378 Tasting Notes

smells divine…. absolutely, evilly, amazingly, calorie carryingly like a chocolate mousse with a perfectly ripened raspberry reduction decadently dripped over top. i’ve never smelled the like.

but the taste has a curl. no. no no no no. maybe if i say it backwards: ON ON ON ON!

rooiboos!

dammit. literacy only works if you use it =0(

MissB

Oh crappy. I hope someone else in the house can enjoy this instead.

JustJames

i was going to offer it to you, actually.

MissB

Jeepers, how did I miss this? I’m just having my first cup now. Feel free to send it along if you’re still wanting to get rid of the rest!

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98
drank Tamarind Pop by Butiki Teas
378 tasting notes

this one is just not working for me tonight. hmmm.

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94
drank Rhubarb Cream by TeaGschwendner
378 tasting notes

new tea companies are so much fun to sort through… maybe even more so on low down dirty bad days like today.

i had concerns. it has been that bad a day….. but the tea smelled sooooooooo gooooooood. i mean wow. new germany tea company getting-to-know-you tap dance. should i? shouldn’t i? maybe i should just leave it for a better day….. aw, hell! maybe the tea would turn everything around! i put the kettle on.

the smell only got better. i was reminded of my gran’s kitchen with stewed rhubarb on the stove. it had the kind of smell that burned my fingers and my tongue, got me yelled at and lectured….. of course with standards like that (and the day i’ve been having) of course the smell and the taste didn’t match. sigh.

and then i had a moment. i was such a pest as a kid…. always wanted sugar on everything and thusly got it on virtually nothing. so when i ate my stewed rhubarb it was always with plain cream… no sugar, no nothing. and i always thought i was so hard up.

i really was a pest… i added plain cream. my day is much better. if you like stewed rhubarb this, my friends, is your tea.

smooth, tart but not bitter. cream component with no random chemical inflections. believe the 2 min steep.

sorry i’ve been a grouch today. don’t know what my problem’s been.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

Not enough sil. ;)

caile

I love stewed rhubarb also! Haven’t tried it with cream though, only sugar. :-)

JustJames

not enough what, sil?

@caile, i highly recommend rhubarb and cream. =0) quite awesome.

Sil

Your problem…. You said you didn’t know what it was… Clearly. Not enough sil :)

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91

i know why MissB sent this to me. 1) not a caramel note in sight. 2) the smell!!!!!! wowza! the name is totally accurate too.

when i was a kid my gran would have a tin of cassis sucking candies in her mammoth sized purse…. opening the tin smelled just like this blend! juicy, tangy, robust, intriguing! a hint of astringency from the assam which is the perfect compliment to the black currant. i genuinely do get a sense of juiciness.

nice balance. definitely drinking a tea vs juice…. very nice. this blend makes me happy. i’ve had a number of ‘meh’ experiences lately. this was not one of them!!

thank you MissB!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
boychik

I bet you would love black currant jam. Too bad this fruit is banned in US. I buy imported occasionally in Russian stores.

Sil

Banned in the US???

Kaylee

I believe JustJames is based in Canada, where black currant isn’t banned. But also, the fruit isn’t technically banned in the US. Growing it is banned in some states. I’m still trying to figure out whether that ban extends to black currant products manufactured elsewhere, but I suspect it doesn’t.

Kaylee

Also, many black currant products are available for sale on Amazon, though that’s not a guarantee of legality :)

JustJames

banned in the states? REALLY? now i have to look that up….. must know why. hmmmm.

OMGsrsly

It was banned as a vector for a pine tree disease. :) I looked it up too, then got distracted on the internet!

JustJames

something to do with white pine specifically, buuuuuuuuuuut the ban was overturned in NY? not done yet….

boychik

Thanks for the link. I still don’t find it in Brooklyn so I didn’t know about ban overturn.

JustJames

dunno, but apparently NY is one of the states allowed to grow them…? but we’re also outside observers, boychik ;-) just because it’s on the interweb don’t make it so! lol.

boychik

I live in the area where I don’t have to buy groceries in supermarket. I mostly shop in ethnic markets and lots of exotic fruits and veg available super fresh. That is why I’m a little puzzled. But I will look it up on web maybe it’s special orders.

