1294 Tasting Notes

drank Vanilla black tea by Zen Tea
1294 tasting notes

I was expecting magic from this vanilla blend from Zen! I love vanilla blends! Sadly, I must have tried too many of them, and already have a few favorites, as this one is not my favorite. Others might be a fan of this base, but I am not. The flavor is not for me and it seems too weak. I did see actual big pieces of vanilla in the blend, but the vanilla also doesn’t seem strong enough for my tastes. With a different base and more vanilla, I would have liked this one better. I suppose I can’t stock up on EVERY Zen tea!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min steep

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drank Apple Cider Black Tea by 52teas
1294 tasting notes

Just now trying this sample from Rachel’s sale.. thanks so much! These have been standing up to their age very well. They are tasty and I can’t imagine them being tastier when they were just blended! The dry blend here has plenty of cinnamon and apples… AND it smells like cider already!

Steep #1 // just boiled // 2-3 min
Steeped the color of the cup is a reddish light brown. Somehow the flavor actually reminds me of cantaloupe at the top of the cup… then the apple slowly takes over. Some apple teas are terrible but this one is definitely authentic apple. The apple in the infuser looks like apple I just cut apart and threw in the infuser. The cinnamon is very nice & sweet. The black tea base is perfect with the flavors.

Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
The apple flavor is stronger now.. whatever the cantaloupe flavor was is gone now. The cinnamon is stronger too. This cup is definitely the tea most like apple cider that I’ve ever tried. I love this one — it’d definitely be one of my favorite apple teas.

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Thank you Dexter3657 for this one! I love trying the Bluebirds. This is actually like the Design A Tea Strawberry that I had the other day (also thanks to Dex). This is supposed to be raspberry though. After a three minute steep at boiling, there isn’t that much flavor, but it’s nice. Hints of raspberry. It just looks like flavored rooibos. I don’t see any raspberry pieces. No rooibos scratchy throat for this one. The second cup surprisingly had more flavor. This is nice, but it certainly doesn’t have the magic that almost every other Bluebird tea I’ve tried has had. This one seems too simple for them! I believe it’s not on the site now anyway.

Sidenote: Along with this tea, there have been two other Prince references in my life lately: the book I’m reading now and the book I finished a couple days ago (both have parts taking place in the 80s). Suppose I should go listen to some Prince…

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Additional notes: Sample sipdown. This was tough to sipdown! I love it so much and I remember how much every time I drink it. I know to follow Teavivre’s steeping suggestions now, as they are always right. It’s a very unique black tea. I don’t think I’ve ever had another black tea similar to this. It’s definitely my favorite Fujian tea. This one will be difficult not to order with my next Teavivre order. There will be some competition with many other teas I want to buy from Teavivre (hmm.. all the black teas for starters)!

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According to my handy e-mail draft list, this is the last tea that Nicole sent me I have yet to write a tasting note for. Thank you once again for that lovely package of teas you sent a while back!

Steep #1 //12 mins after boiling (unintentionally) // 3 min
The leaves smell like an intoxicating Earl. The lavender is actually green rather than, uh, lavender. But the lavender is certainly potent – very good. The lavender surprisingly overpowers the bergamot, though I can’t really smell the lavender when the blend is dry. The base is perfect for the bergamot & lavender. If you like bergamot and lavender (and neither brings soap to mind for you) then this one is for you! I will enjoy this but I think I can never get enough Earl Grey Cream in my life.

Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
This steep didn’t have as much magic. The lavender and what bergamot was gone. I think I should have steeped it the way I did last cup. I’ll try again the next time, but I know if I steep it right I can get at least three nice steeps from exceptional EGs like SpecialTeas. This one isn’t my favorite. The Steepster rating is for the first cup but it would be lower if you averaged the second steep in.

