2793 Tasting Notes

drank Minnie Mouse by Harney & Sons
2793 tasting notes

I was a bit worried that the hurricane was going to delay my tea order. Right before the mail came, the wind gusts kicked up, so I met the mail carrier on the front steps and made our usual offer – if it gets too bad, feel free to come shelter here. (Hope she likes tea if that happens.)

As it turned out, I got TWO teas today – this one and one that wasn’t due until tomorrow. (Teecino Mocha for the interested.)

Ashman is at work as always since he is essential personnel and won’t be home until midnight at the soonest and sometime tomorrow otherwise. Middle daughter had to work but they are closing at 2 because there are no customers and the roof started leaking. So I am all by myself to enjoy a simple, quiet tea time! The wind is howling down the chimney and rattling the doors and dampers of the woodstove with each big gust so it feels extra cozy.

This is milder than I expected in some ways. Harney’s Rose Scented is a favorite of mine though it is too rosy for Ashman. This is definitely rose first, but not as strong as Rose Scented. I knew I was tasting something other than caramel and checked the tin. Ah, honey flavor! I forgot that was in there! And finally there is a bit of caramel, very like the level and no doubt the same flavoring that you find in Paris. So the flavors listed on the tin are rose, honey, and caramel, and that matches exactly the strength of each flavor in the steeped tea.

My first thought is that I will enjoy this, Ashman might not, and this is going to be a great tea to serve to guests, because it has that welcoming Paris vibe that appeals to a lot of people, even if they are not die hard tea drinkers.

Very glad I bought it, and looking forward to Snow White (apple white tea). I made a deal with myself that I could buy one tea if I made a sipdown (I don’t count samples and swaps) and I made two this week, so I think I can go ahead with the next order!

Cameron B.

I’m with Ashman in that I likely wouldn’t love this one either, but I love your description of it! So nice that Harney offers free shipping so you can order things individually. :)

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drank Coconut Island by Winterbloom Tea
2793 tasting notes

This is the final tea for this month’s sipdown challenge for me as I don’t own any yerba mate that I can recall. So a tropical tea, it is! And it is an actual sipdown – hurray!

It has been cloudy and fairly dark all day as the fringes of Tropical Storm Ian approach. It is a but windy but nothing spectacular, but still we must make preparations. I have made a big pot of soup and have filled several carafes from the water purifier and continue to filter in case flooding should take out water lines again. Honestly I think this is going to be a non-event for us, but it is best to prepare. That includes eating a lot. I mean, what if the power went out? Truly, I do not snack like this in the afternoons usually! We will not discuss evenings.

So my afternoon snack was Parle-G cookies, homemade cardamom and cinnamon frozen yogurt with graham cracker bits, and a small pot of this tea. I give these details because the food demonstrated the importance of being mindful in our pairings.

After a few bites of the spiced frozen yogurt, the tea tasted like…almost nothing. The tangy tartness of the yogurt with the lemony warmth of cardamom and rich cinnamon cancelled the tea out almost entirely. I could have been drinking warm water.

After a bite of Parle-G cookies (which taste like not too sweet waffle cone to me, the hard kind and not the styrofoamy kind) the tea was so much better. Now I tasted coconut and most notably, the base took on an extremely smokey flavor. I could hardly believe it was same tea I had sipped moments before.

The remainder of snack time was carefully orchestrated from that point on so that the order was froyo, cookie, ssssmmmokey good tea.

Cameron B.

“Truly, I do not snack like this in the afternoons usually! We will not discuss evenings.”

LOL! I feel you on the evening snackies… XD

ashmanra

CameronB: Night snacking is my great food downfall.

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drank Holiday Chai by Stash Tea
2793 tasting notes

September Prompt – A tea with honey in it.

I usually use this tea for making a sweet syrup and then adding to sparkling water for a root beer-like drink.

Today, Ashman is away at the Woodwright’s School taking another class from Roy Underhill, so I decided on this cool, solitary morning to have a latte with it.

It was decent, nothing to write home about but pleasant to sip on the porch watching the world not go by. (Seriously, where was everybody? I thought there would be lots of walkers out on one of the first cool mornings of fall!) I am not a fan of lots of black pepper in chai, nor of hot pepper in tea, nor of super savory tea, so this one – though it is humble – is a decent cup for cool weather lattes. I felt like it took more honey to get it sweet enough for me compared to how much sugar I would have put, but traditional chai is usually pretty sweet.

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drank Cinnamon Vanilla by Stash Tea
2793 tasting notes

I made two lattes tonight using sample teabags from Stash. I have had these for about nine months, so they are not fresh but not too old, either. Honestly, this one smelled pretty bad to me, and now I realize it was the sarsaparilla. If you love sarsaparilla, you will probably like this more than I did. But it was mainly the aroma of the dry tea bag that I disliked.

I tasted this one before handing it off to Ashman, who said he really liked it. He has a real sweet tooth and he is working late and has a lot still to do, so after tasting it and finding it to be a bit bland, I jazzed this up with half water, half milk, our homemade vanilla extract, lots of sugar, and whipped cream on top.

The thing is, this is what it would take to make this enjoyable to me. It is not a tea I would crave or relish as a plain, hot cuppa. Not something I plan to order, but thankful for the sample, and so glad that he enjoyed it on his work break.

Note not about the tea: has anyone tried Bakers Tennis Biscuits and are they worth hunting down?

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drank Decaf Pumpkin Spice by Stash Tea
2793 tasting notes

This is a sample teabag that came in an order about nine months ago.

Ashman is working late at home and feeling peckish, so I made a cheese and cracker plate and thought it was a great time to get rid of these two decaf samples as nice, filling lattes.

