971 Tasting Notes

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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90

Tea of the morning…….

I was curious about this one, even though I feel like I have all the Dian Hong I will ever need from Teavivre. I do love a good Dian Hong, though, so it was kind of a no brainer to give it a try.

Leaves are thick, twisted and have some golden tips. It is not as golden tipped as Teavivre’s golden tip dian hong, but more in line with their full leaf version. I would say it follows the profile of a good dian hong as far as taste…..malt, cocoa. Heartiness without astringency or briskness. What I do find remarkable about all the teas I have tried from Joseph Wesley is the heavy mouthfeel. They all make such a heavy brew which is very satisfying….like you are drinking something substantial. It makes me want to go back to my other dian hongs to see how they stack up.

For me, I do see this one as the one I may not need to buy soon of the 4 I was initially interested in. The outstanding winner for me is the Keemun. Then the Bai Lin. However, I can tell he really does pay attention to the quality of the teas he sells. Plus, for a black tea drinker like me, his product line is perfect. We shall see once I get my tins!

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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Tea of the morning…..

Yes, this is pretty hefty. I am not normally a straight Assam drinker. I do drink it in blends, but usually find them a little too hearty for me on their own. I am sure you are wondering, why did she order a sample of Assam?…..well, because there were 4 teas from Joseph Wesley that I wanted to try and they were offered at 3, 5, or all 7. You will get another jumbled review of the Darjeeling that was my free sample…..another tea that I don’t drink much, if at all.

Thoughts: I am getting some malt, there is definitely a briskness, and really, it kind of takes over. There are chocolate notes, but they are kind of dark chocolate/malt blended together with the kick of brisk. As far as Assams go, it is good. Likely, the best one I have had (but remember, I don’t seek them out and I have only had a few.) Not sorry I took the time to try it, and, frankly, it is a perfect Monday morning tea.

Usual mug method.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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96

Second tea of the day…….

I am trying to do some figuring. I really want to see if the Bai Lin Confu from Joseph Wesley is different enough from this to justify getting some. I was probably a little lazy in that the first tea I drank today was a second steep of my Joseph Wesley tea leaves from yesterday.

They are pretty similar in flavor profile, notes of cocoa/chocolate and caramel. I do feel that the Joseph Wesley version has a much heavier mouthfeel, even comparing my resteep from earlier today to this. I could never give this one up, though, as I love it. I think I have pretty much decided to try a tin of the Joseph Wesley when I get together an order as it will not be difficult to drink 50 grams. However, the value of this one will always keep me coming back.

Usual teapot method.

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

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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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