751 Tasting Notes

87

This is super good. Light but still sweet with creamy vanilla and some tart cidery appleness. Odd, but adding cream does not bring out the vanilla, but rather the floral notes in the oolong and that doesn’t mix well. I normally wouldn’t add cream to oolong but… I had some and it smelled like it might go well.

And breaking in the Calamityware Things Could Be Worse mug that just arrived today! Woot, woot!
http://tinyurl.com/q692j25

gmathis

Love, love, love the mug!

Veronica

That mug is awesome.

K S

How fun is that mug!

ashmanra

Oh dear. Is all of that your teaware? I have serious teaware envy right now.

Nicole

I generally don’t buy mugs for teaware, but that one had to be done. :) I have a serious lust for his Calamityware china plates but they are way too cost prohibitive.

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95
drank Caramel Nougat by Tea Forte
751 tasting notes

Smells decent, looks okay. Steeped… ermahgerd… this is dessert in a cup. I get the hazelnut and the caramel, mostly the caramel. Tea is an aftertaste here, but that’s okay for what this is supposed to be. Little bit of orange but not a lot. The caramel is a fresh, buttery caramel taste, too. Add just a little splash of cream and wow does it feel like a dessert! I would not serve this with any food course at a tea party unless it was just a plain shortbread cookie. And then you’d leave the table feeling utterly decadent. As flavored teas go, this is off the charts.

And since I consider this a fundamentally unserious tea, I pulled out the frou-frou. :)
http://tinyurl.com/o3dmhk2

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
TeaExplorer

Love the frou-frou … perfect! :-D

Fjellrev

So cute!

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94

Taking some time tonight with a couple of these in the little tortoise and hare teapot. And feeding the tea ibex. He looks pretty good with the cones on his back. :)

This tea is still excellent. Om nom nom. Smooth and mellow malt and deliciousness without any smoke.

http://tinyurl.com/poyhnxb
http://tinyurl.com/j2pq3us

Dexter

Awww the ibex is soooo cute!! :))

chezmj

Ibex is super cute!!!

__Morgana__

V. cute, I agree.

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84
drank Chai by Harney & Sons
751 tasting notes

This is nummy steeped with the cream for creme brulee. That is the entirety of this review. :) That, and since I am now officially out of Butiki chai, this one is at the top of my list for basic chai.

chezmj

That’s good to know, I was wondering how it was. I haven’t found yet that I really really like.

Nicole

I like Harney’s – it’s reasonably priced and I can taste the tea, not just the spices, but it isn’t weak on spices. It’s one of the better balanced chais I’ve tried.

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This is very floral. The scent is really nice and natural, not artificial smelling like perfume, but like flowers. Rose and lavender were the foremost notes in the liquor, bergamot took midrange for me and the rosemary I’m not sure about. I prefer this before it cools. After cooling, it takes on an unwelcome sweetness with the pure floral notes fading. The tea base blends well with the florals, a mild strength black tea. Going to experiment a bit with steeping parameters. It was good enough to drink it all, but I feel like there is more to be had from this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Chey

One of my weaknesses — literary inspired tea blends! Floral, too!

gmathis

I’ve been pondering whether I’d associate floral flavors with Will. (Ale, yes; tobacco and musty theater, yes; roses…hmmm? :)

Chey

I agree! Maybe if it was individually themed to each play, eg. one of his romances – rose would be more appropriate – but I would definitely go for something more malty or smokey, haha.

Chey

Black – ink coloured!

Nicole

While tobacco and malt would go well with a theater atmosphere, he actually used flowers very frequently in his works. There is a small park inside Central Park in NY that is a Shakespeare garden with flowers and herbs he mentioned. Here are just a very few of my favorites. :)

From Midsummer Night’s Dream: I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.

From The Winter’s Tale: Here’s flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.

From Hamlet: There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue
for you; and here’s some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o’ Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
a difference. There’s a daisy: I would give you
some violets, but they withered all when my father
died: they say he made a good end,—

And of course, one of the most famous:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

I love the tragedies and histories best so when I think of the Bard I think of metallic tang of weapons, coppery scent of blood and smoke of burning buildings. Not the most appealing of flavors to put in a tea, I imagine, though. :)

gmathis

(Adding to my reading list!!!!) Love the Winter’s Tale passage.

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100
drank Assam Golden Tips by Harney & Sons
751 tasting notes

Oh my sweet T-Rex. This smells AMAZING. Snorting in the scent from the little sample bag it’s full of dried autumn fruits, brown sugar, and some hay. And the leaves are gorgeous. look like a moron over here at my desk with my nose stuffed deep in a bag. :)

Steeped, it turns into a warm leather, deep chocolate and yeast, sweet liquor with malt that is intense enough that I feel somewhat guilty drinking it at work. I don’t normally write tasting notes at work out here online, but I had to for this one. I must get some of this. More than a sample.

If I were being rational, I’d try this side by side with Assam Enigma and that other Assam I love from Golden Tips before I said I have to have a few ounces of this one. But rationality rarely enters into my tea purchases, I realize. I will, however, not buy unless it is on sale or with free shipping, so I should have at least a few days to do some testing. Harney seems to have had sales every few days for the last year or so. Some better than others, and not always a blanket X% on everything or free shipping, so I may have more time than I think. :)

Regardless, I am going to savor this sample.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

oh man.. that sounds good.

Inkling

Wow, this sounds amazing! Wish-listing it for when I allow myself to buy more tea!

