972 Tasting Notes

89
drank Earl Grey by Hampstead Tea
972 tasting notes

Second tea of the morning along with a spot of Downton Abbey…….

Downton Abbey on PBS is my television indulgence of the moment. I am always late to the parade for most great shows, so I am still stuck in Season 1 while most fans are eagerly awaiting Season 3. However, I thought a lovely pot of Earl Grey would be the perfect accompaniment to this fun show. A friend of mine actually noted that she could spend hours just watching the upholstery on the show, and I quite agree.

This tea was perfect. It seems to have a base of at least some Darjeeling. Definitely a bright Earl Grey kind of like Harney’s Viennese Earl Grey. This one was included in my Foodzie Box from LiberTEAs. Luckily, I requested Earl Grey teas be included, so I am set to have a different EG for every episode. Bliss!

Usual pot method, and it was gone very fast!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ian

I love Downton Abbey! I know what you mean, though. I’m stuck watching it on Netflix while my friends are raving about it on Twitter

gmathis

Been following second season, but haven’t seen the first yet. Soon to be rectified.

teawing

As good as Cranford? I have been at a loss since we finished Return…

Ian

Hmm… I’ve never seen Cranford but I just read about it on IMDb and it sounds kind of similar. It’s more recent (the first episode takes place shortly after the Titanic sank). It’s soooo good though.

teawing

Thanks, I will have to check it out.
Cranford is very good, tons of cultural and historical references, excellent acting, and characters you would like to meet someday…much earlier, 1840’s and a time of major change for Britain. Fun to compare the same issues in the US another 25 years or so down the road.

gmathis

Just reread the comment about spending hours watching the upholstery … ditto on the costumes!

SimplyJenW

Oh yes, the costumes, too!

@teawing….I must check out this Cranford, too!

Uniquity

I watch the Saturday afternoon cooking shows on PBS obsessively and they advertise Downtown Abbey quite regularly. I feel like I’m really missing out by not watching it!

teaNsympathy

This decides it. I’ve been meaning to start watching for what seems like months now, I feel like there’s so much buzz around it, and I keep hearing about it everywhere. It seems like something that would be up my alley, so I think I’m going to have to cave.

ashmanra

I love Downton Abbey, too! When hubby gave me a ring for our anniversary last year, I told him not to resize it because I was going to wear it on the middle finger of my right hand like Lady Mary! :)

gmathis

Lord Grantham, I believe, was the ne’er-do-well stockbroker in Notting Hill (another favorite) … there was one little teeny piece where he cocked his head and said, “Well done!” and I suddenly had a craving to watch the brownie scene.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

Backlogging tea of last evening……

I received this sample from Mercuryhime. Thank you! I am always excited to try things from 52Teas. I would buy more, but it is hard, sometimes, to spend the money if you don’t know exactly what you are getting. Other times, one is very adventurous and cost never really comes into play. Isn’t it funny how we are all so different, and even different as an individual depending on the day?

Anyway, this was good. It might be ‘order’ good, but it was definitely ‘nice change of pace’ good. The raspberry was the most present, then there was a creaminess, and then a bit of breadiness. I really did like it, and if I did not have about 5other versions of flavored honeybush in my cupboard. Then again, I do think I would order as I don’t have a berry one……

Teapot method for 7 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Tea of the afternoon…….

And my first tea out of my Foodzie Box from LiberTEAS. OMG! What a wonderful box of samples! Really, this is a fabulous deal if you are new to tea, or have been around the tea table a few times. I received well over 20 samples, and only one out of the bunch is one I have tried (and I have tried a bunch of teas, and that particular one is an absolute favorite!) I highly recommend this for a fun tea adventure. I cannot wait to try them all.

This is the first tea I have selected. I purchased a gift for a friend from Mark T. Wendell last year. The service was great, and the friend loved the tea. I have not gotten around to ordering there myself, so I requested that LiberTEAs add some Mark T. Wendell if she had some. Here it is.

This is really good. It is a lightly smokey tea. Very well blended and rich. It kind of reminds me of Upton’s Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon. Both are perfect for beginning smokey teas. If I ever do order from Mark T. Wendell, I will probably get this one. TeaEqualsBliss called this Hu Kwa’s pretty little sister and suggested that it was lighter than Hu Kwa. I will probably have to check that out for myself at some point! Very good! Thank you for including it in my LiberTEAs Foodzie Box!

