34 Tasting Notes

94

I haven’t been feeling inspired enough to review my Samovar order with the new (my last!) semester at hand…but gosh, this makes me almost feel motivated!

I know it’s seriously corny, but this makes me smile every time I drink it.

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drank Houjicha by Samovar
34 tasting notes

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So I lost this elaborate post I just wrote…so I’m going to just gloss over it because I’m lazy and want to hurry and get to my newly arrived Samovar order! Basically I’m going to say that I was scared, but drank it anyway. It wasn’t bad, and I’m glad I tried it.

I think it’s just too far from the flavors I’m going for lately. It’s very forceful and savory, while I’m tending to like sweet and complex. I know that quality could have something to do with it, but I think it’s something I would have liked more when I was more into black tea anyway.

Honestly, and I know that it’s not necessarily the case with all Lapsangs, all I could get from the smell was “bologna”…Being a vegetarian I haven’t had bologna in about 10 years, so I suppose I could be wrong, maybe a hot dog, but it was pretty distinct. The taste was black tea with hints of bologna…>__

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Eee! Samovar!

takgoti

I was going to write more, but…Samovar!

teaplz

Hahaha! I always love to see what meat/smokey taste comes out of Lapsang. I’ve seen ham, pulled, pork, roast beef. And now bologna! Very interesting indeed.

I never thought of adding honey. That might be a good idea, since I didn’t have such a great time with my first lapsang.

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81

I’ve been hunting around for a caffeine-free masala chai for a while now. I always seem to want those sorts of flavors right around bedtime. So when I noticed adagio’s rooibos vanilla chai it was as if the sample button clicked itself.

I just made this using the now semi-famous, popularized by takgoti, stovetop preparation method. This is the first tea i’ve done “chai style”, so I don’t really know if i’m reviewing the method or the tea. Oh well. I used rice milk.

Note- I just realized how rambly this whole thing is.Lots of tangents going on. I’m quite tired, but I wanted to log this right away.

Rooibos doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor for me. I think of it as being sweet and earthy with a flavor that, although it’s one I find pleasant, isn’t all that strong. I think the sweetness gets overpowering before the distinctive flavor, but I might just be doing it wrong. I have a history of forgetting about rooibos (and other herbals as well) while they steep, leading to times of well over 10 minutes. When it gets too strong, it has this extreme sweetnessand syrupy quality that makes me think there’s added sugar [please note that I’m generally not a fan of sugar in tea, so the thickness is unsettling]. Anyway, the point is that the rooibos really doesn’t come through as a flavor, but instead as added sweetness and body.

The spices seem more balanced than what I’ve had before. The cinnamon is definitely strong, but so is the ginger. My sister and I took a few minutes to decide that cinnamon is dominant, but only by a little. The spices are unified, but not homogeneous. It’s just sweet, spicy goodness.

I was just thinking that the vanilla just lent itself to sweetness and creaminess, smoothing the spices. Now that I’m at the bottom of the cup, though, the vanilla is definitely present. It’s a bit too sweet for me, but my sister found it delicious. I might have tasted rooibos right here, also, but I can’t tell. I’m not disappointed in the least, since I’m interested in the spices.

The only thing I’d do differently next time is to add less sugar. I guess 1tbsp is too much for me, since I’m not a fan of soda or juice. My victims found it to be perfect, so I’m wondering if I can add half of the sugar to the pot, then tell people to add more if they want to.

I want to try everything chai-style now!

ETA- I should note that I used 2tbsp of sugar for what turned out to be about 3 servings. It wasn’t 1tbsp per cup, exactly.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
teaplz

Yay! takgoti’s method is so awesome. Just do a tsp of sugar, then! :) Glad that it was super-delicious, though. I definitely think it adds to the depth of the flavors, the stove-top method.

takgoti

W00t! I really am not deserving of it being called “my” method, as I didn’t invent it or anything, but I’m glad it worked for you even though it came out a little sweet! [Easily remedied, though, I imagine.] I haven’t discovered any way of making chai that tastes better to me.

Hyrulehippie

Yeah, I was really pleased. The sweetness was actually not a real problem. I was just a bit disappointed that I couldn’t handle eating the slice of pie I was hoarding to eat with it. >__

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45

I’m back after a really really long time! yaay! Prepare for an assault on you’re dashboard pages! Then again, it was only 2 or 3 weeks, which kind of proves that I’m a ridiculous junkie for not only tea, but steepster as well.

