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956 Tasting Notes

92
drank Gong Fu by Zhi Tea
956 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……..

I have not had this one in a while. I love gong fu black tea. The cocoa notes are so wonderful, especially when you are trying to avoid too much sugar in your life. I really should be drinking this type of tea more often, but I always seem to get distracted by the teas that are more fussy than this. This is awesome, but still, everyday tea.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LadyLondonderry

I love its awesome non-fussiness. Looks like I’ll have to brew some this weekend and get in on the Gong Fu Black revival that’s goin’ on ’round here. And yes, “Kung Fu Fighting” just started auto-playing in my head. :-)

LadyLondonderry

BTW, the price of this one has taken quite a jump lately — the little tin has gone from $13.95 to $17.95, and the 8 oz. pouch has leapt from $22.95 all the way to $37.95! A little too expensive to be an “everyday tea,” at least for me.

LadyLondonderry

By “lately,” I mean since I ordered it last August.

SimplyJenW

Yikes! That is a price jump. I bought the 8 oz pouch back in August and I think I have about half left…..

SimplyJenW

I just looked. Something must be up with that pricing. Why would you spend over $100 on a 1 lb pouch when you can buy 2of the 8 oz pouches for around $76. Did you see that the sample is $12.95? Wow! I remember thinking last year that $40 for the 1 lb pouch was highish, but the $22.95 was good enough because I was pretty sure I would be able to drink it before it got old. It was a waste/balance thing…. But now, I know I will buy elsewhere.

TeaBrat

Jen – where else would you buy one like this? I liked it too but it does seem rather expensive.

SimplyJenW

Read my reviews on Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu Black….. ;)

LadyLondonderry

You’re right — that per-pound price makes no sense at all!

LadyLondonderry

We are of one mind … I just went to the Teavivre site and checked that one out, because I remembered your reviews of it. $62.40 for a little over a pound — that’s more like it. Teavivre, here I come (next payday)!

SimplyJenW

It almost makes me wonder if the next season for this tea is not as good, so they are hoarding. Or maybe it just was not as abundant?

TeaBrat

I don’t know about this particular brand, but I’ve read generally tea prices are going up which reflects high demand…

ScottTeaMan

Yes, and once prices increasethey rarely come down [Sigh]. ://

SimplyJenW

I noticed the price is back down to a normal range….at $32.95 for 8 ounces. However, I also noticed the same picture up for their Keemun Mao Feng as Gong Fu Black. Can I just say that is one of my pet peeves? Use a place holder or put up the right picture. Those kinds of short cuts make you winder where else they take short cuts.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
956 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

I do think I am ready to add some Elyse to my Franken-Breakfast blend. A 1 part Elyse to 5 parts of a mix of all the black teas (Assam, Keemun, and I think Ceylon in this round…) works very well for my palate! It adds a little more of an Assam kick and a hint of honey. I do think the Elyse tea is meant to be strong enough to stand up to milk, but I am not a milk tea person.

Usual teapot method with a 3 minute steep.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
956 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

I have an ongoing tin of Franken-Breakfast Blend that helps me use up odds and ends of teas that lend themselves well to such a blend. I am holding off rebuying my favorite breakfast tea until I use up some of the teas in my stash, (and a lover of unflavored black teas collects quite a bit of black tea over time…). Usually, Franken-Breakfast involves some kind of Keemun and Assam, perhaps with a little Yunnan or Ceylon thrown in for good measure. The blend I have going right now seems good, but it could still use a kick of something strong. Today, I added what I think is the strongest tea in my cupboard, Elyse’s Blend from Harney & Son’s. It is more of a sweet kick in the pants kind of tea, but a little of it does make the blend pop. Plus, it is definitely sweeter with the honey flavor just adding a hint of honey (rather than the strong honey flavor of Elyse on its own) to the blend. I think I will play some more with this….. Ratio for today was 2:1 Franken-Breakfast to Elyse. I think I could even go a little lighter on the Elyse….

Teapot method with a 3 minute steep.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I need to start me up one of these franken-tins!!!

SimplyJenW

Franken Chai is fun, too!

Indigobloom

oh dear, now that would be interesting indeed :)

teawing

I bought some green chai locally a while back, it was heavy on the spice and not much green, so I played with it adding some gunpowder, a little sencha and now it is just right. I didnt realize I was building a monster! franken-tin…I love it!

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83

Iced tea of the day…..

Yep, this one is losing its luster for me. I have given some away and am trying it out iced to see if it has any value for me to keep it. Not bad. I can taste the bergamot and the cream adds kind of a weird but interesting aftertaste. I don’t sweeten my iced tea, so teas do taste vastly different iced than when I drink them hot.

I am in the midst of a good sized edit of my tea cupboard. I do like this one hot well enough, but I am kind of over having 80 teas to choose from on a daily basis. I think I could be happy with about 1 quarter of that. This one is not going to be replaced, even though I did enjoy it while i had it.

Usual iced tea method.

TeaBrat

I think you should make some Earl grey chocolate truffles… :)

SimplyJenW

Those sound good!

