Tin Roof TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My better half and I accidentally stumbled upon an almost hidden spice and tea store yesterday while we were eating lunch at a vegan restaurant in Charlotte. Since we now eat only plant-based foods, as of four months ago, I guess we are vegan too. (My wife says we no longer consume anything with a mother or a face. That is very dire news for a BBQ rib-o-holic like myself. In my mind, ribs are the mother of all meat.) But I digress…Getting back to the tea…
I purchased this Death By Chocolate selection based on its incredible chocolate aroma alone. (Plus, since I can no longer eat dairy or sugar products, I thought it was a clever-or desperate-way to sneak some chocolate back into my life.)
The rich dark chocolate aroma was seeping from the silver bag and hitting my nostrils from about 10 feet away. When I opened it, I wished that the bag was the size of my bathtub so I could dive into it. The whole leaves were dark brown, almost black. Generously spread throughout the leaves were thin cocoa nibs.
I was almost drooling as I steeped the leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed aroma was rich and all chocolate. The color was a cloudy yellowish amber, like you might encounter with an herbal tea.
The flavor was completely, unequivocally, and most definitely chocolate. It was a fine tasting chocolate too and had no artificial attributes. I was disappointed, though, to experience some bitterness that remained on the ol’ palate. In fairness, the unwanted characteristic faded after several sips.
As great as the chocolate flavor was, I found myself wishing for at least a smidgen of tea flavor. The overall sensation was more like chocolate water than chocolate tea.
Another important element in a great black tea for me is a registered amount of caffeine kick. I am sorry to say that this blend had no caffeine awareness whatsoever, not even after four cups.
Getting back to the positives, I will say that the tea re-steeped very well. There was virtually no difference in taste or color from the first to second steeping.
My plan for this tea in the future is to use it as an added ingredient in my ho-hum, blah, and unexciting black teas. The chocolate in this product is strong enough to perk them up as a second-string additive.
So, to sum it all up, if you like chocolate-flavored beverages, you will find a rich chocolate taste here that shouts from the (tin) rooftops. However, if you are looking for a robust black tea with just chocolate complements, this one might seem as lacking as it is overwhelming.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
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.
The owner of Tin Roof Teas was kind enough to share several sample cups of this tea with me as I browsed the shop today. It is a new tea in his shop and will be part of a raw puerh tasting event coming up on January 28, 2016. If you live in North Carolina and can go, I recommend it. I went to a puerh tasting last year and it was great! They do a tea flight about once a month and often do pairings with the gourmet chocolates they sell or samples from their honey bar. They have a honey room and stations for refilling your honey containers, as well as bee pollen, herbs, candles, teaware, and tea candies and such. Follow their Facebook page and send them a message if you want to reserve a spot in the tasting.
This is not a puerh, but an aged black tea. It reminds me very much of a mature sheng. The dry leaves had a unique aroma, first of turnip greens then immediately followed by a deep oak-y scent. These were loose leaves, not a cake.
The steeped tea is pale for a black tea and much the color you would expect of a mature sheng. This tea came from a puerh master and is probably not called puerh simply because of where the leaves were grown. (You may remember that Harney and Sons sold a green tea cake a few years ago that could not be called puerh because of where it was grown but it was in every respect an excellent puerh-type tea.)
The flavor was mild and not as green tasting as the aroma of the dry leaf led me to think it would be. It also really did not taste like a black tea, but some customers who were primarily black tea drinkers in the shop took it without question, drank it, enjoyed it, and I think they may have even purchased some. Our first steep was about 8 seconds, and the second was about 12, I believe. The instructions say that it gives about eight good steeps.
The tea was smooth and mild. It needed no additions. I would have purchased some but I am trying to reduce my cupboard, especially since I just found that exquisite 2013 TGY that I adore and have neglected because I have TOO MUCH TEA. I plan to drink and drink and drink what I have so I can feel good about ordering more when the new harvest gets underway. And yes, I share, swap, give away, invite people for tea, but I still have too much!
One nice thing about the shop is that they normally sell 100 gram bags and 250 grams and up, but you can request a sampler pack of fifty grams each if you buy at least four different teas, and you choose your teas. They also have premade samplers of various kinds like flavored black blends, or all greens, etc. They have quite a variety, too, some blends being TeaGeschwendner and some in-house.
They will also try to make special request blends when they have time.
Information on this tea may need to be updated soon as I didn’t write down the ingredients in the store when I tried it. This is Tin Roof Tea’s in-house effort to create a blend similar to Paris by Harney and Sons. In addition, they intend to tweak the blend as customers taste it and express their preferences.
First, the aroma of the dry leaf was heavy on caramel but the berry flavors certainly put on a show. The bergamot was evident in the scent but not overpowering.
Steeped – the tea is smooth enough to drink sans additions. It is not very similar to Paris to me, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad blend. It is much more caramel flavored than Paris and when steeped the bergamot almost disappeared for me. The berry also backed off and were lighter. They considered increasing the bergamot but I recommended bringing up the berry flavors more instead since there are so many people who do not like bergamot. We shall see what other customers think and what they ask for.
It was a fun day hanging around the tea shop, looking at all the goodies and talking tea talk.
Tin Roof’s Turkish Delight tea looks beautiful. Long twisty black leaves, whole pistachios, sliced almonds, cardamom pods, pink peppercorns. The dry leaf smells lightly spiced and exotic.
