168 Tasting Notes

83

Hello, all!
I have been absent as of late because I have been trying to dwindle down my ever growing tea supply.
Quite proud that I am down to approximatively 35 teas.
Since I have been doing so well, I treated myself to a few teas when I made a recent Christmas order.
And this delightful tea was one of those treats.
The dry leaves are dark in color and there is a crisp earthy-ness to the smell.
The tea brews up to a lovely amber orange.
The tea itself smells quite different than the leaves, there is still a earthy type odor, but what comes out more prevalently is warm notes of chocolate and a tinge of spice and bright citrus.
Taste is a milder version of the smell.
A little spicy, slightly citrus, earthy chocolate.
Nice mouth feel.
Really is quite lovely and different Oolong.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

go you! congrats on shrinking your cupboard :) Glad to see you back!

Hesper June

Thanks, Sil! Glad to be back..you steepster folks are just terrible for trying to eliminate large tea stashes. You lovely enablers, you;)

JustJames

missed you!

K S

35! I didn’t even know that was possible.

Ysaurella

the tins are lovely …I have at least 85 teas with the sample sizeq, I admire your determination !

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That’s impressive! :D I have like 40 teas in my “Daily Cupboard” :P

Hesper June

Thank you, JJ!
KS,Ysaurella, and WPTC, Well, I realized that I could not possibly drink all the tea that I kept acquiring before they started to age or change in flavor.
I decided that really did not seem fair to the teas, my palate or my pocket book. Sigh…I hate when I am sensible;)

JustJames

well, jane austen would be proud….. ‘sense and sensibility’ and all that! i’ve been sipping down fairly steadily. though i must admit i hoard my french teas in airtight containers. i sniff them, debate, and then put them away, lol.

i am amazed at the then and now of my tastes. where i began versus where i am…..

Hesper June

:)
Ah, yes, well, I think we all have those teas that we can hardly bear to drink as they just seem to special.

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84

I have been drinking this nearly every morning as of late.
At first it was partly due to the fact it was in the front and easy to grab with my one arm.
I recently fell and tore some muscles and pulled some tendons in my left arm.
You see, I have been banned from farmwork (by my husband) and although there is some projects I have been wanting to do around the house…painting the spare bedroom or cleaning out that scary closet, don’t sound like good things to try to attempt with one arm either.
SO! I have been catching up on my reading.
I read Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (accompanied by this tea, which made me feel luxurious when she would explain the watered down tea her family could afford) after reading the book, that led me to watching Upstairs, Downstairs (I had seen some episodes growing up, but not all) which led me to watch the 2010 version, which then led Hulu to recommend Wives and Daughters.
As you can see, Queen Catherine tea is a very good choice to be drinking during all of this.
I love its gentle briskness.
I hear the tea timer calling, gonna grab my cuppa and sit down and push play.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Enjoy your “break” and catching up on some good books and tea! I hope your arm heals quickly.

Hesper June

Thank you! It feels a little better each day:)

gmathis

Not coveting your injury….but the opportunity to read, drink tea, watch videos….yum!

Hesper June

Oh, yes! Its been lovely! I was trying to remember the last time I did something so indulgent, and I believe it was back when I was in my teens and had the chicken pox’s (the 2nd time I had them, mind you!) and watched all of Anne of Green Gables:)
I am currently trying to decide which to start next, Cranford or North and South.
What a delightful conundrum!

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87

A sample from the lovely High Adventure. Thank you!
I have had this tea a total of three times now.
This tea fascinates me.
The first time I tried this tea, I got more a savory experience, then the second time more of a bakery experience.
I waited to review this tea for my third tasting, to see if there is a tie breaker or some new experience coming through.
The dry leaves of this tea really do not smell much like anything at all.
But,once I add the water and stick my big ol’ Italian schnoz down into the steeping basket, I get a very lovely aroma.
Sometimes its a bit vegetal, other times it smells rather nutty or like bread baking.
As I grasp the mug in my hands and take a whiff in this moment, it smells like homemade bread baking in the oven.
Which is rather lovely, in my opinion.
Taste I am getting at first is toasted nuts, then some avocado.
The tea ends rather dry.
I have enjoyed drinking this tea and have found it to be a very interesting experience.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Just this afternoon, I was looking at the pretty card you sent a while back to me! :)

Hesper June

Aw! I still have a bit of the delicious teas you sent me. I am hoarding it away for a special treat.

