972 Tasting Notes

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
972 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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89

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.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Uniquity

Everytime I see the word ‘Teavivre’ I imagine the Bailin Gongfu. I need to finish up my samples so I can place an order for a couple items. This company definitely knows how to woo customers with generosity and excellent tea to back it up!

K S

What do you consider to be your first high quality loose leaf? I had Golden Moon Coconut Pouchong a couple years ago and knew it was great but wasn’t experienced enough to realize what I had. Last years visit to Empire Tea Services was my tea changing moment. I got 4 teas and was blown away by all of them.

SimplyJenW

KS- That is a tough one. I really wanted dessert flavor teas to help me with getting healthier in my life. After asking lots of questions and doing lots of review reading, I ordered my way though samples of Adagio’s offerings first. There it was probably Fujian Baroque, English Breakfast (Keemun), and Golden Monkey that I loved the most, even with all the fun I had blending their flavored teas. Then I switched mostly to Harney and Upton (I still purchase from both places.) I think the first seriously swoon-worthy tea was probably Harney Keemun Mao Feng. Really, I probably have Adagio to thank for my love of Chinese black teas even though I buy them elsewhere, now. I also probably have Harney to thank for my love of Earl Grey. And all the credit for the love of green teas goes to TeaVivre.

I did just buy some Earl Green from Empire Tea Services!

K S

I think TeaVivre did just as much and probably more for my view on black tea.

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84

Tea of the afternoon……

I am loving the Springlike weather we are having. I thought it called for a more springy type tea. This one does have floral notes along with a creamy coconutty flavor. The white tea does not really come into play much as it is light. Very good and refreshing. It was good hot, and still good once my tea cooled.

Thank you to Mercuryhime for the sample. This is a good one!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
972 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

I am on to my second batch of Franken-Breakfast Tea. This one is about 1 part Golden Tip Assam (Mystery Assam from the hot sauce shop), 1 part Keemun Grade 2 (Teavivre), 2 parts Turkish Blend (Upton). This blend could be a little more smokey….it is surprisingly sweet, probably from the Ceylon tea in the Turkish Blend. I am thinking there should be more Keemun…..

Usual teapot method, except that I forgot my kettle was set for green……must try this blend again at the right temperature before adjusting the ratios….

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84

Backlog of a few cups……

I have been road tripping and visiting my Dad in the hospital in another state. Home for a few days for now, and then we will see if I go back. Unfortunately, the second car has some serious issues, so that might postpone me a bit.

Anyway, I purchased this tea before I left for ease of use away from home. I was fortunate that hot water for tea was very easily accessible at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL. I had several cups of this. It is light, there is a refreshing amount of bergamot, and it resteeps for at least one cup. All in all, I am very pleased with this and will purchase again.

PS….the coffee shop at the hospital serves Harney tea!

gmathis

Classy hospital :) Hope your dad is improving.

Ninavampi

I hope your Dad has a quick recovery!

JacquelineM

Hope everything is ok with your Dad. Healthy thoughts sent through the ether!

TeaBrat

my positive thoughts are with you!

Dinosara

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your dad!

ScottTeaMan

Hope for a speedy recovery!

DaisyChubb

Sending good energy your way :)

Cheryl

Hope all goes well…take care Jen.

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85

Tea of the late afternoon……

Another tea from my Foodzie Box from LiberTEAs. This is very good. It is the perfect blend of hot cider and tea tastes. It is what I had hoped Cinnamon Apple from Harney & Son’s would be. I know it is just a matter of time before I put in an order at Market Spice, and am defintely considering this one!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Tea of the late morning……

More rounds with ‘old friends’. I know I had been through a short spot where Earl Grey did not appeal, but it was so short lived. I now seem to have come around again. I think it is seasonal in that I don’t drink much Earl grey in the Winter.

I do see again what I loved in this one. First of all, it is great tea. The base blend is really smooth and well rounded. The bergamot is definitely low on the ‘bergamotometer’ scale, but it works well for the base. It is more for the days when I just want great tea as opposed to a bright and strong Earl Grey. I am certainly reminded why I must always have some in the cupboard.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Tea of the morning……

It has been quite a while since I last had this tea. With all the new additions to my tea stash and all the samples I have been trying, this one simply just got buried in the back of the tea cupboard. It is always good to get reacquainted with an old friend.

This tea is so smooth. I get notes of apple and honey, plus just a dash of cocoa. I do have last year’s version, and it looks like it has gone up just a little in price. I recall 125g being about $16, and now it is $20. I do think I would take a chance on the new version when this is gone.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dinah Saur

I know exactly what you mean with the additions to your tea stash and samples. I’ve been in exactly the same situation and am trying to not only at least taste most of the samples I’ve been getting, but still have the time to drink my old standbys! It’s surprisingly difficult to balance!!

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drank Sencha Mango by T2
972 tasting notes

Backlogging tea from yesterday afternoon….

This tea is from Tina S.. Thank you so much for sending this. I am always on the lookout for a good flavored green.

The sencha base is nice and smooth. It is a bit grassy, but not at all bitter. The mango flavor leans more tropical for me. Kind of more pineapple, but I did taste mango, too. I am thinking the name might use an update. It is funny how flavors of things sometimes end up tasting differently, even when you flavor a tea one way. The base definitely comes into play and can change the flavor just a little. All in all, a pretty good, refreshing tea, but nothing remarkable.

Teapot method at about 180F, 3 minutes.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Tina S.

That’s basically how I read it too, but since I’m not a pineapple girl I wasn’t sure if it was just me.

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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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