2406 Tasting Notes

drank Old World Qing Xin by Totem Tea
2406 tasting notes

This came to me from the ever generous derk! Thank you so much!

My husband said he would like to have tea tonight so I made cinnamon toast and set up for gong fu. We have been really enjoying a Dong Ding from Tin Roof Teas so I thought he would enjoy this tea, as well.

We used a scent cup and the aromas were lovely. I was surprised to smell cinnamon in the scent cup – and I am sure it wasn’t the cinnamon toast I was smelling! It was definitely in the cup. There was a hint of magnolia or osmanthus, too.

The steeped tea was a medium yellow color. It was smooth, not overly sweet and less roasted than some Dong Ding I have tried, but lightly woody still. Delish! The unfurling of the leaves was pretty impressive. I taste light cinnamon, a little woodsy flavor, light floral notes, and a very little mineral taste.

Delish! We enjoyed! Thank you, derk!

derk

You’re welcome :)

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Teavivre has closed temporarily to protect employees and customers from the novel Coronavirus, but their US Warehouse is still open. You can still order from the US stash if you are in the US so I placed an order last night. They have been really generous with their samples and I hope that the US Warehouse keeps this closure from affecting them as much.

I ordered this sample a while back because I absolutely love their jasmine teas. My first ever jasmine was not from Teavivre and it was too strong and too much like bubble bath. I don’t know if it was artificially flavored or what. When I got my first jasmine sample from Teavivre I was astounded at the difference. I have enjoyed every form of jasmine tea I have tried from them,

This one is no exception. Hubby and I had Asian buffet leftovers tonight and made a double steep from the sample pack. The “snails” are soft with lovely light green and white color. Beautiful. Now I wish I had saved it for a gong fu service I am doing later this week.

The tea was so incredibly smooth and the jasmine was amazing and soothing. It was great with our food and would be great by itself. I love it, and I think that maybe, just maybe, it is equal to my very favorite Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Teavivre! This is going on an order when they re-open.

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drank Vanilla Caramel Chai by Tazo
2406 tasting notes

I swear I threw a bag of Whittard’s Chelsea Garden in my purse last night before leaving for church, but it was no where to be found once I got there. I had resigned myself to drinking something awful from the church cabinet (I really need to mercy stock that thing) when the Bible study teacher pulled out a tea wallet and said, “Here! Choose from one of these!”

She loves black tea and was listing the contents (PG Tips, English Breakfasst, etc.) when she said, “Vanilla Caramel Chai? Where did that come from? I don’t even like chai, at all!” So I told her I would take that one to get it out of her wallet and to keep from depriving her of a tea she loves!

It wasn’t bad! The tea aspect was pretty weak but the flavors were pretty good. We had tiramisu as our snack and it went well enough with that. By the end of the mug, the licorice root was really noticeable, but I don’t mind licorice root in the right places and it didn’t bother me. I include that info for those who hate the stuff, because I know a lot of people do.

Shae

I’d never heard of a tea wallet until just now, but now that I know they exist I feel I must have one.

Martin Bednář

Chai with vanilla and caramel? It’s is then still chai?

derk

Ohhh, I could turn my peacoat into a teacoat.

ashmanra

Shae: lots of instructions to make them from good craft paper or fabric online, plus etsy and tea shops sell them! There are lots of cool patterns.

Martin: I saw two women from India grimace at each other’s description of how they make chai, so I think ingredients may vary widely by region. One made a very sweet chai, the other very peppery with lots of turmeric and such. But this…more a flavored than a chai in my opinion.

Derk: go for it! :)

Martin Bednář

Haha, well, India is huge country, so actually no surprise there :)

tea-sipper

a teacoat! I’m imagining watch sellers (or what have you) opening their coats to show their wares in the olden days.

gmathis

I have a huge tartan Pendleton wool cape thatt reaches to my ankles; my son dubbed it “the rabbi cape.” There’s probably a good 15 square feet of pocket space available….

tea-sipper

Now that’s some pocket space! Enough for a suitable number of tea choices? Questionable.

gmathis

Let’s see…at roughly 2×2 inches per teabag…do we have any math majors out there?

ashmanra

Y’all cracking me up!

