2198 Tasting Notes

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!


Good experiment! Didn’t know you don’t like it hot. If need an ice cube and milk, you’d need to make strong puerh and use condensed milk or cream to counter the water. I use splenda but sugar makes a good latte or agave. Garret at mandala uses coconut milk for lattes and always uses a stick blender.


I love it hot! It was just too hot to drink still, so I was making a cold latte so I could drink it sooner.


i have one of these waiting for me to sip down other teas first.

i knew puerh had lots of health benefits, but digestion i didn’t know about! condensed cream…. bonnie, always full of ideas!


JustJames: puerh was originally used as a digestive aid! As I understand, they believe it binds with part of the fat in our system so that our body does not try to absorb it all. Puerh has saved me many a miserable night when pizza crusts dipped in garlic butter just sat there and bloated me. The puerh relieves that feeling. My hubby asks for “whichever one makes my stomach gurgle.” LOL! It can get noisy when the puerh gets to work!


I get migraines in my abdominal area…nausea…it’s called atypical migraine, and puerh helps calm it down or takes it away if I catch it when it begins. No kidding…I love puerh for taste and health!


Oh man, I love puerhs with a little sugar. I have a couple cheapie plain ones I drink that way. Definitely have to try as a latte. Sounds amazing!


=0) one day i’ll know stuff like the two of you.

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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.


I’ve only had lingonberry jam and it didn’t taste like rosemary from what I recall.


We have a Fresh Market just over an hour from us now. Next trip, we are tapping our savings account and taking a cooler ;)


This is the closest Fresh Market we have. It is in Southern Pines, right by Oinehurst, the “golf Capitol of the world.” We usually go to the ones in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Cary even though they are farther away, simply because we are in that area more often than Suthern Pines. We often take a cooler so we can buy the wonderful cheeses! Their flowers are magnificent, their produce is gorgeous, and their bakery is drool worthy.

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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.

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drank Chun Mee by Harney & Sons
2198 tasting notes

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.

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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!

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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!


Were you having an “everything bagel”?


Indeed, but it was a Thomas’ Bagel Thin plain which I had toasted with butter and a touch of Penzey’s garlic salt and toasted granulated onion. With cream cheese, of course!


Wow. Making your own Everything Bagel. That’s dedication!

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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.

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Another sample sip down! (Which is good because I couldn’t sleep last night and when that happens I lose all restraint and get online and order tea. Yes, I did.)

I served this first at tea party today and I liked this best, but I really love oolong tea now. The other tea was quite good – it was Darjeeling 6000 from Grace Rare Tea – but I am not the biggest fan of Darjeeling in the world, though I have tasted a few that really were quite nice.

This has a high fruity note that almost borders on sour, but not sour tea, rather a sweet and sour fruit. There is a hint of that elusive and hard to describe flavor that I get from Tie Guan Yins, the one Bonnie described as oil paint and I realized it reminded me of the smell of my acrylic paints when I was a kid taking art lessons. (I was terrible at it but my mother thought I should take lessons because I am a lefty, I am a mirror writer, and I clutch pencils with a death grip. Art didn’t help that.)

This isn’t astringent but is very fresh and even though I started with it hot and now have let it cool to room temperature it almost tastes as though I refrigerated it. It is very light and refreshing.

I like this! Next time I order my beloved Premium Silky Green, I may add this to the order.

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Boiling water? For a green? Well, I have seen that once or twice before, so I gave it a go. I was expecting an awful lot of this, and braced myself for a sour or astringent cup of tea.

Surprise number one was that when the water hit the leaves it smelled like matcha! The tea came out smooth and bright, not sour at all, and not astringent. This was a very pleasant green to end the tea party with!

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drank Pomme d'Amour by Dammann Freres
2198 tasting notes

My sample sip down continues, and I am starting my day with this sample that came in a tea gift box from my daughter. (Superanna, for those who haven’t figured that out yet! grin )

Not many apple teas have made me roll around in ecstasy. Neither does this one. LOL! It isn’t bad, it is quite good. The base is smooth and warming, there is definitely more than just apple going on in it, and I can see this being incredibly comforting and soothing on a cold winter day. I don’t drink alcohol at all but I can really see this tea becoming awesome with the addition of something stout and dark, like maybe a splash of cognac? Brandy? I don’t know liquors though I have tasted some way way back, but I do think this would be an amazing tea to add some warming spirits to.

And I may be a hypocrite, because I said I wasn’t crazy about apple tea but I polished off a large cup of this in record time. Now I wish I had more.

Edit to add: second steep weaker but still really good. Also, gone.


Welcome, Superanna!! :)

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven 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…


North Carolina

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