974 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.