161 Tasting Notes

55
drank Pumpkin Pie Flavored Black by 52teas
161 tasting notes
harukaJU

I would love to hear how this turns out. I am looking for a good pumpkin pie-ish tea, and haven’t found one yet. I have found some with a pumpkin flavour, and some with a spicey flavour similar to the spices used in a pie… but not an actua successful pumpkin pie yet.
Do tell!

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80

My husband called it “Jasmine Water”. Jasmine…Water. I also had to say to him, “No babe, it’s a green tea…you may not add milk and sugar to it!” sigh He’s still new. At least he tries all of the teas I bring home. He’s currently of the mindset that if it’s not Earl Grey or bold enough to smack your tongue like Thor’s hammer, it’s water. He’ll come around…eventually.

On to the tea. I really enjoyed my cup. Very floral without being perfume-y. I like that after swallowing the tea, my breath smelled like jasmine but with just a hint of the taste lingering. I’m not a fan of the jasmine teas where you can taste the jasmine “oil” all day and it becomes offputting. The green tea that A&D used to blend with was on the light side to me. The jasmine was the main event. Front and center. I do somewhat agree with my husband in that the green tea was so light in taste, that it could have been mistaken for white tea…almost. Still, very tasty cuppa.

Thanks again, Takgoti. You’re the best!

TeaEqualsBliss

My Hubby does sugar in green tea too…eeeeek. I did get him to just do Agave Nectar a few times. Plain-Jane for me tho!

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25
drank Wild Sweet Orange by Tazo
161 tasting notes

Smells like a cleaner
Did I eat a vitamin?
Tart, sour, orange-y.

Yep, that about sums it up.

wombatgirl

I liked how it smelled – in package….

Janefan

nice haiku!

LENA

I agree, it just smelled super orange-y in the packet.

teaplz

Do you know what’s awesome about this review? I know you have a different accent than me, and that’s tickled me pink. Because no matter how I read that last line – 6 syllables. SO COOL. I love different accents.

Also, ew, cleaner! So many lemon teas smell like Lemon Pledge. This seems like the orange equivalent.

LENA

@ teaplz – well sh*t…it is 6 isn’t it? I don’t have THAT much southern drawl! lol! I guess this isn’t so much an accent thing as a terrible haiku. :(

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92
drank Moorish Mint by Samovar
161 tasting notes

Another wonderful sample from Takgoti. Mmmm…I love it! And my cats seem to love it too. Both Sarge and Mr. Mouse had their little heads hovering above my cup. They were doing that odd open mouth smelling thing that cats tend to do when they really dig a smell. It’s cute. My husband and I make the Predator sound if we see them doing the open mouth smell. You know that mix of snarl/snore that the Predator aliens make? Riiight…I’m guessing not. Just a small glimpse into my life.

On to the tea. It’s great. No…it’s Wonderful for a mint tea. And fairly complex. The obvious peppermint taste, then the cardamom and ginger take hold. Mmmm! All held together by a simple, tasty green tea. It’s yum. It’s just YUM! I highly encourage everyone to try it. Especially if you like mint teas. I’m feeling perfectly well (knock on wood) but if I was feeling ill, I would want this on standby. Go Samovar!

It’s yum! :)

Auggy

My cats liked it too! I think catnip is part of the mint family (or related?) so maybe there is a similar smell to this mint?

Thomas M. Frank

Haha. It’s funny that you guys mentioned that. It actually looks like some of the catnips I’ve seen.

LENA

Maybe I’ll just sprinkle a little of my Peppermint from Adagio instead of buying them catnip. :)

Angrboda

Lena, seriously, try that. My cat went absolutely nuts over a Lipton peppermint bag. She kept licking the paper and rubbing her face against it. Hissed and spat and bit and scratched when I tried to take it away from her.

teaplz

Hilarious! Who knew that cats would be so attracted to tea?

Sarge and Mr. Mouse are most excellent names for cats, I have to say.

I also have to say that Steepster has me mildly interested in cats (since so many people have them!) even though I’m way more of a dog person myself.

LENA

@ Angrboda – Wow!!! I bet my cats would play with a mint teabag for hours. I’ll see what they do with the loose peppermint. I’m sure their fur and kitty breath will smell minty fresh. Pets are better than watching TV sometimes.

