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223 Tasting Notes

93

I had to go off on a variety of errands, which seemed like a good excuse to try out my marvelous new JoeMo tea travel mug that I got through one of the Steepster Select offers (via TeaFrog) and this cold-brewed iced tea from Den’s Tea. I’m so glad I did! All I had to do was place the little pyramid silk tea bag in the tea holder of the mug (which works for loose tea as well), pour in cold water and wait. Den’s Tea suggests an hour, but I was impatient and was sipping wonderful mango flavored iced tea in 45 minutes. The mug is a revelation. It is sturdy, cleverly designed, has a lift out tea strainer, and a mechanism that makes drinking out of the mug a great deal more pleasurable than most travel mugs. I highly recommend it. Here is the link: http://teafrog.com/teas/joemo-xl-tea-travel-mug.html

On to the tea! I was surprised. It was tasty, well-flavored, non-bitter and basically delicious. I didn’t think that cold-brewing would work that well, but it did. The tea has a creamy mango sencha flavor that went well with my errands. Also highly recommended.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
takgoti

Oooh! I have the travel mug from Teas Etc. that I enjoy, but I like the look of this one, too. Bookmark’d!

Also, I have no recollection of this on SS. Must have missed it. Humph.

Carolyn

It was either right before or right after the Soropot so I imagine you were in your little Soropot heaven fugue state. I think this is the best travel tea device I’ve ever seen.

takgoti

Likely true! Ok, I think this is going to finish off my next round of tea purchasing. I’m going to try and be good and wait until next month. We’ll see how well that works.

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84

Delightful oolong with a nice honeyed flavor and notes of apricot.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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64

This is a tea that is better as it cools a bit. Initially I could taste no fruits at all but as it cooled I began to get a pleasant banana and slight cherry sweetness toward the end of each sip. The tea used as a base is very strong, slightly astringent and slightly bitter. I recommend steeping it for less than 4 minutes. It is an ok tea. I can see myself drinking it again. I prefer 52teas’ Coconut Cream Pie, which seems to have more flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Madison Bartholemew

did you add sugar? when I did I felt there was too much flavor… but without I think you’re right and there isn’t enough.

Carolyn

No. I try to avoid sugar in food since it seems to play merry hell with my appetite and energy levels through the day. (Which is not to say that I will never do it, but it is a very seldom sort of thing.)

Madison Bartholemew

wow… go you resisting the sugar gods… I am in awe

Carolyn

I should point out that I am not a sugar-free purist. My Silk Creamer has a bit of sugar in it, though I avoid the flavored creamers because they have a lot more than the plain creamer. What I mostly do is try to taken sugar in very mindfully knowing that it will drop my blood sugar to the level that puts me to sleep or makes me ravenously hungry. So other than special occasions (like New Years Day) I prefer take in sugar before bed rather than in the morning. Also I don’t fret about sugar that occurs naturally in fruit. I eat fruit through the day and enjoy it without much problem. So I assume that it is the concentrated sugars in white sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. that is problematic for me rather than fruit. Perhaps because the fiber in fruit slows down the intake of sugar. Who knows? I think everyone eventually learns the foods they can eat with abandon and those that require caution and since everyone is an individual, it varies from person to person.

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28
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
223 tasting notes

OK, I thought I’d just top off my caffeination before heading out (while waiting for my beloved to slowly ready himself) and try this new tea at the same time. It’s not for me. I couldn’t finish it. The spices are too strong and hurt my throat and the ginger smell is too strong for me to enjoy the fragrance of the tea.

I’ve put it in my “Give to a Good Home” box.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Andrea in New Mexico

This is on my shopping list, one I’ve wanted to try!

I’d love to send you some of my beloved white chai for a taste of this one!

Andrea in New Mexico

(Or anything else in my cupboard, if it looks more enticing to you…)

Cofftea

Carolyn, I’d like to try some too, please.

Andrea in New Mexico

(Cofftea, if you’d like some of this white chai—or anything else!—I’d be happy to send some your way as well. I’m drinking nothing else today and it’s divine!)

Cofftea

Thanks Andrea, but I don’t care for lemon or coconut in my chai- but P.S. I think you’d like Adagio’s Thai Chai. I think I have some I can send you, I’ll check and let you know for sure. The only thing in your cupboard that really interests me is Essencha’s matcha, but I think I’ll wait til I go there in June to try it. I’ve got 2 different kinds I’m kinda sorta almost done w/ and one more on the way anyway.

