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958 Tasting Notes

92

Tea of the morning……

I got my package of samples from Joseph Wesley. You can tell that much thought has been put into the presentation of the samples and the enclosed materials. Also, he included a hand written note and an extra sample. I ordered the Assam, the Classic Chinese, the Dian Hong, the Keemun and the Bai Lin. He included the Darjeeling for me. I can’t wait to try them all.

This is good. I am getting a little roastier flavor than I would expect from a tea like this. Notes of cocoa, maybe a hint of smoke if I really look for it, maltiness, and a good heartiness that is quite nice. A very complex cup for a classic black tea. I did resteep for a little longer the second time around, and it was also very good. I am not sure if this will be on my list to buy from him, as I have a few others to taste, but it is exactly what I like in a classic black tea.

Usual mug method with just a little cooler on the water for the first steep at 4 minutes, and boiling for the second at six minutes.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

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

Sounds wonderful!
(and, Oh wonderful; a new tea company to drool over!)

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94

Tea of the morning……

There is some new Golden Monkey in town….. Well, at least this one is new to me. It is a new harvest. All of the tasting notes prior to this one are for the 2012 harvest. Now we are onto the 2013 harvest. I have to say, I like this one even better.

I don’t think it is quite as fuzzy. Leaves are long, curly and have golden orange tips. The volume on my 100g pack did not fit into the tin I had been using, so I have about a pot and a half still in the bag. Very fluffy! I do find this one slightly less earthy, and more sweet than the 2012. During my last cup of the 2012, I was almost thinking that I could skip reordering the Golden Monkey, but now I am not so sure. (I know my tea notes seem to focus quite a bit on paring down the number of teas in my possession, but it is hard to imagine that I need 50 versions of straight black tea until I go tasting them!) Yummy good. I will leave you with that!

Usual teapot method, slightly heaping spoons for measure. One if these days I might get out my scale……

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
ashmanra

I love me some Golden Monkey! Don’t worry about not using a scale. The Chinese tea masters did without them for thousands of years! :)

Nicole

I completely hear you on the “how do I need 50 versions of straight black tea” conundrum. :)

K S

2013 is better than 2012? Yeah, I mean Noooo! I am trying to not open it until I finish off a few dozen others. Now, how am I going to stay out of the only tea I ever rated 100 knowing it might be a 100+?

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96

Tea of the morning…..

Do you ever have that moment sipping your tea where you just have to stop what you are doing and savor the moment? Well, that is happening this morning. It is like I chose the perfect tea for the moment and it is perfection. I will admit to having too many choices for great black tea in my cupboard, and it is only occasionally that I have a moment like that.

The tea is wonderful. Notes of honey, maybe raisin, light on the cocoa. Mouthfeel is thick. The leaves are curly brown and golden orange with a fuzz. So glad I have some of this in my stash.

Usual teapot method with the spoons slightly heaping as this is a fluffy tea.

Edit to add: the resteep for 6 minutes was also very good! Bonus!

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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91

Tea of the morning….

I finally broke into my Christmas tea. I will admit to ordering tea for myself for Christmas. Hubby knows I love my tea, but am incredibly particular about it. He was fine with me doing so. I think this was actually an order placed over Thanksgiving weekend. It was nice to fill out my Teavivre collection a little. The staples of my Teavivre teas are Bailin Gongfu and The Golden Tip Yun Nan Dian Hong. I purchased both in copious amounts when Teavivre had their 2 year anniversary sale. Now I have added in this, as well as the lowest grade of Dian Hong (which is such a value tea, in my opinion), The Panyang, and a refill of the Golden Monkey. I cannot help myself when it comes to China black tea, and Teavivre just does tea so well.

