972 Tasting Notes

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
972 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
972 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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92

Second tea of the morning…..

Yes. It has happened. I am in a phase where I am drinking tea more for the caffeine than tea itself. I am so hoping Fall arrives soon. I know my cravings will switch to cinnamon teas and chai. I actually brewed a pot of Golden Monkey from another vendor, drank half, and then dumped the rest. The last ounce of my GM has been filed into the Franken-Breakfast blending bin as it does not appeal…I caught a tastebud-disagreeable astringency that I had not noticed before. This is a new low for me……dissing Golden Monkey.

And why is the high for today still in the 80s? I was hoping for a reprieve in the heat for marching band tonight. I am the WMIT (Wardrobe Mom In Training!) and I go out to the edge of the field in case there is a lost button, etc., because I can do a quick repair during the breaks. (Why, oh why, do the uniforms have 14 buttons plus various hooks and snaps times 120+ kids?…. ;) )

After the dump out, I knew I needed an old reliable. This is my warmer weather old reliable. Whenever I brew a pot of this, I can guarantee it will be consumed. That is a perfect tea for me……one that keeps me coming back for more, and frowning when it is gone.

I do find this to be a subtle Earl. Really, it translates to great tea for me.

Usual teapot method.

(Sorry this is so ranty…..I feel better and need to finish off the rest of the pot!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

It’s been .. uh .. a while since I’ve been in marching band (former percussionist!) Are the uniforms still as nastily heavy and hot as they were back then? I hated field marching :) Parades I could handle.

SimplyJenW

Yes. Heavy. The kids all melted last week when it was over 90. We only have two parades and they wear polos and khakis. The rest is field shows in full dress every Friday night for 2 1/2 months plus a few field show competitions (including away games). It was about 4-6 parades where I lived as high schooler and we only performed field shows at home football games.

gmathis

My, oh, my how times have changed (creak ;)

I’m right there with you on not wanting to drink anything sophisticated—just basic stuff until it gets cool enough to appreciate it. November, maybe?

Amani

Franken-breakfast bin—haha, nice. Is that like the “house red” ;) Do you ever try it? Frankenstein was a monster after all…

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89

Tea of the afternoon…..

I have been back and forth whether to order this one in a full size or a sample, and just went for the 125g pouch when I needed a refill on Rose Congou. It is no secret that this is my ideal profile for tea, and I am not disappointed. It is less malty than a golden monkey, but has the characteristic Fujian cocoa notes. It also does not have the smoke of a Keemun. There is definitely a decent amount of heaviness as far as mouthfeel. While I don’t think it is quite as good as Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring, it is certainly less expensive (~$3.70 per oz compared to ~$5.80 per oz). It is almost in the range of an everyday tea for me. I can live with that! I will have to try a resteep!

Usual mug/tiny teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Help me pick some teas to order from Upton! I have never ordered from them, but I have tried Baker Street and Rose Congou.

SimplyJenW

Notables for me are the two you mentioned, this one, Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon (which will be going in the mail tomorrow, finally! If I can squeeze some of this in, I will!) Keemun Hong Tao, Imperial Golden Monkey, and I like their Holy Basil Purple Leaf. I am mostly a China black tea drinker, though.

ashmanra

I have never had Holy Basil. Black Dragon might need to go on the list, and I still want that gram scale…I also want to order Premium Steap’s Emperor’s Red. What happened to my tea buying ban? It’s gone out of control!

TeaBrat

sounds good!

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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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