2076 Tasting Notes
I had a lovely tea lunch with youngest daughter. Since we were both drinking the same kind of tea today I used the big red pot Sandy sent to us from New Zealand and brewed some Emperor’s Red from JacquelineM! The rich, cocoa aroma will win your heart! We are on the second resteep and it is still so good. I took mine plain and enjoyed all the nuance, but youngest took hers with milk and sugar. It is that kind of tea – you can enjoy it no matter what your tea tastes may be.
We paired it with Genoa salami and Kerrygold Dubliner cheese from Ireland in honor of oldest daughter’s imminent departure for a month in Ireland. Music to accompany the meal – Sandy Denny’s “It Suits Me Well.”
What a lovely day! It began with Sandy’s dog, Sasha, catching our mole at 8 am when I joined youngest daughter in her tent out back where she had camped out in hopes of catching Mr. Mole. Fortunately Sasha obeyed when I screamed, "Leave it! " and we were able to capture the little guy for release later. He is happily hunkered down inside my gardening glove with worms in the fingers (that will definitely have to be washed in HOT water before I wear them again!). I let the mantis join us for tea, but I drew the line at the mole. While he is certainly as cute as the mantis, his little home has more dirt and he smells terrible! Do all moles smell this bad? Oh, she named him “Diggory Delvet.”
When I read what was in this blend, I thought it might be perfect for cold brew, especially since the assam in it is sometimes a little too assertive for me. This is soooo good. Just went to Sam’s Club and when I got back to my car the external temp reading said 106! I know it was elevated from being in a parking lot in full sun, but still…iced was the way to go today!
The great part – I actually failed to get this tea out of the fridge until the leaves had been sitting there for three days! (This is a resteep mostly with a few fresh leaves added a la JacquelineM’s recommendation!) And it isn’t bitter at all. The honey flavor has taken on a decidedly floral tone to me, but not in a bad or cloying way – just in a fresh, summery way!
I had a friend over today who is a former coffee drinker turned tea lover, and specifically good black tea, like Queen Catherine, Vanilla Black, Emperor’s Red…you get the idea. I was really eager for her to try this one. Indeed, it was a hit! It is easy to forget just how assertive this tea is, with its rich cocoa notes and smooth body. It has been sold out for a while – here’s hoping they find a new batch just as tasty for us to buy! Speaking of which, have you seen the new tea listing,on Harney’s website? Wild Wuyi Black! I can hardly wait! Fujian teas, especially Wuyi mountains ones, are my favorites!
This was the first tasting for this one at tea party. We usually do black teas only, and my guest isn’t a big fan of green tea but really REALLY liked this one! The pineapple aroma was just wonderful, and the tea base is very smooth. It was excellent even paired with our food today – a little more than food on the table than usual as I realized I had not had lunch! Salami, cheese, fresh lemon pound cake from freshly ground flour, chocolate covered cream puffs, and Pepperidge farm cookies. This one resteeps well, also.
The other tea was also a real star – our favorite – Golden Monkey from Harney and Sons, of course! I do love Fujian teas!
I felt like a squirrel in the highway this morning as I tried to choose my tea. Rose Scented? English Breakfast? Rose Scented? It was especially important because it was the inaugural cup of tea for my new tea cup. I have been looking for the Old Country Roses true breakfast cup for five years, but they were always way too expensive and I am a bargain hunter. I finally found two on eBay that were quite inexpensive and the postman dropped them off this morning. Since it is a breakfast cup, I really felt I should make my beloved stalwart 100% keemun English Breakfast, but the roses enticed me to Rose Scented. Finally I compromised!
Jacqueline said she read that Rose Scented had keemun and Ceylon, so why not mix? I did my usual three teaspoons of English Breakfast for my 22 oz. pot (which is a little less than tea standards call for) and I added one teaspoon of Rose Scented. Delightful! That small amount of Rose Scented really softened the keemun and the Ceylon came through brightly. As it cooled, the rose became more prominent, though at no point was the rose too strong for me. It just added a certain flowery delight to my after breakfast cup of tea. I added milk and sugar as always for morning black tea. It must have been pretty good. I already finished all 22 ounces. Oof.
And if you were wondering….I thought the breakfast cup would be about the same capacity as the regular cup, maybe a tad larger but shorter and with a broader top to allow the tea to cool faster so one could get on with one’s breakfast and get to business. This cup is big enough to be a soup mug! LOL! I could nearly have cereal in it! I do love it, though, and I don’t regret the purchase!
I ordered the sample of this again – this is my third time! The first time I bought it I thought it was far too strong! I didn’t think I would ever develop a taste for something like this. The second time I thought it was good, with lots of cocoa notes. This time I am not really enjoying it. I added milk and sugar after realizing that it wasn’t growing on me. It was a tad bitter, and I think I may actually have oversteeped it since I was making three pots of tea at once. (Daughters want different tea from each other and me!) I will try it again tomorrow side by side with Hao Ya B and see what happens, and I will be more careful this time!
I ordered the sample packet of this from Harney and Sons, and received a very generous portion – enough for two 22 ounce Beehouse pots. In their description, they were very honest about it not being as sweet as in previous years, though I don’t know this from experience.
The dry leaves had a lovely tea aroma – you know you are smelling a fine tea when you inhale. I picked up honey and light raisin or molasses. Steeped, it left a bit to be desired for me. There is a hint of Golden Monkey’s character (not surprising since they come from approximately the same area), but watered down and much lighter. It wasn’t BAD, it just wasn’t as richly sweet. That reminded me of Teavana’s Golden Monkey which smells bold and rich like Harney’s but doesn’t taste like it, yet is excellent with milk and sugar just the same. I added milk and sugar to this one and found it to be a very drinkable tea – but not one I would order. It is described as medium bodied but I felt that it lacked heft. Perhaps we didn’t use enough leaf. I may try it again.
Dollar for dollar, I would buy H&S Golden Monkey over this one anytime. They are about the same price but Golden Monkey is very full bodied and so resteepable!