2215 Tasting Notes

drank Hooghly Holler by Culinary Teas
2215 tasting notes

Another tea for which I can Doulton the generous!

The dry leaves of this tea smell so good I would not hesitate to put them in a bowl and proclaim them potpourri. The description says there are three secret black teas, but like one friend of mine who gives away her secrets within minutes of telling you not to tell anyone, they give some of them away in their longer description!

The package said boiling water, but I will be trying this next time with a lower temperature because of the green teas in it. I did follow their instructions this first time, however.

Some of the leaves expanded quite impressively. There is an extra-citrusy aroma with the warm calm note of vanilla playing beneath. It is almost Ike sniffing a cup of candy.

There is a bit of astringency but the flavor is very nice when the tea is taken plain. I also tried it with milk, then milk and sugar, and all were good.

I got a laugh when autocorrect changed Hooghly to Hooch!


You just gotta love any tea with the word “Holler” in it!


It only lists vanilla and bergamot flavors, but I could almost swear there is jasmine in this. There is Assam and Ceylon black tea as well. It took me this long to figure out what I thought I was smelling in this!

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drank Hooghly Holler by Culinary Teas
2215 tasting notes

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drank Mountain Malt by The Simple Leaf
2215 tasting notes

Many thanks to Doulton for sending me this tea! I had some Simple Leaf teas on my wish list and before I could order, they closed. Oh the frustration of reading about an amazing tea and then finding that you can never ever have any!

Thanks to Doulton I will get to try a Simple Leaf tea!

I sniffed the dry leaves when I opened the pouch. There was not much aroma to the dry leaf, but they were very interesting leaves, pleasantly twisted and curled. The tea itself has a nice malty aroma. Malt smells like puppy feet to me, a scent I love! This is a light malt aroma, not too strong.

The tea tastes very good. I have had a few Assams that smack me in the face, especially CTC ones. This is a very civilized breakfast cup, slightly astringent but pleasantly so, flavorful enough to blast through the groggies, and smooth enough not to offend my delicate tummy.

I can’t wait to see how youngest likes it when she gets home from her slumber party with Sandy’s dogs, who have now seen every sci-fi movie made. She loves Irish breakfast teas, so I think this one will be right up her alley.

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Oh, Doulton! Thank you, thank you for all the lovely tea to try!

The dry leaves have a very powerful aroma. Strong Golden Monkey? But wait! No, more similar to Zhen Quo Super China Black! But these are long twisted leaves instead of fluffy puffs! Now it is time to taste.

Big surprise, but it shouldn’t be since this came from Doulton who loves smoke, this tea that smells so very very sweet is also lightly smokey! Not too smokey, mind you! Just a bit! And it is delightful! It is lighter in body than Golden Monkey, maybe even than Hen Quo.

Youngest has decided to start tasting all new teas plain before adding the milk and sugar that she loves. I already knew about the smoke…she didn’t. I watched her taste it, and she pronounced it, “Not bad!” That is high praise for tea that doesn’t have milk and sugar in it yet! And now she says it is growing on her and she wants more. High praise, indeed!

Instead of measuring the leaves, I weighed them. These are so long, large, and twisted and I wanted to get it right! I think next time I may add more leaves. I am going to resteep this one and will post how it does.

Served for second breakfast with Baby Swiss, Dubliner, and bacon.


Resteeps well, the smoke really doesn’t seem diminished.


Bacon & cheese for second brekkie, must be doggie heaven.

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Once upon a time not so long ago, I did not like coconut. I would not eat an Almond Joy or Mounds, still don’t prefer them. But I had some strips of coconut shaved fresh and served as dessert and really liked it. I tried Royal Wedding and loved it. I bought some real fruit frozen pops and tried the piña colada one and loved it. So I thought that with today’s heat index of 115 degrees, some iced coconut black tea would be a treat!

This is from Doulton, a phrase you will be seeing a lot in the near future! First, the aroma on opening the package was very strong and familiar. I really did think of chocolate covered coconut candy first, then after inhaling a few more times, the wonderful summer scent of tanning lotion.

I did try a bit of this hot before icing it, and I found it to be smooth and flavorful. It had no need of sweetener or milk, had nice body, and didn’t seem astringent at all. There was a nice roundness to the cup. I tried it sweetened and iced, and while it is very good and most say they prefer it that way, I thought I detected more black tea taste and some astringency when I iced it.

