356 Tasting Notes

89

I finished off my cold brewed iced tea pitcher of this tonight. This puppy’s been in the fridge for…at least two days, and this extra time has (not surprisingly) given it more depth. It’s still very cherry, but it also has more cake to it. Pineapple is still elusive — I get a tiny bit in the aftertaste peeking out from behind the cherry. It’s a good way to end my day :) NE

Preparation
Iced
mpierce87

Wow, this sounds really good. I really need to break down and place an order with 52teas. I’ve been putting it off hoping some things will sell out because right now my potential order is very hefty.

Rabs

Lol! I’m gonna be the tea devil on your shoulder this morning: you’ll be so happy when you get your first 52teas order (at least I was). Frank is also awesome and so good at customer service and their teas are just insane. :D

mpierce87

I talked my husband into letting me make a tea order sometime next week. Now I just have to get the price approval for the list I want.

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85

I had a mutant form of this tea today since I think I was delusional overly optimistic about having enough sample left for my JOEmo. So I ended up trying a mix of 1/2 tsp Earl Grey Cream and 1/2 tsp Colonille by SeredipiTEA (courtesy of JacquelineM). Eh, it was okay but I felt that the combo wasn’t the best for either tea. It ended up being a mellow vanilla black tea.

But I am not upset! Why is Rabs not upset that she’s out of her precious Earl Grey Cream? It’s because the super-awesome Daniel Mann made this tea available online for me!!!!! Hooray! Huzzah! Yippee! Even though my car problems seem to be getting more dire I still shall order this. I’ll have to refrain from going too nuts on ordering this evening due to money constraints, but by golly Rabs needs her nummy tea! Today’s version was a solid NE.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 8 min or more
Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Well, to help you out since your car died, how about using coupon code ‘steepster’ when checking out and get 10% off your entire order?

Rabs

Aww — Daniel! Now I’m all misty-eyed (it’s allegies I tell ya — allergies!). Thank you so very much. You’d pretty much made me a loyal customer, but lordy, now you’ve got one outspokenly loyal customer on your hands :)

Thank you again!

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100

Dear Black Dragon,

Thank you for bein’ in my cupboard. You’re great at curbing my anti-morning homicidal tendencies. Good job!

Yours Truly,

Rabs

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

This tea was my moment of zen in my craptacular day. I think that I look at is as more of a desert tea than an Earl Grey.

I have enough of my sample left for one more JOEmo thermos-full. This gives me stress.

Will this tea be available to order soon? I can has yummy tea?

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 8 min or more
Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

I added it to the web site…just for you! Heh.

Rabs

Eeeeeeee!!!!! ::’splodes::

Thank you so very much! Hopefully today I’ll find out how much my car repair is gonna cost which will affect the qty of tea that I get for this first order. Earl Grey Cream shall be purchased no matter what. Thank you!!!!!

Rabs

I was actually gonna PM you later today to see if there was any way I could get my little hands on some of this — you rock! :D

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

yay! Car trouble? That’s no good, what’s wrong with your car?

Rabs

They think that it’s the computer. Effin’ car computers. I had to total my last car because the computer shorted out. I spent a chunk of money at one place to find out today that they’re not sure what’s wrong so it needs to be towed to the dealership. ::facepalm::

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

You can get a car computer for about $30 in a junk yard or pullapart place for your same make and model and just replace it, why all the trouble i wonder? Seems like a crappy mechanic. What kind of car is it?

Rabs

It’s a Toyota Matrix (one of the few that weren’t recalled). I had gone with Toyota because before the massive recall they were considered one of the most dependable car manufacturers. And since I had such a nightmare with Volkswagon (utter, horribly mind-blowing nightmare) I wanted something that would last for years and years. I miss my first car (a Honda) that was fine for over a decade — never broke down once while I owned it.

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Yeah, that’s pretty much right. VW’s have a lot of mechanical problems. My brother has owned three and all three broke down on him all the time. I have a honda accord and it has 250,000 miles on it and has never had a major mechanical problem. Toyota’s use to be great about as reliable as a honda, but obviously there reliability has come down quite a bit.

