Tin Roof Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
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)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!”
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! :)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.