1979 Tasting Notes
I’m back! I have been drinking a lot of tea but haven’t posted about it in the bustle of travel and sightseeing. I am back home and jet lagged and caught a cold, so more tea it is.
My right ear is all clogged up feeling and never properly popped after the plane, I guess because I was already congested. Hopefully it will clear soon.
I am so glad I got to actually go to Gurman’s myself! It is in the heart of Dublin in the bustling shopping area. I had looked at the website and chose this one as well as vanilla puerh, but they were out of vanilla. I wanted to mix them to try to get the Dammann Freres Puerh Gourmand vibe.
This is very good on its own, though. The base is a musky and earthy ripened puerh. The caramel flavor is sweet and not too heavy. It resteeped nicely. I had three steeps of it and though my daughter drank a fourth, I thought it looked a little weak based on color. I know youngest and I are going to drink scads of it, so I bought 200 grams. The guy was quite shocked initially when I asked for it by ounces!
I really like this company. I have found some good flavored teas at good prices, and they have been willing to ship their tea to the US, including teas that they have in store but don’t list in their website.
I was offered this tea today at the Co Couture Chocolatiers in Belfast today. It came with my choice of chocolate for two pounds fifty. I chose salted caramel chocolate.
The cup was brought out with the bag in place and a small saucer to set the bag on when I was ready to remove it. The tea was good but nothing spectacular. This had possibly the lightest bergamot flavor of any Earl I have tried.
I saw this tea for sale loose leaf in a shop but I am not tempted to buy it. This would be good for people who like a bare hint of bergamot in their Earl. I still prefer a Keemun base for mine.
I used to have this in loose leaf form and it made great iced tea. We arrived at the house we are renting in Derry and there was a box of the teabags waiting in the cabinet. I found a wee metal pot and we have been downing it every morning before going put adventuring.
As long as you keep the steep short, this is okay plain. Take it longer and you will a any a bit of milk. Oddly, I once found strength number 3 to be smoother than 2. Don’t know if I would still feel that way.
This is the first tea I had when we finally arrived in Europe! I got this at the Dublin airport along with a blueberry muffin. It was a decent cuppa for a teabag, easy to drink without milk and sugar, and then popped up again today when we ordered a pot of tea with lunch at the Cafe Vaudeville in Belfast. It must be pretty popular here.
Both places left the teabag in, but it didn’t get too strong. This is referred to as “proper tea” in these parts. Not as beefy and (sometimes brutally) strong as an Assam can be but strong enough.
When Red Leaf made this puerh packet available to us way back when they said they were including a large number of cubes of puerh and one very fine quality tuo cha. I have logged the “every day” type and now I am finally having the good stuff.
This is a shu. I gave it a rinse and it was still quite compact. I gave it a longish first steep, maybe 35 seconds. The resulting tea was medium brown but tasty. The tuo cha fell apart at that point and the next steep was maybe four seconds, yet the tea was nearly black! At no point in the many steeps we drank did it ever become bitter or hard edged, though. It was lightly earthy with the very faintest horse barn and definitely no fishy aroma or taste. And when it finally gave up, it really gave up! One steep was dark and then BOOM! Pale. I knew it was time to retire these leaves, but the three of us enjoyed a liter of good shu out of that little bitty tuo cha.
Confession time: I am going to Ireland on Sunday. I have never been on a plane. I have no rain gear or luggage. I need shoes. I am about to panic and am wondering if I will get airsick which would be absolutely humiliating.
Also, I am a homebody. I love being home. I don’t want to start wishing I was back here in just four days when I am staying two weeks.
Suggest some places for a quick little plane ride that would be fun to see. We really love the countryside and small towns more than big cities and someone suggested Sterling, Scotland. Any other suggestions from you well-travelled Steepsterites? Any travel suggestions?
This is one of the many teas that crossed the table this weekend. Liquid Red Hots candies is the best description I can give. If you want a tea that will make you wave bye-bye to the sugar bowl, try this. It is so sweet that one person actually told me it was good but had too much sugar in it. There is no sugar. None. Zip. Nada. Not any. The cinnamon blend is simply that sweet, and reminiscent of Penzey’s Cinnamon Blend if you have been fortunate enough to cross paths with it. (Their Vietnamese is our favorite cinnamon, though. ZING!)
We drank about seven pots of this tea yesterday and today. I had a lot of guests and the young people really love puerh. They were having a massive Munchkin game with seven add ons plus legends, using dungeons. And they drank tea the whoooooooole time. I spent most of the game running to the kitchen to heat the water and then fetching a new pot back in.
Youngest has fallen in love with this one, and wanted to know tonight if we had much of the “sugar cookie puerh” as she likes to call it. I told her we did and she said that she loves having a pot to herself to sip on as she draws and reads. I guess I need to order some more of this sugar cookie flavored dream as a Christmas gift for her. She loves their Lapsang Souchong Crocodile as well, so that will make the shipping a little more bearable.
The base is lightly earthy, dark but without bitterness, and the flavoring is sweet biscuit (and yes, you really do taste delicious biscuit!) with caramel and vanilla. We were able to resteep three or four times western style with ease and with good flavor remaining. Well done!
I guess I have to reorder this soon. I never would have believed that I would like this, but I do.
When I first tried the black hot cinnamon it was too strong for me. I wasn’t a fan of those candies called Red Hots and that is what the tea tasted EXACTLY like to me. I kept it on hand because people would come over and try it and love it so much they would have me order big bags of it for them. So I kept it on hand for guests.
Then I got a sample of the green version. The first cup was so thick, syrupy, and cinnamon sweet that I felt like I was downing a ton of sugar…but there was NONE. Just the cinnamon blend makes this so sweet I don’t think anyone could possibly need to add sugar!
Yesterday my son and godson were here and we were unexpectedly joined by son’s girlfriend, and vid then my daughter dropped in from out of town. Yay! And nearly everyone tea. We ended making 9 pots. That’s right, nine 22 to 27 ounce pots in one afternoon. Then a friend came over today and wanted to try it because she is buying green tea for a friend with breast cancer who doesn’t like tea but wants to drink it for health reasons now.
So here I am needing to order over a pound of it! No wonder the hot cinnamon spice line is Harney’s biggest seller.
The continuing saga of the puerh sipdowns…
My youngest daughter has started enjoying puerh, so we have gone from "No, thank you, Mom!’ to “Mom, would you like some puerh?” And I am trying to get my cupboard under control but my lowest “type” of tea inventory is puerh.
I had not introduced her to this one because a while back she eschewed it, but since her palate is much more adventurous now I decided to give it another go with her. Her new open mindedness has paid off, so I can list this big bag of loose puerh to one more thing we can enjoy together to tide us over until Christmas, because I am trying to be a really good girl and not order more tea right now!
I served this again last night at Writers’ Group, and the first words people said were, “This is sweet.” “Tastes like a sugar cookie.” “This is really good.”
If you like Coquelicot Gourmand and you like flavored puerh, you will probably feel that this is one fantastic tea. The company describes it as biscuit flavor, and that is accurate, but it is mildly, lightly sweet, rather like a Rich Tea Biscuit instead of a floury Southern biscuit.