ever) and currently I am getting ready to hunt down and tame a Quetzal. This has been one of the biggest goals of the game for me, I love those giant flapping majestic things. Plus they act as giant winged transports, meaning taking an Anklyo to the mountains to get metal will be soooo much easier.

This week I am going to look at three different GABA Oolongs from three different growing regions, to see how terroir affects taste! I love being able to do comparisons and thought this was the perfect opportunity. First off, GABA Oolong is special because it gets exposed to a nitrogen heavy environment during its oxidation, making it high in gamma-Aminobutyric acid. This is thought to have a lot of health benefits and I am a complete skeptic (like I am with most health claims) but find it intriguing because yours truly took a synthesized gamma-Aminobutyric acid for the neuropathic pain and Fibromyalgia, granted I had to stop taking it because it caused me a mess of problems (like 'hey this isn't working anymore, take more until you get seizures, bahh) but in a low amount it can't hurt. Mainly I sought this out because I find taking tea and processing it out of the norm to be fascinating, and that brings us to Grey's Tea Formosa GABA Oolong, from Taiwan! The aroma of the leaves is sweet and surprisingly mellow for the level of sweetness present. Notes of peaches, papaya, raisins, raw honey and caramel mix with a woody undertone. The woody notes remind me a bit of fruit wood with a slight sourness and a distinctly odd 'GABA-ness' that I associate with this kind of tea but cannot accurately describe it. It is a like a mix of loam and fruit but with a familiar note that I just cannot place, it is maddening!

Into my gaiwan the leaves go for their first steeping. The aroma of the only lightly unfurled leaves (it takes GABA a while I have noticed) is very fruity and sweet, like a blend of dried papayas, peaches and mangoes with a touch of woodiness. The liquid is also quite sweet, but with the added note of dates and malt and just a little hint of loam. It is quite light but intensely sweet.

First steeping time, it is a fairly mild start, being thick in the mouth with an undertone of being very thirst quenching, like it sends the salivary glands into overdrive like some Shengs do. The taste is gentle, notes of sweet dried papaya and woodiness with a honey finish. This first steep is very light bordering on delicate in taste but the mouthfeel's thickness makes up for any lightness.

Second steeping time! The aroma is both woody and fruity, and really the wood notes are astoundingly fruity, it smells like apple wood blended with dried papaya and a touch of dried apples. All the fruit notes are definitely the sweeter dried versions rather than juicy fresh. This steep is darker and stronger, the mouthfeel is still just as thick. It has a distinct GABA-ness again that I find hard to describe, it is like tasting solely with the sinus cavities in my forehead rather than my mouth, it is weird and more of a sensation than a taste, again I only get this with GABAs. The taste is more balanced, still sweet and fruity but with more loam and woody notes and a sour finish. The sourness is not like a citrus, but like sucking on a piece of greenwood, it has a lingering apple note that stays for a while.

Third steeping and the aroma is quite woody, with a strong underlying sweetness of dried fruits and a touch of raisins. This taste is strong, the mouth is thick and slick, bordering on oily, and with the accompanying sour and sweet blend makes me salivate a lot. This steep is balanced in woody and fruity notes, dried papaya and apples are dominant, but a sour plum note sneaks in at the midtaste and gets stronger till it dominates at the finish. Of the various GABAs I have had, this one is the lightest while also being the woodiest.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Grey's Tea: Kenya White Lelsa Silver Tip Tea, A Tea Review

One of the things I love about playing on the server I do is the minimal trolling. Other than one complete jerkwad everyone is super nice, and one person even came to my rescue today! I had just finished taming a new Rex up in the frigid north (aka one of the really hard regions) and I got stuck thanks to my Pteranodon being an idiot (its pathfinding sometimes is made of utter fail) inside someone else's house. So I called out for any ideas to get unstuck in chat and someone came in on their Quetzl and got me out. There is just a great little community with this game and it pleases me, being notoriously shy and not good with people I tend to avoid multiplayer games like the plague, but this game really works, there is a great camaraderie while also competition, big tribes look out for little ones and the newbies get lots of love. Unless someone is a troll, then watch-out because payback on a PVE server can be...interesting.

