971 Tasting Notes

82

Another tea of the afternoon….. (SRP #4)

This is a sample from a swap with Mercuryhime. I know you suggested cold brewing this, but I have need of warm tea…..

The tea base looks very much like a normal Bai Mu Dan. The strawberry flavoring is light. I am not sure I read much more than strawberry flavored white tea. The overall taste is refreshing. And with a little sweetener, the strawberry really shines. Definitely a good, light tasting cuppa. Perfect for late afternoon.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88

Tea of the afternoon….. (SRP #3……..Sample Reduction Plan)

This one was included in my foodzie box from LiberTEAS. This sample box that she sells on teatra.de.com was a great way to try several kinds of tea from a multitude of vendors for one low price (yes, I am sounding like a commercial, but actually, I am just very happy with the contents!) I have been contemplating an order at Simpson & Vail for some time, but it is always nice to try a few things just to have an idea of the quality offered by a new-to-you vendor.

This is a good one. Light cinnamon, then the notes of chocolate hint, and then a cakey note. I do think the chocolate and cakey notes are somewhat from the flavorings as well as the tea base. The cinnamon still seems very much a part of the tea. It is strong and thick enough that it kind of reminds me of coffee. I do know that if I am ever in the market for flavored tea, I will place an order at Simpson & Vail. Right now, I think I am maxed out for cupboard space until I finish a few things, or several ;).

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Nilgiri FOP by Lupicia
971 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…… (SRP #2…Sample Reduction Plan )

And this is I think the last tea from my Lucky Bag from Lupicia from New Years. I do have to say that the Lucky Bag (actually called a Fukubukro Bag) was a fun introduction to Lupicia, but I am not sure I would do it again. The fact that it is a good introduction kind of defeats the marketing of this bag….You have to be intending to purchase it in order to get one before they sell out. It takes a little planning ahead on a holiday, but then some of us, like me, are tea obsessed. As a result, it did work for me.

This is a very fluffy black. The leaves are pretty big (hence the FOP designation without a B in there!) It kind of reminds me of a ceylon, but not as bready. Kind of like a Chinese congou, but not as chocolatey. There are no hints of smoke, and I would probably just call it a simple black tea. The front does have a slight hint of malt, and the end is very smooth. Yes, simple. I do have just under 50 grams of this, and it might be sorted into the Franken Breakfast Blending Lab (really, just a plastic shoe box sized bin.) It will make a great base tea.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Haha you said Fluffy! I used that term last night writing a review for teareviewblog and thought I was weird for using that term! Nice to know Im not the only weirdo haha

Azzrian

Oh wait maybe you meant the leaves … I was talking about the mouthfeel – guess I am a weirdo alone again SIGH

SimplyJenW

I think fluffy for a mouthfeel is good, too! I might just use that term myself!

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86

New tea of the day…… (AKA SRP #1 in Sample Reduction Plan 2012)

I got this one in my foodzie box from LiberTEAS. I missed out on this when Culinary Teas had it available for a short time in February. I was so glad that Ann was able to include this one in my box.

I get mostly rose tea with a hint of chocolate. It is really very good. I do think I could do with a bit less rose and a bit more chocolate flavor. It is amazing how much this reminds me of Upton’s Rose Congou but with a slightly bigger hint of chocolate. From the description on Steepster, it is a blend of rose tea and chocolate tea. I have Harney’s Valentine blend which is chocolate tea with a hint of rose. Really, I think I would like something in between the two, but I will happily drink this one until it is gone.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LadyLondonderry

This sounds good. I am set for life as far as rose tea goes … Last year I ordered a personalized tin of Rose Congou for a rose-loving friend’s birthday, along with a pouch of it for myself, and a pouch of Panyang Congou (also for me). When I opened up the Panyang Congou, what did I discover but rose petals. I reported this finding to Upton, and they were kind enough to send me another pouch of the PC. And again, what did I find in that one but … yes, more rose petals! At this point I shrugged and decided that there are much worse fates than having the universe relentlessly shower you with rose petals. :-) It was kind of a magical-realism experience in the tea realm.

SimplyJenW

That is a ton of Rose Congou!

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91

You give some away, you get much more in return……

This is the end of my sample of this tea from Batrachoid. I found it in the bottom of my sample bin (which is really three shoebox sized plastic bins) while doing some kind of Spring cleaning (really, let’s be honest that it is more of a Spring ‘shuffling things around’ than actual cleaning!) Some of these samples were purchased, and some were from swaps. If I tried one every day from now until the end of the year, I am not sure I could get through all of them. I think we might call my next sample-palooza A Sample (or three…) A Day Keeps the Stash at Bay, unless you out there can think of something better. How about Climb Sample Mountain……

The mixture of the generosity of my Steepster friends and my obsession with trying just a few more teas has me buried in samples and a few new ones to try. I think I even have a few more samples and certainly some new teas in transit as I type this. Really, it is getting out of hand. I did finally start purchasing most teas in smaller amounts which seems to help a little. I really have to get a handle on my tea. I am to the point where I have to categorize….ones I will finish as iced tea, ones that will be replaced when gone, ones that will be good blenders for my Franken-Breakfast tin, ones that are packaged for travel, etc……. and then the mountain of samples.

