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Tin Roof Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

96

Let me start by saying that I am completely new to loose leaf tea. I was in Raleigh & wandered in to this tea shop. It smelled heavenly inside the shop. I was curious about the tea named milky oolong. The nice employee informed me it was her favorite of the lot. She pulled the tin down & let me smell it. Wow! I was sold. I immediately purchased a cup of this at the tea bar. I lived this tea from the first sip. To me, the aroma & the taste was an unbeatable combination. I purchased a 100 gram tin if this. I’ve been drinking it daily for almost 2 weeks now. I love this milky oolong. Sooooo good!

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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80

This tea smells soooo good. I just want to stick my face in it.

Tea: 5 grams
Water: 150 ml/5 oz each steep (green gaiwan)
Additive: none

Rinse
1: 25 seconds – light, lightly vegetal, more flowery towards the end of the cup
2: 35 seconds – quite vegetal, grassy even, floral tones as it lingers in the mouth, maybe a bit buttery, lightly bitter
3: 45 seconds – similar to the second steep, as the cup cooled it became more enjoyable
4: 55 seconds – same as third steeping still very strong
5: 65 seconds – floral notes, still strong flavor
6: 75 seconds – tasty
7: 160 seconds (oops) – delicious

While I enjoyed this, I think I like oolongs that lean more towards the darker oolongs. I like the base used for some of the flavored oolongs I have which has darker brown leaves and maybe look like some kind of Oriental Beauty type, more woody.

I wrote that previous bit earlier in the session, I like this more and more as I drank. I think I like the longer steep times, they taste less vegetal. I will have to try this again! I’m not the best at gong fu style brewing, but I’m getting better. If anyone has any steep time recommendations that’d be great.

Preparation
Boiling

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drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
1770 tasting notes

As I mentioned in last night’s note on Marco Polo, I usually only steep that one for 2 1/2 minutes. It is fussy, but it is worth the trouble because you get a really amazing cup of tea. But hubby was a little disappointed in last night’s pot of tea because it went for about four minutes before I got the leaves out. I told him I would try to make it up to him soon by making this one, Anna’s from Tin Roof Teas. It has a similar taste but the base is more forgiving and a bit smoother, without being a generic Ceylon base. I am pretty sure there is some Keemun in this base and possibly a little Darjeeling.

He tried it tonight and said he liked it better than Marco Polo! At first he said he thought it was more floral, which I thought strange because there is no floral flavor at all in Anna’s, yet there is in Marco Polo. He adds milk and sugar to both, I take them plain. The bottom line was that he likes this one better, and that is great because it is less expensive.

The bag I sent to my oldest daughter’s BF in Ireland reached him today and he has already tried it. He liked it as well, and commented on the fresh berry taste. So it is a hit in general, and is somewhat comparable to Marco Polo, Paris by H&S, and Tower of London.

Josie Jade

I live in NC too, and discovered Tin Roof Teas recently, I love that place! It’s about the only tea store that is really good in NC. Have you found any others that have a nice selection?

ashmanra

A Southern Season has a lot of tea but some of it doesn’t have the quality I would like. I have also gotten some misinformation from people working there, but it was my starting point for loose leaf. Teavana in Crabtree Mall and Streets at South Pointe, but I don’t really like their tea much and it is soooo expensive. I love Tin Roof Teas. There is also Old Wilmington Tea down at the coast but I haven’t been there yet. Just over the border, the Calabash Tea Room has some teas for sale in the front building, mostly repackaged Harney and Sons, American Tea Room, etc. Nice to meet you! Are you near Raleigh?

Josie Jade

Oh, I’ve seen Southern Season listed before and will have to definitely try it now. I’m not a huge fan of Teavana either, they always seem very pushy to me. I actually live in the Greensboro/Burlington area but try to stop by Tin Roof Teas each time I go. I’ve had nothing but great experiences there – the staff are always so patient and helpful! It’s nice to meet another tea person in NC finally! :)

ashmanra

I went to college at UNC-G! I live in Fayetteville so it is about an hour and a half for me to go to Cameron Village and a little farther to A Southern Season. I love ordering from Harney and Sons and Teavivre. A Southern Season has a PDF of what is available in their daily teas and on their fine tea wall. They also carry a lot of prepackaged teas like Mariage Freres, Steven Smith, Harney, RoT, Twinings, and on and on. They have all kinds of gourmet food, a restaurant, a take out deli counter, hand made chocolates, and if you go, be sure to visit Night Gallery/Branching Out in the same mall. Wonderful mix of antiques, clothing, and garden decor. So eclectic, and they are recently featured in Victoria Magazine.

Josie Jade

Ohhh, I went to UNCG too! I got a degree there, but am now going back to school for nursing at GTCC. We live in Whitsett (right outside of Burlington), so it takes me about 50 minutes to get to Tin Roof Teas, which isn’t too bad. I usually plan to go when we are passing through Raleigh or have someone to pick up at the airport. I am definitely going to check out Southern Season. Harney & Sons is my favorite brand, and I recently discovered Steven Smith. I do most of my tea ordering online since we don’t have that many local stores here (besides TRT), but I love those little stores that carry other brands so you can get a little bit of everything to see what you like. I tend to go overboard if I am ordering online, I feel like I have to get everything I’m interested in! Thanks for all of the tips about Southern Season, I can’t wait to visit!

ashmanra

Have you contacted Teavivre yet for free samples to taste? They are amazing! Great service, and usually fast shipping though my last order got held up in Hangzhou for some reason. They have high quality tea, excellent prices, and always send a sample with your order. Free shipping over $30 and a rewards points program like H&S. they have sent me four boxes of free samples so far, and there is usually enough for about six cups of tea without counting resteeps.

