2236 Tasting Notes
My best friend came over with cheesecake today! Yay! She is a teacher and we took advantage of her day off to spend some time together even though youngest and I did NOT take the day off. We are doing a few extra days of schoolwork because she is going to Northern Ireland, Ireland, and England next month!
With sweet food, I like a contrasting tea. Nothing astringent, mind you, just something to “cut the sweet” and clear the palate so that dessert is delicious instead of cloying. One of my favorite teas to serve with really sweet food is Teavivre’s Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls. My friend had those recently at my house, so I thought we would drink this so she could try something new.
Oh, what can I say? I really love Da Hong Pao teas. One of the first ones I tried (by a different company) was anemic and uninteresting. This one has the fresh walnut flavor, the woodiness, the hints of unsweetened cocoa, that I love in DHP. The dry leaf in particular smells like a chocolate flavored tea! Steeped, the chocolate becomes a hint of cocoa and the nutty flavor comes to the forefront.
I am on the second steep and will be making at least one more with this even though I am making it western style and by the pot. So good!
I saved my very last Southern Boy Tea especially for this weekend. Today is Librari-Con in our fair city, and my youngest has been excitedly awaiting her first ever cosplay – Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, the younger one. I will try posting this link and I hope it works but Flickr has changed an awful lot since I last used it.
It feels wretchedly hot outside today. This tea is one of my favorite flavored iced tea blends. And it is the perfect geeky drink for this weekend! My son was there in his sand trooper armor, my godson changed clothes and appeared as three characters in all: an Imperial Gunner from Star Wars, the Cobra Commander, and the ninth doctor. Hooray for cosplay!
Sample SIPDOWN! One more down, one hundred and…um…who’s counting?….to go.
This was really nice. It is strong enough to be a morning tea, refined enough for an afternoon tea, cocoa flavored with hints of puerh rather than anything smacking you in the face. This is a great wake up tea to me and would be fantastic with bagels.
I am trying to accomplish some more sip downs, especially of older teas. I do not list my samples in my cupboard, so what you see does not include the three boxes of samples that are lying about.
This seemed a good one to use today for one last cuppa hot, and then ice the rest.
I maintain my earlier statements about this tea. This is not the same base as Harney’s Rose Scented, which is my favorite rose tea, but rather this is more like Upton’s Rose Congou with a hint of bergamot added. Good stuff, a little more gutsy than Rose Scented, and with a little more morning “Oomph.”
A general note before the review: I usually read every single review posted and I keep scrolling down page after page until I get to one I have already read. Then as I scroll back I click “like” all the way. My likes are disappearing! I really am reading your reviews! Now on to the tea…
A few days ago I put this in the refrigerator to cold steep. After it had a few days in the fridge I added some simple syrup and started drinking it. I find that I like this one either completely unsweetened or sweetened more heavily than I usually do.
This is very good and fruity, and so refreshing after sitting outside in the heat with the mosquitos as hubby cuts and stacks firewood (will it ever be cool again?) and the chickens dust bathe and scratch about.
I am glad to find out how well it cold steeps! The color is nice and clear and the flavor of the tea AND the passion fruit comes through loud and clear.
We have been back “in school” for a week. I hurt my back AGAIN Saturday, an appraiser was coming to the house at 8:30 and youngest has an orthodontist appointment at 10:30. I really needed something special this morning. I wanted black tea but nothing too bold. I needed a little pampering.
Enter Pour Maman. It really is a great “Mama Soother.” The berry scent is so intoxicating, the black tea is tempered by the green, and it is really lovely. It must be. I just finished the whole pot and we are not yet nearly done with Algebra!
I tried new steeping parameters, mostly because I forgot how I made it before. I used 194F water for three minutes and it was super! I think this is a pretty forgiving tea, and even if you make it like a straight lack tea it just adds astringentency instead of becoming undrinkable. I like it best between 175F and 194F as I look through my notes. BUY SOME FOR YOUR MOTHER!
In a way, this is the tea that started it all. Years ago I ran into a friend at Barnes and Noble and she was buying Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. She told me it was her guilty pleasure. Months later, I remembered it and bought her some for Christmas, but since I had a “Buy Two Get One Free” coupon I picked up this blend for myself.
My youngest daughter loved it, and we began to explore lots of the Harney and Sons offerings. I think I still have more of their teas than any others on shelf. But I have purchased so many teas and quite a few that just turned out not to “float my boat” that now I am swamped with tea that needs to be drunk before it gets too old. This is not the original tin, but one my daughter cajoled me into buying because she missed it, but then she started drinking their vanilla teas and Lapsang for a while and neglected this one.
I asked her to go ahead and finish it as there are only five sachets left, so she made some today. I really MUST clear away some tins as i have five “tea spots” in the house and there is just too much!
It looks like I will be repurchasing this one, as she just came to my room and told me that she thought it was one of the best teas she has ever tried, and she cant imagine why she hasnt been drinking it all the time, LOL! I shared the cup with her and it really was a nice blend, although she always puts loads of sugar and milk in her tea and that part was a bit much for me!
There are several teas I want to order from Harney and Sons but I won’t let myself until I sip down some more teas.
I got an email a few days ago from my husband. It was titled “Tea Disciple.” It turns out that a fellow he met at work has travelled extensively and loves tea from all over the world. He is presently drinking Celestial Seasonings Fast Lane as a replacement for coffee and wants recommendations for a good black tea blend with boosters like mate. Anyone know of some good ones? I recommended that he go to Tin Roof Teas and buy his mate and try some of their loose leaf black teas and mix it himself.
He mentioned that he had been in Sri Lanka and found some teas there that he loved, so I took my two high grown ones that I don’t care for and sent them to him. That reminded me that some of my other Ceylons are getting old. I need to drink them up. These past two days I have been drinking this one from the Fine Tea Wall at A Southern Season. You purchase these by the ounce and there is no minimum.
This is an enjoyable Ceylon, though I do like their Ceylon Extra Fancy even more, and I like Harney and Sons Kenilworth Ceylon and Ceylon and India teas more also. Once I sip this one down I will not be replacing it, but rather I will stick with the ones that I like better.
Hubby started out only wanting Ceylon teas with TONS of milk and sugar. Now he mostly drinks oolong, green, and white tea plain, so I have a big backlog of Ceylons to finish off! But it is a great problem to have! I was delighted when his tea tastes expanded and changed!
Writers’ Group night at my house should mean lots of sip downs. It should be a warning sign to me that with as much tea as we drink at group every two weeks and at tea party every Wednesday I still have too much tea!
Tonight we drank three large tetsubins of this. Everyone loved it. One guest remarked that he liked it because it didn’t dry his throat. I was making 18 ounces, resteeping, and pouring it all into the pot so each pot was a mix of two steeps. I still smell grape candy instead of fig, but it didn’t seem to matter. They loved it, and that was my goal.
Personally, I think it tastes really nice, but I really don’t taste tea. If you are a tea purist looking for a nice oolong with its characteristic flavor, this isn’t for you. If you like a flavored tea, this one is pretty darned good, and it is one of the most beautiful to look at, dry leaves and liquor. It looks almost purple in the cup as the cornflowers and poppies donate all their color!