970 Tasting Notes

85
drank Golden Yunnan by thepuriTea
970 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

I should know not to mess with the sample packaging from thepuriTea early on Monday morning. The package is too short and near impossible to measure out of because of its stiffness and the way it is gusseted, and too small to be folded over for later use. It is really annoying. I am sure I did not measure out enough tea for fear it would go all over my counter top, so my tea is weak. I hope they come up with a sample packaging solution that is easier to use, because frankly, it does not reflect well on the tea experience and how I as a customer feel about it overall. I really think they are trying to make the samples to fit in their little cardboard sleeves which do kind of make a good first impression, and it just is not working once you get to the tea. My advice: skip the cardboard. I just have to recycle it anyway.

So, I have weak tea this time around. I should just make another mug, right? Unfortunately, although they claim there is enough tea in this sample for at least 10 cups of tea, I have enough for maybe 3 total…really, probaby 3 weak cups as this is a fluffy tea. Maybe they include the resteeps in that number? I did get more like 7 cups from the flavored black tea sample I had and it was the only one that was close. I really don’t have enough of this one to make in my 15 oz mug set a second time….so, not even 4 cups worth….. Disappointing. The packaging certainly does not accommodate fluffier teas well, even though it sort of worked for the flavored black.

The tea is long fingered, fuzzy, and a beautiful golden color with only hints of brown. Beautiful. Too bad I will not get to really taste it. The moment for this tea to shine is ruined by the sample packaging and the amount in that package. I think it has potential, too.

On my resteep, I decided to add a little more tea. I am really thinking there was only enough tea in this sample pouch for just over two cups. Much better in taste. Notes of malt and honey. Roasty. I did just double check the website, and they suggest I can get 10-12 cups of tea out of this sample. Maybe if I resteep it 5 or 6 times?

tl;dr Yeah. It is Monday and I am a little cranky this morning.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
thepuriTea

Hi Jen,

Thank you for purchasing from us.

I’m sorry about the sample packaging! We ran out of our standard packaging and these make-shift bags was all I had left.

I’m looking for new packaging and am open to suggestions. Please feel free to email me your thoughts: [email protected]. Also, send me your shipping address and I’ll send you a bag Golden Yunnan and any other tea which had inadequate packaging.

Thanks again for visiting us and I look forward to you trying our teas.

Best,
Nav

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
970 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

This time it is a 1:1 blend of my Mystery Assam and a good basic Keemun. I think we have a winner. It is not quite as rich tasting as Malachi, but this will definitely get me through until I can buy black tea again.

Usual mug method for 3 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Jane's Garden by Harney & Sons
970 tasting notes

Another tea of the afternoon….

I think I should have picked another one after my not liking the Chinese Sencha from thepuriTea very well. I fixed this up and then did my research on what was in it. It turns out that Bancha is a lower grade of Sencha. Man, do I have a long way to go on my education of green teas. Anyway, the roses help this, and I did sweeten it just a little. I think I don’t mind this as a tea with other things….. this one is less vegetal and more woody, maybe?

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drank Chinese Sencha by thepuriTea
970 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon…..

I still have a huge pile of samples from thepuriTea……at least 6 or 7. This was one I received for free. As it is my first Sencha, I really don’t know what to expect, and I have a feeling that my Premium Dragon Well has me spoiled. So far, it is fine, but not anything special. A little vegetal, light yellow liquor, only a slightly heavier mouthfeel than water, and a hint of something minty at the end. I would not choose this as a stand alone tea as it is very ‘meh’ compared to dragonwell. It seems very similar to the tea base in the flavored greens I have tasted. I wish I could tell you how it compares to other Senchas, but all I can say is the color of the leaves was a dark green, not dull, but somewhat bright, and the leaves varied in size from short to about half an inch.

Mug method for green….about 180 water, 3 minutes.

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

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
970 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…….

This is my first attempt at something similar to Harney’s Malachi McCormick (yes, I should just buy some, and I will, but I am trying to see what comes close and use up some of the tea I have in my cupboard to make space….). I used a 1:2 ratio of the Mystery Assam from Heather’s Heat & Flavor (the hot sauce store) and my Keemun Grade 2 from Teavivre. It was good, but I think it needs a little more Assam. Next trial is a 1:1. Tune in tomorrow…..

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91

Tea of the afternoon…….

Since I love coconut and was drawn in by all the reviews of this one, I broke down ordered it from a vendor other than Golden Moon that was running a free shipping special. It definitely was not a hardship, because I had to buy $5 worth of British chocolate to go along with it to reach my minimum. Yes, you can start feeling sorry for me, now.

