89 Tasting Notes

100

Watching Phantom of the Opera with my boys, Dennis and Forest, my kitty kids. Between doling out treats and giving tummy rubs I am enjoying Royal Wedding from Harney & Sons.
The coconut and almond flavors compliment the natural sweetness of the Mutan White base very nicely, with the merest wisp of rose working well in the background. Very creamy and smooth. As another reviewer noted, the taste is not unlike carrot cake, a carrot cake with a rich, decadent frosting! Royal Wedding is undoubtedly the best flavored white blend I’ve had.
An old movie, my kitties and a great cup of tea, life is very good indeed. I think I’ll have another cup if Dennis and Forest will allow me to get up!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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100
drank Traktir by Kusmi Tea
89 tasting notes

I love Russian tea! Along with their venerable Anastasia blend, Traktir is my favorite of the eight Kusmi blends that I have had the pleasure of drinking. It’s subtly smoky and sweet with mild notes of citrus and spice, evocative of caravan campfires and camels laden with luxuries from the East. It’s a tea that makes me long to own an antique samovar.
The day after I received this tea along with three free samples, I received another package in the mail from Kusmi with more free samples! Merci and cпасибо, Kusmi!

Flavors: Citrus, Smoke, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
89 tasting notes

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100

Spending this frigid Sunday evening in my warm and cozy Darjeeling Bungalow again. In addition to the usual warm buttered toast, nuts and muscatel grapes set before me on the Bungalow’s table, tonight there’s some nice yummy stone fruit! The Bungalow is a very fine place indeed to while away the hours, especially on a cold winter’s night!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Violet by Kusmi Tea
89 tasting notes

Burrrrrrr! It’s cold as a witch’s you know what outside and I need a little vernal action! Enter Kusmi’s Violet tea.
I am a floral fan, no doubt about that – rose, jasmine, lavender, lychee, orange blossom, osmanthus – I love ‘em all! This is my first violet tea, and it is quite wonderful. It’s floral alright but not overly so. I firmly believe that nonfloral folks would be just fine with this tea – Kusmi is big on subtlety. A four minute steep at 90C yielded a mildly floral tea that was very smooth, even creamy, with a wisp of vanilla. The natural floral, violet sweetness worked brilliantly with the China base. The flavor really is candy like, with no additions required for this cup!
This is the tea that I will drink whilst dreaming about spring. Perhaps, if I remain a well behaved tea drinker, the Easter Bunny will leave me an extra tin of this next month on Easter morning – Better retract that witch comment!

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Sweet, Vanilla, Violet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

It sure blows hot and cold in these parts. Last Sunday I was trudging through 16 inches of snow. This Sunday we’re having lunch on the patio by the fish pond enjoying the sunshiny 65F degree weather! Welcome to Richmond!

I thought a nice first flush Darjeeling befitting to celebrate this gorgeous foretaste of spring. Darjeeling Tukduh TGFOP from Culinary Teas is quite stout for a first flush, to say the least. It’s wondrously nutty and floral with up front, in your face muscatel. A first flush on steroids. I’m loving the hell out of every sip!

Lifting my tea mug to my fellow Steepsterites – Here’s to an early spring!

Flavors: Floral, Muscatel, Nutty

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

The weather has been all over the place here in the Canadian prairies too!

Nicole

It has been so much like spring I’ve been getting cleaning fever! Been having to remind myself that we are supposed to have snow next week. :)

Teatotaler

These precious little snippets of spring are almost cruel. Especially with all of February looming before us. One good thing going for us in Virginia is that me mercifully have a nice little warmup afterwards – Most of the time.

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100
drank Lover's Leap by Harney & Sons
89 tasting notes

Heavens to Betsy! This tea is really yummy! After Darjeeling, Ceylon teas are my favorite. Lover’s Leap is a good example of why I adore Ceylons so much.

