2208 Tasting Notes
I have been drinking a lot of this tea, cold steeped and sweetened with homemade simple syrup. I am logging it today because I tried something a little different. Instead of plain simple syrup, I made a lavender infused syrup to sweeten this. (Lavender is also really good in Tulsi.)
The syrup tastes a lot like Chowan’s Lavender candies or Parma Violets. Added to the strawberry and lemon flavors of Lady Londonderry, it made a really foofy, girly glass of iced tea to go with lunch. I have been craving sodas because it is so hot outside, so I am using cold steeped tea to beat those cravings.
If you don’t like lavender, you wouldn’t like this syrup at all. But if you can handle the floral taste, it is nice switch up for summer tea. I am really enjoying this one cold steeped. I wonder how a vanilla syrup would taste in it? Next experiment!
Other food experimenting is taking place today. I made home made ketchup, and for the first batch I decided to experiment and use malt vinegar in place of white vinegar, and added Penzey’s chili powder and made a few other little changes. It was really good with hamburger meat – more or less it was a sloppy joe. Next up will be actual plain ketchup.
It is taking me a while to get everything logged this week, but this was the first tea served at tea party on Wednesday. It was the Queen of the tea party, too. This is delicious stuff.
We made it western style. I think we used about fourteen pearls in a 22 ounce pot. I served it first because I felt that its rich, cocoa notes would cut the sweetness of the baked peaches and ice cream. This is not astringent nor is it in any way sour, but I have trouble describing the rough, tongue scraping quality of unsweetened cocoa that I get from this. It is a highly desirable trait to me in this tea, and I find it in some Keemuns as well. This type of tea has the body and taste to stand next to pretty much any food, and is especially good with sweet things to me. Some green teas cleanse the palate with an astringency that turns to sweetness after the sip, but this clears the palate without astringency. It is so…..present! I don’t think I could absentmindedly drink this tea. It became a cupboard staple from the first taste of the sample Teavivre sent.
My guest and I agreed that this was the best tea of the day.
This was one of the Wednesday tea party offerings that we served with our baked peaches and ice cream.
The liquor is pure gold in the cup, the gold of relics from a pharoah’s tomb. The tea has nice body and the aroma is sweet and almost heavy with the natural floral notes combined with the light osmanthus notes. (The only other osmanthus tea I have tried was an osmanthus puerh from purepuer.com. It was very good.)
It really seems to me as if this was a very floral oolong before it was scented. The scenting is light, and I think if it were served to me without me knowing what it was, I would’ve guessed that all of the floral aroma and taste here was natural to the oolong. So if you dislike floral scented teas like jasmines or rose teas, don’t be afraid of this one. It really is golden treasure.
I keep trying this tea, but I have come to the conclusion that it will never be a favorite even though it is very high quality. Chocolate tea used to be anathema to me, but I have found a few that are tasty.
I think it is likely that even the dessert for which this tea is named would not be a favorite for me. I read that the dessert has coffee in it, and I really don’t care for coffee.
Made by the usual parameters for black tea, this is too rough edged for me. There is a strong Keemun smoke, which I often like, paired with the rough scrape of unsweetened cocoa, another note I have sometimes enjoyed, particularly with sweets, but somehow it isn’t working for me in this tea. Cutting the steep time and slightly lowering the temperature, I get a cup of tea that I can drink and whose quality I can recognize, but it just isn’t something I really love. I plan to use the rest of this to make generous pots of tea my coffee loving friends, who I think will love it, and I will have my daughter’s fiancé try it as he loves chocolate teas and coffee, so the edginess may be right up his alley.
This was served at Wednesday’s tea party with oven-baked brown sugar and cinnamon peaches with homemade ice cream, and my guest liked it quite a bit, so I know that it is just me!
I under leafed this Hugo Tea offering a bit at lunch today but it was still really good with my Asian buffet leftovers. There is a noticeable freshness to the two greens I have by them, and they both pair very well with food. I find Steamed Cloud to be a bit milder than Pan Fired Pagoda.
