Happy Lucky's Tea House

Recent Tasting Notes

83

In terms of Yerba Mate this is a pretty good choice. It is a smooth feeling but also a bit of an earthy or wood-like taste. I wouldn’t consider mixing this mate with anything to make it more sweet. If you want to do that try the roasted yerba mate, which is actually my favorite.

Flavors: Earth, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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56

I am still searching for my black tea and unfortunately this is not it. I can’t really put my finger on the flavors in this tea that bother me, but I don’t care for this tea. The vanilla is okay but the black tea isn’t my favorite.

I tried mixing the tea with some almond milk but the almond milk actually overpowered the black tea. I think that is because the tea isn’t actually that strong so when you combine it with sugar or milk you have to be careful.

I am not saying you shouldn’t try this tea or that you wont like this tea because you honestly might like it a lot. It simply just isn’t for me.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

This is the first Pu-erh tea I have purchased, but not the first I have tasted. Overall, I really enjoy this tea. The smell is a little odd at first. Many of my friends wont try this tea simply because the smell. It is almost like a creek full of fish in the spring….I could see how this smell might not be everyones “cup of tea”…..like we haven’t heard that one before.

This brews a very dark and full cup. The color is actually more like a black red / cherry red. The taste is earthy, smooth, and a little smokey.

I would highly recommend using a Gaiwan to brew this and not a large tea pot. This tea will produce a variety of flavors throughout the brewing process and you will miss a lot of that if you only brew one large pot. For example, the first brew is can be a bit crisp and refreshing almost. Then after you continue to brew I noticed a more smooth and full flavor, even smokey. After the 5th or 6th I really started to notice some of the wood-like flavors. My throat even reacted a little different throughout the process.

I brewed this anywhere from 30 sec to 3:00 min. Each will give you a different flavor and enjoyment!

Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Awesome green tea! I was taken back by the size of these leafs but it makes sense once you learn that it is flattened after it is pan-fired. Thankfully I asked the helpful gentlemen at Happy Lucky’s how I should brew this because I wouldn’t have done it right.

Apparently you simply add the tea to the water unfiltered! You can also eat the leafs when you are drinking for some extra flavor. Leafs are little bitter for my liking but overall still unique and good.

This tea is light, sweet, and smooth. Probably my favorite green tea out of China that I have currently tasted. It is a little on the expensive side…. $7.00/OZ or something like that. Don’t let that shy you away! GO FOR IT! DO IT!

Flavors: Floral, Green, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I am not going to lie, the smell of this tea is a little strong and it can put my off a little. However, it really brews nicely. I have never enjoyed a tea similar to this blend. VERY strong smokey flavor.

Flavors: Jasmine, Orange, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

They don’t call this three fragrant cups for no reason, it really does have three distinct flavors. The first one is my personal favorite, however plenty of people will argue the second and third are their favorites. It really depends if you prefer the piney taste or the sweet taste. The first steep gives you the pine and the second and third are a little more mild and sweet. Regardless, every steep is worth a taste but some people will actually pour out the first steep because they prefer the sweet and mild.

Flavors: Nutty, Pine, Sweet

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

This smells sweet and has a little bit of a malty taste. It is very smooth. It can be a little strong but that depends how you like your tea!

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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99

This is a wholesome, nutty tea. It is blended with toasted brown rice and infused with Matcha green tea. This is the best tea I have ever had. Nice silky green color and perfect nutty taste. This is a MUST have in your cupboard if you like matcha. Careful not to over steep this one. It only takes a minute.

Flavors: Nutty, Rice

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Nice tasty herbal tea that is famously known as the base ingredient for root beer. I enjoy to steep this herbal for extra-long to bring out a strong earthy/root beer flavor. I prefer this beverage at night for a dessert.

Flavors: Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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50

This is a strong grainy Oolong. Overall, I am not overly satisfied and would not consider this one of my staples. This is a tea that I would crave on a fall day but not everyday. It has a bit of a earthy/grainy taste to it.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

As far as Earl Grey goes, this is probably the best I have ever had. It has a bit of a citrus taste to it and a very relaxing effect to it. It works well for multiple steeps. I am on my second cup and the flavor of the tea is still perfect.

Flavors: Citrus, Flowers

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

To date, this is the one of the best, if not the best tea I have ever made. It is very smooth and silky with a milky / buttery taste to it. This tea works great for multiple steeps. I have been drinking mine all night long and it still has a fantastic flavor to it. I have heard you can steep this tea up to 8 times. I am on 3 and it has shown no signs of finishing.

