1812 Tasting Notes

drank Black Currant by Harney & Sons
1812 tasting notes

I am going through my tea boxes and such and trying to whittle down the stash. I found a sample packet of this in loose leaf form and it had been opened. Good gracious, is it the same one I tasted two years ago??

I had enough leaves for one medium sized cup. For some reason, I was thinking I had disliked it all those years ago, but my review says we enjoyed it, just not as much as Tower of London. That is pretty accurate with how I feel today. This is good, it has nice berry flavor, but the honey flavor gives an extra little something to ToL that makes it more special to me, plus the fact that EVERYONE was sold out at the time that I first decided I wanted to try ToL and hubby found a tea shop online that had it, ordered it as a surprise, and we drank it together with steepster tea friend Sandy. So the memory adds to the experience of the tea, too!

This is a very good tea hot with no additions, but I bet if you like to add sugar it would be really sweet and fruity, and therefore probably great iced as well.

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1812 tasting notes

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Tonight, hubby looked up from his laptop and asked, “Do you still have some of that tea called Marco Polo?” Needless to say, I pretty much leapt from the sofa and zoomed to the kitchen to make it.

This is an amazing tea. It is also a finicky tea to me. Don’t oversteep or you will be disappointed. I usually go just over 2 1/2 minutes with it, but got tied up doing something else and didn’t get the leaves out until almost four minutes. It was still good, especially for hubby since he adds milk and sugar to this one. It was decent enough for me to drink it plain. I also realize my tin is getting on up there in age…pushing two years old.

I made this since he requested it, but very very soon I am going to fix a pot of Anna’s Blend from Tin Roof Teas to share with him. It is very similar but has a less fussy base, plus the yogurt flavor adds a lovely, creamy tang to the tea that really ups the interest.

Tunes: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, The Otherly Opus by Joy Electric


Marco Polo is THE STAR of the Mariage Frères card and I really wonder why I never tried it !


It has a lovely strawberry/floral taste. I do like it best with a shorter steep time.

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drank Garzon by Sir Morton
1812 tasting notes

I was shocked to see that I have never logged this one. This probably also means I have not had it yet, even though it has been in my cupboard for five months. This is one of the teas my daughter picked up in Budapest. It is a bagged tea, and not really packaged with freshness in mind, so it may be a bit lackluster, which will be my fault for not putting it in a tin!

Anyway, having now brewed this tea, about all I have to say is that it is tea. It smelled so very malty that I thought it was going to be tongue-curlingly astringent. It wasn’t, though. It is just a black tea blend. I added sugar, something I almost never ever do, and it was pretty good. Then I iced it, and voila! It is much better as sweet iced tea, and would probably be decent with something like an Everything Bagel even as a hot tea.

I would also like some kudos for actually proofreading my review this time and eliminating some astonishing autocorrect fiascos that could have been quite embarrassing.


kudos kudos kudos…. enough? kudos, just in case ;) I almost always have to edit after posting. It sure reads correct until I hit add comment.


I was shocked too! Until….I read the voila! I felt better after the Voila! Then you had to throw in the bloomin Everything Bagel with capitol letters and you made me HUNGRY with 6 capitol letters! (I don’t use autocorreckt!)


K S: (a la Elvis) Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!
Bonnie: Wow, I didn’t really want one until you said that! :)

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Hooray! I have time to try some of my new teas today! This is a sample sent by Liberteas and is my second Butiki tea ever.

I made a 22 ounce pot to share with hubby. I was surprised to see a recommended temp of 170F for an oolong but I obeyed, and took it to about 2 1/2 minutes on the steep. I served it with lunch, which may have kept me from picking up all the nuances of this tea, but I can say it was very good. It had a nice level of complexity, it was sweet and smooth, and my first sip made me actually think of frost! I kept feeling like I was picking up a hint of some spice, perhaps a mild Ceylon cinnamon, but it was awfully hard to put my finger on. There was a nice baked stone fruit flavor.

I wish I had tried it by itself first. The food had a good bit of seasoning – we had asparagus with lemon pepper, small red potatoes that had been boiled, then smashed on a pan and baked at 450F for twenty-five minutes with coarse salt, pepper, and rosemary until they were a bit crispy, and black bean soup with a lot of chili powder in it. All this seasoning kept me from picking up all I wanted, but fortunately I have enough leaf to do a little gong fu serving later!

Overall, a delicious oolong!

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Backlogging from last night: We skipped a week doing our Chinese buffet take out so I was especially ready for it last night. For less than twenty bucks we got six meals, and enjoyed really good tea with it instead of dining in and having…water, because I am NOT taking their bagged black Lipton! LOL!

