1745 Tasting Notes
If this isn’t the same Ti Kuan Yin that Teas, Etc. sells, I will lose that nickel I just bet!
This is a good everyday drinker, a bit darker than some of the more modern TKY’s. A mere three teaspoons made 36 ounces of tea of very good strength, as I made 18 ounces at a time and resteeped once so far. And it must be decent, because I already drank all 36 ounces by myself. I had a really horrible day yesterday and didn’t eat or drink from 9 am until 9 pm. Terrible, I know, but I am making it up to my body today by feasting on good tea! And M&M’S may get involved later but we won’t talk about that…
I have been stalking Tin Roof Teas waiting for this to come in! My daughter purchased a tea called Madame Butterfly from Gurman’s in Dublin, Ireland. So many guests really love it, and I am especially pleased that it is a tea that children love with no added sugar! My bag is getting low, and I was hoping to find a US source so I could save a bit on shipping. The description of Fuzzy Navel sounded like it was going to be the same tea, or close enough to it.
The dry leaves look the same as well as the flavoring bits like the flower petals. The two cups of steeped tea side by side are exactly the same color. The aroma matches. The most important part is the flavor, and if it isn’t identical it is at least close enough to be virtually indistinguishable.
My whole kitchen smells like a peach cobbler. Warm, peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream would be so good right now, but I am exhausted and need to go to bed!
Hooray! I have a US source for a tea I want to keep on hand, and I don’t even have to pay shipping because I am up there often enough to buy what I need. Plus a little extra. :)
I finally got to Raleigh today to go to my favorite local (well, a little over an hour but close enough!) tea shop. I was supposed to go in and just buy some Fuzzy Navel to compare to Madame Butterfly, but my bestie mentioned that she wanted some greens for her cupboard so I had to look for a green I thought she would like, and the owner is evil evil evil – no, wait, he was just trying to make me happy – and made me smell the Ti Kuan Yin and I had to buy that, and I finally caved and bought this one! I really HAD to because one of my daughters is named Anna.
They were gracious enough to sell me the tea split into two bags so I can send half of it to her boyfriend in N. Ireland. AND they offered to do a special blend for me to replicate a tea I can’t get anymore, so I am pretty excited about that!
Isn’t it great when you buy something for a silly reason and discover that you love it? I steeped this for 3 minutes, right in the middle of their recommended steep time, and it is delicious. It is not bitter at all, there is no astringency, you can taste the black tea base just fine, and the raspberries are so sweet and fruity, with the yogurt lending a creaminess so the raspberries are never tart. This is quite a winner!
Want to save a fortune on buying Marco Polo? Try this. It is smoother. It is less fussy to make. You won’t be missing a thing, and the price is great – about half the price of Marco. And it is absolutely perfect without sugar or milk. If you were inclined to add those, I think this could probably handle it just fine.
This is still part of the free sample sent by Angel and Teavivre. Thank you!
After lunch today, I swallowed and winced. Uh-oh! What is happening? A sore throat? And I have a voice student coming in an hour!
I cast about ideas for about two seconds when the lightbulb popped on. Make a pot of tea! I liked this one last time, and I just got an email from a friend requesting that I recommend some green teas for her cupboard since she is a converted coffee drinker who mostly has black and puerh tea now.
The dry leaves pulled a fast one on me. I remembered how good they smelled the first time, so I gave a big sniff to the pouch before pinching out my leaves. What is this? CHOCOLATE? I must be wrong. Sniff again. No, this smells very strongly of chocolate now! I guess I need to check the pouch again and make sure there is a bit of chocolate from someone’s hands (who would do that?) on the pouch but I swear I didn’t see any!
I used more leaf this time as I felt my last brew was a little weak. The leaves are so very long and thin that a teaspoon is pretty useless for measuring it. I think I got it right this time because my pot was fantastic. Smooth, buttery, vegetal but not grassy, and a little nutty. Maybe the chocolate scent manifests as a nutty taste? Very good tea, my throat is a little better, and I definitely plan to resteep this and have another pot tonight!
