2144 Tasting Notes

65

I’ve always been a fan of the combination of strawberry and rhubarb, it reminds me of my grandfather who always made strawberry rhubarb pie when the berries were fresh in the garden. I’ve never had the combination in a tea before and I’m not sure that I would order it again, it was pretty artificial tasting. The dry leaf smelled overwhelmingly sweet, which wasn’t all that surprising, if you’ve ever had rhubarb before then you know just how bitter it is, so I was expecting something really sweet to compensate, but this was a little much for me. I will that that I enjoyed this much more at room temperature than hot, perhaps it would have made a better cold steep.

I would like to thank The Tea Spot for sending me this free sample

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kaylee

Actually, I believe you’ve also had Butiki’s Ruby Pie :-)

Short Sorceress

You’re absolutely right, I only had enough for one cup so I completely forgot about it.

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85

This was such an interesting green tea, not at all like the Japanese greens that I drink on a regular basis. I’m not sure that I’ve had another green tea quite like it, but I do know that this is the first opportunity for me to try a green from Ceylon, they aren’t generally known for producing them. I think what was most surprising to me about this tea is how heavily it smelled like lychee once steeped. I recently finished up a lychee flavored oolong that didn’t smell this strong even with the added flavoring. It wasn’t until my third cup of this tea that realized that it actually reminds me somewhat of an oolong because of the floral notes that peak through the strong lychee flavor.

I would like to thank Single Origin Teas for sending me this sample for review

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

It’s immediately noticeable from the first sip that the vanilla in this tea is different from what I normally expect to find in an Earl Grey Cream tea. It has a much heavier feel to it and now that it’s been pointed out to me, does remind me of ice cream made with an egg custard base. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try this type of ice cream, then you’re really missing out because it is absolutely sinful. As the tea cools the flavor of the vanilla becomes much stronger, which is one of the reasons why I prefer it hot instead of iced. When I know I’m going to have a busy week I like to make up a huge pitcher of tea in advance since I don’t always have the time to be hanging out around my hot water pot. With this tea I noticed that after a few days in the refrigerator the heaviness of the vanilla overwhelmed the other flavors in the tea, making is somewhat difficult to tell that this is an earl grey. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great tea to drink iced, it has an interesting creamy orange flavor, but this isn’t going to be my preferred way of making this tea because I find myself really missing the flavors of the black base.

Now, while I may have mentioned not enjoying this as much iced, it is a whole other story hot. The 4 ounce package that I splurged on isn’t going to last nearly as long as I had hoped; in the last week I’ve run through nearly an ounce of this tea trying to ward off the chill from the sub zero temperatures we’re having at night. I’ve really enjoyed the way the French vanilla, bergamot, and black base blend together, although I do prefer a longer steeping time so the black base comes out more than the vanilla. This comes down to my personal preference, while I have a massive sweet tooth I find that at a 3 minute steep the French vanilla is a little sweet for my tastes and is much better balanced with a 4 minute first steep and 5 minute resteep.

For the complete review please visit my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/2/25/tuesday-tea-french-earl-grey-the-tea-merchant.html

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Single Origin Teas, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Allergies
Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

Teawares:
FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea

Location

Oregon, WI

Website

http://www.notstarvingyet.com/

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