1956 Tasting Notes

I love Da Hong Pao, LOVE IT. I have finished two tins from different companies and have started this one and there is another one someone in there that I can’t find right now.

And MY BAD but this one got messed up tonight, and it is a testimony to how great this tea is. Hubby and I headed out to pick up Asian buffet takeout and I asked youngest to prepare the tea, as she often does. She makes a couple of steeps while we are gone and pours it in my large tetsubin with the tea light warmer. I shouted as I left that I had put the tin on the counter and the instructions were in it, not realizing that they were gong fu instructions.

I thought the tea was a little weaker than I expected and asked about the steeping and she said she gave it thirty seconds for the first, etc., just like the paper said. Wow. This tea came out tasting “a little weak” when it was less than a third of the way through steeping? And you know, it was still really palatable.

I almost poured out the remainder after supper but decided to have it with my dessert of orange-lemon pound cake that youngest made. And it was really good! It was so good that I can’t wait to have it again, this time made properly, at which time it will no doubt blow my socks off.

Tealizzy

I so need to try this one!

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I liked this one a great deal, but youngest and our guest said it was good, but not a stellar favorite for them. I love keemuns, though, so it was delightful for me. It has nice body, malty, smooth, with a hint of smoke and a bit of raisin.

This was the first tea served with tea party today and therefore was served with the dessert, which was fresh whole wheat brownies with strawberries and homemade viili, a type of yogurt-like cultured milk from Finland that goes great with fruit. The black tea was a great pairing because it isn’t overwhelmed by the sweetness of the dessert but rather complements it. It cuts the sweetness, I think, and keeps it from getting too heavy or too rich.

caile

I love your tea and food pairings – they always sound so delicious!

ashmanra

Thank you! I wish you guys could come to tea! We have fun! It is usually just three or four people and a little food and three teas.

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drank Bogart by Leland Tea Co
1956 tasting notes

This tea reminds me of what I like in a really good roasted oolong. The aroma is so rich and masculine that you just have to give an appreciative grunt on the first sip. It was the second tea of tea party today and well-liked.

Meanwhile, youngest daughter wants to ask Leland to make a special Jimmy Stewart blend. I want to see that. (She is obsessed with him.)

gmathis

(Just make her a cup of warm water and call it Harvey.)

gmathis

Oh..and then you need to come to our part of the world and see the “It’s A Wonderful Life” Christmas musical at Silver Dollar City. So good!

ashmanra

She laughed and said, “Grace approves.” Meanwhile, we are actually trying to create this blend. She thinks a smooth shu puerh, to show he is “down to earth” and I was thinking some rose petals or flavor for Zuzu’s petals. But I thought white tea for the base because he was so innocent and naive.

gmathis

While you’re designing celebri-teas, see what you can do with oh, (here comes embarrassing evidence of my elderliness) Yul Brenner, Fred Astaire, Harrison Ford, Hugh Laurie, James Earl Jones…

ashmanra

No evidence there! Youngest is 17 and obsessed with Jimmy Stewart and Fred Astaire, loves Bogart and Cary Grant and Danny Kaye, watches old black and white movies and listens to original, uncleaned recordings from the era all the time. We come home to ’40’s music blasting instead of rock. BTW, I played Princess Tuptim once when I was young, and Brian Dennehy’s brother Ed was the king! He did a pretty good job considering we all think of Yul when we think of that role!

gmathis

Et cetera, et cetera!

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drank Li Shan by Harney & Sons
1956 tasting notes

I am astonished not to see a previous note on this tea. I had it a long time ago and I am sure I logged it. We are still trying to reduce the number of older teas in the cupboard and this one only had two servings left so it goes next!

I love both Li Shan and Alishan oolongs. When I first started drinking tea I went back and forth between preferring green or roasted. Now I love both, just happen to have different moods at different times. Since youngest is drinking an Assam this morning, I made my own pot so I could have something a bit milder.

This is rather old but still tastes nice. You can tell it isn’t fresh and that is entirely my fault, not the tea and not Harney and Sons. The tea is smooth, not astringent, lightly sweet, vegetal but not strongly so, and a little creamy. The liquor itself is pale and clear. Even though it is several years old now, I will enjoy it as I whittle away at my backlog of teas that need to be finished!

Lion

I can’t remember which one it is, but one of those two I have never liked. I think it’s Alishan, no matter where I’ve gotten it from, it tastes soapy to me. The Lishan is the one I like… I think. I could have them reversed! It’s odd, because other than really cheap oolongs, I haven’t really found an oolong tea I didn’t like other than Alishan.

ashmanra

I think Li Shan is usually more expensive, but I think I recall liking the Alishan from Teavivre more than the LiShan!

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drank Aged Pu-erh Tea by King's Zen Tea
1956 tasting notes

Wow, this one was…different. First of all, I love puerh and strong shu is good shu in my book. I am trying to get better at judging sheng, but I am happy to say I have become much better at telling one shu from another. For a long time they all tasted the same to me, then I could distinguish different ones, then this happened.

And what happened was that I opened the pouch and it was like Captain Jack Sparrow was singing “I’ve got a jar of diiiii-iirt!” Because that is ALL I COULD SMELL. DIRT. Not just dirt. Dusty dirt like the dirt under your house that smells so dry your nose shrinks up from the first sniff and you can’t decide if you like it or hate it.

