1893 Tasting Notes

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!

Sil

that’s a pretty awesome “thank you”

ashmanra

Indeed, it is, Sil!

gmathis

Ike has very refined taste for a canine ;)

Sandy

A tea service for 6! Is Ike planning on asking a few of his friends over for English muffins?

ashmanra

Hmm, Rosie “hit by car”, Coal, Samwise, Ike, me, that makes five. Maybe Gracie is going to have breakfast with us!

Sandy

It was nice of Ike to think of Gracie, too.

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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.

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drank Noël à Paris by Dammann Freres
1893 tasting notes

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!

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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!

gmathis

Played around on their website a little and loved it.

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drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
1893 tasting notes

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!

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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!

TheTeaFairy

Isn’t this one super delicious?? I have only for about one cup left at the bottom of my jar, and I seem to hold on to it cause if I don’t, it means more tea purchase and , well, seems a little early to brake new years resolution…

ashmanra

It is excellent! I shouldn’t order any more tea for a long time, but I probably will. :)

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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!

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1893 tasting notes

I started out my friend tasting unflavored puerh because I think it is great by itself, and I wanted her to have a good idea of what it is like. I had made two steeps of this already today, and once we had a few steeps of unflavored puerh I resteeped this again.

We drank two steeps of this one in addition to the others we had, and she really liked it. She was very enthusiastic about it, and I am not terribly surprised because she is very adventurous food wise and tries a lot of neat and unusual recipes. So yay! Another person who will drink puerh with me!

Sil

Ill have to give this one a shot when I venture into puerh land…maybe that should be my New Years resolution

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Tonight was writers’s group at my house but we had fewer people than usual thanks to colds and work related issues. This meant more time for tea! My partner in culinary crime loves to experiment so I asked her if we had ever tried puerh together and she said no. I gave her a brief history of the drink, let her sniff this cake, and since she didn’t run in fear I started steeping.

Five steeps later, we have a convert. She really liked it. I steeped it for over a minute each time…one steep was quite a bit longer and every steep was good. I used about a teaspoon of leaf pried off the cake into my eight ounce pot and we used a fair cup. Very good, with a nice cedar oil mouthfeel this time!

Bonnie

I’m telling you girl…just as I was saying to I-bloom, that a year ago, I remember some ladies shakin in their boots at the mention of Pu-erh who are lovin it now. Who would have thunk it! We’re a pu-erh sisterhood, like pu pioneers (some were ahead of us though like Amy Oh).

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1893 tasting notes

This was a surprise in the mail from the talented GMathis! First of all, it came in this amazing card!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24998856@N06/8342846753/

Second, I really do like puerh. This is a funny thing because I dislike coffee, yet when I have a guest who says they really don’t like tea but love coffee, I serve them puerh and they love it! I was told puerh was an acquired taste, and while the smell of the first fishy Tuocha I bought scared me, I liked the taste from the get-go. Then when I found better quality puerh, I was eager to get to know more.
I like unflavored puerh just fine, but most of the flavored ones I have tried have been good.

This one is more exciting because I have loved everything I have tried from Nature’s Tea Leaf.

I steeped this in boiling water for about two minutes. I don’t mind my puerhs being inky black so that was a short steep for me! But the smell….ah, the smell. Even in the card, it smelled so good and juicy. Last night, I kept it beside me and sniffed and sniffed.

I am not a fan of weird cherry flavor. I don’t care for Cherry Coke. I don’t like rooibos because it tastes like cherry cough syrup to me. I love good cherry flavor and lay in a stash of cherry lollipops at Valentine’s.

This tastes like my Black Cherry Matcha! Well, the cherry part does anyway! And the puerh is a beautiful grounding for it and they have blended it just right. I could have sworn I even got a little natural chocolate-y flavor in the base. There is no fishiness at all – this is an nice earthy puerh. Good golly, this is tasty! I made 16 ounces and swilled it down in no time! This has great balance. If you are afraid of puerh, you should try this first!

This is great puerh and is the first real rival for position with Lupicia’s Chocolate Strawberry Puerh. I will be serving this tonight for Writers’s Group. (We really should name ourselves. Maybe it should have something to do with tea!)

I have been trying to whittle down my stash but every time I try a NTL tea I think, “Well, this has to go on the list for my first order.” Same for this one – it is definitely on the list and is probably also going to be the birthday gift for my puerh loving friend.

TeaBrat

Oh no! Now I want this!

Hesper June

I literally squealed out loud when I saw the card!

TeaBrat

The card is beautiful…

Bonnie

oh no a good flavored pu!

TeaBrat

Bonnie, I just ordered 4 from their website!

Nicole

That is a completely awesome card. You are such a lucky duck :)

Tina S.

Oh man, this sounds amazing. I’m desperately searching for some good flavoured pu’erh.

gmathis

The design isn’t quite fit for human consumption yet, but I made a couple that say “…and what would Lady Violet say?”

ashmanra

LOL! You will have to post that card when you have it ready, GMathis!

JacquelineM

LOVE the card!!! gmatis – I hope you post a pic of the Lady Violet one when you feel it’s ready. SUNDAY NIGHT = MORE DOWNTON in the USA! Yes!

gmathis

I am so photo un-proficient! Will see what I can do. So looking forward to season 3 and keeping fingers crossed that the weather’s clear. Yes, we live in Green Acres with no satellite or cable and when it’s extremely cloudy or windy, our PBS reception weirds out.

JacquelineM

We have to put this flimsy antenna on this special chair — only this one chair works, just so – to get PBS. I know just when you mean. We also can’t move, at all, for the entire show because we might lose the reception.

Shmiracles

i loved pu-erh immediately, but it MUST be mixed with a complementary flavor. this one sounds like a specially good one.

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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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