538 Tasting Notes

1
drank Honey Yuzu by Tea Forte
538 tasting notes

I have to say thank you for Tea Forte for sending me these teas! This is one of two of the last samples that I have from this line.
I must admit that the smell of this scares me. For some reason it smells peppery to me. I don’t know if this was because it picked it up somewhere or if that’s just its nature. I do love honey but honey/lemon flavors remind me of episodes of terrible throat drinks when I was a child. shudder
The brew still smells odd to me. It doesn’t have too much honey flavor for me. In fact for me it just tasted overpowering. I hate giving teas bad reviews but this is not something I would purchase. I was pretty disappointing since the other flavors I sampled were so wonderful. :( sad tea day.

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50
drank Spice of Life by Teavana
538 tasting notes

Today has been so long! I was able to finish a 6 page paper in about four hours. Which overall isn’t too shabby. My last paper went over really well with my teacher so I’m hoping the same will go for this one. I then cuddled up in my jacket and went to the store to shop with my hubby. He’s decided that he wanted healthier food options for work so basket in hand we shopped for wheat bread and plenty of fruits n’ veggies. :) When we finally got to relax I decided to make a cup of this. I actually watched my tea as it brewed this time. I am ghetto brewing my tea still due to the fact that I can’t find any tea ware that fits exactly what I want. So in a regular pan I will warm my water and brew my leaves. It’s not fancy but it works!
The leaves were really quite beautiful to watch and I enjoyed my blissful spacey-ness. This cup smells much more like the spice than the orange that I experienced in my first couple of cups. This second steep of leaf is much more mild than any others that I’ve made. I can almost taste that “cola” flavor someone else mentioned. It’s a decent cup but the time should probably be adjusted next time I do a 2nd steep.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Earl Grey by Staufs Coffee Roasters
538 tasting notes

I received this tea from Angrboda. This was such a surprise! I have only had one other experience with Earl Grey and it wasn’t a pleasant one. The reason I haven’t put a lot of time or effort into sampling this kind of tea is that, although it smells wonderful, much of that is simply gone after you steep it. It may smell like fruit loops, but the stuff tastes like black tea.
With this tea the smell has an after aroma of something..tangy? bitter? I can’t exactly put my finger on it. I was actually lucky in that I checked here for some steeping parameters and mine didn’t turn out bitter or astringent at all. Again, this stuff tastes like the Ceylon base far more than the smell of the leaves should lead me to believe.
The taste is pretty good. If I had to say one black tea that I did like it would be Ceylon. It has that very bread-ish undertone that I’ve come to appreciate. The fruit loop taste is there, at the very very back end of the sip. It’s decent, but I guess maybe Earl Grey and me are just not meant for each other.
I guess the only thing I dislike about tasting this and some other black teas is its ability to make me a bit, hm, how to say this nicely, phlegmy? Something about them make my throat react strangely and really changes the flavor of the tea.
edit after letting this cool significantly the other flavors are starting to come out a bit more. I think that I somewhat enjoy this flavor. I think that next time I’ll try taking it with sugar or milk, something that I am not really used to doing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I won a whole pound of this one a while ago. It was a good cause, but I don’t really care much for EG, so there is just no way I can get through a whole pound on my own. That’s why it’s currently a standard inclusion whenever I send other teas out. :) I need my Steepsterites to help me use it up. :)

Tamm

Well it was nice for Earl Grey lmao I just think I’ll be sharing it! I just found out that my sister’s husband drinks earl gray every morning; so I see some of this in his future! :p A whole pound is a lot of tea to go through! :O

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80
drank Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate by Teavana
538 tasting notes

Another day, another chapter of homework another cup of tea! I seem to have rolled out of the wrong side of the bed today. Nothing feels right and my head is totally stuffed up. But this seems to be getting me through. The lemon+hibiscus is far stronger tasting to me today. Unlike many other reviewers on this site, I actually enjoy hibiscus. Very tasty and very tart. Perfect for this overly cloudy day.

