2855 Tasting Notes
Last week I got a new tin of Meditative Mind from the Tea Spot, & while there I ordered a few sample sizes of teas I’d like to try.
Shagadelic English Breakfast?? How could I turn that one down? Old hippy chick that I am, a name like that was not to be ignored!
This is my first tea of the day, I’m on my 2nd cup. I had one cup brewed 3 minutes, plain, & it is bold, full, nicely balanced. A slight undertone of orange peel taste (even though it’s just tea in here) gives it a mildly acidic taste, but not uncomfortably so. I could drink this regularly!
2nd cup brewed 4 minutes, add stevia & drink 1/2 of the cup, swirling the malty flavors as they blossom forth. Add coconut milk to the 2nd half of the cup, ah creamy goodness!
Good morning everyone!
I’ve been spending the evening winding down, & organizing my (always expanding) tea collection. Anything of any quantity is going into a recycled tin (I have SO many!), & I’m making fun labels for them.
I also started a Tea Journal, to keep track of my purchases & trades. It’s been a nice quiet evening, & I’ve been sipping this soothing minty tea while I played with colored pencils & teas, journaled, talked to one of my daughters, & even blew some soap bubbles!
This tea starts with a lemony essence, that gradually gives way to lavender, then spearmint. The Valerian is there, but not cloying, like it can be. I love Valerian, because it has such tranquilizing qualities (what do you think they named valium after?). This tea kind of reminds me of one of my favorites from my Hippy Days. “Nuclear Casual Tea”, made back in the 70’s by Traditional Medicinals, was a blend of Spearmint, rose petals, chamomile, Hops, Rosemary, & Catnip. So the blend is not the same, & neither is the flavor (except the mintyness), but they have the same goal, which is to help us relax & unwind, & that’s exactly what I’ve been doing! Hasta Manana!
I got this sample in my Butiki order, thank you Stacy!!
Picture, if you will, a 4 year old with a little glass tea pitcher that looks just like a miniature of the pitcher on the old Koolaid commercials. The pitcher is filled with a golden liquid that smells like thanksgiving, or at least like her favorite thanksgiving food. She has a tiny 1 oz cup, white ceramic, images of bamboo & butterfly in blue with pink highlights. She also has a jar of thick coconut milk with a tsp in it. She dips a tsp of coconut milk, puts it in the little cup, adds an oz of tea (sweetened with stevia), swirls with the end of a chopstick, and slurp! Again & again, savoring every taste until it’s gone. That’s me, a little while ago; a little kid with her tea set.
I’ve never had creme brulee, but I love pumpkin pie!! This is such a tasty, OMG treat, that I had to stop everything & just be 4 again. This is nicely pumpkiny, the only thing missing is the whipped cream.
After I buy some I’ll brew it stronger, cuz it really lends itself to the coconut milk treatment, I’m picturing an awesome coconut milk & pumpkin Creme Brulee Latte…
I spent a couple hours running errands, including delivering Tony’s teas to him (he was SO happy!). Now I’m home again, and really dragging from having stayed up so late last night working on my website. Maybe a little more caffeine…just a little…
First I have to confess: I don’t really usually like watermelon flavored things, & I only like watermelon alone. I don’t even like eating it that much, but I will run it through my juicer during the peak of summer, or when I’m having kidney problems (which I no longer have since I changed my diet). I juice the rind & the insides separately, drink the rind first, then chase it with the pink juice (or other color, I usually grow my own watermelons, although this year was a fail…on many thing in the garden…
Confession part 2: I bought this because it was on sale, and because the name was just too good to pass up!
So: It is a beautiful blend! The silver needle a litely fuzzy green, the amaranth flowers bright pink (giving you the image of pieces of watermelon), & the smell is amazing! To me it smells more like a Honeydew, but whatever, it’s awesome!
Taste: unsweetened, it reminds me of that watermelon rind juice, not unpleasant, crisp & clean. Sweetened OMG, it’s like an ambrosia! Delicate, melony (definitely watermelon, a really tasty one). I might have to get some more of this elixer…the sale ends when??
