136 Tasting Notes

89

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83

This review is for the loose leaf variety. Did you know? (from the Stash site) “Put four 100 g loose leaf teas in your Shopping Cart and the one of equal or lesser value is FREE.” Well, I went over there to order some loose leaf Moroccan Mint, and ended up with 2 free bags (ahem). p.s…that’s not a “sale” (usual promo, been there a while).

Anyway, the smell of this one in the bag scared me a bit. Smelled like a weird mixture of scents. They advise to brew 1-3 minutes at 170-190, so I started in the middle. And I’ve seen mentions of a pink hue when brewed. Not mine (light yellow).

But the tea! I’m actually surpised that the ingredients meld together so well (green tea, orange peel, safflower, rosehips, hibiscus, natural pear flavor, lemongrass, matcha, natural mangosteen flavor, citric acid). Can definately pick out the orange peel but everything else is a jumble. It has an overall impression of Juicy Fruit gum (with a little orange aftertaste, lol). I added usual amount of honey, and it seems just right on the sweetness scale (for my taste). This is an excellent candidate for iced tea … will play around with it and report back.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85

Have had this for a while by now, but the first two testings made me feel like I was doing something wrong (did not like…at all). How could I not like a coconut tea, so loved by so many on Steepster?

Well, as the saying goes: third time is the charm. Tried to be brave and try it unsweetened (blech…nope). After adding about a tbsp. of honey, this turned nice … much more so as it cools. This coconut is very obvious, but so is the tea. Since most of you have tried this, I’ll just say: yummy.

p.s. Have any of you cold brewed this? If so, any hints?
Still need to try some resteepings, so depending on how many and how it turns out, maybe chilling after is better ??

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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67

(copied from yesterday)
Design a Tea offers 2 samples of your choosing on their site (designed by you) for $1. You choose between black, oolong or green and then 2 flavors. Reading the site closer, the flavorings are said to be natural and organic. You get one teabag of each choice. Sent very quickly (I’m not as quick to review however).

This is an oolong tea, which according to their site is their Formosa Oolong (they also sell Ti Kuan Yin, but not for these purposes). I opted to add Almond and Coconut as my two flavor choices. Brewed according to teabag instructions, adding 1/2 tbs. of sugar (1/2 of what I used yesterday on the other sample) << still too sweet.

First sip is a little disappointing (after liking yesterday’s). Something is tasting artificial in this mix, or the tea is throwing things out of kilter (can’t really distinquish it on it’s own). Both flavors are equally represented and strong. As it cools, the artifical feel is less. Since I liked yesterday’s sample more and the black tea base seems better, that might be a possibility for the future. Yep, I think it’s the tea’s fault (not the flavorings).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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83

Design a Tea offers 2 samples of your choosing on their site (designed by you) for $1. You choose between black, oolong or green and then 2 flavors. Reading the site closer, the flavorings are said to be natural and organic. You get one teabag of each choice. Sent very quickly (I’m not as quick to review however).

This is a black tea, which is Ceylon blend. I added chocolate and caramel as flavor choices. Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting much. Well, I was wrong. I was very careful to brew properly, added a tbs. of (crystal) sugar. I actually did not need to add so much sugar (too sweet). The black tea is not bashful, but behaves (not bitter). The chocolate and caramel add a dessert yummy character to it that I like a lot. As is cools, the caramel is overpowering the chocolate (boo), but it’s still good.

If I didn’t already have a tin of Upton Chocolate Earl Grey and Creme Caramel (which I have combined with good results), this would be on my order list. Think I’ll add it though, just so I don’t forget about it. With only one teabag to test, all reminders are gone : )

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81
drank White Blueberry by Adagio Teas
136 tasting notes

Having seen this get high praises on Steepster, I decided to include a sample in my latest Adagio order.

The dry aroma smells promising. Adding a T. of honey, it brews to a nice tart blueberry flavor, with noticeable tea in the background. While nice, it isn’t something that appeals hot, so was thinking of putting in frig, but then decided to do a 2nd steep with sugar, instead of honey.

Increasing steep time to 3-1/2m at 190, with T. of sugar, this is much more to my liking (although a T. of sugar is a bit of overkill…need to decrease next time). I do think the tea got lost in the 2nd steeping though. But am going for a 3rd (what the heck) and then sticking it all in the frig to see if it’s a candidate for iced tea during the upcoming hotter months. Another Adagio winner (which are few and far between for me, so I’m glad).

