487 Tasting Notes
This is an individually packaged tea bag I picked up on my mini-moon a couple weeks ago. We stayed at the most beautiful, quaint bed and breakfast in Newport, RI. It’s called the Cliffside Inn, and I highly highly recommend it! They had tea time on Wednesday afternoons, and what was offered? Harney and Sons!!! I grabbed a couple extra tea bags to try later, and later it is! ;)
This steeped up to a nice golden brown. The aroma is nutty and maybe a tad mineral? The flavor is muscatel and sweet, but the mouthfeel is very odd. It’s silky and yet extremely mouthwatering. As in, I have a sip, and then my mouth waters for several seconds as it processes the aftertaste. This results in a lot of swallowing for one little sip of tea. If I fight through that oddity, I can detect a roastiness in the flavor as well.
This is not bad! I can’t say I’m really enjoying this weird mouthwatering aspect. But the flavor itself is good. Maybe adding milk would help. I can’t tell if it’s just my taste buds acting funny this morning or if the tea is really eliciting this odd reaction. With additions, a natural yet subtle fruity sweetness appears. This is a very pleasant tea! And now my cup is empty. Aww. :(
As soon as I saw this label, I immediately started singing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write!” Ahh, I just love Christmas. Who cares if it’s May? It’s Christmas tea time! :D This tea + skim milk + truvia = YUM! This is a delicious treat. I’m thoroughly enjoying this bit of Christmas in May. :)
Big thanks to Stacy from Butiki Teas for providing this sample with my latest order. Yay! I love trying new teas! :D
The aroma of the brewed tea is recognizably potato and apple. Wow. How did she do that? First sip! Hmm, the taste is so interesting. The first part of the sip is buttery green tea. The end of the sip is potato: warm, buttery potato pancake. Mmm! The apple is very quiet in this, but it complements the other flavors well.
This tea is very well blended indeed. I’m really enjoying this! My cup is almost empty, oh no! Time for a second infusion for 6 minutes. Wow! The aroma of this second cup seems better than the first! It smells positively AMAZING! I added a teensy tiny bit of sweetener to this cup in hopes of bringing out more apple.
Mmm, it worked! The aroma is weighted towards potato pancake, but the taste is weighted towards cinnamon apples. This is the first time I’ve identified cinnamon in the tea. The sweetener was just the right amount to bring out the apple flavor without actually making the tea taste sugary sweet. And there’s still plenty of potato pancake flavor! This is perfect!
I’m loving this! It’s so unique and delicious. And I’m sooo impressed that it re-steeps this well! I just can’t believe it. Sooooo good!!!! I never want to run out of this! This is MAGIC!!! Thanks, Stacy!
Many thanks to Mercuryhime for this sample! This is a very special tea indeed. I gave most of this cup and its subsequent infusions to my new husband. It’s so unique! He needed to try it.
He described it as, “It’s got that weird tongue thing again…like the tea is trying to get away from my tongue and escape.”
“Okay, you’re describing the mouthfeel. But what about the flavor?” I asked.
“It tastes like brown construction paper. I like it,” he replied. LOL! Who describes a tea as tasting like paper and then likes it? “I know,” he continued, “It tastes brassy! Yeah, like I’m licking a doorknob.”
I laughed at him and then he said, “I think people would really like to read my tasting notes. I’m the best at tasting notes. You’re jealous.” :) Aww, he’s so adorable! I love my hubby. Maybe he’ll join Steepster and track his own tea journey. You never know!
raided complimentary sample tea bag. For more info on the story of Ikaati and my finding it, see my Black Orchid tasting note.
The dry leaf aroma here is very perfume-y bergamot. The brewed tea aroma is classic dirty diaper Keemun followed by bergamot. Unfortunately, the dirty diaper aroma has made its way into the taste. This is just nasty. Blech. :( You know, this tea says it has Yunnan and Keemun in it, so you’d think I’d like it better than the all Keemun Black Orchid tea. But I’m really only getting Keemun here. Weird.
I’ll have to add milk and sugar to see if this cup is at all redeemable. I added quite a bit of milk and only a little sweetener. This seems to have killed most of the Keemun yuckiness. Now I’m left with a pretty good cup of earl grey! If you like Keemun, then you’d most definitely like this tea. There’s nothing wrong with the Keemun here. I’m just not a fan of that particular base.
The bergamot oil is not overdone either. It’s blended nicely and reminds me of my visits to Paris. OMG! I’m going to Paris again in less than 6 months!!! Ahhhh!!!! I better buy our plane tickets! :D Damn, prices have really gone up lately. I should have bought them in March. Dang it! I knew they were good prices back then! Agh!
Oooh, but flying into London is cheap! Hmm, I need to go revise our travel plans. Maybe we’ll do London AND Paris. ;)
First cup of the day! It’s time to continue drinking down all of these one sample tea bags!
