552 Tasting Notes

84

Over the holidays, I went to Connecticut to spend Christmas with my boyfriend and his family. I didn’t take any of my tea, and I haven’t had many cups since my return. Work is dead. There’s no one there.

I came home and wanted a nice cup of tea, and I’ve found that this is often my choice for such occasions. There’s not much left now unfortunately, probably only enough for a cup or two. I sure will miss it when it’s gone.

I haven’t even finished my 52teas 12 Teas of Christmas sampler, let alone written notes about them. I will promptly return to writing regular tasting notes after New Years.

I apologize that I’ve been M.I.A. from Steepster for a while, but I have the best excuse. My boyfriend of five years proposed on Christmas Eve, so we’re engaged!!! :D

This is the perfect tea to sip and break the news as I return to my tea blogging routine. Happy Holidays, everyone!

aisling of tea

Congrats!!!!!!

Ellyn

Congrats!!! Enjoy this time and don’t freak out about wedding stuff!!! I just got married in Sept and it is a FUN time if you can enjoy it.

Camiah

Congratulations! How wonderful for you!

Ninavampi

Congrats on the engagement! : ) A great way to start the new year!

Angrboda

Congratulations

CHAroma

Thank you, everyone!! I’m sure most of my posts going forward will reference the wedding in one way or another. So, thanks for all the well wishes. I’m so very excited and couldn’t be happier! :)

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29

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 7

Uh oh. A honeybush blend. I knew this was coming, but I’m still not very prepared. It’s not one of my favorites. In fact, it’s probably my second to last least favorite. Rooibos claims the gold medal though.

Anyway, this is pretty honeybush-y. I’m getting strong, sweet cough syrup. There might be a little coconut in there, but mostly it’s just unpleasant to me.

I’m not a very good commentator for this blend. If you’re deciding whether or not to buy this particular tea, don’t base your decision off my review. I can’t really say anything nice about honeybush. It’s not for me. So, look to other Steepsterites for descriptions of how this really tastes because they’ll be more reliable sources.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
Uniquity

At least you managed to try it! My issue is the coconut, not the honeybush but I still can’t bring myself to try it.

CHAroma

You only live once! :D

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88

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 5

Woot! I love this tea! I actually have 1.5 pouches of it in my cupboard, so I’m just going to add this sample to that stock. Since it’s a black tea, I often make it first thing in the morning. It’s a little late to drink it right now.

But all you other Steepsterites with this sampler are lucky ducks! This is one of the most fantastic teas Frank has ever blended! Enjoy it while it lasts, which definitely won’t be long!

My tip to get the most pancake out of this blend is steeping it for a short period of time and adding sweetener (and a little skim milk if you like it).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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86

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 6

YESSS!!!!!! I’m super excited that I get to try this one! It went out of stock before I even discovered 52teas. Just looking at the picture makes my mouth water.

The dominant flavor is buttery sencha. I’m not getting a genmaicha flavor. The toasted rice would have to be a lot stronger, and for that there would have to be a lot more rice.

The sencha does give a sweet, sugary, buttery, baked confection taste. If I try really hard, I can connect the taste to marshmallow Rice Krispie treats. But I’m not sure how much of that is actually in the tea versus what I want to be in the tea.

Regardless, it’s definitely yummy!! A sweet green tea to calm my nerves after a stressful work day. This is so good, I even forgot what bitter tastes like. It’s nowhere to be found here. The more I sip this, the more I love it! I just might have to buy a pouch of this too. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Second steep for 3 minutes is where it tasted like genmaicha. There’s the rice I was missing! But the marshmallow part is gone now. Still, I really like this tea! Definitely buying it right now since there’s only 2 pouches left!!!

DaisyChubb

Great review! I feel the exact same way and agree with everything you say about this tea :D

DaisyChubb

ps unless someone cancels their order, I def grabbed the last bag. eep!

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79
drank Rainbow Sherbet by 52teas
552 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 4

This is probably the most spot on 52teas blend I’ve tried. The dry leaves smell so sugary and fruity that I can’t possibly wait to brew this!

All three flavors are distinctly present in both the dry leaf aroma and the brewed tea taste. I’m in love with the orange, and the raspberry is a nice compliment. My least favorite is the lime. It’s not that it’s badly flavored. I think limes are probably just my least favorite of these fruits.

