Friday, August 4, 2017

The End, The Final Post

Well, all, the time has come to hang up my blogger hat, this is the last update this blog will have. I have given this a lot of thought and realized it was time to move on to other things! Before I get into the meat of the blog, thank you...all of you...all the readers, fellow bloggers, tea companies, tea growers, all the ones that found my words useful and relevant, you guys are the reason I continued with this blog for as long as I did, the reason I went from posting quick tasting notes on Facebook to long-winded rambles. I will never have the right words to accurately express my appreciation and the glowing warm fuzzies I get in my heart.

There are myriad reasons why, so I will give a quick rundown. 1. I have burned out and no longer feel I have anything worth saying about these teas, which doesn't do anyone justice, and I really do not want my burn out of writing to leach into the tea itself, I adore tea and will do anything to avoid jeopardizing my love of it!2. It is a job that doesn't pay anything, and I no longer find this job fun, it went from being a hobby and passion to a job. I know from experience this is toxic as hell one's hobbies should never only be a job. 3. Yes, my health is part of it, I am tired of beating myself up for missing blog days due to being too unwell. I started this blog in part to make myself feel constructive while also being disabled, and that really helped at first, now I no longer need it for the confidence boost and the stress of missing posts got old. 4. I just want to drink tea, I am tired of having to stop my sessions to take notes and mess with taking pictures, it is so easy with Instagram to take (mediocre) photos and throw them on there while waiting for the cup to cool, the process of taking notes mid tasting and photos were just getting in the way of my enjoyment,I am tired of having to think about it, I just want to get lost in tea.Those are the main reasons I am ending the blog, I feel as though a weight has been lifted from me!

Don't worry, if you are reading this and thinking NOOOO I want to ogle your epic teaware collection more!! Well, I will still be just as active on Instagram (@TeaNecromancer) showing off various tea sessions. If things go the way I think they will I will be getting a better camera, so hopefully, my mediocre phone cameras will be quite good! I have been told I judge my phone camera harshly, but I think they are mediocre...granted I hate my current phone so that doesn't help.

The void that the blog is leaving in my life is going to be filled with painting, between painting miniatures and altering Magic cards, I realize painting is just what I want to do with my time. Speaking of which, I won't be making a job out of it or anything, but if any of you want miniatures to live on your tea desk or altered cards to pimp out your decks just let me know, I paint for tea, more cards, supplies, cash, fossils...interesting tokens of commerce and treasures! I don't want to get rich off of it, but I am vain enough to admit knowing my creations are out in the world is awesome.

And if you are a tea company who wants me to feature you on Instagram for the photo exposure rather than a lengthy review, please check my blog disclosure tab for any relevant information.

That will be different than the blog. I am not using it as a way to feel productive, or to try to make a job out of it, or to do anything other than bring myself joy...I have just gotten to that level of peace with my life and the trials and tribulations being a disabled, autistic, recluse brings, and that is truly the core of tea, finding peace with oneself. And now I am signing off with a wish that everyone finds a tea that brings them immense joy, be it through taste or some other means, whatever your reason I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Chai Chun: Arya Tea Estate Showcase, A Tea Review

I am slowly making progress on my Mortis Throne and have hit a road block! The magical Necromancy effects are all glowing purple (like I do) and the only magical glowy stuff I have left are the lanterns and corpse torches, and I am beginning to wonder if I should paint them something other than purple to break up the solid wall of purple. Luckily I am not in any kind of rush so I can take my time, but I really am torn!

Today I am looking at a few teas from Chai Chun, featuring Arya Tea Estate in Darjeeling, one of my favorite estates to get my Darjeeling second flush fix. In the past, I have only had the Ruby, a really tasty second flush, so I am excited to explore other teas from that garden. Starting with Arya Pearl, a white tea that looks like a green, but certainly tastes like a magnificent white. The aroma is very sweet, notes of juicy grapes and peppery wildflowers, notes of tulsi and a touch of distant lilies. It smells complex while also being light.

Whoa, the taste caught me off guard, there are notes of orange blossom, clover, honey, malt, vanilla pastries, peony flowers, wildflowers, and a finish of crisp tulsi. It is incredibly complex while also being very light and refreshing. The notes of flowers didn't surprise me, since they are ones I usually associate with white teas, but the vanilla and malt were the surprising aspects, not something I run into with a white tea that is so green! It lasts for several steeps and was a delicious session.

Next on to the green tea! Arya Emerald, and this is a savory one! The aroma is very light, notes of grilled bell pepper, crisp cucumbers, zucchini and a touch of lettuce. I really had to work to pick up an aroma, which made me a little apprehensive for a mellow taste, so I decided to use hotter than normal water than I usually do for a green.

I am glad I did, this tea can take the heat, no bitterness or astringency to be found, instead, I was rewarded with sea air, wet slate, cucumbers, grilled vegetables (primarily zucchini and bell peppers) with a long lingering taste of cooked broccoli and a slightly sweet finish. I got two really solid steeps out of this tea, both of them light and refreshing but still flavorful.

And now we journey into the black teas! Arya Moonshine, it is not on their website, and I cannot really find any information on it online so alas I cannot tell you if this is a second flush or an autumn flush (I am not an expert in Darjeeling so can't tell from taste) I will say that it smells really good, strong notes of raisins and honey blend with undertones of pistachio nuts and malty molasses bread.

It was not just me that enjoyed this tea, Ben was a huge fan and has mostly obliterated my sample of it! It tastes like very yeasty molasses bread, malt, raisins, roasted pistachio nuts, and a strong finish of peach, which was very sweet and pleasant. It is well known that I am a sucker for teas that are naturally sweet, and this one tasting very sweet and very rich...well it is no surprise it is almost gone!

Lastly is Arya Diamond, this one is a second flush, and smells like a big bowl of juicy purple muscadine grapes and malt. Honestly, this tea smells so muscatel that it inspired me to go to the store and buy grapes, and sadly they were not muscadines but close enough. I truly love teas that are very muscatel, even though I don't drink a ton of Indian teas anymore, there is a reason I still wander back to Darjeelings.

The taste is pleasantly light for a black tea, a gentle briskness and thick mouthfeel blend with immensely juicy muscadine grapes, warm honey, orange blossoms, and malt. Where the Moonshine made a really good morning tea, this one's lightness made it very appealing to drink later in the day. I feel like drinking this needs to be accompanied by pastries and lounging, it just feels relaxing, which I really enjoy. Arya Estate continues to be a favorite, especially after seeing a greater spectrum of their teas!

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.