972 Tasting Notes

80

Mmmmmm. I bought this one based upon reviews. I was looking for a tea that was deep in chocolate flavors, and i think this is it. There are just certain flavors that lend themselves perfectly to a certain type of tea….like grapefruit and white tea, peaches and rooibos, roses and black tea. I think chocolate, the deep dark kind, has found a home in pu erh. This is not your milk chocolate tea….it is dark and coffee like with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange, but wonderful with a little sweetener and milk.

The resteep is not as good, but still pleasant enough to drink.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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77

This will likely be my last tasting note on this one, even though I have several ounces left in my stash. It is one of my absolute favorites, but I have found a replacement that is just as good for much less. I did lower the ratings because overall, it is hard for me to justify recommending this tea to others when there is an alternative out there at a considerable savings. If I could find a redeeming quality about the company’s tiered shipping practices (shipping goes up as you purchase more tea by dollar amount not by ounce weight…this sucks for purchasing more expensive teas) with no set point for free shipping to help offset the cost a little, I would recommend this one, too. Ah, I did think of one perk…they do offer three free samples per order, but once you have sampled all that you are interested in trying, the shipping becomes annoying. The company offers great service, but so do other vendors. I would rather spend my money on more tea than excessive shipping. Practices like theirs just make me look for ways to buy elsewhere.

Onto the tea…good and reliable as always, even on a resteep. The rose is in perfect balance with the black china tea base. Second steep at 5 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

I keep needing to bump the rating down on this one. It is good, but I seem to always want a shot of cocoa powder added. It is like this tea has a personality complex….it does not know if it wants to be tea, hot chocolate, or an herbal infusion. Anyway, with the cocoa, milk, and sweetener added it is pretty pleasing, but on its own it is just good. I think it will be easy to move on to my own version after all.

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77

This one just reminded me of another chocolate chai I had in my stash a while ago. Both are good, but spice teas are actually not my usual choice. The cost of the two is pretty close, so not even a noticeable savings to report. One difference is that the spice level is a bit more subtle in this tea, which is actually a bonus for me. Note to self: If you ever get a craving for chocolate chai, buy this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
972 tasting notes

My 100th tasting note! It is time for a party and a special tea. Marco Polo is a great tea for an indulgent afternoon cuppa. It tastes of strawberries and is lightly floral. The base is perfectly blended to match the flavor. This is definitely one of my teas of indulgence!

Happy 100 to ME!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

Happy 100. :)

Fairyfli

wow that was fast! Congrats on the 100 tastes!

SimplyJenW

I have to admit this has replaced my tea journal….I log what I drink (a few are tastings of the same tea) and some were back-logged from my journal. It adds up fast when you drink about four kinds a day!

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82
drank Golden Monkey by Adagio Teas
972 tasting notes

The afternoon tea of the day. This one is just so easy to drink. It is smooth and slightly sweet. A pleasure.

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86
drank French Vanilla Assam by 52teas
972 tasting notes

My first arrival from 52teas for this flavored black tea loving gal. Yum! The vanilla is complex and completely natural tasting…nothing artificial. And the assam tea is nice and smooth, even to the end. I see why others were begging for this to be in the permanent collection.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Uniquity

Can’t wait for mine to arrive!

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86
drank Chocolate Malt by 52teas
972 tasting notes

This one is pretty good, and definitley unique. Tastes like chocolate malt and honeybush together. I can also smell the chocolate, and the honeybush just makes a sweet and happy base. I sweetened mine and added a small amount of milk. This makes an great evening treat.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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90

Backlogging from yesterday-
I got home from my campout with my Girl Scouts to find a wonderful package from JacquelineM. The first tea on my list to try was this one, as I was planning a small Harney’s order. This tea is a great basic but classy black tea…..the tea equivalent of the little black dress. It goes with anything, and will be prefect on many different occasions. I splurged for a big tin! I think Harney is becoming my favorite tea vendor, but then I have many favorites.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Emperor's Red by Premium Steap
972 tasting notes

Yes, this is as good as they all say it is. I have ever so lightly sweetend mine and plan to resteep. The cup is slightly smokey and incredibly smooth. I do get the faint hint of cocoa. A huge thanks to my ‘dealer’ JacquelineM.

Since my palate is essentially newish to tea, this tea and a few of the other more expensive types make me wonder if premium teas are lost in translation for the newbies. In all honesty, this is very good, but do I really notice a huge difference in comparison to a less expensive variety? Is the difference actually worth the price difference to me? I know there are tea drinkers out there who can very much tell the difference, and the premium teas are definitely worth the expense to them. And we all know, life is too short to drink tea that is just so-so. Still, I may have to look into this a little more for my personal information, and I might even try to get a blog going about it…kind of outlining my deals, splurges, and great values of the tea world.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

That would make a great subject for a blog!

I have my favorites, and some are .10 a cup, and some are .50 a cup when I do the math. There have def been times that I tasted a very expensive tea and was not blown away. There are other times that I would have paid double for a certain tea! I do know that I’m a practical enough person that if I couldn’t tell the difference between two teas, I’d buy the less expensive one, but I am enough of a hedonist that if I could tell the difference, only the more expensive one would do. I would just drink it less often :)

SimplyJenW

I definitely see both sides….and will probably still indulge myself a little every now and then…and then….and then. ( Wait, how many thens? ) I am even thinking I am going to order some Emporer’s Red at some point (the Queen Catherine is already on order!) for research purposes, of course!

SimplyJenW

I have decided that the only bad tea purchase is one that you can’t drink yourself or pass along to a friend who will enjoy it…..

JacquelineM

Yes – I think Queen Catherine is a great example of a very reasonably priced super yummy tea! :) When I fell in love with it, I bought a pound, reducing the cost even further. The other thing is that my local tea shop carries Emperor’s Red, so I don’t have shipping to pay, and the owner overstuffs my bag, gives me an ounce of something to try here and there, etc. so I always feel that even though the tea is expensive, I have other perks around it which add value.

Plus, it’s all an education :) The thing I love about all the trading we do on Steepster is that it helps with the high cost of education :) :) :) Paying back those tea student loans can be a bear! ;)

SimplyJenW

She should stuff your bag at Premium Steap. You are her dealer, afterall! Actually, she is lucky to have such a good customer who is so willing to spread the joy of her teas since samples are not available.

And you are right…it is an education. Luckily, my husband is into beer, so my budget is pretty good for tea!

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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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