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The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants

Recent Tasting Notes

88

Tea of the morning here, another one I got in the bulk section at Whole Foods yesterday.

I got a Teavana tea mug for Christmas from my brother and this is what it looks like, very pretty!
http://www.teavana.com/tea-products/tea-cups-mugs/infuser-mugs/p/okura-ume-blossom-infuser-tea-mug

As far as the tea is concerned, it’s a pretty nice Assam, hefty and enjoyable with a bit of soymilk. It definitely has a nice malty flavor, maybe with some caramel notes. I would consider getting more of this when the current supply is running low. For me Assams are a great breakfast tea! I think I’ll drink some more tea while I’m doing my chores today. :)

Meditation of the day from Dale Carnegie: “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Ooo, beautiful mug!

CrowKettle

Oh, geez. Teavana has some beautiful tea products!

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68

This tea is a bit strange…
I love darjeelings but I’m not really sure this combo does a lot for me.

The blackberry reminds me of elderberry and seems slightly medicinal. I’m usually a fan of anise but in this combination it just seems weird. At least it’s supposed to be good for your stomach. Probably my least favorite of the teas I got from the Jasmine Pearl so far but I will drink it eventually. I felt it was much improved by the addition of some soymilk.

I think this would be really nice as an iced tea — I will have to try it that way someday. :D

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88

Tea of the morning here.

My general feeling on chocolate teas is that they leave a lot to be desired, especially if you are expecting them to taste like hot chocolate.

This is a nice blend of black tea, pu’erh, carob and chocolate. I believe there is some vanilla flavoring in here too. It’s mildly chocolate-y and has a bit of heft. I like the fact that they decided to put pu’erh in here which gives the tea a nice added dimension. I am not blown away by it, but I do like it. It’s nice with some vanilla soymilk added in. Probably would be more appropriate as an afternoon/dessert tea. I’ll certainly finish off the bag happily.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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86

Tea of the afternoon here… an oolong from the Jasmine Pearl.

GABA is supposed to have a calming effect and who couldn’t use more of that?

I decided to use the gaiwan to steep this and put in about 1 tsp of tea, steeped for 30 seconds. The wet leaf smells very much like fresh corn to me.

1st steep is a light yellowish infusion. I am getting the sweet starchy quality that gets compared to bananas & yams. For me it is still reminiscent of corn since it has a slightly vegetal quality. The overall flavor is quite pleasant.

The 2nd steep I did for around 30 seconds and it is a bit darker. Now that the leaves are starting to open up, there is a definite buttery flavor coming up in this tea.

3rd steep is much like the first. I think I am detecting some subtle notes of vanilla. It’s difficult to say whether or not I feel any calmer from drinking this, although I am inspired to do some meditation right now.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Kittenna

A bunch of my coworkers work with an enzyme, GABA, for their research projects on Arabidopsis and apples. So every time I hear about GABA oolong, or something like that, I have to wonder if they’re at all the same thing or not. One day I’ll bother to look it up…

TeaBrat

I really couldn’t say…

Kittenna

Haha, no worries, that was definitely one of those comments to self that I happened to write out :D

NofarS

Sounds lovely.

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86

You can never have too many straight black teas, which is really the reason I got this with my last order. :)

First tea of the morning here, the sun is out and I will need to go for a nice, long walk later.

I steeped this for 4 minutes and am enjoying it. I don’t think its anything in particular to write home about, just a nice yunnan black tea. It has some light notes of malt/sweetness along with a very mellow character. I would definitely recommend trying this plain before adding anything to it, it doesn’t really need a lot. I am not really getting the peppery note described, but perhaps it’s too early in the morning!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

Here’s another tea I got from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants.

This tea sounded very intriguing to me… a smoky dark blend with orange and spice. I would say the predominate black here is the keemun, along with a bit of lapsang. Then I am picking up the orange, clove and lemon… the rose is very faint. It is a bit like a chai but with more smoke and more citrus. I like this a lot better than I thought I would, it is very warming on a chilly night — especially since the heat is still not on here at full force.

This is yummy afternoon/evening tea that is really good! I like this blend.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Oooh, that does sound interesting! And I’m with you on preferring to hang with people you care about & staying healthy!

Claire

Sounds like me, Amy! I spend most Fridays either doing school work or at home relaxing.

Terri HarpLady

If I’m not playing a gig, I’m usually in my PJs at Tony’s house.

Nicole

That sounds like something my mom would like. She likes some of the smokey teas, orange and cloves. Not a big fan of rose, but if it is faint… onto the list it goes!

