2218 Tasting Notes
I served this today at tea party with iced pumpkin coffee cake. I always make three teas for tea party day and I usually drink all three. If there is a tea that someone else particularly loves, I will stick to another so they can have more of their favorite.
Today I was the one who had a favorite and I didn’t ask – after the first round of cups I kept pouring this one for me! It was even better than the first time I had it.
I think the first time I made it I used boiling water for four minutes. Today I used 200F instead. I don’t know if that is what made the difference but it is more in line with their instructions. This tea just sparkled today!
The coffee cake was spiced and pumpkin-y, but when I sipped the tea there were always lovely flavors breaking through – fruity at times, and sweet caramel. This cake could easily overcome some teas but didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for this one. We were one person low today, so I helped myself! Very nice.
What better way to start a hurricane day than with tea? I couldn’t decide what to have for breakfast. Nothing sounded good and the morning dragged on and finally I thought of cheese toast. The pooch and I love cheese toast and tea is so fabulous with it, especially on a blustery day.
This is one of the teas Superanna bought me in London. She actually bought it and had them ship it to me so I could see the adorable postcard that matches the tea and gives the shop its name.
It steeps up pale for a black tea and is somewhat like the only other Laoshan tea I have tried. They are obviously high quality teas and not your average daily drinker. There is a tingle to your mouth when you drink this one, not of astringency that needs milk to soothe it, just a sort of sparkle to remind you that you are having something special.
As for the storm – hubby is essential personnel at the military base nearby. He worked from 7 am Friday to 7 am Saturday. He came home and slept and got a hot meal and then went back for a couple of hours before the city announced a curfew and pulled all electrical crews off the streets because the winds were too strong to use bucket trucks and too many roads were flooded. Since there was nothing their crews could do, many were able to go home but he has to go back tomorrow.
Our city flooded last week from the heaviest rains in the state and roads and bridges washed out. The ground here as already saturated. We got over 14 inches of rain today. There were 72 water rescues last time I checked. Trees are down everywhere and the city has a five page list of roads that are closed. A number of dams were breached or failed. We have had more damage than the coastal towns.
Thankfully we are dry with only a small roof leak and we have power, though the pump stations have gone down so water is just a trickle and we are under a boil advisory until they get it fixed and cleared.
This is another tea that Superanna brought me from London. There are three beautiful boxes of sachets in one presentation box. The sachets are cloth and not paper. Kudos!
I am enjoying another quiet morning at home and wanted a special tea again. The red fruits appealed to me this morning. It is very cloudy and chilly outside (63F is chilly for here right now, okay? Ha ha!) and I have to go out to feed and water the chickens first thing, so breakfast is extra cozy.
The fruity aroma is a herald of the fruity taste to come. The tea base is present, not hidden under fake candy taste, and the fruit flavor is smooth, natural, and balanced. I got a really nice second steep out of the sachet so I may try for a third.
Very nice and worthy of such a morning as this, peaceful music playing and cozy under a linen blanket.
Sororitea Sisters sent me a sample of this to review. I really wondered how I would do this one because I do not drink coffee. It is way too bitter for me and I don’t want to doctor it up with milk and sugar.
What a nice surprise this tea gave me! It smelled like coffee and tasted a lot like coffee, but it wasn’t bitter at all. A coffee drinking friend had it with me and liked it so well that I sent the rest of the packet home with her and I ordered four ounces for me.
I am really eager to have my daughter and my future daughter-in-law try it since they love coffee.
I had this tonight with cinnamon toast as my late night snack, because it is caffeine free and I don’t have to worry about being kept up all night! Yay! Plus it is hearty and therefore it was a great beverage to cut the sweetness of the cinnamon toast and clear the palate.
I have a feeling I am going to be ordering a lot of this one.
My daughter, Superanna, went to London a couple of weeks and brought me LOTS of tea. She sent me a link to look at this shop, and in addition to buying tea to bring home to me, she bought one tea and had it shipped from the store so I could see their adorable postcards that match the label of each tea.
When she asked me if I had tried this tea yet, knowing Keemun is a favorite of mine, I told her I was saving it for a special time. Today was time. I decided to take a morning for myself and enjoy some good tea.
I had tried one new Keemun last week that I bought as a daily drinker. I knew by the price it should be serviceable but wasn’t top of the line. I tried it and it was good, simple, not complex, no milk needed to smooth out roughness, no sugar needed to add interest.
But this one – oh, this one. When I measured out the leaves for this tea, I noticed they didn’t seem very large. What a surprise when I took out the infuser minutes later and saw big, tan/brown leaves and an aroma hit me that made me want to weep with gratitude.
