868 Tasting Notes
Dashboard is slow! Here’s a note for you:
I felt like something coffee today, but of course that means a coffee tea. :D Janelle just sent this one over in a package of tea samples I bought! thank you! There were seven whole coffee beans brewing in my mug (they float!) Pu-erh is perfect with coffee, and supposedly there are other flavors here that sound amazing, but I just taste the pu-erh and coffee. The coffee beans remind me why I don’t love coffee, but it completely isn’t the tea… it’s me and my weird taste buds. But I will enjoy this cup anyway… just not as much as if I loved coffee. There certainly is a coffee presence! The pu-erh gives it added depth. Very dark and exactly what I wanted this morning. Very nice! I think David’s pu-erh base is actually nicer than some of the black teas I’ve tried from them (it’s probably the Ceylon I don’t love).
Another headache means bust out the mint teas – and I just happened to get this one the other day, so why not try it? Sadly, I don’t see actual candy cane pieces in this blend (unless I’m really not seeing them)… and the candy cane pieces were the deciding factor in getting this one over the other mint blends from DT. Ah well. It’s delicious anyway. The chocolate fragrance is stronger than the flavor from the creamy chocolate chips, while the cooling mint fragrance is lighter than the definitely present flavor. Excellent combination. I just love chocolate mint teas. (I think this is the third chocolate tea I’ve had in as many days – whoops!) Also, the headache disappeared. I could SWEAR headaches only disappear if I drink mint tea. Otherwise, without mint, sleeping and hoping it is gone by morning is the only way they go away. But this tea made it possible for me to write this tasting note at one in the morning and not be sleeping the headache away.
I had a half cup second steep of this one with two other half cup second steeps at the same time.. and a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie! A little ridiculous but I love tea.
It is getting so impossible to pick a book I want to read in all of the books I already want to read. So many choices and every time I finish a book there are more choices. It seems all of the books I want to read are also very long. Right now, I’m reading Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Shirley’ since it is about Napolean’s time and I also wanted to read ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell’ later on which is also about Napolean’s time.. hopefully the Bronte will inform me a bit more on that… but I just love the Brontes anyway.
Another mix of two blends! The chai blend is from TeaEqualsBliss (where have you been? – haven’t seen you on Steepster for a while!) that I somehow remembered had slippery elm & licorice that would help my sore throat (maybe because the name is BE WELL. haha.) I decided to mix it with Della Terra’s Dubbele Chocolade thanks to TastyBrew.. the one tea she sent me in her awesome package that I’ve actually tried before but I was happy to have more of! Both steeps of this were lovely! When I had this tea before, it was so very chocolatey… probably the tea that was the most chocolate that I’ve tried. But this time around it seems less chocolatey. Maybe it is just the addition of the spices though. I like this chai but it is supposed to help the throat, it also has rooibos in it for some reason. It’d be so much better without rooibos! I loved this one anyway and it seemed to help.
I took the one teabag of this out of the Here’s Hoping teabox while I had it. I didn’t know what to expect with this one! After steeping for a few minutes at boiling, the flavor is nice. The barley reminds me of a lighter flavored genmaicha and the corn added a nice sweetness to it. I didn’t get any bitterness that the description mentions… it’s very light flavored. I probably didn’t steep it long enough. I’m happy to have tried this one!
ETA: Second steep for a much longer brew time tastes like Honey Smacks cereal, less like sweet corn.
Michelle sent a teaspoon of this a while back with her sale. thank you! It sounded lovely! Sadly, the sample doesn’t have much oolong in it. But it did have a ton of chamomile (which I should have figured out before I added it to my mesh infuser.) But the chamomile actually enhances the peach flavor that is like a juicy peach. I wish there had been more oolong though! Butiki’s peach oolong was my favorite oolong I’ve ever tried (though this one wouldn’t have been QUITE the same.) A nice one – I should probably drink chamomile more. I think this is around the fourth tea I’ve tried from The London Tea Room and they have all been delicious.
I had this genius idea of getting four empty tins to put tea samples in. One each for: smoky teas, chai, minty teas, and the fruity teas that smell stronger. Just a bunch of samples in their sandwich bags (or whatever they are in) for each of those four. SO does anyone know where I can buy big empty tins like the bigger ones from Teavana? (Obviously those would be way too expensive, even if they are free, it’s Teavana.) I’d appreciate any help!