Usual mug method for 3 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

ahhhh, I’ve been wanting to try the Hu Kwa also but am afraid I’d end up hating it after buying a tin…

SimplyJenW

Well, I know who to share it with if/when I order. Oh, who am I kidding? It is “when”…..

TeaBrat

lol – I would be glad to share an order with you if/when you place one. :)

narwhalclub

If you order enough other tea from MTW you get a free sampler of a tea of your choosing. That’s how I first tried (and fell in love with) Hu Kwa. Now I need to try some of this Victorian Afternoon shiz. It sounds delicious.

LiberTEAS

I am so glad you’re happy with your box! :)

narwhalclub

Amy oh/SimplyJen – If either of you want to try the Hu Kwa, I could send you some, though I need to find someplace to get something to seal it in. I have a half pound or so of loose-leaf and 50 teabags of it, so I have more than plenty to spare.

TeaBrat

@narwhalclub – that would be awesome! maybe we can swap for something. Follow me so I can send you a P.M.!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Tea of the afternoon…..

Thank you so much to Indigobloom for this one.

This is a really nice chocolate tea. The notes are of dark chocolate which I think works so well with a tea base that is not particularly sweet on its own. I think this would stand up to milk if you wanted to add some. Very good, and it is always good to know what else to buy when you are getting your fix of Coconut Oolong!

Usual Mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

heheeee I’m so glad you like it! definitely one to reorder I think :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

Another tea of the afternoon……

Oh, Amy oh. You were right! This is good. Vanilla and almond flavors all wrapped up on a good black tea base. (Have you noticed that a flavored tea for me is so dependent on the tea base?) This is also my first tea from Simpson & Vail. They have been on my ‘to try’ list for quite some time. I love to see tea companies that have been around for a while….it shows they are doing many things right to have that kind of longevity. This one goes on the ‘to purchase’ list.

Thank you for the sample, Amy oh!

Usual mug method.

TeaBrat

I’m glad you liked it, it’s a fave of mine for a dessert tea!

KeenTeaThyme

This sounds amazing! I’ll have to try it! :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Tea of the afternoon……

And my first tea from this company courtesy of Amanda! Thank you, Amanda!

I will admit I was a little apprehensive when I first saw there was rooibos in the blend, but it really works here. It adds a richness to the black tea base. The chocolate and raspberry are pretty much one flavor rather than being able to pick out one over the other, which makes it well blended in my book. Very good! Definitely worth consideration for me!

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Tea of the morning…..

Now I am on to the last tea of my Talbott’s gift box. This one is still good, but again, not as good as the Chocolate Almond Allure. Definitely notes of strawberry and dark chocolate on Talbott’s rich tea base. I may even try milk with these at some point. I think the base can handle it well.

I have been pondering if I thought the regular price of the gift set would be worth it to me…… That is a tough one. I think if I had to pay full price for these, I would pick just the favorite of them and get a single tin if shipping were not an issue. However, for such a good deal (as the three tin gift set on clearance!), it is great that I have three teas that are good and enjoyable. Am I likely to repurchase any of the three? Probably not, unless the stars align for me again.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

Second tea of the afternoon……

What can I say? I had to try this one today, too. I don’t like it quite as well as the Chocolate Almond Allure, but it is still pretty good. Notes of dark chocolate and caramel. The thing I do like about Talbott’s tea base: It is rich and deep tasting. It has made the chocolate notes in the two I have tried so far seem very much like the dark chocolate variety. Since the base is so flavorful, the added flavors can be light and make a very relaxing tea. They definitely are not overdone, or underdone. Just right.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Tea of the afternoon…..

Another long one. If you just want to read about the tea, you are more than welcomed to skip to the end………

In reading reviews of this tea, I knew it was one I wanted to try. I perused Talbott Teas website, and saw this was $12 a 2.25 oz tin. I was not shocked, yet, until shipping calculated out to be about $9 to get to me. Then I started looking for places that sold Talbott’s Teas near me. And I was in luck because Dillard’s (a local-ish department store) sells them. I knew I would be heading to the mall in about a month from that time to help set up for a Girl Scout Mall Overnight, and figured I would check then. (And I need a good perk to get me through this scout activity…the girls love it, but I don’t like the mall much on a normal day….)