Anyway, I added a little sweetener and skim milk and now I am definitely drinking rainbow sherbet!!! Incredible! Everyone needs to go buy a pouch of this because it’s a miracle Frank re-blended it for Christmas. You do not want to miss out on this one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
The Purrfect Cup

I think I opened this and put it in a zip bag, but never made a cup. Thanks for the reminder!

CHAroma

Glad to help! :)

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90
drank Tsugaru Green by Lupicia
552 tasting notes

So much tea, so little time! I’ve been the lucky recipient of tons of tea samples from generous Steepsterites. In addition, the boyfriend finally gave the sign off that tea can be part of the food budget!! SQUEEEE!!!!

So of course I had to stockpile some tea (as if I needed any more)! I ordered some tea from Lupicia about two months ago when my tea stock was running low and only just now received it.

Lupicia’s customer service kept calling me to say the tea I wanted was out of stock. So, I’d pick a new one, and then get a phone call the next day that that one was out of stock too. Eventually, I just asked for my money back on the one that we couldn’t seem to replace, and they said they’d ship the rest out right away.

Then the package wasn’t delivered by Fedex and got lost in limbo in some warehouse in Maryland for another month. I FINALLY received the package last week and it was chock FULL of free tea samples!! Now I kind of feel bad that I was silently cursing them in my head for two months. They really are a great company.

Thus we are in my current predicament. Which tea to drink first? I opted for a long time favorite: this Tsugaru Green. I specifically bought these as tea bags for ease of use at the office.

The dry leaf aroma is strong, sour, green apple! It’s even more ambrosial than I remember. I can’t wait to brew this! The brewed liquor is a yellow-ish green, and the aroma is now more like tea.

And the taste? Heavenly! I get a very easy-going apple flavor with a fantastic green tea aftertaste. I wonder if they improved the quality of the base? ‘Cause this has much less green apple jolly rancher flavor and more vegetal green tea taste. The apple is calmer and more natural.

This is to die for!!! It still remains one of my favorite flavored greens, but you do have to drink it all up while it’s still fresh. Otherwise, the flavor fades fast.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec
KeenTeaThyme

And Maryland tries to claim another victim! Glad you received your goodies…finally!

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90

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 3

Mmm, much softer and lighter than I expected. This tastes great! I was worried it was going to taste like the Kiwi Strawberry Margarita Bai Mu Dan. It must have been the tequila flavoring in that one that was so weird and not to my liking. This is much better.

The dry leaf smells really appetizing! Pure strawberry delight! The brewed aroma is where the lemon showed up for the first time. The white tea base lends a nectar-like sweetness. This is a very nice balance of flavors. It reminds me of when I first discovered 52teas. This is every bit as worth the money and more!

I agree with others that it’s not very tart. I get lemon, just not lemonade. The second steep was 100% lemon and 0% strawberry. But I’m used to 52teas blends only having one good steep in them. Actually, the lemon in the second steep tastes almost like lemon-flavored icing on a lemon cake. It’s quite tasty. I’ll use the second half of the sampler to make it iced later.

I think this might be my second flavored white tea. Overall, I like unflavored whites better, so that’s why I’m rating this one a little lower than it may seem like I should from the glowing review. Don’t get me wrong; this is a really pleasant cup of tea! So, if you’d like to enjoy a flavored white tea, this would be a safe bet.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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83

Backlogging…I first tried this tea a few days ago and never posted my notes on it. So, here it is now!

Work has been r…e…a…l…l…y……s…l…o…w. But when I come home, there’s no time left in the day after cooking, eating, and dishes. I’m currently surrounded by mountains of laundry and an incessantly crying, very needy, high maintenance kitty. If I’m not petting him, he’s crying. So irritating.

But anyway, I’ve been drinking so much green, oolong, and white tea that this is a very refreshing change. I cut open the interior package and took a big whiff of the dry leaves. I immediately said, “Ooh wow!” It smells amazing! I know I’m going to like this one.

I was surprised to see a recommended brewing temperature of only 185 degrees. I only looked at the instructions to double check that it said boiling. But I think this tea does benefit from the lower temperature. And the leaves are sooo colorful! Thin, curly, rainbow leaves!

It’s a very light black tea as black teas go. I can see the bottom of my cup. Of course, that could be attributed to the amount of leaf and steeping time. It tastes incredible! Nutty and slightly sweet. Yum! It’s a very light but complex black tea. Great mouthfeel and taste. Nice umami. No bitterness. Maybe a hint of bitterness at the beginning of the sip, but it quickly dissipates and is nowhere to be found in the aftertaste.

