2204 Tasting Notes
This is a sipdown. I didn’t care much for this tea at first, but I saw a review from Mark that said you need to double the leaf. Once I did that, I enjoyed this tea.
The sad thing is that after having enjoyed many cups, I didn’t enjoy the last one much because I have a cold and can’t taste things properly. I had made soup for my daughter’s birthday gathering and had my future daughter-in-law ( :) :) :)) taste it and she said it was perfectly seasoned, but when I tasted it I just didn’t get a thing. There was even a pinch of cayenne in it! And the tea was simply smoke and nothing else. It wasn’t the fault of the tea, just the absence of any ability to properly taste food or drink.
Ah well, if it had been a different tea I would have tasted nothing at all, so at least I got to taste a bit of smoke! Good tea when you know to add lots of extra leaf.
I realized that I have been hoarding this and I really don’t have to since I have another tin already. I feel TERRIBLE and decided to give myself some special tea today. We all have colds; coughing is pain and sneezing is pain because we have coughed long enough and hard enough to make our muscles sore. I wanted the good stuff for breakfast. And Eggo waffles with butter and warm maple syrup.
This is smooth and sweet. It is milder than the Zen Tea Keemun that I dearly love and have been having lately. It goes well any time of night or day. I would add milk and sugar to the Keemun if I wished, but I would never add anything to this. It wouldn’t be right, and it wouldn’t be proper treatment of this tea to me.
A friend asked to come over and make cards together. We had leftover Snickerdoodle cupcakes that my youngest daughter the awesome baker made. I asked my friend what kind of tea she would like it, as I usually serve sweets with a plain black tea unless I have a fruity tea that matches the flavor of the dessert. She said she normally liked fruity flavors but that didn’t seem like a good match with dessert, so I mixed Hot Cinnamon Spice half and half with Queen Catherine to tone it down a little. I don’t want to scare away tea newbies!
It went together really well, the cinnamon was present but not as “in your face” and the more cupcake I ate, the better the tea tasted with it. I think it came out as a really great pairing.
And yes, I just did a review that said we are all sick with a bad cold, but I did tell her and give her the option not to come, and she said, “I’m not afraid of a cold!” :)
My house sounds like a kennel. A kennel where all the dogs have kennel cough. I needed fortification this morning.
This is a really good breakfast Keemun with the nice scrape of unsweet cocoa on the tongue that I have come to love, and yet it has some of the fruity flavor found in some Keemuns. It really could take milk and sugar and I almost added them this morning just for the comfort, but decided to stick with my usual unadorned cup. Excellent. Will need to order more soon, and if you are placing an order you might as well get a little new teaware at the same time, right?
Flavors: Cocoa, Muscatel
I love love love Lapsang Souchong Crocodile, and this one is close on its heels. Most people would probably prefer this one, but I love the heft and smoke.
On that note – this was awesome today. It is cold, I got lost in a really bad section of town while under time pressure to get somewhere, and I hadn’t had breakfast. When I got home I knew I needed something a little fortifying this morning.
This is stronger than the lapsang teas we have been having lately and I welcome it. You taste the base and not just the smoke. It is sweet and smooth and the smoke doesn’t have that ashtray smell that even some of the nice lapsangs have. (They do usually taste good even when I don’t like the smell.) This one has a nice campfire aroma. I am ready for a nap, though. I am so ready for spring!
The owner of Tin Roof Teas was kind enough to share several sample cups of this tea with me as I browsed the shop today. It is a new tea in his shop and will be part of a raw puerh tasting event coming up on January 28, 2016. If you live in North Carolina and can go, I recommend it. I went to a puerh tasting last year and it was great! They do a tea flight about once a month and often do pairings with the gourmet chocolates they sell or samples from their honey bar. They have a honey room and stations for refilling your honey containers, as well as bee pollen, herbs, candles, teaware, and tea candies and such. Follow their Facebook page and send them a message if you want to reserve a spot in the tasting.
