1769 Tasting Notes
And the winner of the tea time competition is………BERRY FIG! This is especially momentous because my guest was a non-tea drinker three years ago, then became a black tea drinker who didn’t want greens, and today voted for a flavored green as her favorite tea of the day!
This is smooth and good. The berry is not tart or overly bright. Fig always seems mellow in tea to me, and tasty, too. Lovely! The base is very nice. You know it is green, but it is not grassy or sour.
Yesterday when I was in Raleigh, I stopped at Cameron Village to visit Tin Roof Teas and Penzey’s. Normally you have to buy tea in bags of 100 grams, 250 grams, and I think there is one larger size but I don’t remember how big it is. If you go in to the store or call, you can get 50 gram bags of tea as long as you buy four of them. They call it a sampler pack and they have some already put together, or you can choose your teas yourself.
I picked up a sample of this Lapsang as one of my choices so youngest could see how she liked it. Her first reaction when she smelled it was, “Smells like smoky fun!” She liked it a lot, but she said she thinks she may like Upton’s Black Dragon a little better. She feels – and I agree – that this one has more smoky aftertaste than Black Dragon. If you like smoky aftertaste, this is your better choice.
The aroma of the dry leaves had almost a minty note, something bright and exotic. I realized it was reminding me of the incense that Bonnie sent us, and of the Happy Lucky Lapsang. That makes perfect sense if these teas are smoked over resinous pine knots, as the incense is resinous, too. Now the flavor profiles make so much more sense to me, and it explains the vast difference in taste when you get tea that is smoked with wood, not knots.
While I was there, the owner told me to be careful of where I buy my Lapsangs as some companies are now adding what is essentially Liquid Smoke and not “smoking” the tea at all.
Youngest says she wants to have a taste test side by side between this one and Black Dragon soon. I am all for it! Both are good teas.
We drank this today all together at Tin Roof Teas. They were going to try to come up with a similar blend, but this one was elusive. They said it was a very fine tea, probably an ultra smooth Ceylon base, but we were unable to put it together from teas they had available. I had emailed the company in Budapest but never got a reply. I think I may order some Harney & Sons Apricot Black and Mango Black and add a little Fruits d’Alsace and see if that may replicate it decently. It is indescribably smooth, and H&S flavored tea base is as well. If anyone goes to Budapoest, can you pick up several tins for me? I will gladly send you the $$$.
I FOUND IT!! It is from a German distributor and is usually sold under the name My Lady. I am having trouble finding a way to buy it, but sent the links to daughter’s BF in Ireland to see if he can have it shipped there!
I was really lookng forward to this new tea and wanted to try it tonight before tea party time tomorrow. Although it was quiite good, it has the misfortune that I expected it to be different. Somehow I got the notion that this was going to have the KA-POW flavor of the Super Fruit Sencha that K S sent to me. This is fruity, but far milder. This is the same one carried by ESP Emporium.
The green base is smooth. The fruit is pure and sweet. I think now that I know what to expect of it, I will like it more. Fortunately, Tin Roof Teas does sell the same tea as the Super Fruit one. It is nice to know that I can get it somewhat locally.
Edited to add: yes, it grew on me, yes, I have to buy more. This is really good tea. I have to buy more because EVERYBODY wants it.
Thank heavens! Youngest had finished her lapsangs on Friday. How on earth could she do geometry without it? As it happened, we went in a different order today so this very generous sample from SimplyJenW arrived in the mail just in time for geometry!
Youngest opened the bag and sniffed. Ahhhhh! This smells heavenly! She was quite taken with it.
She made a pot of tea as I was running out the door to drive to Cary to pick up birthday worms for hubby. (He really loves his earthworms…he has two compost bins, one compost pile, and a Worm Factory 360. LOL! I told him we could harvest worms from the yard for him. He said no, they were to remain free range worms. He was going to get rescues. I think these don’t qualify as rescues. It’s a worm mill, for cryin’ out loud!)
I took a cup of the tea and told her to call me in ten minutes and let me know how she liked it. She loved it! She said didn’t the tea didn’t last nearly as long as geometry did.
As for my cup, it was very sweet and light, and the smoke is pretty light. It is very present in the aroma, but isn’t one that leaves a lot of lingering ash flavor in the mouth – whether that is good or bad depends on your love of
This is a great first Lapsang for people who are afraid of it, a good tasting tea base. And even if you love strong smoke and lingering ash flavor, this one has a lot going for it. It deserves the hype it has received on here.
Thank you, Jen! :) Looks like she will make it through the week! And in spite of the dramatic doodles, I am pleased to report that she made an A on her first geometry test last week!
Backlogging from yesterday: I made a pitcher of this tea Saturday so it would have time to chill and the flavors meld before the Labor Day cook out. It was lightly sweetened. One young guest, who is accustomed to the syrupy sweet southern iced tea that is predominant here, said she loved the peach but it wasn’t sweet enough for her. I have grown accustomed to tea that is lightly sweetened or u sweetened, so the level of sugar was fine.
Surprisingly, I think I like this better than Midsummer’s Peach, probably because of the additional heft of the base. It is pretty close!
