696 Tasting Notes

77

Just tried a cup of Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha (non vegan). Wow, is it ever different from the kind found in the 12 Teas of Christmas. I really enjoyed it with the marshmallow root, but what I just tasted was not the same at all. There was a strong smoke aspect which I did not like and the marshmallow was kind of yucky. After a few sips, I left the rest of the cup for the beau – blech! Numerical rating still stands for the vegan stuff, but this would have got a 40 from me.

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73
drank Monk's Blend by City Drug
696 tasting notes

Purchased this while in Yarmouth visiting family over Christmas. Apparently a local drug store (City Drug) has started blending and selling their own tea – Very intriguing. The beau and I decided to get a bit of this, but they only offer their tea in 50 gram bags. Bummer (and kind of a strike 1). We decide to get it anyway, despite there being no visible price chart (strike 2). This 50 gram bag came to 12 dollars with tax!!!! First off, no tax on tea in NS. Second off, that is an outrageous price – No wonder the price list is hidden. They also charge more than $10 for a 100 pack of T-Sacs. We won’t be buying any more tea there at those prices, so we had pretty high expectations of this puppy.

We finally rbewed a pot of this up with breakfast, and it was pretty darn good. no bitterness – which is great. There was a rich, creamy flavour which was more caramelly than anything else, but quite nice. The pomegranate they talk about on the packaging was nowhere to be seen, but it was prerty nice. I think I might even prefer it to the Sawadeee Monk’s Blend based on the richness, but at the price it is, we’ll live without when this pack is gone.

Erin

I just tried a local tea shop’s version of Monk’s Blend and I love it too!

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75
drank Honey & Pear by Lupicia
696 tasting notes

Another from my box of teas from LiberTeas on teatra.de – WEE!!! The beau and I brewed up a pot of this while watching the last two episodes of Arrested Development. I know we’re behind the times, but oh well. As for the tea, I’m not familiar with or fond of green tea, but this one appeals to me in terms of flavourings. Hojicha is totally new to me but I’m intrigued to give it a shot.

The steeped liquor is a rich honey colour, and has a chickory-esque aroma. Smells faintly woody/nutty but there’s also a sweetness in the aroma. Fairly appealing, and nothing like any green tea I’ve tried. According to my research, that’s no surprise. First sips are surprising. It’s so reminiscent of chickory! It’s got a sort of pseudo chocolate aspect going on too. There is a faint sweetness with a woody almost smoke note as well. Not getting much by way of pear, but I assume the honey is the reason for the sweetness. Another nice one to have tried and I think I might take what’s left of this one to work to finish up. Yum!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C
DaisyChubb

Yay my boy and I are late on the AD wagon as well. It’s a lovely wagon, thank goodness for Netflix!

Uniquity

We actually started watching it a few years ago and stopped for some reason with only 4 episodes left. Since they are talking about making another season and a movie now, I figured we ought to actually finish it up. It’s hilarious but SO bizarre! : )

Camiah

My husband and I recently started watching as well. It is fantastic!

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71

This sample came to me by way of LiberTeas and her big box of samples on Teatra.de. Since I am cleaning house (well, trying!) in terms of samples I opted to use this guy for a pot for the beau and I after work. I’m not getting much aroma from the loose leaves, but I’m assuming this tea is getting older, since most reviews of it are from a year ago or more. I will admit up front that I am very uncertain about banana flavour in tea – Most banana teas involve chamomile which is the bane of my existance, so the opportunity to try banana cheesecake is too good to pass up.

Knowing that Frank’s black tea base and I don’t always get along very well, I let the water cool to 95C and only steeped for 3 minutes. These precautions yield a brick red liquor with very little aroma, though there is a tinge of bitterness underneath (almost coffee-ish). There’s not much by way of banana or cheesecake in the aroma but there is a vague sweetness on top of it all. If I could just get the “top” lawyer of the aroma, this would be a very appetizing smell.

First sips are pretty nice. No bitterness, but also no banana. I’ll chalk that up to the age of the tea and the fact that it was in a little plastic bag next to lots of other teas for a while. The general flavour is sweet and lovely, reminiscent of 52Teas’ Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish. I’m not really getting cheesecake here, but there is definite sweetness. Very nice to have tried!

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74
drank Raspberry Mate by Fusion Teas
696 tasting notes

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a de-cupboarding! I’ve been drinking the remains of this sample for the past few days in an attempt to finish it up, and am glad to have done so. While there is a fairly authentic raspberry taste to this mate there is also a strong smokiness which seems more intense than it was when I first tried it a few months ago. It’s not particularly offensive, but it is unexpected. As the cup cools I find the smokiness really develops and takes over the sip, leaving a smoky taste in the mouth afterward. Different!

