2159 Tasting Notes
An old acquaintance came by a couple of months ago to get a keyboard I was giving away. We hadn’t seen each other in about fourteen years. I gave her tea and we chatted a while, and then I start seeing boxes of tea in her Facebook page! Ha ha! Yay! A new recruit! She and her husband are such nice people. When you meet anyone who knows, that is the first thing they say…“Such great people!”
So after that day, she sends me a message that she was out of town and saw a spice company and got something for me. (I had also given her some Penzey’s cinnamon to take home to try.) She was letting me know that she was mailing the package.
I was expecting a small jar of spices or something, and pretty excited to try it, but lo and behold when it arrives it is a big box with a set of four Japanese style teacups and a parcel of this tea! Wow! Just wow! It was such a blessing and I could hardly believe it!
I am pretty sure this is the same tea that Tealux sells as the descriptions are identical. I looked at the Spice Merchants website and many of their teas have to be from Harney and Sons…same names and identical descriptions.
We have already finished half the package of tea! This is so mild that even my friend who isn’t fond of bergamot could hardly taste any, but liked it. She really got vanilla and fruity as her main impressions. Youngest seemed to like it a lot, too. I do smell the bergamot but don’t find it overpowering or sour here. I didn’t see the short steep time and probably gave it four minutes, but it didn’t hurt anything.
I may need to plan a little day trip to Wilmington to check this place out!
I love this tea. I don’t have it often enough. A long time ago a friend came over – the one who introduced me to Harney and Sons, albeit it was the sachets at B&N rather than their loose leaf – and I gave her some of this. She had a strange reaction, saying she wasn’t sure if she liked it but she absolutely had to have it. She has had me order it for her several times and I have given it to her as a gift in the past. She knows now that it is a tea “true love.” Both of us have tried ginseng oolong from other companies and not liked it nearly as well as this one from Teavivre.
Today she came over for one last visit before she moves. She said she is out of this but won’t let herself buy ANY tea until she is settled in the new house. She asked if we could have this old favorite for our tea time today. Of course, of course. The sweet, rich flavor lasts through multiple steeps, so it’s a great choice for a long chat.
You see, she isn’t just moving away. She has had health problems for a long time, and was finally diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis. She will be fine for a while, then have long periods of being unable to walk, or of having no energy, and now short term memory problems have started.
So we are not sure if we will see each other again, but have promised to email and send letters, and if she feels like receiving visitors I will hopefully get to drive up to her new home and take a walk with her and drink tea. It isn’t far, but when an episode hits she may not feel like having a visit for months at a time.
There are lots of happy tea moments; this one was a little bittersweet.
Youngest made tiny individual Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cakes with chocolate glaze for tea time today, and I added sliced strawberries. This was our first tea to serve with the food. The Queen is always good! I haven’t had it in a while actually, and it was especially good today to me.
It is easy to drink sans additions, works as a breakfast or afternoon tea for me, and is nice blended with other things, especially Rose Scented from Harney.
When I was in A Southern Season recently, I looked for a tea to buy youngest as a gift. She had just finished the tin of Chocolate Tea from Harney and lamented its passing, but they didn’t have it so I got this, completely forgetting that we have had it before.
To be fair – I don’t care for minty tea except on occasion, and I am not the biggest fan of chocolate and mint. I like York Patties but I haven’t bought them in years because I just don’t think of them. So when I had my first cup of this I remembered that I bought once before and ended up giving it away. Youngest thought it was meh at first but then said it grew on her.
A big problem is that my hubby thinks that this tea and Florence smell like mildew, and the sad fact is…it does. And the smell spreads through the whole house.
Youngest was trying to drink it all up, but I think it is going to have to go away tomorrow.
I don’t know why the plain chocolate tea doesn’t smell this strongly to me, but it took forever to finish it. Marie Belle was a better chocolate tea in my opinion, so even though I am a big Harney cheerleader, this one doesn’t do it for me.
When I drink it, I feel like I am having watered down tea with chocolate flavor and too much mint. The chocolate aroma is there but the taste doesn’t thrill me.
Maybe it is tons better for people who add milk and sugar. That may be what it takes to really enjoy this blend.
Sadly, they have reduced their tea section at A Southern Season. I bought this because my best friend loves white tea and I was hoping for a really fruity summer treat to go with our desserts.
Alas, I can not detect any strawberry flavor in this. The first time I made it I found it a little weak. I added lots more this time since there is a lot of non-tea matter in here and it was much better but still not strawberry. It was just a tasty white tea with a little sweetness from the coconut.
I shall continue to look for good, natural strawberry flavor in a white tea, but at least this one won’t be hard to drink.
Right now I am drinking some teas just to get them off the shelf. And this one is getting old and definitely needs to go.
It isn’t bad – it is a pouchong rather than jasmine green. It was pretty good with food but not my favorite. As an economical jasmine with food, I would prefer Teavivre’s Silver Jasmine Green. By itself, I love their Jasmine Dragon Pearl. This tea is just okay.
The great thing was the food. On mrmopar’s recommendation, I bought some Ponzu with lime to try on Ramen noodles. I made a pack of ramen, throwing away the seasoning pouch that comes with it. Near the end of cooking, I threw in some frozen peas and sliced Baby Bella mushrooms. I strained the water off. I added some cornstarch to the Ponzu in a cup and whisked it together, then added a tiny amount of oil and poured it over the ramen noodles. Lunch was eaten on a quilt in the side garden with my dog, Sam. And I found out that I LOVE PONZU! I will be trying it on some more things. I put it on hubby’s crisp green beans tonight and he liked it, too!
