1829 Tasting Notes
It is Wednesday! That means tea party day and lots of tea. Today we served homemade sugar cookies and strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce that hardens when it is gets cold. It is super easy to do – just heat some chocolate chips with a bit of coconut oil until it is creamy and smooth, drizzle on or dip the strawberries, and put them on wax paper in the freezer briefly. Peel them off and serve.
This is the tea I chose to start with since we were having such sweet foods today and my guest really really loved the pairing. I like for the rich sweets and such to be paired with an unflavored sturdy tea usually, and it really worked today. The tea wasn’t harsh, but it didn’t disappear under the food.
For a long time I tried to like regular Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney and Sons and found it too spicy for me. All my friends loved it, though, so I kept it on hand. Then they sent me a sample of the green version and it converted me. I like both now! but green is my fave!
A friend from way back came over a few months ago and didn’t tell me she hated tea, so I gave her some puerh and samples of HCS to take home. She is now addicted to puerh tea and to Teavivre’s jasmine Silver Needle. Well, she came again today and I served her the green hot cinnamon and she loved it so much that she says is he will be ordering it first thing in the morning.
She also told me that her mother is now addicted to puerh as well and they gave each other tea and tea paraphernalia for Christmas, and her son asks for puerh every time his stomach bothers him. Yay for more tea conversions!
Someone I knew many years ago has been back in touch and had expressed an interest in trying puerh tea. She came today to get some eggs so we sat down for a quick gong fu session before she had to head out of town.
When people tell me they don’t really like tea or that they are afraid of puerh, I like to start them with this one. It is just so good and smooth and sweet! She really liked it and wants to know more. This is probably my all time favorite puerh.
She told me that her son-in-law has a Yixing but she doesn’t know what he drinks, just that he grew up drinking tea and his mother was very much into natural remedies and such, so I got a handful of Teavivre samples together and sent them with her for him to try,an d I am sure he will share a cup or two with his mother-in-law! I can’t wait to hear how he likes the teas I sent. I love introducing people to Teavivre. :) They are amazing!
I can’t believe it has been two years since I had this last. A lot has changed in that time. This is a very old sample, and when we last drank it, my husband was still partial to cheap black tea with lots of sugar and some milk. Now he prefers green, white, and oolong tea taken plain, and enjoys having puerh with me.
This is definitely weaker and that is my fault. It was a wonderful tea and I have let my samples and swaps build up to embarrassing levels. I don’t include them in my cupboard, so I have no idea how many I actually have but I have been trying to knock the numbers down for a while now. Ridiculously, there is tea I want to order and that is part of my incentive to make headway on sip downs.
The fruity aroma is still here. The tea was a medium light golden color. There was little to no astringency. We made five steeps using one teaspoon of leaf per eight ounces water. I steeped for about three minutes each time. The fifth steep was weak enough that I felt it futile to try for a sixth, but I did enjoy the ones we had.
I knew I needed a good, sturdy black tea this morning after I leaned over to hug the dog while making breakfast and thanked him for the “near ibbles.” I love near ibbles from man or beast, but when I am fully awake I call them “ear nibbles.”
I decided to gong fu brew this one, which I don’t do that often with black tea. The result rather surprised me. I think gong fu brewing really amped up the fruitiness on this one. The fruitiness is really a byproduct of a very pleasant, light astringency. This isn’t a hearty, add milk and sugar kind of breakfast tea loaded with Assam, but is strong enough for my needs since I never took to coffee.
And this is a SIPDOWN of a sample sent by Missy and Dylan, whom we miss on here! I am pretty sure this tea was discontinued at Teavana, and I am pretty sure it is a close relative of the Golden Mudan tied in wreaths that was discontinued years ago at Harney and Sons. Both were very nice teas.
ETA: Fourth and fifth steeps are even better, smooth and mellow and sweet.
I wasn’t going to buy any tea but I had to because my daughter heard about this one (from me, "oooo, honey, you would love this one!) and since I was ordering some for her I ordered one for me as well because doggone it, I was intrigued!
And this is delicious! I have two western style steeps and the second was as good as the first. There is spearmint that brings Wrigley’s gum to mind, and then that vanilla/marshmallow vibe that makes it soft and misty. I think I taste the green base a little more on the second steep but the flavors are definitely still there and both steeps were vey good. Daughter really liked it and is glad she ordered some as well!
I ordered a couple of the Groundhog Day specials. I made this one today because after our big snow last week, it is 75F here today and my new son-in-law who loves Earl Grey tea was coming for a visit. I made it sweeeeeet Southern style, resteeping it so I got a whole gallon, and I have to say it is one beautiful tea. I keep my iced tea in a glass dispenser in the fridge, and Frank’s teas always have the most beautiful color.
This is a luscious Earl Grey that is very grape-y to me, rather like an exquisite jasmine will have grape notes. SIL loved it!
I have stopped going to the Mexican restaurant because as much as I love the cheese and cheese and cheese dip and cheese! I can’t digest it very well anymore and I have two days of misery! or at least one night of reflux. But daughter visited tonight and really wanted to go, so we did. As a preventative measure, we made a huge pot of puerh tonight and we all drank it. Within minutes, the heaviness was lifting and the meal was not making miserable. (Oh, how I love hot melty cheese!)
My cake of puerh is now officially gone, expended, no longer in existence. I told hubby this means I get to panic and replace it with an order of ten more cakes of puerh. ( I do have a few more already here at home, so I will work on those!)
This has been an earthy, rich, delightful treat.
Backlog: I drank this a couple of nights ago and it was quite late so I didn’t log it.
I think I am ready for this tea, I think I remember how good and how different it is, and then it always takes me by surprise. I asked for years if they added licorice root to this and they swear NOTHING is added. Last time I drank it, I realized that it tastes like a great Tie Guan Yin, but amped up a LOT.
Still, it took me by surprise with how strong and sweet it was. It is a special treat that I don’t have very often at 14.95 an ounce, but an ounce goes a long, long way. I made steep after steep gong fu style and it earned its keep.