You know what I love, Kenyan Silver Needle, so imagine my bit of joy when Grey's Tea contacted me to review some of their teas and one of them was a Kenyan Silver Needle from an estate I had not tried before, exciting! Kenya White Lelsa Silver Tip Tea is from the Lelsa Tea Garden in Kenya's Kericho District in the Rift Valley, this garden also grows a decent amount of tea, but from what I gathered most of it is black tea. The needles are small compared to other silver needles from Kenya I have had, delicate things with downy fluff, they did get a little crunched in the mail, but mostly the needles are intact. The aroma is gentle with a surprising slight toasty note, like distantly cooking bread, blended with pollen, sugarcane, caramel popcorn, bamboo, and a finish of melon. Its sweet with an underling graininess that really endears Kenyan silver needle to me, like eating kettle corn or some summertime snack in that nature.

Into the gaiwan the leaves go, I tend to brew my silver needle (and whites in general) a bit more heavy handed than a lot of the other teas I drink, I find that a good silver needle can be brewed at 195 for like 15 minutes and it won't be bitter...intense and only good for one steep sure...but not bitter. So I take my already pretty flexible brewing method and bend even more. The aroma of the soggy leaves is pretty intense, it smells like summertime to me with pollen, watermelon, kettlecorn, and sugarcane, the aroma is very strong on the nostalgia front for me, bringing back memories of late summer and happy times. The liquid is very sweet, less corny and grainy and more straight up sweet, melon and honey mix with pollen and a touch of crisp celery at the finish.

So after my five minute steep, it is time to chug some white tea! I was expecting the familiar kettlecorn and peony notes I associate with Kenyan silver needle, but this tea surprised me. It has the peony, lightly, but it also is more green. Notes of celery and cucumber mix with gentle pollen and a touch of sugarcane at the finish. This first steep was fairly light and has a smooth mouthfeel.

Second steep brought the kettlecorn note I know and love! This is definitely more familiar, the first steep was like a blend of a Kenyan silver needle and a Fujian one, fascinating stuff, and the crisp greenness was very refreshing. This steep is sweet and grainy, with a little bit of the cucumber and melon notes and a finish of lingering sugarcane. Since I brewed this one long and hot I found it finished at two steeps, but it was entertainingly contrasting, so I don't mind the lack of longevity.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Eco-Cha: Spring 2015 Tsui Yu Jade Oolong, A Tea Review

You know what is really awesome? Having a mobile taming unit, aka, a loaded with supplies T-Rex, because nothing messes with a Rex so I can tame whatever new dino I need in peace. Ok, not totally true, alphas, Gigas, and other Rexes will come and bother me, but usually I have nothing to worry about. Even in the swamp which is a harrowing place I feel very little fear because what is going to bug my big ol Rex friend? I named him Marc Bolan for those who are curious, and when I manage to bag me a female I am naming her Electric Barbarella, and if you get those references you have excellent taste...and if you follow my train of thought on why those names go together consider me impressed!

Today's tea themed rambling takes us back to long time blog favorite, Eco-Cha! Looking at their Spring 2015 Tsui Yu Jade Oolong, and going to look at it bowl/grandpa style today since in the past I reviewed this tea gongfu style, I like mixing it up a bit! The aroma on this lovely pile of leaves is a blend of green and sweet, mixing gentle notes of sesame with lettuce, sage, broken vegetation, and a touch of distant apples. It almost reminds me of a mix of apples and apple leaves, very gentle and crisp.
Tossing the leaves in the bowl and adding hot water, I notice the aroma takes on a buttery quality to it, blending with fresh vegetation and mellow herbaceous qualities. There is a touch of fruity sweetness, though mostly the aroma has become green and springy. At first the taste is very mellow, not a whole lot going on, gently sweet with apple and sage and accompanying notes of fresh vegetation and sesame.

As the tea unfurls and the water is refreshed the green notes become stronger and crisper with an addition of lettuce and hyacinth and a sweet nectar finish. This is a tea that I love drinking when I am feeling off, there are not a lot of notes and it is somewhat subtle, the notes that are present are very crisp and the tea has a clean, pure quality to it that feels really good to drink when I feel off my game (or when I am gaming, either one really) and it is good both gongfu and bowl style. If you are wanting a more floral green experience go the gaiwan route, it really brings it out.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

Monday, February 15, 2016

What-Cha: China Yunnan Simao Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea, A Tea Review

Happy Lupercalia everyone! It is an ancient Roman festival held roughly February 13-15 celebrating things totally outdated, like cleansing and fertility! It is all about the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus (maybe) and fertility gods of the fields (maybe) basically it is one of those holidays that history has not been kind to so researching it is just a mess, but it is special to me! See when Ben and I first got together we didn't want to celebrate Valentines because neither of us have good associations with that day, so we rummaged on the internet and ran into this archaic holiday and decided to use it instead, specifically on the 15th because that means the restaurants won't be packed, everything stops being hideously pink and red, and the candy goes on sale...perfect reasons to celebrate! Plus wolves are cute and fuzzy and cleaning things is always worth celebrating.