It also has an underlying taste of clean spring water. Really strange but good at the same time. I think I’m also detecting something peppery going on here. There’s just a slightly sweet nuttiness and then a hint of pepper. I discover something new in every sip. This is really great! Another wonderful Teavivre experience!

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

poor kitty. :(

I think I have this one in my stack of teas… may have to look for it.

Ninavampi

Aww… Good luck with the kitty! My adult dog and I are learning patience with a whiny puppy. Still adorable!

CHAroma

My cat just goes through his rambunctious periods. Overall, he’s a very sweet loving cat. But sometimes he drives me crazy!! :)

Ellyn

This sounds awesome. I put this in my shopping list. My pets are like that also – we are gone for so much of the day when we come home the dog and cat are practically jumping over each other to get in our laps.

Camiah

Awww, we have a whiny demanding cat too. Its annoying and adorable at the same time.

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80
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
552 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 2

Okay, so I’m really behind on these reviews. I should be on tea 5 right now, but life has been a little hectic.

The boyfriend went missing yesterday. He said he was going Christmas shopping, but he didn’t answer his phone all day and was late to dinner with my Dad. He said he lost track of time, but I could also tell he had been drinking. The boy can’t lie to me. He’s completely transparent.

He came clean later and admitted that he had gone to a bar at some point during the 11-hour shopping excursion. But he also came home with no bags or boxes and acted extremely weird during dinner. He hardly ate anything and couldn’t articulate sentences.

I have no idea what’s going on with him. I have a vague suspicion that a diamond might be in my future, since he disappeared upstairs with my dad before dinner. That might explain his weird behavior. I’m not sure though, and I don’t want to get my hopes up if it turns out to be nothing. But something definitely happened yesterday.

Anyway, on to the reason you’re reading this. Get to the tea review already!!

I can tell this sampler pack is going to be dangerous to my pocketbook. I want to buy pouches of everything I’ve tried already! Wow! I just can’t stop saying WOW! The dry leaf smells incredible! I’ve never had a cashew turtle before, but I think I’d love it! I really had to resist the urge to pick out all the chocolate pieces and pop ‘em in my mouth!

Two and a half minutes later, the brewed aroma isn’t quite as fragrant as the dry leaf. But I can still detect the chocolate and caramel notes. Tasting it…wow! There I go again. It’s just wow!

I can taste chocolate and caramel and even a light nuttiness. The black tea base blends well and adds just a touch of bitterness. It’s not overwhelming, and it went away with the addition of a little almond milk. Really yummy.

I apologize for being behind on these Christmas sampler reviews. I’ll try to catch up today. I’m currently surrounded by a large mound of clothing that needs to be washed. I did about six loads of laundry yesterday, but there’s still a lot left over. So, it’s a perfect day to relax, drink tea, and blog on Steepster!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
The Purrfect Cup

No worries, I like reading the back story to why people are drinking a particular tea or heck what’s going on in general. Hope the weirdness is what you think it is. Sounds like it could be.

I liked this one, but I need to hold off and maybe order a bunch that I like from this sampler (if there are any left). :)

Camiah

Oooh! Fingers crossed for you! I agree with The Purrfect Cup. Back story is always interesting and appreciated. People are fascinating.

CHAroma

Most of you already know this from following my other tasting notes, but I was totally right! The boyfriend proposed about a week later! :D

On to this tea, 5 pouches of it recently popped up on the 52teas In Stock page!!

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96
drank Buttered Popcorn by 52teas
552 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2011 – Day 1

OMG!!!! This tastes EXACTLY like buttered popcorn!!!! Or, maybe like buttered tea…but still! I’m SO impressed!! This is fantastic! I must buy a pouch IMMEDIATELY before it sells out!!! AHHHH!!!

I don’t know what happened to the sample of this I tried several weeks ago. It didn’t taste ANYTHING like this. This time around as soon as I opened the package, I was assailed by a strong buttery scent! That aroma translates perfectly into the brewed tea. Complete and total YUM!

Honestly, I don’t see how this could be any better. It’s a perfect creation! A Christmas miracle! WHOOOOH!!!!! Now if you’ll excuse me…I have to go apologize to my office mates for screaming in delight like a little child on Christmas morning. ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °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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