2170 Tasting Notes
This was my least favorite tea today. I liked Ginger’s Oolong best, as did all the adult guests, and Keemun Hao Ya A was second. Beside Hao Ya A, this one really lacked elegance. Give me Mao Feng over this one any day! And how sweet is this…one of the guests brought a tin of Marco Polo as a gift! Even though Ginger’s Oolong was in the big pot and there was twice as much of it, we finished it, while Hao Ya A was over half gone and B was nearly full! To be fair, I am planning to reheat the B and try it with milk and sugar to see if that improves my opinion of it.
I made the rest of the sample of this today for teatime, and much of it was a second infusion. Even at that, this tea was very popular with all the adults today…in fact, it was the favorite at tea time being tasted alongside Hao Ya A and B. If I decide to expand my stock of oolong tins, this will be on the list of teas to order. It was wonderful in my new tetsubin, and with the warmer stayed pleasantly hot enough for three hours. It would have possibly stayed hot longer, but I was reusing a tea light and it went out before the tea was gone. Love the pot. Love the tea.
I ordered this sample quite a while ago and have been saving it for a special day, and today is that day! Twenty-five years ago today I drove to South Carolina to give a young man a pound cake. I came home engaged! (Must have been a really good pound cake, or he was a starving college student!) This morning, I awaken to find….the Teavana Dragonfly tetsubin and warmer on my tea table! EEEEEE! He had driven out of town yesterday to get it, calling my youngest to make sure it was the right one! I had to make a really special oolong in it.
And this is it! A really special oolong! I thought I was using too few leaves since it was a sample and this is the large pot, but this is full of flavor. The oolong base is dark, which is my favorite kind of oolong, and the ginger is just right – not too strong, not too biting. I agree that it tastes like candied ginger because it is so sweet, and I am not really getting a bite as some described, unless perhaps I just don’t know what that is! I find it smooth, naturally sweet, and warm with ginger flavor. If I order another whole tin of oolong, I think it will be this one. Even hubby liked it sans additions, and he really only drinks a couple of teas, and those with milk and a LOT of sugar, or iced and Southern sweet!
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!