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Recent Tasting Notes
I haven’t had this tea in about 3 months. It just hasn’t been anything that called my name and it seemed to have a soapy type aftertaste that just wasn’t appetizing when drank hot. However, tonight this tea WAS calling my name – so I gave in, not expecting much. I think time has mellowed this out quite a bit. All I taste now is a nice tea base with lots and lots of juicy fruit flavors. No soapy aftertaste! Maybe this tea just needed to blend a bit more together…. I think a second pot is in order! (And a slight ratings increase!)
My Harney order arrived today!! This is one of the teas I ordered based on reviews from my fellow Steepsterites – I sure am glad that I took a chance on this one. This reminds me quite a bit of Paris and Tower of London and I love both of those teas so I love this one also. I love how smooth the base of this tea is and that it is tasty both plain and with additions. I’m currently drinking it with a bit of sugar and cream which really makes the fruit flavors pop. I’m getting cherry more than apricot or plums and that is fine by me as I ADORE cherries. In fact, I also ordered Sour Cherry Preserves from Harney’s site (which I totally recommend! Also the black tea and fig preserves are good if you like figs). I don’t think this would be a good first thing in the morning tea as it is pretty smooth, but definitely a great afternoon/evening choice.
So, I had the rest of my Singapore Cashew Curry today, and thought this would be a nice tea to have with it. I’ve been sort of holding off on it til I had the right meal to have it with. The tea smells nice and spicy, so I thought it would match well. And it did. But it isn’t my favourite green tea. I’ll happily have the rest of the sample Jenn sent me, as it is good, but I just don’t love it.
How did I get to the bottom of the tin so quickly?! I seriously tore through this stuff. There are two bags left for tomorrow. I have been on an Earl Grey binge, brewing a strong iced cup almost every morning for my commute/first shift. It’s been a ritual. And luckily I bought a little more EG from KeenTeaThyme on Teatra.de, so all is not lost. In the meantime, I can give the rest of my collection more attention.
Also, one of my coworkers said it smelled like Froot Loops. Just thought I’d throw that in there.
Ahh, I had been missing a good Earl Grey. I got this as a birthday gift from Kaliskaa and had it for my commute and first shift. As I’ve been doing lately, I brewed it strong and put it over ice with a little sugar. It was almost overpoweringly strong before the ice had time to melt, but I had only used 2 sachets for about 14 ounces of water! This stuff doesn’t play around!
Once I got to work, I dropped a lemon slice into the cup and gave it a good stir. Over time, it became a beautiful lemonade-like drink with the bitter bite of Ceylon. It tasted so clean, and yet so dark. I will be doing this a lot this summer.
Mmm, this is just what I needed on this wet, cold day.
As far as Earl Grey teas go, this is a very good one. They don’t go overboard on the bergamot, and the black tea they used is nice, if not a little muted. But that’s to be expected with any flavor. It’s not bitter at all, just very tasty. Lemony, but not mouth-numbingly so. There’s also something malty in the aftertaste, which leads me to believe that this is the first Earl Grey I’ve ever had that I could taste anything besides the bitterness of the black tea and bergamot oil. Its actual flavors shine through. Kinda awesome, if you ask me.
And if it makes any difference, I’m drinking the pyramid bagged version.
Hmmm…I can taste the keemun and lapsang most distinctly. The pinewood forest campfire flavor is tempered by freshly baked biscuits. Yum….smoky biscuits! :)
There is a refreshing tang of astringency with each sip. Not bitter but tannic, in a good way—“brisk”.
Russian Country can be considered the “gateway” to much bolder teas. Or a lapsang blend for the uninitiated. The smokiness is there but its boldness is tamed by the other yummy black teas.
Interesting…but not too complex—pretty good choice for a lazy weekend!
I had this last night as my evening cup. I am trying to cut down on caffeine after 8:00PM. Generally I stick with tisanes in the evening instead of decaff tea but a friend had given me this in a collection of Harney & Sons teabags. I was pleasantly surprised as I do not generally drink tea-bags OR decaffeinated tea. It had all the taste of a middle brow ceylon. This is surprising because I had VERY LOW expectations. Decaff tea generally tastes like mud! While I am not running out to buy this in teabag form I would perhaps order it from Harney in a small amount in loose leaf for my evening cup.
When my boyfriend went to New York 6 months ago I was very new to the world of puerhs and how to brew any tea but Western style tea. I had a few shu puerhs though and really liked them.
So he picked this up for me as a gift and we were both pretty excited to try it out, but when we brewed it up (typical Western style) it became the most foul and bitter tasting concoction I had ever experienced. I almost threw it away but kept it in my cupboard.
This afternoon I dragged it out. I have no idea if it’s a shu or a sheng. When I used a small leaf to water ratio and a lower water temp this is actually kind of pleasant. It’s definitely on the fruitier side a little bit of smoke and some cinnamon-esque spice. I detect a lot of camphor here, that’s not my favorite flavor in tea but at least I found a way to brew this to make it actually drinkable. I’m glad I didn’t toss it after all! ;-)
Maybe if I keep experimenting the rating will go up!
