970 Tasting Notes

Second tea of the morning…..

I will admit it. I have been ‘re-interviewing’ my flavored teas. I am at a point where I don’t have much left in the way of flavored teas because I rarely drink them, so maybe my review doesn’t apply to most as I am not much of a fan anymore of flavored tea. I know I had fond memories of this one and bought some last April. To tell how interested I have been until now….I just opened the package today.

Call me a bit disappointed. The initial smell of the leaf was a little medicinal and artificial. I am hoping it just needs to breathe a little. It has never been opened, so it should not have degraded much. I do smell artificial chocolate in the brewed tea, too, and I can taste it. I did not go with the stevia sweetener, because I wanted this to be as close as I remembered to having it last. It looks to have a similar base as the TeaSpot’s Qu Hao Silk. I remember quality black tea with cocoa notes on steriods. I got quality black tea with chocolate and a hint of medicine. :(

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90
drank Hong Tao by Harney & Sons
970 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

I am experimenting with sweeteners again. I did have some stevia from Trader Joe’s stashed back in the cabinet. I was doing pretty well cutting back on the Splenda, but I kind of think it eventually has to go, too. The stevia will help with the teas that are not as naturally sweet. One day I hope to take my tea without additions and love it that way. I am amazed how much my palate has changed since giving up sugar, grains and most sweeteners.

Anyway, this is always good. A solid Keemun. Smooth with a little smoke and cocoa. It would be worthy of restocking if they bring it back. I have about 7 oz. left.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML

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I have done the unthinkable for me…….I tried this shaken up in water. It is not as fantastic as a latte, but it still works! I am pleasantly surprised! Lots of spiciness with a hint of pumpkin. Mine is a small with robust flavoring.
1/2 tsp in about 8 oz water. I will be doing this again and trying it with my other flavors.

(I just noticed that the amount of tea must be at least 1 tsp. in the “How much tea and water did you use?” section. I think that placeholder there needs to be formatted to not round numbers….it rounded my 0.5 tsp to 0 no matter how I entered it.)

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML

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92

Second tea of the morning……..

This one and the herbal version have had a resurgence in my life. I recently gave up sugar and grains in my diet, and am trying to cut back on all artificial sweeteners. I am so grateful for this tea as its sweetness naturally comes from cinnamon. (Or at least I am hoping so, because it is a real treat these days!) I decided to stock up on some sachets for travel, too. Since most of the tea I drink these days are higher quality China blacks for which it is difficult to find in sachet form, this will be my tea for travel from here on out. I purchased the wrapped sachet form, too, which means I can always have a few sachets in my purse at all times. Easy. I know I could travel with all the tea regalia (and I used to!), but I tend not to want to make a mess wherever I go taking up kitchen space of those I visit. However, I will still take the electric kettle……

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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89

Tea of the morning…..

And I am now down to half of the sweetener I have been using. Luckily, a good quality tea doesn’t need much if at all in the way of additives. One of these days, I will be drinking it without additions. I just couldn’t do it cold turkey, so I decided to try to work my way down. I am not sure I would have even tackled it, but I am trying to cut out non-whole food kinds of things from my diet plus grains and sugar. Just in the week and a half I have been skipping the grains and sugar, I feel so much better. It makes me wonder if I had a wheat sensitivity.

Anyway, the tea is very good. Not as sweet potatoey as the golden tip version of this tea, not as earthy as the lower grade. I am going to refresh my memory on the other grades of this tea. I may be trading up my basic Dian Hong. Stay tuned.

Usual teapot method with a resteep at 6 minutes that is very good!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Second tea of the day and the end of my sample…..

Yes, this is smokey and really reminds me of a mid range Keemun. Perhaps a little less smokey, and slightly more cocoa noted. However, I don’t think it differs enough to make it a part of my stash.

I did have just a little left over, not quite a mug worth. I have started a ‘Franken-Blend’ of all my black teas and cant wait to taste it. It has a little Golden Monkey, a tsp of Laoshan Black, the end of my Joseph Wesley Dian Hong sample, and the end of this one. I am thinking I need to tackle that little bit of tea soon!

Preparation
2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
caile

That sounds like it will be quite a tasty ‘franken-blend’! :)

MzPriss

Oh see? I would totally love that blend. I do that too. I usually put a couple a big pinches of Black Beauty in morning mug of Special Dark. Makes me hum.

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86

Tea of the afternoon……

I recently bought a few black tea samples from Upton again. I tend to do this for entertainment, mostly, but every now and then I find something great.

