Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

956 Tasting Notes

83

Second tea of the morning….. (SRP #22)

This is pretty good. I love coconut teas. I can tell this has a different tea base to the Black Jasmine Cream. This tea base complements the flavor rather than competing with it. I will definitely enjoy what I have in this sample. Sweet and slightly nutty.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Yogini Undefined

Ooh sounds yummy!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Tea of the morning……. (SRP #21)

Initial thoughts: I am undecided on this one. It definitely comes across as jasmine vanilla, but I think the tea base is too smokey (which does not really mean it is all that smokey, just too smokey for this flavor profile.) When I imagined this tea, I imagined the flavor of jasmine and vanilla on a lighter, sweeter black tea base. This one seems a little heavy. In my opinion, jasmine and a heavy black tea base just don’t seamlessly blend on the palate. I taste the distinct flavors. They did do a good job of matching the depth of the jasmine to the vanilla. I might have to play around with the steeping parameters a little. I did go with slightly lower temps on the water just because there is green tea involved in this blend.

Usual mug method with slightly cooler water.

Edit to add: I am going to try adding some jasmine pearls to my Vanilla Black from Harney. I have a feeling that this one will be rehomed. Surprising, because I love the Earl Grey Jasmine Monkey King.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Tea of the afternoon….. (SRP #20)

Yes, new tea samples from a new company for me. New Mexico Tea Company is currently having a free shipping offer until May 31, 2012. I decided to jump on that and try a few things, so I got this, Black Jasmine Cream, Rosie Earl Grey, and a free sample of Coconut Dream. Since I am on a jasmine and Earl Grey kick, these seemed fitting. They offer their teas in 1 oz amounts for sampling, plus 4 ,8, and 16 oz amounts, and they send a free sample that is probably a half ounce of your request. The service was prompt and shipping turnaround was very fast. The samples are packaged in a silver cello bag with a resealable zip closure. So far, I am impressed. I also ordered a round latch tin that will hold about 4 oz. of tea. I like the tin, too.

This tea is Springtime in a cup. There are jasmine notes intermingled with a light bergamot. It is definitely light and airy, floral and lightly citrusy. I definitely like it!

Brewed at about 160 for 2 minutes by the mug method.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

Um, yum?!! That sounds awesome. Since I can’t buy any tea right now my thoughts immediately went to: blend of Empire Tea Services Earl Green, plus some jasmine green tea. Must try that soon!

TeaBrat

I’ll have to find this place the next time I go to New Mexico (one of my favorite vacation spots)!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

Second tea of the morning…..

And I made a whole pot worth. I think it is time for me to come clean. I am well on my way to becoming a serious tea snob. I am reaching a point where the only teas I want to keep in my stash are the more expensive ones. I do have a few bargain loves, but my tastes are evolving into something pricey. Luckily, my husband is a craft beer drinker…..that means my expensive tea is still likely less expensive than his beer. Except that he does not have a stash……

I am pretty sure this tea was my first tea splurge. I bought my first tin a little over a year ago, and I thought I was nuts spending $24 for 4 oz. of tea. Now, it costs even more ($20 for 2 oz) and I am so thankful I did, and someone bought me a spare tin of this for a gift before the price change. I love this one, but I always forget it is back in the back of the cupboard. Notes of dark chocolate, the slightest bit of smoke for complexity, and just oh so smooth. My first true love in a black tea.

Usual teapot method.

I think part of my problem with my stash is that I am always trying to find less expensive versions of tea that I love. Maybe that is not such a great pursuit. By just enjoying the more expensive one, I will have better turnover. By seeking out the bargain, I have a half a tin of expensive tea, and another half a tin of inexpensive tea sitting in my cupboard…. In reality, that sounds like a funny kind of math for cost and space. Yep, I am still learning.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

ha – I know what you mean… :)

Autumn Hearth

Hehe, my husband has a toy collection (action figures) he doesn’t complain so much about the tea, unless its a lot at once, but this weekend when I was talking about getting yixing pots and a gaiwan he asked how many tea pots I had already and I was like really? Especially when I’m talking about the $15-35 range, not a hundred, thus comparable to an action figure. And he has a subscription in addition to buying individual ones, so I’m asking for a Verdant subscription for my birthday. He does like Keemun and British Blends though so I may have to treat him to this sometime. I think he likes to affordability of Upton though for himself and that’s fine.

