3137 Tasting Notes
This was a gift from Superanna, who just visited Spice and Tea in Florida near Disney and brought back some pressies for me.
I find this tea aptly named. This is maltier than an English breakfast usually is, and less brisk than an Irish or Scottish breakfast.
I rarely add milk and sugar to my tea and I usually don’t need a caffeine kick or a super strong tea to get me going in the mornings, so there are few breakfast teas on my shelf. I have QueenCatherine which is a blend of three Chinese teas, and I have Premium Keemun from Teavivre, as well as a few Earl Grey renditions. Those are what I consider my breakfast teas.
This tea seems to contain Assam and Keemun teas although the Chinese tea in the mix might be a Panyang. It has a rich, classic breakfast tea aroma but it’s not so brisk that I feel I have to add milk to soften it, nor does it need sugar, especially with food. Even when breakfast was finished and I was having the last cup from the pot, it wasn’t too much for me.
I think this is one of those tees that Ashman will love just as it is. I will enjoy it on days when I want a little “oomph” with my breakfast.
I wasn’t sure how to add this tea because it was bought at Gurman’s in Dublin by Superanna as a gift for me but they tore the word Gurman’s off the label. They also wrote the name of the tea by hand instead of it being printed. The name they wrote was Kitchen of the Witch.
When I went to the website to copy the ingredients to add it to the database, it wasn’t listed as a tea they carry. I searched for other Gurman’s locations and found a tea that looked identical with the mallow blossoms but it was called Water of Life and says it is by Presto, which must be a sister company or something because there are several teas on the site that say Presto in the spot where others say Gurman’s.
This has to be the same tea. On first tasting I thought it was boozy and lightly fruity but there were no ingredients listed on the pouch. The Gurman’s EU listing says it has kombucha powder, so there we have our boozy, tart, and fruity aspects.
My friend had it with me today and really surprised me by saying she liked it even more than Madame Butterfly, their peach green tea! Needless to say, I sent remains of this pouch home with her to enjoy.
September Sipdown Challenge – tea from a favorite vendor
After getting started with grocery store hot tea bags long ago, a friend confided that Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice was her guilty pleasure. I decided to get it for her for Christmas, and Barnes and Noble was having a buy one get two free sale on the Historic Royal Palaces tins. I picked up a Royal English Breakfast for us and the rest is history.
Having nice sachets on hand is why the new neighbor, Sandy on here, decided to take me to A Southern Season to be introduced to the world of bounteous assortments of loose leaf, and then it was Harney and Sons Golden Monkey that took me from a tea with milk and sugar person to a sans additions tea drinker. It was Queen Catherine that converted my bestie from a coffee only person to a mainly tea person.
So Harney and Sons is dear to my heart.
I am loving this blend. So often anything called Gingerbread has so much ginger or clove that I really dislike it. This one is perfect.I had it sans additions today with lunch, though it is awesome as a latte. It is perfect to lend a cozy feel to yet another super cloudy day.
I noticed that this steeps up light which got me wondering what the base is. I wonder if tossing a teaspoon of the Queen in would make it even richer. Or a teaspoon of Vanilla Black or Vanilla Comoro? Honestly that sounds heavenly and I am out of both of those, but I expect that won’t be for long, especially now.
I really shouldn’t since Superanna is bringing me some Warm Bread Pudding tea from her vacation in a few days…somebody talk me out of it.
September Sipdown Prompt – tea from a friend
This is a lovely green tea and I am glad I made a whole pot because I paired it badly this morning.
I bought the dark, hearty flavor maple syrup for my waffles last time, but I think even the delicate would have been a poor choice with this tea. I could hardly taste it at breakfast and I knew it just wasn’t a good pairing – my fault.
Fortunately, there was a lot left to sip on after breakfast, and I am really enjoying it. The company doesn’t mention vanilla, but in addition to the red fruits and floral notes that they say are in here, I get a hint of vanilla. Maybe more than a hint.
It is a tad drying, which means it will pair beautifully with some foods, just not with what I had for breakfast. This would be much better with angel food cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream, or even some little vanilla cake nibbles or fresh fruit. But it is also wonderful on its own.
