1960 Tasting Notes
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.
My toes were really cold this morning! It was our first day of the household temperature dropping below 70 degrees. We have a rule against building the first fire of the year until it hits 65 degrees, and that includes no turning on the furnace. It helps us get acclimated to the new season and get accustomed to using the woodstove again.
This meant I needed a toe-warming tea today. What better than a tea that impersonates hot chocolate? I succumbed to the temptation and wiles of JacquelineM and added (gulp) a squirt of chocolate syrup, a splash of milk, and a wee bit of sugar. Toes and nose are toasty now! Aaaaaah.
And for those of you in really cold climes, we are fully aware that 69 degrees IS toasty to you, we are wimps, and piedmont North Carolina isn’t cold! But we get used to the 100 degree days and have a hard time adjusting to cooler weather! We love sleeping with the windows open and it was 49 degrees last night!
Finished this sample up today! Shared a pot with a friend and it is just as delicate, just as girly as ever – and that was a good thing! I already had a tea to kick me into gear this morning, but now it was afternoon and I was ready for a gentle tea to enjoy this beautiful weather. This was a great tea for that. I really taste the jasmine in this one, but it is so nicely balanced with the rose and neither are cloying or artificial.
Haven’t had this one in a while! It smells a lot smokier than it tastes, but that has been true of most of the lapsangs I have tried. This tea has heft. You can tell that this is a high quality tea, not something that NEEDED smoke to mask its inferiority. I like teaequalsbliss’ description. It smells CHEWY! And it is indeed good. Today I took one cup plain, and drank the rest like a breakfast tea with milk and sugar. Both ways are great! I haven’t tried to resteep this as Sandy did. Perhaps that will be my afternoon pot of tea!