974 Tasting Notes

86

Tea of the afternoon……

I recently bought a few black tea samples from Upton again. I tend to do this for entertainment, mostly, but every now and then I find something great.

I get the typical profile of a quality Keemun. This is oh so smooth and gentle. Very low to almost undetectable on the smoke. Notes of cocoa, bread, malt (I kind of think the bread/malt note is very similar in a way) with a touch of floral. One of the reasons this one caught my eye is that it is the same type of tea that Andrews & Dunham is offering as their limited Edition Spring Keemun. I am still on the fence about that one due to the cost and no samples. This one is pretty pricey on its own. It hits about the max I feel comfortable spending, if the tea is special. I am not sure if this one is worth it.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
MzPriss

JenW I bought that A&D Spring Keemun and I would be happy to send you some. It’s nice but its not one I will hoard, so hit me up if you want some.

SimplyJenW

MzPriss- Thank you so much for the offer, but I think I will skip it. I am one of those weird people who always falls madly in love with a limited tea and then I am kicking myself later, LOL! I am just going to save myself the hassle!

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Tea of the afternoon……

I have had this sample in my stash for a while. I am not sure why it took me so long to try it. Oh well. It is an interesting one. A Panyang congou with a hint of smoke. Very Keemun-like. Fun to try for someone like me, but I am pretty sure this one will not go on the rebuy list. It kind of seems to be in the same range as the Keemun at Joseph Wesley, but not nearly as good.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Berries, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Angrboda

I still haven’t tried the JW keemun. I’m not ready yet. :) I pet the tin now and then, though.

SimplyJenW

It is definitely very petable! LOL!

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92

Tea of the morning……

This is a great morning tea. It is heavier on the malt than what I usually drink. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Assam in a way. Nice and hearty, dark chocolate notes, with a serious kick. Today I decided to brew by the mug, and the second steep at 6 minutes was just as good and hearty as the first.

I think I read in a response to another Steepster poster that this one was going into sachet only form soon. I do find that kind of disappointing, just because I am a loose leaf drinker and only use bagged tea when I travel. It is not so much that I don’t think a high quality tea should come in sachet form, as I like the simplicity and reduced waste from loose leaf as much as I love the flavor. I also understand that business has to evolve in order to survive. Bagged tea makes more sense for some and is very convenient. I am one customer, and I want the company to be around for a while, so I am going to trust what is going on for now.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
MzPriss

Agree. Makes me sad too :(

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

It gives me hope that you want the tea to stay in loose leaf form. With that said, one of our goals is to limit the number of teas we make available so that you may have a more meaningful relationship with them. It’s always seemed that offering 60+ teas might make good business sense but doesn’t help the customer gain an appreciation for any particular tea. We’re taking this tea out of the line-up so that we can introduce another loose leaf tea that I believe is better suited for our project. I hope that after you taste the new tea you’ll approve of our decision to give the #3 jersey to this new tea. As always, thanks for the comments. -Joe

SimplyJenW

Joseph Wesley Black Tea, I am definitely looking forward to whatever you have to offer in the future. I do appreciate your approach, which is why I am excited to see how it unfolds. Yes, the (hopefully) more dignified version of fan-girling, here!

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89

Tea of the morning…….

It is always a good time to pare down the stash. This is a tea I will happily drink, but was not planning on buying more because the cost does not quite match up with the enjoyment for me. It is also currently out of stock, and I have less than 2 ounces, so that makes it an ideal tea to drink until it is gone. It has just been my way of getting things under control for the last year or so. It has been working for reducing the stash, but I always seem to fall in love with teas that are on their way out. Luckily, for my storage space (and the way I am trying to budget my tea purchases better this year), this one is not available or I might cave and buy one more tin.

Part of the reason teas like this are catching my eye lately is that I am cutting back on the amount of sweetener I put in my tea. Teas that are naturally sweet just taste better. There are notes of honey, sweet potato, a hint of cocoa. Decent mouthfeel. Pretty much yum. I do wonder if there will be a swing in what I like. So far, I am only noticing that the more earthy/smokey teas don’t appeal quite as much. That could change as my palate adjusts to less sweet overall, so I am not changing my staples list much for now.