Madison Bartholemew

this is waiting for me to try… have you had the chai with chocolate? Now I’m wondering how it is in comparison to that.

Carolyn

I would be delighted to split the tea up amongst you and send it out. I will send an email to Cofftea requesting her address.

@Andrea If you would send me your email address via Twitter at http://twitter.com/CarolynDrinksTe I will make arrangements that way. Alternatively, if you are not shy about sharing your email address publically (as I am) you can post it here.

@Madison I am not sure which chocolate chai you are talking about. I’ve had the Adagio chocolate chai (which made me a bit sick as all the Adagio flavored teas do). Is that what you are referring to? I can tell you that this does not compare well for me with any chai tea, which I normally like.

Carolyn

@Andrea I would be delighted to try your white chai, which has received such stunning acclaims by you. But please send a very, very small amount since my husband is looking askance at the room my tea is taking up in the kitchen.

Cofftea

@Carolyn, I do believe she’s referring to 52teas chai w/ chocolate which is in stock.

Madison Bartholemew

hmmmm I was wondering about the 52teas chai with chocolate… let me link you http://steepster.com/teas/52teas/6471-chai-with-chocolate

Carolyn

Oh, I see. Thank you. No I haven’t tried it.

Andrea in New Mexico

Carolyn, I’ll message you on Twitter in a few. I’m AndreaNM there for anyone who cares…

Cofftea, I was going to offer you some of the Essencha matcha and I would really like to send you some. You don’t need to wait until June and anyway, I’d love to hear how you think it compares… my matcha experience is so limited.

This will be my first time sending tea out and I’d love to know how people prefer to receive it—my instinct is just to put some amount (an ounce? Some tablespoons? What’s typical?) in a Ziplock baggie. Is there a better way?

Andrea in New Mexico

Carolyn, I’m not able to send you a message via Twitter. My e-mail address is my first name dot royb@l at gmail dot com. And change the at sign in my second name to the letter it most resembles. :-)

Carolyn

Ok. I’ve emailed both Andrea and Cofftea.

@Andrea In my limited experience ziplock bags seem to be very common. One thing to keep in mind is that ziplocks do not adequately keep scents in or out of the bag. So if you are sending a lot of tea you may want to segregate the strong smelling bags of tea from the more delicate teas. takgoti used tissue paper which I thought was merely decorative until I put all the little ziplocks together in a big ziplock and had some trouble with fragrance leakage. Since that moment my admiration for takgoti’s knowledge of all things tea has merely increased.

Cofftea

Ok, Andrea- you win:) I’ll take some. Thank you so much! Email me and let me know what you’d like in return.

Andrea in New Mexico

Cofftea, did you get my e-mail? I still need your address!

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100
drank Matcha Miyabi by Den's Tea
223 tasting notes

Mixed this with hot chocolate “mix” (actually ground up dark chocolate bars is our hot chocolate mix), Vanilla Soy Milk, and Soyatoo Cream then frothed in our hot chocolate maker for a delicious frothy beverage with lots of chocolatey and matcha goodness. It’s a great start to a new year. Now off to our run!

Andrea in New Mexico

That totally deserves a 100, from what I can tell…

Happy new year. :-)

Andrea in New Mexico

p.s. Hot chocolate maker???

Adam Hansen

Sounds like something worth a try in my future.

Carolyn

Hmmm. I thought I’d upped the rating to 100. Off to do that now.

Yes, Williams-Sonoma outlet was selling them cheaply so I bought one. It is an attractive carafe with a built in electronic whisk to froth the hot chocolate. It worked admirably in this making a full inch and a half of matcha hot chocolate foam.

Cofftea

YAY! Glad you liked it!

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95

I’m continuing with my tea drinking instead of food to prepare myself for an evening of riotous pleasure. Chai Agni is perfect since it is decaf, which means that I won’t be up all night if I have it late. I wish I could find more decaf teas (not rooibos or honeybush) that tasted as good. It is, of course, delicious and warming with its lovely peppers, spices, and chocolate notes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I did email them and request a caffinated version. Until then, as soon as I have cupboard room, I think I may get a sample size of this just to see of I like the tea/spice/chili ratio. But then again by the time I actually have cupboard room, they’ll probably have the caffinated version lol.

takgoti

I’ve been craving this lately. Going to need to make some soon!

Cofftea

“Chai Agni is perfect since it is decaf, which means that I won’t be up all night if I have it late”… so not planning on making it to midnite? The only way I will is if I have to get up about then to go to the bathroom lol.

