714 Tasting Notes

94

In continuation with the cold matcha sitting in the fridge for hours method, this was the next logical option. And it is delightful. The banana goodness is there, and the milk just makes everything creamier. Yum!

A short story. J absolutely despises banana medicine. He despises it as much as I love it. Extreme amounts.

J: “What’s the tin foil on the counter?”
C: “Tea, from Sil, why don’t you open it?” (hehehe, I know the scent repulses him)
J: (I can hear tin foil being opened) “AGH. Banana medicine! Why would you do that?!”

As the scent fills the kitchen, I breathe it in and smile.

Also, I may have placed a Red Leaf order, and of course I added this one in.

Memily

You make me wanna try this SO MUCH. I love banana!

Fjellrev

Haha poor J. I always liked the banana-flavoured medicine. Made strep throat FUN haha.

Does it make the milk taste like banana milk?

VariaTEA

What did you get?!?! Also, you have been saying you have too much matcha so I have not been sending you any to try. I will keep this in mind for future packages :P.

Courtney

Mem you should try it! I’m picky about my bananas, in that they have to be pretty much green for me to eat them. But I love banana bread, and banana matcha milk now haha.

Fjellrev it totally does! Banana milk is amazing.

VariaTEA Gasp! I just sent off the last of my matcha to Roswell Strange actually haha. I drink it at the pace of a snail though. But now with my two new methods, and being back to drinking milk, I have a feeling I’ll be drinking more.

Memily

I think it’s tough to get down here in Australia—I’m just gonna have to hope I can find some international swappage. Shall investigate!

Courtney

Ahh Australia! When my order comes in, I’ll happily swap some with you. No guarantees that I won’t also come in the envelope. :P

Sil

hahahahah that’s too funny

Memily

Woohoo! All welcome ;)

OMGsrsly

Green bananas are the best! :) But I have some ripe ones. Maybe I’ll make banana bread.

Courtney

Good call OMGsrsly! Something about ripe bananas doesn’t work well with my stomach so they always get made in banana bread. Or peanut butter banana bread. :)

OMGsrsly

Oh that’s an even better idea. Hmm.

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drank Mayflower by Mariage Frères
714 tasting notes

This one came as a surprise in my swap with Ysaurella.

For some bizarre reason, teas with fig just smell like baby food to me. So there’s that. The fig here is apparent, yet not overwhelming. I’m finding it most in the aftertaste and the scent. There’s a bit of a floral quality that drowns out the fig in the initial taste. If this one didn’t have a floral quality and was only fig and vanilla, I may have been able to get on board. It’s more up my alley in the fig department than was Figue Fraiche.

Thanks for the opportunity to try more from Mariage Freres Ysuarella!

P.S. I love how “fish broth” is a flavour option, but “fig” isn’t.

Ysaurella

ahaha Fish broth…and not fig…Steepster is quite weird sometimes yes

Hello.Kiki

lol, I hear you on the flavor options! I’m surprised at some of the flavors that aren’t listed.

Fjellrev

I’m forever searching for that perfect fish broth tea.

Courtney

Being a Swedish chef Fjellrev, herring would be best.

__Morgana__

Yeah, fish broth is so specific. I wanted to use “broth” but not fish and it wasn’t an option. And most of the flavors I try to find aren’t there.

Courtney

I’ve sent three flavour emails now Morgana and they haven’t been added in yet. I sent the first one well over a week ago, maybe even two weeks now.

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Sil sent me such a generous amount of this matcha. Thanks!

I read all the tea notes on this one last night, and ultimately decided to use Cavo’s method and add some matcha to cold milk and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Every sip is different. One sip I’m thinking this is pretty decent, the next not so much. I’m getting some sort of syrupy taste mixed with the peanut butter that’s more or less drowning out the actual peanut butter.

However, this new matcha overnight with milk thing is genius. I’m just mixing Banana & Cream matcha with milk to enjoy later this afternoon. This may bump up my Red Leaf order so I can try more matchas overnight with cold milk. I wonder how the Peanut Butter Pie compares?

I should add this was distinctive flavouring.

VariaTEA

How does putting it in milk overnight compare to just mixing it with milk and drinking immediately?

Courtney

Kind of the same to be honest. I had a couple sips before I put it in the fridge and I didn’t notice a huge difference. I also tried it in hot milk the night before. That was a disaster for me.

