956 Tasting Notes
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.
Tea of the morning…… (SRP #2…Sample Reduction Plan )
And this is I think the last tea from my Lucky Bag from Lupicia from New Years. I do have to say that the Lucky Bag (actually called a Fukubukro Bag) was a fun introduction to Lupicia, but I am not sure I would do it again. The fact that it is a good introduction kind of defeats the marketing of this bag….You have to be intending to purchase it in order to get one before they sell out. It takes a little planning ahead on a holiday, but then some of us, like me, are tea obsessed. As a result, it did work for me.
This is a very fluffy black. The leaves are pretty big (hence the FOP designation without a B in there!) It kind of reminds me of a ceylon, but not as bready. Kind of like a Chinese congou, but not as chocolatey. There are no hints of smoke, and I would probably just call it a simple black tea. The front does have a slight hint of malt, and the end is very smooth. Yes, simple. I do have just under 50 grams of this, and it might be sorted into the Franken Breakfast Blending Lab (really, just a plastic shoe box sized bin.) It will make a great base tea.
Usual teapot method.
New tea of the day…… (AKA SRP #1 in Sample Reduction Plan 2012)
I got this one in my foodzie box from LiberTEAS. I missed out on this when Culinary Teas had it available for a short time in February. I was so glad that Ann was able to include this one in my box.
I get mostly rose tea with a hint of chocolate. It is really very good. I do think I could do with a bit less rose and a bit more chocolate flavor. It is amazing how much this reminds me of Upton’s Rose Congou but with a slightly bigger hint of chocolate. From the description on Steepster, it is a blend of rose tea and chocolate tea. I have Harney’s Valentine blend which is chocolate tea with a hint of rose. Really, I think I would like something in between the two, but I will happily drink this one until it is gone.
Usual teapot method.
You give some away, you get much more in return……
This is the end of my sample of this tea from Batrachoid. I found it in the bottom of my sample bin (which is really three shoebox sized plastic bins) while doing some kind of Spring cleaning (really, let’s be honest that it is more of a Spring ‘shuffling things around’ than actual cleaning!) Some of these samples were purchased, and some were from swaps. If I tried one every day from now until the end of the year, I am not sure I could get through all of them. I think we might call my next sample-palooza A Sample (or three…) A Day Keeps the Stash at Bay, unless you out there can think of something better. How about Climb Sample Mountain……
The mixture of the generosity of my Steepster friends and my obsession with trying just a few more teas has me buried in samples and a few new ones to try. I think I even have a few more samples and certainly some new teas in transit as I type this. Really, it is getting out of hand. I did finally start purchasing most teas in smaller amounts which seems to help a little. I really have to get a handle on my tea. I am to the point where I have to categorize….ones I will finish as iced tea, ones that will be replaced when gone, ones that will be good blenders for my Franken-Breakfast tin, ones that are packaged for travel, etc……. and then the mountain of samples.
Here I sit with this awesome cuppa. I do so appreciate the sharing of this particular tea as it is not available any longer. One day I will probably buy something from this company due to their meticulous attention to detail and awesome packaging. But, it is not this day…… I must press on to be a more efficient and responsible tea drinker and purchaser. It is hard to think of it going to waste, and if I give it away, I end up with more than I started. (You guys are wonderfully generous. Our community here always restores my faith in humanity. I raise this awesome cuppa to you!) :D
Usual mug method.