Full review and photos: https://tealover.net/2015/06/tin-roof-teas-turkish-delight/
A flavorful morning blend that is rich and hearty. Not as strong as some Scottish blends I have tried, but a nice pleasing brew with a bit of malty overtones. I have been drinking this blend often this past week, and enjoy the caffeine kick and full rich flavors. Plus a visit to Tin Roof Teas, or a visit to their website is always fun and I come home with new teas to try…
Flavors: Brown Toast, Malt, Roasted
I stopped TNT a while back looking to pick up a new gaiwan, and on a whim decided to pick up a good amount of this tea. This TGY is a traditional so naturally it’s a bit more roastier/darker than say a Imperial grade. It’s decent, I have no real complaints. It holds itself well in gongfu, and my gaiwan seems to like it. The leaves are nicely rolled, and open up nicely. The body of the tea is a bit bolder than I generally prefer my TGY, but it’s not bad. There are good notes of chocolate, and banana which is nice little surprise. It’s a bit different from a standard TGY, because it is darker, it’s almost a bit reminiscent of a Wiyu oonlong in a way, and I can pick up some similarity with a Shui Xian or a Dong Ho Pao. Overall, this is nice, fresh, crisp, and sweet, with hints of fruits, cocoa, and darker oolong notes. It’s nothing that will blow you away, and it’s not really the type of TGY I would probably ever use for Gongfu when friends come over, but I do enjoy sipping on this grandpa style at work, so that’s nice.
Flavors: Bamboo, banana, Chocolate, Hay, Vegetal, Walnut, Whiskey
I went in Tin Roof Teas and told Ryan I needed a birthday gift for my best friend, and loves double vanilla tea. He told me that this is his proprietary blend and he nearly named it Double Vanilla but thought that might sound corny, so here we have the result!
Naturally, I bought a bag for myself as well to make sure the quality as up to snuff for my friend. I knew she preferred Mariage Freres to Harney Vanilla, so I thought this Chinese base would be better for her than Harney’s Ceylon base.
I think it hits the spot and achieves double vanilla status. My friend thought it tasted a lot like the more expensive White Lion Vanilla. Youngest thought it might be a tad drying but said it was not astringent to her, and I like it very well. It isn’t going to last long. At least they are close enough for me to pick up more when I need it!
I definitely underbrewed this somehow, because I am not getting any flavors at all out of this. That, or this stuff is just really old. I got no tea, and no fruit flavor, and all the other reviews rave (or rant) about the fruity flavors. I will definitely retry this one soon.
Meh. Nothing spectacular. I’m a big fan of Taiwanese High Mountain Oolongs, and I generally really enjoy Tung Ting. However, this was flat, bland, and lacking any complexity or depth. The flavor held as if you were smelling a bag of Jin Xuan, but not actually drinking any. Generally this tea should be kept in a chilled environment, like matcha. I don’t believe this was though, and is probably the reason for it not having any taste. I think i’ll pass.
Loose leaf green tea with whole blueberry’s and jasmine flowers. Mellow flavored tea with strong blueberry flavor without being overwhelming to green tea base. Hints of jasmine throughout. Flavor holds well with first two steeps and gradually becomes weaker with further steeps. Flavors are balanced and can be served hot or cold without taking from integrity of flavors.
Overall a good flavored green tea.
Flavors: Blueberry, Jasmine, Lemon, Vanilla
Here’s Hoping traveling teabox – Round 3
Oh my goodness, the scent of this wafting up from the bag when I opened it was out of this world! Seriously, unexpected. The tea itself is really nice, a bit sweet on its own, but I added just a dash anyway. The green tea is smooth and light. I think I may keep the rest of this! I had never heard of the brand, but apparently they are a small tea company out of Raleigh, NC.
’Here’s Hoping’ traveling teabox Round #2 // Tea #21
There is quite a bit of this one in the teabox, but it isn’t in the Steepster system yet! It’s actually quite good, though that may be because there was three goji berries in my infuser! Very fruity! The green tea was on the mild side (but to be honest, the three gojiberries were taking up a ton of room in that teaspoon anyway, so blame the gojis… but I loved the fruitiness!) I might take a few teaspoons of this one out of the teabox for later…
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 3 min
One of the best Yunnan teas I have had this past year, filled with spicy tones on an earthy background typical of this type of tea. The golden tips make up a bold and smooth brew with a wonderful aroma. Multiple steeps brings out more soft smokiness that haunts your taste buds long after the tea is gone.
I enjoy this tea steeped for less than the recommended time, and it works wonderfully for both western and gong fu brewing.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Leather, Malt, Wood
I am working my way through my older teas, trying to clean out the stash to make room for new ones. This is a standard oolong. I was hopeful for something more with “fancy” in the title, but it’s just a solid cuppa. It stands up well to multiple steepings, but doesn’t change in significant ways (the way that many of the best oolongs do).
Thanks VariaTEA for the sample (and I think Josie Jade by extension?), but I really wasn’t all that impressed, and I kind of knew I wouldn’t be just based on the smell.
This one smelled like really high quality, fancy ass rich people soap. Which, yes, is totally a thing. It’s always like overly complex flavours like “Cocoa Shea Butter with sea Salt and Coconut bits” and shaped into ridiculous things like a sea horse or an open clam with a pearl inside. Is a simple “bar” not good enough? Thing is, as far as soap goes it smells pretty fucking phenomenal – but when you get down to it, it’s just soap.
That smell really carried into the taste as well. Rich, extravagant flavours but bottom line – it was soap. I honestly felt like had I poured it on my hands I could have lathered up with it. No one wants that from their tea…