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Recent Tasting Notes
The black tea that changed my mind about what a black tea could be. Intoxicating, layered with flavour, and yet not overpowering. I finished my first tin of this two years ago, and recently bought another after a visit to London. While it no longer blows me away, I am still very fond of this tea.
Flavors: Ash, Cocoa, Orange, Plums
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.
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.
This is perfection in a cup.
I wished i open this tea earlier. This is an absolute gem. The leaves give a delicate earthy scent. The first sip provide peace and tranquility. The aftertaste of the lotus transports you to a different time and place.
This is the tea i goes to when to sooth myself after a hectic week at work.
Note: This blend uses less leaves than most other tea. I oversupplied the first time and the tea came out bitterish, the second is perfection.
I keep coming back to this tea and each time before I start I forget that the scent of the dry leaf always gets me interested! Before it’s heated the muscatel scent is quite strong, once heated quite a malty/nutty aroma joins the muscatel which invites me in for the tea ahead (it helps that it’s a beautiful looking tea as well).
The soup is clean, crisp and with a purity that I seem to find in the offerings of Postcard Teas. The initial taste to me has a mineral/muscatel focus with a hint of maltyness, which later gives way to more floral notes. I used to mostly stick to first flush Darjeeling but teas like this make me realise I should give a bit more time to second flushes as well.
Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutty
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Flavors: Floral, Jasmine
I got a great batch from 2015. When opening the bag i got an intense aroma of fresh, creamy butter and fruity notes. I did my first steeping at 40 degrees for 2min to open up the leaves, then 85-90 degrees for 10s for the rest – recommended by a japanese tea farmer, seems weird, but really works. The first steeping had a lut of butter and tropical fruits in the aroma, rich and thick texture. Tasting it i also got some notes of more baked goods, tropical fruits ending with some coconut.
The rest of the steepings had more grass to them, but over 3 steepings the intensity held up well.
Didnt find it mild at all, even though it was harvested half a year ago! Seems to hold up really well.
Bottomline: Really impressed with this sencha. Recommended!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Coconut, Grass, Tropical
I love this tea.
This is the first single estate black tea I tasted that I never felt needing milk. I was afraid adding milk would taint this beautiful beautiful tea.
It is amazing.
Brew note: 3 infusions, first steep 1 minute, second steep 1min 15sec, third steep 1min 30sec.
Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Pear, Plums
This morning, I’m drinking another tea that I should have consumed much sooner. Again, though, this is still pretty good. It’s missing something in the mid-palate, I’m not sure if it’s from age or what. There is a moment in imbibing this tea that is all tactile and no taste. It’s odd. But this tea has a great, long-lasting, sweet, floral aftertaste. I’ll probably be ordering more of this in the spring if I can sipdown enough of my stock.
This is what I’m drinking tonight. The packaging says to consume before August 2014, but it seemed very well preserved in its airtight baggie. This was a lovely gift from my mother for my birthday in March of last year. I’d more or less given up tea drinking for a while there. I did a very quick steep of this one, as I am not the biggest fan of Gyokuro. I much prefer sweeter, less vegetal green teas. This one is very pleasant. I’m rating it pretty high, because it might be my favorite Gyokuro I’ve ever had, based almost solely on the fact that I love its aftertaste.
Now on to install cat shelves/hammock tonight!
First to review this tea! Always nice :)
This is a wonderfully unique English Breakfast kind of tea from one of my favourite London tea shops – Postcard Teas. If you happen to be in London, drop in, say hello to the lovely, lovely people there, and buy some delicious tea in beautiful tins or “Postcard” refill bags. I love their tins so much that I can’t help myself, and always end up buying them. They are practical, and “easy on the eyes”.
This tea is part of their new lineup of black teas and blends. The good news is that I’ve tried both this and the new Breakfast blend, and so far I love their new teas. The bad news is that their wonderful old teas are no longer available. But lets focus on the good:
This is a breakfast blend, which means Assam, of course, coupled with Kerala, which I admit, I’ve never heard of before. It takes time to open up in the cup, so be patient with the brewing time, and when looking at the reddish brown liquor one would think that this tea was mislabelled “bold breakfast”. Assams tend to brew much darker than that, especially those that are in breakfast blends.
But then this tea will do a “crouching tiger, hidden dragon” move on your mouth. It is much bolder and more flavoursome than any breakfast blend that I’ve tasted – without resorting to bitterness. Yes, you heard that right. A right powerful tea, that doesn’t taste like wormwood when brewed over a minute or two.
It takes milk beautifully, but be careful. This tea is very astringent, even with milk added, so if that turns you off, try some of the much less astringent but still very very good Breakfast blend. You will feel Bold Breakfast tea pinch you on the tongue long after your session with him has ended, like a disapproving master admonishing his unruly apprentice.
My third Postcard Tea to try today and I was impressed with the previous two, a great introduction to the company. The three I selected were towards the lower end of the scale in terms of price, I now can’t wait to try the more expensive and exclusive teas. Plus they have adorable tins that can be re used.
The tea looks like green tea, the leaves are medium sized, full and perfectly preserved. They have a rather mineral and grassy scent, much like a green tea.
Colour one steeped is a light green, yellow and and it has a sweet grass scent. Flavour it’s very sweet and honeyed with light fruit notes, I just can’t determine which fruit. Not quite peach or strawberry but a mild mix between the two….does such a fruit exist or am I making it up? I don’t know. But at any rate it’s subtly fruity. Also it has a toasted quality similar to that of a light Oolong. Yes that’s what it tastes like, an Oolong. A caffeine free Oolong like tea…now that is a special thing indeed. Plus it gets creamy the more you drink.