This was my tea of choice. This is the most soothing, delicious, smooth green tea with the most beautiful jasmine aroma. I was getting a little anxious that I might use up my favorite jasmines, but at last one of my orders has finally arrived in New York, so I could prepare a pot of this without fear of running out too soon. The one I ordered first is still showing as being in Hangzhou. Hmph.

Hubby used to drink just sweet iced tea, then started loving hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar, LOL! I watched him last night down a cup of this and reach for the pot and pour another. He has found a number of greens that he really enjoys and I am soooo glad! This is kne he really likes. He still doesn’t know the names of the ones he likes. I just have to keep track!

Daniel Scott

Hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar. I know that one! I used to drink that one all the time. :P


I still lightly sweeten my tea. My brothers brew sugar and sugar and sugar then wave some bags over it. Hurts my kidneys to drink their tea… erh sugar water.

Yogini Undefined I used to drink my tea like that as well too when I was younger..gallons of sugar lol!

I used to drink all my teas sweetened too, but, I slowly transitioned away from it by adding less and less, and now I can drink tea straight and I prefer it that way usually … although there are some teas that benefit from a small amount of sugar. I wanted to retrain my palate, and it took a while, but I finally managed it and have been drinking most of my teas sugar-free for about a year now.

Daniel Scott

Nice job, LiberTEAS! I kind of want to do that too. I have gotten down to a bit less than a tablespoon per cup, but no lower, generally. Still, that’s down from (mumblecough) amount of sugar, so…


My mom used to put three cups of sugar per gallon of iced tea! She balked when I cut it back to two. I started out sweetening my teas, but two friends who drank their coffee black started having tea with me, and they drank their tea without sugar, too. I was ashamed to put sugar in…made me feel like a little kid! – so I quit adding it in front of them and eventually just got used to it without sugar. Now I like it best without sugar, except one or two out of a hundred teas! Hubby will get there eventually! He has made a great start.

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drank Pumpkin Pie Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1812 tasting notes

I am mostly ordering and trying matcha for my daughter, who works at night and is trying to drink a lot of green tea plus she needs energy and to be alert but not jittery, and for my husband, who is terrible about not eating a good breakfast and needs energy for a long day. For this reason, the flavors I am choosing first are really flavors I think they will like rather than what I would choose for myself, although believe me, my turn is coming!

My daughter loves fall because she loves EVERYTHING pumpkin! She makes pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin fudge. She buys pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin spice coffees. She even toasts pumpkin seeds. So a natural choice of matcha for her is the Pumpkin Pie Matcha! I don’t think I even noticed on the website until I saw Alphakitty’s review, and as soon as I saw that I knew my daughter had to have it!

You can find it here:


I ordered the small size and got the basic grade of matcha because I also got the robust level of flavor, so I thought that grade of matcha would be fine.

This time I got the tin. Matcha is a very fine powder, and they recommend keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Naturally, I have to try it first! Again, I want the flavored matcha for lattes or smoothies so the big decision was how to make a pumpkin pie drink without adding coffee, because that is the only kind I really know.

I decided to make the matcha and add it to heated milk for my first attempt. I figured if i didn’t like it as a hot drink, i could always pour it over ice.

The dry matcha did not have as much aroma as I had anticipated thought had a pleasant smell. I had expected to open the pouch and be greeted by CINNAMON whopping me upside the head, but there was just a pleasant smell of light spices and pumpkin.

This time I didn’t use the Bamix immersion blender, but just whisked the matcha in a small cereal bowl with a kitchen whisk. I had tried making it that way with the first matcha I ordered, which was the mocha one, and it worked great! I don’t have a sifter – I just looked at the powder and since I didn’t see any lumps I figured it was okay. I poured on the hot water, probably only one ounce, and whisked with my plain metal kitchen whisk and used the “M” shaped motion they describe. As soon as, and i mean AS SOON AS, the hot water hit the matcha, the robust flavor showed itself in a rich aroma swelling into the air. Yes sir! This is a nice mix of pumpkin pie spices, but the pumpkin is there, too! I got a lovely froth completely covering the surface of the liquid. Even though my plain kitchen whisk works, I eventually want to get a bamboo whisk and a whisk stand, just because I enjoy the doodads and paraphernalia!

I added the ounce of matcha liquid to a ten ounce cup of hot milk and stirred in one teaspoon of raw cane sugar because I want a pie experience! It is hard to believe that this tiny amount of matcha is going to flavor that whole cup of milk.

And oh my goodness, my daughter is going to be very happy! This tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. It is so rich, yet this is skim milk. I feel like I am drinking a whole milk, calorie dense beverage.

