2237 Tasting Notes
My youngest daughter was asked to prepare tea for a tea party for 5 adults today at the home of a neighbor who is not a tea drinker. She chose Paris, Florence, and Royal Wedding by Harney and Sons, and Marco Polo by Mariages Freres. The results surprised us!
The hands down winner was….Royal Wedding! I wonder if the 99 degree heat today made them love the coconut, which I think of as summer-y thanks to memories of Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil. Most surprisingly, Paris was liked but not one of the favorites, even though it is my go-to tea for non-tea drinkers and usually gets people hooked. Florence was the second favorite, drawing lots of ooo’s and aah’s. Marco Polo was the first tea they tried, and they didn’t say much about it other than loving the aroma of the dry leaves (she encouraged them to get the full experience!) but she think perhaps they were just getting warmed up and were getting a “feel” for tea! She said it was probably tied with Paris in popularity.
I am so happy that my “little one” had this opportunity to make tea, share her tea love with a group of adults, and have a fun afternoon meeting all these new ladies! They asked her if we go from home to home making and selling tea. When she told them that we just enjoy having people over to share tea, they told her she should make it a business! Hmmm, maybe a variation on the old lemonade stands???
We tried a new pitcher of this at “little tea party” today. It was cold brewed overnight and I added the simple syrup beforehand because the Tuesday crowd always adds sugar to everything! I thought it would simplify things to have it pre-sweetened. We also had homemade lemonade, made the way my mother taught me with simple syrup! At 99 degrees without accounting for the heat index, I thought it would be a great day to go iced! Also, youngest daughter was asked by a neighbor to hostess a tea party in HER home today, so I am without my kettle and five of my teapots.
This was very well-received. Everyone loved it and commented on how the vanilla flavor came through. And it does! It is so crisp and fresh. This is definitely going on my next Harney order by the pound. The 8 ounce tin isn’t going to do it! It was served with McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits, Chocolate Flavor Kedem Tea Biscuits, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.I am LOVING the cold brew method, though I know it doesn’t work for all teas….like that pitcher of decaf I just poured down the drain as undrinkable.
Bleh. Do not use this to make cold brew iced tea, even steeping for twelve hours. Well, unless you enjoy the taste of cold water with a molecule of tea flavor added. Even when I added simple syrup, then more syrup, then more syrup, it just wasn’t tea. Pouring it all out and starting a new experiment. This time, Harney and Sons English Breakfast. Now THIS should be interesting!
I made this one iced using the cold brew method. Youngest daughter loved it, but I found it to be a bit weak. I think that may be partly because I grew up on highly sweetened Lipton iced tea! (Mom was proud of how all the Yankees loved her tea and asked for it as soon as they walked in the door! It was practically syrup…we made a gallon a day in summer.) Also, I am using glass pitchers which are much colder than plastic, and the colder it is, the less you pick up on the flavor.
I just purchased the Bodum ice tea pitcher and was measuring my leaves based on the statement on the box that says it is a 40 oz pitcher. I decided I needed to check for myself. When I filled it modestly, keeping the water level below the strainer, it held about 48 ounces, so I really need to use more leaf.
I understand that when Bodum (and other manufacturers) say something is a four cup or six cup container like the Bodum French presses, they are referring to 6 ounce cups and not 8 ounce cups, but the box actually says 40 ounces. I am hoping that increasing the leaves will make it stronger for me. It was good, but I want a little more punch from it, and even though my youngest likes it this way now, I think she will like it even better when we get it just right. She is drinking so much Vanilla Black that I am going to have to start ordering it by the pound!
Somehow, powerful whiffs of this tea kept hitting me in church this morning. I found it quite puzzling, as I didn’t see anyone with a travel mug nearby. I wondered if perhaps there is some men’s cologne with bergamot in it? Anyway, it made me crave a cup! This is the best Earl Grey ever!! It is so much more refined than any other I have tried. Next, I want to try it iced. JacquelineM recommends it that way!
Allergies kicking up were making me dizzy and yucky feeling. Woke up at 5 am, pruned some roses, weeded, and had to go buy a car for son. Who else can kick you in gear like the Queen?
I took her with me in my JoeMo XL since I knew it would be a long haul getting everything done, especially the DMV. What a great tea – strong but never bitter, lightly smokey, and somehow encouraging and bracing. Ahhhhhhh…..
I made this as a cold brew for iced tea and it is simply fantastic! Even my ever-so-slightly picky youngest daughter loved it – so much that I gave her my cup. I sweetened it with simple syrup. Thank you, JacquelineM for a great idea! It is soooo hot here. I am going to have fun this summer making special iced teas, and using the cold brew method is going to be so convenient and easy. This is nice, and light, and fruity! I didn’t list a steep time because it has been about 7 hours and I am still letting it steep a little longer.
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!