972 Tasting Notes

96

Second tea of the day…….

I am trying to do some figuring. I really want to see if the Bai Lin Confu from Joseph Wesley is different enough from this to justify getting some. I was probably a little lazy in that the first tea I drank today was a second steep of my Joseph Wesley tea leaves from yesterday.

They are pretty similar in flavor profile, notes of cocoa/chocolate and caramel. I do feel that the Joseph Wesley version has a much heavier mouthfeel, even comparing my resteep from earlier today to this. I could never give this one up, though, as I love it. I think I have pretty much decided to try a tin of the Joseph Wesley when I get together an order as it will not be difficult to drink 50 grams. However, the value of this one will always keep me coming back.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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95

Second tea of the morning……

Well, that went fast. Just as I was thinking I needed to pay attention to what I was drinking, I realized it is gone! This is a Bai Lin with golden tips. I love Bai Lin. I do remember notes of chocolate and caramel, but it was over much too soon. Will have to collect more data! ;) Starting the rating at 90, but I expect it to go up with more sampling.

Usual mug method.

Edit to add: The resteep was pretty fantistic, too! Also, I placed an order and it looks like free shipping kicks in at $40?

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Thank you for the nice review and for noting the free shipping for all orders over $40. Admittedly, I’m probably a little too stubborn in my sensibilities to be selling these teas on-line, hating to pollute our message with the apparently requisite yet tacky reminders of “deals,” “special offers” etc. Cest la vie.

SimplyJenW

Simplicity is a good thing.

I was not expecting the shipping break, but it was great when I figured it out!

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96

Tea of the morning……

Wow. I was honestly not expecting much from this one. It looks pretty much like any other Keemun I have tasted. (There are little windows to see inside the sample tins.) I was pretty sure it was going to be the one tea out of four that I was seriously interested in trying from Joseph Wesley, that I could easily eliminate from my list. Well, I was completely wrong. Reading the description, it comes from the region of my favorite Tanyangs. So the opinion that this tea falls somewhere in taste between my beloved Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring, and a high quality Keemun makes sense.

Ever so slight hint of floral, but this totally works. The sip is smooth, with a classic Keemun flavor (super light on the smoke, but it is there, more of a chocolate note than cocoa, and an earthiness). The mouthfeel is heavy. I have tried other Keemuns that leaned more floral in the past, and for some reason, they did not appeal at all. This one definitely makes it work, and work well. Yeah, I need some of this.

(Darn you, Joseph Wesley! As an avid Chinese black tea drinker I was almost sure you could not surprise me, but really, you are 2 for 2!)

Usual mug method.

PS Be sure to read the comments where Joseph Wesley explains the origin of this tea a little more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
TeaBrat

ooh, I want some samples too. he hee!

Angrboda

How can it be a Keemun if it’s really a Tanyang??? I’m confused! Keemuns come from Anhui. Is it some sort of cultivar sort of thing like that Taiwanese Assam, maybe?

SimplyJenW

Yes, confusing. Keemun cultivars in Tanyang sounds plausible. I just know it is good, and might inquire at a later date!

SimplyJenW

(Hmmmm. Could also be a loosely named Tanyang…….)

Angrboda

If ever you decide to seek additional information, do let me know. :)

