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2480 Tasting Notes

I used to bake a lot when my kids were young. My love of baking probably came from my Mom, who started making homemade WW bread as I reached my teens (early 70’s). There is nothing like the aroma & flavor of homebaked bread, fresh from the oven! I baked with my college roommates, & when my kids were young we baked together for years: Breads, muffins, scones, pita, pretzels (the big chewy kind), bagels, brioche, croissants, pizza crusts. We did it all, & I also had a sourdough starter (named Fred) that was especially awesome for making english muffins. I’ve been a slow foodie long before the movement started.

Sadly, I began developing (or realizing I had) food sensitivities that made my life & health unmanageable: sugar, dairy, yeast, gluten. It took a while to figure it all out, but I’m glad I did, because I feel fantastic now & think pretty clearly (except when it comes to ordering tea, LOL). But sometimes I really miss bread! Brioche is awesome, especially with orange marmalade or Apricot preserves…sigh… I make some pretty good things with almond flour, but it is not the same.

So this tea…a nice trip down memory lane. Brioche is a very rich bread, loaded with butter & eggs, kind of like Challah (yeah, I used to bake that too). Very airy, with a really nice crust. Sometimes we included raisins, cinnamon, & nuts, & amazingly American Tea Room has captured this nicely. The flavor is rich with a buttery yeasty flavor, with just the right amount of almond, a light dusting of cinnamon, & (I’m probably imagining) a hint of orange peel. I can even taste the crust. Thanks to TastyBrew for this trip down Memory Lane.

scribbles

I love fresh baked bread, and your post makes me want to try this tea, as well as get to a local bakery!

Terri HarpLady

:)
I miss it so…especially toast!

scribbles

Warm bread and melty butter. Ecstacy!! :)) Don’t mean to tease….I don’t know how you manage!

JustJames

i have similar sensitivities as well as ridiculousness such as an allergy to turkey and coffee. i got used to rice flours and amaranth… i misbehave, but whenever my bad behaviour catches up with me i revert to my wheat and gluten free recipes.

good point though… i would likely behave better if i had my fixes through tea…. you are just full of good ideas, terri!

ashmanra

I just read an article that said a lot of our stomach problems are coming from a new compound in the GMO wheat. The name was similar to gluten, but I can’t remember what it was.

JustJames

argh, i pile on weight with it. and get congested. corn is a bad one too… but it has a really strange allergic response that can be hard to identify. it heightens aggression. (ie one of the reasons that fights frequently break out at a corn roast).

at least i like rice flour. it’s harder if you dislike what you need to eat.

Terri HarpLady

GMOs probably have a lot to do with it. Wheat allergies have been on the rise in the US for a number of years. Most other countries don’t allow GMOs.
I removed all grains & legumes from my diet 18 months ago, & immediately started dropping weight & feeling better. About a year ago I made the mistake of eating an English Muffin & suffered for 2 weeks with horrible gut aches, & numerous aches & pains including a resurgence of tendonitus, migraines, etc.
SO not worth it!

JustJames

oof. okay…. i have to consider making a permanent change. i have an auto immune disease that can be provoked unpredictably. damn.

can you pm me and specify which legumes and grains? (do you eat rice at all?)

Fjellrev

Lovely review! It makes me want freshly baked bread AND to try this tea even more than before. :)

Terri HarpLady

:)
Eat a slice for me!

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Thanks to Tasty Brew for this sample, from our wonderful Black Teas Sample Swap.

This is a golden Yunnan, with hints of the things found in my beloved Golden Fleece: honey, allspice, bee pollen, smooth but tongue thickening sensation. Notice I said hints. There is an underlying bitterness that grows on the center of the tongue as an aftertaste.

Sipdown. Now I wish I’d brought some Golden Fleece to Tony’s.

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Thank you TastyBrew for this TastySample. :)

I’m more of a fan of plain teas than flavored, but I enjoy a good cup of dessert from time to time, & since I rarely eat actual sweets, my desserts tend to be teas. This one is quite tasty!

We’re watching the last inning of the Cardinals vs Oakland baseball game, Cards leading 7-1 (last night we lost). I brought a bag of stevia back from the kitchen, just in case I wanted to add some. I drank the first half of the cup without, & it was really very good that way, with an unsweetened cocoa kind of thing going on. Then I sprinkled a pinch of stevia in it, & that brought out the Toffee more. The Hazelnut is present, but more as a bitter element than a nutty taste.

My cup is empty & the game is over. We won!

TastyBrew

I remember awhile back when utopia posted a sale you mentioned wanting to try this. Personally, I don’t like this too much. But I’m glad you do! They have an awesome almond cookie black tea though, that’s my favorite from them.

Sil

hmm might have to go on my list of teas to try…

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This tea is from my awesome black tea swap with TastyBrew! Thanks!

I was looking at the Upton website recently. It’s rather overwhelming, they have so many teas! So this one is a pleasantly sweet honeyesque cup. Not particularly bold, but definitely tasty, with a little roastiness, a little bit of that Keemun even-ness & earthyness, but the aftertaste also reminds me just a little of the leafhopper bitten teas, & I guess that is due to the honey taste.

gmathis

Their print catalog makes lovely bubble bath reading :)

Terri HarpLady

They have a print catalog?

