753 Tasting Notes

drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
753 tasting notes

It is raining. That is all.

Ha ha.

OK, I did come here to actually type something distantly related to tea. So I went to a local frozen yogurt place because I got a coupon in the mail for 10% off. They also advertised bubble tea, so I thought I would give it a try.

I ordered a lychee bubble tea. It was ok. Not the greatest. In hindsight, lychee may not have been the best flavour to order at a chain yogurt shop who is trying to get customers through coupons. It was quite perfumey and artificial. The pearls are quite low quality and the texture is weird. But it is still drinkable.

I never quite understood bubble tea. It is not really tea at all. So I did some research, by research I mean I typed it into google then clicked on the Wikipedia page. It appears that bubble tea did originally have tea in it. But it seems through commercialization that it is now some sort of milk product with flavouring added. There are also several kinds of bubble tea. I shouldn’t complain, I did get this at a yogurt shop.

Of other interesting note, there is a little comic on my bubble tea that points out the bubbles are actually the foam on the top of the “milk product liquid” and the tapioca/gelatin balls are the pearls. But on the wiki page it says the pearls are the bubbles, so who knows.

I also got yogurt and I would say my experience with that was very poor, but that is for a different review site.

Terri HarpLady

I had to laugh at this post. Years ago a friend of mine was all enameled with bubble tea. She knew I was a tea fanatic, so when an actual bubble tea shop opened in St Louis, she couldn’t wait to take me there. After putting it off forever, I finally went & I hated it, LOL. I don’t understand why anybody would want to put tapioca pearls in their tea? WTF?? Why???

Terri HarpLady

Enameled = enamored, lol

Terri HarpLady

Her response was something like, “it’s fun!”
Really? I don’t get it :/

Lala

I don’t mind bubble tea if it is done correctly. To me it is not really tea but more of like a novelty drink. But sadly in the last few years I feel like it has been a trend that many restaurants/stores are jumping on and they are putting out an inferior product. I think the pearls are neat but it makes me gag when I suck one up threw the straw and it is launched into the back of my throat. Ha ha.

Tealizzy

A new bubble tea place opened up near our favorite haunts, and I find I love their smoothies with added pearls, but their milk teas always taste like cleaner fluid and I have a suspicion that the base is some sort of jasmine tea. The first time, I thought they made a mistake, but the second time, I decided I wasn’t going to waste my money on the milk teas anymore. Ick!

OMGsrsly

I like getting fruity green teas, or teas blended with fresh fruits. The fresh fruits or juices are really key, IMO.

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90
drank Cinnamon Swirl Bread by sTEAp Shoppe
753 tasting notes

Made this one again to use up the last of my sample. I added some 2% milk this time and that really seemed to bring out the cinnamon toast crunch flavour. Quite delicious. Although I am still going to maintain that I am still allergic to pu’erh. ;)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank La Naissance by Fauchon
753 tasting notes

This is another one from Dexter.

This one is interesting. I read tea description and was a bit confused. I feel like there is a bit of everything in this tea. Kind of like they threw all the left overs together and came up with a tea that certainly sounds fancy and high class.

The smell of the brewed tea is quite strong candied almond with some jasmine. Makes me a bit unsure.

The taste is different. Not bad, just not flavours I wouldn normally put together. I am getting strong almond and creamy flavours. There seems like there are also rose and jasmine tastes in there. There is a candied quality to the almonds, almost like marzipan. There is sweetness to the tea on its own, with no sweetner needed to be added.

I think this is a good tea. It is a rich tea. I am happy to have had a chance to try it but I don’t think I would purchase it.

Thanks Dexter for the opportunity to try this tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Pear Tea by Fauchon
753 tasting notes

Hello Steepster!

It’s been awhile. I am still here, checking things out every once in a while. Things have been stupid crazy. So I haven’t drank a lot of tea lately, let alone have had time to review any. So of course I have a mad case of the grumps. So today I decided I am going to be a recluse, don’t talk to me, or text me, or come over, or book me an appointment, or ask me to do anything.

Well of course, because I decided today is MY day, I have already had to go out and run some errands, people were texting me at 7 am (FML). And now I have company coming. But they have been forewarned. I am not going to be a host, or pleasant at all. I don’t want them here (they thought I was joking, but I wasn’t). They can come and entertain themselves. That is what I am planning anyway. But I know it is not how it is going to go.

All I am asking for is for the world to leave me along today. sigh.

So I am going to try to get to some samples and do some reviews.

I received this one from Dexter! I am assuming this is the right tea, my little package was labelled La Poire, but I am sure this is the same tea.

The brewed tea smells like strong black tea, bold and malty, with a light fruity flavour.

