1911 Tasting Notes

81

Thanks to Sil for sending me more samples of TTC black teas! I still have never gotten around to ordering tea from them, so it’s nice to try some more. I’ve tried #147 before (also from Sil), so I decided to try this one and see how it compares.

I am out of practice brewing these long, spindly Taiwanese black teas. At one point I had a decent eye for dishing out leaves but apparently I’ve lost it. I decided to use the entire sample in my mug, but I probably should have split it up a bit. Actually a shorter steep by only a minute might have solved it. The tea was ever so slightly bitter and just overall very strong (I realize this may be how some people like their teas, haha), but I thinned it with a bit more hot water and it smoothed out most of the rough edges incurred by steeping that much leaf.

I found this tea to be overall quite tasty and a pleasant cup to drink. A bit fruity, a bit malty. I didn’t have the same reaction to this one as I did to #147, but to be fair my steeping may have something to do with it. This one has more of that character of most Taiwanese black teas that I don’t particularly care for; that je nais c’est qua, but not in a good way. It’s not enough to make me dislike the tea and I would happily drink another cup, but it’s not something I love. Glad to have tried this, though!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
1911 tasting notes

I asked Sil for a sample of this tea and she was nice enough to oblige! Quite a while ago Nina’s offered some samples and I got some, and did not find them to be to my taste. But then Nina’s blew up on Steepster and people started loving on them hard, so I thought maybe I should give them a second chance. This is one that a lot of people love, so I thought it might be a good place to start.

This is a good reminder to check a tea on Steepster before brewing. I assumed this was a green tea, not a black/green blend, so I brewed it probably too cool. Well, I have enough for another go so I’ll have to try it a little hotter. As it is, the flavor is nice but rather light. I do get some nice buttery caramel and I can certainly see why this one is popular. Will wait to rate until I try it again at a higher temp.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

Thanks to Sil for this surprise sample! I haven’t had too many Kenyan teas (although I have had tea in Kenya, haha) so I’m always interested to try some out. This was a tea bag version of this tea, and I used both tea bags in my 12oz mug. I steeped it on the cooler side knowing that these types of teas tend to get a little overly robust for me.

This turned out rather pleasant. There was little bitterness in the cup as brewed, although there was a bit of a “kick” in the back part of the sip. I did put a splash of milk in after a few sips to smooth it out a bit. It had a nice malty flavor with some hints of grains. I also got a bit of powderiness, probably because of the tea bags and tea dust likely present in them.

This would be perfect for those mornings where you really need a kick in the pants. I remember the last time I was in Nairobi, I was having tea after a night of nearly no sleep (red-eye flight), and these types of teas have a certain comforting and jolting effect that can really set you straight in a situation like that. Not something I would reach for often, but it certianly has its place. Thanks, Sil!

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

i love their box that the bags come in, even though i’m not always a fan of tea bags heh.

Memily

I love the box too! One of our big Aussie tea companies stocks this, which I love, because 99.99% of their stock is their own brand.

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84
drank Paris Mon Amour by Fauchon
1911 tasting notes

I have become very glad that I bought a tin of this despite my general dislike of assams, because it makes the most awesome rosey milk tea. I love having it in the morning when I’m taking an easy morning, like this morning was. It would probably make a great base for a rose milk bubble tea too (one of my faves).

Also, if you have a Ravelry account, and you wouldn’t mind helping me win a contest, can you mosey over to this link and click the “agree” button (at the bottom of the post) on my owls (midway down the page): http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/malabrigo-junkies/2858677/51-75

Voting ends at the end of the day today!

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86
drank Bali by Dammann Freres
1911 tasting notes

This tea was super smooth and lovely today. Fruity, floral and refreshing. I love this rose so for me it is not overwhelmingly floral, but I could see how it might be too floral for some. To me it was fruity and delicious.

It’s nearly identical to Fauchon’s Rose et Litchi, but unlike Fauchon I can order this one any time. But I have a 50g tin of it that hasn’t been hit very hard (not to mention 100g of Rose et Litchi), so I will be set on rose and lychee blends for a while!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Anna

This IS the same tea, though, right?

Dinosara

Well the Fauchon-branded tea is just rose and lychee, I think, whereas Bali also has jasmine and grapefruit. So they are indeed very slightly different.

Anna

Ooh, okay! I do get pretty confused by the Fauchon/DF/Hédiard lines crossing.

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85
drank Pu Erh Gourmand by Dammann Freres
1911 tasting notes

This is another one of those, if I loved puerh I would be in love with this tea. Still, I definitely enjoy it all the same; it just takes me a bit to reorient my flavor and scent expectations for a puerh.

I love the caramel-cookie notes in this, and how rich and sweet it is. I would actually restock this one as I do like to keep one puerh around. I have no problem drinkinga big cup of this one, which is not something I can say about most puerhs.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Anna

This is awesome.

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84

Here’s an odd thing: I brewed a cup of this tea without looking at my previous note, so I didn’t see that I had found it bitter at 195°F for 3 minutes before and that I wanted to brew it at a cooler temp. But as it turns out, this cup wasn’t bitter at those parameters. Very odd.

Today this cup was relatively smooth and had nice, authentic passion fruit flavor. Again, I did not find this to be a particularly floral cup despite the promise of rose in the blend. I guess if I think about it I can kind of taste the rose in the aftertaste. Maybe I just don’t notice the rose because rose and passion fruit sometimes have a seamless relationship in my mind. Certainly this is a nice passion fruit white tea, but not really one I would have to keep in my cupboard; that may be more to do with the fact that it is a white tea (not something I crave often) than with anything else.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82

This is actually a sipdown as well as a chronology note. I flew through this one because I cold brewed it like crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this tea well enough hot (which is how I had my last pot of it). The four red fruits flavors are nice, but I really wish there was more vanilla involved. I just knew it wasn’t a tea that I would reach for often because it turned out to be not that special, so I cold brewed it and enjoyed the lovely red fruitiness with my lunches. My last pot of this tea was nice, and even had a touch more vanilla present. Still, I wasn’t too sad to say goodbye to this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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81
drank Elégie Pourpre by Dammann Freres
1911 tasting notes

Well I am super behind on tasting notes. I had this one last Friday afternoon! I just haven’t been doing a lot of Steepstering or tea drinking in general on the weekends lately.

This is good—for a puerh, haha. The only thing that holds me back about this tea is the puerh itself, which absolutely isn’t bad. No weird off notes or anything, just earthy, woody shu puerh, which really isn’t my favorite. Still, this is entirely drinkable and I feel like I should have some puerh in my cupboard for those times when you need something to cut through a too-large meal. I do love the blackberry and vanilla flavoring in this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86

I think I enjoy this tea primarily because of the novelty of the Vietnamese green tea. I mean, the flavors are pretty nice too, but nothing that really captivates me. There is lychee, there is banana flower (so, like banana but not quite), and there is a pleasant green tea base. I should probably try cold steeping this one because it would probably come across really well. For a flavored green tea it is quite tasty, and that is saying something for me because flavored greens and I are not really that friendly anymore. But I do enjoy this one and it’s somewhat unusual flavor profiles.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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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