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1581 Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon. Now we have Interpol playing on the radio at work which just makes me pensive. This tea is delicious though. It’s definitely one of my “desert island” teas that I would take with me if I was marooned forever. Do you have any?
I tried this again today and it is definitely better with a LONGER steeping time of around 5 minutes, that helps to bring out the flavor. Raised the rating a few points this afternoon.
I liked it so much I made two cups… :)
I will have finished this off today, it’s been a long time coming. This says it’s a blend of first flush teas but I always thought it was a second flush blend, oh well. It’s been a nice blend but I don’t think I will miss it too much. It’s good with a touch of sugar too.
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Tea of the morning; back to SF after spending 3 days in Portland. I tried to go to as many tea shops as I could but I certainly missed a few. The trip was very enjoyable aside from the rain.
This blend is a nice and mellow black tea. I think it’s one of my favorites from Kusmi along with the spicy chocolate.
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Tea of the afternoon – what I really need is a nap but I’m afraid I won’t be sleeping for a while.
This tea is intriguing. It’s very aromatic and as I was holding the cup up to my nose I was trying to place the smell. It reminds me a bit of pastries baking but it’s also… floral.
The flavor is interesting as well, there is something sweet and bready about it, but also malty and fruity. Geoffrey mentioned grape and I can taste some of that as well. When I first sipped this I thought it was a bit on the bitter side, but as the cup cools down its definitely calmed down a bit.
Reminds me a bit of a Chinese Yunnan crossed with a SF Darjeeling. I am enjoying it but I think I accidentally made my leaf to water ratio too strong by dumping in more tea than I needed. I think I’ll wait to give this a rating until I’ve tried it again.
I am convinced I will like any tea from Sandakphu, there is something about them that has always captivated me (and continues to do so).
Tea of the afternoon here. It’s funny how many blecchy reviews this blend got and I loved it, it just goes to show you how subjective tea ratings really are.
I steeped this and then refrigerated it and added soymilk. Now it reminds me a bit of a bubble tea. It’s quite refreshing this way. I want more teas with cardamom. ;)
Green tea of the morning here, it’s been a while since I’ve had this one but it’s very vegetal and mostly sweet with a bit of palette cleansing astringency. Definitely a nice green tea to sip on plain (although honestly my favorite greens tend to be Japanese). I love the artichoke, almost savory flavor here.
I’ve been drinking more coffee lately and my back has also started hurting me more. I don’t know if this is a coincidence, but I think I’ll go back to drinking only tea for a while. I’ve read green and white tea are supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
p.s. I also got a good 2nd steep out of it
Tea of the morning here, 2/4 of Upton’s assam sampler.
I don’t have a lot of experience with CTC’s aside from knowing they are produced in a different way than orthodox teas so here’s a short primer for the curious: http://t-buds.com/orthodox-vs-ctc-teas-body-vs-flavor/
I steeped this for 3 minutes but might try it for 2 next time. It is definitely a strong assam, bold and malty with a bit of a winey aftertaste and some bitterness too. Definitely a lot better with milk and sugar and very eye opening. Meh, maybe I’m a tea snob but I much prefer the traditional assam leaf.
I have read this is primarily what they use to make chai with in India but traditionally chai is made with a lot of milk.
Geez, I bought this months ago when I was in Washington DC and I evidently forgot to do a tasting note on it until now!
Normally I steer clear of fruit tisanes as they are generally full of hibiscus but this one isn’t. The bag is full of dried fruit and flowers. For a tisane I think this is pretty good, it is slightly on the sour side but I think it’s the strawberries that are making it this way. A little pinch of sugar did remedy the situation. I’m always in the lookout for a good tisane and this is nice, the pear flavor also comes through fairly well. I might be more inspired to try some of their other fruit tisanes as well. I have yet to have a fruit tisane that I really LOVE but I know I will finish this off happily and might even get some more.
I had this iced last year and I remember it was good that way. It would also be nice to mix this with other things like Maria suggested to see what happens.
Also I’m excited I’m going to Portland, Oregon tomorrow and have a few tea shops on my itinerary. :)
Tea of the afternoon here; an appropriate name for the afternoon. :)
This teabag was a free sample from Lupicia. Interesting, I don’t know that I’ve ever had an assam/darjeeling blend. The cup after steeping is a light reddish brown. The aroma is definitely reminiscent of an assam, quite malty and chocolate.
After tasting, I can see how the darjeeling tempers the assam and lends a fruity, almost floral note. I like how smooth this is and practically devoid of astrigency. This is quite pleasant to sip on plain, which is always nice. Doesn’t really need milk in my opinion, but you could always add some if you wanted.
I have enjoyed this but I doubt it’s something I would bother to keep on hand on a regular basis. In character, it reminds me a bit of Kusmi’s Russian morning tea, which is also very mild.
This is such a great tea I am having from Den’s after lunch. I love the roasted/sweet flavor of this houjicha. It’s good hot or cold but I was thinking just now it would be fun to try this with some coconut flavor added in. I wonder why more tea companies don’t do flavored houjicha?
If I was stranded on a desert island this would make the top 10 of teas I would want to bring with me. :)
This came in my last order from Butiki and the first time I tried it I added soymilk to it, which I do NOT recommend because it has hibiscus in it and that will make your milk or plant milk curdle (ewwww).
Anyway I knew I had to retry it before I could review it. The dry leaf smells very fruity and a bit tart.