I shared two pots of two Saturday with Suoeranna, hubby, and ChelseaR. Everyone liked it – even hubby who doesn’t do much black tea. It is very sweet and smooth for an Assam, but the more you drink the more it builds the characteristic Assam flavor and malt.
STORY TIME! On Friday, I went to an estate sale and bought some very old records for youngest, who is obsessed with old music. (1910-1949) We went back Saturday for her to pick some more albums. As I stood by her, I noticed a wedding planning book in the closet and flipped through it. One of the first pages said that the groom’s gift to the bride was a sterling compact, purchased for $20. (Today’s adjusted amount $250-ish)
I decided to wander around while daughter looked some more and I went to say hello to the ladies working at the jewelry table. And lo and behold, a monogrammed silver heart shaped compact was on the table marked $3! I told them abiut the planner and picked up the compact and they said they didn’t think it was the same one because they couldn’t find a sterling mark on it, but I found it. I laughed and told them I assumed that changed the price. Saturday is half price day, by the way, so it would have been $1.50. It had the puff and some powder still in it. They asked if I was willing to pay the whole $3. Of course I was willing! I didn’t really want a silver compact, never thought about owning one, but it was so romantic to me! I couldn’t believe their children didn’t want it, and told the workers to tell them that the compact was their father’s wedding gift to their mom and if they wanted it back I would gladly give it back. I was so excited. The wedding was April 1, 1945. The bride had the same last initial as me, so people will probably see the compact and assume it belonged to one of my relatives.
My son and his fiancé were here last weekend to celebrate his birthday with us. On Sunday morning, I made a pot of this for breakfast. ChelseaR shared it with me and I am so happy that she really liked it. Of all the tea I drink and share with others, I don’t think I have anyone who loves Keemun to drink it with me. Now I do!I got this for Christmas from my eldest daughter and bought more at the very next sale. The cocoa heft and body of this tea are just right for me for brekkie or with sweets.
Tea happiness is when someone says, “I have to start keeping a notebook of what we drank and what I liked,” and “Someday I am just going to give you a bunch of money and say, ‘Buy me tea!’” That’s when you know you have helped create a new tea lover!
I have been wanting to try this for so long. When I first heard of it, I checked the website and it said you could buy it at Whole Foods. Well, none of the ones within two hours of me had it! That was a few years ago. I went in on Friday and found it! The price was way too high so it took it to be scanned and found out that they had the wrong price on the shelf.
I usually have one piece of chocolate with my matcha. I have done that two or three times now and I can’t even taste this matcha. I tried it by itself and it is good but not as good as I had thought it would be. It is a little too tame. It was harvested in 2015 and expires 2017 according to the tin. It is smooth, it is creamy, but the flavor is not as pronounced as I would like. I also get much better froth from my Tanabata from Red Leaf and from KaiMatcha Premium.
It is good enough that I would certainly buy it again if I ran out of matcha and wanted some fast, but I will be just as happy with some of the other matcha teas I have found.
My son and his fiancé and my eldest daughter all tried it and liked it and agreed that it is mild and drinkable even for matcha newbies.
I’m a little mad that we like this tea a lot.
I have resisted buying the Paromi Tea line at The Fresh Market because it is $9.99 for fifteen sachets. That is ridiculous. But it was on sale and I tried to believe that I deserved a treat, especially since I have gone in there a dozen times without buying anything for a splurge and I had a coupon!
I feel a little better about the price if their website is telling the truth about it being fair trade, and I was happy to see that they recommend resteeping, so they must have faith in their product to pull it off. Plus – they call for 10-12 ounces of water per sachet. If you resteep, that gives you 20-24 ounces of tea per sachet. That doesn’t hurt quite as much.
I hadn’t read that their sachets are non-GMO corn based so I did what I usually do and I cut it open and dumped the leaves. It measured a little shy of a tablespoon. I made it in an unusual way – first steep in my Kamjove which has a six or seven ounce capacity infused at the top was four minutes, then I steeped again for five letting the two mix, and then since I was still a few ounces shy of the 20-24 it should make, I added hot water and poured it into a larger pot.
And it’s good stuff, dadgummit. Youngest drank it with me and at her first sip said, “This is Kool-Aid.” I get what she meant – it is pretty sweet and we didn’t add anything at all to it. We never add sugar, so coconut tastes sweet to us as it is.
The coconut and almond flavors were well-balanced and natural tasting. They are not “in your face” but very pleasant. Often, Indian teas bother my stomach and taste a bit harsh on the tongue, but for this one, it just lent a little heft to the base. Youngest didn’t believe me at first when I told her it was Indian (which she likes very much) but the more you drink the more the maltiness builds.
The glass jar is painted to shield the tea from UV light. I will keep and reuse the jar. I will also watch for more sales so I can try more of their teas when I have been a good girl and think I deserve a treat, or when I have been a bad girl and need cheering up. And with the resteeping, it comes down to fifty cents or so a pot when it is on sale, and that isn’t so bad. It’s cheaper than soda, and much better for you!