1515 Tasting Notes

85
drank Milk Oolong by The Republic of Tea
1515 tasting notes

I was seriously craving this tea last night, but I was so worn out by the weather that I opted to go to bed early instead—at midnight instead of 3am.

Today’s second TOD (teaof the day) had to be this one. (I nearly always start my tea day with a green.) The dried tea smells so fantastically, incredibly rich and sumptuous that I could probably be content just sitting and sniffing it all day. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration.

Once again, I was very pleased with this golden brew, its sweet floral aroma, and luxurious texture. A very good grocery store find indeed!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cheri

I had this tea today, too! It’s a good value for the tea.

sherapop

Yes, Cheri—a rare find at the grocery store and not exorbitantly priced, though it is real tea!

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80

Today’s tetsubin of Teavana Jade Dragon Mao Feng was not quite as good as I recalled from the past. It’s possible that it is losing some flavor—I opened the envelope back in January, and the dried tea does not smell very fragrant anymore.

I’m going to try to sip down all of my already opened packages in view of the absurd level of heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing of late.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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92

Another superfine tetsubin of this superfine Dragon Well from Teavivre. Despite our sweat shop environment in the kitchen today. I’ll definitely be restocking this yummy stuff.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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43
drank Sweet Dreams by Bigelow
1515 tasting notes

I admit to having been spoiled by Harney & Sons’ super fresh and delicious Egyptian Chamomile, but even Pukka Love is a lot better than this Sweet Dreams chamomile blend from Bigelow. It tastes either stale or sour—or perhaps both. Perhaps the mint is old, or perhaps the hibiscus is making the whole mess taste sour. I know that this particular bag is not old, because it came from a new box in my housemate’s cupboard. It’s just not good.

To dump or refrigerate? That is the question.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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74
drank Love by Pukka
1515 tasting notes

Could I really go an entire 24 hours without any tea-esque beverage sipped hot? It almost happened today, because though my top-floor space is fully equipped with an air conditioner (which I grudgingly acquired, though now I am grateful…), the living space downstairs feels like a sweat shop!

My solution: take a shower, and then sit in front of the air conditioning until I feel cold. Now I am sipping a bedtime glass of Pukka Love. This is a decent chamomile blend. I stand by my earlier rating, though I still do not taste much in the way of rose. The chamomile itself is very and tasty, and there is a thickness and slight sweetness to the brew—though nowhere near Tazo Rest, which is more like sugary roses somehow.

I consider Pukka Love to be a successful filterbag because I am pretty sure that this blend would taste about the same brewed from a sachet or perhaps even loose. The bright yellow hue of the liquor is the first clue that the chamomile is fresh.

Love is a genuine like for me.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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60

Like all good middle-class Americans, I’ve consumed my share of Celestial Seasonings Zinger teas, including this one, Raspberry Zinger. For years, I was perfectly satisfied with this company’s many variations on the hibiscus-rosehip theme. Until I encountered Tazo and realized that the Zingers really lacked zing by comparison. I especially found that Tazo Passion occupied a different stratum as far as intensity and quality of flavor were concerned. From then on, I pretty much stopped buying Celestial Seasonings tea, though I do occasionally find some in my house.

Case in point: this four-bag sample pack of Raspberry Zinger, of unknown age and provenance. The dried tea smelled exactly like my memory of this blend, so I brewed it up fully intending to drink it iced. Upon discovering that it was indeed a bit lacking in the flavor department (though I brewed it double strength to pour over ice), I threw a fair amount of True Lime into the mix. Then the iced beverage was more like a strong citrus punch with a bit of raspberry in the background. Pretty thirst quenching, but I won’t be buying it again. If I find any more Celestial Seasoning Zinger bags lying around, I’ll probably deploy the same strategy with them as well. The reason why I brewed this hot rather than cold was because I accidentally boiled too much water while preparing today’s coffee, so I figured Why not?

For those who do not know: True Lime is the miraculously freeze-dried form of lime juice. It is a million times better than the juice in those green plastic limes or in any bottled form. I highly recommend it to those who like to use citrus to flavor iced teas or in cooking. The company also makes True Lemon, True Orange, and True Grapefruit, all of which do truly represent the taste of the respective juice.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Tabby

Hey, I’m not middle-aged but I used to love this tea. Back in the late 90’s I would drink this and watch South Park all the time…

Amaryllis

Ah, red zinger brings me back. It was the only tea I drank as a kid and I rembrer having an odd love hate for it even then. Good times

mj

Around Christmas, Celestial Seasonings puts out a tea called Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. That one is totally worth buying.

Cheri

Where do you get this true lime stuff? It sounds great!