This is not a puerh, but an aged black tea. It reminds me very much of a mature sheng. The dry leaves had a unique aroma, first of turnip greens then immediately followed by a deep oak-y scent. These were loose leaves, not a cake.
The steeped tea is pale for a black tea and much the color you would expect of a mature sheng. This tea came from a puerh master and is probably not called puerh simply because of where the leaves were grown. (You may remember that Harney and Sons sold a green tea cake a few years ago that could not be called puerh because of where it was grown but it was in every respect an excellent puerh-type tea.)
The flavor was mild and not as green tasting as the aroma of the dry leaf led me to think it would be. It also really did not taste like a black tea, but some customers who were primarily black tea drinkers in the shop took it without question, drank it, enjoyed it, and I think they may have even purchased some. Our first steep was about 8 seconds, and the second was about 12, I believe. The instructions say that it gives about eight good steeps.
The tea was smooth and mild. It needed no additions. I would have purchased some but I am trying to reduce my cupboard, especially since I just found that exquisite 2013 TGY that I adore and have neglected because I have TOO MUCH TEA. I plan to drink and drink and drink what I have so I can feel good about ordering more when the new harvest gets underway. And yes, I share, swap, give away, invite people for tea, but I still have too much!
One nice thing about the shop is that they normally sell 100 gram bags and 250 grams and up, but you can request a sampler pack of fifty grams each if you buy at least four different teas, and you choose your teas. They also have premade samplers of various kinds like flavored black blends, or all greens, etc. They have quite a variety, too, some blends being TeaGeschwendner and some in-house.
They will also try to make special request blends when they have time.
Information on this tea may need to be updated soon as I didn’t write down the ingredients in the store when I tried it. This is Tin Roof Tea’s in-house effort to create a blend similar to Paris by Harney and Sons. In addition, they intend to tweak the blend as customers taste it and express their preferences.
First, the aroma of the dry leaf was heavy on caramel but the berry flavors certainly put on a show. The bergamot was evident in the scent but not overpowering.
Steeped – the tea is smooth enough to drink sans additions. It is not very similar to Paris to me, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad blend. It is much more caramel flavored than Paris and when steeped the bergamot almost disappeared for me. The berry also backed off and were lighter. They considered increasing the bergamot but I recommended bringing up the berry flavors more instead since there are so many people who do not like bergamot. We shall see what other customers think and what they ask for.
It was a fun day hanging around the tea shop, looking at all the goodies and talking tea talk.
Apparently, this particular tea is no longer available. I need to stop hoarding! The packaging says it is the 2013 harvest.
About a year ago, a lady was dropping off her son at my house for a young people’s writers’ group that meets here and decided to come in and visit. Naturally, I offered her tea and she stayed until 1 am!
I got a text a few days ago asking if we could do that again. She asked to bring a young friend as well. While the young folks (age 17 to 23) had their meeting, we drank tea. The young lady had never had anything but Celestial Seasonings and Lipton and such. She said she was adventurous, so we started with pu-erh, but I am reviewing this tea first because it was her favorite.
I am glad this tea was in individual sealed packets, then in a foil pouch, then in a zip top pouch! It has stayed fresh, but I will be diligent to finish it soon.
When I drink tea like this, I wonder why I drink anything else. I just want to buy the really good stuff and keep less around, but have it super fresh. That would be the right thing to do, but we need our daily drinkers and adventure teas as well, I suppose.
This was her favorite of all the teas we drank that night. They remarked on how pale it was. Maybe they expected it not to have much flavor since we had started with a puerh. The young lady loved it and drank cup after cup.
The first sips are sweet and smooth, and as you drink a light creaminess builds and the floral aroma becomes a prominent floral taste and this, too, builds and builds. I did a quick rinse and the first steep was good, but the second was even better. It continued making great tea for several more steeps.
I have four little pouches left and I plan to finish them soon so I can have an excuse to buy the new harvest.
We drank tea from 6:30 pm until 12:30 am! Served with lemon iced cookie bars and cream cheese chocolate chip squares.
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