1956 Tasting Notes

I swear I have reviewed this one, but I can’t find any notes on here from me. So here we go…

This is one of the teas my daughter picked up for me when she went to Amsterdam and Bruges. She brought it to me while we were still in Ireland, and youngest and I had a ritual of having a pot of tea in the breakfast room of the house and then heading out for scones and more tea and at 9am, which is when the fresh scones came out at the Java Café. We had a pot then and I think I had it once since, and today we have had two big pots of it.

I was a little confused at first because I thought macarons were the same as macaroons, but they are completely different. This is definitely macaron. The dry leaves are beautiful, with the mix of flower petals and bits of nuts and dried apple pieces. The aroma is largely apple, almond, and pure biscuit. I still don’t know how they make tea smell and taste like biscuit, but they do.

I found it to be smooth and flavorful, very nice even without milk or sugar. The different flavors are well balanced and none overpowers the others. My hubby still has trouble drinking black tea without milk and sugar, but he drank several cups of this plain and enjoyed it very much. Big thumbs up here!

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drank Eve by Nina's Paris
1956 tasting notes

I had tea with some little girls who drink copious amounts of it, laden with milk and sugar. I wanted to stretch my fruity flavored blends supply since they are joining me a lot now, so I tried resteeping this to see if it keeps its pizzazz. It really does have excellent flavor.

I mixed the first steep together and I am pleased to say it made a nice big pot of lovely, enjoyable tea. I was drinking mine plain, and it was delicious. Good to know for the future so that I don’t run out as fast!
Cameron B.

Adorable! :)

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drank Pu-Erh Gourmand by Dammann Freres
1956 tasting notes

This is almost gone and it will be sorely missed when it is. I think this will be a birthday request. This has a nice, earthy puerh base and layers of complex flavor laid over it. Just like Coquelicot Gourmand, the flavors and beautifully blended. Who knew you could recreate biscuit flavor? In a TEA?

Youngest and I have been having a couple of pots of tea every morning lately, and we are hitting the puerh teas hard. I am really excited about the Kamjove teapot/steeper that I just ordered from Teavivre. I am hoping it will arrive next week and I really wanted it mainly for breakfast tea, especially our puerhs.

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drank Rose Garden by Twinings
1956 tasting notes

I am trying to drink up my oldest teas and finish samples and nearly empty tins. This was chosen this morning as it is now at least two years old. It still tastes good. It is similar to Rose Scented by Harney and Sons but not quite as rosy….almost, but not quite. It seems to be no longer available but for my rose cravings I have Harney and Teavivre to fill in the gap!

For the price, it was a good tea.

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drank Ruby #18 by A Southern Season
1956 tasting notes

This is such a great tea. It almost doesn’t matter how long you steep it as it is very hard to make it bitter. It is black tea but looks so pale in the cup. It resteeps well, yet is so flavorful. It really surprises me every time when I see the color and then sip, at how strong the flavor is.

This is a black tea made in a place that is famous for excellent oolongs, and it shines like a star. I have had several Ruby 18 varieties, and they have been different, but this is one of my top two, and is available at a store only 110 minutes away. It reminds me a little of a great Formosa oolong, an Oriental Beauty.

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This was the second tea of tea party today. Our food leaned heavily on the chocolate side so this was served second after our plain black tea and after we ate. Magnificent! It is smooth and rich and doesn’t need milk or sugar. The chocolate aroma is so enticing, not fake-y and oily. The rose adds sweetness. This is one I may have to restock when it is gone, even though I am trying to get my cupboard more reasonable.

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1956 tasting notes

This was the first tea for tea party today. Middle daughter made whole wheat cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and we had homemade vanilla ice cream with it. My son made pecan fudge but it set a little hard and crumbles when we cut it, so I got the bright idea to use the crumbles as ice cream topping. Thus began tea party. I like having an unflavored black tea or a roasted oolong for starters so it won’t be overly sweet with the desserts we serve. Queen Catherine was magnificent today with our sweets. I love Queen Catherine, but somehow it was over the top delicious with the food.

I am nearly out of this tin, but that’s okay because my new one has already arrived. Hooray!


Pecan fudge?!?!? That sounds incredible!!


I’ll make a note to try this one with desserts! :)


Now THAT’S a party!

