1342 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: My original notes for this were in June? Wow.. it seems like it was forever ago. I must have wrote a billion tasting notes since then. Anyway, I’m sipping this again while reading my second favorite internet thingy about books: The Millions Year of Reading: http://www.themillions.com/2012/12/a-year-in-reading-2012.html (My first favorite internet book thingy is the Tournament of Books, but that isn’t until March ( http://www.themorningnews.org/tob ).
Anyway, the second steep seems better than the first this time. But I think I remember liking it better back in June (maybe because my sample package was just opened.. or because I have been spoiled with even more teas since June.. is that even possible? This tea is pretty high up there.) I steeped for four minutes after letting it cool a while. Second steep was just boiled and for five minutes. There doesn’t seem to be any smoke this time, just a solid black tea with malty lingering medium flavor.
I was seeing many reviews for this one from you Steepsterers lately, so I thought I’d dig out one of a couple bags I have around! I haven’t reviewed it somehow! Or had it in a while… It seemed like a good pairing with some pumpkin pie…. my midnight snack. It’s just as good as I remember it and one of my favorite bagged teas. It seems like a combination of Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride — another two favorite bagged teas and my favorites from CS. The steep color is dark. It is creamy! The scent is sweet but it smells sweeter than it tastes. I don’t think splenda is in here to ruin it. GOOD. There is only a slight eggnog flavor (but maybe this teabag is older?) but the rest of the tea doesn’t disappoint, so I don’t think its a big deal. The blend of black and green teas is perfect for not overpowering the flavor. I think that was why they combined the two. I love having only a few cups at the most of so many different teas, that way if I only drink a tea once in a while the rest of it doesn’t go to waste. I’d much rather have more teas in smaller quantities! One bag of this left…
Thank you so much Dinosara for the trade! For some reason I can’t find the steep temps for any of the Georgia Tea Company teas. Not even on their site! Pouring this in the infuser, there are two big ole vanilla chunks! That is rare in a tea… usually it is just “flavoring”. The black tea base is a perfect pair with the vanilla. The silky smooth vanilla with a stronger brisker black tea… the black tea has a full flavor that reminds me why black teas are my favorite, and a bit of astringency to it. The vanilla really lingers. It’s kind of like the ESP Emporium Vanilla Black but I don’t think it has vanilla chunks THIS big.. however I just looked at the pictures and it does have bigger vanilla pieces. I’ll have to try that one again soon to compare. I think I’ve only sipped that one twice in the year that I’ve bought the tea! Yikes. That is why I don’t like having more than two ounces of one tea (except for maybe Earl Grey Creme!) I love this one though!
thank you momo! Another sample! Fruit is one of my favorite things, so of course I love fruity teas. The few cups sample here didn’t look like it had many flowers OR fruit chunks, so I would imagine that would affect the flavor. I steeped for three minutes after letting the water cool way down. It’s good! A nice fresh flavor. I think I can smell peach more than I can taste it. And the kiwi and watermelon seem a bit hidden to me. But the green tea base makes up for it. I had another cup a few weeks ago where either the water was too hot or I steeped too long and the flavor was bitter. The fruit flavor wasn’t any different this time around. I’m glad I waited until I brewed it the correct way to write a review though!
I wanted to try this one quick in case the Cantaloupe & Cream sample stored with this was affecting it. It might be. It did have a slight cantaloupe flavor, like the other samples. Not good! Anyway, I must first mention that I was supposed to steep two teaspoons of this. I didn’t, as it is impossible with my infusers. (I know.. I really need to get a brew basket!) But the tea tastes great anyway. The leaves are black and twisty. I assumed all keemuns are slightly smokey, but this one isn’t. It has a lovely fragrance to it… a bit perfumey in the best way possible. The flavor is a bit sweet. I’m not sure about the mushroom comparison others are making — I’m not a fan of mushrooms! I’d say this is a medium bodied black tea (but again, I didn’t use the correct amount of leaves.) Somehow this is complex yet simple at the same time. I wish I could describe it better! thanks Butiki — I’ve never had a tea from them that wasn’t very high in the ratings from me!
