688 Tasting Notes

67

The beau brought a silken satchet of this home from his work for me to try. While I’m not the biggest rooibos fan anymore I do love him so try it I shall. The aroma reminds me of Ruby Red from Joy’s Teaspoon – some sweetness, tropical fruit of some sort and some rooibos. Nothing objectionable, but not too snazzy either. A quick comment on the satchet though – I love it! For a rooibos, it had plenty of room for spreading out and getting fully steeped. Actual tea might have needed a bit more room, but this was great for a non-expanding tea. It was also fine enough to keep the rooibos in which is important for me. I hate small floaties.

First sips are nice enough. It echoes the smell with some undistinguishable fruit flavouring and sweetness. There is almost a hint of bubble gum but it doesn’t quite go there (luckily). Still reminds me of Ruby Red, which I have 4 or 5 ounces of at home. One of the better rooibos teas I have had lately. Generic but good. :)

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63
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
688 tasting notes

Oy. Another from SimplyJenW that I drank but did not review. I recall a lot of people saying that Paris is similar to Tower of London (which I love) but for some reason I always think of it as heavy on bergamot. At the moment, that doesn’t seem to be true. Actually, I am starting to think that Paris is the mystery tea that scent contaminated all the rest of my samples. Either that or it is fairly heavy contaminated. Can’t be sure anymore.

The smell is sweet and light, I am not getting much by way of bergamot. Actually, I do get some sweet stone fruit that DOES remind me of ToL. Perhaps I have had false memories of this tea all along. First sips are light and sweet, much like the aroma but with a bit more of a honey note. I am not picking up on any citrus or bergamot but I am really liking the honey/stone fruit notes. Why has this sat neglected for so long? This is a nice little sippable tea. I am glad to introduce it to my work stash, I’m sure it won’t last very long now. :)

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71

Wow, another I didn’t review. Whoops. SimplyJenW sent this my way probably a year and a half or two years ago. This is a prime example of why I almost never do swaps, I never seem to get around to drinking the things I get in return. I have had most of this one though, so I’m not sure how I managed to miss reviewing it.

I am not much of an English breakfast drinker as they tend to be bitter assams and other bold teas I don’t drink a lot of. They are nice for a treat though, and I will add a bit of sugar or honey if necessary. This one got the kid gloves treatment of a 3 minute steep so it should be good on it’s own. I get a lot of malt in the aroma, and it has a smell that frequently translates into bitterness. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s easy to recognize.

First sips are a bit lighter than I expected, and with a surprising level of sweetness. This tastes more like Chinese blacks than Indian. Wait a minute, I’ve finally read the description. This is a Keemun? Win! I get some sweetness that is almost lightly floral, not much of a smoke note like I sometimes get. This is a nice keemun and extremely affordable. I don’t see why they don’t just label it as a Kemmun, but whatever works. :)

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drank Earl Grey Cheesecake by 52teas
688 tasting notes

Another very old sample from my box of goodies from LiberTeas – thank you! This is one that made it to the bottom of the basket otherwise I would have drank it all down in the first place. I am not a huge fan of the old 52Teas base and I don’t really enjoy Earl Grey but I DO love cheesecake! I am thinking that the improper storage will have hurt this one though, I don’t get any earl or cheesecake aroma from the dry leaf. Everything in that basket of samples took on a weird aroma which I STILL haven’t identified but really don’t enjoy. Let this be a lesson to all of Steepster: store your samples properly and use them quickly!

Steeped, I get that funky smell (I think it was a mix of Pancake Breakfast and Buttered Popcorn, neither of which I really enjoyed) and a hit of something that puts me in mind of coconut. Bad sign. Da*n you Uniquity-from-the-past for your carelessness!

Unfortunately, the taste is about what I expected. Some astringency, no bergamot or cheesecake. I’ll just toss the rest of this and move on to something else. I bet it would have been wonderful if I had tried it a year ago, heh.

