607 Tasting Notes
So much tea, so little time! I’ve been the lucky recipient of tons of tea samples from generous Steepsterites. In addition, the boyfriend finally gave the sign off that tea can be part of the food budget!! SQUEEEE!!!!
So of course I had to stockpile some tea (as if I needed any more)! I ordered some tea from Lupicia about two months ago when my tea stock was running low and only just now received it.
Lupicia’s customer service kept calling me to say the tea I wanted was out of stock. So, I’d pick a new one, and then get a phone call the next day that that one was out of stock too. Eventually, I just asked for my money back on the one that we couldn’t seem to replace, and they said they’d ship the rest out right away.
Then the package wasn’t delivered by Fedex and got lost in limbo in some warehouse in Maryland for another month. I FINALLY received the package last week and it was chock FULL of free tea samples!! Now I kind of feel bad that I was silently cursing them in my head for two months. They really are a great company.
Thus we are in my current predicament. Which tea to drink first? I opted for a long time favorite: this Tsugaru Green. I specifically bought these as tea bags for ease of use at the office.
The dry leaf aroma is strong, sour, green apple! It’s even more ambrosial than I remember. I can’t wait to brew this! The brewed liquor is a yellow-ish green, and the aroma is now more like tea.
And the taste? Heavenly! I get a very easy-going apple flavor with a fantastic green tea aftertaste. I wonder if they improved the quality of the base? ‘Cause this has much less green apple jolly rancher flavor and more vegetal green tea taste. The apple is calmer and more natural.
This is to die for!!! It still remains one of my favorite flavored greens, but you do have to drink it all up while it’s still fresh. Otherwise, the flavor fades fast.
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 3
Mmm, much softer and lighter than I expected. This tastes great! I was worried it was going to taste like the Kiwi Strawberry Margarita Bai Mu Dan. It must have been the tequila flavoring in that one that was so weird and not to my liking. This is much better.
The dry leaf smells really appetizing! Pure strawberry delight! The brewed aroma is where the lemon showed up for the first time. The white tea base lends a nectar-like sweetness. This is a very nice balance of flavors. It reminds me of when I first discovered 52teas. This is every bit as worth the money and more!
I agree with others that it’s not very tart. I get lemon, just not lemonade. The second steep was 100% lemon and 0% strawberry. But I’m used to 52teas blends only having one good steep in them. Actually, the lemon in the second steep tastes almost like lemon-flavored icing on a lemon cake. It’s quite tasty. I’ll use the second half of the sampler to make it iced later.
I think this might be my second flavored white tea. Overall, I like unflavored whites better, so that’s why I’m rating this one a little lower than it may seem like I should from the glowing review. Don’t get me wrong; this is a really pleasant cup of tea! So, if you’d like to enjoy a flavored white tea, this would be a safe bet.
Backlogging…I first tried this tea a few days ago and never posted my notes on it. So, here it is now!
Work has been r…e…a…l…l…y……s…l…o…w. But when I come home, there’s no time left in the day after cooking, eating, and dishes. I’m currently surrounded by mountains of laundry and an incessantly crying, very needy, high maintenance kitty. If I’m not petting him, he’s crying. So irritating.
But anyway, I’ve been drinking so much green, oolong, and white tea that this is a very refreshing change. I cut open the interior package and took a big whiff of the dry leaves. I immediately said, “Ooh wow!” It smells amazing! I know I’m going to like this one.
I was surprised to see a recommended brewing temperature of only 185 degrees. I only looked at the instructions to double check that it said boiling. But I think this tea does benefit from the lower temperature. And the leaves are sooo colorful! Thin, curly, rainbow leaves!
It’s a very light black tea as black teas go. I can see the bottom of my cup. Of course, that could be attributed to the amount of leaf and steeping time. It tastes incredible! Nutty and slightly sweet. Yum! It’s a very light but complex black tea. Great mouthfeel and taste. Nice umami. No bitterness. Maybe a hint of bitterness at the beginning of the sip, but it quickly dissipates and is nowhere to be found in the aftertaste.
It also has an underlying taste of clean spring water. Really strange but good at the same time. I think I’m also detecting something peppery going on here. There’s just a slightly sweet nuttiness and then a hint of pepper. I discover something new in every sip. This is really great! Another wonderful Teavivre experience!
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 2
Okay, so I’m really behind on these reviews. I should be on tea 5 right now, but life has been a little hectic.
The boyfriend went missing yesterday. He said he was going Christmas shopping, but he didn’t answer his phone all day and was late to dinner with my Dad. He said he lost track of time, but I could also tell he had been drinking. The boy can’t lie to me. He’s completely transparent.
He came clean later and admitted that he had gone to a bar at some point during the 11-hour shopping excursion. But he also came home with no bags or boxes and acted extremely weird during dinner. He hardly ate anything and couldn’t articulate sentences.
