971 Tasting Notes

86

Backlogging tea of yesterday evening…..

I have a new batch of this! Ovation has gone to a more coarse and organic honeybush base. It is just as good as I remember, but there are not as many bits escaping my infuser basket. Chocolate notes are light, the caramel is a little more prevalent. There are also pecan pieces in the tea along with the cocoa nibs and caramel pieces. Nice and cozy on a cold winter night.

I do have to comment on Ovation’s customer service. I had a mixup in tea base, and they were very prompt in answering my email, and sending out a corrected batch. Very friendly and helpful, as well as taking care of the issue very quickly. Thank you, Melanie!

Now…..is there anyone who wants some Chocolate Pecan Rooibos? I have several ounces to spare and it is not for sale on Ovation’s website….it is a very limited offering. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
momo

I must say I am intrigued by chocolate pecan rooibos, especially something so exclusive!

Tina S.

Ooooh, I’m tempted!

SimplyJenW

pm me your addresses!

silvermage2000

Ooh nice review sounds interesting and yummy.

Mercuryhime

Is it too late to get in on some?

SimplyJenW

I have at least two more offerings (after Mercuryhime). I am looking for small samples of greens and oolongs mostly in a swap, but really, you don’t need to send me anything! This was free tea!

SimplyJenW

One more…..

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Tea of the evening…..

First of all, thank you to Teavivre for this sample. I have really appreciated the way their tasting activity has made me expand my comfort zone for tea.

Now that I have a gaiwan, it is much easier to test this kind of tea. I am definitely still new to pu’erh, but I have to say this has been my favorite so far. It could be that I am finally getting better at preparing it, too. Leaf smell is very earthy, but more like the garden smells when you are planting, rather than a barn! I used what roughly looked like a tsp of leaves. I rinsed them. First steep was 1 minute, second was about a minute and a half. The liquor is more golden brown that I would have expected. The other few pu’erhs I have tried definitely had more of a dark reddishness to the tea. First steep smells of hay, but tastes earthy and very mellow. Really, the taste is somewhere between strong black tea and a porter beer. My very first pu’erh tasted of dirt, but this is not anywhere near the same. Earthy and warm. It has a heavy mouthfeel, and there are no small bits of debris like I have had from lower quality tuo chas from other companies (maybe I did not rinse them very well in the beginning…like I said, my preparation has improved, too). I am drinking this after a not so healthy dinner, so it is definitely helping calm my stomach. Second steep is a little stronger due tot he longer steep, but just tastes a little more intense than the first cup.

I do find it interesting that this one seems so much more mellow than the 2010 pu’erh that I recently had from another company. I did ask Teavivre for a beginner’s pu’erh, and I do think this is a good place to start.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I need to order some more puerh. Maybe I wlll try this one next!

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91

Tea of the afternoon…..

Yes, I am a Hot Cinnamon Junkie. I finally figured out that I would probably love this green as I am quite enamored with the black and herbal versions. Yes, this is good. The tea base is lighter than the black, a hint less rich tasting than the herbal version, but still oh so good. I am not sure how they get this to taste so sweet without adding anything, but I don’t really care. I just know I love my Hot Cinnamon Teas! There will be a pound of this one in my future. I had a friend over who tried a sample, and she loved it, too. (I sent home some of the Hot Cinnamon Spice black tea with her!)

Teapot method with about 180 water and 3 minutes.

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

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drank Moroccan Mint by Harney & Sons
971 tasting notes

Back logging a tea of the afternoon….

Since I am going for the stronger flavors, I decided to give this one a try. I would not say it is heavily minty, but just enough. Definitely helps with the congestion. I definitely need to try it again when I am feeling better, but this works for when I am feeling a little under the weather. Warm and refreshing.

Usual teapot method, about 185 water, 3 minutes.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tisane of the evening……

I got this in a recent order, and it is really helping with the cold. The ginger is the main note with a touch of sweetness from the liqorice root. The ginger is really helping me breathe a little better. I am wondering how a little spearmint or holy basil would taste with this. All in all I am glad to have this in the cupboard.

Usual teapot method, 8 minutes, no additions.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Cheryl

Feel better!

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87

Tea of the afternoon……

I am going through all my favorite strongly flavored teas in an attempt to feel better. (It was Hot Cinnamon Spice earlier….) I need the strong ones because I am all stuffed up with a cold. This one just smells so good, even though the congestion. So thankful to have some of this one as it reminds me of the kindness of many swappers, too. Buttery, creamy, coconutty, and yum.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Ceylon #1 by thepuriTea
971 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon…..

I agree that Steepster is slow today! It is taking forever just to get to the next page.