Charleston Tea Plantation has been consistently good. I think I have had about four of their teas now.
I haven’t had a breakfast tea in a while! At least, I haven’t had it for breakfast. It was an everyday thing back when I had to have radiation treatments every morning for almost two months, but lately I have been having lighter teas mostly, and drinking them in late morning or afternoon. But today, even though it is hot outside and sunny, something about the slant of the sunght coming in the window has me thinking of fall and warming cups of tea.
At first I thought I would have a typical breakfast cuppa with milk and sugar, but then I started wondering what would happen if I made H&S EB using Teavivre’s usual black tea directions, which call for a much shorter steep time. Would it result in a tasteless, weak tea or a more delicate, complex Keemun that tastes great plain?
I am happy to report that it makes a nice, lightly smoky, fruity, malty, lightly cocoa-flavored Keemun.
I used the normal amount of leaf but I cut my steep time to 3 minutes. Maybe my tastes ae changing, too, because once upon a time I couldn’t drink any breakfast tea plain, and I can really see this being delicious a little stronger and still without additions.
I love that Harney’s English Breakfast is 100% Keemun, and that there are so many breakfast blends to choose from so you can suit any mood.
This is a free sample provided by Nuvola Tea for review. Thank you!
As far as I know, this is my first Da Yu Ling Oolong, unless I have had it by another name. Opening the pouch, I sniffed the dry leaves. Buttery! I knew I would like this one.
I rinsed the leaves as they suggest on their site, pouring the water off immediately and letting the leaves have just a moment to awaken. There is a lot of dust and fine particles so I opted to put my finest infuser in the pot, as I knew the little built in strainer wuld not catch the smaller particles. My first steep in my little gong fu pot was 30 seconds. and that was plenty of time! In just 30 seconds this cup is full of flavor.
The liquor is yellow with a greenish cast. The flavor is buttery, smooth, and has a hint of mild tender greens flavor. I thought at first by the dry leaf aroma that it was going to taste very similar to Premium Silky Green by Bird Pick, but it doesn’t. This is more vegetal and has that nice little edge that makes it pair well with food, and gives a long lasting flavor.
The second steep was for forty seconds. The leaves are now well opened up. The liquor is still a solid yellow with green cast. The flavor is unabated. The flavor rises past the soft palate. Do other people swallow their tea and then make a sort of chewing motion to swirl the heat and flavor that remains through their mouth and sinuses? I do, and this tea carries a nice, continuing flavor. There is a slight, dry tingle on my tongue, a bare hint of the astringency that is highly regarded for clearing the palate.
The third steep is 45 seconds. The liquor is a brighter yellow, losing some of its green cast. I am slowing down, as I have consumed 16 ounces already! This is smooth, and I think I detect a light walnut taste now as well, as the vegetal flavor fades. There is a light sweetness rising in the aftertaste. As this cup cools, it becomes sweeter, not more astringent. The butter flavor is very light now.
This is smooth, sweet, has enough body and flavor to go with food, but isn’t aggressive enough to turn anyone off.
I recommend using scissors to open your pouch. This is very well sealed to preserve the flavor and I appreciate that, because freshness is everything with a tea like this, but the strength and elasticity of the outer layer make it difficult to tear and you don’t want to spill any of your leaves!
Thank you, Nuvola Tea, for allowing me to sample your tea!
Edited to add: On giving it a bit of thought, I suspect that this tea had a lot of fine particles due to being sent through post office machinery! When I mail a small amount of tea in an envelope, I always carry it into the post office and request that they hand cancel it and mark it “Non-machinable.” They hand stamp it twice. If you ordered this tea, I don’t think you would have fine particles.
Ah! This is a great tea for a really good day! Hubby got off work early and we drove to Pinehurst – the golf capital of the world where the Rockefellers used to hang out – to go to an estate sale. It was a hot day, but we drove through the empty woods and fields of the military base, where the GPS doesn’t take you because it doesnt work there. We saw few cars, and the road was lined with hillocks of grass and almost completely bordered with pretty little yellow flowers blooming all along the way. We stopped to look at a little church that was built in 1854 and has a graveyard behind it, and now it is all fenced in because the government bought the property in 1922. There it sits, well kept and in perfect condition, quiet and peaceful, surrounded by tall pine woods. No houses for miles and miles! They all went away when it became federal property.
At the estate sale, I found four table toppers, or shawls if you want them to be, for my tea table. They were bought in Iran, and a lady who was in the house told me that she, too, lived in Iran and watched the watched the girls making these tablecloths and beautiful dishcloths by hand, stamping them with natural dyes one color at a time. I bought all four! And they were only $10 each. I LOVE estate sales! There was a collection of actress glass there from the 1870’s! And beautiful blue Chinese tea cups and saucers with the rice pattern to let the light shine through. I would have bought them, but I was concerned about lead.
Then home for our Friday night Chinese takeout. I called youngest and asked if she would make us a pot of tea to go with it, and this is what she made. Magnificent! This is one of the teas that would make the cut if I had to live with only five teas. (Shudder!)
This is so perfectly smooth, buttery, and sweet. Tonight I feel like I am picking up a gardenia note as well. Happy, happy sigh. Happy weekend to all!