1538 Tasting Notes
Thank you so much Teasenz for sending some samples. I really appreciate it, though it has taken me a while to get to them. I wanted to these teas justice and take time with them. The only other Teasenz tea I’ve had was the Ginseng oolong and it was the brainiest of all Ginseng oolongs, therefore the best one I’ve tried. Teasenz looks like they have a nice assortment of different teas. The leaves here are dark and twisty and do not smell smoky at all. In fact, I’m a little confused by the labeling of this tea as it tastes like…. Laoshan Black! Not quite exactly the same, as Laoshan Black has a slightly twistier leaf and also more oily black, but I think this sort of flavor is rare. If you are not a fan of the usually smoky Lapsang Souchong, please do not hesitate to try this one, as the flavor is not smoky at all. I think everyone would enjoy this tea. The flavor is a lighter chocolate with hints of caramel, though I could have used two teaspoons to see if that works better. This type of flavor is always difficult for me to describe, but it is along the lines of Laoshan Black.. the flavor isn’t very strong, with a lighter brew, but this isn’t a tiny leaf tea. I’ve recently thought that maybe since most tea drinkers start out with black teas as CTC leaves in tea bags (whether or not you start out loving tea bags or not), the classier longer-leafed teas need some getting used to just because they are so different from the CTC tea bags. You expect the loose leaf to be strong like the CTC, but the flavor is much more subtle with the bigger leaf – not just a punch of caffeine. I know with every cup I steep up of teas like this, I love them more and more. Again, no smoke at all, so I think the name Lapsang Souchong might scare some away. Not what I expected in the way of a smoky tea, but it was a delicious surprise. I’d throw this in my Teasenz cart, though it’s out of stock at the moment. Try a sample!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 5 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min steep
This was one of the teas I was hoping for in the 52Teas mystery bag sale and it happened! Nice! I’ve never actually tried Rumchata or Horchata but they sound amazingly delicious. There are a few actual almonds in the blend, not sure how much flavor almonds can have on a tea, especially a tea that isn’t boiled. To me, this tea is eggnog all the way! Very sweet! A little nutty, surprisingly not a lot of cinnamon, though I saw quite a few pieces of cinnamon, and I made sure an almond was in the infuser. It’s very warming, desserty, satisfying. Perfect with the toasty genmaicha. Love it. It seems like a wintery drink for sure. As it cools, the rum flavor appears, not like I’m used to rum flavor! I’m usually just tea drunk. I won’t say any more about it, since I’m not sure if they will delete this tea from Steepster, as I guess someone annoyingly sued 52Teas for making this blend.
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 1 min steep
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Flavors: Eggnog, Rum
A sample from Butiki! I love Kenyan teas, so if Butiki is offering it, it must be a good one. The leaves here are small but not CTC small. Sadly, the only flavor I’m getting yet again is tomato soup. Kenyan teas don’t usually taste like tomato soup! Many of the samples from Butiki did… I’m wondering if it’s a tea within the pouch of samples that could be changing the flavors? Nothing in my experience could do that though. Maybe one of my infusers is doing it? But other teas taste fine in that infuser. It’s like tea torture only being able to taste the tomato soup of these teas, and I’m kind of sick of mentioning it. I also had another assam to see if it tastes the same and it had the same delicious flavor as before, so I don’t know. My taste buds are destroying these teas.
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 or 4 min
I think this is the last tea I have to try that MissB sent me a while back. Once again, thanks so much! I promise not to order any more teas for the rest of the year … except for Bluebird towards the end of the year. This one looks like it’s mostly lemongrass though it’s supposed to be yerba mate. There is plenty of lemon flavor, I think from the verbena. I love the flavor from lemon verbena! I would have like some more yerba mate… I couldn’t really taste any at all. Not bad, but not my favorite from Bluebird.
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Thank you Kimquat for sending one of these to try! These AREN’T minis! I needed some caffeine for steam-vacuuming the house! This looks the size of maybe two of the typical mini tuochas. The flavor for all steeps were the same: delicious. This is my kind of pu-erh. It’s very dark and coffee like, and not just because of the color of the brew. Very rich with a touch of astringency but it’s also sweet with no pondiness at all. it’s very much like some of my favorite pu-erhs probably just for the reason that there is so much leaf here and I usually use too much. I like too much. Every steep was exactly the same.
