225 Tasting Notes

drank Huckleberry Tea by Market Spice
225 tasting notes

I got this box of teabags on my vacation to the Seattle, Washington area. MarketSpice store originated in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and since 1911, Huckleberry Tea has been a part of the collection.
It contains no sugar; but has black tea, natural and artificial flavors.
When you open this package of tea bags,,,,,it is very berrylicious scented!!! It smells like a purple grape juice, blackberry, and blueberry combo. Must be what a huckleberry smells and tastes like. Would love to have had a huckleberry to know for sure.
I brewed 8 ounces in a Pyrex measuring cup with just boiling water and 1 tea bag. Steeped for 3 minutes.
The liquor is dark purple-brown and has the scent of grapes and berries.
The flavor is mostly in the nose. It has lots of scent of purple grape juice and berries but the flavor on the tongue is a bit less sweet and has a touch of wild bitter grass flavor to it.
I will have to play with this one, it might need less of a steep time to bring out some sweetness. It definitely has a sweet scent.
Nonetheless, very fun and unique tea bag that I will always remember from my visits to Seattle’s Pike Place Market!!!!

Flavors: Huckleberry, Huckleberry Flavor

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drank Rooibos by Steepster
225 tasting notes

Origin: Cederberg, South Africa
Dry Leaf: Looks and actually smells like sweet sawdust (in a good way). Very fine auburn and orange sticks.
Method: 1 tsp herb to 12 oz water ; Western style- classic oval teapot; 212F for 4 minute steep.
Wet Leaf: Tiny little sticks that are a deeper auburn now. Scents of honey and raw rhubarb.
Liquor: Deep auburn color and clear. Also with scents of honey and the raw rhubarb. The sawdust scent is subtle but steps back in.
Flavor: Sweet, woody, rhubarb. Interesting flavor. I have not had straight Rooibos before and it’s pretty good. Wouldn’t favor it over tea but I like a caffeine free herbal option for night time.
It is good with a cookie, it brings out its sweetness. Now I know what straight Rooibos tastes like so I can distinguish it in herbal blends.

From the Steepster Select Box; June, 2014

Flavors: Honey, Rhubarb, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
TheTeaFairy

Aww, so sorry about that, it sucks!

Lee

I know, right? But what can you do. I will probably still open them and smell, etc. but they got REAlly hot so I shouldn’t drink them.

Ost

That’s crazy! How hot is it there even?

Lee

Well, tomorrow it will be 112F which is actually not that hot to us lol. It can get up to 120F – 125F which starts to suck lol. The sun is just more intense.

Ost

Wow. 0_0 and I thought where I lived was hot haha

Lee

Yeah,,,at least it’s awesome in the winter lol. Just summer we have to hibernate. Lake Havasu, AZ gets even hotter, like 130F 135F. It looks like Pluto with no green, it looks scary.

Marzipan

Have the post office hold your mail next time.

Lee

Yeah, I didn’t have a chance to do that. That’s why I mentioned that I had gotten the email from Steepster about it shipping and it has always arrived to me two days after that email but, of course, this time that didn’t happen :( plus it was a really short trip—just bad timing lol

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drank Summer Apricot Ceylon by Steepster
225 tasting notes

Origin: Sri Lanka
Dry Leaf: Pretty dark dark brown twisted tea with bright orange flower pieces mixed in. Really smells like fresh apricot and dried peaches!
Method: 1 tsp tea 12 oz water 212F 3 minutes steep
Wet Leaf: Very fruity scented and the orange flowers have remained fairly orange and pretty. Tea is still fairly twisted but unfurls to be cut then twisted.
Liquor: Deep clear orange with apricot/peach scent
Flavor: Very unique tasting. It isn’t dominant in the peach/apricot flavor, it lets the tea come thru as well. Doesn’t need milk but I added a splash to create a creamy apricot dessert a la mode flavor!!
Very enjoyable flavored tea.

