2193 Tasting Notes

drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2193 tasting notes

It seems like it has been a while since I had Paris tea. I had tons of it, then bought a pound of Tower of London which is very similar (but maybe a little more beloved for me?) and waited to replenish my Paris until that was all gone. My son-in-law tried this one and loved it so I had purchased some for him as well a while back. It is a real people pleaser.

One fun thing – I had made a pot of this and a pot of Keemun from Zen for tea party yesterday. There was a lot of Keemun left and just a little splash of Paris, so I combined them in one pot and put it in the fridge to reheat for my breakfast. It was really good and the Paris flavor came through like gangbusters even though there was so little in there. I really need to try mixing this up with some of my other teas more!

Paris from Harney and Sons, Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip from Teavivre, and Puerh teas are my two best friends when it comes to recruiting new tea people.

Interesting side note – our nearest real tea shop is Tin Roof Teas in Raleigh and today they posted on Facebook that so many people stop in asking for H&S Paris that they decided to make their own blend. I plan to buy a bit and give it a try next time I am up that way.

S.G. Sanders

A majority of my friends go out of their way to have a cup of Paris, since it’s always in stock (perhaps I’ll start charging them for it). It’s a nice tea. Very smooth, rich, mellow(?), creamy and dessert-like. It has definitely helped me reduce the amount of sugar/desserts these past few months, so I find it necessary to have it around.

It does go well with Keemun, Ceylon, and Assam teas. However, with an Assam, I would use more Paris than Assam due to the smokiness that Assams tend to have.

gmathis

This just appears to be a very popular flavor combo. Our little Savoy shop down in Arkansas has a Paris Morning that has the bergamot-caramelly thing going.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this before. Is Steepster eating tasting notes again?

My husband bought me these adorable cups with a fish molded in the bottom from an eBay seller and they sent a sample pack of a Lapsang. It was the unsmoked type, and it was super delicious. I realized I had bought some from Teavivre and had not been drinking it as much as I ought so I made a pot this morning.

There are strong notes of chocolate – not cocoa, milk chocolate. The taste is reminiscent of Da Hong Pao. Although not astringent, I do not find it to be a terribly “wet” tea. But it isn’t drying and puckering my mouth.

And remember how hubby used to drink all black tea with lots of milk and sugar, and started only drinking green and white and puerh because he likes them plain and wants to be healthier? He drank this one plain! He had a cup at breakfast with me and I suggested that since it was so mild he might like it just as it was, and he did like it!

I have known for a long time that Souchong means the larger leaves about five leaves in on a branch, not those cherished two leaves and a bud that we so often crave. So I assumed that Lapsang meant smoked, and wondered how we could have Lapsang tea that had no smoke at all. I looked it up and found that Lapsang is an English equivalence for a place name, not for a method of production. Lapsang is so commonly smoked that most people associate it irrevocably with smoked tea.

But both of these that I just tried, the sample and the Teavivre one, were excellent and not smokey at all. So the Souchong leaves are not as inferior as one might think if it brews something this good.

kristinalee

Wow, I totally thought it meant smoked too. Thanks for this educational review.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, very helpful.

Is there some sort of way of distinguishing the smoked from unsmoked varieties by name or what-have-you?

Fjellrev

Weird, I figured Lapsang would be a place name but still figured that the term in its entirety belonged to smoked varieties. Interesting!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Last night was okay, but not particularly festive. We are pretty much stay at home folks for New Year’s but I got bored watching tv and listened to some music by myself. So tonight when we played Ticket to Ride and feasted on some great champignon brie and um…M&M’s (weird combo?), I really felt like we were having a party! Pathetic? I think not!

This has been our go-to puerh when we have big crowds, and we drank it a lot through Christmas when everyone was here and we are continuing to plow through it now. I actually felt I understeeped it a bit on the first steep in my big tetsubin, but hubby was thrilled with it. He thought it was excellent just as it was. The color was really light compared to how strong I usually make my puerh tea. I still liked it and it wasn’t too weak tasting. It went really well with the mushroomy flavor of the brie, too. And this tea is such a great resteeper we will probably have a couple of liters off of these leaves tomorrow!