As for the tea…..yum. Sweet and creamy, light and smooth. I could get used to this…..

Mug method with about 185 water for 3 minutes. I did very lightly sweeten this just to bring the coconut out a little.

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

Where did you order this from? This particular tea keeps haunting me (I really liked Adagio’s version which is cheaper).

SimplyJenW

I got it from EnglishTeaStore.com. They have free shipping for orders over $20. code ETS2012 until Feb. 13, 2012.
I usually order Earl Grey Cream…which is the same as Teavana’s but cheaper…. and Bourbon Street Vanilla Rooibos from them because their prices are inexpensive for Metropolitain Teas (a tea vendor that supplies many tea shops). They also have many cool English things….

Honestly, if you like the one from Adagio, stick with that one.

Cheryl

Well thanks for squashing one compulsive urge … but then you turned around and created another. Haha, you’re bad. My Amazon order is in Toledo…what the heck is it doing in Toledo? heh.

Cheryl

Oh my…Dinosara’s review of Earl Grey Cream mentions cheesecake (opening up ETS’s website).

Cheryl

Metro blend or not? Hmmm, I’ve had this site open before and wondered same thing. $25 isn’t a high barrier to meet. Any other recommendations? (not a huge rooibos fan)

SimplyJenW

I get the Metro. I liked their black tea base better than Adagio’s, but all I have kept is the Earl Grey Cream. The problem is samples….I ordered there after sampling in smaller amounts other places like Culinary Teas. Those that I liked…Lady Londonderry, Angel’s Dream, and Monk’s Blend…. They also sell some bagged Harney teas. And you just have to get to $20. Or….I have quite a bit of the Earl Grey Cream…..;)

TeaBrat

Although I have been a bit disappointed in GM’s offerings I do love this one…

SimplyJenW

@Amy oh…it is my first GM tea!

Cheryl

I bumped into Harney by searching “coconut” and thought “omg, not them again haunting me too” hehehe. I will probably go down the GM path with samples later on, so will try and keep it under control for now. I hear ya Jen, lol … can handle this urge and am going to ignore you now until I get this order placed…hahaha.

TeaBrat

Yeah it was sad, I ordered a bunch from them and I loved this but the rest were just … meh

SimplyJenW

@Amy…my plans are pretty much to skip the rest. This seemed to be the only GM tea that has a true following. I have learned to trust the multitudes for wisdom on some things…..on others, not so much.

ashmanra

I liked GM Vanilla Jasmine. It smells like cream soda or root beer!

Cheryl

Sorry for hijacking your tea review Jen. Ordered GM Coconut Pouchong (urge too large and must compare) and both versions of EGC and that’s it (phew). Like that can pay through PP, since don’t like using debit card online, and PP is safer than using CC << keeping purchases under control, lol (CC is way too easy to abuse). Thanks for code : )
p.s. Amy pushed me back towards the GM one too (which originally started all this). Bad Amy (I jest) : )

Cheryl

PP not safer than CC… meant it helps curb urge to use CC wildly

SimplyJenW

Cheryl…I look forward to your reviews! :D

Ashmanra…going to check that one out as I see a GM purchase in my future.

SimplyJenW

Cheryl….you can hijack my reviews anytime.. :)

Cheryl

See how we can all be enablers? (resist Jen, be strong) lol

SimplyJenW

I have this tin that will last a little while…

Cheryl

Uh huh … (smirks while noticing she added “little” to the “while”)

Dinosara

This thread is already crazy long but I just had to chime in and say I love this tea so much! It’s one of my must haves (and incidentally one that I’m out of at the moment. hmm…)

TeaBrat

I’m not a fan of jasmine so of course I liked this one. It’s like a macaroon in a glass. :)

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drank Assam Mangalam by SpecialTeas
970 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon…..

And I am making a guess on this one. We do have a local shop in the fancy shopping area that specializes in Hot Sauce. They also carry bulk spices and a few teas. I have to admit, I am not super confident about how much turn over they have in tea. Since I was there today checking out their teaware (they do have my teapots there!), I figured I had best not leave without purchasing something. Since I rarely eat hot sauce, and I buy my spices at Penzey’s, it had to be tea……and since I am not confident about the turnover, it had to be black. At least I did go with Assam, something I did not have in my cupboard before. It is labeled as “Golden Tips Assam”, but from the looks of it, it is only about 10% or less tips. In perusing the database and looking at the pictures, I am just guessing this is what she stocks. It was stored in a dark glass canister, so kudos to her for that! Definitely tastes like a good quality Assam, but she charges $70 a lb. and the minimum to purchase is .1 lb. $7 I spent….. Should have just ordered Malachi. Oh well. I guess you have to do your part for the local economy, too. Hmmm….perhaps I will just blend this in with some Keemun along the lines of Malachi…..

