283 Tasting Notes

75
drank Keemun by t, an urban teahouse
283 tasting notes

I brought this into work to replace the Chocolate Energy Tea that I used up yesterday. I brewed it in my ForLife brewing mug. This time, I am catching the smokiness that didn’t come out the last time. Not as much malt or cocoa, but I like the basicness of it. I think this will make a decent work tea. And hey, the cupboard at home continues to get roomier!

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I mixed the last of the Chocolate Energy Tea by Tea Man with a little bit of Twinings loose Earl Grey. I wasn’t sure it would taste decent, but there wasn’t enough of the Chocolate to brew by itself. It’s actually not bad. The chocolate is pretty strong, so it actually muted the bergamot, if you can believe that!

So that clears out a tin in my drawer at work; I need to figure out what to bring in to replace it. Probably the Harney & Sons holiday tea. That should be fairly quick to run through since it’s a bagged tea.

Just one more day in the office this week, then a work-from-home day, and then a LONG WEEKEND! YAY!

One of the projects I want to tackle this week is to re-inventory my tea cabinet, and start making up a list of what to restock and what to look for come September.

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backlog – tried to review this on Sunday, but Steepster was down.

I ripped open the packet and took a sniff… asparagus? This definitely is more like a green tea than a black tea. Brewed it up, still smells like a vegetable garden.

Seemed a bit light, but maybe I just don’t get along with Darjeelings. I’ve never had one I really liked :( I will probably give the second packet away to my tea-loving coworker.

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drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
283 tasting notes

Yay! One more tea gone! Technically two, but I’m not sure the second was listed in my cupboard. Will check that.

Brewed the last of this up with my oatmeal this morning. It looked like there might not be quite enough, so I dumped in the teensy bit of Masala Chai I had in a small tin. Not sure if that was Adagio or a different chai. But at any rate, that’s two tins empty now! Yay!

Mixing it with a masala chai is pretty good. I like it more than by itself. The coconut and lemongrass are still there, just a hint, and it makes it a masala with some difference to it. They should sell it this way! :)

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drank Night Time by Pukka
283 tasting notes

I picked this up in England, and I think I only had one cup of it while I was there. I wasn’t quite ready to head off to bed yet, I wanted to organize my studio for a couple of minutes, but didn’t want anything with caffeine. I found this in the cupboard and decided to give it another try.

Initially, I don’t like it that much – it’s overly sweet, and I didn’t add anything to the tea. I think it’s from the licorice root, but I’m not sure. After a few sips, I get used to it somewhat though, and it doesn’t seem as bad. I don’t really taste the lavender though.

I’m still not sure if I like it. It could maybe do with some mint, but that might not be good in a sleep promoting tea. Maybe it’s the chamomile that I am not liking – I’ve never been much of a fan.

I am sleepy though, so I’m going to head off to my bed.

Good night, Steepster!

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drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
283 tasting notes

Trying to polish off an old sample. I still have one more teaspoon of it left and then the tin will be empty. Yay!

I made an Amy’s Pad Thai in the microwave for dinner and figured a Thai Chai might go well with it. Not really. A green tea would have been a better match, or something I could make into a Thai tea type concoction.

I don’t usually like coconut but this isn’t bad.

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drank Earl Grey by Steepster
283 tasting notes

I got my last Steepster Select box for the summer a few days ago… I think. This week is a blur. Hubs had surgery on Tuesday to fix his deviated septum. So I’m a little out of it on what events happened when since about last Thursday :D

This Select box confused me a bit – I think they consolidated the samples into 1 packet each instead of 2, as all the packets are fatter and this one definitely had enough for 2 servings. But it was a bit disconcerting to have half the number of packets expected and no mention in the box of the change. No email notice of it either, and Steepster kept going down so I couldn’t even check the forums for any mention of it.

I am having a pot of this with my morning oatmeal. Not a great match, but not as bad as another EG might be. It’s not as heavy on the bergamot as most EGs, and the lemon is pretty light too – I hate when tea tastes like I got smacked in the face with a can of Lemon Pledge.

I tend to think of EG as an aggressive flavor. It’s very “HEY! I’M EARL GREY!” and this isn’t doing that; it’s very understated. The volume is turned down to a 5 or so instead of an 8. In comparison, Lapsang Souchong is generally a 9. 10 is reserved for really obnoxious flavored teas, and 11 is for industrial accidents.

I am pretty burned out on Earl Greys though, so it’s not something I would order. But it’s good as far as EGs go, and I would recommend it to someone who wants a light EG.

CK

I didn’t realize the change with the packets till I read your note… yeah, I’m not too observant. I went back to look and then realized that’s why it was horrible. I’d just chucked the whole packet into the filter cup. :( Thanks for the help!

