2580 Tasting Notes

92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2580 tasting notes

After a long week and a quick swim at the pool (trying in vain to get some exercise!) I am at home now. I can’t say what made me want to brew this one up but I was really craving it for some reason. Well, for one thing I was worried I might fall asleep before dinner started!

It is funny how tastes change. I never thought I would like a lapsang type tea OR a darjeeling, but thank you my Steepster friends for broadening my horizons & shrinking my bank account at the same time. :))

I think I made this a bit strong tonight as it seems extra dark and smoky but I am still enjoying it a lot… I still want to try cooking with lapsang one of these days!

Now someone please tell me how to get the water out of my ears!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Azzrian

While hopping on one foot – tip your head to one side – as you are hopping gently mind you GENTLY tap your ear (the ear that is up not down) with the palm of your hand. It takes a little practice but it works. You have to “pop” the ear essentially.
If you need to get rid of hiccups ever – drink water upside down – works 100% of the time – I can explain this better if need be. :)

Thomas Edward(Toad)

The Hu-Kwa is yummy, i like it.

TeaBrat

@Azzrain – I tried that… boo hoo. I’ll keep tryin’!
@Tommy – it really is, isn’t it?!

Missy

I use rubbing alcohol. Very small amount, let it go until you feel the water bubble break, then dump out your ear.

ScottTeaMan

Whatever you do, leeches are not the answer. :)) I always thought Lapsang and eggs would be good, or with rice or noodles.

Scott B

I wonder if some hydrogen peroxide would help your ears-it’s great for cleaning stuff out of them.

I’ve really been wanting to try this tea (1904 packaging and all), but shipping is kinda high.

Bonnie

Nah I was a swimmer so get stuff at store for swimmers ear (drying ears) . Want to be careful or you get infections which I was sensitive to in 9 years of competition.

Missy

@ Azzrian I’ve done the hiccup thing. It’s still pretty tricky for me though. It just feels wrong lol.

Charles Thomas Draper

Use an ear candle.

TeaBrat

@Charles, I’ve heard ear candles can actually be dangerous, I think I’ll just go to the doctor. :)

Bonnie

Yes go to the doctor and if it does not clear up go back. The regular meds I was allergic to and my regular doc didn’t catch it for 6mo. The ENT Doc caught it right away and in 24hrs. relief!

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75

Here’s a black tea sample that I got from Upton, I was curious to try based on their description of it. This is a black tea, though they may call it a red tea in China. Another congou to try.

The directions said to steep this for 3-5 minutes so I went for 4 in the end. I got a very smooth, dark black tea with virtually no astringency. There is a nice sweetness about it. I agree it is very clean and mellow. This is a very easy one to sip on plain, which I am enjoying. It’s definitely nice to have a few black teas which I don’t feel the need to take with any additions. Perhaps a slight bit of maltiness in the finish. I am sure I will happily finish this off but will probably not need to buy anymore. I do have a full tin of a panyang congou which is probably enough for a while!

Unfortunately I left my infuser in the teapot when I went back to get a second cup and now I am getting the bitter, ooky quality I think Jen was describing in her note. This is not a tea you want to oversteep.

I know I am weird but I was half hoping for something spicy in this tea since it’s from Sichuan province. hee hee! I enjoyed trying it though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

It is funny because I am often lead to resample this based on the reviews on Upton. And then I remember this was the tea where I was the weirdo one who did not really care for it. I am sure my steeping technique has improved, but not that much! ;)

Scott B

Spicy is exactly what I though of when I saw the name of the tea.

TeaBrat

Jen – I don’t blame you for not wanting to try it again!

Doug F

I tried this in the past and it was solid but there are so many great Chinese black teas that I didn’t feel motivated to buy it again.

TeaBrat

@Triumph – yeah I feel much the same way. Good but missing the “wow” factor for me personally

ScottTeaMan

I have a sample of this somewhere…….if I can only find it! :-//

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96

It’s been a day of good tea but otherwise another boring day in the life. I am having serious fantasies about packing it all in to go to darjeeling or nepal. In any event, this is a delicious white tea. Very sweet and fruity, nice way to wind down the day. A little slice of heaven. :)

Bonnie

My cousins were in and out of Nepal during several political situations over the years and love it there. I agree you should travel…I want to go to Italy again! And Greek Islands like Corfu! Oh well…when is someone going to give us a bunch of money? I just know you’re going to somewhere like Glenburn Estate Resort or somewhere like that!

TeaBrat

In my dreams! It looks amazing, doesn’t it? http://www.glenburnteaestate.com/gal-landscape.html

Bonnie

Yes! I was looking at the tea resorts the other day. Beautiful!

