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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.”