2215 Tasting Notes
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This has been my breakfast tea of late. I need the strength and bold flavor to give me fortitude!
My mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility. The administrator told us in early December that she could save about $200 a month if we do mail order pharmacy. I was elected to handle it. I don’t know how that happened since I wasn’t running! I was told it was because I was the only one who could pronounce the names of the meds!
Red tape. Doctor’s voicemail. Compounding pharmacies. Automated calls – three per day for every script called in and every refill that ships, and you have to respond if you don’t answer the phone and get that 22 digit tracking number written down. Studying the meds and realizing that one hasn’t been given to her in weeks – a strong narcotic patch that is no doubt being sported by staff and lasts three days – and also has potential fatal interactions with two of her other meds. Having aforesaid med cancelled so it won’t kill her since she says it has never helped her pain anyway. Also, the admin said he ddin’t want it in his facility because they know staff steals it off the patients bodies. (???) Finding an alternative source of protein because why should an 81 year old be forced to drink a nasty beverage they hate twice a day when there are other choices. Websites that don’t work properly, but finally with the help of their tech support who couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working, I have the ability to handle all of this online and cancel those stinking phone calls and bypass some of the nonsense to make getting her meds easier. This has been my thing lately.
Bring on the tea. This is a super tasty one. I drink it straight for breakfast and love the cocoa scrape across the tongue and the bloom of flavor. I have also added brown sugar and made a sort of milk tea with it and it was delicious. This will be a re-order when it started getting low. I do strongly prefer this one to Harney and Sons English Breakfast, which is also 100% Keemun.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.