Cheri

I found their website. They don’t carry it at my grocery store I usually shop at, but Kroger has it. I’ll have to grab some when I take my MIL shopping next.

Tamarindel

Wow, True Lime sounds amazing!

sherapop

Cheri & Tamarindel: the citrus powders they sell are truly awesome because they capture the true taste of the juice, unlike Realemon, which seems fake to me. I do recommend! No more forgotten, rotten lemons and limes in the back of my fridge!

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65

I recently had an epiphany about filter bags. Their true destiny, I now see, is to be used for cold brew! I gave away a slew of filter bags when I moved this past spring, but I still seem to have hundreds lingering around, so I’m going to try to use them up this summer for pitchers of iced tea.

Today’s sip-down of sorts was a liter of Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant, prepared last night right before bedtime. It makes a decent pre-sweetened iced green tea. I usually do not add sugar to tea, but the licorice root gently sweetens this brew. I drank the entire pitcher in lieu of my usual big tetsubin of mid-day green. It is simply too hot for anything but iced today.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 12 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML
carol who

I use my tea bags for cold brew also. However, it does seem that they multiply inside the cupboard. Maybe they shouldn’t be left alone in the dark without adult supervision. :D

sherapop

That is so true, carol who! It’s like the opposite of what happens to socks in the dryer! lol

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80
drank Yellow and Blue by Harney & Sons
1515 tasting notes

Turquoise sea turns green
Sun rises white sets citrine
Sky is starlit blue

mj

Oh, a beach haiku! Love it

Cheri

More tea haikus, please! And I was curious, so I had to go look the tea up. Sounds delicious.

sherapop

Thank you for the encouragement, mj and Cheri!

MzPriss

Yes! more please!

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66

I have a few of the muslin sachets of Palais des Thés Thé du Hammam and since I did not awaken until 1pm I figured that drinking green tea at 9pm will simply cement my nocturnal summer schedule. Here I come, 4am…

This may be a case where I’d be happier to see the tea. I certainly did not grasp any of the apparently abundant florality present here: roses, sunflowers, and blue mallow. I really only tasted the green tea (which I do not believe is sencha, in contrast to some reviewers) and the berry flavoring, which seemed somewhat artificial and, what is worse, much louder than the green tea base.

I don’t usually enjoy the taste of sunflowers in tea, so I did not miss it here. I have no idea what blue mallow should taste like, but I love rose and do not really taste or smell it in this blend. I should probably do a second steep, since generally by then the flavor on top subsides, allowing the underlying green tea to reveal some of its character.

Flavors: Berries

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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65

The weather here in Boston has been rather Morrocan of late, so I figured that this would be a good time to try out Kusmi’s version of Morrocan Mint tea. I have had this small tin for a while, but I usually change my mind upon lifting the lid, as the preponderance of spearmint makes me realize that this is not really a good first green of the day choice—at least not for me.

The appearance of the dried tea reminds me of an old can of Republic of Tea Morrocan Mint. I must never have developed a liking for it, because it eventually became so old that I ended up throwing it away when I moved.

Gunpowder green appears to be the tea, and the mint of course is spearmint. This tastes okay, but it’s not my favorite combination. I should get my hands on some straight-up high-grade gunpowder to see whether I like that tea. In the past, I tried some middling versions with left me with a negative impression of the entire genre.

Flavors: Mint

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML
mj

My boyfriend just accepted a job in Boston and will be moving there in September, which means I will be visiting from time to time and will probably move there when I graduate (hopefully next year?). So, we might be neighbors sometime in the future :-)

sherapop

mj: Then we can meet for a tea party! ;-)

mj

Oh fun! A tea party :-)

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Profile

Bio

Effective February 1, 2015, I’ll be writing about tea at my new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves. Please stop by and contribute your ideas—all viewpoints are welcome!


A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

The scent of tea can be just as appealing as—sometimes more than—its taste! Tea also offers boundless visual beauty in its various forms and states of preparation.

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2400+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):

http://sherapop.blogspot.com/

Finally, please note that after a great deal of debate with myself, I have decided to use the cupboard here at Steepster as a “museum” of sorts—to commemorate all of the various teas which I have purchased and truly enjoyed since December 2013.

I do not currently possess all of the teas listed in this cupboard, but am using the function as a way of recording how many times I drank every tea which I did own at some point and wish not to forget. Teas found both in my “cupboard” and on my “wishlist” are those which I did own and intend to restock. Teas best forgotten have been removed from the cupboard once depleted (in some cases tossed…).

I have also decided (beginning in 2015) to use the tasting note function to maintain a chronological record of the teas I’ve consumed since December 15, 2013. Most new reviews will now be posted directly at my blog, sherapop’s tea leaves.

Location

Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Website

http://salondeparfum-sherapop...

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