Scott B

I could spend some time there.

ScottTeaMan

Wow!! Some really stunningly beautiful landscapes! I’ve been looking at tea gardens for years, and India has to be one of the most beautiful places to live.

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94

I cold brewed two teabags of this overnight and today I am drinking it over ice.

woooah – it’s really good this way! Very strong and invigorating. I’m getting the smokiness from the gunpowder and a ton of mint with a touch of sweetness. I wonder if there is some sugar in the teabag already? Anyway I highly recommend trying Moroccan mint this way!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
ScottTeaMan

its been so long since I’ve had Moroccan Mint. I really have to cold brew my teas instead of Icing them. When the cubes melt, the tea gets too watered down for me. Since I have mint, all I need is some gunpowder…….for a cold brew mint explosion. KA—POW!!

TeaBrat

I highly recommend trying the cold brewing thing. I find it works best with whites, greens and oolong teas.

Scott B

Scott-Generally, they recommend doubling the tea leaves when you add the hot tea to ice. But, if there is more ice than tea it might still get watered down anyway.

Amy-I’d like to cold brew some Moroccan Mint. However, the only container that I would be allowed to use for it is a pitcher with an open lid. Would you think a glass pitcher with saran wrap over the top would work? Doesn’t sound ideal.

ScottTeaMan

I think even for blacks it would be better. I guess I just have a problem with brewing hot tea, adding ice…….then for me the tea usually gets too watered down. Next time I want a cold tea, I’ll cold brew it. :))

TeaBrat

That would be fine as long as you don’t knock it over.. :)
I think Charles Thomas Draper uses a plain mason jar.

Missy

This is a pitcher I like to use. It fits in the door of my refrigerator and has a gasket so no spills or contamination from food smells.

http://www.amazon.com/Takeya-64-Ounce-Silicone-Handle-Avocado/dp/B003DTLNI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336687511&sr=8-1

Scott B

That’s a very nice pitcher. Would probably be a lot more convenient than this glass pitcher I was thinking of using..

ScottTeaMan

Newer plastics don’t seem to be as durable as some from 5-10 years ago.

TeaBrat

@ MIssy – I have something similar from Lupicia – it works well:
http://www.lupiciausa.com/product_p/41000607.htm

Cheryl

A cold mint tea has been one of my goals from the beginning (of the “break the Coke habit” journey). Bought a 32 oz. IngenuiTEA for the purpose, but only started experimenting with cold brew ratios and stuff. I’ll get it before it gets too hot. Mint (spearmint) is one of my favorites.

Cheryl

And in my newbie’ness, I ordered 6 oz. of (plain) spearmint from Adagio (yea, I know…go ahead and laugh). So I can add it to plain teas that are just ok, even tho Stash’s Moroccan is my current fave (haven’t tried the loose leaf yet, even tho it arrived).

Missy

@ Amy I saw those in my quest for a pitcher but Amazon just has too fast of shipping for me to move very far from it. The other plus is I can buy 2 of the pitchers at cost cheaper than the one online and they will all fit my infuser.

Dylan Oxford

Costco has this on sale recently:

http://www.amazon.com/Takeya-Airtight-Drink-Maker-Pitcher/dp/B004TJ3ZUA/ref=pd_sim_k_3

I think it was… $17? They don’t come with the infuser like the one Missy posted, but if you’re just using them to pour your stronger-brewed tea over ice, they work FABULOUSLY.

And yes, we do have three 64 oz pitchers full of tea in our fridge (have I mentioned how awesome Missy is?). Don’t be jealous ;)

Uniquity

@Cheryl, if you like mint at all, plain spearmint can be really quite lovely! : )

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75

A sample tea I got from Upton with one of my recent orders.

I have to agree with Jacqueline that this is a bit lighter in body and more oolong-ish than the Chinese Keemuns. My cup is a lovely dark red. I’m not really getting the smokiness myself, but I’m picking up on a sweetish, woody type of flavor. There is a definite tannin bite in the finish of this tea which is bugging me… maybe it needs less steeping time than what Upton recommended (5 minutes).

I enjoyed this a bit more with some soymilk which cut out some of the tannins and brought out a sweeter note. This was ok but not going on my list of items to buy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Scott B

I have a sample of this that I need to try, although hearing it’s oolong-ish is a little disheartening.

So, what’s this tannin bite like? I’ve been tasting something in my finish lately. And now that I think of it, I don’t recall it in whites or greens-just blacks.
TeaBrat

The best way I can describe it is something bitter and sharp, slightly astringent. I only seem to find it in black tea personally.

