The London Tea Room

Recent Tasting Notes

79

I am enjoying this cup right now before going to bed. Tomorrow I have to wake up at 4 o’clock to take the first train to Montpellier (south of France…not Montpelier in Vermont, unfortunately because Vermont sounds really much exotic to me !) to see a client.
I hate going to bed too early…

This is a tea sample I got a long time ago from TerriHarpLady and it is a quite nice foral Oolong.

Since a little while now I am drinking very very few flavoured teas (except Earl Greys). I think I’m going to post soon a giant tea swap proposal with a lot of my flavoured teas.

I still appreciate drinking some time to time like this smooth, light Oolong with light buttered notes. The coconut is absolutely not overpowering so it’s really refreshing and delicate. Lovely. Thank you Terri.

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Floral

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

It’s funny that you think Vermont sounds more exotic than France, when I would never think that! Just shows that no matter where you live, there’s always a longing to see other places. The grass is always greener on the other side, I suppose!

I’m finding that I don’t enjoy flavored teas as much now either.

mj

I’ve never been to Vermont and I’ve only been to eastern France, near Germany, but I’m pretty sure France is probably more awesome than Vermont :)

Ysaurella

as a French I just cannot find France exotic for sure but I do think Vermont is a lovely place, seems so green, I’d love to visit Vermont :)

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This tea is rather mild unless you steep it for a long while, mostly due to the type of spices in the tea. I left this to steep for over an hour, and that hint of sweet that comes from the ginger now has overpowered everything else. It’s now cold, but it tastes like candy. It’s weird in that you can’t really taste it until it reaches the back of your mouth. Then it’s in your face. It’s pretty good.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger

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85

One thing I noticed about this tea as well as my other black tea from the London Tea Room is that they have overwhelmingly sweet scents. This one smells almost like caramel, but what it really reminds me of is condensed milk. I was almost turned off by how sweet it smelt in the bag, and even after brewing, it had a noticeably sweet smell. Luckily this isn’t all that sweet. You get a hint of sweetness after you brew it, but it’s very mild. I don’t know if I pick up any citrus notes, other than that a slight lemon cookie kind of scent from the dried leaves. It has a slightly floral taste, but that creamy taste is there too. I wasn’t as fond of it at first, but it’s grown on me. It’s not very bitter at all, and I’ve even found that it tastes pretty good cold, not that I’m recommending that you drink it cold. It could replace my current favorite tea, I don’t know.

I wouldn’t say it’s the best tea out there, and it’s certainly not the worst, but I would share it with friends, and I think I will be buying more in the future. It’s worth trying it at the very least, and the price is fair.

ThainofBuckland

This tea doesn’t re-steep well, especially if you leave it in too long the first time.

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34

The tea has a vegetal scent like spinach or hemp powder. The tea itself is rather powdery, with a leaves dispersed. There is a hint of pink, but there are only a few cherry blossom petals in the tea.

The brew is a light spring green color, you know, like the crayola color. It doesn’t have a strong smell and tastes… like spinach water. So much for that. It’s interesting, but far too pricy for me. I will probably avoid this tea in the future. I’ll still drink it, of course. The only tea I avoid is tea made from thyme.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Spinach

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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76

This is a sample I got from TerriHarpLady, thank you so much Terri for sharing.

For an unknown reason I thought it was a plain tea not a flavoured one . I’m having this tea for my breakfast and this is a pleasant fruity break.

I don’t have much to say about this naughty vicar except praying its smoothness and its good taste of black currant. None atringency even if I stupidely left it steep for 6 minutes, so it is clearly a docile tea.
Pleasant even if not something I would add to my cupboard.

Flavors: Black Currant

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
cteresa

Naughty Vicar? Oh my, I would have bought it at once!

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This is generous sample from Terri HarpLady – thank you.
This tea is bold strong malty with lotsa smoke which is fine . i tamed it with Maple syrup teeny tiny amount. thats the magic (Sil and Terri introduced me to maple syrup style drinking smoky teas) it tastes very good. very pleasant afternoon tea.
Thank you Terri for the opportunity to try this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
donkeytiara

so maple syrup takes some of the smokiness out of tea?

