4423 Tasting Notes

91
drank Orange Ginger by Samovar
4423 tasting notes

This is a sample that I purchased from Samovar a while back… and just now getting around to trying it.

This is one of the better tisanes I’ve ever had. Generally, I prefer tea to tisane, although, there is a place in my life for tisanes – especially later in the evening (and since it is 12:30 in the am, I think that qualifies!) when I’m starting to think about heading to bed.

The flavor is very fresh and vibrant, yet the tea is very soothing. It is a very nice tea to have at the end of a long day. I suspect that this would be very refreshing as an iced tea too. Now that I’ve had a chance to really try this, I wish I would have gone ahead and bought the 2 ounce tin, rather than just the sample package… this is one that I would like to enjoy again, and also share with friends.

Perhaps I will have to remember that when I get around to placing another order with Samovar!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

I’ve tried very little from this company, actually, and have always heard great things about their quality of tea/tisanes. Always interested in companies that are new or new to me, ya know!? :P

LiberTEAS

Unfortunately, when I placed my order with them, it was all samples. I wish I had bought a larger size of this particular tea especially, because it’s one of the best tisanes I’ve had, and really, the difference in price between the sampler and the 2 ounce tin is just 3 bucks. :(

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100

The mail came today and with it came this very special tea that was created just for me – but not by me! And, I so prefer being a tea customer to being a tea purveyor.

So you fill out a questionnaire and a few weeks later, you receive a blend that was created just for you! This is what Madam Potts created for me!

I was going to save it to “christen” my breville with, but since I will most likely be waiting until July to receive said toy, I really don’t want to wait that long to try this tea… and I’m glad I didn’t!

The Darjeeling and Oolong work really well together. The floral notes sort of meld together into a unique kind of flower – it’s sweet, sharp and very pleasant. The Sarsparilla is a pronounced flavor here and together with the carob root it makes for a sort of cocoa flavored root beer-ish flavor. The black pepper adds just a subtle hint of spice that cuts through some of the sharper floral notes.

I REALLY like this. I love the floral notes here together with the carob… It’s just… so difficult to put into words how interesting and yummy and ME! this tea is. And since it is so me… I must give it the highest rating possible. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

This tea is so unique and tasty and different from anything I’ve ever tried… and so very much me. I think I could drink this every day and not get bored with it.

Cofftea

How much did it cost? How much do you get? What are the packaging and steeping instructions like? lol yes I’m a sucker for custom blends and must know more:) I wonder if she does matcha…

SoccerMom

I cannot wait till I’m off my self imposed tea buying ban so that I can place an order with them. I have searched their site before and I think she is out of town so it’s good (and I’m not tempted). LOL Glad you liked it!

Suzi

I’m with Cofftea, tell us more!

gmathis

How absolutely cool!

LiberTEAS

@SoccerMom – she’s back! :) I just got this today!

@Cofftea: I also ordered a couple of samples from her, and she offers a different set of suggested brewing parameters for each tea, according to the tea that it is. For this particular tea, she suggests a tsp/cup at 3 – 4 minutes, I steeped mine for 3 1/2 minutes. The water was about 185 degrees F. I don’t use a thermometer (gadget) so I can’t be absolutely certain of the temperature, but I’ve been brewing tea now for about 12 years, so I am fairly comfortable with going with my gut on such things.

The price is $25, and I didn’t weigh the package before making my first pot of tea, but it is now about 4.2 oz (not including the packaging, since this package is similar to the packaging that I use, I am able to comfortably assume the weight of it and subtract that). The packaging is a simple white, resealable bag with a printed label on it.

But to be honest with you, the packaging matters not… because this tea is worth it. After spending the better part of 9 years creating and blending teas for other people, it is nice to have something created JUST FOR ME that I didn’t concoct myself.

AmazonV

I totally caved on my ban when you linked to her website in one of the discussion threads – hopefully mine arrives soon! Thank you so much for turning me on to this.

LiberTEAS

AmazonV: You’re so welcome… I hope that you enjoy your blend as much as I’m loving mine!