From the Steepster Select Box; June, 2014

Flavors: Apricot, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Sencha with Matcha by Steepster
225 tasting notes

Origin: Uji, Japan
Dry Leaf: Lovely Sencha tea bathed in Matcha tea. This is cool looking and it smells like creamy Matcha. Very Green!!
Method: 2 tsp tea for 16 oz water in a classic oval teapot, Western style. 175F and steeped for 1.5 minutes.
Wet Leaf: Gorgeous, delicate classic green and chopped. Looks like fresh cooked chopped spinach or herbs.
Liquor: Beautiful After Dinner Mint green color. Scents of fresh cooked spinach and matcha.
Flavor: Light spinach and creamy mouthfeel. VERY delicious and satisfying green tea!! Absolutely no bitterness or astringency even when I brewed it Western style!! I usually brew delicate green teas like Sencha in a Kyusu with very short steeps to keep from burning them so I LOVE that this one seems to be protected by the Matcha and you can brew a nice big easy pot of this. I am enjoying a large pot with my little green tea type white cup so I am getting the convenience of Western brew but the beauty of my little Japanese drinking cup.
This is definitely a great tea that I would drink everyday at lunch time!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the Steepster Select Box; June, 2014

Flavors: Cream, Spinach

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank White Peony by Steepster
225 tasting notes

Origin: Fujian, China
Dry Leaf: This is a very fresh, herbal and sweet- scented white peony! Nice mix of green leaves and lots of silver needles mixed in too.
Method: I weighed this tea because white peony is so light as a feather that I wanted to get the Steepster parameters in grams bc they always have great brewing instructions. By weighing it (total of 6 grams), I ended up using the whole package in my infuser for a two cup (16oz) pot, Western style. 190F and steeped for 2 minutes.
Wet Leaf: Smell like pumpernickel bread, green leaves and fresh.
Liquor: Pretty pink champagne color, sweet honey scent. As it cools, the scent of butter shortbread or biscuits is very inviting!!
Flavor: Rich, creamy, sweet, very full-bodied white peony!! There is a tiny tiny hint of a vegetal flavor which I will compare to water chestnut or sunchoke,,it is very subtle. This is one of the better white peonies I have tried and I have tried a few because I love white tea!! Wow!!! Steepster is not playin’ around,,they have sourced some really good teas for their new store!!!! Love it!!

Re steeped these leaves and the flavor is still delicious and full, no bitterness or astringency in the second steeping either. Very good quality tea.
Paired some fresh figs from my tree with this tea and that is a perfect pairing bc they have similar notes. Two pots of this on a desert July afternoon,,I am tea drunk now lol!! Good stuff!!

From the Steepster Select Box; June, 2014

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cookie, Cream, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Earl Grey by Steepster
225 tasting notes

This is my first proper cup of Earl Grey tea. I went straight from Lipton and Teavana to Yunnan blacks, Oolongs, etc. so I was very intrigued by the scent of real Earl Grey!! I also got a proper British style bone china teacup and saucer (bc all I had was Asian style tea ware) which I absolutely think is gorgeous and adds to the experience.
Origin: Sri Lanka
Dry Leaf: Black and twisted leaves with the scent of the Bergamot Orange oil
Method: 212F 1 tsp tea for 12 oz water steeped for 3 minutes
Wet Leaf: Cut with scents of the essential oil
Liquor: Smells of some light smoke and has a beautiful light orange color. Very clear.
Flavor: Light with touches of the Bergamot Orange oil that gives the tea a subtle citrus taste. This tea is meant to have milk and sugar if you like. I don’t ever add sugar but I added a splash of milk. How delicious when you do that bc this makes the citrus notes come to the forefront and blend into a creamy citrus tea. There is no astringency or bitterness in this tea so I am very pleased with my first experience with a true Earl Grey. Thank you Steepster!!!