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86

I love the mornings I awake thinking about a certain tea that I want to drink.
On this hot, smoky Sunday morning, I awoke thinking about this tea.
Whenever, I drink this tea, I am reminded of a story I saw long ago, in I believe a National Geographic.
I do not even know if the story took place in Kenya, Or Africa or anywhere even close to where there is a Kenya Sunrise, but the article was about a high-end resort that people stayed at, however, there were giraffes everywhere around the place.
There was one photo where there was a nicely dressed couple sharing breakfast/tea and a giraffe had his head stuck through the window checking out what they were doing.
To my young mind, this was just so incredibly awesome.(and apparently to my 29 year old mind as well, if it still is embedded in my brain)
I remember thinking I wanted to be a fancy lady sipping tea with giraffes.
This tea is different the moment you open the tin, because the leaves are not really leaves at all, but instead they are tiny little round tea shaped balls.
The odor of the dry leaf is lovely, bright and with something rather fruit-like maybe?
I agree with the description where it is rather like your assam-y breakfast teas, bright and encouraging awakening, but it lacks that strong astringent
bitterness that some of those teas can have, both in odor as well as taste.
It brews a beautiful dark red cuppa.
The smell of tea also mimics the dry leaf, bright with just a slight fruit and spice note.
Taste again is a little like assam, malty and such, but brighter and lighter.
It lacks the heaviness that assam can have as well (FYI, I am not dissing on Assam, I love me some assam)
I think this is a prefect summer breakfast tea.
I really enjoy sipping it.
I also think it would be perfectly acceptable to drink with giraffes, you know…in case you have some dropping by later for a visit;)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i’m drinking a golden needle assam right now…. lighter and brighter on my side too!

Hesper June

Oh! thats sounds lovely!

JustJames

we could always do a swap… this is a sample i bought from harney and sons but i have enough left to share. =0)

Hesper June

Here is the Giraffe Manor! I still want to go:)
http://www.giraffemanor.com/

Hesper June

Sure, James! Love to do a swap.
Is there anything else that you are interested in that’s in my cupboard?

gmathis

Tea with giraffes…that just has the making of a children’s storybook, doesn’t it?

Hesper June

It does, G! Probably why my child brain fell so madly in love with the idea.
Maybe I should visit and then write a book on my experience:)

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72
drank La France Pear by David Rio
168 tasting notes

Another bagged tea from the lovely High Adventure
After my yoga session this morning, I had a craving for Matcha.
I am currently out, till I remembered this bag I had in my sample drawer.
When I first opened the packet I was a tad frightened since the pear smell was quite pronounced and almost candy-like.
Once the tea was brewed the smell had calmed down some.
The matcha taste is there, but its is rather overtaken by the pear, however, the pear taste is not so loud and candy-like as the smell of it at the beginning.
Nice little tea to sip while I am still on my yoga high.
Thank you again, High Adventure!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Another Sample from High Adventure
Lightly scented and lightly flavored jasmine tea.
If you are not into strong flavored floral teas, this would be a good tea for you, since the jasmine flavor is quite subtle.
A very tasty afternoon tea!
Thank you, High Adventure!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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79
drank Algothé by Kusmi Tea
168 tasting notes

