985 Tasting Notes
Second tea of the morning…..
I have been so excited to try this. I have been curious about Frank’s new black tea base…..I have to admit, it is a winner. Nice and smooth…tastes like good black tea but is not in your face so that it can better highlight Frank’s awesome flavor ideas. You have to admit, the man does tea like no other.
On that good black base, is the flavor of cotton candy! Sweet that is definitely cotton candy, and maybe cheap strawberry candy (you know, the stuff you could not get enough of as a kid! I am thinking strawberry taffy-ish stuff….) This has been a great little flavor trip down memory lane, and I am so happy that it includes tea as well. I love fun tea!
Usual teapot method.
Iced tea of the day……
This pitcher has 4 scoops of thepuriTea’s Earl Grey and one tea bag of Lupicia’s Sakurambo from my New Year’s Happy Bag brewed up in my usual method for iced tea. I was to the point where both were on my cut list, but it is hard to just dump/rehome over 5 ounces of the first and 9 tea bags of the second. Hence, this was born. I am trying to do some serious stash busting and was to the point where the Earl Grey did not really appeal much to me even iced, as I have so many others that I love. Since my first sample of the Sakurambo bag of 10 sachets, it really has not appealed to me at all.
However, the combination of the two is really pretty good! I get light notes of bergamot and the sweetness of Japanese cherry. The iced version is nice and smooth. And I will be doing this 8 more times for sure! So glad this worked out. I guess once the Sakurambo is gone, I can try another berry flavored tea to perk up this Earl!
Tea of the morning…..
I am about halfway through this tin. It is a very rich Keemun, but there is a definite after-bite. I am sure it is a great example of a high quality Keemun, but I am finding that the higher grades other then Mao Feng don’t appeal as much as they used to. The last two ounces of this are probably going to be filed into my Franken Breakfast blending box. I am sure I can blend something with this to smooth it out for my palate.
Backlogging tea of yesterday afternoon…..
Very pretty! Long wiry black leaves with rose petals and pieces of citrus peel. Dry leaf smells strongly of chocolate, but there is not much of the bergamot. I will do a more in depth review later, but my first impressions of the brewed tea were heavy on the dark chocolate (definitely not in a bad way, though) and very light on the bergamot and rose. I also had time for only one steeping. I am going to let it sit for a week to see if the flavor oils will blend in a little more before trying it again. Right now, I wish the bergamot was a little more present.
Usual mug method.
Another tea of the afternoon…..
This is the second tea in my recent Dammann Freres order. I am always on the look out for a good Earl Grey. It is definitely my tea preference in the warmer months. I was looking for an Earl Grey at Dammann that was available loose (because the loose teas packaged in a bag are a great value in my opinion!), and this is what I picked because it seemed the simplest Earl in their current offerings. They do have one with Yin Zen white tips in the black tea blend, but this one just looked prettier. In sachets, they also have a plain Earl Grey. Since the blue flowers in this one are cornflowers and not lavender, I figured I would be safe (as lavender is usually a turn off for my palate.)
This is really good! I would call it lower on the bergamot intensity, but not as low as something like Earl Grey Supreme from Harney. It is more like a mellow version of bright bergamot. Let me explain that! My favorite Earl Grey has bright notes of bergamot…kind of an in your face bergamot that leans slightly orangey. You definitely know it is there. That version works because it is on a slightly stronger tea base. Since the tea base here is a little more relaxed, and the bergamot level is perfectly matched to the strength of the base, it is a more mellow and relaxed version of my favorite. No hints of floral on the perfumey side which I don’t like at all, but leaning slightly to the orange side of bergamot. I now count this one among my favorites.
Usual mug method.
Tea of the afternoon…..
I almost typed “second tea of the morning”, but we are getting a slow start today. Yesterday was full of activity, and it ended with going to the Drive In Movie to see “Brave” and the “Avengers”. If you know anything about that kind of movie watching, it means a late night as the second show did not even start until nearly midnight. We are moving a little slow today. The kids slept in until noon. Ahh, Summer. But man we need to work on readjusting our schedule a little!
