We live a few blocks from Lake Michigan, and there's a chilly breeze coming in off the lake. It's a perfect day for a hot cup of tea.
Silk Road Teas (not to be confused with Silk Road Tea) is my favorite vendor of Chinese teas, followed closely by Hou De. Silk Road's teas are hand selected from local farmer's in China. I've been a customer for over 10 years, and have nothing but praise for the company and the tea.
Boutique "tea" shops at the mall charge a lot more for tea and teawares of questionable quality, and even more questionable origin. If you like flavored and scented teas (and who doesn't) check out SpecialTeas. They are my go to for Earl Grey 825, and I love the Peach 927 for iced tea. I've heard good things about Adagio too.
Today I'm drinking Gin Zhen (Golden Needle). I usually brew this tea in a 4 oz. yixing pot, but the boymonster recently caused it's demise. Until I find a replacement (teapot that is, I'm keeping the boy), it's wrong-fu in a porcelain cup with a Finium strainer, instead of gong-fu in a proper teapot.
Becoming increasingly rare, this shiny, small–leaf organic black tea is characterized by golden tips on top of long, slender leaves. It is the best organic lot we have tasted providing a full–bodied sweet and malty flavor and a deep amber liquor.
Wrong-fu Brewing Parameters
leaf to water ratio: 1 gram leaf to 2 ounces water
leaf: 4 grams
water: 8 ounces, just off a boil
Preheat your cup by rinsing with boiling water.
infusion one: 90 seconds
infusion two: 90 seconds
infusion three: 3 min.
Rich, complex, chocolate, malt and honey. Big time delicious! You should get three infusions out of the same leaves, the third will be thinner, but still tasty. I usually add a bit of sugar to the third infusion to perk it up.
Gin Zhen is wonderful iced. Just use 3 ounces of water to brew instead of 8 ounces, then add a nip of sugar and 5 ounces of ice. Perfection!
You can cold brew this tea too, using the leaf to water ratio above. Just pop it in the fridge for and hour or two to steep.
Items for sale/swap are here. I'm extremely flexible when swapping, so make an offer! I'm sensitive to and can't wear a bunch of notes, so please don't take it personally if I turn down a swap.
Earthy, gently spicy, and golden resinous blends work best for me.
Favorite Notes: aspen leaves, balm of gilead, balsam, benzoin, cardamom, carnation, cherry tobacco, cocoa, dragon's blood (non-floral), ginger, heliotrope, moss, myrrh, nutmeg, red grave loam, sandalwood (hot, dry, smokey varieties), smoke, storax, subtle spices (allspice, cassia, cinnamon, clove), tonka, vanilla, white sage, yuzu
Favorite Scents: Sunbird, Snake Oil, Aged Penny Greadful
Favorites that broke the rules: All They Had Seen and All They Had Lost (mist, dew, rose, floral, seriously this should be awful on me), Clemence (decant smelled funky, caused hives. lab fresh bottle smells amazing, no rash), How Doth the Little Crocodile (mint, but no skin reaction)
Notes that cause skin irritation and hives: anise/star anise, bay, cassia, clove, cinnamon, lemongrass, mint, pennyroyal, pepper (all forms)
Doom Notes: anise, aquatic, blackberry, booze, butter, caramel, clean, dew, most florals (especially gardenia, iris, jasmine, orchid, rose, sweet pea, water lily), frankincense, grapefruit, green, herbal, honey, heavy incense, lemon, lime, mist, heavy musk, oak, ozone, heavy patchouli, powdery, sugar, rosewood, sassafras, teak
Bold items are most desired.
BPTP Atmosphere & Linen Sprays
Alchemical Laboratory goblin squirt or 1 oz. decant
Down the Rabbit Hole 4 oz.
Dungeon 1 oz. decant or more, pretty please!
Knock-a-Dolly 1 oz. decant or full 4 oz. bottle
Sunbird I just purchased the very last bottle from CBLDF
Death of Autumn not the really peppery version (my bottle was soft amber with gentle spice and balanced smoke)
Low Priority Bottles
none at the moment
I'd love freshly decanted 1/4 imps, most of these contain notes I'm allergic to.
Beauty, the Aggrieved
Door testable sniffie would be plenty
Halloween: Los Angeles
Haloes testable sniffie would be plenty
Helios testable sniffie, frankincense smells like Comet Cleanser on me, sigh...
Jareth for the boymonster
Marquise de Carabas for the boy monster
Monarch testable sniffie would be plenty
Pomegranate V testable sniffie would be plenty, pepper is not my friend
Schmendrick for the boymonster
Solar Phoenix testable sniffie would be plenty
Thousands of Lights testable sniffie, frankincense smells like Comet Cleanser on me, sigh...
Bordello not aged, too sweet
Maenad not aged, bitter
Wings of Azrael
Seriously. Worst skin chemistry ever! I can't believe how many beautiful oils I've ruined.
Scents that cause skin irritation, hives: 13 (Feb. '09), Absinthe, Alice's Evidence, Bengal, Clemence (only my first decant), Dark Chocolate Pepper Smoked Caramel, Death of Autumn, Delphi, Faustus, Hod '09, High Priest Not To Be Described, Kabuki, Kyoto, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Namaste, Ogun, Plunder, Pfancy Pfefferneusse, Port-au-Prince, Pumpkin V '09, Saw-Scaled Viper, Shoggoth, Shub-Niggurath, Tweedledee, Velvet (if I re-apply too often), White Rabbit, plus a ton more, I really need to update this...
