Oooooh don’t mind me. I’m just sitting here drinking my Golden Monkey. Again!
1068 Tasting Notes
I had a banner food day yesterday! I found the first tomatoes of the season at the farmers market! I made carbonara (Ruth Reichl’s recipe) and a HUGE tomato salad with basil from my garden for dinner. Oh were we stuffed!
All I could think of for the evening was having a nice cup of this tea. Minty and digestive. Refreshing and enjoyable. So nice to sit for a few minutes and be grateful for the bounty – especially those first tomatoes! I wait for that all year!!!
Guys, I have a monkey on my back! A GOLDEN monkey!!
I can’t go for more than a few days without having some of this tea! There are teas that I like more, but they are not the kind of teas that inspire frequent drinking, if you know what I mean?! This one is just plain GOOD. You don’t have to be in any sort of mood, the stars don’t have to be aligned a certain way, the weather doesn’t have to be just so…you don’t have to have milk, and you don’t have to have a certain sweetener. You just add under boiling water and it’s good…and I crave it! Sweet, caramel-tinged, raisin-edged good.
Couldn’t resist having this one after reading about Adham drinking it yesterday!
It does not disappoint :) Jasmine, creamy vanilla, good tea. Happy tea! Comfort tea! One of my cupboard must haves. I always enjoy at least two steeps too :) Working on number two as I type. ♥
In all of my time of drinking rooibos, I have never tried it with any kind of milk…until last night! I put a squeeze of agave nectar and a splash of half and half into this tisane, and wow! It was much more tea-like and enjoyable. The dairy really brought out the custard aspects of this blend. My husband said,“This is the best rooibos yet!”
I was in the mood for something with a little pizzazz this morning, and I thought this would be a good candidate. I prepared it at a slightly lower temperature than I have been doing, and wow! The flavors have popped! I finally taste some vanilla :) The berry, caramel, and citrus are even more flavorful and delightful, and the tea is perfection – flavorful, medium bodied as to blend and not compete with the flavors, and no bitterness.
I love when I finally get a tea just how I like it. I have a couple servings left, but this is definitely one of my must buy I love it keepers. Ratings nudge!
This one is particularly delicious tonight – lots of vanilla flavor. The chocolate and mint are playing backup. Relaxing…mmmmmmm.
In utterly desperate need of some frou frou. Two steep of this should do it!
Rosy jasminey perfection. Good, sweet tea flavor. This is a good one to take little sips of for an hour :) It is sweeter and sweeter as it cools. This may be intriguing iced.
My day has instantly brightened!!!
Huge project at work – I made the first steep of this just-so, but the second – fourth? Craziness! This tea could handle it, though. Can you believe that even my poor forgotten third steep for 15 minutes was delicious!!??! Nut buttery and smooth even though it was steeping for half of forever. No bitterness.
This tea is a-mazing! ♥
Dan asked me a good question the other day – How does the Assam Reserve compare to Mountain Malt. I answered, but I wanted to be sure I answered completely! So, here it is:
Mountain Malt has the bready and malty (oh so malty!) that the Assam Reserve has, but much less sweetness. It has a unique – herbaceous? earthy? I still can’t put my finger on it – note though. It’s subtle, but there – and delicious.
Mountain Malt is STRONGER – I feel as if I could fly to the moon after drinking a 12 oz cup. I drank a 16oz cup of Assam Reserve yesterday and did! not! feel! like! this!!!!!
So I decided to participate in a knitted washcloth and soap swap on Ravelry (kinda like Steepster for knitting :) I knew of this amazing store near where I work which makes handmade soap, so I made a pilgrimage there on Friday to get the soap part (Blood Orange Tequila soap! Fun!)
Tea related: I also got a spiced tea scented soy candle for our home, and a green tea mask for myself. If you’re curious:
I also knew that TBar is around the corner from there, so I popped my head in. I didn’t have time to sit and have a cup of tea, but I took an ounce of this tea home with me :) I was very curious about it because it had bee pollen nuggets in it like Golden Moon’s Honey Pear, which I found to be strange and delicious!