A tasting note from Dinosara the other day gave me the idea to mix a smoky tea with a chocolate tea. (And as I’m typing this I just realized that Dinosara sent me one of the teas I used here.) So I took two teas that I didn’t LOVE and made them better. A teaspoon of the chocolate and a Choice Russian Caravan teabag (which are actually really good for a teabag, but they are getting older.) Both of them combined make me like them more! It’s a nice smoky milky chocolate. So so good. The second cup wasn’t as marvelous, but the first one was awesome. Lesson learned: combining teas I don’t LOVE might make them better together (and think of all the flavor combinations!)
I was kind of surprised to see this one in the bestseller sampler. It seems kind of plain and easy for a 52Teas blend.. but what do I know, I’m not a Harry Potter fan. I wanted a tea with licorice in it, since my throat seems a bit sore. I steeped for two-three minutes… 52Teas are always questionable on steep times. Sometimes they work at 45 seconds. I may have let the water cool too long ( a few minutes – I was deciding what I want), since this seems like just a black tea to me. The flavor is too mild to make it special for me. It seemed like the fragrance of the dry leaves was stronger than the flavor. A bit of a root beer, not a noticeable licorice difference on my throat. This reminds me of candy corn which I love more. To be honest, the second cup kind of tasted like wet cupboard (I would imagine anyway… and I’m sure Rowling imagined Butterbeer differently as well!) I wish a different tea was included in the sampler!
This was another one serving sample I removed from Momo’s B teabox…. it seems I’ve been trying many of them lately (probably because they are sipdowns – I tried to take some of the blends out of the box that only one teaspoon left). Darjeelings like this are making me love them more, though this doesn’t have quite the flavor of the favorites I’ve tried recently. It’s light – maybe that is the difference between a first flush and second? I like this one, but it seems less full and complex as the others. It actually seems lemony and there is a bit of fuzziness from the leaves that I don’t love. Darjeelings are certainly diverse though, but I guess every type of tea is. Tough to describe this one!
A big thanks to Terri Harplady! I get to try this one that she included a bit of in the HH teabox. The name is Yunnan but I don’t see much gold color, so it is very dark. The leaves are very big and wiry. Verdant suggests two teaspoons, at boiling starting at one minute.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 2 min
I went for two minutes, since one seemed too light! The flavor seems to be in between Laoshan Black and Zhu Rong, if I remember. It’s very sweet! It’s like caramel! If I hadn’t washed the mug well, I would have thought there was sugar left over. But there is that flavor from Laoshan black that seems dark while still being very light… I can’t seem to describe it any other way. The cup color is light – almost like caramel again. I remember Zhu Rong being sweet, but I think that flavor is darker than this one.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
This cup seems like the flavor isn’t what it should be. I should have followed Verdant’s suggestion (one min first steep, two min second steep). It’s good, but not as good as the first cup. Tough to describe why! It seems like there is an oily texture this time around. I can’t decide if I like this one more or less than Zhu Rong.. I had it a while ago, but I like both better than Laoshan Black. Just not as full flavored as my favorite black teas – though I’m sure my palate is too immature to fully appreciate these teas at this point.
This one is thanks to Nicole! I had read about the East Frisian method of brewing, so I had been waiting until we had cream around to try this one. I spotted some French vanilla cream in the fridge! So for the East Frisian method of brewing, you plop some rock sugar into the bottom of the mug, brew the tea, and slowly lower a spoonful of cream into the top of the mug without stirring it at all! The idea is a creamy top, tea, and a sugary bottom. Yum! Both steeps turned out the so I’ll just talk about the first:
I used Adagio’s amber rock sugar, brewed a teaspoon and a half for four minutes. I wanted to try a sip of tea before adding the cream and it is the perfect tea for adding cream and sugar (which I never do, but makes for a nice occasional treat!) The flavor of the tea isn’t mild, but not too tough either. A nice maltiness… I kind of wish I had drank more before adding the cream. I’m not very talented at adding the cream, it whished everyone in the mug anyway… and seemed to settle to the bottom anyway. The cream/ sugar flavor is very nice, but I feel like it kind of overpowers the tea to the point of wondering how the tea tastes. It’s almost just cream and sugar without any tea. The last gulp was nice, unlike the cream, the sugar stayed on the bottom. No matter how delicious sugar and cream are, I’d rather just drink straight tea to taste the nuances. Otherwise, I’d just be drinking cream and sugar every day. Plain tea is cheaper anyway! :D