560 Tasting Notes

72

It’s provincial elections in BC today, which is always a fun thing.. so fun that my body decided it would be the perfect time to get a cold (or allergies, I can’t tell). Whatever it is, I’m going out of my way to be a big baby about it. ;)

I think I’m going to dedicate this week to teas that don’t smell the best, or that I’ve had for a tad too long. This one doesn’t actually fall fully into either of those categories but its strong roasted aroma and marshmallow sweet flavour make it a desirable candidate for my wimpy day. The flavours are not complicated enough for me to miss anything important, either. It kind of just does the trick right now.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

When did you get this batch? The one I got in the fall tasted amazing, and I just got the most recent batch in and it’s definitely off.

Courtney

Haha I enjoyed this post. Hope your “wimpy day” was improved with this tea :)

CrowKettle

Thanks Courtney! It helped a little :)

This batch is one of the newer ones from a couple months back. I wish I’d had the chance to try the original batch with the real marshmallows.

Kittenna

I’ve heard that the non-vegan version was good, but honestly, the first couple incarnations of the vegan version were fabulous as well. It’s just the latest batch(es) that are off :(

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73

Happy Mother’s Day, Steepsterites!

I’ve never had upside down cake but this tea gives me the impression that there is a whole lot of sugar involved. Caramelized sugar and brown sugar are the two dominant notes I pick out of this, with tangy sweet pineapple creeping in near the end of the sip. I thought there would be more pineapple flavour but it’s a subtle thing here. It’s rich, buttery, and creamy- it’s extreme cake tea. There may be more cake here than in some actual cakes. It’s a little overwhelming.

I personally do not need or crave this much cake in my tea, and prefer some of the lighter dessert teas to sugar monsters like this and Red Velvet Cake (from David’s Tea). This is great for what it is, however, and I’ll enjoy drinking the rest of the sample that Cavocorax provided (now I know what sample made your envelope smell so sweet)!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Nicole

Pretty sweet, yes. :) It’s a recipe that’s been around since the 20s or 30s and it starts with brown sugar and butter caramelized on the bottom of a pan with pineapple slices and sweet butter cake baked over the top. When I was growing up, we always had it served with Cool Whip to cut the sweetness. :)

Fjellrev

Ha, this is such an appropriate Mother’s Day tea.

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92

This is an easy rooibos blend to drink. The citrus flavour is like a tart lime sherbert and is followed by creamy pudding that blankets everything. The rooibos is indistinguishable. I prefer fruity desserts to chocolaty ones so this acts as a great, equally satisfying substitute, if I’m craving sweets.

Out of the three citrus rooibos blends from Della Terra I thought I’d like this one the best but, with flash judgment, I think I may prefer the other two with the lemon a tiny bit more. I’d still be happy with any of the three, though. Thanks Cavocorax for giving me the chance to try two of them consecutively!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Tropical Mango by Teajo Teas
560 tasting notes

Thank you Piccolo and Teajo Teas for this generous sample!

There was enough here to make around half a dozen cups in the pouch I was sent, but I didn’t try it iced until the very end. That’s a shame because the fruity mango flavours really come to the surface in the colder brew. I get fruity notes of mango, peach, and raisins and a smooth sweeping of something floral (it’s starting to bug me that I don’t know my flowers), sweetness, and a brisk, somewhat sour, finish that makes my mouth pucker a bit.

The hot mugs I made up were a little more muddled and brisk, and maybe that’s my fault. It was more flowery and scented hot, whereas the cold brew allows for more syrupy mango, which is what I was looking for.

I don’t think I would pick up this particular blend again but I did enjoy drinking a mug before trying out the elliptical trainer in the evenings. Black teas, even fruity ones like this, tend to make me feel more energized and ready to move than green teas do. I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to only bring two fruity greens and one fruity black tea. I failed at tea packing and traveling.

