1031 Tasting Notes
I had a brilliant idea of making a hot apple cider and then steeping chai in it! I heated a mug of apple cider in the microwave and then filled a teabag with Element’s Indian chai and steeped that for a few minutes. I chose this chai because it’s a CTC and I thought it would be more noticeable in the cider. The cider did turn a deeper color, but not black like a chai. The flavor isn’t great. The chai kind of just gives the cider a bitter flavor, maybe because it is a CTC and I steeped for a few minutes or maybe just because this was a bad idea. :D
Additional notes: I had this last night because of a headache that I had since I woke up. It seemed to make my headache disappear! I love minty teas for that, and this one is certainly a favorite. The new teabags I bought just make this a pure chocolate, minty cup. No tiny rooibos pieces! Since my headache was gone I stayed up later to watch the movie ‘Another Earth’… I liked it!
Thank you Terri Harplady for a bit of this to try! I wanted an Earl Grey today! I may have overleafed this one, but I had the water cooling a while, so that may have helped. I steeped for three minutes. I was actually expecting a darker cup color. This was quite light! A bit malty but not tough enough for me. The flavor isn’t my favorite EG… it was unique though. Tough to describe! The bergamot flavor just wasn’t as lovely as I wished. The second cup was the same, even though I used just boiled water. I’m happy to have tried this one, but I’d rather have my EG favorites.
I was actually craving a white tea after the strong Nina’s Paris tea I had before it. This isn’t white, it’s green tea. But it seems like a white tea. And if I’m actually CRAVING a white tea, I might as well go all out with the dreaded fuzzies! My least favorite type of tea! I was eager to try this one anyway, regardless of fuzzies. It seemed very unique. Thanks for the sample, Little Red Cup! I used probably a tablespoon of leaves!
Steep #1 // waited a WHILE after boiling // 3 min
I wanted to steep this two minutes, but it went over. The flavor is exactly what I was hoping anyway. It’s like creamed corn!! Very creamy and sweet. Exactly exactly what I was hoping for! It certainly is unique. Personally, I haven’t had a tea that tasted like this before, so I’m not sure how I wanted it to taste like this. The steep color is a pale yellow. It’s just very good!
Steep #2 // waited a while after boiling // 3 min
This cup is exactly the same as the first. So so good! But it seems like all Steepsterers get different flavors from this one. I will savor the rest of my sample! I’m very happy I picked this one. I could see stocking up on this for this flavor profile once in a while. Easily craveable!
A neglected sample I’m just trying now (though not forgotten). Sorry and thank you Nina’s! This immediately looked like it was major steeping as I poured the water, so I went for two minutes exactly. It’s still very strong! Nina’s always seems to have such a unique black base tea that I’ve never tasted with other teas. It’s tough and malty. The flavor is definitely there, as well as the added flavors! I was guessing blood orange and passionfruit but it turns out its grapefruit! Not one I would have picked out myself.. blame it on the grapefruit juice dished out in elementary school. (Who gives grapefruit juice to five year olds?!?!) But since I couldn’t guess it was grapefruit, I don’t mind this tea! (Well, it’s much better than sour grapefruit juice to me anyway!) Sweet, not grapefruit tart… but with this black tea it would hard to overpower it! The second steep was even better somehow… the black tea was a bit muted letting the enjoyable flavor present itself better.
Additional notes: This one is older but still tastes amazing! Better than I remember actually… I love the sweetness from the raspberry and chocolate paired with the earthiness, slight tanginess from the yerba mate. Just many ingredients that mingle together to get this creamy delicious cup. I feel like I’ve been describing every tea as creamy lately. I was pleased that on an episode of Parks & Rec I had been saying “yerba mate” correctly… the dad from the Prancer movie said it!
Additional notes: Is it wrong I added this one and Teavana’s Almond Biscotti to the same better packaging (they were both in baggies). Dare I assume they are the same blend? Anyway, I’m sipping this one today, still appreciating how nice it is. I love that the black tea doesn’t get astringent. I love that is so bakey and there is the perfect amount of sweet and I swear a hint salt.
Additional notes: Sample sipdown just so I can see how MUCH I’d like to order. This is quite possibly my favorite tea. Sadly, I only had one teaspoon for this steep session instead of the required two teaspoons.