Thank you, Teavivre!
This is part of the free sample from Russel at Harney and Sons. I made this for tea party today.
This was the third and final tea we served. It amazes me to see how light the liquor for this tea is, because the flavor and body are certainly not light! I really enjoyed this. In fact, I have found myself lately craving Ti Kuan Yins and drinking copious amounts of them.
This one is very good, and I meant to order it last time I placed an order but forgot. Good news!
Harney and Sons is offering free shipping, I think through Saturday, on orders over $25 with coupon code Ambessa. The first email said the shipping was free if there was at least one tin of Ambessa purchased. Two more have come in saying that you don’t have to buy Ambessa to use the code and get free shipping. If they had Lingonberry already in, I would be all over that! I am out of Cherry Blossom Green, too, so another Harney order is already starting to fill the notepad.
The first time this was served at tea party, it was so oversteeped and bitter that it got poured out – probably the only time we poured out a whole pot, though once or twice there has been a tea that someone just didn’t care for at all and chose another. We did have three new puppies in the house and I think my little teameister got distracted by the cuteness!
This time I made it myself, and scaled back the water temp a little, as well as the steep time. Wow! This tea transformed itself into a Darjeeling! This is delicious and nutty, but there is a strong muscatel tart little bite to it that made it really interesting. Great tea, just baby it if you have any left. It will be worth it! This one is no longer available from H&S.
Back logging from yesterday: it was tea party day and I didn’t get our teas logged because we stayed over our teacups for an extra hour. I guess we were catching up on all we missed because of missing tea party the week before.
This was the first tea I served. I had tried it earlier in the day using cooler water and a short steep time. For tea party, I made it by more customary western parameters for a black tea.
We were thrilled with this tea. The extra steep time increased the flavor and sweetness and did not add even a hint of bitterness to it. My guest gasped and ooh-ed and ah-ed and said that it was a thumbs up and a winner for her. The sweet potato goodness won her heart, and it was her favorite tea of the day.
This is not as caramel-y as the recent Harney and Sons version, so it has a slightly lighter body, though I had one harvest batch from H&S that was almost identical to this. I think the sweet potato flavor may be more pronounced in the Teavivre one and both are probably equally sweet, with the H&S tea leaning toward a honeyed sweetness.It is an excellent tea, and half the price, so it is a good choice if you want to save money or drink it more often. This will be going on a future order for me.
How do you taste a new company’s rendition of a favorite tea? One hopes to keep an open mind! I hope I did here! I will be tasting this twice today and it may be very different each time.
Harney and Sons Golden Monkey has been a tea party staple for a long time. I first tried it on someone’s recommendation back when I still took milk and sugar and I was disappointed in it. When I tried it plain, I was amazed at how delicious it was. The additions really hurt the tea in my opinion.
Then hubby picked up some from Teavana, and while it smelled just like H&S it lacked the body and satisfying maltiness, and I only enjoyed it as a breakfast tea with milk and sugar.
The question now was…where will Teavivre GM fall in the scale? And that question may not be fully answered until after tea party today!
For this morning, I am making this tea according to Teavivre’s recommendations. They use steeling parameters more common to Asian methods than to western steeping, so their black teas are lighter and more delicate, unlike the rough treatment we barbarians give to our hearty breakfast teas and British legacy teas, to steal a phrase from Michael Harney.
The verdict on this method of brewing: it’s all here! The sweet, smooth liquor with sweet potato flavor and a nice touch of malt is refined, medium-bodied, and smooth. No astringency. With the lower temperature and shorter steep time it is not as strong as my H&S cup made western style would be, but it is delicious nevertheless.
This afternoon I will be making a large pot using western steeping parameters to serve at tea party. I am looking forward to my guest’s and youngest daughter’s reactions and thoughts.
Edited to add: VERY IMPORTANT NOTE! I just looked up both of these teas and Teavivre’s is almost exactly half the price of H&S. This is an important factor to consider if money is an object.
Both are less expensive than Teavana’s, which is my least favorite of the three.