Fairhope Tea Plantation

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Recent Tasting Notes

73

Here is another US tea that was featured in the library presentation, and it was kindly donated by Derk! (Thank you so much, Derk!)

This tea has a strong hay-like aroma, and that is the main flavor note I get, as well. I also taste a grain note (oats, perhaps?), with a touch of honey sweetness and a dash of woodiness and autumn leaves. This is a light and smooth black tea, which I think is what surprised the attendees at the library presentation the most, who are used to black teas being strong and astringent breakfast fare. The taste somehow makes me think of a cross between a white tea and a darjeeling.

I plan to try this as a cold brew at some point during this unending 90F+ weather. I think it’ll be very sweet, clean, and refreshing!

Thanks again for sharing, Derk!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grain, Hay, Oats, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
derk

You are very welcome :)

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A Panda Express has just opened near us and we have never eaten there, so we took advantage of the BOGO coupon and gave it a try tonight. I made a huge pot of this tea to go with it.

This was a gift from derk. Many thanks, derk!

Dry leaf smelled much like the black version, and steeped tea aroma also revealed the close relationship between the two. The green version is super grassy, and that is Ashman’s exact description. I thought I detected mineral notes here but he did not.

It was great with food. We really downed that huge pot easily. It is one of those teas that you drink fast somehow, and I found myself asking Ashman to top me up constantly. Not astringent or sour, light body and very “wet”.

I didn’t tell Ashman until we finished it that it was grown in Alabama. He was impressed!

Thank you, derk!

gmathis

Panda is on our regular Sunday-after-church rotation. What did you try? Hubby likes the green bean chicken; I usually end up landing on the orange chicken. (Landing on an orange chicken…now there’s a mental image for you!)

ashmanra

We had orange chicken and mushroom chicken. We ate half last night and tonight will switch leftovers so we each get to try two things. I don’t remember seeing green bean chicken, but a friend told me they used to have an awesome almond chicken that he mourns as it is no longer on the menu.

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I can’t believe I haven’t left a note for this yet. This was a gift from the delightful derk. Many thanks, derk!

I concur with gmathis and would have to say that this tea really does taste like a copper kettle in liquid form. It is sweet, thin bodied, not bitter, not astringent, a little woody, but I didn’t get malty as Martin did. Perhaps it was the way I steeped.

It reminds me a bit of an autumnal Darjeeling and I notice it has stems in like a Taiwanese tea.

I agree with gmathis that I don’t think this tea would be a candidate for milk, but sweet tea? I think it will be. I have a carafe chilling now.

gmathis

Reminds me that I have a little bit left that needs to be used!

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I am in a bad state to write a tasting note. I have a cough, cold and I feel I lost sense of smell (stuck nose doesn’t help). I am drinking recently mostly homemade herbal blend, but for family I was asked to make a tea. Green, if possible. “Finally, they have been a bit specific.” So, it is family pot tea. Well accepted by all!

Thank you derk, for local tea. Very local.

And now some of my impressions. It tastes a bit herbal to me, but overall it is smoth and mouth-coating. It is even a bit grassy for me, but imagine a summer grass and not freshly cut. Rather, still growing one, rather meadow for you across the pond.

Can’t wait for better time for this tea. The tea quality is high and the tea is nicely fluffy.

Michelle

Ha! ‘nicely fluffy’ very descriptive! I always appreciate how steepsters are inventive in their tea notes. Hope you feel better soon!

Leafhopper

Agreed! I hope you feel better. I also generally like fluffy teas.

CrowKettle

Wishing you a speedy recovery, Martin! Love the use of “fluffy” too. :)

derk

You’ll feel better soon, my friend.

I have to chuckle at your use of “local” and I hope you can chuckle, too :) For reference from your perspective, the driving distance from Svojetice (home of those beautiful linden flowers) to Helsinki (I know you’ve been to Finland) is 1673km. Twice that plus 500km is the driving distance from where I live to Fairhope Tea Plantation. The US is a big country!

I still haven’t made a note for this tea. I find that less leaf is better. There’s a lot of heft to the flavor even though the leaf’s fluffy.

Martin Bednář

I don’t know which other words I should use for nice, big leaves, with lots of air between, so I went for fluffy. Maybe it’s not the best word, but that’s my limited English.

As of today, I feel better, but I went for a PCR test just in case. My brother told me he had similar symptoms and the test turned out positive. After the test I really have stuffy nose and it’s not pleasant. I still have cough, so I think I will go see a doctor tomorrow instead of work. Maybe in between I will receive a results.

