1937 Tasting Notes

67

I guess I’m in a somewhat chocolatey mood still, because this one called out to me and I decided I wanted to do another tasting of it. This time I steeped it just a hair longer than before, and I think some of the flavors are a little more robust without getting bitter. The aroma is very chocolatey with a floral bergamot undertone. The taste is a little more malty than last time, and predominately chocolate (a roasty, cacao-nib chocolate) with a bright, citrusy texture and aftertaste. I’m not getting a lot of bergamot/EG flavor with this one, although once again I get more as it cools. I’m adjusting this one down a bit because I’m a little less entranced by it’s offerings this time; it doesn’t quite deliver for me on the chocolate or EG fronts as much as I’d like it to. I still enjoy the cup, and it’s definitely unique.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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90

When I was at the Harney Soho store one of the teas I chose to sample was the Dragon Pearl Jasmine. I asked about their Jasmine teas in general and the guy helping me brought down both this tea and the Yin Hao Jasmine; upon smelling them I knew this was the one I had to try. The jasmine smell of the Dragon Pearl was much more powerful and flowery. My sample basically blew me away. The first thing that struck me was how sweet the tea was, and how delicious the floral flavor was melding with that. Full, lovely jasmine flavor, like fresh picked jasmine flowers, with a beautiful rounded strongly honeysuckle sweetness that lingers on the tongue. I can’t remember ever having so delicious a jasmine tea, and I had to buy some of course.

So I brought my 2oz of pearls home and made myself wait until this afternoon when I had my temp-controlled tea kettle and some time to enjoy them. I really wish Harney would put the steeping instructions for individual teas on their website, since I didn’t really know anything but the temperature for this. I read that someone got 21 pearls out of a sachet meant for 12oz of water, and a level perfect teaspoon yielded 24 pearls for my 12oz Kati cup, so I figured I would go with that. A 3min 30sec steep time seemed to be what most people were doing in the reviews, so I went with that. Most of the pearls seem to have completely unfolded in the first steep (this didn’t actually happen at the tasting bar at the Soho store, but the cup they were steeping in was smaller), although a few were still loosely bound together. The flavor is the same amazing flavor I got from my sample at the store, so these parameters seem to be good. I get strong flavor all the way through the cup, from hot to cool. These seem to be my Jasmine Pearls to beat!

Second steep, 5 min. I didn’t get to try resteeping the leaves in the store, but I can now. This steep is a little less sweet, especially when very hot. The Jasmine aroma is still very strong, and the sweetness definitely comes out as it cools a bit. Definitely a delicious second steep as well.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Serendipitea

I absolutely adore this tea and it’s my Jasmine Pearl to beat too – so far nothing has come close!

The flavour just doesn’t let up through multiple steeps, but I’m usually all tea’d out after the 5th cup :D

ashmanra

That does it. I am adding it to my cart!

Dinosara

Yeah, I always feel bad throwing out the leaves because I know I can get more out of them, but I I’ve already had so much tea!

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75
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
1937 tasting notes

I finally went by the Harney & Sons Soho store this weekend; I’ve been meaning to go for a while now, but I was finally able to convince my non-tea drinking boyfriend to come along with me. I was able to sample a bunch of different teas (since he didn’t want it, I got his choose-your-own sample) and generally had a very nice time. I refilled my stock of this tea, plus picked up a couple of others and an adorable teacup covered in British birds (I’m a total bird nut). I wish I had gotten more!

My new pouch of this tea smells so fresh! I’m definitely going to try to buy my loose leaf direct from the store when I can; the only issue is that the pouches don’t come with steeping instructions, and Harney’s website doesn’t provide them for each tea. I guess if I pick up a pouch of tea I’m unfamiliar with I can ask at the tasting counter and write it down on the pouch (the pouches are foil-lined, but have a simple brown-paper outer layer). I noticed that for the samples, the water for the black tea was 202-207ºF (we could read the temp on the water tank, and it was 202ºF when he poured the water for my sample, but as we stood there the temp climbed a bit), and the water for the green tea was 175ºF. Which confirms my thoughts that I should brew my Harney blacks a bit under boiling. I did with this one, and it came out great. The nutty, chocolatey, roasty flavor I totally love!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Uniquity

Good to know!

