2273 Tasting Notes

drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2273 tasting notes

I ran out of the Queen. I wasn’t out for long, thank goodness. Harney and Sons had an awesome sale and I got a new tin. When it arrived I opened it and inhaled deeply. No, it isn’t a competition grade…anything. It is the quintessential daily tea. And I love it. It takes milk and sugar well, but I drink it plain. It soothes and comforts. It smells fruity and rich.

I live in the Sandhills of North Carolina, in the hottest city of the state with humidity out the wazoo. But tonight we are getting a taste of fall with lows around 63F. It is 65F right now at 1:38 am and youngest and I sat out on the porch until we got goosebumps on our arms so we could come back in and enjoy tea with hot, buttered toast.

Tomorrow morning I will probably mix the Queen with Rose Scented for a gentle breakfast.

This is living. And now it is time for bed. Long live the Queen.

Rosehips

Long Live the Queen!

ashmanra

May her reign be blessed! : D

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This is a sample that came with my first order from berylleb. I feel sure there will be future orders – probably soon.

The chunk that I received is deep black in color with a golden brown leaf here and there. It broke apart pretty easily and I may have underleafed in my zeal to get two complete sessions out of the sample. But it was no matter as it turned out. The small amount I placed in the pot was quite enough.

The first impression in the aroma was a dark and earthy mustiness. When I poured a cup for my daughter, she inhaled and said, “This is SO earthy. Literally smells like freshly turned dirt.”

Earth was the predominant flavor to me, also. No mushroom, no horse tack. No cedar or pecan leaves. Rich earth. The first steep even gave a fleeting sense of some spice, like a hint of tingly cinnamon that vanished quickly and I didn’t note it again.

It had nice body and is a likable enough puerh that I would feel confident enough serving it at a family gathering.

We are big geosmin fans so we really enjoyed our late night pu’er session with this, and I look forward to the next. The second chunk is bigger so perhaps we will find the next session a bit more complex.

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drank Osmanthe D'Or by Dammann Freres
2273 tasting notes

This is why I am trying to reduce my tea stash. I have this truly excellent oolong, and it is four years old because I have so much tea that I probably wouldn’t get to them all even if I drank them in rotation. There are a few beloved teas that I do drink down before they get stale, but here is a gorgeous that somehow got neglected.

It is still good, even at four years old. The flavor profile has changed a great deal, with the oolong flavor being far lighter, thus making the osmanthus stand out a lot more. It doesn’t compare to how it tasted in its youth, though. There is something breathtaking about really fresh tea.

I have enough leaves for one more pot, which we will drink at tea time tomorrow for a sip down.

Fjellrev

Maybe if companies stopped releasing new, awesome stuff it would be easier to pare down the stash haha.

ashmanra

Well, of course it isn’t OUR fault! :)

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This is my first eBay tea purchase, but I felt really comfortable about it because mrmopar has recommended this seller several times. I am not disappointed.

I got the fifty gram option, so mine is not a brick, but individual nuggets. The package was so secure I could hardly get into myself, even with the use of a knife and pair of scissors. Needless to say, the tea inside was in perfect condition.

The nuggets have a rich aroma and we have been resteeping and drinking for a few hours now. This tea keeps on giving.

I think puerh always tastes significantly better if you allow it to cool a bit – much more so than other teas for me. I feel that I taste all the layers of flavor best when it has cooled a bit, and this one was silky excellence once it cooled. What a lovely, round mouthfeel.

I am making seven ounces at a time and used one nugget, which is probably a little overleafed but I am watching the color of the liquor carefully and keeping the steeps short.

I did a quick rinse of maybe five seconds. Then the first steep was about thirty seconds as the nugget wasn’t fully saturated yet. I should have let it sit for about ten minutes before proceeding, but the steep accomplished the same purpose. Each steep after that has been five to ten seconds, and the tea is rich and dark in color.

