514 Tasting Notes

60
drank Turtle Cheesecake by 52teas
514 tasting notes

The dry leaf aroma is heavy on the chocolate, almost like chocolate liqueur. The brewed tea aroma is recognizably Frank’s black tea base. It smells a lot like Pancake Breakfast, which is by far my most drunk blend from 52teas. It also smells faintly of something sweet. Almost a fruity kind of sweetness, like raisins. Weird.

First sip…hmm, this is odd. It tastes like Pancake Breakfast too. I think this needs some sweetener to awaken the flavors. I added a splash of skim milk and a good bit of Truvia. What is this supposed to taste like? There’s maybe, maybe a chocolate-esque flavor going on here, but it is very light and almost dusty tasting. Like chocolate that’s sat in the cupboard for too long and has lost its punch. Where has the chocolaty goodness gone? :(

If I imagine the sweetness I added is supposed to be caramel, I can kind of make it taste like that. But really, I’m just getting a generic, light black tea. Booo! This sucks. I wonder if I let my pouch sit for too long before trying it…This has been out for a while. I apparently bought it at the beginning of September! Holy cow!

So maybe this is no fault of Frank’s. Still, I am rather disappointed. I thought for sure that chocolate, caramel, and cheesecake would make for an AWESOME tea combination. I know this tea could be stellar. Frank’s Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is to die for! Alas, this is just nowhere near that. Here’s hoping this isn’t a trend because I just made a sizeable purchase from 52teas, including three chocolate teas and one caramel tea.

All in all, I bought 8 new teas. O_O Yeeeaaahh, that’s totally not helping my overflowing cupboard problem. Well, one is a gift for a friend and three are only iced teas. So those will should go quickly. Wow, that was a long digression. ANYWAY. I will write another note if my opinion changes on this one. For now, it’s just so-so and is rated accordingly.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
aisling of tea

A tea’s flavor shouldn’t change that much in short a time. I’ve definitely had this issue with 52 teas in the past, it’s just a sign of poor quality :(

CHAroma

I had some of the Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake after this cup, and it was noticeably less delicious than I remember. So, I’m pretty sure this would have tasted better when it was fresher. I agree with what you said too though. 52teas’ blends don’t last as long as some of the other teas in my cupboard.

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75

In general, I’m not usually a fan of The Republic of Tea. Their tea bags don’t have strings, which I find very annoying and unhelpful, and they usually brew a barely flavored cup of water. So, why did I purchase a tin of 50 tea bags the last time I was in the local market? I don’t know. Something about the graphic on the tin and the name, Comfort and Joy, just called to me.

Well, if I try and compare this tea to any full-leaf, loose variety I have in my cupboard, it’s not going to stand up to the competition. Yet somehow, I find that I’ve been really enjoying this tea for what it is: a simple, easy-to-brew, nothing-to-clean-up-afterwards, perfect-for-the-evenings cup of tea.

Since I have a pair of tea tongs, I’ve gotten over the fact that the bag doesn’t have a string. And really, there’s nothing easier than sticking some water in the microwave and popping a bag of this tea into a mug for 5 minutes. When it’s done, I toss the tea bag and there’s no further clean-up necessary! I always use a dishwasher-safe mug, so there’s really nothing easier when I’m in the mood for a simple cup of tea and don’t feel like going through my normal, more involved brewing process and the clean-up that’s required afterwards.

It is rather lackluster in the flavor department, so I brew one teabag in about 6 ounces of water. This produces an enjoyable cup that usually disappears quickly. The flavor profile is mainly orange peel and cloves with a light, smooth, black tea base and a hint of licorice. I actually quite like it! It’s plain and simple and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. I can sit back and drink it without feeling like I have to analyze the cup and take notes or otherwise confer a lot of attention on it.

I just sip and relax and concentrate on something else, like a TV show or movie that I’m watching with my husband, as my cat curls up on my lap and purrs contentedly until he drifts off to sleep. Drinkable? Absolutely. Comforting? Yes, indeed. I may not stock it forever, but I am definitely enjoying this tea for the moment.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
TeaBrat

when using RoT teas I normally need 2 teabags to get more flavor out of them…

Sil

agreed! 2 bags!

