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216 Tasting Notes

89

The dry leaves on this were intimidatingly black and twisty! And indeed, it is a very roast-y tea. It doesn’t have the sweet undertones of some other roasted oolongs that I’ve been trying lately, either, although there’s a lot of tea going on underneath the smoke.

Here’s a picture from the third steep, although the reflections off of the side of the teapot are keeping the twistiness of the tea from being clear:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cait_tea/4514585111/in/set-72157623664718933/

(That’s my newest teacup in the photo as well, by the way. I had been feeling like I didn’t have enough drinkware to support my telecommuting tea habit and also like I wanted something better sized to my wee Samovar teapot, but I didn’t really have the budget for full-on-fancy teaware — and then I was wandering around the outskirts of the farmers’ market on Saturday and found someone selling a punchbowl and eighteen nice little punch cups for, y’know, flea market prices. So, uh, now I have three new glass teacups and a fifteen-cup backup stack in my storage cupboard.)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
~lauren.

What a pretty color to the tea – sunshine! And the glass teacup is lovely – nice to have (so many) backups! LOL! I’m really really tempted by the Life in Teacup samples ….

Cait

The nice thing about (lots of) glass teacups is that now I can see the color of the tea! And I highly recommend the Life in Teacup samples — that’s how I got hooked! (Or I could share a packet of their An Xi Tie Guan Yin roasted, if you’re interested in that one…?)

~lauren.

You wouldn’t believe the timing of this – but I have two other website tabs open on my browser – one is the life in teacup website and the other is the shopping cart! I am just two seconds away from placing an order of their samples – I just came back on to steepster to check out some of their tea ratings!!! Such coincidence!!! Thank you, hugely :), for your offer, though!!!

~lauren.

Okay – done! Your post (and a couple of other ones) have convinced me to get some Life in Teacup samples! And this post may actually inspire me to use my teeny-tiny ‘wee Samovar teapot’ or at the very least, my 10 oz Rishi one (which is marginally bigger)!

Cait

Yay! I’m so excited on your behalf (and not just because I’m looking forward to your photography)! :)

~lauren.

Okay – We have to make a cyber-pact – I will (try very hard) to photograph more of my tea/teaware from now on because I do so enjoy looking at your photos as well as AmazonV’s (she is really good about posting her photos on her blog!) along with other Steepsterites! How’s that? I know we all get busy but I’ll make an effort since you’ve been so good posting your photos!

Cait

Eep! But — okay, okay, we have a deal! I will do what I can.

AmazonV

Cait, that is a very adorable teapot and cup!
~lauren Life In teacup samples are awesome I do agree, and thank you! i try to get pictures of all my teas, i mean since I can’t pass the smells and taste through the internet (yet, they have to be working on that)

~lauren.

Smell-e-vision and Scent-ternet! Hey, you never know!

Cait

Thanks, AmazonV! (And as cool as it’s going to be to get full-sensory internet, I’m a little scared of what April Fool’s will be that first year — rickrolling will never be the same…! grin)

AmazonV

oh my, I never though of that, link to some lovely floral tea and get stinky cheese or some such on april 1st!

Cait

Heh. My cyberpunk has never been the same since the first time someone pointed out the unfortunate possibilities inherent in combining “direct upload to brain” and “spam email”.

AmazonV

Cait, as in you play Shadowrun or another flavor?

Cait

…Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve played! Heh. I meant as a general life philosophy, but now I’m wondering where exactly one acquires a Spam Filter +4!

AmazonV

giggle i only play at gaming conventions, no one nearby to play, and i haven’t gotten to play in 2? years but once a gamer always a gamer :) how about some ice built to go after spam…..

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94
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
216 tasting notes

I have been shamefully neglecting to log this, despite Doulton’s kind swapping when I specifically wanted this one! I just seemed to keep drinking it at times when I would have had to give a really rushed tasting note that wasn’t worthy of the tea. So, consider this a backlogging x 5!

I’m not usually a big fan of chocolate teas: I figure, if what you want is chocolate, make some cocoa! But the luscious descriptions of this kept drawing me in. First I tried it plain, and I thought: Okay, it’s not bad, but what’s the big deal? Then I tried it with milk.