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95
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
538 tasting notes

I just made a 2nd steep of this and realized something. The base for this must be very similar to the one used for 52 teas’ Pancake Breakfast. It has a burnt sugar flavor and some kind of almost vanilla going on. Very nice. It also somewhat reminds me of the flavor of the buttercream mixed tea I have from Adagio.

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95
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
538 tasting notes

I was able to try this tea due to a very kind gift form Angrboda. :) This is the very first tea from Kusmi I’ve tried. I’m kind of anxious to try the cinnamon that I have on hand since this tea turned out so so well. But I’m having a special tea and pumpkin carving deal in a few days and that’s when I’ll unveil it.
I wasn’t hit as hard as I thought I would with caramel when I smelled the dry leaf. When steeped this stuff is so very smooth. It has a very sweet note to it that is very pleasant. I love how this tea is so, well, mellow. It’s not punching me in the face with flavor like some of the other teas I’ve been tasting recently. But it’s a good thing. It is perfect for warming up on these cold fall mornings.
I’ve not had very much black tea recently because of my sudden interest in mate, but this just brings me back down. It’s calming in a very good way. I especially enjoy something that I’ve come to notice with black tea; the thickness of the flavor. It is almost heavy tasting to me. I don’t know how many other tasters would describe this. But there it is! This elusive quality to not overpower or underwhelm my taste buds.
This is a great tea from Kusmi and would be a great starter into their line. I would be hard pressed to find a friend who didn’t enjoy this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

Yup, it’s my ideal perfect caramel flavoured tea. :) I like that it’s more subtle in the flavouring, so it doesn’t turn cloyingly sweet.
Also, good plan for the cinnamon. Sounds very fitting for the occasion. :)

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drank Sakura Allure by Teavana
538 tasting notes

I’m not going to rate this right now because I’m so on the fence about how I feel about it. It brews an interesting color. An almost gray pink hue. The taste is not instantly cherry, but what cherry there is reminds me of cherry hard candies. Not exactly my favorite. If anyone who sees this is interested in trading I’d gladly switch it for something else. Overall it’s an interesting experience, but not one that I myself am very fond of.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate by Teavana
538 tasting notes

Another tea that I had to try from my local store! The smell is very overwhelming in the store and I was actually a bit afraid of this when I got it home. Before this and the Acai Mateini I had very bad experiences with mate teas. In fact, I hated them. But these two teas really have turned things around for me. I love that they are both tart teas with fruit back up flavors. This is my kind of flavor.
I must say that this would probably blend very well with the Acai Mateini that I mentioned before. I love mate now and noticed that I enjoy the “up” it gives me much more than coffee; which I have never really cared for. This is very tart, but I love tart flavors so this one is a keeper! This would probably be excelent iced. I do appreciate also that it is very sweet tasting w/o having to add extra sugar. I think that this would be the perfect thing for me to keep to remind myself of summer during the upcoming dreadful, dry and wet winter.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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50
drank Spice of Life by Teavana
538 tasting notes

I just got this one tonight! It was a surprise visit to the local store from my awesome husband. This one was something I would have never had picked for myself. But we once again had the friendly salesman and he said that it was one of his favorites.
The liquor is very light on this and the leaves are very beautiful after brewed. I added about 1/2 tsp more than suggested which I think helped boost the flavor. There is very little nut flavor even though I was expecting more. The orange really stand out and reminds me of some kind of Christmas treat. I can’t quite put my finger on what specifically though. There is an underlying warmth in this blend that screams to be mixed with that amazing chai/chai blend. Maybe once I procure some it will be the first thing I try! I actually really enjoy this blend and highly suggest trying it just to get something that I have never tasted in another tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Opus Rouge Rooibos by Teavana
538 tasting notes

I feel that I must write another note for this one. I actually tried this one again but I added about 4 oz more water than I did the first time. This, for me anyways, really helped this not be so overpowering. With this more diluted tea I actually really enjoyed it! This has changed from a tea that I was putting on the back burner to something I’m going to use up quite quickly. Lovely when you get the steep time/amount/temperature correct.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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