972 Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon……
Yes. I admit I am weak. While I have a perfectly lovely jasmine flavored black tea in my cupboard, I apparently could not live without this one. I finally gave in and ordered enough tea from thepuriTea to get free shipping. The Jasmine Silver Needle, which is also quite notable, put me over the edge, as well as over the free shipping threshold. The funny thing is, that I almost gave that Jasmine Silver Needle sample to my local tea drinking friend, Bonnie. Now, I can just give her a taste from my stash. Shipping from CA to OH was lightening fast. And Nav included several samples, including the Lychee Green that I almost put in the cart anyway. This way, at least I will be sure….for next time. Because I am certain there will be a next time!
Ahhhhh. Notes of chocolate and jasmine. This one does differ from my other jasmine black in that I do think there is some silver needle in here, too. It makes for the most wonderful mouth feel. I am not at all sorry that I gave in……and my cupboard feels rather complete at this time! (Did you take a look at my current shopping list? Only one to possibly buy, and the other two are placeholders for a few fun custom blends with teas that I have in my cupboard)…. Now, I should just stop reading everyone’s tempting notes, but I am also too weak for that. I love it here!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning……
And this is actually the second steep! Since I had my other Dragon Pearl black tea yesterday, I decided to see how this one compares this morning. Really, they are nearly interchangeable. It is just a guess, but I have a feeling that most of the black variety of dragon pearl tea comes from a similar source. I could be completely wrong, though, as I actually know so little about the tea production and primary distribution business. I barely know all I need to know in the tea drinking business. ;) I know just enough about drinking it to thoroughly enjoy myself, really.
As usual for this type of tea….notes of chocolate and malt, and very smooth. The leaves are huge once they unfurl in my steeping basket. The second steep is as good as the first, and I expect to get one more good one before I decide to move onto another tea. I have not really tried a fourth, but one day I will. Great quality tea, and the price for 100grams is very good. I can immediately think of 4 sources for this type of tea and this one is the most reasonable for that amount. Prices get a little more competitive around the 1 pound mark.
Usual mug method…6 pearls.
Tea of the afternoon…..
Black Dragon Pearl Tea….one of my black tea loves. I love watching the tea unfurl. The pearls are a little bigger than a chickpea/garbanzo bean. This one is very good with notes of chocolate, slight malt, super smooth and rich. I used 12 balls in my 24 oz teapot. It was perfection. This one is a little more than I like to spend for 4 oz, but if you are buying a pound, it is pretty reasonable. It is just that I am not sure I want to have that much of it on hand.
Teapot method with 12 Red Dragon Pearls.
Tea of the late morning……
I have yellow tea! I do think this tastes somewhere between white and green. I am actually not really sure where this is supposed to fall, but It tastes like a mix of Long Jing and Silver Needle White. Kind of like green tea without astringency. I get vegetal notes, and notes of hay, and maybe a note of honeysuckle sweetness. No additions.
I might be brewing this one wrong. I just checked and Harney recommends boiling water for 4 minutes. I did about 175 water for 2. I guess I will try hotter and longer for the second steep.
Very cool! I have yellow tea!
Tea of the late afternoon…….
I could not resist the thought of Decaf Paris, so here it is in my cupboard. I am getting so much more sensitive to caffeine late in the day, and in my opinion, Harney does the best decaf black teas around.
The tea base is good, and I would say the flavor is just slightly more subdued than regular Paris. Totally a winner for me, because I can have my black tea late at night and sleep, too.
Usual mug method, 200 water for 3 minutes. Lightly sweetened.
Tea of the afternoon… (SRP #30)
Hmmm. The needles on this one are definitely longer than my previous cup. It also is incredibly fresh and you can see the difference in the steeped leaves compared to my last cup. The brew is so pale, it does not look all that much different from water. I had to double check the water temp, because I have not really seen a white tea brew up this pale. I used the same setting on my electric kettle as the last and steeped for 2 minutes. It could also be that I should have twice as much tea than the 5 gram packet I added to my 24 oz teapot (I am really thinking this is where my problem lies). This is quite different from my previous cup. But, this would be the prime choice for the person who likes subtlety in their floral teas. For me, I pretty much prefer a sweet form of jasmine in overdrive as long as it doesn’t go to perfumy. I do get the high quality white tea flavor profile. Also, the price of this one brings it in line more with an every day tea
I am off to try a resteep of the first half along with the rest of my sample for three minutes to see if it helps. Stay tuned.
Edit to add: Yes, much better on the resteep. Light jasmine, high quality white tea. Liquor is still on the pale side, but what I woud expect from a white tea.
