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St. Martin's Tea and Coffee Merchants

Recent Tasting Notes

“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of KittyLovesTea, I brewed Keemun Congou Rose by St. Martin’s Tea & Merchants: 2 tsp (5 g) / 8 oz / 205*F / 2-4 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
Leaf: Chocolate brown, uniformly short Keemun blended with obvious rose petals
Fragrance: POTENT rose
Liquor: Dark amber brown
Aroma: Floral, very mild Keemun
Flavor:
2 min.: It was not yet full-bodied so I let it steep another minute.
3 min.: Not quite yet, so I gave it another minute.
4 min.: This Keemun was full-bodied, rich and smooth. There was no bitterness and only a slight bit of astringency near the tip of the tongue toward the bottom of the cup. There’s a little tartness in the aftertaste. The flavor follows the potent rose fragrance: rose on the first part of the sip and a rich Keemun on the back half of the sip.

5-min. Re-steep: This cup was less tart and only slightly less full-bodied.

This Keemun is truly unique and should not to be missed by those who enjoy floral scented / flavored black teas.

Note: It also helps if you live in England or know someone who does. This tea is not currently available on St. Martin’s Tea & Merchants website. This unique tea tasting experience was only possible thanks to the kindness of KittyLovesTea who lives in Leicester, England. She surprised us by including it with a Tea Horse Keemun Orchid and some TeaVivre Keemun samples I’ve recently reviewed.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a Finum brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

I love how “organized” your tea reviews are looseTman :-)

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79

SIPDOWN! (228) Thanks again kittylovestea for sharing this one with me. I’ve really enjoyed drinking it while i’ve had it :)

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79

Backlog from yesterday….didn’t really get around to drinking too much tea. I was late for work and then when I got home, friends were over which, for these friends, means burgers and beer as they like to put it. So instead of tea there were delicious toasted caramel whiskey shakes and other such concoctions :)

I had this as a cold brew to end the night and it was deliciously yummy and refreshing. Thanks again kitty!

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81

I got this tea today whilst out shopping with my mother. I’ve been after a nice Darjeeling suitable for everyday drinking and I really have my fingers crossed for this one.

It’s black, brown and golden in colour with finely chopped leaves and a wonderful strong and musky floral scent. It smells lovely :)

Once steeped this tea is brown in colour with a sweet, musky, floral and earthen aroma. I wish they made a Darjeeling perfume, it’s just such a wonderful smell.

Flavour is sweet, malted, wooden, floral, musk and strong. A wonderful array of everything Darjeeling that I look for in a second flush. I tend to prefer the second flush Darjeeling more than first flush primarily because I love black, malty teas the most and some second flush mimic them very well. But on top of those you also have a stronger muscatel flavour and it’s more floral so I feel I have a good treat for my taste buds that in it’s own way is unique.

This has the right balance for me. It becomes sweeter and more floral the more I drink and the muscatel flavour is left in the after taste. It’s so smooth and non astringent, quite light for being such bold flavours. Delicious.

My searching is over. I have found my new everyday second flush Darjeeling and the best news is that it’s locally bought. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

I also love 2nd flush for pretty much the same reasons :-)

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84

I think this is turning into one of my favourite vanilla teas. It makes the perfect latte and sweet, milky tea and is one of my ultimate pick me ups. It does taste very much like vanilla pod and a touch of sugar brings out that delicious vanilla sugar sweetness and it’s almost like I’m drinking liquid frosting.

Starfevre

You’ve made me very curious about this tea. Your profile says you’re up for swaps, would you like to do one with me? I’m located in the US.

KittyLovesTea

Sure, I’m always happy to swap :) Was there anything else on my shelf that you would like to try? I have a fair bit of this left so should be able to offer you around 20-30g if you wanted that much :)

Starfevre

Let me check a bit later, having a busy day today.

KittyLovesTea

Sure there is no rush. I will always have this in stock. The shop is local so if by chance I have run out it will only be a 10 minute bus ride for some more :)

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79

Thank you kittylovestea for this sample! Another one i opted for cold brewing first. There is something in this tea that smells and reminds me of the lemonade tea that i received to try from lala. It’s not the same tea at all but i think there is some cross over in the ingredients.

Anyway, this brews up as a rich pink/red brew – as most do with the presence of hibiscus. The liquor however is not dominated by the hibiscus. Instead it’s a lemoney blend with just a bit of tang from the hibby. I think i prefer the one from lala as a lemon cold brew but this isn’t half bad. I’m looking forward to trying this hot to see how that translates :)

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84

What a day…if there was such a thing as (pardon my bad English) shittiest day awards then today would be a winner. Nothing has gone smoothly and I am losing one of my jobs.

A nice tea latte can cure anything though and this tea makes an amazing vanilla latte. I don’t usually add sugar but since today was so trying I added a spoon of calorie free stevia to help drown my sorrows.

Tomorrow is another day…I would do well to remember that.

ashmanra

Oh man! Sorry about the bad day! Things WILL get better!