Berry + musk or honey (Bewitched, Lady Macbeth, Lady Una, Berry Moon) ammonia, cat wee
Black Musk (Isles of Demons, Pumpkin II '08, Haunted) evil stink coated in baby powder, induces extreme nausea
Booze (Bon Viviant, Elegba, Lady Macbeth, Swank, Twenty-one) that's a no, ugh
Bulgur Rose (Baghdad, Psyche) unripe green rose and stinky feet
Gardenia (Blood Countess, Highwayman, Le Serpent Qui Danse, Pepper, Sacred Whore) sharp, sour, biting
Green Tea (Bewitched, Embalming Fluid, Shanghai) super sharp and astringent
Honey (Bengal, O, Osun) dirty, sweaty
Iris (Florence, The Ghost, Nefertiti) sharp, bitter, almost metallic, hits high in back of throat
Jasmine (Black Dahlia, The Caterpillar, Crossroads, Delight, Mata Hari, Nuit) harsh, chemical, bug spray
Red Musk heavy (Dragon's Heart, Eat Me, Hollywood Babylon, Kabuki, Spellbound) so overpowering, I can taste it. Gah!
Rose (Lucy's Kiss, Kurukulla, Moscow, Rose Red '08, Seance, Zombi) ammonia
Sweet Pea (Desdemona, Agape) acrid, harsh, carpet cleaner
Vetiver sometimes (Azathoth, Fallen, Highwayman, Nephilim, Saturnalia, Wolfsbane) burning plastic or rubber tires
Water Lily (The Black Swan, Desdemona, The Lady of Shalott) sharp, ammonia
White, Pale Musk (Black Pearl, Dorian, Lady Una, Pride) soapy, shrill, nails on chalkboard, makes my teeth hurt
Wood (especially oak, rosewood, teak) butyric acid (vomit) covered in sawdust
Agrat-Bat-Mahlaht celery salt (from caramel), sour milk
Alecto pizza with a burnt cedar crust
Arkham sweaty, harsh floral, ammonia
Baobhan Sith moldy grapefruit rinds and tea leaves
The Coiled Serpent no, just no!
Delight deet bug spray (from jasmine) and acetone
Desdemona sweet pea and water lily? double fail!
Eat Me knock me down red musk, bitter burnt sugar
Falling Leaf Moon, Fascinum, Perversion, Samhain, Scales of Deprivation, Trevor Comet cleanser (from frankincense?)
Gladdener of All Hearts sour milk, nausea
The Hesperides green apple and butyric acid (from oak), reminds me of Firefly episode when River eats apples
Hurricane soap (from ozone) and butyric acid (from wood)
The Isles of Demons burning tires and ammonia
Mourning Moon wintergreen and pond scum, ugh
Niflheim soapy (from ozone), rotting flowers, menthol, dirty oil (from vetiver), acetone
Saturnalia acetone, suede, dill pickles
Wood Phoenix butyric acid (from woods), rancid nuts
Zombi well, yeah, that's exactly what I'd expect one to smell like
Red listed bottles are available on my swaps and sales.
BPTP Atmosphere Sprays
Dungeon decant more please!
How Doth the Little Crocodile available for sale/swap received 08/28/09 from Lab
Lawn Gnome available for sale/swap
Lilith Victoria Yellow Dress with Snake, received 11/12/08 from Lab
Pumpkin IV '08 x2
Strawberry Moon '09 available for sale/swap
Sunbird received 06/27/13 from CBLDF
All They Had Seen, and All They Had Lost 3/5 full
Bezoar empty, received 05/15/10
Death of Autumn 1/5 full
How Doth the Little Crocodile 2/5 full
Lawn Gnome 3/5 full
Lilith Victoria: Little Witch with Owl 2/5 full
Mictecacihuatl 1/5 full available for sale/swap
Pumpkin IV '08 2/5 full
Shub-Niggurath 3/5 full
Snake Oil 2/5 full, gift received 12/25/09
Strawberry Moon '09 3/5 full
Sunbird 2/5 full
Imps and Decants I'm keeping these, imps for sale/swap are here
Bezoar 1 ml roller vial
All They Had Seen, and All They Had Lost 1 ml roller vial
How Doth the Little Crocodile 1 ml roller vial
Lawn Gnome 1 ml roller vial
Lilith Victoria 1 ml roller vial
Pumpkin IV '08 1 ml roller vial
Serpent's Tonic (custom blend of Snake Oil and Dragon's Milk) 1 ml roller vial
Shub-Niggurath 1 ml roller vial
Strawberry Moon '09 1 ml roller vial
Sunbird 1 ml roller vial
The Bow and Crown of Conquest 5 ml 1/5 full, exactly what a boy should smell like
The Bow and Crown of Conquest 1 ml roller vial
Cthulhu 5 ml 2/5 full
Cthulhu 1 ml roller vial
No. 93 Engine 5 ml empty
No. 93 1 ml roller vial
Trevor Bruttenhelm 5ml empty
Trevor Bruttenhelm 1 ml roller vial