1909 Tasting Notes

83

Thanks so much to Angel Chen and Teavivre for this sample. When I first tried a Golden Monkey, I like it ok but I didn’t love it. This was of course before I had a black tea revolution and fell in love with Fujian blacks. Even though I started exploring tan yangs and bailins and others, I never really was interested in going back to golden monkey because for some reason I had already decided I only liked it ok. After seeing quite a few steller reviews for this tea, I decided to ask for a sample of it.

I will often split the little sample pouches Teavivre sends into two cups for the black teas, but today I decided to go for a whole pouch at a shorter time to see how it turned out. I will also definitely try this with my ‘usual’ parameters to see how it fares then too. This cup is dark and smells richly of grains and a bit of molasses, although not as honeyed or caramelly as bailin gongfu, for instance. There is a bit of yamminess in this one as well, something I typically associate more with Yunnans than Fujians.

The flavor is very smooth; I had been concerned that it might have gotten a bit overleafed from the scent, which was quite strong, but it seems fine. There is almost a fruitiness to this one, and I couldn’t place the aftertaste until I read K S’s note where he talks about a wine note, and yeah, it does give me the sense of something like a Malbec maybe. It’s sweet and malty, but not in a different way than the other Fujians I know. As I drink it more I am definitely getting an almost pseudo-smoky note to it, not dissimilar to some Keemuns I’ve tried. I interestingly just got a kind of burnt-cocoa powder note from one particular sip, and as it cools its getting even more cocoa powdery, like I made an unsweetened cup of hot chocolate out of dutch-process cocoa.

I’ll give this a preliminary rating but of course that may change as I try out different steeping parameters. Right now it’s meant to reflect that I enjoy this cup, but I’m not in love with it. Which I suppose reflects the rest of my golden monkey experiences. Guess I am just more of a tan yang girl when it comes to my Fujians.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
1909 tasting notes

I wanted to try one of my more delicate Chinese black teas with my new water filter (as opposed to a heavily flavored blend) before digging into some other new teas I have. This is, amazingly, nearly a sipdown.

It’s quite honeyed today, and it’s making me feel better about my water being back to normal. It really is an unusual black tea, and unusual for me as well to like it, since I have often not liked very fruity-floral unflavored black teas. Which is funny because I love those flavors in green oolongs, and I love them flavored. This is particulary juicy today, and it really reminds me of cooked, honey-covered peaches. With some slightly grain-y black tea notes backing it up. Very nice cup this morning.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Chizakura

This tea is so great. :D I’m with you that I don’t normally like fruity blacks, but this is divine. xD

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80

Finally I realized I needed to have a tea I knew the flavor of to test my water. I was feeling not like a fruity tea, and I realized chocolate sounded great. Looking back on my old notes I reminded myself that I thought this one was slightly weak at 1 TBSP for 12oz, so I went for 1.5 TBSP this time.

Turned out pretty great! It was suuuper sweet this time, very chocolatey, and nicely like toasted rice. I think it kind of drowned out the minerally oolong, which works for me. I am definitely happy to drink this up (and I think my water is fine now).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I’m so glad to be home to MY water :)
I also like this one a little stronger. I figure I usually go with 1T of Laoshan Black or 1 T of the Oolong, , & the cacao nibs & such displace some of the tea, so there you have it!
Terri Fairie Math! :D

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78
drank Raspberry Macaron by Fauchon
1909 tasting notes

For some reason I thought this would be a good idea to have this afternoon before I figured out if my water pitcher was producing good water or not. This is another one that seems like it had a lot of potential, but possibly tainted by the water. It had a weird bitter note that was very sharp and I’m not certain wasn’t leftover soap aroma from the pitcher. Sigh. But this had nice almond, raspberry and rose notes, and smelled amazing. Will try again, and I have plenty of this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
momo

Ahhh I can’t wait to hear more about this one!

Anna

I’m so excited about this one, too. I’m ashamed to admit I actually don’t own any Fauchon teas… (It’s especially ridiculous considering I used to work just next to the main shop in Place de la Madeleine.) …but after reading all your Fauchon notes, I realize I need to rectify this ASAP.

Dinosara

momo, I will definitely be trying it again soon!

Anna, I hadn’t tried any until recently when I got some samples from another steepsterite. I wasn’t expecting to be impressed but I really enjoyed them! I was just in Paris so I picked up some of their teas because they don’t ship to the US on their online store!

