1811 Tasting Notes

Note: this is the loose leaf version, purchased in London.

I saw this described as Whittard’s lightest Earl Grey but the scent when I opened the tin seemed to challenge that notion. I notice that it is only referred to as black tea here except for one person who mentioned oolong, yet when I turned my tin over it said there was 13% green tea in this. Hmmmm. For this reason I pulled the temperature back ever so slightly and kept the steep a little shorter.

And guess what happened? The jasmine stepped forward in a big way and the bergamot was perfectly matched with it. It made a sweet dance of the most elegant flavors that made my pinky hoist into the air and made me glad I had used my favorite tea cup. The brew is fairly light in color, but the tea has plenty of strength so don’t oversteep this. You don’t want to miss it in all of its glory.

This is a tea I would serve to a friend who was sad and needed for me to say “There, there!” and give them tea and sympathy. Or one for a young lady’s first elegant tea party. Or for drinking when you need a touch of glorious beauty in your life.

Brilliant. And I wish you could see these tins. They are gorgeous.

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Note: I am drinking the loose leaf version.

I am really, really eager to try the Afternoon Tea in this set with jasmine and bergamot, but I wanted to dip some gingerbread almond biscotti in my tea this morning, and that really calls for unflavored tea to me. I opted for this one and braced myself for the first sip because it says, “Strong, Traditional” on the front of the beautiful little green and gold tin that I doubt I will ever part with because it is so beautiful.

The color in the cup did not lie. I made this in a small glass teapot and saw that it was a medium color with great clarity, though not too pale. I am a little afraid of some assam teas and I figured there would surely be some in this blend (and there is) but it isn’t harsh at all. I made a resteep because I hadn’t finished my biscotti and it was a little paler, not quite as strong, but still very enjoyable.

This is a good all around tea, easily drunk without milk or sugar, tasty for dipping biscotti or tea biscuits, and perfect for when you are not craving a particular tea or flavor and want an easy choice. Very nice!

Rosehips

Gingerbread almond biscotti sounds amazing!

Fjellrev

Oh man, does it ever.

ashmanra

They are quite good, and I only find them near Christmas. I need to go buy some extras to hoard!

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Merry Christmas, all! We have been drinking tea all day, one kind after another. My daughter and I shared a couple of steeps of this one. Her fiancé was drinking Hot Cinnamon Spice, the black version. He LOVES it and that is one of the things I gave him for Christmas. My daughter tried it and said it wasn’t bad for black tea but she isn’t the biggest fan of black teas. I made this hoping she would enjoy it since she found the black version tolerable, and she said she did highly prefer it to the black tea version. I made two steeps and mixed them together and got a really nice flavor level. I am really pleased with this one.

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1811 tasting notes

If I had any notions of reducing my cupboard, they were blown out of the water today. I got lots and lots of tea for Christmas.

I wanted puerh after lunch to help keep the tummy happy after the holiday meal. My son and hubby usually want some whenever I have it, and this time they did indeed bring me a cup to fill. Then my eldest daughter wanted some. My, how far we have come from the days when they all turned their noses up at tea! My daughter’s fiancé had never tried puerh but he was game and gave it a try.

I am pleased to say that every last one of them liked this tea, even the puerh newbie. I made four steeps and then had to make four more. My daughter remarked that this wasn’t nearly as horsey as some we have had. I agree. It was rich and earthy, and the darker I made it the sweeter the aftertaste was.

I had high expectations and hopes for this one, and they were all met.

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This is one of my favorite teas, and it has only been a few years since I thought I would never be a let o detect flavor in white tea. This one is full bodied and creamy, and the jasmine is absolutely perfect. My best friend tried it and had to have it so she has been buying it for a while and I just gave her a pouch of it for Christmas, and a lady who only just discovered a love of tea here at my house just had to have it and had me order two pouches – one for her and one for her mother for Christmas.

Try this tea at your own risk. You will want to keep it on shelf at all times.

boychik

Well now I’m afraid to try;). When I tried H&S jasmine pearls after reading your review I had to run to SOHO shop to get them.

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Yes, I just clicked “add to cupboard” on this one. For a while, the number one selling tea for Harney and Sons, Hot Cinnamon Spice black tea, was my nemesis. It was simply too hot and spicy for me, yet everyone who tried it at my house loved it. I have gone through several tins of it loose leaf and a whole box of bags that were given to me for Christmas last year by a friend and I have just purchased another tin of the loose leaf because my future son in law loves it so much that I need to keep it on hand. He is getting the fifty sachet bag for Christmas, too.

Even though I don’t like Red Hots Candies, even though the black version was too strong and spicy for me, I liked the sample of the green version, which seems more syrupy, thicker, and sweeter to me. So when I ordered my tin of loose leaf black I got the green version as well because I need to take in more cinnamon and drink something hot for this perpetually sore throat of mine. Darned allergies.

The nice thing is that I can make eight ounces in my tiny pot with just one teaspoon of tea and resteep right away for sixteen ounces, and it gives me a fantastic level of flavor, plus I can still taste the green tea, which is pretty impressive with cinnamon this strong.

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It seems like ages since I had this one. It is a beautiful sunny day and warm for this time of year, but this morning was very cold and I had to be out and about. All I could think of as I ran my errands was, “Get home, make tea, have some smoked cheddar.” So I did!

This is a milder Irish Breakfast tea. Assays can be too harsh for me, but this one was just right even when I was new to hot tea. It possibly wouldn’t satisfy a lover of good, strong, Irish breakfast blends, but people have liked it when I serve it here and it was a favorite of youngest daughter for a long time.

