972 Tasting Notes
Backlogging the Iced tea of the day…. (SRP #35)
And at the end of a generous sample from QuiltGuppy.
I have to admit, I like this one iced more than I do hot. However, since I do sweeten hot tea, the mango is a little more prevalent when hot. When iced, you just get a fruitiness and a bit of briskness. The briskness really does work in an iced tea, though. Not sure it is super remarkable as an iced tea, but it is good enough that it might make a pretty good addition to a cart to get to the level of free shipping.
Usual iced tea method.
(I am spent for the day. If you had only seen the typos that I fixed….I kept typing ‘toe’ in place of ‘tea’.)
Iced tea of the day…. (SRP #34)
I have been waiting for a warmish day…. The first time I tried this tea, I steeped it up according to my usual mug method. It was bright and limey and reminded me of a margarita. Then the wheels started turning in that this would make the most awesome, refreshing iced tea. Today is the perfect day. We are working outside and it is going to get up to the 80s. I brewed this up using my iced tea method (double strong, pour over copious amounts of ice…) and what I have now is the best iced tea EVER! I love how the lime flavor is incredibly refreshing, and the pineapple and stevia leaf make it ever so lightly sweet. The Ceylon adds a light briskness. Perfect on its own. I need some!
Thank you to Thomas at Fusion Tea Room for the sample.
Usual iced tea method. No additions but ice!
Tisane of the evening….. (SRP #33)
I love a good desserty honeybush blend. This one has notes of chocolate (although, like LiberTEAS, I do wish it was a little more prevalent), caramel, and rose. It does pay off to look at the steeping recommendations on this one…they recommend using 1 1/2 tsp per 8 oz of water and I might even use a little more than that. When it is done steeping and very hot, the flavors are not as noticeable as when the brew cools a little. And it does remind me of chocolate cake… I might add a little raw cacao powder next time. Who says it can’t be somewhere between a tisane and cocoa? A very enjoyable evening treat, especially for those who want to have their cake without too many calories.
Mug method with 3 tsp Chocolate Cake Honeybush, 8 minutes. Lightly sweetened.
Sample provided by Fusion Tea Room.
Second tea of the morning….. (SRP #32)
This sample was provided by Fusion Tea Room. (Thank you, Thomas!)
I have had many an Earl Grey as it is one of my favorite flavor profiles, so I was more than willing to give this one a try before it goes up for sale. This one has a mellow bergamot. I would not call it light, just mellow in that it is not super citrusy. I guess that means it leans more to the floral side. Yes. Mellow and floral, but not perfumy. The tea base is interesting. I did notice it was a little more smokey than the usual Earl Greys I drink, and then I read the description here…..it has a Ceylon and Yunnan base. The floral bergamot and the slight smoke from the Yunnan is a very good flavor match. There is also a hint of a bite/briskness from the Ceylon, but again it works with the floral and slight smoke. All in all a very well done Earl Grey. I like that it is a bit different from the usual ones I have been drinking. I think Thomas mentioned that this would be available around June 1, 2012.
Usual mug method with about 200 water and a 3 minute steep. Lightly sweetened.
Tea of the morning….. (SRP #31)
I have been in a blur for the last several days. It is nearing the end of school and it has been a whirlwind of band and orchestra concerts, play performances, tryouts for another play and a youth wind symphony, and prep for a class trip to Washington DC. Plus, we are in the midst of repairs on our house from some storm damage last year. We are trying to do the painting ourselves in between the days that the contractors are here, and more things that need fixing always seem to come up. I guess it is probably a normal pace for some, but it is usually pretty quiet around here. As a result of my crazy schedule, I have mostly been drinking favorites. I have a few new teas to review that I have tried over that time, but I need to sample them again when I am less distracted to do them justice.
Onto this particular tea…. I was kind of surprised at how short the leaves were. They are similar to BOP with a few golden tips. After my first several sips, I think I might be replacing my beloved Organic Keemun Heng Ru with this. It is somewhere between Heng Ru and Keemun Mao Feng. It is much smoother and fuller tasting than the Heng Ru. Very light hints of smoke. Cocoa notes. I just feel the Heng Ru lacks body, and this one has it. Love it!
