2273 Tasting Notes

I got my first tea swap from Quiltguppy today. Oh. My. Goodness! I was expecting one tea, but she is pretty legendary so I should have known better.

I could hardly wait to get into these, but since it was so late I didn’t want a lot of caffeine so I chose to taste this one first. I have wanted to try it for a long time. I have a friend out of town who loves it and I have even purchased it for her but never tried it. I was a little afraid to try it because everyone loves it so much, but peach can be hit or miss for me, I love a fresh, juicy peach. I enjoy peach cobbler. But peach yogurt makes me gag! I was afraid that was going to ruin this tea for me.

I shouldn’t have worried with Harney and Sons in charge! This is DELICIOUS! And, seriously, caffeine free, too? How much better can it get? Thank you, Quiltguppy! I will be enjoying lots of great teas over the next week or two!

Preparation
Boiling

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This is a complicated tea for me. The aroma is definitely intoxicating. They hit the nail on the head with that part! The tea itself has a lovely, rich aroma. I pick up the slightest hint of molasses and a lot of the same honeyed sweetness I get from Golden Monkey. The taste of the tea is not quite as full bodied and round as GM, but has that dark Golden Snail personality. This is more astringent than either of those two teas, though, yet it is still a smooth tea. I think it reminds me most of Teavana Golden Monkey and is almost exactly the same price. While this is an excellent tea, I think for the price and taste I prefer Golden Monkey by Harney and Sons.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
JacquelineM

How long did you steep it for? I did 4 minutes and 200 water and got chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. I was head over heels crazy for it! It didn’t act Golden Monkey-ish for me though. It was more like the Dark Snail :)

ashmanra

I steeped for about four and a half minutes. Only the aroma was Harney Golden Snail for me, the taste was indeed more Golden Snail. I hope to resteep shortly and see how that tastes!

JacquelineM

I liked the second steep – it was sweeter!

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drank Hao Ya 'B' by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

Aha! The tea that was unpalatable yesterday is quite lovely today! I saved the nearly full pot of tea and reheated it this morning to be drunk with milk and sugar. This is now a very good breakfast tea, almost as good to me as H&S English Breakfast, which is 100% Keemun. I really couldn’t get through the cup plain yesterday, but this pot will be gone very shortly.

Speaking of A-ha, for a bit of fun today you can go to YouTube and search for “literal video Take On Me.” This is the video that started the meme. Pretty funny!
Preparation
Boiling

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drank Hao Ya 'B' by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

This was my least favorite tea today. I liked Ginger’s Oolong best, as did all the adult guests, and Keemun Hao Ya A was second. Beside Hao Ya A, this one really lacked elegance. Give me Mao Feng over this one any day! And how sweet is this…one of the guests brought a tin of Marco Polo as a gift! Even though Ginger’s Oolong was in the big pot and there was twice as much of it, we finished it, while Hao Ya A was over half gone and B was nearly full! To be fair, I am planning to reheat the B and try it with milk and sugar to see if that improves my opinion of it.

Preparation
Boiling

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drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

We finally tried this side by side with Hao Ya B today. This was good paired with our Hershey Bar Cake, which was so rich that it was nearly TOO rich. While this was good, I must confess that I like Keemun Mao Feng better.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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drank Ginger's Oolong by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

I made the rest of the sample of this today for teatime, and much of it was a second infusion. Even at that, this tea was very popular with all the adults today…in fact, it was the favorite at tea time being tasted alongside Hao Ya A and B. If I decide to expand my stock of oolong tins, this will be on the list of teas to order. It was wonderful in my new tetsubin, and with the warmer stayed pleasantly hot enough for three hours. It would have possibly stayed hot longer, but I was reusing a tea light and it went out before the tea was gone. Love the pot. Love the tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank Ginger's Oolong by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

I ordered this sample quite a while ago and have been saving it for a special day, and today is that day! Twenty-five years ago today I drove to South Carolina to give a young man a pound cake. I came home engaged! (Must have been a really good pound cake, or he was a starving college student!) This morning, I awaken to find….the Teavana Dragonfly tetsubin and warmer on my tea table! EEEEEE! He had driven out of town yesterday to get it, calling my youngest to make sure it was the right one! I had to make a really special oolong in it.

And this is it! A really special oolong! I thought I was using too few leaves since it was a sample and this is the large pot, but this is full of flavor. The oolong base is dark, which is my favorite kind of oolong, and the ginger is just right – not too strong, not too biting. I agree that it tastes like candied ginger because it is so sweet, and I am not really getting a bite as some described, unless perhaps I just don’t know what that is! I find it smooth, naturally sweet, and warm with ginger flavor. If I order another whole tin of oolong, I think it will be this one. Even hubby liked it sans additions, and he really only drinks a couple of teas, and those with milk and a LOT of sugar, or iced and Southern sweet!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Atacdad

Congrats on surviving 25 :-) Nice to hear about the special tea too ;-)

Dinosara

Congrats! And yay for awesom tea pots and delicious teas!

