124 Tasting Notes

75
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
124 tasting notes

Backlog from two days ago. Shared some with a suitemate, who enjoyed it after adding a lot of honey to it. Still couldn’t taste a lot of the chocolate, unfortunately.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
124 tasting notes

Backlogging from a few mornings ago.

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63

Backlogging from last night.

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85
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
124 tasting notes

Backlogging from yesterday. Shared some of this with a suitemate who doesn’t usually drink tea, but seems to enjoy the citrus-y/bergamot-y teas I’ve offered before. She smelled the leaves from the sampler pouch and seemed to have been just as in love with this as I was with smelling the Florence tea (also a H&S tea).

Unfortunately, I don’t have much else to offer in this note. The aroma after brewing was very fruity. It’s a very light, clean, palate-cleaning tea with a berrylike flavour that’s followed by a hint of citrus near the end. I don’t recall picking up on vanilla or caramel like what others have mentioned, but I admittedly wasn’t paying very much attention to the tea as I was drinking it at the time (aforementioned suitemate and I were venting about having a second fire alarm going off in less than a week while sipping this tea).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
124 tasting notes

Had another cup of this earlier today. I can’t wait for my order from Harney & Sons to arrive! I have the feeling that this sampler will be gone well before the package gets here, haha.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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85
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
124 tasting notes

I’ve had a rather stressful day today, so I was thrilled when I got a message in my inbox saying that I’d received a package to be picked up over at the dorm office. It was my sample for this tea!

I opened the packet and out came the delicious scent of hazelnut and chocolate. I could have sat there for an hour just enjoying the aroma from the dry leaves.

One hour (just kidding, more like three minutes) later:
I brewed a cup of this following the suggested temperature and steep time— 4 to 5 minutes with boiling water. I opted for 4 minutes, since I added an extra half-teaspoon to the suggested amount of one teaspoon per cup.

I took my first sip. For those who have seen the Pixar film “Ratatouille”, I’d like to point out the scene where Anton Ego, the food critic, has his first bite of the ratatouille he’s served. Time stops, and he’s transported back to memories of his childhood and his mother’s cooking. I basically had one of those moments. Minus the food memory. Time just stopped and there was nothing except for me and the cup of tea in front of me.

The chocolate and hazelnut complement each other wonderfully, and there’s never a moment where one flavour really overpowers the other. There’s a sort of creaminess to the tea, which is lovely, but I honestly don’t really know where it comes from— the chocolate or the hazelnut.

There was a lot of happy, incoherent babbling here that got edited out, as I was sipping away at the tea while writing this note. Bottom line: If you like Nutella or Ferrero Rocher chocolates, this tea is for you.

I’ve gotta get more of this tea. Excuse me as I go and place an order.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
124 tasting notes

I drank this a few days ago but forgot to log it at the time. I was busy studying for a bio exam at the time and didn’t really pay much attention to the flavour as I normally would. The leaves smelled amazing, though— very chocolate-y. I could almost taste the chocolate malt milkshake in my mouth.

Anyway, I have no idea how to brew mate. I read somewhere about splashing it with cold water before putting in the hot water, to preserve the minerals, so I did just that, waited a few minutes, and then proceeded to add boiling water.

The aroma was still very, very nice, though I couldn’t pick up as much of the chocolate as I was expecting, after having smelled the dry leaves. Oh well. I took my first sip and could detect a hint of chocolate, along with something that I think is what mate tastes like. I don’t remember much else about this mate, since I was engrossed in my biology textbook for the remainder of the cup.

This tea was a bit of a letdown after the high expectations I had of it after smelling the dry leaves, but overall, I still enjoyed it. Also, it’s quite likely that I didn’t brew the mate properly/am not used to how flavoured mate tastes. In any case, I do plan on trying this again in the near future. Hopefully I’ll be able to pay more attention to the flavouring by then.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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63

My first rooibos tea!

I’d heard about rooibos teas from a friend of mine who really likes them. I decided to give this one a go after the $1/oz deal from Tropical Tea Company.

I tried this while—surprise!—studying for an exam. So, again, I wasn’t paying very much attention to flavour. I just wanted something pleasant to drink while trudging through endless lines of text and various powerpoints. Be warned that my memory might be fuzzy on some details.

So, the details: blueberry. Lots of blueberries.

As a matter of fact, that’s all that I can remember of this. Blueberry when I opened the pouch, blueberry when I brewed this, blueberry when I drank it. I get the feeling that I probably missed some subtle notes of other flavours in there.

If you don’t like blueberries/blueberry-flavoured foods and drinks, don’t get this. I love blueberries, and berries in general, so I intend to have another cup of this sometime again.

And now, the word ‘blueberry’ no longer makes sense to me at the moment. Yay, semantic satiation. :P

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Monks Blend by Tropical Tea Company
124 tasting notes

I got this from Tropical Tea Company’s $1/oz sale. At that price, this is definitely worth a try.

Upon opening the pouch, the smell of the leaves reminded me strongly of cherry Coke. The aroma after brewing remained about the same. The tea itself is sort of sweet and creamy (that may have been the tiny bit of milk I added, though). I thought I could detect a hint of vanilla. The cherry aroma from the dry leaves and brewed tea doesn’t actually taste like cherry. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s still a fruity flavour.

I’ll be trying this out again and writing more notes on it. The majority of my tea logs from this week aren’t as detailed as I’d like for them to be, mostly because I’ve been drinking the teas while being absorbed in my textbooks.

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

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75
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
124 tasting notes

The dry leaves smell slightly spiced and chocolatey, with a hint of sweet almond. The leaves look quite pretty with large slices of almond in it.

I made the decision to brew a cup of this at 11 in the evening. I clearly had no idea what I was getting into. Don’t ever drink this at that late an hour if you plan on going to bed any time soon.

It’s the beginning of allergy season for me, so something should have tipped me off when I could detect a strong, spicy aroma coming from my mug. I haven’t really been able to smell anything for the past week or so.

I took my first sip and my tastebuds were promptly knocked out from the shock of the spices. I honestly wasn’t anticipating for this tea to be that spicy. I did some homework to recover from the surprise.

When I came back to the tea several minutes later, I steeled myself, and took another sip. Wow! It was delicious. I first detected a strong gingery flavour, mixed with cinnamon. I thought I could taste a bit of chocolate in there as well, but it was quickly followed by an almond-y scent. The final kick came from the cayenne pepper, which I still found to be very strong.

Well, I’ve almost finished my cup. I had to add a splash of coffee creamer (Toffee Almond creamer— I’m out of milk at the moment) along the way, since the spices were keeping me wide awake and I really want to go to bed at some point. Overall, I enjoyed this tea, though I couldn’t detect a lot of chocolate. Be warned, though, that this tea can make your mouth (and the back of your throat) feel like it’s burning. It’s great for keeping you up for late-night homework or writing sessions, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Update

Have been occupied as of late with grad school. I’ll still be on Steepster, but will mostly be in lurk-mode with the occasional review.

About Me
Student with far too many interests, ranging from medical anthropology to evolutionary biology to bioethics to medicine to computer science to theatre, and lots more.

Brewing
Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

Preferences
I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

Ratings
My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

I plan to give my rating system an overhaul and will eventually get around to rescaling older ratings.

99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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