1998 Tasting Notes

drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
1998 tasting notes

I am still drinking my sample of this. For tea time, which was delayed this week due to other commitments, I steeped one teaspoon of leaf in eight ounces of water three times, combining all in one pot. This has so much sweet floral flavor, but it is natural. The tea is not scented or blended with flowers.

Three cups down the hatch and every one of them had me tapping my toes trying to figure out when I can place another Harney order. Omnomnom!

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This is a sample sent for review by Nuvola Tea. Thank you!

This is the fourth Ruby #18 I have tried, yet it always catches me off guard. It is called black tea because of the level of oxidation but when you steep it it is so light and golden.

If you need a tea for work or busy times, this one is a good bet because I don’t think it is possible to ruin it. Boiling water? No problem. Something a little less than boiling? That is okay, too. Forget you were steeping it? It probably doesn’t matter. This one doesn’t get bitter or astringent unless you leave it for a really long time, longer than I have managed to forget it. I have yet to ruin a cup.

And it resteeps, really well, in fact. This is a black tea made from a hybrid tea varietal and made in Taiwan where oolong teas prevail’ so you can treat this a lot like a oolong.

Everyone needs to try a Sun Moon Lake (Ruby 18) sometime.

Thank you, Nuvola Tea!

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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.

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drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
1998 tasting notes

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.


Good Lord I MUST have some of this! On the order list it goes. :) Yummmm

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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 was just eyeballing this – I have a sample to review as well – will do that later today – :)


Very educational. I have some matcha I’m planning to try soon…

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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!


that’s a pretty awesome “thank you”


Indeed, it is, Sil!


Ike has very refined taste for a canine ;)


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


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


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
1998 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!


Played around on their website a little and loved it.

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drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
1998 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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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…


North Carolina

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