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357 Tasting Notes

56

I hate to bring the rating down on this one, but the sample I got of this from Lupicia was not good at all. Upfront, the peach flavoring was excellent, and I really rarely enjoy peach flavored anything, so it gets points for that. But the tea base was really very bland and it left a chlorine-like aftertaste. I would have thought it had something to do with the water, but we used the same pot of water for other teas and they were great. Maybe it was just a bad batch?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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96

I’m trying some of this because I had to open the package anyway to send some to boychik. I really don’t know how TTC finds such incredible teas. There is an amazing combination of sweet spices in this. Their teas are unlike any I’ve had from other vendors. This is an incredible tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
boychik

I’m intrigued ;) on the other hand I’m sorry you have to open new bag

CharlotteZero

Haha. I’m not sorry! This was a great way to start my day. Headed to FedEx now. :-)

TeaExplorer

I’ve never ordered from them, but your description has me intrigued! Just had a look at their site. I have too many teas already, but some of their offerings look really good :)

CharlotteZero

Let me know if you ever want me to send you some samples. I have quite a few of their teas (more than what I’ve added in my steepster cupboard), and would be happy to send you some…

TeaExplorer

Thanks for the kind offer! I’m going to hold off for the moment, however, since I have such a huge backlog. When I read reviews on Steepster I feel like a dog in a yard full of squirrels =:-}

CharlotteZero

I understand that feeling…Only I am mostly unable to resist the impulse to chase them all, so now I have soooo much tea. Let me know if you ever change your mind, though!

TeaExplorer

I will … thanks!

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83

So, I went to go visit my friend Allie who lives in Sunnyvale yesterday. It was raining all day, so we decided to keep to indoor activities. I’d never bothered looking up tea stores near her before, and I discovered that there is a Lupicia only 15 minutes from her (although, not for long, as we learned from the sales associate that they will be closing soon). I wound up buying a few teas for myself and a few for her. This was one that I bought for her, but we sampled them each when we got back to her house. Honestly, the Darjeeling was lovely and the bergamot was lovely, but I’m not sure I’m crazy for the combination. The others seemed to like it more than I, though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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90

I am backlogging this one from Friday night. Casey and I finished off the last of this. I am very excited to try the 2014 Darjeelings, so I am trying to finish off any 2012s and 2013s I have in my cupboard.

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83

I just ate a bunch of leftover melted dark chocolate from making macaroons, so at first this tasted sour. The dominant aroma in this was definitely strawberry, but I also thought I might smell: cherry, apple, vanilla, chocolate, floral, and cranberry. This is a complex tea and it’s really difficult to pick out what flavorings they use, especially since they keep it a secret. I enjoyed trying this famous tea.

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

Macaroon! That’s one thing I’ve never dared try to make lol

Terri HarpLady

I’m sure the tea is tasty, but I’m talking about the macaroons, of course!

TeaBrat

Oooh, you decided to make some vegan ones? How did they turn out?

CharlotteZero

I made American "macaroons"…The ones with coconut, which were very easy to make. This was my first attempt, and they came out a little too moist and a little too sweet, but overall they were very good. Next time I think I can perfect the recipe. :-)

CHAroma

Macaroons are surprisingly difficult to make.

CharlotteZero

You probably have higher standards than I do, CHAroma…! I made a vegan version, more or less this recipe: http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/cookies/coconut-macaroons

Nicole

I just made “macaroons” yesterday. Topped with chocolate mousse and dipped in dark chocolate ganache… so I completely get the eating of leftover melted dark chocolate… :)

CharlotteZero

Wow. That sounds much more delicious/involved than what I made…

Sil

Nicole is a rockstar in the baking/tea party sort of thing..

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77

Drinking this one tonight. It seemed like it would be good with the macaroons I made- half were dipped in dark chocolate, 1/4 in white chocolate, and 1/4 plain. I also made some coconut cardamom rice pudding. Went a little crazy with the desserts, I guess. Anyway, I tried brewing this one at a lower temperature and with a shorter steep, but it still isn’t really doing it for me. Maybe I will try brewing this at a higher temperature next time? Honestly, adding a bit of bitterness might be an improvement for this one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91

I finally got a day off today! I got to sleep in past 11 AM, ran some errands, and took a walk with my mother and Fritzy (my adorable Wirehaired Dachshund). I am just now sitting down to enjoy the second half of this pot of tea (Fritzy is at my feet with his bat toy in his mouth trying to get me to play. He has unlimited energy). I’ve been very impressed with the two Teavivre black teas I’ve tried so far. This one especially is incredibly smooth and “seamless” (as I’d say in the tasting room). When brewed per the instructions, this is neither bold nor assertive. It would make a nice afternoon tea with pastries. I gave one of each of the 7g samples I have to my boyfriend, CaseyZero, to bring to work. Maybe one day he will write a tasting note…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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88

I did doubt the brewing instructions for this tea. 95 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes seemed both a little too hot and too long to brew a green tea. However, I initially stuck to these parameters. But tonight I used 85 degree water for 3 minutes and it produced a much improved cup. It makes me wonder how they came up with their brewing guidelines, which seem exactly the same for all of the teas in this collection- blacks, greens, and rooibos alike.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

So, as I mentioned before I am trying to work through all of my sample-sized teas. I’d ordered some black tea samples from Teavivre a while ago, but this is the first I’ve tried. I must admit that I was exhausted this morning, so I brewed this tea without even smelling the dry leaves first. I had some of this with hot with my breakfast (cold pizza) and some of it cold with my lunch (brown rice and tofu). This is very similar to Zhi Tea’s Gong Fu black, but I believe I would like this one much better if I had enjoyed it with a cookie or something sweet instead of having it with a savory food. This is definitely something I could see keeping in stock.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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83

I received this as a sample with an order. I did some reorganizing of my teas last night, and I decided to try to sipdown the teas which I have 3 servings or less of. There was just enough in this sample to make a small pot of tea. This was enjoyable, but not my favorite. This is a very subtly flavored Earl Grey Creme with a bit of violet. The violet threw me at first, because sometimes bergamot can smell floral to me, but this smelled like there had to be something else in it besides the bergamot and vanilla. Florals can be difficult to detect for me when there’s citrus too. I wonder if anyone else has that issue.

boychik

i just had a cup of EG Shanghai, i think I need it. Romanoff and Lady Grey just too subtle for me

CharlotteZero

The Earl Grey Shanghai sounds interesting. Ack. I did not need to be reminded of the ATR free shipping! At this moment in time, I just dump everything that comes into my “promotions” tab in gmail before I can even be tempted by them…

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Profile

Bio

Tea means so many things to me, it is so deep and it is revealing new meaning to me all the time.

Tea is a mindfulness practice, and a doorway through which to explore different philosophies, cultures, and historical times. Tea is hospitality and a way of communion. Tea is an art, a ritual, and a tradition. Tea is a complement to the foods I eat (preferably vegan desserts) and is something I enjoy collecting and curating.

I love to swap, or even just send people samples, so if there’s anything in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message!

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

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