89 Tasting Notes
I happened upon this one at my local tea shop this afternoon. I’ve been experiencing the GI joys of diverticulitis and recently read that green tea can be helpful for that condition. Green tea seems to be quite the panacea, effective for a multitude of miseries.
What a wonderful medicinal – No spoonful of sugar needed to help this medicine go down!
The dry leaf smell is sweet and mildly floral. As the tea steeps the aroma is very strongly evocative of oolong. The flavor too suggests oolong, along with floral notes of chrysanthemums and wildflower blossoms with a bit of honey. There is a mild vegetal note – Just enough to remind you that it’s a green tea you’re drinking.
I was a little leery about the 190F brewing temperature, but no bitterness. I used 3 generous teaspoonfuls for a 16 ounce pot and steeped for four minutes.
Yunnan Orchid Green is a lovely green tea – One of the very best I’ve had. My tummy feels better already.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Sweet, Vegetal
Oh my! This is a delightful Assam tea. I’m getting lots of sweet stone fruit flavors of bright cherry and deep, ripe plum. It’s pleasantly malty and smooth – Very smooth. There are no bitter notes or rough edges, only a pleasant astringency typical of Assams. Overall the tea was creamy and sweet. I detected a smidge of cocoa.
For those who are Assamaphobic, this Assam would be a safe choice – Sturdy, but oh so gentle and completely delicious!
Thanks for the sample, Josh! I loved every sip!
Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Creamy, Plums, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet
When I was in Paris a few years ago, right before bedtime I would head to the little cafe around the corner from my hotel to people watch and wind down with a cup of chamomile tea. It was very good chamomile tea that I often drank with a sweet. I learned that chamomile tea is especially good with just about any French pastry! By the end of my stay the waiter would see me, smile and exclaim, “Ah! Monsieur Chamomile!” Happy memories!
Anyway, this tea is absolutely the best chamomile that l’ve had since then. It’s appley sweet like chamomile is supposed to be. No off or bitter flavors that I have encountered in lower quality brands. It’s organic too. If you’re a Monsieur or Madame Chamomile like moi you will not find better! Now, maybe un petit peu de chocolat. Bonne nuit mes amis!
Flavors: Apple, Sweet
A poor man’s Darjeeling. This British legacy tea treasure has significantly more muscatel flavor than even the venerable (and expensive!) Jungpana Estate second flush Darjeeling that I drank yesterday evening, and it’s half the price!
As it steeped, the aroma was actually a little reminiscent of Jade Tieguanyin oolong. The taste was mildly floral and subtly sweet, with lemony notes and a forest hint of pine. This high grown Ceylon is quite like a fine first flush Darjeeling – Margaret’s Hope first flush, one of my favorites, pops to mind. There was just a pleasant bit of astringency. Although it’s light bodied, Lover’s Leap Estate Ceylon stood up beautifully to my vegetarian Hungarian chicken paprika and noodles, Italian green salad with extra garlic onion dressing, and dark chocolate eclair dessert of my Sunday supper.
This second review of Lover’s Leap confirmed my findings of the first – What a delightful, delicious Darjeeling double!
Flavors: Floral, Forest Floor, Muscatel, Pine, Sweet
Viennese Earl Grey is the smoothest EG I’ve ever had. The bergamot is perfect – Not overpowering or perfumy at all. The Darjeeling base is wonderfully fruity. Indeed, it compliments the citrusy bergamot fabulously, adding a bit of sweetness. This medium body tea stood up well to a bit of milk and honey – Not that it needed any! I was just feeling a little decadent this Saturday evening.
Based on a blend by Demmers Teehaus in Vienna, Austria, this Teutonic take on the British classic is definitely my new go to EG. Heavenly with my chocolate chip cannoli for desert!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet
Classic tea. Bouquet of Flowers No. 108, created in 1880 by Pavel Kousmishoff in St. Petersburg, Russia to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Elizabeth, is Kusmi Tea’s oldest blend. It was the favorite tea of Tsar Nicholas II. Fast forward 136 years later and 7000 miles west to a Russian tea lover in Richmond, Virginia, USA. It is a sunny springtime Sunday afternoon and I am feeling a bit nostalgic today. April in Virginia is glorious! Drinking Bouquet of Flowers just seems right as I gaze thankfully into the garden at my flowers that survived last night’s frost – Hopefully our last! I think that the odd spring cold snap must have put me in the mood for something Russian.
I love all things floral and I especially love floral teas. A brazen, unapologetic floral fiend I am! That said, I honestly think that many folks with floral fears in regard to tea might just find this tea to be quite acceptable.
The dry leaf smells mostly of lavender, and there is a hauntingly pleasant woody scent that calls to my mind the smell of an old antiques shop or, perhaps, the library of an old English country estate. That kind of woody scent. There is a bit of spicey sweetness in the fragrance that lingered into the three minute steep.
Flavor wise, the tea base of Ceylonese, Chinese and Indian tea creates a very smooth base, with a pleasant bit of bread and malt, along with the woody note. The main floral note is lavender, but it is not overwhelming or perfumey. I also detected a hint of sweet violet. The citrus components from the bergamot, mandarin, lemon and lime work very well to keep the floral components in check.
This is a tea of masterful synchronicity. Everything comes together just right to produce the classic cup of Imperial Russian tea. It makes a fabulous afternoon tea – Great with sweets! The fact that Bouquet of Flowers No. 108 has been around for over 130 years says something. I am surprised that this tea is not more highly rated. As far as I’m concerned, if it was good enough for Tsar Nicholas II it is certainly good enough for little old me.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Citrus, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Malt, Sweet, Violet, Wood
Roses for the Queen. What a superb idea! I’ve been on one of my Keemun kicks here lately. Whenever that happens I tend to spend a great deal of time at the court of gracious Queen Catherine who benevolently bestows upon me her rich gifts of fine, sweet cocoa and malt. With a deep sense of gratitude I decided to bring her roses, a gift for her unrelenting kindness and grace. She loved them!
Two parts Queen Catherine and one part Harney’s Rose Scented Black was spot on perfect. I used one heaping teaspoon of this blend to eight ounces of 205F water and steeped for three and a half minutes. Just right! Although no additions were needed, a jot of milk and a dash of sugar only enhanced the rosy chocolate treasures of the tea.
The Queen loved my roses so much I’m thinking knighthood here. I see a long and happy future for myself at good Queen Catherine’s rosy court.