1960 Tasting Notes

My daughter came to join us for Thanksgiving dinner today and brought a gift with her. She said this was part of my Christmas present but that I needed to open it now because it was something for DURING the holidays.

It was the adorable Dammann Freres coffret with two tins of Christmas tea! I made the white tea after lunch because I wanted to share it with her and she really does not like black tea….at all!

This is very fragrant and right away evoked memories of Noél a Londres by the same company, just with a white base. SQUEEE! After the tea is gone, I will have to repurpose this beautiful box and the tins!


Miss Starfish

How sweet of her and such gorgeous packaging!!




that’s awesome!

Hesper June

Beautiful tins and box! what a lovely gift:)


Those tins are lovely!


GORGEOUS! & so thoughtful :) That was amazingly sweet to give it to you early so that you can enjoy it throughout the holiday season.


She is such a doll to feed my tea habit the way she does!

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My bestie asked me to take a break tonight and come have tea with her. When I got there, she offered me a slice of her coconut cream pie with the tallest fluffiness meringue you have ever seen. I have never had ANY cream pie before. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so very good and I am so very stuffed! I got the recipe but I know my mother will be up in heaven looking down at me saying, “Gee, thanks! You couldn’t try it and fall in love with it while I was alive, eh?” She loved pie, and I never really ate any cream pies.

This tea was a very nice accompaniment to the pie. The base is good, smooth but not overly sweet, and the vanilla is just right – it doesn’t mask the tea but you don’t have to look for it, either.


Coconut cream pie… a favorite! I am hoping my mother-in-law’s turns out well tomorrow. :)


Your first cream pie ever?! Where have you been? Never too late though!


Haha if it means you feel better I’ve never had a cream pie :)


What on earth—-?? You have some catching up to do, friend! Come see us and I will take you to Big R’s Barbecue. We’ll skip the brisket and go straight to the 4" tall cream pies!


I never liked pie as a kid, except apple pie! Based on how full I felt after eating it, it may be a good thing I didn’t discover it earlier! I will definitely be making this pie for tea time SOON!

GMathis: if I am ever out that way, you betcha I will try to get in touch! I would love to hit that BBQ place with you. Tomato based or vinegar based? That is a big battle here between Virginia, NC, and SC!


We have a little of both in this neck of the woods, but tomato base seems to have a slight edge. (I had some really good vinegar based sauce at a place called Cousin’s at the Dallas airport. Had never heard of the chain before.)


Around here, it is vinegar base, but go north or west toward the mountains and they get pretty passionate about tomato being the only way to go! That pie sounds pretty impressive. I think we would need to skip the brisket so there will be room for it!

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This was the first tea of tea party today. I broke with our usual attempt of having black, oolong, and green, or some other form of variety and just made two black teas and one flavored black because I was pairing it with something that I felt needed black tea to carry it.

You see, the lovely JacquelineM sent me a tiny little tea book with recipes in it a while back and today I tried one of them for tea time. The recipe is Pear, Walnut, Bleu Cheese sandwiches on Seven Grain bread, except we could only find twelve grain so we used that instead! LOL! The Bleu Cheese is mixed with cream cheese to spread it on the bread. It was very tasty and I don’t EVEN want to know how many calories were in each little triangle!

The sandwiches were very rich, so I wanted a good, strong black tea to stand up to the flavorful Bleu cheese and to contrast with the delicate pear. It was delicious! Thank you, Jacqueline!


keemuns are so mellow, this is a black tea type I really like very much.
Regarding the recipe, bleu & pear are pairing very well, we often mix its in French recipe (or roquefort & pear)


recipeS ;)

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Tonight’s tea with hubby while peaceful music plays on Pandora. I want to own every jasmine tea Teavivre sells. They are that good. The Jasmine Dragon Pearl and Extra Downy Jasmine Pearls are probably my favorite, or the white jasmine, with this one coming in as an excellent every day drinker, so much smoother and milder than the loose leaf I bought at the Asian Market. Lovely.

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drank Jasmine Black by A Southern Season
1960 tasting notes

I saw the tin sitting off to the side and said, “Why not?” I completely forgot until I saw it just now about the experiment of icing it and adding vanilla. Seriously? I did that? And liked it?

Well, having made it the usual way I make hot tea, I tried to like it once again. I find it slightly more palatable now, but I think I would rather put this in my bath water because it smells so great. The taste is still soapy and perfume-y to me. And now that I have fallen in love with Teavivre’s jasmine teas….all of them…I know that I DO like jasmine, just not this one. And I don’t see myself caring about it enough to ice it with vanilla. As it cools, it gets worse and worse. I want to wash my tongue.

Foot tea and bath tea it is!


