2919 Tasting Notes

It’s been a long, long time but Baker Street is finally back on the shelf! Woot! Woot!

My Upton Tea order arrived today and when my youngest daughter chose our tea for tonight, this is what she wanted. Smokey, sweet, and mild, it was a perfect companion for a plate of toast as we listen to the thunder booming outside and the rain drumming on the roof. I am reading some Victorian era murder mysteries that have me craving toast and tea every night.

How cozy that this tea is supposed to make us think of Holmes’ and Watson’s pipes (the Lapsang component) as they contemplated their cases and smoked. The Darjeeling evokes the sophistication of Victorian London’s upper classes, and the Keemun puts a solid base under it all.

Even though I am supposed to think of Sherlock Holmes when I drink this, I can’t help but think of Gerry Rafferty’s song, Baker Street. It was while drinking this tea that I introduced youngest to that song and cemented her love of the saxophone. Of course, we also had to listen to lots of other songs from that era, like Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner…

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drank Keemun by Golden Moon Tea
2919 tasting notes

This is a sipdown this morning! I seem to go through Keemun faster than any other tea.

There is so much variation in Keemun. Fruity like Winey Keemun from Grace Rare Tea, a little smokey like this one, and Harney and Teavivre have Keemun teas that run the gamut from cocoa-y to fruit to smokey depending on which you buy. I love the cocoa ones best probably, but wouldn’t turn down Winey Keemun or the smokey ones ever.

This one was lightly smokey and a little fruity with a slight briskness. We had it for breakfast the past two days. I think it is too light for milk and sugar, but hubby added it as is his wont with black tea. I think he would have still enjoyed it without since he enjoys roasted oolong and this is very similar.

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I had pulled this out of my cupboard as a sipdown, but I knew the chunk would get used a great deal before it actually gets discarded. We had started by making a 35 ounce pot of hot tea. Then I made a gallon of iced tea from tea that is so delicious I can hardly stand it. Iced puerh just doesn’t need sugar to me, ever, at all. It is so clean and beautiful all on its own. Late last night, another 35 ounce pot was made hot. (It was a pretty big chunk as you have guessed by now!) I will steep it at least one more time for another pot of hot tea. Youngest daughter is fairly guzzling it down.

Sil

never thought to make iced puerh. will have to try it out, this IS a good one!

Indigobloom

ooooh yes! a lady at the tea guild makes an iced puerh/lemonade and it does goes surprisingly well. Contrast in flavours I guess? I hadn’t considered iced puerh on its own. Too bad summer is over haha

Sil

Uh not over yet. Sheesh! Like 3 more wks at least!

ashmanra

I love iced puerh! And we have a lot more hot days ahead of us here in eastern North Carolina to enjoy it!

Indigobloom

On the calendar yeah but the weather is turning. Getting chilly up here :(

ashmanra

I am a little jealous, Indigobloom! We are super excited that it is supposed to get down to 67F tonight. It is 88 right now. We will often have days in the 70’s in mid-winter, and I have decorated the porch for Christmas barefoot more than once!

Indigobloom

Ha! We should trade places. I’ll take warmer weather any day over the cold

mrmopar

We just got back from Shatley Springs yesterday.

gmathis

Nighttime temps forecast in the 50’s and upper 40’s this week! Come see us.

ashmanra

mrmopar: I looked up Shapley Sorings as I wasn’t familiar with it. Hope you had a great time!

gmathis: I would love that! Especially with the possibility of a hurricane ina few days…

mrmopar

Near West Jefferson. About 5 miles from Healing Springs. Met some good people and shared some tea. A good outing.

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Removed from cupboard. With a pu cake as big as this one, that doesn’t happen often. We used the last chunk tonight and will be resteeping it all day tomorrow in our biggest pot because we are gathering to celebrate hubby’s birthday.

I have enjoyed this one. It was especially rich, dark, and earthy smelling on the rinse tonight but we went light on the steep, so it was just a little woodsy and coated the mouth for a lingering reminder. Lightly creamy.

Autistic Goblin

Happy Birthday to hubby!!

mrmopar

Bring him to Shatley springs. We are heading down today.

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drank Evening Lights - herb by Zen Tea
2919 tasting notes

Youngest wanted tea quite late last night and I have a long day of teaching music students today so I knew I had to go caffeine free.

I really like this tisane. I like licorice root. It is miles better than rooibos or hibiscus to me. Herbal blends tend to be heavy on one of those three. I find this to be fresh, sweet, and relaxing. Youngest loved it and drank several cups. If you let it cool a moment, the chamomile and minty flavors come shoulder to shoulder with the licorice root, and I need licorice root for my poor, reflux ravaged throat.

I am sad to see my bag getting low. I hope this blend comes back when Zen Tea starts selling tea again!

Evol Ving Ness

Do you know if they plan to start selling tea again? I hope so as I am a fan.

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Just noticed I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard nor have we reviewed it. It technically belongs to youngest, as Superanna buys Lapsang all over the place in her travels just to bring home for little sis!

Not to overshadow the tea itself, but these tins are gorgeous. Our first was a small blue tin, and this newest one is a large grey tin – absolutely gorgeous and oh so manly looking, and why not? If a tea can be manly tasting, I would say Lapsang qualifies. Like pipes and Scotch in a gentleman’s study.

Did you know that Patrick Stewart wanted Captain Picard to drink Lapsang and the producers said that no one would know what that was, so they made it Earl Grey instead and now poor Patrick gets scads of Earl Grey from fans, and I bet he would rather have Lapsang?

Moving on…this is stronger in smoke than the parcel of Lapsang from Postcard teas, which is tasty but isn’t smokey enough for youngest. The smoke level is great in this one, but I do wish that perhaps the base could be a little more present. I would definitely buy it again, don’t misunderstand, but this is a common problem with Lapsang. Why cover up an amazing base tea with smoke? But a great base makes a difference. Even Black Dragon from Upton was a little weak in the base for me.