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73

Finishing up my sample of this today – Another one down, wahoo! I must admit that this tea has become less appealing to me over time. I have a tendency to have my strongest feelings about a tea on initial tasting and to gradually come to enjoy it less and less. Such is the case with this one. The apple that was so innovative at first is now too sweet, the mint too mild and the tea too cloudy (it is a particularly fine rooibos – Lots of little bits floating around, it’s almost like matcha in terms of consistency).

The chocolate has all melted in (according to the “oil slick” on top of the tea) but isn’t very present either. I am getting a lot of sweetness and a very slight hint of mint and milk chocolate at the tail end of the sip but I would prefer for them to be more bold. This is still a nice tea and different from most mint chocolate teas on the market, so I am pleased to have had some, but it doesn’t demand a re-order anymore. What is going on with my tea tastes lately??

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54

I feel pretty bad that I added a tea to the Steepster database just to complain about it a bit, but here I am. This is another that I received in my big box from LiberTeas on teatra.de and I steeped up about half the sample tonight for myself, the beau and a friend. Honestly, this tea appealed to me in theory (I am always on the lookout for a good apple tea, and a good caramel tea. If it can be both then that’s great!) but the reality leaves something to be desired. Once steeped I mostly got a rooibos taste with a faint whiff of something perhaps caramellish every once in a while. I tried it on it’s own at first, then paired it with supper (breaded pork strips and homemade french fries) which didn’t really help a whole lot. It was when drinking it paired with food that I got the most sense of caramel, but there was never any apple. Fine enough to drink for something warm, but not enjoyable, per se.

TeaBrat

more often than not I am lured in by these exciting description names and then sadly disappointed. :)

LiberTEAS

I am sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. :(

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69
drank Strawberry Zabaglione by 52teas
696 tasting notes

I got this as a sample in my box of teas from LiberTeas on teatra.de and am finally getting to it. In my ongoing effort to manage my stash, the beau and I have been drinking a lot of teas that we only have a small amount of (or don’t really like) to try to cull the numbers a bit. There was just enough in this sample for a good sized pot, so we went for it.

Steeped in boiling water for 2.5 – 3 minutes, this yields a deep brown liquor with a honeyed black tea aroma. It smells sweet and appealing, though not of strawberries. First sips are a nice sweet black tea with a hint of fruity something behind it. Almost like a jam flavour, and it is a thicker mouthfeel. The black tea is nice and unassuming, not too brisk, bold or malty. Frequently I have an issue with 52Teas black tea base, but this works, so far.

I have never had zabaglione, but am loving the jamminess I get while this tea is hot. Having just googled zabaglione I don’t really know why I am getting jam flavours, but that’s okay. I can tell already that this is a tea to enjoy hot because as it cools the typical bitterness I experience in 52Teas black teas is coming forward (which I hate!) All in all, this is lovely while hot but the bitterness just isn’t my friend. I am considering sweetening this to mask the bitterness, but I don’t like making additions to my tea. Ah well, it was nice to try!

EDIT: Added a bit of milk about halfway through the cup to cut the bitterness. With milk, it’s a bit more bearable in terms of bitterness, but it also masks the hint of strawberry I was getting. Now it tastes almost as if I have a generic orange pekoe tea with some milk thrown in, and a bit of something sweet/fruity. Disappointing.

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67

This is another very old sample that I had purchased from The Tea Brewery about a year ago. Finishing it off and finally writing a tasting note. I didn’t really pay attention to the look of the tea before I steeped it, but afterward it is clear that this one has hibiscus in it. It is very red, and probably a bit over-steeped as I didn’t notice there was hibiscus.

The taste of this is berry, but not specificly apple. There isn’t much sweetness, but nor is there much tart from the hibiscus. I’m guessing there was only a touch of hibiscus for colour more than anything else, but it seems incongruous to have hibiscus in a “sweet” apple orchard blend. This was another disappointment, but I could chalk that up to age. I really need to kee cleaning out some of the older samples in my tea stash. It still amazes me how quickly time flies!

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62
drank Turkish Apple by The Tea Brewery
696 tasting notes

This tea is an older sample that I purchased from the Tea Brewery’s stall at the Market, and I am finishing it up today. Apparently I have not made a tasting note for it before and I honestly don’t remember anything about it, so it’s just like starting over! I steeped this about five minutes in boiling water. The liquor is fairly yellow and very mild in aroma, as was the loose “leaf”. The smell and taste are not very present, possibly because it’s age. I get a hint of something appley, and this is enhanced when I have a few almonds as a snack to pair with it. The beau finds this quite pleasant but I see it as a disappointment. It was too bland to be interesting and not really worth absent-mindedly sipping. If nothing else, at least another sample bit the dust! :)

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Bio

Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

Location

Canada

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