This is a sample I grabbed up at the Spa Terre at Hotel Viking in Newport, RI. I went the day before the wedding to get a French manicure with my mom. It was just the two of us, and the total bill came to $132! Needless to say, I felt a little cheated. So on the way out, I raided their complimentary tea stand. ;)
I’ve never heard of Ikaati. And apparently neither has Steepster, as I was the first one to add these teas to the database. I grabbed two black teas, one green, and one herbal. My hopes were a little dashed as upon Googling the black teas, I discovered they’re both Keemun. Blech! My nickname for Keemun is “dirty diaper tea.”
I went ahead and brewed them up anyway. First up, Black Orchid! The dry leaf aroma is just weird. I can’t really tell what’s going on here. It’s not bad necessarily, just unidentifiable to me. The tea bags are hand-tied pouches. Honestly, they didn’t seem particularly stable. Think taking a square piece of mesh fabric, putting some tea leaves in the center, and then pulling all the edges together and tying it off by wrapping a piece of string around it. O_O
But upon steeping, they held together well. Ooh boy, that Keemun is making itself known! I’m getting a lot of dirty diaper scent in the brewed tea aroma. (Sorry to all of you who actually enjoy Keemun.) I’m actually a little afraid to take this first sip…but the more I sniff it, the more recognizable it’s becoming. In fact, I think this smells a little like strawberry Twizzlers! Or Red Vines.
Okay enough stalling…first sip…hmm…second sip…this is surprisingly not bad! It does kind of taste like Red Vines too. Interesting. Hmm, I rather like this! The vanilla is coming through strongly, followed by a glimmer of orange, and then finally what must be a ylang ylang flower. I can’t say I’ve ever tried that before, but it’s rather tasty and leaves a wonderful aftertaste: a natural, soft sweetness with no bitterness or astringency.
Yay! This tea is a winner! Oh, I’m so relieved! I’m even enjoying the cup sans additions, which is rare for me. What a treat! I can now say that I recommend Ikaati to the Steepster community! Well, this tea at least. ;) It’s very unique.
I think this is the freshest of my randomly found Lupicia samples. This is surprisingly good! It’s a nice balance of smooth and brisk. The Darjeeling comes through strong, but the other teas in the blend are equally present. I usually hate drinking black tea straight, but I drank the whole cup this way! Yum! This is a solid choice if you like Darjeelings. I’m thoroughly enjoying this. :)
Another randomly found Lupicia sample. I actually bought this one with Kotobuki as a trial wedding favor. They both came in one white, mesh, organza bag with a drawstring closure. Each sample was packaged in its own plastic slip colored cream and gold. Overall, I like the favors. But at $2.50 each, I decided it wasn’t worth it. My mom ended up making cookies for our favors. :)
Anyway, I digress again. This tea is DELICIOUS! The dry leaf aroma is fruity, floral, and yummy! The brewed tea aroma is simply mouthwatering. And the taste? DE-LISH! It has a natural sweetness and can be drunk straight, which is the way I enjoyed it. I highly recommend this one, and I don’t even like Keemun! This tea is great!
Another randomly found Lupicia sample. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a sipdown since it’s only this one tea bag. I guess since I have so many one sample tea bags floating around, I won’t count them as sipdowns. Anywho, on to the tea!
The dry leaf aroma is grape and green tea. The brewed tea aroma is the same and yet different. It smells sweeter now. Mmm, the flavor here is lovely! It’s a nice mixture of grassy green tea with grape candy. The end of the sip is slightly bitter, but that’s counteracted nicely by the grape flavor which lingers long after the sip.
I’m content with this one. It’s definitely more enjoyable to me than Lupicia’s Happiness tea I just tried. Still, it’s probably not something I would re-stock. But I do feel confident in recommending it to others!
This is a sample I received forever ago in a Lupicia Monthly Newsletter. I actually forgot I had it as it wasn’t even recorded in my virtual cupboard here on Steepster. I literally stumbled across 5 Lupicia tea samples in my quest to organize my non-virtual tea cupboard. Score! This is the first one I wanted to try as I’ve had it a couple other times, but I’ve never really formed an opinion about it.
For those of you new to Lupicia tea bags, it’s important to note that the instructions say to brew them in only 5 oz. of water. I’ve made the mistake many times of brewing them in 8 oz., and they taste like barely flavored water. No mistakes this time! ;)
The dry leaf aroma is very fruity. It does strike me as happy fruit, if there can be such a thing. The brewed tea aroma is purely green tea with just the smallest hint of fruit. The taste is the same as the aroma here: green tea with a hint of fruit. The fruit is largely unidentifiable to my palate. I looked up the ingredients to see what it is supposed to be: peach and grapefruit. I suppose it does taste faintly of those, but it’s not obvious. I’m not getting any recognizable green rooibos flavor either.
I’m sad to report that this tea does not evoke any happiness in me. Rather, I find that it’s a lackluster tea and largely forgettable. I suppose that’s why I’ve had it three times and can never remember what it tastes like or whether I like it. The longer I sip it, the more generic it tastes. It also has a very drying effect on my mouth. I feel positively parched! Lowering the rating from 60 to 49.
This is not a winner in my book, but I’m glad I can finally put my mind to rest about this one. Farewell, Happiness tea! May you be loved and appreciated by others!