2264 Tasting Notes
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.
I seem to reach for light florals when I am tired and need to be comforted. My mother-in-law has been in and out of the hospital these past two months and I am her medical power of attorney, the hospital and nursing home keep messing up her meds, my kitchen is being renovated and is a wreck and every time I clean it another shower of Sheetrock dust rains upon us all, and all the stuff from the cabinets is….everywhere.
I do not find this tea to be too floral at all, though a friend who had it with me said it tasted like a high quality tea with a bit too much floral for her liking.
And today, it is just right. As I take a break between cleaning episodes, I sit down and have a cup, then get up and start over. I need this sweet and flowery bower to get through the morning. And later on, I plan to take a nap!
I served this as the final tea at Tea Party yesterday. It was in a beautiful “sweet indulgence” sampler box that Superanna brought to me from her trip to Minnesota.
Wow, this is full of flavor! I will save the rest of it for when my son-in-law is here but he loves both chocolate and coconut teas and he will get the best of both worlds here.
There is a lot of oil floating on top which I am guessing is due to the real coconut mixed in with the leaves. There is lots of coconut flavor. The chocolate is pretty spot on and the light nuttiness adds depth. The tea base is not strong but has presence enough.
It is a great dessert tea and I am glad that we saved for drinking after our pie was gone!
It’s a’ight. I didn’t need it and only bought for the sake of trying something new, and also my daughter likes Earl Grey and I think we are out of all of our other Earl Grey.
Nina’s Earl Grey, back when it had the Keemun base, made you go OOOOH YES! Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme makes you lift your eyebrows and say, “MMMMM!” This one…well, it’s just a’ight. Not bitter, a little drying, plenty of bergamot if you like that. Smooth enough I suppose.
I won’t repurchase, and to be perfectly fair one big reason I bought it was that it was discounted to $2.49 because it expired August 31st and I bought it on September 1st. It will be fine in no time and will only have lost a bit of freshness.
I bought this because A Southern Season seems to have discontinued Ceylon Extra Fancy, our favorite Ceylon to date.
We are in the midst of Tropical Storm Hermine today and while the storm isn’t so bad for us, I have repeatedly been soaked to the skin and the cloud cover made me crave comfort food and comfort tea. Ceylon was one of our first loves, particularly low grown.
I made chicken soup and cheese toast and a pot of Ceylon. It smelled great, but honestly it fell short of the one from Southern Season. The leaves were absolutely HUGE on that one. But it wasn’t bad, just didn’t give me quite the cozy ooo-aaah feeling I was looking for. I was looking for a taste and a feeling of a time past and this didn’t conjure it.
I will probably buy a tin of Harney and Sons Ceylon and India, as it is a little stronger than this one.