1426 Tasting Notes

89

Because, you know, I had to have some after packing up a bit for Cavo. ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Maple Pecan Black Tea by Design a Tea
1426 tasting notes

So very glad that I’m having more of this tonight! Holy moly, what a different steep does to this tea.

I’m getting maple, I’m getting creamy, I’m getting pecan, I’m getting sweet. It’s really fantastic – so much so that my 6-year-old took a sip, and asked if he could “have as many sips as I want”. I said no, because it is caffeinated, and made him some of Tea Desire’s Sweet Toffee (rooibos) instead. He says it’s “ahhh.. makes me feel better – tea”.

Anyway. This is delicious! Upping the rating significantly.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Sounds delish!

OMGsrsly

That’s so cute!

MissB

OMG I suck! I forgot to thank Dexter3657 for this, as she sent it to me in a swap a while back. Bad me!

Also, it makes me want to peruse Design a Tea more; the concept of creating my own tea blends just plain rocks.

Nxtdoor

As soon as I see “design a tea” I think Dexter. :)

Dexter

I haven’t loved all the teas I got from them, but it’s hard to blame them when you choose what’s in it. Brian is just amazing, helpful, funny – great guy to work with. If you are at all interested in playing “mad scientist” this is a fun company to do it with. (It’s also really inexpensive – bonus!!)

Cavocorax

That’s awesome Dexter – have you ordered full size blends, or just the sample?

Dexter

I’ve ordered from them twice, both times I got full sized blends (and some samples the first time). The first time I stayed pretty conservative – regular base plus two flavors -off the main design page. The second time I dug way deep into the site and choose some of the specialty bases and added all kinds of stuff. Brian is great – just because your “dream” doesn’t fit into the drop down boxes doesn’t mean you can’t get it. I wrote almost a full page of “special instructions” and I got everything I asked for – no problems at all – fun emails from Brian to clarify. Great experience.

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drank Apple Pie Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1426 tasting notes

I finally tried some of this today. Actually, I made two cups of it, because the first was… ick. It smelled like crisp green grass (which yes, I’ve eaten), almost like wheatgrass. Much stronger than normal matcha, and just shy of chemical. Really odd smell, I must add, it’s a new one to me.

I mixed it as I normally do, in a chasen with a small amount of liquid, then adding 6-8oz of liquid, mixing again, and sweetening to taste. I want to love it, I want the flavors to just work for me, as they did for the sample I sent VariaTEA from this batch, and yet it leaves me much to be desired. I dumped it, and tried again.

Less matcha, more liquid, more sweetener. Still the icky taste is the first thing I get, although it does blend into something more palatable, and that’s the flavor I understand VariaTEA tastes – apple pie à la mode. I only found it for a second, and after a good five or six sips, I just had to dump it too.

I do wonder however if I overleafed, as I’m still feeling the rush from the matcha hours later. I rarely feel this jazzed when drinking matcha anymore.

Leaving off the rating, because I need to play a teensy bit more.

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec
VariaTEA

Oh no. I am sorry you didn’t like it.

OMGsrsly

This is a sad tea story.

MissB

VariaTEA, what are your parameters for making this? I’m wondering if this one takes less matcha. I just want to give it one more go before I send the rest off to you. ;)

VariaTEA

I use 1/2 tsp matcha in 8 oz of milk. However when I mix it, I only pour in a little bit of milk at first, then I use my milk frother to make sure the matcha and that milk get mixed together properly. Then I leave the milk frother on and fill the cup as it mixes.

VariaTEA

It is slightly chemical so it is more like store bought apple pie than homemade but I didn’t mind it. Hopefully you can get it to work for you.

Donna A

I have to agree with you. This is the first flavored matcha from Red Leaf that I’m disappointed in. I’ve tried quite a few others. I got it in robust which is how I’ve enjoyed caramel, boysenberry, black cherry, black currant, eggnog and several others others. Oh well. For now, I’m mixing it with caramel matcha and some cinnamon which makes it palatable
.

OMGsrsly

I can’t believe you gave me some of your sad tea story! I’ll have to try it tomorrow. :)

MissB

Ha! I gave you some to try because (a) I’m hoping you can magically matcha-whisperer it and tell me your secrets, and (b) I thought (?) you were looking for fruit flavored matchas… which is a bit of a stretch with the pie, and yet, thought you might appreciate.

MissB

Thanks Donna! Good to know it’s not just me. I really will play with it a bit, maybe I’m missing something.

Donna A

Let me know if you discover any secrets MissB!

OMGsrsly

Haha. I do generally like the matchas. :) I’ll have to see what happens with it!

Donna A

I tried using less matcha, frothing 1/2 tsp in about 10 oz milk with stevia, similar to what VariaTEA recommended. Pretty decent. Still, I prefer the other flavors I’ve tried better. I had gotten apple pie in robust like I usually do with other flavors. Normally I’m use 1 tsp/8 oz. Anyway, glad it won’t go to waste, now that I’ve played around with it some.