TeaBrat

I like it Nicole.

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78

One of the teas I got yesterday from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchant.

Last night I had Indian food for dinner which didn’t really sit well. I thought perhaps this tea might be nice for settling my stomach a bit.

In my opinion the spice in this tea is VERY strong, the ginger really stands and then the cardamom. The peach is a very faint note somewhere in the background. This blend is not for the faint of heart, it is definitely stronger than any other ginger peach tea I’ve had. I like it though, and ginger is really nice for a chilly San Francisco day.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Ginger & peaches are such an awesome combo

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90

Tea of the morning here… why yes, roses and cardamom do make for a delightful morning tea. Excellent with my morning toast.

I really like this stuff, it’s better than I remember it. I wonder if that’s because I steeped it longer this time. I bumped the rating up another point. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

Ooh, this one sounds lovely.

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90

This also came in the bulk section at Whole foods. It smells sooo good in the bag I had to try it! Roses and cardamom, lovely! But how would the flavor hold up?

I ended up steeping this for 4 minutes. It is very heavy on the cardamom, which I don’t mind, but you would have to be a big fan of the stuff. There’s a definite rose element and the ginger is more subdued. I tried mine with soymilk this morning and it IS a very interesting blend. The spices are very strong in this. I think the rich, malty assam lends a nice backdrop to this tea. Might also be interesting to try as a latte!

For me it might be more of an afternoon tea than a breakfast tea, but I like it! Glad I tried it, it’s yummy. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Nik

Oooooh, I need to try this and chai it up. Added to the shopping list!

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72

I just tried this at Medley, a new tea shop in Multnomah Village. It’s quite good – the ginger is spicy without being overwhelming and it does have a hint of peach. I’d definitely drink this again.

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98

It was The Jasmine Pearl’s eighth anniversary when I went to pick this up. When I first planned the outing with my brother, I didn’t know that. My only mission was to pick up some Earl Grey, which – even with all my teas – I had none of. EVERY one needs an Earl in their cupboard. (Unless you’re allergic to citrus.)

I’ve only ever encountered one or two near-perfect Earl Greys before. My criteria for perfection is: “The more bergamot, the better”. No, not those double-bergamot hackjobs. They’re too much of a good thing. What I mean is a bold citrusy presence without being too astringent. This met that requirement in spades. As I write this feverishly, I’m downing a pot of it. The Ceylon/Keemun base also shines through with floral aplomb.

My account of JP’s anniversary (and other announcements) can be found here: http://steepstories.com/2012/11/04/cheating-nanowrimo/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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87

This is one of the few keemuns I am actually fond of. I got this in the bulk section at Whole Foods so I hope they have more when I go back. It’s very hefty and also takes soymilk well, but it isn’t too “winey” or bitter which is a problem I have with some other teas of this variety. It is fruity with a very slight smokiness.

The Purrfect Cup

I always forget to check out places like The Fresh Market and Whole Foods for tea….must remember this!

TeaBrat

well, mine has a bulk section but I have heard most others do not…

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90

This came in the bulk bin at Whole Foods, I am not sure what marketing gurus decided that you need a special tea for yoga, but since I just did some yoga I thought I would drink it. :)

I actually like this blend, a lot. It is very flavorful with a nicely balanced mix of herbs: cardamom, fennel and cinnamon seem to predominate. Yes, ginger too. I am not sure what nettles are supposed to taste like or what they contribute, but this is a very nice herbal blend and is delightfully warming.

Namaste!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

Yoga makes me crave tea. It’s the music! I associate with tea because I play the same type of music when I want to sit quietly and enjoy some Jasmine Dragon Pearls or other delicate, calming tea. And if I hear really twangy Asian music, I want Chinese food. Bad. It is quite Pavlovian! Glad this tea hit the spot for you!

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76

It’s another foggy morning here, surprise surprise…

I am trying to slug some of this down in order to wake myself up and motivate to get over to the gym. But it is Sunday, and somehow the thought of puttering around seems a bit more appealing, you know?

Anyway this is a decent ceylon, nothing to write home about so I doubt I will be getting anymore. I feel like I need a nice Ceylon to add to my tea collection since the one I was really fond of is now gone. Any suggestions?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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64

I was at Whole foods tonight and I noticed they seem to have changed their bulk tea selection so they have more stuff by the Jasmine Pearl and less by the Silk Road and others – I don’t know if this is an improvement or not but of course I had to pick a few things to try.