Additional notes: I know I really like a tea when I’m steeping it again a month or two after the last time I had it. I usually have so many choices, that doesn’t happen unless a tea is really calling me! I appreciate momo’s generosity while drinking this one! I love its dark malty molasses-like goodness! I had three great steeps of it. Somehow the first cup was a bit more astringent than the other two, even though I steeped that one less. So good!
thanks again Butiki for these samples! Always appreciated! Guayusa is usually delicious… well guayusa doesn’t really have much of a flavor, does it? But they are nice energy boosts. I assumed this Killer’s Vanilla would be a bit more “killer”. For some reason it is tasting like cantaloupe… didn’t I say that about the last Butiki I tried? I do have a cantaloupe sample with those, so I hope it didn’t affect the other teas. So I’m getting more of a cantaloupe flavor than vanilla. There is an interesting flavor here from the…. oh wait.. I just looked at the description and it is lavender?? How did I miss that? I did add sugar, which Butiki suggested (and I NEVER do that… I added maple syrup to a tea once.) The sugar to me just made the tea tasting more like splenda. Not what I was going for! The second steep didn’t have sugar, and I preferred that one… but that’s just me. This is a good one from Butiki, but honestly I expected more! Especially since I love vanilla teas. But like I said, I’m really hoping the cantaloupe didn’t affect my other samples. Maybe I just don’t like this flavor combo… but it’s still a delicious tea.. it’s Butiki! I don’t think this was a fair review, seeing as how I wasn’t even aware there was lavender. Where were my tastebuds? Another cup for another day…
I sipped this one yesterday (just writing tasting notes now) and I wanted that energy boost from the guayusa for sitting outside with a book.. in December.. at 65 degrees… in NY. Wow. I must say that hours after I drank this, I was hyper! I felt like I could run a marathon. But then again, that also could have been from enjoying the outdoors!
Another generous sample from zentealife.com! They are quickly becoming a favorite! I wanted to try this one because I wanted to try one of their vanilla blends and I knew the flavor profile of a pu-erh is very giving to other flavors it is paired with… I thought the vanilla would be stronger here than with a black tea, for example! Also, I LOVE Zen’s Chocolate Mint Rooibos, surprisingly for the mint (usually not a mint fan.) I steeped for five minutes after waiting a couple minutes after it boiled. The steep color looks like a cuppa coffee! The most interesting thing about this one was seeing the tiny pieces of crushed vanilla bean around the rim of my cup and the slight crunchiness of it in my teeth! Yum! As I expected, the pu-erh is very generous to the flavors. I can smell the pu-erh more than I can taste it. Which is why I think I prefer black teas to pu-erh… I’d rather have that flavor kick of a black tea! But I think I have heard pu-erh has more caffeine? The most prominent is the mint with the vanilla making it taste like a minty ice cream. The little bit of cinnamon flavor helps smooth it out as well. With the second steep, the pu-erh flavor was more present. This is another scrumptious tea from Zen! Any tea fan needs to try zentealife.com. I know as soon as I get some tea moola, they will be the next tea company I order from.
I’ve been spoiled with samples lately! I love oolong, so I appreciate these samples. The dry leaves here smell like SPINACH. I don’t mind it.. I eat enough of it! The steep color is a bright yellow. I let the water cool for quite a bit and steeped for 45 seconds. The taste is lovely! The flavor maintains a bit of that spinach flavor, but I’d say the dry leaves smelled more like spinach than the tea itself tastes like spinach. But it’s like spinach that is buttery and slightly sweet and also a tiny-tad-hint of spice, very silky… it really lingers. I’d say this oolong has more of a vegetal flavor that the usual floral.
But oh no! I just looked at the description and this was the tea that was the milk oolong. I had David’s milk oolong a few weeks ago and this definitely doesn’t taste like that one. The David’s was distinctly milky. This one is just buttery and sweet. I never would have even considered it was the milk oolong if I hadn’t looked at the description!
Second steep: Water was still cooled down a lot // steeped for 50 seconds. This cup is MUCH more like a floral oolong but mostly very peachy! Most of the spinach flavor is gone. I love the evolution of oolong.
Third steep: Water was much closer to boiling // steeped for one minute. I would say this steep is closest to the milk oolong flavor, but that may be because both the spinach and floral/peachy flavors are less distinct. It’s still good!
I think the first steep was my favorite because it was different as a buttery spinach oolong! On my oolong flavor rating scale where one has the lightest and most floral flavor and five has the strongest flavor, this one gets a two. But I think I’ll take a couple points off the rating just for not being what I’d call a milk oolong. A very delicious tea! One of the steeps (or all of them) is bound to be something any oolong fan would love.
thank you yet again, momo! I love genmaichas so this was a nice surprise! I’m the first to review this one? I thought the sencha itself was interesting here, as the leaves are darker, skinnier, and less uniforrm in shape. And of course you’ve got the rice that genmaicha is known for, and a few pieces of the rice have popped to look like popcorn. The steep color after two minutes is a light yellow. The flavor is buttery with a bit of that roasty toasty flavor. The flavor is pretty light. With the second steep, I forgot to take the infuser out… so it went for twelve minutes. But the flavor didn’t get bitter! It was just a little bit more roasty toasty. I like this one, but I feel like the flavor is too light for me, even if it is oversteeped. I love tons of flavor!