974 Tasting Notes

83

Tea of the morning…..

I am trying to decide what to cut and what to keep, and have a few that I need to try again as it has been so long. While I doubt I will try much more from Talbott, this is definitely drinkable, and even enjoyable. Smooth black tea base that does not fight the flavors, light caramel flavor with a hint of chocolate. Pretty sure it is not quite hefty enough to stand up to milk or cream. I don’t think it is worth the price for what they charge regular price for a tin of this, but if you can score it in a gift set on sale, it is worth it.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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97

Tea of the afternoon…..

I finally made it to my winter break! We have a few little side trips to make, but mostly we will be home for the next few weeks. Bliss! This is my celebratory cuppa, and I just realized that I still have a whole tin of it left. More to celebrate! Also, winter looks like it has officially arrived at our house. I think we got round 9 inches of snow yesterday. Bring it, Old Man Winter! I have my tea to keep me warm!

This is my tea first love. It has been so long since I have had a cup of this, I was worried that it would not appeal as much. Some of the teas I thought I really liked over the past few years are pretty much in the ‘meh’ category as of now. This one, however, has stood the test of time. I love it just as much today as I ever have. It is my tea perfection by which all other black teas seem to be compared. I do reserve this one for special days, and I definitely think that might be contributing to my feelings about it. Whatever it is, I am going with it! Notes of cocoa, malt, slight smoke, and just…..magic.

Usual teapot method. I do measure the perfect teaspoons on the scant side for this one.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

ooo…sounds like I’d love this one!

looseTman

I wonder how Keemun Mao Feng by Harney & Sons comapres with what I’m drinking now, Keemun Panda #1 from the Whistling Kettke? Have you also tasted KP#1?

SimplyJenW

Not anywhere near Keemun Panda #1. If I recall, KP#1 is much more earthy and slightly astringent. Keemun Mao Feng is smooth with just a hint of smoke and lots of cocoa.

SimplyJenW

Keemuns come in several grades. I am pretty sure the KP#1 is stocked by many tea sellers….if I had to guess, I think it comes from Metropolitan Teas, a wholesaler. The more tea I drink, usually you do get what you pay for. KP#1 runs around $15 a pound….this one currently sells for $10 for 2 oz.

looseTman

In your experience, which of the Keemuns is the best value – highest Steepster score for the cost? Thanks

SimplyJenW

It all depends on your preferences. Tea is a personal journey. There are definitely teas that are not worth the money to me. If you are happy with the KP#1, enjoy it and don’t let anyone talk you out of it! I remember it being too smokey for me at the time I tried it, but it might be different now. (I do think there are less expensive places to buy it than the Whistling Kettle, but it is always good to support them if they are local to you.)

SimplyJenW

Oops…misquoted the price on this. It is $20 for 2 ounces. When I bought mine in 2011 it was $24 for 4 oz.

looseTman

I’m currently enjoying KP#1. Yes, it’s slightly astringent, and a little smokey, but nothing like Lapsang Souchong. However, I’m open to suggestions & new tea experiences that are afforadable enough for an everyday tea.

looseTman

No, the Whistling Kettle is not local, but they do have quantity discounts & free shipping with a minimum order. I’d be interested in more cost-effective dealers.

KMF $96/lb – 2011, Now – $160/LB. That’s inflation! The average US salary didn’t increase that much during the same period.

ashmanra

LooseTman: check out Dyland and Missy’s reviews of all the Teavivre Keemuns, they are a bargain, and tasty, just depends on what sort of Keemun you like best. This Mao Feng is excellent, though. If you sign up for Teavivre’s free tasting and review program you can request a same of each Keemun and try it for yourself!

looseTman

ashmanra: Thanks for the heads-up about Teavivre’s Keemuns & their free tasting and review program!

looseTman

Ashmanra, I’ve greatly enjoyed Teavivre’s free tasting and review program. What a great concept – a win-win for TeaVivre & their customers! Thank you for this recommendation!!

