641 Tasting Notes

75

The “before classes” tea. This blend is now over a year old, with half left, but it’s as potent as ever! I used almond milk today but I think a more watery variety of milk works better with this tea. The spicy perfume quality can be a bit much if the cream is too thick.

The ginger and cloves are zappy today, and the floral quality is as apparent as ever. I still haven’t mastered the prep of this tea, but I’m getting there and it’s starting to taste rather fine. If this is steeped for too short a time I find the spices don’t develop as fully, which allows the floral perfume to dominate the broth.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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62

This one’s pretty mild, except for a spicy and subtly orange-sweet finish. It’s very mellow with warming qualities, so it will be easy to drink the rest of. I don’t think I’ll get this again, however. I’ll try steeping it for +15min next time to see if that yields more flavour.

Still glad I got the chance to try a sandalwood blend; I wasn’t aware that it’s sometimes used as a spice.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
OMGsrsly

Sandalwood was used a lot in food during the middle ages and renaissance. Mostly as a red dye, IIRC.

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78

The ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay was brutal this evening! I picked an unfortunate time to travel back as there were 100km/h winds expected tonight. Lots of sailing cancellations and a huge foot passenger build up. And to think I used to like wind storms.

So, tea! This is a backlog as I had it eight hours ago. Bluebird Tea Co. provided this as a surprise free sample and it was surprisingly good (I drank it way too quickly). Like Zhena’s smooth and flavorful Coconut Chai I had a few days earlier. Like that bagged tea, I wouldn’t mind drinking this every once in a while either. I wish I had another hot cup available after that ferry trip.

I prepared it one of David’s Perfect Tea Mug- half full of boiling water for a three minute steep, and an additional three minutes after it was topped up with milk.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i didn’t know the wind was THAT strong! i can tell you the rain was going sideways and actually went THROUGH our stucco and leaked around the widow sill though, lol.

hopefully the tea gave you a sense of sani-tea. ;-P

Cavocorax

I think we both got the same samples in the latest order! :P
And glad you made it over ok – that sounds like it’d be frustrating.

Bonnie

After what we had here in Colorado, I sympathise with you!

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86

Little comforts.

Still makes me think of Fantasy Island from David’s Tea, but with a bit of buttery cream between the cake layers.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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This would be a good substitute for a glass of orange juice in the morning. Maybe I oversteeped it a tad, as the lemongrass is potent today! So is the ginger. Very nice citrus overtones. The finish is sour and bittersweet. The only thing I’m unsure about is the earthy mate undertone. I have off and on days with that flavour.

I still really enjoyed this cup. Thanks, Bluebird Tea Co., for the sample! Love the new little tea bags too.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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76

I second the boozy quality of the chocolate flavouring. Good stuff, and no need for Baileys, although I did add some milk.

The strawberry isn’t a strong thing, covered in layers and layers of chocolate fondue. Yum. The hint of creamy strawberries makes me crave the strawberry black from Fortnum & Mason, however. Argh! I want that so badly now. I’m not even a huge fan of strawberries or fruity black teas. Ah, oh well, this will do rather nicely too.

Thanks, Incendiare! I think this is the last of the fun group of samples you sent my way. Now I need to put something together for her myself. Why don’t I have a lot of awesome teas right now?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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72

Thanks, Incendiare for the tea bag sample! I’ve wanted to try this one since joining Steepster.

I’m on the mainland for some birthdays this weekend, and it’s raining moderately here. Definitely fall weather, aka- chai weather.

I was feeling pretty lazy after basic yoga and crummy Chinese food for lunch, so I just threw the bag in a pot, filled it up to a quarter with boiling water for three minutes, then topped the pot up with warm milk for an additional three minutes. It’s not particularly elegant but this method gets the job done.

I didn’t expect the coconut to be so dominant; it makes the cup exceptionally smooth and creamy. The sweet burn of ginger and rounding out of cloves are the next apparent things. It’s not a fiery cup, in fact, it’s rather light, but it’s near perfect for the sleepy chill weather outside.

