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LuckyGirl

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Everything posted by LuckyGirl

  1. Richard, it would be great if you participated in the tastings with us. Any chance of that? I understand the idea that you might want to refrain from giving us your tasting observations until we have tasted but I think it would be nice to interact with you or at least get your ideas on the tastings we do. What do you think?
  2. Isn't it the best when you turn someone onto something and they really like it? Right now I am loving my cup of Yuuki-cha's Kumamoto Sencha. My order from them arrived yesterday. I restrained myself from brewing a cup right away rather I saved it for this morning as a reward for getting a fair amount of Easter prep done yesterday. I don't know if it's this particular tea itself or the newness of senchas to me but this tea is almost magical to me.
  3. I finished my sample this past week in two tastings. For the first brewing I stuck closer to the recommendation of 1 gram of tea per ounce of water and 150 degrees. I used 4 grams to 4 ounces of water. The first steeping went for one minute. I love the balance between the sea and vegetalness that this tea has. I again found the vegetal noted along the lines of swiss chard or maybe spinach and ever so slightly sweet but not in the sweet tart way of some of the oolongs we've tasted. The sea note is a bright brininess that is like the sea without the fish. This tea has a nice full and round body and mouth-feel. It almost has a creaminess to it. The second steeping went for the suggested 30 seconds. I felt that 30 seconds did not give the tea enough time. I found the second cup to be more thin than I cared for and the sweetness and creaminess were lost. The third steeping I let go for a minute 15 seconds and I got more out of the tea though the slight astringency came on the end but not enough that it bothered me. My third season with this tea was back to my usual course method of brewing. I put the tea that was left (5-6 grams? I didn't weigh it) into my 12 oz mug and filled it with water. This time used water at 160 F and let the tea steep for 2 minutes. This was my favorite cup so far. I had all of the elements I so enjoyed back when I made my first cup and only the slightest, wispiest bit of astringency on the end. I fell in love with this tea and what a great time of year to discover it as the tea is just as much about spring in my mouth as the weather is outside. I feel like I want to move to a Japanese green tea as my morning cup at least for the springtime. I am ready to move away from the oolongs I've been drinking at least for the morning or maybe for the season. Thank you so much to yuuki-cha for providing us with this tea and Richard for facilitating the tasting.
  4. Hmmm could be, nickrey but I have my doubts. For one, the center layer didn't have anywhere near the amount of bits as the pick in the link you posted and two, the center cheese didn't seem at all like marscapone in texture or flavor but, you never know... I am leaning towards it being truffle though not morels. I haven't had a chance to talk to my Mom yet but I will report back as soon as I do.
  5. Whose silver needle were you drinking? I have several and at the moment am partial to the one from Special Teas.
  6. I couldn't wait and I tore into this tea this morning. It is a really, really lovely tea. I brewed it in my normal style- about 5 grams of leaves in a mug with 12 oz. water. I steeped it for 3 minutes not having read the brewing suggestions. The vibrant green color of the tea made me smile and I kept smiling as I drank the first cup. The tea tasted vegetal and green (grassy in a good way)and had a fresh taste of the sea, like seaweed without the fishy element, like sea water and swiss chard. The mouth-feel was full and round and lush. I got an astringency on the end that was just a hair over being pleasant but I recognize that it was my own fault for steeping so long and the beauty of the tea was not diminished by my careless brewing. The second cup I brewed the same way and for the same length of time and I found it pretty much the same as the first cup only slightly lighter. I will be away for the next week and will wait until I return home to brew the rest of the tea in a proper manner. I can't wait! To say that this tea has piqued my interest in Japanese greens would be an understatement. I am concerned however that few teas will live up to this one!
  7. There are little bits of mushroom in the mousse-like center though you can't see them in my photo. Nikkib may be correct in suggesting truffles as opposed to morels. I wish I had paid more attention when I bought it. I am leaving today but my Mom is arriving shortly after I leave. My sister has instructions for my Mom to go to the laterie and find out what the cheese is. I will report back in a few days when I hear from her.