I get the typical profile of a quality Keemun. This is oh so smooth and gentle. Very low to almost undetectable on the smoke. Notes of cocoa, bread, malt (I kind of think the bread/malt note is very similar in a way) with a touch of floral. One of the reasons this one caught my eye is that it is the same type of tea that Andrews & Dunham is offering as their limited Edition Spring Keemun. I am still on the fence about that one due to the cost and no samples. This one is pretty pricey on its own. It hits about the max I feel comfortable spending, if the tea is special. I am not sure if this one is worth it.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
MzPriss

JenW I bought that A&D Spring Keemun and I would be happy to send you some. It’s nice but its not one I will hoard, so hit me up if you want some.

SimplyJenW

MzPriss- Thank you so much for the offer, but I think I will skip it. I am one of those weird people who always falls madly in love with a limited tea and then I am kicking myself later, LOL! I am just going to save myself the hassle!

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Tea of the afternoon……

I have had this sample in my stash for a while. I am not sure why it took me so long to try it. Oh well. It is an interesting one. A Panyang congou with a hint of smoke. Very Keemun-like. Fun to try for someone like me, but I am pretty sure this one will not go on the rebuy list. It kind of seems to be in the same range as the Keemun at Joseph Wesley, but not nearly as good.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Berries, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Angrboda

I still haven’t tried the JW keemun. I’m not ready yet. :) I pet the tin now and then, though.

SimplyJenW

It is definitely very petable! LOL!

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92

Tea of the morning……

This is a great morning tea. It is heavier on the malt than what I usually drink. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Assam in a way. Nice and hearty, dark chocolate notes, with a serious kick. Today I decided to brew by the mug, and the second steep at 6 minutes was just as good and hearty as the first.

I think I read in a response to another Steepster poster that this one was going into sachet only form soon. I do find that kind of disappointing, just because I am a loose leaf drinker and only use bagged tea when I travel. It is not so much that I don’t think a high quality tea should come in sachet form, as I like the simplicity and reduced waste from loose leaf as much as I love the flavor. I also understand that business has to evolve in order to survive. Bagged tea makes more sense for some and is very convenient. I am one customer, and I want the company to be around for a while, so I am going to trust what is going on for now.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
MzPriss

Agree. Makes me sad too :(

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

It gives me hope that you want the tea to stay in loose leaf form. With that said, one of our goals is to limit the number of teas we make available so that you may have a more meaningful relationship with them. It’s always seemed that offering 60+ teas might make good business sense but doesn’t help the customer gain an appreciation for any particular tea. We’re taking this tea out of the line-up so that we can introduce another loose leaf tea that I believe is better suited for our project. I hope that after you taste the new tea you’ll approve of our decision to give the #3 jersey to this new tea. As always, thanks for the comments. -Joe

SimplyJenW

Joseph Wesley Black Tea, I am definitely looking forward to whatever you have to offer in the future. I do appreciate your approach, which is why I am excited to see how it unfolds. Yes, the (hopefully) more dignified version of fan-girling, here!

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89

Tea of the morning…….

It is always a good time to pare down the stash. This is a tea I will happily drink, but was not planning on buying more because the cost does not quite match up with the enjoyment for me. It is also currently out of stock, and I have less than 2 ounces, so that makes it an ideal tea to drink until it is gone. It has just been my way of getting things under control for the last year or so. It has been working for reducing the stash, but I always seem to fall in love with teas that are on their way out. Luckily, for my storage space (and the way I am trying to budget my tea purchases better this year), this one is not available or I might cave and buy one more tin.

Part of the reason teas like this are catching my eye lately is that I am cutting back on the amount of sweetener I put in my tea. Teas that are naturally sweet just taste better. There are notes of honey, sweet potato, a hint of cocoa. Decent mouthfeel. Pretty much yum. I do wonder if there will be a swing in what I like. So far, I am only noticing that the more earthy/smokey teas don’t appeal quite as much. That could change as my palate adjusts to less sweet overall, so I am not changing my staples list much for now.

The leaves on this one are also interesting. Here is a weird comparison for you…..remember the manual pencil sharpeners from grade school? They were metal, and usually attached to the wall somewhere. They were operated with a crank and had a metal reservoir kind of thing that went over the blades to catch the shavings. The shavings were a long skinny yellow-tipped corkscrew…..that is the shape of these leaves. The golden tips in the tea just add to the pencil shaving look of your yellow #2 pencils.

Anyway, this is tasting good today.

Usual teapot method.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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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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