I was really excited to see a sample enclosed as well! Can’t wait to try it, and that was super generous since I had only ordered fifty grams of tea. But on the plus side for them, they have nabbed a new customer!

Rasseru

Yeah berrylleb is quite good

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I am really surprised to be the first reviewing this. That is a daunting task.

Yesterday or the day before I reviewed the middle grade matcha from Harney and Sons, Matcha Senjunomukashi. I noted that the initial paste made with cold water was thicker than my usual matchas make. The froth was thick and foamy and the color a brilliant green. The tea has a light bitterness and a lingering aftertaste, much desired in matcha.

This tea was almost exactly the same with one notable difference – it almost entirely lacks the bitterness. There was very little bitterness in the mid-grade and I almost would venture to say none in this. There are some who esteem this quality, especially since the bitter bite usually blooms into an aftertaste of sweetness. But this was smooth and, I think, accessible to even a brand new matcha drinker who isn’t in love with the drink yet.

I bought it on sale and I do not regret the purchase one bit, but with money being an object in most households, I can honestly say that I would be delighted with a tin of either and wouldn’t feel cheated if I could only afford the middle grade. I am going to enjoy having a tin of each very, very much.

Fjellrev

Nice! It’s great that you are treating yourself, and glad to hear that it’s worth it.

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I have been eyeballing the Harney and Sons matcha for a while now. I reasoned that you really should buy matcha from companies that specialize in matcha. But I was curious. Not two but three grades of matcha? And good reviews! But oy! The price of the ultra thick.

In the name of science and for all my friends on steepster, I bit the bullet and ordered not just this one, but the ultra thick grade as well, while it was on sale. So I can compare. For you guys! For science! After all, with the discount applied the ultra thick came down to about the same price I pay for everyday matcha. (Not culinary. Everyday.)

There is a plastic lid that snaps on, and under that a metal lid with a pull tab. And under that a silver sealed bag. Cutting it open, the ultra fine powder puffs out and I lament every single grain. I lost perhaps 1/2,000 of a teaspoon. Tragedy!

This is electric green. Really? This isn’t the really expensive one! Right? Nope. I opened the right one. Double check the can. Confirmed. This is the middle grade.

I add two scoops to my matcha bowl and make a paste with cold water. This is the thickest paste any matcha has ever made for me. (I check the can again. I wonder if I have confused which is the ultra thick. Nope. This is not the ultra thick.) I added the same amount of cold water as ever. And then it whisked up to a lovely froth.

It has great smooth flavor that lingers well after the bowl is empty. It was served with Brie on crackers to tide me over until hubby, who is running late, gets home from work. What will the ultra thick be like? I can hardly wait to find out!

Definitely worth ordering again.

Fjellrev

Aww, you’re a trooper! I would have never thought to try their matcha but I’m glad that it was worth the money for you.

Comm Guy

Smiling. As I mope around wondering why I can’t get a discount. Free shipping, though, so…?

ashmanra

I have a code, Comm Guy!

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drank Keemun by Golden Moon Tea
2273 tasting notes

The Lord looks after fools and drunkards. I guess I was a fool.

I saw a coupon code for a Golden Moon sampler and tried to order it. I couldn’t find a place to put in the code so I quit trying, but I did comment on the company Facebook post that it wasn’t working for me and I really wanted to try their Keemun.

Big dope slap to myself at lunch when I pulled this off the shelf and realized I already own it. To be fair to myself, it was a gift, so I wasn’t the one who placed the order with the company. I still should have known I had it since I have almost finished the tin, though!

This was served with a tea lunch with egg salad sandwiches and thin potato wedges. It is a great tea sweetened or unsweetened, and I went with “un.” It is good hot or cold. It has a touch of fruitiness but still that lovely light scrape of dry cocoa I like.

