1858 Tasting Notes
This is the first tea I am trying out of the new batch of samples from the ever generous Teavivre. Thank you, thank you!
The leaves are thin, medium size, a little twisty, with lots of golden ones. The aroma dry is sweet potato, so much so that I immediately put one in to cook while making the tea.
The first steep has a medium orange color and the scent of sweet potato and citrus, maybe oranges, is still present. The taste reminds me of my beloved Golden Monkey, but is perhaps a little lighter and cleaner, while GM is heartier with more malty flavor. This tastes like gold and honey on the tongue.
I had youngest try it even though she had her own pot of Assam and she liked it. She said in particular that it completely lacked astringency, and she liked that very much.
This is what I would consider a possible conversion tea, one to give people who think they don’t like black tea. Even though I haven’t tried the other samples yet, I think this tea will probably be on my next order. It is a gentle civilized afternoon tea that still has all the characteristics I love about tea.
Backlogging from Thursday night: One of the men who attends our writers’ group came in with a gift bag. He said it was something from his wife to me. His wife is Japanese and knows how much I love tea even though we have only met once, and briefly then.
The bag contained a rainbow wood scoop (so cute!) and this tea. Naturally I steeped up some of it for the group to try. :) I ended up making four pots because everyone loved it.
The ginger isn’t too biting in this one as ginger can sometimes be, at least to me. The peach is very nice but sniffing the dry leaves AND the tea we really picked up lots of citrus, and I realized it was a very strong lime aroma. The lime as there in the taste also, and I think it was really the green base that was carrying it. Perhaps the sourgrass nature of the base (did everyone else grow up chewing on sourgrass in the summertime?) mixed with the peach flavoring combined to make lime.
It was very favorably received by all the green tea drinkers in the room, and at the rate they were drinking it, I have a feeling this pouch won’t last long. It was a lovely surprise!
We are having a very full weekend. My son is here to celebrate his birthday and he is a very active young man who eats clean and is training for Spartan races this year, having just completed his first Spartan sprint. I have to buy mega-fruits and veggies when he visits.
Today, he and his dad and sister played catch and Frisbee on a beautiful, eighty-something degree spring day, and I prepared a snack/light lunch. We had strawberries, cantaloupe, and kiwi, and an iced pitcher of this tea.
I put five teaspoons of the leaf in my Stump teapot which is about eighteen ounces. This was steeped at 194F for two minutes, then poured over ice in a Bodum Biasca pitcher which is forty ounces. I did not add any sweetener.
Only three of us drank this tea as my daughter had already made a pot of black tea for herself. The three of us finished all forty ounces in short order and it was so refreshing and good! And the tea is sunshine yellow, perfect!
This is hands down my favorite Moroccan Mint of the many I have tried. There is something about their spearmint and Egyptian mint that makes this so sweet and smooth. I foresee a lot of this tea over the next few months, especially served with fruit as we did today.
The first jasmine tea I ever had was a total bust, almost a disaster. It made me feel sick, as if I had been drinking perfume. I thought I was destined to hate jasmine teas but then I tried some really good….no…..really great ones.
This is a free sample provided by Nina’s and I saved it for a game night tonight because one of my guests has spent a bit of time in China and really loves jasmine tea. I promised to save the sample until we could drink it together.
The leaves are so dark that I wasn’t sure at first if this was green or black, but definitely it is green. The scent is heavenly. I steeped one tablespoon in 22 ounces of 174F water for three minutes. We tasted the first steep and added the second steep to it.
The verdict – this is a really good jasmine green. The jasmine is rich and natural, not fake or “perfume-y”. The liquor was a deep yellow color and the resteep maintained much of the strength of the first steep. The green tea base had a lot of presence but was smooth, much better to me than the Grace Rare Tea version, which I can drink with a meal but is a bit sour for me by itself. This one is a delight on its own and is also good with food,
After tasting the tea twice – first steep by itself, then first and second mixed – we passed around a box of truffles and I must say it was a fantastic pairing.
Thank you, Nina’s!
