1911 Tasting Notes

83

Sipdown, 139. I really need to make some (figurative) room in my cupboard because I am about to have a bomb of oolongs from Teavivre dropped on me soon. I figured I should try to get through this last batch of teas that they sent me, so that’s the goal for the next few days.

I’ve tried this one with my western black tea methods (2tsp, 12oz water, 3 minutes) at the recommended steep temp, and a pseudo-gongfu method, which is the whole sample pouch for a shorter period of time. I find this one yields similar results for me in each method. Even though it’s a Fujian tea, it has some earthy-potatoey Yunnan-like notes to it. There’s a hint of grains like I might expect from a Fujian, but also a very slight cocoa-powder note. All in all I definitely enjoy this tea, and it seems to be a great example of a golden monkey. Now if I loved golden monkeys, I’m sure this tea would be at the top of my list.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

I think I am anticipating the same oolong bomb :D

Stephanie

Me too, yay oolongs soon!

keychange

Hey dinosara, is it you who has the gooseneck bonavida kettle? (I thought it was kittenna, but turns out she doesn’t have it, so I thought it might be you LOL).

Dinosara

Yes, I have the Bonavita Gooseneck!

keychange

Oh perfect! I knew it was one of the people I’m following. Do you love it? is it perfect? Is there anything about it you don’t like?

Stephanie

I have one too and I love it. I don’t really have any complaints, either.

keychange

Oh thanks, Stephanie. I think it’ll be my kettle of choice, especially because it seems to be both small and accurate. Do you like the spout?

Dinosara

I do love mine. I wish it had a bell or something to indicate when it reaches the set temperature, but I love that I don’t have to worry about it too much because I can just hit “hold” and it will hold the water at that temp until I remember to go check on it. I like the spout, especially for gongfu as it has a very precise pour. It does take a while if you are filling a large teapot (but I pretty much never do that).

keychange

Wonderful. I think I’ll get itt!

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90

My heart is with the people of Kenya and those affected by the Westgate Mall attacks. Today I chose this tea in their honor.

Nasikitika sana.

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62

This tasting note is more a pouting note. I bumped into my Lupicia handy cooler today while it was drying and it smashed on the ground and shattered. :( :( :( I literally use it every day to make iced tea for lunch. I had to go and buy a replacement right away. Still so sad.

This was the last thing I cold steeped in it, but unfortunately it wasn’t successful. Sometimes flavored whites come out bitter and overdone even just overnight. I guess I’ll try it for a shorter time… Eventually.

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96
drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
1911 tasting notes

You know, I have gotten to the point with my dissertation that I can actually take the time to write tasting notes again. Turns out that once it’s written and sent off for comments, there’s a lot of waiting around to do.

While I’ve been writing and not posting notes, I have been slowly working on pushing through some older teas and going back to old favorites that I haven’t had in a long time mostly because I get focused on samples and sipdowns. This fits the old favorites category, although it’s not really that old of a tea. A nice morning Earl to start the day.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Woohoo! Sounds like a load off…but I bet waiting for comments is nervewrecking

ifjuly

congrats on getting over a big hurdle!

Joshua Smith

Congrats, I hope you get a lot of positive responses!

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80
drank Mo Li Long Tiao by Carrefour
1911 tasting notes

Sipdown, 140. Saying bye to my supermarket tea from China, still better than a lot of jasmine greens that you find in the States!

This one has been in the same paper bag that I bought it in over a year ago, but it aged fine. Jasminey, satisfying. Piles of loose tea in the Carrefour supermarket is probably the ting I miss most about China. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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67

Sipdown, 141. So I had this actually first a while ago when I wasn’t really posting notes (dissertation still isn’t done, but the worst has past). Violet is one of those florals I haven’t been able to get behind, but I got this as a free sample with my Instant Thé order, so I figured I would try it.

The first sip I thought I didn’t want any more, but then it kind of grew on me and I mildly enjoyed the rest of the cup. TONS of violet, not much raspberry. I decided to cold steep the rest of it with a sachet of Paradise Green from Lupicia that came in my newsletter, since I wasn’t too into it. Mistake. That blend is totally bleh, mostly bitterness and overwhelming violet. A violet lover would certainly appreciate this more, I think.

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93

Sipdown, 142. Samples are gone, gotta get me some more of this! This morning I didn’t use ice, just cold milk and a blender, and it was great. I realized one thing I love about it is that I always get an awesome froth on the top, which I always struggle to get with regular matcha.

Indigobloom

I’ve discovered I love it best with tons of ice and milk. No ice? no dice :(
And I too need to order more!! only a few cups left…

Dinosara

I’m happy with just a latte, not a slushy. :) Plus my blender isn’t strong enough to crush ice so it’s just lumpy.

ashmanra

You guys know about the super cheap special blend and the offer for a big bag for a dollar, right? I just got my three bags in the mail, and two friends ordered, too!

Stephanie

I love the caramel, but the coconut matchaccino is incredible!!! Must try!

Dinosara

Yeah, I was tempted by the cheap blend but I’m unsure about the low-grade matcha base. I am going to submit my reviews for the free matcha, but I haven’t done it just yet.

ashmanra

Even with the special blend there is a fifty per cent chance of getting the higher grade, but I understand not wanting to risk. I figure if one of mine turns out to be lower grade, I will just add a little sugar. And Stephanie, I have pining away for the coconut all summer but I put myself on matcha lockdown other than special deals because I have so so so much matcha.

