566 Tasting Notes

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
566 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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Cavocorax sent me a package full of samples yesterday! As soon as I opened the envelope my kitchen took on the aroma of a cupcake shop. I’m very curious to find out which one (or ones) produced that smell.

I don’t think this one in particular contributed heavily but there’s no denying that it smells sweet too, in a fruity way. I had half the sample amount last night and am finishing the rest off this afternoon. The strainer that I used yesterday that I haven’t yet properly cleaned smells of lychee.

I don’t usually eat dragon fruit on its own, but it’s awesome in a smoothie or milkshake. This rooibos blend probably has nothing to do with dragon fruit, except that both of them are connected to “cactus”, make me think of a (not necessarily) white centered “fruit”, and have a sweet but watery flavour (ok, that may be a lot to do with dragon fruit).

I found this to be a bit watery when steeped under five minutes. I also enjoyed the fruity, and floral notes are more when it had cooled down. If I had more of this I’d probably play around with it a bit and see if its watery body could hold up as an iced latte.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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76

I made this up in a mug a couple of times and got bored two steeps in (too vegetal too quickly for me), but this sipdown gongfu session is turning out to be great!

The first steep is very floral, with a slightly fruity sweet finish and lingering taste (favourite oolong things). Richness is on the heavy side here too. I think I’m starting to get well acquainted with orchid notes. It’s one of the few floral notes where I go “yeah, I totally recognize this and can give it a name.”

The second an third steep are little more vegetal, like how the first two mugs of western brewing tasted. There’s still a sweetness to the finish, but the orchid notes are no longer there and it tastes like steamed greens with a very light slathering of butter or oil.

I butchered my fourth and fifth steep and I ended up combining the two together. It worked out somehow though, and the floral notes are back, alongside a zippy green note. This combo cup and the first one are my favourites so far.

I think I’ll end it there because I’m starting to feel uncommitted to this note. I still love Organic Sparrow Tongue most of all but this oolong is up there in the ranks with some of the tieguanyin oolongs I’ve tried.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79

Ah, I started drinking this cup quite a while ago, forgot about, and ended up finishing it off cold. The honey malt smell came off strongly from the cooled off liquid a lot more than I thought it would. In between my cup of Da Yu Ling Oolong this was like drinking sugar crystals and the lightest, smoothest beer ever. There’s a bit of that peppered-ness too that I always look for.

This is good, and since this is technically a sipdown I should steep it more than once but I’m too distracted by this: http://tonematrix.audiotool.com/

I made a union jack and a dinosaur. Easily entertained. That’s me!

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

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drank DeTox by Yogi Tea
566 tasting notes

Indian food may be my biggest vice. The way I eat curry you’d think there was some sort of famine on the Northwest coast, or something. I’m angry at myself..

Which is why I chose to make this as my first “tea” of the day. I was expecting it to not be pleasant. I’ve had dextox drinks before and while I can’t attest to their life changing cleaning powers I do know they can taste pretty awful. This one is actually nice, like a spiced and more delicate chamomile herbal. The ingredients do not list chamomile so it may be the dandelion? The sarsaparilla root definitely makes me think of rootbeer, which is another thing I appreciate.

I steeped the bag in a cup for ten minutes in boiling water but the result is a very mild, spiced floral concoction that I’d actually be happy to drink often. I don’t know what a Forsythia Fruit or half of the other ingredients are but I guess that’s what Google is for.

The only thing that would’ve made this herbal brew better is magic. Magic to forget about the huge container of veggie korma sitting in the fridge. Magic to ignore the fact that the whole house smells like delicious food. Curry, why are you like this? I should get out of the house for a bit and mail Cavocorax’s matcha parcel.

Thank you Jackie T for this sample!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
gmathis

Question for an Indian food expert from an Indian food "no"bie (that’s like a newbie, but even less experienced!) Is there a particular brand of commercial Indian food fixins’ that you might recommend? We have no local restaurant options, but would like to give curry, butter chicken, etc. a quick try.

CrowKettle

I’m probably the wrong person to ask and have been spoiled on having too many commercial Indian restaurants close by. I don’t have much experience with the ready- made curry pastes, except for Pataks brand tikka masala which was far from amazing. I’ve made curry from scratch a few times but it always comes out a little different. I loosely follow various online recipes and will tweak the spices and “fat content” based on how rich and spicy I want it. Butter chicken recipes tend not to make the healthiest dishes and you have play around with the parameters.

CrowKettle

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-butter-chicken/
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-indian-butter-chicken/ (I’m sure there are healthier ways to make butter chicken)
http://jeenaskitchen.blogspot.ca/2010/01/butter-chicken-recipe-murgh-makhani.html (I haven’t tried this one yet)

Hopefully other people on here will have more useful advice and experience with butter chicken and curry! I’m still learning how to cook. :)

yyz

I haven’t really tried any packaged curries or even pre-made spice mixes as I pretty well always make my own and even then I don’t have a fixed recipe. So I can’t really help you with a recommendation. I mostly ate as a vegetarian in India, though I did have some mutton curry, some fish and some tandori chicken at parties. I have tried some recipes from this website before and they were decent, http://www.khanapakana.com/recipe-search/s/butter%20chicken/t/e . It has recipes from all over the Indian subcontinent. Jain recipes do not contain any root vegetables, South Indian curries are often sweeter and may include coconut. Rahjastani and Punjabi curries can be very hot. My favourite curry is probably Palak(Saag) Paneer ( spinach and a fresh cheese). Have fun exploring.

OMGsrsly

I use recipes from showmethecurry.com. They have YouTube videos, but the sound isn’t always that great. However, the recipes I’ve tried have been fantastic. I’m spoiled like CrowKettle, and I also have a fabulous Indian restaurant 1.5 blocks from my apartment…

CrowKettle

Palak Paneer is one of my favourite curries too but I’ve heard it can be time consuming to make! All of these links to curry (and other food) recipes are definitely challenging my willpower here.. :/

yyz

It’s not really, and if you can’t find paneer, you can either use drained and compressed cottage cheese, or the fresh cheese you can find in some stores specializing in Latin American goods. I have a cookbook that has a recipe for making paneer as well but I have never tried it.

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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.

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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