Oh, and if any of you are following ChelseaR here on Steepster, my son proposed to her last night in New Hampshire where they are skiing with her parents as the fireworks exploded overhead and she said “Yes!” So congrats to my Sandtrooper and ChelseaR!

Evol Ving Ness

Happy post. Congratulations! So lovely to hear such news.

Mike

Congratulations to them…and to you! :)

gmathis

(snoopy dance!) What lovely news to start a year!

mrmopar

Congrats to the married to be and you.

tigress_al

Congrats to you all!

__Morgana__

Great news! Congrats!

Terri HarpLady

Yay! Congrats!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I have been drinking my matcha in a little soup bowl for years now. It is okay, but one who loves tea just needs teaware, right?

For years I admired the Zen Brush bowl at Zen Tea Life, but when I finally decided to bite the bullet and ask for one for Christmas they had stopped carrying the dark blue one and had a brown one. They had this lovely Aurora bowl in blue, though! Yes!

I love using it! I have had matcha every day. The depth is great for whisking. Also, you can swirl your tea so the particles don’t settle and it is deep enough that it doesn’t slosh over. I love the scalloped, wavy lip so you can pick your most comfortable spot to sip. It is very pretty and when it is wet from washing, the lighter blue shades almost sparkle.

Evol Ving Ness

So, one can use it directly for drinking? Yay! It sounds like the perfect thing.

ashmanra

I panicked when I read your comment. I wondered if maybe you were not supposed to drink from the bowl. I wouldn’t know as I have never seen anyone use one and I just assumed. So I googled it and indeed, it looks like one IS supposed to drink from the bowl! :)

Evol Ving Ness

Oh, no, no judgement on my part. I just wasn’t aware that that was what people do. And now I am, so thank you.

Evol Ving Ness

I have the tea and I have the bowl, but I have yet to unpack things. (Not from Zen.)

__Morgana__

I think you’re supposed to drink from the bowl because it helps you smell the tea? At least I remember reading that somewhere.

ashmanra

Evol Ving Ness – I am glad you said something so I don’t make a fool of myself! However, when we were tasting some new matcha, I did froth it in the big bowl and then dip in my tiny tasting cups and pass around sips for everyone. Matcha is too expensive to make a whole bowl per person just for testing purposes, and I am a big believer in repurposing and multipurposing!

Equusfell

I have an identical one that I got off ebay, but mine is white with small crackles. I agree that it functions very well!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

My eldest daughter gave me this tea for Christmas. I haven’t had any of it in about three years, although I have had lots of other Teavivre shu. The amazing thing about this tea was its staying power.

I used one tuo cha in a small pot, and made pot after pot after pot, often combining steeps. It was lovely after the meal, a little earthy and not too horsey (as my daughter put it), and the rose scent is strongest in the first steeps but is not a big player flavorwise. it adds a nice sweetness to the tea without being heavily floral or peppery as rose can sometimes be.

I love how one little piece made enough tea for five people to drink for two hours.

I haven’t ordered the tuo cha teas from Teavivre in quite a while for myself, although my son gets a big bag every year for Christmas by request! I am glad to have this on hand. It is a reliable old friend.

K S

My favorite toucha.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This tea smells great in the bag, and keeps a nice scent while steeping. The flavors are soft and mild and the base lacks that bitter bite that I find in so many flavored greens.

This actually belongs to youngest. She sniffed it while we were Christmas shopping in Chapel Hill and loves the scent, so I threw it in the basket to serve as a stocking stuffer.

The coconut and almond are well-balanced, and I enjoyed it sans additions. The friend who drank it with me immediately placed money on the table and asked me to have some picked up for her.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Black tea-Keemun Finest by Zen Tea
2193 tasting notes

Eldest daughter, SuperAnna, gave me this for Christmas. Sometimes she Steepster-stalks me for gift ideas, and sometimes she makes notes on what I like. She picked a winner here!

When she asked what I wanted for Christmas, I requested the beautiful Aurora matcha bowl from Zen Tea. She added this to the order and I am glad she did.

First reaction this morning was a growl as I lifted the cup. This is breakfast Keemun. Not so bold that you have to add milk and sugar, but bold enough that you are not going back to bed! (I don’t need tea to wake up – I am pretty at it once I awaken and I have to go out first thing and feed the chickens anyway, so that gets me going. If I don’t make it out quickly, the chickens “moo” annoyingly and I am afraid they will disturb the neighbors!)