This tea is…promising. I don’t think I used enough leaf for the amount of water (12 oz water 1.5 teaspoons of tea). It has a creamy yet musky honey flavor, but it tastes weak. I’m not getting much caramel. I’m tasting what seems to be a hint of cinnamon (?) I’m rating it on the low side, but the rating will most likely improve once I make it with more leaf.
Taking a break from my sewing for a late lunch (potato and red pepper frittata – yum!) and a good sit down with a cup of tea. My back is killing me from all the bending for cutting fabric!! To keep the sewing talk tea related – here is what I’m sewing with:
Photo courtesy of the shop I bought it from, Spool in Philadelphia. I made napkins!! I love cloth napkins :) They are reversible, and each one has a different, complimentary colored back, and topstitching all around.
Anyway – the tea review! I couldn’t help but revisit this tea, even though I just had it the other day. I am so happy to have another Thomas kind of tea that I almost didn’t believe it could be true! I had to test it again! I used a little more leaf (but did not increase the steeping time) and it is just phenomenal. All the things I love about Thomas are present: bready and malty and so honey sweet.
Thanks Rabs!!! I would never had thought to try this one on my own! Steepster once again makes miracles! :)
I am enjoying this very light, slightly asparagus-y green this afternoon. Very delicate and nice to sip. I have to be in the mood for this type of vegetal green, but when I am, it’s so good. It’s almost like a broth, and it makes me feel as if I had a second course to my lunch!
I’m going to bump this up a few notches, especially since I gave it an appropriate second steep which took care of the bitterness that I experienced the last time I had this tea.
Three delicious steeps :) I used a little extra leaf today! The extra leaf + a temp of 200 made for a very satisfying monkey. Now it’s perfect.
This whole round of fussing speaks volumes to me about how a small sample will let you know if you basically like a tea or not, but to refine things, you really need an ounce or so for playing. I started my tea journey thinking in black and white (black tea! one teaspoon leaves! boiling water! Thee End!), and now i am starting to see all the shades of gray :)
The last of this tea, which Rabs sent me! Thank you Rabs!!!!
My husband is going on a little trip, so last night was a flutter of preparation. Laundry! Packing! Mini toiletries! I thought that a little evening caffeine was in order – and definitely something sweet! This did not disappoint. Caramel deliciousness. Comfort. Good memories of a trip we took together ♥
This one is very expensive, so I probably won’t be buying it for my cupboard, but I am on the lookout for another caramel for such evenings.
An aside! He is staying with a friend, and I made a care package/host gift of 6 teas. I got 6 of the 4 oz sized tins from Specialty Bottle, made hand colored and lettered labels for them, and made a pretty gift bag. I included:
Dawn – The Simple Leaf
Cerisier de Chine – Dammann Freres
Monk’s Mead – SerendipiTea
Kashmiri Chai – Golden Moon
Organic Black with Coconut – Premium Steap
Neopolitan Honeybush – 52teas
I also divided the inside of a blank card into 6 parts and wrote my thoughts, prep details, etc in each box. I hope it will be well received and put to good use this weekend and beyond!!!
This one courtesy of my fairy tea sister Rabs! Thank you sis!
I am off from work today, so I took this opportunity to brew a gigantic 16oz mug of a type of tea which I like to take with milk and sugar (I’ve decided bringing milk to work on a regular basis is just too much fuss when there are so many teas that are great sans milk to enjoy).
This is quite the delicious, bready, malty Assam!!! Do I dare say this tea reminds me of Thomas Sampson?! I used 2 teaspoons of tea – I think that if I use 3 and take this baby another minute I will have an excellent tea to go to when I am on the rebound!!!! I am now going to enjoy Thomas to the fullest extent, knowing that when he is gone, I will have this guy waiting in the wings.
Thanks Rabs!!! That’s what sisters are for ;) ★high five ★
Time for my Afternoon Green!
This is another one that was rated rather poorly by most of the Steepsterverse, but I think it’s very good! Mild jasmine taste. No bitterness. Very enjoyable to sip. I think a low water temp and brief steep time suits this one.