SoccerMom

Ok that’s it this is on my must do list for April 1st LOL.

LiberTEAS

My second infusion is very nice as well, a little smoother in flavor – it has a slight licorice-y flavor to it, and I don’t know exactly where that’s coming from. Also, when I was about mid-cup with my first infusion, I noticed more of the chocolate-y flavors coming through… so YUM.

Cofftea

You need to wait an entire 11 months SoccerMom? Sad day!

JacquelineM

NEAT! I think I’ll do this close to my birthday!!!!!

Meghann M

Maybe I’ll order some for my birthday…Nov 8th. That seems like enough time to get through all the 52teas teas I have in my overflowing cupboard. They just keep coming out with teas that sound so good…and that email dings as a new message once a week in my mailbox. I did bookmark this link, glad to know it’s around 4oz. That’s a great value for a unique blend of tea!

Cofftea

Are tea leaves, fruit pieces, and herbs, the only things used in the blends? (i.e. “normal stuff”) or does/can she get crazy like 52teas?

LiberTEAS

@cofftea – that’s a question for Madam Potts.

TeaEqualsBliss

Have any extra!? LOL :P Woot Woot for 100 point teas, eh!?

SoccerMom

I meant June Cofftea LOL working on end of the month stuff and it carried over to my steepster notes LOL

Cofftea

HAHA! ok. I was thinking “Wow that’s quite a spending freeze- she must have quite a stash!”

SoccerMom

Cofftea, I do have quite a stash considering I am the only person in the house that drinks tea! I do actually have enough tea to last me to next April. Summery/HOT weather has slowed down my tea drinking to 2 cups in the morning and a random cup here or there but mostly iced. In fact at the moment I am sipping on a bottle of diet Snapple Peach Tea.

Cofftea

I never drink bottled tea, but I go thru insane amounts of iced loose leaf in the summer. It kills my cucumber melon so fast!:(

Madam Potts

O hey LiberTEAS – thanks for the review and rating. It’s been over 6 months since I’ve been on Steepster. I appreciate all the talk and comments. Beyond tasting good, it means the world to me that your tea did in fact capture your essence. :) thanks!

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90

Yay! Earl Grey!

I really like this tea. I steeped it a bit longer than I did previously. Even though Andrews & Dunham suggest 5 minutes steeping time, I just can’t do 5 minutes for a black tea. I think my palate tends to be overly sensitive to bitter taste, and since most black teas do take on a slight bitter edge when brewed over 4 minutes (there is the occasional exception, but, for my palate, I have found this to be the standard), I don’t usually take a black tea beyond 4 minutes for the first infusion.

So I decided to push it to the 4 minutes this time (usually, with a black tea, I have a “standard” time of 3 minutes, regardless of what brewing parameters might suggest). Only a slight bitter note at the back of the palate… but not off-putting. But what I do notice is that brewing it longer brings out more of the floral qualities of the bergamot, whereas the 3 minutes, I’m left with a fruitier bergamot with only hints of floral.

It’s quite good both ways … but I think I prefer it with the 3 minute steep time…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

SO…you think it’s better than the average Earl Grey!? COOL…always looking for more creative and tastier EG these days!!! WOOT!

LiberTEAS

Yes, this one is better than average. The best ones are from Lupicia and Steven Smith (at least, in my opinion!)

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88
drank Ginger Matcha by Art of Tea
4423 tasting notes

Having a Ginger Peach Matcha Smoothie today: organic vanilla yogurt, frozen peaches and Ginger Matcha. YUM!

The smoothie looks a bit like split pea soup (or maybe baby food peas) but, gratefully it doesn’t taste like it (I hate peas). The matcha flavor is softened quite a bit with the other ingredients, but I can still taste it, along with the ginger. The peaches and ginger taste amazing together. The vanilla flavoring of the yogurt adds a nice creamy flavor to the whole thing… Very YUM.

I am contemplating even increasing the numeric rating on this based just on this delicious smoothie, but, I won’t. But… I will just say that this Matcha was MADE to be an ingredient for yummy-yums like this!

