766 Tasting Notes

74
drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
766 tasting notes

Received a sample of this tea from Courtney. I had forgotten I had tried this one before, it was still on my shopping list. About a year ago, I was in a little family run sushi place. I was waiting for a friend to arrive, so while I was waiting the hostess served me a tiny cup of this sesame tea. I have no idea what kind of tea it was. It honestly tasted like salty, roasted sesame seeds. It was most likely a green tea but in all honesty it could have been soup broth. It was delicious! It wasn’t on the menu and I got caught up in visiting with an old friend so I forgot to ask the server what it was. I haven’t been back since but this is an excuse to go :)

Anyway, this one tastes nothing like that. Ha ha. It is a smooth, light green tea. There is a sweet caramel taste. It is very light. There is a light sesame flavour, but I would have liked it to be stronger.

Thanks Courtney.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73
drank Passion Fruit Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
766 tasting notes

I made this one again today, cold shaken. I added about 1/4 tsp of white sugar. It helped to brighten up the taste a bit. Made it taste a bit less waxy. But I would say it didn’t really bring out much passion fruit. I still have to try this one hot, but so far it is an ok generically tropical tasting matcha and not so much passion fruit tasting.

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73
drank Passion Fruit Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
766 tasting notes

To me, this one doesn’t taste a whole lot like passion fruit. I am not sure what it tastes like. It isn’t bad or anything, I just can’t quite put my finger on it. I did chose to get distinctive flavour instead of robust becuase I had a few issues with the fruity flavours in robust tasting chemical, so this could be the problem. I also did not add any sweetener because I wanted to try it plain first, as is my usual with trying flavoured matcha.

The dry matcha has a slight hint of passion fruit. More tart than sweet. The taste is a sweet, fruit flavour. I don’t want to say it is generic fruit because it isn’t, but it is familiar. Maybe just tropical tasting. Or maybe a bit more like guava, not sure. There is a slight hint of a waxy flavour.

In other news, I am finding this matcha, as well as the last flavour I tried, is quite lumpy. It lumps quickly even after sifting. And it does not dissolve very well at all. I used the same basic grade matcha as I always get. So I am not sure if it the flavouring or the matcha.

I made this cold shaken, 8 oz water. I will try adding some sweetener for tomorrow and see if I can squeeze out a bit of passion.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

That is so good to know. I’ve been eyeing this one since I love passionfruit but had a feeling it wouldn’t be that accurate.

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97
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
766 tasting notes

This tea is different every time I drink it. It is some kind of magic.

Yesterday on the second steep, after it had been sitting for about an hour, I could swear I was tasting rootbeer notes by the end of the cup. In all fairness I had previously been drinking a rootbeer flavoured tea, but I was still amazed. I also sometimes get cinnamon out of the second steep.

This morning on the first steep, I am getting a lot of fruity flavours. Very much like a dark, sweet plum. It is very creamy. There is some sweet tobacco notes, almost like a hint of clove cigarettes. And I feel like there is just the slightest hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. It tastes almost like a coffee cake.

I often do not get much chocolate or cocoa out of this tea like many others. But it doesn’t matter, it is still good. It is almoste like this tea is whatever you need it to be :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

This tea is magical.

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75
drank Demain by Nina's Paris
766 tasting notes

Well I just sing the praises of about every Nina’s Tea I have tried. I guess it had to come to an end at some time. This one just didn’t knock my socks off like most of the other ones. It is still good, maybe its OK, but I was a bit disappointed. Really just disappointed in all of my excitement and not in the tea itself.

This one smelled like a gentle green tea with strawberry flavours. It was a mix of real strawberry and strawberry flavouring. There was real strawberry pieces in the blend.

The taste is just a bit lacklustre to me, maybe it is just too gentle. I am getting a very soft green tea taste. It is smooth, slightly sweet, no vegetal flavours at all, no astringency. Maybe there is a bit of a hay taste, I would associate that more to white teas than green. There is also a strawberry taste. Slightly sweet, mostly red berry tasting. This tea tastes very mild to me.

I think next time I will try a bit more tea and a bit longer steep time.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

Oh no. I guess you can’t love all of them. At least this is still drinkable.