So I found myself on adagio’s website…you know, ordering presents and whatnot. I wasn’t going to get anything for myself, but I thought that I’d might as well, since I just happened to be there. I limited myself to 1 sample, but then I saw a couple more I wanted, which left me at 4. I actually had to chase myself off when I realized that I was eying full sized tins.

Anyway, based on the description Adagio gives, this should have been UH-MAY-ZING. Telling me that it’s sweet, luscious, and indulgent seemed to cater to exactly the flavors I was craving. I didn’t stand a chance. Even if I had read the reviews here, I doubt it would have made a difference. It was like I had fallen deeply in love with someone I’d just met on the internet. I was ready to pack up and move to Iowa. Turns out that jerk used a photo from 10 years ago, before the first two marriages.

Actually, it isn’t bad, I just really wanted to use that analogy. I just feel like it’s nothing special. The first two steeps, I found, were simple and nutty, with a sweet aftertaste. The third was my favorite. The nuttiness was less prominent, allowing it to blend more with the sweetness. There’s a hint of buttery, also. There may have been a bit of toast somewhere, but nothing as exciting as advertised. I’m just finishing up the 5th steep, which is still very drinkable. I really should up the score a bit for re-steeping power. It’s quite sweet (for how weak it is in general, anyway) and the nuttiness has become an aftertaste. It’s not complex by any means, but it’s about as exciting as it’s always been.

Steeping: Water was heated to the point where I could juuuuust make out steam rising
1-2 minutes (it smelled really vegetal at about 1 minute, so I stopped it early out of fear)
2-3 minutes (package directions)
3-4 minutes
4-4 minutes 45 seconds
5-6 minutes

It’s entirely possible that I’m just not so much a green tea person. I tend more towards whites, blacks, and oolongs, so I just might not be refined enough for this. I kinda doubt it, though. Dongshan Dolce is pleasant enough, I’ll definitely finish my sample, but will not buy it again. I suppose it would be good for people who want green tea without grassy flavors. The entire time I’ve been drinking it, I keep thinking that it’s a less plant-y version of Andao’s Spring Snail Shell.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

Welcome back!

Jillian

Hey welcome back (to the asylum, Mwhahahaha!)

Great review by the way. :)

Hyrulehippie

Thanks so much! You don’t know how glad I am to be back. Just one more final and I’m back to obsessive posting and commenting! I promise the dashboard assault is coming! Muahaha. T__T

Jillian

When you put it that way, I feel like I should be laying out barbed wire and getting ready for a D-Day-esque invasion. ;P

LENA

welcome back….missed ya!

Cofftea

I love Adagio. I pay for all the gifts I get people w/ my credit card then use the cup points for myself.:)

Angrboda

YAY, it’s good to have you back. :D

Hyrulehippie

@Jillian- barbed wire wouldn’t be a bad idea, though electrified might be a better choice. w

takgoti

YAAAAAAAY!

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82

Ugh. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that’s pleasant during my day is tea. >__

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Tea heals all wounds. Well, most wounds. A lot of wounds.

Good luck on your finals!

teafiend

I’m trying to pay them in tea. They don’t like me very much…yeah, Thanksgiving Break is more of a kick in the face than a rest because of finals. More tea all around

Hyrulehippie

@takgoti- haha I definitely believe in the healing powahz! Thanks a lot. Most of the craziness should be over in the next few days, so I’m excited.

@teafiend- I tried that…didn’t work for me either. u__u My professors always seem to give lots of work assuming that people actually have spare time during their thanksgiving break. Oh well.

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87

I’ve seriously had my nose in my mug for a good ten minutes. Beautiful. It smells smoky-sweet and amazing. Huffing tea is much more entertaining than studying for a gigantic Japanese test I have tomorrow. >__

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

I’ve worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts and never again will I eat one. I think I gained like 5 pounds in the first month, donuts and coffee with cream. This tea however, I am most certainly putting it on my “to buy” list.
I feel your testing pain, I just got my butt kicked in Greek.

takgoti

I have so many comments I want to make that have nil to do with the actual tea review.

1. I want to start a band called Huffing Tea.

2. The drinking bird reference makes me think of that episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the bird to press the key on his keyboard while he’s “working from home.”