Courtney

My next plan is to try it with a banana smoothie. :)

Sil

this wasn’t really peanut butter for me..it made me sad

Courtney

There was something else that was much stronger, and not nearly as tasty as actually peanut butter I found. Alas, Im always happy to try new flavours of matcha though. :)

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drank Graham Slam by Herbal Infusions
714 tasting notes

This tea is a nice treat. It satisfies the need for something sweet, without actually being truly sweet. Tricky, tricky. I love the graham-ness. I said last time I would consider rotating this one in, and this time around I ordered a sample rather than a full 50g. I need to remember next time to just bite the bullet and get 50g.

Update: Oh yes, I’ll definitely need more. I finished off my cup far too quickly, without even realizing it, then stared longingly into my empty mug.

J is working overtime tonight until 2am. That means I need to get more done. I always work better when he’s not here to be a distraction. :P

The flavours I want to add are never options. I shall send a third flavour email now.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Kittenna

LOL @ flavour email. Also, I should check out Herbal Infusions’ teas. I don’t think they had this one at the Toronto Tea Festival (and I don’t think I’ve ever checked out their website).

Courtney

This one is tasty Kittenna. I’ve found their teas “real” tasting, which I love. None of the over-the-top fake sweetness. :) If you’d like I can send you some. I only have a handful at the moment, but I’m more than happy to share.

VariaTEA

They were supposed to add a sample of this to my last order but it never showed :(

Courtney

Oh no! I can send you some if you like. :)

VariaTEA

I wouldn’t want to take it away since you only have a sample. I think I might want some more Strawberry Justice so I can toss in a sample them. However, I may take you up on the offer if I haven’t tried it by the time you decide to stock up :P

Courtney

Oh hehe, I have a cart going already, specifically so I can buy 50g. I talked my friend into ordering more Cacao since she was out. :P

VariaTEA

I was looking at building a cart because I want more Strawberry Justice. However, $5 shipping on $6.50 worth of tea is hard to justify.

Courtney

I absolutely agree. Did you want to add the Strawberry Justice to our order?

VariaTEA

That is nice to offer but I imagine shipping from you to me would probably be over $5. Thank you though.

VariaTEA

Unless you are planning on dropping by Montreal anytime soon :P

Courtney

Yeah, I may not have thought that one all the way through. My gorgeous physics prof is from Quebec though. Hmm.

VariaTEA

There are some attractive people here :P.

Kittenna

I realize this thread is now from 7 months ago, but it sounds like, aside from the pokey shipping, you guys seem to rather like a bunch of HI stuff! I may have to nab samples from someone(s) at some point.

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drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
714 tasting notes

This tea is delightful, as always. I sent a few parcels across the pond, so I’m spreading the Japon love. This tea is really making it’s way around! I’m just sipping away at a resteep right now, where I mixed 1/2 tsp. of Cacao in to “revive” it a bit. It smells nothing short of amazing. Yep, the roasty toasty goodness of Japon with a hint of chocolate from the cacao.

In other news, I just did 40 minutes of yoga and completed my second day of a self-induced squat challenge. I have been feeling so crappy lately, just in general. I’m also constantly exhausted. I’m up early every day and I overloaded my courses this term, but I can’t stay awake later than 9/10pm. No matter what I do. That just doesn’t say “healthy” to me in my mid-twenties. To that end, I’ve told myself I’ll get up 45 minutes earlier each day and do a yoga session when it’s still dark and quiet in the house.

Stephanie

Good call on the exercise/yoga. It seems counterintuitive but the more I exercise the more energy I have.

Courtney

It’s true! I don’t generally have an overabundance of time, but I’m just going to have to find it because you feel so much better.

Stephanie

Right…I tend to get my exercise in 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there type of stuff…whatever I can squeeze in! It all helps!

MissB

Yoga definitely helps, although when I’m really pinched for time, I use my kettlebells… 10-15 minutes and I’m sweating and feeling more energized than any yoga class or running sessions three times the length. It’s a surprisingly good workout.

VariaTEA

Have you ever gone to hot yoga? I may go tomorrow with my roommate though I am not a huge fan of heat so I am not sure how I will deal with that.

