974 Tasting Notes

89

Tea of the morning….. (SRP #18)

This tea comes from Amanda. And of course, I had it as an inaugural cuppa in my daughter’s new Kati cup. (I know, kind of weird, but I asked her if I could use it to compare to my mug…)

This is lovely. This is my favorite Vanilla tea to date. The Harney Vanilla Black is a close second to this, but it oh so much more affordable, and much easier for me to obtain. I love Vanilla Comoro, but I can still taste the remnants of the decaffienation process, even though it is the best decaf vanilla tea out there, and I do score it a little higher than I normally would because I can drink it at night. I also have to say this is one of the first Mariage Freres teas I have really liked…well this one and The Au Tibet. I have tried a few other popular ones, but they just did not appeal. I am not sure it will make the shopping list due to there being only a few places in the US that carry this tea. I see a cup of Vanilla Black from Harney in my near future just to see if this would be worth the effort to get it.

All that nonsense aside, I am so grateful to Amanda for sharing this with me. It is really good! Thank you!

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81
reviewed Kati loose tea system by Teaware
974 tasting notes

Like Azzrian, I got a few of these when Tea Forte had a FREE Kati cup with the purchase of a tin of tea. One will probably be a gift, this one is actually for my daughter (it is the one with the tree on it and a white background). I have a ForLife Curve Tall Tea Mug with a strainer, too. So really this is kind of a comparison of the two. I also ordered the orange Kati with the white flowers. The orange is a muted version of an orange crayola. I was hoping it would be a brighter orange, but it is still cute.

Volume on this is 12 oz. and it is supposed to be double walled. The ForLife is 15 oz. and is not double walled, but it has a handle. One thing that I don’t like about the Kati, it still gets pretty hot. I felt like I had to wait to drink my tea. I don’t think this will be much of an issue for my daughter because she will know when she can drink it if the cup is not too hot.

The strainers are completely different. It looks like the ForLife strainer will hold at least three times the volume of the Kati strainer. The ForLife mug uses the same strainer that goes in their 24 and 45 oz teapots. It is very handy when drinking large leaf teas. I also like that the ForLife strainer sits flat in the lid when you are done steeping, where the strainer in the Kati kind of wobbles when sitting in the lid. I do find the holes in the ForLife strainer to be much finer than the Kati, but if you need super-fine, I recommend the Finum basket strainers.

As far as looks, the ForLife one is pretty boring. It just comes in single colors. The Kati had some cute prints. For my daughter, having some kind of print on the cup is a bonus as she really enjoys decorated things.

For function, the ForLife wins hands down. But the Kati is so pretty!

I think I may also pick up a cup from David’s Tea so I can have a print, too! The ones at David’s look very similar to the ForLife, but not quite exact.

aisling of tea

We have six of the DavidsTea ones, not counting the one that broke because I am an idiot. We love them. Seriously, we have enough mugs in this house to keep a small country well hydrated, but when we run out of perfect mugs, there’s always a moment of “Oh crap, we’re out of mugs….no, wait.” XD. I cannot recommend them enough and I think they’re well worth the price.

Dinosara

I’ve had a Kati cup for quite a long time now, and it’s my primary brewing method at work. The handle broke off my strainer a while back, and for a while I just pried it out of the cup with an implement. Finally I bought a ForLife infusion basket that also fits in the cup and I’m very pleased with it. I definitely understand prefering the ForLife baskets.

As far as the heat issue goes, in the end it works for me because I don’t like to drink my tea super hot so if I can pick it up, I can drink it. No more burning my mouth on too-hot tea!

TeaBrat

These do look so pretty – I do want one! (of course)
I just got a Finum yesterday though and I love it…

Dylan Oxford

I love my finum too.

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88

Tea of the morning….AKA Hard Core Black of the day…

I cannot get past needing a good cup of black tea in the morning. It is a good thing, because I have a serious backlog of black tea to drink. (I know someone around here called their tea stash a backlog, rather than an overabundance…)

I do really like this one. The leaves are long and twisted with golden tips. The liquor has a bit of red to it, but mostly amber colored. Definite notes of honey and malt. Maybe the slightest hint of smoke. It is on my chopping block…..I am not replacing it right away, if at all, but it is too good on its own to add it into my Franken-Breakfast Blend. I only have about an ounce left, but I will enjoy it!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

Tisane of the evening…..

Yes, JacquelineM is responsible for my now having this in my cupboard. Who can resist “Holy Dumbledore’s Lemon Drops” when you love lemon tea and are a Potterhead? I needed a few things from Mountain Rose Herbs anyway, and I am trying to incorporate more herbals in my life. So, when I hear about a good one, especially a good lemon one, I tend to cave. I should be good for a while, now. I did get a decent amount of this along with some Assam and Lapsang Souchong, as well as the ingredients for my Comfort Tea blend.

This is lemony for sure. There are herbal notes, too, but it is mostly lemon. I think my non-tea drinking daughter might have a go with this as she needs to drink lemon tea for her musical pursuits. Yes, even flutists have to manage throat goo. I am giving her a Kati cup with a tree on it in the hopes that she will eventually be taken with tea.

Teapot method, 8 minutes. Lightly sweetened with Splenda. I might try the local honey next time. I need to be doing better at consuming it for my allergies.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Indigobloom

good luck making another convert! it looks like you have an “in” there! :P

TeaBrat

oooh! this sounds nice, I think I would like it. :)

JacquelineM

I love this one with honey! Do tell how the Lapsang is. :) My husband is crazy for Lapsang and I’m always looking for different ones for him to try.

