1817 Tasting Notes
This afternoon we sliced a fresh pound cake and put Christmas music on. This week is going to be a bit busy.
Foster puppy has a vet appointment, daughter has an orthodontist appointment, writers’ group is meeting here Thursday night and I want to try to have goodies, my brother is coming to town for a funeral, and I have tea time tomorrow and a couple of students coming Thursday. Friday is our annual soup night with our best friends and I am cooking tons for that, and my son is coming home for ten days. Whew!
So special tea time with my kids? Yes, please! I had this one, and it was wonderful with my cake. This has plenty of bergamot without heading into bathroom cleaner territory like some strong Earls do, and the orange blossom aspect makes it even more delicate and dignified. Delicious.
At one time, all I could get hubby to drink with me was black tea, and only a few of those. He added lots of sugar and milk. Less than a year ago he started drinking – and enjoying – lots of greens and oolongs and even some white and puerh. These teas he takes plain and has no desire to add anything. But even now, if I make a black tea he looks at it with distrust and wants to know what it is. Once he knows it is a kind he likes, in goes the sugar and milk.
Tonight I made a recipe from Pinterest because we are having Christmas soup night Friday and I wanted something “manly” to fill up those guy appetites. The test run for the sandwiches was today, and they were really good. Hubby devoured a number of them, and he was so pleased that I made this tea to go with them.
He loves a good Ceylon and said he seems to prefer the ones from A Southern Season. Fortunately, I have a healthy stock of three different Ceylons that they sell.
The best way I know to describe this tea and is that you take one sniff and say, “Ah! TEA!” This is not one of the super lemony or lightly astringent Ceylons. It is rich and full bodied and SMOOTH. I love it plain – it didn’t need a thing for me – but hubby drank cup after cup with milk and sugar, so if that is your bent, it can certainly handle it!
This was a gift from K S – a Christmas surprise in the mail! I waited to try this one until I was drinking tea alone because A. I wanted to pay attention to it, and B. everyone is picky about their black tea, though hubby likes oolongs and such.
The trouble was that I was having brain freezes all morning. I was too lazy to look up the instructions and somehow had it in my head that Purple tea is black tea. But something was telling me not to treat it like black tea. I still set the kettle for 194F which is way higher than they recommend.
The liquor is pale for a black tea, because remember I wasn’t registering yet that it isn’t black tea. I poured it up and set it by my breakfast plate. Thanks to Ysaurella telling me about Bonne Maman preserves, I grabbed some when I saw them in the grocery last night and had the most delicious raspberry preserves on toast this morning, with a glass of milk. The tea is for afters. :)
When my meal was gone I picked up the cup. I didn’t what to expect with the liquor being an odd color and me having made it “flying blind” as to proper instructions. But I can say this…IT WAS DELICIOUS! The high temp didn’t hurt it somehow, the lackadaisical steep time (hmm, looks like it stopped getting darker I think I will pour this up) didn’t make it bitter, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable cup.
My headache is clearing, I am waking up, and it is going to be a good day!
Last week I had my best friend over for tea. She told me she had never tried my matcha so I made Butterscotch matcha lattes for us. She loved it so much she asked me to place an order for her from Red Leaf, which I was happy to do since I am getting my daughter some matcha for Christmas, and I had a flavor or two that I wanted to try as well. I have almond and cheesecake matcha coming soon!
Today she came again to try some new flavors so she can start picking her next matcha order. This time we tried French Vanilla. I ordered it in Robust flavor level, the large size, of course! You can find it here:
I mixed a little bit of Turbinado sugar in mix and used my immersion blender to froth the warm milk and matcha mixture. It was delicious! She really loved it, and was especially fond of the aroma of this one.
Later I had a nice surprise. I had made three servings in case hubby wanted some as well, but he didn’t come home until late. The remaining serving was sitting on the counter and by now was cold. I poured it in my mug anyway and drank it. Wow! I liked it just as well cold! That was unexpected, because I really thought a dessert type flavor would be best hot.
I got up this morning and tended to the little foster dog we are keeping for a few weeks. Then I discovered that we are out of English muffins and we don’t have any bagels. I decided to make a little breakfast for my husband and myself since the kids will probably sleep until noon or after since it is the first day of Christmas break.
I made grits, scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast and with the meal we actually drank milk, but I could hardly wait for some tea to follow the meal! It was hard choosing this morning, especially since I wanted hubby to drink with me and he is tea picky. He has generally liked oolongs though, so I gave this one a try with him.