Just because my blog is exploring a new schedule does not mean I have forgotten about my beloved What-Cha Wednesdays, they are still kinda happening, just more random and not always on Wednesdays, like today. Plus my stash was running low and I need to stretch it out a bit! Today I am looking at China Yunnan Simao Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea, possbly some of the prettiest leaves, I mean just look at them, they are adorable, all fuzzy and curly. I am such a sucker for Dian Hongs it is ridiculous. The aroma is super sweet, strong notes of cocoa and malt mix with yams, toasted peanuts, a bit of cooked peaches, and a finish of a pepper and resin, a bit like pine sap. The yam note is strong, very starchy blends well with the cocoa and malt.

The saddest part of steeping these golden beauties is watching the fuzz go away, but the color of the liquid makes up for the lack of fuzzy. Woo, the aroma of the wet leaves is intense, not so much sweet, but strong notes of yam and toasted peanuts with malt and cocoa, at the finish is a burst of black pepper and a touch of woodiness. The liquid is very sweet, blending honey, chocolate, dried peaches and a woodiness that vaguely reminds me of bourbon.

This tea starts strong, not a weak first steep here. Smooth in the mouth with a slightly sharp citric note in the texture, but not in the taste. It starts with yams and malt and quickly moves to cocoa and molasses and the finish is a blend of peanuts and raisins. It balances sweetness and richness really well, I was impressed with the oomph this tea started with.

The aroma of the second steep is malty and molasses heavy, with cocoa and that woody bourbon note again, I almost want to get a bourbon barrel and toss this tea in it to see if I can really bring the quality out. Somehow this steep manages to be stronger and richer, but luckily there is no astringency or bite to this tea, it is smooth as silk and heavy with its richness. I feel like sinking when drinking it, this tea makes me melt in my chair just a bit. The taste is sweeter this time around as well, the cocoa has gone straight to chocolate and the yam is more candied. Notes of roasted peanuts and molasses at the finish and just a tiny, tiny, hint of rose in the aftertaste.

Last steep, ok not really, I could pull a few more out of this one, not a ton, it seemed to max out at five but could go for a couple more but only be really light. The aroma for this one is malty and starchy, strong and sweet with undertones of resin and bourbon. The taste is similar to the second, formidable in its intensity of texture and taste but smooth and gentle, I assure you I can make a few off colored jokes here, but I resist. The best part is my notes are a jumbled almost unreadable mess, totally unintelligible to anyone but me, and only barely to me! Strong notes of yams and malt give this tea its start, it is not sweet but starchy and rich. The middle and the end are sweet like chocolate and a touch of peaches with a slight woody finish and a lingering peanut note. I kinda love that peanut note, reminds me a little of boiled peanuts but without the salt, and being Southern I cannot get enough boiled peanuts, ever. As you can tell I really liked this tea, my next What-Cha order will definitely have more than just a sample of snails, I'm getting a big ol bag of this stuff...but like all my other Dian Hongs it will be gone far too quickly.

This tea was purchased by me.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tealyra: Spa Hydrate, A Tea Review

I think I am coming down with a nasty cold. Ben has been fighting with one all week and I happily seemed to have missed out on it, until last night a double slam of sore throat and fever headache hit me and all I could say was 'oh no' and hope it was passed in the morning. It wasn't. I feel much worse today and my brain is mush, so I am delving into the archives for a blog I wrote specifically for days when I feel bad! Sometimes I can use foresight!

