2553 Tasting Notes

I finally finished this tea. I hoarded for so long that I was afraid it was a goner, especially with the big strips of coconut in it.

GMathis mentioned scones a few days ago and I could not get them out of my mind, so Monday morning I made a batch of cranberry/white chocolate chip/pecan scones to serve as breakfast for the week. This was what I chose to pair with it.

The smell of the dry leaf is so sweet but the tea itself is not. I think it is the combination of black and green tea that gives this tea a little smoky edge that keeps the macaron part from being cloying. It was just hefty enough for breakfast but I love it as an afternoon tea, also. It is one of my favorites from Whittards of Chelsea. The coconut was not in the least rancid, thank goodness.

So this was a sipdown, but I don’t get any extra room on the actual shelf because the tin is too pretty to throw away. Eventually I will probably part with it but not today.

AJRimmer

I can’t bare to throw away pretty tins. Instead, I leave them on the free table at work and hover in my doorway watching them find new homes!

ashmanra

I feel the same! I teach a lot of teen girls who instagram and they often take my pretties for photo props! The sturdy tins often end up in Ashman’s woodworking shop to hold bits and bobs. When feasible, I relabel them and store loose leaf that came in an envelope or bag.

I can just see you peering out to see them leaving, clutching your hankie, and dabbing away a happy tear as you give a surreptitious wave goodbye!

gmathis

Throw nothing away is hard-wired into my DNA. Depression-era parents.

ashmanra

Gmathis: Same! Spent tonight re-hemming an ancient blanket by hand because the edge binding wore out. One end done, one to go, and boy, is my neck stiff!

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drank Fraisier by Lupicia
2553 tasting notes

This seems utterly impossible. I just finished my pouch of Fraisier and there are no tasting notes from me? I swear I remember making comparisons to Carol! So here we go…

You know this was popular because I have teas that have been hanging around for six years and I got this for Mother’s Day and it is gone, mostly because Ashman likes it a lot and we have it for breakfast on weekends with our bagels.

Carol is limited edition and sells out fast. It is black tea with strawberry, vanilla, and coconut. Fraisier is black tea with strawberry and vanilla, and they also sell a plain strawberry black tea.

Carol is our favorite and goes FAST. I realize that it might not be wise to stock up too much of it with the way coconut can go rancid, so I guess I won’t try to buy a year supply when it comes back before Christmas.

Strawberry black is good, but there is a very weird aroma in the dry leaves that comes through a little when steeped, but everyone has liked it well enough.

Fraisier is excellent. It resteeps pretty well so I can use 3 teaspoons in my stump pot, steep, make another steep, and pour into the big pot. I don’t know what that weird aroma is in Strawberry Black, or if the vanilla here covers it up, or if this is just a different strawberry flavoring.

Speaking of big pot, anyone have a favorite they recommend? I don’t want to take anything too delicate outside to the stone patio and have been looking at the big Curve pot. I have a large tetsubin we use now, but it is pretty heavy, which I guess isn’t a big deal but each time we use it, I think how we really should look for maybe a ceramic pot, which will be heavy enough in that size. I am thinking around 36 to 40 ounces.

Also, joyful squealing here as the cherry vanilla bagels are back at Panera! Brekkie on the patio this morning on our first day with lows in the 50’s! Never mind that we still have 90’s in the forecast. I need to find everything that makes me happy and note it because I dislike the short, dark days and have to battle seasonal depression. Like the cooler weather, hate the shorter days.

gmathis

I’ll see that cherry vanilla bagel and raise you a cranberry orange scone (Target, not Panera).

ashmanra

Oooooo, I may have to look for that! Panera used to have cranberry walnut bagels that were pretty good but discontinued them. I should make some scones….Youngest used to make lovely cranberry white chocolate chop ones for me.

gmathis

I did, however, strike out on Harney & Sons tea @ Target (was looking for that bourbon one). Nothing at ours more exotic than Vanilla Comoro and Pumpkin Spice.

ashmanra

A sample of O’Connor’s is on its way to you!

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I have made this as iced tea twice and finished it off by making by the carafe. It is nice, fruity, and made me think of Pomegranate Oolong from Harney and Sons somewhat. I don’t know that I would like it hot but it was quite serviceable cold. We go through a lot of iced tea in summer.

Enjoyed it, but not a re-order for me. There are so many good options that cost a lot less. Piper and Leaf just seems a bit expensive for the amount of leaf.

Although I haven’t posted notes for them all, I have finished off a number of samples lately and my cupboard is getting almost manageable! I do not add samples to cupboard, so there are probably at least fifty additional teas over what is listed for my online cupboard here. Working on it! (So I can order more tea…)

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drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
2553 tasting notes

Good golly, it has been too long since I had this. Eldest daughter Superanna gave me my first tin of this tea. She later placed another The O Dor order for me as a gift and tried the sample of this that came with the order and she was hooked. I gave her some of the tea she had gifted me, and when we ran out I bought a milk oolong for another company and it did not even compare. Superanna said no, thank you.

Then Kawaii was kind enough to send us some of hers! It is just delectable and when it runs out we will simply have to order from The O Dor again.

I made a big pot of it to go with veggie lomein and potstickers for supper last night. The aroma coming from the pot was so thick and creamy that it made me think of those really rich green tea lattes from shops. This is completely unsweetened but smells SO creamy that I almost felt like I was sniffing a green tea ice cream like the….Haagen Dazs? Godiva?….matcha ice cream I bought a long time ago.

This is somewhat reminiscent of Premium Silky Green by Bird Pick, which is sold as a green tea but which is clearly a milk oolong, and almost certainly a flavored milk oolong.