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

If this is a Specialteas.com Mangalam Assam, it may be a tad old. They closed their online shop over a year ago. I have had some really good Mangalam Assam from them over the years though.

SimplyJenW

I have no idea if it is actually this one…but I kind of picked the Specialteas spot because I knew I could not mess something up for a current vendor. I think what I have is pretty high quality, though. And it does not seem that old. But again, it is a black tea so the shelf life is definitely longer.

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97

Tea of the morning…….

Ever since reading JacquelineM’s post about this tea yesterday past my time for caffeine consumption for the day, I have been craving this tea. I am wondering if that is why I did not sleep well. Anticipation. Well, here it is, and it is just as good as I remember. How does this compare to other types of Keemun? The leaves are longer and finer, the taste is mellow and complex all at once. Notes of refined smoke and dark chocolate. Very smooth. Ahhh. My first love in black tea. I have gone on to love others, but there is just something about a first love.

I think I missed the timer by a few minutes this morning in the mad rush. The beauty of this tea? It is very forgiving in an oversteep. To quote JacquelineM. “De! Lish! Ous!”

Usual mug method, about a 6 minute steep. Very lightly sweetened.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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54
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
970 tasting notes

Tea of the late afternoon…….

I completely forgot I had this. I got it as a free sample back in the Fall when I was going through all the issues that the first release of Adagio’s VarieTEA electric kettle. (If it is any indicator how that went, I have a UtiliTEA instead!) I did not realize that this sample costs $6. And 3oz of it is currently $19. Wow. Since I just had some of my favorite Premium Dragon Well earlier this afternoon (and it is about $13 for a similar amount!) and I had the Lung Ching from my local Asian Market yesterday, I thought I would be in a good place to compare the three.

Color on the leaves is kind of a dull yellow-green. Definitely yellower than the leaves from the Asian Market tea, but not nearly as bright green as the leaves of the Premium Dragon Well from Teavivre. It smells very similar to the market tea. It steeps up with a similar color to the market tea. The Premium Dragon Well steeps up a little brighter yellow, and this is more a golden yellow. The taste is somewhere between the market tea and the Premium. The market tea had a hint of smoke, and this might have a remnant of a similar flavor. I likened the flavor of the Premium to very fresh asparagus that is roasted, where this is more like spinach…roasted spinach. Not that great. I pretty much prefer the market tea to this as the slight smokiness makes it interesting. So glad I have tried these two other dragonwells, though. It makes no sense for me to try to find a better one than what I can get from Teavivre!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

Hah, dragonwell pals! It’s like we were having a cup of tea together. :)

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Tea of the afternoon…..at least this is what I think I have……

I went on a little adventure to my local Asian Market to see if there was any interesting teaware. I have to be quite honest in that I bought all of my current teaware sight unseen online. I have ordered a gaiwan that will be shipping soonish, but since it is coming from China, it will be a bit. I was really hoping that my market would have a gaiwan, but no luck. It seems they mostly have a porcelain mug with a porcelain infuser there. I almost bought a small Japanese teapot with two cups, but I held off and went to look at the tea.

(I know what you are thinking…..I am supposed to be on a tea ban, a no-buy, a camellia sinensis procurement moratorium. But I have recently rewritten it to be only a ban on new black tea…….hopefully, until April.)

With my newly discovered names for the teas I like, I perused the wares. I bought this, or at least what I think is this…a Lung Ching from a tea import company of the same name. It also says “Shifeng Brand” and G352 on the lid. It came in the cutest green tin with gold decorations and two goldfish on it. Really, it was the tin that did me in…it is really nice with an inner seal. It contains 125 grams of what is probably average Lung Ching, but it has to be good luck to buy dragonwell in the year of the dragon, right? I spent $7. And I almost would have spent that just on the tin….

The tea itself is very drinkable. Even though there are things about it that are similar to the Premuim Dragon Well from Teavivre that I love, this is very different. It is a dull green, it does not look or smell nearly as fresh, it brews up to have a slight hint of smoke, and it lacks the bright butteryness of my favorite. However, I still kind of like it. If I could read any of the information on the tin, I might have a clue when it expires. Oh, well. I am just pleased that I am liking green tea!

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

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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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