Angrboda

Congratulations. :)

JacquelineM

Sweet, sweet, sweet! ♥

Jenn

Yay for love, pound cake, and tea :)

QuiltGuppy

Congratulations! :) That’s so thoughtful. ((sigh))

SimplyJenW

Happy 25 years! Such a sweet story!

Indigobloom

Awwww, love stories like that make me melt! Congrats on 25 yrs!!

ashmanra

Thank you! Then tonight he insisted on driving me back to Raleigh and getting me an iPad2! Yes, I do realize how sweet he is and how blessed I am! :)

Sandy

That is so awesome.

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drank Wuyi Oolong by The Republic of Tea
2273 tasting notes

I brewed this one for a little over three minutes today. The tin says to go five to seven so I may try that next time, but as it is, this is a very good oolong. It has a clean, nutty taste on the first infusion.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sandy

I am surprised you did not share news of your tea guest. lol

ashmanra

I did, just on my English Breakfast post! He is my new avatar, but it is so small, you can hardly see him.

ashmanra

Oops! No, it wasn’t! It was on the Emperor’s Red post.

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drank English Breakfast by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

Father’s Day breakfast at hubby’s favorite greasy spoon with son joining us. Then church, then home to a pot of English Breakfast on the patio, giant Sam’s Club fan blowing, and iPod going…it’s going to be a good day! More tea to come….

Preparation
Boiling
teawing

Greasy Spoons = yum

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drank Emperor's Red by Premium Steap
2273 tasting notes

I had a lovely tea lunch with youngest daughter. Since we were both drinking the same kind of tea today I used the big red pot Sandy sent to us from New Zealand and brewed some Emperor’s Red from JacquelineM! The rich, cocoa aroma will win your heart! We are on the second resteep and it is still so good. I took mine plain and enjoyed all the nuance, but youngest took hers with milk and sugar. It is that kind of tea – you can enjoy it no matter what your tea tastes may be.

We paired it with Genoa salami and Kerrygold Dubliner cheese from Ireland in honor of oldest daughter’s imminent departure for a month in Ireland. Music to accompany the meal – Sandy Denny’s “It Suits Me Well.”

What a lovely day! It began with Sandy’s dog, Sasha, catching our mole at 8 am when I joined youngest daughter in her tent out back where she had camped out in hopes of catching Mr. Mole. Fortunately Sasha obeyed when I screamed, "Leave it! " and we were able to capture the little guy for release later. He is happily hunkered down inside my gardening glove with worms in the fingers (that will definitely have to be washed in HOT water before I wear them again!). I let the mantis join us for tea, but I drew the line at the mole. While he is certainly as cute as the mantis, his little home has more dirt and he smells terrible! Do all moles smell this bad? Oh, she named him “Diggory Delvet.”

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
JacquelineM

That is a day alright! I just spent some time with this lovable pest:

http://www.spo.gs/RetroCamera.jsp?img=tSQQ

He is my neighbor’s cat who I saw kill a bird last week. I had to talk to him about it and tell him it was wrong and all that, being he was in my yard snooping for more birds.

teawing

Most moles I have had the pleasure of meeting do have a distinctive aroma.
What a great review and story. You painted some good mental pictures for us.

It is the little things isn’t it? Some good food, a little nice music, family, a faithful dog…tea. What else could we need or want?

ashmanra

JacquelineM – That kitty looks like he is a character! I have one who visits my feeders in hopes of getting a birdie, and I shoo him off, but Mr. Hawk thinks it is a birdie dispenser and I guess I am still feeding birds when HE gets one, so….
Teawing – Distinctive smell, indeed! Garlic spaghetti, wild onion, and armpit. LOL!
But youngest thinks he is the softest, most beautiful thing EVER!

JacquelineM

How is the mole doing today? :)

ashmanra

Full of earthworms and waxworms and enjoying life! He has been to visit a number of our friends and will HOPEFULLY be released by this evening! (Youngest is asking to keep him forever. I told her Mr. Mole needs a girlfriend.)

JacquelineM

I hope he finds a beautiful Mole Wife where you release him! Maybe one day he will tell his Mole Children about the Magic Ladies who fed him earthtworms and waxworms then took him to meet his wife!

ashmanra

Jacqueline – I sent the pic to your email so you can see him having tea time with us! I couldn’t figure out how to post a link like you do – but I don’t have a smart phone or anything to link to RetroCamera. He is so soft…

JacquelineM

I put him on my flickr so everyone can see him big!!!!!!!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackiemania/5850807458/in/photostream

ashmanra

Thank you! :)

teawing

Thanks for posting the picture, and what a regal cup he used!

Dinosara

That mole is pretty cute in that tea cup!

QuiltGuppy

He’s adorable! I’d have a hard time sending him away.

ashmanra

Sigh. He was supposed to go yesterday, then today, now tomorrow…daughter says she needs photos of the release! He is indeed adorable, though, and so soft and sweet. He is really enjoying his waxworms and earthworms. We bought him some imported Belgian worms that supposedly will last months in the refrigerator! LOL! But we have two species of box turtles in the yard to feed, so we needed to buy all those worms anyway!

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Profile

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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