After all the alarm that brought on, this was a decent enough tea to drink. Yes, the first steep tasted like…well….dirt. But it was good dirt. And later steeps were good.

But I think I have found what this tea will be used for. I am trying to be a good girl and not give in to the warm weather cravings for soda that sometimes beset me. The only thing that consistently makes me happy to turn away from soda is cold puerh from a glass pitcher in the fridge. It is so refreshing.

So a couple of days ago I put one tablespoon of leaf in a pot and steeped it over and over until I had 3 quarts of tea. I put it in the fridge. We have finished one of the pitchers. It really is refreshing and good. I think cold puerh tastes like spring water must have tasted on the first day it ever existed – clean, pure, and unpolluted.

There were a bunch of kids and young adults over last night to play D&D and I offered them some, and would you believe they loved it? My daughter bought me bunches of this tea when she was in Toronto, so I think I have a pretty good start on my hot weather beverage stash!

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I finished this today, and I see the tin was five years old! It was still pretty good, too. Not too strong so no milk or sugar needed even though they call it a breakfast tea. Great in the morning or afternoon, but I generally drank it in the afternoon. Not a smokey keemun but truly one bearing wine notes, just as they describe.

This was one of the first ever loose leaf teas I bought, and I chose it largely because I have a daughter named Grace and was looking for a tea to surprise her with that day! I was fortunate that it was a really good and didn’t disappoint.

I have had quite a few teas from this company and they have all been good. I am ready to get to work on lots of my newer teas now that I have accomplished a few of the sipdowns I had planned.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Ooooh, I love a good Keemun. I;ve got some Panda No1 that’s at least for years old, and it’s getting all winey.

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I want to apologize to Wymm Tea for taking so long to taste this sample. I wanted to give it the attention it deserves and have not had time until tonight!

A few weeks ago I picked up an unknown puerh tuocha at a coffee shop nearby that was labeled “Black Tea Puerh”. I got it home and found it to be Sheng. It wasn’t bad, but hubby was not a fan and left me to finish it alone.

Fast forward to tonight. I got this out and informed him that he was going to taste tea with me and it was a type he had before and didn’t like, so he should brace himself. I wasn’t really trying to prejudice him against it, just give fair warning, because he is rather picky and I am not.

I rinsed the leaves for about fifteen seconds, then gave it a short 7 second steep. The tea was pale at this point. It had only the tiny sour bite of young sheng, nothing objectionable. The flavor was very light at this point also.

Second steep was a bit longer and each subsequent steep was increased by only a few seconds. Yet now it yields a golden brew, rather darker than I expected. On about the fourth steep as the cup was being passed to hubby, a strong aroma hit me and it was a really nice one. My first thought was bright citrus, so maybe that is what they call grapefruit, although it reminds me of the white rum flavoring in another that I own. It has a nice medium body. Not creamy, but not sour.

The big surprise is that hubby is constantly holding his little cup out and shaking it at me to hurry up the refills. He kept saying, “This is good!” So now I know it was just the one sheng he disliked, not the type in general.

We have made a full liter of tea thus far and I think I will heat another pot and see how much longer we can keep these leaves going. They don’t seem to be completely spent yet.

Thank you, Wymm Tea, for these lovely samples!

WymmTea|惟余莽莽

Thank you for the review Ashmanra! glad you and your husband enjoyed the pu-erh:)

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drank Diamond Jubilee by Harney & Sons
1956 tasting notes

This is getting old so we are trying to polish off the tin. It still tastes great.

Too light for die hard Earl Grey fans who like a face full of bergamot, but very nicely flavored for those who want just a hint of it. This seems to be Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme, which has Ceylon Silver Needle in it, with some grapefruit added. And it works very well indeed.

This was the first tea served for tea party today, and was served with a fruit tart that a friend brought over. It went very nicely, with the black tea complementing the sweet fruity tastes and the flavorings taking a back seat and not overshadowing the dessert. I usually pair unflavored black or oolong teas with sweets, but sometimes lightly flavored teas go well and this one worked.

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drank Geisha by Gurman's
1956 tasting notes

I know I must have reviewed this before. Where are my old tasting notes going? Perhaps with the missing socks.

This deserves a tasting note because it is one of the tastiest flavored green teas I have ever had. This was the third tea served at tea time and we remarked on how much we have liked all the Gurman’s blends we have tried.

I have no idea what rye leaves taste like. I do not know what they add to this blend or what makes it taste so good, but I can say the even the black tea lover was oo’ing and ah’ing over this tea. The flower petals are mentioned and then it just says “flavor.” What flavor? They don’t say.

It is very smooth and has really full body. I bought this on a whim in Dublin, and I think I even initially thought I was buying a black tea, and afterward looked at the description and saw that it was a green. As usual, no sugar no milk.

I’m just glad I bought it.

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drank Palace of Roses by Gurman's
1956 tasting notes

This was the second tea served at tea time today and oh my was it ever delicious! I really must not run out of this one. Thankfully, Gurman’s has been very accommodating about shipping to the US and also, I have a few people who seem to be flying to Ireland constantly so I could ask them to pick it up for me.

This is so smooth, and the apricot is just a nice, round flavor full in your face. I taste the raisin next, then a hint of mango. This is on the short list of teas I would want if I had to cull my stash down to ‘x’ number of teas.

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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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