2371 Tasting Notes

This is a sample I found last night as I was making supper. We were having Japanese eggplant and red sweet pepper (from our garden) with carrot and onion tossed with Asian noodles and a lightly creamy sauce made with beef broth, soy sauce, and mayo. Since the meal had an Asian vibe even though it wasn’t strictly Asian, I thought I would pair it with a green tea rather than serving the sweet hibiscus tea already iced in the fridge.

Wow. This was amazing with the meal. When a green tea has some astringency or briskness, you can eat a fairly heavy or flavorful food and still REALLY taste the tea. This one came across as super sweet vegetal. Think of ultra sweet sugar snap peas. It also put me in mind of some raw corn on the cob that an old farmer at the state farmer’s market would entice people to try. It was so sweet, some people preferred it uncooked. THAT was what this tea reminded me of.

Once the food was gone, I kept sipping. Now the briskness is apparent, but not unpleasant. The flavor has a real mouth-filling richness.

I told my husband that my affection for this tea has tied it with my love for HuangShan Mao Feng. Alas, it is no longer available. Good thing I just got a big pouch of HuangShan in the mail….

Kawaii433

The Japanese eggplant-noodle dish sounds heavenly, Ashmanra <3. The tea does too! :D

ashmanra

Thanks, Kawaii433! It is both quick to make and tasty to eat, which makes it a frequent meal here using whatever veggies we have on hand, especially good if the garden is still producing. We are coming to the end of the season but we had a decent haul this year!

gmathis

You had me until you said mayo :)

ashmanra

Only a dollop for the creaminess! You can substitute sour cream!

mrmopar

Yeah we are closing up the garden as well. Love the fresh stuff we get from it. Ever tried Ponzu?

ashmanra

Thanks to you, I have a bottle or two on hand! You recommended it a year or two ago and I bought some. It is good!

mrmopar

We love it. We found a lime version of it too.

ashmanra

That’s the one in the fridge right now!

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I came on here this morning to remove a couple of teas that I have finished lately…only to discover that I had never added them to cupboard. Sigh.

I have actually been icing this one because it is so blasted hot and sticky here still and I thought the orange aspect would be refreshing and would take sugar well. It does, indeed.
Although I have enough left to drink this one more time, I am going to be cheeky and remove it from my cupboard so I can bask in the glow of a sipdown.

I did order two teas recently but they were desert island teas. My tea shelves are starting to look a lot less messy and I am loving it.

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drank Vanilla Jasmine by Golden Moon Tea
2371 tasting notes

I came on here looking forward to clicking the old “Remove from Cupboard”, but apparently never added it in the first place. This is a great tea so it isn’t as if I am glad to see it go. I AM glad to be clearing out some of my oldest teas, and I am happy – no, ECSTATIC, to say that my tea shelves are not looking as messy. A lot of tea is a blessing. Too much tea is a guilt trip. And yes, I have given away tea over and over again! Sometimes by the boxful!

This is heavy on the vanilla and it always tastes a bit like root beer to me, although sometimes I think it is more like cream soda. Make it strong, sweeten and add spoarkling water and you have a lovely summer refresher.

I will rebuy it one day when I have cleared out the cupboard a bit more, probably.

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drank Wenshan Baozhong by Harney & Sons
2371 tasting notes

Midnight front porch gongfu! Tonight we are getting a break from the blasted miserable heat and I wanted to really enjoy it. It rained a little while, and when I opened the front door to see if it was still raining it was so cool. Only 65F! There were still raindrops dripping off the roof and crickets are chirping everywhere. The mosquitos have gone to bed apparently. So I suggested tea on the porch!

I used my yixing to prepare this and we each had a little white chocolate Godiva bonbon. I almost made a cheese plate, but the last time I did that it was a really strong cheese and it didn’t play nicely with the tea. My husband kept saying “perfect, perfect” when he had his bonbon. He loved the white chocolate with this tea.

Tonight it was extra floral and had really nice body with a lightly creamy mouthfeel. This tin is pretty fresh and I hope I have learned my lesson about letting really good tea sit around past its prime. No more. The first tin I ever bought sat around because I had way more tea than I could drink in a reasonable of time and it really lost its shine. It is worth every penny paid for it, as long as I drink it in a reasonable amount of time.

