2268 Tasting Notes

When I got up this morning, the windows were all frosted over….no, wait. That isn’t frost. It’s condensation. Because I live in North Carolina and it is going to be near ninety and raining and it is as humid as an Amazonian jungle out there.

Youngest and I decided it LOOKED cold since we couldn’t see out of the windows and it was completely overcast, so we have the a/c on and are pretending we need a cup of comforting tea to warm us up.

Queen Catherine is our comfort cup, but sometimes we like to foofy her up with some Rose Scented. I usually go with a 2/1 ratio. The Rose Scented is pretty strong so you still get plenty of floral taste even Catherine is a pretty strong (but elegant) lady.

It did the job. Aaaaaaah.

Evol Ving Ness

This weather— gah, painful.

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My neighbor texted tonight asking if I wanted to walk a bit because she was feeling overly full after supper. I had just finished eating and didn’t feel that it was good timing for a walk, but I waited until she had time to go around the block and texted again and asked if she wanted to join me for tea. She said yes!

Naturally, we had puerh. She has lived all over the world and is very food-adventurous, and she liked it a lot. Best of all, she said that while the walk hadn’t seemed to help, the tea did. She no longer felt stuffed.

The scent of this one was not as nice as some of their other offerings at the start, but the taste was good. It is perhaps not as complex yet as I would like. I will keep aging it and try it again. My neighbor enjoyed the aftertaste and even as she was leaving said she liked how the flavor was still lingering. She felt it “tasted like tea” but had more body. I don’t think it tastes like generic black tea but it does not have the powerful horse barn or cedar taste that I love. That could be simply the way we made it, and I might play with my steeping parameters a bit. I did go light on it since she had never had puerh before,

Since it is late, we didn’t try matcha, but since she was interested in it, I got out several tins of mine so she could see the difference in color and sniff the difference in aroma. When she got to the Harney and Sons mid-grade, she said, “Oh, that smells green!” When she got to the Harney and Sons best grade, she said, “Oh my gosh, that one would be addictive!”

“Congratulations!”, I told her. “You have managed to pick the most expensive one as your favorite!”

We now have an appointment to introduce her to the taste of matcha later this week! Another tea convert in the making…

Sil

wooohoo!

Evol Ving Ness

ashmanra, you are dangerous.

ashmanra

Heh heh heh!

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We actually had this at breakfast AND lunch today.

Remember tea party day? It has changed a wee bit because both of the younger daughters are in college now and one is also working, so we have to schedule it whenever we can. We still get together once a week, but it has been a “summer of soups” instead of dessert being the star of the show. (Make no mistake, dessert still happens but it is usually cookies now.)

At breakfast this pretty much serves as what the name says – breakfast tea. But at tea time it seemed to morph into a tea lightly flavored with….cinnamon? I don’t know why it had that vibe going on but it really caught me off guard. I had to take a couple of extra sips and then wrack my brain trying to remember if I had switched teapots or something, but no, it was just the way the flavor came across with what we were serving.

Soups thus far have been fresh garden tomato, butternut squash, potato leek, Hungarian apple, and rustic chicken and vegetables. We have done sandwiches a few times as well. Now it is almost time for everything pumpkin!

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drank Teas' Tea Matcha by Ito En
2268 tasting notes

I need a pick me up. I have to keep going for at least another 90 minutes. I decided I need to drink up some of my older matcha but I think I will change my mind on that. Now that I have had Harney and Sons matcha, this one made me a little sad.

It isn’t terrible and isn’t the worst matcha I have ever had, but life is short and I don’t need to waste time drinking things I don’t love. This is now being relegated to matcha latte stash. This is my last bowl of this one straight. No guilt. No shame.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, ashmanra, for giving the rest of us this kind of permission too. :)

gmathis

Yep, it’s time to thin my collection, as soon as I have time to thin my collection. (Oy!)

ashmanra

My pleasure! :D

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This is the last of the Lapsang Souchong samples I bought with my Upton order. Again, I prefer the cheaper sample to this. It isn’t terrible. I don’t hate it. But it didn’t make me go weak in the knees, and I didn’t cuddle my cup.

The tea base is a little weak, and that is the first thing my Lapsang-loving youngest daughter noted when she tried it. The smoke is moderate – if you are accustomed to Lapsang. It is also a slightly bitter smoke. The smoke lingers long after the sip.

It isn’t the weakest base I have ever had but nothing about this tea sparkles for me. I will finish the pot as I look out on the gray day furnished by Irma, but I will be making a better pot of tea later.

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It is nearly 3 am and I am sitting up drinking a huge pot of this tea with my youngest daughter. She requested puerh when we got home from a short out of town trip to celebrate the birthday of steepsterite ChelseaR. My daughter-in-law!

We took back roads on the way up so we wouldn’t add to the traffic congestion of evacuees leaving ahead of Hurricane Irma. The trip home is southbound so we used I-95 for that, and saw little traffic, although we did see two large buses carrying FEMA personnel.