Once more into the pile of teas from the past, or at the very least tea notes from the past! Today we are looking at Spa Hydrate from Tealyra, a blend of Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea, Lemon Myrtle, Lemon and Orange Peel, Goji Berries, Papaya, Pomegranate, Lime, Stevia Leaves, Osmanthus Petals, Cornflowers, and C'watre Minerals. Yes, minerals, this tea is infused with minerals to hydrate the skin, yeah I selected this tea because it sounded odd, but also because I like osmanthus flowers something fierce. The aroma of this tea is sweet and tropical, it has heady floral notes from the osmanthus, sweet papaya, lots of citrus (it smells like orange, lemon, and lime) and undertones of vegetal green and freshly cut grass. It smells very refreshing!

Brewing this tea is wow, my tea area ended up smelling like a citrus pile! Strong notes of orange and lime with undertones of lemon and lemon leaf. Underneath that are notes of papaya and sweet goji berry and a slight note of osmanthus flower. The liquid smells citrusy and refreshing with notes of papaya nectar and osmanthus flowers, at the finish is a honey sweet note of goji berries.

Tasting time, and it starts out kinda odd, it is very sharp and sour, like biting into a lemon on steroids, then it immediately goes to sweet citrus and papaya. The one two punch of sour then sweet certainly woke up my mouth and my brain! Next comes the flowers, osmanthus and lemon myrtle with a touch of green vegetation and hay undertones. It manages to make my mouth feel super dry from the lemon and then immediately quenched from the salivary explosion from the sourness. This tea was kinda fun, not a favorite, but certainly entertaining.

This tea was purchased by me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Yunomi: Ocharaka Hojicha Baked Apple Flavored Roasted Green Tea, A Tea Review

Well I did it, I finally saw The Force Awakens, took me long enough. I might lose all of my nerd cred, but I am not much of a Star Wars fan, it has always been a franchise I enjoyed but could not really get into, so that is why it took me so long. That and I hate theaters, crowds, going out in public, and of course being in a car for very other factors. I did enjoy it though, it was predictable and nostalgia laden, but these things made it enjoyable, plus laughing at Kylo Ren's emo self was immensely entertaining. Reminded me of my goth phase in high school, when I wore a mask and had a lightsaber.

Today's tea is from Yunomi, a company who I have not visited on this blog in a while, so I thought it was time to change that. Looking at their Ocharaka: Hojicha Baked Apple Flavored Roasted Green Tea, a different take on one of my favorite teas, Houjicha! I am not a big fan of flavored teas anymore, I still drink them on occasion but usually I got for pure leaf or a blend, but once in a while I am craving a taste and don't have access to it, usually that craving is food related and imitated in tea, so I reach for it to satisfy a craving. This time I was craving apple pie, so it seemed a perfect time to try this tea I had in my stash. Blending Houjicha, Ginger, Apple and Flavorings, this tea smells like tart apples and ginger with a strong caramel undertone. It kinda reminds me of the apple pie caramel lollipops they gave with the apple pie blizzards at Dairy Queen where I worked, hated the blizzards but man did I love those lollipops! There is also a toasted note that vaguely reminds me of crust, but mostly this tea's aroma is all ginger and apple.

Into my little kyusu the leaves go for steeping, this pot is the perfect sized for a single me sized cup, I like small cups and I cannot lie! The aroma is a lot less tart and more baked sweet apples, toasted crust, and ginger. It does not exactly remind me of pie, but does remind me of cobbler which works for me! The liquid is very sweet with just a hint of tart apples and pie crust. Ok this tea officially smells like pie now.

Mmmm pie, in fact it tastes like slightly burnt pie, where the crust is burnt and the sugar has caramelized a bit. It is quite sweet and smooth with strong toast and ginger notes with light apples, luckily the apple tastes like apple and not apple candy, which I was a bit worried about from the aroma of the dried leaves. I found the apple notes to be strongest in the aftertaste or when the tea had cooled a bit. It is not an exact pie match, but it was close enough to ease my craving!

This tea came from a tea trade with tea friends.

Monday, February 8, 2016

3 Leaf Tea: Golden Eyebrows (Jin Jun Mei) A Tea Review

Man, the last day has been a whirlwind of emotions! Last night my computer had an accident and I thought, well crap, there goes the blog since I lacked the funds to get a new one for at least a month, let's just say I did not go to bed happy...or woke up happy. But lo and behold Ben fixed it (at least temporarily) so hooray for that! To celebrate (and get my agoraphobic self outside of the house...going to try for at least once a week) we did my favorite thing, visited a thrift store. I got a really cute little cup, oh yea, and A FRENCH HORN!!!!!!! For those who don't know, this is a really big deal, I go into a full explanation of why here, but after many years I own a French Horn, its a double so it is what I played, needs a mouthpiece and some oiling, but wow. I am practically exploding!