I have no idea what’s going on with him. I have a vague suspicion that a diamond might be in my future, since he disappeared upstairs with my dad before dinner. That might explain his weird behavior. I’m not sure though, and I don’t want to get my hopes up if it turns out to be nothing. But something definitely happened yesterday.
Anyway, on to the reason you’re reading this. Get to the tea review already!!
I can tell this sampler pack is going to be dangerous to my pocketbook. I want to buy pouches of everything I’ve tried already! Wow! I just can’t stop saying WOW! The dry leaf smells incredible! I’ve never had a cashew turtle before, but I think I’d love it! I really had to resist the urge to pick out all the chocolate pieces and pop ‘em in my mouth!
Two and a half minutes later, the brewed aroma isn’t quite as fragrant as the dry leaf. But I can still detect the chocolate and caramel notes. Tasting it…wow! There I go again. It’s just wow!
I can taste chocolate and caramel and even a light nuttiness. The black tea base blends well and adds just a touch of bitterness. It’s not overwhelming, and it went away with the addition of a little almond milk. Really yummy.
I apologize for being behind on these Christmas sampler reviews. I’ll try to catch up today. I’m currently surrounded by a large mound of clothing that needs to be washed. I did about six loads of laundry yesterday, but there’s still a lot left over. So, it’s a perfect day to relax, drink tea, and blog on Steepster!
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 1
OMG!!!! This tastes EXACTLY like buttered popcorn!!!! Or, maybe like buttered tea…but still! I’m SO impressed!! This is fantastic! I must buy a pouch IMMEDIATELY before it sells out!!! AHHHH!!!
I don’t know what happened to the sample of this I tried several weeks ago. It didn’t taste ANYTHING like this. This time around as soon as I opened the package, I was assailed by a strong buttery scent! That aroma translates perfectly into the brewed tea. Complete and total YUM!
Honestly, I don’t see how this could be any better. It’s a perfect creation! A Christmas miracle! WHOOOOH!!!!! Now if you’ll excuse me…I have to go apologize to my office mates for screaming in delight like a little child on Christmas morning. ;)
Words cannot begin to describe how terrified I am. I’ve been filled with dread ever since I started researching pu’er/puer/pu-erh. What do they do to this tea?? In case you couldn’t guess, this is my first pu-erh experience. Okay, enough’s enough (as my boyfriend always says). Let’s move on to the tea review.
Man, when they said these are mini tuocha, they meant mini. These are itty, bitty, tiny, bite-sized cakes. I wasn’t expecting that. They’re actually pretty cute. I spent all day reading about pu-erh and how to break it apart. I don’t have a tea needle or an envelope opener, so I was contemplating using a metal chopstick. But as it turns out, all that knowledge is useless with these little things. At least it fits in my tea strainer! Problem one solved.
The dry leaves have a very faint, slightly fishy aroma. Of course, part of me only thinks it smells fishy because I’ve read reviews using that word. Now it’s stuck in my head, and I can’t think of another way to describe this. I really like KS’ review where he said, “The aroma is pure ripe puerh (you know that “Eeww, do I really want to drink this?” smell. To which you happily reply, “Well, yeah.”).”
That’s pretty much exactly what I thought when I smelled the brewed tea, except minus the enthusiasm. I’m still not sure how this is going to turn out. I only did a one minute steep because I was so afraid. Did I rinse it enough? Because I mean, I only poured boiling water over it for like two seconds. Oh, the dread!!! The anxiety!!
It smells…kinda’ gross…like mud-covered gym socks or like a musty, dust-covered wood cabin in the middle of the Adirondack mountains. I wish I could place the aroma because it actually smells somewhat familiar. It’s tickling my memory anyway, but I’m not coming up with anything. I definitely get the idea that this is cooked pu-erh as the word “cooked” readily comes to mind. Hmmm, dare I sip it? Oh come on! Why am I so afraid of this? Red rooibos put the fear of the unknown into me, let me tell you. Who’s afraid of tea? I mean really?
Okay, man up! First sip…I’m not sure what to make of this…It’s not 100% off-putting. Only slightly off-putting. It definitely still has that weird, hard-to-describe taste that’s in the aroma. Woodsy, I guess. It’s not bad, just really weird. I’m getting a little bit of leather, but not nice leather. It’s not like walking into a leather outlet or a horse stable. It’s more like riding in the rain and mud and then having to clean the saddle. Or leather cleaner maybe. It’s not entirely pleasant.
