3136 Tasting Notes

drank Salted Caramel by Harney & Sons
3136 tasting notes

November Sipdown Prompt – a tea that disappointed you

I feel really harsh labeling this tea that way. It just came today and Ashman and I had it with dessert after supper, breaking our no caffeine after 3 pm rule.

Ashman liked it from the get-go, saying that it smelled really good when I gave him his cup. And it does smell good. It tastes good, too. So why am I disappointed?

I was expecting it to be decadently rich in every way, but the base feels so thin to me. It had a bit of a metallic or mineral note, so maybe Ceylon?

The caramel tastes like the caramel note of Paris, so that is really good. I don’t taste salt but I think it would be weird if I did. The vanilla lends a lot of comfort to the aroma.

Sipping it by itself, it just fell a little flat for me. While we were eating our kokakia from the Greek spaghetti dinner it was fine, because it didn’t draw any attention to itself whatsoever. (You get a .01 second glimpse of me and Ashman buying it in the video on the WRAL news for Wednesday night. I’m in a grey and white hoodie, left side of screen, ha ha.)

I thought maybe they intended for it to be drunk with milk and sugar to make it really dessert-y, so I added a little half and half and sugar to the tiny bit still in the pot, but it almost just emphasized that the base was weak. Maybe sugar alone would be better. Maybe I can mix it with a plain black tea of more heft and like it more. Maybe I will change my mind and fall in love with it. Time will tell.

This might end up being Ashman’s easy breakfast sachet.

Tomorrow – Alice In Wonderland.

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I had this with lunch, but it is a very generous sample from Michelle and there is enough left to share a pot another day with Ashman since he really enjoys dragon well teas.

There is no sour grass here nor bitterness. It is not the most complex or full bodied dragon well I have tried, but is immensely drinkable and enjoyable. This is a nice, fresh grass and sunshine sort of green and it goes down very easily. Worth purchasing as a daily drinker. Thank you, Michelle!

Michelle

It’s not so memorable, the kind of tea that disappears from your cup and you don’t remember drinking it, but wouldn’t mind another cup. :)

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Sipdown

November Sipdown Challenge – a nutty tea

I had this with Ashman for the first time today. He can be a little picky about black tea and wants milk and sugar with most, although he is finding more and more that he can drink plain. (He never adds anything to puerh, green, oolong, etc.)

It is indeed a very nutty tea. It reminds me a little of Cookie from Lupicia, or even White Christmas, which is the ramped up version of Cookie. I offered to make the final cup after we had finished breakfast with milk and sugar so it would be more dessert-y for him but he said he preferred to finish sans additions. He must have liked it pretty well!

Goes well with foods that might drown out a subtler tea.

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Sample sipdown!

Michelle sent me a generous sample of this tea. I wanted something a bit fun to drink with our lunch Friday since Ashman was off, so I made this hot and we both liked it a lot. I also made some as a sweet iced tea and wow, it was good hot but the sugar really made the watermelon flavor POP! This is one I would love to have around for hot summer weather.

Thank you, Michelle! And your package is finally on the way and should get there Tuesday!

Michelle

I didn’t quite know what to make of this one, but I think it will be best as you describe it, iced in the summer. Thanks in advance for the tea mail :)

ashmanra

You are welcome! There is a Dammann Freres Lapsang for your dad!

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drank Wenshan Baozhong by Harney & Sons
3136 tasting notes

Sipdown!

This is past date but still soooo good. We love it, but we used to reserve it for gong fu and we haven’t done that nearly as much in the past year since caffeine was keeping us awake. I do have some more from a different company, but this is definitely a someday re-order.

The smell of the dry leaf and wet leaf can be a bit spinach-y but the steeped tea is smooth magnolia. It is such a delight to serve to guests who are not familiar with oolong when you want to show them how the leaf sweeps and how the aromas change.

Worth every penny.

Kelmishka

You’re really selling this one! Sounds delightful.

ashmanra

It is one of our all time favorites!

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Sipdown!

I can’t believe there are no notes from anyone on this tea, but especially none from me,even though I am finishing it today. Perhaps my notes were eaten in one of the great Steepster shutdowns.

This is a great tea, leaning toward the darker side of oolong. Color in the pot is ruby red and in the cup a nice black tea shade of medium amber. Definitely has raspy cacao mouthfeel, awesome with food because it clears the palate and nice even after the bagel is but a memory because it is so strong as to make it unpalatable. There is a little nuttiness, toasted. It leaves a slightly smokey aftertaste as well. But even with all that, I don’t perceive it as a super strong oolong and it doesn’t need any smoothing.