Leafhopper

I have trouble with this. I tend to hoard really good tea, perhaps long past its prime.

ashmanra

Same here, Leafhopper. I have a really good tea sitting in my kitchen right now that has lost everything that was nice about it. Trying to decide whether to toss it or ice it.

Super Starling!

I love that your partner will drink tea with you. My husband refers to mine as “ruined water.” ;)

Ilse Wouters

I also admit I tend to buy too many different teas, way more than what I can possibly drink! Have you already encountered a tea past its prime that is really worth it when iced then?

ashmanra

Super Starling: I am glad he drinks tea with me, too! He won’t choose. He used to say his review was, “It is hot and has tea like qualities.” But lately he has been saying how the tea FEELS to him, or what body it has, so he is coming along. Once when we were having a very expensive dragonwell, he said, “This is really good…it’s expensive, isn’t it?” Ha ha! He was right!

ashmanra

Ilse: I ice it because my husband will down a gallon in a single weekend. I don’t worry about how good it is! It is very hot here and he spends most of his time in his workshop or in the garden, so he consumes large amounts of iced tea and isn’t picky about it. I let a lovely watermelon oolong go past its freshest point and we are drinking that iced now. It is good, the melon flavor is much lighter than it was last year, but it is better than grocery store stuff.

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drank Gong Fu Black by Zhi Tea
2371 tasting notes

I hadn’t had this tea in about 8 years, and I got another sample of it not long ago. After these two very positive experiences with it, I really should order some, but my tea wall is groaning under the weight of the tea I already have!

I reviewed it for Sororitea Sisters and here is the link: http://sororiteasisters.com/2019/07/22/gong-fu-black-zhi-tea/

But since I don’t like to click on links, here is the review!

Really wanting to use my new gaiwan tonight, I pawed through my tea samples and my eye fell on this. Perfect! I don’t have to wonder if it is a good candidate for the gaiwan. The name tells me so!

The leaves are thin and twisted, and very dark. They have that heady chocolate aroma you find in black and oolong tea sometimes. After warming the gaiwan and allowing the leaves to rest in it for a moment, the scent is now much nuttier.

I experimented a bit and found that I like this one to have a little more time than I would give some teas. It didn’t become bitter – the main incentive for keeping a steep short would be to prevent bitterness – so I let those warm, rich flavors develop over a few extra seconds. The darkest steep was my favorite.

The tea is creamy, nutty, with a little hint of cocoa. It is so smooth that even a black tea phobe drinking with me liked it plain. Although there is virtually no astringency, there is the slightest briskness that develops over time in a very pleasant way. Walnut is the flavor that I most notice lingering.

I lost count but my guess is that we had about seven or eight steeps from this session. Overall, a very pleasant tea. I definitely want to have a look at this company’s other offerings, as well!

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Steepster isn’t letting me send messages, so

Kawaii: My package arrived today! Many, many thanks!

HaChaChaCha: I will reply as soon as I can!

This is a sample I ordered to revisit all the Keemuns Teavivre sells. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. With my everything bagel, it was a great breakfast tea. I still prefer Premium Keemun Hao Ya for breakfast, but this one was nice and would be a great economy tea.

It is lightly brisk, moderately bread and cocoa-y, with a hint of smoke in the aroma. Not far from Queen Catherine but without the extra layers blending gives her. We actually had it yesterday for tea time and I had the leftover tea reheated for breakfast – two cups. It was great for either application, and both were with food. Yesterday we had tomato soup (tomatoes from my garden) and peach dumplings in puff pastry with caramel inside. So with a lot of strongly flavored food like that, you don’t need to waste your expensive and highly nuanced tea.

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This is sadly good-bye to Nature’s Tea Leaf, both this tea and the company. This is the last little scrap of leaves from the last bag of all the tea I have ordered from them. I just looked at the reviews for this tea and almost everyone had received it as a free sample from the company. I drank my free sample and ordered more.

This is old. I was looking forward to clicking “Remove From Cupboard” just to celebrate a sipdown but saw that I had never added it to my cupboard. That happens a lot.

