1876 Tasting Notes
I was going to have a black tea this morning, but I noticed I had not opened this final tin of tea from Christmas.
The directions call for one tablespoon of leaf per eight ounces of water and a two to three minute steep. It always makes me a little sad when directions call for more than a teaspoon per six to eight ounces because that means I am going to run out of tea sooner!
This produced a pale liquor that was richly scented of garden peas with a bare hint of root vegetable – rutabaga, I would say, possibly turnip.
The taste was strong, and I considered it somewhat grassy and a bit sour, but good. I drank the whole pot so it couldn’t have been bad. It did create a slow rising sweet aftertaste that bubbles up way behind the sip.
For the second steep I used a lot more water. I kept the steep at two minutes. Ah! Now I found my tea happy place! Everyone likes different things, so other people may very love this at the suggested parameters. I prefer it this way. And this means my tin is going to last longer, bwahaha!
There is still plenty of flavor in this, and though I finished it about ten minutes ago I am still enjoying the sweet rising aftertaste. I think this would be excellent with food, as in a hearty meal or nice Asian dinner.
This is a sample I bought a long time ago. I held off trying it because I wanted to have a real gong fu set for my first taste. Well, I have had two such sets for a very long time, but this was lost in a drawer by the tea table. I hoped it would still be good.
Wow. If this is Ali Shan old, what was it like when it was fresh? I gave it a thirty second rinse because these leaves are so tightly balled up and ping! Like metal bb’s when you drop tem in the pot! Then a three minute steep followed.
The liquor is pale. The taste is just liquid flowers. Oh my gosh, this is so good. It is hard to believe that this is just tea, and it isn’t infused with this or that, or scented. Gardenias, maybe. Lilacs, perhaps. But definitely sweet and floral. No additions. This just went on my must buy list, replacing Wenshan Bao Zhong, and sitting right beside Old Fir Da Hong Pao.
Steep two is just as good. Today I have had two bowls of matcha, two matcha lattes, two cups of Sun Moon Lake, and now this. In spite of all the caffeine, I think the L theanine is lulling me to sleep…
Edited to add: the more I drink, the more I notice a creamy coating and a light buttery flavor, not strong. I will continue steeping these leaves tomorrow.
This is a free sample sent for review by Nuvola Tea. Thank you so much, Nuvola! This is fantastic! I had it three ways today.
I confess I am a matcha newbie. Two years ago I don’t think I would have tried it. Now that my eldest daughter is drinking tea solely for health reasons I stay on the hunt for the best tasting, most antioxidant rich teas I can find so we can share them.
I opened this pouch this morning for a back to school boost, as my youngest daughter and I are hitting the books again homeschooling. Oh, this smells so sweet and delicious! There is a strong, fresh green aroma, like sweet, sweet veggies. MMM!
I sift about 1/2 tsp. into my bowl and whisk with 176F water. The taste is much like the aroma, only at the end of the sip there is a quick bitterness because I used too much matcha, but also, not a bad taste so much as the palate cleansing type of taste that is often tasted in green teas. I am easily able to finish this.
I make a second cup with a little less matcha powder since I am not really measuring my water. This time I add two pinches of sugar. This probably amounts to less than 1/8 tsp. of sugar. I whisk it up and drink. VOILA! No bitterness at all! Also, I taste no sugar or sugary sweetness, only natural sweetness from the matcha! This cup goes down fast fast so I decide to experiment some more!
I put about 1/8 tsp. sugar in a bowl, maybe less. I warm some milk and whisk. Ahhhhh! Warm milk is so soothing and always takes on a dark and dreamy flavor to me, almost earthy. Now it is combined with the fresh green taste of the matcha, and the sugar is completely hidden flavor wise so next time I may leave it out entirely.
Excellent tea, Nuvola! I have really enjoyed trying your matcha in all these ways today!
I am drinking a huge pot of this today! I made a steep in my small pot, poured it, and made another and this is still plenty strong, so hooray for all us resteepers!
The nice thing about this tea is that it is strong enough for morning but doesn’t make you feel like you need to do CPR on your tongue. I am awake, oh yes, but I am not traumatized.
And why did I make so much? To try out a new teapot! My doorbell rang just after eight this morning and I saw a FedEx truck. There on my doorstep was a huge box. Ike the puppy had sent me a tea service for six as a thank you gift for taking care of him while his master was in the hospital! Ike will be here again tomorrow to share my English muffin at breakfast, as he usually is, on Tuesdays. He may get jam on his piece tomorrow!
My bestie stopped by to have lunch with me today after shopping for all those goodies you need in order to send a child to college. Her son is leaving for the first time, having done his first two years here locally while living at home.
