2220 Tasting Notes
My jasmine bower is in full bloom and since that is my main eating and tea drinking spot outside, I was inspired to try this tea again. It has been frightfully hot here – mid 90’s – and I have been doing yard work so I decided to try it iced.
I like this better iced than hot. And even better – after the first half glass I decided to try to mimic that wonderful Golden Moon Vanilla Jasmine tea that JacquelineM sent me last summer by adding about 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the 17 ounce glass of iced tea. Delicious, and has that cream soda/root beer flavor! I thought my Jasmine Black tea was going to go to waste but I think I can finish it easily this way!
I have yet to try a plain jasmine tea that I love. It is just too flowery for me and I feel like smacking my lips to get the perfume taste out of my mouth. Perhaps I should try Harney and Sons – I like almost everything they make.
I was inspired to finally try mixing these in hopes of finding the perfect ratio. The Chocolate Mint tea was almost all mint, so I hoped that mixing with Chocolate would bring a bit of balance. I used 2 teaspoons of each in a 22 oz. Beehouse teapot. I thought I should add a bit extra of the Chocolate Mint since there is an abundance of mint leaves in there and I wanted to be sure to get a full measure of tea leaves as well as the mint leaves. I liked it well enough plain, and a friend who had a couple of cups with me (a coffee drinker absolutely new to tea) really liked it, only adding milk.
After it cooled a bit, I tried another cup with just milk, then tried it again with milk and sugar. With no additions, I don’t taste much chocolate, even though I have added Chocolate Tea. I guess the mint is overpowering it, though in the mixture the mint was cool and refreshing but not quite so strong as before. With milk, it mellowed a little, and with sugar, I think I began to taste a little more chocolate, but still not as much as in Florence. I may try again using 3 tsps. Chocolate/1 tsp. Chocolate Mint. Or I may even let jacquelineM inspire me and I will add chocolate syrup!
I have been neglecting this tea and wanted to have a go at it this morning before heading out to the plant nursery. A Southern Season sells this spelled Zhen Quo but I have seen the very same tea sold under the name Zhen Qu, and the appearance is so distinctive that there is no doubt it is the same tea. What confuses me a bit is that most sites say it is from the Fujian (or Pan Yang) province, but there are several listings for Zhen Qu Yunnan, and I don’t know if that tea is the same or not.
I am drinking it plain and it is very smooth. I steeped longer than most people do, yet it isn’t bitter. There is the slightest – and I do mean slightest – astringency after you get through a half a cup or so, but not much. The aroma is lovely – honey and a hint of molasses, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa. The flavor leans more toward the honey side, but not with the rich, thick body and mouth-feel of Golden Monkey.
This was one of the first teas I took plain, and Sandy introduced me to it. Hi Sandy! By the way, Sandy, I saw my hubby smooching Sasha on the head last night! They were having some lovely-dovey time when he got home from work!
A new discovery – Boston tastes GREAT cold! This is a very good thing because after hanging out four lines of clothes and planting fifty caladium bulbs and three ferns in 94 degree heat, I couldn’t face anything hot! This was really good and refreshing. The very mellow mood of this tea changed and became a refreshing and bright pick me up! And I didn’t even sweeten it!
Since I thought Typhoo was a little weak at 2 1/2 minutes, we decided to try it at 4 minutes. It is definitely stronger, but I can’t say I like it any better! I wouldn’t even want it without milk and sugar, and even with milk and sugar I would rather have a glass of water! I was glad for the opportunity to try it, though!
Scrubbing away on the furniture with Murphy’s, polishing with Old English, sweeping and reorganizing. GAH! Time to take a break for tea. Middle daughter had just baked a loaf of fresh buttermilk bread, so that paired with apple butter and tea became lunch!
I took my tea plain, and it is nice and smooth. The vanilla is light and doesn’t have that artificial taste, though with the bold apple butter it is a little more in the background than when I have it with chocolate or cookies, which enhance the vanilla flavor.
Woke up with a sore back and MUCH to do to get back in gear after vacation. Summon the Queen! A pot of this and Two Door Cinema Club blasting on the stereo will get me through the morning and help me with all these chores.
I extended my experiment of trying breakfast style teas without milk and sugar. Though I liked it pretty well without, I liked it better with, but perhaps that is because I was having tea only and no food. (I now must have milk with breakfast because of the cancer drug I take in the mornings, but I usually had milk anyway. This was just after brekkie.)
And gmathis, if you are out there and have electricity, let us know by commenting or emailing as soon as you can! We are worried about you out there where the tornado hit!
This was pitted against Tower of London in a taste test with a non-tea-drinker today. She liked this tea, but preferred Tower of London. Youngest daughter can polish off 7 ounces of this in 6 weeks. Not kidding. It is good enough that I gave two ounces to a friend and that is all gone and I am under orders to purchase a pound for her. Vanilla Black is a nice daytime vanilla tea, and has a lovely decaf sister called Vanilla Comoro that is so rich, caramel-y, and decadent. Come to think of it, the same friend had me order her a pound of THAT about a year ago when she tried it at my house!
Tower of London and Vanilla Black were served with fresh, slightly warm chocolate chip cookies made from flour we had ground today from hard red wheat.
A neighbor has decided she wants to have a tea party, and she wants my youngest daughter to be her “barista”, if that is the correct term. (Daughter suggested geisha and I told her no, no, altogether different!) The neighbor drinks coffee, doesn’t like flavored coffee, but likes flavored creamers. She thought she wanted all black teas and has only had grocery store black and green teas, but I thought that for a GROUP of ladies at a tea party a wide assortment of different teas would be fun.
After hearing her preferences, I decided that Tower of London would be a good starting place. It is similar to Paris, but not as strong. The berry flavor is a little more forward, the honey is sweet, and the bergamot is a bit milder. She liked it! Hey, she drank three cups of it! And she didn’t even sweeten it even though she said she always sweetens everything. I think we may have another convert!
I told her we have only 48 teas to go to taste them all before June 10th. Nooooo problem.