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Since Steepster is refusing to let me review two of the teas that derk sent, I will put up a new note on this one.

Earlier today I had a gong fu session by myself with the 2013 Hei Cha from Yunnan Craft. It was SO CHOCOLATEY in the aroma, and that came through in the taste as well. I don’t remember if I have had any/much hei cha, but I expected it to be as dark as ripe pu. This was much lighter. I will definitely be looking for some hei cha to buy based on my experience today.

This Tung Ting delivered as always. I got a hankering for some Krispy Kreme chocolate covered doughnuts with sprinkles, something we rarely buy. I would usually pour two huge glasses of cold milk to go with doughnuts, but I decided tea was much more responsible. It was absolutely delicious, as usual.

Speaking of hankerings, I gave my daughter-in-law known as ChelseaR here on Steepster some pickles in her stocking at Christmas just because she loves pickles so much. She got them last year, too. These particular ones were Woodstock Organic Bread and Butter Pickles and they are delicious. But this year, thanks to hankerings, she finished the whole 24 ounce jar AND DRANK THE JUICE in three days. Yes, friends, I am about to become the grandmother of TWINS. I have sent two more jars of pickles and she will get them tomorrow! Maybe they will last the week, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it! :)

Martin Bednář

Congratulations!

mrmopar

Congrats! I have twin grandkids too!

Fjellrev

Aww, congratulations!

tea-sipper

Congrats! I bet you are or will be the best Grandma, ashmanra. :D

ashmanra

Thank you, everyone! Mrmopar, that’s awesome! I didn’t know you had grandkids! I hope they will enjoy having tea with me!

Sil

Oh man….twins! While a total blessing. I cAnt imagine getting through that lol. Congratulations :)

ashmanra

Sil – I am sure they are very grateful right now that they live on the family farmland with the other grandmother and a brother-in-law and his wife living in close walking distance! I expect they will have lots of help!

derk

Congrats to you and you family :)

ashmanra

Thank you, derk! A new adventure for us!

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I have been wanting to try this tea for a long time and just kept talking myself out of ordering the sample, especially after reading reviews. Then a young woman from church came over, fell in love with tea, placed a Harney order, and got this as one of her free samples! She offered it to me to try, so I saved it for Thursday morning breakfast with my best friend who loves white tea. We had the sachet which makes 12 ounces and I steeped it again for a total of 24 to go with the fruit tarts she surprised me with for breakfast.

I expected to not like it, but honestly I will probably order some. The vanilla is the reason. This is mostly vanilla, and it is a rich, thick smelling and tasting vanilla. The grapefruit was completely absent for me until the tea began to cool, and then I thought it was getting brisk but realized it was the grapefruit finally coming through. It wasn’t strong or too sour.

My friend loves white tea and vanilla but is not a big fan of grapefruit, so she was very pleased that didn’t taste the grapefruit. I am not sure it is something she would order, but she did like it. I think my husband just might love it, so I will probably get a small tin.

Martin Bednář

That sounds like an interesting blend.

gmathis

Basilur has a tangerine tea with vanilla that I really like—this sounds very similar.

ashmanra

Oh, my daughter bought me some Basilur years ago. I will have to look for it at Tuesday Morning and Home Goods!

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We went to Raleigh a couple of weeks ago and since I had just polished off a whole tin of Ti Kuan Yin and my dark roast Da Hong Pao, I decided that I would allow myself to go in Tin Roof Teas at the their new location. After all, I need TKY to serve to my husband who doesn’t enjoy as many types of tea as I do, so it was really for HIM. :)

Obviously, I didn’t just buy TKY. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even buy any TKY. Oops. But I DID pick teas that I thought my husband would like. Then I came home and read a tasting note on this tea that said it wasn’t a favorite of his. Hmmm. Eight years is a long time and tastes change.

Of the four teas I bought, this one was bested suited to go with our breakfast of everything bagels. And….he liked it! A lot!

I steeped it western style and I should try it gong fu style to see if it gains more nuance and reveals more flavors.

Initially I perceive the body as thin but then right away it transitions to a medium body. And this happens with each sip. There is the barest hint of roastiness (not smokiness) and some floral and baked bread notes.