I wish you luck on the car, hopefully it won’t be too much.

Rabs

And VWs are crazy-expensive to have any work done ($80 charge for each thing that they look at) and when my VW died the dealership refused to look at it since it was over a decade old (we’re talking by a month). That’s what I call standing by your product :P

I’m praying that it’s covered under warranty. ::crosses fingers, toes, and eyes::

And thanks for the well wishes and the sweet discount!

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Heh, that’s horrible service! I’m sure it will work out well. If it’s the computer, certainly it should be covered under the warranty.

__Morgana__

Ugh, sorry for the car troubles, Rabs!

Rabs

Thank you! Fortunately my folks are able to help me out (and I get to drive my dad’s “midlife crisis car” which is a lot of fun).

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84
drank Lapsang Souchong by Samovar
356 tasting notes

I swear. Samovar and I are not meant to be. I feel like somehow our relationship is cursed.

I finally feel less frustrated about the whole took-forever botched-up order (I still need to drop off the return box). So I felt that I could try and give this tea a fair shake. I had two really pleasant cups and took the remainder of my second steep along with me in my commuter mug. I got into my car. It died. I chose to irrationally blame the tea. It is a tea of doom.

Okay, so it’s not really a tea of doom, but my eyebrow did raise and I kept looking at my cup outta the corner of my eye. When I got home from work I decided to keep steeping this tea to both 1. dispell my fear of a cursed tea, and 2. get my moneys worth outta this tea.

It’s quite a good Lapsang Souchong. It’s on the less smoky side of LSes and it does have a nice sweetness. And perhaps I still feel a bit jaded about the whole first order fiasco, but I just can’t imagine spending my money on a full tin of this. I have one more sample (as a result of the fiasco) so I’ll try it again at a future date and perhaps give it a more thorough review (and an even fairer shake). But if I have car trouble on that same day, well…doom. Doom! DOOM!!!!!

I’d rate this as a kitten purring on my “cat noises scale” for LSes. NE

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

This story reminds me of last night’s “Saving Grace” episode. Lol.

Rabs

So I finally stopped off at a well-hidden UPS drop-off box on my way to work this morning (grrr) to send off the return and the blabbin’ fraggin box wouldn’t fit! I tried every possible angle. Now I need to drive out of my way to the UPS store. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Will this ever end?!?! :P

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90

I finally had this tea properly brewed and was very happy with the results. The mentholness is just hinted at in the smell and is nowhere in the taste. Instead there is quite a bit of floral coming through that hadn’t before. I don’t know if this is a result of scooping out a different amount of jasmine pearls or what, but me likey. The Cancer Fighting Lavender is still my favorite, but I’ve bumped this one up from a 75. NE

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
356 tasting notes

I was uber-excited to receive the swap package that Jessica had sent to me. I’d only requested one tea and wanted to be surprised by the rest. When I saw this particular tea this was my reaction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeqZpbuZlqI

Only I’m nowhere as awesome or talented as Simon Pegg. Why was I so excited? Well, it’s one of Ewa’s favorites and I’ve also never had a Teavana tea before. Double-curiosity killed two cats?

It’s really quite nummy! I’d probably rate it a lot higher and put it on my shopping list if I hadn’t had Leland Tea Co’s Bogart. This is like an almost-realized version of Bogart. This is still super-almondy-cinnamony-yummy, but without the snickerdoodle oomph. I’m thoroughly enjoying my first cup and can’t wait for the second. Ultimately it gets two thumbs up from me, but I won’t be purchasing more. Thank you so much Jessica for letting me try this! NE

ETA: bumped up the rating by 2 points due to super-yummy aftertaste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
mpierce87

Sounds like I’ll have to add Bogart to my shopping list!

Ewa

Yep, same for me. Like Almond Biscotti only more? sounds YUM.