SoccerMom

This sounds so yummy!

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90
drank Caramel-Toffee by Dammann Freres
4423 tasting notes

This tea smells yummy! I tried it first without any sweetener, and then added a little bit of raw sugar and found that this brought out the caramel-y goodness. This would also be very good as a latte with some steamed, frothed milk… but I don’t really feel like getting out my frother, so I think I’ll just drink it as is… it’s really good this way.

It’s hard for me to drink another caramel tea without comparing it to my Sweet Caramel o’Mine, because, well… I really like my Sweet Caramel O’Mine. :) But to be fair, I will try to leave that bias at the door.

This is a very good tea. The black tea base is smooth and rich. It is a non-assuming kind of black tea, that is, it doesn’t try to overwhelm the flavor of the caramel toffee. I love the buttery notes here. It reminds me a lot of a piece of… well, caramel toffee! Once upon a time, I used to make my own (when I didn’t have kids and a lot of other responsibilities that kept me from doing things like that) and this reminds me of that fresh, buttery toffee.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Veri-Tea

I only just came across Damman Freres the other week, at a French chocolate cafe I visited with my husband and a friend. I’ve had their 2nd flush Darjeeling and their Keemun, and they’re both lovely. Interested to have more teas from this company!

LiberTEAS

This tea offers a delightful second infusion as well. The second infusion is equally as flavorful – I dare say, even MORE flavorful! The buttery flavor really emerges! It is so rich and delicious.

TeaEqualsBliss

This one sounds interesting…and so far I have enjoyed the teas I have tried from that company! :P Some Toffee ones from other companies I have been able to take or leave thus far…lol…

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87
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
4423 tasting notes

This is the first time trying this tea. It’s been in my cupboard for a little while, I bought it at the same time I purchased Dawn and Honeybee. But, as I said, I have a lot of teas …

Anyways… This tea is yummy! Fresh vegetal taste – less on the grassy side and more on the cooked veggie side. These beauitful, long, spiral-y leaves slowly unwind and unfurl to a full leaf that appears to be small and quite young… but whole… and absolutely lovely.

I am currently enjoying my third infusion of this tea. With each new infusion comes a smoother flavor that is savory and sweet all at once. The Simple Leaf is simply amazing!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Maple Sugar by Tea Guys
4423 tasting notes

Decided to start my day with a cup of maple-y goodness today. This really is a great change up from a breakfast breakfast blend. The black tea is pleasantly brisk, with a very smooth temperament. It also has just a hint of smokiness to it that compliments the maple flavor nicely.

The maple is sweet and lip-smacking YUMMY, but not too sweet (at least, not for me!) Overall it’s a very rich tasting cup with a good amount of “get-up-and-go” to it that I look for in a breakfast tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Auggy

I love maple and keep seeing good reviews for this one. This tea will probably be the reason I make an order from Tea Guys!

LiberTEAS

I actually placed an order with them because I saw the Golden Grapefruit, and I keep looking for the “perfect” grapefruit green tea. Still haven’t found the perfect grapefruit green… (although I do like the golden grapefruit alright), but, Tea Guys does have some pretty good blends. If you like tropical flavors, I highly recommend the Papaya Ginger. I think it’s my favorite from Tea Guys.

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84
drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
4423 tasting notes

Around this time of night, I’m always looking for an interesting tea that is not a tea – that is – a tisane. This one kept calling to me tonight. The last time I tried this one, my taste buds were just starting to get out of whack, so I consider this my first “true taste” of this tea.

I love the look of this tea (as well as all the teas from 52Teas!) Big (huge!) coconut shavings, and chunks of pineapple… and it smells as good as it looks. I can smell the rum in this one.

Yum! it is so deliciously tropical. The pineapple, the coconut… the rum flavor is so nice too. The flavors are very well balanced.

As yummy as this is hot, I do think I’m going to reserve my remainder of this tea for iced tea brewing… it is just so much better when it’s cold!