First of all, I love dark or traditional oolongs. I love green ones, too, but the dark ones are heady and addicting to me. And this is a great TKY. I never thought about it this way before, but today as I sniffed the cup deeply I thought it smelled a bit like brown sugar or caramel. There is a lovely lingering aftertaste – that is what makes me crave dark oolongs for days after drinking it once.
This is a great tea, and I am torn as to whether I will purchase more when this is gone or whether I will purchase their Dong Ding, which I finished in record time last time I bought it!
This was a Christmas gift last year from my youngest daughter. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this one before, but I am not a big chai drinker. That being said, this is the sort of chai I prefer – no pepper, no turmeric, but just ginger, cinnamon, and clove as nearly as I can tell.
The tea base seems a bit weak to me. There isn’t much black tea flavor here. I am drinking it plain, but I think that people who add milk and sugar to their chai would enjoy this more than I do. It isn’t terrible, it just isn’t the best chai I have ever had.
The tins are so cool that as each one is emptied, I will probably refill it with a better version of what was inside. So Earl Grey Hot will get Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme, this tin will get Rabbit Hole Chai, Zombie Blood Orange will probably get Orange Grove Vanilla, and Timmy’s 1Up Jasmine will get a Teavivire loose jasmine.
Last year I bought some of this for myself and some for my daughter’s fiancé. Back then he really didn’t do loose leaf much. He loved it! So I sent another box. This year I wanted to send more and couldn’t find it anywhere! Finally, I put out an APB on it and a friend found it at the grocery she goes to. We got him two boxes.
I served this as the final tea of tea party today because it smells like mulled cider – a nice, Christmas-y aroma. For a bagged tea, it is pretty good. The shocking thing is that my daughter who does not like black tea AT ALL liked it and drank two cups! She also loves their White Christmas tea, a peppermint white tea blend that is indeed very soothing.
So today, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, eldest daughter drank not one but TWO black teas and preferred them to the white and oolong teas we were serving. She said her beloved may only get one of the boxes of tea because she may keep the other for herself. I guess I had better head back to the grocery and get her some of both of these Stash offerings!
This is mild for a chai, and reminds me of the Russian Friendship Tea as it was called when I was very young – mostly black tea, orange, cinnamon, and clove, but nothing too strong.
Happy Christmas! Today is Christmas with my eldest daughter because she will be in Ireland for Christmas, so we let her open her presents and have her stocking and we are just spending some time together. In addition, we told her about a puppy that was saved from animal control by the no- kill shelter. She has a broken leg and has pins and wires and screws and a plate and they needed a home for her to recover in, and she really wanted to meet the puppy before she leaves so we picked her up tonight! She is resting in front of the fire with her new toy elephant and has eaten voraciously. Apparently someone forgot to tell the little pup that she is badly injured and must rest. If her leg doesn’t heal properly, it will have to be amputated, so we are praying the fix “takes.” Here she is:
I got to open my gift from my daughter’s fiancé and this was it! I know, I know! What a great guy! We decided to have some after supper tonight as a celebratory cup.
I made it in my new Krups which I positively love and we are using several times a day. The base is sooo smooth, the almond flavor is dominant without being overbearing, and it is sweet and light, even refreshing, on the palate. Good gracious, the French really know how to scent and flavor tea!
This is an elegant cup and I shall enjoy every bit of it!
Even my daughter who does not like black tea is drinking it. She likes it!
Thank you to Twinings for sending three teas of our choice to try! This is the sample I most wanted, based on reviews I have read here on Steepster. I was especially interested in whether this one would resteep.
I was a little surprised when I just read that this is a blend of Chinese teas because I could have sworn I tasted some Indian leaf in this. Then I read that it is Yunnan and southern province teas and it made sense, because there is a lot of assamica varietal in yunnan plus they tend to have a slight maltiness.
This is good. It is smooth. I took it without milk and sugar and it was not harsh. There was a hint of tingling or peppery flavor from the yunnan. It is not premium loose leaf tea but is very drinkable and easy to carry and make, so I think it qualifies as a Cheapster Steepster because….I like the resteep even better than the first steep! It is not strong, no, indeed. But it is now ever so lightly smoky and is even smoother.
This is nothing like the PG Tips or Yorkshire Gold that makes me hide under the bed until it has been tamed with milk and sugar. It is more delicate, but not frail. I doubt it would wake up an Assam lover but it is good mid-morning tea for me!