1855 Tasting Notes
A dear friend from Charleston is in town and I picked her up to have lunch with me today. She has mentioned in the past that she really only likes sweet iced tea but I knew she has never tried any unusual or high quality loose leaf teas. So I made lemonade to go with lunch but asked if she would like to try something special for after, and she was game.
Guess what? She loved it! I used my small porcelain teapot and resteeped about eight or nine times. She was so surprised that the tea didn’t need sugar. I made it really strong, which is how I like it, because she said she likes her coffee strong. The first steep was pretty dark but I didn’t do a rinse so the leaves were not opened up all the way.
I had added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of loose tea to the pot and just set the Krups pot on the table. Yes, the water is cooling the whole time, but I have never found it to adversely affect the taste of the teas I do this way.
The second steep was nearly black and had a lovely earthy flavor. No horsey, no fishy, no shrimpy. The cedar oil taste is my favorite part of this tea.
The last steeps were medium dark and the cedar flavor was joined by a pristine mineral taste like primordial dew. Oh my goodness, I love this tea. I keep watching the website because it has been out of stock for a while, but I will positively be ordering more when it comes back.
I served this to the mother and very young sister of one of my music students today. I told them about Fox News naming Teavivre’s Dian Hong as one of the top ten teas in the world. I drank my plain but I didn’t pay attention to how they made theirs since I was at the piano but I know the mother always takes the tiniest sprinkle of sugar in her tea.
I was delighted when the little girl told me that she liked that tea so much she didn’t even put sugar in it! I know I would not have taken it without sugar as a child so I am delighted to know that some of these little ones are going to have a much more sensitive and varied palate than I had, and it has taken me years to develop.
As an aside, somehow I am receiving messages meant for other people. Just a heads up, so don’t get mad if someone doesn’t respond to you. The message may have gone astray…
I think the snow has given me the thungries. Remember the old Nestlé Quik commercial? Thungries are when you are thirsty and hungry, but drinking something will satisfy you. Well, I shouldn’t be hungry. I had supper and I made some of the avocado dressing that has been getting pinned like made on Facebook and Pinterest and had that with some celery but I still wanted something. Ooooo, matcha latte time!
This is tied for my favorite matcha for lattes. I think Almond is number one, or tied with this. Caramel is absolutely fabulous but EVERYBODY loves caramel and these two are my own particular loves.
I used a teaspoon of matcha, a tablespoon of sugar, and about two cups of milk. I mixed it with my aerolatte. The cool thing is that I found a white ceramic (?) pitcher on special at Williams Sonoma for 9.99 and it is perfect for mixing lattes in! If you have watched the Breakaway Matcha video where they show their lovely matcha cups and pitchers, you know what I mean. It is tall enough so you don’t get splash out, narrow enough to get all the matcha mixed. But I didn’t want to pay so much so this one is fabulous!
And so is my latte. So WAS my latte, I should say. It was really, really good. The light, lemony flavor was a surprise for me since I had never had authentic Bavarian Cream, but I can tell you this flavor exceeded my expectations.
My best friend needs to relax and she wants a caffeine free tisane to drink at night. She has been mixing grocery store chamomile and peppermint together, and I decided to try to make her a special loose leaf blend for her birthday.
I bought German chamomile from the bulk bins at our local health food store, as well as some lavender blossoms. I already had some Upton spearmint at home.
For this first pot I used two teaspoons of chamomile, one scant teaspoon of lavender flowers, and a half teaspoon of spearmint. Overall it isn’t bad but I have been drinking Forest Tea from Mountain Rose herbs lately and it is much more flavorful. I think I have only had Egyptian chamomile up to now. Maybe it is stronger. This was for a 20 ounce pot. It is pretty good, especially after a nice long steep. I did not sweeten, though my friend may want to add honey.
I think next time I will try three tsps. chamomile, keep the lavender the same, and add a full teaspoon of spearmint. If any more experienced blenders have some pointers for me, please share!
Taiwan Ginseng oolong! I love you I love you I love you. You are delicious. You are addictive. When I make you, I make a lot of you, and I drink and drink and drink.
Tonight I served you with homemade lomein.
Now I asked if there is licorice root powder in this and was told no, and I am sure whoever it was doesn’t know it is there, but it HAS to be there. I taste it, and I have never seen a ginseng oolong that didn’t have at least a bit. I don’t care. I love it.
I tried another ginseng oolong and it was nothing compared to this one. I scoff at it. Buy this one.
I bought as ample of this eons ago so it is now rather old. I never got around to trying it. My best friend told me she has been trying to drink herbals at night and has been mixing grocery store chamomile and peppermint teas, so I was going to try to amp things up for her birthday with my own blend. I tasted this one to get an idea of where I want to go with this.
This is really simple. Mostly I taste chamomile. The flowers make it pretty but they don’t seem to add a ton of flavor, although again, the sample is old. It is pleasant enough and if I really wanted a simple caffeine free tisane it would suffice.
Wow. Wow-wow-wow! I believe this was the tea Fox put on the top ten teas in the world list last week, although it may not have been the golden tip version, I don’t remember.
I had completely rearranged my schedule for the snow days and it all fell through. Every single bit. So I had most of the day to do whatever, and I drank tea and ate pound cake! I thought a friend was coming to join me but I ended up drinking alone. (That’s how we know we have a problem, right?) LOL!
This is amazing, and the aroma is not to be missed. Rich, rich, rich. Delicious plain. Delicious any way you drink it. Don’t ever let it run out without a fresh batch on hand.
I was saving this one for a special occasion since K S said it was one of his favorites. It is freeeeeezing cold out, hubby has worked a bit of overtime this week, and I thought we would do yoga with the Buckstove humming away and celebrate his weekend. Alas, hubby was supposed to get off work at 11:30 today, but ended up driving a total of seven hours after that to go to a funeral for the father of his boss. He is that kind of guy. But it meant he crashed on the couch when he got home and didn’t feel like exercising.
That’s okay! I can drink most of this by myself, I am sure!
I steeped it for three minutes with 174F water. I resteeped it immediately for three minutes and combined the two steeps in my large tetsubin.
This has a rich golden color. Up front, the sip is sweet and mild, then comes a bloom of stronger flavor that reminds me a little of Chun Mee, one of my favorites for pairing with Asian take out.
Very nice! I have polished off about half of the pot. I hope I can sleep tonight! The rest will be reheated and served with lunch tomorrow.
I am pretty sure I wrote a note on this one before, but as happened yesterday, that note seems to have disappeared.
I had never heard of osmanthus until a few years ago when I ordered an osmanthus puerh. It was very good but I had nothing to compare it to so that I could really separate the flavor. I have since had a couple of teas with osmanthus and I think I can recognize it better now. It isn’t nearly as sweet or as strong as jasmine to me, nor does it have the thick mouthfeel that rose can have.
The oolong here is not a dark roasted one, and it combines beautifully with the floral. I believe that this tea would have been rather floral on its own, and the addition of osmanthus just sweetens it a bit more. This was a lovely oolong for a late night treat, lasting about six infusions and really could probably have kept going for more.