This stuff is interesting, it was meant to be a coffee substitute which makes it nice for the evening. I am definitely picking up on the cacao as well as a strong cinnamon element. When you add soymilk to it, it reminds me of a Mexican hot chocolate. There is also a LOT of cinnamon in here. The blend is a little strong for me so I am wondering how this would be mixed in with some regular black tea, although I do not have any plain decaffeinated tea at the moment. This was ok but I doubt I will need to get anymore.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Michelle

I didn’t know Whole Foods had a bulk tea section!

TeaBrat

Not all of them do, but mine does. :D

Michelle

Aha! I don’t usually go there, but I should take a look :)

Scott B

I can’t even resist bagged teas like PG Tips and Yorkshire Gold-I’d probably get into trouble at Whole Foods.

Michelle

Haha! I’ve never actually tried either one of those, but I’ve heard good things about both!

momo

Yeah I’m glad the one by me doesn’t have bulk tea, but I did see some at one much further north. They had a giant barrel of green mate for awhile at the one in my neighborhood and that was it.

TeaBrat

I wasn’t a big fan of Yorkshire Gold, don’t know if I’ve ever had PG Tips…

CupofTree

love whole foods tea selection! can’t go to many other places for tea in south florida. PG Tips is great also.

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100

This tea is amazing. I’m not much of a caffeinated tea drinker, but this was just too good to pass up. Perfect taste, and great as a chai or a tea latte. But best of all- this is GREAT for infusing vodka with. I made it for a birthday party with four other tea-infused vodkas, and it was the first gone. Everyone loved it!

Preparation
3 min, 15 sec

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87

They have this at the local Whole Foods in the bulk section so I picked some up to try. The price was about $2/oz., not too bad at all.

My experience in the past with keemuns has been somewhat mixed but I rather liked this one. It has a “biscuity” aroma that I often hear people use to describe teas. I steeped this in my 6 oz. Finum cup which is my new favorite toy. :)

The tea liquor is a sort of medium reddish brown. The tea is supposed to be mildly smoky but I am not really getting that at all. Perhaps I oversmoked my palate from drinking too much lapsang lately, lol. I am picking up the fruity taste which is very pleasant. I am getting light cocoa notes as well. It has a mild astringency but nothing too parching. This has a sweet and mellow quality about it. I am not getting pine either, but I can see why people would akin this tea to a fine red wine, it does have a sort of wine-y quality about it. Would definitely be good with food but also excels as my Friday afternoon tea. I like it and am glad I know where I can restock some! I might be brave enough now to try some other keemuns…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

Wow! I’m excited to learn that they carry Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchant teas in other Whole Foods … and not just the local ones (that is, the ones in the Portland area, as Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants is in Portland).

ashmanra

I wish the Whole Foods I go to an hour and a half away carried bulk tea!

TeaBrat

@LiberTeas – yeah, it’s great!
@ashmanra – bummer!

Bonnie

The Whole Foods I used to go to in Cupertino, CA was as big as Costco! The one here in Fort Collins is little (but we have other stores just like it) .Bet Amy has a big store!

TeaBrat

It is fairly huge. I think there are at least 4 WFs in San Francisco now…

ScottTeaMan

Amy, I’m glad to see you have a new toy! So really, what do you like about it. I just think they look so cool, although a six oz cup is a little small for me, but I’d still buy at least one. :))

TeaBrat

I do really like it, though wish it was a bit larger. I can always use the filter with a different cup tho’.

ScottTeaMan

How do you like the feel or quality of it?

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76

I don’t know a lot about ceylons so I decided to pick a bit of this up at Whole Foods since they have it in the bulk bin section. I doubt this is a first class example of what a ceylon can be but I wanted to try some. :)

I steeped this for 3 minutes at around 205 F. It is very pleasant, somewhat brisk, a bit fruity with some astringency. I don’t think this is an orange pekoe but it does share some similarities with that style. I was able to drink it plain just fine but I liked it better with a touch of organic soymilk added to it. It seems good but I don’t have much to compare it to. In any case I am not totally loving it. I might try steeping again at 2 minutes next time.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

Another sample I picked up at Whole Foods to try. When I first smelled it I was worried it would be too much like the dreaded darjeeling I don’t really care for. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a very mellow, slightly fruity and slighty chocolate-y tea. We drank this for breakfast and it was delicious. Very non-astringent without a hint of bitterness. I may have discovered a new favorite type of black tea!