Bonnie

The key to a happy marriage is equal hobby addictions! Avoid control freaks!

Dinosara

My problem… I’m a fancy tea drinker and a craft beer drinker! Now I just need to become a wine snob to round it out. :P

SimplyJenW

Well, I do love a good porter (current favorite is Breckenridge Vanilla Porter)……but I can usually be happy with a cheap cabernet or shiraz.

Azzrian

I can almost guarantee that tea is cheaper than craft beer in the big scope of things! :)

JacquelineM

I have the unholy trinity.of loving the pricey wine, beer, AND tea! You made me chuckle Dinosara!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Tea of the morning……

I spent part of the weekend making a spreadsheet of my teas in more than sample amounts (over 1 ounce). What a rude awakening. I do seriously have a tea shopping problem. This was one I found buried in the recesses. Now, with the spreadsheet, I have a better idea of what I am replacing and what needs to be consumed to make more space. Such a handy tool.

This is good, but sweet. It was very fun blending my own tea as I got to put in all of the things I thought I would like together. I may blend my own again someday, but for now it is on the exit list.

Usual teapot method with a three minute steep.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I’m chuckling at the spreadsheet thing (and at the need for myself to do the same thing) … cataloging any collection is definitely a sign of addiction! :)
One of my prize possessions is a 5 × 8 notebook of mystery book titles and authors categorized by a dear friend. My bucket list ambition is to check ’em all off!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Tisane of the evening……

I need to get back to curtailing my evening snacking. Somehow, Frank’s honeybush blends always make it easier as they are the best out there. This one is very good. Light chocolate, something creamy, and of course mint. The honeybush base just adds sweetness with a slight woodsy flavor. I definitely prefer honeybush over rooibos.

Teapot method with an 8 minute steep. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Earl Grey by thepuriTea
956 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon……

For some reason this one tastes really good today. I would not call it my favorite Earl Grey because I think it leans slightly too perfumy for me, but it is still good. Even though the price is pretty reasonable by the pound compared to my two other favorites, this is one type of tea where a splurge is worth it to me. Not sure this will make the rebuy list, but it does make an awesome iced tea.

Usual teapot method.

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

Oooooh, I’m curious, what are your other two favorites?

SimplyJenW

For true Earl Grey taste: Lupicia’s Earl Grey, and Steven Smith’s Lord Bergamot. I also love Earl Grey Supreme from Harney & Sons, but it is light on the bergamot, but has a fabulous tea base. I probably drink the Harney the most.

LiberTEAS

LOL you sound like me … Lupicia’s and Steven Smith’s were my two favorites before trying this one. Now that I’ve tried this and also Earl Grey Excelsior from Tealicious Tea, those are my two favorites, but, Lupicia’s and Steven Smith’s are still up there high on the list.

SimplyJenW

@LiberTEAS- See, I did the opposite. thepuriTea was first then Lupicia and then Steven Smith(in the order I tried them). For some reason, this one pales in comparison to the other two for me.

Cheryl

What specific factors cause one to bump up (or down) the other? (both of you, lol) I’m guessing it’s a personal taste thing, so trying to get a better clue as to what each of you prefer in an Earl Grey.

SimplyJenW

I like the bergamot to be bright ant not perfumy, so more orangey, maybe. I also like the tea base to be really good. For this one the bergamot seems a little perfumy. I am wondering how recently LiberTEAS purchased hers…… I wonder if SpecialTeas used to be the supplier for thepuriTea’s flavored teas a while back, and now it is someone else. (The reason I say this is I once had a sample from them that even said SpecialTeas Strawberry. Then there was a huge lull in stock for flavored teas right around that time.)

Cheryl

Thanks. And for you Jen, I’m assuming you lean more towards a strong black, like the Keemums you like or so? Smoky scares me (remember) lol But looked up Liber’s Tealicious one, and that is out of consideration based on price alone. Sounds good though! But my everyday one is only $6.60 for 250g, lol (Upton EGCV).

Dylan Oxford

I’m sorry, did you just say $6.60 for 250g, and it’s your favorite? You’re not missing a zero or something there?

