1816 Tasting Notes

drank Genteel Lady Tea by Luis
1816 tasting notes

We drank this today all together at Tin Roof Teas. They were going to try to come up with a similar blend, but this one was elusive. They said it was a very fine tea, probably an ultra smooth Ceylon base, but we were unable to put it together from teas they had available. I had emailed the company in Budapest but never got a reply. I think I may order some Harney & Sons Apricot Black and Mango Black and add a little Fruits d’Alsace and see if that may replicate it decently. It is indescribably smooth, and H&S flavored tea base is as well. If anyone goes to Budapoest, can you pick up several tins for me? I will gladly send you the $$$.

I FOUND IT!! It is from a German distributor and is usually sold under the name My Lady. I am having trouble finding a way to buy it, but sent the links to daughter’s BF in Ireland to see if he can have it shipped there!

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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1816 tasting notes

I was really lookng forward to this new tea and wanted to try it tonight before tea party time tomorrow. Although it was quiite good, it has the misfortune that I expected it to be different. Somehow I got the notion that this was going to have the KA-POW flavor of the Super Fruit Sencha that K S sent to me. This is fruity, but far milder. This is the same one carried by ESP Emporium.

The green base is smooth. The fruit is pure and sweet. I think now that I know what to expect of it, I will like it more. Fortunately, Tin Roof Teas does sell the same tea as the Super Fruit one. It is nice to know that I can get it somewhat locally.

Edited to add: yes, it grew on me, yes, I have to buy more. This is really good tea. I have to buy more because EVERYBODY wants it.


I really want to try some of the teas from this company. Your reviews have me intrigued :)


It is east to end up with a long wish list for this company! I love the samplers. You have to call to order as far as I know, though I think someone is working on their site so web orders can be placed. They have great tea, and n the shop, beautiful teaware and such.

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Thank heavens! Youngest had finished her lapsangs on Friday. How on earth could she do geometry without it? As it happened, we went in a different order today so this very generous sample from SimplyJenW arrived in the mail just in time for geometry!

Youngest opened the bag and sniffed. Ahhhhh! This smells heavenly! She was quite taken with it.

She made a pot of tea as I was running out the door to drive to Cary to pick up birthday worms for hubby. (He really loves his earthworms…he has two compost bins, one compost pile, and a Worm Factory 360. LOL! I told him we could harvest worms from the yard for him. He said no, they were to remain free range worms. He was going to get rescues. I think these don’t qualify as rescues. It’s a worm mill, for cryin’ out loud!)

I took a cup of the tea and told her to call me in ten minutes and let me know how she liked it. She loved it! She said didn’t the tea didn’t last nearly as long as geometry did.

As for my cup, it was very sweet and light, and the smoke is pretty light. It is very present in the aroma, but isn’t one that leaves a lot of lingering ash flavor in the mouth – whether that is good or bad depends on your love of

This is a great first Lapsang for people who are afraid of it, a good tasting tea base. And even if you love strong smoke and lingering ash flavor, this one has a lot going for it. It deserves the hype it has received on here.

Thank you, Jen! :) Looks like she will make it through the week! And in spite of the dramatic doodles, I am pleased to report that she made an A on her first geometry test last week!


Free-range rescue worms, LOL! Back in the early ’80’s when I first started working in the science and technology reference department at our Central library, we couldn’t keep books about earthworm farming on the shelves.

I’m enjoying your lapsang souchong reviews.

Jim Marks

My compost bin is full of tree roaches and jumping spiders. I’d feel bad for the worms if I put any in there.

Jim Marks

Also, this is my favorite lapsang and I love it dearly.


Jim: so far Black Dragon is her favorite, too! Her Teavivre hasn’t arrived yet. It really is on a slow boat from China! Do you have Soldier Flies? We are hoping we have them! :)

Jim Marks

I think shipments from TeaVivre are literally on boats from China. They’re shipped from China, at any rate, and so they do take a while.

I have no idea if I have soldier flies or not. All I know is that 80 gallons of lawn clippings turned into about two cubic feet of dirt and all my kitchen scraps and dog scooping seem to get nowhere in terms of filling the thing up. So whatever lives in there, they’re doing a good job.

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Backlogging from yesterday: I made a pitcher of this tea Saturday so it would have time to chill and the flavors meld before the Labor Day cook out. It was lightly sweetened. One young guest, who is accustomed to the syrupy sweet southern iced tea that is predominant here, said she loved the peach but it wasn’t sweet enough for her. I have grown accustomed to tea that is lightly sweetened or u sweetened, so the level of sugar was fine.

Surprisingly, I think I like this better than Midsummer’s Peach, probably because of the additional heft of the base. It is pretty close!

Charleston Tea Plantation has been consistently good. I think I have had about four of their teas now.

Tina S.

I love this one! I have a friend in North Carolina ship it up to me regularly. Hmmm, now I want some . . .