So far my favorite Lapsang ever was the incredibly expensive Wuyi Shan Lapsang from Harney and Sons which ran about twelve dollars an ounce. I would buy it again right now. Lapsang Crocodile from Dammann Freres was awesome, too. And Teavivre and Zen Tea both had great Lapsang teas as well.

This one is very good, though, until that someday when I restock the top shelf stuff.

Terri HarpLady

The only smokey lapsang I have in my collection right now is the one from Teavivre. For me it tends to be more of a fall/winter tea, and I’ll probably add a few new ones before the weather cools down :)
It’s great for making tea eggs too, and I’m going to make some this afternoon, and will probably drink a cup or 2 while I’m at it. Enjoy the day!

ashmanra

Terri: I agree! We love Lapsang in cool or cold weather! We had a little wind (very very little) and rain from the storm that would have been Irma had it organized, and our morning temp was about 68F. That is excitingly chilly for us at this time of year, so we had breakfast together with a candle at the dining table to celebrate the hint of fall in the air. Unfortunately, it is already sweaty hot. Ha!

Fjellrev

Intersting factoid about Patrick Stewart!

Autistic Goblin

oooh a ST TNG reference!!! YAAAY!! okay now I have to try lapsang if only because of that fact. (Picard is the best of all captains in Star Trek)

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2919 tasting notes

I ran out of the Queen. I wasn’t out for long, thank goodness. Harney and Sons had an awesome sale and I got a new tin. When it arrived I opened it and inhaled deeply. No, it isn’t a competition grade…anything. It is the quintessential daily tea. And I love it. It takes milk and sugar well, but I drink it plain. It soothes and comforts. It smells fruity and rich.

I live in the Sandhills of North Carolina, in the hottest city of the state with humidity out the wazoo. But tonight we are getting a taste of fall with lows around 63F. It is 65F right now at 1:38 am and youngest and I sat out on the porch until we got goosebumps on our arms so we could come back in and enjoy tea with hot, buttered toast.

Tomorrow morning I will probably mix the Queen with Rose Scented for a gentle breakfast.

This is living. And now it is time for bed. Long live the Queen.

Rosehips

Long Live the Queen!

ashmanra

May her reign be blessed! : D

Frenchie1202

I also live in Raleigh, do you always simply order your tea online directly from Harney and Sons or do you find places in town to purchase it?

ashmanra

The Fresh Market carries a few loose leaf and Target and Barnes and Noble have a bit in sachets, but mostly I order them online.

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This is a sample that came with my first order from berylleb. I feel sure there will be future orders – probably soon.

The chunk that I received is deep black in color with a golden brown leaf here and there. It broke apart pretty easily and I may have underleafed in my zeal to get two complete sessions out of the sample. But it was no matter as it turned out. The small amount I placed in the pot was quite enough.

The first impression in the aroma was a dark and earthy mustiness. When I poured a cup for my daughter, she inhaled and said, “This is SO earthy. Literally smells like freshly turned dirt.”

Earth was the predominant flavor to me, also. No mushroom, no horse tack. No cedar or pecan leaves. Rich earth. The first steep even gave a fleeting sense of some spice, like a hint of tingly cinnamon that vanished quickly and I didn’t note it again.

It had nice body and is a likable enough puerh that I would feel confident enough serving it at a family gathering.

We are big geosmin fans so we really enjoyed our late night pu’er session with this, and I look forward to the next. The second chunk is bigger so perhaps we will find the next session a bit more complex.

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drank Osmanthe D'Or by Dammann Frères
2919 tasting notes

This is why I am trying to reduce my tea stash. I have this truly excellent oolong, and it is four years old because I have so much tea that I probably wouldn’t get to them all even if I drank them in rotation. There are a few beloved teas that I do drink down before they get stale, but here is a gorgeous that somehow got neglected.

It is still good, even at four years old. The flavor profile has changed a great deal, with the oolong flavor being far lighter, thus making the osmanthus stand out a lot more. It doesn’t compare to how it tasted in its youth, though. There is something breathtaking about really fresh tea.

I have enough leaves for one more pot, which we will drink at tea time tomorrow for a sip down.

Fjellrev

Maybe if companies stopped releasing new, awesome stuff it would be easier to pare down the stash haha.

ashmanra

Well, of course it isn’t OUR fault! :)

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This is my first eBay tea purchase, but I felt really comfortable about it because mrmopar has recommended this seller several times. I am not disappointed.

I got the fifty gram option, so mine is not a brick, but individual nuggets. The package was so secure I could hardly get into myself, even with the use of a knife and pair of scissors. Needless to say, the tea inside was in perfect condition.

The nuggets have a rich aroma and we have been resteeping and drinking for a few hours now. This tea keeps on giving.

I think puerh always tastes significantly better if you allow it to cool a bit – much more so than other teas for me. I feel that I taste all the layers of flavor best when it has cooled a bit, and this one was silky excellence once it cooled. What a lovely, round mouthfeel.

I am making seven ounces at a time and used one nugget, which is probably a little overleafed but I am watching the color of the liquor carefully and keeping the steeps short.

I did a quick rinse of maybe five seconds. Then the first steep was about thirty seconds as the nugget wasn’t fully saturated yet. I should have let it sit for about ten minutes before proceeding, but the steep accomplished the same purpose. Each steep after that has been five to ten seconds, and the tea is rich and dark in color.

I was really excited to see a sample enclosed as well! Can’t wait to try it, and that was super generous since I had only ordered fifty grams of tea. But on the plus side for them, they have nabbed a new customer!

Rasseru

Yeah berrylleb is quite good

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Profile

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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