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67
drank Forbidden Fruit by DAVIDsTEA
688 tasting notes

Well I am finally logging a note on this one. I have had it for ages and am not entirely positive that I ever tried it. It seems to be a roasted oolong which is a good start but a lot of the flavours are diminished, probably because I have had it for so long. I do get a note that I could call melon but I am not picking up on fig or any of the other ingredients. Not bad but I’ll be okay when it’s gone.

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33

Okay. A coworker gave me some of this to try a month or two ago but I have been so afraid of it that I held off trying until today. I used a scant teaspoon in my perfect tea mug for 3 or 4 minutes and am rewarded with a golden amber brew that smells like a campfire. This is feeling a bit more like a punishment than a reward, but maybe I’ll like it.

Over the past few years I have come to enjoy and even embrace a light smoke note in tea. Note the word light. This is POW. This might have my coworkers wondering if the office is on fire. Oy. Initially, I get a sweet taste that morphs into smoked ham. Then I am left with a mouth full of ashtray. Hm. The ashtray thing isn’t actually as bad as it sounds, but it isn’t good either. I’m clinging to the sweetness of the tea under all the smoke as if it were a lifeboat. I can drink this, but I really don’t think I want to. I do really want some smoked ham now…

whatshesaid

That sounds revolting…. I was literally just wondering why Lapsang Souchong tasted like, sounds like I’m better off not knowing

KeenTeaThyme

Permission to dump & rinse out the mug granted. This is one of those teas I just can’t stomach. You’re right – it’s an ashtray scent.

Uniquity

I keep smelling it on myself. Like all forms of smoke, it really clings. I think my mug is mostly scentless (it’s glass and metal) but my hands, hair and sweater all seem to have retained a trace!

Charisma

I completely understand! I keep trying to give Lapsang souchong another chance, but to me it is like drinking bacon in a bad way. My husband seems to like it, so thats the only reason this tea exists in our cupboard >_<

Kittenna

Ashtray?! That is not cool! I love smoke, and sometimes burned things, but ashtray-burny is revolting. The one time my roomie burnt evaporated milk on the stove, it tasted like ashtray, which completely ruined her rice pudding :( Usually we just eat our burned creations, but this was unpalatable.

TheTeaFairy

I so agree with you on this one! Someone here on Steepster had suggested to pair it with DT Oh Canada, the idea of maple and smoke sounded interesting but I’m still fearful to even open the pouch!

Maxime-Daniel Friðrikson

This tea need to be steeped light, if there’s too much leaves, the taste felt muddy or disgusting.

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14
drank Strawberry Cheesecake by Custom
688 tasting notes

Well, after seeing so many posts from people ordering and loving Red Leaf Tea’s matcha, I decided to do some more experimentation with the flavours I have. I got the caramel and loved it, but the other three (strawberry, cheesecake and cookies and cream) have all tasted TERRIBLE to me. I don’t know what makes my taste buds so different but I just do not like RLT’s flavoured matcha.

Anyway, I took some of my (admittedly old) matchas and mixed them in cold water today. I went with cold to avoid potential bitterness as a lot of people have recommended it to me as an alternative to hot matcha. I used about 1/2 tsp of cheesecake as I found it to be very light and 1/4 tsp of strawberry as that is a roundhouse kick to the face.

I tried to build a froth but that doesn’t really work with old matcha and cold water so I gave in and started sipping. It smells like fake strawberry soap and bubble bath which is the issue I’ve had with strawberry all along. The taste is yummy for about 1.5 seconds and then it is all strawberry bubble bath. There is no way I am finishing this. I think the beau needs to use up the remains of our matchas and I need to accept that I just don’t like it. Ugh.

ashmanra

Oh noes! I am sorry you don’t like it! I liked the strawberry and cheesecake both, but admittedly I am putting them in lattes and smoothies. I have a couple of flavors that I don’t adore that I am going to offer to my daughter.