Steep #1 // waited 20 min after boiling // 3 1/2 minutes
The flavor is so good here, just not as good as if there were two teaspoons. The dark chocolate notes are missing (which may be because I waited 20 minutes after boiling, but I think this one works best NOT at boiling. I waited a few minutes last time, and the taste was PERFECT.) No chocolate is also probably because I only used one teaspoon. I usually like dark chocolate flavored teas but this one is amazing when it isn’t dark chocolate. The notes here are complicated! I can’t tell if it’s butternut squash, sweet potato, apricot, plum or grape. It’s very elusive to pin one of those down, so maybe ALL of those!
Steep #2 // waited 17 minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 min
I tried to avoid the oaky flavor I got from the third steep last time I had this one, and it worked! The cup tastes exactly the same as the first. If you want a sweet potato/ hint of fruit, just go with one teaspoon of leaves and a lower temp. If you want those AND dark chocolate, go with two teaspoons. I’ll have to try the first cup right after boiling to see if the first cup tastes even more like dark chocolate next time. And also after a “few” minutes – since I’m not sure how many that was last time. I’ll definitely be experimenting with specific temps with this one!
Steep #3 // a few minutes after boiling // 3 min
This one also didn’t have that oaky flavor, even though it was only a few minutes after boiling. It did lose its magic by the third cup though – the flavor was very muted.
I had to run over to Butiki and order this one, since Stacy said they will be out. The price is a bit steep for this one, but I love it too much to say no. I’ve tried so many generous samples from Butiki over the years, it is justifiable! I just wish I had the money to order most of what they have. I did order some Pumpkin Brulee and a few samples though!
What a nice day yesterday! Hopefully not the last until spring… I was sitting out in the yard reading the amazing ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ by Scott Lynch. I’m grateful to Terri Harplady for getting to try this lovely tea! Verdant suggests two teaspoons at boiling for a minute and a half, increasing each steep by a minute. I’m surprised by the short steep time for a black tea. The leaves are very long and thin… The dry leaves smell have a very sweet scent!
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 1.5 min
Oh this one is nice. For some reason the top of the cup has a tobacco like fragrance, that then disappears. Otherwise, this has very much so the profile of Laoshan Black but with a slight deeper flavor, both chocolatier, sweeter and creamier. So of course I like it more than Laoshan Black! I can see how others like this sort of black tea better than the tougher, bolder black teas, but I still like those a bit better. the more I have teas like Laoshan Black though, I think I’m liking them better. I guess there is a time for both sorts though!
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2.5 min
This cup is even better, probably because the water was hotter. The flavor is a bit deeper and stronger than the first cup. This tea is odd, because it’s almost like I’m eating solid food, even though this is not nearly a strong tea. But it seems like I’ve eaten a meal.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3.5 min
You know what? This one was pure maple syrup! Both in sweetness and texture! It’s like the chocolate flavor disappeared and it left just the sweet. Very odd. And like no other tea before! I’d definitely go for a third steep next time, note to self.
Steep #4 // just boiled // 3.5 – 4 min
I filled the cup up about half way this time, sadly this cup lost the magic, maybe the third steep was perfect though. A bit too cedary.
Cup 1 = creamier Cup 2 = chocolatier Cup 3 = sweeter
I love how this one evolves! I definitely like this one more than Laoshan Black! I’m glad I have enough for two more steep sessions…
Last sample I have to review from my order of Zen samples from a few months ago. This is one of my favorite fruit teas! Zen never ceases me with their blends! I was hoping the fruit flavor here would be this good. Pomegranate, goji berries and blueberries (though there aren’t actual blueberries, the blueberry flavoring is nice and sweet like ripe plump blueberries.) There are actual goji berries here though! There are supposed to be actual pomegranate, but I don’t see any in my sample at a glance. There is also lemongrass to give it a spritz of lemon. The green base is okay, but I’ve had tastier green teas. I’ve had some pretty bad fake “fruit” tasting teas (actually from some reputable companies) but this one is very nice! Refreshing!
ETA: Zentealife.com has a 20% sale right now that I just happened to notice!