Ok, I can focus long enough to blog (and then go back to playing Ark because it is all I do, it is all I know) and today I am looking at 3 Leaf Tea's Golden Eyebrow (Jin Jun Mei) and for those who have been reading my rambling for a while, you know how excited I get over my favorite Wuyi Red Tea (sorry Lapsang, I love you too, but that is Ben's favorite) with its oh so delicate fuzzy leaves. The aroma is delicious. blending sweet notes of cocoa and sweet potatoes with malt and peanuts. Jin Jun Mei has a resinous woody quality that reminds me of pine sap, and the finish is starchy and sweet.

Into my dear little Petr Novak pot the leaves go for their bath, the gold is no longer fuzzy, but it is worth altering their appearance. The aroma of the soggy leaves is really sweet, nice notes of brown sugar and sweet potatoes with malt and peanuts. The finish is sappy and pine like adding a bit of woodiness to the sweetness. The liquid is a sweet blend of dates, malt, brown sugar and sweet potato with a roasted peanut finish. These aroma notes please me.

First steeping is made of yum, it starts soft in both texture and taste, with notes of malt and molasses and I swear a touch of maple syrup. Towards the end it picks up notes of sweet potatoes and dates with a touch of roasted peanuts. The mouthfeel at the end almost has a sticky quality, reminding me of sap, not sure why but this tea always comes off as very resinous to me.

For the second steep the aroma is rich and malty with a strong resinous and roasted peanut undertone. This is carried over into the taste as well, it starts rich and sweet and stays that way til the end, luckily this is a rich tea without a hint of bitterness, no astringency either which is probably why I prefer Chinese reds to the more robust Ceylons and such. The finish is a blend of molasses and malt, with a lingering honey aftertaste.

Third steep, though it was not my last, this tea had a few more steeps in it. Sadly I find that Red teas are kinda in the middle with longevity, I have never really had one that lasts more than seven (and not just tasted so watered down and boring) where as most  Puerhs, Whites, and Oolongs can go much longer and most greens putter out at about three-four. This steep carries on from the second, going strong with rich and malty notes, not really changing but being very tasty and soothing. The fourth steep is the real change, it looses some of its rich maltiness and is replaced with wonderful honey sweetness that lingers.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Tea Book: Linda Gaylard, A Tea Book Review

Book time! I have been voraciously reading, it is the time of year where I go deep into the books and tend not to come out again until spring. Today's book is The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard and by one of my favorite publishers, DK. See, DK has a tendency to publish really pretty books, their book on Gemstones is still a classic favorite, but this is about tea and not rocks. From the moment I cracked open the book I was impressed with the visuals, it is beautiful!

But looks alone do not make a book (unless it was a photo book, of course) so how is the substance? First off I will say, I think I found THE perfect book for people new to tea and with a voracious appetite for knowledge. This covers so many of the basics, but instead of stopping there it delves deep into various cultures, history, and regions. I was pleased to see coverage on Korean tea and their tea culture, along with Vietnam and Kenya, and not just the typical China, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka.

There is a large section on recipes, but it is not the more trendy cooking with teas but different drinks using tea. Frankly most of them look so delicious, I plan on breaking a few of them out for events when I have to serve tea to a bunch of people. So many delicious looking recipes, plus a method for making popping spheres meaning an upgrade to bubble teas.

Along with lots of juicy information about tea and recipes, there is a section on herbal teas/tisanes. I had mixed feelings on this, on the one hand it was very valuable information (the wheel of healing was my favorite) and herbal teas are definitely a big part of the tea world, but on the other hand this is space that could have been filled with more info about tea!

