2111 Tasting Notes
This is one of those teas that I would build a special underground bunker for if its existence were ever threatened. When I got this in a swap from the sorely missed Quiltguppy I had to have it, and I ordered a LOT of it.
When drinking it by itself it tastes like buttered popcorn, heavy on the butter. Last night, my son and I had it with Asian buffet takeout and it. was. heavenly. I had it again today with leftovers and it was every bit as good. I even drank some of it cold and it was still amazing.
I wish I knew exactly what it was. They call it a green but it really has to be an oolong. It HAS to be. Just look at it. But what kind? I called the company and they told me that oolongs were roasty and when I told them that they can be roasty toasty or green, the clerk said she hadn’t heard of that and really needed to learn more. Sigh. So I have never found out.
If I ever was challenged to win someone over to green (or oolong) tea in just one try, this would probably be the one I would pick to do that.
Last week when Red Leaf Tea offered free tea for reviews – actually $1 plus shipping – I jumped on it. When my son and his girlfriend spend the weekend at my house they always want matcha lattes, which I usually make with my flavored matcha but I have made it from the MATCHAccino mix before. Then a day later the special “oops and uh-oh” blend was offered. I decided to take a chance that Red Leaf wouldn’t sell us something truly horrible and get two large bags of the special blend as well.
I am happy to say that I am drinking my special blend right now, way later than I should, and it is good! I do not know for sure that I got one of the “uh oh” bags but I think it is based on the color. When I open the bag that is definitely the usual grade I will compare the two, but I dare not drink two lattes this late in the evening,
Although they recommend one tablespoon to eight ounces of milk, I just fill my big glass, which is more like sixteen ounces, maybe more. Still, the flavor is rich caramel. I did add less than a teaspoon of raw cane sugar since I added so much extra milk, and honestly I think I finished the whole glass in less than two minutes.
I was excited to see that we still get the free measuring scoop in the large size bag. Silly of me to be excited about that, isn’t it? I really recommend that you take a chance on this special blend if you like flavored matcha lattes. I ordered three bags total because the shipping was the same however many I ordered. The shipping is reasonable when you feel how heavy the box is when it arrives!
Red Leaf, thank you for making this offer available to us!
This is a sample sip down! YAY! I am not going to criticize this tea because when Harney sold this batch, they advised that the weather conditions had resulted in tea that was not as sweet as prior harvests. Also, this sample is about two years old. With all that in mind, I am enjoying it well enough with my English muffin and Irish cheese, but it doesn’t make my knees quiver with delight.
I was just reflecting on how Steepster has changed my life. I have lots of people whom I consider friends that I have never met. I have tried new foods, and I have learned to experience my food and beverages in a new way, paying close attention. I use spices more than ever.
Right now my teapot is sitting on a coaster from Happy Lucky’s Tea House in Colorado, sent to me by Bonnie. The last time I picked up Asian buffet, there was a car with a vanity plate that read THLLADY. I wondered, could it be possible that TerriHarpLady is traveling and is right here in our town? But I looked at Steepster and she didn’t mention being in North Carolina.
I am so glad to be part of the Steepster community!
My Phatty Cake is becoming a skinny cake.
I decided to make a big pot of puerh to experiment with tonight. I rarely cook red meat even though I have chronic anemia, but tonight I promised my girls steak. I knew I might need some help with digestion and decided to take care of that naturally, and do it early so I won’t be miserable when I go to bed.
I made this nice and strong, but something kept picking at my brain. Everyone talks about puerh lattes, or just puerh with milk and sugar, so I decided to give it a try even though I usually don’t add sugar to my tea.
First of all, wow. Wow. I added some sugar to the hot puerh and it was as rich and satisfying as a dessert. Then I added a lot of milk and ice, and I think it was too much. The ice melted really quickly and made my drink a bit watery. I added some more puerh and it is a little more balanced now, but I think my favorite way to have this is either plain and hot, or plain with sugar, or cold steeped with no sugar. The latte isn’t bad, it just isn’t my favorite way to drink this. Perhaps if I had sweetened it and then cooled it so I wouldn’t need so much ice it would be better.
I made 24 ounces and have some resteeps to go, so I will definitely be drinking this rest of this hot and probably with a sprinkle of sugar. This is my dessert tonight, and I do not feel deprived at all!
On that note, hubby’s dessert was something I saw on the menu for a local deli. S’Mores sandwich, made with wheat bread buttered on the outside, Nutella and Marshmallow Creme inside with fine crumbles of graham cracker sprinkled on the Nutella, then toasted in my Breville. He loved it, but I think I like my dessert just as well!
Yay! I finally get to try this one! Back when the Ambessa line first came out, Russel generously sent me some of the teas. They were great, but this wasn’t available just yet and I really wanted to try it. Then I put myself on a small buying restriction until I can get some of my tea stash drunk up, but today I got to break my rule.