Skulleigh

Oh no! I’m sorry you put it all in at once! You’re welcome, though. I really do wish they had stuck in a note about it, if I hadn’t been paying attention I could very well see myself doing the same thing. Not to mention that now I have to keep the packets straight between which ones came in this box, and the ones I have left over from previous boxes!

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Buy Nothing Summer Stash-down Time!

The only other flowering tea I have had was Numi from a gift set that I bought on sale for the glass pot it came with :D Those were pretty unimpressive and downright tasteless.

This I received as a sample awhile back in my Mandala order. I am on a mission this summer to try and reduce the amount of stash in my cupboard to make way for new and awesome things to try in the fall. So it is time for finally try this tea!

There were 7 cones in the little zip bag, but no instructions. I googled up a review from Oolong Owl that mentioned 2 cones in 6oz of water. My little pot is like 14 or 16 oz, so I went with 3. 2 would have been plenty.

Plain, the tea is a pretty basic black tea. It steeps pretty dark, so the “flowers” are not that viewable – spiky balls dimly viewed in the murky light of this stormy day. It reminds me of lakeweed, and I looked for magical merfolk, but nothing seems to be swimming around.

Sweetened, the tea livens up a bit, and is pretty good. After a small plain cup, and a small sweetened one, I made a latte with the last of the first pot. It’s acceptable, but not something that makes me sit up and take notice.

I’m brewing a second pot now to see if the leaves have anything left in them. I should have heated the water again though. I suspect the kettle cooled too much.

It’s not a bad tea or anything, but not something that would impress me to order it as a loose tea. And I like my little luxuries, but the idea of someone working to form tea leaves into a tiny flower by sewing them by hand seems like a ludicrous activity, the ultimate in ridiculous decadence. I’m not sure that makes sense when I’m drinking things that get hand picked but it just seems like it crosses some line in my mind.

So I’ll use these, and they are kind of fun, but I am not going to seek out flowering teas.

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85
drank English Breakfast by Steepster
283 tasting notes

Brewed up my second packet for brunch in my small white teapot.

I really enjoyed it, it’s got a nice caramel taste. I would definitely welcome a tin of it in my cupboard.

I am sad that it’s gone. It’s one of my favorites from the two Steepster select boxes I’ve received so far.

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity

Skulleigh

It is, but I am on a self-imposed buying fast until September. We’ll see if there’s any left by then :)

Tea Pet

Hehe! I completely understand… I buy far too much tea and keep contemplating a buying fast as well!

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Buy Nothing Summer sip-down!

This is sample that I’ve had in my stash for awhile. The sun is down and the AC can finally keep up, so it’s finally a comfortable temperature inside to enjoy a pot of tea with my microwave Pad Thai.

When I opened the little zip bag the sample came in, I swear I caught a whiff of dill. But I think my sniffer is out of whack today – when the husbeast was heating chilli in the microwave, it, disgustingly, smelled like someone ran a marathon and was drenched in sweat. Ugh.

Brewed the tea in my small teapot I use for greens. It’s ceramic, and doesn’t absorb scents, but I have certain rituals, you see. :) Green teas get the Asian pot and cup set, black teas get the Brown Betty or my small white pot.

The brewed tea is nice and mild, slightly grassy, but not astringent in the first cup. There’s a bit of a sweet scent to it as well. My second cup is a little more astringent, but quite good.

I would enjoy this with some good sushi, like an avocado roll, or maybe a Philly roll. Something simple. Oh, or some veggie tempura.

Third cup – no increase in astringency. Still nice and mild. Not a lot of unique flavor to it, but
a good “green tea” flavor – I’m not getting “buttery” or the other adjectives tied onto the other reviews, but it’s got the flavor I associate with generic “green tea” but better. So quality basic green tea.

This is good, but not something that stands out to me. Not something I would order. But I’m glad to try it, and I’m enjoying this pot.

Skulleigh

PS: I don’t know what Mandala’s logo is supposed to be, but I see an avocado. This may only be an indication of my utter love affair with avocado. Mmmmm… avocado…

Sarsonator

That logo is definitely an avocado. :)

Skulleigh

Mmmm… avocado….

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Bio

When I was a very young child, I swallowed an ice cube whole. It got stuck in my throat, and my mother had me drink hot tea to melt it away. That started a love affair with tea that has never abated.

I dabbled with Celestial Seasonings and other grocery store teabags for awhile, in my young and foolish days. But a few years ago, I received a tea of the month subscription from Adagio, and I found that there was a whole other world of tea out there that I had never experienced.

I love drinking tea, and I love the personal ceremony of making a glass or pot of tea for myself. It’s like a meditation.

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DFW, Texas

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