Courtney

DELETEless than a minute ago
Oh yes. I’ve done hot yoga for years. I absolutely love it. But I also absolutely love heat haha. Heat and humidity actually. The hotter, the better.

VariaTEA

I like the “DELETEless than a minute ago” :P. And I absolutely hate humidity so I have avoided it for so long but I imagine it must feel pretty good.

Courtney

Haha what is that?

Courtney

It does! It can be hard to breathe if you’re not used to the humidity, but after you leave you feel amazing.

Courtney

That sounds scary, but it isn’t. :P

VariaTEA

My roommate said something similar

Courtney

I quickly became addicted to it actually. Not the not being able to breathe bit, just hot yoga in general hah.

VariaTEA

The only thing is, after years of resisting, I finally said I would go and turns out the instructor is sick and there may not even be a class tomorrow

Courtney

Oh no! That would happen when you finally decide to go haha. I’ve also had instructors I just don’t like. If that happens, I would suggest trying another. I don’t do Bikram hot yoga though – is this the kind you’re planning on?

VariaTEA

I don’t believe so but tbh I am not sure.

Courtney

Well, I do hope it works out for you. :) Also, this is a long read, but I was in stitches by the end of it.
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3153/Hilarious-Yoga-Mat-for-Sale-Ad-on-Craigslist.html

VariaTEA

Haha. That does not make me feel any better about the “hot” part of hot yoga.

Courtney

I figured as much. I just find it so funny. I so hope you’ll have fun if you end up going. It’s not for everyone, but then again neither is running. I miss running.

MissB

Hot yoga is definitely… acquired. I struggled through my first few classes, big time. My friend that went with me? Slept through it. :$

OMGsrsly

Your friend sounds like me, MissB! Heat = naps. :)

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I decided on my Hobbit tea this morning. Along with oatmeal with maple syrup and fresh blueberries. Yum.

This tea is delightful, though I can’t drink it regularly. There’s something in the taste that doesn’t sit right after when I have a lot of it – like a syrupy quality. That sounds bizarre, but there it is. I do love it occasionally though.

I got absolutely nothing done yesterday. I mean nothing. What a disaster. So it’s productivity central here today. I’ve already read half a government report on the bycatch of seabirds and it’s only 8am. I am on it today.

keychange

Yeah man! look at you go!

sundaysipping

Go Courtney!

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I ordered this one as a sample size in my HI order.

I just opened the package, and it smells exactly like David’s Luscious Watermelon. Looking at the ingredients, I think it may just be exactly like it too. No problem though, since I loved that tea. I miss it in the summertime.

I could see most people enjoying this one cold, and you’re right, it is good cold. But I actually prefer it hot. The mix of ingredients is pretty bang-on watermelon-like. And watermelons are my favourite.

I could see ordering 50g. Plus, look how pretty the colour is!

http://s770.photobucket.com/user/courtneyns/media/Steepster/91a703a3-d77d-4db7-9e19-a3b906111348_zps4b53f248.jpg.html?state=copy

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
VariaTEA

I liked this one hot too. I found it a bit too sweet cold brewed.

Jennkay

Nice! Plus, I love your mug :)

Courtney

Thanks :)

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drank Coconut Chai by Herbal Infusions
714 tasting notes

I ordered a sample of this one in my Herbal Infusions order. I’m not huge on chais, but I’ve been working on coconut chais slowly. They are actually coming along quite well.

The water fizzed when I poured it in my mug to steep. Hehe. It definitely smells chai-like. With creaminess. I’m getting a bit obsessive over creaminess in my teas.

Holy crow. I may have oversteeped this because, hello astringency (1.5 tsp for 3 minutes), or perhaps boiling water wasn’t the answer. It’s still piping hot, so maybe I’ll take another sip in a few minutes when it’s had more of a chance to cool.

Also, I finally got to go pick up my ring after 2 weeks. Yay! While I was out I got 4 swaps/shares in the post. Hopefully you all enjoy your teas Aimee Popovacki, Angrboda, Roswell Strange, and VariaTEA!

Update: I dumped out that cup. No time for astringency! This time around I tried 1.25 tsp for 2.5 minutes at less than boiling.

This attempt is definitely less astringent. The coconut isn’t really present, perhaps only in a creaminess dimming the spicy chai-ness.

VariaTEA

At this point, I don’t even think we are swapping anymore. I think we are just sharing teas. Haha.