CHAroma

Yes, I concur that if you steep 12 ounces, you need 2 bags. Luckily, I have lots of various size mugs at my house. So, I generally steep 1 bag in 6 oz. at home.

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82

I’m feeling really broken today. Drained, defeated, devastated. If only tea could cure what ails me. “There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.” – Aragorn

I burnt my entire mouth yesterday on homemade beef stew, so it probably wasn’t smart to try out a new tea this morning. I think I may have about 2 taste buds left on my tongue. From the little I can taste, this may be the perfect breakfast tea. Thanks to Sil for this sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
caile

Hope you feel better soon!

Kittenna

Agreed – I hope things start looking up!

JustJames

oh no- have you been to the dentist? i did the same thing once. they put me on this mouthwash for a month. everything came back, though i couldn’t eat anything solid for a week.

feel better!

__Morgana__

Sorry about your mouth. :-(

Sil

Oh no…burning your mouth is the worst!

CHAroma

Thanks all. My mouth isn’t that bad. It’s already almost fully healed. But I got some bad news on Monday that hit me really hard, thus the over dramatic opening to this note. Life pretty much couldn’t get any worse right now, but I suppose there’s no point in wallowing in it either. :/

JustJames

can i help at all? i can send tea? xo

CHAroma

Aww, you’re so sweet. At this point, only God (and maybe Western medicine) can help me. I still have some samples from you to try! But it’s really nice of you to offer. :)

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80
drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
514 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for this sample! This tea is heavy on the Assam, so I had to add milk and Truvia to calm things down a bit. It’s much more drinkable this way. Five minutes later and I can feel the caffeine jolt my system awake. Wow, I’m alert now!

This is a great first thing in the morning cuppa. Super strong and super bold. Meanwhile, my purr cat is keeping my feet warm. :) http://instagram.com/p/kPc4ZMF-px/

On another note, I just checked out this new “Flavors” section of the tasting note log. If you just click in the box, a dropdown menu appears with a ton of options. Curious, I scrolled through and found, among other things, “Roasted Chicken.” What tea tastes like roasted chicken??!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
scribbles

Ha! Roasted chicken – made my day!! :))

Starfevre

Yes, I was amused by that one too.

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87
drank Pumpkin Milkshake by Butiki Teas
514 tasting notes

Backlog…

Wow, I’ve been MIA from Steepster for a couple months due to dealing with life. I come back and find a bunch of amazing site updates AND a LivingSocial deal for Steepster Select about 5 minutes before it expires! Sweet! What a great, unexpected welcome back! I can’t wait to try out Steepster Select. :)

Thanks to Courtney for this sample! I don’t really remember it, as I drank it quite a while ago during my unintended hiatus from Steepster. But I took the following notes while enjoying it: “creamy, flavorful, pumpkin-y, delicious.” I guess I liked it! :P I’ll give it the same rating as what the Steepster average is right now. It’s good to be back! :D

Courtney

Haha welcome back!

CHAroma

Thanks! :)

Sil

yay! welcome back!

OMGsrsly

Good to see you again! :)

CHAroma

Thanks all! You made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I love this community.

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59

Sipdown #24

The dry leaf aroma is interesting because I feel like I can smell every ingredient in the list: sickly sweet rooibos, maple, caramel, apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I didn’t realize this tea was a rooibos blend when I picked up a sample teabag. I’m not really a fan of its medicinal taste. But I’m willing to give it another chance!