If I go somewhere like the Fresh Market or A Southern Season or Tin Roof Teas, I allow myself to buy a SMALL amount of tea. I nabbed this one today at The Fresh Market.
I have never had lingonberries, and I don’t think I had even heard of them before this blend. The tin smelled sweet and fruity. And while I am loving the tea, it has thrown me for a loop because no one can smell what I am smelling.
When I poured my cup, right away I thought of cough syrup, eucalyptus, rosemary, or those little cedar berries that are all bumpy. I thought of Mentholatum. I tasted rosemary and eucalyptus, mild and smooth. I handed the cup to my daughters and asked them to smell it. They said it just smells like tea to them. One of them sipped. She said it tasted like something from the yard. I think she means the giant rosemary bush, and doesn’t realize it! Husband said it tasted fruity to him,
Maybe something is wrong with my sense of taste and smell, which wouldn’t be too surprising since I have a stuffy nose.
So does anyone else think lingonberries have a savory aroma like rosemary? I can really see myself craving this tea as a comfort tea when I have a cold or don’t feel well. I must like it pretty well. I am about to finish 20 ounces and I just got started.
My daughter drinks lots and lots of matcha. She started out drinking flavored matcha lattes and has progressed to preferring plain matcha lattes and plain matcha prepared hot or cold with just water.
She stayed with us last night, so this morning I offered her a latte so she wouldn’t miss her antioxidants. I made one latte with a sampe of matcha of unknown source and one latte with this. She preferred this matcha, and was pretty astounded at the low price. I have been very pleased with my Nuvola green tea powder. I expect she will be ordering several bags of her own soon. The only problem I have had is that I can’t get their website to accept my order, as it is in Hong Kong and demands a certain type of contact phone number and you can’t get around that. I have ordered mine by emailing them directly and they send me an invoice which I pay via PayPal.
As can be seen by my prior notes on this tea, I gave my tin to my daughter a year ago. A few weeks ago she called and told me her new favorite green tea was Chun Mee from Tazo. “Didn’t I give you a tin of Harney Chun Mee?” said I. “Um, I don’t think so. I don’t know.”
So today we drove her home following her first LASIK treatment and there it was on the counter, abandoned and ignored. I think the fact that it is loose leaf scared her off. She really only makes tea bags and matcha. So I pulled out her Krups electric kettle, set it for 174F, and steeped for three minutes.
And you know what? It was a lot better than I remembered. She loved it, and says she will definitely be drinking it now. I showed her the easy way to make it with the brew basket that came with the Krups.
The main reason I gave it to her in the first place was that it tastes very similar to the green teas she bought in Budapest and loved, so I thought she should love this one as well. Today she remarked on how “bright” it tasted and that she really prefers unflavored greens and has trouble finding ones that are not bitter to her.
This has held up very nicely indeed.
I should have gone to bed a long time ago, but it has been a weird weekend. I took a nap this afternoon and that is probably monkeying with me. I didn’t eat supper but just snacked on walnuts and drank some chocolate milk. So at 3 am I decide it is a good time to continue watching movies with the (college) kids and heat up a plate of Asian buffet leftovers. Probably not smart.
I wanted a nice green to go with it, and this was close at hand and fit the bill. I don’t remember how I made it before, but I was in a hurry and just gave it about 90 seconds at 180F. It came out really well and is great with my food. Now I am going to absolutely CRASH and yet I have to get up early to take care of the chickens. Maybe another nap will be in order tomorrow!
I was surprised and excited to see that Upton had included a free sample in my order! I wanted something to go with my bagel and hoped this would be a good choice.
The dry leaf smells like a nice breakfast tea, not overly fragrant, but pleasant. I saw that there is Darjeeling in this blend and decided to cut my steep time down to 3 1/2 minutes snce Darjeeling and I sometimes don’t see eye to eye. It is listed last, so I thought perhaps there wasn’t a lot in here and I think I was right. I think this is mostly Keemun and Ceylon.
I am drinking it plain because that is my preference whenever I can possibly get away with it.
The tea has a bright flavor on the citrus-y side, no doubt from the Ceylon. The Keemun is not as apparent to me but maybe it got lost in the first sips due to the toasted onion and garlic of the bagel.
The Darjeeling adds a fruity and wine-y aftertaste.
It is very drinkable and pleasant, but not one I just have to have, but good and I am so glad I got to try it. I think if it were steeped longer with a little more leaf, it would be an excellent breakfast tea for those who like to add milk and sugar.
Thank you, Upton Tea, for the sample!
We accomplished another sample sip down at tea party time today! Middle daughter made chocolate chip cookies with freshly ground hard red wheat. This was the second tea served. It is my second or third favorite Darjeeling, though I am not yet a Darjeeling connoisseur. It is smooth and fruity and doesn’t have as much astringent bite as some. This was actually the favorite tea of my guest today.
Grace Rare Tea does not offer a great variety of teas, but what they have is excellent. That was their mission.