985 Tasting Notes
Tea of the morning……
This sample was provided by TeaVivre for review. (Thank you!)
I decided morning was a great time to try this one. We are in the midst of a slight cold spell…or maybe I just feel like it is a cold spell because it was a sweltering weekend last week. Anyway, a sweet smokey tea was a good match for the weather today.
Leaf is actually kind of fluffy for a black tea. There are even some golden pieces in there! The smell is of smoke and earthiness. I brewed it is with a little hotter water then they recommended (I used boiling, they recommended 195) but I still had a fabulous tea. I get notes of malt, cocoa, and smoke with a sweetness. Since I usually sweeten my hot tea, I ended up with a smokey sweet liquor. Once the tea got in the temperature range for drinking, I noticed that my cup was empty in a flash. That means it is incredibly good. I think I will try a resteep, too. Yes, this goes on the shopping list! I think I will replacing my Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon with this. I do think it is a sweeter tea than the Lapsang from Mountian Rose herbs, too, plus their shipping is cost prohibitive.
Usual teapot method with a 2 minute steep. Lightly sweetened.
Tea of the afternoon…..
Of course I could not resist this one. Part of the whole reason for my horrible experience trying to order online with a long standing English company over the holidays was for their Diamond Jubilee Tea. When Harney posted about their blend, I immediately ordered as I was getting painfully low on Paris. Of course, I am very pleased with this.
First of all, the tin is so elegant. I love the muted color tones they chose. Pale aqua, cream, gold, and a muted berry tone. Beautiful. I opened the tin and was immediately drawn to the scent of grapefruit paired with bergamot. The bergamot is light with the addition of sweet grapefruit. For those of you who are fans of Earl Grey Supreme, it is like EGS with a grapefruit kicker. Perfectly lovely. All I can think of that would make this tea more wonderful, is if it came in loose leaf. Please, Mr. Harney?
12 oz filtered water at boiling, 4 minutes, lightly sweetened.
Edit to add: I will no longer lament the loss of a refill of Countess Grey. This is so much better!
Tea of the morning…….
I have recently added some Lapsang to my Assam/Keemun/Ceylon/Yunnan/Congou blend. We now have notes of chocolate, malt, and smoke. It kind of reminds me of Mark T. Wendell Victorian Afternoon.
I am in love! I will be drinking this to the end of the tin, and then starting anew. Fortunately, (or not for my goals of stash reduction) I have a whole box full of things to blend for breakfast tea on my next go around.
Usual teapot method.
Second tea of the morning….. (SRP #40)
We finally have weather cool enough that I am craving oolong. I still don’t know how all of that works for me, but I seem to be craving green and oolong tea less with the warmer weather. I guess it is that I crave iced tea, and for me that is usually a black tea. I blame my midwestern upbringing on that one. At least I have moved beyond Lipton Instant…or Lipton sun tea. Maybe there is still hope in that I can move beyond the black teas for iced….. After all, this is a journey, and my tastes have all ready changed a little.
My sample was purchased. The leaves are tight bright green pellets. The scent of the dry tea is of cream and butter. I am pretty sure I am going to like this one better than the unflavored. The liquor is a golden yellow, and really a little deeper than I expected. The leaves brew up absolutely huge. The scent of the brewed tea is of cream and butter, again, with a hint of something very lightly floral. I definitely like this better than the unflavored version. If I am ever in the market for a milk oolong again, this will be the one I purchase. It is still not quite as good as the Milk Oolong from American Tearoom, but then I am not willing to get a second mortgage on my house to buy tea (meaning it is way too expensive a tea that is not in my absolute favorite type.) This one is very good and a great value at around $11 for 100g. For comparison, the other is $60 for the same weight and it has a Tie Kwan Yin base.
Usual mug method for 2 minutes, no additions. I followed the brewing parameters on the label.
Tea of the afternoon……
I still have a good amount of this, so I really can’t count it in sample reduction…because I am sure to finish all that she sent. This one comes to me in a swap with Dinosara from her continental hopping. Thank you so much for sharing this one with me as I love jasmine teas.
I don’t have a huge amount of information on this one. It kind of looks similar to a pouchong, but then again, I am still very much a newbie to green tea. Leaves are long and twisted with shades of dark green and a lighter sage green. There really is not much in the way of a vegetal taste like you would expect with most greens, but it does have the heavier mouthfeel of a good quality green. The jasmine is floral and sweet at the same time. Yum! I wanna go shopping for tea in China! Until then, I will just have to live vicariously through her…. Again, thank you!
Mug method with about 170 water and a 2 minute steep.
Tea of the morning……
This one is nice and strong. Very present notes of malt with a slight edge of smoke. It is actually a little on the brisk side for me. I get mostly Assam in this Assam and Keemun blend, which usually makes me long for my Malachi McCormick that is mostly Keemun in a blend of similar, but probably lower grades of Keemun and Assam. I now think I know where my heart lies for a permanent breakfast tea, because all I can think is how a little more Kemmun would fix this for my palate.
It has been a rough weekend. And, yes, I know I am a total wimp. I am owning it. Our air conditioning has been out and I had to brave the hot weekend without it. Hence, it is the origin of my lack of tea postings (way to hot for hot tea…I can’t believe I found my threshold for hot tea! Apparently, it is somewhere over 90 degrees.) and general crabbiness from not sleeping well. I had much iced tea and water….to the point of depleting my ice supply. Now we are back to the weather I love……mid 70s, and the air should be fixed on Friday. Did I mention that I am a wimp as far as heat is concerned? School is out, but the construction goes forward.
Usual teapot method with scant Perfect Teaspoons of tea and a 3 minute steep.
Iced tea of the day…… (SRP #38)
This is the last of my Apricot black tea. It was not a favorite, but it makes a stellar iced tea. It has a nice malty base and a hint of apricot. I know the apricot comes out just a little more with adding something to sweeten it, but that is not the way I roll for iced tea….I like it as is. Refreshing and so welcome on a hot weekend.
Usual iced tea method.
Tea of the evening……
It is a bittersweet day. Tonight was the last official meeting of my scout troop for good. The girls are going into High School next year, and have all become pretty busy to schedule much of anything. I have had most of them for 8 or 9 years, and they have grown up before my eyes. Luckily, for my daughter, they are all such good friends and I am sure they will be spending a good deal of time together in other school activities. While they are ready to move on, and I am completely out of new material to keep this going, it has been a fun ride.
Decaf Paris is quickly becoming my top choice for decaf. It is a little lighter of a flavor profile and cannot replace the richness of regular Paris, but still very tasty for when I need an evening black. Yum!
Mug method with a 3 minute steep and 190 water.