I was really lucky! It turns out that this is sold at Dillard’s in a gift set containing a tea spoon, honey sticks, 35 fillable paper filters, and three chocolate teas. Chocolate Almond Allure, Caramel Sundae Escape, and Chocolate Strawberry Temptation are the teas. The retail cost of the set is $40, but it is on clearance. I scored it for $16 and some change. So, being the weakling that I am, I bought 2 sets. (I also scored three awesome LeCreuset Stoneware baking dishes at near 75% off…so incredibly thrilled about them…..almost more than the tea, if that is possible!)

This is really good! Dark chocolate notes with a touch of almond. Really worth what I paid for it, and I can’t wait to try the others! Such a happy tea day!

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I really hate these places that have such outrageous shipping costs.

SimplyJenW

I hate spending tons of money on shipping, too. I’d rather get more tea…..

Cheryl

Temptress… but no Dillards down this way. Does make me wonder what brands other department stores carry though. Hadn’t thought of that route yet :)

TeaBrat

Our Bloomingdales in San Francisco has Kusmi tea – but only a few varieties. :)

Cheryl

Don’t think they’re close enough either (checks) …nope, they ignore all of Ohio (unlike Dillard who only ignores Columbus, boo to them), but thanks! Kusmi is one with ridiculous shipping too. Nordstrom, Saks, Macys, Penneys/Sears and hmmm oh Von Maur are choices, off top of head, but I’m the weirdo non-mall-loving female, so may be more.

SimplyJenW

I was at the Dillard’s in Strongsville. How far is that from you, Cheryl? They still had some left!

SimplyJenW

Ack, it looks like it is still a haul for you. And you are not the only ‘weirdo-non-mall-loving female’ out there. Count me in that club!

Cheryl

Oh! well, just looked it up, and looks like few hour trip. Remind me to ask you for places to stop, next time I come up by that way (71 to 271 to 90 in route to Rochester NY few times a year or so…probably in Spring next time). For now, will squash the urge but thanks for trying : ) With shopping, I tend to be so task driven, that “browsing” is foreign to me: go in, get what looking for, on to next “task”. Malls are inefficient for that way of shopping … not to mention crowds of slow moving browsers : )

Cheryl

Talbott’s site says that their teas are sold at Von Maur. Never been in there, but was on the fence about making a jaunt down to Columbus tomorrow…hmmm.

SimplyJenW

You could always call first! Van Maur has such great service. I used to shop at one in IL.

Cheryl

I’m trying to act as if it is not the tea that is prompting me to make 2 hour round trip (whispers)..but yea, great idea : )
Rain tomorrow may squash whole plan, but they aren’t going anywhere. Have to vow to find out where fragrance counter is, so I can enter from opposite side (lol). But I know better than to buy fragrance in dept store.

Oh gosh, I hijacked another of your tealogs, but thanks for being a great helper (enabler) heh.

JacquelineM

Cheryl – I’m terrified of the mall! There are a few of us out there :)

ashmanra

I am not terrified of it, I just strongly dislike going there!

TeaBrat

I hate the mall…

Dinosara

Awesome score! I’m also very jealous of your Le Creuset score as well. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Backlogging tea of yesterday evening…..

When I saw reviews of this one, I knew I had to pick some up if it ever came back on 52teas website. I really like this. Creamy, minty, chocolately, and yum. The perfect evening tea. Sometimes, I have issues with peppermint blends that are overly minty, but this one is perfect. It has been a while since I have had a 52teas honeybush, and I had forgotten how good they are at making me feel like I have had a real treat without the destructive calories. For me, honeybush is the perfect medium for a sweets flavored tisane. I am not a fan of rooibos as the flavor of the tea base itself can be a little strong. But honeybush leaves open so many possibilities as its base flavor is a little more neutral. Also, I don’t have to deal with the caffeine from green or black tea. I hate to admit it, but I get more and more sensitive to evening caffeine the older I get.

Yum! Frank, I think you might need more of this for sale……

Teapot method with an 8 minute steep.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
KeenTeaThyme

I so wanted to try this one! It sounds heavenly!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Following These People