Angrboda

I have some loose peppermint that I primarily use when I’m ill or to spice other stuff up a bit (like in a chocolate tea). I toyed with the idea of sewing something for her and stuffing it with some of the peppermint, but I can’t sew, so I never got around to it. Bit of a shame that I couldn’t make myself let her play with the bag. Considering the leaf-size in those things and that it was only a question of time before she would break it… Not really an option.
She did have a couple of catnip mice that she never ever played with in her life, except for the one time I tried tying one of them to a piece of rope, and then she was really more interested in the rope…

LENA

Thanks teaplz. Mr. Mouse is a Russian Blue and Sarge is an orange striped Tabby cat. You should totally get a cat. I was a dog lover for ages until I met my husband. He’s a cat man. Now, I love cats and think they are much easier to take care of. But then again, we also have a Great Dane named Tank.

denisend

LOL, a Great Dane named Tank, that’s FABULOUS!

teaplz

I’m always wary about cats because they seem so aloof and stand-offish. At least, my friends’ cats are. Or they’ve scratched everyone we know. Lots of breeds of dogs are super-playful, and that tends to match my personality more.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about the cats! And Tank is an amazing name. You guys have the perfect animal names, fo srs.

denisend

teaplz, it really depends on the cat. Yates loved everyone and was EXTREMELY outgoing and friendly. Hunter is friendly if we’re in the house (he hides from cat sitters and such). We’ve had houseguests who have totally changed their mind about cats just from meeting our two boys (the girl, Juliet, is standoffish, but she has reason to be).

LENA

Sarge loves everyone…especially men. ESPECIALLY men that have a little bit of stubble. He makes it his goal to get in their lap and lick their face. He’s an odd one but very social. Mr. Mouse loves me…only me. He tolerates my husband if I’m not there. If company comes over, he hides. It just depends on the cat. Mr. Mouse plays fetch with his little rattle toys. Brings it back and everything for me to throw again.

sophistre

Tea and cats do sort of seem to go hand in hand, for whatever reason. Ragdoll cats are pretty infamously friendly. I’ve got two Mainecoons myself, and they’re pretty independent (I named them Mars and Ares, perhaps that has something to do with it). Mars weighs in at about 20 lbs., without exaggerating, and is a big wuss; Ares sits closer to 12 and it’s his business to make friends.

I fear what would occur if they ever figured out how to get into my tea, given what I’ve seen them do to a bag of catnip in ten minutes flat.

Kitch3ntools

:D KITTYS! lol it deff depends on the cat as my cat is VERY high maintenance she has severe anxiety :( if she doesnt get human interaction for more than 2 days in a row she will pull her fur out on her arms :( she also has anxiety attacks if she sees me though a window because outside is scary and dangerous and she doesnt want me out there. luckily shes become WAY more social as shes gotten older :) she will come down and dust all my friends w/ her tail. shes also a secret daddys girl but doesnt want me to know lol. my cat at my parents house Kurtis (he gos outside and i live close to the main road and a college so i was not able to bring him to my apartment to live with me in fear of him getting stolen or hit by a car) is the exact opposite of Zoie, he wants nothing more than to plop in ur lap purr up a storm and suck on your shirt (its gross)

next visit to my parents ill bring him a peppermint tea bag :)

teaplz

Love the cat stories!

I guess it really does sort of depend on the cat itself. I guess dogs don’t vary in personality as much. Nearly every single Golden Retriever I’ve encountered, for instance, has been very friendly and happy-go-lucky. Of course, there are probably exceptions, but I haven’t seen them yet.

takgoti

Squee! So glad you enjoyed this! [And that your cats did too, that’s funny.] I don’t know how many tins of this I’ve been through already, but I get seriously bummed whenever I run out.

I’ve also been noticing this tea/cats paralleling and I think it’s interesting. I think I’m one of very, very few Steepsterites who does not own a cat.

Kitch3ntools

@teaplz working at a dog kennel i get to see MANY diff dogs and owners. for the most part you are right :) but dogs tend to mimic their owners for example: we have this dog Cosmo who comes in (hes a Scottish terrier) he is VERY demanding we call him “the General” his owner has pretty much the same temperament lol, and Jenny (a yellow Lab) her owner is VERY high strung and makes a HUGE deal about bringing her dog to us (shes been bringing Jenny to us for years and jenny really likes us and always does butt wiggles when she sees us) she crys and lets on ALOT, well Jenny is a very nervous dog and if u dont call her a million times and make a big deal and make cutesy noises she will not come outside to play.

ive noticed Great danes tend to be lap dogs, LENA is Tank a lap dog? i love it when they try to curl up on my lap when we go outside to play cuz im 5’5" lol so i get dwarfed lolz :)

Teaplz do you have a dog?