Helena

Lol!! It’s always interesting when you forget you have tried something and still have it in the cupboard. I would never do that (lies through her teeth)

Fjellrev

You’re way ahead of yourself!

mrmopar

You are just ensuring that you don’t run out.

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drank Teas' Tea Matcha by Ito En
2273 tasting notes

A quick cup for a pick me up this afternoon. Two scoops, paste made with cold water, 160F water added and whisked, three chocolate squares consumed. And I made it! Trip to grocery, post office, bank, and….ahem….the liquor store, for vodka that I use to clean the chicken coop, preserve my homemade juju, and make vanilla extract. Yes, really. I don’t drink the stuff! It seems quite horrible to me, honestly.

This is a very drinkable matcha, though it doesn’t hold a candle to the now defunct KaiMatcha Premium. I miss you, KMP!

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This is an oldie but goodie. This sample has been languishing in my big chest of tea, I have no idea for how long. I served it yesterday with breakfast and again today with Hungarian Apple Soup.

Husband doesn’t like black tea except with milk and sugar so he likes for me to make other types of tea when he is joining me. Breakfast would normally be a black tea for me or when my kids join me, but I have to find something he will Iike that still goes well with breakfast food.

This one fit the bill. The baked fruit and nut flavors gave it the strength I want in the morning, especially with scrambled eggs and cheese, toast and cherry preserves, while the smoothness satisfied hubby and kept him out of the sugar bowl.

We had a guest for lunch and served it with the soup and cheese sandwiches made with Dubliner by Kerrygold, followed by chocolate cookies, and my friend said she enjoyed it. A former coffee drinker, she is now more fond of white and green teas but she still liked the lightly roasted goodness.

I am going to miss this one, but not for long. I am running low on oolong tea so I see a Teavivre order in my future.

Fjellrev

Oh, that’s fantastic cheese. Your whole menu sounds killer awesome.

Rasseru

DELETEless than a minute ago
I tried an aged goats cheese in France the other week that was so strong I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Never in my cheese eating life have I experienced anything like that. Nice having a French girlfriend :)

ashmanra

Oh my! I can’t imagine! I love cheese, so much cheese, so many KINDS of cheese. But I don’t think I have ever had one that made it hard to breathe!

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drank Nanah Morocco by THE O DOR
2273 tasting notes

Our postwoman was stung by a bee or wasp today and had a bad reaction. I waited for the ambulance to come for her and called the office she works from to let them know and then waited for them to come get her truck.

Naturally, neighbors saw and were curious so I let them know what had happened and one joined me on the porch to wait. Since she was only home for lunch hour, I made tomato sandwiches with our fresh garden tomatoes and served a pitcher of this, iced and unsweetened.

It was hot outside but low humidity for once so it was pretty pleasant in the shade on the porch. I was so pleased that my neighbor LOVED the tea, because she had professed to loving sweet Southern style black tea with lots of sugar but wanted to learn to like unsweetened drinks. When she took a good gulp of this one and professed it to be tasty, I informed her that it was free of sweetener. The mint is so refreshing and lends enough of its own kind of sweetness such that I personally would never consider adding sugar to it. I think I like this as well as Moroccan Mint from Tin Roof Tea! Both have spearmint. Yum.

It was four hours before the relief postman showed up for the truck, so I am glad I went back in the house and made a lemon pound cake.

Now, truthfully, can this story get any more Southern? Tomato sandwiches, front porches, iced tea, bees, and pound cake. Good stuff.

Fjellrev

Aw, that so nice of you to help out the postal worker, and to feed your neighbour delicious sandwiches!

Helena

Poor postal worker. At least you were a good person who did the right thing calling for the ambulance. Feeding the neighbours is also a very kind thing to do.

K S

The world needs more front porches and good neighbors. I was waiting for you to break out the fried chicken.

gmathis

I have a mosquito bite on my knee…one slice of lemon cake, please :)

ashmanra

Gmathis: come on over! I am sure a slice of pound cake will fix that right up!

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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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