It gave a satisfactory second steep. We will probably burn through this 100 gram bag pretty quickly. When I bought it 8 years ago, it only lasted two weeks. That is the fastest I have ever polished off any tea. It isn’t a champion award winning highly nuanced tea, it is just super easy to drink and pairs well with many flavors, from everything bagels to pie.

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Life in general has been beating the crap out of me so I decided that today is a rat lunch day! It made me smile to think of KS and our rat lunch reviews and I needed a smile and a good memory.

For those who don’t know, rat lunch is toasted cheese and tea – good, solid, black tea specifically. We got it from the children’s book “I Was A Rat” that JacquelineM introduced me to. And I really wanted to try this gift from derk and this is the perfect time since I am alone today for lunch and don’t have to pick a tea that everyone else likes.

May I say….it could not have been more perfect. It has everything one loves about Assam but not the thing that keeps me away from Assam so often – boiling heartburn. As soon as I smelled it, I knew. I fell hard for this guy and he is probably going to make me break my “no ordering” ban. (Ha, like I really observe that anyway!)

Malty, bready, rich, thick, full body, dark, just the right amount of tingle. It is the perfect tea for today. It resteeps well. Rat lunch has done me a lot of good.

Thank you, derk!

tea-sipper

Stop beating up ashmanra, life!
Hope things get better for you soon – you deserve it.

Kawaii433

Hope things improve for you soon, ashmanra!

mrmopar

Life on earth is just a precursor to what is after. The trials here will do merit elsewhere. Rat lunch , haven’t heard that in a while. I hope my old buddy KS will have it again with me in attendance this time.

derk

You’re welcome, ashmanra. I’m glad this special tea and the fond memory of your friend afforded you the fortitude to make it through another day. You know the sources of your strength <3

Martin Bednář

I hope you will feel better soon!

gmathis

We had grilled cheese on rye for dinner :)

Ilse Wouters

As we say in Spain : “Animo!” …and if a rat lunch (thanks for making me aware of this, I´ll use it!) can make you feel better, we´ll all drink (tea) on it!

gmathis

mrmopar, let’s just schedule a Steepster family reunion right now ;)

mrmopar

@gmathis I would be up to that. I came across his blog searching a while back. Had to reread some of those notes…

ashmanra

Thank you for your good wishes, everyone! Life has some hard seasons. This is one of them. I am trying to pay attention to all those things I have to thankful for, like you folks here on Steepster, <3

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drank Tower of London by Harney & Sons
2406 tasting notes

Writers’ group met last night and when offered drinks (Mexican Coke in glass bottles, milk, water, hot tea), they all picked tea. When pressed further they decided on a fruity black.

Here I have a question. I offered Boston which I used to adore and they were hesitant. Thing is, is doesn’t smell the same! My husband HATES the smell of Harney teas that contain chocolate. He says it smells like mildew. He even tossed a shirt near White Christmas and later said his shirt smelled funny, like the chocolate. Boston and White Christmas are not supposed to have chocolate flavor but they both now contain that smell. I am wondering if it could actually be imitation vanilla and not their chocolate flavoring at all, and they have started using it because vanilla prices are so high now? Why does my beloved Boston smell like fake Harney chocolate? His hatred extends to Florence, Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, and now these two.

Anyway, everyone preferred the smell of ToL and it was a big hit. The four of us drank two 35 ounce pots. It was super fruity but smooth and mild, no harsh high tones.

Ever since the last iOS update, my “hearts” on here are acting up, also. I click the heart and the number goes up but the heart doesn’t turn red, so I am not sure it was taking it. I click again and number goes down. I click again and heart is red and number goes back up. So now I just triple click until this gets worked out. I am sure it is my iPad and not the site.

Roswell Strange

I haven’t had Boston in a really long time (though I used to ADORE it) – but if they switched the vanilla flavor to a cream flavour that could definitely come across as more of a waxy milk chocolate type flavour. I struggle a lot with some cream flavours used in tea blends (like DT’s Cream of Earl Grey) because it comes off as quite waxy and artificial to me. It’s also not uncommon at all to see chocolate and cream flavouring paired together in North American oriented chocolate blends (because the North American palate accepts creamy, rich chocolate flavours over the fruitier chocolate notes that are common to the European palate) so you could definitely develop a brain association with that cream flavour and chocolate.

