1686 Tasting Notes

96

A few days ago I bought a dorm refrigerator for my den. So now I have ice cubes and iced tea easily in reach while I type. I prepared some iced black tea the other day that I poured into a clear glass 1/2 gallon container. I was blown away by the beautiful red ruby color. Somehow pouring into a white mug does not give the same effect.

As a result of the iced tea incident I found a clear glass mug (Walmart – $2) for hot tea. This is the first mug of tea in the clear glass. The liquor is a gorgeous light honey color. Along with that light jasmine flavor and the subtle notes of the white tea I am in Heaven.

I almost always use a clear glass press to steep the leaf so I can watch the dance and observe the color, but the mug adds so much to my sensory experience and pleasure. This cup is flawlessly clear.

This leaf is nearly a year old and it is still just exquisite!

TeaVivre

Use the clear glass mug to brew this tea is very enjoyable, you can watch the leaves floating or sinking on the water.Just like life.

K S

“Just like life” I love that. What a cool way to think about the dance. I feel a little sorry for the tea drinker who never bothers to notice the leaf or the steeping. For me it is a large part of the experience.

TeaVivre

We can comprehend lots of things from tea.

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No rating. It looks like this must be around three years old. So I think it has just lost its zing. When I steeped it and put it in the glass container it was the most beautiful ruby red. The sip was definitely mango but lightly so. It was cold and refreshing but nothing memorable. By the reviews, it was very good back in the day.

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Nina's Paris
1686 tasting notes

I walked into the den a little bit ago and the scent of pine smoke caught me before I entered the room. So I gladly used yesterday’s leaf to have this one again. 2nd cup a day later is just as deeply flavorful as the first. Our elegant Nina has a wild side. Who knew? Love it.

K S

The third cup is lighter but still plenty of flavor.

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Nina's Paris
1686 tasting notes

I’ll be posting a full review on my blog in the next week but I can’t wait to talk about this one. It totally surprised me. Here is a snippet:

This cup is perhaps the heaviest smoked Lapsang Souchong I have tasted but it is not ashes. This is fully developed sweet pine smoke. It actually tastes like pine to me. It is sweet without the bacon or pork BBQ notes. While it is heavy it has layers of taste as you sip.

Count me a fan!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Short Sorceress

I just got a sample of this in the mail, it smelled wonderful.

ashmanra

Lapsing is my youngest child’s favorite tea. She started drinking it when she was twelve. O.O Last year during geometry (we homeschool) she finished one tin of Black Dragon from Upton, one of Lapsang Crocodile from Dammann Freres, a set of Lapsang swaps, and one tin of Teavivre’s. She has a little Teavivre left, and then I will have to reorder or she will never make it through Algebra II!

K S

I thought I understood geometry until I saw what she was doing. Come on its hundreds of years old – how could they come up with something new? lol

Algebra I just couldn’t get until college when the Prof told us what the X and Y we were solving for represented. Then I could solve it. My mind isn’t plumbed like everyone elses.

What was your daughter’s favorite LS? This one as I mentioned is really a smoke lovers treat.

ashmanra

Upton’s Black Dragon was her favorite of the three, with Teavivre’s coming in second. I will have to get her some more when I order more Baker Street, a cold weather staple for me.

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86

From Empire Tea Services, I have tried Earl Green, Earl White, De La Creme, and a couple with bergamot as a light touch ingredient. Somehow, I missed a straight black tea Earl Grey.

This like all their versions of Earl Grey is not for the faint hearted bergamot haters. There is absolutely no question what the main ingredient is here. The orange peel turns the flavor slightly away from ‘normal’ but not in a way that would annoy EG lovers. I hate getting an EG that has a bunch of other junk in the mix or so little bergamot I have to check the label. Call it something else if you are going to do that to your tea.

With this one the first cup is Bergamot/Orange with the Ceylon only revealing itself late in the sip as the cup cools. Intense.

The second cup is less intense. It adds a peppery note. The base is more present. Pleasant.

The third cup is lighter and reminds me of Twinings. Halfway through the cup I iced it and it made for a refreshing ending. It might have gone a fourth cup but I didn’t try.

I have learned that ETS blends tend to be very potent when you first open them. Sometimes I mix them with a straight tea for a while other times if you just let them age they will calm down. Today I did neither.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
mrmopar

Sounds like a nice EG. We like the earl at home a lot.

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86
drank Ceylon by Nina's Paris
1686 tasting notes

How did they do it? How do you get this much flavor from such tiny tiny pieces of leaf? This starts lightly sweet, then passes through green and leafy, on through fruity and wine, down into toasty before ending in a nice touch of bite. It is very smooth – even the bite at the end is not harsh. Just a very nice cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

Yes! I kept expecting more harshness, but it never came! :-)

Sil

Neat!

