295 Tasting Notes

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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drank Chai Green by Stash Tea Company
295 tasting notes

Moved onto this from the break room after dumping the rooibus. I dislike Stash’s black chai, but thought I would give it a whirl anyway. The box recommend milk, which seems weird to me – I don’t usually put milk in green teas. Brewed it up, sweetened it and creamed it… it tastes… smokey? I don’t recall drinking a Dragonwell before. Is it generally smokey? The other reviews don’t mention it. Maybe it’s the clove I’m getting?

Hmm… not great, but drinkable.

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drank Kiwi Lime Ginger by Tea Forte
295 tasting notes

Augh! Sneaky rooibus strikes again. There’s a mixed box of Tea Forte bags in the breakroom at work, and I thought Kiwi Lime Ginger sounded just the thing for my scratchy throat. Brewed it up, sat down and took a sniff. Nice, very fruity… not really a tea smell… hey wait, is this not a green? I brought it up here, and saw the dreaded Word. Rooibus. Grabbed the little box each bag comes in… it just says “organic herbal tea / naturally caffeine free” D’oh! dumps tea Dangit :( I don’t know why I assumed it would be a green.

Without Steepster to save me, I would have drank it and had an unpleasant surprise when the stomach cramps set in! Thanks Steepster!

Not rating it, since it might be a perfectly lovely tea – I actually like the taste of rooibus, just not its effects on my stomach!


weird, I thought rooibos was supposed to be good for your stomach. Not in your case, evidently!


Yup, it’s one of the purported benefits… but not for moi. I get stomach aches and cramps. Which makes me sad since people seem to want to put it in half the herbal blends these days.

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I brought some souvenir tins of tea back from England. Two of them are adorable retro WW1 tins with graphics about tea rationing on them. I opened one of those up this morning and brewed up a cup. I am pleasantly surprised – it’s quite good, and I was expecting crap since it was a fairly inexpensive tourist trinket.

You can see the tins I got here: http://www.newenglishteas.com/memorabilia.html

The box says the tea is sourced ethically, which if true, makes me happy.

With cream and sweetener, it smells nice, tastes a bit malty, and isn’t bitter.

Thumbs up! If you are in the UK, want a fun souvenir for yourself or a loved one, I think the tea rations tins are a good choice.

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drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
295 tasting notes

Polished this envelope off tonight. Definitely had this more than once, but only managed to review it one other time. I liked it, but I don’t know if I liked it more than Adagio’s black pearls – I don’t think it was as cocoa-y. Still good tea though.

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drank English Breakfast by Steepster
295 tasting notes

I am back from England! Trying to get my body back on Central Timezone instead of Greenwich, so after powering through to at least 8:30 pm before sleeping when I woke up a little after 5 am I decided to go ahead and get up, as that’s only a bit earlier than my normal waking time here.

My Steepster select box came while I was gone, and I thought that trying an English Breakfast was a good way to ease back into being home. Now, I don’t generally like English Breakfast teas that I have been able to get in the states – and I only had a couple in the UK, which where fairly nondescript – but this one is REALLY GOOD. No bitterness that I normally associate with E.B. obtained in the US. It’s malty, which is the Assam, and I taste the carmelized fruit that’s on the description. It’s somewhat dry, but not astringent, which I like. I used sweetener and half&half, and this is a nice gentle morning cuppa to wake before the sun.

That’s part of the weirdness of being back after a fairly long trip – I think I mentioned before that the sky starts getting light before 4 am in Windsor? Here’s it’s almost 6 and it’s only just starting to lighten. That’s a readjustment that’s going to take some getting used to.

Now I am on the second steeping, which was steeping while I drank the first, with the same water from the kettle, which was below boiling. It’s a little bit brisker, not as sweet and caramel-y, but certainly not bad. Still a bit fruity.

Third: Hmm… caramel is back, but there’s a soapy quality. I would recommend sticking with two steeps. The attempt at a 4th was barely colored water.

Overall: Thumbs way up. I really enjoyed the first steeping, and the second was good as well. I would be willing to make a place for this in my cupboard.

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drank Chai by Teapigs
295 tasting notes

I don’t know if it’s just that tea after a long walk in the chilly rain is good, but right now this is the BEST tea I have had so far in the UK! We needed a couple of things for the flat, so I decided to walk to the big Tesco. It took longer than I thought it would, and the day is grey, chilly, and rainy. I got two of the items I needed, forgot one (d’oh!), and added this and a couple of other items to my basket as well. Trudged home like a local with my bags on my arm – very tempted to get one of those wheeled shopping carts I have seen the older ladies with.

Anyway… Got home and brewed up a cup, immediately followed by another. I am now warm and dry and still enjoying it immensely. Very smooth, not overwhelmingly spicy.

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Another tea from the stash in the flat. Not too bad. Drinkable, but not fantastic. I might still buy some if I see one in a store that comes in one of the elephant tins. Alas, the box in the flat is mere cardboard.

Going to take it easy today. After walking a total of 24 miles over the last three days, I have a blister that covers the bottom of one of my toes. Slow going today.

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drank Lady Grey by Twinings
295 tasting notes

Yeah, yeah, I can get this in the States, but we were grocery shopping in Tesco and I wanted to make sure I had an acceptable tea in the morning. That was before the electric circuit for the power sockets went out in the flat. We had to wait for the landlord to pop in and fix it the next day! So I had to get a cup of tea in a place in Windsor called Caffe Nero.

But I was able to use the toaster this morning and had breakfast at the flat. I have not had Lady Grey often in the States but this is better than I remember. I think the Brits keep the better tea for themselves and send us the lesser stuff :D it’s pretty good for bagged tea.

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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.


DFW, Texas

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