1878 Tasting Notes

Eight days ago it was 70F and we were sitting outside on a blanket reading. This morning it is 25F. I opened the door at 6 am as the pup I am dog sitting today was being dropped off. Then I had to go to the storage room fridge to get more milk…barefoot. Then I had to go back out to hunt in the freezer for English Muffins. We’re out. Sigh. I should have put on shoes.

Anyway, I was feeling pretty frozen so instead of my usual toast and chocolate milk breakfast, I made grits, bacon, and an egg to go with the chocolate milk and tea!

The lemony high notes of this tea make me think there is a bit of Ceylon in here, but I really taste more Assam. This is quite drinkable without milk or sugar, though, and for me most Assams are not.

I talked my youngest daughter into trying this one today. She likes a few black teas – mostly Lapsangs and Assams, but I thought she would enjoy this one since it reminds me of one of her favorite Irish breakfast teas. And she did! We are now warming up nicely, I had the sense to put socks on, and we are wrapped in blankets ready to begin school. (The furnace is set to seventy but we are total wimps when it comes to cold weather.)

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drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
1878 tasting notes

Hubby and I sat down for four infusions, gong fu, of a different oolong. It wasn’t bitter or bad, it was just…liquid. No particular flavor notes came out at me. It was boring tea. Hubby said it didn’t do anything for him, either. Not bad, just not wow.

I was feeling a bit blue and I wanted something really good to make me go, “Ahhhhh. Mmmmm.”

This is the last of the sample I ordered over a year ago…maybe two years ago…from Harney and Sons. And this is what I was looking for. Hubby had already gone to bed but I took a tiny cup to him and asked him to try it. “That’s better,” said he.

I have to agree. This is sweetly floral and a touch fruity. Harney says it has citrus notes, but don’t get the idea that this is sour or tingly or lemon lime. This is a sweet and mellow fruit taste under the touch of flowers. I think I would compare it to osmanthus or gardenia, very light.

I will be taking advantage of the new Harney shipping special and ordering this, Royal Wedding, and Old Fir Da Hong Pao. Orders over $25 ship free, no coupon code needed. It ends 2/14/13.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1878 tasting notes

Thank you to GMathis for this sample from Nature’s Tea Leaf!

I reviewed this last night after drinking it at the house of a friend who likes puerh a lot, but has only had the ones I have given her. I left the leaves so she could resteep this morning and asked her how she felt about it. I thought I would share her “review” here even though she doesn’t have her own Steepster account…yet!

Melissa says, “I used to drink coffee every morning and really didn’t drink hot tea at all. Puerh is something I can drink in the mornings and not miss my coffee. I can’t say that about other tea, even black teas. This cherry puerh has a nice cherry flavor that doesn’t cover up the puerh base, and the hint of cherry aftertaste is really nice.”

Well put, friend! :)

gmathis

It’s definitely pu-newbie friendly.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1878 tasting notes

I went to visit my friend who likes puerh tonight. I took the last of this sample that GMathis sent me because I thought my friend would really enjoy it. She loves Chocolate Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia, so I thought this might be right up her alley.

We made about 24 ounces with the remaining portion of this. I still enjoy it. I can taste the puerh, and it is a good, clean, dark and earthy base. It isn’t fishy or overly horsey, though I don’t mind horsey. The cherry is bright, fresh, and refreshing. It does not taste like cherry cough syrup to me, which I cannot abide in beverages.

My friend liked it a lot, so I told her to be sure to save our leaves for a resteep tomorrow as this will definitely give her some more great cups of tea.

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drank Almond Chai by Twinings
1878 tasting notes

My daughter got this as one of her free samples from Twinings. Then she decided she didn’t want to try it, because she likes almonds but not amaretto and she was afraid that would be the flavor she would get from this. She also doesn’t care for black tea with the exception of a few really good chai blends. She gave it to me to taste instead.

I made it when she was here and gave her the first sip just in case she did like it. She didn’t, so it was passed on to me.

Overall, it is pretty good for a grocery store bagged tea. I only gave it a three minute steep, so it wasn’t astringent, but the black tea base was also a little muted. The chai flavors are palatable and not terribly strong, and the almond is quite nice. It is very smooth and mellow tasting.