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20
drank Lavender Earl Grey by Tea District
1937 tasting notes

Last cup from my sample pack of this one! :( I guess I’ll need to get around to ordering more from Tea District finally. I’d love to try other Lavender Earl Greys, but I know I’m definitely a fan of this one. Finishing up the pack I think I put a little too much tea in my mug, because it’s really strong. It’s also really lavender-y today, probably because a lot of the little lavender buds fall down to the bottom of the pouch, so there’s a lot in this steep.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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99

Working from home again today, so my morning-tea options are limited. Can’t go wrong with a pot of Tower of London, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Coconut Cream Pie by Butiki Teas
1937 tasting notes

It took me a while to get around to sampling my last tea from Butiki; thanks again to Stacy for the samples to review! Apparently it’s a coconut tea day for me. Brewed up, this one smells very coconutty, though it’s a ‘brighter’ coconut than my earlier tea, if that makes any sense. I think it’s partly the slightly fruity, slightly nutty flavor of the rooibos, and it’s giving the tea a pretty tropical aroma. The taste confirms this aroma; the flavor of the rooibos is definitely present in this one, with a lovely coconut note. It is fairly creamy and overall the flavors meld well together. Quite a tasty tea and a great one for coconut lovers.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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72

This is my first tea from Praise Tea Company, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. The dried leaves had huge pieces of coconut in with them, and nice little chunks of cacao nibs. The leaves smelled powerfully like coconut with chocolate making up the base note. When brewed, the aroma becomes a little more muted; more chocolatey now, with a more subdued coconut. The taste is back to primarily coconut on the tongue, with lightly roasted chocolatey notes rounding it out. As it cools it becomes even more coconutty. No bitterness to this one at 3 minutes; next time I’ll try 4 to see how it fares. This is a really tasty tea, and I like how the chocolate isn’t overly roasted flavored. I can see myself ordering more teas from Praise!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Vanilla Tea by Upton Tea Imports
1937 tasting notes

This is the final tea in the sample pack that I got from twiggles for the Easter HoppiTea. I do love a good vanilla tea, although I don’t have many examples that are just straight up vanilla black. The aroma of the dry leaves on this one isn’t just vanilla, but I can’t really place it. Like many vanilla teas, this one is made up of fairly small pieces of tea leaf. Brewed, the aroma becomes more definitely vanilla with the black tea base coming through. The taste is vanilla, but not creamy vanilla, just a warm vanilla on top of the robust black tea. It’s a solid, tasty black tea, though I can’t help but wish the vanilla was a tiny bit stronger (I am, after all, a flavor junky).

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

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76

I was excited to try this one (also part of the sampler pack from twiggles) because I really love jasmine teas, and this is a “Chung Hao” grade of jasmine and I’ve read reviews of other Chung Hao jasmines that made me want to try them. The dried leaves on this one have a strong jasmine aroma with an underlying sweetness; I’ve seen a couple of jasmine teas described recently as having honeysuckle aromas, and now I can smell it in this one too.

I was surprised at how dark this tea got after only 2.5 minutes of brewing. The liquor is a dark yellow edging toward orange, and the aroma of the brewed tea is very similar to the dried leaf, except more well developed and “fuller”. This isn’t a wimpy jasmine; the taste is strongly of floral jasmine (not very perfumey, I don’t think, but I don’t tend to get bottle of perfume flavor from florals that some people do) integrating well with the green tea. There seems to be a touch of underlying bitterness from the green tea, but given the darkness of the liquor after 2.5 minutes I think the steep time could be dropped to take care of that. I’m not quite sure how this one compares to the other jasmines I have now; I guess I’ll have to go back and try them to see how they all stack up. In any case, I think this tea would match up well with the others I’ve tried so far.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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78

This is another one from my Upton sampler pack that I got for the Easter HoppiTea from twiggles. It’s a nice looking tea, with tiny candied mango chunks and sunflower petals. Dried it smells strongly of sweet mango; brewed, the mango aroma isn’t so candy-like and becomes much more like mango juice, with the black tea base underlying.

My first sip (while still pretty hot), I get a taste of mango and surprisingly a jasmine note. I went ahead and brewed the full four minutes on this one, but that did cause a some bitterness, so I’ll definitely drop it next time. Nevertheless, I can tell that I really like this tea! As it cools, I still get an overall mango flavor but in a very floral way. I can’t help but be reminded of jasmine somehow. Definitely my kind of tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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