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70

I received this from Roswell Strange a super long time ago. I was not avoiding trying it, it just somehow got put into my tea cupboard and I never got around to it. I sent some of this to Courtney in a swap recently, so I thought I better get around to trying it myself.

The dry tea bag smells exactly like Saskatoon berries and black tea. Saskatoon berries are a bit of a local delicacy. I would describe them as small berries (about the size of a current, maybe a bit bigger), dark purple in colour. They grow on giant trees/bushes – I think like 15-20 feet high sometimes. To me they taste like a mix of a tart blueberry and a black currant.

I added some brown rock sugar to this tea because I didn’t want it to be too tart. This tea is fairly decent. I was anticipating the Saskatoon berry to kick me in the face, but it didn’t. So that was a pleasant surprise. I would say the black tea base is the dominant flavour. It is slightly astringent and not terribly smooth, but it is not bad. The Saskatoon flavour is natural, not as sweet or as tart as it could be.

This is one of the better Saskatoon Berry teas I have tried.

Thanks Ros!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Roswell Strange

I’m glad you liked it :)

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65
drank Root Beer by Simpson & Vail
766 tasting notes

Received this in a swap from Courtney. Thanks so much. This was one of the first teas I ever put on my steepster wishlist.

The dry tea smells super delicious. Sweet and creamy, thick, foamy rootbeer. Unfortunately, the brewed tea does not live up to the deliciousness of the smell. I love root beer, I will lean towards more of an A and W rootbeer or a sasparilla vs. a Barqs, but its all good. I have also tried many a rootbeer tea.

This one is ok. It is quite flat in taste. There is none of that spark that rootbeer usually has. It seems to have some root, but not so much beer. I did add a few lumps of rock sugar, but it seemed to sweeten the tea only minimally. Maybe it needed much more. There is some thickness to the tea. It is not terribly creamy but there is a distinct vanilla taste. It is much more rootbeer-like after it cools. I do have a cup cold brewing as I type, for later today.

I have tried other S & V teas before, and the black tea base just doesn’t seem to work for me.

Thanks so much Courtney for letting me try this tea.

This was my first tasting note in the new format, and I don’t like it. Call me a grumpy, old fashioned steepsterite, but it just seemed quite complicated to write what should bave been a quick note. I also don’t like how complicated it is to try to review your note immediately after saving it. Just show it to me all at one time.

Jeez…I apparently have not had enough tea today :)

Edit: I made this as a cold brew. It brewed for about 6 hours. 1.5 tsp in 10 oz of water. I added about 1 tsp of white sugar. I also made this as a tea soda by adding about 1/2 cup of Perrier. It is ok. Better cold than hot. There is strong vanilla and a very bite-y rootbeer taste. It is quite watered down but I anticipated that due to the steeping parameters I used and adding the Perrier.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Courtney

Aw sorry this one didn’t work out so well.

Lala

That’s ok. It is always worth it to try a tea. You never know until you try. I am obviously a bit of a rootbeer snob so it was probably me and not the tea. :)

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97

OK wow. Long story coming here.

So I went to Chapters today, purposely, to get a book. Not just any book. Hollow City, the sequel to Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The first book was amazing. The perfect amount of suspense, drama, fiction, and history. Highly recommended, by myself anyway. I couldn’t wait for a sequel, not know if there ever would be one, but how can they just leave you hanging at the end of a book like that. I would have rather ordered it online and had it sent directly to my door, but it wasn’t released in time, and I will purposely be reading it shortly. So I went to the store, I put my blinders on. Straight to the books, don’t look around, don’t look around, don’t look around. Dammit, I looked around. Out of the corner of my eye I see a logo that kind of reminds me of the Harley Davidson logo, but is really the Steven Smith Teamaker logo (Steve you are such a bada$$). It took me like 2 seconds to forget what I went for and to get over to the display, which was a bunch of Tea Forte with some Steven Smith hiding in between. I was in heaven. I was still reeling from the adrenaline rush from finding it (I would say until now it was impossible to come across in Canada, and unable to order from the Steven Smith online shop due to shipping restrictions).

Sidenote: What is happening by the way, Fauchon at Winners, now Steven Smith at Chapters, the [tea] apocalypse is coming!

