283 Tasting Notes

88

My “morning” tea (we slept in…). As always, this is a good tea, but never quite as bold as I want in a Keemun. That earthy cocoa-ness is there, but dialed way down.

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85
drank Yame Shincha #3 by Tea Wing
283 tasting notes

Aww, man, I forgot the French press again! I did use it yesterday, and it worked pretty well.

Got this tea in a Steepster box. Trying it at work.
Ripped open the packet and took a sniff… Oooo, it smells good. A little grassy, but sweet.
The packet was so flat before I opened it that I questioned whether it could possibly have enough tea – I understood once I saw it – it looks like tiny pine needles, or grass clippings. Lots of dust coming through my basket. Use a fine basket.

The packet says 175 degrees, and our water dispenser is hotter than that, so I dispensed into another cup, let it sit for a bit, and poured it into my steeping mug.

On steeping, oh, it smells so sweet! Pulled the basket out – it’s hard to judge the color because my cup is green. But it looks pretty cloudy from the really small bits. Also, my coworker has now turned off the overhead lights, so that’s the end of our visual assessment portion of this review :D

Taste: It has a matcha-y bite to it, goes really good with my breakfast pastry-crisp things. I have no desire to sweeten the tea; it’s not exactly sweet itself, but the scent is, and that mixes all in and makes it awesome. Very slight astringency, more on the sides of the tongue.

This is really good, I’m glad I started my morning with this. I am usually a morning is for black cream tea person, but this seems like it will give me some zip for the day. I’m waking up already.

Wheeee!

TheTeaFairy

Happy to know you liked your French press experiment :-)

Skulleigh

Thank you :)

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Chocolate Energy Tea
Tea Man
http://www.etsy.com/listing/162642889/tea-chocolate-energy-loose-leaf-hand

Black tea, yerba mate, chocolate extract

Still working on polishing this off at work. The more I drink it the more I enjoy it though. I think I need to make sure I keep a chocolate tea at work. It’s soothing.

I did find the French press in the top back of the pantry, and pulled it down, intending to bring it to work today… set it on the kitchen island and promptly forgot all about it until I went to make tea at work this morning. Whoops.

TheTeaFairy

I love using the French press for tea, it’s so easy and the leaves can breathe!

Skulleigh

I will probably give it a washup and a trial run tomorrow as I work from home then, so it will be easier to judge how I like using it from there.

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85
drank Laos Black #05 by Steepster
283 tasting notes

Brought my second sample packet from a previous Steepster box into work, and I brewed it this morning. I really should bring a teapot into work. I think these leaves really need a chance to expand, and my cramped work mug is not the implement in which to do it.

The dry leaves smelled heavenly.

I’m not liking it as much this second packet, but it’s really hard to brew a great cup at work, so I don’t fault it. I can still tastes the hints of awesomeness that made me really like the first packet.

Also, I may be grumpy and overly picky this morning. :D
harumph.

Sarsonator

Tea at work is such a PITA! I want my variable temp kettle and all my home equipment, but it’s just not reasonable. The hottest water I can get is 182 degrees. :(

Skulleigh

Yes it is! I have no idea how hot the water even is in our hot water dispenser. I am flying blind! I should report this to HR, this is not a tolerable work environment ;) LOL

Sarsonator

Exactly! I took matters into my own hands and brought a battery operated thermometer. I already have that kind of thing for brewing beer, and I really wanted to know how hot the water gets coming out of the dispenser.

I’ve taken to brewing a variety of whole leaf oolongs grandpa style, since they tend to do well with the 180 range temps, and clean up is super easy.

Skulleigh

I have a jasmine that I used to brew grandpa style a lot, but the tumbler I used was plastic and started making everything taste plastic. So it got tossed. Ick.

I will have to check into a battery op thermometer after my spending fast, and rearrange my work teaware.

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drank Bai Hao Yin Zen by David's Tea
283 tasting notes

I got a sample of this with a DavidsTea order awhile back. I brought it to work last week, and decided to have it this morning. I opened the little packet (I hate the packaging for their loose leaf samples, BTW – I’m always afraid I’m going to get it all over the place trying to rip through the sticker, and ripping the sticker means I can’t read the label while I sip) and turned it into the brewing basket for the cup I use at work.

I took a sniff of the dry loose tea, and confusion sets in – I smell chocolate. I have never had a white tea that smelled of chocolate. Not malty, not cocoa-y – chocolate. I drank a chocolate flavored tea last week – did I not wash out my brewing mug and basket well enough last week?

Next issue – I sweeten black teas more than green or white, so I grabbed two packets of sweetener by habit, and poured them both in. I should have gone with one. It’s too sweet.

And it tastes of chocolate. There are only 3 reviews of this tea, none of them mention chocolate.

There’s a little bit of the vegetal taste I would expect. But there’s that chocolate too. And it’s overly sweet.

I’m so confused.

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68

I am polishing off the last of this today! Added some of their Chai Spice mix to it, and brewed. I used more Zhu Rong than needed to see if it would be stronger. No, not really, but with the chai spice, it’s ok.

But hey, more cupboard room developing! I will have enough room for a super spree when my summer spending fast is over!

Edit: I think this is a lot better as a chai base – the spices bring out the cocoa/malt aspects of the tea. It’s still not a favorite, and I won’t reorder, but it works as a base. If I had more of it left, I would play around with mixing.

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68

This is my second recorded tasting of this. My bag is near empty, so I know I’ve tried it a couple of times.

Smells good, tastes decent, but this tea is just kind of weak and underwhelming. It doesn’t have the body I want from a black tea; which seems weird, as the description calls it “full-bodied” and “rich” and it’s named after a freakin’ warrior queen!

It seems strange that it gets such high reviews and praise and songs in its honor, and I’m left looking at my cup and going “Am I drinking the same tea?”

Now I am on the second and last cup from my little white teapot (it’s probably a 4 serving teapot, but I drink from huge mugs) and it sat and steeped while I drank the first. It’s got an oversteeped taste, it’s a little brisker, but still underwhelming. I would expect this warrior queen to slap the crap outta me at this point, but it’s more like Queen Elizabeth’s royal wave.

Apparently, Zhu Rongs…

(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)

…don’t make a right for me.

(I’m so sorry, but I had to do it…)

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Chocolate Energy Tea
Tea Man
http://www.etsy.com/listing/162642889/tea-chocolate-energy-loose-leaf-hand

Black tea, yerba mate, chocolate extract

Working on polishing this tea off, at work. I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit when drinking, but I detest cleaning out the steeping basket after it’s done. Generally, I dump the basket, and let what’s sticking to it air dry, then it pretty much knocks right out. Then I rinse the basket. This stuff though? The yerba mate CEMENTS to the side of the basket, and it takes actual effort to clean. I’m so lazy :D

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Packet 1 of 2 from the most recent Steepster Select box.

I was unsure this would be good after watching it steep and comparing it to the instruction on the packet – 1.5 minutes and it was still pretty light in color.

The scent reminds me of Milk Oolong, and it mentioned being milky and floral, so I tried it as a latte first – good, but a little insubstantial.

Second steeping, I’m having it without milk and it’s been steeping awhile – better, but not spectacular to me. I’ll try the second packet in a gaiwan, I think, when I have time to spare.

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Yesterday, I made a pot of this for the hubs and I. I had some left in the pot when we were done, so I sweetened it and put it in the fridge. Pulled it out, poured it over ice, and added some lime juice.

It’s really good this way. I wish I had some fresh mint or sage to add to it, I think that would be good.

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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.

Location

DFW, Texas

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