974 Tasting Notes

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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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

Man, am I in a rut. I really only seem to be craving back tea of late. My lovely oolongs and greens are feeling very neglected, and I don’t have any cravings for them. There may be more of a stash reduction in the near future as it would be a shame for them to go to waste. I am really settling on just a few teas, and the ‘thirst’ to try new ones is nearly gone. I know what I like and still drink about two to three pots a day, but I guess some of the novelty has worn off. In a way it is sad, but I am thinking it will be better for my budget in the long run. I do have some fun ones coming…..some more Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring, and a new-to-me Panyang Golden Tips from Upton with my restock of Rose Congou. The next big order will be a sizable amount of Goute Russe from Dammann Freres, but I am not in any hurry. And I am so stocked on the Harney teas that I drink the most, that it might be a while before I need more. I am not going to be sad, though….this is my chance to obsess about something else for a while….;)

Today’s blend is a 1:2 blend of Harney’s Anniversary Blend and Eight at the Fort. For me the first was a little strong for a breakfast tea, and the second was a little weak. Wow, what a meeting in the middle is doing for my morning…. These blends are fine, but I needed something other than what they could offer on their own. I love the tweakability of loose leaf. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Anniversary was a bit strong for me until I tweaked it, too. I use ever so slightly cooler water, ever so little less leaf, and a three minute steep. But I am a real wimp when it comes to strong Indian teas! :)

SimplyJenW

Apparently, I am a wimp when it comes to just about any Indian tea (except the Assam in my Malachi!). I am not a big fan of Darjeelings, either.

Bonnie

It’s ok. The seasons are changing. Tastebuds taking a rest. Soon with the weather, your mood for tea might regenerate into something else too. I have days like that and I just sit back until I am in the right frame of mind or other times if I share a tea with someone who has never had the experience, the old joy comes rushing back.

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88

Tea of the morning…..

I have a 2 oz pouch of this from the Millerton Shop that I am trying to finish. I ended up buying a few of the black blends just to make sure that Malachi McCormick was my breakfast tea of choice. While this is very good….it almost seems more rich, refined, and serious(if it is possible for a tea to have personality traits!) than my beloved Malachi. I do catch the brightness of the Darjeeling, and the Oolong smooths it all out. There is definitely an astringency with this…moreso than with Malachi. That is probably what is turning me off to use this as a breakfast tea. It is a great blend, but not for breakfast. I need to feel hydrated rather than needing a drink of water after drinking my tea! I will enjoy finishing what I have, but it probably won’t make the rebuy list.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Golden Snail by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

I was lucky enough to have had two tins of this while it was available from Harney & Sons. I am definitely into the second tin…the one that I purchased on a surprise trip to the SoHo Store last year. Since it has history, it makes me happy as a tea, and brings back happy memories. Bliss.

Dark and malty, rich and cocoa- noted. I so hope that Harney finds some close to this to offer in the future. It is very much a treat, and I will savor the rest of it. Totally notable…these leaves brew up so huge, my infuser basket is almost overflowing. That is pretty remarkable for a black tea. Most only fill it about halfway when I make a whole 24 oz. pot of tea.

Usual teapot method.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning….

And attempt #2 for my Smokin’ Earl AKA Cowboy Grey. Today I used 5 parts Lupicia Earl Grey with one part of the Lapsang Souchong I got from Mountain Rose Herbs. Yep, this’ll do. Now I got a hankerin’ for some chili or stew….but on the finest of china with linen napkins….. Yes, my humor is a little off today, but I thought I would share what goes through this twisted mind of mine this morning.

Any recommendations for Murder Mystery games for Teens out there? My DD all of a sudden has the bug to host one, but many of them aren’t completely appropriate for her age (15). Thanks for the input!

gmathis

I’ve decided that it is never inappropriate to eat off the good china … my antique Noritake soup bowls are great for spaghetti red and chili, both.

Hesper June

Glad you found the right mix!
That Cowboy Grey can be a hard fellow to figure out (dang those tall, handsome, silent types anyhow;)

gmathis

LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

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83

Tea of the afternoon……

I was almost going to de-stash this one. However, I am needing a source of indulgence that won’t kill me in calories. This actually works very well. I think I need to bump up the rating a little! Notes of cream and caramel, and maybe a little chocolate on a cocoa-ey tea base. Yummy!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I have a feeling I’ve made this goofy comment before, but anything with caramel and escape in the name has got to be fantastic.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

All of the talk on Steepster about a “Cowboy” version of Earl Grey has me intrigued. I do have a tin of Earl of Harlem on order from Ambessa/Harney & Sons, but I was curious if I could put something similar together in my cupboard. This pot is a 1:2 blend of Upton Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon and Lupicia’s Earl Grey. Hmmm. Definitely need to play around with the ratios. It is smokey enough, but not ‘Early’ enough. Maybe we will go with a straight Lapsang next time and a ratio more like 1:5ish…. All that said, it makes me very happy that I have the Earl of Harlem coming my way.