Josie Jade

You know, I’ve heard so many good things about Teavivre, but just haven’t gotten the chance to try them yet. I am definitely going to check them out today though, that will be my treat for myself during my breaks from studying! Do you know if Harney & Sons starts the reward points automatically? I actually didn’t know they did that and didn’t notice anything about that when I placed my last order. Is there a place to check your points on the website?

ashmanra

When you go to Harney.com, it says My Account over to the right near the top. When I started buying there, they set me up automatically when I made an account with them. The Millerton always does reward points, but theirs are separate. The nice thing about Millerton is that you can buy different amounts and just get tin refills, etc. and sometimes they have tea the website is sold out of. If you didn’t set up an account to order, but ordered as guest ( if that is possible) I bet if you set up an account and didn’t see points, they would probably pull our order history and give them to you. Their customer service has been really great for me. And do check out Teavivre! They have sent me so much free tea…which I love so much that I end up buying it, and so do my friends!

Josie Jade

Thanks so much for the info! :)

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drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
1631 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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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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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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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1770 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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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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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1770 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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This was the final tea of tea party. My guest lifted her cup, sniffed, and blurted, “Wrigley’s Gum!” I told her she had a great nose because both are spearmint. She liked it a lot, and of course it is my favorite Moroccan Mint so far. We drink it sans additions.

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drank Berry Fig No. 934 by Tin Roof Teas
1770 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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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
1770 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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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 was SO EXCITED! I got a phone call yesterday from someone wanting piano lessons for their child. I heard a beautiful accent, and was told she was referred to me by another student of mine, and right away I knew it was the Moroccan friend that I had been hearing about! As in, really, truly, Moroccan!

Naturally, I set out my Harney and Sons glasses and had a pot of tea ready! I told her that I didn’t know if this would be authentic to what she was used to, but I needn’t have worried. Ryan, you need to read this! :)

First she was ecstatic that we were going to have tea, second, she loved the glasses and said they made her feel like she was home again, and third, she said the tea was absolutely authentic to what she makes herself. She likes to add a tiny bit of honey to hers, and I gave her the White Gold honey that was recommended by my dear young friend who works at Teavana. She said it was the best honey she had ever had. Soon I will try some of the new honey from the newly added honey room at Tin Roof Teas! Yes, that’s right, they will have a HONEY ROOM!

This is what tea drinking is all about. Over and over, she beamed and told me how happy she was, how she loved the tea, how good it felt to drink tea and talk with someone (she is a homeschooling mom who is with children most of the time and loves to have some adult conversation now and then, just like me!), and how much she felt at home because of the tea, because of the glasses. She told me how she wanted to bring glasses from Morocco but didn’t for fear they would break, but that she brought all the serving pieces. She talked about how the tea tray would be set before the oldest person at a gathering and they would make the tea. There would be three containers for gunpowder green, spearmint, and sugar, and each person would come to the elder to be served. We talked about tea rituals here, and in China, and in Morocco. She wants to come again, and drink more kinds of tea. I will be seeing her once a week now for her daughter’s lessons, but I have a feeling there are also some plain ole’ tea parties in our future! This was a truly great tea day and I am so happy I could burst!

K S

How cool! A job, good conversation, and tea!

Finn88

I do wish that the US had more of a cultural aspect to tea drinking. For some reasons Americans bond over alcohol, so many other nationalities bond over tea. Nice story to hear :)

Rabs

How awesome is that?! :D

TheTeaFairy

Very nice story…

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87

This is a sample from Ashmanra. Thanks for the chance to try another moroccan mint!

This is a good example of a moroccan mint. It sweet from the mints. The base is exactly what I expected. I think this one may be heavier on the spearmint than I’m used to. I feel like this is a smoother version. Thanks again Ashmanra.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Glad you liked it!

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88

It’s a flavored oolong, but in the spectrum of milk oolongs out there (the ‘natural’ kind), this one was pretty affordable since I’m a poor college student with fancy taste buds. 50 grams for approx $10, and according to the sweet salesperson, I can get approximately 12 steeps out of this tea.

The initial sniff and I’m astounded that it smells EXACTLY like the Asian milk candies of my youth. It’s so bizarre, but hey, I’m totally down for milk-candy flavored teas. I steeped it for 2 minutes (and some change) and it was a pale yellow color, the pungent smell of sweet milk and nostalgia filling the room like a sweet song. I’m honestly excited for winter so I can sip this tea like the calorie-friendly version of hot milk and honey.

I’ve only tried three steeps out of this tea since I’m quite the busy bee at the moment.

1: It was quite creamy and a very rich tea. A touch of sugar and this will undoubtedly be my favorite afternoon pick me up tea.

2: Still creamy, less sweet, and I can taste an emerging vegetable flavor. Still pleasant though.

3: Definitely more vegetal, but at this point, I’m caring less about how hot the water is, and I’m pretty sure I wandered away for more than 5 minutes whilst dancing to a Taylor Swift song, but I happily drank it anyway.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
1770 tasting notes

This was the first tea of tea party today and it was my guest’s favorite tea of the bunch! We served it with home made pound cake made from freshly ground soft white wheat and topped with sugared strawberries.

The aroma of this tea is lovely, and the neatest thing about it is how the yogurt aspect of it comes across. When you sniff the tea, there is a nice black tea base well-balanced with the raspberry flavor, and then the yogurt adds this creamy tang, even in the scent. It is smooth and good! Definitely a keeper.

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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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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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