September Sipdown Prompt – write a love note while drinking tea
I was about eight hours late getting this one done, but my note went to my best friend who is one of the strongest and best women I know. Her note included a sample of Birthday Cake Blend by Simpson & Vail since she loved her last sample so much. I suspect she will order some soon but in the meantime I wanted her to enjoy another big mug of it. Her note is written in a seasonal vintage notecard from boxes of stationary that I saved from my husband’s childhood home after his mother passed away.
This tea that I am drinking, Bouquets of Flowers if you have the tin turned one way and Bouquet de Fleurs the other, is a morning favorite of mine although I see it has a few poor reviews here.
I like floral tea and the bergamot isn’t too strong, not strong enough to hit blergamot territory. The base is a little tart and drying if you are drinking it without having food, but that could probably be remedied with a bit of sugar and/or milk if you don’t like that.
It was my excitement over my S&V order that led my friend to order the holiday assortment that she brought over a few days ago and shared samples with me. Naturally I sent samples home with her from my order!
Ashman and I had this last night, and wow, is it fragrant! It smells like rich vanilla cake. I didn’t tell Ashman what it was and his reaction was funny. He said tobacco at first, then said it was specifically his father’s pipe tobacco, unlit, or walking into The Tinder Box at the mall. (Anybody on here old enough to remember that shop?)
I told him his dad must have smoked vanilla tobacco and he said that was probably the case. I was always partial to the smell of cherry pipe tobacco!
This resteeped like a champ and we combined the two for a really big pot of tea. I am pretty sure this is definite re-order for both my house and for my friend, because she texted me that this blend was AWESOME and she was going to try Lavender Lace before bed. When I texted this morning, she said she kept resteeping Birthday Blend and never got around to Lavender Lace.
I also sent a sampler to a friend several weeks ago for her birthday, and this was the tea she specifically mentioned and described in her thank you note.
September Sipdown Prompt – your most exciting tea
This had a lot of hype and I believed it was likely as good as I have read. I was not disappointed.
We had this as our breakfast tea today. Ashman, who likes only a few black teas without milk and sugar, said that it reminded him of having a cup of hot chocolate…and there was no milk or sugar in it. That is pretty high praise for him.
As for my impressions of it, it is so rich and the more it cools the more chocolate you taste. It says there is vanilla added and I expected to taste a lot of vanilla but I really tasted none, so I think the vanilla must just be there to really bring out and accentuate the rich cocoa notes of this tea.
This is a hearty tea with dignity and refinement. Excellent with food, and excellent without. This is one of those teas that stop you in your tracks if you have been chatting and absentmindedly pick up your cup to sip. You will pay attention to it!
We were making it western style and so far have made three steeps. I still have the leaves in the basket and I think this may be good for one more.
While this is a very exciting tea and I was very excited to try it, I will be totally honest and say that it is my second most exciting tea, but the most exciting one has to wait until exactly the right time to be steeped. It is a very limited edition Da Hong Pao, purchased in London at Postcard Teas by Superanna. They no longer sell tea at their brick and mortar location but had one tin of the three they were able to acquire on site there for photographing and when she asked pretty please they agreed to sell it to her. I am waiting to have that one at an as yet to be determined family gathering.
Ashman is a bigger fan of darjeeling than I am and drank an astonishing amount of this tea this morning. I told him that I made separate teas for us today, and that the big pot was a type he has loved in the past.
When he took his first sip, he closed his eyes and said, “It is especially good today.”
I did have one small cup of it at the beginning of breakfast and I had to agree. It was especially fruity, but by the end of my cup, I was tasting the sharpness that some people love but that puts me off a bit. This profile is much better with food according to my tastes, especially food that needs a tea that can “cut through.”
Darjeeling lovers would really love this tea, as Ashman did.
A friend dropped by with the S&V Holiday sampler today for us to try some of the teas.
This was Ashman’s favorite for drinking as a plain tea, though St. Nick’s won as a blend that would be good plain or as a latte and dessert-like cuppa to top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. He said he is partial to green tea or white tea over black tea generally,
so not a big surprise.
He was a little unsure about the aroma but loved the flavor. They say there is figgy pudding flavor in this, but we have never had figgy pudding so we will take their word for it.
It definitely smells very fruity and I tasted vanilla. I thought I was tasting some clove and Ashman did, too, but there is none here and we decided it was the orange peel mixing with the cinnamon that came across as very mild clove.
This was good, but I don’t know that I need to order it when the cupboard gets lower.