1962 Tasting Notes
We have had a solid gray cloud covering all day, with drizzle and rain most of the time, and a bit chilly though nothing compared to what many of you live with. When I got home from taking a friend’s young aduly carless child home from school for them (the grandfather died and the parents are out of town) I needed comfort, and I guess even youngest who had stayed home felt the chill and damp because she asked if we had any Harney Royal English Breakfast on hand.
Since we didn’t, I made this one in its place. I didn’t sweeten it with maple syrup this time, but kept it plain and had went a little light on leaf and time – on purpose – and had it with my leftover Chinese food lunch. It was quite nice. Tomorrow we may get a little snow, but it will certainly be cold and gray again, so I think a big pot with a bit of maple syrup may be in order.
I have been hoarding this and it is time to let it go. I thought I would never find anything like it when it tried it three years ago, and I doubted anyone I knew would be in Hungary anytime soon, so I searched for it online and discovered it under the name of My Lady, but all were far, far away. One company said I had to buy a vast amount before they would ship to America. A Slovenian gentleman agreed to send it but they had no PayPal account.
I am delighted to say that as I drink it now three years down the road, I see that this isn’t a lost forever tea. I have found a number of teas over these years that compare very favorably so I won’t despair when it is gone. But it will always hold a special place for me, as one of the first teas brought back by my daughter when she traveled and a tea purchased by her and her now-husband who is very dear to us.
It is a smooth black tea with so much fruity flavor, no doubt blended by one of the big German distributors but pretty reminiscent of the fine French blends.
I think my last review went under the regular Bohea heading from this company, but I think they are the very same tea. I doubt they change the blend for different historic sites.
I wasn’t really drinking this much because the base was so weak. Then I saw a review by Mark. He said he had found the sweet spot, which was double the leaf, boiling water, five minutes.
I gave it a shot today and he was right. Now I can finally taste the tea in this cup. The smoke is still light, but the base got amped up enough to make for a nice breakfast cuppa today. And it didn’t need milk to tone it down, or sugar to tame or sweeten.
It still isn’t my favorite Bohea ever, but I can drink it. I am somewhat befuddled as to why they used Ceylon tea for the base since Bohea (pronounced boo-hee) is a corruption of the Chinese word Wuyi, which is where most of the early colonial tea came from. I realize that Bohea became almost a synonym for tea, so perhaps it was applied to Indian tea as well. I prefer the Chinese base.
Thank you, Mark. Now I don’t have to send this packet packing!
I have made this three times now and can’t believe I don’t like it. My very first tea swap was with TeaEqualsBliss and she included a Bohea. Back in the day, I found it to be a strong tea, but my tea palate has grown up a lot and now I like smoke. I also want the smoke to have a nice base.
This tastes like thin, watered down tea with a tiny bit of smoke. I tried adding a hint of maple syrup for flavor at breakfast even though I never add sweetener to my teas, but that made little difference. I just saw a review, however, that says two tsps. per cup is the sweet spot, so I will try that before chucking this tea out or sending it to a home where it will be loved.
I wish I had another tea bag of this to see if making it differently would make it more palatable. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t something I would reach for again.
I like Ceylon tea grown at lower elevations but not particularly the high grown ones. I don’t know what this is, but the base was a little harsh. The orange and passionfruit flavors were somewhat redeeming, but I honestly though the orange flavor Twinings uses was better. And don’t even think about comparing this to the orange flavor in Nina’s Tea!
They are not kidding when they say this is a light oolong. It is very light indeed compared to Magnolia Oolong. I drank this tonight with hubby. He even put forth an unusual amount of effort…for him, you know! He jokes that he can only say TEA GOOD! or TEA BAD! Last night he said the magnolia oolong was TEA GOOD!
His extra effort tonight was…“is this a…vegetal and nutty…tea?” Yes, dear, but only a hint, a ghost!, a smidgen of walnut. And not leafy greens vegetal, but rather “early springtime view of a hillside” vegetal.
The dry leaf kept its aroma a much closer secret than the magnolia did. I had to really dig in to get an idea of what we were in for. The liquor is pale, the scent is light. There is no biting ginger here. If you want ginger’s heat, look elsewhere. Her sweetness alone will be found in this cup.
I found this to be immediately creamy, while Magnolia developed her creaminess on the third and subsequent steeps.
I pulled some of the wet leaves out and found beautiful examples of the classic two leaves and bud and on impulse I popped a big leaf in my mouth and ate it. Not the first time I have ever done that and usually there is a slight bitterness to a wet leaf. This time, however, the spent wet leaf was very sweet and quite delicious. I even ate another.