From the Steepster Select Box; June, 2014

Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
225 tasting notes

Just got back from Seattle and Northwest Washington state. We even crossed the border into Canada for a bit. It was so nice and cool and it’s tea and coffee country so I had a blast!!!!
Here are my tea notes from the week!!

6/22 classic chai tea latte hot Starbucks/Teavana PHX Sky Harbor airport
Nice tea and spice blend…not too spicy but very sweet additives so I would like less sweet

6/22 Vital Tea Leaf in Pike Place Market- Seattle- sit down tasting —http://www.vitaltealeafseattle.com
They have tastings complete with bamboo tray and gong fu style brewing. Everyone gets a little cup and you get to experience some of their most popular teas. We tried a sheng that had been aged in bamboo, a five year old shu, jasmine green tea, and a ginseng oolong. I loved all of the teas and I bought some of the ginseng oolong to take home. It had a sweet flavor and the energy and focus that it gave you was crazy awesome!!
They have cool apothecary jars filled with teas, osmanthus, giant tea pearls, flowering teas, Chinese medicine herbals for health, and so much more. They also have a wonderful selection of yixing pots, cups, bamboo gong fu trays, tea pets, and tools.
It was so fun and will definitely go to this tea room every time I am in Seattle.

6/22 – they have a big Dutch section in the grocery store in Lynden Washington,, I found a fun Fruits of the Forest tea by Pickwick that I can’t wait to try at home. I brought an infuser with me for morning tea and I have been drinking Rishi White Peony and saving the teas I buy for when I get home so I don’t open all the packages and make a travel mess in my suitcase lol.
6/22 Hotel evening- Farmer Brothers herbal tea Enchanting Moments- teabag with ingredients: chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and orange blossoms. For a tea bag from a commercial delivery coffee co.. This was really really good.. Very good balance with no overpowering from any of the ingredients. Had a natural sweetness and a plum hue from the hibiscus.

6/23
Wood’s Coffee right by Canadian border in Lynden, Washington- iced blueberry white tea – delicious, refreshing, and you can taste the white tea with a sweet accent of blueberry. Very yummmm! Woods coffee is so nice too..staff so nice and interior is like a Cabin in the woods with dim lighting; huge, comfy leather chairs, evergreen tree, moose, and rock fireplace decor.

6/23 Hotel Farmer Brother’s herbal tea Lively Lemon teabag with ingredients: rose hips, lemongrass, lemon peel, lemon Verbena, natural flavors, hibiscus, peppermint, citric acid.
The scent is definitely lemongrass and the hue is light pink punch color from the hibiscus. Flavor is not a fruit lemon but rather a lemon more close to citronella. But hey,,this is a tea bag from a commercial delivery coffee co and I’m on vacay so it’s still pretty darn good !
Later the citronella note steps back and allows sweetness from the rose hips and hibiscus to step up. There was a refreshing feeling (but not flavor-which was good) from the peppermint so it develops into an enjoyable cup:)

6/23 Hotel Farmer Brothers herbal tea Misty Mint tea bag with ingredients: peppermint, lemongrass, spearmint. Dark golden color. Nice creamy spearmint flavor with a tiny tiny bit of a lemon accent. Nice cleansing after dinner tisane.

6/26 Starbucks Teavana shaken iced tea
ParTea!! They had half off their new shaken iced teas today and I tried the shaken green Blackberry Mojito iced tea w/o lemonade. Very good blackberry flavor and the green tea had an herbal quality to it with the mint Mojito flavor.
Then I tried the green tea iced peach lemonade . Very good peach and lemonade flavors , sweet but not too sweet. Third flavor will have to try next time, it is a Black tea lemonade

6/26 found fun teas at the local Haagen grocery store which are nice. I found Huckleberry tea from the Northwest and Harney and Sons Vanilla Comoro
Fun can’t wait to try at home

