A Southern Season

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Ruby #18 by A Southern Season
1812 tasting notes

This tea has lots of meaning for me. It was one of the first “fine” teas I ever bought, recommended from the fine tea wall at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC. The first time I steeped it, I was sure I had done it all wrong. I had forgotten it and oversteeped, yet when I poured it the liquor was light orange. What happened to my black tea?

Instead of being astringent, it forgave me utterly and yielded a cup of raisin-y goodness. Steep after steep.

This was also the last tea I sent to Doulton, a much loved steepsterite who disappeared a long time ago. She was a delight, NAND I was thrilled that she loved this tea.

Today I made it because I am making my own breakfast for the first time in my recovery period, and I knew I might not multitask really well today. (I sneaked into the garden early and tried to hammer a brick clip up with a piece of 2×4 so I could hang some garden art and got caught by my daughter. I had to come in so she wouldn’t rat on me.)

I have absolutely no idea how long this steeped, but it is perfect. Thick, golden raisin taste drained from my cup rapidly. Thank goodness I made a whole pot.

Flavors: Raisins

boychik

thats great news! wishing you the best!

mrmopar

Good news is always welcome. I think LooseTman would like to hear from you as well. Prayers for you!

ashmanra

Thank you! I feel really good, just tire easily and have to be careful. Glad to be on the recovery side of things!

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70

Working on another ancient sipdown…. I over leafed this because of the age and because I’m trying to get rid of it….which made it was more tasty than the last time I had it!

It really was quite creamy and caramelly. I was surprised. I enjoyed the cup!

I went for a resteep but it really didn’t have much flavour so I dumped it.

Probably one cup let before this is all gone! Huzzah!

Bumping my previous rating of 67 up a smidge.

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52

Super old sample sipdown!

Didn’t particularly care for this. First, the age… And it’s a bit bitter and reminded me of a far less superior version of H&S’s Florence, minus the chocolate.

I’m not really getting pecans out of my cup, I added milk but sugar probably would’ve helped this tea.

One more down! :)

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93

This is a magnificent tea. It reminds me of the finest tie guan yin, but with even more flavor, more sweetness. Well worth the price, I will continue to buy an ounce or two at the time and cherish each steeping.

I shared some with my 18 year old male student who is rather new to “real” tea and he said it was his favorite so far. I don’t know when I should break it to him that he has very expensive taste in tea!

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Backlogging from Thursday night: One of the men who attends our writers’ group came in with a gift bag. He said it was something from his wife to me. His wife is Japanese and knows how much I love tea even though we have only met once, and briefly then.

The bag contained a rainbow wood scoop (so cute!) and this tea. Naturally I steeped up some of it for the group to try. :) I ended up making four pots because everyone loved it.

The ginger isn’t too biting in this one as ginger can sometimes be, at least to me. The peach is very nice but sniffing the dry leaves AND the tea we really picked up lots of citrus, and I realized it was a very strong lime aroma. The lime as there in the taste also, and I think it was really the green base that was carrying it. Perhaps the sourgrass nature of the base (did everyone else grow up chewing on sourgrass in the summertime?) mixed with the peach flavoring combined to make lime.

It was very favorably received by all the green tea drinkers in the room, and at the rate they were drinking it, I have a feeling this pouch won’t last long. It was a lovely surprise!

gmathis

Your writers sound like an appealing and gracious bunch of people! Fiction? Non-fiction? Would you adopt a freelance curriculum writer who’s perpetually behind deadline if she could manage the 13-hour commute on Thursday nights? ;)

ashmanra

We would love to have you! We actually have one young writer in college who Skypes in when he can’t make it in person. He writes devotional poetry, essays, and sci-fi. My girls write sci-fi/fantasy. The older man writes autobiography and fiction based on his life. He was a wartime soldier who married a Japanese woman and he has based a novel on their life, on her family disowning her, and his conversion. We also have a playwright and fiction writer, another poet, and one who writes articles for emagazines! We drink a lot of tea. A lot. Of tea. LOL!

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80

Pleasant, fruit dry smell. Somehow found it to be very relaxing. Soft hints of all the flavors are present and combine well for a great tea.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

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.

Sami Kelsh

TEA PARTY! That sounds glorious.

OMGsrsly

I think a tea party day sounds fantastic. I wonder if I could manage to set one up… :)

ashmanra

You should! Ours is pretty simple and falls together easily now. It started because I was teaching music students until late evening and would get hungry, so I would have my daughters prepare tea and a cookie plate for us to enjoy together on a quick break around four o’clock to tide us over until our late supper time. I invited a student to join us and she accepted, and eventually it became a tradition. Every Wednesday is tea party, we have all the plates, cups, and glasses ready and at hand, sometimes we bake and sometimes we don’t, but we always have three different teas! If many one has a scheduling conflict, we simply change the day.

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93

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.

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drank tippy yunnan by A Southern Season
1812 tasting notes

I have spent a bit of time lately digging through my many stashes and caches of tea and trying to finish some that are nearly gone. Most of them I don’t review, but this one I will because it shows how much my tastes have changed.

