1855 Tasting Notes

This is a sample very generously sent by Teavivre for review. I had to send a message and ask, because my sample as labeled Monkey Picked but the website only showed Monkey King. I was assured they were the same.

I tried this both Gongfu and western, and I think I preferred the western style. I made two steeps of it western, so I did get a lot of tea from these leaves.

This is one of the more impressive teas for growing exponentially when steeped. It looked like a very small amount of pellets that went in the Gongfu pot but after the first steep they were fairly bursting out of the top.

The tea has a very strong aroma, VERY strong, mainly of spinach and fresh leafy greens. That is another area where this one really impressed. You would think it might be a little biting when you experience that scent, but I found it to be one of the softer, greener Monkey Picked style teas I have tried. It is smooth, but if you want a brisker tea you can get it by increasing your steep time carefully just a wee bit, not too much or it will be bitter. Even with Gongfu style I used shorter steeps that the site called for.

I had my second western style pot earlier today. The resteep is a slightly paler yellow and is a little more floral than the first, definitely more subdued.

Thank you, Teavivre, for the opportunity to try it!

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drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
1855 tasting notes

We are still working on sip downs and today we finished two tins of tea – this one and Cranberry Autumn. This one will be reordered ASAP. Both are great teas, but Boston speaks to my heart! It is warm and cozy, comforting and dear. The cranberry keeps it from being too “dark” while the almond warms the cup and gives it a quiet richness. Great with a good book or on a rainy day.

Rosehips

This is one of my favorites, and with rain and a good book is my favorite way to drink it!

gmathis

I’ve never done a side-by-side with Cranberry Autumn to determine which of the two makes me smile bigger. (Both do.) (Make me smile, that is.)

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I am really liking this tea! I knew the first time I tried it that it was the sort of thing I would find comforting when I wasn’t feeling well. I have had a cold and a small ear infection since our trip to Ireland (which was WONDERFUL and fun!). Nothing too serious but still this tea felt very therapeutic.

I had my first plane trip, my first train ride. I rode a bus for the first time in decades. I rose a tram for the first time. Lots of firsts! And I loved it all. Even running to the news agent ( convenience store) in the middle of cooking lunch in the house we rented to buy pay-as-you-go electricity so I could finish cooking!

The Cookie Lady

What a wacky experience…is pay-as-you-go electricity a common thing in Ireland??

ashmanra

I think it used to be common and no longer is, but we were renting an iolder row house. The day we left there were children handing out flyers encouraging people to sign up for it. If I had understood what it was, I would have checked the meter and known well in advance that I needed to go down the street to buy some electricity, but I waited until it was beeping to find out what was up.

It seems like a great idea for the power company, they have no back bills to collect. And for an area with a depressed economy, it could be useful as well, as you won’t receive an unexpected high power bill at the end of the month and you can also closely monitor your power use and know when you shouldn’t take that extra long hot shower. But it can be inconvenient.

Veronica

I have always wanted to visit Ireland. Your trip sounds like it was lovely (though I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well!).

ashmanra

Thank you, Veronica! It was just a cold and some ear annoyances. I hope you can go someday! It really is like the pictures, The rolling green hills with hedges are EVERYWHERE. The locavore movement is huge. “Grown here, not flown here” is the slogan and they only sell Irish beef because of the fear of mad cow, which has never been found in Ireland.

dragondrool

Hope the cold and ear ick clears out soon.

gmathis

Ear candles.
I read a wonderful book, a loaner from a friend, set in Scotland. Writer went to live in the area where her novel was set, and her little rental house had coin-op electricity. It was a great read and you would like it and (argh!) I can’t remember the name or title to save my life!

ashmanra

It will come floating in one day on a soft breeze! Write it down quickly and let me know!

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I made this both Western style and gongfu. The brew is a lovely amber color, not too dark, but I also may have underleafed just a little. The flavor is a little woody without going too much toward roasty, a really nice base note. There is also a fruitiness, but no green or floral flavor as in some oolongs. It leaves a lovely aftertaste. There is also that note that K S so aptly named Latex, as in the smell of acrylic paint when you take an art class! And I LOVE that aroma!

Making it gongfu it was a bit stronger and brisk, though of course you could use a shorter steep if you don’t prefer it that way. It had nice energy prepared that way for me.

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Dammann Freres
1855 tasting notes

My eldest daughter spent a few days touring Europe while we were in Ireland and she brought this back for my youngest daughter. I believe she bought it in Amsterdam. I don’t now how she finds these tea shops that sell such nice teas, but she always does.

