1747 Tasting Notes
Yay! I finally get to try this one! Back when the Ambessa line first came out, Russel generously sent me some of the teas. They were great, but this wasn’t available just yet and I really wanted to try it. Then I put myself on a small buying restriction until I can get some of my tea stash drunk up, but today I got to break my rule.
If I go somewhere like the Fresh Market or A Southern Season or Tin Roof Teas, I allow myself to buy a SMALL amount of tea. I nabbed this one today at The Fresh Market.
I have never had lingonberries, and I don’t think I had even heard of them before this blend. The tin smelled sweet and fruity. And while I am loving the tea, it has thrown me for a loop because no one can smell what I am smelling.
When I poured my cup, right away I thought of cough syrup, eucalyptus, rosemary, or those little cedar berries that are all bumpy. I thought of Mentholatum. I tasted rosemary and eucalyptus, mild and smooth. I handed the cup to my daughters and asked them to smell it. They said it just smells like tea to them. One of them sipped. She said it tasted like something from the yard. I think she means the giant rosemary bush, and doesn’t realize it! Husband said it tasted fruity to him,
Maybe something is wrong with my sense of taste and smell, which wouldn’t be too surprising since I have a stuffy nose.
So does anyone else think lingonberries have a savory aroma like rosemary? I can really see myself craving this tea as a comfort tea when I have a cold or don’t feel well. I must like it pretty well. I am about to finish 20 ounces and I just got started.
My daughter drinks lots and lots of matcha. She started out drinking flavored matcha lattes and has progressed to preferring plain matcha lattes and plain matcha prepared hot or cold with just water.
She stayed with us last night, so this morning I offered her a latte so she wouldn’t miss her antioxidants. I made one latte with a sampe of matcha of unknown source and one latte with this. She preferred this matcha, and was pretty astounded at the low price. I have been very pleased with my Nuvola green tea powder. I expect she will be ordering several bags of her own soon. The only problem I have had is that I can’t get their website to accept my order, as it is in Hong Kong and demands a certain type of contact phone number and you can’t get around that. I have ordered mine by emailing them directly and they send me an invoice which I pay via PayPal.
As can be seen by my prior notes on this tea, I gave my tin to my daughter a year ago. A few weeks ago she called and told me her new favorite green tea was Chun Mee from Tazo. “Didn’t I give you a tin of Harney Chun Mee?” said I. “Um, I don’t think so. I don’t know.”
So today we drove her home following her first LASIK treatment and there it was on the counter, abandoned and ignored. I think the fact that it is loose leaf scared her off. She really only makes tea bags and matcha. So I pulled out her Krups electric kettle, set it for 174F, and steeped for three minutes.
And you know what? It was a lot better than I remembered. She loved it, and says she will definitely be drinking it now. I showed her the easy way to make it with the brew basket that came with the Krups.
The main reason I gave it to her in the first place was that it tastes very similar to the green teas she bought in Budapest and loved, so I thought she should love this one as well. Today she remarked on how “bright” it tasted and that she really prefers unflavored greens and has trouble finding ones that are not bitter to her.
This has held up very nicely indeed.
I should have gone to bed a long time ago, but it has been a weird weekend. I took a nap this afternoon and that is probably monkeying with me. I didn’t eat supper but just snacked on walnuts and drank some chocolate milk. So at 3 am I decide it is a good time to continue watching movies with the (college) kids and heat up a plate of Asian buffet leftovers. Probably not smart.
I wanted a nice green to go with it, and this was close at hand and fit the bill. I don’t remember how I made it before, but I was in a hurry and just gave it about 90 seconds at 180F. It came out really well and is great with my food. Now I am going to absolutely CRASH and yet I have to get up early to take care of the chickens. Maybe another nap will be in order tomorrow!
I was surprised and excited to see that Upton had included a free sample in my order! I wanted something to go with my bagel and hoped this would be a good choice.
