1523 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: I thought I’d have some of this while reading Pride and Prejudice today. I can’t believe the book is 200 years old this year! Just as Austen isn’t my favorite 19th century writer, this tea isn’t my favorite Adagio blend. If only there were actual blackberries or blackberry flavor, rather than just the leaves! Kind of like how I wish there were more than just marriage and money in Austen’s books, which is why I prefer other 19th century writers. But I thought it was time to give Pride and Prejudice a chance. But the tea does have a nice syrupy sweet flavor. Oversteeping is bad though, with this one. Two minutes!!
thanks again, Starfevre for the trade! I’m not sure why the 52s steep so quickly… I know the typical rooibos/honeybush is supposed to be steeped for at least a few minutes, but I steeped this one for 45 seconds and got a pretty decent flavor. I’m going to try all the 52 teas for 30 seconds from now on and see if I have to steep them longer. I’m not sure if this tastes like strawberry, certainly not much rhubarb, but it does have a nice, sweet flavor.
thanks so much Kasumi no Chajin. for sending a couple of these to try. I really like the idea of a black tea with hazelnut and chai. After a four minute steep, this one isn’t terrible. I’m not sure if it is the spices I am tasting or if there is splenda in this. I hope I haven’t started assuming that all bagged teas have splenda in them. But the flavors in here somehow taste like splenda, which isn’t very appealing if it’s here or not. Obviously it shouldn’t be a problem if you like splenda anyway. Otherwise, I like the toasty hazelnut and spices flavor.
thanks so much for the trade, Starfevre! The leaves here are definitely gold and I did notice a peppery fragrance on the dry leaves before reading about the pepper in the description. After a steep of four minutes, the color looks like a beer (I guess I’ll be saying that a lot now with my new clear mug.) The flavors: pepper, cedar, some kind of stone fruit… maybe plums and something even sweeter than that. I wouldn’t call this one a deep, malty chocolatey Yunnan. It is a very light black tea! Very good… very different! I haven’t really had a tea like this one yet. I really love how different teas can be from each other.
thanks Dinosara for sending some of this! I was hoping this was one of Harney’s smoother black teas, since sometimes they can be astringent, and this one smooth! Very smooth after a four minute steep. A nice chocolate flavor! Kind of like a milky, creamy hot chocolate. There are rose petals in the blend, but not too much flavor from them. I want to try mixing a bit of this with Harney’s Vanilla Comoro decaf sometime! It will make it half decaf, right? Chocolate vanilla! I’m picturing one of those chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream cones (though I prefer the orange/vanilla.)
Dinosara was so nice in sending this one along with a bunch of other nice teas! (It was so thoughtful that you remembered I was looking for this one.. I’m not sure how you did! thanks so much!) I had been checking their site (californiateahouse.com) to order some for months, but they have only been selling it in four ounce packages. I certainly don’t need that much of one tea if I have so many other teas. I was initially interested because someone told be this one was similar to my beloved but extinct SpecialTeas Vienna Winter Green (I had to look though my messages to see who told be about it and it was Mercuryhime — thank you!) So I’m so happy to be able to try this one and see if it is the same!
…And it does seem the same! I asked someone at CTH if it was the same blend and they said “not quite” but this seems pretty close to me. It has all the same ingredients… and man is it a rare list. The steep color is a buttery yellow, just like the flavor. This one really can’t be steeped over two minutes or it will get bitter. Definitely my favorite green tea with such a great mix of toasty, nutty flavors. It is so nice to find a replacement for the SpecialTeas blend! I wonder if their other blends are the same or similar? Hopefully this one will still be there when I need more… and I might even get the four ounces.
The SpecialTeas blend has such a nice Steepster history for me:
1) Nichole sent me some of the Vienna randomly when I first joined Steepster, and it became a surprise favorite for me.
2)Mercuryhime sent me some more of the Vienna when I ran out and also suggested the California Tea House blend, so I knew to look for that one.
3) Dinosara sent me some of the California Tea House blend after remembering I was l was looking for it!
I will never stop being amazed at the kindness and generosity of Steepsters! It is very appreciated!
Additional notes: Not to rain on Ovation’s parade… but I’m pretty sure this is the same as the Yunnan they were selling. The leaves look the same. The flavor tastes the same. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my palate isn’t refined enough. I certainly don’t mind it if they are the same — I love them. But now I have about six ounces of the same tea! I think these two teas being the same would only affect me anyway.. it looks like I’m the only one who bought both!
The first matcha that I’ve tried! Apparently I just found out how matchas are so easily flavored. Some of this was included in a traveling tea box. I had it stored next to a super cinnamon flavored tea in a tiny ziplock. The ziplock was not very high quality and I know there are much better quality ziplocks out there (and I’ll definitely be buying some of those next time!) The only thing I can taste in this is the flavor in the other tea it was stored next to: cinnamon. No gingerbread. I added a bit less than a 1/4 teaspoon to a bit less than 16 ounces of bottled water. (I have no idea if that was the right amount.) The other tea better not be doing that to my other teas… though I have all my cinnamon / chai samples stored together for that reason. At least I learned a lesson about matcha today, but I’ll leave off the rating. I would have much rather have learned about storing matchas properly with the first one I tried, rather than after getting a ton more and finding out the hard way. Let this be a lesson in matcha storing! Because yes, I plan on getting a ton more matchas. I just found out how healthy matcha is! Matcha lowers blood pressure, helps your concentration, has tons of antioxidants, plenty of vitamins, fiber, protein and calcium. That sounds to me like everything healthy! (If I drink matcha regularly, it may just become the healthiest thing I eat — plus it would start making me drink milk more.) The price may seem a bit high compared to some teas, but even tea doesn’t have quite so many health benefits!
Thanks so much Steep City for sending me some samples! Very appreciated! I love the packaging and logo of the samples. This one sounded amazing. With it being the first day of spring and still snowing, I think I’ll try this tea and hopefully be transported to somewhere tropical (spring weather-wise was so early last year!) There was a HUGE mango chunk that fell into my infuser, so they aren’t lying! After a three minute steep, the color is orange hued, almost like the mango itself. The black tea doesn’t overpower the flavors, and there is just enough hibiscus to make this taste perfect. I can always tolerate hibiscus if it is the perfect amount! It definitely tastes like mango, but how couldn’t it with that huge piece? The cup even maintains a bit of starchiness that a mango has. I really like this one! It’s nice if you want a bit of caffeine with a fruity flavor. The second steep is just as good. Very genuine and authentic mango. It’s juicy, refreshing, thirst quenching, and everything I was hoping this tea to be!
Thanks so much Dinosara for sending an awesome package of teas my way! It is definitely appreciated! This one is lovely!
Steep one // 4 min // The steep color is a medium yellow. I can tell just by smelling the cup before I taste it that will have mostly a floral flavor and it does — it’s like a flower shop.. or maybe orchids. There is also a sweetness to it that could rival the milk oolong I had the other day… even though this isn’t a milk oolong. It is so smooth and silky! Definitely one of the better oolongs I’ve tried.
Steep two // 3 min // I think the first cup was better than this one. It is rare that the first cup is the better one! This didn’t have as much of the sweet & floral flavor. It was a bit drying.
Steep three // 4 min // This one oddly tasted more like the first cup, just not as pronounced. I wonder what happened! The longer steep time?
This one is a great oolong!