As for this tea, I really enjoy it. It is the perfect tea to drink with food. I am having cinnamon raisin toast with it right now. (Sun Maid Cinnamon Raisin Toast is my favorite from childhood….I am trying to perk myself up a little as I am coming down with a cold.) The tea has a bready taste and is incredibly smooth. The taste of the tea is not easily affected by what you are eating, so it is the perfect accompaniment with just about anything.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I haven’t had too many ceylons, would you recommend this one or are there better ones?

SimplyJenW

I haven’t had too many, either. It was a free sample, and I really liked it, so I bought some. Generally, I have thought of Ceylons as being too brisk for my palate, but this one is very smooth. I probably should have sampled a few more, but why mess with a good thing? (Plus, I needed to get to that free shipping level which helped!)

TeaBrat

I really don’t need to be ordering anymore tea but if you’re up for a swap PM me. :)

SimplyJenW

Definitely! Check to see if there is anything else you would like to try. I will look at what you have, too.

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drank Assam Harmony by Adagio Teas
971 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

I recently picked up a few samples at Adagio, mostly to compare to things I have. I really do like their black teas for the most part. I guess when I first started on my tea journey, I was heavily invested in the flavored ones, so I did not really appreciate their black teas like I should have. Even though I don’t care for their flavored tea base, there are many things this company does well. I also enjoy their herbals that don’t contain hibiscus, mostly because anything with hibiscus is not for me. And the chai is yummy.

I wanted this one to compare to my Mystery Assam, as I noticed there were plenty of golden tips in the product picture. The actual product looks pretty much the same as the pic. It brews up into a malty breakfast tea with notes of bread. You know, that really good crusty bread. As far as comparisons to my other Assam, the other just seems a little richer. These leaves are thicker and brighter, if brighter is possible for a shade of brown! I also think this one is much more malty than the unknown Assam. It is pretty good. It does have me wanting to add in some Keemun, though, to fill out the body of the tea. The taste of this one is all in the front, there is a slight astringency in the middle, and the end…..I keep looking for a taste at the end, but I am not getting anything. Strange. Anyway, I don’t expect to be an expert on Assam any time soon. I mostly like it in blends.

Mug method for 3 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Cha Cha by Adagio Teas
971 tasting notes

Tea of the evening……

I have been having trouble with insomnia lately. I decided it was time to give chamomile a try. This intrigued me because of the addition of lemongrass and peppermint. In theory, it sounds like such a relaxing and comforting tea.

Not bad. I think it will take some getting used to. Chamomile is not a favorite, but this is pleasant enough with the other players. I might even add some tulsi next time.

Teapot method for 7 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Dinah Saur

You mention that you’re not overly fond of chamomile. I find I’m pretty similar in that regard. However, I’ve found that a fantastic substitute flower for an herbal infusion in the evening is chrysanthemum. The flavor is light and sharper than the chamomile, which (in my opinion) seems to coat the mouth. To enhance the chrysanthemum’s natural sweetness, and to help you drift off a little easier, try a very small amount of honey as well (only natural, preferably local honey, or you get that gross processed honey flavor).

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Tea of the afternoon……

This was one of three free samples that came along with my gaiwan and cups…..all pu’erhs. I guess it is time to get my feet wet on these. Dry it smells pretty good. Earthy, but not in a scary way. (Yes, this is the review of a pu’erh novice, so you might not really want to put a whole lot of stock in my review if this is your usual type of tea…) I rinsed the leaves first, and then brewed for about 30 seconds. This really reminds me of coffee. It is a little more earthy than coffee, but far from the dirt taste I remember from my first experience with a tuo cha. I am thinking the right tools to enjoy this will make the difference. I am not saying pu’erh is something I will reach for regularly as I am more an oolong in the gaiwan type, but it is a nice experience. There is something to be said for the short steeps for certain. It helps that the brew is not so thick as attempting to brew this western style.

As for the teaware, I love my little gaiwan and cups from this vendor. Everything was well wrapped and arrived safely. I even asked for a change in color of the cups (my gaiwain is light blue, but rather than matching cups I originally ordered, I asked for the white instead to see colors better..) and Scott was more than accommodating to see that I got what I wanted. I will order there again at some point, but I think I will go for the less expensive shipping. With EMS my order was here in less than a week.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
TeaBrat

how exciting! which gaiwans didja get?

SimplyJenW

I am a notorious spiller and this one is relatively easy to use, so here is a link to it…
http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/product.php?id_product=1117

SimplyJenW

I may end up with another one in white…. The pattern on it is so pretty.

TeaBrat

I’ve already broken one gaiwan and the celadon ones do look like they are sturdy.

Dinosara

Ooh, I love it. I have been looking at an easy gaiwan from them myself. Glad to hear the order experience was good!

ScottTeaMan

Yeah Jen, I really think that one is nice.

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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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