Tin Roof Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

I am drinking this sample from a friend just so I can have a sample sipdown! I will be making another tea shortly because this isn’t doing anything for me. The base feels a little rough and grassy and the coconut isn’t as strong as it could be. Maybe I did something wrong but I know for sure the water wasn’t too hot. If anything, it was too cool. Steeped for three minutes.

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I had no idea this ginseng oolong was going to be so different from Teavivre’s. There are a couple of obvious reasons why it is, though.

First, this is a Chinese oolong, while Teavivre’s is from Taiwan. Second, this uses Siberian ginseng root, while Teavivre uses American ginseng. I really thought there was licorice root powder on the Teavivre leaves but I asked them some time ago and was told there was not. I taste something similar here but no licorice root is mentioned and it is lighter.

This tastes like a Tie Guan Yin, and the ginseng is adding just a hint of flavor that comes as a sweetness after the swallow. It doesn’t even come close to the floral sweetness that follows with Teavivre’s, though. This is the level of ginseng flavor I would expect on their third steep.

Second steep is sweeter than the first, but still milder than Teavivre’s.

The Tin Roof leaves are still tightly balled up and coated with ginseng after the second steep. Now I have done the third steep and they still haven’t unfurled. I think something about their ginseng powder must have more sticking power and dissolves into the tea more slowly.

The leaves are still dark pellets, but the tea is getting a little sweeter with each steep – just a bit. I think this gives the tea a consistent level of flavor with lightly growing sweetness each steep.

Several people mentioned disliking ginseng. If you want ginseng for its benefits and like TGY, this would be the way to go. Personally I love the BANG POW of the first steep of Teavivre’s Taiwan ginseng followed by the gradually calming down of the following steeps.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I adore ginseng oolong.

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drank Arabian Nights by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

I met a dear friend for lunch today and she was so sweet to bring me samples of several teas she just bought at TRT. This is one I had my eye on to try for a while but haven’t gotten around to it yet since there are probably ten on the list every time I go!

I am pretty sure this is a Teageschwender tea since they have a tea of the same name and identical description. This reminds me of the fine French teas which are perfumed with so many floral scents.

I would love this in my room, in my closet, in my chest of drawers scenting my clothes. I am not sure I would want to drink it often, though it is quite nice. It is just a bit too perfumed for me. Perhaps with food or cake and a friend to chat with it would be right over the top and I would adore it, but as of right now, I don’t desire to go buy this. I would recommend it to anyone who loves floral teas that make your pinky hoist itself into the air on its own.

It is possible that I also need to play with the parameters a bit, as black and green blends can be a little touchy. There is a little bite of astringency, like lemon, that I think is the main thing making me not fall in love with this one, though I do think it is a very good tea.

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The description of this tea says to let the tea seduce you. That is exactly what the aroma did yesterday in the shop. I intended to buy a white, a green, and a black and my eye fell on the name of this one. Intrigued, I asked for a sniff. The seduction worked and a pouch of it came home with me.

There were big chunks of candied fruit, I think kiwi though it also says raspberry. The dry aroma is powerful and I was even worried as to whether it was going to overcome the tea, but when steeped this is nicely scented, slightly fruity and sweet, and the white and green teas in the base still come through. A fun purchase that I will enjoy sharing with my bestie who is trying to get into white teas.

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When I bought the teabag version of Tulsi I knew I was going to keep an eye out for a loose version. It is going to be difficult to compare the two teas because when I made the tea bag one I also added some lavender flowers, and there is definitely nowhere close to as much tulsi in the bag as the loose leaf recommends, so it was considerably stronger.

I had braced myself the first time for an unpleasant medicinal taste since I had never had this herb and didn’t know it was tasty as well as helpful. It is quite good, though, and is a comforting drink that I think would pop to mind first if I wasn’t feeling well.

My back was hurting really badly last night, and though it didn’t stop (T3 vertebra problem) I definitely felt much more relaxed and peaceful after drinking this.

There is almost a minty or lemony high note. It tastes both lightly savory and sweet. I am reminded of some of the Republic of Tea “Get _______” line, so I suspect this may be in some of them.

Overall, tasty, helpful, and I am glad I bought it!

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drank Bon Bon no. 914 by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

Whoosh! A whole pot all by myself! Well, I drank it by myself in that no one else had any, but I wasn’t alone. I enjoyed a nice Sunday morning with my godson who is visiting from college, chatting about the future and life-purpose, thankfulness, and living purposefully, loving and serving others. What a great young man! If you are ever having the “what is the world coming to?” blues, ask him to come over!

The tea: lots of good sized pieces of coconut are in this blend. The black base reminds me a lot of Harney’s straight chocolate tea, but this isn’t really tasting exactly like Soho Blend to me. I think Soho has a little additional flavor, maybe vanilla? Or something floral? It has been a long time since I have had it, but I think when I restock it will be with Soho.