As a hot milk drink, it was also very satisfying and I am hoping it is going to keep me going as we do a big clean up today. I wondered if I would need to add some real canned pumpkin to it to give it enough flavor, but it isn’t necessary! I can’t wait for my daughter to try this! I already told her about it and she is pretty excited! She had never heard of matcha before now, and is diligently googling all the health benefits.


Isn’t it SO SO yummy! I love this one (I love them all though) … Red Leaf’s powder is very fine – if you had to get away without sifting RL is the match to do it with!


Yum I want this one too! Gosh my list is getting bigger and bigger. Love the review :)


The hardest thing about Red Leaf is that I can’t pick what to get next! I can’t wait for my daughter to try this.


LOL that is true! But now they have sales which sometimes makes the choice easier :)


This one is so delicious! I was really surprised by how spot-on the pumpkin taste is.


I’ve been waiting for a sale matcha that I couldn’t resist in order to try out Red Leaf, especially since I’ve never done matcha before. But this is one that I would be tempted to just up and order anyway, especially since it’s fall and pumpkin time! Well I’ll get around to the matcha someday. :)


Do you think more than “Robust” flavour would be too much of the “spice” and overtake the pumpkin flavour? I really want this one for fall, but I want to make sure the pumpkin is there, not just the spice. What do you gals think? :)


(Although ashmanra, I would totally add canned pumpkin for an extra special latte anyways ;) )


mmmm…pumpkin :D


I want this too!


Daisychubb: I love the level of spice I got, and I think increasing the level would be great, too. This doesn’t have the hot burn of too much cinnamon you can get when a company overdoes it, this is nicely balanced and I think if you increase the flavor level it would still be great. I did buy a can of pumpkin to add as part of my experimenting. I am completely new to tea lattes and smoothies so I wanted to try it lots of ways, but I love warm pumpkin pie so I especially wanted this as a hot drink, while the mocha I wanted as a cold drink. This is fun, but choosing my next flavor is almost hopeless. There are so many I want to try!


Thank you! That’s very helpful :D On the nest order it goes ^^


Looks like it’s next up for the sale after the results of the poll this week…

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drank Wild Wuyi Black by Harney & Sons
1812 tasting notes

This is accurately described on the Harney website. Dark and intoxicating indeed! There is an assertive cocoa flavor that grabs your senses like a handsome stranger grasping your hand and encircling your waist and looking deep in your eyes when a tango begins to play.

This is the tea that had all the elegance of a Duke, yet had the presence and strength to be paired successfully with rich strawberry ice cream. The two played off of each other very well. I am glad I eat very slowly (though it drives hubby crazy!) so that I still had ice cream left when we served this one at tea party today.

Hints of Golden Monkey by H&S are here, as well as Premium Steap’s delicious Emperor’s Red, but this really is a tea all its own.


Sounds wicked good!


I wish they would bring this back…


Wow. I love the description you gave it!

Hesper June

My goodness, This sounds good!


It really is delicious! I wish they still sold this one and Golden Snail.

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Today I realized that I haven’t served this at tea party yet! As a special treat I had purchased some Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream to serve with Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies. I thought about serving it last to continue the strawberry theme, but my guest really wanted it first, so we served it with the ice cream.

As always, it was delicious, but I do think a better pairing would have been the Wild Wuyi Black with the ice cream so you have a nice contrast, and then serve the SV last to keep the strawberry theme going, as I felt the creaminess, rich ice cream masked some of the good flavor of the tea. The aroma of this tea is so fantastic, and the flavor doesn’t let you down.

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drank Darjeeling King of Teas by Luis
1812 tasting notes

I wanted black tea this morning but decided to let my daughter have the whole pot of Lapsang for geometry. I wasn’t in the mood for a regular breakfast blend, though, so after some internal debate I picked this one because Bonnie’s post about her Darjeeling had this one on my mind for a while.

Some Darjeelings get astringent very easily. Some are very fruity and have the strong, tart, muscat grape flavor. This one is just really earthy. It is smooth enough that I don’t even consider adding sugar or milk, and uncomplicated enough that I don’t mind making a big pot of it and drinking it while we are doing schoolwork.

Tunes: Theme from Harry’s Game, Newgrange by Clannad.


Love Clannad!

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Back logging: Youngest and I drank this most of the day. We made two pots. It is sweet and the smoke is pleasant enough, but it is not quite as good as Black Dragon from Upton. It lacks some of the sweet resin quality of Happy Lucky’s. But overall it is good and satisfies the need for Lapsang. We are trying to finish it before my Upton order gets here and it looks like we may succeed.

Tunes: Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men and
Helena Beat and Don’t Stop by Foster the People


I’ve never listened to Of Monsters and Men. They’re great! Thanks for the recommendation.

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I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about four 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.

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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