2722 Tasting Notes

80

Another chilly morning here… somehow I really wanted to try this assam today!

This was steeped for 4 minutes via regular teapot method. The dry leaves are slightly broken up and fine (although not as fine as a CTC assam). The leaves after steeping smell malty and slightly biscuity.

Often times I will take an assam with soymilk but I wanted to try this plain to see what it was like. The tea liquor is a reddish brown and is very full bodied. The tea itself is brisk and slightly pungent but without a lot of astringency in the finish. I fear I may have oversteeped it a tad but I like it all the same. It’s not difficult for me to sip on plain, but when I added some soymilk to it, it helped cut the briskness a bit. I am picking up on the honey notes a bit.

I generally prefer an assam that is a bit mellower and smoother than this one, but I have enjoyed trying it. Probably not going to go on my list of things to re-order though. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I was considering buying this one…….now I’m not sure. Funny thing is, after drinking my Nahorhabi Assam from H & S (which I thought was really good), it’s hard to find cheaper Assams I’d like. I’m not snobbish, or even tea snobbish-but it’s tough sometimes finding that assam that makes me say, "OOHH YYEEAAHHH! :))

TeaBrat

Scott, I remember you sent me the Nahorhabi and I liked it better than this one…

IllBeMother221B

I might need to try this… :)

TeaBrat

@The PC – it wasn’t bad!

IllBeMother221B

Thanks, I tend to like/love the malty flavors.

ScottTeaMan

Amy, how does it compare to the Nahorhabi?…….in 10,000 words or less. :))

Harney & Sons The Store

The 2011 Mangalam Assam is truly outstanding. I’m tasting it now!

ScottTeaMan

@H & S-Your 2011 Nahorhabi Assam is really special.

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79

Tonight was a happy accident – I discovered this tea makes a nice dessert drink when mixed with the liqueur Tuaca, a sweet vanilla citrusy combination.

I just checked the Tuaca website and they have a Moroccan Mint cocktail made with this stuff so perhaps I will try that soon. :)
http://www.tuaca.com/recipe.aspx?id=1804

TGIF! See previous notes for more info on the tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Sounds delicious! I put the site In my Favorites.

TeaBrat

Tuaca or Simpson & Vail?

ScottTeaMan

The Tuaca, but now I say both. I am always on the lookout for a good decaf tea and this seems like a good one to have around.

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76

I have to admit I’ve been curious about this tea, well at first on Twitter they said the tea would taste like bacon which kind of turned me off for a while. Then I decided to go ahead and try it, perhaps it would be like a lapsang. So – I just got a sample.

Also I wasn’t sure how to prepare this, but the instructions said 4 minutes at 200 F so I thought I’d at least try it they way they suggested. I did use a lot of leaf though, the whole sample which was about 1 tsb. went into my cup, although they suggest 2 tsp. for this tea so I am not that far off the mark.

Wow, this such a very interesting tea, I’m so glad I tried it! My wet leaves definitely smell like wood smoke but it also has a sort of tart & tangy aroma like salt and vinegar potato chips!!!

The aroma of this tea is very barbeque-y. I have to say this does seem reminiscent of a lapsang but it also has some very interesting malt, cocoa and woody notes and there is a slight vinegary tartness in the finish. It definitely seems kinda bacon-y, the flavor reminds me of applewood smoked salt. It doesn’t seem like any other oolong I’ve had before.

The first steep at 4 minutes was a bit too strong for me; I probably should have gong-fu’d this from the very start. I did a second steep at 2 minutes and this is a much better cup for my palette. The slightly sour finish is a bit weird for me but this is one of the most unique teas I’ve had in a while. This is one tea that seemed to benefit from me adding a little agave nectar to it.

I don’t think I want to steep this again now because I might be up all night, but I imagine you could get 3-4 steeps at the shorter steeping time.

If you like the rugged complexity of pu-erh teas or lapsang you should definitely try it! I do not love it, but it was fun. I’d imagine this would be way too intense for some people’s palettes though.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Sounds interesting…….going on my list of teas to order from RTR.

TeaBrat

They do sell out of stuff, I’ve noticed. They had a phoobsering oolong which is already gone, I liked that better. :)

Bonnie

How the…do you pronounce that?

TeaBrat

I don’t have a clue!

ScottTeaMan

I think the b is silent. ScottTeaMan’s Scool of Phonetics: FOO-SIR-ING. :))

ashmanra

Phoobsering would be hard to say with a straight face.