This is old, three years old or more. It still has plenty of heft. When I bought it, I could not have taken it plain. One of my first notes mentions it being peppery. Now, I mostly get gutsy black tea flavor. This is not a sophisticated Yunnan like Teavivre’s. This is a tea that will grab you by the chest hairs and pull you out of bed.

>DISCLAIMER: I am female and do not possess chest hairs but if I had them this tea would have yanked me out of bed by them. In the absence of chest hairs, it gave me a nice, swift kick on the patootie."<

I am really enjoying this tea plain this morning. It isn’t quite a SIPDOWN but the next pot will be. It is ever so slightly drying, has that scraping feel I get that reminds me of unsweetened cocoa, though I don’t get chocolate notes from this, and is a bit malty if I understand correctly what malty means. It is rather full bodied.

Our die hard Assam drinkers would probably consider this a pretty tame tea (hi, gmathis!) but it is strong enough for me!

Preparation
3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML
boychik

so funny;-)

__Morgana__

It would be something if it pulled you out of bed by the chest hairs you don’t have!

Hello.Kiki

That is too funny. I’m starting to branch out into more black tea, but sometimes I feel like I just might grow a beard if I drink certain ones on a regular basis ;)

gmathis

Bonus points for using patootie!

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75

Sipdown!! (199!)

Thank you Josie Jade for sending this my way. After the lack of vanilla flavoring in my matcha, this cup is really quite delicious. Filled with a creamy vanilla flavor, I am happily sipping away at the cup as I watch the Big Bang Theory.

Flavors: Cream, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Thank you Josie Jade for sharing this with me. It smells amazing! Both in smell and taste it is reminiscent of Vanilla Comoro and Cafe Vanilla. However, I do think this is a touch weaker than those other two and for that reason I won’t seek out more. That doesn’t mean I am not thoroughly enjoying this cup though.

In other news, I just finished Lost and now need to find a new show to waste time with :P.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
__Morgana__

Yay for finishing Lost!

Roswell Strange

Are you emotional wreck? Also, Tre and I started watching Two Broke Girls last night and spent the whole evening enraptured with the fact that the main character (the not formerly rich one) is scarily like me personality wise. I’m still seeking a new show on Netflix, though.

VariaTEA

Haha. I watch that too. Also Max is pretty awesome.

Roswell Strange

Apparently living with Max would be identical to living with me – down to the cupcakes, snark, and everything else. Although, we are only like six episodes in…

VariaTEA

So I think our living together would actually work then :P. If you were like Caroline, I would not be cool with that.

Roswell Strange

Caroline, based on what we’ve seen, is way too prissy/girly to come close to being me. I’m definitely more like Max. And we’ve decided Tre is a combination of Caroline/the really sexually uncomfortable cook guy. He’s sorta proud of that, but I told him he shouldn’t be.

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It seems like ages since I had this one. It is a beautiful sunny day and warm for this time of year, but this morning was very cold and I had to be out and about. All I could think of as I ran my errands was, “Get home, make tea, have some smoked cheddar.” So I did!

This is a milder Irish Breakfast tea. Assays can be too harsh for me, but this one was just right even when I was new to hot tea. It possibly wouldn’t satisfy a lover of good, strong, Irish breakfast blends, but people have liked it when I serve it here and it was a favorite of youngest daughter for a long time.

It is a little malty, a little fruity, not too harsh, and I can drink it as easily plain as with milk and sugar.

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I bought this to tide me over until my Harney order arrives. It is more astringent than Harney’s but for the price it isn’t bad at all, and went well with my bagel. It smells absolutely awesome when I open my tin. With food, the astringency is subdued and not at all unpleasant, but I do prefer the Harney and Nina’s versions to this one. It is a great value, though.

keychange

Ah, see I’m still on the hunt for a really good, strong vanilla black tea. I had high hopes for vanilla Comoro, but it just doesn’t seem to be working out so far.

ashmanra

Have you tried their Vanilla Black? Vanilla Comoro is decaf. Also Vanille des Îles by Marriage Freres is pretty good, but I think Nina’s Je T’Aime is better.

ashmanra

Maybe you could even add your own vanilla beans or vanilla caviar? The stuff from Olive Nation can’t be beat, IMO. I use it to make my vanilla extract and it is the best and most economical I have found.

keychange

Oh yes, both vanilla black and je t’aime are on my to try list.

Rosehips

Agreed on Je t’aime! very good vanilla tea. I am always questing for vanilla, as its my favorite. I’ll look up Vanille des Iles as well.

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93

It’s baaaaaaaack! After two years of not being able to buy this one, they have it on shelf at A Southern Season again. The bad news is, it has gone up to $14.95 an ounce. O.O But hey, I can buy one ounce, resteep like mad, and hoard it until I can afford more.

When I first tried this one I was rather new to oolongs. This tea fascinated me, and it still does. It doesn’t seem quite as alien to me now, though. For a long time I was convinced that something had been added, like perhaps licorice root. (The staff vows that nothing at all has been added.) But now that I have had some really fine TGY teas, mostly thanks to Teavivre, I recognize that this is somewhat similar to those. It is much stronger though, and has a cooling flowery presence that swells each time you inhale, and it doesn’t stop after your finish your tea. I can continue for quite a long time.

