970 Tasting Notes
Tea of the morning…. (SRP #25)
If you like a smokier Keemun, this is the one for you. The leaves are on the short side, kind of like something that is a BOP. Although it is not smokin’ like a Lapsang Souchong, it does have a notable smokey character that is perfect for the morning’s wake me up cup. It has a chocolate note in there, too, and a fullish mouthfeel similar to coffee. I am considering this one, because the smokiness kind of reminds me of my F&M Keemun that I loved while I had it. It is organic, which is a bonus, plus it is a bargain at just under $6 for 125 grams.
Usual teapot method with a 3 minute steep.
More tea in the afternoon…..
I have several wrapped bags of this in my stash, so I guess this is a test to see if it will be added to the bagged tea for traveling or edited. I have really only prepared this as a chai in the past, so I really needed to test it as a standard brew in a cup.
It will be saved! But not replaced. I do have to say that as far as bagged tea goes, it is good. Convenience coupled with decent tea are a must when I travel, and this will work. There is a solid black tea base with notes of cinnamon and cardamom. It is not a super spicy blend, but it is very warming and cozy.
The key to bagged tea for me is to be sure I am using the right amount of water (which is 6-8 oz for most bags, and 12 oz for most sachets) and a shorter steep than I would for loose leaf since the teas in the bags are likely more broken up than loose leaf. I know in my pre-loose leaf days, I would use almost twice the water that one bag could flavor well. Ick.
Tea of the afternoon….(SRP #24)
I added this one to my order because it is an Earl Grey with a Keemun base and one of my favorite Earl Greys is similar. I also love rose teas, so I figured it was worth a shot. I am definitely not disappointed! This is super yummy. The notes of rose and bergamot are a little on the strong side, but it really works with the slightly chocolatey and subtly smokey tea base. Such a perfect afternoon tea! It is a little heavier of a tea than the Rosy Earl Grey from Teas Etc. and I really like them both. If I had to pick one of the two…..well, I don’t, so I won’t go there! I may have to order more of this one and the Earl Grey Jasmine Monkey King…… Not sure how soon that will be, but it is looking like it might be May 31st-ish….. If I still like it by then, I will probably cave.
Usual mug method.
Edit to add…..after a few cups, I decided that I like my other Earl Grey rose blend better. There is not enough cupboard space for two versions!
Tea at elevensies…… (SRP #23)
Mmmmm. Not sure I expected much from this one, but I like it. I think this will probably be in the cupboard someday since it comes from a place I regularly shop and it is currently only $6.80 for 125 grams. (Hmm….I wonder what it will taste like with a little jasmine…..yes, there seems to be a theme running though my tea selections as of late.) Bright bergamot on a smoth green base. Not a hint of bitterness.
Usual mug method, 3 minutes at about 185.
Second tea of the morning….. (SRP #22)
This is pretty good. I love coconut teas. I can tell this has a different tea base to the Black Jasmine Cream. This tea base complements the flavor rather than competing with it. I will definitely enjoy what I have in this sample. Sweet and slightly nutty.
Usual mug method.
Tea of the morning……. (SRP #21)
Initial thoughts: I am undecided on this one. It definitely comes across as jasmine vanilla, but I think the tea base is too smokey (which does not really mean it is all that smokey, just too smokey for this flavor profile.) When I imagined this tea, I imagined the flavor of jasmine and vanilla on a lighter, sweeter black tea base. This one seems a little heavy. In my opinion, jasmine and a heavy black tea base just don’t seamlessly blend on the palate. I taste the distinct flavors. They did do a good job of matching the depth of the jasmine to the vanilla. I might have to play around with the steeping parameters a little. I did go with slightly lower temps on the water just because there is green tea involved in this blend.
Usual mug method with slightly cooler water.
Edit to add: I am going to try adding some jasmine pearls to my Vanilla Black from Harney. I have a feeling that this one will be rehomed. Surprising, because I love the Earl Grey Jasmine Monkey King.
Tea of the afternoon….. (SRP #20)
Yes, new tea samples from a new company for me. New Mexico Tea Company is currently having a free shipping offer until May 31, 2012. I decided to jump on that and try a few things, so I got this, Black Jasmine Cream, Rosie Earl Grey, and a free sample of Coconut Dream. Since I am on a jasmine and Earl Grey kick, these seemed fitting. They offer their teas in 1 oz amounts for sampling, plus 4 ,8, and 16 oz amounts, and they send a free sample that is probably a half ounce of your request. The service was prompt and shipping turnaround was very fast. The samples are packaged in a silver cello bag with a resealable zip closure. So far, I am impressed. I also ordered a round latch tin that will hold about 4 oz. of tea. I like the tin, too.
This tea is Springtime in a cup. There are jasmine notes intermingled with a light bergamot. It is definitely light and airy, floral and lightly citrusy. I definitely like it!
Brewed at about 160 for 2 minutes by the mug method.
Second tea of the morning…..
And I made a whole pot worth. I think it is time for me to come clean. I am well on my way to becoming a serious tea snob. I am reaching a point where the only teas I want to keep in my stash are the more expensive ones. I do have a few bargain loves, but my tastes are evolving into something pricey. Luckily, my husband is a craft beer drinker…..that means my expensive tea is still likely less expensive than his beer. Except that he does not have a stash……
I am pretty sure this tea was my first tea splurge. I bought my first tin a little over a year ago, and I thought I was nuts spending $24 for 4 oz. of tea. Now, it costs even more ($20 for 2 oz) and I am so thankful I did, and someone bought me a spare tin of this for a gift before the price change. I love this one, but I always forget it is back in the back of the cupboard. Notes of dark chocolate, the slightest bit of smoke for complexity, and just oh so smooth. My first true love in a black tea.
Usual teapot method.
I think part of my problem with my stash is that I am always trying to find less expensive versions of tea that I love. Maybe that is not such a great pursuit. By just enjoying the more expensive one, I will have better turnover. By seeking out the bargain, I have a half a tin of expensive tea, and another half a tin of inexpensive tea sitting in my cupboard…. In reality, that sounds like a funny kind of math for cost and space. Yep, I am still learning.
Tea of the morning……
I spent part of the weekend making a spreadsheet of my teas in more than sample amounts (over 1 ounce). What a rude awakening. I do seriously have a tea shopping problem. This was one I found buried in the recesses. Now, with the spreadsheet, I have a better idea of what I am replacing and what needs to be consumed to make more space. Such a handy tool.
This is good, but sweet. It was very fun blending my own tea as I got to put in all of the things I thought I would like together. I may blend my own again someday, but for now it is on the exit list.
Usual teapot method with a three minute steep.
Tisane of the evening……
I need to get back to curtailing my evening snacking. Somehow, Frank’s honeybush blends always make it easier as they are the best out there. This one is very good. Light chocolate, something creamy, and of course mint. The honeybush base just adds sweetness with a slight woodsy flavor. I definitely prefer honeybush over rooibos.
Teapot method with an 8 minute steep. Yum!