1943 Tasting Notes
Chilly morning, so…..cardigan over jammies, afghan I made last year in lap, scrambled eggs from the 70 year old tiny skillet, and hot buttered grits with a pot of English Breakfast. THIS is Saturday morning! Good tea! We decided today that we need the one pound bag.
I am joining that rascally rebel who said to add teaware like this! I used my Joemo XL for the third time today, but the other two times I was on the run and was pouring in lukewarm already made tea that I didn’t expect to be taking with me. Today I knew I would be using it at work and filled it at 10:30 am with good hot stuff! About three hours later I started sipping my tea and burned my throat just a tad – it was still that hot. At 4 pm I finished my tea and it was still nice and warm, much better than the super cheap travel mug we had purchased at a discount store. In that thing, my tea is cold by an hour later. So the Joemo XL gets a thumbs up from me! It was the Steepster Select a while back from Teafrog – that is how I first heard about it. If you order one, you might as well go ahead and get some of the chocolate and cream deliciousness they sell as well….
I was tres chic today at tea time in my new alpaca lace scarf gifted me by JacquelineM and made with her own two hands! She also furnished the best two teas at the table. Thank you! You are a wonder!
We were only supposed to have two teas today, but since we were still chatting and there were cookies and Aero chocolates left, I couldn’t stand it! We just had to make another pot of tea. The aroma is arresting. I read once that the French teas are so good because the French are master perfumers, and they use that blending expertise to make teas that make your mouth water. There was a lot of oohing and ahhing over this tea. The fresh fig gives a warm cozy feel while the orange peel gives a bright note and the nutmeg teases you from the background. Aaaaaah. I didn’t know if it would go well with food, but the pretzel sticks and chocolate covered cookies were not at all affronted. Delightful tea!
This is a wonderful tea from the fine tea wall at A Southern Season. It is very mild and smooth, and when I tasted it beside Premium Steap’s Emperor’s Red I realized it had more of a plant flavor while ER had that toasty nutty chocolate but oh so smooth thing going on. My youngest daughter loves it. I like it a lot, but I think I want something with a little more gumption.
This was the first tea served for the Wednesday tea party, and the favorite. There were lots of low, moany groany noises as it was sipped – it was a hit! The description does not do it justice – this tea smells the most chocolate-y of any I have had, and it so wonderfully smooth. It has a great range of flavors, mostly low notes if I understand how they rank that sort of thing. Sometimes chocolate-y drink doesn’t go well with chocolate-y food, but today this went very well with our cookies. Good, strong, and relaxing, like a shoulder rub from a big, strong man with big hands – and I should know. Hubby is 6’4" and his hand spans my whole back. That is what this tea is. It is THAT GOOD. The tea party guests agreed it was the more flavorful of the two unflavored teas today, the other tea being Keemun Hao Ya A by A Southern Season which is far milder than the one by Harney and Sons.
I have just made a new tea friend and I am trying to discover her tastes so I know what to serve when she comes. We tried Wuyi Shan Lapsang last week – she had never had lapsang tea so it wasn’t a favorite….yet. She really enjoyed the Rosy Earl Grey that JacquelineM sent me, so I thought Paris would be a safe bet for a tea she would enjoy today. On the mark! It was a hit, and we have a good starting point for winding our way through some new teas for her to try!
Second attempt today on this one. This tea was so mild I thought perhaps I had measured my leaves incorrectly, or that my scant measure I usually use for my Beehouse teapot was not enough. I added an extra teaspoon of leaves. I detect no change in the amount of flavor. This tea is good, but it isn’t even close to being as strong as the Harney and Sons Hao Ya A. Even though I like it and it is a good keemun, it doesn’t have the character and body I find in even the English Breakfast tea by Harney and Sons, which is 100% Keemun, though it is not Hao Ya A. This would be a fabulous tea to serve to people who are new to tea. It is mild, smooth, not smoky, not bitter, not astringent. It didn’t hold my attention without sugar, although on this second pot I am leaving out milk, since I usually use milk to smooth a strong note, and this tea has none. Don’t misunderstand! I like it, it is just very different from the strength of Harney and Sons, and much milder than the aroma in the store led me to expect. Six months ago I would have rated this in the nineties, but now I have tasted Golden Monkey and Emperor’s Red, and that changes EVERYTHING….
I was looking for a tea exactly like Emperor’s Red. Do you know what tea is exactly like Emperor’s Red? Emperor’s Red. Sigh. It was wrong of me to ask a tea from Qimun to taste like a tea from Fujian.
This tea is not without merit, however. It is a very good breakfast tea, not as strong as I expected, with good body and flavor. The cocoa notes are not nearly as strong as ER but they are there. This was definitely a milk and sugar tea for me. Very good. This was the “fine tea of the month” at Southern Season, so it was a very good buy. I will enjoy the two ounces I purchased, and would definitely buy this again. Next time I will add a tad more leaves. I was careful with it since I thought it would be strong, and should have used to full recommended measure. Smooth, no bitterness, not astringent at all.