303 Tasting Notes

80

Backlog from this morning, since I didn’t have time to write a tasting note.

I’m glad H & S sent me a sample of this; I wound up being sad that I didn’t order it. It was in convenient sachet form. Of course I read the Steepster item descrip that said, “One sachet makes a 12 oz. cup of tea” right as I went to take a sip from my mug that is most definitely not 12 oz…

It’s hot! It’s cinnamon! It’s spice! All in most emphatic terms! It really DOES live up to its name!!!

The cinnamon is a very sweet cinnamon, almost cloyingly so. Unlike a lot of flavored teas (Vaguely Autumnal Rooibos coughImean Pumpkin Spice, I’m looking at you), that “spice” in the title is no joke. The comparisons to red hots are fairly accurate. Still, this is closer to what I really, really had wanted the Holiday Tea to be like: bold, in-your-FACE flavor that simultaneously comforts you, gets you in the holiday spirit, and kicks you in the boofoo.

Very impressed. Has a chance of becoming a restock since it resembles nothing else in my cupboard.

MissB

This is exciting to me… I’ve got some on it’s way. I definitely want it spicy!

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89

Today’s been a day. There have been 9 million things going on at work, all kinds of phone calls to make and customers to contact and things to follow up on and waiting for people to get back to me, and I’ve been driving myself slightly mad this week thinking about all of it. Then the bloody snowstorm starts. I HATE SNOW! My dad was supposed to get home from a business trip to Dallas tonight, but he’s stuck in the airport overnight. I was supposed to visit friends this weekend, but I don’t know if that’s happening, and few things drive me crazier than plans up in the air. And when I came home from work, I took a road that’s usually safer than my normal one, but I wound up almost swerving into a ditch, then over-swerving and absolutely losing control of my car for the second time in my life, and I almost hit another car. It’s one of the only times I’ve feared for my life and it’s pretty much my fault. It turned out OK, but by the time I got home I was so upset that I started bawling as soon as I walked through the front door.

In times like these, only one tea quite satisfies.

And that is my tasting note.

Fjellrev

I sure have been reading about a lot of snowstorms lately. It’s getting crazy.

TeaKlutz

Yeah. My dad said it was getting really bad in Dallas and he’d never seen ice like that before. We live in Ohio, so that’s saying something. LORD I hate snow! >_<

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Please send me your snow! :)

Steeper of the Teas

That was a crazy awesome review, and a wonderful endorsement of said tea… If I wasn’t already addicted, I would have run off to find some at once! (As it is, I am looking towards my tea self… I think I’ll put on some tea!) I hope that one tea of yours helped? I too have turned to this tea when life got too crazy for me, it is really the best existing tea I know of for ultra calming powers. And everything else!

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80

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75

I was really looking forward to this one. I LOVE pistachio ice cream when it’s done right. My mind always goes back to a gelato place I visited during a college pre-orientation trip to Philadelphia. (I also just remembered that I bought myself pistachios during my Semi-Loopy Low Blood Sugar Grocery Run last night. This same grocery trip also resulted in $3 California rolls, Cobb salad, English muffins, and the “Sexiest Guys” issue of People Magazine being bought – none, save the California rolls, of which are things I ordinarily would like or buy.)

I’m expecting a sweet, thick pistachio smell, the consistency of melted ice cream. The aroma has an air of pistachio, but it’s more like one of pistachio’s quirks than its essence. Still enticing, nonetheless.

There are pistachios in the leaves! Let me repeat that. There are pistachios in the leaves!!!!!!! Flower leaves and petals I’ve come to expect. Spices, sure. Fruit bits, sure. But pistachios? Commence geeky flailing!

…And I oversteeped it.

Welp. I’m not going to give a number rating on this because I’m not sure whether the “green tea” flavor is overriding the pistachio ice cream because I goofed up or because that’s how this tea is. I had/have such high hopes, I’m willing to give it another go and a closer eye on the timer.

One thing I will say, though, if all green teas sounded this exciting, you betcha I’d be drinking way more green teas.

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84
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
302 tasting notes

This… reminds me of some smell I used to have in my life several years ago, I’m thinking high school. I don’t remember what it was, but it was either some kind of lotion or some kind of lip balm. It’s got a “fake chocolate flavoring” kind of vibe that should be off-putting, but when it comes to tea, I really don’t mind it. Actually kind of like it.

Just don’t expect it to taste like hot cocoa like the item descrip implies. There’s supposed to be hazelnut. That might be contributing to what makes the flavor a little different.

I don’t know if everyone would like it, but I do.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Shmiracles

i have a Harney order arriving today and I got myself some of this one to enjoy at work. i’m with you, i like this one too!

Nxtdoor

Yup. Florence is among a fave.

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89
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
302 tasting notes

There are certain kinds of teas that, when you try them for the first time, produce an effect sort of like limerence. Something about the flavors catches you so pleasantly off guard that, for just a second, your head spins one or two loops and you get a little hazy-eyed. Once you get to know the tea and what to expect, it’s a pleasant cup but you lose that effect. But then you find new teas to try, and every once in a while you’ll hit that one whose flavor is just that kind of intoxicating that you can’t stop sipping it, trying to sort out exactly what mix of hues that is that you’ve never tasted before.