Don’t know why, but I have a hard time associating black with jasmine. Never had one though… Teavivre does it best, I agree. Those jasmine pearls are real gems

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drank Weishan Mao Feng by Harney & Sons
1960 tasting notes

Back logging from last night: I decided to revisit this sample from Russel Allyn of Harney and Sons. This was our late night yoga tea for hubby and me! :)

As I said before, this tastes likes snowmelt in which one has cooked veggies, something like artichoke, asparagus, some smooth and mild and lightly buttered. Hubby, who still adds milk and sugar to his black tea, likes green and oolong tea plain. I watched as he poured cup after cup and drank it down. I think I got about seven of the twenty two ounces I made!

I didn’t want to finish my sample so I had steeped the same leaves three times in a tiny glass pot. I am glad I have enough leaves to drink this one more time – probably soon!

Thank you, Russel and Harney and Sons!

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I am decupboarding this one as I finished it today! I was experimenting, and I am hoping someone on here can help me because it was NOT a success.

I made a big batch of this tea, added cinnamon, cloves, and a tiny bit of nutmeg, squeezed a Clementine orange over it, and threw the peel and fruit in to simmer. I also added sugar.

This is very nearly good, yet almost undrinkable at the same time. It smells good and the sip is almost good but there is a really weird aftertaste. It was somewhat drinkable other than that while it was hot but as it cooled it was pretty terrible!

I wondered if this is bitterness coming from the orange peel?

Does anyone have a great recipe for a mulled tea that can be simmered low and slow in a crockpot? Other than the old standby of instant tea, Tang, and cinnamon?


The oils in orange peel can be bitter, yes. Also, if you used a lot of the white pith, that will add bitterness. This may not help, but I had a chai hot toddy while on vacation. It was chai tea with a cinnamon stick, 4 whole cloves, two spirals of very thin lemon and orange peels and of course rum and tuaca. :) Perhaps using a vegetable peeler to get the peel would help. I may be completely wrong, here, but I think I have also read where the squeezing of the peel releases more of the bitter oil? Maybe get your peel off before squeezing the juice?


I think you are right. I did squeeze it and then toss it in the pot. I thought I had some orange extract but when I took the bottle down from the shelf it was empty. I should have used orange zest or just some orange juice concentrate. I wonder what it would be like with brown sugar?


Just wondering aloud…could you start with an apple juice or cider base, then add your tea and spices?


Maybe! I have never made mulled anything so perhaps I should start there. I wish I had thought of just adding the cinnamon dolce syrup I made a while back. That probably would have been tasty.

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My bestie of 26 years came over for lunch today. I made stuffed baked potatoes with sour cream, sautéed onion, cheddar cheese, and bacon. For dessert we had fresh Snickerdoodles and Lapsang souchong. It was very yummy on this gray, rainy day! My bestie loves puerh, and she liked this, her first Lapsang, but she said it isn’t one she feels she must purchase. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she craves it later, though. That is how Lapsangs worked on me and on my youngest daughter. They sneak up on you!


That sounds like an amazing lunch!!!


It took a while before I came around to Lapsang Souchong, now, I enjoy them well enough, but, I wouldn’t call them a favorite.

The lunch sounds really yummy… I want snickerdoodles now!


I was terrified of them! My parents were smokers, though my dad quit when I was a even, and I hated the smell of the smoke and ashtrays, which I had to clean. Bleh. So it turned me against Lapsang for a long time. Now I find that most of them remind me of either campfire or bacon, though one or two smell like ashtray. I don’t like those, but youngest does.

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Back in the early loose leaf days when I used to go to A Southern Season and sniff sniff SNIFF pouch after pouch of tea and tin after tin from the Fine Tea Wall, I thought Russian Caravans were pretty much the same thing as Lapsang Souchong. They both smelled really smoky to me and I was afraid of them, and puerh was on that list, too.

I lost my fear as I drank teas that had natural light smokiness, then I had some lovely blends, and then I was finally ready for the real thing. The funny thing was that my youngest child loved smoky tea right off the bat.

So here I am drinking this Caravan and wondering where the smoke is! LOL! There are a number of teas that used to seem so very smoky to me that now just seem hearty. This is very lightly smoky but it is sweet and good. No milk or sugar is needed to make this palatable, and it is comforting and bracing as we look out on yet another gray, rainy day with no sign of sunshine in the near future.

Grace Rare Tea has done what they set out to do. They carry only a few types of tea but strive to carry the best examples they can get of those types. I have never been disappointed by them.

Thank you again, Hesper June, for the amazing box o’ smoky teas! This has been the perfect week to try them all!

Hesper June

You are most welcome! I am so glad you are enjoying them:)

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This was the final tea of tea party today. Because it was sold as a green, I made it like a green tea even though I knew it MUST be oolong. Those parameters have served me well so I still use them. Three minutes in 180F water and you get a pot of buttery popcorn flavor. Treat it like oolong and you still get great flavor, just nuttier and less butter-y. The memory of this tea is tantalizing me even now.

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

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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