1330 Tasting Notes
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
Thank you Kimquat! I get to try yet another 52Teas banana tea. I LOVE the hojicha blend and the black tea base. I figured the toasty rice genmaicha would be even better with the banana and the coconut. IT IS. So desserty delicious. The rice acts as like the toasty nilla cookie. And the green teas adds oodles of BUTTER flavor! The banana teas from 52 are the best banana teas. More like ripe banana than candy. The coconut that 52Teas uses is the best too. This is the perfect combination of ingredients. I wish I had a whole pouch of this but it’s gone now! I seem to go through phases where I drink tons of 52Teas. I don’t really do that with other teas. Hmm.
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling (microwave) // 45 seconds
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 3 min
My new Bodum Bistro kettle showed up today between steeps 1 &2! It’s just as amazing as I hoped it would be. It’s like my old kettle but just more advanced technology since my old kettle was 9+ years old. I’m not exactly sure how old! It’s got a dock instead of having to take the cord out every time to fill the kettle with water. Hope this one lasts at least nine years!
This is the last tea I haven’t written a tasting note for that TastyBrew sent me AGES ago. Thanks again, TastyBrew! This is basically exactly what I expected seeing the name of this tea. A lovely honeybush base that seems the best for a smoothie blend. I can definitely taste banana, pineapple and hints of orange. It just brings to mind an actual smoothie somehow. It brings to mind the consistency of a smoothie even.. not sure how! The second steep the honeybush was more present.. it was almost like the honeybush was yet another fruit added to the mix since it’s so sweet. There is one thing though: I have never, will never drink honeybush for breakfast… definitely a nighttime choice for me! So this is a “midnight” smoothie!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 45 second steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // couple minutes
Additional notes: Sample sipdown. It looks like I’m the only one who wrote a tasting note for this one. That is too bad! Steep City has some really nice teas. This is a great chai, but the ratio to tea to ingredients is much different than the picture shows. I haven’t had a chai in a while and I’m realizing that autumn chai season isn’t too far away. HOW?!?
I snagged this from the Here’s Hoping tea box when it was around. Steep #1 was the last run of my Bodum kettle. Steep #2 was microwaved. This one doesn’t seem to get much love from Steepster, but I like the idea of a caramel Formosa oolong. This was actually what I expected it to be. I liked it! There is a darkness to the oolong that pairs well with the sweet and creamy caramel flavor. The name is entirely accurate. The Formosa here seems like a lighter black tea. The second cup was even tastier. Plenty of caramel to go around. I guess I’m such a tea addict I like teas that most others do not.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6 min
Thank you TeaTiff for sending some of this one! This tea basically inspired a swap. :D Well, the first cup of this was the last tea brewed by my old kettle, the second steep I had to heat the water with the microwave. Ick. Though I don’t have much money right now, I can’t go without my tea and I already knew which kettle I was buying possibly even years before this one broke. I’m getting a Bodum Bistro 34 ounce electric kettle. Hopefully this one works as long as the other one did!
On to the tea… I’m not sure if maybe the kettle died halfway through boiling because the first steep was pretty light. I used a teaspoon and a half and I DID wait eight minutes for the water to cool… maybe it was my fault. Though the flavor that was there is everything that I think a keemun is. Still so so light! With the second steep, I made sure to use boiled (microwave) water and I also added the teaspoon or so left of my sample to the leaves. It seemed like a ton of leaves but after a six minute steep, the flavor is great. It reminds me of an older harvest of Teavivre’s Premium Hao Ya which I thought of as my favorite keemun…. I just worry about the amount of leaves that must be used to get to that flavor. But I was actually surprised that there wasn’t an oversteeped flavor with six minutes. I think it is what the first steep should have been. Again, could have been the last death throes of my kettle. I certainly won’t be drinking my favorite or highest quality teas when I don’t know what I’m doing with this microwaved water! Sipdowns of some not-favorites will be happening! Hurry up and get here tea kettle!
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min steep (1 1/2 tsp of leaves)
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6 min (1 more tsp added)
Another tea from before the tea kettle breakage:
Thank you Green Terrace for the generous samples! All three of the teas sound divine and I’m so sorry it has taken this long to review them. I’ve been ‘tea busy’ and I wanted to do a decent job reviewing them. These leaves the wiriest and longest tea leaves I’ve ever seen! The leaves make me expect a dark brew, but I think the name of the tea does a good job of changing my expectations. At first I thought the leaves had the fragrance of sweet plums, then raisins then I thought PRUNES. I used two teaspoons of leaves (really 2 1/2 to make up for how wirey they are).
Steep #1 // 10 min after boiling // 2 min
The cup has the fragrance of buttery sweet butternut squash. The light amber colored cup has the flavor of subtle squash but it also is very much like sweet potatoes. It’s almost like a golden Yunnan without the chocolate notes, but that is such an odd comparison since the leaves here are black and the leaves of a golden Yunnan are gold. I would think the black leaves would have the chocolate notes. But the honey description is accurate. As the cup cools, there is even more honey.
Steep #2 // 8 min after boiling // 3 min
Another cup that almost tastes exactly the same as the first. I’m a little surprised. More squash and sweet potato, which I don’t think many other people are mentioning so far. The flavor is light yet very delicious, something I could definitely crave for a change of pace every once in a while.
This tasting note is for a tea I tried last night… but guys… MY ELECTRIC TEA KETTLE FINALLY BROKE!! I was expecting it. I’m very proud it has lasted this long. I’m not sure how many times it was used, as I’m not the first owner, but I’ve been using it about 2 or 3 times a day for nine years so that is 9×3×365 = 9,855 times I have hit the boil switch at least. Poor little tea kettle. I have adored this kettle… it’s a sad day. I am definitely getting another Bodum kettle and I really don’t expect the next one to last this long, even if it is a Bodum! I think I will have to sell some tea to pay for it though!
Even though I’m not a huge Teavana fan, I’ve heard this one mentioned a few times. I love the idea of fig teas, so I had to try it. A one cup sample works for me! Of course the flavor here is neither fig nor rose. Sheesh. It isn’t terrible… the flavor is more like a buttered kettle corn… with something fruity. I expected worse actually. Though there is hibiscus in the ingredients, at least in my sample it just adds enough tanginess to the cup rather than turning it into a deep red cup of undrinkableness. Maybe the fruity flavor could be interpreted as fig? But it seems like it would be the apple that is mentioned in the ingredients. Not bad, but it’s odd to get popcorn flavor in a fruit/rose tea.
Another from the grab bags! I wasn’t too happy about the watermelon, but I wanted some of this one to try anyway… turns out I could probably drink this on any hot day! Luckily for me, this one doesn’t taste like watermelon, but plenty of cantaloupe! It tastes like the Butiki cantaloupe tea… but there is so much cantaloupe that I can’t even taste the white tea. I was craving white tea today. I’m happy with this one: oodles of cantaloupe, no watermelon. Drinking the second cup, I was LOVING the flavor in this one on a hot day and more of the white tea made itself known: fruity, juicy, a burst of flavor. This is GOOD. I’ve only seen cantaloupe with white tea and that is the way it should be.
Steep #1 // 32 min after boiling // 45 seconds
Steep #2 // 32 min after boiling // 2 min