LENA

@ Kitch3ntools – OMG…your cat pulls the fur out of her legs?!? That’s crazy…and sad…and a little funny. Cats are so odd, but that’s part of their appeal. And your shirt sucking cat…HAHA! Too funny. Both of my cats are licking cats. They are big on licking your hands and fingers like a dog would. It’s cute at first…then it gets kind of gross and I push them off my lap on to the floor.
Tank thinks he’s a litttle dog. He loves playing with little dogs too. His best friend is a little rat terrier. My sister-in-law has a Dane, but I think Tank likes the terrier better. :) If you sit in the floor, Tank will try to fit most of his body into your lap. I’m also 5’5" and he’s WAY taller than I am. It’s funny, when he sleeps on his dog bed, he curls up into a tiny ball. But if I let him in the bed to sleep with me (nights my husband is out of town) he stretches out to take up the most space he possibly can. Nice.

Kitch3ntools

@LENA yeah i talked to her vet and its cause by separation anxiety. i was really upset about it at first then i slowly went to making fun of it cuz its too weird lol shes getting alot better we went away for the weekend in sep and and i didnt kennel her like i did for our week trip and i used “bitter spray” on her arms and she was fine when we came home she actually seemed pleased with herself. she also licks my fingers i think because shes lazy cuz she’ll lick my fingers then rub on it so i think shes petting herself and cleaning herself at the same time lol.
yeah when i was in highschool and younger i would let Kurtis suck on my shirt but i dont anymore because no1 lets him do it so if you allow him to pretty much halfyour shirt will be wet he gets so excited lol.
LOL i love that! i love when danes think there little cuz they r always just so gentle and sweet but gigantic :D such fun dogs!!
our Collie (a lassie kind of collie lol) names Lucky growning up would sleep in small spots but when i would let him on my bed he would pretty much push me off lol :)

S

@all Seconding the Ragdoll cat recommendation! I have a Ragamuffin cat (very similar to the Ragdoll but comes in more colors and has a smaller, more regulated breeding community) and my parents liked her so much they got two more for themselves! From what I understand, Ragdolls are good for people who don’t want a stand-offish cat, because they are so friendly. I think Ragdolls are also called “puppy cats” or something because they tend to follow people around from room to room. On the flip side, they’re more needy for attention than other cats, so if you are away from your home a lot, they’re probably not a good match. They’reknown for being “soft-pawed” (no scratching) and they go totally limp when held, hence the Ragdoll name. People used to think they genetically had a higher pain tolerance than other cats because they are so calm and tolerant! :)

Jason

I just stumbled across lena’s avatar which led me into this tasting note. The forces are gathering. You would be wise to loose your flippant ways and join the honorable foot clan…I’ll get you, you miserable turtles!

Jason

sorry for the unrelated comment :)

takgoti

You’re goin’ down, Shred head!

LENA

Totally!!! Shredder is sooo bogus!

Turtle Power!

mpierce87

My cat totally makes the same face…my husband thinks its weird, but I think it is too cute. LOL at Predator reference…

Jason

Unrelated: Since I don’t see anymore turtles, I guess Shredder has conquered this dimension…

LENA

@ mrawlins2 – I think it’s cute too…just a little odd. I’m glad you know what I’m talking about in regards to Predator…lol.

@ Jason – we were only going to do it for a day. after we got in trouble we nixed the idea. lol :)

Jason

@LENA: Ha! I didn’t mean to punish you guys like you were in trouble…since Select is kinda its own thing and very prominent we prefer to keep it more focused. But I don’t see a problem with the occasional, off-topic comment on a tasting note (obviously :)

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65

After seeing Auggy’s post about this tea, I knew a RoT catalog was on the way. When I got home from work, it was there waiting for me. Yay! I usually do not order anything from RoT, but I do look forward to the tea sample they include with the catalog.

Let me start out by saying that this is the best sample I’ve received from them thus far. OF COURSE it contains Rooibos…I would be shocked if it didn’t. This is what I taste – in order:
-a little zing of strawberry (very nice)
-the oncoming taste of mild chocolate (good)
-ROOIBOS!!! (loud and proud – Ehh…)

I understand that Rooibos is a good filler and that sometimes tea blends need that little extra something (the cowbell – see Steepster Dictionary thread). But this would be so good with a nice black tea base. Why can’t they push the freakin’ Rooibos aside just once and see if their sales don’t improve. The Rooibos takes over the aftertaste with that sawdust/woody/straw-like taste. I like Rooibos…and for some reason I do not taste the negative aspects when I drink it plain. But in blends, it’s there…and obvious.