Courtney

Haha yes, I agree. Let me edit that. :P

VariaTEA

Haha I like the edit :P

Roswell Strange

Can Courtney join our tea twinhood? We can be the three Musketeers – but less lame.

Courtney

Tea twinhood? That sounds awesome.

VariaTEA

Hahaha. I am fine with that plan.

VariaTEA

Although I think that would make us Tea Triplets.

Roswell Strange

Tea Triplets sounds much better.

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drank Cream by TeaGschwendner
714 tasting notes

So there’s a chance here, that I didn’t let this one air out quite as long as I should have. I’m getting a creamy banana tea. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I think we all learned yesterday how I feel about banana medicine (and now Bananas & Cream matcha!), but I have a sneaking suspicion this tea shouldn’t have the exact flavour banana as did the matcha.

Thank goodness Sil sent enough for more than one cup. I’ll have to try again later. :P

Sil

lmao yeah no it shouldn’t taste like banana. if you try again later and it’s still too banana-y let me know and i’ll send you more. I’ve got a ton!

Courtney

Perfect! I’ve got it airing out far away from the Bananas & Cream now haha. That tea is great, but not every tea needs to taste like it. :P

Sil

yeah and this cream one was pretty tasty….if i remember right..though subtle.

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Alright you guys. This tea is awesome, but I want to comment on Herbal Infusions in general in this note. Feel free to skip right over if this doesn’t interest you. :)

My first order with HI a few months ago went over very smoothly. I placed the order, got the email confirmation, and a day or two later, got the shipping notification. The teas arrived within an appropriate amount of time. I was a happy camper.

I ordered again in late January and after ~2 weeks I still hadn’t received a shipping confirmation nor my teas in the mail. I spoke with a couple people here who mentioned similar problems. I emailed them and was provided with an explanation and the promise the teas would be shipped out the next day. I received my teas yesterday, so they were shipped out quickly after the email. From the date of the order to receiving the teas was near to a month, which irritated me slightly, but it wasn’t something I couldn’t get past. I weighed out my Cacao and SCC this morning because I found it strange 50g could fit in one bag, whereas before I had received 2 bags of 25g each. When I weighed each bag I found that the tea inside was ~40g rather than 50g. I emailed HI again, and I have to say, they were incredibly quick replying and explained that the tea had been being weighed at their cacao supplier versus with them, and they’ve now fixed it so that they weigh it with their own scale (they provided me with the scale accuracy) and that they would ship me a couple 25g bags of Cacao this afternoon.

I have to say, the order taking an age did bother me, however it was alleviated by the explanation they provided when I emailed about it. I was slightly irritated this morning as well when I discovered the tea weight was off, because who wouldn’t be? However, all in all, I have to say I’m happy with all the explanations provided in both instances, and the immediate response about the weight and offer to ship some Cacao off to me to make up for it.

Feel free to take what you want from this! Also, this tea is amazing! I have done an actual tasting note on it a short time ago, if you want to know about the tea itself haha.

keychange

Good for you for being so thorough. And I’m glad your experience with them was largely positive-it’s often how a company responds to a situation that will predict how you feel about them.

Courtney

I agree keychange! I work in customer service, which makes me incredibly critical at times of the customer service I receive. But these guys nailed it in the end.

Sil

yay! i’m glad that things worked out :)

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Profile

Bio

Lover of tea, animals, the ocean (http://eastcoastbest.tumblr.com/), science, travel, and all things summer.

That’s my mug! I may have a slight love of Star Trek.

I love black teas. I pretty well always drink my tea straight. I’m also fond of herbals, but they rarely make my permanent collection. I prefer my tea hot, but occasionally I’ll cold brew.

Oolongs I enjoy, but I’m not generally in the mood for them. I only truly enjoy subtly fruity flavoured greens. Whites have to be pretty amazing (see Butiki’s White Rhino).

Pu’erhs I’m working on at a snail’s pace, but so far I’m not loving them. Rooibos/honeybush have to be well hidden for me to enjoy them. Mates and are not for me at all.

Likes:
Coconut, creaminess, yogurt, toffee, cacao (true dark chocolate flavour), rhubarb.

Dislikes:
Any smokiness, bergamot, flowers (rose, jasmine, chamomile), hibiscus is hit and miss.

Location

Canada

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