The dry leaf smells like a nice breakfast tea, not overly fragrant, but pleasant. I saw that there is Darjeeling in this blend and decided to cut my steep time down to 3 1/2 minutes snce Darjeeling and I sometimes don’t see eye to eye. It is listed last, so I thought perhaps there wasn’t a lot in here and I think I was right. I think this is mostly Keemun and Ceylon.
I am drinking it plain because that is my preference whenever I can possibly get away with it.
The tea has a bright flavor on the citrus-y side, no doubt from the Ceylon. The Keemun is not as apparent to me but maybe it got lost in the first sips due to the toasted onion and garlic of the bagel.
The Darjeeling adds a fruity and wine-y aftertaste.
It is very drinkable and pleasant, but not one I just have to have, but good and I am so glad I got to try it. I think if it were steeped longer with a little more leaf, it would be an excellent breakfast tea for those who like to add milk and sugar.
Thank you, Upton Tea, for the sample!
We accomplished another sample sip down at tea party time today! Middle daughter made chocolate chip cookies with freshly ground hard red wheat. This was the second tea served. It is my second or third favorite Darjeeling, though I am not yet a Darjeeling connoisseur. It is smooth and fruity and doesn’t have as much astringent bite as some. This was actually the favorite tea of my guest today.
Grace Rare Tea does not offer a great variety of teas, but what they have is excellent. That was their mission.
Another sample sip down! (Which is good because I couldn’t sleep last night and when that happens I lose all restraint and get online and order tea. Yes, I did.)
I served this first at tea party today and I liked this best, but I really love oolong tea now. The other tea was quite good – it was Darjeeling 6000 from Grace Rare Tea – but I am not the biggest fan of Darjeeling in the world, though I have tasted a few that really were quite nice.
This has a high fruity note that almost borders on sour, but not sour tea, rather a sweet and sour fruit. There is a hint of that elusive and hard to describe flavor that I get from Tie Guan Yins, the one Bonnie described as oil paint and I realized it reminded me of the smell of my acrylic paints when I was a kid taking art lessons. (I was terrible at it but my mother thought I should take lessons because I am a lefty, I am a mirror writer, and I clutch pencils with a death grip. Art didn’t help that.)
This isn’t astringent but is very fresh and even though I started with it hot and now have let it cool to room temperature it almost tastes as though I refrigerated it. It is very light and refreshing.
I like this! Next time I order my beloved Premium Silky Green, I may add this to the order.
Boiling water? For a green? Well, I have seen that once or twice before, so I gave it a go. I was expecting an awful lot of this, and braced myself for a sour or astringent cup of tea.
Surprise number one was that when the water hit the leaves it smelled like matcha! The tea came out smooth and bright, not sour at all, and not astringent. This was a very pleasant green to end the tea party with!
My sample sip down continues, and I am starting my day with this sample that came in a tea gift box from my daughter. (Superanna, for those who haven’t figured that out yet! grin )
Not many apple teas have made me roll around in ecstasy. Neither does this one. LOL! It isn’t bad, it is quite good. The base is smooth and warming, there is definitely more than just apple going on in it, and I can see this being incredibly comforting and soothing on a cold winter day. I don’t drink alcohol at all but I can really see this tea becoming awesome with the addition of something stout and dark, like maybe a splash of cognac? Brandy? I don’t know liquors though I have tasted some way way back, but I do think this would be an amazing tea to add some warming spirits to.
And I may be a hypocrite, because I said I wasn’t crazy about apple tea but I polished off a large cup of this in record time. Now I wish I had more.
Edit to add: second steep weaker but still really good. Also, gone.
I was fortunate enough to get in on the tasting when Red Leaf was about to release this product, and then with a later order they sent me a free sample of this. I think the caramel flavored matcha was the very first purchase I made from them, so I thought this was a brilliant flavor to start with for the mixes.
It is super easy to make, has fewer calories than most of the things I reach for when the afternoon hungries hit, and it is good for me. My son’s girlfriend asks for it every time she comes over, and it is my hubby’s favorite latte. (This is tied with almond flavor for me!)
With matchaccino you don’t have to choose a certain flavor level, and I find the amount they are putting just perfect.