492 Tasting Notes

85

After a short visit at Amariel’s yesterday, my tea count jumped by 20 to a big 70- and here I was doing so well. I didn’t know where to start so I let my roommate randomly select one of the dozen green tea samples from the bag for the evening’s pot. This one was the winner.

The vibrant green leaves look and smell like seaweed, but once steeped the brew is more akin to beans, with a drop or two of honey. There’s a lot more going on in this tea, especially in the second steep, but I can’t pin most of the flavours. It’s a beautiful and gentle tea to wind down to for the evening. This cup has peace and tranquility written all over it (sappy but true).

Thank you, Amariel, for sharing this lovely sample with me!

Flavors: Green Beans, Honey, Peas

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

this one IS yummy :)

CrowKettle

I wish I could stay up all night, drinking this tea in pots. It’s so good!

SFTGFOP

I’ve just ordered some of this tea from Camellia Sinensis. I love how it smells, and how pretty the leaves look!

Stephanie

lovely pretty tea

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82

Backlog. I revoke my statement about not needing this pudding rooibos anymore. Sure, the relationship doesn’t spark as it used to, but I think we’re in a comfortable place that’s full of trust. This caffeine-free dessert beverage fills a niche in my tea cupboard that needs to be filled.

Erm, I’m procrastinating again.. Away from this familiar saccharine goodness, back to Slaughterhouse-Five..

Flavors: Cream, Custard, Lime

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89

I love everything evergreen in my tea, and this one fully delivers. I’d previously pegged down White Wolf, from Bellocq, as my quintessential, super-expensive, cedar-vanilla tea but this one is really good too.

Port has a nice balance of flavours: cedar, smooth vanilla bean, and accents of salt and of something “nippy” that is distinctly eucalyptus. It’s a nice level of eucalyptus, and not at all like the time that I put a little too much eucalyptus oil on my hot hand towel and inhaled deeply- when hot, that stuff burns with righteous intensity. I probably won a Darwinian award somewhere in that story.

This is a “darker” tea than my other cedar-vanilla option, which has a white tea base. However, it also isn’t as cold, and so set in the dead of winter, as my other one. I can drink this at the lake camp in the midst of a broiling summer too, or on a foggy autumnal day.

I haven’t had a lot of exposure to saffron and I’m going to have to carefully budget it out, but I love this tea and I want it to be a part of my life! Also, the dry blend reminds me ever so slightly of marzipan. It also resteeps well, although the cedar is more pronounced in the second steep.

Flavors: Cedar, Eucalyptus, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

It is expensive, but it is so worth it, I love Port. Have you tried cold steeping the used leaves? I put them in a mason jar for 24 hours and I get so much vanilla goodness!

CrowKettle

I haven’t yet, but I’m planning too; my other cedar-vanilla tea cold steeped really well too. Do you think I’d get any flavour out of leaves I’ve already steeped three times?

TheTeaFairy

Yes!!! I did mine after 3 steeps!! i figured I pay big bucks for this baby, might as well get the best out of it…minimum 24h or more…it tastes like vanilla water, subtle but very yummy.

Cavocorax

Guess this is going onto my shopping list! :P

CrowKettle

Ok, I’m looking forward to revisiting that jar in a 24h time period. Fingers crossed!

I can send you a sample, Cavo! It’s so expensive, I’d rather you tried it that way, especially if you’re not a crazy cedar fan like I am. :)

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86

This was generously included as a surprise sample in my Whispering Pines order. Thank you!

I can see why this tea gets a lot of love. Not only does this have that delightful cocoa note that I adore, but the texture is also thick with a milk-like quality.

Although I drank the first steep too quickly to discern any other qualities past “creamy”, I’ve had more time with this second steep. The cocoa and milk are still present, but there is also a distinctive fruity note, like sweet, tangy plums.

It’s a delicious cup, and I think I’ll appreciate its profile even more in the fall or winter. As it was, it turned out to be an awesome rainy evening tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Sounds like pure yummy awesomeness…thank goodness I have some on the way. I was always forgetting to order that one!

CrowKettle

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! I think it may have made my evening.. receiving the parcel and finding this sample definitely made my morning. :)

TheTeaFairy

Aww, so happy it made your evening CrowKettle :-) and yes, receiving a tea parcel is a great way to start your day :-)

Nightshifter

I don’t remember hearing about this tea company even a couple of years ago, but some of their stuff sounds really good. Will have to try! :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

@Nightshifter, I started the business in 2012 :)

Glad you like this one, CrowKettle! :D

TTF, I think you’ll enjoy this one, too :)

Nightshifter

Ah that explains it. Sounds like you are off to a great start though! I have already started making a little list of teas I want to try. :)

Tea Sipper

Oh my gosh, this tea has the best flavors!

