471 Tasting Notes
For some reason I thought this was mango when I grabbed a few ounces in the store, but it’s actually guava! Which is good, because I absolutely love guava. In fact I’ve been craving it recently, since I picked up a pastry at one of the many local bakeries around me without knowing what the filling was (I guessed strawberry from the color) and it turned out to be guava and dulce de leche in the best pastry crust I’ve ever had.
Well, this tea doesn’t taste like a pastry, but it’s very strongly guava-y! The smell is deliciously tropical, and a single sniff transports me to a nice beach. The strawberry is also pretty prominent, but not overwhelming—it’s a bright strawberry flavor, not jammy or sweet. Usually I like jam-like teas, but with guava I think that would be a little weird! I’m not getting any coconut but I don’t really mind, since I think that might be a little too much going on in here.
There’s apparently hibiscus in this blend but thank god I am not really getting any. Maybe a tiny bit of tartness, but in a pleasant way. It also doesn’t brew up red/pink at all like blends with hibiscus usually do. I think this is really a summer blend, but sometimes it’s nice to take a little tea vacation in the middle of winter!
This is the tea that made me place my Steep City order. Ginger, berry, citrus and oolong? These are all things that I love, and while I usually like to buy in small sample sizes from a new company I was willing to take the 2 ounce plunge for a blend that sounds this good.
Before I talk about the tea, I am so impressed with Steep City Tea’s packaging! Sleek white with a really beautiful logo, and I love the little check boxes for size/type/temperature and time. Very creative! And this is a BIG two ounces, it’s a nice fluffy blend. I was worried it would be dense because of the berries and dried orange peel, but there’s a whole lot of this blend in my bag. Hooray!
Uhnf, this tea… this tea is heaven. There’s so much going on and it works together perfectly. The berry is subdued and not jammy or overly sweet, just a nice fruity undertone. The ginger adds a hint of spice and heat, and pairs perfectly with the nice pop of citrus. And of course there’s the base, which is really the main reason I got this. I love oolong blends when they’re done well, which means you can actually taste the base. And here you can, oh yes! Floral, buttery, a hit grassy, everything I want in a nice green oolong.
I’ve had this tea about 3 times since I got it a week ago, and I seriously think it’s already a cupboard staple. Perfect hot, iced, lukewarm, with a hint of sugar or left alone. I’m in love!
I’ve been so busy this week that I have about a dozen teas I have to log that I had absolutely no time for! This week was Toy Fair, and I also had a friend over from Oregon so I admit that I neglected Steepster for a while. So many tasting notes to catch up on!
My friend is a fellow tea addict who I am converting to loose-leaf, so we did a lot of tea shopping while he was here. Including going to my favorite physical tea store, Harney & Sons! I picked up a few things while I was there, and added in 2 ounces of this at the last minute because I’ve heard people say that it’s better than Paris. Better than one of my favorite blends, of course I had to try it out!
This does indeed remind me a lot of Paris. There’s a plum and berry taste, similar to the blackcurrant in Paris, along with a hint of bergamot and cream. But it’s not quite as all-around rich and deep as Paris—the flavor is more shallow, if that makes sense, though it’s still tasty. This is like a lighter version of Paris, better suited for the afternoon or morning since I generally think of Paris as a late-night indulgence.
Thanks to Kasumi for this sample! I’ve tried some savory teas before, but usually with sage. I’ve had two blends with rosemary and one was great (Victorian EG) and one was… weird (Sakurambo). So I approached this tea with a bit of trepidation.
The taste is SO unique. The white base is light and soft and almost fruity-sweet, and lets the rosemary really shine. It’s herby, woodsy, a little nutty and has just the right hint of grassiness. It definitely tastes like rosemary, but so different from the preparation it usually gets. It’s like there was a whole sweet side to this herb I never knew about!
Now I really want to experiment with rosemary in sweets. I have a recipe for olive oil rosemary tea cakes, maybe that would be a good place to start? Certainly seems fitting, considering how tea-obsessed I am!
I’m so surprised this one wasn’t in the database! I skipped over it on my first order with Tea Guys, but had to snag at least a sample with my giant bag of Maple Sugar. Mm, Maple Sugar…
But I digress! Lime teas often don’t work for me, they taste a little artificial and odd. But this one is lovely! Bright, sweet and tart key lime with a hint of cream. Funnily enough, this tea has a different name on my sample—Key Lime Ceylon instead of Key Lime Pie—but I definitely think there’s some creamy aspect in here.