Wow, the taste is very much pear. Definitely surprising. It is a bit of artificial pear-candy tasting, but much more pear flavour than I expected. I did not need to add any sweetener at all. The black tea is very bold, thick, strong, and malty. On first sip, there is a very strong pear flavour, then it quickly fades to the black base. The pear flavour becomes more natural and starts to linger longer once the tea begins to cool a bit.

It is supposed to be a rainy day. I love rain. Right now it is like the pre- gross windy weather that will blow in the rain. I can’t wait…for the rain, not my company. Damn people that love me and want to be around me. I need to be much more grumpy, unless they like grumpy, hmmm…

(I have clearly not had enough tea in recent times).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

Tea is key! Do not deprive yourself! ;-)

Terri HarpLady

I am very much a loner, & left to my own devices with all my musical instruments, tea, food, & garden, would probably be happy to never see another human face…just tinkering, sipping, singing, & strumming into blissful oblivion. But, thus is not the case. I have students on & off five days a week, 3 of my adult children & one grandchild live with me, and the other one lives a block away with her hubby & 2 kids. This is all really good & wonderful, don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my kids & students, but I am rarely actually alone for any length of time. I hear you!

Terri HarpLady

Glad to see you here, BTW! :)

whatshesaid

Aw I totally understand!

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90
drank Cinnamon Swirl Bread by sTEAp Shoppe
753 tasting notes

Received this one from a super secret surprise package from Dexter. This has been on my wish list for a long time but I had not yet had the chance to swap for it or put in a Steap Shoppe purchase.

This one smells super delicious, even though it is a pu’erh :P I just want to eat the dry leaf. It smells like cinnamon coffee cake. The brewed tea has a slight hint of pu’erh, but mostly smells like cinnamon french toast (yikes, why is my nose so sensitive to pu’erh; I am going to start claiming I have an allergy. That’s it – I am allergic to pu’erh).

I brewed this one up as per the recommendations from Dex on the package.

This tea is really good, but it is lacking just a little bit. I am getting a sweet cinnamon flacour, some light pastry. I feel like I am getting a bit of egg, such as with french toast. But I think it is lacking that thickness and heaviness of a real cinnamon bread. I think adding a bit of milk or creamer would help, but I am over on the couch and the milk is way over in the fridge….

I am getting just a slight hint of pu but it is tolerable, ha ha (I am allergic, you know, so I can only take it in small amounts…). This one definitely becomes more flavourful as it cools.

Thanks Dexter for so kindly seeing this one on my wishlist and sending it to me!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dexter

Glad to be able to help you strike this one off your list. Pu’erh allergy? LOL that’s funny – I think then I must have bergamont, mint, and licorice allergies. It is funny though how the flavor you don’t really like is the only that shines through – while others hardly notice it. I didn’t really taste pu’erh in this, I just thought it added so depth or bready quality to it. At least you didn’t hate it. :))

Sil

i KNEW i hadn’t seen any notes from you in a while..missus i’m running around liking tea tasting notes… random Sil thought….every time i see your name in my dashboard thread view thingy… i start seeing bad romance in my head… because in my head she sings la la…instead of ra ra… true story

Lala

Sil – HA HA. And I am here, lurking in the background. I finally have some vision now, but life is going well beyond full speed. I have some new teas to try but just haven’t had the time to devote to trying them and making notes. Going to be like this until about mid- May. But I will survive. I have my tea! I am sure if I ever did leave steepster, it would be some kind of dramatic exit :)

Sil

ooooh drama! gets out her popcorn that could be fun… maybe your hairs could take anna’s hairs from me and then there could be a woozle involved and man it’s GO TIME! lol I like seeing ppl lurking even if they’re not active active…as i can totally understand that heh

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65
drank Bamboo by Harney & Sons
753 tasting notes

I quite like bamboo teas. Of the teas I have tried so far, the bamboo leaves seems to be quite large. By that I mean, there were quite large cut up/chunked up pieces of light green leaf. This tea, however, looks quite different. It is very skinny, long, slender dark green leaf, look very similar to flattened out pine needles. There are quite a few bunches of leaves that are still attached to a stem.

This tea definitely has a bamboo taste. But there is also something else there. Something very deeply vegetal, deeply woody. I know this is strange but the first thing that came to my mind was beef boullion, but without the saltiness, I am also thinking popcorn – its a bit weird. There is a thick, buttery quality to the tea that is similar to other bamboo teas I have tried.

This one is ok. I am not sure if there are different types of bamboo, but I am assuming there are different parts of the plant. But This one is ok, not my favorite bamboo tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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99
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
753 tasting notes

So with my last Harney order, I ordered their K-cup style Paris and Earl Grey Supreme to take to my parents house. My parents don’t have a decent way to make tea at their house, but they do have a Keurig. I used to carry a large box of tea making supplies and teas with me, but had finally just settled into drinking Keurig style Twinnings Earl Grey, or coffee.

