697 Tasting Notes
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.
Another sample in my swap from TerriHarpLady :)
I love “pearl” teas. I love watching the agony of the tea, as it writhes and unfurls in the hot water.
This one is super malty, so obviously I am going to love it. It is bold and creamy. No astringency but there is a bit of a creamy aftertaste. I am also getting hints of a metallic earthiness, or something like that. There is a natural sweetness to the tea, and I almost think I get of a hint of spice, maybe like clove or something, but not sure. I used 4 pearls for this steep but I think I would like to use more next time.
Thank you TerriHarpLady for this sample!!
I had first tried Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam and it was super delicious. So I wanted to try the Premium Taiwanese Assam, which was the base tea.
This one is super delicious, as expected. To me it tastes so similar to the Caramel Vanilla Assam blend. It is sweet, thick, creamy, caramelly. I feel like there is a very slight hint of vanilla in there. Maybe I am just dreaming. It is bold but not astringent, silky smooth. It is malty but not as malty as some other assams I have tried.
CTC assam is one of my favourite teas, but it is bold and has quite a bite. This whole leaf assam is much more smooth, although it does taste bold it doesn’t have that huge bite that the CTC versions have.
Thanks Terri for letting me try this one. It is definitely staying on the shopping list.
Edit: second steep for 2 minutes. Definitely maltier in the second steep. There are hints of cinnamon. This steep is much less sweet and much more spicier, but it is still on the sweet side of spicey. I feel like I am getting more vanilla and cream in this steep.
The other flavour I ended up getting at the liquidation sale. This one is ok. I still prefer the original lemon flavour though. This one is quite sweet, it is definitely raspberry tasting. I know it says it is all natural flavouring but it doesn’t taste like natural raspberry. That being said it is not a bad raspberry taste. It is definitely thirst quenching. The actual tea base is quite hidden by the raspberry flavour but it is still present, smooth and cold as always.
I LOVE this tea. Not necessarily just the Harney version, but I love buckwheat tea in general.
I brewed up a big 2 L pitcher of hot tea. It is a bit light tasting because I didn’t use enough buckwheat. But it is still good. It is roasty and toasty. There is a sweet honey flavour without having to add anything.
I like to make a hot brew and half-puff the buckwheat, then I do a cold brew. I find it you try to do a cold brew straight away, it doesn’t steep as good.
Then I eat the evidence.
I wanted something bold and thick and strong this morning.
I brewed up a cup of this. Not sure how it managed to stay in a sealed packaged in my cupboard for so long.
The taste is smooth and thick, bold but not astringent. There is a silky quality to the liquor. I am getting hints of roast, maybe a touch of smoke but certainly not overpowering – like a roasted barley, and some kind of dark fruit, like purple plums maybe. There is a very slight sweetness to the tea but it is very natural tasting. I am getting hints of dark cocoa as well. Maybe a hint of sweet tobacco. My dad used to smoke grape cigarillos, a good black tea always reminds me of sitting on the deck in the evening beside my dad as he had a smoke at the end of the day (then my mom made him quit because my little sister starting pretending to smoke the left over cigarette butts – now the smell is just a distant but pleasant memory) :)
Thanks Verdant for the awesome taste-memory association today!
Edit: I did a second steep for 2 minutes. It tastes pretty much the same, not as thick. There are more mineral notes and a bit more sweetness in this steep.
I wasn’t sure about this one at first. It smells strongly of cinnamon and apples. Sort of like an apple crisp. Brewed, it tastes like dull cinnamon with some apples. Slightly sweet. There is a weird taste on my tongue with the aftertaste. I want to say astringent but it is more bitter (?). I was expecting a bit more punch with this one. I was hoping for strong, spicey cinnamon, and tart apples. I would have liked there to be more sweetness as well. I am going to play around with the brewing parameters a bit. And add some rock sugar, maybe honey or maple syrup, next time. I think the rock sugar will help to bring out more of the apple. There is less bitterness as the tea cools quite a bit.
A long steeping time may help with the cinnamon as well. We will see…
Met up with Roswell Strange at a tea room and decided to have a cup of this one. The description on the menu was something like lemon and orange flavours. It intrigued me as earl grey is basically orange flavoured (bergamot is a type of orange). I was expecting it to be a bit smokey because it was called Russian (thinking Russian Caravan), but it wasn’t. I would say it was a light to moderate strong Earl Grey. There was definitely a bit more lemon flavour, very distinctly lemon grass. I think the base was a Ceylon, but unsure. The tea came in a tea pot, it was loose tea in the water. So it did get a bit astringent once I got towards the end of the pot. I did get a refill of hot water into the pot. The second steep was definitely a lot lighter and thinner than the first steep, but I was expecting that. Not a too bad Earl Grey. It was great for our little get together. Its always fun meeting fellow steepsters in person.
Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity. Thanks Angel!
The brewed tea smells deliciously sweet. I immediately thought of wild honey.
The brewed tea tastes wonderful. First tastes that come to mind were clean, malty, wild honey flavours. As I get into the mid sip, I definitely get a sweet potatoe taste, like crispy sweet potatoe fries. There is definitely a lingering sweetness. This tea tastes full and bold. Slightly creamy taste and feel to the liquor. No astringency.
I love Fujian blacks, and this one is no exception. Next time I would like to brew for a but longer to get stronger flavours.
I had to get an eye exam today where my eyes were dilated with eye drops. I still have quite blurry vision although it is improving. I still can’t read anything on my cellphone, but I can now watch TV. Computer is not too bad as long as I am not looking at it for too long. But I still feel quite nauseous and dizzy from having blurry vision.
So anyway, I decided to have some ginger tea. I am not sure if it will help my stomach because the problem is not really upset stomach but my eye problem, but anyway. I bought some dried ginger root, just to keep on hand for when I didn’t have fresh ginger root in the house. I mixed the ginger root and some honey, steeped that in boiling for 2 minutes, then added one of these teabags and steeped for another minute. I needed to use decaf tea because it is getting a little late in the day for caffeine for me.
It is actually quite good. The green tea and honey taste smooth and sweet. The ginger is moderately strong. Not as strong as I would like. All the ingredients are mixing well together. I quite like this. (It is doing nothing to help with my stomach, or my eyes, but my tongue likes it).