1893 Tasting Notes
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A couple of days ago I asked the kids if I could get tea for Mother’s Day. A day later I said, “I TAKE IT BACK!” I went through my stash and saw soooo many teas that I love that really need to be enjoyed before they get older, so I will try (just a little) to put myself on a buying restriction. We have managed a lot of sip downs lately. I do not include samples in my cupboard unless they are really large, so when I went through to delete some we had finished it took me down to 175, but then I discovered that some of my teas are not listed BAH!
Well, this one will be a SIPDOWN on the very next pot, so I am going to go ahead and remove it from my cupboard.
This is just the right strength for a morning wake up tea for me. I like to take my tea with no additions and this one is right there on the border of strong-enough-to-need-it but makes it just fine as long as I am having breakfast with it. By itself I would probably add a splash of milk.
There is a little fruity high note in this. Youngest takes milk and sugar, though she has cut back in the amount of sugar quite on her own (YAY!) and she quite likes this one. It has been her morning pot of tea every day for about a week now.
My eldest daughter and her husband just went to Williamsburg, Virginia and when they saw this tea they thought of their “little” traveling companion from last fall….her youngest sister. Youngest daughter loves hearty teas like Assams, Irish Breakfast, and Lapsang Souchongs….the stronger the better. They brought home a packet as a souvenir for her.
It is reasonably priced at 10.95 for four ounces. The dry leaf smell reminds me of smoked bacon.
Steeped, the clarity made me wonder if we should have given it a little more time, but the taste says we did it perfectly. This is light and sweet, with a clear, fresh water taste, like filtered cold water when you are thirsty. The smoke is present but not very strong. The base is sweet. It reminds a bit of Upton’s Black Dragon. I dare say this could be a favorite Lapsang for me.
I love this tea. Way back when I first got it, I had a sore throat, the kind that hurts when you swallow and means you are getting sick, not just a scratchy throat from allergies or drainage. I drank several steeps hoping the warmth would soothe my throat, and instead, the sore throat never fully manifested. I noticed that the pain stopped and didn’t come back.
A friend came over and tried it and I told her about what had happened. She said at first she couldn’t figure out if she lately liked the tea as it was very unusual to her, but then she couldn’t stop drinking it. She ended up ordering it…twice…. And still drinks it when she feels a cold coming on.
Yesterday my bestie came over and she sounded AWFUL. She has terrible allergies and was slurpy and sniffly and miserable. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons and made several steeps of this tea ( about a liter total) and served it with pound cake and strawberries. She stayed a really long time. When I called later that evening, she said that she felt really good for hours and hours after drinking this tea. Maybe it is the ginseng? She said she normally doesn’t like tea that leaves an aftertaste but she really loved this one.
I have offered her some of mine to tide her over through allergy season. This is one I hope I will ALWAYS have on hand. I tried one from another company once and it wasn’t even close to being as tasty and delicious as this one. It really turned me off, but this one is addictive.
I was pretty excited to see a new jasmine in the Teavivre lineup because they do jasmine so very well. Bi Luo Chun is one of my husband’s favorite teas to drink with Chinese takeout so I am eager for him to try it, too.
This is a free sample they sent to me for review, and many thanks to Teavivre!
Since my daughter made the tea for our tea time yesterday I didn’t get to smell the dry leaves yet, but when I gave the pot a sniff I knew it was Teavivre’s classic jasmine. Just smelling it made me relax and sigh.
Since Bi Luo Chun is an oat-y tasting tea I wondered how it would blend with jasmine. No worries. It is beautiful. With our food, I did not pick up on the briskness, but when I had some later I did. Not sour, not mouth-puckeringly astringent, just brisk. And really, really nice.
Hubby hasn’t tried it yet as he came home from work exhausted and literally went to bed as soon as he had supper! Maybe tonight he can try it and I can give him a sample. My youngest, who doesn’t really drink greens, tried it and said it was very good.
This is the first tea I am trying out of the new batch of samples from the ever generous Teavivre. Thank you, thank you!
The leaves are thin, medium size, a little twisty, with lots of golden ones. The aroma dry is sweet potato, so much so that I immediately put one in to cook while making the tea.
The first steep has a medium orange color and the scent of sweet potato and citrus, maybe oranges, is still present. The taste reminds me of my beloved Golden Monkey, but is perhaps a little lighter and cleaner, while GM is heartier with more malty flavor. This tastes like gold and honey on the tongue.