Usual mug method.
Tea of the evening……
I might as well admit it. I have a new favorite decaf flavored black. Yes, this is the one. Vanilla Comoro is lovely, and Midsummer Peach makes the best iced tea, but Decaf Paris is edging them both out. I had two mugs tonight with our viewing of the season finale of “Once Upon A Time.” The perfect end to Mother’s Day for me!
Mug method with 190 water and 3 minute steep. For the second steep, I added another scant tsp of tea and brewed for 3 minutes at the same temp. Lightly sweetened.
Tea of the afternoon……
Definitely the notes of smoke. In comparison to the many versions of Panyang I have consumed today, this Keemun Mao Feng has a note of smoke. I am not sure I have tasted it this prevalently before, and part of the reason I wanted to taste them in progression. Notes of smoke, chocolate and malt that translates into a darker chocolate note plus a slight smokiness. Yum.
This brings another question to mind, though. Is it possible that our response to tasting a tea is dependent on what we previously sampled? I am starting to think so.
Now I am off to do some resteeping until I float away!~
Usual mug method…..
Tea of noon…..
I have not had this one by itself for quite some time. I generally blend it in with my Franken-Breakfast Blend. It has such a prominent chocolate note with just a touch of maltiness and smoke. It is not quite to the level of a Keemun in smokiness, but it is close. It is not quite as complex as the more expensive Tan Yangs, but it is well worth the price at under $5 for 125 grams.
Usual mug method.
Second tea of the morning…..
This one comes from a swap with Dinosara. She went on a small tea adventure while she was in China, and this was one she brought back. I am so appreciative that she gave up some of her precious suitcase space to bring a few things back to share with me. I am pretty certain I may never make it there in my lifetime, so it is always fun to read about her travels and experiences. I love that she tries to include the hunt for tea in her free time when she is travelling, because her work takes her to such interesting places.
This is very, very good. I do think it is a little higher quality than Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring. The leaves are longer and predominantly golden, where TYTJ has only a few golden tips. The brew is very similar, but it reads a little less cocoa and more caramely and honeyed which generally translates to sweeter. I am sure that is pretty normal for a comparison between teas with golden tips and those with fewer. I would definitely not call them interchangeable. Both are very enjoyable, and I will cherish the remainder of this one, as I am not sure I can get more! (I still like the other one just a little better, but that could be my subconscious picking that one because I can get more…..)
Usual mug method.
First tea of the morning…..
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers, aunts, mothers to be, and the good people who stand in for mothers who cannot be there for a multitude of reasons. I lost my mother almost 14 years ago, and I am so thankful for my friends as well as my MIL who have helped to fill her role a little. Me, as a mother myself, I know there are things I could do and could have done better. But, I would not trade this gift for the world.
I am doing a “Parade of Panyangs” of sorts in celebration today. I started with this one, and I have another sent from the lovely Dinosara that she brought back from her trip to China. Then I will probably throw in my bargain basement Panyang from Upton that I also love. I might even brew up a cup of Keemun Mao Feng. It is an odd Mother’s Day for us, because we are scrambling to get some work done on the outside of the house involving door frame replacement and painting before we have contractors back on Monday or Tuesday. And the kids are pretty swamped with homework, since there are about 10 days left of school.
This one is chocolatey, has a bit of heft to the mouthfeel, a bit of malt, and very smooth, plus there may be a little fruitiness…plums, maybe? It is very rich, and it seems that the big difference between this and my beloved Kemmun Mao Feng is that KMF has just a hint of smoke (which I will be double checking this later). I was looking at the leaves on this one compared to my Keemun Mao Feng, and they are really very similar, except that the Keemun Mao Feng’s leaves are longer and a bit wider dry. I was also comparing it to the Tan Yang Dinosara brought from China, and her version is much more golden tipped as well as longer than TYTJ. It is a definite love for me in the tea world.
Usual mug method.