2304 Tasting Notes

88
drank Keemum Mao Feng by Harney & Sons
2304 tasting notes

Another sampler packet from Harney and Sons. Steeped Western style for 3 minutes with boiling water. A little afraid of oversteeping after yesterday’s Kenya experience.

This is delightful. Medium body tea with a definite strong fruity finish, a bit of caramel. Naturally sweet. Comparisons to wine are pretty appropriate for this leaf. Probably more of a spring/summer than a fall/winter tea for me but I am adding it to the Shopping List as something to remember for the future.

Charles Thomas Draper

This is one that I am going to send you. It likes a long steep….

TeaBrat

Good to know. how long do you steep it for?

Charles Thomas Draper

maybe 6 minutes or more…

ScottTeaMan

EGADS I’ve never steeped even a Black tea for 6 min, unless I forgot about the steeping tea. I tend to steep Black teas 3-5 min.

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80
drank Chocolate Chai by Rishi Tea
2304 tasting notes

Prepared over the stove with traditional Indian manner, cooked with soymilk. My apartment smells great!

This does remind me a lot of hot chocolate and I am finding it tasty enough for my liking. There is lots of cardamom in here and also something slightly pungent (I assume the long pepper). I’m not a huge fan of mate so I’m finding that a bit distracting from the overall blend here. Overall this is very good and it definitely warming the frost from my Saturday morning as well as waking me up. :) I’m not sure I would buy it again but that’s also because I love the more traditional chai flavors.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

The “like” is for the Chai and the pepper in the Chai, but as much as I try to like it, I can’t seem to get mate (roasted) to work for me. At least the last time I tried it I wasn’t crazy about it. I still have 90% of the bag from years ago. Amy, have you tried to reduce steeping to 3 to 3.5 minutes? This could reduce the bitterness of the mate. OK….obviously I find mate bitter. :))

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43
drank Rooibos Chai by Harney & Sons
2304 tasting notes

Received it as a free sample from Harney and Sons in my last order. I am sorry, but the Rishi rooibos chai totally blows this out of the water. It’s way too rooibos-y and not enough spice at all. Not sure I even want to finish the cup.

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89

Another thing I wish I had bought more of. My first experience with Tulsi, the Holy Basil herb of India. I wanted to get this in loose leaf form instead of those teabags you see in stores everywhere. This herb is supposedly an excellent adaptogen and good for stress relief. I am trying to find alternatives to caffeine all the time.

When I look at the picture of the tea on Tao’s website is a light yellow. I did not know how much leaf to use and I brewed this up STRONG! Mine is a dark orange… lol. Wow. It certainly is potent, I will need to scale back next time. Cooling is a very appropriate adjective for this herb. It reminds me of mint. I do not taste a lot of orange in this blend. I believe it is mostly tulsi with a very strong fennel aftertaste. I actually like fennel a lot so this is great for me, but be forewarned. I can see I will need to do more tulsi experiments soon…

According to Tao’s website: “Supporters of Small Organic Tulsi Farmers.
We work only with small-scale Tulsi growers that need
assurance for their harvests. As such, we provide up-front guarantees to purchase their produce and help sell it through a market-education development approach. As we grow, we envision our ability to help more small-scale and marginal Organic farmers in this process. Most Tulsi is still grown conventionally and the transition to Organics is recent. We hope to be among the few Tulsi companies that are in the forefront of this movement”.

Good for them!

Perhaps it is the power of suggestion but I already feel better after my potent tulsi tea…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lemon Drops by The Tao of Tea
2304 tasting notes

I like both Nilgiri and Lemon Myrtle so I was pretty sure I would also like this blend from Tao of Tea.

It really doesn’t smell like much when you open the bag. I brewed this for 4 minutes with near boiling water. I think I may have oversteeped it a tad so I will go for slightly less next time. It smells and tastes very lemony but is not too tart. Having only two ingredients helps here I think…. The nilgiri makes a nice counterpart to the lemon. I can’t help but wonder what this would taste like with a darker and more robust black tea. But I am liking this quite a lot, it is pretty tasty and I’m sure it would make a fabulous iced tea as well. I am wishing for some cookies to dunk in this tea. Check this one out if you’re a lemon lover.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Mercuryhime

I love lemony tea! sounds tasty.

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34
drank Ginseng Oolong by Rishi Tea
2304 tasting notes

Sigh… I am really not a fan of this unfortunately. Do I even like drinks made with ginseng? Probably not. To me it smells like a stinky old root, which is actually what it is. I imagine this is a very good health tonic with ginseng, licorice and apple. It’s a little too much on the sour side with too much stinky root. A little too medicine-y so it will require sugar. If you like ginseng you may want to give this a try. Otherwise I can’t say I recommend it.

