786 Tasting Notes

drank Vanille by Dammann Freres
786 tasting notes

I think with the addition of some cream, this would be a great dessert tea. As it is, without any additions, it’s a really strong vanilla tea. The tea isn’t lost but certainly isn’t the forefront in taste next to the vanilla. It does seem more like a Ceylon than a China black, though the site says it’s a mix – it’s softer than a China black, if that makes any sense. This is a solid vanilla tea. Obviously it uses flavoring but not in a nasty way. So happy to have had this and to have enough to try it again with cream! Thanks, Sil!


i tend to brew these a little cooler and a little longer than my usual 3 mins, boiling


I’ll try that. I did this at just off boiling for about 3 minutes. I’ll go cooler and longer next time!

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Western style, big mug, sweet T-Rex but this is awesome tea! Smooth, thick, sweet, gorgeous leaves, superior scent both dry and steeped liquor. One of the maltiest teas I’ve ever had. This is just a superior tea. Whoever processes does a phenomenal job and the plants must be excellent to produce this kind of a tea. Gorgeous. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about this. If it ever goes away I will be heartbroken.

Oh, and a picture of my little work tea pot. Developing some nice color after a short time.



Looks like I need to get on trying my sample of this…..


Only if you want to have a powerful need to place a What-Cha order soon. :)


Nice crackles



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drank Black King 2015 by Harney & Sons
786 tasting notes

Tried this in a little clay pot a couple of nights ago. I have also tried this gaiwan/cha hai style. I can say definitively that I prefer it Western style. I lose the heavy, savory notes and the buttery nuts in this somehow doing it the other ways. It’s not that it’s a bad tea gongfu-ed, it just isn’t fly me to the moon tea steeped that way.

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Oh… this is so good. Beautiful leaves. Sweet, buttery and thick liquor with the smell of spring moving slowly into summer. Just a phenomenal green tea. Really one of only a couple of green teas I reach for.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Put a bit of this in my little bat pot last night. Had to try out the newly arrived pet and geyao cup from Teaware.house.

This is still a purely awesome tea. Still a malty, caramely, smooth, sweet, bready perfection of a tea.


And today I took the little bat pot and another Teaware.house cup into work. Figured There’s no reason for a cubicle to not have some beauty in it, right? :) Think I’ll take in a second small cup tomorrow. Small enough volume to feasibly offer to share a cup with someone who visits for work related reasons. Tea converts ahoy! :)


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Can’t imagine how I haven’t reviewed this yet. It’s sweet and deep and savory at the same time. Longer steepings bring in that not unpleasant sour note along with a deeper savory nature. Maybe a little ash in the background. And I am not buying more tea this year. Which makes me really sad to note tonight that my supply of this is getting dangerously low.

Having tea with all the pets tonight and using a repaired pot. I didn’t get all the crack sealed, apparently, as it is still leaking a bit. I don’t like the JB Weld repair much since it is shiny. But, it’s better than never using this pot. Maybe if I get back out to Seattle some time, the Market Spice Tea shop will have another one that might not be cracked. :)


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drank Jasmine Pearl by Vital Tea Leaf
786 tasting notes

Not a review for drinking this tea, but rather for sort of cooking with it.

This was originally posted by Tealeaves. I have modified the directions quite a bit to make it very simple.

5 ounce log of goat cheese (chevre)
5-6 teaspoons green jasmine tea (obvs I used jasmine pearls from Vital Tea Leaf)

Grind tea leaves fine in food processor, coffee grinder (one without coffee smell – I use mine for herb grinding not ever for coffee) or even with a mortar & pestle in old-timey manner. Roll cheese log in ground leaves. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Serve on really mildly flavored rice crackers or something similar. Or with a savory rosemary scone. Original recipe suggested drizzling with melted orange marmalade, honey is equally good.

These jasmine pearls have a sweetness to them that I think helps complement the sourness of the cheese. I don’t know how well this would go with a more floral jasmine. But I’ll try eventually. :)


Sounds yum!

Evol Ving Ness

Indeed. Delicious.


Nice idea!


I am going to experiment with some other teas as well. It turned out much better than anticipated. I thought the tea leaves would be dry and prickly and throw off the texture, but after sitting overnight and especially the 2nd day, the moisture in the chevre had really softened them up and the jasmine started to flavor the cheese as well as the tea.

Evol Ving Ness

Mmm, even better.

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drank Honey Jade Oolong by Mountain Tea
786 tasting notes

This is lovely. I’ve had it several times now but am just now doing a note for it. Green oolongs are my favorite oolongs.