If you like a light, sweet oolong, here you go! And you can get a serving of greens out of it when you are done steeping. :)
Thank you, Tea Ave. I am having a grand time with the aroma cup and loving the tray set. I hope to buy some more for guests to use when you open next month!
I revisited this tea today with my best friend. I am aware that the scents I got from this tea are not mentioned in the description, but I really do initially smell chocolate, milk chocolate specifically, which is also true of Da Hong Pao for me. Then I smelled vanilla, and then I smelled cake. Not a bready, sensible cake but a sweet and fluffy bakery cake.
I was somewhat justified I think today when I had my friend smell the aroma cup. I asked her if she smelled chocolate and she said, “No, honey. Maybe because I had honey this morning earlier it is on my mind, but it smells like good honey.” That made sense, and it hit me that I also detected butter. When asked to sniff again she said she got butter also. Ah ha! Thus the impression of cake! What could be more cake-y than honey and butter and the sweetness of the magnolia?
Bottom line, today’s snow day from school turned into a really nice visit with a friend who agreed that this is a tea for enjoyment, for real inspection, for paying attention to, and not a tea that you steep in a mug and sip while you work or watch tv.
Tea Ave was so generous with their sample packages! I am so thankful to have been part of this sampling for their opening, and I believe they will be successful if they maintain this quality in their products and service. I would not hesitate to say if I didn’t like a tea. What you will get here is my honest evaluation of the tea I had tonight.
I invited hubby to join me tonight to taste this. He was very fond of a Li Shan not long ago so I thought this would appeal to him. We used the aroma cup to experience the tea to the fullest.
First we smelled the aroma of the dry leaf, which was very true to the steeped tea. It was sweet, with chocolate and vanilla overtones more than floral ones to me. It smells incredibly fresh. These are not flavors mentioned by the comoany but I consistently smelled milk chocolate and real vanilla in the aroma cup, the dry leaf, and even some steeps of the tea.
I made about seven ounces of tea at a time, pouring into a fair cup first and then quickly filling the aroma cup. The first aroma was quite sweet and reminded me of delicious cake more than of flowers. The liquor is pale yellow. The leaves unfurled to tremendous size and were deep green.
The taste – first steep was so sweet and still reminded of a cake, really delicious cake.
Second steep went a bit longer and had that edge that immediately makes a sweet aftertaste spring out. Second steep was hubby’s favorite but then, he has always been fond of second steeps!
Steep three was still sweet but now I am tasting more oolong and less cake, and the flowers are beginning to become more evident. At no time was this tea overly floral. Hubby even mentioned that he doesn’t care for very floral tea, and he was glad that the level of this one was just right for him.
Steeps four and five had an increase in the creaminess of the liquor. There is the taste of green oolong with very light floral undertones.
In short, this tea is making me vow that I will keep fresh – truly fresh – oolong on hand. There is nothing else quite like it.
A thousand thanks, Tea Ave, for the generous gift!
I went in Tin Roof Teas and told Ryan I needed a birthday gift for my best friend, and loves double vanilla tea. He told me that this is his proprietary blend and he nearly named it Double Vanilla but thought that might sound corny, so here we have the result!
Naturally, I bought a bag for myself as well to make sure the quality as up to snuff for my friend. I knew she preferred Mariage Freres to Harney Vanilla, so I thought this Chinese base would be better for her than Harney’s Ceylon base.
I think it hits the spot and achieves double vanilla status. My friend thought it tasted a lot like the more expensive White Lion Vanilla. Youngest thought it might be a tad drying but said it was not astringent to her, and I like it very well. It isn’t going to last long. At least they are close enough for me to pick up more when I need it!
We had a soup and game night with Superanna and her husband and ChelseaR and my son. My daughter, Superanna, gave me this as another gift from her Toronto trip and we all shared it. It was loved across the board!
The puerh flavor is definitely light. If you drink it really hot you taste puerh and mint, but let it cool a little and the vanilla and cinnamon spring forth. A little longer and the licorice root comes out and rounds the whole cup with sweetness. It is fantastic. I am drinking a third steep right now and it is so flavorful. I actually forgot it and left it who knows how long, but it isn’t bitter at all. I intended to share it with a friend who is coming over but I will need to make a new pot because this one will be gone by the time she gets here.
They say it is delicious iced, and I bet it is! I need to try that soon, but it is really cold outside right now and I need pot after pot of hot tea.
The fire is going, Pandora Meditation Radio playing, the diffuser is blowing Citrus Passion, the candles are lit, and with this tea in hand it is cozy and blissful.