949 Tasting Notes
Tried an experiment today.
Apologies before you read further, because in some places what I did might cause a pretty good uproar.
I made this iced. I thought it would be fabulous. Not so much. All of the things I love about this tea are enhanced with the warmth.
Note to self: Reserve the pricey Premium Dragon Well for hot tea in the future. It tastes so much better that way.
Thank you for remembering!
Also, this makes me think that I will only like herbals or black teas iced. I might try a flavored green at some point.
Tea of the morning…… (SRP #10)
This is pretty much just a basic longer leaf Assam. There are definitely some golden tips, and it brews up very smooth with really no astringency or bitterness. It makes a good strong cuppa, which is greatly appreciated in the morning. (It is the second morning of waking up early to get to school after being on our own schedule last week for Spring Break…the bus comes at 6:30am….. Needless to say, my drama club teen was in rare form this morning!) The tea is dark and malty, strong and fortifying. Perfect for a morning like this one. A pulling up by the boot straps kind of tea.
Usual mug method for 3 minutes.
Second tea of the morning…. (SRP #9)
(Loose leaf version) From my foodzie box from LiberTEAS. I still have a ton of samples in that box. At least another 12, and I am sure I have tried close to 10. It has been very fun!
This is definitely Springtime in a cup. It is light, floral, and slightly sweet all on its own. I have to admit that the few things I have tried from this company have been stellar. The jasmine does not overpower the green tea base, and it is just relaxing.
It has been great to get kind of a feel for the quality before diving into a purchase because there are no samples available except for a variety pack of bagged teas, and the shipping is a little steep. I do feel his prices on loose leaf are pretty good, especially for the quality. I know there will be an order to this company in my future. I do have access to a few bagged teas locally, but I am pretty fond of loose leaf, and it just seems like a better value.
Mug method at about 175 for 2 minutes. No additions.
Tea of the morning…. (SRP#8)
I have had this one for a while. I think it appealed to me because it was likened to coffee, and I used to be a pretty hefty coffee drinker. Also, in looking at my big pile of samples, I can see that I am going to get through the black teas in my SRP-Sample Reduction Plan, well ahead of all the others. I NEED a black tea in the morning. I guess it will be a great time to use up some Franken Breakfast once I tackle those sample blacks and try the few new ones in transit (yes, I fail at ‘no buys’ for tea)….
This tea is interesting. The first thing it reminded me of is Javavana Mate from Teavana. Maybe it is not as sweet, but there is a definite note of chocolate, and the tea base is earthy and mellow. It is also a strong tea base. I do see why this tea is suggested to coffee drinkers. It could stand up to any kind of additions well. If I had gotten around to trying this in my coffee drinking days, I am pretty sure I would have purchased this. But now, I only have an occasional cup of coffee (and the occasional coffee flavored ice cream is even better!) Tea has won me over.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…. (SRP#7)
This one is from my foodzie box from LiberTEAS.
Oh man. This is fantastic. The leaves are a little shiny, twisted, and thicker than most black teas, but when they brew up, they are huge. My infuser basket is almost overflowing! The resulting tea is a dark, thick, reddish brown. It has a heavy mouthfeel. It is malty, roasty, woodsy and complex. There is a slight bit of astringency at the end, and a very slight hint of briskness. Really, a fabulous breakfast tea. (Fabulous even for the serious tea drinker in me! :D)
I did take some time to check out this company online. It looks as though they offer some very unique things (I am eyeing those Hawaiian teas…..) I am putting this on the shopping list.
Usual teapot method. I think I am going to try a resteep, too.
Thank you, LiberTEAS!
Tea/tisane of the evening…. (SRP #6)
This one comes to me from FairyFli. (Thank you so much!) She sent me such a generous bunch of samples of herbals and others from Teavana. Actually, I am excited to try them. I have not yet been to a Teavana, but I have placed a few small online orders with them for sale items or when they had free shipping. I do window shop for the teaware on occasion. We have a few stores locally, so if I find something really good and unique (and am lucky enough that it is in their current offerings), I can pick a little up for a special treat. I don’t think any of them will make my daily cuppa lists, but they are fun. And I am usually looking for a dessert replacement. This one is not bad at all.