I shouldn’t have had so much caffeine so late, but I didn’t care. It was too good to leave any so we downed the whole tetsubin and fortunately I slept well.

Thank you, again, Kawaii!

AJRimmer

What a delicious sounding meal and tea combo! I love making dumplings, such a fun family activity.

Kawaii433

Muah Ashmanra!!! I’m so glad you are enjoying it!

ashmanra

Kawaii433: Oh yes, we have been enjoying it! I shared with Superanna!

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drank Frosted Lemonade by Cuppa Geek
2553 tasting notes

I love this tea. It is so blasted hot here, with a heat index of 118F a few days ago and miserable humidity.

I made this iced and sweet and it gallops right down the gullet. Served it to neighbors over the fence a couple of months ago and they loved it. Served it to the family yesterday and same reception.

The lemon is just right, much better than how tart it ends up when I just add lemon juice to tea, and this way I don’t have to amp up the sugar to take that edge off. This is a really smooth and mild lemon flavor, candy-like. So good.

gmathis

How is it different from the Lemon Swirl? Different base?

ashmanra

Lemon Swirl is green and Frosted Lemonade is black!

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This sample is a surprise gift that came in the mail from White Antlers last week!

I was really surprised that I had to add this one to the site as I could have sworn I had seen it reviewed before.

The sample package says this is spring harvest white tea buds. The buds were fat and absolutely covered in downy white trichomes. The cha he looks like it is holding miniature fat and fuzzy pea pods!

Ashman joined me for this gong fu session and I asked him to describe the smell of the leaves after they had warmed in a preheated gaiwan. He said cedar. Actually he said, “What is hamster bedding?” And I said “cedar” and he said “that’s it.” Ha ha!

The steeped tea is quite different from the aroma of the buds. The description on the package says floral and fruity but I definitely felt it the other way around. My first impression was intense fruitiness, and the floral came after and was more subtle. Ashman said he liked the aroma of the wet leaves and steeped tea much better than the dry warmed leaves.

The first two steeps were very much alike, but the third must have oversteeped or something because you could smell the astringency before you sipped. It did have a lot of briskness but it forgave my negligence by rewarding us with a nice rising sweetness after the swallow.

White tea is Ashman’s favorite, so many thanks to White Antlers for the sample!

derk

White Antlers has been on my mind a lot lately. I hope she is well!

ashmanra

derk: She had breakthrough Delta variant of Covid but is back home now! Doing better but still recovering.

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It was ridiculously hot here – heat index of 104F one day – and then we had a few blissful days that were cooler, and a couple of nights in the upper 60’s! It was a little rainy and after the dreadful heat it really felt like great tea drinking weather. And for some reason, this particular tea was calling my name loudly.

It had a bit more ginger than I like the first time I tried it so I just removed a few pieces of the ginger to get it to the heat level I like. And it was FANTASTIC. I felt like I had been transported to the best part of cool fall weather. I actually drank it several times over the course of the two cooler days we had.

Since the ginger heat was reduced, there was no need to make it as a latte. I added no milk or sugar and it was just bliss. The warmth was just right, the fruity berry flavor was spot on, and it was excellent plain when I was waiting for my students and again later in the evening when I had it with dessert.

I am pretty surprised I enjoyed it so much since I really am not a chai lover and usually make such blends as lattes. I can’t wait for another cool day to have it again!

gmathis

Yum. Somehow I missed that one in the CG lineup. It sounds lovely!

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drank Strawberry by Lupicia
2553 tasting notes

This is a sip down, and one I do not plan to replace. It is good, people that I have served it to have liked it, but I still get that weird aroma from it.

For the last two pots I made of this, I used two tsps of Strawberry and added one of Vanilla Comoro by Harney and Sons. I liked it better that way.

Shae

Oh I have both of these! I’ll have to try this combo.

ashmanra

I hope you like it, Shae!

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drank Fluffy Bunny Tails by Cuppa Geek
2553 tasting notes

I made this yesterday, I think. Sweet tea is seriously 1,000 times better on day two or even day three of sitting in the fridge. This isn’t cold steeped, it is made hot and sweetened and then chilled.

I am glad I made it ahead of time because I needed a major attitude adjustment tonight and after stewing all day and feeling frustrated by the heat and humidity on top of the mood, I wanted something that would taste like self care. This did.

It was light and sweet and playful, unlike my mood today. Existential crises need a big, cold glass of Fluffy Bunny. Maybe I will have a third glass…

This carafe is a sipdown, too.

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drank Strawberry by Lupicia
2553 tasting notes

I swear I thought I had reviewed my most recent batch of this. Well, here we go.

Once again, this smells like delicious strawberry…and then a deep, musky smell that is very unappealing to me. I had to say it, but it is really putrid on that bottom note of the sniff.

I had Ashman smell it without telling him why and he said it smelled like strawberry candy BUT…there was something else darker than he didn’t recognize.

I served this not long ago to a friend and they simply remarked on lovely strawberry aroma and flavor. And that from someone who is extremely sensitive to smells and I won’t even burn a candle on the same day she is coming.

So once steeped it is very good. It still isn’t as good as Carol so today I made one little change. I dripped just a few drops of homemade vanilla extract on the leaves before steeping. I swear I didn’t taste the vanilla but I do think the tea was smoother that way. I didn’t know about Frasier when I bought this one, and eldest daughter gave me Frasier for Mother’s Day.

In order of preference of Lupicia strawberry teas tasted so far, I go with Carol as my top choice, Frasier second, and this one a decent third.

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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…

Location

North Carolina

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