The leaves on this one are also interesting. Here is a weird comparison for you…..remember the manual pencil sharpeners from grade school? They were metal, and usually attached to the wall somewhere. They were operated with a crank and had a metal reservoir kind of thing that went over the blades to catch the shavings. The shavings were a long skinny yellow-tipped corkscrew…..that is the shape of these leaves. The golden tips in the tea just add to the pencil shaving look of your yellow #2 pencils.

Anyway, this is tasting good today.

Usual teapot method.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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96

Tea of the morning……

Still absolutely love this one after all this time. I did notice a significant price jump from when I first started purchasing this. Definitely something to keep in mind when purchasing again, but it is a fantastic tea and worth having around. It is still just under half the cost of my new favorite golden tipped bai lin. So glad I don’t have to choose one.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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83

Matcha of the morning…..

Well, this is actually my second matcha today. I should be bouncing from the rafters, pretty soon. This was my free sample with my last order. I wish I knew what flavoring level the samples are. I asked on Steepster once, but my inquiry must have been overlooked. I have not taken the time to email directly, so that is on me.

This is pretty good. It really kind of reminds me of the Eggnog matcha, though. They are very similar tastes, I guess. I kind of feel that way about English Toffee and Caramel, too, but DS likes the English Toffee and not the Caramel. Go figure. I guess this could be a possibility for a flavor in the rotation. We can see if my daughter likes this better than French Vanilla. One of these days, I need to try a strawberry or coconut version.

Prepared with 8oz 1% milk, 1/2 tsp matcha and a little sweetener in a personal blender. No ice this time.

The Cup of Life - Lu Ann

I’m always amazed at what Red Leaf tea comes up with next!

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Tea of the morning……

I think this tea went through a name change. I know I added it to my cupboard when I bought it, but this is what the pouch says. All of the vital statistics between the two are the same, but there seems to be two pages with differing names. Look up Nonpareil Fengqing China Red Black Tea from Teavivre. If you search that name on the website, you get the Nonpareil Dian Hong pictures, so I think it is right.

Anyway, I enjoy this, but I don’t really think of it as anything too special. I am guessing it is a tea for gongfu brewing, and I just don’t often brew that way. I will enjoy it while I have it, but like I said, I think its uniqueness is lost on me and my western brewing ways.

Usual teapot method.

Flavors: Cocoa, Flowers

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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95

Tea of the morning……

Just imagine a golden tipped Bai Lin. This is a wonderful tea. The leaves are golden, fluffy, and just a little bit fuzzy. It looks very similar to the golden tip version of Teavivre’s Dian Hong. But this is Bai Lin! I am getting notes of cocoa and honey, and I know this will be on my rebuy list. Really, it does not even seem out of the range of a golden tipped tea for price. So happy I bought some of this one.

Very impressed with Joseph Wesley!

Usual (indulgent) teapot method.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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96

Tea of the morning…..

Still pretty spectacular. I love this Keemun with a small twist. Resteep was great, too.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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92

Tea of the morning with an early afternoon resteep……

My order came from Joseph Wesley. It got here in about 3 days as I ordered over the weekend. Pretty sweet. I love the aesthetic of the packaging, even though it has taken me a bit to decide how I want to handle it. The can is a paper wax lined can with a sturdy metal bottom, and the top fits very snugly, but you can pry it off with a little work of the hands. The tea inside is heat sealed in a heavy foil pouch. The cards enclosed in the can do state the harvest date! A win! The awkward part is that once you pull the pouch out and break the vacuum seal, it really doesn’t fit back in very well, even after I made a pot of tea. Then, I was trying to decide whether or not to just dump the pouch in the can. The weight is only 50 grams, and I don’t expect it will take long to drink all of it, so I dumped away. Now, I am kind of thinking I should have just left it in the pouch and rolled up the end. Oh well, I will just have to drink it fast and order more. I do have other pouches I can use, too if it bothers me too much later.

Yum. Both steeps were excellent. Not sorry at all that I splurged. Resteeping does get it into a more reasonable price range, but I may switch to ‘by the mug’ instead of the indulgent ‘by the pot’ I did today.

Usual teapot method….second steep for 6 minutes.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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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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