297 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Chocolate Energy Tea
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.
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
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.
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.