949 Tasting Notes
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.
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………
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….
Second tea of the morning……
I am on the fence with this one. It does remind me of Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice, but with more of an orange note. It is sweet without any addition of sweetener, and the cinnamon is a little lighter than the Harney version. The orange is nice.
I am a little unsettled by this tea, though. The dry leaf looks as if it is covered in oil. I am pretty sure it is the flavoring oil, but in all my flavored tea drinking, I have only experienced one flavor that made the tea look oily and this is it. There is even a residue in the bottom of the bag…..and I transferred it into a heavier zip pouch when I opened it, so this is not even the original packaging. It had to be transferred into something because it came in clear cellophane without any means of resealing. So, we are not talking about just a little glisten of oilyness…it is drenched. The look of all that oil kind of makes me lose interest, and even turns my stomach a little. I will probably dump out most of this pot, just because the look of the leaf is so yucky (for lack of a better descriptor!) I experienced something similar with the green version. Tastes good, but the dry leaf looks ick. I did send an email asking of this was normal for this flavor, and they did say it was. (I do have to commend the quickness of the response, though. It was lightening fast!)
I am not sad I tried this. I always would have wondered. If it did not look so oily, I am sure it would be a winner for me. I do like the more prominent orange flavor.
Usual teapot method. No additions.
Tea of the early morning……
It has been a long time since I have had this one. Really, my cupboard is way to deep for comfort. All my favorites end up at the back, and the number of tins are getting a bit cumbersome. I either need to open up a tea house, or figure out how to use my tea in alternative ways. I am kidding, of course! Not about the amount, though…… I think I am at the stage in my tea journey where I mostly need to settle in with my favorites.
This is definitely a favorite. It is the perfect balance of China black tea and rose. It is also an incredibly good value at $4 for 125 grams. Love this!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning……
And my breakfast tea of choice! I love this one as my morning tea. It was not all that long ago that I purchased a 4 oz tin of this. It is gone, now, and I don’t think I even shared any of this one. I think this needs to go into the category of purchasing by the pound.
Ah, the magic of tea. It really is helping just a little with the allergies (and since it was such a mild winter, I have a feeling that my allergy season will be horrid). Or maybe it is really just keeping me better hydrated…..
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…… (this refers to the loose leaf version)
Along with a little “Return to Cranford” from BBC’s Masterpiece Theater. I ordered this because I am always curious about Earl Grey varieties. This one leans a bit on the floral side of bergamot rather than the citrus side. It is pleasant enough, but nothing remarkable. Still, very drinkable. It is not likely to make the rebuy list, but I will enjoy it while I have it. I have 4 ounces to decide for certain, though.
One note on ordering from Market Spice…they did get an item wrong in my order. We shall see how responsive they are to email contact about order issues. I am not beyond calling them if need be, but hopefully, it can all be handled by email. I did think it a little weird that loose leaf items are shipped in clear, sealed cellophane bags while their single tea bags are sealed in opaque cellophane. Also, the Market Spice and Green Market Spice teas look very greasy to the eye. The Earl Grey looks like any other single leaf variety.
Usual teapot method.
Edit to add: They got back to me the first business day after I emailed about the mistake and are sending a replacement. Very fast response!
Tea of yesterday afternoon……
Since I am such a huge fan of Harney’s Cinnamon Spice, and JacquelineM’s review mentioned that the Market Spice Cinnamon Orange teas were very similar with the orange being more prominent than in the Harney, I had to try this. I love flavored teas in this range, especially because they are sweet without needing sweetening. I am definitely not disappointed. The cinnamon is not quite as strong as in the Harney, and the orange definitely has a front seat in the taste profile. I was wondering if the two were interchangeable, and they definitely are not. For those that are fans of orange more than cinnamon, this is the choice for you. I get mild red hots in a cup with a twist of orange in this.
EDIT TO ADD: One thing that might be a deal breaker on this….the leaves look kind of greasy. I do think it is probably a result of the flavoring oils. They recommend storing the tea in a glass jar once it has been opened (really, the packaging is marginal in clear, non-resealable cellophane…it must be transferred into something else.) I guess it will take further sampling to be sure if it is a keeper.
Teapot method, 180 water, 3 minutes. No additions.
Tea of yesterday afternoon…..
And thank you so much to narwhalclub for this sample. I have been curious about this tea for a long time.
This is a very good smokey tea. I don’t think the blend of teas in the base is quite as sweet as Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon from Upton, but it is still great. I love how smooth it is, and how balanced the smokiness is. I don’t feel like I am drinking a bitter campfire like the first few lapsangs I sampled. This one is definitely a keeper.
Usual mug method.
Tea of the late morning……
I have my last round of samples from TeaVivre. This time I requested things I am considering buying, and they were very accommodating. I am very grateful for this tasting opportunity, and I am so looking forward to purchasing the next season of teas, as I am sure I have a backlog of greens from them at home to drink before they expire. This was my chance to really explore some Chinese green teas, and I am finding that all of my preconceived notions about green tea were so wrong. I don’t know why I assumed it would be otherwise, as my thoughts on tea in general have been completely rewritten, and lean nearly in the complete opposite direction as they did before I tried loose leaf. I think the green teas I had tried in the past were low quality and poorly prepared. Now, I am surrounded by high quality green tea, and I have learned a thing or two about preparation. These things have made a huge difference!
This tea is very nice. The leaves are very long and thin. They are a deeper green than the Premium Dragonwell, but still in the green range rather than leaning brown. It is hard to measure the right amount of tea, because the leaves are so long! My first mug was a little light on the leaf, but still enjoyable. For the second infusion, I added a little more leaf, and now I have something very good. The liquor is a light yellow-green. There are very light floral notes as well as light notes of asparagus (kind of like the long jing), but there is not the buttery-ness from the long jing. I guess you could call this an addition of floral notes, but minus the buttery notes in comparison to long jing. It is still not as floral as a Tie Gwan Yin, but lovely and light. Not even a hint of bitterness, and oh so smooth. I can see why it is one of China’s top teas. Definitely on the shopping list.
Mug method at 180, roughly two tsp of leaf (I may need the scale next time!). No additions.