Day #9 of 24….and tea of the afernoon.
I received this sample from my Harney dealer….I mean the lovely ashmanra. Thank you again for all the fun things to try out….
This is lightly floral and cherry scented. Really, pretty good for a green. It turns out I like them quite a bit more than I thought I would, and my taste for them is growing. I also like that they don’t require any additions for me. Good, but I still prefer the Tropical Green.
12 oz water, 1 sachet of tea, 180 water, 3 minute steep. Straight up!
Second tea of the day…..
My first pot of tea today was Harney’s Hong Tao Keemun. I did not really have time yesterday to sit and enjoy it, but I did today. I am to the point where I think it is definitely a rebuy for me, and hopefully before it goes out of stock again. I remembered that I had a few ounces of Hao Ya A from Harney back in the recesses of my stash, and decided that it was time to compare the two. I know the last few times I had this tea, I over steeped and used too much leaf. Today I did it right….a little lighter on the leaf and less time on the steep. This one is over 2x the cost of Hong Tao, so I would expect there to be marked differences.
Cocoa notes, a little smoke, and remarkable body. This one definitely has the edge in body/mouthfeel. So rich tasting. The leaves are actually longer in the Hong Tao, but that could be my fault in storage as the Hao Ya A has been in my stash for at least a year. I am sure I would get a small tin of this, too, if it were currently in stock. I just love a good China black tea. I am upping the rating on this one.
Mug method, scant measures on the tea and slightly shorter on time.
Tea of the morning…..
I am about halfway through this tin. It is a very rich Keemun, but there is a definite after-bite. I am sure it is a great example of a high quality Keemun, but I am finding that the higher grades other then Mao Feng don’t appeal as much as they used to. The last two ounces of this are probably going to be filed into my Franken Breakfast blending box. I am sure I can blend something with this to smooth it out for my palate.
Tea of the morning……
And ‘Happy Friday!’ of the first week of DST where I am. I know why DST is so hard to adjust to this year….it perfectly coincided with the onset of my seasonal allergies. So tired and congested and sneezy. Now that I have made it to Friday, I needed the tea that is gives a super jolt. I actually brewed this a little stronger than normal, because I usually go a little light on the tea and shorter on the steep. What I have now is a very strong cup of tea. It is better when I brew it properly, but this is really doing the trick for getting me going today.
Usual teapot method….wish I had remembered how I usually brew this one (light leaf and short time), but it is working. Perhaps it is time for a sticker on top of the tin to remind me. It is getting difficult to remember optimal steeping parameters for the number of teas I have in the stash….
Tea of the morning……
I am always dragging by Friday morning. I need a swift kick in the pants to really get going once the kids are on the bus. (They get on the bus at about 6:30am…..way too early to be heading to school IMO, but it is probably good to have this kind of challenge in the grand scheme, something that gets us out of our comfort zone a little.) It is also snowing pretty hard and I am preparing myself for some snow removal….around here a few inches of snow does not shut down the schools, but we are getting more over the course of the day. Luckily, it is a little too windy right now so I can enjoy my tea.
Very smooth, chocolatey, slightly smokey, but then there is a little kick at the end. Kind of like the electric jolt I needed this morning. Other Keemuns are just overall too smooth and relax me too much. This one is perfect for mornings when I need that little extra boost.
Usual teapot method.
Second tea of the morning……
Wow. This is the one. It is much smoother than Hao Ya B, but still roasty, and more intense on the dark chocolate notes one typically gets with a Keemun. More roasty than Keemun Mao Feng, so this one would be my morning Keemun, and KMF for afternoon. There was a slight price jump from Hao Ya B to Hao Ya A (about $1 per ounce), and to me it was worth it. I have spent more on teas I did not care for, and this is worth it at $5 an ounce. Perfection!
Usual mug method….
First tea of the morning…..
I think I need to start calling myself ’Keemun Queen" instead of SimplyJenW. Truly, Keemun is my kindred spirit in tea. (Except that our relationship is kind of cannibalistic in nature since I am to the point where I consume it for survival!)
This is really good. Not as smooth and light as Keemun Mao Feng, but more in your face….a coffee drinkers kind of tea. I definitely get more cocoa and roasty notes than English Breakfast or F&M Keemun, and it is definitely their more intense counterpart. Now to decide if this one is going into the cupboard or if it will be Hao Ya A. Tune in for the next cuppa…….
Usual mug method…..
I REALLY wish the notes on here would have some semblance of organization…having your own listed first would be marvelous. I’m trying to find out if I ever coldbrewed this before, I’ve logged this tea five times but because the first time was in 12/11, that comes up first, and because it barely has any likes, it bumps me all the way to the FIFTH FREAKIN PAGE. In fact last time I logged it I bitched about this.
Answer: I coldbrewed it after the first time trying it. Guess I better commit that to memory now.