Missy

Yes it would ashmanra! I’m totally of the opinion that I should say it with the b now…

ScottTeaMan

Notice how I misspelled school. LOL!! I just noticed that. :)) Hey, it is my scool-emphasis on cool!

Angrboda

Wow, that sounds awesome! O.o Even if it is Assam… I’ve never seen a smoked Indian before.

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79
drank Tropical Tulsi by Fusion Teas
2722 tasting notes

I decided to cold brew this one last night so it’s been steeping for about 18 hours in my Lupicia handy tea cooler (I have the 600 ml size). I used about 1 tsb of leaf and filtered water from the Brita.

I like the result of this! The tulsi provides quite a minty/clove note and the fruit gives it a tang, I can definitely see why Tommy describes this as bubblegum (Fruit Stripe Gum?)

A nice tisane for the afternoon, and I’m at home ready to take a nap – tulsi I hope you can do some stress busting stuff for me! See previous notes for more info…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Scatterbrain

Mmm, Fruit Stripe Gum…

Azzrian

I love that gum!

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94

I’m a bit tired and short on time this morning so this is note is going to be short and I may update it later.

Here’s a lovely light bodied tea, with a clear yellow color. Slightly flowery with hints of unripe banana and a custard tart like sweetness in the finish. The tea lingers nicely in the mouth and has only a touch of astringency. Not my very favorite first flush darjeeling of the season, but still quite wonderful all the same.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Supreme Breakfast by Harney & Sons
2722 tasting notes

A new sample from Harney & Sons to try this morning…

Not overly impressed with this one, but it’s nice and strong for the morning time. I am picking up on both the keemun and the assam notes. Strong and malty but at the same time, the keemun seems to give it a nice smoothness.

I did sip on it plain a bit and then decided it needed soymilk, it was good both ways. It is an enjoyable blend — I liked it but don’t think it will be going on my list of things I need. I have enjoyed experimenting with keemuns but think I will steer clear of them for a while since they don’t seem to thrill me much…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

The Assam in this one turned me off. It was my least favorite of the three I tried for breakfast.

TeaBrat

lol – I like assams, but keemuns not so much…. :)

ScottTeaMan

Hhhhmmm…….What is it about Keemuns your not crazy about? Oh, I just noticed this. NOT sounding like a broken record {what’s that?}, please try reducing steep time & temp. My Hao Ya B is better around 3:00-3:15 around 195. [Thinking to myself: ’ I know I deserve a bitch slap for all this repitition’. ://]

SimplyJenW

We all like what we like. Sometimes, it is just better not to fight it. I, of course, am totally in the Keemun camp. For me, Assam can be nice in blends.

TeaBrat

Scott, I don’t know, but Jen is right. Why fight it, I’ll just drink what I like and not worry about the others. :)

ScottTeaMan

Oh, I’m not fighting it…….tea is all peace and love. :)) …….and rainbows and unicorns. Haha!

ScottTeaMan

Just keep hibiscus away from my palate.

Bonnie

Keepin the hi biscuits away from your pa late Scott!

ScottTeaMan

funny! :D

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94

Last night I was grumpy after getting a notice from my Landlord that the rent is going up. I can’t lie, I’m glad I am all stocked up on tea for a while, because my tea budget is about to go down. Having a bit of disposable income was fun, but living in San Francisco is challenging me at the moment.

Anyway, wuyi oolongs are some of my favorite, so i thought I would have this today. Da Hong Pao means “Big Red Robe” in Chinese

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_Hong_Pao

I have a few wu yi teas but the description of this just intrigued me. Right after steeping, the dark thick leaves have a roasted coffee like aroma, due to the fact that the leaves are roasted over charcoal.

The tea liquor is a very light reddish brown. At first sip it seems almost unassuming, but as the tea settles onto your palette, amazing flavors of charcoal and plums appear, with a sweet, lingering finish like that of brown sugar or caramel. This tea is memorable, it really stays with you for a while. I had two steeps of it at work the other day and was very impressed with it.

I had a second steep with slightly less hot water. An aroma of molasses and caramel wafted up into the air. This cup has a bit more mineral flavor but still has the essence of plum and a slight burnt sugar sweetness. Utterly charming.

Me and the BF both really like Dong Ha Pao, and I believe it will keep well so I’m not regretting this one at all, just savoring it happily…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec
ScottTeaMan

I hope things get better and your challenges are conquered.

