970 Tasting Notes

93
drank Lychee by Harney & Sons
970 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
970 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
970 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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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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I’ve always wanted to try this one. Maybe I’ll buy some with my next Upton order. :))

ScottTeaMan

How noticeable is the rose petals?

SimplyJenW

I could always send you some, too. It might help lighten my stash a little. A win-win?

SimplyJenW

I think the rose is light in this one. In Harney’s rose tea, the rose is the main taste. In this one it is tea with a hint of rose.

ScottTeaMan

ok, but what do you like? I’ll try to send you something of mine too! :))

TeaBrat

I liked this too. :)

Dinosara

I feel the same way about my stash! Way too much tea, and I feel like I’ll never get through it.

Uniquity

Ditto on the stash enormity. I now have some teas that I know I have owned for more than 2 years and still haven’t finished – that saddens me. I’ve by and large stopped buying/ordering tea (with a few exceptions) for a long while so I can get through the backlog and use things in a timely manner.

TeaBrat

mine is getting quite large as well… I need to put myself on a budget!

ScottTeaMan

Everybody keeps saying that, but ….hehehehehe…I just ordered a Ceylon from The Tao of Tea. Even as I make a dent in my tea stash, I order more. I really did need a Ceylon, and this one looked really good, AND the price was right. :))

SimpliciTEA

That is a good price!

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93

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Earl Grey by Market Spice
970 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84

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.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec
SimplyJenW

Added comments on the look of the leaves and packaging.

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87
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
970 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

ooh, I still need to try mine :)

ashmanra

Thanks for reviewing this one! I have been curious about it also, and have wanted to try Black Dragon as well. This will help me choose who goes first!

narwhalclub

I’m so glad you liked it! :) And I eagerly await your samples to try.

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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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