394 Tasting Notes

93

Cold steeped in the fridge for about 18 hours. This makes a fantastic iced tea. It has a sweet and natural peach smell. The flavor is likewise sweet and peachy. It’s fresh and light and just slightly dry. My dad thinks it’s too light, but he’s not a tea person so what does he know. It reminds me of bottled peach iced tea minus the sugar.

Until I run out of this blend, there’s always going to be a pot of it cold-steeping in the fridge. I like it that much.

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75
drank Spring Morning by Teaopia
394 tasting notes

sipdown

I brewed the rest of this hot and stuck it in the fridge overnight. It still isn’t stunning, but it is substantially better iced than hot. The flavor is now natural strawberry instead of generic berry. The end of the sip is grassy and a touch bitter. I’m willing to chalk the bitterness up to user error. Overall, this makes for a decent iced tea. Thanks to Christina for sending it to me!

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94

Happy Pride everyone! I couldn’t find a rainbow-themed tea, so I decided to at least go with something cheerful and sweet. This blend never fails to please. The flavor is perfectly pineapple even without sweetener. Yum!

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75
drank Spring Morning by Teaopia
394 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, Christina!

This blend is ok. It’s aptly named. The dry smell definitely evokes a spring morning. Clean and fresh. Brewed, it tastes generically of berries. There is a pleasant juiciness. It really isn’t bad, I’ve just come to expect a lot from flavored teas. Generic berry juiciness just doesn’t cut it. This could be really good iced, though. I’ll try it that way before delivering my final verdict.

mj

Haha I blame Steepster for educating us in really good tea and raising our standards :-)

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80
drank Bedouin Chai by Wissotzky Tea
394 tasting notes

This was my favorite tea before I really got into loose leaf. The spice is gentle. The sage lends depth. My brother drinks it with a ton of honey, but I prefer it straight. It’s a little drying at the end. That’s not usually a problem for me. Right now it’s too darn hot to tolerate dryness though.

I think this is a sipdown. It’s hard to be sure. I had another teabag, but it’s gone missing. I suspect my dad of purloining it.

EDIT: It’s confirmed. My dad drank the other bag. He was amusingly surprised that I even noticed it was gone :-)

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60
drank Hunny by Empress Tea House
394 tasting notes

I picked up quite a bit of this during BrewTEAlly Sweet‘s stash sale. I had high hopes, but it’s turned out to be pretty meh. The base is fine – just a nice woody rooibos. The flavoring is bad. It smells and tastes extremely artificial. I’ve had unflavored teas with more realistic honey notes.

This tea is drinkable, but it’s not actively enjoyable. I used it mostly as a bedtime tea because I tend to fall asleep before finishing my cup and I never felt wasteful letting this one go cold. It doesn’t actually taste any better cold, fyi.

Oh well. Sipdown.

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68

Whoa. The dry leaf smells just like black cherry soda! Brewed, the scent is a rich, creamy, chocolate with a sheen of Maraschino cherry. But the flavor doesn’t quite live up to the scent. There’s no chocolate! There’s dryness and a heavy mouthfeel, but no particular taste until a lingering Maraschino cherry note comes in at the end. When the tea cools, it just tastes like flat black cherry soda. I have real black cherry soda in the fridge, thank you very much (Dr. Brown’s, of course). Although… maybe this would be a good candidate for a tea soda. Not an impressive showing so far.

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drank Rhubarb Vanilla Ale by Butiki Teas
394 tasting notes

At some point I will write a proper tasting note for this blend. This is not that point.

I have this with the regular black tea base and with an oolong base. The flavor is pretty close between the two. I’m actually not usually a big fan, but yesterday my tummy hurt and this tea really hit the spot. Also, the vanilla flavor becomes more prominent as the tea cools.

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94
drank Casablanca by Alice's Tea Cup
394 tasting notes

I’ve always enjoyed this hot in my travel mug. Since the weather’s gotten warmer, I decided to try it iced. I brewed the tea hot and refrigerated it for about 24 hours. Made this way, the bergamot really pops. The brew is smooth throughout with a gently minty finish. Very refreshing and light. I can definitely see this as a good summer tea when the weather really heats up.

Flavors: Bergamot, Mint

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88

I’ve been trying to use weekends as an opportunity to try more teas gong fu style. I made this one in my favorite new teapot/gaiwan. I picked it up for the equivalent of $5 US in a cheap home goods shop in Taipei. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s shaped like a gaiwan, but it has a handle and a small spout with built-in filter. I can’t decide if it’s a gaiwan-shaped teapot or a modernized gaiwan. Either way, it’s pretty and convenient and I love it.

I used approx. 3 tsp in 4 oz of water. All steeps used boiling water. I gave the leaves a 5-second initial rinse.

first steep – 1 minute
The scent here is roasty honey goodness. The flavor is toast with a hint of sweetness. There’s a dry mouthfeel after the sip, which works well with the toastiness.

second steep – 1 minute 30 seconds
This came out weaker than the first steep. Other than being weaker, it smells and tastes exactly the same.

third steep – 2 minutes
This straight up tastes like toast with honey. Mmmm.

fourth steep – 2 minutes, 30 seconds
Now it tastes like honey with toast! I love how the notes stay basically the same but their prominence changes.

This tea is great for a chilly night or rainy day. There’s a warmth here that goes beyond the temperature of the brew. It’s comforting without feeling decadent. Just don’t forget to eat actual food at some point!

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