164 Tasting Notes
So… we’re finally getting enough sunshine to warm things up a bit around here.. YEah! But we are also starting to see mosquitos and bees. Saturday night we spent some time outside at a friends house and my son got a bunch of mosquito bites… they welt up on him and drive him crazy, poor kid. Then last night when he went to brush his teeth in the bathroom upstairs, a jellow jacket had somehow gotten trapped in the bathroom and stung his finger when he tried to brush it away from his neck. Good thing today is a day off from school or we would have one sleepy kid today! He is feeling better this morning… kept him dosed with Benadryl & Ibuprofen last night. I hope we are done with the bugs for awhile.. I’ve had enough already!
I decided that this was the next SBT I was going to try the last time I looked at making one. I’m still experimenting with steeping these to get the maximum flavor and quantity out of each bag. I’m still not sure about the best method, but felt better about this one, although I wish the flavoring was more intense.
Since I already had a big home made batch of spearmint iced tea in the fridge, I decided to make a half a batch of this. I evened out the amount of tea in the baggie it came in, cut it in half, and put half of it in a tea bag for loose leaf tea. I decided on cold steeping to start with and did so with a 1 quart Mason jar in the fridge all day. I then removed it and hot steeped the bag w/about 1 cup of hot water. The cold steeped batch looked much more like I would expect iced tea to look.. much darker and almost thicker looking. I decided to pour the two together to get the best of both.
I left it unsweetened and added some splenda to my cup and made one for my son. He laughed at the name every time I said it. I have to say that we both enjoyed the flavor of the tea, the banana was there but not overly so… I typically hate! artificial banana! This was drinkable for me. I actually would have preferred more of the flavor because it was only present on the initial sip or two and if I kept drinking I didn’t notice it much anymore until I took a break and came back to it. Next time I use the rest of this I will keep the hot and cold steeps separate to see if one is better than the other.
My son really liked this tea, but I think couldn’t get past the name of it. He drank some of it, but wouldn’t finish his cup. I think next time I’ll just tell him it’s tea and see how it goes. I’ll let him guess the flavor.. such a picky guy he is. He likes bananas but will rarely eat them, and likes banana candy. I told him he must be afraid he will fart bananas if he drinks all that was in his cup… he thinks I’m silly sometimes… Maybe he’s right. :)
I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised that I could tolerate this banana flavoring. I think maybe it worked for me because it wasn’t as intense as banana candies are, but I do still think it would be nice to be a bit stronger. I could taste the flavoring over the tea base, but not by a lot. Thanks so much MissB for sharing this one.. I never would have bought it to try for myself… and again, I am pleasantly surprised. I might have grabbed it to let my son try it at some point just due to the name. Now I know if it’s good enough to grab if we want something different or have some friends coming over that it might be fun to share with them.
I bought this awhile back when I came across the site and found this blend 50% off. I love Della Terra’s version, so at 50% off I thought I would give this a try and see how they compare.
This one is very much like DTT blend, but is lacking a bit of the flavor somehow. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I feel like it’s missing something. I do notice that a resteep of this blend doesn’t yield as nice of a cup as the DTT version, which I was doing because I was hoarding my last bit of it.. now I can sip it down :) This is still a nice cup and I might venture to grab it again sometime if I find it at a great discount again.
With this I get a nice flavor that makes you think buttery cake. I don’t know if I would think pineapple so much w/o knowing the name of this one, although I can kind of imagine it. I gave some of this to my now 9 year old, he’s growing way too fast!, and told him it was “upside down cake” flavored tea and he really liked it. If I had said pineapple he would have declined…that’s his typical take on fruit, unless your talking about orange soda. :(
Flavors: Butter, Pastries
Ok… so I’m attempting some sip downs of some samples I got early on in my loose leaf tea discovery since Nov last year. I ordered a sample bag from Janelle and this has been sitting in my sample box since it arrived. I have to admit that I have picked it up a few times and smelled it, only to be reminded of a sorry ice cream treat I had one time many years ago… and toothpaste.
When I was a kid it was a real treat to go get ice cream anywhere. While I was on vacation with my family one time, I think I was 6 or 7, we went to Dairy Queen and we were allowed to pick a small sundae. Curiosity got me and I tried the Creme de Menthe … I don’t know what I thought it would be, but it looked like they squirted gel toothpaste all over my ice cream treat and tasted much like it to me too.
I have to say I was a bit surprised when I steeped this one up by the color. For some reason I had in mind that this was a green tea blend, but I hadn’t looked here for a description yet either.
I was pleasantly surprised that this didn’t carry the same flavor for me as the smell had evoked… it wasn’t toothpaste, but mint & spice. I did see the cinnamon pieces when I measured it out for my cup so was expecting that. Now that I’ve read the description, I do get a bit of licorice and maybe the vanilla if I try. But being that I thought this was a green and steeped it at 180, the flavors may react differently than if steeped correctly.. blush.
There is a bit of an oil slick on the top of my cup that I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t notice a a fishy odor or taste that many mentioned, but might be due to my lower temp steep. I do get a dryness in my mouth now that I’ve finished w/the cup.