I’ll think about getting more of this for an decent, quick, and easy chai.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Glad you enjoyed it! Seems like most people are pleasantly surprised by it.

CrowKettle

This packed a lot more flavour than I expected! It sat around here, for a month, out of the ziplock too. It’s a hardy little tea bag.

Plunkybug

I was pleasantly surprised by this one, actually, and wondered why I waited so long to try it.

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80

This has become my unofficial evening “tea” of September. It works so well at knocking me out that I haven’t been able to write a proper note on it all month. I don’t know if I’m just a wimp or a wimp who falls for placebos every time. Eh. It works so I’m not too worried about it.

The main ingredients I can pick out are hibiscus, peppermint, and lemongrass; the chamomile component is weak tonight. I don’t know what Valerian root tastes like or if it brings anything to this cup except extra sleepiness.

Against my better judgment, this “everything” herbal is a simple win. I’m one of those strange alien lifeforms that actually enjoys hibiscus and really like it here. I think it’s more placated here than it normally is in other blends that toss it in haphazardly. The other ingredients smooth it out and it’s nice.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

I nearly reached for this one as well, but was worried it would knock me out too quickly! I forgot there was hibiscus in there, but I really enjoy this blend. It’s just 100% relaxation.

OMGsrsly

Valerian tastes/smells like cheese and dirty socks. Umm. I took it every night for years to help me sleep, and I can’t stand it! One of the hikes I did this summer was lovely, except for the fields of valerian we hiked through.

CrowKettle

Oh, wow. I’m so extremely grateful that I can’t taste that; everything else must do a good job at covering it up. You’d probably be able to pick out here if you were familiar with it though?

@Cavo, I can’t believe how potent this is. I wanted to try this after reading one of your notes a while ago actually, but I didn’t fully believe you at the time. :P It probably was a mistake for me to drink it so early too.

Cavocorax

Hahaha. Well I don’t know if it’s all in my head as well too, but valerian root is supposed to be good at making you sleep, and I know that I chose this one when I want to sleep, so mentally I’m more prepared as well. It’s a keeper!
(though probably not a 100g tin keeper)

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I can totally smell it in the blend. :) Glad you smell it differently! Granted, an alcohol tincture is different from a tea, and the alcohol does not help the smell at all.

Cavocorax

That’s too bad that the Valerian bothers you so much. :(
It is a pretty flower. Deceptive.

Meg

I can’t smell the valerian root in this at all, and I’m glad..I have supplements as well and they stink! I took a good stash of this with me when I moved to China and I’m so glad I did…I only drink it right before bed though!

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84

This tea really drives home the fact that I don’t have a temperature control kettle at school. A lot of imprecise measurements and guess work goes into the making of a cup of green or white tea during the fall/winter seasons. It’s not ideal, but it means no two cups of green tea are ever the same!

It took a few sips to establish the sweet grapefruit finish today; the first quarter of the cup was dominated by buttery veggies. The fruity citrus flavour is more of a summer thing for me, although there’s a cleansing comforting quality to this tea that makes me grab for it at the strangest of times.

I don’t need much of this tea, but I like keeping a little bit around at all times.. same goes for With Open Eyes. I think Dragon Well is one of my favourite things right now.

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec
Courtney

I love your way of looking at it as no two cups being the same :) Also, I just ordered With Open Eyes, yay!

CrowKettle

With Open Eyes is so good. After trying to convince myself out of it all month, I finally ordered some today too. :)

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79

Despite being uncomfortable around licorice flavoured things, I opted to get a sample of this in my last order. It made up one fine mug of spiced chai with sweet licorice notes. My only complaint is that I drank it too quickly and now there’s no more.

I love the lingering aftertaste of sweet cloves, and I didn’t have a problem with the licorice, fennel, and anise (I think I may actually like anise). Not bad at all. Maybe I’ll pick up more as the weather continues to worsen.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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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.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and green oolong varieties are my favourites.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, caramel, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, rose, vanilla.

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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