There are layers of scent and layers of flavor. It has lovely, full body and it tastes of sweet molasses/honey with malt and walnut. If anything distracted me during breakfast, one sip of the tea arrested my attention and brought me back to fully enjoying the cup.
Kudos, Postcard Teas. You’re not just a pretty face.
My daughter, Superanna, just went to Ireland and England for a couple of weeks. She had a wish list of teas to procure for me from Gurman’s in Dublin, but she also bought some wonderful tea gifts! In addition to the Gurman’s teas that I ordered and had sent to her in N. Ireland to bring back in her luggage (which got lost for a day but was found safe), she gave me a Ladurée assortment, some teas from Postcard Teas (adorable shop!), and Petit Macaron from Whittard of Chelsea, as well as White Pear from Suki that I accidentally left on her kitchen counter this afternoon!
I am starting with White Cherry from Gurman’s. That’s quite an ingredient list! Here is another cherry tea that tastes like Christmas to me. The cherry and coconut are coming together to remind me of cherry macaroons, which we only make at Christmas.
Cherry flavor is iffy for a lot of people. I like Luden’s Cherry Cough Drops, but I hate Robitussin. I don’t like Cherry Coke and I don’t like rooibos. But I do like this, very much in fact. I expect some people would compare it to cough syrup just because a lot of American cough formulas are cherry flavored, but this is the good kind, more candy-ish than medicinal.
Thumbs up from me!
I guess I am a sucker for suggestions. Thinkgeek sent out an email today saying that it was Hobbit Day and we should have second breakfast, a spot of tea, and elevenses to celebrate.
I had 1/4 cup of home rolled oats with maple syrup for breakfast, so by 11 am I was pretty hungry. Second breakfast sounded great. I took out a couple of hard cooked eggs, one for me and one for the dogs, and made a piece of pan fried buttered toast with Bon Maman cherry preserves. And I finished this tea, yes, finished the tin. Augh!
It was great while it lasted, and I definitely want to place a Damnann Freres order again one day, and this tea will probably be included. It was fabulous.
The very last bit in my tin had lots of reddish powder. I thought at first it might be cinnamon that had settled to the bottom but now I think it was poppy petals that had reduced to dust over time. It didn’t adversely affect the taste at all. The tea was as delicious and sweet and smooth and biscuity as ever.
There are a few teas that I feel bad about hoarding. I see them on my shelf and I am choosing a tea to make and I think, “I really love that one but this isn’t the right time for it. I want to be able to pay attention to it, or drink it with someone who will really appreciate it.”
That’s not exactly the case with this one. I am intentionally hoarding it. I believe this is one of those oolongs that actually benefits from aging, but I am not trying to age it. It is simply too good to waste on an ordinary moment.
This is the most expensive tea I have ever purchased. I buy only one or two ounces at a time. It is seldom in stock where I buy it. So I keep it for very special times.
Today is special because I really, really need it. And I have time to enjoy today, so BONUS!
I had the first two steps with breakfast, and even though I had toast with cherry preserves my first sip of tea made me go, “Wow! This is so fruity!”
It is so sweet you would swear there is licorice root mixed with it, but there isn’t. I have had TGY that approached this flavor before, but this tea takes it over the top. There is round sweetness, fullness, fruitiness, and spice. You bet if I see it in stock again, some of it is coming home with me. Think of a perfect TGY with a bear hug mixed in.
When I first started drinking loose leaf tea, I began with black tea with milk and sugar. Someone suggested a golden monkey as being super sweet, so I bought some and added sugar. YUCK! I tried honey. YUCK! I felt betrayed by the tea-recommending stranger.
Then I tasted it plain and went….“Oooooh, this is delicious! It really is sweet on its own.” And I haven’t looked back. Now it is rarer than rare for me to add sugar to tea.
My favorite GM teas are Harney and Sons and Teavivre’s. This is a nice one, too. Much better than Teavana’s! We had it with Inside Out Pumpkin Muffins at tea time today and it was a great pairing. I hadn’t realized how wonderfully Golden Monkey would pair with pumpkin! I simply chose a good plain black tea for starters as usual, but I think I will keep this pairing in mind because a lot of our desserts will be pumpkin theme for the next couple of months.
Found one teaspoon of a very old sample – five years old! Made it anyway. With the kitchen renovation, youngest and I are trying to sip down a ton of samples and older tea so it will be less cluttered when we reorganize once the cabinets are up again.
I made two steeps and in spite of the age this was still pretty tasty. Fig is awesome. Some fruits add a bright flavor, or a tart flavor, but fig is deep and rich.