It took just a little over a week to receive an order from Dammann in Ohio. They provide great tracking, but unless you know French, you will need to type a few things into Google Translate. There are a few fields on the page returned from tacking that did not translate in my browser. I did have to sign for mine, so that is also something to keep in mind.
Onto the tea…I purchased a tin/caddie as well as a 100g bag of Gout Russe. Originally, I was thinking that Gout Russe (the tin) and Gout Russe Douchka (the loose version) were two different teas, but it seems they are the same since the tin actually reads Gout Russe Douchka, too. I wish I had ordered something different, but I do love this one, so I am sure I will drink it. The bags for loose tea are not actually sealed, but the roll up kind with a long bendable tab. They did send a few sachets for sampling.
Wonderful China black tea base with orangey citrus done so well it almost leans slightly foral. I love this!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…..
My first order from Verdant! I am definitely impressed. I ordered a few ounces of this along with the new Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black. Really, it was the new Alchemy blend that put me over the edge, because this company has been on my list for a long time. I also received a sample of the Yunnan Jin Jun Mei….I was hoping my sample would be another black tea because I completely forgot to request one! I am so excited to try them all as I’m a stuck in a phase where only black teas sound good and my greens, oolongs, and a few whites are probably feeling neglected. I think in this instance, it just makes sense to go with it, rather than forcing myself to drink all of the lovely teas that are not in the category I am craving.
This is rich and wonderful. I get notes of dark chocolate, and even a bit of coffee. It is very thick on the palate for a black tea. While it does not have much in the way of smokey notes like my beloved Keemun Mao Feng, this will definitely need to be renamed my beloved Laoshan Black. It kind of reminds me of Emperor’s Red from Premium Steap and tastes like a more refined version of some of the gong fu blacks I have been drinking. I am thoroughly enjoying it, and a little sad I did not try it sooner.
Mug method with a resteep only minutes away. Just the lightest touch of sweet to bring out the dark chocolate notes, even though this is a black tea that I could drink straight.
Edit to add: Second steep was fabulous. I agree with Angrboda that it is cinnamony! I upped the rating a little. LOVE!
Tea of the morning….
I needed this today. Just enough smoke to wake me up. A good balance of malt and kick. Lower on the cocoa notes and honey notes that I usually drink. A hint of breadiness.
I highly recommend playing around with your moderate to inexpensive teas to come up with something completely suited to your palate. It is like home in the morning, if that makes sense.
Special thanks to ScottTeaMan for the awesome product pic!
Usual teapot method.
Backlogging tea of yesterday afternoon… (SRP #47)
This one is from Dinosara! Thank you for the chance to try this one.
I was not sure what to expect, but with Earl and Grey in the title, I thought it would be something I would enjoy. I steeped it up at least twice, and sipped it a few times, but it did not hold my interest for very long. I don’t think that is completely the fault of the tea. I was not expecting the prevalent notes of vanilla/cream and a perfumy version of bergamot. I think it is just slightly on the soapy side of floral. I am also not in a phase where I like vanilla much. Vanilla seems to be seasonal for me in that I appreciate it more in the cooler months. I am not rating this one as it was a poor choice for timing on my part and I should have at least saved the sample until Fall. As far as it being a cream version of Earl Grey, I do think it an interesting one. I am just leaning toward citrus and berry versions more and more in the warm months.
I am glad to have tried it, though. The perfumy bergamot is probably a deal breaker for me at this point even though it is light.
Usual mug method.
Backlogging tea of the morning….. (SRP #46)
I really do like this one. I almost bought without sampling just because many of those who like similar teas than me are fans of this one. But then I remembered that I had many versions of a good basic black tea in my cupboard at this time. So I opted for a sample to see if it would be good for purchasing at a later date.
For those who are not fans of the smokey notes in Keemun, this one is for you. Lightly chocolatey, malty, a hint of caramel, and a light bit of bite at the front of the sip to make it interesting. I do think it is worthy of having a place in my cupboard, but I need to pare down the stash of good basic blacks for a little while longer. It is going on the list.
Usual teapot method. Lightly sweetened.