386 Tasting Notes

I was planning on brewing one of the samples that TerriHarpLady sent me, but then I received a newsletter from Verdant about their clearance sale on Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin, so I opted for a session with this sample I hadn’t yet opened, just in case I liked it enough to want to order some more.
I don’t normally like floral teas, but this Tieguanyin is barely floral. The first steep (in my green oolong yixing teapot, brewed gongfu style) brought out gentle lemony, zesty flavors, with only a faint hint of floral background. It brought back fond memories of the lemon tree in my late grandmother’s house, and the lovely smell our hands would get when picking fresh lemons.
In the second steep the lemony flavors took the back seat, and the floral tastes took a step forward. They came with a gentle but insistent warning – if you over brew us we WILL grow bitter. At this point the leaves had filled the pot to capacity, large and shiny green.
The third steep was where the two flavors met and came together, in a zesty, creamy floral celebration of spring, not autumn. My cat jumped on the tea tray, to see what all the ho ha was about, as he and my little tea pet purred with enjoyment

Terri HarpLady

I need to also dig my sample of this out & taste it again.

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drank Afternoon by Fortnum & Mason
386 tasting notes

A bright, light bodied tea, with a light malt and prunes flavor,and a little astringency. Not sure that it has enough body to hold up well against milk. My mother likes light teas, and I’m drinking this at my parents’ house. It’s a solid-but-not-so-exciting tea. Suitable for drinking in the afternoon, during a Friday visit to your parents, with the sound of children playing bouncing up trough the window

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This is a tea with presence – powerful, flavorful, complex and unapologetic. It is a tea that makes you sit up and take notice- good before a study session, meditation, preparing a New Year’s resolution list or a trip to the gym. You will want to be a better person after drinking this tea – it’s like being face to face with a gruff old zen master that also doubles as a samurai :)
There’s a pleasant bitterness, a muted fruity flavor, practically no astringency, and a depth of flavor in this bright coppery tea. It’s small leaves may tempt you to brew it western style, but I believe that gongfu will do it more justice. Sugar and milk will tame the samurai – but why tame such a powerful force?

Sil

i’ve always wanted to try their teas..if only for the interesting gimmick of the postcards :)

NofarS

Their packaging is awesome – beautiful, creative, and functional. But if I hadn’t gone to their London shop I probably wouldn’t have bought anything from them – they have such a tiny online presence compared with other suppliers. I’ve met the owner, and he is extremely knowledgable and generous, and he takes tea very seriously. A person to trust

Sil

nice! thatnks for the feedback on them. Of course now i really want to travel to london to shop there haha

Terri HarpLady

I love this review! I’ve wanted to try postcard teas as well. Their website is really fun :)

NofarS

Remind me to send you some when we swap again. I’ve only just come to trying out their teas and others, driven by our swap to try new teas and not just go back to my all time favourites again and again :) This is one of the most interesting strong blacks that I’ve tasted – nothing like any other black tea that I’ve tried

Terri HarpLady

Definitely!

Sil

cough!

RiaDarling

I agree-a trip to Postcard Teas was a highlight of my time in London. The owner has a wonderful eye for matching the vintage postcards and making the tins and he knows his tea. He knows the growers and the blends. He was a pleasure to talk tea with!

NofarS

I was in London again in August and visiting their shop was once again a trip highlight.

Terri HarpLady

:)
Just let me know when you’re ready for our next swap! :)
I still love this review!

NofarS

:) Of course. Thank you!

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Just prepared this gongfu style and hated it so much that I threw the leaves out after the first cup. This is odd, since I’ve never had such a bad experience with Norbu Tea, but the tea literally tasted like vomit :(
Not grading it or chucking it at the moment – will try again with a different combination of leaves/water/temperature.

sherapop

I discovered that the second infusion was much better than the first. Perhaps this is a case where the tea needs a hot rinse?

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98

Fantastic! This tea is sweet, with no astringency, and a complex and delightful combination of traditional black maltiness with a fruity, delicate finish that takes you by surprise. A different black tea, gentle and deserving of the full gong fu treatment. This most definitely goes on my shopping list when it runs out.
If you are looking for a different black tea – this certainly fits the bill

Preparation
0 min, 30 sec

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100
drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
386 tasting notes

Backlog from Thursday. Had this tea at work with two colleagues after giving a presentation about TEA to my department. Worked on the presentation for two days and was super worried that it would bore people, but it turned out to be a huge success! I’ve already had people come and ask to try white tea, or puerh :)
Anyway, this is turning out to be my comfort tea, a dependable, smoky delight that always calms and cheers me up

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91

Brewed it Western style tonight, and lovely peachy flavors emerged – with the perfume flavor taking a back seat. This tea’s silky smoothness is addictive, and I have a feeling that it will cold brew well. I don’t enjoy vegetal or perfumed teas, but this tea surprised me by avoiding both these notes. It is a delicate tea, and using boiling water or oversteeping it will get you a bitter and unpleasant brew, but if you hit its sweet spot – you are in for a treat of a tea

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One steeping before last. Three rounds in a taiwan. This is a good tea. A very good tea. But it’s not a spectacular tea. There’s honey, malt, the linen feel that Terri described – and also some bitterness, that emerges even in very short steeps. I like it, but it doesn’t rank among my top 10. It’s a 90+ tea – but taking the price into account, it drops to a “no, I wouldn’t buy it again”

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

I agree! I enjoyed it, but I actually liked the Wild Picked Jin Jun Mei better. Sadly, it is gone, & it appears they won’t be restocking it. :(

NofarS

That’s a shame. I’ve also just learnt that Norbu won’t be restocking my favourite tea of all times – Lao Cong Zi Ya. :( Not a good thing to hear

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96
drank White Peony by Tea Palace
386 tasting notes

The dry leaves of this tea are on the large side, and smell fruity. The liquor is very pale gold (when brewed Western style), and sweet. Tastes of cucumber and barley dominate the cup. The tea is very smooth and creamy, and very tasty.
A delicate tea that won’t tolerate (or need) any sugar or milk, and is very comforting and refreshing. A great way for me to unwind at the end of a very long day.
Will buy again.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100

Another cup of this as a pick me up before I have to go to work (again) this night. A much needed comfort cup.

The Chinese Tea Company is a small store in London, Portobello – a heartwarming little treasure nestled in a forgotten arcade, at the less fashionable side of the market. It is worth the visit, if you’re ever in the area. I have yet to order from them online, but once my teas run out, I probably will.

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Profile

Bio

An Israeli computer programmer with a passion for tea (mostly bought in yearly shopping sprees in the UK), particularly black, oolong and white. I don’t generally enjoy flavoured teas or herbal infusions, but if a tea sounds interesting and smells nice I’ll most definitely try it. I drink several cups of tea a day, usually one or two in the morning, another one after lunch and one or two in the evening. My favourite tea so far is Lao Cong Zi Ya from Norbu Tea, but I’m constantly trying new teas. Only in the past year have I branched into Pu’erh and non-roasted oolongs. Finding good tea in Israel is difficult, so I import most of my teas from yearly visits to London, or from online retailers. If you see something in my cupboard that sparks your interest and you would like to swap with me, then please message me. I’m almost always up for a swap.

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

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