I am going to be honest in that I went a little heavy on the leaf. I used 4 perfect teaspoons (which translates to 6 actual tsp) for my 24 oz pot. I also caved and sweetened this with Splenda. It is definitely sending me vibes of dessert. It is chocolatey, a little fruity, and there is a hint of spice. Really, it almost seems more like a hot chocolate than a tisane. Pretty tasty, and I might consider it if I need serious dessert tea without caffeine. Is this in any way a serious tea? No way! It is pure fluff and not for those who take their tea seriously all the time.
Thank you, Fairyfli! This is going to be fun!
Tea of the afternoon……
After reading JacquelineM’s review of the Lemon Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs, I remembered that I had purchased some licorice root from there a while back to make an herbal blend like an herbal blend of a similar name that is very expensive from this one spa type salon. (Sorry I am being vague, but if you know of this tea, you know…)
I am also trying to drink more blends that don’t require sweetening. This one does not due to the licorice root. I find it pretty relaxing, so I think it will be a staple in the cupboard since it is so easy to mix up, and really pretty inexpensive, too. (Recipe plus my ammendments is on the tea’s main page….) I was planning to add some tulsi to my blend all along, and was out of basil in my spice cabinet. But then I remembered that tulsi is a kind of basil, and I almost wonder if that is what they really use in the original…..
Sweet and minty. And there is a hint of anise flavor. Yum.
Teapot method for 5 minutes. No additions. (Not rating this one as I blended it up in my kitchen!)
Tea of the morning….. (SRP #5)
I can’t believe I have an untried Keemun in my possession. It has been in my sample bin since last November. See, it is a good thing to check what you have every so often.
This is very good. The leaves are not long, but they are fine (narrow) like the higher grades of Keemun. There are light notes of smoke, and cocoa, just like you would find in a good Keemun. A great breakfast tea on its own for sure. It is currently (as of April 14, 2012) $8.40 for 125 grams, so roughly $2 an ounce. I do think it is slightly richer tasting than the Organic Heng Ru Keemun which is a little less expensive. Not sure I would need the more expensive one, though, but I might spring for this at some point as my stores of Keemun are down to only the Heng Ru and my precious Harney Keemun Mao Feng. And, I must try ALL the Keemuns at Upton, just because they make it so reasonable to do so!
Usual teapot method.
Another tea of the afternoon….. (SRP #4)
This is a sample from a swap with Mercuryhime. I know you suggested cold brewing this, but I have need of warm tea…..
The tea base looks very much like a normal Bai Mu Dan. The strawberry flavoring is light. I am not sure I read much more than strawberry flavored white tea. The overall taste is refreshing. And with a little sweetener, the strawberry really shines. Definitely a good, light tasting cuppa. Perfect for late afternoon.
Tea of the afternoon….. (SRP #3……..Sample Reduction Plan)
This one was included in my foodzie box from LiberTEAS. This sample box that she sells on teatra.de.com was a great way to try several kinds of tea from a multitude of vendors for one low price (yes, I am sounding like a commercial, but actually, I am just very happy with the contents!) I have been contemplating an order at Simpson & Vail for some time, but it is always nice to try a few things just to have an idea of the quality offered by a new-to-you vendor.
This is a good one. Light cinnamon, then the notes of chocolate hint, and then a cakey note. I do think the chocolate and cakey notes are somewhat from the flavorings as well as the tea base. The cinnamon still seems very much a part of the tea. It is strong and thick enough that it kind of reminds me of coffee. I do know that if I am ever in the market for flavored tea, I will place an order at Simpson & Vail. Right now, I think I am maxed out for cupboard space until I finish a few things, or several ;).
Usual mug method.