1178 Tasting Notes

87

Tried this on the peanuts tonight with mixed success. No. 1 liked it and said he’d drink it again. No. 2, not so much. He found it a little tart for his taste, but did not at all like it once sweetened. The BF and I remain big fans.

Yvonne

My friend is a big fan of this one – never tried it though.

JustJames

i like this one. especially iced. even more especially in summer….

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86
drank Carol by Lupicia
1178 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 20 of 2014. I had a single sachet of this in my work stash.

I know I’ve had flavored black tea with strawberry among the flavors before-Marco Polo comes to mind-and of course I’ve had black tea flavored with vanilla. I’m not sure I’ve had a black tea flavored just with strawberry and vanilla, though.

Strawberry is one of those flavors that I don’t ordinarily seek out because I’ve experienced so many examples of it done badly, starting with Kool Aid when I was a tot. Carol was a pleasant surprise.

The sachet had the same feel and the tea base the same somewhat bakey smell as the Sweet Potato Pie of last week, but with the addition of a very lovely, sweet strawberry note. Once steeped, the bakeyness mellowed and was absent from the taste altogether.

The strawberry flavor is sweet and mild. I thought it was really well done. I can imagine a lot of ways it could have gone wrong. Fakey, medicinal, etc. My impression, though, was of something between fresh and dried strawberry made creamy and mellow by the vanilla.

I’d like to drink it again. It’s going on the shopping list.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Mmmmmm….this sounds amazing.

keychange

Going on my shopping list too!

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95
drank I Love Lemon by Bigelow
1178 tasting notes

A rating of 95 you say? I can explain.

When I first started my tea journey, I started with some bags of this and I really loved it. Today I had to take my car into the shop and on the way in I was thinking-should I buy another box and see whether I really like it as much as I did then? Then, as fate would have it, at the dealership I had to sit in the lobby waiting to talk to the service guy and guess what they had among the refreshments? So of course, I made a cup.

And yes, I still really love this.

I know. It’s something you get in the grocery store. It comes in bags. It’s cheap. And I still love it, in the way I love In-N-Out burger for being the best fast food burger in my area. It’s really good at what it does.

First, it’s VERY lemony. Moreso than probably any other tisane I’ve tasted while trying to find something that was a bit more sophisticated. To me, anyway, there is nothing I can find wrong with this lemon. It’s not soapy, it’s not chemical-y. It reminds me of the lemon in the lemonade at Orange Julius (which I happen to like), that very lemony lemon flavor.

Second, it’s the right mix of tart and sweet, and needs no sweetener to my tongue. So many more expensive tisanes have needed a lot of sweetener or have even been bitter. Not here. If it’s coming out too tart, my guess is it’s too dilute. With the right amount of water, it isn’t.

Third, the hibiscus is not scary. It makes the drink a nice, red color but I can’t taste it. If I could, I would not like this.

Fourth, yes, there’s mint, but I’m not really sure what it does other than to add a sort of heightening of the other flavors. A freshness, if you will.

I still heart I Love Lemon. :-)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

There’s nothing wrong with liking a bagged tea that you can find at the grocery store! That just means you’re being real about tea, and not snooty. :)

SimplyJenW

I love this one, too! It is my go to for when I am not feeling so well.

carol who

Sounds good. I haven’t used much in the way of grocery store/bagged teas lately but this might be the one I carry with me in my purse to use when I go to a restaurant and they give me the crummy tea. Gee, that wasn’t too much of a run on sentence!

__Morgana__

Thank you Fjellrev, I needed that. ;-)

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79

Sipdown no. 19 of the year 2014 (a tiny one as there’s almost nothing left in my sample)!

Steepster is angry with me this morning, I think. I can’t “like” anything, get my notices, etc. and when I tried posting this before it disappeared. I hope that’s not an omen for the rest of the day.

I put this one on my shopping list. My problem with Harney & Sons is I have a hard time disliking anything they make. I did honestly want to try to whittle things down, try to make some fine distinctions among their black blends, but I think I have to admit that I’m at the point where I just throw up my hands and say you can never have too many Earl Greys and you can never have too many delicious black blends.

And be grateful that tea takes up less space than shoes.

51
drank White Tangerine by Adagio Teas
1178 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 18 for 2014.

