2898 Tasting Notes

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
2898 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!

Dexter

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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100

After much contemplation, well not really too much, but at least some contemplation, I decided to season my new Yixing pot with this one. It is my favorite of the Wuyi Oolongs I have, with it’s wonderfully nuanced flavors & aromas, & it just seemed like the right choice!

So into a hot water bath my new pot went last night, following Garret’s instructions. After it cooled, I dried it because by then it was pretty late! This morning was a little busy, but this afternoon I filled that pot with leaves & started brewing robustly. Most of the steeps went into a small pan, but some of them made it into my cup. Once the pan was full enough (& I’d also filled a small pitcher for personal use) I used chopsticks to pull the leaves out of the pot, dropping them also into the hot pan of tea. Then I gently lowered the pot & lid into the hot tea, where they are almost finished cooling.

I am in love with these 2 miniature pots! I’ve been drinking Master Han’s Wild picked Yunnan all day from the Blue Lotus, just another cup here & there, & it’s still good, and I’m thinking of straining my yixing soaking brew & pouring it over ice. :D

Nxtdoor

I think I understand maybe half of what is going on. Aahh, maybe one day…

Terri HarpLady

One of the things I love about steepster is that we can all learn this stuff together! I read a bzillion different blogs about seasoning pots, plus everything on the discussion boards, & finally just followed my own inner voice.
Oh, & I DID make ice tea out of the ‘soaking’ tea, & it’s awesome!

High Adventure

So interesting! I have yet to get into the world of Yixing, but it sounds cool. Please keep us updated!

Dexter

I so want one of these!!! Awesome that you got one. I keep looking at them on the Mandala site…. Uggg, need to stop buying tea so that I have budget for teaware.

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I went a little off the deep end a few days ago & bought a bunch of stuff from Garret @ Mandala, including the porcelain blue lotus teapot I’ve been pining for & my first Yixing, which I plan to use for Oolongs.
And some teas….sigh…
The pots are adorable, even smaller than I pictured them, & I’m in love.
The artwork on the Blue Lotus pot strongly resembles one of the upcoming tattoos I want, I mean when I first laid eyes on it, it was like…how did they know? So I obsessed for awhile, & finally got it. I haven’t gotten the tattoo…yet…

So…the tea! I’ve drank & written about this tea multiple times, both western style & Gongfu. Today, I’m steeping it in my little Blue Lotus pot, which just happens to hold the perfect amount of water to fill my favorite blue cup.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200993790822376&set=a.1840459966648.2104718.1095023403&type=1&theater

I’m using the green dragonfly pot to hold hot water, so that I don’t have to stand around the stove. It holds about 4 steepings-worth.
On my 7th steeping now, & what can I say that I haven’t already said?
This is not a chocolaty tea, not a sweet tea either. It is a wild & savory cup of mind-opening Qi-moving elixer, with a flavor of potato chips cooked in olive oil & sprinkled very lightly with a pinch of salt.

Bonnie

Happy new pots!

NofarS

Your first Yixing! Congratulation!

JustJames

very nice tea pots!

Terri HarpLady

I’ll put up a photo of the Yixing later, it, or perhaps I should say ‘He’ is taking a tea bath at this moment!

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Profile

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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