The teas from Hugo Tea have been consistently good, and I like that they are organic. They are redesigning their packaging and it looks pretty sharp! I don’t work for them, and I have no agenda other than believing that this is young company shows a lot of promise and I hope they succeed!
Like Grace Rare Teas, they carry only a few teas but concentrate on quality. I wish them well.
I didn’t feel like eating tonight due to some imprudent snacking this afternoon, so while I made supper for hubby I made a matcha latte for myself. I mixed one tablespoon of raw sugar, one sifted teaspoon of matcha, and about 18 ounces of skim milk. It was decent and kept me from getting hungry, but it didn’t taste like cheesecake to me. The taste was somewhat generic with a slight perfume/chemical taste this time, so I may need to rethink my mix on this one. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. I need to figure out the perfect mix for this one because I have a TON of it!
My son, my godson, and my son’s girlfriend all came to stay for the weekend, and my son asked if he could grill and invite a friend he knew from church. The friend asked to bring several family members and it ended up being a really fun day with some really nice folks.
Hubby does not eat cow because he doesn’t like the texture of beef, so I was pretty happy that my son was grilling portobello mushrooms to serve like burgers. They were delicious!
While we were waiting for the food to be ready, I started talking to the two young ladies, who turned out to be very curious about TEA! Yay! We talked and talked and talked about tea, and when they said they were adventurous and had never heard of puerh, I decided we had time for a gong fu session with this lovely tea.
The first steeps were inky black, because I like my puerh strong! I did not rinse and we started with one minute steeps or perhaps a little longer. They said they could detect the aroma of mushrooms, and had a lot of fun experiencing the changes in color and taste of the tea. We got seven good steeps before the color and flavor had weakened too much to enjoy.
I have invited them back since they were interested in lots of different types of tea. I hope they will take me up on the offer!
I received this tea first in two separate swaps and liked it a lot. I liked it so much that I ordered a pound, but then I couldn’t recreate the magic of the first cups. It was a little astringent. I was disappointed and really wondering what the heck I was going to do with a whole pound of it.
Yesterday I got the bright idea to cold brew it. I made a bottle of simple syrup in preparation for drinking it today and left it in the fridge for over 24 hours. The results is absolutely delicious, summery, floral+fruity iced tea. It is as clear as can be. The strawberry flavor is wonderful, and the lemon flavor is a lemon candy flavor, not the sour lemon taste you often get in iced tea. That stuff curdles my tongue!
Hubby drank it and said it was good but he liked Razzleberry from 52Teas better. Well, it would be awfully hard to beat Razzleberry. I told him this was waaaaaay cheaper and he said, “Now you’re talking!” Fortunately for him, I have several packs of Razzleberry left, and hope to get some more for this summer.
In the meantime, I can enjoy my cheap stuff with abandon! I like it!
I believe this is the right tea. Mine came as a sample tea sachet with a Dammann Freres order. I have had it for quite a while so it is quite possible that the quality has suffered.
First, I confess that my initial experiences with Darjeeling as a tea newbie were not good and it was all my fault. I didn’t know better and made them just like any black tea. After I learned a bit and made them as they should be, I liked them a bit more, especially one or two special ones. I preferred Chinese black teas over Darjeelings and gave up on most Indian tea altogether, except for a few blends.
I feel that this makes me unqualified to judge this tea, but I can state my opinion of it. It is smooth enough to drink without additions. There is definitely some fruity astringency, but not enough to make me to see it. I even did a second steep, because I still have some cubes of Dubliner cheese left and wanted tea!
I expect that a Darjeeling lover would have to great things to say about this tea, but this is not something that appeals to me. It was fun to give it a try! One of my favorite Darjeelings is a very earthy one from Luis Tea that my daughter bought in Budapest. The real Darjeeling enthusiast probably wouldn’t even like it because it is so different!