This isn’t something I would buy to keep on hand but I wouldn’t turn down a cup of it if this was what was available.

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After getting so utterly wrecked and sore last night from cooking and cleaning, I feel great today. I also have been very lazy and have done little.

I have just finished the fifth steep of one teaspoon of these little pearls, and I must say they have added an elegance and enjoyment to this day as few things can.

The jasmine flavor is still present though fading, and the green base is showing its pedigree. It reminds me a great deal of Huang Shan Mao Feng. This is exquisite, and is one of my panic teas. I panic if it starts to get low and I place an order!

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drank Almond Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1878 tasting notes

Having a much needed almond matcha frap tonight. I am tired and my back is aching and I just can’t seem to get comfortable.

My son and godson have arrived and my daughter is coming tomorrow to celebrate lil sister’s birthday. I have made a cake and two batches of ice cream, and after washing dishes and cleaning it still looks like an utter wreck in there!

I wanted something super tasty to wash down a bunch of ibuprofen. I put a wee bit of skim milk, and a teaspoon of sugar in a glass. I sifted in one half teaspoon matcha. I whooshed it with my aerolatte, then added milk to the top of the glass. Nice! Nice! The amount of milk I first put in is all that gets frothed so I don’t risk ending up with a big glass of nothing but foam. It is a great way to control the amount of froth.

I love to top it up with milk and then add ice. For some reason I just love these extra cold.

Azzrian

Happy Bday to your lil sis!

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I didn’t know anything about ginseng when I first tried this tea. I fell in love with the way it coated my throat and tongue, the way the sweetness grew in volume with each swallow, the way the sweet somewhat floral (to me) flavor blossoms, going from a pianissimo on the first sip to forte after the third little “shot” from my Teavivre double walled glass cups.

Subsequent steeps become less ginseng and more oolong. The color stayed a good solid golden shade through all three steeps, and I will probably steep these leaves some more tomorrow.

My guests loved loved loved it! I love it, too, and right now I am wondering how I keep myself from drinking it every day.

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When the second pot of Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney and Sons had been polished off, a couple of folks started clamoring for more tea! Eeeeee! I was afraid I might be obnoxious always pushing tea on people, but they seem to really like it!

They told me to fix more, fix more! They said they liked trying new things, so I made two pots of this.

It is what it says, chocolate and strawberry, but honestly there is not a ton of puerh flavor. It is very good and the base tastes earthy, but not strongly like puerh. This is a decadent, richly flavored dessert type tea, very satisfying even for this crowd that adds no milk or sugar.

Two pots of this have disappeared rapidly and they are asking for more tea…

Coming up!

mrmopar

you are a tricky one…

Claire

I have the same problem. We had friends over for the 49ers game and dinner last Saturday, and after dessert everyone starts going tea, tea! They must know I have a tea addiction, somehow. ;)

ashmanra

Mrmopar: the great thing is that a few weeks ago I have them plain puerh and everyone liked it! I must have weird friends and kids. They all liked puerh immediately and didn’t have to develop a taste for it! :)

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Well, I see I never removed this tea from my cupboard when I gave away the last of my loose leaf, but that’s okay because someone gave the gift box for Christmas! Now I have it in teabags and I must say I think it is not nearly as strong. Maybe my tastes have just changed.

I served this to a friend who loves cinnamon earlier today and he loved it.

Tonight we are under a winter storm advisory – ha,ha it is raining here and all the snow is staying an hour to the north of us. Nevertheless, the folks who came in for writers’ group tonight started asking for tea immediately upon coming in the door because of the wind and rain. I made this one first because it is so warming. There were only three people drinking tea at first and yet I had to make a second pot of this almost immediately!

This box of teabags will be gone in no time, and I will have to replace it again because even though I don’t really drink it, not being a fan of Red Hots, so many people who come over love it that I need to keep it on shelf. I understand it is Harney and Sons number one seller.

This tea smells absolutely identical to Penzey’s own blend of cinnamon.

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

Location

North Carolina

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