I was completely drawn in. Then I saw Lord Bergamot No. 55. Oh my! I stood just sniffing the box. It got kind of weird because by now the employees were watching my “strange” behavior in the tea section. And every other customer just kept walking by, browsing the Tea Forte. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, but only inside my brain, come on guys, this is Steven Smith! But I didn’t because it is mine, all mine, my precious!

Still reeling from the huge adrenaline rush I stopped at McD’s on the way home. Today was my Rob-Ford-minor-set-back. I will get over it, maybe :)

By the time I got home, I was super wishing I had invested in some expensive and ridiculous gadget that turned my kettle on through an app or something. Because then I had to wait, very impatiently for the kettle to boil. While this was happening I read the very sleek and cheeky tea box. The tea came in sachet form, but there was tonnes of room for expansion. The back of the individual packet reads “Steep 5 minutes, while pondering the Earl’s affair with the Duchess of Devonshire.” No! No. The Earl is mine, we are having the affair. He seductively waved me in with the beautiful scent and steam that arose from the steeping tea. I pretending to resist, but really, who am I kidding.

This. Tea. Is. Magnificent. It is smooth, and creamy, and bergamotty. Definitely a more citrus bergamot. It is creamy and silky, slightly sweet. The blend of base teas is perfect. The bergamot is bold but the base is not. Ahhhhhh! The adrenaline is wearing off and serotonin kicking in.

Steven, you are a genius!

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

Exciting!! :-)

keychange

I loved this note! I can relate so much to that loss of control and rush of euphoria. I might have even screamed out loud as I cradled my find! I’m so happy you loved it :)

Lala

I know, I do have those moments more often then not with tea. It is such a coincidence, because Terri HarpLady sent me some Steven Smith in a swap and I was complaining about how I couldn’t get it anywhere. Its karma, or deja vu or something like that.

Dexter

LOL did you remember to buy your book?

Lala

I did remember to get the book!

OMGsrsly

Yes! I have to check my local Chapters now! Can I wait until February? :)

Nicole

I just now started to read Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children today! I didn’t realize there was a sequel!

Lala

The second one just came out about a week ago! The first one was sooooo good.

Terri HarpLady

As a Harley rider (although I’ll probably be selling my 1200 sportster this spring…I just can’t find time to ride it anymore…sigh…), I noticed that about the SMith Tea logo as well. :)

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92
drank Persian Princess by The Devotea
766 tasting notes

I love the names that Devotea gives to their teas. TerriHarpLady was kind enough to share a lot of them with me.

I would, no joke, choke to death, if I tried to drink this while holding a sugar cube in my mouth. I am also not a huge fan of sweetening my straight blacks, so I tried this one straight.

It is delicious straight. It actually has some sweetness to it. I am finding it moderately bold, very smooth, slightly creamy, a bit of earthiness. There is no astringency. I definitely see this tea as an afternoon delight. I certainly could see it as a tea fit for a princess!

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

I made a video about this at around the time I invented the tea. I have learnt a lot since. And found the right sugar. But here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojjM-jPSTiY

Robert Godden

Oh, and thanks for the review. By coincidence, I am drinking Persian Princess myself this morning. (Blended up ten kilos yesterday, so this is quality control. It’s a hard life)

Terri HarpLady

Yay!! So glad you like this one Lala!! I am sending the last bit of it to Sil, & I’m sure I’ll have to get more.
Robert, love the video, LOL.

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97

Steven Smith teas really intrigue me but I have no great way of getting them due to shipping restrictions, so I am very happy that TerriHarpLady shared some of this with me in our recent swap.

This one reminds me so much of an iced tea, except I am drinking it hot right now, ha ha. It is a beautiful blend of assam and Ceylon. The Ceylon is sweet but the assam is bold, they mix well together. There is just the slightest dry astringency in the aftersip but it works well with the taste of the tea.

Definitely want to try this one iced. I hope to have a chance to try more Steven Smith in the future. Impressed so far.

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

Glad you liked it! I really enjoy this one with breakfast, but I should try it over ice as well.
When the weather warms up!
If you decide you want to order some, let me know. We could probably work out an arrangement
:)

Lala

I might have to take you up on that arrangement :P

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Profile

Bio

I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.

Location

Saskatchewan, CANADA

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