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This morning, courtesy of Terri HarpLady, I’m very pleased to review Keemun Mao Feng by London Tea Room, St. Louis, MO, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 tsp (3g) / 212*F / 4 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves mostly < 1 cm.
Fragrance: Smoky sweet Keemun!
Liquor: Clear brilliant copper
Aroma: YUM – A mild-to-moderately smoky Keemun with the classic winey profile and a delicate sweetness that is simply relaxing to deeply inhale.
Flavor: Winey, smoky, malty with a delicate sweetness

4-min: A truly rich, fairly thick, full-bodied, smoky, winey, malty Keemun with a delicate sweetness. There was zero bitterness or astringency. A MANLY cup of tea! YUM!

Re-Steep:
5-min: Not yet
6-min: Not yet
8-min: Light to medium bodied

Impression: I love a great Keemun this certainly predisposes me to enjoying this tea. A Keemun that’s just as enjoyable to smell as it is to taste! A thoroughly enjoyable Keemun! Well done!

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for sending us this gracious sample.

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
http://steepster.com/teas/revere-ware/46814-classic-2-1-slash-3-quart-whistling-tea-kettle
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94

This is one of my favorite Earl Greys. It’s very fragrant, I smell a lot of bergamot and jasmine? something flowery. This is an easy to drink tea for me. Although it tastes better hot than cold.

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77

How about that? Sil told me to try this because it’s good, and I tried it, and it was! It’s good! It’s got a nice bit of sweetness and a nice bit of smoke, balanced wonderfully.

(237)

Terri HarpLady

So, Sil is sending all the samples I sent to her to you? LOL, that’s one way to rack up the sipdowns! :D

Sil

Terri – where there was enough for me to have 2 cups or 1 sil sized cup AND have some left over, then Cavo gets to try it too since she has been my recent tea buying buddy lol. if there was only enough for a sil sized cup…. she did not get to try them haha

Cavocorax

Hahaha. And that’s totally fair. :) I appreciate what I get, and now that I’ve dropped my numbers a little bit, I feel I can relax a bit more and savour each cup properly. Phew.

Terri HarpLady

Oh, you know my policy, right? “Share the Love!” :D

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74

I thought I’d try another Kenyan tea! Sipdown! (246)

This one is less harsh than the others I’ve had. It’s a little smoother, and a bit more golden. Tasty!

Thanks Sil!!

Courtney

Smooth and golden ftw.

Sil

i really like the keemun from london tea room…but i don’t think there was enough to share of that one… if there was…it’s tasty.

Cavocorax

Oh, I have that one! I’ll be sure to give that some special attention.
Also, I looked in my purse yesterday and realized I missed a sample for you. :O I should stick it in an envelope for you. hahah

Sil

don’t you dare… or i’ll send you the 3 that fell out of the bag at my place haha

Cavocorax

Ahahahahah

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98

I call this the ‘Scotch and Cigar’ of teas. Strong and smoky with a touch of vanilla and berries to soften and flavor.

This tea is not for everyone, but will stand out for those wanting a strong character tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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83

Backlog:

A lovely blend. I enjoyed that I could taste each of the components of this blend but none was too overpowering.

The rose is the first flavor I noticed. Sweet and distinctly rose, and it complements the flavors of jasmine and lavender quite well. Floral, yes, but not soapy or perfume-y.

A nice white tea base. It is light and airy, with notes of earth and vegetation. The peppermint is not overdone here, and I really appreciated that as peppermint can sometimes easily take over in blends like this. It is more of an accent flavor here, not a dominating force.

A nice tea.

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80

Tea #17 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I was excited to see this end up in the TTB. I’m from St. Louis originally, where London Tea Room is located, but haven’t made it back for a visit in nearly five years. I just saw that they were closing their downtown location and moving to Tower Grove, so I’ll have to check out the new location next time I’m home.

It’s been a very very long time since I’ve had this tea, I had forgotten how much I liked it and now that I’ve had another cup I really miss being able to walk over to London Tea Room for a cup of tea now and then. Since I live in a small coffee drinking town, there just aren’t that many places available for me to get a good cup of tea outside of my home.

This tea smells great in the package and even better while steeping. I’m not the biggest fan of currant or citrus teas, but for some reason I have fallen in love with this blend. I don’t think I’ve had another tea that has combined the citrus notes from the bergamot with the fruity flavors of currants, it really is a great combination. I’ll have to pick some of this up if it’s available next time I go home, which should be close to valentines day when this seasonal blend is offered.

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72

Michelle sent a teaspoon of this a while back with her sale. thank you! It sounded lovely! Sadly, the sample doesn’t have much oolong in it. But it did have a ton of chamomile (which I should have figured out before I added it to my mesh infuser.) But the chamomile actually enhances the peach flavor that is like a juicy peach. I wish there had been more oolong though! Butiki’s peach oolong was my favorite oolong I’ve ever tried (though this one wouldn’t have been QUITE the same.) A nice one – I should probably drink chamomile more. I think this is around the fourth tea I’ve tried from The London Tea Room and they have all been delicious.