Plunkybug

See, it’s that chemical taste, almost metallic, that I got with the Coconut matcha, which leads me to believe that maybe it wasn’t my fault in making it.

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81
drank Kapha Organic by TeaGschwendner
1426 tasting notes

Oh mighty spice of doom, please bestow me with your powers so that I can clear this darn sinus infection.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more
Yvonne

:( Get well soon! ♥

Fjellrev

Oh dear, I hope that clears up ASAP.

JustJames

well, then i would recommend a steep of 10 or so…. i know because i tried =0)

Cavocorax

Yay for magic tea? HOpefully?

MissB

Heh, JustJames, you should really read my last review of this, where I felt badly you were so burned by this tea, while I was still seeking out the fire. I have steeped it now 20+ minutes, and am going to take a sip shortly. I may have also quoted you in another tealog, where I had a tea that smelled like coffee, tasted like toffee, and was made out of rooibos. The trifecta to avoid for you.

Thanks all for the kind wishes! :)

JustJames

oh dear…. i am beginning to feel like quite the wuss! B POWER!

OMGsrsly

20 minutes! Hope it worked!

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92

A sad sipdown, however I will most definitely order more whenever I decide I need more Herbal Infusions. :) A tiny bit overleafed just to finish off the bag, and so delicious when it is! Juicy grapefruit with just a hint of eucalyptus to help open the sinus and feel “cool”.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more
Cavocorax

I’m not sure about the eucalyptus but this does sound interesting! I’ll have to remember it for my next order.

OMGsrsly

It’s so good, Cavo! It’s not really minty or anything, just cooling and refreshing.

MissB

Exactly! It’s surprising. I thought it might be Vicks-ish, however it’s more just a feeling of breathing cool air.

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75
drank Mountain Herbs by Tea Desire
1426 tasting notes

I have to admit that I really do like this more than I gave it credit for. For a medicinal, it’s surprisingly tasty and creamy.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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73

Was hoping this Chili Chocolate Chai would offer me the spice I was looking for. Alas, it’s the same as Della Terra’s version: zero spice or heat to it. Still nice and creamy, just something other than what I was looking for, or what it’s labelled as.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
NayLynn

Sorry it was not what your looking for. I have not tried it myself but I’ve heard you can add cayenne pepper to teas like this that don’t have the kick you would expect. I’m not sure if that is a normal spice you would keep in house.

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drank SBT: Orange Creamsicle by 52teas
1426 tasting notes

I hate it when a picture is missing from a tea, so I always try to do a screen capture and add one. This time, it seems a bit messy. (Boo). Hopefully when Frank gets a chance he can change it.

Anyway. This is my second attempt at steeping one of Frank’s SBT blends. I really, really wish they came loose so that I could parse out the amount I wanted, as there are few 2-quart containers in my neck of the woods. I will definitely message him to share this, as I think I’d buy more if I could measure it, instead of getting one huge tea bag.

Anyway. Steeped it exactly as shared on the bag: 3 minutes, then added cold water to fill my Teavana glass pitcher. I found it a bit weak, and am going to let it sit in my fridge overnight to really cool. I did notice that as the small amount that I poured for myself cooled, the black base was less apparent, and the orange took over. Initially, all I got was cream and black base.

Also, a question for all you experienced SBT-ers, or at least those experienced to cold steeping: should I leave the tea bag in the water overnight, or use it again for another steep?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

When I make it, I cold steep the bag for 15-16 hours. However, I only every cold steep them so I am not sure how the flavor would change using a bag that has already been hot brewed and then iced.

VariaTEA

What other SBT did you make btw?

MissB

I’m blanking out as to which one I made, as it was a while ago. We left it in the fridge too long, so it was icky by the time I got around to drinking it. :(

VariaTEA

Oh no. I am trying the last of my SBT teas tomorrow morning and then I will be placing an order for more. I figured I should try what I had so I knew what to restock.

OMGsrsly

LiberTEAS cold steeps overnight, then hot steeps to get the most out of them. Check out their reviews. :)

OMGsrsly

I have to admit, they are tempting. If you’re going to order more, MissB, might I tag along?

VariaTEA

OMGsrsly, I was going to offer to add some to my order for you and then realized that may not be the most effective plan given we don’t live nearly as close as you and MissB. However, if you are only looking to get a couple to try some, they are pretty flat and could probably pass as letter mail and therefore not really cost anything for me to send them to you. I will probably be ordering tomorrow evening so if you want me to add anything, just let me know :)

OMGsrsly

Ooo. Let me go check!

OMGsrsly

UH OH. Eggnog honeybush? Too tempting.

VariaTEA

Haha. I was tempted by that too. But I don’t know if I want 2 oz of it. Mostly because I don’t know if I would like it. Although, no one does honeybush like Frank.