TheTeaFairy

@WP: I know I will…i’ve already tasted what it’s made of ;-)

TheTeaFairy

Nightshifter, you know I’ve been on Steepster for a while…believe me when I tell you, this company has some of the best teas I have ever tried, and I’m not that easy to please!!

Nightshifter

Awesome! Will be ordering for sure. :)

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88

Although I was initially disappointed with this one, I’ve grown increasingly more impressed with this one as I’ve had time to experiment with it. My new favourite oolong steeping strategy is to “rinse” the leaves until they begin to unfurl, and then do a first steep of about 2min 30sec.

The aroma of the dry leaves is equally buttery and floral, with a touch of something sweet and lemony, and that is much how it tastes once it has been steeped. It’s a fine and delicate flavour that layers itself on the tongue, like silk, over time. The finish leaves behind a melted butter texture and taste, which make this tea feel heavier than it is.

This has some of my favourite aspects about oolong, but my all-time favourite component is actually the heady floral aroma of that first rinse. I wish I could make my whole room smell that floral, green, and fresh. This oolong is real pleasure to work with! I’ll often get to around six steeps without realizing how much of it I’ve drunk.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Lemon

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Today this tastes completely different than when I first had it- probably because I steeped it in boiling water this time instead of 170F/76C.

I don’t taste the cherry and cucumber so much, and instead taste blackberry leaves, black currant, and hibiscus notes. It’s nice after a few hours in the hot sun. It’s only six o’clock and I may pass out..

Flavors: Black Currant, Blackberry, Hibiscus

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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This tea runs dangerously close to being lackluster, but manages to have just enough sparkly juice to keep me entertained. All of the core flavours are gentle ones, and mix up into a kind of dozy floral-fruit broth that has effectively shut my brain off for the night.

Drowned out white leaves with notes of cucumber and grass, along with bland apple-accented chamomile, form up this mixed base. The cherry flavour is both tart and sweet and makes the tea pop. I don’t usually care much for cherry flavoring in tea but I think it’s needed here.

Flavors: Apple, Cherry, Cucumber, Flowers

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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78

OMGsrsly generously sent me a sample of this fruity herbal. I was curious about this one when the group visited Bayswater, but was too chicken to buy some at the time. Now that I’m into iced teas I’m even more grateful for the chance to try this, as it makes an awesome cold steep.

The flavours are predominantly citrus and cranberry with a tiny amount of cayenne pepper that is not always present. The overall effect makes a tart, sweet, and refreshing cup.

Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Cranberry, Hibiscus, Pepper

Preparation
Iced

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Taken with milk.

I went in skeptical, but I’m pleasantly surprised by this tea. The base and flavours aren’t fancy or deep, but that doesn’t stop it from being a lot of fun. Blue raspberries, cotton candy, blackberry danishes, and bubblegum ice cream are all good things in my book. So are blackberries. I could drink so much of this tea, all the time..

It tastes like the colour blue.

Flavors: Blackberry, Cotton Candy, Cream, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Haha. I am nearly finished my 6 oz tin of this! :O So I’m ready to back away for a little, but it is good, especially for an Adagio tea.

CrowKettle

A 6oz tin! Fair enough. That’s a lot of one thing, even if you like it.

I think I’ll eventually pick up more of this one when I drink up the rest of my samples (or when season 8 starts). I wish they had an amount between “sample” and “4oz pouches” though.

Cavocorax

Yeah, I hear you! At least you get the extra oz, but.. yeah… it’s so much! I was very generous with mine but I’ll be happy to finish that one. It’s my oldest tea at 14 months old! :O (Y’know what? I’m going to finish it RIGHT NOW!)

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If there were dragons on every chai tin I’d probably drink more chai.

Based on the pungent aroma of the dry leaf, I was expecting this one to brew up stronger than it did. The cinnamon and cloves were definitely present, but there was equal weight given to this caramel-like flavour. The aroma of the liquor is swelling with caramel and vanilla notes, and I wish that was developed more in the flavour profile.

Still, this wasn’t a terrible dessert chai; I thought I would like it less than I did. Maybe I can draw out some of my favourite aspects more if I tweak the parameters .

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Smoke, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Tea Preferences: My absolute favourites are the floral inclined oolong and white teas. I also enjoy unflavoured green and black teas. Puerh is a hit or miss.

Fruit, cedar, anise, and vanilla are good. Black licorice, bergamot, and cheap chocolate are less good. Jasmine, cinnamon, and hibiscus are usually too strong in teas for my taste, but otherwise I like these flavours!

Ratings:

95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: There’s no way to put it nicely..

Location

BC, Canada

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