6/27
Camano Island coffee and tea shop
Apricot Black tea. I could smell the apricot but by this part of the trip,, I had caught a bit of a cold and the type cold where u can’t taste which is my big hate in life. I hate not being able to taste. lol We are flying back tonight so luckily I didn’t catch this until last day lol. This tea is a dark black tea with apricot scent. It has a creamy texture and hint in the taste. I can detect a touch of bitter but my cold is not making tastes come thru correctly :( Very good even though I can’t taste it completely like I want :). The tea is making my cold feel better tho so yay! The decor in the shop is red crabs and it is close to the Skagit Bay and Puget Sound,, very cute. It is drizzly & nicely chilly outside too which, being from the desert,,, that’s what I’m here for!!!!!!!! It’s awesome!!!!!!!!
Then I tried English Breakfast w/milk. Got my two cups for the day and my cold sort of started going away. I feel lots better. yay! Attached gift shop so cute too with sea and crab items plus garden stuff,,love!

Nicole

Sounds like a great trip!

Lee

Oh it was,,,I love it up there. Especially the trees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, so lovely!! Even if it was just for a short while, glad you enjoyed your time in my beautiful Canada!!

Lee

Oh I loved Canada!! It is so pretty and gorgeous weather right now!! We will have to plan a trip where we actually fly there and stay for a while!!!

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This is one of three Mighty Leaf teas that they offer at this little bakery and café that we have near our house. It is also an Organic tea that they sell at Whole Foods so I love that this little café serves this.
This tea was super refreshing and delicious as an iced tea today for lunch!! It has a great, not too harsh, strong, or any bitter flavor. It is very smooth and just right as iced tea.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
225 tasting notes

Assam Marangi
OR-187 Black Tea
by: Camellia Sinensis

I got a sample with my purchase from Camellia Sinensis (thank u C.S.!!) a few months ago and have not tried it until today,,,I am putting it into Random Steepings bc I can’t find enough info. on it (especially which flush it is) and it is out of stock now on their website so not sure which year, probably 2013.
Well I can see why it is out of stock! Deliciousness!!!

Origin: I do know that this is from the Marangi tea estate, India. I think it is a second flush but I have not had enough Assams to know for sure and am still learning.
Dry Leaf: Scents of roasted chocolate Malto-Meal cereal, dark dark brown and golden twisty threads.
Method: Western – 22oz classic shaped teapot – 1 tsp tea per 8 oz H2O – brewed 2 cups at a time at 200F for 3 minutes 10 seconds.
Wet Leaf: Roasted Idaho potato peel, dried apple, chocolate, and cherry scents. Leaves are chopped buds and young leaves all turned milk chocolate brown.
Liquor: Deep, rich amber color. Scents of chocolate, dried apple, cherry, smells delicious!
Flavor: Deep, rich, smooth, touch of cream, tiny tiny bit of orange peel, malt, hint of chocolate.
Very well balanced. As it cools, more malty goodness. I feel alert and ready for the day. So good and I like the tour of India I have been taking this last couple of days. I am definitely interested in this type of tea and this estate. Yumm.
__________________________________________________________________________
6/15/14
Having most of the rest of this sample this morning,,,yummmmm. Going to get some more from this estate.
____________________________________________________________________________
7/5/14
Having the last bit of this sample today. This is really delicious, especially with a splash of milk. I only had 1 tsp left so only got to have one cup and am very sad it is gone. Gonna order more in the fall.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
donkeytiara

Lee, do you have a list of notes that you choose from? I didn’t realize til I saw your review of this tea that with Assams I often get a roasted idaho potato peel note! If you have no list, you are genius! I have a feeling I can learn lots from your reviews of assams!