I’m increasing my rating of this one a bit, because it deserves it! It really is good.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Cinoi

I keep forgetting that I bought this tea, I really should crack it open…

Stephanie

I’m glad this is in the permanent collection! I need to order this one soon because I need another honeybush flavor—I’m actually almost out of Pineapple Upside Down Cake!

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88
drank Ginger Matcha by Art of Tea
4423 tasting notes

Decided to enjoy a bowl of this on this very cold, rainy evening… it’s very comforting to cup my hands around the warm bowl and sip the warm, ginger-y matcha. The ginger is not strongly spicy, but it has enough warmth to it to make it pleasant, especially on an evening like this.

The matcha is smooth and rich, although, I must admit after my very frothy matcha latte last night, and the beautifully frothy Den’s Tea Matcha a couple of days ago… I do miss the froth in this cup. It does froth – but not quite as nicely as the latte mixes or Den’s Miyabi Matcha.

Sweet, vegetative, just a little bit of bitter, and warm ginger-y spice = a lovely bowl of Matcha!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C
Cofftea

Have you mixed it w/ the strawberry yet?

LiberTEAS

No, but I have made smoothies with it. My favorite is with vanilla yogurt and frozen peaches… ginger peach smoothie… YUM!

Cofftea

Ugh… that reminds me of the BEST smoothie I ever had… raspberry peach in Atlanta (no yogurt). I use ginger green tea as the liquid in that.

LiberTEAS

I think what I am going to try next is to add some of this to a basic chocolate cupcake recipe… and maybe make a pretty matcha frosting to top them off… that sounds yummy!

Cofftea

It would probably look pretty gross- but a chocolate matcha frosting would be so yummy. Do you think the ginger would stand up to the chocolate or even frosting? That’s why I never add 52teas’ matchas to anything… I think it’d be a waste of flavored matcha.

LiberTEAS

Actually, having used the 52Teas matchas in smoothies as well, I can tell you that the flavors and the matcha stands up to the other flavors… not a waste at all.

I don’t know how if the ginger would be able to hold its own with the chocolate… but, I don’t think I would use this particular matcha for the frosting, just because it isn’t as pretty a green as unflavored matchas. I would use an unflavored matcha for the frosting to make one of those pretty bright green frostings. :)

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95
drank Black Satin by 52teas
4423 tasting notes

Another one of my favorite teas from 52Teas. If Chocolate Banana Rooibos is my favorite, I would have to say that this one comes in a close second. I love it.

And… an interesting side note, every time I brew this tea (or even happen across it as I sort through my stash to find a tea to brew) I hear that song “Knights in White Satin” from the Moody Blues playing in my head. I realize that the song is WHITE SATIN and not Black Satin, but tell my head that. LOL I love that song – so mysterious and beautiful…

And this tea is so good. The licorice flavor is the BEST of any other licorice flavored tea I’ve tasted (a close second would be Golden Moon’s White Licorice, which is also quite special to me because my favorite ice cream flavor is Tillamook’s White Licorice…but I digress) The cinnamon is not a sweet cinnamon, rather than a spicy-hot type cinnamon flavor, and the sweetness of the cinnamon cuts through some of the sharper notes of the licorice perfectly.

An AWESOME tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Lori

OOoh…licorice flavored ice cream…

LiberTEAS

Lori: It’s awesome awesome AWESOME! But the only place I’ve ever found it is at the Tillamook dairy in Tillamook OR… we visit that area about once a year or so, so whenever we visit, I make a point to make a trip to the dairy for ice cream! A once a year treat! LOL

Angrboda

I totally agree, this one is really good. I like it with a bit of milk too.

(Also, I’m pretty sure it’s nights in white satin, but now I’m getting mental images of knights wearing satin on top of their plate armor and everything, so I think I like your version best!)

LiberTEAS

LOL! Angroboda, you’re probably right, it probably is Nights in White Satin… I guess the romantic artist in me sort of envisions KNIGHTS when I hear this song. And… when I drink this tea…

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Profile

Bio

I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:
http://www.teareviewblog.com

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com

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My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.

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I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.

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Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.

Location

Vancouver, WA

Website

http://SororiTeaSisters.com

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