2022 Tasting Notes

drank Lomi Lomi by Souvia
2022 tasting notes

Thank you, Paul M Tracy, for this sample!

This tisane has a wonderful aroma. Slow down and enjoy it, because even though it is bright and tropical it is mellow, smooth, and relaxing. I agree with Paul, let it cool a bit, too, so you don’t miss anything – but that is a good idea with any tea or tisane. I think banana and lemon were the forefront aromas to me, but there is a mellow, vanilla-like note that keeps the lemon from being jarring or overly bright. This is a nice relaxing cup between walking the dogs (Hi, Sandy!) and more yard work!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
2022 tasting notes

This is my youngest child’s favorite tea! We shared a pot at tea party today, and it was smooth and rich as always. I drank it plain, she adds milk and sugar. I think I like it better than Mariages Freres Vanille des Iles.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
2022 tasting notes

This was one of the four tea party teas today. I was very surprised that it wasn’t my guest’s favorite, though she liked it. She loves loves coconut so I thought it would be the hands down winner, but the smooth sweetness of Rose Scented Black by Harney won her heart. Right now it is a tie for me. This is a great white tea, and the coconut, vanilla, and almond flavors balance nicely. It is smooth and sweet, needs no additions to be enjoyed, and goes well with food.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Doodleology

I was surprised by this one myself. The flavors in the blend are not usually compatible with my taste buds, however I really liked it!

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drank Rose Scented by Harney & Sons
2022 tasting notes

Of the four teas we had at tea party, this was the winner for my guest. She liked how smooth and sweet the tea base is. There is no astringency or bitterness to the tea base. The rose scent is elegant and light, the taste of rose is even lighter. My opinion was tied – I liked Rose Scented and Royal Wedding equally well. Royal Wedding may just edge out over Rose Scented, though!

Preparation
Boiling

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Today at tea party we compared Rose Congou and Harney’s Rose Scented Black side by side. My guest preferred Rose Scented Black, I think because she never adds sugar or milk and likes a naturally sweet and smooth tea. Rose Congou has a peppery aroma, so I am guessing the base is Yunnan tea. You get more tea flavor from this one, less rose.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Cherry Bomb by Shui Tea
2022 tasting notes

Another tea from Paul M Tracy!

My first sip was WOW! Chili peppers! I wondered why I got that first when Paul said he picked that up last. I tried again, this time letting the tisane sit on my tongue for a second. There it is! I got the cherries (which come out nice and strong in the aroma), the carrot, a little tiny floral taste, then BOOM! The bomb went off! When I swallow this is really when I get the full impact of the chili pepper. It warms your throat and the heat lingers first at the back of the throat, then on the tongue, but not in a “GAH! GET ME A GLASS OF MILK!” kind of way. I think this would be awesome to drink when you have a stuffy head and want to open it up and soothe your throat, too, but perhaps the chilis would burn a sore throat. I agree, the cherry aroma and flavor are nice and don’t have that sickening medicine profile that some cherry-flavored things have. Thank you for another new tea to taste, Paul!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2022 tasting notes

It feels like a long time since I have had the Queen. I had run out, but a new and larger tin has arrived. This morning I am enjoying Queen Catherine with breakfast, so I added milk and sugar. It is sweet and smooth, with a slight hint of smoke and a lot of flavor!

Today was an experimental breakfast. Breakfast is required in my household, even if it is a simple one. From childhood, my father made me a piece of (heavily!) buttered bread broiled on one side in the oven, and a glass of chocolate milk every day. We usually have toast made the same way with a bit less butter and using home made bread, but I have always loved cheap diner toast! So today we made toast in the Breville Smart Grill, painting it with melted butter and smooshing it just a tad, and we served it with grape jam. I wish I could say it was wonderful, but it was store-bought whole wheat bread, which I have never cared for. We grind our own wheat to make bread, so it doesn’t have the sour taste of oxidized vitamin E that you get in store bread. I will not buy white bread to duplicate diner toast, so tomorrow we will try again with home made buttermilk bread. I am thinking that will be just the ticket! At the cheap diners, I love the Mixed Fruit jelly, though I have never seen anything in the market labeled that way. You can buy a huge box of jelly packets at Sam’s and get it, though I don’t want to go that route! Too much jelly, and all different kinds, not just the Mixed Fruit!

Queen Catherine was perfect this morning, even if the toast wasn’t as good as I hoped. Not much can beat tea and toast!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Uniquity

Off the tea topic, I love homemade bread. Do you have/use a bread maker? I’m always on the lookout for good bread recipes, but I do it the old fashioned way. Care to share your buttermilk recipe? (if it doesn’t require a bread machine) :)

ashmanra

I pm’ed the recipe to you! It is from Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book, available in many public libraries. I used to make six loaves a week by hand, freezing the extras to use through the week, but now my daughter usually makes our breakfast loaf using a Zojirushi machine that makes 2 pound loaves. The wheat is groun into flour just minutes before mixing.