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83

Backlogging and sipdown! See previous notes :)

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95

On my way home from a job interview, I made a pit stop into The Jasmine Pearl HQ for a bowl of matcha. (Yes, that’s right. Most people stop by normal bars on the way home, I stop for tea. Shush.) While having my bowl o’ matcha, I was coaxed by the owners into trying one of their “bingcha” raw pu-erhs.

I…love…sheng pu-erh. This was an ‘06. Other than that, I don’t know much about it. I can tell you that it had a deep, winy, floral-fruity character on even the first thirty-second infusion…and didn’t deviate from that. While I only had three infusions, I’m more than certain it could’ve lasted more. I wanted to buy an ounce of it, but it wasn’t exactly in the budgetary cards. Next time…next time. Le yum.

QuiltGuppy

Good luck with the job! Hopefully soon you’ll be able to improve your tea purchasing resources. :)

Geoffrey Norman

Ha, thanks! I’m not too worried about my tea stores at the moment. Still got plenty of that Zealong ya gave me. ;-)

The Purrfect Cup

I really need to try teas with names that either frighten me or that I can’t pronounce! I always seem to stick to the “safe” teas that I know or that EVERYONE knows and likes. Thank you for always trying something new to share with us.

Geoffrey Norman

Wow, that’s a tall compliment! Thank you! I do what I can. I’d get bored trying the same ol’ thing all the time. Plus, I have an active “ooo shiny!” gland.

The Purrfect Cup

I call them like I see them and I really enjoy your reviews, tweets, and blogs on the subject of tea. I do try to switch up my tea drinking, but there are some “go to” teas that I tend to always fall back on. I think my next venture is to get my hands on some of that ice wine tea and take a look at Upton Tea Imports – I hear good things about them. If you have any recommendations that would be helpful too.

See I have an active “oh shiny!” gene.

Geoffrey Norman

Good call on Upton. I have yet to try their wares, but they have a rather extensive single estate white collection – even stuff from Kenya! They’re on my list as well…if and when I finally have the budget for ’em.

Indigobloom

I’m starting to wonder if the pu’erhs I have tried are just bad examples…. everyone talks about all these great aspects but all I get is “dirt”!

The Purrfect Cup

I get their tome (it seems that large) quarterly, but I have yet to take the plunge. Someday… If you ever want to try a sample of anything I have let me know I am happy to share! :)

Geoffrey Norman

@Indigobloom – If it smells like dirt or fish, you’re having the artificially-aged (“shou” or *cooked) stuff. I’m with you, most of ’em are gross. A key words in your pu-erh search should be "sheng or “raw”. They smell more like green tea, to me. Feel free to disregard if you already know this. :-)

@Little Mew Brew – I may take you up on that if you ever get their single estate Assam white. That type’s been on my list for awhile.

The Purrfect Cup

I’d be happy to share that if ever I get it. But I also meant any other teas in my cupboard here on Steepster too!

Geoffrey Norman

Thanks! I will gladly keep that in mind further down the road. Luckily, I still have stores from my review sampling to keep me tided over for a little while. :-)

Indigobloom

huh, I did not know that! thanks for the info… pu’erhs are now officially off the garbage list until I try the Sheng or Raw! :)

Geoffrey Norman

Glad I could help . :-)

Angrboda

Best of wishes on the interview.

Geoffrey Norman

Much obliged. :-)

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89

Enjoying a cup of this tea before we leave to run errands. Today, I’m getting much more anise from the flavor, but that’s quite alright with me. I love how the fig and anise work together. So delicious and calming.

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94

Tea on nitro. Wow. I had already made my frivolous tea purchase for the month, but a discussion on Twitter between me and three others caused my curiosity to swell. I had heard of GABA teas before, never understood the fuss of it all, and chalked up the health benefits claims to “hooey”…like biodynamics.

For instant gratification, I went to The Jasmine Pearl HQ to test drive the stuff. The host and hostess politely humored my request, and steeped it gongfu-style three times. Each time, the flavor profile was pretty much the same; creamy, fruit-like, mildly leafy, and zero oolong “chalkboard-on-tongue” feeling. And it packed a wallop of strength each steep.

I’m not sure if it did anything to my…uh…“neurotransmitters”. I was still hurling expletives at rush hour traffic on the way home. But I felt good while do it, if that says something.

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100

Since I’m on such a Yunnan Gold kick lately, I felt it was time to revisit this. This time, though, I obeyed the brewing instructions on the Jasmine Pearl website. Instead of boiling water, I dialed it down to 190F (oolong-ish). The result was sheer perfection. That does it. This type is my favorite black tea ever. I have decided.

Full Review: Pending on www.teaviews.com

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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