1564 Tasting Notes

drank Ti Kwan Yin by Tea Licious
1564 tasting notes

Additional notes: Sipdown! Yes, it’s a sample. Yes, I’m counting it anyway. This is a couple years old now, but it’s still VERY good. I like that this tea proved that teas are NOT too old after a couple years… at least this one. Some reassurance! I think I appreciate it more that I did before. Tealiciousllc.com says to steep it 3-4 minutes at 205 degrees, but that seems like a bit much for my new knowledge of oolongs. So I did a little experiment and tried it at 30 seconds, took the infuser out and tried a few sips. The flavor was already there. Then I put the infuser back in for another 30 seconds, and the flavor was even deeper. I infused for another 30 seconds and decided to leave the infuser out with this steep, since it almost tasted like a milk oolong.I’m not sure how that is possible… unless maybe this is the sort of oolong that many milk oolongs are based from. The flavor is light, a bit floral and sweet. (So it technically totaled around a minute half.)

Second steep: There were a bunch of oolong crumbs (it was the bottom of thepouch) in the bottom of the cup that were making the first cup bitter, so I poured those out for this cup. Steeped for two and a half minutes. Delicious! More of a peachy and floral flavor!

Third steep: Hotter and 3-4 minutes. This was even stronger and still delicious. I think this has many more good steeps in it. This cup did have a slight drying affect on my mouth though.

It is impossible to ruin this tea, and each second it steeps will give it a completely different flavor. On my new oolong flavor rating scale, this one is a three (1=lightest flavor 5=strongest flavor). It’s interesting how the more tea you drink, the more you know about them.

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thanks so much Dinosara for the trade! This sure smells chocolatey, both in the leaves and steeped. The steep color is a lighter brown, which seems too light for a black tea! It seems to me that Tabott doesn’t have that much flavor. I tried another of their teas before. I actually didn’t want to write a steeping note before giving that one another chance. This one basically tastes just like that one, even if it’s a different flavor. It’s hard to tell if I’m steeping it wrong, since there are no instructions on their site. But this smells more like chocolate than it tastes. The strawberry flavor is just hinted at. It seems there should be more flavor for the price. On the second steep, I used just boiled water and steeped for a LONG time. The result was the same… but at least it never had any astringency to it. I think when I use fresh leaves the next time I’ll just go for the long steep with just boiled water the first time. Disappointing, but I appreciate being able to try it!

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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.

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drank Eggnogg'n Tea by Bigelow
1564 tasting notes

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…

3 min, 30 sec

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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!

3 min, 30 sec

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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!

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Congou Keemun by Butiki Teas
1564 tasting notes

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!

5 min, 0 sec

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drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
1564 tasting notes

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!

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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!

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drank Pu-erh Vanilla Mint by Zen Tea
1564 tasting notes

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.

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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:
52 Teas – zoomdweebies.com

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!



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