Second steep: it is fairly easy to pick out all the apple and ginseng so that’s what I’’m doing. it’s not a total loss. At least I’ll have a nice oolong.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

Backlogging – this was my most favorite thing I ordered from TeaGschwender – it has been gone for ages. Very smooth, sweet-ish, chocolate-y, rich and delicious. I should like to have some more of this someday.

Johnny

Good stuff, right??? :)

TeaBrat

Yes! I do want more, thanks for recommending it and it’s also nice to see you here…

Johnny

Thought it was about time. Mostly, because I lose track!

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78

This is a pretty nice English Breakfast tea from TeaGschwender. Very well balanced and flavorful and nice for this rainy morning in San Francisco. This is not really my favorite type of tea – I looked in the cupboard this morning and thought: “Gack – is this STILL here?” But it is pretty good, I just need to stop neglecting it… :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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53
drank Kenya Milima by Harney & Sons
2304 tasting notes

Another sample from the Harney batch. Not really a favorite of mine – I steeped this for 4 minutes per the instructions of H & S. I fear this may have been too long. The website says this tea is light in body and a mellow brew. I am finding it to be fruity but quite astringent and with a bitter aftertaste. Reminiscent of a Ceylon to me and not an Assam.

I would like more of this to do some experiments on the steeping time but all I have is this one little pot and I won’t be getting more I suspect.

ScottTeaMan

I’ve never tried the Milima Estate, but I really like Kenyan teas. I’m curious as to how you prepared it?

TeaBrat

Steeped western style for 4 minutes with boiled water in a cast iron teapot.

ScottTeaMan

How many ounces is your teapot? Did you dump the entire sample in it?

TeaBrat

U know, I never bothered to check but I think it’s a 10 or 12 oz teapot. I did use the entire sample but that strategy has served me well for the other samples I tried of the same size.

ScottTeaMan

HHmmm……H & S sample are usually enough for 3 or 4 cups. Let’s say 3 good cups at 7 oz each, or 21 oz. Shorter steeps probably would have resulted in a nice experience, esp for a 12 oz teapot. I always start with shorter steeps, then adjust as necessary. Sometimes though my cups are too weak, say for White teas. For Black teas I like to do shorter steeps, usually 3 to 3.5 min.

Is your teapot a Tetsubin? I’ve been wanting a blue one of some kind. I would use it for green teas.

TeaBrat

yes it is a Tetsubin, I’ve had it for years and I love it. Recently I was told you should just use them for holding boiled water or the teapot will pick up the flavors of the last tea you used, I have not noticed much of a problem with that, but maybe using it for green tea only is a good idea.

ScottTeaMan

What shape/color is it?

TeaBrat

It is shaped kind of like this one but it’s dark green with maple leaves on it. I often think about buying another one. http://www.teavana.com/tea-products/teapots-teapot-sets/cast-iron-teapots/p/japanese-goldfish-cast-iron-teapot

ScottTeaMan

Someday I’ll get one. My fav color is blue, so I was looking for a blue Hira Arare with a hailstone pattern, or a blue moon (tsui) teapot

ScottTeaMan

yeah that looks nice

ScottTeaMan

Here’s a black 14 oz Hira Arare….perfect for me…….except I want a blue one:

http://www.necessiteas.com/storename/necessiteas/Image-10292925.aspx?

Here’s the Blue moon (Tsuki) shape I like:

http://www.holymtn.com/catalog/teapots-japanese-tetsubin-c-114_118/ebu-tsuki-tetsubin-0-55l-p-1143

ScottTeaMan

I should’ve gotten one a few yrs ago….they were at least $20 cheaper. I love Holy Mtn…..they have great tea, teaware, and here’s a nice Japanese Teacup I use for senchas mostly—Japanese greens.

http://www.holymtn.com/catalog/cups-gaiwans-japanese-ceramic-cups-c-121_122_172/sushi-cup-kakuzushi-hi-no-mai-p-958

I just love it. To see it and feel it and use it…..the picture doesn’t do it justice. Anywho I recommend Holymtn, plus they are in San Fran too! :))

TeaBrat

You should go for it, the prices will just keep getting higher and higher. I also have a matching trivet… :))

ScottTeaMan

if I don’t get one of those Tetsubins, I want something in a midnight blue, or dark green.

ScottTeaMan

I also like Tokoname teapots….there is something about Japanese teaware….I’m drawn to it.

ScottTeaMan

I’ll check back later. Comment or msg me if you want to talk more about this…Peace Amy. :))

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97
drank West Cape Chai by Rishi Tea
2304 tasting notes

This is so good… it is even better when you follow the traditional chai cooking instructions on Rishi’s website. I used soymilk instead of milk. They suggest 3 tablespoons of sugar? Sugar is not required at all IMO. This tea will not last for very long in my house….

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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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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