Saturday, August 17, 2013

a whirlwind week.


This past week has been a crazy one, but I am glad to say the stress and negativity have passed. The bronchitis has finally left me, and I am beginning to feel more like my old self again. I am incredibly relieved to have full sinus function, and to not cough at every deep breath taken.

My mother and father found the perfect dress for me! They're certainly helping me step up my "cat lady" game with lots of cat prints. I couldn't resist having Ryan photograph me holding my little Chai-kitty with my new outfit. My coworkers cracked up when I wore it to work, and simply said, "Oh Dani, that is so YOU." I think this is a sign I gush about my cat's antics a little bit too often at work...

Really though, how can I not gush about my cat when she has such personality!? I try and catch her sassiness on my instagram. I'm glad my followers aren't sick of seeing her little face pop up amidst the teacups!

weimar teacup.

The folks at Verdant Tea were incredible enough to send me a brand new Jingdezhen red lotus gaiwan after reading my sad story about how porcelain and gravity work poorly together. She's a beaut, and I am being extra careful with it so that I don't break it again. I also purchased a new teacup as a treat for myself to counteract the sad stuff going on in our building. It is a gorgeous Weimar teacup (from Germany!) and it oozes elegance. It's so lovely that it makes me feel like a princess when I sip from it!

In the gaiwan and teacup today is Red Blossom Tea's Organic Golden Monkey! It is a lovely, earthy black tea with pretty golden buds amidst the dark twirled leaves. True to what they said on the product page, it does carry a scent and flavor reminiscent to roasted sweet potatoes. Even the reddish amber color of the brew makes me think of that delicious root vegetable. It is very mild and not at all bitter, and I brewed it both with my gaiwan and "Western style" in my teapot. It was rather enjoyable both ways!

I can see myself stocking up on this tea for the autumn weather. It has a sort of autumn feel. Hearty, warming, but gentle and refreshing. Like sitting next to a bonfire on a chilly night!

golden monkey.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

keemun mao feng from tea horse.

cascading tea.

This past week has been a rough one! A coworker gave me a cold that morphed into a difficult-to-be-rid-of case of bronchitis. I'm just now finishing my prescriptions and the cough remains, but I can at least taste things! Which brings me to this post ... the lovely folks at Tea Horse were kind enough to send a few samples of tea my way. Now that my senses are no longer dulled and foggy, I was super excited to brew up some of the Keemun Mao Feng they included in the package.

Now, I have a love/hate relationship with Keemun Mao Feng. For a while it always struck me as Lapsang Souchong's weaker buddy ... only mildly smoky with not much else to write home about. That was before I started brewing Chinese teas in gaiwans with more attentive practices. Today was my first time brewing Keemun Mao Feng with my little red lotus gaiwan, and it turned out wonderfully!!

loose leaves.

The tea brews up a lovely amber-orange cup and has a mildly smoky aroma. With the first sip you're hit with the smoky aroma, and then the flavors turns into a tangy malty note ... somewhat like cocoa with a snap of tart cranberry. The aftertaste is smooth and lingers on the palette with a note similar to a whisper of pine.

It is smooth and full bodied, but brewing with a gaiwan lends it a lightness that I've not experienced with other Keemun black teas. It isn't heavy on the stomach or rough to drink en masse. I'm on my third gaiwan-full as I write this and it is still satisfying and refreshing. The leaves are unfurling from their tightly twisted shape beautifully in my gaiwan and are a lovely dark chocolate color.

This might be my new breakfast tea of choice when cooler weather rolls around!

They also sent me samples of their Dragonwell and Winter Spice! Can't wait to review them!

keemun mao feng.