394 Tasting Notes

74

I tried this one three times at slightly different brewing parameters. It’s hard to get this to taste right, but the trick seems to be low temp and short steep time (approx. 165f for 1 minute or less). If not steeped just so, it ends up tasting like burnt rice and the burnt note lingers. The marshmallow comes out more as a mallowy texture at the end of the sip than any actual flavor. When steeped exactly right, this does taste like rice cereal treats. It’s actually nicer hot than iced, even when done right. I would rate this an 80 for flavor, but the blend loses points for being so fickle.

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70
drank Pumpkin Spice by Harney & Sons
394 tasting notes

I’m not in the mood for a narrative, but I haven’t posted a tasting note in a while so… here’s a tasting note. My impressions of this tea seem to differ wildly from those of other reviewers.

The dry leaf smells all pumpkin spicy. The most dominant scent is nutmeg. So. Much. Nutmeg. It’s not bad, just… strong.

Speaking of strong, the scent of clove wafts out of the mug and smacks you in the face about three seconds after the water hits the leaf. By contrast, the flavor is actually quite well balanced. The pumpkin leads, strong but not artificial, followed by cinnamon and clove. Not really getting any nutmeg taste though. The cinnamon lingers long after the sip, along with a hint of sweetness. It’s very similar to the after-taste of HS’s Hot Cinnamon Spice. Not sure how I feel about that. It’s a bit…much.

Overall, the actual sip is nice and well-balanced, but the scent and aftertaste are a bit too strong and one-note for my liking. I’ll just add it to the collection in my office drawer.

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88
drank Strawberry Oolong Tea by Teavivre
394 tasting notes

This comes to me courtesy of Angel at Teavivre. I made a pot last night to go with our break-fast meal. It was tasty enough. We didn’t finish off the second steep so I just put it in the fridge.

Whoa. This makes a good iced tea. The strawberry flavor really pops without tasting artificial. It’s a bit late in the year for me to be figuring this out, but better late than never. Bumping the rating a bit.

See previous note for details on the hot brew.

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84

Stacy sent a sample of this with my last order. Thanks!

The dry leaf is just… peaceful. The leaves are a blend of white and faded green, mingled with delicate flecks of blue, pink, and white. The smell is floral and coconutty. Is that a hint of lemon? Nice.

This brews up a lovely pale gold. The scent is still floral and coconutty, but there’s a solid vanilla note that comes to the fore. The flavor is tropical. It’s a bit heavier on the coconut than I personally like. It’s oh-so-slightly fruity, but hard to pin down the exact fruit. Citrus? Mango? It’s leaving a slight film on my tongue that isn’t exactly enjoyable. Otherwise, this is quite pleasant. I got a nice second steep out of it, with the same scent, texture, and flavor profile.

Overall, this tea is very “chilling on the beach at an island resort”. It also goes well with fancy marzipan!

Butiki Teas

You are correct, there is a touch of lemon. Also, there is a hint of tangerines as well.

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55
drank Mango Fruit Punch by DAVIDsTEA
394 tasting notes

Right off the bat, the dry “leaf” smells like fruit roll-ups if there was a mango version. It looks more like a dried fruit medley than an herbal tea. The ingredients list includes sugar AND marigold. I prefer my tea blends unsweetened and marigold always clogs up my steepers. So this tea has a lot going against it before I’ve even added water.

The brew is yellow. Not golden or delicate or dark or bright, just… yellow. It tastes like watered-down juice, which is about what I expected. Not bad, but not tea. If I want juice, I’ll drink juice. These blends are rather confounding – since they have sugar, they’re not exactly a healthy alternative to juice. Nor are they tea-like. So… what’s the point? I genuinely want to know. What’s the appeal of a fruity, sugary herbal blend over watered-down juice?

This does make a good “tea”-pop. Once the brew cooled, I added chilled seltzer in a 2-to-1 ratio. The result was similar to Izze Sparkling Juice Soda. So I guess this is useful for making knock-off Izze at home, slightly cheaper than store-bought.

Low score for being pre-sweetened and tasting more like juice than anything else. Score adjusted upwards for making a good “tea”-pop.

Thanks to DavidsTea for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Eep! Things are a bit busy right now and I haven’t had much time for Steepster. I miss y’all though! Here’s another one of my backlogs from when I went on vacation.

August 30, 2014
I’m so happy to have this on hand again! I bought two boxes to bring home, but I couldn’t wait. I just had to open it up and have a cup. This is my happy tea. So creamy and soothing. Gently lemony. Perfect as a dessert tea or just a desert oasis when things get hectic. I’d love to have this in my regular rotation.

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88
drank Strawberry Oolong Tea by Teavivre
394 tasting notes

backlog, written August 25, 2014

Nothing quite like a rocket siren to wake you up first thing in the morning. Time for some caffeine to make up for the lack of sleep.

This one is interesting. The strawberry flavor is right up front in the sip, quickly and smoothly transitioning into the flavor of the solid quality base tea. It reminds me of a high mountain Taiwanese oolong: light and sweet with a smooth mouthfeel and lingering lightly menthol aftertaste. Looking at the product page, I see that this oolong was produced in Fuding City, Fujian Province, China. It is a mountainous area though, so at least I got that part kinda right!

I also see that this is a particularly low caffeine tea. Morning fail. On the up side, I can totally see this as a refreshing post-dinner brew. Or an iced tea.

Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the samples!

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90

Wow! Go on vacation for a few weeks and you miss a lot around here.

Well, I’m back and glad of it. I wrote up a few notes while I was away, which I’ll be posting over the next week or so. Right now, though, I want to write a note for this tea. Firstly, because this is a sipdown. Secondly, because this was a good start to a chilly day. And finally, because this last cup tasted more like the original pumpkin milkshake that I love: creamy and pumpkin-y. I assume that’s due to the extra flavored bits that always seem to end up at the bottom of a bag or tin. I enjoyed this tea, but I’m not sad to see it go. Here’s hoping the original Pumpkin Milkshake comes back one day.

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70

Tea pop!

The dry leaf of this is full of huge dried berries. The smell is a pretty nice balance of vanilla and berry. Unfortunately, the vanilla doesn’t translate into the flavor. The flavor really resembles hibiscus. It’s pretty strong, so I steep for under 1 minute. The short steep brings out a teeny bit of the vanilla flavor. Still overwhelmingly berry and tart though.

So, I thought… tea pop! I use a small amount of leaf, probably about 1/2 teaspoon, and a small amount of boiling water, probably about 3 oz. Then I add 4-5 ice cubes and top it off with seltzer. Such an improvement over the hot brew! This is a nice non-chamomile herbal option for a hot evening.

Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for the samples!

Stephanie

Yum sounds good

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35
drank Chocolate Rocket by DAVIDsTEA
394 tasting notes

I still really dislike this tea. However, I believe it’s worth noting that my officemate adores it. Especially with a shot of Kahlua poured in.

Cavocorax

Ooooh! That’ll fix it!

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