My husband had mentioned that he might have to fly to Florida for after-storm duty but I thought it was a long shot. I asked tonight if he thought he would still have to take overnight duty at Fort Bragg Monday night now that the storm track looks like it will be far west of us, and he said probably not. I asked if he still had to go to Florida, and he said probably so. I inquired as to whether there had been a request for someone of his position or job description or had he personally been named. Turned out he has been requested by name by someone that he has worked with before. So that means it is highly likely he will be going.

I am really proud of him, as he is a man of integrity who gives his all. If you knew him, you would want him by your side, too. Since this is a place that could be fully evacuated, they were able to completely cut power themselves ahead of time, which makes it much safer as they go back in and start restoring it. We have already seen footage of other places where transformers are blowing and lights are going out. Downed lines are very dangerous and deadly after storms like this.

I want to stretch this delicious tea, so I gave it a five second rinse, then made steeps in my Kamjove of 5, 10, 10, 15, 15, 20, and 20 seconds. These steeps were poured into a large teapot and combined. The color is rich and I am sure there are more steeps to be had for tomorrow from this piece, which has opened up to about one and a half to two teaspoons.

The taste is oily and creamy, cedary rather than horsey and not much mushroom flavor. There is a lot of body. It isn’t really a musty one, but has a high note that follows the creamy taste. The high note is what lingers a bit for me.

And now it is 3:30 am and I need to try to sleep after consuming a very large pot of puerh. The caffeine might not be a problem, but the bathroom breaks will probably wake me up once or twice!

Stay safe, everyone!

Indigobloom

We have good friends and property down there. I’m pretty worried about it all. Your hubby is a good man <3

Fjellrev

Seriously, your husband is truly amazing.

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drank Tangerine White Tea by The Capsoul
2268 tasting notes

My first time trying tea from this company, but not my first tangerine white tea. How does it stack up?

The dry leaf smells almost candy-ish, and I was worried it was going to be very sweet and artificial tasting. Once steeped, however, the sweetness died down a little and the tangerine is just the right level for me. The leaves are large and flat and there are a few stems mixed in. From tea or fruit? That would require fetching my reading glasses.

This is very similar in taste to the Tangerine White from Revolution Tea that is made specially for P F Chang’s restaurant. (Hint – the wholesale division will sell it to you if you are willing to buy it by the case. I was. Split it with friends and family.)

I think this one might be a tad more forgiving of less than optimal conditions, though. I forgot to set a timer and estimated the time and this turned out really, really well. A winner for me. I think it would be fabulous iced, too.

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I need to preface this review by saying that we drink a fair bit of Lapsang in this house and we love it. I see lots of bad ratings for Lapsang teas and they frequently come from people who have never had Lapsang and didn’t know what to expect.

I like this one, but I expected to love it. I thought yesterday’s Upton Lapsang was better, yet this one is more expensive and is supposed to be a higher grade. I wouldn’t turn a cup of this down, and I will say it resteeped nicely, and maybe the rain and dark clouds made yesterday’s cup cheerier and more comforting. Sometimes mood and company factor in strongly to one’s perception of a tea.

Bottom line – it’s good, but I am just as happy with the cheaper one between the two. I still prefer Dammann Freres Lapsang Souchong Crocodile and the now extinct Harney Wuyi Shan Lapsang. One more Upton Lapsang sample to go!

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Well, this is a shocker for me. I ordered our much loved Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon and the slightly less smokey Baker Street blend, and I added on three samples of their other Lapsang teas to test.

I thought I wouldn’t care much for this one. It is the cheapest of the teas I bought, but I do love a Chinese tea base so I had a little hope for it.

I find that I really, REALLY dig this tea. So many Lapsang teas taste like half strength tea with smoke layered on top. I like them very much, especially on a cold or rainy day. But this one – I can really taste the base tea! And the smoke really isn’t lighter than the other Lapsang teas I have tried.

Thumbs up for me on this sample. And Comm Guy, I have saved the rest of the sample for you along with a couple of others.

Comm Guy

…aaaaand I just tried it! This is really good. I’ve been drinking mostly Chinese black teas lately, and like you found, there’s no real base tea flavor, but the smokiness is really nice. Smooth and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

ashmanra

Glad you liked it! I am looking forward to your opinion on Black Dragon and Baker Street! I hope I can get my hands on some Crocodile from Dammann soon.

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It’s been a long, long time but Baker Street is finally back on the shelf! Woot! Woot!

My Upton Tea order arrived today and when my youngest daughter chose our tea for tonight, this is what she wanted. Smokey, sweet, and mild, it was a perfect companion for a plate of toast as we listen to the thunder booming outside and the rain drumming on the roof. I am reading some Victorian era murder mysteries that have me craving toast and tea every night.

How cozy that this tea is supposed to make us think of Holmes’ and Watson’s pipes (the Lapsang component) as they contemplated their cases and smoked. The Darjeeling evokes the sophistication of Victorian London’s upper classes, and the Keemun puts a solid base under it all.

Even though I am supposed to think of Sherlock Holmes when I drink this, I can’t help but think of Gerry Rafferty’s song, Baker Street. It was while drinking this tea that I introduced youngest to that song and cemented her love of the saxophone. Of course, we also had to listen to lots of other songs from that era, like Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner…

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Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about eight years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

Location

North Carolina

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