I’ve had way to much caffeine today!
My trip to the London Tea Room today resulted in my purchasing the following teas:
2 oz of Blood Orange Puerh
2 oz of Jubilee (for Tony, it’s one of his favorites)
2 oz of Chocolate Mate Chai
1 oz of the 5th of November
1 oz of Serenity
1 oz of Plum Berry White – For Tony, because he loves Plum Oolong, & although they don’t offer that tea right now, I thought he might like this one in it’s place.
All teas, plus my lunch, are tax deductible, as this was a business luncheon with my clients! As President of the St. Louis Harp Society (a non-profit_, I also appointed them all as my official Board of directors, so we planned some upcoming event, etc. How about that for being a savvy business woman???
Plum Berry White is a bright red koolaid looking brew! I brewed it in my cute little Rishi glass pot (that came with a Finnum strainer, oh joy, you can never have too many of these!). It’s juicey & tart, & particularly nice with a little sweetness added. Yup, I think Tony’s gonna like it! No wonder he loves me so……I’m a good girl
Honey, I’m home!!
The Ladies (5 of my adult harp students) & I just got back from our excursion to the London Tea Room. We had so much fun! In addition to lunch, we each ordered a pot of tea & passed them around, so that everyone got to sample everything. Here’s a list of the teas we tried, & a few of the comments (which I asked everyone to jot down in a small 3 X 5 spiral I carry around with me):
White Peony: “Smooth Flavor” “Pale with a hint of apricot” “I found it calming”
Bergamot Sage: “oooh…that’s different! Kind of minty & not overpowering on the bergamot” “The warmth of sage, the brightness of citrus – a good way to center oneself” “The best full flavor! Love the Sage!” “Love the herb smell as I am drinking it. Has a smooth feel”
Silver Needle: “Mild – good” “Nice & Mild – good for colds”
Blueberry Rooibos: Although I’m not a fan of blueberry, this has an authentic taste & with sweetener, YUM!" “Tart!” “Surprisingly appealing, subtle but lingering, great with a bit of sweetener” “liked the blueberry tartness. Tasted better after sugar was added”
Chocolate Mate Chai: “a hint of pepper, would like to try with milk” “Yum num num, like a chocolate malt” “Great, surprisingly good” “loved the chocolate flavor”
Blood Orange Pu’erh: “Deep Reddish brown. Smells of minerals, orange, & the ocean. Tastes of chocolate, orange, berry. Sweetened, Wow!” “Burst of flavor, yet still delicate” “My favorite! Strong citrus flavor”
Lunch was awesome, the service excellent, between the 6 of us we probably spent enough $$$ to support the place for a week (I spent $75 on food & tea & a cute little glass teapot with basket that I just had to have…).
Sorry I got so off-track! While I was writing this, I’ve been drinking the Fifth of November, which I’ve wanted to try for awhile. It’s like going camping in the woods! Smokey & rich from the gunpowder & Lapsang Souchong base, there is an undefined berry flavor (“Winter Berries” what does that mean? Cranberries? Probably not…), & just enough vanilla. It’s really quite good, & I’m reminded of a sweet fruity pipe tobacco. Robust plain, a little sweetening really brings out the vanilla & fruit. A tasty blend!
I’m drinking this tea & writing this review in response to Nik’s review of Coconut Pouchong. I love coconut!
The scent of the dry leaves is toasted coconut with a hint of vanilla & something sweet. While brewing, I smell that mildly floral oolong base, always so smooth.
While my tea is cooling down enough to sip, I’d like to say that this is my last cup at home this morning, as a group of my adult harp students & I are taking an excursion downtown to have lunch & tea at the London Tea Room, from whence this blend came.
Unsweetened, this tea has a wonderful floral & toasted coconut taste that is smooth & deep, without being overpowering. There is a ‘wetness’ to it that I don’t know how to describe.
A little stevia & I’m drinking a macaroon! I love macaroons, nomnom, they are so yummy, nomnom…
“Hey? Where’s my cup of tea?”