Lee

Lol thank u,,no I don’t go by a list. I just taste. I used to do a lot of wine tastings so I guess I have that practice. I find tasting tea much more interesting bc you can drink it any time of day and morning is best for your palate. Tea rocks!!!!!!! Yes, I am definitely getting in to Indian teas :)

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Origin: Arya Estate; Darjeeling, India. April, 2013
Dry Leaf: Scents of dried peach and apple, nutmeg. Twisted threads with multi-colors; moss greens, cream, dark brown, light brown.
Method: Western – 22oz ceramic classic shaped teapot – 1 tsp tea per 8 oz water – 200F – brewed 2 cups in the pot – steeped 3 minutes.
Wet Leaf: Delicate, young brown/green colored leaves—small to medium size. Scents of hay, spices, vanilla, and dried apple peel. Somewhat chopped.
Liquor: Golden/light orange color with scents of honey, vanilla, hay, spice.
Flavor: Very multi-flavored!! Notes of nutmeg, vanilla, dried apple, honey, maybe a tiny touch of dried pineapple as well. There is also a champagne-like brightness, making this the ultimate Darjeeling lol!
I haven’t tried too many Darjeelings but this is definitely the best one I have tried. Very delicious, many layers of flavor, nicely balanced, no astringency (maybe because this is a 2013 and it has mellowed out). Would love to try a new first flush from this year to compare. Will have to taste some more to gain knowledge of this lovely tea!


Later in the day, I resteeped these leaves at 180F for 4 minutes. Delicious and still carried lots of the tasting notes, especially pineapple!!! I would not resteep them a third time bc they have given their best now :)
__________________________________________________________________________
7/2/14
Having a pot of this with an Indian dish today! Today, I brewed Western at 190F for 3 minutes.
The wet leaf has the scent of pineapple rind bc it’s not quite as sweet-smelling as the fruit but has that scent.
Liquor is golden color also with scents of pineapple rind.
Flavor also has the pineapple rind with cashews, a tiny tiny touch of saffron and turmeric. It’s funny how the spices of India are really coming thru in this Darjeeling. I AM eating Indian food, however. I tried the tea before my food and I cleanse my palate with water when tasting the tea in between bites but it could be influencing my tasting today. It certainly pairs perfectly with the foods of its origin!!!!
After my Indian dish, I kept drinking the tea as I ate a Black Mission fig fresh from my garden and a vanilla cookie. This tea sang with the fig, another food from his homeland!!

Oh and also, my tea is now gone. I see people using the term “Sipdown” and I do not use that term bc it seems to imply that they are happy the tea is all gone and with this tea,,,I am certainly not happy that it is all gone :( More like “Saddown” to me.

Flavors: Apple, Champagne, Dried Fruit, Fig, Hay, Honey, Nutmeg, Pineapple, Saffron, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

Tea is Life. I love Tea!

Morning:
Bai Mu Dan
Bai Hao Yin Zhen
Feng Qing Yunnan
Marangi Estate Assam

Lunch:
Gyokuro
Long Jing
Tai Ping Hou Kui
Shincha

Afternoon:
Matcha
Ya Bao
Sheng
Arya Estate Darjeeling First Flush

Night:
Elderflower Nectar
Pure Chamomile
Pure Tea Flowers
Dried Citrus
Fresh Turmeric w/ Honey & Lemon

I like Ayurveda, Yoga,
walking, stand-up comedy clubs.

Love chefs and foodies. Love veggies!!!!
I avoid artificial and processed foods such as diet sodas because I think those things affect your palate for tasting teas, foods, wine.
I always use filtered Culligan water for tea, no tap or bottled so I don’t find many teas I dislike bc I start with super delicious water.

Also enjoy bonsai, xeriscape gardening, my doggie, & all nature.

I like the Steepster Select Club because it is allowing me to taste teas that I might not get a chance to taste!
I have stopped rating teas with a numerical value here on Steepster because I realized on May 13, 2014 (a tea enlightenment lol) that once you start to learn what teas you like, get practiced and good at gong fu, and which companies are selling quality tea,,,they are all 100’s to me because I purchase and drink what I like and the best I can find.
I respect all the work that goes into the tea that I am drinking and I like thinking about the different terroirs they come from.

Namaste!

Location

Sonoran Desert

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