1371 Tasting Notes

95
drank Shangrila by Tea Licious
1371 tasting notes

Additional notes: sipdown! I really like this one. The green tea is so silky and smooth and maybe a bit creamy.. but it really fits well with the fruity flavors. So fresh! (Even if this sample was a few months away from being two years old, it still tastes the same as it did originally.) One of my favorite green teas (though there hasn’t been many I’ve tried. I’ll miss this sample… I wonder if Tea Licious would like to send me more samples?? I don’t think Tea Licious has enough tasting notes for their teas. hmm

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98
drank Winter Fire by Butiki Teas
1371 tasting notes

Additional notes: Having this one again. My sinuses are bugging me (thanks for yet another fun thing, winter! Why not get dark at 4:30PM when there was hardly any light all day anyway? Or any light for weeks? sigh.) I just LOVE this tea. It is the perfect amount of heat & spiciness. Cinnamon, cayenne, chili peppers! This one might be good mixed with something chocolatey, but I wouldn’t want to ruin how perfect this one already is by adding anything to it. And the guayusa is sure to give me an energy boost!

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64

thanks again for sending this one a while back, TeaEqualsBliss! I waited a while to write a steeping note for this one. I wanted to try it again because the first cup was underwhelming. I guess I expect more flavor for the price! I steeped for 15 minutes at boiling, and I’m not sure there is any caramel or chocolate flavor here. The malty black tea is decent enough, but like I said, underwhelming. But this is why tea swaps are so great: you get to try teas without having to buy whole ounces of it! :D (Also, this may or may not have absorbed the flavor of Adagio’s White Cucumber: they are both in baggies and this one was next to it! I’ll have to move it later today…I was planning on reorganizing anyway!)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
MsWhatsit

I don’t know why they give teas names like this. They’re kind of hard to live up to.

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77

I decided to have this one tonight because I had some sugar cookies to go along with it! I haven’t reviewed this one yet either, though I’ve steeped this many a time. It’s one of my favorite CS teas. Really, this tea should probably be called ‘butter cookie’. It has a delicious buttery flavor, as well as a buttery lemon yellow color to the steep. I’m surprised they aren’t drowning this one in ridiculous amounts of stevia like they have with their unbearable pumpkin blend if they are calling it ‘sugar cookie’. I’m not exactly sure how this is so sweet if they don’t put much or any stevia in it. But it’s good! The name is surely accurate!

Cavocorax

I should give this a try. I need to stop trying to be a tea snob and appreciate that bagged tea can be good too. :p

gmathis

Reaally liking this one, too. The CS pumpkin is bearable if you throw in some plain black to cut that wickedly sweet stevia.

Tea Sipper

gmathis – yeah, I thought about trying to mix a black tea with it.. but I wouldn’t want it to ruin the black tea! I’ll try it sometime though.

Cavocorax – Tea bags can be just as delicious sometimes! :D

Cavocorax

I really like CS’s Gingerbread Spice for evening decaf lattes! I just don’t really spend much time in the tea aisle at grocery stores now so I miss out on some of these!

MsWhatsit

I love this stuff too. Just found out I can order it year round off their website. Happy panda is happy.

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94

A couple I’ve yet to write tasting notes for in my awesome Della Terra order. The little candies here certainly look like pearls! I think they add a bit of sugar sweetness that really helps the fruit flavors in their deliciousness. Because the strawberry and mango here are scrumtious (though the sweet strawberry is more present than the mango). It might just be me, but I think pu-erh has a much subtler flavor than black teas, which really help other flavors in the blend shine. The rose hips add even more refinement, but I’m not sure they added much flavor (I thought they usually taste more like hibiscus, but I might be wrong). They might have helped the fruits taste even better. Not sure. There is no bitterness at all as it cools. Only one of the 16 teas I’ve tried so far from Della Terra is something I wouldn’t care to drink again. Getting so many samples was a BAD idea… now I’ll be dreaming of getting full size pouches of everything! I’ve heard that pu-erh has more caffiene than black teas (and every other sort of tea). Anyone know if this is true?

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80
drank Be Well by Tea Chai Te
1371 tasting notes

thanks TeaEqualsBliss for sending this in a trade a while back. On the site searching for steeping notes, I noticed it mentioned that this was a 1st Place Winner in Oregon’s First State Tea Competition – Sept. 2, 2011. Nice! This seemed to me more of a chai than anything medicinal! The tea looks better than in this picture. There are many colors in the blend! The steep color is a bright orange. The taste is a pretty solid chai… the type not mixed with black tea which is nice sometimes. I like the addition of the licorice… it adds something special! (Even though the tea I had yesterday also had licorice.) Nice and spicy!

MsWhatsit

I love a good licorice chai.

