180 Tasting Notes

80
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
180 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’ve been super busy the past few weeks between working over the holidays (nurses don’t get vacation breaks) and trying to do the family thing. I’ve had a lot of new tea that I haven’t had time to review (notably Butiki and Verdant), so hopefully I can start to catch up now on Steepster.

Anyhoo, this tea has been challenging to say the least. I finally figured out that one of the big problems was that the salt all settled completely at the bottom of the bag. Of course I didn’t realize this until I neared the end of the supply and saw the big pile of white flakes sitting there. It improved dramatically with the addition of the salt. I believe ultimately that I prefer Della Terra’s Caramel Creme to David’s Salted Caramel, but I finished a 50g bag so it was hardly undrinkable. Bumping up the rating a bit to reflect my final thoughts.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Anna

You’re making me massively crave salted caramel ice cream now.

Nightshifter

Salted caramel gelato is to die for too! :)

Anna

Flavours like that are so rare in Rome – I like over-the-top salty, too.

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94
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
180 tasting notes

Dry: Short black loose leaf blended with bits of graham cookies, flower petals, and big chunks of freeze-dried strawberries. This smells very much like sweetened strawberries right out of the bag, similar to strawberry shortcake ingredients to my nose.

Steeped: Light brown liquor with a bit of a film, but smells devine. Fresh strawberry aroma with a creamy backdrop.

Taste: My grandmother (may she rest in peace) used to make the most delicious rhubarb pies. I never asked her for that particular recipe unfortunately, but the good news is that this tea reminds me very much of it! Somehow this tea manages to taste like sweet strawberries with actual pie crust notes and a tiny hint of tartness, as if from rhubarb. The base is tasty as well. No strong spicy notes also make me happy as many teas are just way too cinnamon for my liking. Not this one though. It is wonderful! This is also my first Butiki tea and the first strawberry tea I’ve actually enjoyed (doesn’t taste artificial). Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Yay!
Sil, (I know you’re out there lurking somewhere), isn’t this your own personal blend?

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99

Dry: Dark long twisty leaves with some golden tips. Light and fluffy with a potent fragrance of malt and roasted sweet potato goodness.

Steeped: Brewed Western style in a large infuser to give these lovely leaves room to expand. I brewed up 24oz this morning and overleafed slightly because I did not have my computer on yet to check the parameters. Then to top it off I oversteeped by at least 1 full minute. Fortunately, the tea did not give me any trouble over it and is a rich red-brown clear liquor. The aroma is dark chocolate and malt. Delicious! I will try it the way it is supposed to be brewed next time, but I am really happy with the result this morning so we will see which way ends up more flavorful.

Taste: I am amazed again with this one just as with Laoshan Black. This tea brings to mind sweet potato and malt across the palate with the first sip. There is a thick and satisfying mouthfeel that reminds me of dark chocolate and honey blended in as well. No bitterness and no intense sweetness either- just balanced, mild, and beautiful flavors that make every sip an experience instead of just a morning wake-up.

I have only tried this one and Laoshan Black from Verdant so far, but I am very impressed and think that both of these teas will probably need to be staples in the cupboard. So good!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
caile

Sounds nice!

Fjellrev

Ah, I’ve had this sitting around since September and still haven’t tried it. You make me want to rip the pouch open already!

Nightshifter

Go for it! Second steep was great, too. A touch of smoke and mineral perhaps, but still nice.

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100
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
180 tasting notes

This tea is delicious! Dark chocolate and fresh-baked bread. Love!

I just got my wisdom teeth out a few hours ago though so I will write a real review when I am back from Wonderland.

“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! I know, righ?

keychange

Oooh! rest up and feel better soon!

caile

Hope you feel better soon!

Nightshifter

Thank you! :)

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88

Sipdown! I enjoyed this blend as a nice wake-up. I was excited to try it initially and thought it might be THE breakfast tea. Although it does take the cake over H & S classics like their straight English Breakfast in terms of strength, balance, and flavor, I still prefer Scottish Morn over both. Glad I was able to try it though and it is a very nice British-style tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
keychange

I really want to try Scottish Morn now!

Nightshifter

If you like strong teas, then it is yum! :)

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91

Another sipdown. I thought my cupboard was pretty much at full capacity, but I realized going through it today that I am nearly out of several good teas. Glad I have some new ones on the way to try!

I overleafed a little bit to use up the last of the loose leaf and it was even more enjoyable than last time with bolder flavors. Not getting any cocoa or fruit, but the lovely malt and honey goodness is just right for a chilly winter afternoon. Wonderful!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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84

Dry: Finely chopped bits of black tea (looks CTC for the most part) with bits of soft green peppermint mixed in. Smells overwhelmingly of mint straight from the bag, so no skimping on the minty side of this for sure.

Steeped: Clear brown liquor with bits of tea floating on top. This is very finely shredded and the tiny holes on my infuser couldn’t keep them all in. Smells very nice though, like dark chocolate and mint.

Taste: This is a nice afternoon or after dinner tea! It is supposed to be chocolate mint and that is exactly what I get with each sip. It is heavier on the mint than on the cocoa side, but both are present for sure. It is smooth, refreshing, and I like it particularly with a dash of milk. I’d like to keep a tea like this around as a staple, but I will have to compare this to some of the other mint/choco teas out there in the future. Right now though, it is a fine addition to the cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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66

Another sipdown. I finished the last of my organic Dragonwell from Teavivre yesterday and forgot to review it, but I hope I will meet it again in a future order. Not so much with this H & S tea, unfortunately.

I know that a lot of folks like this one, but it is just too artificial on the cranberry for my palate. I was longing for any of my other better blacks the whole time I was drinking this. I will stick with Paris when I am looking for fruity and wonderful. Goodbye, Boston Blend! I will not miss you! :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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89

Dry: Medium length black, dark bronze, and golden-tipped black loose leaf. Nicely aromatic and malty with a tiny hint of smoke.

Steeped: Clear medium-brown liquor. Rich and balanced aroma with honey and smoke undertones in the steam rising from the teacup. I’m not getting any spice, but that works for me because I am not a fan of pepper notes anyway.

Taste: I only ordered a sample of this one, but I am kicking myself because I really like it. This is smooth, balanced, and flavorful without being too potent for a peaceful Sunday morning. Malt and soft smoke meets subtle cocoa and rich honey for a lovely tea experience. I definitely note the contributions from the Keemun and Yunnan, but this blend is very nice and doesn’t need anything added to make a great cuppa. If you like Chinese blacks, this one might be a good choice to try out. I will be ordering a full-size tin next time I place a Harney order for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Rosehips

This is a really good cup of tea.

keychange

I just got 4 oz of this and am so excited to try it!

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94

Was in the mood for a straight green while I try (once again) to get started on my last paper for the semester. It is a family case study with regard to health policy, so pretty boring to research and write about. At least to me. :/

Anyhow, I was happy to find one more sample bag of this hiding behind the flavored matcha. I used a little bit less leaf than last time and it is still great. Fresh, sweet, and a bit buttery with that hint of water chestnuts that I like so much- just what I wanted this fine afternoon.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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I am a registered nurse that worked night shift for years on a catastrophic injury unit. I just started day shift and life is good! Tea is a simple pleasure in a complicated world.

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Georgia, USA

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