The flavor is VERY strongly rooibos. The apple and maple notes are about equal. The cinnamon and nutmeg are surprisingly absent. If apple cider and rooibos tea had a kid, this cup is what that kid would taste like. Okay, that came off a little more cannibalistic than I had intended. :P

If you love rooibos, this is probably a stellar tea for you! But I’m sadly still not a fan of this red bush tea. So feel free to ignore my low rating and grab a sample of this to see for yourself!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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19
drank Black Forest by Stash Tea Company
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #25

The dry leaf aroma of this teabag is cherry liquor. Yes, I’m talking a strong alcohol odor here. Alcohol is not a thing I enjoy, so an alcoholic flavoring in my tea is probably not going to go over well. The brewed tea aroma is more chocolate and maraschino cherries than liquor, so that’s good.

The flavor is a lot like the aroma. I’m getting chocolate and cherries and something slightly alcoholic tasting. The cherry in this is not natural cherry. It’s like drinking grenadine or the liquid that comes in those jars of sweetened, overly processed maraschino cherries. The chocolate flavoring also isn’t very good. Again, I get the impression of something overly processed.

Overall, this tastes artificial and flaky. It’s not an enjoyable cuppa for me. And I can’t really say that I would recommend it to others either. Life is too short to drink bad tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

hear hear! bad tea = so not worth it

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97
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
514 tasting notes

I made this with Truvia and half & half for a special treat. It is creamy, and coconut-y, and super delicious!!! Yum yumm!! Soooo good! I love it! Big thanks to Courtney for sending me a sample!

This is staying on the shopping list though because I seriously need to purchase a pouch, when I’m back under 100 teas that is. ;) By the way, second steep for 5 minutes was just as delicious as the first. Yes!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Tiramisu Oolong by 52teas
514 tasting notes

My brain feels fuzzy. I watched The Hobbit 2 today in the higher frame rate of 48 fps. It was like watching a video game. Super weird, and my brain hasn’t recovered yet. I don’t know how Peter Jackson could get this story so wrong. The second film is worse than the first. Someone described it to me as “fan fiction” and they are totally right! Jackson’s The Hobbit is pure fan fiction. Anyway, because of my fuzz brain, this tasting note may not entirely make sense. But here goes!

ON TO THE TEA!

The leaves look dark to me. Is this a Formosa oolong? The brewed tea aroma is chocolate, oolong, and maybe a hint of coffee. Mmm, the flavor is a lot stronger than the aroma. That’s a change for the better that I’m not used to. It’s usually the other way around with the aroma being more potent than the flavor.

The flavor is chocolaty, creamy oolong. I am getting a hint of coffee too. Overall, the cup is becoming more muted as it cools. This is one to enjoy piping hot! I still can’t tell if this is a Formosa oolong or green. I guess I’m leaning towards green, but it’s not very vegetal.

This isn’t sugary sweet or cake-like. So, I don’t think it could take the place of real tiramisu should you have a craving. But it is a delicious tea, and I’m glad I had the chance to try it. Thank you for sharing, Courtney!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
JustJames

oh, thanks for the warning about the hobbit! no need to watch from the sounds of it!

CHAroma

LOL! I can’t not watch it. It’s like a train wreck. At the very least, I don’t recommend watching it at the higher frame rate. It’s impossible to get sucked into the film. Everything just looks so fake it kept pushing me out and reminding me that I was watching a movie. I can usually really get pulled into films, but not when it’s shot like this. Blech.

Fjellrev

Geez, I haven’t even watched the first one yet. :/

Cavocorax

OH, that makes me so sad. I saved the first Hobbit movie to watch on my birthday as a “treat” because the hubby would not normally consider it.

It was painful. It was so awful. I guess I won’t bother with the other two. I prefer to read my fanfiction. :P

OMGsrsly

I’m still watching it Christmas Day. I’m a bit of a completist when it comes to book series and movies, much to my brain’s dismay. :) (Yes, fanfic! Party elves! (Ooh, maybe I should dress up.))

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78
drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
514 tasting notes

I really felt like a green tea today, and this just arrived from my swap with Courtney. Woot! This is a delicious green tea. It’s just the right mix of grassy and vegetal. Overall, it has a mild flavor with a natural sweetness. Very yummy and hitting the spot perfectly for my current mood. Thanks, Courtney!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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