1893 Tasting Notes
Last night was Writers’ Group meeting at my house! One of the men who comes is married to a Japanese woman. He has mentioned several times that she and her friends drink bitter tea and that he has tried it but just can’t drink it with her.
I showed him this matcha and he said, “Yep! Looks like it would be bitter!” So I went in the kitchen and whipped up a batch for everyone to try. He was so surprised when he tasted it and found no bitterness at all! Everyone seemed to like it, even though they are not hard core tea drinkers like us!
I served this as the final tea party selection today. I wanted it to be separated from the taste of the black currant jam for a bit so the flavors wouldn’t compete with each other.
I loved the aroma of this, and I must confess that after drinking it before bedtime, I dreamt about it most of the night. I woke up with the flavor on my mind and fought with myself about serving it today because I was afraid the sweet black currant jam would take the shine off the tea. No worries, it didn’t hurt a bit. I just served this last, well after we had the jam, and it was really good. My guest seemed to enjoy it a lot. Next up, I want to try it iced and sweetened!
I had this again at tea party today. We had made a loaf of homemade buttermilk bread from the flour we grind fresh for baking. I toasted several pieces and cut them small and we tested out some new fruit jams. I had purchased Black Currant jam just because I was unfamiliar with it and like the flavor in some of my teas. I had read that it is sort of the European equivalent to our grape-flavored everything! I also had a French Four Fruit jam for us to try.
The jams were delicious and the tea was perfect with it. It made a wonderful contrast with the sweetness and the smoke was mild and pleasant, almost dignified I might say!
Thank you to Hesper June for the sample!
Tea party today was a revisiting of several teas that I have been drinking this week already. My guest started out loving black tea but not caring much for any other kinds. Over time she has grown to like many oolong and green teas, but black tea is still her favorite. That is why her reaction to this tea was especially significant today.
We had started with a Lapsang to cut the sweetness of what we were eating. I poured this as our second tea, she absentmindedly took a sip, then stopped talking and sipped more more in surprise. “This is very good!” she exclaimed.
Yep. That’s exactly what it is. The unfurling pearls put on a lovely show and the tea is fantastic, steep after steep. This is a keeper.
Now, this is nice! I had this once before in a tea assortment sent from Ireland by my daughter’s boyfriend. I had forgotten how good it was! He came in person this time, asked for our daughter’s hand in marriage, and gave me lots of tea! LOL! To further seal the deal, he asked if we could play Scrabble, so it is almost as if hubby and I picked him ourselves.
A word about my feelings on Earl Grey – some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it strong, some like a hint. I like bergamot, I like Earl Grey, I loved the Earl Green that was sent to me by K S, but not every Earl is pleasant. Some taste like bathroom cleaner to me.
This one was a winner from the time the water hit the bag. The tea base is there, not swallowed up by the flavoring, the bergamot is there and doesn’t taste like chemicals, but the orange blossom is the crown on the head of this tea. It softens all edges, adds roundness and richness, a floral smoothness. The orange taste is clean and refreshing. Very nice! I wonder how it would tasted iced and sweetened?
Not long ago, Hesper June offered to send me a sample of this tea. She asked only a bit of Baker Street in return. But when my tea came, it was a WHOLE BOX of tea in the cutest little tins! There are all sorts of smoky teas in it!
Grace Rare Tea is one of the first fine loose teas I bought. I had never heard of the company but my youngest daughter is named Grace and she loved tea the most at the time, so I bought it on a lark for her. I have since purchased almost every tea they make because the quality is so high.
Looking at this tea, it is hard to believe that I am looking at a Lapsang. Sometimes, lesser teas get chosen for heavy flavoring, but not in the case of GRT. The base looks great, and the aroma isn’t plain smoke. There is more to it. There is a sweet and fruity aspect as well.
Sipping, the taste of the base holds up to my expectations. It is smooth and sweet, medium bodied. The smoke is a surprise, though. There was a strong smoke aroma to the dry leaf but it is much lighter in the cup. Wen you sip, it gets really interesting. The smoke is subtle and then it blooms from your throat to your mouth.