As I first inhaled the scent of the dry leaves I was rewarded with a Darjeelingesque aroma. As the tea was steeping the aroma became reminiscent of Tie Guan Yin oolong. Interesting.
After a three and a half minute steep at 205F, the light amber liquor yielded a light bodied, but very flavorful tea. To my palate this tea could be Darjeeling’s Sri Lankan cousin. The flavor is brisk, bright and floral, with a bit of mild, citrus astringency. I even caught a fleeting glimpse of muscatel! I totally agree with another reviewer who described the floral note as resembling jasmine. Enchanting herbal and forest notes were present too. I would not dream of any additions to this tea – Although, perhaps, a drop of orange blossom honey might compliment things nicely.

Lover’s Leap Ceylon was full of pleasant little aroma and flavor surprises. Another wonderful Ceylon! Another forever tea!

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Floral, Forest Floor, Herbs, Jasmine, Muscatel

Preparation
1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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100

Snow day? Really? Must be nice. I’m a nurse. There is no such thing as a snow day for medical personnel. Blizzard, hurricane, earthquake, nuclear strike, super volcano eruption, asteroid collision, catastrophic reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, The Apocalypse or any combination there of, we have to go to work!

Richmond, where I live, had almost 16 inches of snow. It’s western suburbs, where my job is located, received over 18 inches of snow in places. Snow sissy that I am, that cold white matter reduced me to a quivering mass of protoplasm. After all, I am a Southern boy.

The day before the blizzard began I booked a room at the hotel within walking distance from my job. The thought of being stuck at work all weekend unable to have any private time whatsoever was a grim and terrifying prospect. Blizzard or not, I needed my me time. Time to unwind, relax and recharge my batteries. Especially since patient acuity on my unit tends to run a little high. So off to the hotel I went with my backpack of essentials including, of course, a mixed box of emergency bagged teas that I had thrown together – Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe and English Afternoon, Breakfast in Paris by Stash(Not a bad little tea!), and my must have Honeybush by Numi Tea for beddyby. The hotel, thank goodness, had a tiny hot water maker. Kinda like a stripped mini Keurig. It saw me through the blizzard.

So today, home sweet home! A poignant, almost tearful reunion with my beloved tea stash! Now one would think that after drinking bagged tea since Friday that I would go for a full fledged loose leaf. But no, I wanted my Bungalow! First and foremost I am a Darjeeling fiend. As in Darjeeling is my blood type. I had fairly recently purchased a box of Bungalow whole leaf sachet tea and it was love at first sip. This blend of first and second flush Darjeeling tea is redolent of hot, buttered toast and warm, roasted nuts that tantalize the taste buds. Classic Darjeeling muscatel and mild floral notes round things out very nicely. There is also a faint, but very agreeable, vegetal note that I think must come from the first flush. It complemented my Chicken Biryani quite well! I believe that it would be a great tea to try for those who may be on the fence about Darjeeling. It is very smooth. Not a trace of bitterness after the recommended five minute steeping time. I let the water cool a wee bit to just a little over 205F to steep.

Steven Smith Teamaker did my dear Darjeeling proud with this blend. The buttered toast flavor is so incredibly rich and comforting – A perfect wintertime Darjeeling! I’m definitely buying more if this #%$•@ snow ever melts!

Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Muscatel, Roasted nuts, Toast, Vegetal

Rosehips

Oooh, I’m glad you are home with your teas again. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’ve got it! Your review has inspired me.

Teatotaler

Thank you, Rosehips! I can’t wait for you to try it and see what you think. It really is a wonderful Darjeeling for the winter. Even the name is cozy – A warm, cozy Bungalow! :)

Rosehips

It is a lovely image. I shall break it out soon!

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100

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Profile

Bio

“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell

Darjeeling is the tea that inspired me to begin my beautiful journey through the wide world of tea and will always reign supreme in my tea pantry! My first tea love, so to speak. I positively adore a fine Darjeeling – Especially a great muscatel second flush!

Indian tea, in general, is my overall preference. After Darjeeling, Assam tea, especially a fine second flush Assam tea, is a favorite. Winter flush Nilgiri tea is another Indian tea that I quite enjoy.

Apart from Indian tea, I cannot resist a good Keemun or high grown Ceylon tea.
I really love Earl Grey and vanilla flavored tea blends – Must haves in my tea pantry!

Love my herbal teas – Rooibos fanatic!

I prefer to drink organic tea whenever possible.

Location

Richmond, Virginia, USA

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