1897 Tasting Notes
This tea has lots of meaning for me. It was one of the first “fine” teas I ever bought, recommended from the fine tea wall at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC. The first time I steeped it, I was sure I had done it all wrong. I had forgotten it and oversteeped, yet when I poured it the liquor was light orange. What happened to my black tea?
Instead of being astringent, it forgave me utterly and yielded a cup of raisin-y goodness. Steep after steep.
This was also the last tea I sent to Doulton, a much loved steepsterite who disappeared a long time ago. She was a delight, NAND I was thrilled that she loved this tea.
Today I made it because I am making my own breakfast for the first time in my recovery period, and I knew I might not multitask really well today. (I sneaked into the garden early and tried to hammer a brick clip up with a piece of 2×4 so I could hang some garden art and got caught by my daughter. I had to come in so she wouldn’t rat on me.)
I have absolutely no idea how long this steeped, but it is perfect. Thick, golden raisin taste drained from my cup rapidly. Thank goodness I made a whole pot.
Let’s just call this review a “my bad.”
I had my daughter make this yesterday by SOP. Three teaspoons leaf, boiling water, 4 1/2 minutes, 22 ounce pot. I knew better, because this tea tastes just plain weird to me when made that way. It is Fujian, but doesn’t taste it. It gets a strange taste like…grapefruit that isn’t very good and you hope you don’t have to eat them for breakfast every day.
I enjoyed it when I made it gong fu style. I should have read my tasting notes first!
I have very little left and it is old, so now I am trying to decide whether to throw it away or go ahead and use it for gong fu serving. Why when there are about 200 other teas that I enjoy more? I suppose I can pass it in to someone else and see if they like it, but I hate to do that with teas I don’t enjoy…
My youngest daughter has been spoiling me with breakfast in bed since my surgery. Almost every day I have chosen an omelette made with eggs from my French Black Copper Marans, French thyme, peas, and cheese, accompanied by a piece of whole wheat toast with Bon Maman cherry preserves, and tea. With all the French goodness on my tray, I thought I should add a French tea!
I really, really like this one. For starters, I love the Keemun base that Nina’s uses. I had my daughter steep it for three minutes in boiling water and we had just enough leaf left for two good sized cups of tea. Youngest tried it and said she really liked it. She has just started taking her teas without milk and sugar which has me excited, of course! Hoorah! Hooray!
Although drinking the tea with a hearty breakfast made me miss some of the nuances of the tea, I enjoyed it very much. It was strong enough for breakfast but the fruity flavors still came through.
Drinking this also makes me realize how much I miss Nina’s Earl Grey. I need to order some more soon! Youngest loves Earl Grey tea and Keemun so I will justify buying it by pretending it is for her and not for my stash.
This was my first tea after surgery yesterday. For some reason I have always associated this tea with healing. It is addictively delicious. I have had one other ginseng oolong and it couldn’t hold a candle to this one. It was such a comfort to have favorite teas from my favorite tiny cup away from home.
Pretty big surgery yesterday. Morphine button a bust – turns out morphine just makes me violently ill. Went painkiller free other than essential oils on my feet and this tea, sent up in a JoeMo by youngest daughter. This tea takes me to my happy place. It really helped me relax and soothed my throat which was irritated by the throat tube. Best of all, having a familiar and beloved tea made me relax, which means hurting a little less. Two containers were sent up, and eldest daughter drank one and loved it. This was her first time having it but I have a feeling it wasn’t the last.
I don’t remember if I had the sachets of this tea before, but the loose leaf is definitely very, very different, and infinitely better. I only bought this because…..drumroll, please…..I HAVE A NEW TEA CONVERT! And I needed this fast so I bought some at Target.
That’s right! Unfortunately, my mother-in-law took a real pearler, fell flat on her face, broke her nose, gashed her forehead, and tore a hole in her arm. We have therefore been spending a great deal of time at the hospital from four to seven hours a day. My pregnant niece was there, complaining about how tired she is of water. She has cut out coffee, has gestational diabetes and doesn’t want sugary drinks, and is limiting caffeine very strictly. I rubbed my hands together with glee, pulled up the stats on a caffeine levels in teas, recommended some decaf Harney selections I thought she might like, and put together a sampling for her. She placed her first order last night!
I am going to make an effort to drink more tea because sitting in a hospital room and then running here and there for urgent errands I have not been drinking ANYTHING and hospital air is dry. I was wondering why my knees and legs were hurting when I suddenly realized it was dehydration. Tomorrow I will take most of the day “off” and spend the day with a friend, drinking good tea and eating coconut creme pie.
I ordered a pound of organic peppermint tea for the chickens and a pound of lavender for myself and a friend to split. This was one of the samples we received. It has been brutally hot and this was the iced tea version so I made a half gallon this weekend.
I did not sweeten it but rather made a bottle of simply syrup so everyone can drink it however they wish. You will have no doubt there is hibiscus in it when you see the brilliant flush of red as it steeps. The hibiscus is not too tart, though, and is actually pretty good! I taste lots of rosehip in it, but not as much raspberry as you might expect. The rosehip gives it a little savory bent to go with the fruitiness.
With sweetener, you have something that the biggest candy craving kid (or grown up) will enjoy. I like it unsweetened or lightly sweetened, but I bet it makes a nice grown up Popsicle when sweetened a bit more!
BUM BUM BUM! Another one bites the dust! That’s right, this is the end of the end of my cake of Red Rhyme.
I made it Bonnie style, steeping a pot of hot puerh, putting the leaves in a glass glass container and cold steeping for several days, and drinking it over ever all more. So refreshing and delicious!
But now it is gone! Many thanks to Garrett and mrmopar for their assistance last year when I placed my “big” puerh order! It will soon be time for another…
Because John Harney made tea….I saw an acquaintance buying it at Barnes and Noble. Because I saw her buying it, I got her more for Christmas and we became good friends and I bought an extra tin for me. Because I had GOOD tea, my new neighbor Sandy shared a cup and then introduced me to even more varieties of loose leaf and high quality teas of every type and kind and we began to explore puerh, white, yellow, and more! Because I became obsessed with tea, I invited more and more people over, and made new friends, and new tea addicts.
And this is one of the first loose leaf H&S teas I bought, the very first being Royal English Breakfast in sachets. Smokey and chocolate-y, good plain but takes milk and sugar well, which is how I first started drinking tea until their Golden Monkey enticed me to drink my tea sans additions.
Thank you, Mr. Harney, for being excited about tea. Thank you for your part in enriching my life. Thank you for the stories your family shared about you handing out wrapped sachets everywhere you went, making friends, showing kindness. May you rest in peace.