31 Tasting Notes

90

From the moment I cut open the bag and caught a whiff of the strikingly golden brown tea leaves, I knew this one would be special… and it did not disappoint! I used numerous 30 second Gongfu style steepings. The first steeping was mild in flavour, but not without aroma. Perhaps I didn’t wait quite a full 30 seconds, as an immediate pronounced rich colour developed. The second steeping was much more pronounced in flavour, aroma and colour, yet it still defied description. My nose perceived a floral, perfumey sweetness; my tongue perceived a malty tartness. Even at the fifth steeping — or was it the sixth, it was no longer possible to keep track — the liquor remained a deep golden brown. I will make it somewhat stronger next time to see if I can more precisely define the tastes.

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65

I was expecting strictly lemon, tart and citrus, but this surprises with the fruitiness of hibiscus blossoms and rose hips. It is not overly acidic, nor is the added flavour overpowering. I like it.

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50

A pleasant herbal blend with a chocolatey taste and creamy richness. I like to leave the bag in the cup to extract all of the flavour; however, it tends to develop a viscosity toward the end that is a bit too much.

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55

This is more an herbal tea blend than a maté, the pleasant lemon flavour being derived from lemongrass and lemon myrtle leaves. While pleasant, lemon overpowers the maté to the point that it is not possible to distinguish its true flavour.

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65
drank Chai Tea by Tetley
31 tasting notes

I was surprised. After trying about a dozen bagged chais, mostly expensive natural brands, and finding them all to taste fake, this one is quite acceptable. It’s inexpensive and available at the supermarket. It has a nice spice flavour: not overpowering, yet not so weak that it can’t be drunk with milk. This is a good standby for on the go.

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35
drank Vanilla Bean Chai by Tetley
31 tasting notes

The heavy, almost milky vanilla flavour is overpowering and tastes fake, bearing no resemblance to real vanilla. It blankets the palate and is soon nauseating.

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70
drank Original Blend by Red Rose
31 tasting notes

This good, economical bagged black tea was in every household when I was growing up. It still tastes good.

We used to drink it as they do in parts of Germany, with freshly squeezed lemon juice. As a boy, sitting at the table under the sparkling light from the chandelier, I enjoyed watching the red-brown colour change to a sunny gold as I stirred the juice into the porcelain teacup. The flavour became somewhat tart, complementing the fine, whipped cream covered, fresh fruit tortes my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother used to bake.

For breakfast, I douse it with a lot of milk and leave the bag in my mug to get every last molecule of flavour. Put some Suraj tea masala (ground spice mixture from Superstore’s Indian aisle) into the water as it is heating to make your own authentic chai. Add further ground spices to adjust the flavour to your taste. Serve with hot milk. The robust tea flavour shines through admirably.

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15

Unappealing. After the decaffeination process, there is little flavour left. It is muddy and brownish with a dull, nondescript taste. With milk, it is thin, watery and greyish. Chemical residues are not appealing, either. I have given up on decaffeinated teas and coffees. There are many naturally caffeine-free beverages to enjoy.

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70
drank Fine Champagne by Teaopia
31 tasting notes

I prepare this tea Gongfu style. It has a rich aroma, a deep golden colour, an earthy flavour and a pleasant tartness that pervade right through to about the fifth 30-second steeping, after which the flavour appears to be completely spent, despite still producing strong colour.

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65

I got this tea at a grocery store in Chinatown for only a few dollars. I was told that elderly people like it, but I had no idea that it was pu-erh. It was hard as rock and sat forever in my cupboard, having eluded all my efforts to break it apart. One day, I decided to deal with it once and for all. I took it into the basement and struck it variously with a hammer and an axe. Chunks bounced off the walls. I reduced it to manageable pieces that I collected in a jar without losing too much. I began to drink it assiduously. It turned out to have a rich body and a good flavour, rather earthy in character, but in no manner musty. It suffers only in its impossible packaging, for which I docked 5 points.

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Profile

Bio

Mr Steep likes tea plain, or variously with lemon, fruit juice, honey, spices, cow’s milk or soy milk, as appropriate.

Mr Steep avoids flavoured teas: flavouring rarely makes something out of nothing.

Mr Steep applies this philosophy to good coffee, too.

Location

Calgary AB Canada