It’s gonna take a couple of cups to get me going today…
I stayed up til 3:30am, wearing my “web designer” hat, & although it was frustrating & there was some drama & a few tears, I’m pleased to say that I’ve updated my website to include a Paypal shopping cart!! If you’d like to listen to samples from my 3 CDs, & perhaps support my tea drinking habit, pour yourself a cup & drop by for a visit @ www.harpsinger.net
I almost didn’t try this particular tea this morning. I have things to do, places to go, people to see. I was thinking of a deep assam, or Laoshan Black…something dark & easy…steep 3 minutes & enjoy. Yet here I sit with my Gaiwan, on steep # 6…make that steep # 7…ah, but I digress…
I actually followed the instructions this time (little Terri is still sleeping).
Steep #1: A mild roasty mushroom-like aroma…mmm, the taste is roasted barley & jasmine…interesting combo
Steep #2: A very Oolong feeling here, with chocolate undertones
Steep #3: Now I’m getting a beautiful depth of flavor that includes roasted veggies
Steep #4 Essence of Jasmine & chocolate, but the chocolate here is different from the chocolate of Laoshan Black or one of Verdant’s tasty Yunnans. It isn’t a dark powery baker’s chocolate, maybe it’s more like a chocolate liquor.
Steep #5: And now a buttery-ness rises, still underscored with chocolate, Jasmine, & the exotic smoothness of an Oolong.
Steep #6: There is a sensation that I can only describe as the surface of still water…
Steep #7: …or the surface of a perfect crystal…
Steep #8: The flavors in this tea linger, & now I taste that avocado that was mentioned.
Steep #9: I have to say, the color is still good, a nice amber. There is now an underscore in the flavor of ‘Stone’, that’s the only word I can think of.
Steep #10 OK, so I’m not going to take it all the way to steep #18, but it wouldn’t be unpleasant to do so, as far as the qualities of this tea go.(luckily these are all small steepings, or else I’d be water-logged, I mean tea-logged, by now)
Thank you Stacy for the sample of this yummy tea!
First off, this tea looks like a valentine! Pretty raspberries on a bed of black tea, with the cutest mini-chocolate-chips ever! I wanted to eat them, but I only got a sample, so I made little Terri (my inner child) behave & wait.
We (me & little Terri) brewed this one as directed, inhaling the waftings of chocolate & raspberry. She kept saying, “is it ready yet?” while we were blowing & blowing so we wouldn’t burn our tongue…then sipping. The tea base is strong enough to support all the players, but not so strong as to overpower them. All of the flavors are so nicely balanced, & my addition of stevia (just a pinch) really made the whole cup sing!
This is a tea that I want to swirl around in my mouth, like a somalier, & in doing so it made my mouth water, it was juicy! The underside of my tongue tingled from the raspberry, the chocolate rolled over the top, so that my tongue became a Truffle! Yum!
I’ve had a busy day of students coming & going since 10:00am, & one of the pleasures of working from home is I get to brew tea while my students are warming up, & sip it throughout their lessons.
I had 2 wonderful packages arrive today, one from Verdant & the other from Butiki, so I couldn’t wait to try some of them out! Coconut Cream Pie has been on sale, & although I don’t usually buy a lot of flavored teas, & I’m not a huge fan of rooibos, I need some herbal teas around here to drink later in the day so that I don’t keep adding to my caffeine buzz into the evening. It sounded interesting…
Just for the record, with my allergies to milk & wheat products, I haven’t had a coconut cream pie since I was a kid, but I LOVE coconut, so why not?
Dry I smell rooibos, maybe a little of a crust smell, & a creamy lime undertone…not what I expected.
Brewed, it’s another thing all together. I went upstairs for a minute, & when I came back down the entire house smelled like…you guessed it…coconut cream pie! WOW!
Plain, it’s ok. Add some stevia & now we’re talking! I also added some coconut milk, & this is dessert in a cup, people, dessert in a cup!
My student was ranting about the smell, so I poured a little into a cup for her, & we both sat there, smelling & savoring. This is a tasty treat, & the rooibos wasn’t too prominent. Thank you for this lovely blend, Stacy!