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

First, I’m happy to read that you enjoyed our Keemun Congfu and am especially tickled that you noted the distinct characteristics of this tea. Second, it is true that the name “Keemun” would normally be associated with teas coming from Keemun or Qimen County, Anhui. But, we chose to retain the name Keemun not only because this producer sells the tea domestically under the name Keemun Congfu but because the cultivar used is the same traditionally used for Keemuns. We cannot label the tea “Tangyang Congfu” because it is not made from the cultivars traditionally used for the famed Tangyang Congfu. I went to Tangyang last year, hoping to include a Tangyang Congfu in our collection. What I found, however, was either that the price was too high for me to take the gamble and introduce the tea into the US market (as a nonestablished brand) or the tea was more a showcase tea that might have looked interesting but really didn’t taste very good. What I didn’t expect to find in Tangyang, however, was our #5. As stated in the review it has a delicious savory uniqueness not often found in Chinese black teas. Because of this uniqueness I decided to include it in the lineup even though it is grown in Fujian (not to mention these producers are one of my favorites, and I’m a sucker for kind and passionate growers!) Finally, I originally intended to introduce a Keemun Mao Feng from Qimen County but ran into problem and was not able to get the logistics sorted before I launched last July. I’m headed back to China in April with mission No. 1 being to secure a lot of the Keemun Mao Feng from the producers I met last year to bring back a more traditional Qimen tea in the collection. Thanks again for your support!

SimplyJenW

Thank you so much for the explanation. Of course, I ordered a tin before knowing because it was just so good!

Angrboda

Cultivars! I guessed it! \o/

Thanks for the explanation, Joseph. Keemun is one of my favourite types (Tanyang being the most favouristest favourite, where I am not above drawing hearts one the label), and Fujian is my favourite tea producing area, so I’m very intrigued by this. Do you by any chance ship to Europe, and if you do, what would it cost for, say 100g + some samples in a rough estimate? (If you don’t ship to Europe, I may have to ally myself with a friend who can shop for me and forward it… Very very intrigued indeed.)

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Angrboda – we don’t generally ship to Europe but can work out a way to get you tea offline. We’ve the done this in the past with customers in South America. You can go to our website www.josephwesleytea.com and send a message. I receive directly all of these emails and will be able to work something out with you. cheers, Joe

Angrboda

Thank you very much! I have done so. (Don’t tell Husband!)

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93

Tea of the morning……

More snow. Why? I am just so done with winter. Also, feeling kind of sluggish and ranty today. Have you noticed? Anyway, I chose this one because it is a good hearty breakfast tea to get me going. It is a super busy week with seven days in a row of performances for my kids. Today is day #2- the Jazz Band concert. DS who is 14 plays electric guitar, and DD who is 16 plays electric bass. It will be fun!

Completely reliable. Keemun with a kick of Assam.

Usual teapot method. I am going with Joseph Wesley’s recommendation to steep blacks at just under boiling; He recommended 190, and I am as close as I can get to that with my current kettle.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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92

Tea of the morning……

I got my package of samples from Joseph Wesley. You can tell that much thought has been put into the presentation of the samples and the enclosed materials. Also, he included a hand written note and an extra sample. I ordered the Assam, the Classic Chinese, the Dian Hong, the Keemun and the Bai Lin. He included the Darjeeling for me. I can’t wait to try them all.

This is good. I am getting a little roastier flavor than I would expect from a tea like this. Notes of cocoa, maybe a hint of smoke if I really look for it, maltiness, and a good heartiness that is quite nice. A very complex cup for a classic black tea. I did resteep for a little longer the second time around, and it was also very good. I am not sure if this will be on my list to buy from him, as I have a few others to taste, but it is exactly what I like in a classic black tea.

Usual mug method with just a little cooler on the water for the first steep at 4 minutes, and boiling for the second at six minutes.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
gmathis

Sounds wonderful!
(and, Oh wonderful; a new tea company to drool over!)

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94

Tea of the morning……

There is some new Golden Monkey in town….. Well, at least this one is new to me. It is a new harvest. All of the tasting notes prior to this one are for the 2012 harvest. Now we are onto the 2013 harvest. I have to say, I like this one even better.

I don’t think it is quite as fuzzy. Leaves are long, curly and have golden orange tips. The volume on my 100g pack did not fit into the tin I had been using, so I have about a pot and a half still in the bag. Very fluffy! I do find this one slightly less earthy, and more sweet than the 2012. During my last cup of the 2012, I was almost thinking that I could skip reordering the Golden Monkey, but now I am not so sure. (I know my tea notes seem to focus quite a bit on paring down the number of teas in my possession, but it is hard to imagine that I need 50 versions of straight black tea until I go tasting them!) Yummy good. I will leave you with that!

