513 Tasting Notes
Ok, I’ve been having far too much fun on facebook and steepster this morning, and I really should try and get some work done. But I feel it absolutely vital to tell you all that I enjoyed the queen with my bagel and cream cheese breakfast this morning. Mr. keychange and I make it a point to have breakfast together on Friday mornings, so there was also great conversation. And I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day.
As I leaned over the cup and inhaled the queen, I literally spoke out loud: Oh Queen, I remember you! i remember how we sat there, legs curled up under ourselves as we sat in Muskoka chairs around the embers of last night’s fire, commenting on how it had rained last night, and how the smell of smoke and rain and wind was so perfectly romantic. Don’t you remember, Queen?
And then Mr. keychange was like “You would never have that conversation, though. You hate camping.”
And i was like stop ruining it!
Long live the queen!
I’m almost at sipdown status for this tea, and although it was absolutely my first Butiki love (I distinctly remember waking up in the middle of the night craving this), it’s tasting a bit bitter in my travel mug at work, although that’s only true for the last few sips of it—and I think that can be said about getting the bottom of the tea in many a travel mug—things just “settle” there so to speak and the last few sips often don’t mirror the rest of the tea. I was surprised at how well this one fared, especially because I’m always afraid of scent contamination with these silly silacone lids (seriously, not even denture tablets are doing the trick for me—someone help!). I also really liked that this particular brew allowed me to taste the white tea base against the cantaloupe, which is different from my past experiences with this tea.
I’m not yet sure if I’ll reorder this one right away, or wait until I’ve exhausted my love affairs with other melon teas and then come back to this with my tail between my legs.
Thanks to sami kelsh’s urging, as well as Garret’s encouragement, I tried this tea a different way this morning. The keychange way! that’s right—that means there was milk and sugar. And I found that to make a pretty big difference for me. It tasted sweeter and creamier, and I could pick up on distant floral notes that without additions seemed to be missing. And I love floral notes, so this made me very happy indeed.
Sipdown! thanks, Stephanie, for giving some of this to me to try. I may eventually be persuaded to visit this tea again.
And thanks, Garret, for such a thoughtful response to my original tasting note.
And that’s a sipdown of this tin. Honestly, this tea has been consistently tasty and warming, and has fared wonderfully in a travel mug, and has suffered all sorts of random steeping parameters. And it still holds its own. I’m not at all surprised that this is Harney’s most popular tea, and it will absolutely be making a reappearance in my cupboard next fall and winter. For now, it’s a perfect farewell to a great winter tea.
I must say that I’m feeling a lot better this morning. I felt a lot better yesterday afternoon, actually. I obviously can’t get into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the entire world seems like such a different place when you are disabled and actually have the tools to do your work accessibly. i was in a right panic yesterday morning, and was on the verge of a most unsightly meltdown (those are necessary sometimes, actually), but managed to resolve the situation without feeling like running away to some sort of Victorian novel fantasy island. But when isn’t that in the works? haha.
I’d read such amazing reviews on this tea, and charlotte0 was so thoughtful to include it in the package she sent me. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant, simply because I think I largely fall into the “if i want to be drinking chocolate, I’ll have hot chocolate with all the fixings!” category. But I also know that MF knows what they’re doing, so I took a chance. Brewed it up for about four minutes, threw in some milk and sugar, and set to work enjoying it. And my my, this is a most delicious cup of tea. The chocolate blends so perfectly with the base. By that I mean that you know how with some teas, you’re like “oh hello flavour. Oh, hello there, base!”? but with this, I knew I was drinking a chocolate flavoured tea, but the base was just there, all unobtrusive and coy, and not being like “ooooh! guess what base I am! guess guess! where am I from? what do I do? who do I know??!! come on! heelloooooo!!”. And the chocolate tasted as though it was of the highest quality and I felt quite spoiled indeed.
Thank you, charlotte 0. This is going straight on my shopping list for my eventual mf haul!
Ok, so I’ll say it: I think I may be the only person in the universe who hasn’t had a good experience with this tea (yet). Stephanie was kind enough to send me a sample of this, which is awesome because I’m always excited to try a steepster beloved. I steeped this Western style, for about four minutes. It tasted fine, although I must admit I was itching to add milk and/or sugar. It did taste milky and a bit sweet, but I just wasn’t blown away. I’m convinced it was something I did though, because i find it peculiar that everyone and their mother swoons over this tea and I can’t seem to make it work. Maybe unflavoured oolongs (sans additions) simply aren’t for me?
I have enough left for another cup due to Stephanie’s generosity, but I’m hesitant to brew it until someone tells me what to do differently LOL.
For a variety of reasons (some of which make sense and some of which don’t), the past few days have been really difficult for me. When Stacy said they were pulling this tea, my immediate reaction was to panic and horde what I have. But when deciding what to have with breakfast this morning, I realized that the only tea that could stand a chance at helping me out was this one. And it was just as lovely as it’s always been: just as full of innocence and promises and hope and comfort. I can’t tell you how distraught I am over the pulling of this tea. I even contacted naivetea, who also make a rose violet calendula oolong, but they, too, have pulled it.
Have a good day, guys. Things have to get better eventually, I tell myself.
I got this sample from sil, and was eager to try it because of the good reviews. The dry leaf smells amazing. it kind of smells as though it should be one of those Irish cream cappuccinos you can get at coffee shops, that are boldly flavoured. i wanted so much for the taste of the brew to reflect the smell, but alas it fell short. It’s funny, because the brewed aroma is still of a reasonably strong Irish cream, but it tastes very much like a generic black tea, with perhaps a hint of cream at the end of the sip. I brewed for three minutes, and wonder if I should have perhaps brewed for longer. I have enough left for another cup, and might just do that. Those of you who enjoy this tea: how have you prepared it for maximum flavour?
Bottom line: I’m open to trying it again and brewing it differently, but for now at least, I’ll just build my cart on rlt’s site with matcha only. Thanks again, sil!
I am so, so happy that I have two full pouches of this. Frank, there’s just something about your banana, and that’s a scientific fact. There are other banana blends from Frank, but they all have other things that get in between me and the banana. But not this one. This one lets me have the banana all to myself. All of it. No sharing with butterscotch or cinnamon or watermelon. Just delicious, thick banana.
Ok ok I’ll stop. That was fun.
Oh, and this seems to shine at a brew time of three minutes. Any longer and the base gets in the way a little. And you know how i feel about things coming between me and the banana.
Sipdown! The second time around, this cup was even more delicious. A little less sugar, and I really felt the subtle chocolate orange taste. And omg the base tea is so malty and present and mmmm. Sorry, not feeling very articulate at the moment. But I may just want to get in when a reorder is put in on this one!