Drank the rest of this cold steeped this morning. Though it didn’t increase the tangerine flavor, it did make the white tea taste very flavorful.

Note to self: make white tea cold in the summer!

boychik

sorry it didnt make much of a difference

__Morgana__

Oh, no problem. It was worth a try! And it tasted fine other than the tangerine. :-)

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87

I wanted to try this on the kids tonight, but they fell asleep before it finished steeping. There’s always tomorrow.

I haven’t had this in a while and I worried that perhaps it would have faded some but looking at my prior note it’s exactly how I remembered it. The key to this one is to double the amount of “leaf” (it’s not really leaf so much as fruit chunks) you’d ordinarily use to get a good, strong flavor. It’s a nice, sweet lemon, with just a hint of strawberry, enough to act as natural sweetener.

I’ll be taking mine to bed with me shortly. I hope there’s a new Castle this week.

TheTeaFairy

Strawberry Lemonade? For sure your kids will embrace it :-)

__Morgana__

I suspect you are right. The BF loves this one, too.

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76
drank Gyokuro by Adagio Teas
1178 tasting notes

Yum.

That is all.

(Did someone say cheesecake? We’re going to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Woo hoo!)

VariaTEA

Lucky!! Have a piece of cheesecake for me!! I won’t be able to have their tasty food until I am in Florida in March.

__Morgana__

I will be eating from the skinnylicious menu, unfortunately, but I may allow myself a bite of someone else’s cheesecake and I’ll be happy to do it in your honor, VT. ;-)

VariaTEA

Awww so sweet. Enjoy yourself!!

Roswell Strange

Urghhh… Too much cheesecake talk :(

__Morgana__

Sorry RS! ;-)

Fjellrev

I’ve never been there before but I heard it’s pretty good!

__Morgana__

F, it’s decent for a chain. Lots of selections so something for everyone. But ridiculously HUGE portions.

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51
drank White Tangerine by Adagio Teas
1178 tasting notes

Trying this today with a lower steeping time (3 minutes) to see whether that helps bring out the tangerine flavor. Alas, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference with regard to the tangerine, though it does perhaps make the tea a bit lighter overall, which has the effect of making it somewhat less planty. Oh well. I am closing in on sipdown with this one but not quite there yet.

boychik

Have you tried cold steeping? Sometimes it helps to bring the flavor.

__Morgana__

No, I haven’t. I should, though. Thanks for the idea. :-)

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87

From the Maestro sampler set.

Really beautiful leaves, like a tin full of little ampersands. Not just gold, but a range of colors that ends somewhere with dark green.

I love how Yunnan smells, dry leaf, wet leaf, steeped tea-all of it. This has a rich, smooth malty scent with tangy, champagne-like high notes, but it’s more complex than that. There’s something that’s almost like tobacco, something almost like cocoa. A lot going on.

Peachy-golden in the cup with a wonderful malty-leathery aroma. The flavor is interesting and I wonder whether I should try it with more leaf. It’s not as rich as I expected, but it’s very smooth, and leaves a really pleasant, sweet hay-like aftertaste. Like with the Yunnan gold, I can taste something that I am sure is what is described as pepper, but without the spicy kick of pepper.

I should try this next to the Yunnan Gold some day as I quite liked that one as well, and see how they compare. Since it has been a while and I don’t really remember that one apart from my notes, I’m rating this the same for now as a sort of placeholder.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

Another tea I bought way back when but never even got to open before life intervened. The BF was very interested in it this morning, so I opened up the packet.

Wow. The dry leaf smells just like the ice cream tastes-sweet and nutty and buttery, and a good bit of that smell carries over into the steeped tea. The flavor is really true to its name, too. In judging teas like this, I give lots of points for trueness to the name. But it’s clearly tea as well, with a black base that plays nicely. Every now and then it comes to the fore but just enough to wave hello.

What I like best about this is that before I tried it, I thought it would probably need to be sweetened or to have milk added to make the flavor taste like what’s in the ice cream. BUT NO! It’s lovely and sweet enough as is, sans any additional caloric content. (For me, anyway. The kids took a sip and said “needs sugar.”)

Of course, those who snooze lose in the 52 teas game, and this is no longer available. I will have to husband my supply.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Yvonne

I wanna try this so badly it hurts!

__Morgana__

Maybe we can petition Frank to bring it back!

Yvonne

Good idea!

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Profile

Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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