3. The donuts also made me think of The Simpsons.

4. I want a donut.

But the tea sounds really, really good. Adding to list.

takgoti

5. Hope your test went well!

Hyrulehippie

tears why’s everyone so nice to me!? Here I am, ignoring steepster, while there are so many happy comments on my last real review. crying I’ll be back to being active soon.

My test was just fine. I’m miffed, though, since I was one point away from an A. I think Japanese is the only class in which I’m an overachiever. o

I’m drinking this again today and, though I don’t have time for a full review, I still feel the same. More leaves was a good idea, but I’m not getting donuts so much anymore. It’s a more complex, baked goods type of smell that’s present in the taste a bit as well. I’m so surprised the sugary qualities.

Anyway, expect me back full-force very soon!

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84
drank China Lichee by SpecialTeas
34 tasting notes

The following is extremely rambly. I’m quite tired, so apologies. Anything actually having to do with tea starts at the third paragraph, beginning with “Anyway”. >__

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I’ll have to keep an eye out for a tea like this. Lychees are few and far between here and when you do get them they cost a small fortune. I’ve only had some twice and that was because they were included in a larger box of fruits and vegetables that I got. I agree about the floral flavour and I can totally imagine they would work wondefully in a tea.

Suzi

Ooo! I was just whining about how I needed a good lychee tea because Lupicia’s Lychee Oolong failed to impress me. I’ll try this one next!

Hyrulehippie

@angrboda- Even though I’ve always loved things with lychee juice/flavoring I actually hadn’t eaten one until maybe 6 months or a year ago.

@Suzi-If you want to try a little and can wait until probably the week after next I can just send you some. I only have a small amount in my dorm, but I’ll be home next weekend and can send it from there. I guess I’m not confident in my own opinion, so I’d hate for you to order some and not like it. I bought 1/4 pound since my mom and sister like it, too, so it really wouldn’t be a problem (I’m sure I have an empty adagio sample tin to send it in). Let me know if you’re interested!

Rex Barrett

I absolutely love lichee, add that to a nice black and let it be fermented on top of that! I’m in heaven.

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82

This smelled alarmingly meaty as it was steeping this evening. I’m a vegetarian partly because I dislike meat…so I’m not sure that would be pleasant.

Fortunately that didn’t carry over to the flavor. It’s as buttery and herb-y as ever. Now that I think about it, saying “buttery and herb-y” makes it sound like I’m talking about mashed potatoes or something. I don’t even like butter in real life, but somehow in a tea it’s just fine. I would say “grassy”, but to me that’s a different, sharper flavor.

I think this tea benefits from reeeeally low temperature and shorter steep time. I couldn’t tell if the water was heated or not and wondered if I was about to pour lukewarm water over the leaves. Either way, one minute and cooler water really seems to bring out a good deal of sweetness. Maybe this just shows that I have quite the sweet tooth when it comes to tea (although I rarely add any sort of sweetener). Maybe this is my ideal preparation or maybe it’s growing on me, but I’m really enjoying this.

You know, I really wonder if I’m crazy. I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a swap, but I don’t want the other person to think I’m nuts (or that I’m lying to try and sound smart) or feel obligated to agree with me if they taste something completely different from the same tea. Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

If you’re willing to send internationally (and I understand if you’re not because it can get a little costly), I’m interested in a swap. I aired the idea earlier of organising either a swap or a travelling teabox, but nobody seemed interested

Hyrulehippie

That sounds so fun. I’ll take a look at shipping costs! Tea isn’t heavy, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue besides that economical shipping is sooooooo slow.

I don’t really know if I have anything worth trading, though. It kind of feels wrong if half the trade is stuff I’m just trying to get rid of. __

Angrboda

Yeah, for things one is just trying to get rid of, the travelling teabox would be better, but that would require at least a handful more people. The only problem with that is that if you’re not careful the box can get enormous when people add must more than they take out.

Even if the other person liked that things that we didn’t like, it still feels weird in a straight swap. :)

Doesn’t have to be big, though. I’m thinking kind of Adagio sample sized, more or less. That doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

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Profile

Bio

I’m pretty terrible at bios so I don’t think I’ll even try to make it interesting. I’m a college senior majoring in Japanese and minoring in women’s and gender studies. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 8 years or so. I craft and game whenever possible and have been known to give up large amounts of sleep for either.

いつも日本語の練習の時間ですよ!一緒に練習したかったら私に連絡してください。よろしくね。 ^0^ 

Location

New Jersey, USA

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