Mike

Oooh, add another Harney & Sons tea to the wish list! :)

Nicole

I’m finding that if I let Assams cool to just above warm rather than piping hot, those malts deepen and they become sweeter cups. Maybe just me, but…

Mike

I do the same thing!! I’m going to get a thermometer today so I can make sure I can reproduce my favorite tea experiences…I usually steep at boiling then wait about 20 minutes.

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Another to fit into random since I don’t think there probably needs to be an entry for an Ali Express seller that I can’t find in the database already. :)

This was the jin jun mei that I bought on 11/11 from Shanshuijian Tea Shop. I guess I wasn’t thinking about it when I bought. I figured I’d start my quest to find a replacement for Min River’s Jin Jun Mei and I was already ordering from this shop for a tea pet. This was acceptably priced during the sale. I did not register at all that I was ordering a pound of tea.

Good thing it’s pretty decent. :) I had 2 steepings at work today. Both Western style. Holy cats but this smells amazing in dry leaf. Malt, molasses, brown sugar and hay. First time was at boiling for 3 minutes. This is not the sweet spot for me. The smell of the dry leaf doesn’t translate well here. The taste was tobacco with some malt and mild smoke. It’s thick and savory with almost a saltiness to it.

Tried again in the afternoon for just off boiling for 2 minutes, about the same amount of leaf, 1.5 tsp or so. Super hot, it wasn’t impressive. I let it sit in the Libre for an hour or so, cooling down gradually. It was still hot when I tasted it again and paid attention but this time it was living up to the dry leaf scent. Honey, molasses, hay, malt… mmmm….

The true test is yet to come though. Have to try it here at home with my normal water and compare side by side with Min River. Even if it doesn’t replace that one, it’s plenty good. I still won’t use a whole pound of it in a year though. So if anyone wants any, holler and I’ll send you some, no cost.

chezmj

This sounds really intriguing! Yes, I’d love to try some.

Sil

Yay! You’re trying to find your replacement!

tea-sipper

Sounds delicious! I wouldn’t mind a little thrown in with my Harney order. :D

Nicole

I can do that. Strange that the Harney hasn’t showed up yet…

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Had a tea filled weekend but nothing new so I’m just going to log them here. :)

Harney & Sons – Golden Monkey, Nahorhabi Assam Full Leaf
Yunnan Sourcing – Yunnan Black Gold Spring 2014, Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun Yunnan Spring 2015
Mandala – Pure Buds
Teavivre – Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu (sipdown after making a pot to share on Saturday)
Golden Tips – Assam Gold
Chai Me – Chocolatey Chai
Verdant – Golden Fleece

They were all excellently nommy.

And on a side note, this is how I know I have a problem. http://tinyurl.com/hqz239q
This box is stuffed full of Yunnan Sourcing & Mandala Teas, all with very similar flavor profiles. And one Yunnan from Silk Road Teas. :) For size comparison, that silver thing in the lower left is my scale and the cup in the upper left is about 10 ounces. I feel proud of myself that I did not place an order with any of those 3 companies this weekend. :)

Tamarindel

Ahhh, but look how organized all the pouches are! That makes it ok.

Nicole

I like your thinking. ;)

Sil

is your problem that your box is so small? ;)

TeaExplorer

And there’s only one! ;-)

Nicole

Hey, that’s only one box. That isn’t the cupboards or the shelves, or the other boxes… I don’t mind having lots of tea. But I probably don’t need so many of the same kind of flavor. :)

TeaExplorer

I hear you. I’m overstocked with Yunnan black teas also …

… but you can never have too much puerh!

=:-D

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85

Discovered this at the Italian restaurant at our hotel this past week. I was surprised as the other, less expensive restaurants in the hotel (all owned by the same company) offer Bigelow or an off brand oddity. The other expensive place offers Harney & Sons loose leaf. I guess I was expected H&S bagged for this mid range place.

I was truly pleasantly surprised. The bag has steeping instructions and actually notes that it is a Ceylon base tea. It smelled great, but a lot of EG’s do, so that’s no indicator. It tasted quite nice. The bergamot was strongly present but I could still taste the tea itself. It was a nice, moderate strength tea that seemed to be well suited to the lower temps you get in a restaurant. I’d pick some bags up to carry with me if I ran across any.

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95

Not actually a review here but more of a heads-up to Nahorhabi lovers and hoarders. I asked on Harney’s Facebook page and they said that it is coming back in stock soon!

Mike

Ooh, thanks for the heads up, sounds good! I noticed their English Breakfast loose leaf tea at a local store…says it’s 100% Keemun. Have you had it?

Nicole

I have not. Both of their English Breakfast blends are on sale right now on their website.The HT: English Breakfast is not Keemun. Keemuns and I are not the best pals. Usually they tend to be smokier than I enjoy. But looking at the reviews here, it looks like it may not have much smoke to it. Maybe I should throw in a sample with my next order.

Mike

The HT one sounds good too! I like their Ceylon and India tea, so I’m sure I’d like that one too! I think I’ll grab that Keemun at the store this weekend and give it a try…let me know if you try it as well! :)

TeaTiff

Oooh yum. I think my stash is good for the time being. I love the HT English breakfast. It is my, I need a strong cup but am too lazy to mess with leaves tea.

boychik

Great news! I want to stop hoarding it

Nicole

Exactly. It is back in stock now. :)

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Profile

Bio

Tea afficianado & founder of the Midwest Tea Festival. 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.midwestteafest.com

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