ETA: Put the remnants of the three steepings (about 1/2 of each) into big glass and put in frig to get cold. It tastes really good, but now the blueberry flavor tastes a little artificial (as if there is artificial sweetener, which I didn’t use).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Daniel Scott

Too bad they don’t seem to take Paypal! I’ve been looking for a simple blueberry white for months.

Cheryl

Someone mentioned getting dinged by Canadian customs from Adagio too? Not sure, but see the ETA above (might change your mind).

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89

I’m revisiting this today, because Adagio’s clever lil marketing game has me narrowing down an order. I’ve had 2 cups this morning. The first was plain, and it still feels like a green/black mix, and was noticing a slight vegetal (very slight) aftertaste this time (I took it easy on the honey for this tasting, lol). Like it a lot, but truthfully on it’s own, it wouldn’t be haunting me.

My real curiosity was about creating a spearmint Casablanca Twist (which is this tea with peppermint). I have Adagio’s spearmint and peppermint, so studying the Casablanca Twist, decided to go with a 1 part Darjeeling Sungma Summer with 2 parts Adagio Spearmint. Adding a T. of honey, brewed according to this tea’s parameters (rather than Casablanca’s of 180 for 2 min).

The verdict? Success! This is great. As a base, it adds substance to the mint (whether it be spearmint or peppermint). I can see playing with the ratios, even mixing the 2 mints and this remaining a player in the mix. Are there other teas that would play equally well with this scenario??? Oh I don’t doubt there are. But going to throw this to Adagio out of loyalty (guilt? lol).

Darn you Adagio (sticking out tongue). I’ve been trying to resist sales. Frank already got me, now you. And have tested 2 of Teavivre’s samples and have already fallen in love with one of those (Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip) < will write that up after a few more tastings. Tick tock…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

There’s just too many out there, impossible to resist, no shame in admitting defeat!

Cheryl

At least the first two are under $20 each. Teavivre’s may be another story, but then I quit for a while (way too much for one person to manage) .. I swear : )

CHAroma

I’m the same way too! I know I shouldn’t buy more tea when I already have so much, but I can’t resist!!! P.S. I love Teavivre’s Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip too! :)

Cheryl

Still have 3 Teavivre samples to test, but have almost met the $30 free ship point, lol. EnablersRUs.

CHAroma

Everyone is being so clever tonight! First hiblehscus and now EnablersRUs. ROFL! Man, I’ve really missed Steepster. ;)

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Bio

Originally started testing teas, to replace a lifelong Coke (Coca-Cola) habit. Now I’m just amazed at all the choices. Still in beginner stage of tea education. Until I get really good at iced/cold tea, the Coke habit remains, but is down to a minimum.

My cupboard here on Steepster was ridiculous, containing each and every sample size that I have been accumulating. It now only contains non-sample size teas. Loose leaf outweighs the bagged teas, but it doesn’t look that way by the list (over 100 samples).

I started my tea journey testing flavored teas. My favorites are chai and mint flavored teas, along with Earl Grey. Also like chocolate, caramel, coconut, almond, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and some others. Most flavors are better with a nice black tea base. The mint ones seem best paired with greens. I’m branching out now to unflavored teas and it is way more overwhelming then the flavored category. Phew.

My (grown) son has decided that he wants to try to find tea that he likes too, so I’ll be passing along the ones I don’t care for to him (with instructions to then pass them on to his sister…evil plot? yes!). So I’ve removed my shopping list from Steepster and moved it to a spreadsheet (swaps are out for now). My shopping list had grown to 197! By going through each one, I was able to split that in half (since many were added in beginning, before I knew what I like/don’t like).

While not swapping, if there’s something in my cupboard that you’d like a sample of, please feel free to ask : )

Ratings (for now):
90s: Must have in personal rotation. Crave it.
80s: Makes me a happy tea drinker. Very good. Unsure of long term relationship.
70s: Like this. Will drink what I have (sample/tin/box), but unsure of whether I’d buy again.
60s: Probably a good tea for what it is. Just not to my personal liking.
50s and below: Do not like…at all. Either poor quality, yuck flavor or … (see tealog).

Old (and still current) obsessions: books, music and fragrances. Hopefully my tea collection stays much more “normal” then those. (too late)

Location

Central Ohio

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