Tin Roof Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

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
2183 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
2183 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
2183 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
2183 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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This is a sipdown! I have finally managed to start some decluttering and that includes my tea stash. This is the second sipdown of the day.

Back when I first tried this, I favored this over Anna’s Blend, which is a strawberry black tea blend. Now the pendulum has swung the other way and for now I prefer Anna’s. After three years, this is still pretty good but it is time to say goodbye, so I made a big farewell pot for all to share after supper.

Even as I say goodbye, my daughter is going ooo and aah over the aroma. I will not buy any more tea until I sip down at least ten more! (I got one order today and I have two teas on the way but we won’t talk about that.)

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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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I needed a tea to pair with supper. I made loaded baked potato soup topped with shredded cheddar and crumbles of bacon, and some sprinkles of California Spice on hubby’s and Penzey’s 4S on mine. On the side we had grilled cheddar and mozzarella sandwiches with raspberry sauce. What could hold up to that?

THIS TEA! My gosh, it was fantastic, too. The first pot is gone and I am definitely resteeping tonight and I don’t care if it keeps me up all night long! It is so dark and roasty, so mellow and smooth, so sweet and good. For some reason it makes me think of brown sugar.

Dessert – tea and Bissingers chocolates, coming up.

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I got up this morning and tended to the little foster dog we are keeping for a few weeks. Then I discovered that we are out of English muffins and we don’t have any bagels. I decided to make a little breakfast for my husband and myself since the kids will probably sleep until noon or after since it is the first day of Christmas break.

I made grits, scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast and with the meal we actually drank milk, but I could hardly wait for some tea to follow the meal! It was hard choosing this morning, especially since I wanted hubby to drink with me and he is tea picky. He has generally liked oolongs though, so I gave this one a try with him.

First of all, I love dark or traditional oolongs. I love green ones, too, but the dark ones are heady and addicting to me. And this is a great TKY. I never thought about it this way before, but today as I sniffed the cup deeply I thought it smelled a bit like brown sugar or caramel. There is a lovely lingering aftertaste – that is what makes me crave dark oolongs for days after drinking it once.

This is a great tea, and I am torn as to whether I will purchase more when this is gone or whether I will purchase their Dong Ding, which I finished in record time last time I bought it!

Bonnie

Yum breakfast with TKY!

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I got the nicest surprise today! Another amazing card handmade by GMathis! So cute, and she knows I am nerdy enough to LOVE the Soft Kitty song and that is on the front of the card. I actually sing it to Sam, except we say “Soft puppy, warm puppy, little ball of fur, happy puppy, sleepy puppy, grr, grr, grr!” Thank you! It was a good mail day! (Have you looked at that book yet?)

Well, tonight was writers’ group night at my house and of course I had to serve some tea. I made my big tetsubin full of this tea and put it on a warmer. There were only three of us drinking tea, but it was very enjoyable. Every time I drink a good Ti Kuan Yin, I crave it for days afterward. This is a great, smooth tea, and I think it is excellent for introducing people to the world of unsweetened fine loose leaf. The flavor differs so much from our Southern iced tea that is super sweet, that it doesn’t make them crave all that sugar!

Rebecca Lynn

Hahaha, I love the soft kitty song! Sometimes I uh…sing it to my bearded dragon.

gmathis

:) I only made a couple of those because of the limited number of friends I knew would get it. And you wonder why I hang out here?!?

ashmanra

Rebecca Lynn: First of all, I would really love to see a video of you singing the Soft Kitty song to your bearded dragon. Secondly, I have been trying to figure out what the lyrics could possibly be since last night and I am still coming up blank! “Soft lizard, cold lizard, little bearded friend. Happy lizard, sleepy lizard…” What comes next?

gmathis

Soft lizard, cold lizard, love your pretty scales…happy lizard, sleepy lizard, watch him wave his tail?

Rebecca Lynn

Um, I love you guys, haha. I just started laughing in my room. When I go back home I’ll make a video, haha. I just kind of make up different lyrics every time that aren’t nearly as good as the ones you guys came up with! I’ll try and figure out a way to end your version, ashmanra! In the meantime, gmathis…that is my new facebook status.

Invader Zim

lol you guys are awesome! It helps that I love soft kitty!

gmathis

Pleased to make a contribution!

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If this isn’t the same Ti Kuan Yin that Teas, Etc. sells, I will lose that nickel I just bet!

This is a good everyday drinker, a bit darker than some of the more modern TKY’s. A mere three teaspoons made 36 ounces of tea of very good strength, as I made 18 ounces at a time and resteeped once so far. And it must be decent, because I already drank all 36 ounces by myself. I had a really horrible day yesterday and didn’t eat or drink from 9 am until 9 pm. Terrible, I know, but I am making it up to my body today by feasting on good tea! And M&M’S may get involved later but we won’t talk about that…

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Peachy fresh light green tea, smooth with no bitterness. Great stuff! If you cant buy frkm Tin Roof Teas, this is the same as Madame Butterfly, which is sold by many vendors though I like buying it from Gurman’s of Ireland since we have had great customer service from them!

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I have been stalking Tin Roof Teas waiting for this to come in! My daughter purchased a tea called Madame Butterfly from Gurman’s in Dublin, Ireland. So many guests really love it, and I am especially pleased that it is a tea that children love with no added sugar! My bag is getting low, and I was hoping to find a US source so I could save a bit on shipping. The description of Fuzzy Navel sounded like it was going to be the same tea, or close enough to it.

The dry leaves look the same as well as the flavoring bits like the flower petals. The two cups of steeped tea side by side are exactly the same color. The aroma matches. The most important part is the flavor, and if it isn’t identical it is at least close enough to be virtually indistinguishable.

My whole kitchen smells like a peach cobbler. Warm, peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream would be so good right now, but I am exhausted and need to go to bed!

Hooray! I have a US source for a tea I want to keep on hand, and I don’t even have to pay shipping because I am up there often enough to buy what I need. Plus a little extra. :)

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drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
2183 tasting notes

I just restocked this last time I went to Raleigh. This is the same tea as the TeaGeschwendner. I hope I spelled that correctly. My youngest gets cravings for this and we had run out, and it is really popular at tea times, so I like to keep it around.

When I first had Marco Polo I really liked it and so did my husband back in his lots of milk and sugar days. We both noticed that it MP could be really finicky – bitter one time and excellent the next.

Well, this little lady isn’t finicky at all. They bill it as strawberry and yogurt flavors, and I do detect that tangy flavor like a sweetened sour cream or yogurt. Bottom line is I like it much more than Marco Polo and it doesn’t matter if I leave it a little too long.

My daughter and I drink it plain and find it perfectly sweet and smooth. It will take milk and sugar well if you prefer it that way. You can add a little more leaf and a little more time and have a hearty but well behaved breakfast tea. Love this blend.

Sil

totally agree on this one!

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