750 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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
We had this yesterday at a clean-out-my-freezer tea party. I had prepared tea treats all through October for 45 people for an Alice in Wonderland Halloween tea I was doing for this charity I am involved in. I was socking them away in the deep freeze so I didn’t have to do a lot all at the end. Then the party was cancelled due to the hometown team making it into the World Series. I scheduled a tea at work to use some of the leftovers that couldn’t freeze and that turned out to be the day of the celebration parade. Not that I wish we hadn’t made it, winning after 30 years certainly is nice, but I got really tired of sports messing with my tea!
Anyway, so I could free up some freezer space for the holiday season, we had a little tea yesterday with my mom’s friends. This was one of the teas I served.
One of the ladies was a friend of a friend and I had never met her before. She took a sip of this and said “Oh my goodness, this is amazing tea! I don’t even need sugar or milk!” Later I made a pot of Assam Signature Malt from Golden Tips and she didn’t add anything to it either. She was just stunned that she liked teas without additions or flavorings and she just kept raving about Jabberwocky. Makes me happy when that happens. :) Now, she did add cream to the Flowering Black Tea Cones from Yunnan Sourcing but to be fair, they had sat in their little glass pot for awhile before she tried them and I probably used a cone or two too many for the volume of water. But she said she still liked it a lot.
Then I got to whittle down my stash by giving the ladies a basket of assorted teas to shuffle through to take home. So that, along with excellent tea that was well enjoyed, tasty food and good company made for a good day. :)
But now I need to get more of this tea since I almost used it up!