Josie Jade

I like this one mixed with TRT marzipan blend, yummy!

ashmanra

How did I miss seeing that one? Is it a black tea blend?

gmathis

Your gs sounds wonderful! I always feel a little more hopeful about the condition of the world after spending time with my fifth graders…this year’s crop is growing some boys who are going to make wonderful, caring men someday.

And the tea sounds pretty lovely, too!

Josie Jade

They pointed the marzipan out to me one time when I was there, and I was hooked (I love marzipan!) I almost never try mixing teas together on my own, but the sales girl suggested this with the bon bon and it’s one of my staples. :)

http://tinroofteas.com/black-aroma-teas/952-marzipan/

ashmanra

Sigh. Well, I will be back soon. I can get some then! I did go to Penzey’s and buy some almond extract. I have been putting it in my vanilla shakes. :)

Josie Jade

Oh, that sounds good. I will have to try that, I love anything almond flavored! I always use a little extract when I’m baking.

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drank Bon Bon no. 914 by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

I bought a sampler of four teas from TRT for my daughter’s fiancé to drink while he was here, and to take home with him. He said he loves chocolate and LOVES coconut, so he felt sure he would like it.
Fortunately, his instincts were right and he really loved it! This is the same blend sold by ESP Emporium. The base is nicely balanced with the flavors and it tasted great sans additions.

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drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
1768 tasting notes

One of those lovely close-to-perfect days where you want to push “pause” and leave it there. Slow, steady rain all day; temps in upper 60’s. Took a travel mug of this with me on a trek to North Arkansas (Google “Crystal Bridges Museum” … it was great!).

If you put this, Marco Polo, and H&S Tower of London Blend in front of me without telling which was which, I would be hard put to tell the difference. This is berry-creamy sweet, has a great quality tea base, didn’t need a bit of sweetener. Thanks to ashmanra for the treat!

Nicole

Ooooo… I have been wanting to go to that museum. We always end up in Eureka & Hot Springs when we go to Arkansas, though. I’d love to take a little detour to the museum.

gmathis

We have a running joke about “next time, we’re going to Eureka Springs.” We’ve been trying for decades and it never happens. Just take a Dramamine (the road is curvy!) and head west from Eureka on Highway 12. And stop at War Eagle Mill—old working grist mill with a craft shop and a little cafe that serves tea and pecan cobbler.

Nicole

We have been to the mill. Perhaps Mom & I can stop by the museum and Savoy Tea Co. on the way home. We are doing Hot Springs and then Eureka so heading west on the way home is quite do-able.

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Back logging: Youngest and I drank this most of the day. We made two pots. It is sweet and the smoke is pleasant enough, but it is not quite as good as Black Dragon from Upton. It lacks some of the sweet resin quality of Happy Lucky’s. But overall it is good and satisfies the need for Lapsang. We are trying to finish it before my Upton order gets here and it looks like we may succeed.

Tunes: Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men and
Helena Beat and Don’t Stop by Foster the People

Veronica

I’ve never listened to Of Monsters and Men. They’re great! Thanks for the recommendation.

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Yesterday when I was in Raleigh, I stopped at Cameron Village to visit Tin Roof Teas and Penzey’s. Normally you have to buy tea in bags of 100 grams, 250 grams, and I think there is one larger size but I don’t remember how big it is. If you go in to the store or call, you can get 50 gram bags of tea as long as you buy four of them. They call it a sampler pack and they have some already put together, or you can choose your teas yourself.

I picked up a sample of this Lapsang as one of my choices so youngest could see how she liked it. Her first reaction when she smelled it was, “Smells like smoky fun!” She liked it a lot, but she said she thinks she may like Upton’s Black Dragon a little better. She feels – and I agree – that this one has more smoky aftertaste than Black Dragon. If you like smoky aftertaste, this is your better choice.

The aroma of the dry leaves had almost a minty note, something bright and exotic. I realized it was reminding me of the incense that Bonnie sent us, and of the Happy Lucky Lapsang. That makes perfect sense if these teas are smoked over resinous pine knots, as the incense is resinous, too. Now the flavor profiles make so much more sense to me, and it explains the vast difference in taste when you get tea that is smoked with wood, not knots.

While I was there, the owner told me to be careful of where I buy my Lapsangs as some companies are now adding what is essentially Liquid Smoke and not “smoking” the tea at all.

Youngest says she wants to have a taste test side by side between this one and Black Dragon soon. I am all for it! Both are good teas.