This is definitely what I would describe as an acquired taste. I wouldn’t expect the average tea drinker to enjoy this, especially one like me who has a passion for green, white, and oolong teas. But the flavor isn’t overtly in-your-face. I’m not getting any bitterness (or rose, but I wasn’t expecting to since this is my first pu-erh). It’s actually quite smooth. But I think four sips are enough for this first infusion. I can’t bring myself to finish the cup. Let’s see what happens with a second infusion! This one for two minutes.
Phew! This second cup is even more fragrant than the last one. I suppose if I had liked the first cup, this second cup would be better. But unfortunately, that quality I didn’t really like only got stronger. I gave the cup to my cat to sniff. He sniffed it for a good 10 seconds. He kind of perked up near the end, and I thought he might actually want to try it. Then he thought better of it. I made myself sip it, and it was actually sweeter than I expected. But I don’t think I can drink this tea. It’s just not my style.
To finish off the pu-erh night, I gave it to my boyfriend to try. He often likes things I don’t. He took a tentative sip, wrinkled his brow, and took another sip. Then he said, “It’s dry and it tastes like leaves.” “It’s called pu-erh,” I said. He replied, “More like just poo.” The boyfriend concurs; this is not for us.
But I’m sure my first pu-erh experience could have been a lot worse than this. I’m still convinced that this is high quality tea. If anyone would like to take the remaining three mini tuochas off my hands, send me a message!
This is actually a lot better than I expected it to be! After all, it is an unbranded, stringless tea bag amidst an assortment of candies and crackers from a gift basket.
The black tea base is recognizable as Ceylon and confirmed on the box. It’s only a tiny bit bitter, but not uncomfortably so. It’s the hint of bitterness I almost always get when I drink black tea.
I added a little bit of sweetener, and it really brought out the cranberry and apple flavors. I’m thoroughly enjoying this afternoon cup at work, while trying to plow through some of the duller assignments. I can’t wait for Christmas vacation!!!
This is spicy and nutmeg-y and full of flavor! The clove is very strong and makes me think of my older brother for some weird reason…I think he’s the one who always begged my mom to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, whereas I never particularly liked it.
Anyway, I agree with others that it’s not very cheesecake-y. But I don’t tend to get cheesecake flavor out of 52teas cheesecake blends. I’m not sure what about it makes me miss that flavoring, but I’m missing it here too.
However, I do find this tea delicious! The blend of spices is very similar to what would be in a pumpkin pie. Now I’d really like to try 52teas’ Pumpkin Pie Tea because I feel like I’m drinking it now! Yum!
This is definitely a tea that needs milk. And again with this tea, I find the aftertaste the highlight of the experience. But the more I drink it, the more I like it. It’s actually really great cold too. I’m impressed! Thank you to Ninavampi for sharing this tea with me!! Go Ecuador!
Oh, wow! This smells amazing as it steeps! I received it as a free sample with my last Adagio purchase. It got mixed reviews here, so I had pretty low expectations. But this is great! It smells like chestnuts and cocoa and immediately made me think of Christmas!
Of course, then my officemates started saying, “Something’s burning! It smells like an electrical burn.” I told them I had just made tea, and they claimed it wasn’t coming from that. Then after I insisted they smell it, they started to think maybe it was the tea. Hahaha!
Well, no matter. I think this tea smells great! And not like electrical burning. The taste is very yum! It’s 100% authentic chestnut to me with a really lovely aftertaste. It’s naturally sweet and almost creamy without any additions. I’m also getting a hint of caramel. This is awesome! I highly recommend!
As I keep sipping it, I’m trying to figure out what others didn’t like. I might have pinpointed it. When I raise the cup to take a sip, I am kind of assailed by something off-putting. And I think the lovely chestnut flavor is most enjoyable in the aftertaste. This doesn’t bother me so much, but maybe it does others.
Still, I think this one is worth a shot. Plus, it was free for me, so I’m sure that’s also a contributing factor to my liking it. Who doesn’t love free tea? :)
I found this slightly battered tea bag at the bottom of my tea stash. I’m not really sure where it came from or how long I’ve had it. But it’s tea, so why not brew it?
As I poured the hot water over the bag, the tea bag filled up with an inordinant amount of air. Despite my best efforts, I could not completely submerge the bag. Weird.
The brewed tea doesn’t have much of an aroma. Perhaps it’s because it’s so old. The liquor is a deep, dark, opaque brown. I accidently added some sweetener before I tried it out of habit. So, I can’t comment on what this tastes like sans additions.
But I was actually pleasantly surprised by this tea! It’s very smooth and still quite flavorful. There’s not even a hint of bitterness or astringency. I think I added a tiny bit too much sweetener because it’s a bit tart. And I can’t imagine that’s from the tea leaves themselves.
I also almost always add milk to black tea. I usually find it either tannic or bitter. But this is great even without milk! That’s pretty impressive to me.
This is really quite good. My Twining’s English Breakfast may have a contender. Now I have to go pick up a box of this!