As for “local” for you derk, I meant it is made in the US. There are not many plantaions at all and it’s not especially local for you, but we use also “local” for small, independent comapanies, which aren’t under big chain — so maybe lost in translation a bit.

gmathis

I liked this one, too!

mrmopar

Hope you feel better soon.

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This was in a little packet from derk and I’m overdue giving it a go. But green tea always makes me feel like spring and the thaw has begun—it’s a play-in-the-snow-in-your-shirtsleeves afternoon with full-on sunshine. I can feel the solar battery in the back of my neck recharging.

Ok, enough fluff. How’s the tea?

Delicious! The leaves were big and fat and had a “fresh from the farm” look to them; too long for my spoon, so I measured in pinches instead. Two of those in a large-ish mug and a three minute steep yielded a tawny gold, almost sugary cup with a personality more like citrus rind and pith than green beans or spinach.

High marks for this one—and from a bog-standard black tea barbarian, that’s saying something.

(Incidentally, they don’t normally sell online, but it looks like they may be making a temporary exception: https://fairhopeteaplantation.com/special-offer/)

derk

Awesome, glad you enjoyed it!

gmathis

Second steep was just as tasty!

Martin Bednář

Still avaiting for a wee warmer day for dig into green tea. Black tea is more matching the weather outside.

gmathis

The official Pennsylvania groundhog saw his shadow, but in Missouri (if we had one) no shadows were around on February 2, so in our part of the world, spring should be “just around the corner.” I’ll believe it when I see it. In recent years, we’re still freezing in April!

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87

TASTING NOTE 1200

Oh well. Feeling slightly better than during the weekend, but it is still not top-notch. And moreover today job tasks were hard, stressful and tiring.

So, decided for a proper and hopefully enjoyable cup of tea. In my Paper & Tea Advent Calendar I have Sweet Lullaby which I am keeping for the evening.

So, this, Alabama grown tea. I used 4 grams and steeped for more than 5 minutes, because 4 seemed too short for me.

I got a cup of nice and smooth tea, surprinsingly malty for me, with sweet wood flavours and as gmathis noticed, sweet note on the tip of the tongue.

Somehow, and I guess it is rather the “easyness” to brew, it reminds me Guria Likhauri. It’s simple, but highly enjoyable tea. Great daily drinker in my opinion. Thank you a lot derk.

Flavors: Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
derk

Glad it hit the spot today.

Evol Ving Ness

Am I the only one who is surprised tea grows in Alabama? Or is this common knowledge?

derk

This summer, I flew home with seedlings pulled from the Alabama ground. With any luck and a good conversation with Mother Earth and the seeds I’ve started, there will be a tea farm in California within the next ten years ;) Though my efforts may be futile if the weather patterns grow any more dire.

Evol Ving Ness

Wow, keep us posted. That would be happy news if they were to take and thrive.

derk

Fairhope Tea Plantation was a treat to visit! When I visited, Donnie, the owner said he only sold mail order when COVID was in full swing. Otherwise, I think he pretty much (minus maybe some bigger companies using his tea in blends) sells from his front door. Not exactly easily accessible, so the farm is not well publicized.

Martin Bednář

Better not well publicized and great tea and helpful, than big market share tea companies with not so good teas.

Lexie Aleah

I haven’t gotten a chance to properly review it yet but Derk kindly sent me some of this one to try as well and I really liked it! It was delicious and I would agree with it being a good daily drinker.

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Derk, was this one of your stops when you traveled east? I had no idea there was a plantation in Alabama. For those of you who are curious: https://fairhopeteaplantation.com/plantation-history/

I’ll try to do this initial review justice, then. Derk shared some 2021 leaves with me—the big, fresh, fluffy kind that are hard to balance on a spoon. At a four minute Monday-morning steep, it wasn’t especially strong, so I let it go past five minutes.

The result was very light and clean with just a little hint of sweetness on the tip of your tongue. Grandma Schubert had an old copper teakettle—the real thing that had developed patina and personality over the decades, and this is its liquid version. I think milk would overpower it; it was very drinkable on its own. I can envision this as a base for good ol’ Alabama sweettea (when I’m in Tennessee, I hear that said as one word) with simple syrup and lemon.

ashmanra

I had this for breakfast today! Also a gift from derk!

gmathis

Similar verdict?

derk

I haven’t tried this yet, hoping to see other people’s impressions. When me and my friend were served tea by Donnie at the farm, he said he mixes his black and green teas for his own drinking.

ashmanra

I did have a similar experience! I didn’t look it up first as you did and was convinced I was drinking a nice darjeeling at first.

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