1956 Tasting Notes

drank Ginger Snappish by Bigelow
1956 tasting notes

This is another Bigelow tea that was included in my Christmas card from GMathis! Thank you!

Tonight was writers’ group night at my house, and because of the severe cold weather I had decided to make a bean soup – rather like a vegetarian chili – for supper to warm my hubby. Then I wondered if that was such a good idea with a house full of company coming…

To stave off any tummy grumbles I decided to try this since ginger is supposed to be good for digestion. I think it worked! The tea smelled very good, like freshly baked cookies but not overly sweet. I did detect a note of round sweetness that I associate with licorice and slippery elm. It turned out to be a hint of licorice.

I bought ginger snaps a long time ago and didn’t like them, but then my youngest daughter made gingerbread men at Christmas this year and we all loved them. The store bought ones were too hot and spicy for me. Hers were just right. That is how the tea was for me. By the end of the cup, the ginger was building up and becoming more noticeable, but at no point was it too much or unpleasant.

gmathis

Normally I despise teas with licorice, but it’s not obnoxious at all in this one.

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I know I reviewed this as an matcha latte but I don’t see it now, nor was this listed as in my cupboard. Drat it, Steepster!

Inspired by the pictures that Red Leaf posts on Facebook, I made some matcha ice cream with a twist. The twist – I used homemade kefir, which generally produces a frozen yogurt like dessert that tastes like cheesecake. My only ingredients were 12 ounces kefir, 1 1/2 TBLSP sugar, and a scant teaspoon of matcha. I froze it in my Zoku cup since it was a small batch. I froze it in two batches successively, adding it to my teacup.

It was very tasty, and healthy, though that is a lot of matcha at one time for me since I ate it all by myself!

Thank you, Red Leaf, for the matcha surprise! My student who shared some with me has emailed three times for help in choosing their flavors as they are requesting your matcha as their birthday gift at home!

Fjellrev

Frozen kefir! That’s a new one to me, but I can totally see how it would taste like cheesecake.

ashmanra

We were looking at shops in Toronto’s PATH and one is called deKefir. It is a frozen kefir shop, like our frozen yogurt! Plain kefir with vanilla and sugar added and made into ice cream tastes just like cheesecake flavor frozen yogurt.

Fjellrev

Genius! More people need to do this wonderful thing haha.

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drank Salted Caramel by Bigelow
1956 tasting notes

A few weeks ago I received a lovely handmade card from GMathis with a few tea bags tucked in. Today was the perfect day to try them! It is really, really cold for where I live. We will be below freezing for a total of about 40 hours, and that is a big deal here in Eastern NC!

I chose this first because I recently fell in love with a dark chocolate salted caramel candy bar. I felt like I was having a dessert after lunch! The smell is remarkable – spot on caramel. It reminds me of 52Teas Weeping Angel.

The taste: a very enjoyable black tea with lots of caramel flavor. I enjoyed it plain, and I expect if you like to add sugar to your tea it really would taste just like candy.

Bigelow has been good to me. This is the tea they serve at the cancer center and I have tried a number of flavors there. All have been superior to most of the bagged teas I have found in the grocery store.

Thank you, GMathis! This was a great afternoon cup for huddling by the fire!

gmathis

It’s been a long john’s week here, too. However, sun has been shining, mostly; my un-scientific contention is that 20 and sunny is warmer than 40 with dampness and clouds.

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To our members in France: my thoughts and prayers are with you today. I saw the news as I was having lunch with my daughter. I feel sad and sickened by what happened. God bless you all.

looseTman

Amen. Very well stated Ashmanra.

Stephanie

Agreed. So sad!

mrmopar

Amen as well. Well said , they need our prayers as we have had theirs I am sure.

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drank Ruby #18 by A Southern Season
1956 tasting notes

SuperAnna and her hubby stopped by on their way home from their anniversary trip to Myrtle Beach. They were picking up their hedgehog, (my grand-hog?), and stayed to play board games.