Rant over. This is a big victory for RoT, but in the tea world, it’s just slightly above average.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Is the catalog the same as the last one or is it a new one? A few days ago I received a second Comfort and Joy. Ohhhh nooo. I do like rooibos, I have a feeling I might enjoy this one.

LENA

it’s a new one. the cover is all about this strawberry chocolate tea. i guess they are going for a valentine’s motif.

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88
drank Eight at the Fort by Harney & Sons
161 tasting notes

I think this is a love or hate tea. Personally, I love it. Eight at the Fort is very complex tasting…smoky, malty, robust, earthy, slightly sweet. I could go on on and on. The mix of leaves is interesting and pretty to look at. This tea also holds up to milk and sugar very well. Super tasty! The caffeine content must be fairly high, because this is one of the few teas that I get a little jolt out of.
A HUGE thank you goes out to Takgoti for including this little gem in one of our swaps. She just exudes awesomeness. :)
If you like black teas with a little meat on the ribs, than this one is perfect. Nothing sissy ‘bout Eight at the Fort. He’ll smack ya around. Plus, the name is really cool. My husband appreciated the story behind the name and I think he felt special drinking it. And that’s cool. A big win…and a place on my shopping list for Eight at the Fort.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Alannah

Sounds right up my alley! I’m definitely intrigued.

LENA

It’s a bold tea…a great morning cup or mid day energy booster.

takgoti

Squee! I’ve been making some good headway through my big ol’ tin.

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30
drank Organic Iced Black Tea by Tazo
161 tasting notes

Picked this up on my lunch break. Ehh. There is an off tasting ingredient…I’m guessing it is the citric acid. The only other ingredients are black teas and cane sugar. The citric acid really screwed this up. It’s that sour, artificial taste. Ick. I should have known better.
The glass bottle and top are pretty cool though.

Cofftea

Will never buy tazo bottled. Picked one up @ the airport cuz based on the name I never would have imagined it was sweetened. Ick. It’s a pain to have to hunt down the fine print.

LENA

“lightly sweetened” is in very small lettering on the label. I drank about half the bottle with lunch. That was enough…I’m tossing the rest and recycling the bottle. 20g of carbs if you drink the whole bottle…no thanks.

gmathis

I don’t appreciate folks sweetening my drinks for me, but with that said, their Tazoberry bottled isn’t bad. I guess the berry overpowers the bitter.

Alannah

I agree about the sweetening! I thought it might not be too bad since it was “lightly” sweetened, but I can’t stand sugar in my tea at all. I also am not a fan of the citric acid aftertaste! Yuck.

Cofftea

@Alannah- I’m w/ you on the citric acid! Adagio does not sweeten their iced teas but they do add citric acid (at least to the white tea that I got free) and it was nasty. Why is it put in anyway? Especially if it’s unsweetened that’s a great way to ruin perfectly wonderful tea.

Alannah

I’ve never investigated why they put citric acid in. I assume there’s some “freshness” or “stability” reason (like most food additives), but it all but ruins anything it’s in for me! I bought some packaged pre-sliced apple pieces once, and even they had citric acid added (and were TERRIBLE). It’s horrible!

LENA

eww, i’m not a citric acid fan. it ruins everything. i’m guessing that it is used as a preservative of sorts.

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85
drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
161 tasting notes

As my sample size shrinks, the more I feel this tea will be missed. I’ve finally nailed the temp and steeping time, and it’s oh so good. I’m sure that I will eventually order some more, but I’m hoping 2010 will be the year of trying “new” teas. I foresee lots of samples!

Ricky

So what’s the temperature / steeping time if you don’t mind me asking. (You made it sound as if it was different from the tin o.O). Delicious tea indeed.

LENA

boiling water – 4 minutes, steaming water (from my office’s coffee maker)- 5 minutes. no more or it will get really bitter. of course, all is forgiven if you add milk and sugar…which this tea takes very well.

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88
drank Ancient Yellow Buds by Rishi Tea
161 tasting notes

Have I ruined my palette by drinking black teas and chais for the last month or so?

I’m having a little trouble adjusting to the MUCH lighter tastes of this tea. It’s good. It’s very good. But subtle. I even steeped it a bit longer than the recommended 2 minutes because the liquor was almost totally clear. The smell is that of a lightly floral green tea. I do not taste the apple notes, but the honeysuckle is there…and proud. I love the smell of honeysuckle. It flashes me back to when my Pop (grandfather) taught me how to extract that one magical drop of honey from the flower. It’s a good memory. Maybe that’s why I keep honeysuckle on my back yard’s fence line. If a tea can help envoke a happy memory like that, then I’m all for it.