Barb

Eek, Liquid Smoke! Eek! did the owner offer any clues for determining whether the smoke flavor was an additive? I think I’d recognize the fake taste because my sister loves to put the stuff on pan-broiled meat (which, yuck!) but unless it’s very strong in the tea I’m not sure.

ashmanra

I should have asked, Barb! Next time I am there I will try to remember. Maybe clues can be found in the distributor’s description of the tea, as they usually specify what kind of wood the tea is smoked over. If it doesn’t tell, I expect it would be a safe bet that it is flavored rather than actually smoked.

Azzrian

Scary thought! Your daughters comment was cute!! :)

Barb

Ruth, excellent suggestion about looking for the kind of wood. Even though I suspect it will rule out my old standby Taylor’s of Harrowgate. :(

ashmanra

Azzrian: she really is a hoot!

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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

My eldest daughter came to visit tonight and she likes for us to drink green tea together. She does not LOVE tea, and she used to hate it, but she wanted to drink it for the health benefits and has grown at least tolerant of it. We usually drink unflavored greens other than Harney’s Tropical Green. Tonight I asked her if she drank much flavored green tea. She said no. I asked if she would mind trying some, and she said she could try it. Hubby even said he would drink some with us. Remember, he is Mr. Tetley with lots of sugar and milk.

They both LOVED it. And we all drank it plain. I gave a cup of it to a 12 year old voice student today who formerly drank only sweet black iced tea. She loved it plain as well! I thought she would since she was a fan of Fuzzy Navel, too. So here is another I will have to keep on hand. I love it when people love a new tea, and especially when they say, “This doesn’t need anything!”

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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

I am giving this an additional review today because my second set of guests liked it so much! They usually add honey or sugar to their tea, but the mother and child both said this one was good plain. The little girl asked for more, and the pot was empty so youngest made us another pot of tea. They really enjoyed it, as evidenced by the fact that the mom asked me for the address of Tin Roof Teas so she can stop in next time she goes to Raleigh and buy some tea and some honey from their new honey room!

The funny thing,.,yesterday I bought a bag of Temple of Heaven Gunpowder Green tea for her from there. She is Moroccan and grows her own spearmint and makes Moroccan Mint tea. Today when she arrived she handed me a box and said she had brought me selma Gunpowder Green tea that she bought in Morocco not long ago! We had a good laugh as we exchanged the same kind of tea! :)

Indigobloom

heh that is too funny! great minds… ;)

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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

And the winner of the tea time competition is………BERRY FIG! This is especially momentous because my guest was a non-tea drinker three years ago, then became a black tea drinker who didn’t want greens, and today voted for a flavored green as her favorite tea of the day!

This is smooth and good. The berry is not tart or overly bright. Fig always seems mellow in tea to me, and tasty, too. Lovely! The base is very nice. You know it is green, but it is not grassy or sour.

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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1877 tasting notes

I was really lookng forward to this new tea and wanted to try it tonight before tea party time tomorrow. Although it was quiite good, it has the misfortune that I expected it to be different. Somehow I got the notion that this was going to have the KA-POW flavor of the Super Fruit Sencha that K S sent to me. This is fruity, but far milder. This is the same one carried by ESP Emporium.

The green base is smooth. The fruit is pure and sweet. I think now that I know what to expect of it, I will like it more. Fortunately, Tin Roof Teas does sell the same tea as the Super Fruit one. It is nice to know that I can get it somewhat locally.

Edited to add: yes, it grew on me, yes, I have to buy more. This is really good tea. I have to buy more because EVERYBODY wants it.

Sil

I really want to try some of the teas from this company. Your reviews have me intrigued :)

ashmanra

It is east to end up with a long wish list for this company! I love the samplers. You have to call to order as far as I know, though I think someone is working on their site so web orders can be placed. They have great tea, and n the shop, beautiful teaware and such.

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A sunny Sunday afternoon sipdown. A much needed dose of “yes, spring will come” both outside and inside.

You know how when you get to the dregs of a sample—enough for one cup, not enough for two—you just say, “aw, shucks” and dump the whole thing in. Wasn’t the wisest move in the world; turned the green tea base a little bitter on the back of the tongue. But the strawberry/vanilla was still sweet and pleasant at the front of each sip.

I fixed it, though…treat yourself to a big slab of cherry dump cake and you won’t notice the bitter at all :)

Terri HarpLady

I know exactly what you’re talking about! I tend to go for “more tea, less time”, in an effort to avoid bitterness.

gmathis

I like strawberry as a tea ingredient so much it’d have to be pretty lousy for me not to like it.

Veronica

Now I want dump cake!

Nicole

Dump cake! Aw, man. Shades of Girl Scout camp and cooking in box ovens.

gmathis

Sprinkle slivered almonds on top and it looks like you really fussed :)

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Confirming the second steepability of this one. The green tea base is more pronounced the second time around, but there’s still enough strawberry to make it seem fresh, not tired and leftover.

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For those of you who have heard me wax exceedingly and wordily poetic about Tradition Strawberry Black Tea—my cheapie steepie favorite this summer—this is its green tea twin.