JustJames

rules and regulations also change according to who’s in power. might be that legally it’s allowed on a federal level, but not on a municipal level.

MissB

Wow. I’m thrilled you enjoyed this, and even more thrilled at the ensuing (and fascinating) discussion. Definitely learned something new today!

JustJames

i know! who woud have thought black currants could constitute the tree equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction?!! lol.

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drank Cinnamon by Kusmi Tea
378 tasting notes

this was a gift from the brilliant ifjuly, thank you muchly!

hmmm. dry it smells ideal for a cinnamon tea latte, but once the water was added it sortof lost it’s zip =0(

not bad, but just kindof there.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
378 tasting notes

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85
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
378 tasting notes

never had a black like this one! indeed it is very clear and clean…. personally i don’t get malt. i’m getting an undeveloped brown sugar hint that is mixed with a vegetal tone: as though someone cut a swath of a demerara plant and stashed it in my tea as a stir stick.

no astringency, no bitterness…. really a clear green curl. scent wise i do get malt, but not on the palate.

i took advantage of the christmas discounts, i am interested to try the other samples now! (the rest i have saved for my upcoming not for profit course starting in january =0)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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92

so sad! sipdown! heavy sigh…..

brilliant, but now it’s gone….. gear change: this tea makes me wonder if H&S is playing with GMOs, because i’m tasting a hybridized fruit in this. really! like a candied strawberry raspberry cross =0)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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15

i heard an odd metaphor that applies aptly to this blend: dog’s bowl. weird, right? but if you think about the jumble of stuff in a dog’s bowl it is a good description of the muddle of flavours in this tea.

cinnamon and clove + chocolate? not my favourite, but i like to think i’m open minded. coconut? okay. mate…. which gives me banana (oddball gene), and rooiboos. OOF!

MissB you are braver than i!!! it’s just not a good fit with me, i’m more of a cat guy.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
MissB

Oh, I think I’ve yet to try this one. Sigh. Sorry that it sucked.

JustJames

OH STOP IT!!!! you don’t get to apologize for not playing faberge over the shoulders of every tea blender!!!! sheesh!

MissB

Ha! Love it. Thank you. :)

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Profile

Bio

Time For A ReWrite!

A good friend of mine on here kindly asked me to do the Steepster world a favour and list my allergies front and center (fair enough, lol):

-COFFEE … rare, nasty, not even a bit funny if i’m exposed. (call me original)

-ROOIBOOS … is a new appearance. under certain circumstances i’m okay with it (ie if it’s GREEN and paired with mate) but because i have an auto immune disease i try not to poke at things.

*NOT an allergy, but an abnormality that drives my tea buddies bananas, i AM INCAPABLE OF TASTING CARAMEL AND TOFFEE. so i thought i’d list it at the top too. it’s very annoying. they smell great!!?

Hi! I’m James!

I’m a student: double major of human geography and psychology with the intention of chasing a double doctorate. (reading that over it occurs to me again that i must be crazy).

i’m a live and let live sort. i look and see alot of silver linings. my discovery of tea has only served to further that viewpoint. for me tea is art and nuance, watercolours and bold brushstrokes….

swaps are grand things! the element of surprise in a tea swap completely trumps forrest gump’s chocolate box life metaphor, lol.

favourites: french teas dammann freres, mariage freres and nina’s paris especially.

i have recently discovered a german tea company that has romanced me: tea gschwendner (sp?)

mandala teas is brilliant and a company i count on.

justea and tealet are companies i study because of both their exceptional products and and business models, as well as their work with farmers who are TOO POOR for fair trade certification. this is highly relevant to my studies.

90-100 i need more
80-90 i might need more, or it might be a respect vote
below 75? it was likely an oops buy. my evolution into french teas has vastly focused what i like!!

however, i’m always open to trying things.

dislikes so far: guayasa, darjeeling, most peach teas.

Location

Victoria, BC

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