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98

I knew I would love this tea! Yunnan black tea! Vanilla! Belgian dark chocolate! It’s the perfect combination. I would pick dark chocolate over regular chocolate every time (you know… it’s healthier anyway… I have an excuse!) The chocolate pieces look like little shavings from a giant chocolate bar. The black tea itself looks perfect, definitely “midnight” as the leaves are very dark. The steep color is more red than a pitch black cup of tea. After steeping for five minutes, the cup certainly smelled like chocolate! I peeked in my infuser and most of the chocolate pieces had melted away. With another steep at boiling, it should take care of the rest of the chocolate! I think even if there wasn’t chocolate included, this is the type of tea that would taste a bit like chocolate anyway. It’s very malty! It has the perfect mixture of bitter and sweet, both from the tea and both from the chocolate. I don’t mean astringency… there is none of that. The vanilla definitely makes itself known too! This was reminiscent of another tea I had… I just can’t remember which one. It might be my beloved Phoenix Pearls from Zen and maybe something else… So so good. I think I might have to order this one when my sample is gone. I’m so glad I got the chance to pick samples from naturestealeaf.com this time around! thank you! A tea like this just makes my day a little bit better. :D

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

Dang! Added to my shopping list!

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96

thanks so much Naturestealeaf.com for the samples! I loved choosing which samples I wanted this go around. I picked these interesting little green stones because I’ve never seen any tea like this before. This is little oolong bundles wrapped in powdered ginseng and liquorice grass. They reminded me of the rock tumbler toy I had as a kid, where ordinary looking rocks are tossed around in a toy tumbler and out come colorful gems! (I tried to link to an example but it doesn’t seem to be working.) The smell of the leaves is very grassy and oaty. The taste is exactly the same in the best possible way, but after the sip, there is a unique slightly spicy sweetness that is probably mostly the liquorice but might also be an awesome combination of the oolong and the liquorice grass… and maybe the ginseng… not sure what that is supposed to taste like! I wanted to gulp it right down. The steep color was a golden color, but the second cup was much darker. With the second steep, I used just boiled water for five minutes and a ton more of the liquorice flavor made itself known. And much like the rock tumbler toy, the leaves are like little shells with precious oolong inside, the outer coating kind of crumbles apart to reveal the oolong. It’s amazing this tea seems so simple yet is so tasty and addictive! It also looks like there are a ton of health benefits for this one. I can’t wait to try this tea with a brew basket I’m planning on buying after the new year when I have some cash to spare. (It will be a nice excuse for an Upton order!) I think this tea would really benefit with room to stretch out, rather than being crammed in my tea dipper. The oolong leaves were still curled up in my infuser! Very nice choice and the price is great! I’m honored to write the first tasting note for this “gem”. haha.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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83
drank English Breakfast by Element Tea
1371 tasting notes

I needed some black tea this morning! I’m realizing I don’t have many strong, deep flavored black teas in my stash. Zentealife.com’s Phoenix Pearls are an example, but I can’t drink those everyday… I’ll feel spoiled! But those have the flavor profile I’m talking about. Something like the Della Terra black teas have a great base for the awesome DT flavors, but not enough kick that will wake me up. The leaves here are medium sized, dark and dusty. The brew color is deep and dark. I haven’t had many “English breakfasts” so I’m not sure what to compare this to. The flavor is a bit sweet, punchy, spikey, tougher. I love the fragrance. As it cools, there is something marshmallowy about it. But that may be because I was sipping it with some sweet potato pie.. but that didn’t have any marshmallow on it! The next cup will be my last so consider this an advanced sipdown!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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71
drank Oolong Raspberry by ZenTea
1371 tasting notes

thanks again Dinosara for the trade! First, I must mention there are too many tea companies with the word Zen in them. I am getting confused. (But I must also mention that my very favorite is Zentealife.com!) Also, suddenly I have so many oolongs to write tasting notes for! Where did they all come from?
This one is good! The leaves smell like a sweet ripe raspberry (my favorite!) The first steep was three minutes. The raspberry tastes like a raspberry candy, rather than a tart raspberry. The oolong is hiding! I really can’t taste any. With the second steep (at five minutes), somehow the raspberry tastes more genuine, but maybe that is the oolong helping with that. The oolong flavor is much more present this steep. It is very vegetal but sweet. Not very floral or peachy. I’ll have to try this one iced…

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Bio

Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite teas:
teavivre.com
zentealife.com
butikiteas.com
fusionteas.com
theteamerchant.net
steepcityteas.com
bluebirdteaco.com
justea.com
singleoriginteas.com
joysteaspoon.com
dellaterrateas.com
adagio.com
52 Teas – zoomdweebies.com
tealux.ca
goldenmoontea.com
tealiciousllc.com
whisperingpinestea.com
verdanttea.com
steapshoppe.com
thenecessiteas.com
Specialteas

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! I was bored one day and found out that most of them have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
40-65 – Okay
1-40 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. :D

Happy sipping!

Location

USA

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