221 Tasting Notes

17
drank Sweet Lemon by t Leaf T
221 tasting notes

I want so badly to like this tea, but after several cups I have decided to give up and face the facts: I do not like Sweet Lemon at all. It has a strange lemon flavour, reminiscent of imitation lemon essence that you think is okay to use in your cupcakes when you’re out of real lemons, but it ends up ruining the whole batch.
I guess I’ll continue my hunt for a tasty lemon black tea…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I don’t think I’m ever gonna live in NZ… 70.

Cofftea

ok that’s weird… I meant to say less than 30% of your teas have a rating grater than 70.

Miss Sweet

Or live in NZ and boost the tea drinking population so more tea vendors stock their tea here :)

~lauren.

oh wow – we’re doing that freakonomics thing here – drawing conclusions based on correlations on interestingly diverse data points! Cool! :)

__Morgana__

Lol Lauren.

Miss Sweet

@~lauren Bahahahaha!

Angrboda

Lauren, snicker :D

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17
drank Turkish Delight by t Leaf T
221 tasting notes

Either the tea blossoms or the chamomile in this blend are not agreeing with me at all. I’m unsure what makes this a “Turkish Delight” aside from the rose, which would be nicer on its own than with the addition of other flowers.
Looks pretty but tastes bad, like fondant icing. Perhaps this is the wedding cake of teas?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Chocolate by t Leaf T
221 tasting notes

Chocolate tea. I think no matter what, chocolate flavoured tea will always be disappointing, because its no substitute for the real thing. The flavour is sickly sweet and more artificial “chocolate flavouring” than chocolate. I think if you’re looking for something to sate your sweet tooth you should hit up a caramel or vanilla tea instead.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Lori

A good chocolate tea is like searching for the Holy Grail…

Cofftea

Do you like chai? If you do (and if they ship to NZ) I suggest you try 52teas Mayan Chocolate Chai- it’s so sinful! (Again, if they ship to NZ) Numi’s chocolate pu erh is also another winner in my tea cup.

Miss Sweet

Yum, I love chai and I’m placing another order with 52teas this week – I’ll definitely grab some Mayan Chocolate Chai, thanks! And I’ve been curious about the chocolate pu-erh for ages, will pop that in my steepster shopping basket :)

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63

I wouldn’t have picked this combination to work, but it really does! The spearmint shines through, with the manuka giving it a medium body with an underlying sweetness.
Both a refreshing and comforting cup, kind of like jumping in a swimming pool and getting hugged in a blanket.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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78

This honeybush chai was quite a delight; smooth, sweet with a hint of peppery cinnamon. The addition of horopito pepper puts a kiwi twist on the usual blend of chai spices too, I really wish more NZ tea companies would use native plants.
And normally I love any excuse for a milky tea, but I ended up drinking this plain because I was too impatient to let brew it any longer. Though I do imagine it would be lovely with milk if you doubled the steeping time.
I might even prefer this over the rooibos Red Baron Chai… perhaps this can be Honeybush Viscount Chai?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

I have not tried a honeybush chai… it sounds amazing though. I do add honeybush to my own Masterpiece Chai blend and I love how the honey taste compliments the overall flavor of it… I bet this is really good!

Miss Sweet

I’d never tried honeybush chai before either! It makes so much sense though, especially as I sometimes add honey to my regular chai. I’m totally rooting for honeybush to be the next big thing…

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drank Puerh by t Leaf T
221 tasting notes

With the emotionally scarring event of my last cup of Puerh a distant memory, I decided to try this again using the method that Cofftea suggested: 1 gram per 30mls, rinse for 15 seconds, brew for 20 seconds. The resulting tea was surprisngly sweet, while still maintaining its earthy characteristic. Much more palatable than the same leaves stewing in water for 4 minutes, but still definitely not my favourite. I’d encourage you to try this brewing method for your puerhs if you don’t use it already!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

YAY! So glad preparing it different made this NOT a 1!!!

Miss Sweet

Its amazing how much of a difference the preperation made, I was almost fooled into thinking I liked it because it was miles better than the last time I brewed it!

Cofftea

So… what do you give it now? It still says 1:(

Miss Sweet

I give it a nothing :) (forgot Steepster saved your previous rating)

Cofftea

You can change the rating though.

Miss Sweet

Yep, just changed it before!

Cofftea

What’s your reasoning for not rating it?

Miss Sweet

No rating just means I can’t rate it – I don’t like it but I don’t hate it, so I don’t think it would be fair to give it a sad face rating haha.

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Rooibos will just be one of those things in life that I will never understand, like nouvelle cuisine or daggering. Its piney on the nose, medium-bodied with a piney aftertaste. I’m unsure the rooibos itself actually any flavour to it, leaving you just as unsatisfied as a plate of nouvelle cuisine or a spot of daggering on the dance floor.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more
AmazonV

i don’t agree, but i love the way you describe it – i’m sure the other non-rooibos addicts are nodding their heads

Miss Sweet

Poor rooibos, I’ve found one flavoured variety I absolutely love but in general its just not for me. I can’t help trying any that I come across though!