Rabs

Bogart’s sooo yummy. I looked Bogart up again and was surprised to see that it’s hazelnuts and not almonds since I’m typically a bigger almond fan than hazelnut fan. Both are NOM! but yeah, I think that Bogart’s more aggressive with the nom-factor. :)

-Jessica-

Glad you liked it! ;-)

Rabs

Me too! I’m looking forward to having another pot :) I’m also looking forward to having more of your samples — I’ve been a little less adventurous as of late, but that’s gotta change!

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70
drank Petrushka by Kusmi Tea
356 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act V scene 1

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
King Lear, Act I scene 1

I chose not to look up this tea’s ingredients when I pulled this teabag out of the box. I didn’t even really smell the bag itself until after it steeped. The smell surprised me quite a bit. It reminded me of Bigelow’s Constant Comment only more subtly orange. Even as a bagged version (I’m still blown away by Kusmi’s bags) it’s still complex, but I have a feeling that its complexity is muted. I get the orange, the sweetness of vanilla, and hints of almond and spices. This one also moves to the forefront of “bagged teas I’d like to have on hand.”

I was a giant “Errr…” when it came to where in Shakespeare’s cannon this tea would fit. I was pleasantly surprised at how pleasant it was. It was an honest upfront sort of tea with a bit of what Morgana calls the “French Thing.” Aha! Honesty and even a little bit of French: Cordelia from King Lear! She’s honest, doesn’t play silly games, and eventually marries the King of France before being executed. Er, she sort of sets off the whole tragedy…

But this tea isn’t a tragedy! Hooray! So perhaps Cordelia isn’t the perfect embodiment of this tea, but it’s close enough. NE

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

I finally cold brewed this tea and I’m a wee bit disappointed. It flattens out and tastes like a bit of cherry added to a rooibos. I’d guess that hot brewed is the way to go with this blend. I’d give the cold brewed version a 70. It’s still yummy, but no TG for this tea. NE

Preparation
Iced
Ricky

Cold brewed? I wonder if hot brewing it then letting it cool would work better.

Rabs

I totally agree with you. I sorta tried to say that in the note, but now I realize how it reads. It’s supposed to be “I guess hot brewed iced tea is the way to go with this blend.” Yes, I’m goober ;)

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75
drank Divine Temple by Georgia Tea Company
356 tasting notes

I have both Daniel Mann and Jessica to thank for samples of this. Due to Jessica’s generosity I will be able to try this as a cold-brewed iced tea and that prospect quite excites me.

I hadn’t looked up this tea prior to drinking it, but I could tell that it was quite a mixture of both teas and fruit both visually and fragrance-wise. Little did I know how extensive the ingredient list was — it’s very very extensive. I’m quite impressed with how well Georgia Tea Company pulls this off. With that many ingredients I would think that this tea would be a trainwreck. But it’s not. The different teas blend up into a very unique taste. I can’t really pick out the individual fruits — it’s more like a liquid fruit salad. It reminds me of something, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is. Overall it’s quite refreshing.

I’m thinking that if no other tea company has coined this term, then GTC should market some of these teas (like this and Pomegranate Fruit) as “confettea.” I’m still leaning toward the Cancer Fighting Lavendar tea as my “confettea” of choice, but I’m quite curious to see how this tea’s taste will morph as a cold brew. NE

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Proud all-around nerd, crafter, and brand-new Assistant Library Director. Give me an engrossing book and a wonderful cup of tea and I’m in heaven.

After being a barista for almost a decade it wasn’t until 2010 that I discovered loose leaf tea. Now I’m hooked.

How I use Steepster has been evolving since I joined. Yes, I use it for my personal “to buy or not to buy” info, but I’m enough of a goofball that I hope it can amuse others more often than not.

I’ve also started to become anal about my tea (times and temps). That’s surprised me. I finally realized that I should respect the leaves like I used to respect the beans. I also take my tea plain unless otherwise noted.

There’s really nothing remarkable or noteworthy of how I rate teas. I do take it a tiny further step to help clarify the muddled middle grounds for myself. TG is a definite repurchase. Anything below that is less and less likely.

TG=Teagasm
NE=Nice Enough
M=Meh
GA=Gods-Awful

Location

Midwest, USA

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