Om nom nom nom nom!

Oh! So I get it, now.

With milk, there’s a chocolate taste, yes, but there’s also a thoroughly creamy hazelnut that blends in perfectly, and supporting both of those there’s a strong black tea base to remind me that this isn’t a cocoa experience. Cocoa is a comfort drink, a lazy drink, something to sip while doing something else. Tea is its own justification! Mmm, tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

I often steep tea (either chocolate or chai) in milk and then add cocoa… that way I can have the health benefits of all 3!=D

Cait

grin That’s thorough!

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92
drank Christmas (Rois Mages) by Kusmi Tea
216 tasting notes

Oh, this was very tasty! (Thank you, Doulton!) The bag smelled alarmingly of pine, but the tea itself was a wonderfully balanced mix of spices that did, in fact, remind me of Christmas food and drink. (Usually when a tea says this it just means “we have cloves!”, but this was a much more complicated blend.)

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

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
216 tasting notes

Hmm. This doesn’t make the best of iced teas: the tea flavor and the berry flavor are both there, but they never quite mesh.

Disclaimer: My tin of Marco Polo is embarrassingly old, which is surely affecting the flavors it produces.

Lori

I tried one of MF’s fruity teas cold and it was YUCK. those flavors justdid not blend well either…

Cait

So it’s not just me, then! Good to know. :)

Ricky

And here I was going to try and make this tea iced.

Cait

If you can figure out how to make it work, I’d love to know!

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70
drank Strawberry Kiwi Tea by The Tea Table
216 tasting notes

Tried this as an iced tea again. It’s strong enough this time, but the flavor is…odd. You sip and it’s strawberry immediately, but then that’s gone and you’re drinking water — but when you’re done, there’s a lingering taste of kiwi. Alas, I think this one is not to be.

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87

Oh, it is too hot out for more caffeine that this. Please please please let my building turn on the central air soon.

Today’s photo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cait_tea/4502757992/in/set-72157623664718933/

~lauren.

Love the cup/mug – such a pretty color!

Cait

Isn’t it a lovely mug? I got it from a renfaire years ago!

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88
drank Green Yerba Mate by The Tea Table
216 tasting notes

My first yerba mate! And I like it!

The dry leaves smell very much like something, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what. The brewed tea also has a very familiar yet unnamable scent. Argh! But perhaps I’ll be able to remember for the next cup, after the caffeine in here kicks in, or the mateine, or whatever it is — it smells like caffeine, anyway. And also like something a bit burnt.

Oddly, it tastes very sweet! I was not expecting that, and it’s somewhat odd to pick up the mug and smell cinder while sipping sugar. There is an ashy aftertaste, but not at all in a bad way. It’s tasty!

I wonder how many infusions these leaves are good for?

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80

First Tea Table tea of April! I’m not actually sure what I think of it yet; it’s definitely a good mint, but the black tea underneath was somewhat muted. Consider this a provisional rating!

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

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75
drank Good Fortune Bloom by Full Bloom Tea
216 tasting notes

Surprisingly good for being a few years old! I got two full pots’ worth of tea out of this; the first was sweeter than the second, and I think that the blossom probably stewed a bit between pots. It’s a pity Full Bloom Tea has gone out of business. (They’re also the source of my big glass teapot, the one that I used for everything before I got my wee little pot because, amazingly, the spout never dribbles.)

But this was a blooming tea, and you want to know how pretty it was! So: it was very, very pretty. The dry leaves were wrapped in a heart-shaped lump. They unfurled into incredibly long tendrils of tea around a pink clover center. See for youself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cait_tea/4497665430/

~lauren.

Photos, Yay! Love it! I had an art display tea today too and it was exciting to see the unfurling (the tea was a bit delicate, though).

Cait

Tea is just so pretty, y’know? And I’d love to get better at photographing it!

~lauren.

I saw some of your photos on steepster flickr group – lovely!!! keep drinking tea and posting, I’m enjoying your posts and photos!

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97

oh hi i think i made my tea too strong this morning hi there is a lot of caffeine in here yes indeed there is mmm smoky sweet caffeine it is monday

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I like tea!

Since joining Steepster, it’s become apparent that this statement desperately needs further refinement.

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