It’s really fantastic iced, I have a hard time with lime teas hot but I think this would even work that way with a little cream to make it even more pie-y. Thankfully their samples have 3-4 cups so I can play around with this a bit!
The name of this tea is quite misleading, I thought it was cookie flavored but no, you are supposed to have it WITH cookies! In fact this tea is pretty far from cookie flavored, it’s a nice citrusy spiced blend that I am trying out thanks to Azzrian.
The smell is lovely, like orange and clove. It’s a beautiful blend too, large chunks of dried orange along with cardamon and bright red peppercorns. It’s very festive, I feel like I’m at a tea party! It’s funny that this is a spiced tea but it tastes nothing like chai to me, makes me wonder what exactly makes a chai a chai. After all the 3 “key” chai ingredients, ginger cinnamon and cardamom, aren’t found in every chai blend. One of them is here, with cloves and pepper which are often in chai, but it’s definitely not a chai at all!
There’s some fruity sweetness, soft and not overpowering, and the citrus is bright and refreshing against the heavy spice. Mm, delicious!
I am going to hold off on rating this one, since I don’t think I’ve quite found the right way to prepare it yet. Made as an ordinary honeybush it’s sweet and has strong strawberry notes, but reminds me of the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Honeybush without the pie or rhubarb and with maybe a dash of cream. I think this will really shine as a latter, or better yet in an actual milkshake! I’m contemplating using it in an ice cream base and making a true strawberry milkshake, fitting of Walter!
By the way, for anyone who is a fan of both Fringe and Homeland, how awesome would a slice of life sitcom featuring Water Bishop and Saul Berenson be? I don’t know why but I picture those two being absolutely hilarious together.
I got a sample of this with my happy bag, and I’ve been eying it with caution ever since. Rooibos and I do not get along, it’s so medicinal and I’m starting to think it might be a migraine trigger for me under certain circumstances. But I decided to brave it, because it’s just a one bag sample AND it reminds me of Dragon Ball Z (which my brother loves, so I’ve spent a lot of time watching it with him haha).
The berry flavor here is nice, kind of jammy mixed berry without one dominant flavor. It’s sweet, kind of honey like and rather thick—like it has honey in it, but with no actual honey. However, the medicinal aspects of the rooibos are just not working for me unfortunately. It’s kind of overpowering, I finished the cup but definitely didn’t love this one.
Another one of my lost samples! I have tried the unflavored version of this and loved it, but sometimes you want a really milky flavor so I thought I’d give this one a spin. Sniffing the dry leaves, I was wondering if this would maybe taste like Nature’s Leaf Tea’s Milk Black, which is like POW milk flavor. The leaves are very fragrant! And pretty, I love tightly wound oolongs that unfurl like magic while steeping. A small spoonful becomes a forest in my little french press!
Flavor-wise, I’m surprised at how not artificial the milk flavoring is. It’s definitely more creamy than the unflavored version (obviously) but not in a fake or strange way. Just an extra boost! There’s the soft floral orchid notes, buttery and smooth and vegetal. Mmm, I love green oolongs!
I think I like the unflavored version a bit better, since it’s easier to pick out the complex notes of the base oolong, but the extra creamy version is great for a more dessert-like cup. It’s a real indulgent treat, and without any calories—and also lighter than actual dessert blends, so there’s nothing heavy or dense. Smooth, sweet oolong with an extra bit of sweetness!
I’ve been drinking a lot of stovetop Chai recently, and I started wondering if you could make other teas the same way to achieve a latte effect without the steaming. I didn’t bring a whole lot of teas to my parents’ house but thankfully my mom has this in her cupboard—though I could have sworn I logged it before, I apparently didn’t so I suppose this is the first time!
1/2 a cup water, 1 1/2 cups 2% milk, a generous spoonful of sugar, 1 heaping tablespoon Cream Earl Grey, simmered in a saucepan for 10 minutes. I always worry about black bases getting bitter this way but they never do! Maybe because the heat is so low? The resulting concoction is divine, like the best London Fog in the world only, well, better! Rich, thick, creamy and totally blissful.
This tea non-latte style is one of my favorite EGCs, creamier than many but also with a particularly strong bergamot kick so it is still definitely an earl grey.
Back to the stovetop latte part: I don’t think I’m ever going to prepare EG in any other way than this! It’s just… so good. Though usually I use whole milk so I’d change the water to milk ratio to 1/1. But for 2% I find I need to use a heavy hand or it’s just… watery.