Here I sit with this awesome cuppa. I do so appreciate the sharing of this particular tea as it is not available any longer. One day I will probably buy something from this company due to their meticulous attention to detail and awesome packaging. But, it is not this day…… I must press on to be a more efficient and responsible tea drinker and purchaser. It is hard to think of it going to waste, and if I give it away, I end up with more than I started. (You guys are wonderfully generous. Our community here always restores my faith in humanity. I raise this awesome cuppa to you!) :D

Usual mug method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I know the feeling… :)

Cheryl

Heh, and this is another reason for me not to swap. I swapped fragrance samples, and for every 1 sent along to someone, they seemed to multiply worse than bunnies. Nevermind that I don’t operate on samples. If I like it, I want a container, a full-size (could show proof of this in fragrance category). Don’t know why of that … why can’t I be happy/content with a sample for a while? But I feel your pain!!!! Even without swapping, I went through a similar sorting ritual few weekends ago (and feel out of control).

gmathis

Tea samples (much like Legos and Hot Wheels), when placed in a closed cabinet without supervision, mate and multiply. I’m just too sleepy to put an end to the fraternization in the middle of the night :)

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90

Tea of the morning…….

This one is getting close to the bottom of the tin. Too bad I can’t replace it, but there are so many other black teas out there that are also complex and wonderful! In a way, it is a good thing, because it will make room for more tea!

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Tea of the afternoon…..

I have been checking out all of the produce markets in my area, and to my surprise, one of them stocks a few Steven Smith teas. Score! I was so hoping this was among their offerings, because I am a sucker for a good Earl. Or, I guess it is a Lord for this blend! It has been on my list because my picks for Earl Grey seem to line up pretty well with what LiberTEAs likes in an Earl, and this was one of her favorites. This is the first I have had with an Assam in the base. I quite like this. I can tell a good amount of effort was put into this blend so that the bergamot does not overpower the base, nor the bergamot get lost in the heartiness of the tea base. Could it be in my favorites? Quite possibly. And I have 14 more sachets to figure it out! I will have to check out the other Steven Smith teas I can get locally. (Mustard Seed Market for those in the area…)

Travel mug method…..boiling water, about 14 oz, one individually wrapped sachet (unwrapped, of course!), 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened. YUM!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Autumn Hearth

Oh, nice! Will have to make a trip to the Mustard Seed next time I visit my sister.

Dylan Oxford

I just went and looked up this guys website. I like the boxes his tea comes in, how sad is that? I guess sometimes it’s all about presentation…

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88

Tea of the afternoon……

From ScottTeaman. (Thank you!)

I notice fruit notes, and an overall brightness. I knew that Darjeelings were brighter tasting teas than your typical blacks. In a way, I kind of liken this as the un-black tea. You know, kind of like Sprite is the un-cola….. It really is its own category even though I do think it is classified as a black tea.

The fruit notes are of apricots and citrus, and there might be slight floral notes of flowers that are sweet like gardenia. I can enjoy drinking this without additions, which makes me want to investigate Darjeelings further. Thank you, Scott!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec
LadyLondonderry

I have been thinking about making Darjeelings my next black tea to explore, probably during the summer months. Last summer I waded into Ceylons and ended up finding some that I loved, so perhaps there are a few Darjeelings out there with my name on them! (Of course, if I order them from Upton, they’ll definitely have my name on them … ;-))

SimplyJenW

You are so right that Upton is the place for Indian teas. I have heard it is where they really shine. And yes, they can have any name on them that you want! ;)

LadyLondonderry

I read that, too, though I love many of their Chinese teas just as much. Today I received my order with a fresh supply of the organic China Black FOP - I was starting to feel quite deprived without it in my cupboard. Of course, I ordered some Kenilworth Ceylon and Daisajan Assam while I was at it.:)

LadyLondonderry

The system must have done something weird with that last comment, because I certainly didn’t format it with a strike-through in the last sentence!

SimpliciTEA

Surrounding the text with the ‘-’ character does that, as in strikethrough

This post may help http://steepster.com/discuss/1894-how-to-use-text-formatting-symbols-formatting-can-be-fun

LadyLondonderry

Thanks, SimpliciTEA! In this case it was purely accidental, but it’s good to know these formatting tricks. :-)

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88

Tea of the afternoon……

And my last sample to review from Teavivre from my Steepster tasting activity. I do have a few samples of their new teas in my most recent order, so there will be a few more reviews to come. Again, I am very appreciative of this chance, and it has really changed my views on green tea and pu’erh. I was pretty much only a fan of black teas and the occasional oolong prior to this.

I had to try this one a few times before I could really put it into words. The lighter teas are subtle, and they require just a little more time to test. I agree with others that the first scent of the dry leaves is of fresh hay. The leaves are long, very light sage green and covered with a downy fuzz. The brew is a pale yellow. The flavor gives light hints of hay, melon, and cucumber (I agree on this one KS!). I brewed it a second time, and it almost seemed a little bit more intense than the first steep. I did steep a little longer, and I guess the leaves were primed and ready to give up their true flavors. While I am not usually a drinker of white tea, I did like this one enough to order some! Even though it is on the pricey side, the resteepability makes this one within a range I am comfortable spending on a quality tea.

Mug method, 175 water, 2 perfect tsp tea (the entire sample bag), 2 minutes first steep, 3 minutes second steep. No additions.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
K S

makes me nervous to write cucumber notes. It sounds too weird but it tastes sooo good!

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90

Tea of the afternoon…..

I this is the last Teavivre sample I have to taste, but I have one more than this to review. Then I will probably be going through my samples to put an order together. In general, I am thoroughly impressed with the tea I have received from this company. Thank you so much to TeaVivre for the opportunity to try the samples. I know I sound like a broken record, but I greatly appreciate their approach to tea, as well as the quality I can purchase for the price.

Onto the tea. This one is very good. The leaves are green like you would expect with a green oolong. The brew is light yellow with only a hint of green. The vegetal notes are light. There is definitely a hint of butter and a creamy, heavy mouthfeel. Yum. I really like this one. I think I need some soon, but I need to go back to my Tie Guan Yin for a cup just to see how it compares.

Mug method, 2 minutes, 175 degree water. No additions.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

Yeah. I caved and ordered it…..

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Profile

Bio

My motto: Drink the good tea!

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

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