971 Tasting Notes

95

Tea of the afternoon……

And I brewed a whole pot. Yes, I am feeling like I want to hoover any chocolate in the house, so I was trying to think of what would be decadent enough to distract me. A whole pot of this won.

There are notes of caramel, malt, chocolate, and caramelized sweet potatoes. Very complex and very good!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Okay now that sounds amazing! Another to my shopping list!

ashmanra

Can I have your chocolate?

SimplyJenW

All the chocolate I have is in chip form (for baking) or disc form (for making candy/chocolate covered pretzels), but I was ready to attack it anyway. The tea totally worked, and I did not touch the chocolate! I need to do this more often. (Next time it will be Keemun Mao Feng).

ashmanra

LOL! I have an embarrassing amount of chocolate! When I found out that Tin Roof Teas does a monthly tea flight and pairs the last one with carefully selected chocolate, my eyes went like this O.O

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88

Tea of the late afternoon……

I have not been very good at getting to my samples, lately. There are still issues with my Dad’s health (far away from me) so my mind is a little distracted. I just have to wait for the right time to try something new so that it has my full attention for several minutes, rather than just fixing a stand by when I know my mind is not on the tea.

This one was sent to my by ScottTeaMan. He sent me a very nice sampling of things I am very excited to try. There is this one and a few Darjeelings of which I have not tasted any, really, unless you count Harney’s Viennese Earl Grey. I think it hardly counts as it is not an unflavored variety. Anyway, thanks so much Scott for sharing your tea!

Ahhhh. I really like this. I know there are several kinds of tea in this, and really, not one of them stands out. That is as it should be in a good blend. All of the flavors should work together to make a great cuppa. And this is a great cuppa. You know when you take a sip and you just feel your body relax. To me, this is the power of tea. It has the power to bring me back to a state of balance. I really wish I could tell you what this one tastes like more specifically……maybe on the next cup.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Sorry to hear you’re still dealing with dad’s health. Hope the moments of peace and calm start multiplying soon.

SimplyJenW

Thank you, GG! I think what he has now is an infection from the initial hospital stay….. I think he is definitely on the right track, but every once in a while, the distance makes it more confusing than it needs to be. His wife has been great at trying to keep us posted through the whole thing. (my mother passed about 13 years ago..)

CHAroma

I’m so sorry to hear about your father. My prayers go out to you and your family, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Cheryl

Long distance worrying is the worst. Hoping it all gets better soon!

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96

Tea of the afternoon…….

..with a little change. I almost always drink my black teas with a little Splenda. I know it is not the greatest choice, but I do revisit healthier sweeteners from time to time (honey, stevia, etc.), and they all have a weird taste to me. I am also trying to shift my tastes away from sweet things and eat a more plant based, whole food diet. Fewer chemicals in the diet has to be a good thing. After drinking this tea yesterday, I remembered having it without additions for my first sampling. Today, I decided to try it plain again. I think this will work. I do still get the cocoa notes, but it is a little more malty without adding sweetener.

Usual teapot method. No additions.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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96

Tea of the morning……

Just a double check that this one is as good as Gong Fu Black (which is organic) from Zhi Tea. Yes, this works as a substitute for me! I have not tried TeaVivre’s organic version of this tea, but I am guessing it is very similar. Yum. The tea I love at a cost I can live with drinking it everyday.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
teawing

I had to get my Teavivre sample of this out thanks to you…
I like it too, I steeped mine in a gaiwan. It actually re-steeps well for a black tea…

LadyLondonderry

Thanks for doing the comparison, Jen!

Dinosara

Hoping to get some gong fu black(s) here in China, though of course they won’t be easily replaceable. :)

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86

Tea of late yesterday morning…….

This one I have had to think on a bit. The leaves are very interesting looking with the green that you would expect from a green tea, and a little bit of white fluffiness thrown in that makes it very pretty to look at. I brewed it up at about 175 for just a minute, even though I usually steep greens for at least two. I must have been worried about this one being a little strong. One should not worry so much, as the tea was light and refreshing. It brewed up a lightly vegetal green, but there were definitely floral notes. It is lighter than an oolong like tie gwan yin, but kind of along those lines. It also is not near the amount of floral you would get in something with a jasmine scent, but it is definitely there.

I am not usually a drinker of green beyond Dragonwell or flavored senchas. However, this was good. I definitely see some in my future at some point, as I am really trying to explore green things in my life, even beyond tea. Thank you to TeaVivre for this sample, and again, opening my eyes to how wonderful green tea can be!

ashmanra

Did you try the Chun Mee? I thought I wasn’t really going to like it, and now I miss it so badly! I really need to place another order soon!

SimplyJenW

I did not get a sample of the Chun Mee. I still have Dong Ding and the Silver Tip White to go….. I am also swimming in Dragonwell at the moment (over 100 grams left), and I am kind of waiting for the new crop….

ashmanra

Ooo, let me now how the Dong Ding is! I am loving my Tung Ting…just finished a whole pot!

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92
drank Gong Fu by Zhi Tea
971 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
971 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
971 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
971 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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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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