Hubby doesn’t want black tea, son-in-law prefers it, SuperAnna likes green and white best. Usually we make lots of different teas, but this time I served the tea that does it all. Looks like a green, tastes like a oolong plus Darjeeling plus black plus green, smooth and sweet, it slides down and pleased almost everyone. And that is exactly what it did. It is a keeper. And a great resteeper. Bonus.

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drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
1956 tasting notes

My, how we change! This tea was sent to me by SimplyJenW three years ago. That’s right. THREE YEARS. I saw it when I was diggin through my samples box and decided that since youngest already had a whole pot of tea for herself, this would be a good time to use my Kamjove pitcher from Teavivre and resteep the heck out of this, thereby acquiring a generous portion for breakfast and finishing a sample to boot.

We no longer add milk or sugar to our tea, and with food this was quite good. I had a good bit left over and also got to experience it on its own. It tastes like a hearty breakfast Keemun, not as raw and rough as a good old wake-you-up Hao Ya B but not as prissy and refined as a top of the line afternoon sipper to go with cookies. And this was with three steeps using 7 ounces of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaf. I think 21 ounces of tea out of the end of a sample is a pretty good deal, especially since this is getting on in age. I have never purchased this brand, but I would do so without hesitation if I was somewhere that carried it.

Thank you, Jen, for “joining” me at breakfast today!

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My son asked for Black Cherry Matcha from Red Leaf Tea for Christmas, so I ordered 60 grams and upgraded the base because it really seems to make a difference to me. When the order arrived, there was also this pouch of 30 grams of Madagascar Vanilla Matcha! I panicked, wondering if I had ordered wrong, if my son’s pouch of tea was also just 30 grams and they had made a mistake but NO! It was a gift! A bonus! There was a little note on my invoice with a smiley face!

I had skipped lunch running errands so I wanted a latte to fill me up fast. I made a big glass and told my son to try a sip, and I was a little alarmed when the “sip” went on and on and greatly diminished my glass! He handed it back and said, “I’ll have one!” So I made another glass for him.

I used about eleven or twelve ounces of skim milk, one tablespoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of matcha. I stirred with a spoon then further mixed and frothed with an Aerolatte, a little mixing tool that costs less than $20 and can easily be had for less using a coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

It was like drinking a vanilla shake with a touch of creamy matcha flavor thrown in. Delicious, and thank you so much Red Leaf Tea for the bonus! I think my son may be hooked on a new flavor!

Also, I really like the new packaging. For a matcha that I will drink pretty quickly as lattes like this one, the new zipper pouch is perfectly good storage and I don’t have to be frantic about finding a tin or jar right away.

Sami Kelsh

Wicked! How sweet of them to send you such a lovely gift :)

Cameron B.

Ooh, is the Black Cherry one good? I was wondering which cherry to try when I get around to ordering. :P

Veronica

I was just thinking about ordering from Red Leaf. Last time I ordered the French Vanilla. I might give this one a try next.

ashmanra

Cameron B. – the black cherry is one of our favorites for shaking in a cold water bottle and using during workouts! It is yummy! I make pitchers of it iced for them U.S. when they do heavy yardwork to keep them refreshed. They seem to love it! They go through tons!

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drank Sakura Blue by Mariage Frères
1956 tasting notes

The tin and box refer to this as blue tea. I had never to my remembrance heard of a oolong tea being referred to as “blue.”

This smells heavenly. It reminds me a lot of Teavivre’s Taiwan Ginseng Oolong in the scent. I googled blue tea and lots of the listings were for oolong tea rolled in licorice root and ginseng powder, but these leaves do not appear to have been rolled in anything. It is sometimes referred to as a Formosa style oolong.

There are large and medium sized leaves and a good number of cherry blossom petals. We are steeping over and over. The flavors are sticking around for a few steeps, but mild after the first. The oolong is neither super green or heavily roasted. Perhaps “Blue” refers to the level of oxidation and type of heat this tea has had?

This tin is going to be gone in no time and I am going to miss it when it is gone. I am rather taken with this tea right now.

The tin is tall and thin and has a really nice double lid. It will definitely be saved and recycled for storing another tea.