So I thought I would give these a try. The Paris k-cups are fairly decent. Of course, not as good as a loose leaf brewed with appropriate parameters, but it will do, and it is better than what I was drinking before. The Earl Grey Supreme was also pretty good. They both had that tinge of coffee flavour as that is what the Keurig is mostly used for.

I think Harney did a good job creating these k-cups as the flavours are pretty decent and very similar to the loose leaf versions, but I think after these boxes are done, I will just stick with the cheapy cheapy teas, as it is not worth the price, in my opinion.

I also asked my parents to hide this tea so that no one else would drink it up before I visited again. Hehe.

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63

I bought a tin of this last year. And I just couldn’t get into liking it. I made it a few times this (neverending) Canadian winter and it just isn’t hitting the spot, or any spot, for me. So I tried it cold brewed vs iced.

It was really interesting, it cold brewed for 8 hours and there was still no colour change to the water with minimal flavour. After 24 hours, the water was quite pale. There was some taste. Definitely not very strong. It is not so much chemical passionfruit this way vs. iced, but don’t get me wrong, it is still not delicious. It is however, certainly drinkable this way. I think when I start doing some work in the yard (hint, hint – go away winter!), I will cold brew up a pitcher or two so I can drink it quickly as a thirst quencher. It is better cold brewed without sweetener added.

Also, as a note, I read that Terri planted her garden today. WTF, I still have snow in my yard. And it freezing rained last night so now it is more of that ice berg snow that you can’t even break up and spread around. sigh.

caile

There is still so much snow here as well… :(

Dexter

Yep – it snowed here today – still lots of it around. No gardening here for awhile (not that I have space for a garden, but would like a plant or two on my balcony…)

Nxtdoor

I think the rule of thumb for us toronto people is never plant before may 2-4.

Lala

That’s the same for SK. Last year I lost a lot of plants on the first weekend of June. I was gone and it frosted. And I still choose to live here…haha

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90

I would like to start the day but saying Thank you John Harney and family, Thank you!

Harney is one of my fav tea companies. So I was super excited to be able to pick up this special edition 30th Anniversary blend. It came in the usual Harney sachet form.

This tea is SOOOO good! The assam is bold and malty. But the Yunnan gold tips and silver tips definitely add a lot of silky smoothness the tea. It is lightly sweet, very natural tasting. There is a slight earthiness to the tea but it mixes well with the maltiness of the assam.

Definitely no additions needed for this tea. I will be drinking this on all day, and will shed a few tears when it is gone.

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

Ooh, sounds tasty!

Sil

i really thought about picking this one up, i just get tired of bags.

Lala

I was a bit disappointed it only came in sachets too, but I am glad I picked it up.

Sil

good to know :)

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45
drank Tilleul by Harney & Sons
753 tasting notes

Well….
Hmmm….
Ummm…

I received this one as a free sample in my recent Harney order. They actually gave me two free samples, both this tea. The description of the tea on the package doesn’t sound too bad. This was the usual Harney sachet.

The dry tea looks like crushed up chammomile. So I brewed it up. The tea smells like frozen fish sticks. No jokes. It is very pu’erh, fishy. Also very deeply woody. But unfortunately like the old rotting wood and pine needles that have been laying on a forest floor for a few years. The kind when you step on it, you kind of sink in a bit.

Before I tasted it, I added some honey, lots of honey. I don’t usually add honey to my tea but I just couldn’t stomach the smell of the brewed tea.

To be honest, it is a bit hard to tell the taste. I also just ate a piece of pickled garlic because I am getting a sinus infection. Garlic works wonders for my immune system. I also love garlic. Mmmmm.

Ok back to the tea. Even though I have garlic lingering on my palate, I am getting a very woodsy type taste. More like cedar mixed with pine. There is a tingling feeling that I sometimes get with mint but there is no mint flavour. Even though I put about a TBSP of honey in the tea, it is only minimally sweet. This tea is very reminiscent of chamomile and chrysanthemum teas. Neither of which are even close to being on my “meh” tea list.

I think this is a good herbal tea, its not fruity, not spicey, definitely different. But I am not liking different tonight.

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

Tilleul? That’s linden! Tree tea? Urgh.

Lala

Tree tea! Ha ha, that is awesome. It is supposed to be a blend of linden tree flowers and leaves (according to the description anyway).

Anna

Ugh, just EW, why? Why would I want to drink a LINDEN?! Squirrelbrew!!!

Also, mmm, garlic. I cannot get enough of it.

OMGsrsly

It’s supposed to be really good for you! Kinda like.. why would any one drink stinging nettles? But I do, and I actually have come to really like the flavour.

Anna

I love nettles. So tasty, so versatile.

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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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