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73
drank Hon Gyokuro by t Leaf T
221 tasting notes

Lil’ Scrappy once asked, “I got money in the bank, shawty what you drank?”. Well, my preferred green to “drank” is Hon Gyokuro. It has a more lush, rounded flavour than the Kabuse with that buttery goodness that even Young Buck would enjoy (perhaps while driving his Bentley that 50 Cent bought him).

Today’s gyokuro craving was bought to you by those teashow.tv dudes. Unfortunately I don’t have “money long like sleeves”, but this was the highest grade I could get my hands on…

2nd steep: 65C/2min 30secs

Preparation
1 min, 45 sec

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71
drank Sencha Fukujyu by t Leaf T
221 tasting notes

I’ve got no one to blame but myself really. See, I knew this tea had been long discontinued when I decided to brew a cup, I couldn’t remember what it tasted like so figured it’d be no big deal. I think this is much nicer than the plain Japan Sencha currently on offer as a replacement! Theres an underlying astringency and it has a much fuller body to it, while still maintaining that delicious buttered-vegetable flavour. Lip-smackingly good. Damnit.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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17
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
221 tasting notes

The aroma of the leaves is faint, if you bury your nose right in the tin you can make out a hint of chocolate. The resulting infusion has a promising hazelnut on the nose, but falls flat on the first sip. A smooth, medium-bodied black tea with a ghost of chocolate flavour, which I could just be imagining due to my desperation to taste something, anything!

This is the second Harney & Sons tea that I’ve tried that hasn’t had much flavour to it, contrary to the other tasting notes, so I’m starting to wonder if this is a freshness issue. The leaf is packed loose in the tin (other companies I buy tins from will seal the tea in a bag inside the tin) and there is a best before date for August 2010. A “packed on” date would be much more helpful to me really, is this tea a year old or 5 years old? Just how airtight are the tins? Why isn’t there a decent stockist here? Why am I poking around on Steepster instead of sewing my dress?
So many questions, I’m not sure there are answers…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Doulton

I’m sorry that you’ve had a bad experience with Florence. I think it’s one of the richer teas out there. I recently tried a tea that has a great reputation and many accolades and I suspected that something had happened to the tea. Somebody perhaps kept it in a plastic bag on a hot windowsill or found it in an attic. I heard someplace—cannot remember where—that the numbers on the Harney’s tins, which appear to be dates, are actually some sort of production number.

But maybe that’s an urban legend.

~lauren.

Oh, so sad that you didn’t enjoy this tea – it’s one of my favorites! But maybe you are onto something with the expiration date. Are you ordering directly from Harney & Son’s website or another provider (e.g., Amazon)?

Cofftea

Whoa… I almost took a double take on this rating. Too sad! :,(

Miss Sweet

There is a printed sticker on the bottom of the tin which actually says “best before”, but again its frustrating not knowing how long they think their tea is good for!
I buy from a local department store that carries a range of the Harney teas, I suspect it probably has something to do with the tea not being sealed properly inside the tin, shortening its shelf life. They have a NZ based distributor, but if I buy direct from them it will be the same tea that the department store gets.
I’m so bummed, this tea sounds like its meant to be really delicious and I just wasted $20! :(

Cofftea

You could always try sending Emeric a PM.

~lauren.

Totally off topic (my apologies, you must hear this all the time) but I saw LOTR I, II, III and fell in love with NZ. One of my kids went there to visit and came back with amazing landscape photos from the ground & air! The other one only made it to Australia but didn’t to NZ :( Simply lovely!

Cofftea

I have a friend (one of my ex’s actually) who’s grandfather and aunt live there- they were there for Christmas.

~lauren.

I would love to visit – but it’s an 18 hour flight! Can you imagine being on a plane for 18 hours?

AmazonV

I am sad that it seems to be falling flat for you and i like how you point out the packing vagueness – it is hard for you to gauge the freshness of it – any idea on how bad the cost would be to ship you a sample size? those are plastic mylar sealed bags…

Miss Sweet

Haha yeah I hear the LOTR thing a lot. You get used to 18hr+ flights living here and wanting to travel anywhere, being so isolated from the entire world has a lot of downsides!

@AmazonV I’m not sure the main Harney site ships here, will have to get in touch. Interestingly enough the refill bags for the tins are much cheaper than from the NZ distributor, shipping costs would probably make it similar costwise but I’d be guarunteed freshness. Oh the things I have to do for decent tea!

SoccerMom

Miss Sweet, Some of the H&S teas do come bagged and in the tin. I have ordered from them several times and on one of my later orders (Lung Ching) it was bagged inside the tin.

Miss Sweet

@Mike_Harney Wow thanks so much, have flicked you an email!

@SoccorMom Oh good to know- I’ve never bought the loose leaf before, maybe they’ve changed how they package the tins :)

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An earl grey sipping, Sinatra swooning, retail management maven from New Zealand, planning to take over the world with tea, one charleston at a time.

A special hello to all the lovely people I met at the World Tea Expo 2010!

~

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