Anna

Ugh, now I have to go check how they ship within Europe. Damn you and your delectable tea cupboard.

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85

Backlog from this morning. I wanted to try this one this morning because I wanted to get to the samples that the lovely Angel from Teavivre recently sent me. Unfortunately, I just changed the water filter in my pitcher and I feel like there is always a break in period where nothing quite tastes right. I realized this after I had already put this in my infuser, so I brewed it up anyway.

Anyway, reserving rating this for now, but as it is it has a lot of potential. I do feel like maybe I could go for a hotter temp (this was recommended on the package). Rose, and slightly sweet-potatoey dian hong are a pretty good combo, and one I feel like isn’t common. This was a little flat and not flavorful, but I think that was the water, not the tea. Fortunately I have more of this one to try again!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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75
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
1909 tasting notes

Backlog. Drank this one yesterday while Steepster was down. It was finally cool enough in my house for me to think about drinking hot tea, so I had this for breakfast with additions. Quite tasty, and I enjoyed it even though its old and getting less flavorful. Next pot of this one is a sipdown!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Jardin Sauvage by Lupicia
1909 tasting notes

Sipdown, 133. Yeah, found a tea that didn’t originally make it into my cupboard the other day, so still 133. I got this as a sample in this month’s Lupicia newsletter, clearly intended for icing since that’s what the newsletter focused on, so I cold brewed it.

I’ve never had green rooibos before. I don’t like red rooibos really, but I’ve heard green is another animal. Seems to be; this is light and refreshing, and definitely not medicinal. I guess I’d say the green rooibos is kind of like a non-grassy green tea? It’s very mild and smooth, and the fruit flavors are nice. Mostly mango, but a general tropical-ness. This made a nice glass of iced tea for the afternoon, though I will undoubtably wish it had caffeine in it later.

Preparation
Iced

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88
drank Rose & Litchi by Fauchon
1909 tasting notes

Backlog. I drank this Friday afternoon but was too busy to log it then, and also too busy to really pay close enough attention to it. That along with potentially subpar water means I won’t rate this one because I think I missed some flavors here.

This was on my list of teas I must get. I love rose, I love lychees. There was a sign saying that this was only available in their Paris store, although it appears you can also buy it online, and by “you” I mean those of you that live in Europe.

I have to say that the Fauchon tins are very cool. I thought there was just a sliding lid, but under that there is a second, pushed in lid that makes it very air tight. Nice. Lychees tend to have a rosey flavor on their own, so I guess it isn’t surprising that this mostly tastes like a rose green, although there was a somewhat fruity note. The base teas is a flattened green, likely sencha, although I enjoyed it more than I have enjoyed other senchas recently. All in all a good purchase, and I’m happy to have it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I love that you’re sharing your trip with us! :)

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98
drank 7 Parfums by Dammann Freres
1909 tasting notes

I unpacked all of my teas from the trip this morning, and was happy to find out that I had five empty large tins in my collection because five of the teas I brought back were in paper bags and needed tins. Perfect. Now I can’t get anymore 100g amounts of tea (that don’t come with their own tin or airtight pouch) because all of my tins are filled to the brim right now.

This is a restock from my very first time I went to Dammann, three years ago. I loved this tea so I didn’t hesitate getting more of it when I was just there. I was going to try one of my new-to-me teas that I just picked up, but then I remembered that I was having issues with water quality before I left (likely need to change the filter on my brita), so I decided to go with a tea I know and love this morning just in case.

Mmm, this tea is just as good as I remembered. Better, possibly. I love the combination of flavors in this, dominated by fig and florals, with some supporting citrus. I do think my water is making this a bit flatter than usual, but its flavorful enough to push past it. Must get some new filters so I can really dive into my new teas!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Pistachio Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1909 tasting notes

Oh, jet lag. I feel it settling in. My body thinks it’s nearing bedtime, when it’s really nearing dinnertime. With that flagging sensation (and the fact that it is warm in the house even with the air conditioner in) I thought of a cold matcha latte and it sounded perfect.

My freezer is somewhat packed right now so I just reached back into the back where my matchas are and randomly grabbed one; turned out to be this one. I added extra matcha for the energy and a couple of pinches of sugar. Of course I forgot to sift the matcha (even though the sifter was sitting right next to me… oh jet-lag brain), but the ice cubes in the shaker prevented any clumping. Now, for the energy to kick in…

Stephanie

Pistachio sounds great! How was your trip?

Dinosara

It was totally awesome! I had so much fun.

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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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