Red Rose: A friend of mine bought this at the actual plantation! I have never been, but hope to go next spring. When I go to Raleigh to see my kids I can buy it loose leaf. They don’t sell it in my town, even though I am closer to SC.


Since I live in South Carolina, we can get these teas locally. They are all very good. The company was sold to the Bigelow tea company but Bigelow said that they don’t plan to change how the tea is produced. If you get to South Carolina, make time to tour the tea plantation! http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/


Stoo: I definitely want to go there! A friend moved to Charleston two years ago and has invited me to come stay with her anytime. We plan to go to the plantation when I make it down there.

Bigelow Tea

Loved reading the additional comments to your review ashmanra….@Stoo, thanks for including the link for Charleston!

Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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drank English Breakfast by Harney & Sons
1816 tasting notes

I haven’t had a breakfast tea in a while! At least, I haven’t had it for breakfast. It was an everyday thing back when I had to have radiation treatments every morning for almost two months, but lately I have been having lighter teas mostly, and drinking them in late morning or afternoon. But today, even though it is hot outside and sunny, something about the slant of the sunght coming in the window has me thinking of fall and warming cups of tea.

At first I thought I would have a typical breakfast cuppa with milk and sugar, but then I started wondering what would happen if I made H&S EB using Teavivre’s usual black tea directions, which call for a much shorter steep time. Would it result in a tasteless, weak tea or a more delicate, complex Keemun that tastes great plain?

I am happy to report that it makes a nice, lightly smoky, fruity, malty, lightly cocoa-flavored Keemun.
I used the normal amount of leaf but I cut my steep time to 3 minutes. Maybe my tastes ae changing, too, because once upon a time I couldn’t drink any breakfast tea plain, and I can really see this being delicious a little stronger and still without additions.

I love that Harney’s English Breakfast is 100% Keemun, and that there are so many breakfast blends to choose from so you can suit any mood.

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

As far as I know, this is my first Da Yu Ling Oolong, unless I have had it by another name. Opening the pouch, I sniffed the dry leaves. Buttery! I knew I would like this one.

I rinsed the leaves as they suggest on their site, pouring the water off immediately and letting the leaves have just a moment to awaken. There is a lot of dust and fine particles so I opted to put my finest infuser in the pot, as I knew the little built in strainer wuld not catch the smaller particles. My first steep in my little gong fu pot was 30 seconds. and that was plenty of time! In just 30 seconds this cup is full of flavor.

The liquor is yellow with a greenish cast. The flavor is buttery, smooth, and has a hint of mild tender greens flavor. I thought at first by the dry leaf aroma that it was going to taste very similar to Premium Silky Green by Bird Pick, but it doesn’t. This is more vegetal and has that nice little edge that makes it pair well with food, and gives a long lasting flavor.

The second steep was for forty seconds. The leaves are now well opened up. The liquor is still a solid yellow with green cast. The flavor is unabated. The flavor rises past the soft palate. Do other people swallow their tea and then make a sort of chewing motion to swirl the heat and flavor that remains through their mouth and sinuses? I do, and this tea carries a nice, continuing flavor. There is a slight, dry tingle on my tongue, a bare hint of the astringency that is highly regarded for clearing the palate.

The third steep is 45 seconds. The liquor is a brighter yellow, losing some of its green cast. I am slowing down, as I have consumed 16 ounces already! This is smooth, and I think I detect a light walnut taste now as well, as the vegetal flavor fades. There is a light sweetness rising in the aftertaste. As this cup cools, it becomes sweeter, not more astringent. The butter flavor is very light now.

This is smooth, sweet, has enough body and flavor to go with food, but isn’t aggressive enough to turn anyone off.

I recommend using scissors to open your pouch. This is very well sealed to preserve the flavor and I appreciate that, because freshness is everything with a tea like this, but the strength and elasticity of the outer layer make it difficult to tear and you don’t want to spill any of your leaves!

Thank you, Nuvola Tea, for allowing me to sample your tea!

Edited to add: On giving it a bit of thought, I suspect that this tea had a lot of fine particles due to being sent through post office machinery! When I mail a small amount of tea in an envelope, I always carry it into the post office and request that they hand cancel it and mark it “Non-machinable.” They hand stamp it twice. If you ordered this tea, I don’t think you would have fine particles.


Oh boy, I just got my sample too. 2500 meters is 8202 feet!
(Got me thinking about the Highland games next week I’m going to at 7522 ft. I’m used to the altitude but I’d hate to be blowing bagpipes at that altitude if I was from Halifax or somewhere else!)


Tossing the caber, are ye? ;)

Daniel Scott

Butter. A note which pretty much automatically guarantees I will like a tea. Yep.

I have not made that chewing motion, but now I am going to have to try it.