I had youngest try it even though she had her own pot of Assam and she liked it. She said in particular that it completely lacked astringency, and she liked that very much.
This is what I would consider a possible conversion tea, one to give people who think they don’t like black tea. Even though I haven’t tried the other samples yet, I think this tea will probably be on my next order. It is a gentle civilized afternoon tea that still has all the characteristics I love about tea.
Backlogging from Thursday night: One of the men who attends our writers’ group came in with a gift bag. He said it was something from his wife to me. His wife is Japanese and knows how much I love tea even though we have only met once, and briefly then.
The bag contained a rainbow wood scoop (so cute!) and this tea. Naturally I steeped up some of it for the group to try. :) I ended up making four pots because everyone loved it.
The ginger isn’t too biting in this one as ginger can sometimes be, at least to me. The peach is very nice but sniffing the dry leaves AND the tea we really picked up lots of citrus, and I realized it was a very strong lime aroma. The lime as there in the taste also, and I think it was really the green base that was carrying it. Perhaps the sourgrass nature of the base (did everyone else grow up chewing on sourgrass in the summertime?) mixed with the peach flavoring combined to make lime.
It was very favorably received by all the green tea drinkers in the room, and at the rate they were drinking it, I have a feeling this pouch won’t last long. It was a lovely surprise!
We are having a very full weekend. My son is here to celebrate his birthday and he is a very active young man who eats clean and is training for Spartan races this year, having just completed his first Spartan sprint. I have to buy mega-fruits and veggies when he visits.
Today, he and his dad and sister played catch and Frisbee on a beautiful, eighty-something degree spring day, and I prepared a snack/light lunch. We had strawberries, cantaloupe, and kiwi, and an iced pitcher of this tea.
I put five teaspoons of the leaf in my Stump teapot which is about eighteen ounces. This was steeped at 194F for two minutes, then poured over ice in a Bodum Biasca pitcher which is forty ounces. I did not add any sweetener.
Only three of us drank this tea as my daughter had already made a pot of black tea for herself. The three of us finished all forty ounces in short order and it was so refreshing and good! And the tea is sunshine yellow, perfect!
This is hands down my favorite Moroccan Mint of the many I have tried. There is something about their spearmint and Egyptian mint that makes this so sweet and smooth. I foresee a lot of this tea over the next few months, especially served with fruit as we did today.
The first jasmine tea I ever had was a total bust, almost a disaster. It made me feel sick, as if I had been drinking perfume. I thought I was destined to hate jasmine teas but then I tried some really good….no…..really great ones.
This is a free sample provided by Nina’s and I saved it for a game night tonight because one of my guests has spent a bit of time in China and really loves jasmine tea. I promised to save the sample until we could drink it together.
The leaves are so dark that I wasn’t sure at first if this was green or black, but definitely it is green. The scent is heavenly. I steeped one tablespoon in 22 ounces of 174F water for three minutes. We tasted the first steep and added the second steep to it.
The verdict – this is a really good jasmine green. The jasmine is rich and natural, not fake or “perfume-y”. The liquor was a deep yellow color and the resteep maintained much of the strength of the first steep. The green tea base had a lot of presence but was smooth, much better to me than the Grace Rare Tea version, which I can drink with a meal but is a bit sour for me by itself. This one is a delight on its own and is also good with food,
After tasting the tea twice – first steep by itself, then first and second mixed – we passed around a box of truffles and I must say it was a fantastic pairing.
Thank you, Nina’s!
A friend saw my post on Facebook that I had new samples and she was so excited. She wanted to come try them as soon as possible, so we got together yesterday and she tried Mon Secret. She loved it, and said she will probably order it with her next batch of teas from Nina’s.
She wanted to provide some tea as well so she brought her tin of Earl Grey. It has been about a year since I have had it, but my opinion is unchanged. This is one of the best, if not THE best, Earl Grey I have had. I love Keemun tea and it makes a wonderful base for this amazing bergamot. Some teas with bergamot just taste like bathroom cleaner to me. This tastes like elegance.
Did anyone see the recent medical study completed in Britain that confirms that bergamot is good for raising good cholesterol and lowering bad? Sounds like a good excuse to drink more tea to me!
Tea was served with whole wheat toast slathered in honey mixed with coconut oil and sprinkled with Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon, goat cheese and crackers, and chocolates!