2048 Tasting Notes
I have been neglecting this tea and wanted to have a go at it this morning before heading out to the plant nursery. A Southern Season sells this spelled Zhen Quo but I have seen the very same tea sold under the name Zhen Qu, and the appearance is so distinctive that there is no doubt it is the same tea. What confuses me a bit is that most sites say it is from the Fujian (or Pan Yang) province, but there are several listings for Zhen Qu Yunnan, and I don’t know if that tea is the same or not.
I am drinking it plain and it is very smooth. I steeped longer than most people do, yet it isn’t bitter. There is the slightest – and I do mean slightest – astringency after you get through a half a cup or so, but not much. The aroma is lovely – honey and a hint of molasses, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa. The flavor leans more toward the honey side, but not with the rich, thick body and mouth-feel of Golden Monkey.
This was one of the first teas I took plain, and Sandy introduced me to it. Hi Sandy! By the way, Sandy, I saw my hubby smooching Sasha on the head last night! They were having some lovely-dovey time when he got home from work!
A new discovery – Boston tastes GREAT cold! This is a very good thing because after hanging out four lines of clothes and planting fifty caladium bulbs and three ferns in 94 degree heat, I couldn’t face anything hot! This was really good and refreshing. The very mellow mood of this tea changed and became a refreshing and bright pick me up! And I didn’t even sweeten it!
Since I thought Typhoo was a little weak at 2 1/2 minutes, we decided to try it at 4 minutes. It is definitely stronger, but I can’t say I like it any better! I wouldn’t even want it without milk and sugar, and even with milk and sugar I would rather have a glass of water! I was glad for the opportunity to try it, though!
Scrubbing away on the furniture with Murphy’s, polishing with Old English, sweeping and reorganizing. GAH! Time to take a break for tea. Middle daughter had just baked a loaf of fresh buttermilk bread, so that paired with apple butter and tea became lunch!
I took my tea plain, and it is nice and smooth. The vanilla is light and doesn’t have that artificial taste, though with the bold apple butter it is a little more in the background than when I have it with chocolate or cookies, which enhance the vanilla flavor.
Woke up with a sore back and MUCH to do to get back in gear after vacation. Summon the Queen! A pot of this and Two Door Cinema Club blasting on the stereo will get me through the morning and help me with all these chores.
I extended my experiment of trying breakfast style teas without milk and sugar. Though I liked it pretty well without, I liked it better with, but perhaps that is because I was having tea only and no food. (I now must have milk with breakfast because of the cancer drug I take in the mornings, but I usually had milk anyway. This was just after brekkie.)
And gmathis, if you are out there and have electricity, let us know by commenting or emailing as soon as you can! We are worried about you out there where the tornado hit!
This was pitted against Tower of London in a taste test with a non-tea-drinker today. She liked this tea, but preferred Tower of London. Youngest daughter can polish off 7 ounces of this in 6 weeks. Not kidding. It is good enough that I gave two ounces to a friend and that is all gone and I am under orders to purchase a pound for her. Vanilla Black is a nice daytime vanilla tea, and has a lovely decaf sister called Vanilla Comoro that is so rich, caramel-y, and decadent. Come to think of it, the same friend had me order her a pound of THAT about a year ago when she tried it at my house!
Tower of London and Vanilla Black were served with fresh, slightly warm chocolate chip cookies made from flour we had ground today from hard red wheat.
A neighbor has decided she wants to have a tea party, and she wants my youngest daughter to be her “barista”, if that is the correct term. (Daughter suggested geisha and I told her no, no, altogether different!) The neighbor drinks coffee, doesn’t like flavored coffee, but likes flavored creamers. She thought she wanted all black teas and has only had grocery store black and green teas, but I thought that for a GROUP of ladies at a tea party a wide assortment of different teas would be fun.
After hearing her preferences, I decided that Tower of London would be a good starting place. It is similar to Paris, but not as strong. The berry flavor is a little more forward, the honey is sweet, and the bergamot is a bit milder. She liked it! Hey, she drank three cups of it! And she didn’t even sweeten it even though she said she always sweetens everything. I think we may have another convert!
I told her we have only 48 teas to go to taste them all before June 10th. Nooooo problem.
This was the first “good” tea we ever bought. It was purchased at Barnes and Noble because my youngest daughter pleaded with me for hot tea since we hadn’t had any in a long time and we decided to try something better than the grocery store stuff.
Back when I first bought it, I always took tea with milk and sugar. Every tea. No matter what. Now I still add milk and sugar at breakfast, but that is the only time.
Today I decided to see if I could like a breakfast tea taken plain. I did! I did! Note that Royal English Breakfast is not the same as Harney’s English Breakfast at all. They are very different teas, and if I had to compare this one to another of their teas, I would compare it to Supreme Breakfast, which is really good and a bit heartier on the assam. This was a brunch treat with 72% dark chocolate.
Thank you, Jen, for this very generous sample! I came home from the beach and this was one of the first things in the mountain of mail to be opened.
I looked up my review from a while back when I sampled the tea because my memory of it was really fuzzy. The last time I tried this tea I took it plain, so I decided to add a sprinkle of sugar this time. My tastebuds were a wee bit seared by some salsa that I ate as a quick and easy supper (still not done unpacking) so I got some little cubes of Swiss cheese to cool my mouth. Now that my tastebuds have revived, this is good! I am reminded more of Rose Congou by Upton than of Rose Scented by Harney and Sons as I drink this, but mainly in the base. The rose is not nearly as forward in this one, though, and the bergamot is stronger than I remembered. I like this very much! Thank you, again, Jen! Having new tea waiting was a nice “Welcome home!”