A friend saw my post on Facebook that I had new samples and she was so excited. She wanted to come try them as soon as possible, so we got together yesterday and she tried Mon Secret. She loved it, and said she will probably order it with her next batch of teas from Nina’s.
She wanted to provide some tea as well so she brought her tin of Earl Grey. It has been about a year since I have had it, but my opinion is unchanged. This is one of the best, if not THE best, Earl Grey I have had. I love Keemun tea and it makes a wonderful base for this amazing bergamot. Some teas with bergamot just taste like bathroom cleaner to me. This tastes like elegance.
Did anyone see the recent medical study completed in Britain that confirms that bergamot is good for raising good cholesterol and lowering bad? Sounds like a good excuse to drink more tea to me!
Tea was served with whole wheat toast slathered in honey mixed with coconut oil and sprinkled with Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon, goat cheese and crackers, and chocolates!
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Oh my gosh, I forget how much I love this one between cuppings, and then I ask myself why I don’t drink it all the time. Youngest made it for me to drink after my pre-op appointment and we had more goat cheese, crackers, and grapes.
Roasted, dark, sweet fruit seduces and the smoke grabs hold of you in a very sexy embrace. Yes. This tea.
On that note, I am slightly horrified wondering about what happened after my surgery today. (It seems to have gone swimmingly and I have only had two acetaminophen for a hungover feeling headache and neck ache.) I know as I was coming out from under, I heard a nurse say something about not feeling well. I think so. Anyway, before my brain could catch up with my mouth, I was telling them about puerh tea before temporarily falling back into unconsciousness. Oy. When I woke up for good, it was a different batch of people…at least I think it was, so I didn’t get to invite them to try “the good stuff.”
My friend Sandy said she thinks it is really funny that I try to convert people to tea even in my sleep…
Backlogging three of the free tea samples from Nina’s that were tasted Wednesday.
I know I said that every tea I tried I was sure would be my favorite of the batch, but I think I can pin it down. This is it. The third tea I tried was my favorite because I really love the Keemun base that Nina’s uses. I had it in their Earl Grey, and the friend I shared it with went wild for it and ordered a tin.
Here I find that same, more-unsweetened-cocoa than-smoke, Keemun that I loved in the Earl. And paired with these lovely, exotic fruit flavors? Yes, please!
My secret is out. This is my favorite from the newest tasting batch….so far. I am saving the jasmine to taste with a friend. I try to share my free samples with other people because I feel it helps give the generous companies who send it more exposure, it gives me the opportunity to see the honest reactions of other people, and it hopefully makes other people happy to get to try them! Besides, tea is a really great accessory in my friendship, as well as being a great companion in solitutde.
This is a free sample from “Nina’s”. Thank you!
When we had this one on Wednesday, my youngest came in apologetically and said she was distracted when she made the three teas and poured boiling water over these leaves. I told her to pull the leaves early, but she said it had been a minute or so already before she realized it. She pulled the leaves and when we served it, I poured only a little into our cups in case it had become bitter.
Wow! It was not only fine, it was delicious. The green tea base was buttery and mildly grassy, the citrus flavor was the top note for me, and there was a fruity undertone.
I tried this cold (unsweetened) after tea time and find it very refreshing. This will be a great summertime tea!
Backlogging from Wednesday:
For tea time Wednesday, we had three of the new Nina’s samples served with goat cheese and Italian Herb Flatbread Crisps and grapes. We also had cookies for afters!
I did not look at any of the ingredients until after we tasted each tea. When I looked this one up, I apologized to my guest, who had already said she liked it. She hates puerh, and I had no idea there was puerh in this, even after I tasted it. It was just fruity, wonderful black tea (though I love puerh). I didn’t want her to think I was one of those people who try to sneak you things you don’t like to change their mind.
She said she didn’t mind, she really liked it. This is a delicious tea and perfect for afternoons. I had a little of it iced and that was great, too. Each tea I tasted, I thought, “This is going to be my favorite of the bunch.” Instead, they were all different and all grand, so it was really hard to choose which was my favorite!