To totally contradict myself – the second steep, forgotten about in the pot and brewed for 7 minutes (!!!) is very good too! I thought it was going to be a bitter nightmare, but it’s enjoyable!
I can’t say that it distinguishes itself from other jasmine green teas – like A+D has that unique banana/tropical thing going on. A solid B but I am looking for a little more pizzazz for a whole tin purchase.
I was in the mood for “something different” this morning and chose this one. Taken with a half teaspoon of sugar. Really nice on a hot day. The spice is subtle, and the citrusy flavors, especially the lemon verbena, are really refreshing. It finally hit me why I like this so much – I just got a memory of when I was in Florence and went to the Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.
There I bought the most amazing lemon verbena perfumes and soaps, made from centuries-old recipes and herbs gathered from the Tuscan countryside. The perfume is long gone, and the soaps were given out to friends as souvenirs, but I have loved lemon verbena from that day forward.
This tea has the most lemon verbena taste I have experienced yet!!!! It may have gotten its inspiration from a market in Seattle, but to me it will always evoke Florence and the olde recipies of Santa Maria Novella.
Yummy with some agave nectar. My cup was extra strawberry delicious! I love the honeybush in it – I kinda wish I could take a magic wand and turn all the rooibos in the various tisane blends in my cupboard into honeybush!!!
Thank you Soccer Mom for sending me Dragon Balls!!!!!!!!!
Some days are just simply oolong days. I get this feeling like there is nothing more that I want than to have a little pot of tea going the entire day (oh! and sit and do embroidery all day, but clearly THAT’S not going to happen today as I’m sitting here at work. At least I can have the tea part (and lunch hour embroidery!!!).
Woody and nutty, turning to buttery and cinnamony/nutmegy and SWEET! So very sweet. Honeyfloral. I simply adore this tea. And I’m only 3 steeps in!!! :)
I am in a near panic thinking that after today’s pots, I only have one Dragon Ball left in my stash. I think I require a lockdown breakout!!!!
EDIT: Seven amazing steeps today. I think it could have done a few more, but I’ve had enough for today. This would be a good one to share!
I was in the mood for something light and fruity this afternoon, and chose this one. Mmmm. Light and flavorful and refreshing. I think the papaya and pineapple are a natural with green tea! No bitterness, no artificiality. I really need to get in an afternoon green tea habit – it gives me a tiny lift which is perfect to get me through the rest of the day.
Funny aside: my former boss recently moved to LA, and tomorrow is interviewing someone who is on a Very Popular TV Show Shown on HBO. His name is a secret! BUT! He’s a tea freak and he’s coming to her apartment for tea. She asked what she should serve (he’s British). I told her to find a local tea shop that has good reviews and get something loose leaf and British style. No teabags! I could be totally wrong! Who knows what he likes!! But at least she is no longer my boss and can’t fire me ;)
Today was coffee bean buying day, which means that it’s also free tea day! I chose Awake because oh man, do I need to become awake ;) It’s a bit flat, but with the milk and sugar I put in, very comforting and spot-hitting. I dare say today it has a tinge of honeyed goodness! I must have hit the magic steep time (which is sadly a mystery – the time it took me to walk across the street, wait for the elevator, go to the office. Who knows!?!?! Much better than the time it takes to get to my classroom at school – it’s always over brewed then!!) The full leaf is very much an improvement over the former bag.
Yesterday, I made a key lime style pie (I say style because I used regular limes, and made the crust out of pretzels that I put in the food processor instead of graham crackers – it was great!!). I was at a loss as to what tea to serve with it, until I thought of this Vanilla Assam! It was an excellent pairing. The earthy vanilla bean and pod taste was an interesting and delicious counterpoint to the citrusy sweet dessert. A+!
Another deliciously well blended and subtly perfect Frenchie! Berries and caramel, a little vanilla. Also, indescribable! Have you noticed how the French flavored teas taste like 10 different things you can barely put your finger on?
Decadent with a little sugar and half and half. REALLY decadent paired with chocolate! I rate this one 90, but with a little ounce of good chocolate beside it, it rocketed to 100 for me! I am going to save this one for this purpose :) Fantastic.