I had this genius idea of getting four empty tins to put tea samples in. One each for: smoky teas, chai, minty teas, and the fruity teas that smell stronger. Just a bunch of samples in their sandwich bags (or whatever they are in) for each of those four. SO does anyone know where I can buy big empty tins like the bigger ones from Teavana? (Obviously those would be way too expensive, even if they are free, it’s Teavana.) I’d appreciate any help!

Veronica

Craft stores often sell tins in various sizes, and at this time of year you could probably get a good deal on them.

Tea Sipper

oh I didn’t think of craft stores!

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82

Tea #6 from HHTTB2

Oof! What a potently bergamot smelling dry leaf!

The wet leaf still smells very strongly of bergamot, but the liquor itself is very much tea smelling with a light berry fruitiness.

The base is robust and strong, but smooth. The bergamot isn’t the most prominent flavor, but it is potent and has a definite citrus bite. And the currant flavor is very good, and not fake. It’s a little like an E.G. with berry flavor. There’s no substantial lingering aftertaste note.

I added a tiny bit of Bailey’s Vanilla Brown Sugar creamer (because it sounded like the most amazing thing ever, and I pretty much begged Fiance to let me get it. It is also unfortunately nonalcoholic), and had a wonderfully decadent cup! It’s like drinking fresh berries and cream. The bergamot is more like citrus noise than a large piece of the flavor. But the tea is more than strong enough to stand up to the creamer and excel. The aftertaste now and incredibly lingering delicious berry happiness. Yuuuuum.

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

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88

Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box #2
Mmmmmmmm this reminds me so much of the Coconut Pouchong Stephanie sent me from Golden moon. Sooooo smooth. Soooo creamy. I am really enjoying this. The coconut is just right. I will not be keeping any unfortunately because there isn’t much left, and I will be sending this one on its way.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Tea Sipper

Yeah, this one is very good.

ifjuly

I love every coconut pouchong I’ve tried! Yum.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

I’m loving them!

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Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box

I only took a tiny bit of this from the box, just to compare it to the Golden Moon coconut oolong which I still have about an ounce left of. They are indeed very similar! What is it about coconut and pouchong together? YUM!

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87

Another from TeaboxB! thanks again everyone! I’ve never heard of a smoky bergamot… it honestly didn’t sound very good but I had to try it. It’s actually perfect. One teaspoon at four minutes… yep, perfect. The base is the perfect strength. There are equal parts smoke and bergamot. A nice smoke and a nice citrusy bergamot. It’s very intriguing! I know many people can’t take their bergamot and they can’t take their smoky teas. But I like both! And I can’t believe both aspects are done this well. I might sneak this from the teabox.

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97

Another from the Here’s hoping teabox! The water was probably cooled way too low. After a three minute steep, it’s a sweet creamy coconut. More coconut flavor than there is an oolong flavor, probably because the oolong has barely unraveled. The second steep has less coconut and the oolong makes itself known. They are like completely different teas but that makes it interesting. This reminds me of Queen Mary’s Coconut Baozhong… it might be the same blend and I love that blend. I’m almost done with the HH teabox. It isn’t holding up Momo’s teabox, I promise, as it is an impossibility for me to get to the post office anyway… so they might as well go at the same time when I can actually go.

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74

HH teabox! This one sounded lovely – black currants, cream, bergamot. And the taste is nice! The flavors balance themselves out. Actual fruit flavor, though I couldn’t tell you if it was actually black currants but it wasn’t fakey gross… it tasted like SOME kind of actual fruit. Just a little bit of cream (could have used more) and some bergamot that reminded me of a refreshing grapefruit. The black tea base helped out the nice flavor combination that I haven’t seen before!

Terri HarpLady

I’m glad you liked this one! This was one of the teas I got for the steepster book club when we read American Heiress.

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Ok, I can smell the valerian in this one. It’s gonna put me in a coma for sure. I’ve heard Valerian described as smelling like old socks and various other horrible things but have never really found it objectionable. It has good associations for me, probably because I’m the kind of angst-y person who can always appreciate a bit of calming influence.