Uniquity

A bread machine is something I’m excited to end up with one day. I don’t make bread that often at home, but it has increased since I received a kitchen aid stand mixer for Christmas. I do homemade pizza (from the dough up) every Friday though…I don’t have the best luck with dough always, but it’s so much tastier.

JacquelineM

Ashmanra! I LOVE Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook and didn’t realize there was a bread book too! Does it have the woodcuts and is it equally as charming and friendly? I have to track down a copy!

ashmanra

Yes! Still has the charming woodcuts! I have the old and new editions. The old one I bought hardcover on eBay, the new one I purchased in softcover because the updates included some bread machine recipes. Love the recipes!

ashmanra

Uniquity – when you start your dough in a Kitchenaid or other strong mixer, you don’t have to hand knead as long. Make sure the dough doesn’t overheat from the power of the mixing machine. I use the same recipe for my pizza dough to make stromboli and foccaccia bread. Homemade doughs are so versatile! If you go whole wheat, make sure your machine will withstand it. The Zo is one of the strongest. I got mine from pleasanthillgrain.com and they have the best customer service you can imagine. You can also just use it for mixing and rising, then take out the dough to make your pizza. It also makes meatloaf and freezer jam.

For mixing I use the Electrolux of Sweden Kitchen Assistent. (Yes, that is how they spell it!) :) It can do up to eight or nine loaves at once, and kneads the bread “hand-style” for you. You only have to do the shaping. I got it when I was very anemic and no longer the strength to knead 6 loaves for 60 minutes! Not anemic anymore, but I still love the mixer! I am planning to get my daughter the pink KitchenAid. My washer by them is almost 20 years old and going strong.

ashmanra

Just checked eBay – lots of copies and one of them is from a Goodwill store and would be less than $6 with shipping!

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I have this on hand for my tiniest tea guests. I tried it for the first time today. They love it! I think it tastes like a Cherry Luden’s cough drop melted in hot water! Or maybe cough syrup. It isn’t BAD, I suppose, but I wouldn’t choose it myself. I didn’t even realize it was a rooibus base until I checked the tin today, AFTER I had sipped it. I thought it was their usual decaf black tea base. I tried it with a little sugar the way my friend’s children drink it, and it didn’t taste quite as much like medicine to me. It seemed to neutralize some of the apple flavor.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
2022 tasting notes

I was hot from working in the yard, pruning the 50 year old azaleas that manage to leap up at least an extra four feet every year! I thought Chocolate Mint would be a good way to cool off, even if I was drinking it hot! The mint flavor really lingers and is so refreshing, but if you don’t like chocolate and mint together, or you are not a fan of peppermint, you probably won’t like this one. My guest wasn’t too thrilled with it. She said it was interesting, but not a favorite. I took mine plain. My guest usually adds milk and sugar but didn’t with this one, I think. She would have liked it more that way since that is how she usually takes her tea, and when you add milk and sugar to this one, it is almost like drinking a melted Thin Mint or Grasshopper cookie! The milk brings the chocolate out a little more, and the tea base is not very noticeable in this to me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Paul M Tracy

I just received this in my order from H&S and I hope it’s good. I’ve had a run of really cruddy “chocolate” flavored teas.

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drank Rogue Wave by White August
2022 tasting notes

Thank you to Paul M Tracy for this sample!

The green tea base is more assertive than many of the flavored greens I have tried. In some, I almost can’t detect the tea base flavor! Not so here. This one is clearly a Japanese green and has a grassy taste rather than a vegetal or buttery taste to me. I picked up a slight astringency. There is a good coconut flavor, not as strong as in Harney’s Royal Wedding or in Bangkok, but still the forefront flavor in this tea, besides the base. I don’t have the most sensitive palate in the world, I confess it, but I didn’t pick up the ginger. It may be a very light touch of it, or maybe I don’t know exactly what I am looking for since I think the only ginger I have had in tea has been freshly grated in. Love the look of those bright flowers in the mix!

My guest really liked this one, and thought the coconut was just right! Thank you, Paul!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Paul M Tracy

You’re very welcome! I love this tea. For me, it’s a perfect blend of cool (coconut) and hot (ginger.) I just received a tin of Bangkok so if you think that’s even more “coconutty” then I’m excited.

ashmanra

Bangkok does seem to have more coconut flavor to me, and the lemongrass really sings in it. For some reason, Bangkok makes my stomach GROWL! So I don’t drink it often. Yunnans and assams do the same thing. Most Chinese black teas don’t have that effect.

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

Location

North Carolina

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