1798 Tasting Notes
Because John Harney made tea….I saw an acquaintance buying it at Barnes and Noble. Because I saw her buying it, I got her more for Christmas and we became good friends and I bought an extra tin for me. Because I had GOOD tea, my new neighbor Sandy shared a cup and then introduced me to even more varieties of loose leaf and high quality teas of every type and kind and we began to explore puerh, white, yellow, and more! Because I became obsessed with tea, I invited more and more people over, and made new friends, and new tea addicts.
And this is one of the first loose leaf H&S teas I bought, the very first being Royal English Breakfast in sachets. Smokey and chocolate-y, good plain but takes milk and sugar well, which is how I first started drinking tea until their Golden Monkey enticed me to drink my tea sans additions.
Thank you, Mr. Harney, for being excited about tea. Thank you for your part in enriching my life. Thank you for the stories your family shared about you handing out wrapped sachets everywhere you went, making friends, showing kindness. May you rest in peace.
The past two months have been rough medically speaking, I have TMJ from being intubated twice in eight weeks, and doxycycline is making it interesting after meals trying to keep food IN.
Time for the Queen. The is the most comforting tea I think I have ever had in my life. I can not hear the song, “Good Life” by One Republic without thinking of this tea.
Down the hatch and feeling fortified.
I removed nineteen teas from my cupboard! Hooray for me! I have been feeling overwhelmed with tea. It is everywhere. I forget some of the teas because they are in strange places. I have given away a lot of tea, even made big boxes of tea for friends, but I was over 170 and that does not count my samples. Youngest daughter is helping me cut the numbers.
I made a sweet iced tea pitcher with the last of this tea. It is nice, but I will not reorder. If I want a fruity black tea, I think I want 52teas Razzleberry or the Passion Fruit from the Puritea. They are smoother. This is good, don’t get me wrong, but those are better to me. Thrilled to have one more tin off the shelf.
I hope to make a master list of what I really, really want to have on hand and pare this stash down, but then I get intrigued by a new tea….
I intended to eat really well today after having some pretty epic indigestion last night. Breakfast was cheese toast with a little organic mustard – not too bad. Lunch was a cucumber salad eaten in the garden – nice. Supper was a chopped salad – very clean, healthy eating. Dessert was OH MY GOSH HAAGEN DAZ HAS GREEN TEA ICE CREAM!!!!
Funny thing was that after one bite of the creamy, delicious goodness, I craved some real matcha. This is my favorite of all I have tried so far for whipping up a traditional, whisked, unflavored matcha. It was sooooo good. The vegetal green aroma and taste are powerful and not at all bitter or sour. I love it.
After drinking a cup of it, I went back to the ice cream and made two – count them, TWO – green tea ice cream milkshakes while watching Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Yeh, baby. I know how to do Friday night.
I have already made a long tasting note on this one, so I will simply say that this is a lovely, gentle cup of black tea with sweet potato and citrus notes, but no astringency and no lemony tartness such as one gets with the citrus flavor a some Ceylon teas.
This was my elevenses tea with Camembert and crackers. I used the suggested parameters of 194F for three minutes. Methinks I will be able to get a resteep from this, even though it was made western style.
This is a sample sent by Teavivre for tasting. Many, many thanks!
I made this to share with my youngest daughter during our homeschooling this morning. We have already had a very light breakfast so it isn’t our breakfast tea, more of an early elevenses tea.
I used their recommended steeping time and temp even though I know that usually the instructions are for a lighter cup than westerners typically drink. I enjoy having these teas several ways to see which I prefer, and sometimes I change it up based on time of day and pairings.
At 194F for three minutes this tea was fairly light in color for a black tea. It reminded me of the first time I made Ruby #18! But even though the color is light, the flavor is not weak.
I was surprised by the malty cocoa flavor. It is not as deep as it is in their Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls. There is a nice honey aroma and then the tea, though light, has that scrape-y tongue feel I get from dry cocoa powder. Again, it is gentle.
I am eager to try it with western steeping – 212F and four or five minutes, and see how it changes!
