1112 Tasting Notes
It is so humid out – I was craving something light and fruity after I waded through the swamp, I mean walked to work from the train :) The French teas that Dinosara sent were calling to me from my tea drawer with their intoxicating fruity and flowery fragrances! I picked this one because I thought the ingredients included in the blend mixed with the Ceylon and China teas would really hit the spot. I took it with a half teaspoon of sugar – I seem to like these French teas with un peu! ;)
I’m getting good tea, then the sweet, slightly pithy, slightly powdered sugary citrus hits, and then I taste a sweet and delightful fig flavor. I was so afraid that this would be another tea that sent me on a reverie of nostalgia – figs are another flavor I associate with being a child. We always had dried figs for the Winter Holidays, and our neighbor directly in back had a fig tree that reached into our yard. Summers were for fresh milky delicate figs. Thankfully, with this tea, the citrus mitigates the figgy flavor enough so that I am smiling and remembering, and not shot through the heart!
Dinosara, thank you! This is a sultry summer day in a cup. I love it.
This was a free sample from Upton! The packet said that it made a good iced tea, so I decided to prepare it as a cold brew to accompany our picnic for our day at Winterthur http://www.winterthur.org/
Delicious and refreshing. Great classic tea flavor. I was surprised how strong it was as a cold brew! I only added a touch of sugar, but I think a little lemon would have also complimented the classic flavors. A great treat.
Upton has several teas that they highlight for being good for iced tea, and I am now going to take closer note of their recommendations! This was excellent!
This is a lovely Golden Monkey. Flavorful and balanced, and I really do taste what the description refers to as “apple skin” – specifically granny smith or another kind of green, tart apple. Second steep very good, a little sweeter and less tart but extremely flavorful.
Delicious, but different than the dulcet honey of Harney’s GM, which remains my Holy Grail (did anyone else hear that this year’s is not as sweet or did I imagine that? Has anyone tasted it since it has come back in stock?)! This is a very close second, and I’m actually quite pleased to have something a little off the beaten track to drink for a few months (I purchased 125g but I tend to drink these Goldens quick!) :)
Nice! This ginger is perfectly spicy – it builds a warmth in your mouth, but it is flavorful and does not spread to your lips and overwhelm you like some other ginger teas I’ve tried. Wonderful with a little honey as a warming evening herbal, and I bet it would do the trick if you had a cold or upset stomach. This is going to be my go-to ginger tea – just pure organic ginger, and no black pepper or other things obscuring that nice ginger flavor!!!!
This was from my latest Upton order, and I have a tale of kind customer service for you! I sent in my order on a form with a check enclosed, and at the last minute decided to throw in a case of small tins for samples, since I was out. I quickly re-added my total and threw the envelope in the mail box!
When I got my order today, it wound up that in my flurry I got my addition wrong, and was short 2.50! They still sent my order (and a free sample!) and just noted on the bottom in the calmest fashion that I had a balance of 2.50. I of course immediately wrote another check – but in this day and age – it seemed so old-fashioned and trusting and lovely (they even took time to thank me for my return business) to still send the order.
I already thought Upton had amazing customer service, and just the fact that they offer 4.4 oz of Rose Congou for a penny over $7 makes my world a better place!!! but they are now held even higher in my esteem!
Yummy, roasty, tangy, chocolately love! Yummy second steep, too.
I read something about how the low crop yield last year made Chinese tea growers harvest wild tea leaves more vigorously than usual. I wonder if this offering stems from this circumstance?! Interesting to ponder!
I’m in a very tea-ish mood today (stuck in office without my usual comrades and unable to take lunch!) so I think I’m going to keep the kettle piping today and put a pinch of rose scented in these leaves for yet another cuppa!
Do you know how long I’ve been pining for my very own tin of Harney’s Keemun Mao Feng? Exactly two months (when ashmanra sent me some, and I drank up her generous allotment in under a week!!!!!) That’s how long!
I am so over the moon happy because I finally have 4 ounces of this exactly suited to my tastes morning tea in my possession…and possession is a good word in more ways than one, because I am simply in thrall to this tea! A little chocolate, a little smoke, a bold tea flavor that is SO smooth, round and complex. I truly love so many teas, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is my absolute favorite tea in the entire wide world.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love!
I prepared this as a dessert tea (a little extra tea, 5 minutes, barely a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of half and half). I’m tasting the most delightful marzipan flavor, which actually reaches a crescendo (!!!) where it sweetens and almost tastes like orange blossoms and you don’t know what is going to happen!!! then it quiets to a nuttier, deeper flavor. Wow. It reminds me of childhood and my Grandfather and definitely Europe and goodness…what can I say. These French teas can be so evocative for me! So many of them taste like things that simply don’t exist in America any more, and they cut me to the quick! I actually have tears behind my eyes!
Needless to say, I find this tea very dear, and I thank you Dinosara for a little visit back in time and across the globe.
Paris has come to New Jersey! Dinosara was the kindest, most generous world traveler ever, and sent me some of her Paris teas from Mariage Freres and Dammann Freres! I didn’t know where to start! I bet she thought I was kidding when I said I was going to do eenie meenie miney moe to decide, but that is what I really did! (but I said "catch a Frenchman by the toe! instead of a monkey. Monkeys are for Chinese teas!)!
So, the Frenchman chose this one!
Divine Decadence! I taste a nutty, chocolatey tea taste, and then PING the orange on the end of the sip. It’s really delightful, round, and yes, decadent. It’s amazing how sweetly satisfying it is sans additions!
I did my first steep at 3 minutes, and there was a little thinness. For my second steep, I put in a little more leaf, took it to four minutes, and yes. There it is. French Perfection! No bitterness, no astringency, great flavor. I love it.
I must say, though, it certainly makes me not want to work! It’s making me dreamy! I want to sit on a park bench and read and watch the world go by when I sip something so lovely. Ah!
I’m so excited! My Harney order arrived! This is a new Chinese Black from them. When I read “dark” “intoxicating” and “cocoa” I knew that even though no one on Steepster has yet to try it, I would order a tin without batting an eyelash!
My trust in the Harney empire has been rewarded with a …dark, intoxicating, and cocoa cup! The only word I would add is “tangy.” It has that Emperor’s Red tang, which I love (how to explain “tang”? Soy sauce like fermentation meets vegetal? I don’t know. It’s very hard to describe but I think you’ll know what I mean when you taste it), but it’s waaaaaay richer. It’s like Golden Snail’s tall dark and handsome brother. It’s utterly delicious. I feel so happy (it must be the intoxication!)!
My “Golden” teas are really taking a hit in this hot, sticky weather. Golden Monkey is now gone! (sob) We know Golden Snail is bye-bye! Yunnan Golden Bud is half gone! and I only have three puffs of this gem left. I brewed it a little longer and the sweetness is unreal and on the verge of apricot. Ah! So good. I love how all these golden teas have their own charms. Chocolate, honey, yams, apricot!