MissB

Heh. I’ve got a LOT of Frank’s stuff on the way from the Kickstarter, plus the new ones. One just showed up now, it was somehow held in transit for weeks. I grabbed eggnog, and will pass along some to both of you if you’d like. :)

OMGsrsly

I’d really appreciate that, MissB!

I have to admit the cart I built (Malted Chocomate!) is only $40. Tempting to just buy. Are all the SBT caffeinated? I don’t see any honeybush ones.

VariaTEA

They are all black teas…I think.

VariaTEA

And I just wish someone had reviewed the eggnog honeybush so at least there is something to guess how the tea tastes. I may just cave and order it anyways. I have a nice balance on my paypal account that can go towards my order.

I am also debating the Pineapple Angel Food Cake. It was so tasty the first time I had it but the second time around I was not that impressed. The fear that I won’t be able to have it again is pushing me towards getting it even though I am not sure that I would want so much of it.

OMGsrsly

Hmm. Umm. I might just order now and ship to MissB. hides head

VariaTEA

haha. I think you should go for it.

OMGsrsly

Ok, ok… Let’s see. Oh no! It worked! Haha. MissB, you should be expecting a parcel for me…

VariaTEA

What did you end up getting??

OMGsrsly

Too much! LOL. Rootbeer Float, Butterbeer, Strawberry Zabaglione, Honey Ginger, Almond Milk (?!), Gingerbread Smoke, Eggnog Honeybush, Malted ChocoMate. Oh boy, oh boy. :D

VariaTEA

Haha. My cart right now is sitting at about $50 and that includes 13 diff SBTs (multiples of a couple) and the Pineapple Angel Food Cake. I made the mistake of looking through the Available Now and I am currently debating the Eggnog Honeybush, the Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, and the Frankenberry (but only because I saw it has Marshmallow root). I think I have a problem…

NayLynn

I have not had any SBT yet but have wondered for a while if you could just cut the tea bag open and get what you needed and repackage the rest. Is there a reason this would not work?

OMGsrsly

I don’t think there’s any reason why that wouldn’t work. They’re just a little more expensive than the loose teas – $12/2oz rather than $8.99. So if there’s a flavour offered loose, I’d probably just get it that way.

OMGsrsly

I wish I could just ‘like’ your comment, VariaTea!

NayLynn

Thanks, that is a good point about the difference in size/value. The main one I would get is sold out in loose & ya’ll are funny

MissB

I have a huge amount of Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, I love it that much!

NayLynn, I could easily cut the bag open, I just think I’d enjoy it more/more often if I was deciding how big my container is to cold steep, and then going from there.

OMGsrsly, sounds good!

keychange

Yeah, I wish I could cold steep smaller amounts also. I don’t even want two quarts. Because hello! I need to cold steep in my mason jar!

OMGsrsly

Both the containers I picked up are “two quarts”. One is actually 2 quarts, but the other is way closer to 3. I’ll probably keep that one for herbals as I prefer cold steeped tea to plain water.

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87

I have, maybe, one serving of this left. That’s what I get when I share so much and forget to try a tea! :)

Wanted to try something woodsy and earthy today, because that’s what always seems to make me feel better. This definitely fits the bill – as with most of Whispering Pines’ blends, I get a campfire, hiking feel, with sweet notes of marshmallow and graham cracker in there. The chocolate is almost there, I have to reach for it though. Honestly, this tastes like I’d dropped my marshmallow smushed between two pieces of graham cracker, dropped it in some pine needles next to the campfire, put it back on the fire, and then ate it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Great description!

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72

Sigh. Forgot there’s zero chili in here, or at least chili that I can taste. Just when I really needed the chili! :) It’s still a creamy chocolate tea, so I recommend it for that, however anything spicy is completely missing from the blend.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Sounds a lot like the same problem Davids has with their Chocolate Chili Chai.

MissB

Bleh. Really? I have some of that too. Probably better if I just pass it along then. Thanks!

OMGsrsly

Psht. Just add a pinch of chili flakes and steep. :D (And then don’t get it again.)

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Bio

A few years ago, the obsession with tea started. The cupboard got bigger and bigger, more swaps occurred, group buys, secret rendezvous with local teapassionistas… and that’s how you end up with 500+ different kinds of tea in your home. At one time.

Now, it’s purge time. Time to gather what’s needed and let go of the rest. Almost all of the tea was given away, sold, or otherwise shared. A few relics still remain. It’s still a challenge to avoid the chipmunk-like hoarding of The Teas, yet, the lightness of being from having so little compels me more. And so, I’m happy to share (anytime!) and will occasionally desire small amounts of tea for swaps, just to try.

As for the day-to-day stuff, I’m focused almost entirely on Love, (yes, with a capital L), Spirit/Self, transformation, and work (dating columnist and consultant).

No-can-do: lavender, overly floral (French florals, or florals that are creamy rather than, well, floral work well!), sugar, Splenda, all grains.

Love: fruity, dessert, chai, spicy, all types of tea.

Location

Vancouver, BC, Canada

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