There is the raspy scrape of unsweetened cocoa on my tongue and the very light hint of smoke, then as you sip, the building fruitiness. Nice tea! This would be very good with milk and sugar for those who like it that way.

gmathis

Mooing chickens! What’ll they think of next? ;)

ashmanra

Moo-ing is their morning grumpy sound, and one of them actually sounds like it is saying, “Moooooom!” I imitated it once and the kids thought I had brought her in the house. This particular chicken was named Darles Chickens but we call her Buffy most of the time. When they squeal, they are being picked on by another chicken. If they sound like geese, it means they see a flying predator.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I really loved the sample of jasmine green tea at the local bubble tea shop but at the time I needed something fortifying so I got a Taiwan Milk Tea. I decided to try making a homemade version, and I remembered this economical beauty from Teavivre and thought it would be the perfect base. I was right.

I made the tea strong, about double strength, added sugar, and let it cool. I added too much milk but we live and learn. Even with too much milk it was good, and when I get my proportions right it is going to be phenomenal.

I think I may reorder more of the base just for this purpose.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
2193 tasting notes

My eating habits have been deplorable these past few weeks and I can feel it. I keep getting hungry, and tonight I wanted to hydrate and have something healthy at the same time. Since I got my first ever matcha bowl (chawan) for Christmas from my daughter SuperAnna, I picked matcha! I got a nice treat and felt like I was making a great choice at the same time.

This is a vibrant green matcha and I haven’t had another like it at this price point. The wonderful spinach aroma as I whisked it was mouthwatering, and I really want to have more but shouldn’t this late at night. The only bad thing about this matcha is that it sells out and stays out of stock for long periods at times, so if you want some, grab it while you can.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Boba Milk Tea by Bubble Tea
2193 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure where to put this so I just made a new entry. Tonight as I was Christmas shopping I wanted to show my daughter a coffee shop that I knew she would be interested in. It happened to be closed so she couldn’t go tonight, but it is a coffee shop/bakery/antique shop where you can sit and read and sip your cup of joe while enjoying being surrounded by cool antiques. I don’t know if they sell tea, but I would love that!

Lo and behold, there was a bubble tea shop on the other side of the shopping center!
I have never tried bubble tea. Sandy and I tried to go to one in Chapel Hill but sadly it had already closed – for good.

We went in and there were two young women working. The Asian girl was very, very young, probably still in high school, but she really knew her tea. She was able to tell me that they sourced their tea from China, used quality leaf, mixed black tea and golden tip for their black tea blends, and gave us free samples in little cups since I had never had any. The jasmine green milk tea was heavenly, but for some reason I wanted the heartier black milk tea tonight, perhaps because it was raining. Oh, and I saw a little sign that said to mention the rain, and I didn’t. As she rang me up, the young lady said she really wished I would say something about the weather, so I told her it was terrible out there? It had been pouring rain for hours. She smiled and said they have a rainy day discount and took ten percent off my order.

They had two tip jars, one labeled “Death Star Rejuvenation Fund” and the other “Hogwart’s Tuition Fund.” Cute!

The tea itself was bold even with milk and sugar, and had a definite espresso vibe to it with touches of chocolate and the barest hint of light smoke. Youngest told me it tasted a lot like the Taiwan milk tea she got in Chinatown in New York earlier this year.

I will be going back to get some of that jasmine green milk tea. I think in future I will leave out the tapioca pearls. They were okay but didn’t do a lot for me and I would rather enjoy the tea without them. They have so many other options that you can add – many of which I have never heard of but I am sure they are common to bubble tea.

Flyawaybirdie

I usually put my milk tea shop observations under Random Steepings. =). I’m glad you had a good milk tea experience! Sometimes when the barista isn’t too good, first timers are put off by it. Haha, if you come to California there’s milk tea places almost every few blocks, it’s like Starbucks out here.

TeaTiff

I am curious about milk tea. What exactly is it? Is it different than bubble tea? I have had bubble tea, but I didn’t actually think it was tea. @ashmanra this sounds like a great little shop. I am glad you had a good experience with your youngest.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven 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…

Location

North Carolina

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer