984 Tasting Notes
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.
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.
Backlogging tea of yesterday morning….
I have some new samples of this sent to me by Nav of thepuriTea. Even though the samples are not the final sample packaging they will be using, each cardboard pouch contains at least twice what I was initially sent as this sample. And then he sent two cardboard pouches. I did pull out my gram scale, and each cardboard pouch now contains around 10 grams of tea.
I have been regularly drinking another Yunnan, and these leaves are wider and just about as long. They do have some bright orangish tips in them, and there really is a pretty good amount. I think this is a heartier, maltier tea than the Yunnan I have been drinking. There is a hint of smoke, and when sweetened, it brings out a hint of caramel. Maybe it was caramel apples. Anyway, it is definitely a complex example of a Yunnan. So glad I will have a few more tries of it. It resteeps well.
Mug method, 4ish grams of tea, 3 minute steep#1, 4 minute steep #2.
Tea of the afternoon…..
This is another sample I received from Indigobloom. Thank you, as I will be trying all the teas from the Spice and Tea Exchange that you sent…. I feel an order for the Coconut Oolong coming on :)…….
This one is not for me. I do like white teas, but as time progresses, I have less and less of a tolerance for hibiscus/roselle in tea unless it is incredibly light. I am really amazed at all the tea blends that include hibiscus. I do think it lighter than some in this blend, and it really is a beautiful tea, with a berry red color when brewed. Smells like a lovely berry flavor. Perhaps I should have tried a little sweetener.
Mug method, 3 minutes at about 180.
Tea of the afternoon…..
I received this sample from Nav, the driving force behind thepuriTea. We have exchanged a few emails about sample packaging, and he offered to send a few samples to me. I requested this one as well as a little more of the Golden Yunnan. I do have to say, that I am impressed with everything they do. I can tell thepuriTea spends some time in carefully choosing their offerings. Also, they continually make strides to improve service as well as web presence and the overall shopping experience. Admittedly, I wait for sales and free shipping offerings when I order, and I so appreciate that this company offers them from time to time.
This tea is good. I like the light vegetal notes, and it seems less floral than the Tie Kuan Yin or Ali Shan. I think this would be best suited to those who are not fans of floral notes. For me, I think I am better suited to Tie Kuan Yin or Ali Shan. It is good to know this, though! Thank you, Nav, for the sample!
Gaiwan, steep#1 at 2 minutes, 180ish water. More steeps to go!
Tea of the morning……
Today the task was to make Elyse’s Blend from Harney & Son’s just a little more subtle in the tea base. I did a 2:1 ratio of it and my Franken-Breakfast Blend and it worked. The honey notes were still there without the bite that is in Elyse’s tea base. I am sure Elyse’s Blend was made to go with milk, but I am not really a milk tea type. However, I love honey flavored teas. I think I will try my China Congou from Upton with this next. It just needs something to smooth it out a little for my taste.
Usual teapot method with a 3 minute steep.
Tea of the afternoon…..
This one came to me from Indigobloom. I have really been wanting to try this to see if another one of my favorites is close…..
Light green/yellow liquor, lovely coconut smell and taste. Very slightly buttery. Yum!
I am, of course, comparing to Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong. Honestly, though, I like them both. This one is a little more roasted tasting and maybe not quite as buttery. I really don’t see a need for both of them in my cupboard, but it is great to know that there is another source for really good Coconut Oolong/Pouchong out there, and it really just depends on where I am shopping at the time. I just know I am always in need of this kind of tea in my cupboard.
Thank you so much for the sample!
Mug method, 3 minutes, about 180 water. No additions.
Tea of the late morning……
If I had to choose one pu’erh to have in my cupboard, this would be it. When deciding how to approach the pu’erh samples sent to me by Teavivre, I decided to save the most expensive for last. Price in tea is usually a pretty good indicator of desirablilty, and in this case for me, it was very true. The price difference is enough that I would want there to be a significant taste improvement over the one with the lower cost, and this tea definitely delivers.
The smell of the dried leaf is less earthy than all of the pu’erhs I have tried (we are only talking about 7 or 8 total…), but only slightly different than the Teavivre 2007 ripened cake. I can see the golden buds in this one. The liquor is only slightly reddish, golden reddish like the 2007 cake. The taste is like you would expect from a pu’erh. Mellow, rich, slightly earthy, and this one is sweet. I am sure that is the first time I have used the word sweet in a review for a pu’erh. Kind of a note of honey which is surprising to me. I do love the mellowness and….I am going to call it the clean-ness of the 2005 Fengqing Golden Buds Ripened Pu-erh Cake as well as the same from the 2007 Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-Erh Cake. Very little debris from these two even on the first rinse. Nice high quality full leaves. The liquor still has a clear quality to it rather than a murkiness I have experienced with others. And it is the sweetness of this one that has won me over.
Thank you to Teavivre for the generous samples of their pu’erh cakes. I may become a real pu’erh drinker, yet! It is good to know there are pu’erhs out there that I would enjoy. One just has to know where to shop and who to ask. Thank you for your guidance in choosing these for me to try!
Gaiwan, boiling water, roughly 1 tsp cake, 30 second rinse, 1 minute for steep #1, 1 minute for steep #2…and I am sure it will go much longer!
Tea of the morning……
I really should just call this my Franken-BreakfastBlend. It started with a little Harney & Son’s English Breakfast and Teavivre Keemun #2. Then some Upton China Panyang Congou. Then a little of my Mystery Golden Tip Assam. Then a little of Adagio’s Assam Harmony and the end of my tin of Florence (which was only about 2tsp added to about 3 oz total tea). I am almost to the place where I can’t remember what all has been added.
But….it is really good. I should probably stop adding teas and just enjoy this while I have some. Then I can start all over on a new monster….. ;)
Tea of the evening……
I have forgotten how good this is. It really is the perfect evening tea. I did have to shorten the brew time due to the fact it is a decaf and a little more finicky than a regular black tea….too long of a steep and it tends to go a little bitter,just like most decaf blacks. The vanilla and the decaf base seem to work together so well that you hardly know it is a decaf. Bliss, and part of that is knowing that this tea won’t keep me up later than need be.
Teapot method with a 3 minute steep.