SimplyJenW

Hmm. The ones I drink are not smokey, but they are much pricier than the EGCV from Upton. The base for the Lupicia is a Keemun, but a mild one, and I think the base for Steven Smith is an Assam blend. I say drink what you like!

Cheryl

The Assams I’ve tried have been too strong for me. Haven’t tried Keemun coz of smoky description, but will get around to it (some day, lol).
Dylan … yes … no missing zeros. But keep in mind, I haven’t tried all these other ones mentioned, and I add to it (honey, Coffeemate sweet cream, mmmm). Creamsicle’ish. I could…ummm, should… drink it with just the honey though.

K S

Cheryl you have me beat. My favorite is $6 for 100g. I think I will try the creamer idea once, just to see.

Cheryl

Dylan-Upton has 14 different Earls. Like the chocolate one too. And if one were to order samples, one might want to throw in a sample of Tropical Chai Spice too. Or throw those on a shopping list at least.

Cheryl

KS – Coffeemate’s “Natural Bliss” is good, but the (less natural) Italian Sweet Cream is a bit like sweetened condensed milk in taste (mmmm). Which is your favorite? (oh gosh, sorry Jen, I’m doing it again, lol)

Dinosara

I really do have to try the Lupicia and Steven Smith Earls sometime.

SimplyJenW

Don’t worry, Cheryl. I kind of like that Steepster is a place where we can also discuss tea rather than just reviewing it! You can hijack my tealog anytime!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Chance Combinations by Custom
956 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

I think I would call this more of a Purposeful Combination. I have been wishing for a good jasmine black tea ever since sampling the Jasmine Golden Yunnan at thepuriTea. Kind of like Rosy Earl Grey from Teas Etc. without the rosy or Earl. I tried getting some at Harney, but they are out of stock with no immediate prospects because the recent offerings were not up to Michael Harney’s standard. I would order some from thepuriTea, but the thought of spending $16 for 4 ounces of tea and then another $7.50 for flat rate shipping is a little pricey for me when I know there will be a shipping sale sometime this year. (I did break down and order 100 grams from Dragon Tea House on ebay for about $12 shipped. I have ordered teaware from them before, but it just takes so long to get here….economy shipping from China.) Then I remembered that I likely had something close in my own cupboard.

Jen’s Jasmine Black

I started to prepare a mug (12ish oz.) of Zhi Gong Fu Black (Bailin Gong Fu from TeaVivre is a great sub if you have it), but I also added a scant tsp. of jasmine pearls. This time I used the ones from the Asian Market, but I am guessing any sweet jasmine tea would do. Then I steeped by my usual method for my mug, but at a slightly cooler temp than boiling. The result is very good! It is not as heavily jasmine flavored as the tea from thepuriTea, but it is still very enjoyable. I could probably add a full teaspoon of the jasmine pearls next time. This will be a habit. In a way, I almost like it better than the Jasmine Golden Yunnan, because I could pick my most chocolatey tasting unflavored tea and run with it. Yes, I do get more chocolate and lighter jasmine, but still reminiscent of Cadbury’s Mini-Eggs. I am also thinking the JGY will be taken off the shopping list….. I am so excited that I have three teas for the price of two, and the Frugal Fanny (tm JacquelineM) in me is loving this.

Usual mug method just a little cooler than boiling. Lightly sweetened.

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

This goes on my list of combos to try, definitely!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

Tea of the afternoon……

I bought this one without sampling from TeaVivre in my last order. I love black pearl teas. They are so fun. This one is very similar to my Red Dragon Pearl from thepuriTea, but at a much more reasonable price. If you are buying a pound, they are close, but if you want smaller amounts, thepuriTea charges quite a bit more per ounce and their price per ounce decreases siginificantly with the increase in amount purchased. Also, TeaVivre makes it much easier to get to the level of free shipping which is always a bonus, and usually means I will order more often. It might take a little longer to get a package from China than California for me, but I can usually wait.

The tea is great. I used 6 pearls in my ForLife Tall Tea mug and it came out perfect. The liquid is a dark amber, there are notes of chocolate and malt, and this is just begging for a resteep. Very good, and I am very happy that I just ordered 100 grams, rather than sampling first.