I had this tea twice yesterday so I will include both reviews in this one note, as they were made differently and I had a different companion each time.
My first cupping was Sunday morning. I had a gong fu session with my dog, Sam, and a wheel of Camembert. It was my first time having Camembert, and when I first opened the package I kept looking for the broccoli in the garbage can, wondering who had cooked broccoli without me knowing about it, and noting how remarkably clean the can was and oh my goodness was that smell coming from the cheese???? Yes, yes, it was. It smelled like Panera’s broccoli soup and since I love broccoli soup I figured I would like the cheese. I did. Sam did.
Hubby stumbled in about thirty minutes later, all stuffed up. As far as I know it was his first time having a sheng puerh. It was also his first having Camembert, but he loved it.
The tea was quite yellow, a really lovely color, and we made about a liter all told. It really could have gone longer but we couldn’t drink anymore and hubby had to leave. We were drinking from Teavivre’s double walled glass cups. I love them! A friend saw them and handed me money and said, “Get some for me!” Next I want to get the bat cups!
It paired nicely with the food. My first steep was short and the golden liquid was smooth, lively, and had nice woodsy flavor. The second steep was left a bit longer and was brisk, but pleasantly so, and was perhaps a better steeping time considering how strongly flavored our cheese was.
The second time I had this tea was with my bestie who came over for tea and cookies. This time it was prepared western style, using a 22 ounce Beehouse pot. We made two steeps. Again, the liquor was golden-amber. I am pretty sure it was my friend’s first sheng, although she has had a lot of shu and loves it. We were having this time instead of savory but the tea was quite good paired with cookies. There was not a terribly noticeable difference between the first and second steeps. I saved the leaves and will most likely be making a third lot western style later today.
Thank you, Teavivre, for the opportunity to try this tea!
I could have sworn at first that this was a Formosa Oolong, but the company website says it is from Fujian. The smell of the dry leaves even reminded me strongly of Formosa oolong, but the steeped tea did not. This is not a green oolong but not a heavily roasted one either.
We used my small gong fu pot and my daughter was suitably impressed with the magnificent expansion of the leaves from little rolled pellets to a pot more than half filled with unfurled leaves.
We made several steeps. The second steep came out a bit strong but was good with our snacks. It would have been too strong standing alone, so next time I will cut my steep time just a bit. I gave the first steep 4 minutes and the second was untamed, but I am guessing it was about the same.
This is lightly roasted, a little nutty, a little sweet.
My daughter and son-in-law came to celebrate Mother’s Day early with me today. My gift was this tea plus one other from Colonial Williamsburg, and a sugar cone! Our local German grocery sells them as Zucker Huts, which is really fun to say.
My eldest daughter doesn’t really care for black tea, but she loves green tea, white tea, and matcha, as well as some puerh tea. She likes coffee, so I thought this one might appeal to her. I liked it – it is a mild black tea with light smoke flavor though heavier smoke aroma. There is a clear, light, sweetness to the base which seems very like – if not the same as – the base for their Lapsang. Her husband does like smoky tea at all, but she liked it and had two cups with me. This was good, and was definitely a lighter Bohea than the other two I have tried.
I tried both teas, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to unwrap that lovely sugar cone in the blue paper!
My daughter has given me Dammann Freres teas several times over the past two years or so, and they always send samples. I am so excited about them, and then I forget to drink them! How many people wait for just the right moment to try new tea? I thought it was high time to taste this one.
It is a bag, so I used my eight ounce pot to steep it with boiling water and used probably only seven ounces of water. The aroma of the dry tea bag dismayed me because it smelled like rooibos….cherry cough syrup.
Happily that is NOT the taste of the tea. It is rather mild and the berry flavor dominates, mainly cherry, and caramel and vanilla are waaaay in the background for me.
The second steep was forgotten and I have no idea how long it steeped. It didn’t matter, though, as it was quite good. I only expected to get two steeps but I am tempted to try for a third and see what happens. This would not be a breakfast tea for me as it is far too civilized to get most people going, but is delightful for any other time of day!