At times I wish this book would have delved deeper into various topics, mostly because I really enjoy Linda's writing style (I have been following her blog for a while, good reading there!) and would have loved to have seen more of it combined with DK's signature bombastic visuals. I find myself daydreaming about a book of this style devoted entirely to Yunnan's tea culture or Vietnamese tea. Again, I really cannot stress how I think everyone interested in tea should buy this book, even though a lot of the information presented was a refresher for me, I loved reading it because it is so well written and enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

3 Leaf Tea: Wild Pu'erh Buds (Ya Bao): A Tea Review

Another day, another day of me frolicking with dinosaurs in pixel land! Today was better than yesterday, I was able to redo my 'Mobile Oppression Yacht" which is a boat with crazy 'Species X' plants that are essentially turrets so I wreck the dinos getting lots of meat, and I tamed a little derpy Dimorphodon to ride on my shoulder. Yesterday would have been the most epic, except for my massive 'hitting the wrong button and ruining everything fail' that I am STILL salty over. I was well into taming a Spinosaur, a very resource intensive process, hit the wrong button and wasted all that time and resources by ruining the tame. There was some serious raging after that!! I also spent a good chunk of today trying to hunt down and tame an Argentavis with no luck, but soon I will be the queen of the skies...and swamp if I get another go at a Spino! Life in Ark is full of hardship and joy.

Today we are looking at a tea that reminds me of prehistoric fuzzy pine cones or maybe little catkins, yes it is the beloved Wild Pu'erh Buds (Ya Bao) this one comes from 3 Leaf Tea. This tea is made from the very young buds of trees from Yunnan in very early spring, way before they have the chance to open into tea leaves. I have seen a bit of debate among vendors and drinkers alike over whether or not this tea (like Moonlight and Yunnan Silver Needle) is a white tea or a puerh, and I like to think that this is just magic stuff that overlaps and joins both types of tea into something epic. I can see a valid case for either side of the debate so I have never been able to make a clear decision. The aroma of the little buds is very crisp and light, this is one of those teas that smells very pure (not saying that others smell unclean, but it is like comparing the clean smell of the air after snowfall and the smell after a spring rain) There is not a lot going on with the aroma, crisp cedar, gentle apricots, and a touch of lettuce. The comparison to a snowy day's aroma is not entirely false, this type of tea has such a winter deep in a forest quality to me, even with the sweet notes of apricot.

Gaiwan time, for no reason other than feeling like using this set I went with my Ru Yao, though I can say with the perfectly clear liquid, my camera had a fun time trying to focus thanks to all the crackles! The aroma of the wet leaves is fairly faint and quite sweet, blending fresh apricot and clover honey with lettuce and cedar. I do love that cedar note, it has a slight sap like quality to it as well. The liquid is sweet and juicy, like a honey drizzled fresh apricot, eaten on a cold day in a cedar forest.

The first steep is as light as the aroma, it is one of the really endearing qualities of Ya Bao, it is a subtle tea. It is smooth in the mouth and starts a bit crisp with notes of cedar wood and lettuce. This moves to wonderful light sweetness like fresh apricot and very light honey. The end of the sipping is crisp and refreshing cooked celery with a little bit of a cedar sap aftertaste.

Second steep and the aroma has gained a bit of a wildflower note, perhaps this tea that is so synonymous with winter is now fading into spring? Nah, it was a false thaw. The taste has the same wonderful crisp cedar notes and sweet fruitiness, but it starts to pick up a cucumber and squash blossom quality at the finish. The aftertaste lingers and at the very end it fades into apricot which is pleasant.

For the third steep nothing really has changed in aroma or taste. I find that Ya Bao does really change in taste notes, but only in intensity. This steep is more mellow, more similar to the first, and the next steep after as well. One of my favorite ways to steep Ya Bao is to grandpa/bowl steep the tea after the first two steepings, I will just transfer the little buds into a bowl or sip them from my gaiwan, it never gets bitter and only ever gets sweeter.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Blog Schedule!

Tea is a wonderful thing, a wonderful thing which I love to write about, tea can take minutes or it can take hours...blogging however is never really a quick process. It takes time to research the tea I am drinking (though less if I am more familiar with the tea) take the photos and organize/edit them, and of course time to gather my thoughts and adequately describe the tea and do it justice.

Even though it takes time I still love it, but lately I have found trying to do it everyday to be a bit of a strain and have been having a hard time maintaining the daily blogging structure, so time for something new! I am going to, instead of blogging everyday try out blogging Monday, Wednesday, Friday and if I am feeling adventurous once on the weekend. Is this a definite permanent thing? Not sure, this is me trying it out, seeing how it feels...if I want to write more I will, but with luck having a day to collect my thoughts between blogs posts will mean a less strained me and maintain the blog's quality. Thank you all for the several years of support you have given and continue to give the blog, it means the world to me!