TastyBrew

Once you order from them, they send you an awesome print catalogue completely with a running article about the evolution of the tea trade. It’s awesome bath time reading. Their website overwhelms me but I love the catalogue. I take a red pen and circle what I want samples of and then enter the codes on the website. Super cheap shipping too.

Terri HarpLady

Hmmm…I might have to place a small order just so I can get that!

Sil

terri – pretty sure you can just request the print catalogue without a purchase…i remember doing that because i despise their website. also their finiums when on sale are the cheapest around!

Terri HarpLady

good to know :)

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While we were out to breakfast, I drank 2 cups of Numi’s China breakfast, but then I wanted something else. Luckily I always carry some of this one in my purse, along with my Handy Dandy Blue Tuffy Tea Steeper (theteaspot).

I love this tea! The rich flavor of German Chocolate Cake? Hell, yeah!
Any time of day! I also love the resteep-ability of this one. I dump the entire package into my brew basket & give it 3 minutes. It awesome, smooth, sweet, rich, slightly bold, mouth filling. Resteep at 4, & then again at 5. Not a hint of bitterness or astringency. Perfect.

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Mine & Tony’s favorite breakfast joint has the Numi Box, which has been depleted for weeks. We went to breakfast this morning, & they finally refilled it, so I had a few cups of this.

This is decent for a bagged tea, with enough of the yunnan taste & texture to satisfy. It also features an interesting light Shu-like aged straw essence, as if they mixed a little Shu in to give it some additional depth.

JustJames

terri, i like the fact that you give teas a chance…. (sorry, couldn’t resist). i avoid bagged tea now. you are far more open than i am… i was out with mother the other day and she asked if i wanted tea and i politely replied in a whisper ‘no because what they have doesn’t even walk behind the ballpark of what i have in my stash at home.’ she died laughing.

Terri HarpLady

I try to give everyone, even teas, the benefit of the doubt James. I’ve actually drank this China Breakfast before, & although it won’t be found in my cupboard, I didn’t mind having a cup or 2, but then I wanted something better. I always carry my little steeper & at least one loose tea (today I actually had several with me, LOL). Others might be embarrassed, but I have no qualms about it. Most of the time I drink my own. Life is too short to drink crap, or to go without. I’ll even ask for a small dish to dump my spent tea leaves on too.

JustJames

you are lovely!

Terri HarpLady

Why, thank you! :D

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100

I love this tea! From the crazy wild looking leaves to the tasty chocomalty goodness, it’s a winner.
I know this one isn’t as bassy or intense as some of the other Assams I’ve been drinking, but the flavors are so rich & smooth, so None of that matters.

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Last tea of the day, which I enjoyed in the bubble bath.
I have always loved Licorice root, Ginger root, & all their friends.

JustJames

i always loved this one. =0)

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
2480 tasting notes

This is delicious!
The first steep was a little light…hint of dark chocolate powder.
The 2nd steep was deeper, richer, like putting a pinch of gourmet dark chocolate powder on my tongue & swirling it around in my mouth. Almost a powdery sensation.
3rd steep adds a hint of sweet semolina.
4th steep is the one I’m drinking now, still nicely rich, with a mouth that reminds of condensed canned milk with cocoa powder stirred in. I’ve never actually had that, LOL, but that’s what it makes me think of.

I’ll continue sipping this for a few more rounds. It is a nice richly satisfying Shu, without any of the musty or ammonia-like smells, it has a certain earthiness to it, a deeply grounding sensation more than a taste. Next time I’ll probably give it the full on 3 minute treatment, as I’m one who tends to surrender to the dark side!

Dexter3657

I have some of this, and I’m dying to try it. Everyone who has tried it seems to agree that it’s wonderful. Glad to hear that you also are enjoying it. Need to find a day that I can spend some time and enjoy it properly.

graceatblb

The full 3 minute steep is something I need to try soon too. I am also tempted to bake with this. I may pop it into someone’s birthday cake as a surprise.

TastyBrew

I haven’t found a puerh I like yet, is this worth trying if I don’t seem to like the fish food barn flavor?

Terri HarpLady

Maybe? This one doesn’t have the marine & barn profile. Either that or my brain is starting to filter those flavors out! :)

ashmanra

Tastybrew: have you tried Chocolate Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia? It hardly tastes like Puerh at all.

Sil

cough i have a birthday in july..just saying grace lol
@tastybrew – i second ash’s comments on that one from lupicia! it’s delicious!

Terri HarpLady

This one is also in your box…

Sil

terri…yeah but the CAKE grace is going to make isn’t grin

graceatblb

Haha. We’ll have to see if the cake turns out well. My baking experiments usually end up either good or on fire.

Terri HarpLady

THAT should be interesting! :)

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I was initially hesitant over buying this one. I’m not a huge white tea fan, but then I read Aweward Soul’s review of the ’12 version, & I immediately thought, “That sounds interesting”. Since I was placing a Mandala order anyway, I figured I might as well try a sample.

And I like it! It’s like Sheng Lite, in that it doesn’t have the bite that some Shengs have, if you know what I mean. It’s a milder version, but still very nice. There is a sweet crispness to it like fall fruits, a creaminess that comes after several steepings, & my tongue is thick with the resinous sensation.

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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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