Sorry that I have not been posting much here….I am not sure how interesting my staple teas are for posting as that has been mostly what I have been drinking. I send first born off to High School in about a week….I am all emotional. I am glad she is growing up, but mourning the fact that I wish I had done some things differently for her childhood. I guess perfection in childhood would not have made her the cool human she is now. Yes, I am over-thinking it! Plus, I am needing to do a bit of an overhaul on my stash/life in general. I definitely know what I like and need these days all around, and that makes it easier to simplify, even though it is a long road ahead.

I am sure I will be here often reading, though! I love this community.

gmathis

Change wears you out, even good change. It was pointed out to me recently that God gives you exactly the child you need, and He gives your child exactly the parent she needs—-even if that means making each other nuts.

ashmanra

Oh dear. The wishing – I have been there lately! My youngest is the only one still homeschooling and she will probably graduate a year early so we are al out done. Sigh.

You mention a straight Lapsang. Isn’t Black Dragon a straight Lapsang. I have been meaning to order forever. Is it flavored, or a blend?

SimplyJenW

The Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon is a blend….mostly Lapsang with some silver tips. It is light and sweet as far as Lapsangs go. I have enough left to send you a sample, so the rest is yours!

ashmanra

Oh my! Thank you, Jen!

LiberTEAS

sigh Parenting is never easy. My oldest is grown now and living on her own, supporting herself, and living rather successfully by my definition of success: she is happy and healthy and doing what she loves. But still there are often pangs of regret wishing that I had done things a bit differently, wishing that situations were different as she was growing up so that I could have provided other things for her. But despite the tough times and quite probably because of them, she has grown into an amazing young woman and going to be married in just a few short weeks. It makes me emotional, but, also very proud.

I think that you have much to be proud of too… and It is perfectly natural to feel emotional… it’s hard to watch our babies grow up and become independent, but when they do, know that it was only possible through the parenting you provided.

LiberTEAS

Oh… I hit “add comment” before I said the last bit I meant to say before I even started typing out that long blather: CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve done well!

Hesper June

I think a fairly strong bergamot EG and then literally a pinch of LS, is what I came up with (that works for me, anyhow:)

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88

Tea of the morning…..

This was the free sample sent with my first Verdant Tea order. Very pleased! I am drinking this one unsweetened in new teaware. I added a 14 oz Forlife Q Teapot in teal blue to my arsenal. It just made sense for how I drink tea to have a smaller teapot. I am not sure I will ever have a Yixing, or a Gong Fu set as they seem kind of overwhelming to me (I also don’t have the space to store dedicated yixing to a certain tea, or room to store all the pieces of a set.) For now, I just like things that are easy to manage (and clean!) Love the teapot. No drips.

The tea is remarkable, too. It is chocolately, bready, malty. Very smooth. No astringency, which is how I like it. I am getting so set in my ways as far as tea is concerned. I guess I have tried enough tea at this point to know what I really like, and this fits my profile. (I am becoming a little less enamored with greens and oolongs, but I am hoping it is just a phase.) For all those reasons, this was a good sample for me. If I were in the market for stash expansion, it would be on the list for sure. Until things change, I think I will have to enjoy what I have. This is definitely a place I would only purchase in small amounts as the prices are quite a bit higher than my normal range. Service is wonderful, teas I have tried are fabulous, though.

14 oz teapot. 2 tsp tea, freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Resteep ahead.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Surprise tea of the day…..

I was running to the grocer for a few things…fresh spinach, cake mix, English muffins, and I ran into this! Of course it just jumped into my cart.

The tea flavor in this is plenty strong. There are hints of citrus and honey, too, but they are light. I should have realized there would be some sweetness involved (20 calories per 8 oz., 40 in the whole bottle), and I usually take my iced tea plain. My initial thoughts were that the tea was too strong, but by the end, I found it refreshingly good, a good strong black iced tea. It won’t be a normal staple in my cupboard as I like fresh brewed much better, but for a bottled tea it is 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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