Veronica

Sorry that it was a bad day. Fingers crossed that tomorrow is much better for you!

KittyLovesTea

Thanks :) I can only hope tomorrow is a better day…I’m sure it will be.

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84

Not a huge fan of anything milk related as I was allergic to it as a child but I get it in fresh for my husband and at the moment we have too much. I heard a great way of using up tea and milk was to make a tea latte so I searched through methods I found online I thought I would give it a go.

A huge vanilla fan I tried this tea, first of all the vanilla smells out of this world. Just simply amazing, any fan of vanilla would love this smell. So natural and fresh, strong, sweet…perfect. As for the taste the vanilla is the strongest flavour followed by a creamy element from the milk. I thought the black base would be stronger than it is but to be frank I like it’s behind the vanilla.

Well a creamy vanilla latte is my first home made latte and it will certainly not be the last. Wow… I cannot believe I have missed out on these. I will be browsing my cupboard in the morning to find suitable latte teas. :)

Sil

This sounds great!

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84

It’s that time on a Sunday where I’m looking to relax and prepare myself to cook Sunday dinner. I picked this up on Thursday from St Martins Square shop which is in my city centre, my husband sweetly suggested we go for a drink before he started work on a late shift. My husband had a Brazilian roasted coffee while I had a pot of Yunnan. Good stuff :)

Earl Grey I ran out of and the shop sold 125g of it loose leaf for £3.20 (bargain). So here I am with a pot of this and boy it’s very delicious. Refreshing, strong, sweet, juicy, smooth ….all in all a nice cup of Earl Grey. Delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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84

This is a tea from my local merchants and it’s only available instore. I love anything with vanilla and I love black tea so it was something I could not pass up trying. I ended up buying a huge bag of around 100g.

Loose this tea looks like any other black tea but then you suddenly see a lighter brown piece of vanilla pod. The smell is beautiful, the vanilla is sweet and creamy but not overpowering, I can still smell the black tea underneath.

Brewed with milk but no sweetener and also via teapot.

Once brewed there is only a hint of vanilla present, other than that the black tea smells a little malty and smoky. The taste is sweet and creamy but also smoky and rich. It’s a very natural vanilla flavour from the pod so it’s a little darker in taste which goes well with the black base. My husband said it’s more of an evening tea because it’s fairly mild and sweet, also that it reminds him of a creamy vanilla hard toffee sweet.

In comparison this tastes like a mix of Adagio’s Vanilla black and Cream black. For any fan of those teas I would recommend this blend.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

This will be my third Keemun Rose blend this week, I’m in love with it! Since my tooth extraction yesterday I have been finishing off my Monkey Fart – 52 Teas iced tea (since I was told I could not have anything hot for 24 hours). Now it’s been over 24 hours and I chose this blend to have as my come back to hot tea. :)

This was a bargain as it was only £2.52 ($4) for 125g and it’s a local shop so I can pick more up as I please. :D

The loose tea smells rather earthy and malty with a sweet tinge. The leaves are short, dark brown and thinly pointed with a few red/pink rose petals scattered around.

Once brewed the tea soup smells sweet and floral with rose being very obvious. Yummy. It’s also dark brown in colour.

Delicious! The Keemun is nice and malty and the rose petals sweeten it perfectly. The other brands I tried were sweet and sour but this one is not at all, it’s more of an earthy and floral tea that is smooth yet deep.

Perhaps next time I will try steeping for a minute extra as it’s not quite the desired strength for me but it’s more of a personal thing.

My favourite blend out of three this week. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90

This tea is only available in store but it sounded sweet and yummy so I purchased 125g yesterday. As I opened the packet I closed my eyes to take in the magical aroma of sweet and fizzy lemon, much like actual lemon sherbet which takes me back to my childhood.

It might smell like it states but the mixture is actually red in colour and while there is not an ingredients list for it so I cannot say what is in the mixture I can spot what look like rose petals, chunks of dried apple, dried lemon rind and hibiscus flowers.

Once brewed the tea is very dark red and looks like red wine. It still smells like lemon sherbet but not as sweet as unbrewed and also with a tang of what smells like hibiscus.

I was a little apprehensive about my first few sips as I am not a hibiscus fan BUT to my surprise it’s not hibiscus heavy. I can taste the lemon which is sweet yet tangy and fizzy with a kick of sweet apple and a tart floralness in the background. Still it really does taste like lemon sherbet and if anything the hibiscus is disguised nicely.

Half way down the cup and I’m still loving it. Imagine adding hot water to two spoonfuls of lemon sherbet and that is what this tastes like. Extraordinarily yummy!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82

Drinking this in the cafe to celebrate being declared fully fit by my physiotherapist and therefore discharged. Hurrah!

This is a wonderful example of a rich and smoky Lapsang Souchong with no bitterness. Its golden brown in colour with the amazing smokey aroma. Lovely.

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67

This is an earthy, fairly robust tea, that doesn’t mind if you steep it for a while. Having said that, the flavour is still delicate and not overpowering, which makes this a great everyday tea.

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