Daniel, I call it a chewing motion, and it is a bit hard to describe. Unfortunately the best thing io can come up with is to tell you to act like you are going to imitate a pig oink! You are pushing air up past the soft palate and helping the aroma saturate the sinuses better. Slurping the tea atrociously helps on the sip, too! Mike Harney says when tea buyers are tasting tea, the seasoned ones know to SLURP loudly in order to aerate the tea in the mouth and send the aroma swirling to the nasal passages.


This just sounds SO good!
Buttery – walnut – oh yes please!


Azzrian: if I had more I would sure send you some to try, but I used the whole sample!

Nuvola Tea - Taiwan Tea Specialties

Geographically, “Da Yu Ling” is located in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan.
It is the highest tea plantation in Taiwan around 9,000 – 9,240 ft.
Generally, starting from 95k to 105.5k of the Taiwan Central Cross-Island Highway or Provincial Highway No.8 is claimed as “Da Yu Ling”.

Since it is located on the steep slope and unstable terraces, only few tea gardens can be established. In winter, temperature is always below 32F and annual average temperature is below 68-70F.

Tea leaf is growing slowly in this unspoiled region where can produce only a small amount of Taiwan Da Yu Ling Tea each year.

Da Yu Ling’s tea gardens are required lots of manpower to take care
of tea trees on such extreme environment. It is difficult to be developed by
government officials and business sectors. The road is narrow and curve.

Tea leaves of Taiwna Da Yu Ling is thick and plump.
It is distinguished by its delicate scent and subtle taste well-balanced with an exceptionally rich, full body and a sweet flavor.

Taiwan Da Yu Ling (Google Map)

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Ah! This is a great tea for a really good day! Hubby got off work early and we drove to Pinehurst – the golf capital of the world where the Rockefellers used to hang out – to go to an estate sale. It was a hot day, but we drove through the empty woods and fields of the military base, where the GPS doesn’t take you because it doesnt work there. We saw few cars, and the road was lined with hillocks of grass and almost completely bordered with pretty little yellow flowers blooming all along the way. We stopped to look at a little church that was built in 1854 and has a graveyard behind it, and now it is all fenced in because the government bought the property in 1922. There it sits, well kept and in perfect condition, quiet and peaceful, surrounded by tall pine woods. No houses for miles and miles! They all went away when it became federal property.

At the estate sale, I found four table toppers, or shawls if you want them to be, for my tea table. They were bought in Iran, and a lady who was in the house told me that she, too, lived in Iran and watched the watched the girls making these tablecloths and beautiful dishcloths by hand, stamping them with natural dyes one color at a time. I bought all four! And they were only $10 each. I LOVE estate sales! There was a collection of actress glass there from the 1870’s! And beautiful blue Chinese tea cups and saucers with the rice pattern to let the light shine through. I would have bought them, but I was concerned about lead.

Then home for our Friday night Chinese takeout. I called youngest and asked if she would make us a pot of tea to go with it, and this is what she made. Magnificent! This is one of the teas that would make the cut if I had to live with only five teas. (Shudder!)

This is so perfectly smooth, buttery, and sweet. Tonight I feel like I am picking up a gardenia note as well. Happy, happy sigh. Happy weekend to all!


Wow. Sounds sensational.

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1816 tasting notes

I served this at writers’ group tonight. I was trying to keep things decaf since we meet from 6:30 to about 10 p.m., but I wanted it to be GOOD because these are folks who are not as hard core about loose leaf and good tea! The comments….“THAT’S VANILLA!” And “No, thanks, I don’t need to add sugar. This is great the way it is.”


Really need to try this sometime soon


Me too. It’s been on my shopping list for years now.

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I got so excited about the guests liking the tea that I asked youngest to make one more pot! This is a no fail tea as far as I am concerned. It is so good that everyone I have served it to has loved it.

Tonight was no different. One guest had tried it here cancel before and wanted more. The man whose wife is Japanese said it was very good, and he said he doesn’t praise much tea so if he says a tea is good, it is a big deal.

I had two cups. I had made several teas, all decaf, and here I go drinking two cups of caffeinated tea before bed!!! Ah well, Teavivre says on their website that this one is low in caffeine. I sure hope so.

Ooh, I may have to try my sample of this tomorrow!

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When I ordered this last year, I accidentally ordered the big bag of sachets instead of the loose leaf. I thought I would make iced tea with it all the time, but hubby doesn’t care for many flavored iced teas, it turns out, so it has languished. With the big group that was going to be here tonight, I thought it was the perfect time to make a pitcher. I lightly sweetened it with German rock sugar.

I forgot that all flavored ice teas taste best to me on the second day and later, and I just made it today. Only one guest opted for this tea, and he said it was one of the best he has tasted. I was a little nervous about serving him tea because his wife is Japanese so I figured he would know a LOT of tea and maybe have strong preferences. I needn’t have worried, he liked both teas he tried!

I had a glass of it myself, and as usual, like all flavored ice teas it tasted artificial to me. Tomorrow it will be better. Saturday it will be excellent. I don’t know why, but all flavored ice teas are like that to me.

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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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