Hampstead Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

89
drank Earl Grey by Hampstead Tea
972 tasting notes

Second tea of the morning along with a spot of Downton Abbey…….

Downton Abbey on PBS is my television indulgence of the moment. I am always late to the parade for most great shows, so I am still stuck in Season 1 while most fans are eagerly awaiting Season 3. However, I thought a lovely pot of Earl Grey would be the perfect accompaniment to this fun show. A friend of mine actually noted that she could spend hours just watching the upholstery on the show, and I quite agree.

This tea was perfect. It seems to have a base of at least some Darjeeling. Definitely a bright Earl Grey kind of like Harney’s Viennese Earl Grey. This one was included in my Foodzie Box from LiberTEAs. Luckily, I requested Earl Grey teas be included, so I am set to have a different EG for every episode. Bliss!

Usual pot method, and it was gone very fast!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ian

I love Downton Abbey! I know what you mean, though. I’m stuck watching it on Netflix while my friends are raving about it on Twitter

gmathis

Been following second season, but haven’t seen the first yet. Soon to be rectified.

teawing

As good as Cranford? I have been at a loss since we finished Return…

Ian

Hmm… I’ve never seen Cranford but I just read about it on IMDb and it sounds kind of similar. It’s more recent (the first episode takes place shortly after the Titanic sank). It’s soooo good though.

teawing

Thanks, I will have to check it out.
Cranford is very good, tons of cultural and historical references, excellent acting, and characters you would like to meet someday…much earlier, 1840’s and a time of major change for Britain. Fun to compare the same issues in the US another 25 years or so down the road.

gmathis

Just reread the comment about spending hours watching the upholstery … ditto on the costumes!

SimplyJenW

Oh yes, the costumes, too!

@teawing….I must check out this Cranford, too!

Uniquity

I watch the Saturday afternoon cooking shows on PBS obsessively and they advertise Downtown Abbey quite regularly. I feel like I’m really missing out by not watching it!

teaNsympathy

This decides it. I’ve been meaning to start watching for what seems like months now, I feel like there’s so much buzz around it, and I keep hearing about it everywhere. It seems like something that would be up my alley, so I think I’m going to have to cave.

ashmanra

I love Downton Abbey, too! When hubby gave me a ring for our anniversary last year, I told him not to resize it because I was going to wear it on the middle finger of my right hand like Lady Mary! :)

gmathis

Lord Grantham, I believe, was the ne’er-do-well stockbroker in Notting Hill (another favorite) … there was one little teeny piece where he cocked his head and said, “Well done!” and I suddenly had a craving to watch the brownie scene.

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88

backlogging – see other notes

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88

This is a really good Assam. I am especially impressed by it as it is a bagged tea. It is very strong, lovely amount of malt. So very good and rich and just what I needed to help me shake off the residual sleepeeeeee feeling that I have. Yes, I know it’s 12:40 in the afternoon, but, I am a night owl, so this is still quite early for me.

Fortunately, this helps!

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First, my humble and apologetic thanks to the donor of this one…I think it was teaequalsbliss, but if it wasn’t, the rest of you know l love you anyway, yes?

Second, I am a Midwestern farm kid with a very plebian spice repertoire. I will publicly admit I don’t have a clue what saffron’s supposed to taste like.

And finally, the tea itself (you were just holding your collective breath waiting for my pronouncement, I’m sure): It was bitter. I hit exactly the middle range on time (2:30), with water boiling as advised, and it put wrinkles in my tongue. But—and you may have experienced this—I still got a sense that the base itself was pretty good black tea. Dropped in a sugar cube and re-evaluated. Improved marginally to “formerly bitter black tea that now has a little bit of a metallic thing going on.”

I hate not having wonderful things to say about a tea, but that’s what this whole forum experience is about.

TeaEqualsBliss

Yeah! This was a very different tea :) I have many more bags left! LOL

Angrboda

I haven’t been able to identify a specific saffron flavour yet either. The boyfriend can smell it from far away if I’ve added a pinch to the pot at dinner, though.

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77

had two cups this morning…see previous notes…

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87
drank Organic Biochai by Hampstead Tea
4322 tasting notes

Enjoying a latte tonight, and it is quite yummy. Here is my full-length review of this chai: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/08/26/biochai-from-hampstead-tea/

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82

I’m not a big Earl Grey fan, but this tea was surprisingly good. Well balanced with a distinct but not overwhelming note of bergamot.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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79

Randomly pulled one out of my one box of teas to drink…
I’ve had this one before…check out my previous notes.
After I am done with this cup I am going to only try new teas for the rest of the day! I have a LOT on deck!

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41

From: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/2478/tea-review-hampstead-tea-black-saffron-2/

I may have mentioned this before, but one of my ever increasing number of hobbies* is researching and recreating Medieval cooking. Much like today, medieval people were very into conspicious consumption. They liked using expensive pricy ingredients to show off to their guests – “See! Look how much money I can spend – just on dinner!” Spices were always one of the most popular ways to show off wealth. They were very expensive and very highly valued, and saffron was one of the more popular spices.

In the cooking I do saffron is mostly a coloring agent, as it turns the food a lovely golden color, and not used for flavor. I find the flavor very light and subtle. So I was very curious about what affect it would have on the tea.