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drank Eggnog & Pralines by Butiki Teas
1294 tasting notes

Oh my gosh here it is April and I’m just now writing a tasting note for this one… from the holidays… the Amoda box (to be fair it was lost somewhere in the postal system for MONTHS or this was the second replacement box? I never figured that out). Here goes:

Steep #1 // 28 min after boiling // 2-3 min steep
The dry leaves certainly have the scent of praline but the flavor seems to disappear when sipping. I was hoping this was an improvement on the other Butiki eggnog, which was lacking in eggnog for me, but it doesn’t seem much different. I don’t see how either blend can be called eggnog at ALL. Usually Butiki is so perfect with their flavors! To me, this just tastes like one of those teas that I compare to creamed corn/ breaded corn (mao feng but this is a mao jian so it must be similar). That might be the most similar base for an eggnog type flavor, but that doesn’t make it eggnog.

Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 3 min
The steep was much brighter in color this time, but the flavor was still the same. Disappointing! The Steepster rating is lower for not being what it should be (eggnog) but it is a nice base if you’re just rating that. I guess I’ll just have to love every OTHER Butiki blend.

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thanks so much Dexter3657! I was craving blueberry but I thought I’d go with this one. It’s not bad! Sweet strawberry flavor on a decent rooibos that isn’t bothering my throat. There is a hint of cream with the strawberry (not exactly sure what the zabaglione is anyway). I swear I could have had a tea like this the other day, but I’m not sure which one (maybe 52Teas Strawberry Pie honeybush?). So many teas! It’s nice as it cools too. I like it!
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 3-4 min steep

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Additional notes: I’m sipping this lovely chai again mainly because I wanted to drink a chai while finishing the lovely book I’m reading: Mira Jacob’s ‘The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing’. A new writer with no-expectations-so-it’s-really-well-written and also really funny. But I’m giggling because the name of the tea company is ‘New Mexico’ and the book mostly takes place in New Mexico! What a coincidence! Things like that amuse me. I just wish I had some chutney that the book loves to mention.

This chai insists on still being one of my favorite chais. I could easily stock up on this one, since my favorite chais are mostly discontinued. It’s got such a nice balance of spices with dark & rich black tea but never astringent. So good. Raising the rating a couple points.

So I organized my tea collection the other day, mainly to put any similar tea samples in thin sandwich bags into those bigger Teavivre pouches. They are so handy! So I have a Teavivre pouch filled with fruity/Bluebird teas, one for plain black teas, one for dessert teas, etc. Hopefully they will let those teas last longer, but not contaminate each other! Really I should just stop hoarding last teaspoons of teas.

ETA: I’m on NMTeaCo’s site right now and I also didn’t realize they were located in Albuquerque… the book is, as well!

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drank Butter Pecan Black Tea by 52teas
1294 tasting notes

This is from Rachel’s sale a while back (thanks!). And I try to try new teas so fast! But this one is already quite old… Oh if only tea didn’t age. I will certainly take the age into consideration. This tea isn’t bad, but I can tell it would have been better.

Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
This definitely tastes like that butter pecan ice cream, but it’s on the lighter side. There are a few pieces of pecans in the sample, including an entire pecan. It tastes like pecan, but I doubt it is just from the pecans, there is probably additional flavoring. One thing I’m happy about is that the pecans are not actually terrible, like David’s playdoh walnuts sometimes are.

Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min steep (accidentally)
This steep was pretty much the same as the first. I expected most of the flavor to be gone by this cup. The same amount of buttery pecan. Not bad, not bad at all. I really need to enjoy the teas I have, instead of collecting more. But it’s very difficult when three tea companies are sending me free samples at the moment.

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drank Moroccan Mint by Zen Tea
1294 tasting notes

Another sample from my Zen order. A change of pace with spearmint! I’m not sure if Moroccan Mint teas usually have peppermint or spearmint, but this might be my only spearmint tea. At some point I liked spearmint more than peppermint, but peppermint makes headaches disappear, so there you go. This is certainly refreshing and tasty. Plenty of spearmint flavor… so much so, that it tends to overpower the green tea and I can’t really taste that at all for either steep. Very good if you like spearmint, but not for those who are searching for that gunpowder flavor itself.
Steep #1 // 32 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3-4 min steep

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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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