It’s hard to say for sure without knowing what, if any, common flavourings are used in those blends (or possibly a common tea base?) and if a change was made to the Boston Blend – but all that to say your hubby probably isn’t nuts.

ashmanra

Oh, I deffo agree hubby isn’t nuts about this! I used to only smell the weird smell in Florence, Chocolate, and Choc Mint. It is now prominent in White Christmas, so much so that a friend with migraines who used to love White Christmas gave me her tin this year because she couldn’t stand the smell! And when hubby said the smell permeated his shirt – and it did for I could smell it too – the scent was leaking from a closed tin! That is how strong it is. I think you are right. They must have made a change to some of their flavorings. The Vieux Paris is imitation vanilla and I bought the story that people had requested the old version but now I wonder if it was a money saving move while vanilla is so high.

gmathis

Hmm…I think I have just a dab of ancient ToL left. Now I’ll have to go smell it, just out of curiosity.

ashmanra

Boston is the one that has the funny smell now! ToL was what we drank instead.

tea-sipper

I thought the Vieux Paris was supposed to be the older blend, not the newer? I haven’t tried it yet (keep wanting to order it though.)

ashmanra

Vieux Paris is newish but they say it is the original blend which had imitation vanilla. Many years ago they switched to real vanilla to flavor Paris. They said some people asked for “original” Paris back so they brought it back as Vieux Paris. I don’t know if it will stick around. I really wonder if it is just a lot cheaper to make now that vanilla bean prices went sky high.

tea-sipper

OH okay. I see what you mean. I liked their older blend better I guess.

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Well, this is new. I reviewed this a day or two ago and wondered where to put it. Mine is a round sachet, not a teabag as pictured in the image here. Another reviewer said it tasted like artificial strawberry banana candy but mine isn’t tasting like that. So maybe it wasn’t the same thing? This came in a big set. But the pattern on the box is the same as the teabag one.

I still like it a lot, it is still very rose flavored but not too heavily so, with a somewhat brisk black tea base. Martin Bednar mentioned that the loose has rose petals in it, so I decided to tear open the sachet!

I found more confusion. This is really fine textured tea – as in bigger than dust but not by much. There are lots of tiny round white pellets in it as well. It looks like that potting soil with perlite or whatever in it, but in miniature. If you do dollhouses and want some realistic looking potting soil, here you go!

I assumed it was bits of sugar but surely they would have to label that? The ingredient list says only black tea and flavoring. I should have tasted one of those tiny spheres before steeping and may do so later.

I steeped it and looked for the spheres. Gone. So I tore open an extra sachet that was also in the pot and had been steeped. There were only two of the little spheres, super tiny, and I managed to separate one. I bit it, thinking it would be a crunchy sugar bit. It was soft.

Clearly there were more of these and they dissolved. This one tasted like nothing, not sugar and no explosion of rose to indicate it had somehow carried the flavoring. I bit one of the little pellets of tea (if we can call that tiny thing a pellet) and it was the same texture as the white sphere. So I still don’t know what it is. It must be the rose flavor delivery system. LOL

Weird as all that is, I stand by the fact that I like this tea. I think I will stick with buying Harney and Sons Rose Scented, though, which is a better quality base and is more accessible.

One person drinking it with me loved it, the other who mostly just likes plain black tea said she didn’t like its aftertaste, and I guess she meant the rose.

It was paired with homemade shortbread and made a decent companion for it.

Martin Bednář

That’s tea prepared like in some lab. Really close view on it! I have opened once the tea bag and yes – there were little pieces of tea (not just dust!) and if I remember right, white and orange pieces. White ones were sugar as I found out later, orange ones were actual fruit. But oh well, that tea was so sweet!

gmathis

That’s how we know we have gone down the rabbit hole … when we tear open our teabags to get a closer look! ;) Sounds tasty.

ashmanra

Next goal – open a bag, separate several little white orbs, and taste. It may be like swigging rose cologne!

tea-sipper

Dollhouse potting soil. :D

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Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about ten 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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