Visually this is appealing as are most oolongs. Leaves unfurling to immense sizes compared to the tight little balls they start as. And there are little hints of reddish brown around the edges which is neat.

This one has nice floral notes up front with a light buttery feel. Almost a jasmine but not really. Second steep becomes more like jasmine. It goes well with a jasmine green tea rubbed goat cheese drizzled with a tiny bit of honey. The strong sour notes in the cheese are offset by the floral jasmine tea leaves, which also bring out more jasmine in the tea itself.

Lengthy steeping brings out a faint bitterness so avoid that. I started with about 30 seconds, left leaf in water while drinking, so probably 2:00 for second cup, 4:30 for third, 6:00+ for fourth – by then it was developing some bitter notes. Watch water temp as well.

With the second pitcher, I waited about a minute before pouring the first cup. Third pitcher was still decent.

Fourth pitcher and a large portion of the flavor was gone. So a good 8 ounces, a decent 4 ounces and then a not great but drinkable 4 ounces on a teaspoon and a half of leaves.

And continuing Use All The Teaware month:


I think I got this travel set from Verdant last spring. I really haven’t used it much. It’s pretty but 1) I’m nervous about traveling with glass and 2) the infuser basket takes up a good chunk of water space. It came with 6 cups but you’d only be able to serve 4 mostly full ones on a single steeping. I like the cup size, but for this pitcher, they are too large. Not that it matters tons, I rarely have anyone at all to drink tea in this style with me, much less 6 someones. :)

185 °F / 85 °C

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I love the design of this. The aesthetics really appeal to me. The plunger does indeed stop 95% of steeping. Medium sized and larger leaves don’t skoosh out around the edges, not sure how it would do on something like rooibos.

You can’t toss it in a bag, or even go around curves very fast with it full – liquid will splash out. It’s nice to be able to drink from anywhere around the lid, but not optimal for taking in the car.

Also, it gets really, really uncomfortably hot to hold if you are doing water temps around 200F.

Still searching for a steep and sip travel tea tumbler that isn’t stainless.


totally read that as jellyfish press


On the go jellyfish press. For when you just have to have fresh jelly for that peanut butter sandwich.


Haha weird, I read jellyfish at first too!

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drank Mt. Kenya Black by Justea
786 tasting notes

Still thick, malty and Assamy after a year or more. Not going through this quickly but I am starting to see the bottom of the tin. I can see in a couple of months needing to decide if I should restock this or if the other Assam types of tea I have on hand are good enough/better.

Not lying if I say that a large part of the appeal of this tea is the company and what they are doing. I am happy to see that the site now offers bags as well as tins, though I wish they would say how much tea is in each. I am also guessing that this is now Mount Kenya Black.

Use All The Teaware for this cup is my Emma Bridgewater Badger mug.


And since we are having pizza for dinner, Coke is kind of necessary. Assam types of tea go pretty well with pizza but I just can’t go without a Coke with it. :) And yes, I have been eating and tea-ing my way through today.


I was JUST on Justea’s website today. :D


You are a horrible influence. :)


Mmmmmmm Coke from a bottle!!!!! Almost impossible to find glass bottles here – you don’t realize how much better it is until you can’t find them.
I really need to get more of this. It’s great tea and I too love the work they are doing in Kenya. :)


@Dexter – And it’s Mexican Coke so it has sugar instead of corn syrup. You probably have less expensive shipping and don’t have to deal with crummy currency conversions since they are in Canada, right? … D’oh, just checked the Where to Buy link and apparently there is a store local to me that sells it! Well, I know what I’m doing next Monday!


Shipping sucks even within Canada but being in CAD is a beautiful thing. The USD/CAD exchange is just pathetic right now. My Africa trip is sliding through my fingers because of the exchange rate – it’s just crazy expensive…..
Yay for you being able to buy it locally!!!!


Aw, no. :( Is the exchange rate as stinky for CAD/GBP? Maybe you could find a British company to book through?


I’m finding all the companies are quoting in USD (or courtesy conversion but must be paid in USD)
Waiting til after the holidays to look at one more compromised option – but once you’ve looked at private custom tours it’s hard to go back. You have to do what you can afford, but at what point is no longer what you want to do? Need to decide if I want to compromise or if I want to wait a year or two and see if the dollar recovers. It’s just scary to be at the mercy of exchange rate when it’s plummeting and the “experts” are saying to expect it to fall lower yet.

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Tea afficionado & founder of the Midwest Tea Festival. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)


Kansas City, MO



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