A couple of years ago, she brought us Lapsang Souchong Crocodile by Dammann Freres. This is definitely lighter on the smoke and has a lighter feel to the base, perhaps just because the smoke level is different.

This is very smooth and what I would consider a middle ground Lapsang – not as light as a smokey Keemun but far from tarry. It is a very pleasant Lapsang and we used it as our breakfast tea.

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Something about this tea makes me think of comfort for a sore throat, even when I feel fine. I decided tonight I would try it to help soothe my throat before bed. I don’t know why, but lingonberry reminds me of medicine, a good medicine, some kind of menthol or camphor. It smells and tastes like a comfort tea for colds and flu.

The warmth does help, I just wish there was a way to keep sipping hot tea while lying in my back falling asleep. Ah well, one more cup and then I will smear on some Mentholatum and hit the hay. I wish I could pour it in my ear to see if that would open it up…

TeaBrat

hope you feel better soon :)

gmathis

Do you have any eucalyptus oil? Love to soak a washcloth with several drops and drop it in a hot shower. Take care!

ashmanra

Good idea, gmathis! I do have a few drops on the bottom of my feet with socks on right now, but I am about to wash my hair and will definitely do the shower thing!

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drank Pu Erh Caramel by Gurman's
1855 tasting notes

I’m back! I have been drinking a lot of tea but haven’t posted about it in the bustle of travel and sightseeing. I am back home and jet lagged and caught a cold, so more tea it is.
My right ear is all clogged up feeling and never properly popped after the plane, I guess because I was already congested. Hopefully it will clear soon.

I am so glad I got to actually go to Gurman’s myself! It is in the heart of Dublin in the bustling shopping area. I had looked at the website and chose this one as well as vanilla puerh, but they were out of vanilla. I wanted to mix them to try to get the Dammann Freres Puerh Gourmand vibe.

This is very good on its own, though. The base is a musky and earthy ripened puerh. The caramel flavor is sweet and not too heavy. It resteeped nicely. I had three steeps of it and though my daughter drank a fourth, I thought it looked a little weak based on color. I know youngest and I are going to drink scads of it, so I bought 200 grams. The guy was quite shocked initially when I asked for it by ounces!

I really like this company. I have found some good flavored teas at good prices, and they have been willing to ship their tea to the US, including teas that they have in store but don’t list in their website.

caile

welcome back! :)

Sil

Yay! Welcome back :) hope your sick clears up quickly

Fjellrev

Hope you’ve had a fun time!

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drank Earl Grey Blue Flower by Suki Tea
1855 tasting notes

I was offered this tea today at the Co Couture Chocolatiers in Belfast today. It came with my choice of chocolate for two pounds fifty. I chose salted caramel chocolate.

The cup was brought out with the bag in place and a small saucer to set the bag on when I was ready to remove it. The tea was good but nothing spectacular. This had possibly the lightest bergamot flavor of any Earl I have tried.

I saw this tea for sale loose leaf in a shop but I am not tempted to buy it. This would be good for people who like a bare hint of bergamot in their Earl. I still prefer a Keemun base for mine.

gmathis

Yeah, but you got to drink it in Belfast! I’d shell out two pounds for that ;) (Think that’d cover airfare?)

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I used to have this in loose leaf form and it made great iced tea. We arrived at the house we are renting in Derry and there was a box of the teabags waiting in the cabinet. I found a wee metal pot and we have been downing it every morning before going put adventuring.

As long as you keep the steep short, this is okay plain. Take it longer and you will a any a bit of milk. Oddly, I once found strength number 3 to be smoother than 2. Don’t know if I would still feel that way.

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drank Luxury Kenyan Tea by Robt. Roberts
1855 tasting notes

This is the first tea I had when we finally arrived in Europe! I got this at the Dublin airport along with a blueberry muffin. It was a decent cuppa for a teabag, easy to drink without milk and sugar, and then popped up again today when we ordered a pot of tea with lunch at the Cafe Vaudeville in Belfast. It must be pretty popular here.

Both places left the teabag in, but it didn’t get too strong. This is referred to as “proper tea” in these parts. Not as beefy and (sometimes brutally) strong as an Assam can be but strong enough.

yyz

Glad you arrived safely. Hope you have an amazing time.

boychik

Enjoy your trip!

Donna A

Have a great time!!

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

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North Carolina

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