MegWesley

Well, look on the bright side. If you loved every matcha from Red Leaf then you wouldn’t enjoy your favorites as much!

ashmanra

And we would be absolutely broke!

ashmanra

My daughter LOVES pumpkin pie matcha and liked mocha okay, but has disliked all the others I gave her to try.

MegWesley

It is really fun trying to sample them all though. Especially when new flavors keep getting added. It feels like a game!

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86

Trying this again today with much more leaf (the rest of my sample – 1.5, nearly two TSP). I am getting much more aroma during infusion than last time, likely because of the volume of leaf. I think this is overkill actually. It definitely wasn’t enough for two cups but too much for one. I just can’t win with this tea!

The liquor is deep brown and almost muddy – again a result of over-infusion. The aroma doesn’t yield any bitterness which is impressive. First sips are rich and slightly malty with no bitterness at all. This is very smooth but not yielding a variety of complex flavours like I expected. This is much better than my first try but still not a favourite. I don’t know why this one isn’t rocking my world like everyone else, but at least I gave it the old college try. Enjoying but not remarkable. Sipdown!

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77
drank Pouchong by Canton Tea Co
688 tasting notes

Here is another from the box o’teas from LiberTeas from way back when. This is one of the samples that had some smell contamination but as it is an unflavoured tea I don’t imagine it will be as much an issue as it was for the flavoured teas.

I actually don’t know anything about pouchongs, and was a little wary when I read that they are a mix of green tea and green oolongs. Those are my two least favourite kinds of tea, both prompting queasy stomache on occasion which leads me to stay away from them.

This is beautiful though, long twisted leaves that open up to be very full and have a very sweet smell without any of that vegetal aroma I dislike so much. The liquor is a golden yellow and smells almost of mild cinnamon sugar. The first sips echo these smells and are really quite nice. I get a sense of creaminess, and it is a very full flavour, much more than I expected by the aroma.

Despite my dislike of green tea and green oolongs, this is really nice. I am very impressed, and look forward to enjoying the rest of the sample. I’m not sure if this is an authentic tasting of this pouching, but man is it yummy. There is hope for me yet!

Edit to add: This is tasting note 600. Yippee!

Ysaurella

congrats for the "anniversary’ notes :)

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86

I was re-steeping yesterdays leaves and forgot about them. For twenty minutes. While I am amazed that this tea can handle a twenty minute steep without becoming undrinkable tar, I am equally amazed that it STILL doesn’t have very much flavour! It’s only slightly more flavourful than yesterday and still doesn’t wow me. Perhaps it’s too subtle for my tastes, but I definitely am not picking up on any of the flavours that other tasters have mentioned. I am glad that I don’t get any sweet potato though as I can’t stand the things. Blech!

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Profile

Bio

I am a lover of many things, but my passions include my records, tea and books (not necessarily in that order!) I embrace local food and good cooking as much as I can, and place great value on time with family and enjoying the bounty of nature. As of January 2014 my husband and I finally moved to the country to be closer to family and continue our journey in a family home. We have been wanting to do this for a couple years, so we are very excited to follow our hearts. We also have a wonderful kitty named Emma that is the princess of the house.

I am drawn toward good Chinese blacks, enjoy some herbals and the odd roasted oolong. Greens and whites can make me nauseous, but I will have flavoured ones on occasion. While I don’t yet adore puerh, I am giving it my best effort. Chamomile and coconut are the devil though, I wish they didn’t exist. Mint has been a particular favourite of mine since childhood, and I enjoy both flavoured and pure teas though unflavoured blacks are tops for me.

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: WOW. This is the cream of the crop.
71 – 80: This is a solid tea. I enjoy it, and would recommend it to others, but may not repurchase.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. May try again to improve.
41 – 60: Bleh. Might finish it, but it’s not to my taste OR just doesn’t impress me at all.
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

Location

Canada

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