Sadly, when I opened the little wrapper the tea (both this one and Cinnamon Vanilla) had a strange and unpleasant aroma. It was a familiar smell, and I think I have decided it is mildew. Like someone threw a wet swimsuit in a hamper and left it and you don’t find out for a week. Ick.

I steeped it strong in just half the water called for and then added sugar and milk and tasted…and added more sugar and some vanilla, because there wasn’t much flavor. The strange smell was nearly gone, although when I tipped the mug back to get the very last of the drink, the smell hit me again. But at least it tasted better than it smelled.

Maybe it is just an off night for my taste buds or something, but this was very non-spectacular. We would have been better off having a cup of hot milk and adding our own spices.

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drank Cherry Almond by Stash Tea
2793 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s September Sipdown Challenge – An Aromatic Tea

I hope a flavored tea counts for the aromatic prompt, rather than just teas that are naturally aromatic. As stated before, this tea leads with the almond and thankfully the cherry flavor is not at all “cough syrup cherry”. This is strong enough that the scent lingers in your teaware but it behaves itself and dissipates with washing up.

I enjoy this both hot sans additions and as a sweet iced tea. The next pitcher of iced will make a sipdown, but I will probably repurchase someday when the cupboard is under better control..

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drank Organic Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
2793 tasting notes

I received this sample tea bag in an order a few months ago and almost gave it away. I don’t reach for Earl Grey often, and when I do it is usually one with something else added. I dislike bergamot on Ceylon because it is too sour for me and prefer it on Keemun. I had no idea what this base was.

I have tried Harney’s plain Earl Grey, Earl Grey Supreme, and Imperial Earl Grey. Earl Grey Supreme was my absolute favorite of those. I thought I would dislike this tea because I didn’t care much for the Organic Breakfast Blend, although it has grown on me through the many samples received.

What a nice surprise! This tea was really nice with breakfast. The bergamot is medium level and not super sour, just fresh and bright. I made it my usual way for a tea like this – steeped it, poured it into a small pot, steeped it again, poured that into first steep. The strength was just right for me, but I do not add milk and sugar. I think it would still be fine with additions if that’s how you like it.

I left the table for a moment and came back to find that a mosquito had drowned in my last bit of tea in the cup. While I rejoice over the death of the mosquito, I was so sad to lose that last bit of tea. I was really enjoying it.

Also, I noticed a button that says BUY NOW and under that it says that the purchase supports Steepster. It is that true? How? I haven’t ever noticed that before on a tea but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. I did know about the buy now buttons leading to Adagio when one was trying to reach 52teas. That’s plain slimy, Adagio. Shame on you. But a Harney purchase supports Steepster? I can handle that.

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drank Island Dreams by Harney & Sons
2793 tasting notes

September Prompt – a tea with coconut

When I first saw the prompt, I thought I was going to have to skip because I couldn’t remember any tea with coconut on hand. As I stood before the tea shelves staring and hoping for inspiration, my eyes landed on this tin, and I remembered it had coconut flavor.
At first I balked at having it for breakfast but decided to roll it, and I am glad I did.

I have had this a couple of times and was initially disappointed. Today was a little different. I got over the disappointment that it wasn’t POW in your face pineapple. I was having a half serving of oatmeal (seriously all I can stand of it) with honey and cardamom and the tea actually went really well with it. Something about the flavors in the oatmeal pulled a little more flavor out of the tea for me, or maybe I just did a better job of steeping it this time.

The broken leaves are pretty large in this blend, and it is really pretty to look at with all the blue cornflower mixed in with the flat, green leaves.

Sipping, I got a good taste if the green base and a bit of pineapple, possibly coming out more because it was juxtaposed with the honey in the tea, and the creamy coconut flavor made everything smooth, rich, and mellow, the way vanilla does. Maybe the flavors pop more when sweetened, but I will probably keep drinking it unsweetened.

It is growing on me.

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September Prompt 3 – A Chocolate Tea

Ashman went in late today so we enjoyed tea and toast together this morning. I almost served Dammann Freres Chocolate Black tea but hesitated because I know he doesn’t like some chocolate teas. (I think he WILL like that one, though.) Then I remembered that he loved this one back when I first bought it and we have not had it in a while, and we really need to drink it up. It would be a shame for it to go bad. I think this is next tea I will hit hard to make a sipdown.

These teas are true to their word – they really do make three steeps, and we always make all three and combine them to keep them evenly flavored, rather than drinking one strong and two progressively weaker.

The chocolate flavor tastes like natural chocolate rather than the mildewy smelling chocolate flavor or oil or whatever it is that seems to crop up in some chocolate teas.(Although last year I noticed the weird scent in my beloved Boston which broke my heart a little. It doesn’t even have chocolate in it, does it?). The strawberry is also more real strawberry than candy strawberry, and with the medium heft black base tea makes for a real yum.

Mastress Alita

The reason why I never resteep tea is because I never care for the “progressively weaker” cups… I’ll have to try combining them together sometime!

gmathis

That’s just flat logical…! Which is probably why I never thought of it!

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drank Travel to India by THE O DOR
2793 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s September Sipdown Challenge, prompt number two.

It is blasted hot and muggy, Sam the king of dogs is sick and I have not slept for more than three hours in a row (once, usually it is less than two hours) in four days.

But I did have time for a quiet breakfast with tea.

I made this as a latte this time. Half milk, half water, extra large mug, two small spoons of sugar.

This is my kind of chai which would probably disappoint a lot of true chai lovers. This doesn’t have black pepper heat, nothing too soicy, just some ginger and clove and not enough of that to burn. I like the level of spice, it is just right for me. I can even drink this one with no milk and no sugar easily, I just wanted a bit of spoiling today.

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Bio

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