The teabag smelled like generic tea. Pouring water over the bag, it did turn bright yellow for a moment – then turned into a normal tea color. The brewed aroma again smelled like a normal tea. In drinking, I’m getting a bitter high note – like I over-brewed the tea, but it didn’t have the tannic drying effect that normally goes along with the bitterness. I prefer my tea sweetened, so after a few sips of the tea unsweetened, I added my favorite sweetening agent. It toned down the bitterness, and turned it into a very bright flavor.

Either way, I don’t think I like the addition of the saffron. The tea behind the saffron tastes quite nice, and would have likely been a very nice cuppa on it’s own. But as it is, it’s not really for me.

*My craft room is crying from from too much stuff and too many projects. You can almost hear it crying from the street, “no more stuff, take the yarn away! I don’t need any more embroidery floss!”

Janefan

I was just reading about saffron earlier – it is supposed to boost your mood http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit/saffron_to_boost_your_mood

gmathis

Ditto on your asterisk,* except mine runs toward scrapbook paper, trimmers, stickers, etc. If you put two sheets of specialty paper in a storage bin and leave it unsupervised, they mate and multiply. I suspect the same happens with yarn and fabric.

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75
drank Ginger green by Hampstead Tea
4322 tasting notes

This is tasty. The ginger is there, but it doesn’t overwhelm. It has a gentle, warming presence without being too peppery or spicy. Very soothing and gentle and warm. Nice!

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87

Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this. I had tried this in teabag form, but, I am very happy to be trying it loose leaf. Thanks!

A lovely English Breakfast blend – I still stand by what I said about this being one of the best that I’ve tried. It has a full-bodied, robust flavor and a lot of gusto. Here is my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/06/02/english-breakfast-from-hampstead-tea/

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87
drank Organic Biochai by Hampstead Tea
4322 tasting notes

Backlog: I had this chai this morning for my wake-up. It was delicious. I liked the lemongrass in this, it added a nice citrus-y backnote. The pepper and ginger were the strongest components, and I really noticed the clove in this chai. Perhaps that is because there is no cinnamon in this blend, so the cloves had the opportunity to really shine.

Either way, it was a very enjoyable chai.

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88
drank Darjeeling by Hampstead Tea
4322 tasting notes

This is a very nice afternoon tea. Crisp and light. The muscatel tone to this tea is outstanding. I love the fruit tones to this tea, it finishes with a sweet yet tart taste of currant. Delicious.

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88

backlogging…satisfying :)

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78
drank Lemon Ginger by Hampstead Tea
4322 tasting notes

Backlog: I had a cup of this earlier. It was pleasant, not quite as peppery as I thought it would be. It has a very mellow, smooth taste, with a nice aftertaste that is both slightly ginger-spicy and sweet-yet-tart. A very nice combination of flavors, this tisane.

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87

This is a very robust English Breakfast – some of the English Breakfast blends I’ve encountered as of late were rather ho-hum. Not bad, just not quite as powerful as this. Good, strong tea – just what I needed this morning.

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77
drank ROYAL CAMOMILE by Hampstead Tea
4322 tasting notes

Enjoying a cup of this before I sign off for the night. I’m really quite surprised at how much I am enjoying this tisane. It is not at all pollen-like, it is light and sweet and apple-y. Very nice, soothing, and I can feel it start to work at calming my tensions from the day.

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88

backlogging from yesterday…see previous notes…

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92
drank Earl Grey by Hampstead Tea
6770 tasting notes

backlogging…nice morning EG :)

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86

OK, I think I have nailed this one this time. It is important not to over-steep or to steep it too strong. Before, in a larger mug, I used 2 teabags instead of one (because with most teas, it ends up just right that way with this mug), but not with this tea… I used a regular sized mug (8 oz) and 1 teabag and pulled the kettle just before boiling. Steep it for just 2 1/2 minutes.

While this is probably one of the most temperamental teas I’ve encountered, it is worth the effort to get it right, because I am loving what is in my teacup right now. The saffron flavor is strong in its delivery from start to finish. The black tea is brisk and bold and delicious. A very nice cup, indeed!

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86

Having a cup of this… I could smell hints of the saffron before I infused, but they were very faint. Flavor wise, the saffron doesn’t present itself until the near the end of the sip. This does have a bitter tone to it, I think I over-steeped… still want to play around with this one a bit and see if I can do better next time. Overall, it’s a bold, strong black tea with hints of sweetness and a bitterness that hits at mid-sip with the saffron coming through at the tail.

Michelle Butler Hallett

SAFFRON? IN TEA? (blissful swoon, with apologies for the enthusiastic caps-shouting)

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71

Lime baby:) who knew this would be a good combo!
I can hear the ocean waves as they hit the beach…peaceful, a perfect end to a dreadful day.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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62

Tea bag one:
First sip: dirt, was that dirt I tasted? second sip, no not dirt, mint? Really?
As I empty my cup, definitely mint of some sort. Not what I expected from an EB tea.
Tea bag two:
My second cup of this tea was better than my first. I still taste the mint, but I do see what others are saying about this tasting like a Darjeeling.
Drinkable, just not my cuppa.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Ginger green by Hampstead Tea
304 tasting notes

Mild green tea with a hint of ginger lingering on the palette.
I will try to steep the next cup at 2 minutes and see what I think…the last few sips of the 3 minute brew time were bitter:(

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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