Lupiressmoon

Beautiful canister – but then again, so many of Mariage Freres’ are (sigh)

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Not long ago I mentioned on here that I had tried every Jasmine tea from Teavivre except this one. What came in the mail today but TWO tuo cha of it from K S! Steepsterites are the best!

We had gone to the big city of Raleigh to top off the Christmas shopping, but mostly just for fun, and we wanted some tea and spice cake when we got home. I made this in my new Kamjove pot that I got from Teavivre.

I didn’t look up the instructions but I used boiling water and kept the first few steps short. My first impression…I took a sip and said, WOW! The first few steeos had that light, natural Teavivre Jasmine flavor that I love. As the Jasmine flavor faded and the raw puerh came forward, I accidentally left a steep too long. That steep was still good, and all it took was a little extra water to tame it. These later steeps had a briskness that turned almost immediately to a rising sweetness that I really enjoyed.

This is on my next order. Thank you, K S, and Merry Christmas! I hope you are feeling better, and I LOVE my card with sparklies. I am a sucker for sparklies and I know Mrs. K S must have made it herself! Many thanks!

K S

Awesome. Glad to help Teavivre sell more tea. lol. Mrs. KS made all our cards this year. I watched. Merry Christmas to you and your’s.

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I wanted to review this again now that have used it some more.

First of all, people who see it think it is so cool and so much fun. It is! I guess we are easily entertained!

My son’s girlfriend wanted to know where to get one the very first night she saw me using it. A week later my son-in-law wanted to know why the tea wasn’t going all the way down, and said “Coooooooooool!” when I pressed the button.

I used it with my best friend before giving her one for Christmas. She sent me a message that night saying that even though we had a TON of tea already that night, she was using her new pot to make more tea. She told me today that she has used it every single day since getting it.

We used it tonight to make two liters of Puerh while watching old movies. It is clean, convenient, easy, and fun. I am not seeing any staining yet and it is easy to clean. I rinse the basket with the button up, then with the button down, then turn it upside down and press the button to get the last of the water out of the strainer.

This will be going on vacation with me from now on. If anything ever happens to it, I would buy another right away.

Terri HarpLady

I have a small one of these in my desk at work. At lunch time I bring it out & treat myself to a gongfu session with whatever tea I brought that day. It’s the highlight of my school day :)

Terri HarpLady

Super easy at work

OMGsrsly

And no one’s had any problems with them breaking? I’ve had 3 from different companies now, and each of them have shattered when I’ve been making tea. :/ IDK what I’m doing wrong if no one else has had this problem!

ashmanra

Terri: that looks like mine, but mine is the 500 mL. It is fun and easy, isn’t it? I bought one for a friend who is a teacher because I thought it would be easy for her to use at school. I am loving mine! Plan to use it tonight!

ashmanra

OMG: I have only had mine for a week or so, but no problems so far. I have a glass gong fu pot and double wall glass cups and all have held up so far. Someone gave me a cheap glass gift set of a pot, glass infuser, and flowering teas. The infuser shattered right away, but the set was not borosilicate glass. I think it really matters to have borosilicate glass, but having said that, K S had one shatter on him when it struck a faucet just so. My borosilicate French press held up but I gave it to my daughter long ago and she hardly ever uses it.

OMGsrsly

I have a french press and the wee davidstea pot and double walled mugs. No problems with those! Maybe I need to find a more reliable brand of these things. :) I really liked how easy it was, and it was fun to use the jug by itself for the occasional flowering tea.

ashmanra

If yours was a Kamjove, maybe you could try Piao I? Has more than one Kamjove broken on you? Is it possible it was too cold when hot water was poured in, or did it break because it hit something? I hope these will last!

OMGsrsly

I have a feeling they were off-brands. One had a fault in the glass, and two just shattered when I drained the tea. I had started pre-heating, too! I should look for a better quality one. :)

ashmanra

Oh, I love the idea of using them for flowering teas! My glass pots are too tiny to let them show all their beauty, there just isn’t room. But this would be great! It is tall and narrow, just right!

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Profile

Bio

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…

Location

North Carolina

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