517 Tasting Notes

100
drank Grand Yunnan No. 21 by Kusmi Tea
517 tasting notes

Oooo… this is a good one.

I couldn’t resist the last Rue La La sale on Kusmi certificates and I’m glad I didn’t. I have wanted to try several for quite awhile and now I can! It was an embarrassing wealth of tea that was on my table this afternoon. :)

This was the first one I have tried. It’s super malty and very dark and earthy. A hint of bitter as it cools – I may have oversteeped a tad since it seemed very light in color at 3 minutes.

If this holds up well to a second steep, it will definitely need to be kept in the stash.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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64

I had several cups of this one hot afternoon before dinner. I wanted something but hot Chai Bora wasn’t sounding good.

This was very refreshing. Not as strong a mint as I’ve had in other brands but altogether acceptable. Enough so that I did grab a box of it at the airport.

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

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73
drank Oriental Beauty by Butiki Teas
517 tasting notes

Yay for having tea waiting when I get home from vacation!

This tastes very much like a darjeeling to me. Bright, clean, snappy, mild hint of fruit. I had been anticipating a bit more heft, but that’s not a bad thing. No bitterness or astringency in this cup. I will need to try it several times more to see if I can suss out the other flavors.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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55

This was what they told me I had on the plane from Amsterdam to Kenya. May or may not have been. It was on Kenya Air so I’d say it was likely. I did not see the bag though – it was served already brewed.

It was good. A strong, basic supermarket level of black tea. I had a shot of Amarula after dinner, though and I had a bit left when they brought the tea. Adding the splash of Amarula to this tea made it very, very good. It smoothed it out and made it creamy while bringing a hint of fruit flavor to the cup. I’m definitely going to experiment with Amarula in some basic black teas.

And here are some pictures from the trip.
http://s1165.photobucket.com/user/dagony/library/Vacation%20June-July%202013?sort=4&page=1
Not the best. These were all from my phone so I’d have some to use quickly for blog posts. The real pictures from the semi-pro will take awhile to clean up for viewing. He’s a perfectionist like that. :)

Sil

so jealous! how did you book your trip etc? lol ok maybe a pm would be better! I want to know moar! :)

Nicole

lol… I’ll send you a pm. :)

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63
drank Earl Grey by Clipper
517 tasting notes

Had this one in Amsterdam.

It was much better than I had anticipated. The bergamot was very strong and the tea was very strong.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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66

I had the bagged version of this at Houston Hobby Airport today on the last leg of the journey home. There were 2 bags in my 20 ounce cup. I generally would leave the bags in when I get them from coffee places like this, but after about 5 minutes I could tell that it would get way too strong so I pulled them out.

This was good. I liked it quite a bit. Well enough in fact to go to the hassle of taking it on the plane. Mostly I just throw away whatever I haven’t finished by the time the plane boards so I don’t have to juggle it while putting luggage away and getting settled.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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53

This was the only Tanzanian tea I tried while gone. I had it most mornings. It is a basic bagged black tea. It meets my expectations for a supermarket tea. I generally just left the bag in the cup until I was pretty much finished and it didn’t get bitter.

It was decent and I wouldn’t turn down a cup if offered. Probably wouldn’t keep it in stock though.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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86
drank Bohea by Harney & Sons
517 tasting notes

Co-worker and I split this sample today. We both quite liked it. Neither of us got any smoke at all, but that’s not a bad thing for me. :) Definitely got the dark fruit flavors. This was a much lighter cup than either of us expected, given the description. There was something in the background – co-worker suggested maybe a flavor like a green tea – I’m not sure what I think it was but there was an unexpected note for sure.

I will say that this is pretty forgiving. I started steeping, forgot about it, went off to have a short meeting with someone and came back about 8 minutes later. Not a bit of bitterness.

Neither of us thinks we’d keep it around on a regular basis, but if there was a super sale… maybe. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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95

I added this one as a different tea since the other full leaf Nahorhabi said 2010 on it and the notes were all from a year ago. I believe this is the batch for this year based on Harney listing it with their new teas about a month ago or so.

This was deep, rich and malty to the extreme. So malty I felt a bit furtive while drinking it at work. Almost like I had a no-no beverage in the workplace! As it cooled, a buttery texture infiltrated the cup and made it even better. The only downside to this was that the second cup was not as punchy.

This is a sample that will pay off. I can justify the price of this one. :) Next time they do $25 free shipping and I haven’t just placed 2 other orders…a tin of this one will be mine. Oh, yes. It will be mine.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Sil

July, we are totally doing a swap…if i have to go buy teas to find new things you haven’t tried! lol I feel like you just might be at least a half tea sister to terri and i grin

Nicole

Girl, you have rated like 4 times the teas I have. I’m pretty sure you have things that are new to me. :) I’d hate to be the reason anyone buys new tea… /snort. :) I have a pile set aside to make sure I have to send you. July it is!

Sil

YAY! yeah..uh that would be totally terrible to uh have to uh by teas so share with you…uh yeah… grin

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20
drank Panyang Congou by Harney & Sons
517 tasting notes

Holy smokes, Batman!

I got a sample of this to share with a co-worker who also likes the Golden Monkey/Yunnan types of teas. Made up a pot this afternoon and at first sniff I wondered if they’d put Lapsang in the bag by mistake. I just can’t do Lapsangs. That smell of charcoal and smoke – nothing my brain thinks I need to be drinking. I made myself take a sip and good grief – there’s a whopping ton of smoke in here!

There may have been other notes to get but I couldn’t get past the heavy, ashy smoke. Co-worker also thought it was smoke heavy but he didn’t find it quite as unpleasant as I did. I would not call this a medium body nor is there anything subtle about it. As it cooled off I could get a bit of sweetness but it was a deeply smoky sweetness. From the descriptions and reviews here and on the Harney site, I was pretty disappointed in this one. I’m glad I only got a sample and I’m glad we used it all making a large pot of it. I hate to throw tea away.

Rating is low not because I didn’t like it personally, but because I don’t feel that it measured up to the description.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Tea afficianado. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)

Location

Kansas City, MO

Website

http://www.travelswithstinky.com

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