Bonnie

Real authentic, and more rare Lapsang Souchong comes from the village of Tong Mu and you can get it from Stash Tea for a really good price. I’m going to try some myself. It is more assertive I’ve read and produced in small quantities. This village is the origin of the tea.

TeaBrat

I love Hu Kwa!!!

JacquelineM

Bonnie – I love fascinating information like that! Thank you! I am going to seek out that Tong Mu Lapsang.

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
974 tasting notes

Second tea of the morning……….

I have not had this one in a while. It combines so many of my favorite scents into one lovely tea. There is rose, Early Grey, and jasmine, and I think the tea base is a black tea. I do try to remember to brew at a slightly lower temp due to the jasmine. I am guessing it is probably best for an afternoon tea, but this sounded good now.

I did have a sample of this come in my foodzie box from LiberTEAS. Surprisingly, it was the only sample from the box of a tea I have tried, and I feel like I have been around the block a few times when it comes to ordering tea. It really is a fabulous tea.

Usual teapot method with a 195 temp.

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90

Backlog from the weekend…… (SRP #17, a sipdown)

It was a very busy weekend. I kind of felt like we were running in all directions. Saturday was Solo & Ensemble contest for both of my kids (a flutist and a violist), and Sunday we had a short program with the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW for a writing contest in which my son participated. I know I did not get my usual amount of tea in (and my headaches proved it!)

This, however, was memorable. It is the end of my tin. So sad. I will miss Mr. Dark & Mysterious (and currently irreplaceable) . Perhaps Harney & Sons will find some to offer again.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Tan Yang Te Ji by TeaSpring
974 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon……. (SRP #16)

Tasting note #700. Wow. I can’t believe it. Which leads me to how this tea came to reside in my cupboard. If you hang around Steepster long enough, you start to get to know other members and their tea loves. I believe this is Angrboda’s all time favorite. It is a Fujian black, which are my favorite black teas. This tea has been on my list for ages, so I splurged on 50g. It arrived today in the mail, just in time for my 700th note. Perfect timing!

Oh. Yeah. (I keep hearing that song from ‘Ferris Beuller’s Day Off’ now…) This tea is fabulous. Notes of chocolate, not cocoa-chocolate!, a slightly heavier mouthfeel than others like it (my gong fu blacks), and really tea perfection. I think I want to keep this one around for a while. I stuck with the smaller amount for my first order with TeaSpring since I have a tea inventory problem at home. Once I get a handle on the inventory, I will order more.

Usual mug method. (Want more NOW!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Missy

wow! 700 tasting notes.

TeaBrat

I passed 700 recently too… I can’t believe it!

Missy

lol some day I’ll get there…

Dylan Oxford

Wow, nice going!

ScottTeaMan

Your review of this tea reminds me how I miss TeaSpring & must place an order SOON!

Dinosara

Wow congrats on 700! I guess I’m not too far away from that myself (I probably would have hit it if I hadn’t been traveling, I think). This is high on my list of teas to try. Sounds amazing!

Bonnie

700 hootie hoo! Congrats to yoouuu!

Indigobloom

wowsa, 700!!! congrats! what a tea to mark the occasion :P

Azzrian

Dang that is commitment lol congrats!

Angrboda

Tan Yang! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Ninavampi

Congrats on 700!!!! : )

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Tea of the morning….. (SRP #15)

And one from LiberTEAS. Wow. The way I brewed this tea this morning would put hair on your chest. Of course, me being female, that is not really a very attractive thought. Since I am not one to add milk, and the stronger teas take some adjustments on the brewing parameters for me, I must try again. But whoa, this was strong. Stay tuned for another attempt at a later date. So far, I got malty, earthy with a bit of astringency, and a whole lotta briskness. I need to go lighter on the leaf and shorter on the brew time for my next attempt.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Hey!! Who says that’s not an attractive thought! :))

ashmanra

Scott: EWWW! LOL!
Jen: I have this one from Southern Season and it resteeps really well. Did you try a resteep?

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88

Sample Sipdown! (SRP #14)

Special thanks to Scott for the tea, and the fact that he sent enough so that I could try it a few times. I really like this one, and will likely buy some once I get a handle on the inventory.

Complex and well rounded. Very satisfying. This is my hard core black tea of the day! And I made a whole pot this time!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Where is Scott? :(

SimplyJenW

True. I have not seen any posting from him, lately….

ScottTeaMan

I feel like a lost soul in this tea world right now…….but I am back. :)) Glad you like it Jenn.

LadyLondonderry

I like the idea of having a “hardcore black tea of the day.” :)

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Second tea of the morning…… (SRP #13)

Another Teavana sample courtesy of Fairyfli. (Thank you!)

I brewed up a pot of this not really knowing what to expect, but with a word like Assam in the name, I was thinking more along the lines of hard core black tea. There are lots of things in there….some black tea, some fruit pieces, some spice pods, lots of lemongrass. Really, I think I probably should have used more leaf (but I ran out….I still used over 3 perfect tsp for my pot…). The other thing I probably should have done is not paid attention that this was Assam. I was kind of looking for a good black tea to keep the morning moving. This is not that tea. It needs to be reclassified in my mind as a black, fruit, and herbal blend. And by using a similar amount of tea blend as I do to black tea, I am left with not much black tea flavor, but a whole lot of other going on. Notes of tropical flavors for sure, but the lemongrass is probably the foremost taste.

Usual teapot method, but with much less sweetening. It is a Teavana fruit blend, afterall.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

Location

Ohio

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