Auggy

I used to do that too! Such great memories… Now I must get some of this tea!

Cofftea

Yay for happy memories!:)

takgoti

I ordered this one. Trying not to get too excited about it so that I don’t end up disappointed, but this review isn’t helping!

Cofftea

Lena, I do think sometimes your tastebuds get into a routine.

LENA

Get the sample size…it’s worth it. I’m going to be nice and put some of this tea in the traveling teabox when it makes its way to me.

Ricky

Rishi’s sample sizes definitely aren’t that bad. I’m quite content with it. The shipping prices are just a tad ridiculous.

Cofftea

Ricky… you do not want to get me started hehe. Although I’m more upset that’s still more expensive (granted I did get the tea itself 62.5% off the original price) than my brick and mortar tea shop. What are the closures like on their samples? That’s another thing that irritates me w/ some companies.

Ricky

Resealable ziplock bag type. It’s pretty secure. I haven’t had problems with it. At least when you open it, your tea won’t spill everywhere. The sampler bags also vary in sizes. I like them a lot better than Harney’s sampler bags.

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81

Drinking a cup of #40 before heading out to lunch. And where am I going…

http://www.worldcupoftea.com/

I took my mom here for her birthday and we did the Royal-tea lunch. It was pretty cool, and their teas were mostly tasty. I was not impressed with their staff, however. I think I was expecting a true tea sommelier or Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast or something. Instead, it was mostly a hippy staff. I’m not saying that being a hippy is bad (I’ve been known to hug a few trees)…just odd in a tea establishment that is known for their British High Tea ceremony. That, and the fact that when my mom asked about a certain tea, the hippy dude said, and I quote, “It’s a green tea…so umm, ya know…you might like it…if you like green tea.” Nice. Their tea menu is online, so I’ve been writing a few teas down to give the smell test when I get there.

As for this tea, I find my self saying, “It’s not bad…(insert long pause)…for Adagio.” After close to a year of all Adagio, all the time, I’m waiving goodbye. I thank them for helping me tune my tastes but I think it’s time to move on. Also, tea swaps are fantastic for finding new companies and teas to try out. I thank all of my tea swap buddies this year for all of the teas, funny emails, and general awesomeness. I hope everyone has a fantastic, tea-filled 2010.

Cofftea

Jealous, very jealous:)

takgoti

Oooh, hope your lunch is awesome, service aside! And yay for tea swaps! Your package should have arrived this AM!

TeaEqualsBliss

Double Jealous!

Bethany

I think I’m at the same point as you on Adagio. They’re a great company for beginners, and I still have a ton of their samples to drink through, but I’m really interested in trying more specialized companies.

Cofftea

Now I’m into Adagio for their custom blends, savory teas, and frequent cup points- I may never use all mine lol.

LENA

Lunch was great. I picked up 2 new teas and have one on order that they were out of.
@ takgoti – I can’t wait to see what all you sent! It’s Christmas part deux.
@ Bethany – yep, great for beginners. And I love that they send most of their teas out in tins…not bags. It’s ok though, I have hoards of the little sample tins that are great for tea swaps, etc.
@ Cofftea – I know you love a good blend! Still waiting to try the one you sent for my birthday. :) I used most of my points, but I have about 40 or so leftover. Hope they don’t expire…I might need them one day.

Cofftea

@LENA, I hope they don’t too! I have over 2000.

wombatgirl

Do you have any reccomendations for that shop? I’m heading down to Nashville next week and I’ll be going here for certain! (Going for a training class for work)

LENA

@ wombatgirl – Niiice! If you like rooibos, they have a blend called Home for the Holidays. I’m positive that it would be good hot, but it totally rocks when iced. I keep a pitcher of this one in the fridge.
Did you check out their website? I tried the Ceylon Kenilworth with my mom (at our lunch) and it was really nice…but fairly plain. China Chai is ok if you like the taste of licorice. I tried their Genmaicha Whole Leaf and hated it. I have some of their Czar’s Samovar on order…they were out of it the last time I was there. Czar’s seems to be a big seller for them.

Franklin Tea should be pretty close to World Cup of Tea. Their website is http://www.franklintea.com/index.html I haven’t been…yet…but I plan to very soon. Franklin Tea seems to have a much larger selection, but terrible descriptions on the site. You can email me at [email protected] if you might like to meet up while you are in town.

wombatgirl

@Lena – I sent you an email – I’d love to meet up!

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lover of tea, travel, good food, nerdy stuff, tattoos, great danes, sushi, beer, netflix, UFC, reading…and of course, my kick-ass husband.

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