This is one I will only drink when I have time alone with my kettle and cup.

mrmopar

You are a hoarder…..I am guilty too….

Sandy

Hoorah! I am glad it is back for you to enjoy.

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My son and godson agreed to do a tea pickup at A Southern Season for me today. I got just two ounces of this for $3 to tide us over until out next Harney order as my youngest loves their Vanilla Black and Vanilla Comoro and we are out of both.

I guess I under leafed this. I steeped for four minutes at 203F and when I poured the tea it looked like a decaf resteep! I am drinking it plain and it is fine, not great, not bad. The tea is a little weak, the vanilla flavor is pretty good. I think with hotter water, longer steep, or more leaf, this could be very good. It isn’t Nina’s Je T’Aime by any stretch of the imagination, but should get us by until I place a big Harney order for my daughter.

I am most excited that Wild Forest Oolong was back in stock by the ounce! I will be having some later this weekend. The bad news is that it has gone up to $14.95 an ounce so I only got the one ounce.

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I kept this from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box, originally as a present for Tony, because he really enjoys Plum Oolong. It sat on his table for a couple of weeks, waiting…

So I’m drank it with dinner. His teas are my teas, so there!
Sipdown!

Sil

i liked this one a bunch

Terri HarpLady

It was tasty!

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79
drank Plum Oolong by A Southern Season
4831 tasting notes

Sipdown! i like this one quite a bit. it’s plumy with a bit of spiciness to it but not overly so. Theres a sweetness to this and a bit of tartness at the same time. I am digging this one!

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From the HHTTB

This is actually very nice, especially with a pinch of stevia added. Tony adores plum oolong, & there are only a few cups left, so I’m keeping this one!

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80

There are several teas I want to order from Harney and Sons but I won’t let myself until I sip down some more teas.

I got an email a few days ago from my husband. It was titled “Tea Disciple.” It turns out that a fellow he met at work has travelled extensively and loves tea from all over the world. He is presently drinking Celestial Seasonings Fast Lane as a replacement for coffee and wants recommendations for a good black tea blend with boosters like mate. Anyone know of some good ones? I recommended that he go to Tin Roof Teas and buy his mate and try some of their loose leaf black teas and mix it himself.

He mentioned that he had been in Sri Lanka and found some teas there that he loved, so I took my two high grown ones that I don’t care for and sent them to him. That reminded me that some of my other Ceylons are getting old. I need to drink them up. These past two days I have been drinking this one from the Fine Tea Wall at A Southern Season. You purchase these by the ounce and there is no minimum.

This is an enjoyable Ceylon, though I do like their Ceylon Extra Fancy even more, and I like Harney and Sons Kenilworth Ceylon and Ceylon and India teas more also. Once I sip this one down I will not be replacing it, but rather I will stick with the ones that I like better.

Hubby started out only wanting Ceylon teas with TONS of milk and sugar. Now he mostly drinks oolong, green, and white tea plain, so I have a big backlog of Ceylons to finish off! But it is a great problem to have! I was delighted when his tea tastes expanded and changed!

Nicole

Don’t know about good quality, but since he’s already drinking Celestial Seasonings, they have a Morning Thunder that is black with mate. It’s been a looong time since I’ve had it but I seem to recall it having a punch.

gmathis

Morning Thunder is pretty good. I’ve also wanted to try Fast Lane (also CS) but haven’t found it locally.

ashmanra

He may have ordered Fast Lane, since he mentioned that he had about a half pound to long ago. I can’t imagine any stores in my area selling it loose leaf. He may go in the Raleigh area a lot, but I don’t recall seeing it there either. Thanks for the recommendation on Morning Thunder, though. That may be just what he is looking for!

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85
drank Irish Breakfast by A Southern Season
1293 tasting notes

This has a beautiful color in the cup. It is dark and shiny with a red tint around the edges. Lightly malty. Nicely fruity. Bold but not too bold. Not bitter or harsh. Assam based teas are not likely to ever be my first choice when thinking what to sip, even so, this one is very enjoyable.

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85
drank Irish Breakfast by A Southern Season
1293 tasting notes

This is so much more aromatic than the Harney version I started the day with. So nicely fruity. It does not have the face jolt astringency either. Just a beautiful fully developed cup. I imagine A Southern Season is a reseller of this tea. I wonder who actually blends it. Very nice.

ashmanra

This is my favorite Irish Breakfast – my youngest daughter’s, too. She is the real IB connoisseur.

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66
drank Southern Pecan by A Southern Season
4831 tasting notes

sipdown! a pleasant enough cup to go with my very late breakfast!

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66
drank Southern Pecan by A Southern Season
4831 tasting notes

thank you kittylovestea for this one. Overall not a bad little blend. It’s nothing magical but it’s a smooth blend that isn’t overly sweet but has a really pleasant nutty taste, though it does remind me more of hazelnut than pecan (similar to what kitty found) Happy to have tried this one

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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