I think this is the first time I have purchased this, even though I had it early in my Teavivre sampling days. I have purchased grade 2 a few times, but I decided it was time to try another. I get notes of chocolate, but they are seriously tempered with a light smoke that is not anywhere near as smokey as lapsang. I also get an earthiness and a touch of astringency. Overall, though, it is a smooth cup. This morning I was struck by how much this reminded me of coffee. I used to be a coffee drinker, but now I am a tea drinker who occasionally has a cup of coffee. ;) That must be why I am always drawn to the lower grades of Keemun. I like the fancy ones, but I can never be without some kind of basic Keemun in my cupboard. I did notice the shorter leaves in this, and I measured accordingly. My teaspoons were on the scant side. It came out perfect.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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91

Tea of the morning……

February has been super busy. Usually, this time of the year goes by so slowly. It is good to be able to sit and enjoy my tea for a moment. What a nice break from the craziness going on right now. I only wish it were longer, so I will have to savor the short moment.

Notes of honey, chocolate, and just yum.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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97
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
958 tasting notes

Tea of the morning.

I have had this one for too long. It is a prime example of my tendency to save the good stuff for a rainy (or snowy, as in today’s weather) day. It is still very good, but it should probably have been gone by now. The thing that struck me this morning was the chocolate smell that wafted from the bag when I opened it. I was at a point where I was not going to replace this, but now I think I will when the time comes. I do tend to shy away from the more expensive places to purchase tea, but there are some places that sell remarkable teas and you always get what you pay for. Verdant is one of them. This is a remarkable tea, even though I have probably had it for 2+ years by now. Proper storage always comes up, and this one has just been sitting in its original packaging in my dark cupboard that is on an inside wall. It does not seem any worse for not using fancier storage.

Notes of chocolate, slight malt, no smoke. Very yummy.

Usual mug method and going for a resteep.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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93
drank Lychee by Harney & Sons
958 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon…..

I always forget about this one. It is a shame, really, because it tastes like a traditional China black base with this wonderful rosey/orangey scent and flavor. It is great hot, and great iced. It is perfect for afternoon tea.

I know I have been wanting to do daily afternoon tea for some time. I think I have had it for a few days in a row. I need to remember to set this time aside for me every day.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Tea of the morning…..

I am so glad this one finally arrived. Shipping times were slow due to the holidays, I imagine. I saw it was routed through Chicago, too, and they have had some pretty frigid weather. I usually spring for the shipping so it will get here faster, but I am thinking that was not such a good idea in this case.

Well, the tea is worth the wait. I get a floral note, there is a roastiness (ashmanra and JacquelineM- this kind of reminds me of Emperor’s Red from Premium Steap, but more floral), and a lingering sweetness. Really, it is like tea candy. I know that is a weird description, but the cocoa notes come across like a rose chocolate. I am not sorry at all that I just jumped in ordering 100g of this. It will be savored.

Usual mug method so I can try a resteep and not be tealogged.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I was just pining for Emperor’s Red last night. Maybe I should put in an order for this!

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87

Matcha of the day…..

I took the advice of Fjellrev and made this one with frozen strawberries and just a 1/4 of a banana to sweeten it up a little. Very yummy, and my daughter liked it, too. We can never get enough fruit in, so this is a win/win. Creamy and strawberry goodness!

1 c. milk, a handful of sliced frozen strawberries, 1/4 a frozen banana, 1/2 tsp matcha. Blend.

Fjellrev

Glad you liked it! I ought to start making these again too. :)

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97

Tea of the morning…..

I just seem to be a mess when it comes to brewing this week. Last night the kids were making pretzels and they used my tea kettle to make hot water for their brine water. They changed the variable dial down to make water around 150. Well, I made my first pot of KMF with 150 water. Yea, it was pretty weak. Luckily, this one has a second steep that is as good as the first, so I don’t feel like it was a complete loss. I adjusted the dial and made fresh water, dumped the weak pot, and made a perfect pot of tea. I do love this one. My black tea first love. Notes of cocoa, smoke, and malt with the slightest hint of a bite, all perfectly together.

I would say usual teapot method, but I did not quite do it right the first time. Resteep at 5 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling
Nightshifter

Sounds good!

looseTman

Agreed – Very high praise!
I understand that TeaVivre has plans for a KMF sometime this year.

caile

ooh, nice!

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Profile

Bio

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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