So I got this going last night when I realized I finished off a gallon of the pink lemonade iced tea already.
If you bought tea from me, it’s going out tomorrow. It was going to today but after I ate breakfast I felt like hell and my stomach is now realizing what’s happening (I’m doing a Whole 30) and oh it was not fun until about 3:30pm.
Then all I felt like doing was going to my garden and seeing what was grown…I had another huge zucchini. In 4 days I’ve picked 30 ounces of zucchini. I’ve picked 3 jalapenos too. There’s a lot of standing water in the mulch around the plots and it’s attracting mosquitos :( I got so many bites and I was only there less than 10 minutes! The deluge of rain lately has really screwed everyone’s tomato plants…they all look horrid on the bottom halves. I hope they’ll be okay. I’ve got some little bell peppers and cucumbers on the way soon.
I ate a lettuce wrap burger that I knew would be okay to eat because otherwise I was definitely not gonna eat nearly enough food for the day…and finally felt okay ot nap. That felt good, but I slept till 7:30 hahaha. So finally after that I got around to getting this out of the fridge. For being in there about 24 hours it didn’t get gross.
I. LOVE. IT. I need to do this more often. I think I far prefer it this way. It seems less bergamot-y and more fruity with a nice creamy vanilla flavor too.
Too bad I only made a quart of it and I’m already polishing it off.
PS anyone have any ideas of how to eat zucchini I’m already tired of it :(
What exactly is Steepster’s formula for a) deciding which of your tasting notes to display first and b) where they are on a page? I had to get through half the 260+ notes to find my bunch and for some reason like the oldest one (least amount of likes on it too, I always thought it was organized by likes/comments) comes up first. The rest are not in chronological order either, the next one in that order is the last one! I don’t get it.
Anyway I decided to have a pot of this and I steeped it for a shorter time than usual and I think I like it more that way. Everything comes off as a lighter flavor and everything blends in well with the black tea. I kind of think it tastes a lot like candy if there was ever a nice, delicate fruity and floral candy.
Still has a nice black tea to support the flavors, I would keep this as a staple, for sure.
I have not felt good all day so I stayed home, and I got to hear some city code checker people talk about taking the jalapenos off my plant and leaving me a dollar. Classy! I didn’t know who they were and they woke me up with this chatter, so I called the office, and now I’m tempted to also write to the city and let them know what lovely people they have!
When I finally felt like having tea, I decided to reach for Paris. Of course it got all cold because I had no idea gas prices went insane overnight, which led me to try to figure out just how much of prices are speculation, considering that wholesale gas and oil prices have actually dropped…AND it’s all the same sort of things that screwed up the housing market: risk taking by banks, deregulation, derivatives, etc. Fantastic.
Yeah I am not done as you can see, haha. I decided to add some milk just to try to get a little something more in my stomach, and I do like how much more creamy this tea becomes. I think it brings out the caramel a bit more. Like a strawberry shortcake topped with a little caramel sauce, dropped into a cup of Earl Grey.
Even with it cooled, I still have no problem finishing the cup. I also realized when looking through my email, I haven’t had this tin as long as I thought. Every time I open it I think I have to drink it more often. I still do, but it’s not been sitting around over a year like I thought.
Oh dear, has it really been almost 6 months since I’ve had this tea? Unacceptable.
I was baking cupcakes because I got this cocoa mole ale from New Belgium and I did not like drinking it. In fact I’d take a sip and each time I just thought, this belongs in chocolate cake. So I finally made them tonight and I ate half of one and I am pretty much a genius. I’m going to frost them with cinnamon buttercream tomorrow and take some to my apartment complex leasing office since I have 2 dozen of them and I’m just one person.
So then I was craving tea, but I didn’t want a chocolate one…I wanted something fruity and voila, Paris in the front of the cabinet. It’s coming up on nearly a year since I’ve been to Paris, I can’t believe it. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago but I guess when you constantly think about it, that happens. It definitely reminds me of Paris although I did not drink any tea there (I did go into Mariage Freres and just completely freaked out because so much tea!). There’s just something about it that makes me think of sitting outside at a cafe about it.
Today’s the first time it’s actually really reminded me of an Earl Grey. I never noticed before. It’s like Marco Polo meets Earl Grey and a lemon. And it’s still so good.
I probably should have bought a tin of Marco Polo when I was in Paris. But really I was too overwhelmed and I like vanilla. This is a good enough substitute until next time…hahaha.
I first had this tea at a teahouse where a friend and I had afternoon tea. I really liked it and and I kept thinking about it. It’s been well over a year and I realized from someone else’s tasting note that this was the tea. So I had to order some.
It’s so good. It tastes like strawberries, a bit of lemon, a hint of bergamot. It’s not like a fruity Earl Grey at all, like it kind of leads you to believe. Just creamy enough, maybe I will give it a spin with milk and some vanilla sugar…ooh wait I bought some strawberry sugar in Paris…that could be awesome.