255 Tasting Notes

96

This is a delightful tea! Thank you so much to ASHMANRA for this sample. Although I did not pick up on the soy sauce overtones mentioned in Jacqueline M’s review, I did find it deeply robust and satisfying.

This is a different tea for sure and a keeper. I will have to place an order. It is very smooth. I had it straight up and loved it that way but I also think it could sustain milk and/or sugar and is stalwart enough to be experimented with.

Thank you, Ashmanra.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

It resteeps pretty well, too!

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96
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
255 tasting notes

Thank you so much to ASHMANRA for sending me this exquisite sample. When I got it I felt an impulse to save it for just precisely the “right” moment (but not having defined right, I did not know when I would drink it). When I read that today is the 100th birthday of Lucille Ball, I thought “golden monkey!” to myself and promptly steeped this fine tea.
Jacquelin M and others are right when they say “caramel”. It’s full, fresh, brisk, and elegant. What a delightful treat!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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97

Thank you so much to ASHMANRA for sending me this tea. I love Lapsangs so I saved this up for a while in order to titillate myself (which is not as obscene as it sounds). It’s delicious!

Warm, naturally sweet, smoky, but not overwhelmingly so, I can understand why it is rated so high. It’s got a level of refinement that I don’t ordinarily associate with a Lapsang. It’s a very nice break from my typical ash-tray tastes in smoky tea.

Thank you!

CHAroma

I personally dislike smoky teas. But I have a friend who loves them. I’ve been reading your posts for a while, and I think your tastes would coincide with his very well. Can you recommend some of your favorite teas (smoky or otherwise)?

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
255 tasting notes

Thank you very much to ASHMANRA who sent me this tea. It’s a fantastic blend of three Chinese teas and they work together as if they were in a classically choreographed ballet. The “players” seem to include some Keemun and some Yunnan, I think, although I don’t know. There are tell-tale traces of flower and spice and chocolate plus a little bit of smoke (not enough smoke to scare you away, I promise).

All in all, a very solid and strong morning blend that I’d be happy to wake up to every day. It’s got a great dance of melismatic flavors subtly bowing to each other. You might want to give this a try if you are in The Simple Life’s DAWN detox.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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95
drank Wenshan Baozhong by Harney & Sons
255 tasting notes

My eternal gratitude to ASHMANRA for introducing me to this tea by sending me a beautifully packaged sample.

It has all of the spring-like vegetal qualities of the best green teas, but the spicy quality is the one that most captures and enraptures me. It’s almost as if somebody has grated a touch of fresh cinnamon and nutmeg into this tea. This is the kind of tea that has launched a thousand ships! It’s meditative and wise, if that makes any sense. It’s like the wise uncle of a capricious little Buddha child.

This is not a tea to just slurp up and run with; it’s a tea to gaze at and to swirl around in your mouth, and to sit still and appreciate it.

Thank you!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec
gmathis

I love teas that you can contemplate over!

ashmanra

So glad you liked it!

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96
drank Aida by Mariage Frères
255 tasting notes

Excellent! This is one of my favorite Mariage Freres combinations: it’s like a smoky Earl Grey. It is rich, strong, and elegant.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons
255 tasting notes

This is an excellent Lapsang Souchong. Good, strong, stick-to-the ribs heartiness. I’ll reorder. It might be the best LS I’ve tasted thus far.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

I was just going to drop you a note to see if you were home from your travels! I hope you had a wonderful time. I’m going to pop a package into the mail next week for you :)

ashmanra

If you would like to try their Wuyi Shan Lapsang, I would be happy to send you some!

mpierce87

Oh, Doulton! I haven’t seen you around in ages! I hope you are doing well.

LadyLondonderry

Welcome back, Doulton! Good to see you here again.

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58
drank Russian Country by Harney & Sons
255 tasting notes

A bit disappointing for me after Harney & Sons superb Lapsang Souchong. It’s a good Russian tea, but I like more smoke, tar, and peat bog on my tongue.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I like your descriptive nouns…conjures up images of Sherlock Holmes.

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65
drank A Touch of Evil by Leland Tea Co
255 tasting notes

A “Touch of Evil?” I think not. It’s a touch of cantaloupe. I like it well enough for a melon flavored tea, but what a misnomer.

I see that Leland is not longer selling this. I wish they would repackage it and rename it as “Mild Melon Morality”.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Batrachoid

XD Understandable. Cantaloupe’s quite mild to begin with. Should’ve been crafty like 52teas and put it with a white base.

Rabs

Aha! Cantaloupe! The moment that you wrote that I had a flashback to when I tried this from your Shakespeare box. I need to go read my note on this one…be right back!

Rabs

Yes! Cantaloupe was what I was trying to get my tastebuds to recognize. Thank you for solving that mystery :)

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12

This is a lot like Red Zinger. The hibiscus is overwhelming. It’s a pretty dry tea, but I like tea with caffeine. If you like the hibuscus/rosehip taste, you might love this.

Mais c’est pas pour moi!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec
AmazonV

attack of the hibiscus!

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Profile

Bio

I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
0-30:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

56-70:
Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

71-80:
Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

-

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style

Location

In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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