  8. Hi there. I am currently visiting my sister in Switzerland and I just picked up a most amazing cheese from the laterie one town over. I didn't pay close attention when I was buying it and the owner of the laterie doesn't mark the cheeses after he wraps them so I am now stuck trying to figure out what this cheese is. I leave tomorrow morning so I can't even go back to look. This cheese is a white rind very soft, silky, layered cheese. The center of the cheese is a layer almost like boursin in texture, mousse-like, and it has chopped mushrooms, morels I think but I can't recall with certainty what the label said. Around that center is what I think is a raw milk cheese as it has a super silky, soft almost runny texture and it has a white rind. Any help? TIA in advance. I am dying to know what this cheese is. It is absolute heaven. One of the most wonderful things I've ever eaten.
  9. I second (or is it third?) the recommendation for Intelligentsia's espresso. I ordered my espresso beans from them for several years before I stopped drinking coffee earlier this year. I would order 4 pounds at a time as that was what my husband and I could get through and still have really good espresso. I started out ordering 5 pounds at a time but found that by the 4th pound the beans were already not at their best so I dropped down to 4 pounds at a time. If I hadn't been worried about shipping fees I would have ordered it two pounds at a time. We would go through about a pound a week. The beans were usually shipped out the day they were roasted.
  10. Last night my sister and I shared a pot of Special Teas' Silver Needle. I've tried a few Silver Needle teas over the last 2 months and this is one that I like best. Today I am enjoying Special Teas' Zhongshan Baiye Oolong. It is a stunner, great body, sweet and fruity, toasty and well balanced. I ordered a bunch of samples from Special Teas and I wasn't taken by the first several that I tried but these two have been winners.
  11. The past few days I have been greatly enjoying the Spring 2009 Imperial Dian Hong. It is a wonderful sweet, malty, mellow black tea, one of the nicest I've had. Last night was the Silver Needle from Specialteas, a nice full bodied white tea.
  12. I wonder if your "metallic" taste is what I was reading as chloriney or checmical. I have been following this tasting thread and it seems noone else got that "thing" I was getting.
  13. I am game for Ann Arbor. I will abstain from voting for a specific date as I can not be certain whether or not we will be around at any given time. white lotus, I was sorely disappointed in TeaHaus on a recent visit to Ann Arbor but my Mother has since told me that this is a wonderful place for tea- http://www.cafejapon.net/ I stopped drinking coffee and took up tea about 8 months ago. I am eager to share tea with you this summer!
  14. A Darjeeling and an Assam from SpecialTeas dot com. More here-
  15. The past few days I have been sipping a Darjeeling and an Assam both from SpecialTeas dot com. Both have been disappointing. This past Sunday and today I brewed the "Darjeeling Yashodhara FTGFOP1 1st Flush" from SpecialTeas dot com. I was surprised and disappointed when I opened my 1/2 oz sample packet to find it was all small bits of broken leaf. Further disappointment ensued upon drinking this tea. I found it thin and lacking in depth. There are some enjoyable floral notes (thin and wispy) to the tea but more tannins/dryness than I expected on the finish (and I'm not particularly sensitive to that). I first brewed the tea at their recommendation of 1 tsp. to 6 oz water with 195 degree water for 3 minutes, my water was actually more like 190. Because I found this brew to be too thin I brewed my next cup at 5.5 grams to 7 oz water, same time and 195 temp. I got a little more body and depth but not what I would have expected from upping the tea ratio and not enough to make it a compelling cup to drink. I had exactly the same experience as described above with Special Teas "Assam Mangalam FTGFOP1". Same bits of broken leaves, same thin results with both their recommended ratios and my increased tea to water ratio. Only difference in brewing is that I followed their rec. and brewed for longer (4 min). I'm not sure how I stumbled across Special Teas. I have 8 more samples to taste including 3 formosas, a few other oolongs and a white. I hope the next tries with the other teas are more enjoyable and compelling than these first two.
  16. I'm good to go - at this point small numbers until I figure the flow in the room. Can you PM me the pertinent details about what classes you offer? Thanks.