Carolyn

We’re running in the morning and then doing a yoga Sun Salutations mala (which is 108 sun salutations) to greet the new year. So we need our sleep tonight. Tomorrow I greet the day with the amazing Cofftea Chocolate Matcha mixture, then run, then exhaust myself with yoga. We just had more Indian food than is decent to have. Now we let it digest while enjoying ourselves and waiting for just the right moment for liquor saturated chocolates and Silk Nog. Mmmm! New Years Eve yumminess.

Good for you in requesting them to make a caffeinated version. Did they respond? I’d be happy to drop a bit of Chai Agni in the mail to you if you want to try it.

Cofftea

Yes, she said she’d pass my request along to the person that makes that decision. And I’d LOVE some:) My email is in my profile, just let me know what you’d like in return.

takgoti

@Carolyn That sounds like a wonderful way to welcome the new year. Best wishes to you and your beloved!

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87
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
223 tasting notes

My plan for today is eating very little so that I can feast tonight. This tea just arrived and I’ve dragooned it into my plot to keep me low calorie during the day while satisfying my hungry inner child. (Thanks for such great timing 52 Teas.)

The tea looks amazing with giant pieces of coconut strewn through the tea. I absolutely adore coconut and would happily live on it if that didn’t mean that I would gain tons of weight. But coconut tea? Just what the diet doctor ordered I think.

The tea’s fragrance wafts upward with a light floral note combined with coconut, vanilla and the classic tea scent. It steeps into a reddish brown liquor that has a sweet dark taste with a coconut aftertaste. It’s reasonably good and definitely what I need today to stay on my meager calorie allotment until tonight’s bacchanal.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LENA

this sounds so good. 78 isn’t a bad score either. i’ve been on a coconut kick lately. no so much with teas, but with actual coconut. mmm!

takgoti

I’d be all over ordering this if I liked coconut more. The fact that you got me salivating a little bit with this review anyway is high praise.

Carolyn

@takgoti You’re just a sucker for floral fragrances. ;) It is a reasonably good tea. Not a fantastic tea. But reasonably good and certainly hit the spot for what I needed today. Also, it appears to be pretty high caffeine. We went for a walk in the park after I drank it and I was bouncing along the boardwalk and challenging my beloved to short races.

takgoti

HAH, it’s true. Well, that and buttery teas. Erm…and caramel. Anyway, that’s pretty funny about the caffeine! I tend to get a little loopy when I’m a caffeine high.

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80

This is the last few leaves in this sampler. It has a delightful jasmine scent and flavor, like being surrounded by flowers.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Blue Moon by Red Leaf Tea
223 tasting notes

It’s an extraordinarily pretty tea shot through with ribbons of yellow, red, and blue petals. The tea smells sweet like berries. The liquor is reddish like good brandy (but not as dark as brandy). The taste is like sweet black tea flavored lightly with strawberries.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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99

This is the most expensive tea I’ve ever bought and came in such a tiny amount (only enough for one cup) that I’ve been reluctant to try it in the course of my normal days. Today is the day I break open this excessively expensive packet of tea and see what the fuss is about.

The dry leaves are very similar to my favorite Upton tea, Bohea Select, which is not surprising since this is Bohea Select’s bigger and more elaborately hyped sister tea. The smell is similar to keemuns I’ve tasted with that slightly book-dry, slightly caramel smell. Upton says that there is a floral note there as well and I can barely smell it. As the tea develops in the cup it takes on greater sweetness. It brews into a paler color than my Bohea, but that just may be because I normally use a lot more tea than I received in this sample.

The taste is complex with the same keemun-like book dry and caramel notes as well as as a sweetness. There is no bitterness or astringency. It is a very enjoyable tea with a great deal of complexity that would be fun to explore. But is it worth $988 a pound to me? Probably not.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Angrboda

Sounds like me and the uber-special Pu Ti Cha a while ago. I’ve still got the other half of that lying around and can’t make myself use it.

LENA

wow…that’s not a cheap one! at least it scored a 99 in your book!

Carolyn

@Angrboda think it is exactly the same situation.

@LENA Yes, because of the price it will never score a 100 sadly. But it is a very tasty and complex tea. Wouldn’t be wonderful to have all the money you needed to buy any tea you wanted over and over?

takgoti

When I win the lottery, I’ll buy you a couple of pounds.

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Profile

Bio

I’m a suddenly enthusiastic tea aficionado. I had no idea how varied and delicious teas could be. Also I’m a dairy-free vegetarian, so if you see me say “cream” or “milk” it means soy milk or soy cream.

Location

Memphis

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