NEWS: TeaVivre will be offering Keemun Mao Feng next year.

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93

Tea of the morning……

This just gets better with each sip. Ahhhh.

When I saw that A & D was having a sale this month, it was time for me to take the plunge and buy some since they had a black blend available. I was quite enamored with their Damn Fine Holiday Blend a few years ago when Batrachoid was so generous in sending me a sample. Another reviewer mentioned that it was heavily Keemun….and that put me over the edge. I do love the look of their packaging, and it was just time. There has not been a new tea in this house for a while (with the limit on the amount I can drink, plus a near life-time supply of tea on the premises, purchases are few and far between.)

This blend is kind of reminiscent of Harney’s Palm Court or Eight at the Fort. I do think it is a little more Keemuny than either of those two (which is perhaps why I am loving it so….) There is definitely something to give it a decent amount of mouthfeel. And there is a brightness, too. (Perhaps Darjeeling?) Slight smoke, maltiness, a hint of cocoa, the ever so slightest hint of a bitterness that rounds it out very nicely (yes, that sounds off, but man, does it make for a great cuppa.) The tin looks and works just like a small paint can. While the packaging is incredibly fun-looking, and I am sure it will keep the tea very fresh, it can be a pain to open easily. It takes several pries to get the prize. However, I would totally buy more. I am hooked.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I keep a small flat head screwdriver in my tea cabinet for the sole purpose of opening A&D tins lol.

SimplyJenW

I usually use the end of my perfect teaspoon!

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90

Tea of the morning…..

This one is still one of my staples. I was getting so low, I decided it was time to check out my options for purchase. In looking over the “new-and-improved-since-my-last-purchase” website at Dammann Freres, the prices have gone up as well as it being very challenging to navigate for a non-French reading customer. From what I could figure, they are out of it in loose leaf anyway (price went from about $6 US to just over $8 for 100 grams). The price of the tin is just over $14 as of this month, too (Dec. 2012). There were a few other Dammann teas I would have loved to try, but I looked for a US outlet. The one place I could find it loose online in the US was also out of stock. I ended up ordering a few tins from a vendor that seems to deal mostly in coffee, but the price of the tins was not much more than the price on the Dammann Freres site, plus it was not too hard to purchase enough to get free shipping. So glad I have more! Has anyone else ordered from Dammann recently?

This is a lovely orangey bergamot tea with a rich base. It is similar to Harney’s Diamond Jubilee, but I prefer this one ever so slightly more. Yum!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

My daughter orders from them for me occasionally. I don’t know what her experience has been. I have a few in my cupboard. If there are any you want to try before you buy, let me know!

JasonCT

Oh my – I just “stumbled” onto their website thanks to you ;)
Time to get the plastic!

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90

Tea of the morning…..

And that is about all the tea I drink anymore. I used to drink at least three 24 oz pots a day. However, a kidney stone in August changed that. So far keeping it to one pot a day, with the occasional second pot has kept me on track. Yes, I do still pay attention to what is going on around here, just not quite as closely as when I could drink tea with abandon!

My usual morning tea of late is Malachi McCormick from Harney. Today, I was ready for a change. This is one I came across this morning in my stash I will probably never finish. I have only a few more pots left of this one, and with good reason. It is a great example of a well balanced Keemun…..not too smokey, not too astringent, slight cocoa notes, and just perfectly warming me up today.

Today is a big day. It is the third of four holiday concerts for my kids, tonight being the HS Holiday Band/Jazz Band Concert. My DD, a freshman, plays the flute and electric bass. It is her debut as the bassist for the HS Jazz Band. She has been playing the bass for about 2.5 years, and this is the whole reason she started playing….. She is very excited! :D Anyway, however you celebrate the season, I wish you blessed time with those you love, and safe travels getting there!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I had 2 kidney stones a couple of years ago within 6 months and read about the tea thing too. Didn’t quit the tea though. I think the fact that I was eating LOTS of Kale and other greens and under tremendous stress for a long time is what did me in. I cut down on the kale, and the stress. Kept the tea! Not stones since then.