It’s a nice herbal/tisane, unique and naturally sweet but is enough to cure my night time Oolong cravings without the hassle of the caffeine buzz.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Not that I celebrate it as such since you should celebrate love to your partner every day…but I understand the sentiment. Planned for today is to play Borderlands The Pre Sequal pretty much non stop on split screen, drink lots of tea and cook a diet friendly 3 course meal. Such a thing is possible I found.
This morning I started with English Rose black tea from Whittard of Chelsea, the most romantic tea I could think of this morning, and now I’ve gone for this Gianfranco’s Earl Grey which is still simply amazing. Full of flavour without being overly strong due to the Darjeeling base but keeping fresh and pleasant through storage. Almost out of this one one but I will definitely be re-stocking it.
Hope you all have a nice day!
This is your celebration
Celebrate good times, come on!
Celebrate good times, come on!
Yes that was Kool & The Gang and we are celebrating my 1000th Steeping note! Boy this has come around very quickly, 1000 notes of me mumbling about tea and life stories. Thank you to those who have made it possible. Damn the Oscar music has come on so I am being shown off stage.
And now we are back into the land of tea and Earl Grey. This was surprisingly strong when I opened the tin, the bergamot is absolutely gorgeous. Then I realised it was still sealed in the foil packet, this is one of if not the strongest Earl Grey teas I have had the pleasure of sniffing. What do we want? Strong Earl Grey. When do we want it? Now!
Not only was the scent divine but looking at the leaves and seeing the beautiful autumn tones of a Darjeeling pushed this tea over the edge. So far I am astonished I have not tried this before.
Sampling without sugar but with a splash of milk for my first taste. Plus I have some left over wedding cake on the side that my cousin was kind enough to drop off for my aunty to distribute. Earl grey and wedding cake…sounds like bliss already.
Fragrant, perfumed, strong, clean, waxy, sweet. Some of the words that came to mind as I took my first sip. It is a very strong Earl Grey but it’s not heavy, and the bergamot is somewhat perfumed amongst the floral-esque Darjeeling but at the same time it is waxy, sweet and pure. ie non chemical or artificial. The balance is nice, though both elements are strong you can taste them both, though the bergamot lingers longer in the after taste.
I love Earl Grey and have tried many over the years, including especially imported and expensive blends. Compared to my Earl Grey index this particular one has to be my favourite. I’m not sure if I will be disappointed in the next month or two as the tea is now out of it’s foil packet and though tinned may loose it’s strength (as has happened many times over with various teas) but honestly this Earl Grey is so good I would offer it to Captain Picard.
I’ve been after some more Sobacha after Sil sent me a roasted buckwheat tea sachet last year and it charmed my mouth. I remember it was like drinking liquid peanut butter only light and tasty (since I’m not much of a PB fan). Then on Wednesday I won £5 off Whittington’s Tea Emporium thanks to a contest I had entered, however the voucher code gave me £5 off each tea and free shipping so I made off like a bandit. I got three Postcard Tea tins, one for Sobacha, one for Earl Grey and another for Green Mulberry tea. The total was only £6.75 and they arrived this morning. First call of action – drink Sobacha.
One teaspoon of mix into boiling water. Simple.
Now I have the buckwheat at the bottom of the cup which give it a pebble fish tank look and the liquid is light yellow. Yep there is is in scent, peanuts, roasted peanuts. It tastes gentle yet the after taste is strongly roasted with high wheat and nut flavours. It’s naturally sweet and somewhat buttery. Caffeine free, low fat, peanut butter on toast in a mug. Perfect.
By the way (non tea related) – I got into the swing of writing again so I wrote a poem, though it’s safe to say that I never got the hang of happy endings.
Ps – If you are easily upset then it’s best you don’t read it.
This was another excellent gift from my excellent mother. I brewed this gong fu style while Casey and I watched the original Terminator movie tonight. Some of the outdated special effects made me giggle. It was like watching that Russian alien in the X-Files episode from “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”. Never mind.
Anyway. This tea was really nice. The first steeps were like caramel and nuts and coffee. The texture of the tea was creamy and smooth. It held up to many steepings, and didn’t become too drying at the end like some teas can. Looking forward to enjoying a few more steeps in the morning, but for now we’re going to bed.
This was an awesome birthday present from my mother. I’m still not the biggest fan of Dragon Well tea, but of the Longjing I have tried, this is one of my favorites. What I like about this tea that makes it better than others I’ve had is that it has a beautiful long-lasting finish. I made 4 infusions of this. I believe this is also the greenest in color of any Longjing I’ve had. I wonder how the flavor of this typically varies between different harvests.
First one to review this tea! Woot!
I’ve just had two cups back to back of this tea, it’s that good. It is, however, misleadingly named. This is not a bold, breakfast tea. It’s a quiet afternoon friend. I forgot it for over ten minutes to brew during my second brew, and it was still on the lighter side of black teas (not Darj light, but Ceylon light). No caffeine kick here – go for one of Postcard Teas Japanese blacks for that. This is a sweet, rich wonderful afternoon tea, with some astringency, so sugar can help with that.
A great little tea, and a relative newcomer to Postcard Teas’s lineup.