Flavors: Butter, Milk, Smooth

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Bonnie

Hey nick, nice to see a neighbor! Say hi sometime at the tea bar because I’m old and have trouble with names and faces. I have this at home too. If you want to learn about brewing tea, sit at the bar and ask Joe or me (I talk a lot).

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70

Great mild green with a bit of a kick from the Pomegranate. I steeped mine for three minutes, but I am eager to steep for a little more. I think it could be a bit stronger.

Flavors: Fruity, Green

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Nice flavor, however it’ s a little hard to taste any of the tea leaves. Maybe the place that brewed it for me didn’t do it right. Overall, it’s fruity and delicious!

Flavors: Blueberry, Sage

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Good light tea with a little taste of mandarin orange. It is a bit delicate so I would suggest watching your steep time(s).

Flavors: Green, Orange

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

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86

While on a trip through Colorado I had to stop at this tea house that Bonnie mentions frequently in her tasting notes! Thanks for the recommendation Bonnie- I enjoyed my visit with them!

Since I was there rather late, I ordered this herbal tea that another customer was drinking. It’s very fragrant- their whole shop smelled like this tea! It’s a perfect sleepy time tea too. Put me right to sleep!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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82

From the queue. I’ll do two a day for the next week. I’m currently writing posts faster than I can post them, even when posting daily. It’s all these boatloads of untried things, you see. I suppose I feel inspired these days.

Bonnie shared this one with me and I confess I’ve been gathering courage to try it. You see, this is a loose puerh with cacao hulls, some vanilla black and some roasted chicory root. Apparently they also do a version with vanilla rooibos, but Bonnie chose the one without for me.

It’s the chicory root that has me concerned. It started to concern me already when I first smelled it and discovered that rather than smelling like cocoa and puerh, it just smelled allround weird. Worrisome. The first thought that popped into my head was ‘thin coffee’. Now, I know some people enjoy having their tea coffee flavoured. I, however, am one of those people who feel those two things should be kept as far apart as possible. I mean, I like drinking tea, obviously, and I also occasionally greatly enjoy a caffe latte (or even on rare occasions a small cup of ordinary coffee with milk). Drinking one does not exclude the liking of the other at all. It’s the combination of the two that I find to be frankly disgusting. Coffee flavour has no business being in my tea and vice versa.

So you can see why I’m concerned, yes?

However, it was shared with me by someone who meant well and thought I would find it interesting, therefore I’m going to have a cup of it anyway. I sometimes take a long time to do it and sometimes I end up not even posting about it, but when people have shared something with me, I always try it, even though I don’t believe I’ll like it. It’s the polite thing to do and it’s also a practice that has given me more than a few very pleasant surprises. For example, it was cteresa sharing a fruit-flavoured rooibos with me that led me to discover under which circumstances I can actually really enjoy a rooibos after having gone for years believing I didn’t like any rooibos at all. Now I’ve got loads of fruit-flavoured rooiboses.

Besides, isn’t this really the purpose of swaps? Exploring the things you would never in your life have tried otherwise? See you later, comfort zone!

So here we go! Tea that smells like thin coffee. It’s the chicory root, of course, that gives the coffee-y impression, not real coffee. I believe I’ve had blends with chicory in them before. I’m almost certain I have. I have clear memories of having tried it in a blend, but I can’t remember which blend that might have been or what I thought of it. I don’t, however, remember it as being awful. I think I would have remembered something on the lowest end of the point scale. This gives me confidence.

After steeping it’s much more cocoa-y in the aroma. The chicory is still there, but it’s dampened significantly by the cocoa, and the primary impression I’m getting now is freshly baked brownies that has just come out of the oven 20 seconds ago. The good sort of brownies, baked with loads of high quality chocolate rather than cocoa powder. It makes me want to bake again! Haven’t baked anything at all since before Christmas, but there are still lots of biscuits left and those need to go first. (Also, I’ve got an ice cream project I want to try first, now that we’ve got a freezer that is larger than a match box)

More confidence!

I’m just about to taste it now and I’m actually not even scared of it even more.

Okay, the chicory is fairly distinct in the flavour with it’s coffee-ish notes, but not directly off-putting. Just… I could have lived without the chicory, really. It also rather messes with the cocoa, making it not actually taste much like cocoa but more like an enhancement for the chicory. It doesn’t help that cocoa or chocolate in tea rarely truly works for me because my brain expects a completely different consistency which the tea can’t deliver for obvious reason.

I can vaguely pick up some earthy notes of the puerh base, but these are most prominent in the aftertaste. In the sip itself, however, I’m surprised to find that it’s the vanilla black that is actually standing out more. It’s sweet and slightly creamy, and in a strange way managing to be vanilla with being very vanilla-y in flavour. I think it’s the other flavours in this that are messing with it.