This was one of those teas. I got my Harney & Sons box and my Butiki box (a day earlier than expected!) today, and the first thing I did when I got home was to open them, open the H & S bags (YAY zip bags!), and sniff them.

And this was the first one I sniffed. When I think “Paris,” I think of a light, brightly delicate rose-flavored tea, with a twinkling little menagerie of nuances. This was different. I knew to expect caramel, and I got a bit of caramel in the center, but it was surrounded by something I still can’t put my finger on. It’s some kind of floral, but it’s not quite rose, it’s a little darker and sweeter, something purple-magenta. (Actually, if I wanted to be cynical, it’s perfume-y. But I don’t mind perfume-y.) But there’s a ringing bright overtone too, citrusy. I actually sat there blinking and went, “Whoa. Oh my god. Wow.” It was one of those that took me to a different place and time, which only added to the romance. I let my non-tea-drinking mom smell it, and she said, “That smells different!” In a good way, in that it wasn’t anything she had an immediate association for. Exactly how I felt.

The leaves are tiny. I didn’t get to see the color of the liquor, but the taste is pretty much like the aroma, except the caramel is a bit more pronounced. I drank it while we watched The Wolverine tonight, and I didn’t want to stop sipping on it because I wanted to figure out exactly what combination of flavors I was getting. And I still haven’t.

This isn’t my favorite tea yet, but I’ve quite enjoyed it. One of the great joys about experiencing things you’re looking forward to is that they’re almost never how you expect them. H & S also sent me a sample bag of this along with my order that included this tea, and I look forward to several more cups.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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91

Not the greatest night’s sleep last night, and just woke up feeling a little off. You know, when you wake up stressed out for no good reason. It’s all the little things getting to me, I guess. This wasn’t quite the flavor I was hoping for this morning, but I like it and I have a lot of it left so I don’t have to ration. At least the roses are nice and perky.

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80

OH NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO. I just looked at a different version of the set list for the concert I just wrote program notes for – and I MISSED one of the pieces! NO! To be honest, the way my version of the music list was arranged confused me, and this ONE piece wound up being on the page after the rest of them, and the one that I thought was last was “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” which is traditionally performed last. And the notes will have already been sent in to print by now! CRAP CRAP CRAP! … Well, there’s probably not many people at that concert who have never heard “Sleigh Ride” before.

siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh

When I first started my tea thing, I LOVED LOVED LOVED jasmine, but I wound up drinking so much of it that I made myself sick of it. By the time I got this one as part of that 5-for-5 Verdant sampler, I took one whiff and went, “Ugh. No.” Well, after several months of not drinking jasmine, I decided to give this one a try.

I have this abiding memory of JustJames describing this as “a work of art.” I don’t know if I’m quite there yet, but it is certainly quite tasty. The leaves are long and frosty-white-green and smell fresh and jasmine-y, with some red-pink flowers I don’t recognize. I put this on a low temperature for about 2 minutes. The main thing I get is a fresh jasmine flavor, but there’s a little something else… almost juicy. Grassy maybe? I was expecting it to be kind of buttery (which is exactly what turns me OFF jasmine teas), but it really doesn’t bother me at all. A nice, refreshing, quiet cup.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Maybe the audience will think they are getting a bonus song and will be tickled pink! :)

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75
drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
302 tasting notes

Did like 2.5 teaspoons for my cup this morning. Seriously, people. Seriously.

I think I’ve reviewed this before, but I don’t think I ever got the flavor quite present enough. Once you figure out the Overleaf The Heck Out of Adagio Teas to Make Them Taste Like Anything game, this is not a bad tea. I was expecting something maltier and darker, but it’s actually a little earthy. Slightly astringent, but that could possibly get fixed with a shorter steep time (I didn’t time mine exactly, but it was around 4 -5 min.) The aroma reminds me of black dragon pearls. The taste less so, but it’s fairly enjoyable.

Worth a try but not a restock; flavor not distinctive enough and too much leafage required.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
302 tasting notes

Tonight wound up being a bit of an experiment. I did TWO sachets for a cup instead of just one! And I got busy responding to an email from Stacy of Butiki and wound up steeping it raaaaaather long. Ah well.

The flavor’s a little fuller bodied tonight than it usually is. It’s a bit on the spicy side, though. Not like “ow that’s spicy!” but enough to define the flavor of the tea. Next time I’ll have to be a little more careful with the steep time.

So I’ve got orders coming in from Harney & Sons and Butiki, both of which are new companies to me (excepting this tea… OK and a couple of Butiki black teas too) and I’m quite excited. I was going to get some teas I’ve liked from a few other companies as well, and maybe try one or two new ones (I really REALLY want to try some French teas)… but I wound up getting a rather large and unexpected bill from my health care provider last night. I’m not sure it’s not my fault, since I didn’t really read the fine print to see what would and would not be covered before I scheduled this thing I’m paying for. But it is still unexpected. Guess who’s going to be on the phone tomorrow… sigh

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Bio

Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m 25 years old and I work at a music store and play various instruments. Besides tea, I love bicycling, writing, teaching myself French, watching things from everyone else’s childhood, ASMR, Star Trek, cats, and awful puns. I’m an INFJ and a Libra too, for all it’s worth.

Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.

Location

One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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