Edit: As it sits longer and the dust sinks to the bottom the briskness is swapped for a creaminess that reminds me of sour yogurt and fruit. This is the best this tea has ever tasted for me. Really slapping myself in the face right now for not trying it iced sooner.

Preparation
Iced 4 min, 30 sec

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88

This was one of three teas I chose to bring down with me to the desert and it’s the best of them. It’s sadly all gone (iced tea doesn’t last long). I love the creamy, artificial citrus flavours in this; it’s just like jello without all the sugar and gelatin, and the whole bothersome business of being somewhat solid. The sencha is mostly unimposing, adding just a little grassy greenness to the cup. In the dozens of time I made some up it never got close to being bitter. Once in a while I’d add some soy milk to the iced session and that usually turned out great too. If this was available again I’d probably pick some up for warmer weather.

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 30 sec

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80

Quick last cup of the night before going to bed and waking up early tomorrow to catch a flight down to Southern California! Cavocorax provided me a two cups worth sample and this is the last of it. I couldn’t step out the door later this afternoon without finishing my first cup; didn’t want to waste a drop.

I don’t know if I like this more than the Lemon or Lime Chiffon but one of these three is going to make my permanent stock list. The citrus here is more creamy tart than fruity, and it’s as satisfying as any late night dessert. I can’t taste the rooibos that much, either. Thanks for all the cake, Cavocorax!

Side note: Does anyone know of any good tea places in Palm Springs/Palm Desert area?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Kittenna

Safe travels! :D

Cavocorax

Have a good trip!
I like that you can’t really taste the rooibos, but I don’t know which of the Lemon/Lime teas from DTT that I want to re-stock either. They’re all pretty good.

OMGsrsly

Hope you have a good trip, and manage to find some awesome teas! :)

Fjellrev

Enjoy your time in Cali!

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82

I typically have low expectations with Earl Grey because it’s usually boring, needs milk, and tastes like paint thinner. I should probably go in with a more open mind from now on because this one is proof that I’m a biased little ninny.

Detectable bergamot? Check
Detectable creaminess? Double Check
Bergamot doesn’t curdle the creaminess or milk? Check

I poured in some 1% milk and it came out cream. There are layers of creaminess, divided up by citrus tones. I want to own a huge amount of this Earl Grey. Thank you, Jackie T (please tell me where and how I can get more of this)!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Jackie T

You can either order online at www.vermontliberytea.com or I can pick some up and send it to you :-)

CrowKettle

I don’t seem to be able to access their website but maybe that’s a temporary glitch. If I still can’t see it in a couple of months I will definitely contact you- I liked this one a lot! :)

Jackie T

I need to make a run there soon for more earl grey anyway, I can pick some up for you!

Fjellrev

Paint thinner, ouch.

Chizakura

Funny how different some people can be. :) Earl Grey is a ‘safe’ tea for me. Even if the tea quality is utter … ly horrid, it’s still drinkable.

CrowKettle

Jackie T, When I get back to an area with more reliable internet I’ll message you about that :)

Paint thinner is probably an unfair exaggeration. There were a couple I tried that were so strongly scented with bergamot they reminded me of wood polish, but that’s just me. XD

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86

At first glance, this blend reminds me of fantasy island, but it’s not as artificially sweet, is more creamy, and doesn’t get that awful bitterness that Fantasy Island tends to get.

It dry blend and the liquor both smell of tart raspberries. This comes through in the main body of the tea which tastes as close to jam as tea can get. Seeing Ceylon in the ingredients usually makes me wary but it’s a fine base here that blends right into the berry notes. The really amazing and delicious part of this tea is the smooth and creamy notes near the end of the sip. Raspberry jam and buttery cake.. Umm. I’m finding it difficult to describe how I feel about this cup of tea without resorting to profanities so I’ll just say that this probably falls in my “keeper” list.

Thank you Cavocorax for sending me some of this, and Bluebird Tea Co. for making this exist. Will be ordering more in the future.