Usual teapot method, slightly heaping spoons for measure. One if these days I might get out my scale……

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
ashmanra

I love me some Golden Monkey! Don’t worry about not using a scale. The Chinese tea masters did without them for thousands of years! :)

Nicole

I completely hear you on the “how do I need 50 versions of straight black tea” conundrum. :)

K S

2013 is better than 2012? Yeah, I mean Noooo! I am trying to not open it until I finish off a few dozen others. Now, how am I going to stay out of the only tea I ever rated 100 knowing it might be a 100+?

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96

Tea of the morning…..

Do you ever have that moment sipping your tea where you just have to stop what you are doing and savor the moment? Well, that is happening this morning. It is like I chose the perfect tea for the moment and it is perfection. I will admit to having too many choices for great black tea in my cupboard, and it is only occasionally that I have a moment like that.

The tea is wonderful. Notes of honey, maybe raisin, light on the cocoa. Mouthfeel is thick. The leaves are curly brown and golden orange with a fuzz. So glad I have some of this in my stash.

Usual teapot method with the spoons slightly heaping as this is a fluffy tea.

Edit to add: the resteep for 6 minutes was also very good! Bonus!

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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87

Tea of the morning….

I finally broke into my Christmas tea. I will admit to ordering tea for myself for Christmas. Hubby knows I love my tea, but am incredibly particular about it. He was fine with me doing so. I think this was actually an order placed over Thanksgiving weekend. It was nice to fill out my Teavivre collection a little. The staples of my Teavivre teas are Bailin Gongfu and The Golden Tip Yun Nan Dian Hong. I purchased both in copious amounts when Teavivre had their 2 year anniversary sale. Now I have added in this, as well as the lowest grade of Dian Hong (which is such a value tea, in my opinion), The Panyang, and a refill of the Golden Monkey. I cannot help myself when it comes to China black tea, and Teavivre just does tea so well.

I think this is the first time I have purchased this, even though I had it early in my Teavivre sampling days. I have purchased grade 2 a few times, but I decided it was time to try another. I get notes of chocolate, but they are seriously tempered with a light smoke that is not anywhere near as smokey as lapsang. I also get an earthiness and a touch of astringency. Overall, though, it is a smooth cup. This morning I was struck by how much this reminded me of coffee. I used to be a coffee drinker, but now I am a tea drinker who occasionally has a cup of coffee. ;) That must be why I am always drawn to the lower grades of Keemun. I like the fancy ones, but I can never be without some kind of basic Keemun in my cupboard. I did notice the shorter leaves in this, and I measured accordingly. My teaspoons were on the scant side. It came out perfect.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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91

Tea of the morning……

February has been super busy. Usually, this time of the year goes by so slowly. It is good to be able to sit and enjoy my tea for a moment. What a nice break from the craziness going on right now. I only wish it were longer, so I will have to savor the short moment.

Notes of honey, chocolate, and just yum.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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97
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
972 tasting notes

Tea of the morning.

I have had this one for too long. It is a prime example of my tendency to save the good stuff for a rainy (or snowy, as in today’s weather) day. It is still very good, but it should probably have been gone by now. The thing that struck me this morning was the chocolate smell that wafted from the bag when I opened it. I was at a point where I was not going to replace this, but now I think I will when the time comes. I do tend to shy away from the more expensive places to purchase tea, but there are some places that sell remarkable teas and you always get what you pay for. Verdant is one of them. This is a remarkable tea, even though I have probably had it for 2+ years by now. Proper storage always comes up, and this one has just been sitting in its original packaging in my dark cupboard that is on an inside wall. It does not seem any worse for not using fancier storage.

Notes of chocolate, slight malt, no smoke. Very yummy.

Usual mug method and going for a resteep.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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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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