3137 Tasting Notes
This is a sipdown of my oldest tea, I believe. How did a tea I really like get so far past date? Mostly due to having excess tea, but also because I acquired several other teas that also has rose flavor and that is one of Ashman’s least favorite flavors in tea. He loves jasmine but not rose.
I had it plain with breakfast and noticed there was very little left so I mixed it with some fresh Queen Catherine at lunch time. When I went to add this tasting note, so many options popped up that were blends of this with other teas. Rose Scented with Queen Catherine, Rose Scented with Florence, Rose Scented with Earl Grey…and that is a great strong point for this tea. It is good by itself but it also adds a little something to other teas when you want to do something a little different.
It is a someday probable repurchase, but for now it will be off shelf for a while as I finish some other teas. Yume from Lupicia may have taken its place as a favorite tea with rose even though Yume has other flavors, as well.
And it is a sad sipdown, too. I didn’t realize I had been hitting this one so hard.
This Earl Grey has lots of cream flavor, feeling so smooth with lots of “mouth-roundness”, as Graham Kerr used to say. I drank it plain and intended to try it different teas but drank it all before I could. Once I finish my tin of Fortnum Mother’s Day, which is a rose Earl Grey, I will acquire more of this one, I think.
November Sipdown Prompt – an oolong tea
We have had this twice lately, western style. It definitely gets a chance to show off more when prepared gong fu but is a very good tea either way.
On the first sip, I found myself singing “the last cup is the sweetest” to the tune of Rod Stewart’s “The First Cut Is The Deepest.” Anyone else experience that phenomenon where you are finishing a tea and the last bit is so good you want to re-order it immediately? I will restrain myself a while as I am not even close to my cupboard goal for the year. But there will have to be some Dong Ding ordered before next fall.
November Sipdown Prompt – a bold tea
This is probably the boldest black tea I have on shelf. In the past, I didn’t serve it when Ashman was home as he is today because it was one he felt was too strong and took it with milk and sugar. His tastes are changing and developing as tastes do and I decided to try it on him again today.
He enjoyed it! And I enjoyed it from the first sniff of the cup that made my eyes roll back to the last drop that I just drained from the cup.
I read him the review from KS from all those years ago after we finished breakfast. It was like a little visit with an old friend. KS felt it was a little smoky and I don’t get smoke as much as raspy dry cocoa, one of my favorites things to find in a Keemun.
Breakfast is finished and honestly I want more even though we split a huge pot. Definitely a shelf staple for me. I guess I reach for this when most people reach for builders’ tea, because this feels fortifying, like Queen Catherine.
November Sipdown Prompt – National Gingerbread Cookie Day
I had the perfect tea for this prompt and was excited when I got up this morning and remembered that my tea is already picked for me!
We were supposed to have cold weather leading up to Thanksgiving but after one chilly night that forecast was snatched away from us and we have moderately warm but heavily cloudy days instead. This means comfort teas are in order and will be consumed throughout all holiday preparations.
The aroma on this one is so nice. I am not a fan of lots of hot ginger in ANYTHING but a little bit to add some sparkle is fine. This one is just fine on the ginger level for me, and the other spices are nicely balanced. The base is not very strong so this is more of an afternoon tea for most people, I think. Lovely cuppa!
November Sipdown Prompt – a tea that makes you feel cozy
I think most teas can make you feel cozy depending on when and how you drink them. This one is comforting me on this cloudy day as I am not feeling quite up to par. My ears are so stuffy and I haven’t slept well lately so I was dragging a bit. It isn’t that cold outside but my toes feel frozen, even in socks. I decided that a cup of tea with a small snack while listening to an audiobook would be a nice treat as I will be cooking a lot the rest of the week.
This base has nice body, something that has been missing in a couple of others flavored teas from other companies that I have had lately. The chocolate isn’t overpowering but allows the base tea to still shine. This chocolate doesn’t have the mildew aroma we find a some of the oily looking chocolate blends.
I am reviewing this here instead of under “random” in case anyone buys this tea and feels the same way I did about it. The base was a bit weak and more of the afternoon than breakfast tea variety, but also it lacked bassy notes that would have amplified rich caramel instead of detracting, making it taste even richer. Instead the caramel was strong in the aroma and adding half and half just accentuated the weakness of the tea for me.
It isn’t a horrible tea and Ashman liked it, it just didn’t live up to my expectations so here is how I have doctored it up. I opened the sachet and since Harney sachets are supposed to be measured for 12 ounces of water, that should be one and a half teaspoons. I added another one and a half teaspoons of Teavivre’s Premium Keemun. I almost used Queen Catherine but wanted to guarantee plenty of oomph.
I steeped it at 190F in respect for the Keemun at 3 minutes with about 20 ounces of water, then resteeped the whole shebang the same way and combined. Big improvement.
This made for very pleasant pots of tea that we have enjoyed at both breakfast and lunch. The caramel is lighter but present, but the base tea now has some body and bass notes to ground it because dadgum it caramel should be rich and not watery.
This is giving me very much the same vibe as Cozy Comfort from Simpson and Vail but that one is vanilla instead of caramel.
I made a large pot of this for breakfast and we had about 16 ounces left over, so I poured the still warm tea into a jar, added the amount of sugar it would have proportionally when I make tea by the gallon with one cup sugar, and set it to chill. I was impatient to try it, so even though iced tea is always best the next day I served it with lunch.
Ashman and I both enjoyed it very much. The sugar really brought out the fruitiness and since it was 77F (25C) here in late November, it was really refreshing. If they made this looseleaf I would consider it for a bulk buy to make tea by the gallon in summer.
I had this with breakfast today and made a cup for Ashman late this afternoon.
After finding that Salted Caramel Black Tea, another recent release from Harney, was more of an afternoon tea than a breakfast tea, I thought this one might be the same.While it isn’t strong, it is not as subtle as Salted Caramel, either.
This is strawberry and fig but I think it was more fig than strawberry. The flavor is a lovely dark berry one rather than a bright or tart strawberry. The base is not super prominent but sufficiently well balanced. I will enjoy this one, but I think when I want a fruity black tea, Lupicia is the star for me right now.
I will drink it happily and I think I will also try it as a sweet iced tea. It seems to have a Fruits d’Alsace vibe and I loved that one as a sweet tea, so this should do well that way. Ashman said he enjoyed it. I doubt it is a repurchase for me, though.