974 Tasting Notes

drank Assam Harmony by Adagio Teas
974 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
974 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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86

Tea of the afternoon…..

I have new teaware! I ordered a gaiwan and two tiny cups, (and it looks like I should have ordered a fairness pitcher, too!) It looks so small next to my teapot, but I know it will be the tools I need for multiple infusions of the same tea without getting too saturated. I decided to try this tea out first, as I know how to make it and work some of the kinks out of my method. I discovered that my gaiwan holds much more than my two little cups…. And I did find a pyrex beaker to use as my pitcher for now….

As for the tea in loose leaf….. The liquor is light yellow green in color, and the pomegranate flavor is a little sweet and tart at the same time. I love that I can drink this one without any additions….. I had forgotten how much I like this one! The first time I had it was at the SoHo shop last Spring. I purchased 4 oz. of this at the Millerton shop in the early Fall as it comes by the pound in loose leaf on the website. I guess this tea also reminds me of the fun I had visiting the shops…..

Gaiwan, 1 tsp tea, about 180 water, 1 1/2 minutes. More steeping later!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
TeaBrat

Hurray! I was so excited when I got my gaiwans!

ScottTeaMan

Too Jen & Amy: Where did you buy your Gaiwans??

SimplyJenW

I ordered mine from yunnan sourcing, but their china website as I wanted the crystallized blue easy gaiwan. Eventually, I will get a glass one, too, but probably from elsewhere.

TeaBrat

Mine came from the Red blossom tea company

Cheryl

Thanks for the sources (bookmarked both for later).

SimplyJenW

My shipping was crazy expensive, but the teaware was cheaper. And it got here in less than a week!

ScottTeaMan

Thank you.

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85
drank Golden Yunnan by thepuriTea
974 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
974 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
974 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
974 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
974 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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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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