I made Philly Cheese Steaks with sautéed onions, mayo, lettuce, mozzarella, the usual stuff. It was gray and rainy so I wanted a stout-ish tea that would taste good with our food but would also appeal to everyone, since hubby was also eating and he is picky.
This is one of his favorites, and I must say that I like it very much as well. It needs no additions for me, though hubby adds milk and sugar, but that is true of pretty much all black tea for him. It is fruity and malty with no trace of dryness or astringency at all. It goes well with pretty much any food, whether meal or snack. Though it has a nice, bright flavor, it does not have the strong lemony flavor that some Ceylons have that can turn your tongue a bit. This and its decaf companion from the same store are shelf staples here.
I could have sworn I had logged this! I bet the other tasting note is floating around somewhere with missing accent marks on the name of the tea. This was a Christmas gift from my eldest daughter.
My bestie and I had this as a sort of dessert tea after lunch today. She hadn’t tried this one or Pleine Lune by Mariage Freres so I let her have a sniff of both and she chose this one. Pleine Lune has more bright citrus scent whereas this one has a low tone of vanilla and almond scents.
This is a lovely tea and not astringent. It needs no additions for me but is delicious just as it is. The flavor is primarily almond or marzipan. Very Christmas-y tasting tea and very nice as we had yet another gray and gloomy, wet day. All right, Christmas is over and I am ready for spring!
When I told my bestie we were going to have an unflavored white tea tonight, she cried, “NOOOOO! Won’t it just taste like hot water?” I said, “Well, I like it! I think you will, too.”
We had Royal Wedding first and she liked that, so she was primed and ready to try an unflavored white. And she liked it! Very much in fact! She was surprised at how much flavor it had, and this one indeed does have a lot of flavor. She was very pleased to find that she DOES like unflavored white tea and that it is flavorful, not just hot water!
My bestie wants to expand her tea horizons and told me she wanted to find some green and white teas that she would enjoy. Her first green experiences were not so good, grocery store greens that just tasted like hot water and heartburn.
She tried Stash White Christmas and loved it, so when she came over tonight for tea I tried some others on her. She really loved this one, and I have a lot of it since I bought the bulk bag so I gave her a bunch to take home. She loves coconut, and she already liked Harney’s Wedding Tea. This is, I think, the same tea but with coconut added. She is a school teacher so she likes having sachets at work and uses loose leaf at home.
It is a hit! Yummy and creamy!
This is the very last of a sample sent for review by Teavivre. Thank you, Angel!
I wanted a good black tea after breakfast today and I wanted something that would go well with some Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti Babies that my bestie gave me in a Harney and Sons gift set for Christmas. I really wanted a Keemun but I am almost completely out of Keemuns (gasp!) and thought I would finish this sample.
Sitting here also makes me count my blessings. I am drinking tea that was a gift, eating biscotti that was a gift, and my pot is sitting on a warmer that was a gift, looking at a card by GMathis that was an unexpected surprise bearing a gift of great tea inside!
This is definitely good black tea. I went just over three minutes on steeping even though the directions recommend one to two minutes. They do say to steep longer if you like your tea stronger, I find that hong cha is typically drunk much lighter in Asia than westerners are accustomed to. Indeed, this wasn’t hurt a bit by the extra time, and could have gone longer.
It is everything I needed for it to be this morning. Smooth, fruity, sweetly honeyed. And it does pair nicely with my biscotti! It is mild for a breakfast tea, but I don’t use my breakfast tea that way usually anyway. I drink tea after breakfast.
A friend called this morning on her way to Raleigh and said she needed some Teavivre tea, and were they located in Raleigh? I told her no, they were in China, but if she needed tea I would order it for her. LOL! So now I need to make a decision on which Keemun to buy for my cupboard. This is the only Teavivre one I have had, so I will glance back at Missy and Dylan’s comparisons of all the Teavivre Keemuns and try to make a decision!
This is one of the samples sent to me by Bonnie that I really wanted to wait for a special time to make it, and that time is NOW! My daughter who used to hate all tea, then liked puerh, then white and green, has discovered that she likes chai! She is visiting today so we made this two ways.
First I just steeped it in water, like any black tea. We took it without additions and she liked it very much. I like it, too, and there are a lot of chai blends that really turn me off. This one, Harney and Sons Indian Spice, and Rabbit Hole Chai have been my favorites. For a bagged tea, the Holiday Spice by Stash isn’t bad.
Next I mixed a little water in milk and steeped it that way. I did sweeten it a little, but my daughter didn’t care for it as much. Once she added some additional sugar she liked it, though. Her favorite was and is definitely still the first version, steeped like a regular black tea.
Thank you, Bonnie!