TeaBrat

Thanks Scott, I might need to just up and move one of these days.

Missy

Yes, good luck with your challenges. San Francisco is beautiful. I used to travel there from Nevada for good sea food. I never really got to see any thing but the touristy part but it was just gorgeous.

Doug F

Maybe I’ll try this. I haven’t found a big red robe that I like very much.

TeaBrat

@Triumph – I like the wuyi oolongs so you’ll have to take this review with a grain of salt.

ScottTeaMan

Hhhmmm, this is a “new” Da Hong Pao, since I last checked their site. I bought a DHP a couple yrs ago from H & S. I think it was $18 for 2 oz. I liked the flavors, but could only really get 3 good steeps out of the leaves. Did you ever get more than 2 steeps Amy? I do miss a good DHP, but I dunno if I want to drop $24 for1.5 oz & yet another tin sitting around. I wish they had more size options & samples.

Azzrian

Sorry about the rent increase – thats a bummer!

TeaBrat

@Scott- I just got it a few days ago and haven’t tried steeping it more than twice. In any event I agree it would be nice if they had a sample size of it.

ScottTeaMan

I think I’d rather spend $36 on a sparkling FF Darj-I can’t help it. Well, maybe I can, but I don’t want to. :-p

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77
drank Lemon Herbal by Harney & Sons
2722 tasting notes

OK then, time for something without caffeine.

After my “I Love Lemon” experience (not), I was a bit daunted by this to say the least…

the particles are very finely ground up here, I should have used a finer strainer since all of the particles settled to the bottom of my infuser mug, it’s a porcelain mug with matching strainer but the holes are sizable.

This is much more mellow than the Bigelow tea, thankfully. It’s lemongrass, lemon rind and lemon flavoring. The color is kind of a dull beige but the flavor is zippy. It isn’t too tart and I could drink it without sweetener. The flavor is nice but I’m not sure how I feel about this tisane. I almost feel that it needs to be blended with something, like a green tea perhaps, to give it a slight amount of body. This also would be a good one to mix with tulsi, so I think I’ll try it that way soon. I found it fairly refreshing, but I’m not blown away. Might be nice iced.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Amy, If leaf particles in your tea are a problem, I’ve used finer mesh filters that really work. I’m notsure if your Finum glass came with one, or if it is large enough. I like these:

http://www.finum.com/permanent-tea-filters.htm

…….the brewing basket, or the golden or universal set. There are others as well.

TeaBrat

I do have a few mesh filters. I just didn’t use one this time…

ScottTeaMan

My PM’s are aweful wordy, aren’t they?

TeaBrat

yes, as well as informative! :)

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95

I’m coming to the end of my Bana Tea samples (it’s only taken me 6 months) and here is one I haven’t reviewed yet!

After my first quick rinse (5 seconds or so), I steeped this in my infuser mug for around 1- 2 minutes, I lost track… the wet leaves smell very strongly of coffee, wet earth and have a roasted aroma.

The tea liquor is dark brown with a ton of earthiness. I have missed you, pu-erh! waaaah! This has a shiitake mushroom flavor to me, and is extremely sweet and thick with a sweet, fruity aftertaste like plums with dark chocolate – awesome! I’m using less water than I would to make a normal cup of tea and about 1 tsb. of leaf to make it more of a gaiwan-esque experience.

Emotionally this is a very mellow and relaxing tea. :)

My second steep was a little less time (maybe about 1 minute??) and yielded a slightly lighter but still sweet-ish and earthy tea, very similar to the first steep. Hmm, I think this is one I could leave in my cup and keep drinking all day. A delicious and fortifying shu.

I went back to Bana’s site and it really isn’t that expensive for a tea of this age ($18/50 grams). I might have to pick some of this up when I place another order with Bana – just added to shopping list!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Doug F

What year is the Shu?

TeaBrat

1994, so they say…

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100

I need to light a fire under myself to finish the green oolongs I have before they go stale.

I’m happy to report this is still delicious! (see previous notes). I did give it a bit of a longer steep today than I normally would because it’s western style brewing.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I was just looking at this the other day.This is some expensive shhhtuff. It’s probably worth it though.

Bonnie

You’re in the right city for that Amy “Baby Won’t You Light My Fire”….S.F./ Jefferson Airplane (wasn’t a starship)!

TeaBrat

@Scott – they sold out of this particular tea I think…

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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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