  17. I will be more particular about the words I choose to describe the flavors. I did not mean to say that the tea was tainted. I am having a hard time sorting out just what it is I'm tasting. The Ban Tian Yao and Shui Jin Gui, Spring 09 Wu Yi Oolong Teas from Norbu both gave me this taste that I can only describe as a slight chlorine taste. At first I thought that maybe somehow these two teas brought out the tast of chlorine in my filtered tap water but I brewed them with two different bottled waters and I also brewed it when I was in Mexico with the same result. It is not a bold chlorine taste like what you might smell in tap water that is strong on chlorine but it is more like a residual essence of chlorine. I was thinking that it could be a part of the mineral quality of the two teas or the "rock" essence. Whatever it is, I get the same thing on the back end of the Lao Tie Guan Yin - Late 90s Aged Tie Guan Yin Oolong from Norbu. I think it is a minerality but it is different from the minerality I get from wine. I get this "minerality" then the slight spiciness from the finish. So, I will refrain from continuing to use the words chemical or chlorine. I wish I was better equipped to describe what it is I'm tasting.
  18. I'm enjoying my second infusion of this tea right now. I like the dried fruit flavors I get from it, dried figs come to mind with a hint of dried apricot. I also like the toasted notes this tea gives. I didn't notice it on the first infusion but on the very end this one has that component I referred to as a slight chemical taste. It is definitely a component of the minerality of this tea, what I now think of as the "rock" taste. It is not offensive and not as predominate as it was in two of the other teas that gave me that taste.
  19. I had a cup of that this afternoon and I am drinking a second infusion from it right now.
  20. This topic and the responses are very interesting. I have outgrown many of the same items as others from cheese slices to canned spaghettio-type things to even, mashed potatoes. I never was a fan of the blue box mac & cheese or the Velveeta version but I did, on occasion, like a grilled cheese sandwich made with Kraft slices (but it had to be decent bread- go figure) and a bowl of Campbell’s tomato and rice soup. It’s been several years since I could stomach either those cheese slices or canned tomato soup (which was the only canned soup I could ever stand). I agree with Katie with regards to not being able to stand anything from a can or Philadelphia cream cheese. I think the only canned items I have in my house are tomatoes, tuna and black olives. I only like the canned variety of black olives with tacos. I have often wondered if I would ever loose my taste for those. As for the Philadelphia or other commercial cream cheeses with guar and what ever else they are made with I really, really dislike them. There is one sundried tomato spread that I will use commercial cream cheese for but other than that, forget it. The only cream cheese I eat any more is Zingerman’s which means I don’t eat it very often. In fact, lately I have been lamenting the fact that we have no locally made, good cream cheese available in Cleveland. I have to learn to make my own. I used to get a hankering for canned spaghetti-o type things every year or two. Many years ago I got over that craving. Like “Dave the Cook” who finds Rice Krispies to be salty, how salty Cheerios tasted to me when I had a handful of them from a hotel’s breakfast offerings astonished me. I too have lost much interest in mashed potatoes unless they are made with equal parts turnips and or rutabaga and maybe with sautéed onions or leeks and some sort of green like swiss chard or kale. No commercial bread. Sometimes I wonder how much of no longer liking something is a change in my palette vs. how the used to be made vs. how it’s made now. For instance, Fig Newtons, were they always so sweet? Saltines, used to love them now I only like the Old Cape Cod brand, is that from the recipe of the Premium brand being changed to use hydrogenated oil? Same for Oreos and those Nutter Butter cookies, I used to like both of those on occasion but it’s been like 15 years since I liked either. Oh, yes, I also agree on peanut butter. I pretty much only like Koeze, Cream Nut or homemade. I used to like Crema Nut too but it’s been so long since I’ve had it I can’t quite recall how it tastes.
  21. When do you think you will be ready to start offering classes? I am very interested.
  22. My sister lives outside of Montreux and I visit her regularly. I am thinking that when I visit I would like to take some cooking, pastry or chocolate making classes. Does anyone have any ideas of places for me to look at? I have done a preliminary internet search but only came up with cooking schools that offer certificate programs. I am looking for classes that are more geared to home cooks and bakers vs. culinary certificate programs. I have written to a few of the schools with culinary programs asking them for suggestions but I thought this might also be a good place to ask for suggestions. Any ideas? I could go as far as an hour drive in any direction for classes. TIA
  23. I like that white bud sheng pu erh from Norbu. I had it last week with a very rich brunch and it was a nice pairing.
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