As a tea-related aside – I was reading a novel set in London and it mentioned The Rare Tea Company. I emailed and asked if it was really specifying them and they wrote back and said, “Yes, and here is an article to enjoy!” So I will share it with you, too! I guess I need to go order some Lost Malawi tea now…

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/31/tea-drink-alexander-mccall-smith

Leafhopper

I’ve read a memoir by Henrietta Lovell, who owns The Rare Tea Company. It was entertaining, and I kept ticking off the teas I’ve tried and the ones I wanted to get to.

ashmanra

I need to look for her book. I wasn’t aware of it! I want to order the Lost Malawi soon.

beerandbeancurd

Ah, how cool!

Leafhopper

I think the book is called Infused. I read it a few years ago. Lost Malawi is a wonderful name for a tea!

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November Sipdown Challenge Prompt – a smoky tea

Sample sipdown This came from Michelle, so many thanks to you!

I was surprised to see that I have had this one before. In addition to having some Lapsangs in swaps, I ordered a lot of samples from Upton many years ago when I was purchasing Black Dragon and Baker Street.

This was really nice today. Ashman doesn’t like Lapsang or even tea with natural smoky notes so I had this all to myself.

This is very smoky – he would have called it camp fire instead of smoked meat. The nice thing about this one is the base. It has a little more heft behind the smoke. Black Dragon was good, but over time I began to feel that the base was too thin on that one for me.

Thank you, Michelle!

Michelle

Glad you liked it!

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drank Hojicha Powder by Den's Tea
3136 tasting notes

November Sipdown Challenge – National Candy Day

I don’t have a candy flavored tea although I could have stretched my imagination to include some of my fruity or dessert inspired ones. Instead I went with having a cold hojicha latte and two tiny pieces of leftover Halloween candy outside since we are having such a warm, sunny day.

I have had this before but didn’t make a note and I wish I had, because I am a bit stuffy from allergies today and my sense of taste is a little dulled.

Overall, the texture was fine, not gritty. I added about two teaspoons of sugar and then half the milk, frothed and mixed with an aerolatte and then topped off with more milk. I used to underestimate how frothy it gets and make a mess on the counter so this way works better for me. It was almost like drinking a glass of chocolate milk, but for me chocolate milk would have competed with the candy and would not have tasted as good.

This is not even close to a sipdown, as there is a lot in the pouch. I would definitely buy it again. I like it as well as the ones from 3 Leaf Tea so far.

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drank Sweet Zhang by 52teas
3136 tasting notes

Sipdown

I had this yesterday with Ashman and finished the last bit today on my own. Every time we drink it, Ashman asks me if there is chocolate in it, and I tell him there is only vanilla. It is very rich so I see where he gets that from the combination of the natural flavor notes with the vanilla.

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drank Cerisier by Lupicia
3136 tasting notes

November Sipdown Prompt – National Stress Awareness Day

Yesterday and today have both been extremely stressful. I need more than one minute of being aware of my breath to get through this.

I think I will finish this and go to bed and hope tomorrow is better.

As for the tea – this is sweet cherry rather than tart, like Luden’s cough drops or a very particular lollipop I used to buy near Valentine’s Day but could never remember the brand and often ended up with a more lackluster type.

gmathis

Was the lollipop heart shaped? If it was, I can almost taste it now.

Kelmishka

Here’s to a less-stressful Thursday!

ashmanra

gmathis – I haven’t bought them in years, but I am pretty sure that Charms was not the right brand. I think they were smallish and they may have been heart shaped. I should google it!

Kelmishka – yes, please, a better day Thursday would be lovely!

looseTman

Good morning ashmanra,
I hope today is a much better day for you, at least a tea-riffic beginning!

ashmanra

Thank you, looseTman! The day began with going to the eye doctor with Ashman for an ulcer beside his iris that was causing him pain. But we have his eye drops and got to enjoy looking around Barnes & Noble!

gmathis

Somebody—how about a tea that tastes like what B&N (or any other good bookshop) smells like?

ashmanra

I did a big inhale when we walked in and enjoyed the aroma, even though I am not a coffee drinker and it mostly smells like coffee.

Michelle

For a used bookstore, I’d go with smelling like a sheng puerh like this one https://steepster.com/teas/butiki-teas/46170-1989-suncha-blend

gmathis

I’m going to have to broaden my puerh horizons. I’ll bet that smells more like the pages than the coffee, yes?

Michelle

I think most sheng has a nice musty smell. If you like that sorta thing.

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Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about fourteen 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.

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

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North Carolina

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