Although I mentioned that I’ve learned to drink rooibos, and lots of it, in recent years, I find I’m glad Bonnie chose the one without rooibos for me. I think rooibos would have added unnecessary confusion to the mix, and vanilla alone in rooibos never really did it for me as much as vanilla + fruit does.

I’m a little ambivalent. I’m pleased with the puerh and the vanilla black, and would have enjoyed the cocoa more if not for the chicory. But I could also really live without the chicory. Or perhaps not even entirely without it, but just less of it.

I can’t decide what I actually think of this. I suspect it could grow on me, though, if I made sure to have it another couple of times in relatively quick succesion.

Later addition: I wound up taking the rest of this one with me to drink at work, for which it proved to be eminently suitable. I could easily have continued with this sort of work tea for a while. At about the same time my colleague brought a small tin of Kusmi’s spicy chocolate blend, which I found somewhat similar to this one. Rating is large based on how this tea has helped me through many many work days.

Sil

mmmmm this sounds yummy. I really need to order from lucky tea house!

Angrboda

It very much grew on me. Turns out that chicory is a thing that one can get used to. I’d still rather be without it, but it bothered me less after a while.

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81

From the queue

This is a tea that Bonnie shared with me, and it is also the first real tea post I’m writing in the new house. It was also one that Bonnie chose to give me, I think, with an eye on Project Africa.

Therefore I’ve spent some time trying to work out where Ajiri was on the map. Turns out Ajiri is a company name and not a place name. They have a rather lovely and informative website. The actual tea is produced at the Nyansiongo factory, which was made a LOT easier to find on the map once I discovered that I’d been spelling it wrong all along. The factory itself didn’t appear to be marked in, so I just placed the arrow somewhere in the middle of the town. The Nyansiongo factory is a cooperative of several small local farmers in the Kisii highlands.

There’s a veeeery strong and malty aroma here, which smells on the verge of turning bitter. I may have leafed it wrong after all. It’s CTC and I’m always very careful with those because they get strong so very quickly. I put less leaf in my pot than my brain felt like it was used to, but I still think I’ve got a super strong cup here. There’s also a smidge of that high-grown feeling in it, but that might actually be down to sheer strength. I am sitting here with a cup almost as dark as coffee after all!

GOSH! It is quite strong! It even has that sort of bitterness at the back of the throat that I get when drinking coffee. It’s not unpleasantly bitter or at all undrinkable, but it’s just a tad much. I would do a rare instance of milking it (I usually have milk in my coffee), but as it so happens, we haven’t currently got any milk until I’ve been to the shops, so I’ll just have to power through and try making a second cup with even less leaf. This is why I’m not a fan of CTC. It messes with my habits learned through a decade!

Now, if we ignore that hit of bitterness at the moment of swallowing, we’ve got a strong cup of tea here, which feels suitable for this time of day (morning). Until swallowing it feels very smooth, so if I had made it a little weaker I believe it would have been all-over smooth and lovely. It definitely shows some promise in that regard.

It’s hard for me to really analyse the flavour, though. It tastes like default tea. Quite a good body to it, but it’s a one-note deal all in all. I get the impression that this might be very good in blends, adding body to some lighter teas with more distinctive notes. I think this + not too fancy keemun, for example, would make a lovely blend.

The second cup felt, when I made it, severely understeeped and underleafed, but the result was much better. It is indeed very smooth but still with a lot of body. It’s less of a one-note default tea deal now, and has taken on leather-y, wood-y, malty notes and it finishes with a touch of high-grown-ness. I still think it would go wonderfully in blends, though.

Map reference: http://goo.gl/maps/ULUUD

(Awwwww, very purry and cute lap-Charm in a rare social moment. ♥)

K S

Has anyone heard from Bonnie in a while?

Angrboda

I saw her comment somewhere recently-ish, I’m sure of it. Perhaps she’s just lurking and not feeling like participating at the moment?

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80

From the queue

Project Africa!

Project Africa is rather more slow moving than I had imagined when I started. Or perhaps I was just spoiled by Project Ceylon in which I had something like twelve samples to start with. However, Bonnie has shared two African black teas with me. I shared some of my Tanzanian black with her, so that’s how it came about.

The aroma is quite strong and wood-y and with more than a small amount of that faintly grass-y note that indicate a capacity to turn undrinkably bitter if not treated properly.

Ooh gosh, it’s a bit strong! Husband commented on the leaf as being ‘funny’. I’m not sure he considered what that actually implied brewing-wise. Still totally drinkable, though, so I’m pressing on.