Some years ago, I devised a calming herbal blend of the same name—Two, actually. One I named sereni-tea to sooth my nerves. The second I named Mister T—to knock me out. The second one had valerian as I was dealing with insomnia. It was pretty effective. So now I’m a little concerned that this blend, which smells like valerian, will put me in a coma and disrupt my work today. Oh well, we’ll see.

It tastes…ok. Not particularly objectionable. Sort of a pleasant, generic herbal blend. Some mild mint in there somewhere and other good weedy stuff, enough that I can taste more than valerian. Yeah it’s there, but there’s enough other stuff to “sweeten” the blend and give it a sort of overall pleasant taste reminiscent of the old fashioned hippy tea blends of the seventies. Back when it was all about bucking the evil caffeine establishment and using healthy herbs. I get a little nostalgic with medicinal brews because they are more like the ones back then—A bit less about extracts and flavorings and more about getting certain health effects.

This one seems to be working. I’m starting to rub my eyes and yawn a bit. I probably ought to save it for individual cups in the evening rather than cold brewing it in the middle of the day. I’m becoming a bit mellower than I ought to for this time of day.

I’ll have to remember this stuff for times of stress though. It’s relaxing me very nicely, which helps my aches and pains too.

Terri HarpLady

I love Valerian. It’s on my list of favorite herbs.

Terri HarpLady

In fact, I should have drank some last night!

gmathis

Do you steep your valerian straight up? I’ve never had much luck with it in herbal blends.

Terri HarpLady

If it’s in a blend, I don’t mind it. I don’t keep the herb around, but will add a eyedropper or 2 of the tincture to teas.

MsWhatsit

I’m still cold brewing most of my teas lately…the cold weather has not really settled in and I’m lazy. It seemed to work fine anyway. Your mileage may vary.

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Original Title: Why is the Tea Always Gone?

Top o’ the morning to ye. It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I be awake with the other salty dogs and sea witches staggerin about the deck and wishin I had two eye patches so as not to be so aggravated by the big shiny thing in the sky. Where’s me morning grog? Confound it all, me pocket flask has gone missin! It’s off to the galley for some tea instead.

So many varieties to choose from. Which one shall it be today? Here’s a sample some mermaid with a harp gifted to me. Let’s see how it smells…Ah, I’m detectin essence of old timbers with a hint of dead bodies and seaweed. . . Nar, I be jestin with ye.

This sample actually has a fine smell indeed. I have looked forward to trying it, expectin a flavor similar to my beloved Paris Morning (by Savoy Tea Co) but it’s turning out to be a completely different animal. It tastes like a very fine black tea with something pleasant but elusive. I be sniffin and tastin and puzzling but not sure what it is. It’s like something on the edge of my perception.

I do notice the tea base in this very much. It reminds me of the one I found so delightful in Savoy’s Christmas Tea. Whatever it is merits further investigation. I drank the first cup cold brewed but plan to brew up the second cup hot. We‘ll see if I can find out what treasure is buried in this fine tea.
. . . . . . . . .

There’s nothing like drinkin a tea hot ter distinguish its’ more subtle perfumes. I can smell the barest hints of vanilla n Arr-enge. Tis only a hint though, just enough ter give this very fine tea a bit of exotic mystery. Methinks I brewed it a mite hot the first time though. It had a touch of astringency. The resteep was done with care at a lower temperature and came out better. For a lark, I tried one cup with coconut milk and sweetener. It tasted good, exactly like coconut milk and sweetener taste good. I could have left the tea out and not missed it. . . Methinks the flavor of this tea is too delicate for that sort of thing.

This tea is the sort that can stand alone and is best served warm so one can breath in its exotic mystery. I couldn’t tell ye much of that fru fru talk of what makes it so fascinatin, but I know what I like. Time to brew one more cuppa….Shiver me timbers! The entire sample’s gone already?

That‘s it, I‘m off to sack Paris. .

Terri HarpLady

Aye! To the sackin’ o’ Paris!

Bonnie

Aye! Me needs doubloons(well it’s spelled that way) sack Paris!

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77

Backlog:

Thank you to Azzrian for sending me some of this tea!

This was tasty, although, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a chocolate-y taste that was promised to me in the description of the tea. I tasted the orange and a hint of the creamy vanilla, but the chocolate was sadly lacking. If I hadn’t read the description, I would not have even realized that there was supposed to be chocolate notes in this … but when I focus on the sip intently, the chocolate is there … it’s just so very faint.

As the tea cools slightly, the chocolate notes begin to emerge. It still isn’t chocolate-y enough for this chocoholic, but, overall, the cup was certainly drinkable.

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