I have a method for smelling things. Breath in and out a few times, nice slow breaths, then after exhaling through your nose, stick your nose in the cup (or wherever you want to stick it), and just barely inhale, like almost not inhaling, just barely let the air begin to enter. A friend of mine had lost his sense of smell, and he used this technique, and after awhile he got his ability to smell back. He was elated.

This smells like buttery salted caramel. It’s also very attractive to look at, at least to me! I’m using one of my new Earthen Gaiwans that I got from Stacy @ Butiki. They really are adorable!!

1. My formula: 5G + 4oz (1 rinse) @ 4sec = nice deep color of burnt orange, aroma of cream & cinnamon (very mild), and the taste is sweet! There is a very slight bitter edge, kind of like coffee, but not. There is also a vanilla sensation, & tingling on my tongue.

2. 10 seconds = There really is a spicey cinnamon-like flavor here, and a grown-up kind of sweetness, like the sweetness of dark chocolate, although it does not taste like dark chocolate.

While I’m reheating my water, I’m packaging xmas CDs that I sold from my website! www.harpsinger.net (sorry for the shameless self-promotion)
I’m also packaging up samples of the czar nicholas II St Valentine for the people in our steepster bookclub that are reading Anna Karanina. If anyone else wants some, let me know, cuz the package is HUGE, 8.8 oz!

3. 20 sec = I can tell, just by looking at my cup, that this is going to be an awesome brew!! It’s very deep, dark, & full bodied, and at first I was thinking Raisin Toast, but really it’s more like Boston Brown Bread with lots of raisins in it. Years ago, I used to steam-bake Boston Brown Bread in progresso soup cans all winter long. It’s fruity & dense, with a darker flavor than regular bread. My kids & I adored it.
4. 30 sec = molasses gives boston brown bread part of it’s dark flavor, & that’s what I’m really thinking of. This is kind of like having boston brown bread & a cup of coffee.
5. 1 minute: I figured I’d go for the gusto, and I’m glad I did! This is deliciously bold & sweet! The raisin & molasses & cinnamon flavors are really out there now.

My SigO, Tony, just showed up, so I’m done writing this review, but I’ll keep sipping until the flavors are gone. Meanwhile, I’m glad I bought a cake of this, & am excited about seeing how it ages! This is being added to my ‘favorite’ puer’s list in my tea journal.

BTW, the Earthen Gaiwan is performing beautifully, & you can see it, and get one @ http://www.butikiteas.com/Teawares.html

Bonnie

I have the Czar Nikolas and you’re right about it being a huge bag. (I have the blue and red bags for making Russian Tea with jam in it)…AND I have a Gaiwan like yours, a Green and brown speckled one. I love it!( We must have some kind of mind meld going on.)

Terri HarpLady

Yes, you sent me a sample of the St. Valentine when we first became friends! It’s some powerful rose tea, and a perfect complement to the Anna Karenina novel! I still haven’t tried the blue one yet. And I agree, we do seem to have a lot of similar tastes :D

Bonnie

I like the Blue pkg. Czar Nikolas II Renaissance Tea better, my granddaughter likes the Red pkg. St. Valentine which I think is way more floral. I’m not that fru fru…(more of a Shu lady…, a lady has to have lots of Shu’s you know!) OK dumb joke!

Terri HarpLady

@ Paul, it will be great to read your notes on this Shu!

MsWhatsit

I asked at the Savoy tea company today and they showed me a gaiwan. Didn’t buy it, but now I finally know what you’re talking about. :)

Terri HarpLady

Paul, I’m actually thinking of getting another cake myself, which is insane, given the amount of tea I have around here now. But it’s tasty now, so I want to be able to drink it in my rotation, and have a 2nd cake to age. Is that rediculous? LOL
MsW – my favorite Gaiwan is the Earthen Gaiwan from Butiki. The price is reasonable, & it’s really nice to handle.

Terri HarpLady

Paul, I think the reason I was thinking boston Brown bread was the molasses like flavor.

Terri HarpLady

LOL, yeah, they can split an episode between the 2 of us then :D

Terri HarpLady

Yay!! I also have my Private Reserve samples, which came on saturday. I’m off to get a massage, & then “Let the wild rumpus of tea sampling begin”, Little Terri said.
LOL! OK, so it won’t really be a rumpus (sigh), but little T loves to say things like that.

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Comments

Bonnie

I have the Czar Nikolas and you’re right about it being a huge bag. (I have the blue and red bags for making Russian Tea with jam in it)…AND I have a Gaiwan like yours, a Green and brown speckled one. I love it!( We must have some kind of mind meld going on.)

Terri HarpLady

Yes, you sent me a sample of the St. Valentine when we first became friends! It’s some powerful rose tea, and a perfect complement to the Anna Karenina novel! I still haven’t tried the blue one yet. And I agree, we do seem to have a lot of similar tastes :D

Bonnie

I like the Blue pkg. Czar Nikolas II Renaissance Tea better, my granddaughter likes the Red pkg. St. Valentine which I think is way more floral. I’m not that fru fru…(more of a Shu lady…, a lady has to have lots of Shu’s you know!) OK dumb joke!

Terri HarpLady

@ Paul, it will be great to read your notes on this Shu!

MsWhatsit

I asked at the Savoy tea company today and they showed me a gaiwan. Didn’t buy it, but now I finally know what you’re talking about. :)

Terri HarpLady

Paul, I’m actually thinking of getting another cake myself, which is insane, given the amount of tea I have around here now. But it’s tasty now, so I want to be able to drink it in my rotation, and have a 2nd cake to age. Is that rediculous? LOL
MsW – my favorite Gaiwan is the Earthen Gaiwan from Butiki. The price is reasonable, & it’s really nice to handle.

Terri HarpLady

Paul, I think the reason I was thinking boston Brown bread was the molasses like flavor.

Terri HarpLady

LOL, yeah, they can split an episode between the 2 of us then :D

Terri HarpLady

Yay!! I also have my Private Reserve samples, which came on saturday. I’m off to get a massage, & then “Let the wild rumpus of tea sampling begin”, Little Terri said.
LOL! OK, so it won’t really be a rumpus (sigh), but little T loves to say things like that.

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Bio

I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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