Stephanie

Ditto. Shockingly smooth! :)

ashmanra

Must obtain!

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90
drank Taurus by Nina's Paris
1686 tasting notes

This was labeled as Taureau on the sample. My first review was eaten, amazingly not by Steepster this time but my crappy internet connection. Sigh. Short version: To my fellow Steepsterites who weren’t sure they wanted to try this one because it’s rooibos – you really need to reconsider. First sip reminded me of a light cup of wild strawberry. Not tart. Instead it is kind of mildly green. At this point I added sweetener – OH WOW! I don’t care if you normally don’t you need to sweeten this! Totally amazing. The cup explodes with strawberries and cream. I do get a woodsy touch of rooibos in the aftertaste but it blends so well even rooibos haters probably won’t mind. This is a caffeine free tisane I would actually look forward to sipping.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

It is quite good!

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drank Green Tea with Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1686 tasting notes

I have a stack of samples needing opened for review on the blog. This morning I just haven’t cared. This one was easy to grab and I don’t have to think. Hoping it motivates me.

This tea is like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. It isn’t fancy or the best but to me it will always comfort and satisfy. Speaking of meatloaf – my wife makes it with oats instead of bread crumbs, and chili sauce instead of ketchup. It’s awesome. Last Sunday we had a pitch in dinner at church. One of the ladies made her meatloaf with BBQ sauce. It was also pretty awesome. I think I have an idea for supper… Man Fuel!

ashmanra

Now I want meatloaf.

Veronica

I make my meatloaf with oats, too. It’s really good (if I do say so myself). The first time I tried it I was unsure, but now I doubt I ever use breadcrumbs or my grandma’s favorite standby – Saltine Crackers.

gmathis

Mom’s recipe = 1/2 and 1/2 hamburger to ground pork. Y’all are making me hungry. (I am the only meatloaf eater at my house, so I have to make it on the QT or wait till I can eat it out, and restaurant meatloaf can’t quite cut it.)

K S

Meatloaf is the only meal my wife fixes that my youngest son will eat more than one serving. It is possibly my favorite comfort food and I have never had a restaurant version I even thought was tolerable. Problem is I have band practice tonight so I was just informed it ain’t gonna happen. I guess I’ll be playing the blues tonight. Tough to pull off in a worship setting unless you’re Mark Farner (Grand Funk) – Judgment Day Blues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRTpIpaDoWw

ashmanra

Oh, gmathis, woe is me for I am the only meatloaf eater here, too! I made the first end in twenty five years just a few weeks ago and told them “hang it all! I have done without long enough! You know how to make a peanut butter sandwich!” What is better than warm meatloaf with mashed potatoes unless it is a meatloaf sandwich slathered with mayonnaise the next day? Sigh…

gmathis

KS — Ever listen to any Kaiser Mansfield? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUTK03sIsh8

ashmanra—You can keep the mashed potatoes and mayonnaise, but next day meatloaf slathered in ketchup will be served in Heaven. I am sure of this.

Claire

Now I’m hankering for meatloaf too, dangit! I like to mix in some sauteed finely chopped mushrooms, peas, and carrots. Perfect thing at the end of a long day.

K S

Too bad we don’t all live in the same neighborhood. Meatloaf and tea for everybody!

ashmanra

That would be awesome! :D

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88
drank Moscow Nights by Tea Temptations
1686 tasting notes

I hope to have a full review on my blog maybe tomorrow but couldn’t wait to mention this one. Tea Temptations appears to be the retail name that Empire Tea Services is now using. Maybe they always did and I didn’t realize it. ETS is focused mainly on wholesale, or at least that is what I think. This is the only tea business within a 100 miles of my home. Fortunately it is a really good one.

This, by my standards, is not Earl Grey but then they don’t call it that. The bergamot is light and adds only a light citrus breath towards the end of the sip. This is primarily a LS blended with Ceylon. The combination produces a sweet, moderately smoky but totally smooth, cup of rolling flavor. I don’t know how else to describe it. Maybe it is the addition of safflower and thistle but this keeps your senses guessing.

A nice change of pace for smoky tea lovers.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Silk Dragon by The Tea Merchant
1686 tasting notes

Very nice. Smooth creamy vanilla and light citrus notes.

gmathis

Ohhh…I miss this one.

K S

I am getting ready to send you some more mint. I’ll throw this in too.

gmathis

We found some choc-mint (and apple & pineapple) plants at local nursery; as late in the season as it is, they looked a little flea-bit…but at least I know where they can be found when we get another bed ready.

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Profile

Bio

Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it

Location

Indiana, USA

Website

http://theeverdayteablog.blog...

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