The strawberries-and-cream flavor comes through mightily, but you can tell that behind the berries is a lovely and light green tea base. Haven’t second steeped it yet, but I think the sweetenin’ is strong enough it will take another cup nicely.

Many thanks to ashmanra for keeping my rear planted in my writing chair where it belonged this afternoon!

ashmanra

I LOVE this one! I hoped you would like it since you love your strawberry black!

gmathis

The flavors are really, really close.

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I love this tea, and I know it was the favorite of one of our group members who came to my house tonight. He specifically requested that I make a second pot of Anna’s Blend, the raspberry yogurt black tea, but when I went to make it I saw this pouch and thought they might really enjoy this tea as well, and seeing as how we had already burned through two pots, why not make extra? Good thing I did, because this turned out to be his favorite.

This is a green tea base that is not grassy or sour but very smooth, rather like Harney’s Tropical Green base, which I believe is an Indian green tea. The strawberry is a nice hint of fruit, but the vanilla is really what pushes this over the top. Nice, nice touch!

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Today I realized that I haven’t served this at tea party yet! As a special treat I had purchased some Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream to serve with Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies. I thought about serving it last to continue the strawberry theme, but my guest really wanted it first, so we served it with the ice cream.

As always, it was delicious, but I do think a better pairing would have been the Wild Wuyi Black with the ice cream so you have a nice contrast, and then serve the SV last to keep the strawberry theme going, as I felt the creaminess, rich ice cream masked some of the good flavor of the tea. The aroma of this tea is so fantastic, and the flavor doesn’t let you down.

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This was one of the three free sample teas at Tin Roof Tea last Friday. I had a tiny bit of it in the store, but needed a good excuse to buy more tea when I already have more than I should. As it happens, that excuse came in the form of my friend saying that she needs some green teas to add to her cupboard and could I come up with some things she would like?

This one smelled so heavenly and tasted so good, I knew she would love it. Today we tried Anna’s Blend, a black tea with raspberry and yogurt flavors that reminded me of Marco Polo without all the drama of pulling the leaves at EXACTLY the right moment, and we had this one.

This one was hands down the favorite for both of us. The strawberry flavor is so natural that I felt like I had a cup of really good green tea and someone just crushed some fresh strawberry juice into it. The vanilla is very creamy and warm but not bold or in your face. This is so smooth. Anna’s Blend was excellent, don’t get me wrong, but this one was dazzling.

I am really sure this is the same tea offered by Teageschwender. The description is identical. I will gladly keep this one on shelf! Many thanks to Tin Roof Teas for making so many awesome teas available relatively close by! I believe they have about 300 in the store!

Sil

This sounds tasty

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I am up to my eyeballs in chicken eggs. My young Marans started laying and one of the hens that was molting has started back and I am getting five or six eggs a day. In self defense, I made a pound cake with caramel frosting for Writers’ Group tonight and used six eggs.

What would go well with something so sweet? I usually choose a black tea or a oolong that is a bit roasty so that it doesn’t compete with the sweetness but instead complements it and enhances it through contrast.

We drank four large steeps of this tea and it was fantastic. Everybody really liked it, and the one serious tea drinker of the group who has actually spent a bit of time in China was pretty impressed with it. Five of us drank eighty ounces. (Some of the folks chose to drink Voltage, instead. The younger ones, of course!)

This is excellent tea, and I am really excited because I am going to my first tea flight Monday night at their shop. It will be a puerh tasting and I love me some puerh!

JustJames

yay chickens! go girls go!

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Last night was Writers’ Group at my house and nowadays that means TEA! And lots of it! We had homemade bread with jam and some flavored tea first, and I saved the big tetsubin of this for after we were through snacking.

This is so good. It makes me crave more every time I drink it. I used to wonder what all the fuss was about TKY teas. Now I know.

Driving home today I was suddenly haunted by the memory of how this tasted last night and the ghost of its flavor filled my mouth. I had to have some when I got home. It was such a spiritual experience that I was struck by the many hands that worked so hard to bring me this tea, and the great distance it had come. I feel very thankful, and humbled.

I really want to try the Top Ti Kuan Yin from Harney and Sons now. It is much, much more expensive, and I really want to experience it.

NofarS

Wonderful!

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I was going to edit and add this info, but this steep deserves its own tasting note.

Still roasty and dark in flavor though not a deep dark cup in color, this tea is disappearing quickly as I take long draughts of it. The dark roasty part is exquisite – I love this in an oolong, though I love green oolongs as well. But I am really getting this amazing lingering sweet taste, almost the feeling left behind by a tisane with licorice root in it. And there is a slight nutty component as well.

Excellent tea and a big thumbs up. This one actually seems to be improving over time rather than losing flavor or freshness.

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