I do like the idea of the blend. I enjoy most mint teas, but the smell of this one dry leaf just reminds me too much of toothpaste. Vanilla, licorice, cinnamon.. I do like those too and think if I could get past the smell of the dry leaf I would enjoy this one more than I do.
I think I have enough for one more cup to see what comes of this when steeped correctly. I’m wondering after having read some of the other reviews if I didn’t do myself a favor by making the mistake that it did :)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Mint, Vanilla
This one was calling my name this morning. It’s not something I would reach for everyday but I do really like it.
I had stashed it in the small basket Hubby keeps his favorites in and he will tell me to randomly put things in it for him to try. He doesn’t like rifling through the samples I have very often and would rather pick something out quickly. More often he asks me to make something for him and to “surprise” him. Anyway, he had better hurry if he wants to try some of this on his own because I believe there is enough for 1 cup left. I did put it back in his basket, so we’ll see if he drinks it before I go looking for it again.
Today I wanted something black, rich, & different w/o all the added flavors. I do reach for plain once and awhile, although I can’t say that for greens or whites yet (although I’m not sure I’ve tried a plain white). I remembered this being malty & rich with a bit of chocolate. Just as I recalled… still yum with my bit of sugar.
The first cup I added a touch of raw sugar and a splash of milk. The second steep was an oopsie…. major oversteep, but somehow it still came out good w/a touch of sugar. Dare I try for a third steep? I just might have to eek the goodness out of this one :) or poor Hubby will miss out unless I go for an order sometime. Thanks again CelebriTEA for sharing a sampler of this one!
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
Had this again today. One of the few I’ve purchased with out so much as even a sample prior to the order… and it’s green!
When I first started with loose leaf I never thought I would like 2 things… green teas and citrus teas. You, my fellow Steepster friends, have worked your magic and shown me I can enjoy them both :)
Today this was a nice nutty green tea with caramel nummyness, of course with my bit of raw sugar :) I like how this one has the caramel and the nutty notes from the rice that work play nicely with the green base. The green comes through, but not too boldly. This tea is rich and sweet. Not something I would drink every day, but satisfies that occasionaly desire for something with a green base.
Flavors: Caramel, Nuts
I was looking for something caffeine free the other night and couldn’t find anything that really looked good. I wanted something rich, black, green, white, didn’t matter but the decaf blends I have I didn’t want… isn’t that how it works.? I don’t have many herbals so rooibos was the answer.
I’m finally trying to whittle away some of my first samples. I’m so bad about leaving one more cup in each baggie just in case I want to try something again. I have so got to stop doing that! It’s only going to mean undrinkable final cups in the future when I do decide to try them again… and what good is that really?
This is one that I had maybe 2 cups worth left and it at least sounded intriguing. Steeped up it was a nice cinnamon cuppa with a bit of pastry note from the rooibos and if I really looked for it, maybe some of that cream cheese icing that is so yummy when you make them homemade.. .Mmmm. I wish the cinnamon and icing flavors were more prominent, but was glad the rooibos played a helping part in this blend and didn’t come across as woodsy (I mainly notice that in fruit blends I think).
I enjoyed this one, but not sure if I would go out of my way to find it. I certainly wouldn’t turn it down though if it were offered to me. Thanks again MissB for sharing this with me :)
I was looking for something black and orange/bergamot this morning… surprised myself! Never thought I would go for citrus, but here I am.
TeaTiff sent this to me quite awhile back, Thanks!, and I wasn’t crazy about it then.. it was ok but not a favorite, but thought I would give it another try since I still had a bit of a sample left.
I am sooo sooooo terrible about finishing any sample bag, whether I like the tea or not… just terrible! I’m going to have to learn to do it or I will have a whole bunch of little baggies with one lonely little serving left in them. If I like a tea it’s even harder if I know it will be awhile before I would consider an order w/it’s company or if it’s difficult to get. When I see all of your sipdowns I get jealous that I have such a hard time with that. I do think Hubby would welcome more purchased teas in the cupboard if I could manage to get myself to do a better job of it though. Must work on it!
This one is much like I remembered it, maybe a bit better now that I’ve come to enjoy citrus in my tea more. I steeped this a little cooler this time to try and avoid the pepper flavor I got last time I tried it. Although it was less present, it was still there.. although more tolerable. I don’t know if pepper is a flavor I would come to crave in tea, but I have already surprised myself w/citrus. I do love pepper in some of my foods! so who knows?
Flavors: Orange Zest, Peppercorn
Had this one yesterday while considering what to order from Zen. I knew I had a couple of samples and decided maybe it would be good to try them again before I decided on an order. Sadly that cost me both of the freebies they had on their site that were expired.. :(
I have to say that it’s hard to measure, as I’ve found most white teas to be due to the large leaves. This one is a nice mild white tea with a nice sweet toffee flavor that I added a touch of sugar to. Easy to drink and went down fast… :)
When I first started really getting interested in teas early last winter I was only familiar with black and chai teas, and mostly tea bags. It has taken a bit to get used to whites and greens but I do find that I enjoy them more and more.