It is a little malty, a little fruity, not too harsh, and I can drink it as easily plain as with milk and sugar.

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This tea is a favorite of Hubby and myself. My eldest daughter came to town today for an appointment and her car broke down just when I was about to start teaching. I sent middle daughter to pick her up, called the mechanic, taught, and then got some Asian food because the poor thing had to miss lunch and was about to miss supper. I asked youngest daughter to make a couple of steeps of this to go with our food.

My two eldest kids never liked tea, any tea, not even the super sweet Southern iced tea. A couple of years ago, after begging them to take sips of everything I thought would “turn” them, they both took a liking to puerh, and then matcha, two teas I would have least believed they would like.

Thus it was quite a moment for me tonight when my eldest daughter drained her cup and shook it in my direction for refills of this lovely green tea. Miracles happen, people. Miracles happen.

It helps that this tea is smooth, mellow, amazing with food, and fresh.

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Alas! I am out of this one! I think this means I am now officially out of ALL Keemun tea, which means an order is in order. I just placed a Teavivre order but didn’t realize I was so low on this one and didn’t get more. I am considering placing an order for several of their Keemun teas to try side by side.

I served this with Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs and they were delicious. The flavor was much more subtle than I expected, but the great thing is that you don’t need to salt your eggs at all even with the subtle flavor. And they are beautiful! My guest loves eggs so they were a hit with her. I used fresh eggs from my fluffy ladies who live in my backyard. :)

This is a classic Keemun, more wine than smoke, gentler than many and smooth, needing no additions.

TheTeaFairy

Oh, it’s a great idea to compare side by side, I love when people do that:-)

I’ve had only this superfine fragrant and Premium Keemun Hao Ya from Teavivre, and they are the only 2 Keemun I keep in permanent stash cause they are the best I have tried. Very different from one another though.
Can’t wait to read your comparisons!

Amy Alice

IS it really delicious?I don’t know…how can i make with Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs….

TheTeaFairy

Amy Alice, Call me ignorant but I just checked what Chinese marbled tea eggs were cause I had no idea…they look fabulous!!!! Wow, I found an easy recipe with star anise and I am definitely making a batch for the holidays to impress friends and family, thanks for mentioning that. Oh, and yes, this tea is REALLY good, and I think it will be perfect for the eggs…

ashmanra

I hard boiled the eggs. I ran cold water over them and cracked them by tapping them with a spoon, though I have read to use a dinner or butter knife sideways. Then you simmer them for a couple of hours in a water with 1/2 cup of soy sauce, two star anise, some tangerine or orange peel, and a cinnamon stick. I saw one recipe that called for pepper but I didn’t add pepper. I chose to store them in the liquid in the fridge until serving them today but I think you can store them in a container, peeled or unpeeled. I just wanted to see how dark and how strong they would get.

Amy Alice

Oh,Thank you.I also want to enjoy with a cup in this festive season.My request to let me know the recipe for an easy making…

TheTeaFairy

Thanks again Ashmanra for that, I just love what people share on Steepster… The recipe I found seems to be the same as yours!

http://www.everydaymaven.com/2013/how-to-hard-boil-eggs-chinese-tea-eggs/

But I’m thinking Lapsang might even work better, the smokiness should go well with eggs and that list of ingredients. You mention the subtlety, do the different flavours really transfer to the eggs?

ashmanra

I think Lapsang would work well. I saw one blog where they used oolong instead of black tea. They don’t recommend using green because it would become bitter. The eggs really do take on some of the flavor, and more so the longer you soak them. I might try Lapsang nectar time around! Anise was the dominant flavor I got but it really wasn’t overpowering and the eggs just didn’t need salt, perhaps because of the soy sauce?

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I have not been taking the time to sit quietly and resteep tea, focusing on the experience. Tonight I remedied that with a long and fruitful gong fu session with this tea. It looks like I am going to try it once a year until the cake is gone! I got out a knife but the cake is loosely compressed and I realized I could just break off a chunk with my hands rather easily. Yay! I plan to order a breaking tray from Garrett really soon.

For such a young sheng, this is very drinkable. My favorite steeps were the later ones, and I actually felt almost as if I were drinking warm wine. About five steeps in I heard my stomach start gurgling. Ah yes, the tea was working its magic! Puerh usually gives me the gurgles and it makes my tummy happy.

This was a fabulous way to end a nice day of shopping out of town with hubby, and technically, also a nice way to start Tuesday since technically it is after midnight now! This is tasting more like white wine with each steep and especially as the temperature is dropping.

I think I am on steep eleven and still going. There is a lot of flavor here. I will probably wait a year again to taste it and experience it!

Stephanie

I’ve been wanting to taste this one! :D

Awkward Soul

I just got mine in the mail today, I can’t wait to try it!

ashmanra

Oh, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, Awkward Soul!

Garret

Thank you for the review!! I CANNOT wait to introduce everyone to the new pressings that are being done by me right now, either. This Heart of the Old Tree is really going to begin opening up in this next year and I’ll never forget the tea farm and tasting the mao cha there. More to come! Grateful to each of you, Garret

Sil

woohoo!

gmathis

Yesterday I made some clever comment about this name reminding me of Ents and it never posted…then again, maybe it wasn’t so clever and it’s better that it didn’t :)

Terri HarpLady

GG, I love that! Ents! Love em!

ashmanra

LOL! I love it! You know, someone posted a recipe online for the Ent Draught and I thought it really just needed to be a good, smooth sheng puerh!

Awkward Soul

I get around to steeping Heart of the Old Tree I’m now gonna think of drinking giant walking trees, LOL

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about four 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.

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

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