Edit: I second steeped this for about 6 minutes and it was equally fantastic, although in a different way. The jam was cut back a lot, becoming a light spread and allowing the buttery sweetness of sponge cake to dominate the cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Cavocorax

Woo! I’m happy you enjoyed it too!

Sil

Grrrr I so want my samples. They went to Guelph though sigh

Ozli

Fantasy Island without the bitterness sounds amazing!

Cavocorax

Oooh – I should do the second steep for 6. I did it for 4 and it was flat. I’m not good at that part – I usually just toss my flavoured teas after…

Sil – hope you get yours soon. I should have sent you a little sample. If I can open your box easily, maybe I will. :P

Kittenna

:P Sil, you’re complaining so much about not having your Bluebird samples! You know, they could have been sent to you, but at the time you didn’t care…

Sil

Lol. I don’t really care. Just anxious to try them give. The great reviews. Not having them is keeping me from placing an order :)

CrowKettle

I don’t normally steep flavoured teas a second time either, but I was curious and the infuser still smelled like cake. The raspberries had completely lost their colour after the first infusion and I was surprised it tasted like anything at all :)

Lol, Sil. I hope they get to you soon and fulfill your expectations. Can’t wait to see what samples you received.

Terri HarpLady

sil, at least you ordered samples. Somehow I misunderstood & though the were only sending samples to people in England, so I ordered none…and I really really want to try THIS one. Everyone makes it sound SO yummy!

Sil

terri – you can still order them heh you just pay for shipping, which wasn’t too bad. Or alternatively you wait for me to try mine, which will likely prompt me to order some and then when i get them, i send some to you along with other teas lol

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65
drank Stomach Ease by Yogi Tea
560 tasting notes

Licorice and fennel, we meet again. Another reason why to avoid stomach aches and stomach ache teas. I don’t know if this actually works, and guess I’ll never find out because my stomach is 100% right now. Not really upset about never knowing though.

There is also noticeable peppermint in this, which usually tastes creamy and sweet to me. That helps. Cardamom is another sweet ingredient. This is actually rather smooth (when it’s still hot) and not as licorice-y as I thought it would be. It has a spicy finish. Thanks for the sample, Jackie T!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Plunkybug

I hate all things licorice, so when it comes to stomach distress for me, I go for a heavy hit of ginger.

CrowKettle

I prefer ginger too. This had a little ginger but the more dominant ingredients were licorice root and fennel.

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94

1oz sipdown! This tea is a creative novelty, which is another way for me to say that I don’t quite grasp the full concept of this cup. It’s probably the potatoes. I understand the spiced apple (which is delicious), and the pairing with the very smooth green base that I have yet to try on its own (next order). Then there are potatoes, whose presence in the blend is much akin to rainbow unicorns dancing a waltz in your kitchen (with potatoes).

I like how you can tinker with this cup to get different notes out of it. Add salt for delicious potato pancakes (that was yummy), drink right away or with sugar to get apples, eat potatoes and forget about rest of tea, etc. I think my best cup of this was when I forgot about it for an hour- I could taste all of the ingredients in that session. This blend is a lot of fun and I enjoyed scooping my big servings out. I’ll miss its funky presence and comforting applesauce flavours.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Tabby

What a crazy combination! I love it.

Plunkybug

I have it on the spreadsheet to try!

BoxerMama

I just received my order with this. I love it!

Terri HarpLady

Hmmmm….the idea of this one hasn’t really appealed to me, but I guess I’ll have to try it on my ‘next’ butiki order…

Sil

terri – it’s acually a beautiful apple cinnamon tea imo. I kind of ignored the potato aspect of it since they almost add a heaviness to the tea or something.. i can’t describe it very well

CrowKettle

Yeah, the potatoes don’t impact the flavour of the tea in an obvious manner. It’s more like a starchy, filled out apple cinnamon tea. This is probably one of my favourite apple blends. :)

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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.

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: …

Location

BC, Canada

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