(I did sample a few others, and just to let you know what the packaging looks like….since the samples for sale on the website are 10 grams, they came in 2 small pouches that are well labelled but not resealable. The small pouches are similar to the size of their other samples that come in 5 gram amounts, but the packaging is silver with the TeaVivre logo on it, rather than the individual packs from the tea packer. I also got a free sample of Da Hong Pao.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Looks like I’ll be adding another tea to my Teavivre list. :))

Uniquity

This tea looks sooooo yummy. If/when I place a Teavivre order, this will “fall in” the cart!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Tea of the morning…. (and my daily hard core black)

I picked up some of this on my recent order to Mountain Rose Herbs. The price was very good for an organic and fair trade tea at $4.50 for 4 ounces I was really wanting it for smoking up my Franken Breakfast Blend a little. (And the Assam at a similar price will be used to kick it up a notch….by the time I am done blending, I will be smokin’ and jittery.) I needed to try it on its own, though, just to see how the flavors would blend.

I have to say I was a little apprehensive on trying this as I am not super knowledgeable when it comes to this kind of tea. I have only tried a few varieties. It is not Hu Kwa, but it is very good. Definitely a campfire smell, but the tea itself is smooth and very easy to drink, like Keemun on overdrive. I am not sure a Lapsang noob like me would need anything fancier than this. It has me rethinking my planned purchase of Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon from Upton in the Fall. Yes, when I sweeten this, I get toasted marshmallows….or maybe I should edit that to read the burned torch-like marshmallows that you blow out before you eat them. Is that more accurate, Cheryl? ;)

The packaging is interesting. It is a cute cubical box with some kind of flip top arrangement. Then inside the box is a cello bag with a long free end that is rolled up and secured with tape. I am pretty sure by half way into this, the tape won’t hold much from resticking. I think I will end up transferring to a tin.

The only thing that really bugs me about this company is the price of shipping. It makes it so I can only shop there about once a year. They are in OR and I am in OH. Shipping starts at around $10 and goes up from there. I do like their stance and business practices. I do recommend having your order well thought out before your submit. I have seen online reviews of issues with returns and they do not allow you to change your order once it is submitted.

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

that is not very good customer service! :/
still,sounds deeelish!

SimplyJenW

Yes, it sounds like growing pains. From the reviews it sounds like their CS is hard to reach.

Cheryl

If my marshmallow turned black or even too dark, it got tossed into the fire, lol. Proof that my tastebuds are weird is that marshmallows actually fall into the “too sweet” category for me (turn into rice krispy treats and the pan is unsafe around me though). But yes Jen, more accurate : )

JacquelineM

The shipping is really steep. I justify it by making only 2 or 3 big orders a year, and because I save sooooo much money buying culinary herbs in bulk from them. Also their rosewater is the best I’ve ever used…and their essential oils!

I went and ordered 3 different lapsangs from Teaspring after reading Bonnie’s description of a good one :) I also threw in some Tan Yang Te Ji to try! Just like the Gong Fu Black from Zhi tea, I am already sure it’s going to be good from your description :) I do have sone question – just curious – do they ship it so that you have to sign for your order? I saw that the no signature option was disabled when I ordered, leading me to believe I should expect a little green card instead of my tea, but wasn’t sure.

SimplyJenW

Yep, I had to sign for package from TeaSpring.

SimplyJenW

Oh, and looking forward to your reviews on the organic LS I am assuming you ordered!

Bonnie

If anyone wants to try a couple that I have from my local shop let me know. I like them!

JacquelineM

Yes, I ordered the organic, the smoked, and the Yin Jun Mei Souchong. I will ask my husband’s thoughts – they are all for him. His fave so far is the Lapsang #1 from Harney from all the ones I gave to him so far, so we’ll see. I also ordered the higher grade of the Tan Yang as well as the Tan Yang Te
ji for comparison’s sake.

Bonnie

You will never ever ever ever ever guess what I did with my Lapsang Souchong tonight…..well….I don’t like the smell of my broccoli steaming in the steamer basket (and I had 2 bunches going from Whole Foods)…so I put 2 pinches of …you got it…Lapsang Souchong in the water and….oh WOW…the smell is wonderful and the flavor! So….good! Ya boy!

Dylan Oxford

Man, I just looked at this website… and for me (one state away) the USPS shipping is only about $7. Which is totally made up by a purchase of tea at those prices.

TeaBrat

I really need to try cooking with lapsang…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

Location

Ohio

Following These People