As old as it was, it was very good. It seems strange to say but my first impressions if this tea were the same tea-sipper was getting from a Yunnan Dian Hong. After I warmed the gaiwan and added the leaves, I literally held it to my husband and said smell it! It smells like chocolate! Not cacao nibs this time, but real chocolate, like a candy bar. After the rinse,mit was chocolate and SMOKE. But the taste was neither!

The taste was warm, sweet hay. It was fresh and light, but not weak. My husband said he really loved this one. He is trying to describe the tea now, whereas he used to joke and say “it is hot and has tea-like qualities.” For this one, he said, “I would say it is very soothing to my throat, but that implies that I had an ache and I didn’t.” I asked if it was the complete lack of astringency and briskness that he liked, and he thought that was it.

I was on a mailing list, so I am a bit sad that the company didn’t let us know they were closing, but it must be very hard to shut down a company that you believed in and worked to make successful. I wish them the best in their next endeavors.

tea-sipper

So Nature’s Tea Leaf isn’t coming back… I know on their website they said they would be back for a while… but now it seems their site isn’t working at all. Too bad. I really wanted to stock up on their chocolate tea.

gmathis

I miss them, too!

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drank Je T'Aime by THE O DOR
2371 tasting notes

This was a sipdown! Today was tea party day (yes, that is still happening!) and this was our tea for the sweets part. Lunch was black bean soup and sweet cornbread muffins paired with Queen Catherine. I felt I needed a somewhat hardy black tea to go with a bold lunch. Since I have made notes on QC about fifty times, I will just review this one!

For afters, we had Oreo Thins in coconut flavor, lemon Oreos, and Bounty bars, which is like an Almond Joy minus the almonds for all the Americans who have never heard of it! There were also Reese’s Chips Ahoy cookies. There was a lot of coconut going on and this went really well with it.

I may have overleafed a little since I was using up the very last of the bag but I made up for it by adding a little extra hot water to the pot when I transferred it. (Sometimes I make the tea in one pot and move it to another, especially if I am combining steeps.)

This is a wonderfully aromatic tea and I am shocked that I am finishing it and there are no reviews posted from me on it. The black tea base really comes through nice and strong and doesn’t need milk or sugar but could deffo handle it. The flavorings don’t make the tea flavor but they are prominent, not wimpy. This is a little malty and also a little creamy. A good bit of almond and coconut flavor, and I feel like I taste hazelnut (Nutella style) as well.

Sil

maybe steepster ate them.

this IS a good one :)

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drank Milky Oolong by Harney & Sons
2371 tasting notes

I was disappointed the first time I tried this. I love JE Milky from The O Dor but it is $$$. This is really, REALLY inexpensive. So I was bummed that it wasn’t even close to being as good as my fave.

Then I remembered that I love Bird Pick’s Premium Silky Green – which they market as a green tea but is deffo a milk oolong – made at 175F for three minutes. So I gave this a try that way and it is delish! We had it with breakfast and made a resteep. There was a lot left of the resteep and it had cooled completely by lunchtime so I drank it cold and loved it. This tin will be gone in no time, and I really think I will repurchase to keep as a daily drinker.

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drank Huang Guan Yin by Harney & Sons
2371 tasting notes

I ordered a sample of this because 1. I love Huang Shan Mao Feng and 2. I love Tie Guan Yin. This is completely different from those two. And I love it.

This tea is also known as yellow goddess and golden jade oolong. I think there are a few more names as well, as it is a somewhat recent hybrid.

This is the second time I have had this tea. The first time, I made it the way the website recommends, and it was really good, but it didn’t taste exactly as the website described to me. It was certainly highly floral in aroma, but at 212F and 4 minutes, it had a savory aftertaste. It was good, but they didn’t mention savory.

Tonight, I had only about a teaspoon of my sample left so I made this is tiny amounts. I forgot it was supposed to be boiling water and used about 180F. Glory hallelujah this is good! It is so much more floral and there is a milder, sweeter flavor. I really love this, so much so that I went to the website to order but then I saw why I only bought a sample. But you know what? You only live once, and life is too short to drink bad tea. In this case, life is too short to deny yourself good tea if you really, really like it.

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Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about ten years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

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North Carolina

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