This is definitely going to be added to the cupboard. Hesper sent so much that I don’t need to rush to Durham to buy it, though! Thank you, Hesper June!
Oh boy, I should have been in bed long ago, but I just don’t want to go – like a little kid fighting sleep, but I am not very sleepy.
What better way to pass the time than tea with Pinterest? I came home from work last week to discover that my bestie, the best bestie in the world, had left a gift for me…a card and two Lupicia teas! This is one of the surprise teas I got.
I wish I knew more about cassis. I really am not sure what it is. I saw one description here that mentioned black currant, another flavor that is relatively new to my palate. I can really see comparing this to black currant flavor. The blueberry flavor is there, too, and one of the berry flavors is really lingering but I can’t discern which it is!
I drank two small cups of this plain, and since several people mentioned that it would be good iced I added sugar to get a feel for how I would like it that way. I thought I didn’t add much, but it tasted super sweet to me. I bet this really would be amazing iced and sweetened for those who like sweet tea. I have come to love my hot tea with no sugar, but I can definitely still enjoy some good old Southern sweet tea! I have to say this is another win for Lupicia in my book.
Edited to add: duh! Just googled and I guess cassis IS black currant flavor, not just some thing like it.
This is a free sample provided for review by Nature’s Tea Leaf.
My daughter and her fiancé stopped by tonight and since I had not had lunch the past two days working at early voting, I was ready for something for my tummy! My middle and youngest daughters had made fresh home made bread, so we cut the loaf, got out some plain butter and Kerrygold Garlic and Herb Butter and made a pot of black tea.
The leaf is somewhat fine and wiry. I used below boiling water for just over two minutes. The result is a cup of black tea with strong cocoa notes, maltiness, and heft. I told the others it was toothsome! I drank this plain and it was smooth enough and hearty enough for me. Because this is a really characteristic Fujian black that I associate with breakfast I tried it almost with milk and sugar. I think I may like it best this way!
This is a good example of Fujian black tea, strong enough for breakfast, smooth enough for any time! Thank you for the opportunity to try it, NTL!
I believe this is the tea sample I received from Nature’s Tea Leaf, although my package says Buddha Hand Oolong.
I have never had a Buddha Hand oolong so I looked up several and found that some sites consider it to be just another name for Ti Guan Yin, and some referred to it as a Wuyi Rock Oolong. If anyone has more detailed information, I would love to know it!
The leaves are a mix of dark green and light green, very pretty to look at, hard and tightly curled, and very consistent in size. I almost did a rinse but decided to keep a close eye on the tea instead and make a decision based on how it was shaping up. The leaves began to unfurl very well, so I left it and drank the first steep with no rinse.
The liquor is a fairly strong golden yellow color, not pale. The aroma is sweet and that rock mineral quality is present, though not as strong as in a monkey picked oolong. There is also another elusive aroma that is so hard for me to describe that I find in Ti Kuan Yins – perhaps slightly vanilla? It really is an aroma that for me is so distinct and so particular to oolongs that I don’t know how to describe it otherwise!
The second steep is an even more golden yellow and seems to have greater clarity of color than the first. This was a nice tea start to my morning! I only wish I had time to drink more, but I must go work at early voting. My evening cups will be desperately needed!
Oh, and I got the big news I was waiting for last night! The phone call came just after midnight. My daughter’s Irish boyfriend, the one you guys said was a keeper because he brings me tea, proposed on Myrtle Beach at midnight, and she said yes! He had asked last Sunday for our permission to propose, so I knew it was coming! :)
I think this is one of the few Teavivre teas I have ordered that I bought “blind” rather than having already had a sample first.
I really shouldn’t be up, but I am hoping to stay up late enough to get some big news and I have had a brutal day working at early voting. I needed a soul soother tea and picked this one.
This is so light and creamy that it reminds me of drinking white tea. It is smooth, never sour, never bitter. The more I drink the more I want to keep drinking, which is good because I had no lunch today and couldn’t even go get water for the longest time. I am so glad I bought this one.
Tomorrow, I am taking a bottle of matcha water to stay hydrated and keep my energy up, because tonight I am seriously flagging.