Stephanie

I understand Ashmanra, I go through matcha really slowly, too.

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90

Thanks again to Justea for this sample. I was excited to find out that one of the samples that they were including was an Earl Grey, since as many of you know I love Earl Greys and have tried many of them. I am a lover of a well-bergamotted Earl; no light scenting here, please.

Based on some comments from K S I tried this one with a bit less leaf, 1.5 tsp for 12oz. Of course I don’t know whether due to that or if the bergamot is serving to cover up some of the astringency that I found in the base tea, but this tea was DELICIOUS. What a fantastic Earl Grey.

It reminds me a bit of my fave Earl, Lupicia’s. The bergamot is strong but never gets that citrus pith-y bitterness. Instead, it hits all the good-beramot notes: citrusy, slightly floral, bright and crisp. Here, the base is smooth and slightly sweet, which I love in an Earl. A rich, malty base pairs perfectly with bright citrusy bergamot. I didn’t find this astringent or bitter at all, just extremely tasty. This is a tea that I definitely want more of. Guess I better get in on their latest crowdsourcing campaign so I can get more of this tea: http://www.justea.com

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
K S

Ice it. It gets even better.

Sil

oooh good to know! thanks KS

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93

I recently ordered a sample of this blend from Red Leaf because I had been hearing so much about it. I didn’t realize that I could get a next-to-free sample of it, so I jumped on it when I had the chance. I was pleased that the sample actually came with two single-serving pouches.

I was surprised at how much was used for a single cup, but I dumped the whole pouch into my blender with milk and some ice cubes. I will say that this is dangerous because it is dead easy and super delicious! Mmmm, caramelly, sweet but not too sweet, with a thick richness that was amazing from just milk and a few small ice cubes (that didn’t add much, honestly). The flavor of the matcha definitely shines through, but it’s just well balanced overall. I want to go out and buy a huge amount immediately, but I really should get through all the matcha that is still in my freezer before I do. There is no doubt that the convenience factor and deliciousness factor for this is huge.

Find it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matchaccino/caramel-matchaccino.html

Sil

i can’t figure out how this would be any easier than matcha for me..since i make my matcha in a blender too. I don’t add sugar to my matcha lattes or smoothies…so ya haha but i keep wanting to try this.

Dinosara

Yeah for me making matcha lattes involves measuring out the matcha, sifting the matcha, adding sugar, adding milk. I mean there aren’t really that many steps but this one is like: dump in blender with milk, blend. Also whatever the do to make this thick and creamy is amazing.

Sil

nice! i had the samples they sent out and provided feedback on them. I just need to actually buy some now to try out. i have a friend that would looooove these

ashmanra

I just put it in a glass, pour the milk, and whoosh it with an aerolatte. That is dangerously easy! :D

Red Leaf Tea

Please note that Matchaccino also has a natural thickening agent to keep a nice consistency and texture :-)

Sil

thanks redleaf! good to know

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83
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1911 tasting notes

Thanks to Justea for providing this sample for review. I am pretty picky these days about teas and I no longer jump on every offer for free tea on the forums. But this company stuck out: working to bring a sustainable, whole-leaf tea processing company to Kenya, whose tea farmers grow most of the worlds’ tea (!) but see basically none of the profits as their product is chopped up into tea for bags. I have a soft spot for the fact that it’s Kenya, too, because I have spent some time in East Africa and the people there are so wonderful and really deserve a better option.

I tried this tea when I first got it because I couldn’t wait until the crowdfunding effort went live, now accessible at http://www.justea.com . At the time, I remember that it was malty and a bit sweet, but also with a decent hit of astringency. I think this astringency characterizes African teas in general, and more broadly it applies (for me) to most assams, which makes sense because the tea bushes in Africa are of var. assamica.

I steeped this one for a slightly shorter time than recommended (but at the recommended temp) and it has definitely toned down the astringency a bit. There’s pretty much no completely removing it, but it’s actually desirable for many people (usually described as “briskness”). The cup is a bit malty, with some cocoa notes in the nose but not really on the palate. There is definitely a slight fruitiness to this tea as well, perhaps a bit of stone fruit. Overall a very nice tea, and one I would highly recommend for lovers of a brisk morning cup. I can’t wait to try the Earl Grey that I also have from this company.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

This is also one of the few companies recently that i’ve jumped on the bandwagon to get free samples from. I really like what they’re doing. I’ve got a couple to try before their crowdfunding finishes so that i can help support that way.

K S

Dinosara – curious, how much leaf did you use? Either I am immune to the astringency from a lifetime of my parents steeping tea for, well until someone remembers to pour it up, or I use way less leaf than everyone else. Of course maybe it is both. I used about 1 1/2 tsp leaf in 10-12oz of water and steeped 3 minutes (no where near the 30 minutes mom and dad routinely use).

Dinosara

I used 2 tsp for 12oz, which is my standard black tea amount and what Justea recommends for the tea. I am also on the other end of the spectrum, and hyper-sensative to astringency.

Terri HarpLady

It seems that I’m the last to know about this!

Sil

Terri – I’m sending you some though!!!

Terri HarpLady

oh cool! Then all is well in my world!
;)

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Profile

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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