In summary: Lovely tea. Unbeatable price. All form a company with great service and attention to detail in presenting themselves in a way appreciated by tea drinkers.
Tea of the afternoon…… (SRP #29)
Yes, more jasmine tea. I even had a pot of the jasmine flavored black from Dragon Tea House this morning….. After this cup, I am trying TeaVivre’s Jasmine Silver Needle for comparison. I have definitely come to the conclusion that jasmine and Earl Grey teas are warmer weather choices for me. I am even kicking around the possible purchase of thepuriTea’s Jasmine Golden Yunnan….maybe for my birthday? (This is not a bad idea as it gives me a few months to sort out what I really want.) I seem to like jasmine blacks the best, followed by white, then green. I really need to drink up some of my Jasmine Dragon Pearls, too.
As for this tea. I did not want to like it (as I am trying to simplify and minimize the number of places I feel the need to shop for tea), but it is truly delightful. I like how thepuriTea’s jasmine flavors are sweet floral rather than perfumy foral. The base tea is light and kind of reminds me of hay, and then the touch of jasmine makes it sweet and wonderful. It also has a feel of substance when in the mouth. I am drinking this one without additions, and it is so good. I still can’t quite escape adding sweet to my black teas, but this is stellar without additions. I am a little shocked at the price for 4 oz ($29), but I imagine 4 oz of this tea is quite a volume as it is pretty fluffy. I am seriously considering this, even though I am trying to drastically curtail tea acquisitions at this point.
Mug method about 170 water for 2 minutes. No additions.
Second tea of the morning…… (SRP #28)
This one is very interesting! It is a green and black blend. The green leaves are the most prominent as they are a long and somewhat twisty pale green. I steeped it up at about 190. The liquor is a light amber. The taste is brothy. I get a little salt and pepper, even! There is a slight nudge of a vegetal note at the beginning, and it finishes smooth like a black tea. Very interesting and well done. It probably is not something I would drink on a regular basis (they are out, so it really doesn’t even matter if I would!), but I am glad they had a few samples left when I last ordered.
Usual teapot method with a 2.5 minute steep. No additions.
Tea of the morning…..
Not sure why I keep trying to like these strong breakfast teas. This one is definitely more brisk than I normally drink. Chinese black teas tend to be less brisk and more smooth. This one is a kick in the pants for the morning. The leaves are fairly broken up. I would not call it a CTC like Harney’s Irish Breakfast, because it is missing the last C. I also get strong malt.
I decided today was the day to try adding some almond milk, so I splashed some in there. My almond milk is the flavored vanilla type. I am trying to cut back a little on my dairy, but still can’t live without small amounts of real cheese, real butter, and Greek yogurt. It did take the edge off a little. One thing that is weird compared to adding milk, the almond milk doesn’t lighten the tea as much. It is not a bad addition to tea for me, but honestly, I like my almond milk in a smoothie with frozen bananas and raw cacao powder……tastes more like a chocolate milkshake!
Mug method with a 3 minute steep. Sweetened and with a splash of almond milk.
Tea of the late afternoon…….
I have been on the search for a black jasmine tea ever since I tried the Jasmine Yunnan Tea at thepuriTEa. Why not just order the tea that started the obsession? Well, 4 ounces of that tea is $16 and then flat rate shipping is another $7.50. Plus, Yunnan would not be my first choice for such a scented tea as Yunnan is typically more peppery and malty than what I wanted. Harney was out of stock without prospects of a replacement for a while. This tea from Dragon Tea House on ebay was the first possibility that caught my eye at $12 shipped for 100 grams, but of course the shipping from China is rather long. In this case, I do think it was worth it. I had ordered some teaware from them in the past without issue, so I thought I would try some of their tea.
I ordered on April 24th. They shipped out immediately. It arrived today. That makes it almost two weeks even with a holiday. Pretty decent for free shipping. I am guessing prices are a little higher than what you would spend if you were there, but that is fine by me. It makes small orders much more possible, which I really appreciate. There was not much available in the way of tracking, but then some forms of post don’t update until the package arrives. I do have to sign for packages shipped by them if it matters.
On to the tea….. I really like this. It is not super floral, just lightly floral. The tea base is a good quality black tea. I do have to say that the smell of the tea itself was kind of strange, but the tea is wonderful. How this differs from my own blend of gong fu black tea and jasmine pearls…this is much more subtle. There are no notes of chocolate in overdrive, or heavy floral with the jasmine. I am sure I could play around with other black teas in my cupboard for a black jasmine blend, and I probably will at some point. But, I am so glad I took a chance on this one. It is lovely.
Usual teapot method.