It has a sort of funny ‘thick’ flavour. It doesn’t taste like puerh at all, but it’s that same sensation of substance to it. The overall impression of the flavour is at first sort of starchy, probably enhanced by the thick feeling. Or possibly the other way around, I don’t know.

With a slightly more careful sip (Ow. Hot.) I’m also picking up a vague hint of cocoa and a strong note of wood and grain. It reminds me rather of a good mid- or low grown Ceylon here. Galle, for example, which I rather enjoyed. Husband didn’t much care for Galle, so that leads me to believe that he probably won’t like this one much either. Which in turn means, because I can never seem to predict this, he’ll probably love it.

I think it’s quite nice. Good and strong and suitable for the morning. As mentioned, though, Husband did make it Extra Strength by accident, but I think I can see through it enough to imagine how it would behave with maybe half a teaspoon less of leaf, and I have attempted to rate accordingly. Rating, as always, is subject to sudden change.

Addition when posting: Having now had almost all the rest of the pouch with a more conservative sort of leaf dosage, I stand by the rating I decided on when the main part of the post was written. I’ve found that with experience it can actually be possible to see through an overleafed tea and imagine what it would have been like under ideal circumstances. Provided enough that the overleafing is not too severe. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does. It’s fun to try, though, and test it again later. This one turned out to be relatively predictable. :)

Also, I forgot to mention something about the geography with this one. It’s my first tea from Uganda, and it was grown quite a bit further west than any of the other African teas I’ve had at this point, not so far from Lake Edward. As you can see on the map, all the ones from Kenya were grown East of Lake Victoria, but on the same latitude as this one. I don’t know if that matters, but it should be the same sort of climate at least. The Tanzania and the Mozambique are much further South, further away from Lake Victoria than the Uganda is, but I still feel like I can see some similarities between all the African ones so far. They are all strong and they taste hardy. They are also very nearly all of them CTC which may have something to do with it.

Reference map: http://goo.gl/maps/2Ylx6

Veronica

Great review! I enjoy reading about your tea projects.

Anna

I sort of want to make a map for Project Unflavoured Green now, but I don’t know if that’s even pointful. Pointerly. If there is a point to doing that.

adagio breeze

I love that you’re mapping the locations of your teas! Are you a geography nerd too? :)

Angrboda

I started doing it with Project Ceylon because I had noticed that I liked some Ceylons a lot better than others, and I wanted to see if there was a pattern. If there was, purchasing Ceylons would be a lot easier because I’d have an idea of which I’d like or not. I learned that I liked low-grown and medium-grown, but not so much high-grown. I found it useful to explore an area in a systematic way like this, so I kept the idea. I didn’t know anything at all about African teas, so I figured looking for a pattern in the same way again would be helpful. I haven’t had enough teas in this project yet to be able to really spot one, though.

adagio breeze

It’s such a great idea! I think I’m gonna have to start something like this for myself.

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97

Bonnie shared this one with me. We’re fairly fond of LS in this household, but I don’t usually try very many different ones. Like with most things, I have a very particular idea of the perfect specimen, and I’ve already found that from AC Perchs. It’s just the right amount of smoke and just the right sort of strength for me, so I have little need to ‘shop around’ as it were. If I’m shopping somewhere else and we’re out of it, I’ll get one, but that’s really as far as my shopping around goes mostly. Nevertheless, when someone shares one with me, I’m hardly going to refuse it, am I? That would be silly.

I’m under the impression that this one is Bonnie’s favourite LS, and if I’m right in that then I suspect we have similar ideas of how the best LS should be, because it strikes me as similar to the one that is my favourite. I can’t remember if I shared some of that one with her. I hope I did.

The aroma is smoky and sweet and just about equal measures, and this goes for the flavour as well. Lots of smoke, but also LOTS of body. Lots, especially, of that sweet fruity note that nearly drove me mad the first time I discovered it in the ACP one. There’s a bit of a mineral note on the end of the sip, though, which I don’t think my usual LS has, but that’s really the only major difference between the two.

Sil

Oh nice!

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87

It’s lapsong light! Less smoky and astringent than regular lapsong suchong, with a hint of sweetness at the end. I can’t taste the jasmine at all, it only softens the black tea. I only got a sample of this from Luckys tea shop, but I am going to have to go back for more.

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95

This one of my favorite Pu erh teas, I brew it very strong for three minutes, and the second brew is as good as the first. It is earthy and tangy and a bit nutty at the end. The taste is not for everyone, but as a former coffee drinker, this is about as a thick of a cup of tea as you can get.

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