Steep #1 // rinse // just boiled // 1 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #4 // half a mug // just boiled // quite a few minutes
Additional notes: Finishing off this sample with the last of the Herbal Infusions Earl mixed in with these leaves as well. Not quite two teaspoons but the last cups of both were kind of weak with only one teaspoon. I love the sweetness of the snowflake, but to me they don’t enough bergamot. Delicious though! I needed some Earl today.
Thank you for the sale CHAroma! I immediately stopped following the sale thread as there have been too many awesome sales lately. :D I cut the teabag of this one open and hot steeped a teaspoon for 45 seconds: I’ve tried two other blends of this flavor and the flavor stays pretty consistent. Blueberry but not so much danish or cream cheese. I just realized I like the CTC black tea from the iced tea teabags way more than the black tea from the typical black blends. Though this cup kind of tasted a bit like iron.. maybe it was the cream cheese this time. The second cup was just as tasty, just as much flavor. I think I prefer my old pouch with the twisty leaves though. :D
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few minutes after boiling // 45 second steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
Thank you Marcel Duchamp for a sample of this one in our swap a while back! The blend certainly sounds interesting. The oolong is one of those dark wirey types. I haven’t had one of those in a while. There was about 1 1/2 teaspoons so I went with it. Vintage teaworks suggests 1 tsp, at 195 degrees for 3-4 minutes.
Steep #1 // 9 min after boiling // 3 min steep
The steep color is a light amber. The flavor has cinnamon at the front then is a bit fruity.. it’s supposed to be papaya. I’ve probably never had papaya so to me it is mildly melon, cantaloupe. Then it has a sweetness like some teas are described as ‘maple’. Tasty! THEN I looked at the description in this tea for chardonnay which I have also never had before. The flavor notes for chardonnay are actually spot on for this tea! Copy and pasted: “more common descriptors include pears, butter, toast, melon, butterscotch, and spice.” The pear would be the mild fruity flavor I’m talking about. The tea is also buttery. There is also a mild toastiness from the type of oolong this is. I’ve already noticed the melon. The butterscotch is the maple I’ve noticed and the spice is the cinnamon! WHOA – all of those notes for chardonnay fit this tea! And also I need to drink some chardonnay. Lots of it.
Steep#2 // just boiled // 3 min
This one screams citrus for some reason when the last cup didn’t even hint at it. I guess because the citrus sat around all day mushy for the second steep, as gross as that sounds. But then the cinnamon was stronger so this was an interesting cup! The other flavors were pretty tame, just citrus explosion! Seemed more lemon than orange.
Steep #3 // half a mug // just boiled // 3 min
Another super citrus cup. Did I also mention all the vanilla beans? I love how this one changes so much. Delicious and now its gone!
Thank you Nina’s for the samples! This one sounded very intriguing – rhubarb and violet with a keemun base. For some reason this sample was an individually wrapped pyramid tea bag. Nina’s suggests 1-2 minutes for this one, so I went with about 70 seconds. I probably should have steeped for two minutes, as the base wasn’t tough enough for me. The flavor is good but I wouldn’t say it was rhubarb. The something extra reminds me more of lychee. There is something sweet and floral to it as well, but I’m not sure what violet tastes like! I’ve tried the keemun base on its own and it’s a standard delicious keemun but I could swear this is the other base that they have. This doesn’t taste like the keemun to me. I would have liked the rhubarb to be more rhubarb-like but this is an interesting and unique idea for a blend. The same keemun that I tried before would have made this blend better though.
Steep #1 // 7 min after boiling // 70 second steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Thank you Kimquat for a sample of this one with the teas I bought! It sounded amazing. I’m thinking the spring picked oolongs are lighter in flavor? But the flavor notes are intriguing. The leaves smell very sweet – like a milk oolong. All three steeps were very similar! Surprising in an oolong. I either could have used more leaves or a longer steep, as the flavor on this is pretty light. I didn’t fill the mug all the way either. It’s very good though. Maybe a little too light to list some flavor notes: basically very sweet and a little milky/creamy, hints of fruit though I can’t tell which fruit. Never any astringency in any steep. I like this one, but my favorite oolongs have much more flavor!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // rinse // 7 min after boiling // 30 second steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 1 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 1 1/2 min