Another sample from the lovely High Adventure
I turned over the little packet and it read these simple words “Seaweed and teas”
Alrighty than.
I don’t mind seaweed, in fact I like it, because usually when I smell it or taste it in the air it means I am by the sea and the sea is where my heart will always be (truly not trying to be a poet, I promise)
Today, with another hot day in store as well as being socked in with smoke, by the cool sea where salty breezes blow sounds just heavenly.
The website said that this is a restorative tea that is great to sip during a spa session.
Well, not sure if watching Spongebob Squarepants is qualified as a spa session but its as close to a spa session or the ocean as I am gonna get today.
I like the smell of this tea a lot.
It is refreshing or"restorative".
I can smell the salty seaweed and the bright mint.
I can also smell the green tea.
On the first sip, all I can taste is mint, which saddened me some, since I was looking forward to the “Seaweed and Teas”
However, as I let it cool more, I could taste the salty-ness of the seaweed.
This tea is unique, but I like that.
I wonder how it would taste cold-brewed?
Thanks again, High Adventure, for the sample!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Kashmir Tchai by Kusmi Tea
168 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from the generous High Adventure
I awoke this morning to a nasty sore throat, I know it is due to the fact that we are on fire around here and there is so much smoke.
Not only do I have a sore throat, but I can’t turn my neck because it is stiff and sore and all the stresses of this week (month?) have caught up to me and I have broke out in hives.
Blah. Need tea.
So, I have a number of bagged samples piling up and thought this would be a good day to try a few.
Started with this one, because of the sore throat, a chai is required.
I could smell the spices when I plunked the sachet into my favorite mug and poured the water over it.
The first sip tasted of cardamom, the second sip was cinnamon-y.
On the Kusmi website they simply say “Blend of Chinese black teas with 6 spices”
It would be kind of neat to know what spices are all in there, because some of them do not taste like the normal spices I taste in a Chai.
But, whatever spice are in there, I like this tea.
Its not a bold chai, but I like it.
Thank you, High Adventure, for sharing this sample with me!
I am off to curl up with this tea and watch cartoons.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

so sorry you’re suffering from the fires. that’s really not a pleasant time!

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89

I have certainly been hitting the comfort teas pretty hard lately.
So, when I got home today, after another busy morning, I grabbed this tea and brewed some up.
Brenden from Whispering Pines has blended this tea with his own Ashes of Autumn Lapsang Souchong tea.
Last time I tried this tea, it had not been blended with the Ashes of Autumn, just a normal Lapsang Souchong (and yes, there is Lapsang Souchong and then there is Ashes of Autumn Lapsang Souchong;)
But, yet, I was not expecting that much of a difference between this and the Campfire Blend I had a few months ago, but boy howdy, I can smell and taste that toasted pine from the Ashes of Autumn.
If you like a little spice but not to be overpowered by it, than you will like this.
Spice is present, but you can taste the other elements of the tea.
Its still cozy and comforting, just more campfire-y (yes, I did just make up a word, but it fits what I mean, so it stays)
Its smoky, warming and comforting, just like a campfire should be.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

Seriously, People…this tea is the bomb.
I have had a terrible day already and its not even over yet (2:00 in the afternoon here)
I literally said aloud “chocolate oolong” exactly three times today, just to give me courage to move on and remind myself that when it was over I could have a giant mug of this tea.
This tea is much more savory than sweet to me, despite the name.
Nutty, oaky and a slight salty seaweed note.
This tea is so comforting.
Its repairing my mind and soul already.
Ahhh…maybe its not too late to have an awesome day after all.

JustJames

drat…. and i was doing so well with my budget. sigh.

‘momma said there would be days like this….’ and i’ve had loads lately. thinking of you, sending positive vibes and thinking that you are an awesome optimist. mind over matter… your mind over whatever is the matter. =0)

gmathis

Sometimes it’s the tea; sometimes it’s just the slowing down to drink it, huh? Hope the day improved.

Hesper June

JustJames, thank you for the vibes, My day definitely improved after tea:)
Gmathis, I agree, I think I just needed to slow down and BREATH and sip some tea for a bit;)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) I love reviews like this, and days that get better because of tea!

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Profile

Bio

A Farmer’s Wife who drinks her tea to forget the din of the world.
Love all tea, from black to herbal concoctions.
Usually start my day with black tea and then move on to Oolong or Green in the afternoon, then finish the day with a tisane.
Loose Leaf teas are my preference, I say “Free the Leaves!” :)
When I am not drinking tea, I enjoy knitting, baking, reading, playing with one of our rescue animals or working along side my husband on our farm.

My rating system is rather relaxed:
50’s or under- Um, is this tea or did I get this from the slop bucket?
60’s- Not really my thing, certainly will not be purchasing again.
70’s- I will give this tea a few more tries to see if it grows on me , right now it is okay but not thrilling me.
80’s- Like this tea a lot. It might be a tea that I have to be in a certain mood for and therefore not a daily drinker, but try to have on hand for those “moods”
90’s and higher- ADORE! Will never be without!

I most always drink my tea plain.
No sweeteners or milk/cream.

Location

Idaho

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