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92
drank Black Currant by Harney & Sons
956 tasting notes

Iced tea of the day…..

This is absolutely wonderful iced. I get the berry/black currant flavor along with a base of refreshing tea. So good, and so relieved that I like this both hot and iced. I can now start editing the extras in the cupboard. I need to do some serious reducing.

I have come across a few teas I don’t like much iced. If I have to sweeten them iced, I won’t like them. It is funny, because the teas I like both hot and cold…I drink the iced without additions, and the hot with a little sweetness. I might have to try some greens iced soon, just to see how that plays out since I drink them hot without sweet added. Anyway, it is good to have a few favorite teas in the stash that are great both hot and iced. I see this one and Lychee, also from Harney & Sons, being staples in my cupboard for just this reason. They are both such adaptable teas.

Usual iced tea method.

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88

Tea of the morning……

I needed a tasting of this one to see if it might lend itself to my Franken-Breakfast tea blend. Really, it is very good on its own, and I think I will just drink this one plain. I am thinking it will also be good iced, as my cup from this morning has cooled and it still tastes very malty, chocolatey, and complex. The leaves on this one brew up huge for a black tea. Very good!

Usual teapot method. For only 4 tsp of tea, my infuser basket was nearly full to the top!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Lychee by Harney & Sons
956 tasting notes

Iced tea of the day……

This has got to be my favorite iced tea. It is tea with a hint if citrusy rose. I do love it hot, too, but it is super awesome iced. So refreshing. I would make this as a cold steep, but I am much more impatient than that, and I now have an ice maker in my fridge! It is just too easy to brew it up. Iced tea in less than 7 minutes……

Usual pitcher method (soon to be added to my profile!):
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.

Dinosara

I had the lychee bug as well this afternoon!

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Second tea of the morning…….

I received this sample a several weeks ago from TeaVivre and have been putting off reviewing due to my seasonal allergies. It is hard to taste things very well when your sense of smell is off. I am a little sad it is out of stock, but am hopeful that there will be more for the next season.

This is nutty, and more vegetal than the Premium Dragonwell. There is the slightest hint of bitterness, but it works to cleanse the palate. It is a surprisingly refreshing tea, and there is not a hint of aftertaste. I would never have guessed that the lightest amount of bitterness could work so well in ones favor. It can be a good thing, when in the right amount. I am sure it will be a great resteeper, and I will thoroughly enjoy the sample. I hope to add a few more notes on this one because it is so interesting how flavors I thought were not of interest to me actually are! Thank you, again, to TeaVivre for the opportunity to sample this one.

190 water, about 2 tsp tea in a 15 oz mug. 3 minutes. No additions.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Earl Grey by Market Spice
956 tasting notes

Iced tea of the day……

It is iced tea weather! I made this up today, and man is it tasty. It was pretty close to 8 tsp, brewed strong in my 24 oz teapot, and then transferred to my Fiestaware Disc Pitcher (about 60 oz) that was half full of ice. No additions. Perfection. I am so glad that iced tea seems to be a little more forgiving than hot for me. It will give me a chance to use up some of the tea in my cupboard that is not in the list of favorites. This one, however, is so much better iced than hot. Earl Grey iced is wonderful. I wonder if Capt. Picard knows this………

gmathis

I keep looking for ways to like Earl Grey—isn’t every down-to-the-last-leaf tea junkie supposed to drink it copiously? But iced is another option I’ll have to try.

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91
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
956 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

And ‘Happy Friday!’ of the first week of DST where I am. I know why DST is so hard to adjust to this year….it perfectly coincided with the onset of my seasonal allergies. So tired and congested and sneezy. Now that I have made it to Friday, I needed the tea that is gives a super jolt. I actually brewed this a little stronger than normal, because I usually go a little light on the tea and shorter on the steep. What I have now is a very strong cup of tea. It is better when I brew it properly, but this is really doing the trick for getting me going today.

Usual teapot method….wish I had remembered how I usually brew this one (light leaf and short time), but it is working. Perhaps it is time for a sticker on top of the tin to remind me. It is getting difficult to remember optimal steeping parameters for the number of teas I have in the stash….

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cheryl

Picked up stickers, just for this reason. Once I get something “just so”, on goes the sticker. We probably have different allergies, but when I went out and about yesterday, I flared up too. Breezy, warm, and had just rained (a LOT) << mold/mildew heaven (plus new pollens). Ugg. Feel better!

TeaBrat

Happy Friday!

Dinosara

Yeah, I find I almost always have to check steepster before brewing something unless it’s one of my favorites. A sticker on the top sounds like a better idea than waiting for steepster to load in the morning!

ashmanra

I washed my car yesterday. It was yellow again by the time I was done, but then, I knew I was just getting the dirt off and would have to rinse it every day!

K S

I found the fix for DST and allergies. Benadryl at bedtime! I actually go to sleep instead of staring at the ceiling and I can breathe. Side benefit I can taste my tea.

ashmanra

K S, I just started doing the same thing! I have never taken anything for my allergies before but I needed it to sleep a few weeks ago when this started and it worked. Losing sleep makes everything worse.

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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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