I will definitely be serving this to some of my friends. I am eager to see how they like it! Next time, I will pay attention to directions and use slightly cooler water and a slightly longer steep time. I didn’t check first and I used boiling water for four minutes, while ATR recommends 200 degree water for five minutes. It did have great balance to me the way I made it, though, especially the hot cup before I iced the rest.

This was a very nice treat this afternoon. Thank you, Doulton!


So far I haven’t met a coconut tea that I didn’t like. It just works well as a flavoring.

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I knew it. I knew it yesterday when I had my first pot. This morning I was going to try something new from the big box o’goodies sent by Doulton, but Baker Street had its hooks in me. I tried to turn away, but like magnet and steel it pulled me over to the kitchen island, away from the other tea. I tried to resist….well, not for long! And it was perfect this morning with my cheese toast and mustard. This is labeled afternoon tea, but just like Queen Catherine, I love it in the morning with milk and sugar. The level of smoke is just right for me. The first time I smelled a dry lapsang I was horrified and said I would NEVER try that. Then I tried one and found it sweet and light, then I tried another…Is this something that escalates over time, and eventually you love more and more smoke in your tea? This is is smokey, but not over the top smokey, though not light on the smoke either. It is just right for when I want smokey tea! Thank you, Doulton! I will spend many a morning tipping my cup to you with the generous portion you sent!


That should have said, “though not light on the smoke either.”. How do you get to the bottom of a tasting note on an iPad? There is no directional arrow so you can scroll down, and this window doesn’t scroll.


I think that what you want to do is tap the bottom right-hand corner of the tasting note text that you can see to get the cursor to register. Press down on the cursor and this should allow you to scroll down in your tasting note. Sometimes it takes two tries to get the the cursor to begin scrolling down. I hope this helps :)


Hooray! It worked! It took me a couple of tries, too, but I am so glad to know how to do this now.

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Oh my! Oh my! Doulton’s tea arrived today and I have never seen such a box of tea! It felt like Christmas in July! And since my daughter just left London, and sent me photos of Baker Street and of Speedy’s from the new Sherlock Holmes, I decided this had to be the first tea I try!

Since there was darjeeling in the mix, I decided to go with a slightly shorter steep time. The steeped tea smells sweetly smokey. The smoke is not too strong – definitely smokier than Queen Catherine but not as smokey as Wuyi Shan Lapsang. The tea is sweet and smooth. I took part of it plain, and since youngest and I were having it with grilled cheese I also tried it with milk and sugar. I think I like it best with additions and it was a wonderful complement to the meal. The brightness of the darjeeling is there, with the slightest, and I do mean SLIGHTEST, tingle to the tongue when the tea is plain. This was not noticeable with milk added. I can see how someone could easily crave this tea. It has body and presence. Thank you, thank you, Doulton, for all the excitement that is buzzing in my house today!

Even youngest tried it and liked it fairly well, and she really doesn’t do smokey tea.

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drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
2215 tasting notes

I wasn’t going to review this one again, but tonight I decided to do something different. I didn’t really have anything I wanted to drink with supper and a good bit of this was still left in the tetsubin. I put a little sugar in a tall glass, poured some of the still hot tea over it, stirred, and put in a bit of ice. Delicious! These leaves went a long way. I had steeped, then resteeped and added that to the tetsubin, and some of it was left from yesterday. The tea still had plenty of strength.

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drank Keemun Mao Feng by Harney & Sons
2215 tasting notes

Though my guest loved La Belle Helene best of these two today (we didn’t compare them to Golden Monkey, nothing compares to Golden Monkey!) this tea was especially good to me today. I tasted some breadiness or something I really hadn’t picked up on before. It went especially well with our tea treats. It was paired with homemade brownies, from freshly ground wheat, naturally, that were served with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and cherries. The tea was an excellent complement to such hearty, flavorful fare and didn’t fade at all, but held its own. Excellent tea today! I won’t bother to post another review of Harney Golden Monkey. Everyone knows how I feel about that!

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drank La Belle Helene by Dammann Freres
2215 tasting notes

I tried this one with great trepidation today. After the last Dammann Freres tea from summit tea being so horrible I had to pour it out, I wasn’t going to serve this one at tea time unless I knew it was good. I tried a little sip prior to our guest arriving.

Oh joy! This was delicious! My guest thought so too, and even liked it more than Keemun Mao Feng, which is really apples to oranges bit tells you that this was pretty good tea!

As delicious as it was, and I had two or three cups of it, when it started to get cold it became astringent and it really wasn’t very good, but while moderately hot is was excellent.

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven 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…


North Carolina

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