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drank Le Bonheur! (Happiness) by Fauchon
1956 tasting notes

My eldest daughter bought this for me when she went to Amsterdam and Bruges. She has a knack for picking great teas for me when she travels, and i feel really spoiled that she always brings me gifts of tea when she travels.

I let my son’s girlfriend choose what we were drinking today, and I think she was influenced more by the aroma of the dry leaves than the beauty of the blend, which is riveting enough. So many bright flower petals! I needed this fruity cup of goodness. I had it with a scone and fresh whipped cream that youngest made. It is smooth and perfectly drinkable without additions.

And now I need help from you!

Eldest wants to take youngest on a little trip for her 16th birthday. Youngest wants to become as well travelled as her big sister. They have been to London, N. Ireland, and Ireland together twice.

Eldest is choosing between NYC and somewhere in Canada, where should they go? NY? Montreal? Quebec? Toronto? What should they do? I know lots of you are Canadian, and there are probably some New Yorkers here as well.

aisling of tea

Toronto! We have many awesome tea shops and an amazing Zoo!


Nice! They do like tea, youngest lives scones, and eldest loves breads, pastries, and any and all new food! Also, youngest is on a quest to find the best hot chocolate in the world. So far, O’Connail’s of Ireland is unmatched.


what time of year haha. that will factor :)


Oh, so true! Mid- to late January!




Montreal is a really amazing city to visit. I’ve quite enjoyed visiting NYC and Toronto too, but they haven’t quite captured my imagination like Montreal.


January to visit Canada? I think we are going to have a nasty winter here the way it’s working out. If it was summer, spring or fall , I would suggest they go a little bit east of NYC to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is beautiful there but probably not in January.

For entertainment, you can’t beat Toronto but the outer areas of Toronto are nice too: Mississauga, Oakville, Hamilton. I would suggest they check out Niagara Falls. Lots to do there. One small city I love is Kingston. I haven’t been there in awhile but it’s a very small artsy city near the 1000 islands. Back when I visited there were always a few tea shops. I bet even more today.

If they want to ski, there’s plenty of spots in Quebec, Ontario & New York for skiing.


If i was coming in january, i’d stay out of Montreal unless you enjoy the cold and snow (which i do). However les fetes des neiges happens that time of year so if that is something of interest, i’d do that.
Toronto will be a bit warmer, though maybe not given all the weird weather predictions going on these days…

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I ache. I have been cooking and cleaning all day preparing for tomorrow and I needed a quiet tea break desperately. My husband and youngest daughter said they would like to have a bit of tea as well and we have made three steeps western style so far.

This smelled really nice right off the bat. It is milder in aroma than the amazing and delicious Ali Shan I have been drinking lately that smells strongly of kale. This is buttery and creamy and a little lighter. It is relaxing, just as I wanted.

I asked my husband what words come to mind as he drinks this and he said, “Good.” I meant how would he describe it, expecting him to say “green”, “floral”, something along those lines, but “good” fits the bill. Now time for bed so I can get up and start again early in the morning!

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Thank you, Teavivre, for the sample to try!

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This is a sipdown! I can not believe I have had this tin for almost two years. That happens when you have way more tea than anyone can drink in a reasonable amount of time. I have swapped tea, gifted tea, served tea to crowds, and even loaded up boxes of tea and given it to friends, but I still have more tea than necessary.

This feels like a Christmas-y tea to me, partly because I associate almond flavor with Christmas and winter, and partly because this tea was given to me as a Christmas gift by my daughter’s then-fiance-now-husband. There is a nice fruit flavor with the almond and the base is smooth. This is perfectly drinkable without milk and sugar, though my guests today are people who always add both, and did this time, too. They all liked it very much, though.

One thing I like about the Mariage Freres tins is that you can peel off the clear sticker that has the name of the tea. I clean the tin, add a tea that needs a home, and type up a clear Avery label with the name and stick it on. You can hardly tell that it is a reused tin, and only when you are really close up! This tin has now become home to my Dammann Freres Puerh Gourmand. When we finish that – which will probably be soon – I will add another tea and type another label!

This was a lovely tea, and now I must get on to more sipdowns and then use great restraint on Black Friday!

Edited to add: I just cleaned out my online cupboard here when I finished this tin, but then I discovered five teas I hadn’t added. I went from 150 to 145 and back to 150 again. Ah well!

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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…


North Carolina

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