SimplyJenW

Thanks for the pointer, Bonnie. I am pretty sure it was too much kale and raw spinach in my case, but the pain was so horrible that I am slowly working back up on the tea….

Ysaurella

Nice to see you back- I was wondering where you were :)

JasonCT

WELCOME BACK!

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97
drank Tan Yang Te Ji by TeaSpring
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

Ahhh, Tan Yang. I have not had this one in a while, but I remembered I purchased some in early August! This is a tea you must drink up and not save for a rainy day. Smooth, just a smidge of smoke and astringency at the end of the sip, cocoa notes, and it resteeps beautifully. Tea nirvana. One of my favorite tea splurges (because I like to be somewhat frugal with my tea obsession, but this tea it worth it!)

Usual mug method. First steep at 4 minutes. Resteep at 5 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91

Tea of the morning……

Yes, I am still around. I have had to significantly cut the amount of tea consumed as I had a kidney stone in late August. Such a bummer. I am also really falling into a rut of just drinking the favorites since my drinking is limited. I still love tea….rarely drink soda or coffee, but I had to cut back for a good reason. I do still come here to read often.

This tea is turning out to be very much a favorite. I recently tried to order some more Goute Russe from Dammann Freres, but had issues with getting my credit card to go through. Since this one is very close in taste for me, much cheaper, and so much more easily obtainable, it wins. Light Earl Grey with a hint of sweet grapefruit. Yum. Thank you to Harney & Sons for offering it loose.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
teaNsympathy

Oh no! Glad you’re back and hope you’re feeling better!

JacquelineM

Egads! Hope you are on the mend — I heard that they are very painful :(

Dinosara

Sorry to hear that your tea consumption has to take a hit! Hope you are feeling better, and continue to feel better!

SimplyJenW

Thanks so much for the concern! I am feeling pretty good now that I stopped eating so much raw spinach and cut from three pots of tea a day to 1 or 1 1/2. It is also Marching Band season (only a few more weeks!) and I am a uniform parent. Busy, busy, busy and I am able to keep up just fine.

TeaBrat

sorry to hear that!

Azzrian

Nice to see you around! Hope that everything is better now!

ashmanra

Those are painful!

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93
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

Mmmmm. Paris in the morning. This one is definitely emerging as a must have in my cupboard. I think it is time to start buying it by the pound. Notes of black currant, vanilla, with light hints of caramel and bergamot.

Today I am swamped…with alterations for the formal wear for our high school orchestra. Nearly done with the girls…and then onto the guys. Oh, why is formal wear for those squirrely boys more than one piece….. ;)

Anyway, this is the perfect tea to get me going…..

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Camiah

I’m stalking my local bakery that carries Harney and Sons for their next shipment that includes this tea. I can’t wait to try it!

LadyLondonderry

There’s something decadent about having Paris for breakfast.:)

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80

Tea of the morning…..

Not bad, but not memorable, either. The Ceylon base is pretty good, but I think they should have chosen something more in the naturally choclatey tasting range. The tea base kind of fights with the flavor. It is roasty and bready, but it is missing a cocoa note in my book.

I do appreciate that The Spice & Tea Exchange does offer tea in small amounts, however, I do think they charge quite a bit for what you are getting.

Usual teapot method…..

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

It has a nice name. :P

SimplyJenW

It was the name that sucked me in…..and then I remembered that hazelnut tea is not a favorite. This one is about the best version I have had, though….

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92

Tea of the morning…..

Fall is in the air! Yay! I love Fall. This is my most consumed cool weather tea. Red hots in a cup, no sweetener necessary. It is like magic.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

It IS like magic! I’m always amazed at hot sugary sweet this one is!

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Profile

Bio

My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

Location

Ohio

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