Cheryl

My wishlist is safe from Keemun reviews…phew : )

TeaBrat

I’ve tried a few different ones and they just don’t seem to be favorites of mine. To each their own!

ScottTeaMan

WOW…….This one takes me back at least 8 yrs, and it was $2 cheaper, so not really a huge price increase. Anywho, without giving a full review (and I really do remember this one), I thought it was really good. I must have used more leaf, because I remember a fuller falavor. It is definitely different than a Chinese Keemun, I distinctly remember it being woody (oaky perhaps), but definitely woody. I don’t remember the Oolong note, and there is no smokiness like some Chinese Keemuns.

Hey wait…….this is turning into a full review…….me done. :))

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86

I am enjoying this tea today courtesy of Teavire – thank you

I used slightly more leaf today than I had before (more along the lines of 2 tsp/1 cup and the results were more to my liking. I also steeped it for three minutes. Now I am picking up more of the gentle, nutty notes. Raised the score a few points also. Sorry for the short note, must be leaving home soon!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Scott B

This is good tea.

TeaBrat

It is, but dragonwells in general are just not my favorite type of tea. I’m a bit biased. :)

ashmanra

They sent me a sample of this months ago and I had to order a big bag right away!

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58
drank Happiness by Lupicia
2580 tasting notes

I’m really getting sick of flavored green tea but this was sent to me as a sample by Lupicia in their newsletter so of course I had to try it…

This is one of the pyramid teabags, and before I read the description I could have sworn this was a melon flavored tea. This smells vaguely of alcohol, but not in a good way, a bit like a cheap wine cooler, me thinks.

As the cup cools down, the smell is dissipating. Now I am getting a bit more peach here but this combination of flavors is not really making me happy. Lupicia has a few flavored green teas I am fond of but this doesn’t seem to be one of them…

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I think they need to rename this tea…:/

TeaBrat

Sure, but who would buy a tea called “Stinky Melon Wine” ? ;-)

Mercuryhime

sometimes I get sick of flavored teas. Then I drink straight teas for a while until I get an overwhelming desire for something fruity or desserty, and then I’m all over the flavors again. Nothing like variety. :)

And I’d totally be interested in a tea called Stinky Melon Wine!

Missy

haha amy you are cracking me up. :D

Dylan Oxford

Except you’d have to translate it to some obscure language. This is our ‘vin melon puant’ tea, isn’t it fabulous and intriguing with it’s foreign name?

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75

I’ve been trying to figure out how to divest myself of these Palais de Thes samples so yesterday I cold brewed this in my Teavana tea maker for 12+ hours (don’t judge – it was a gift, lol)

This has really brought out the flowery, perfumey notes of this tea. I am drinking it over ice and it is tasting pretty soapy. Kind of arguing with myself about whether I should dump it out, but will probably suffer through it and just finish it.

ScottTeaMan

Is you teamaker the 2 cup (16 0z), or 4 cup (32 oz) version?

ScottTeaMan

When you have more time tell me what you think of it-pros & cons. If there is one thing I could use it is a infuser for tea on the go…….

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94

Oh, I think I will miss this sample a lot when it’s gone but I must resist the urge to buy more since I already bought one larger size of the Risheeshat and one Puttabong this spring. Don’t make fun of me, ScottTeaMan!

It’s true a year ago I thought all darjeelings were dreadful but I have since learned the truth! Plus learning how to steep them properly has definitely helped…

Doug F

So, which FF is your favorite so far?

TeaBrat

@Triumph – I am very partial to the Risheeshat but when I ordered it from Upton I got some more FF samples as well (couldn’t help myself) so I may find one I like better even still. :)

TeaBrat

Plus the samples I ordered from DarjeelingXPress… gah!

Bonnie

I have some of this from my local shop and bought it as my first darjeeling when I tasted a sample it is so sweet and floral and genteel!

ScottTeaMan

This is the one Darjeeling sample I ordered from them. Gah is right! If I make fun of you, I’m making fun of me because I’m in the same boat. :)) I boat FULL OF TEA…….Please don’t sink!

TeaBrat

I did get a tax refund so I felt justified! Now it’s back to (mostly) good behavior!

Cheryl

lol @ Amy and Scott

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89
drank Keemun Queen's Hope by Lupicia
2580 tasting notes

I am not in a great mood this morning but hoping this tea will revive me somehow.

For some reason today I am picking up on the smoky notes. Perhaps I am weird but am drinking this tea with soymilk this morning, mostly because I am short on time. But I still like it this way!

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Profile

Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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