The cup is very red after it’s brewed. Now, normally I loathe hibiscus so I probably wouldn’t have purchased this had I realized it was in there. IMO the tea is pretty tart and adding a packet of turbinado sugar definitely helped. I am getting a lot of strawberry and the tea smells like pie but I don’t get a lot of pie flavor, vanilla or even black tea. I think the hibiscus just overpowers everything.
This isn’t bad, I just think it isn’t really for me. If someone wants to swap for it I will consider any and all offers. :)
This is such a lovely dragonwell. I am keeping my bag of it in the office where I hope to remember to drink it. Yesterday I was reading that the theanine in green tea may help with anxiety levels so it seems like a good thing to keep at work. Something about dragonwells in particular do seem soothing, see previous notes for tasting details.
I went to Nature’s Tea Leaf just now and saw a few reviews that look like they were taken from Steepster people – I hope they put the reviews there themselves and they weren’t taken from the site (it’s happened before with other companies).
Anyway this is a really nice yunnan! I bought a lot of flavored pu-erhs from Nature’s tea Leaf which I was not totally crazy about but this is really good. It does have a rich, honey type of taste mixed with some woodiness and a bit of pepper. That does sound strange but it’s so good. Smooth and mellow too. This is one of the only few yunnans I have in my tea collection and I have no idea why. I will definitely enjoy finishing off the rest of the tin.
I would order from Nature’s Tea Leaf again, they have a range of interesting looking teas in their line including some herbals.
Another sample from Upton Tea Imports. There aren’t too many decaf teas I like but I figured I would try this one out. It definitely smells and tastes like vanilla, but the flavor is a bit thin and wine-y. I think the decaf process removes a lot of flavor from the tea, which is too bad. I added some soymilk to this and it was okay. Will probably finish off the sample I have with some sugar but won’t buy a large size.
I prefer the Vanilla Comoro from Harney and Sons for a vanilla decaf black tea.
I wanted to try a West Java tea so I got a sample of this with my last order.
Wow, to me this tea is nothing like the description that Upton gives it. Sweetness? Delicate flavor? Where?? I got a dark orange cup that was extremely tannic to the point where I could not drink it plain. I am not fond of overly tannic astringent teas so I had to dump some soymilk in here, as well as sugar in order to make it palatable. I plan to finish the cup I have but the rest of this sample is going in the dustbin, bleah. I hope my stomach does not revolt.
Cup of the late morning. I’m trying to finish off last year’s darjeeling samples before I start digging into the new ones I got from Upton (may not be possible).
After steeping I pulled the brew basket out of the cup and am amazed at how green the leaves still are. I really think ff darjeelings are in a class of their own.
It’s been a while since I tried this last. The light yellowish cup is very aromatic and reminds me a lot of flowers. I still don’t get evergreen from this but there’s a slight nuttiness and a lovely fruit essence in my opinion. This is sure a tasty cup of tea! See previous notes for last year’s impressions if interested…
1/4 of the Upton tea Assam sampler I got yesterday in the mail. Because I really need MORE tea, right?
Anyway I love drinking assams in the morning which is why I went for this sampler. Normally I would put soymilk and sugar in an assam right away but I wanted to at least try a sip of this plain first.
I like it plain which is a good sign, it’s very smooth, malty and has a touch of chocolate. I only steeped mine for 3 minutes and I noticed a lot of the other tasters went for 4 minutes, still I like it at 3. It’s good with a splash of soymilk and at this point doesn’t need sugar in my opinion, although you could certainly add some.
There is a slight tobacco or something in the finish although nothing bothersome. I am enjoying it, a good basic assam.
Tea of the mid-morning here, it’s a bit odd mixing tulsi with black tea and I don’t really drink this for the flavor of it, I just like the way tulsi makes me feel nice and relaxed. Imagine black tea mixed with a muddy, unwashed mint and you get the idea.
Anyway I am having a great Monday but I spent all day yesterday relaxing, doing meditation, yoga, walking and drinking tea. A great way to start off the week!
I decided to get a sample of this tea from Harney and Sons with my last order and it wasn’t in the database yet so I added it this morning.
I confess the only other Bohea I have tried is the Bohea Imperial from Upton Tea which I loved. I was expecting the same love from this as well. :P
The dry leaf smells incredible, I am getting chocolate covered cherries. I steeped this for 4 minutes per H & S suggestion.
This is a very elegant tea, in terms of flavor it is very reminiscent of a wuyi oolong and I adore most of those. It has a definite cherry/plum flavor with a bit of malt and buckwheat. As the cup cools and the flavors become more prominent I am reminded a bit of a red wine. Unfortunately as the cup cools I am getting some bitterness that I’m not really enjoying.
I confess I liked the Upton version better because of the smoky quality… I’m not getting much smoke in this particular Bohea, but I wonder if someone else might perceive it differently? I’d like to try steeping the remainder of the sample I have using the gong fu method. The picture of the tea on their website looks lighter than what I have in my cup so I may have needed to adjust my leaf to water ratio.
I don’t think I will be buying a full size of this but in any case, I look forward to the reviews of others as they come in.
It’s kind of strange that I’m drinking this tea in May but oh well… it’s a decaf so it’s good for the night time. I had a cup of coffee at 4 pm, so I’ll be amazed if I get any sleep tonight.
I was surprised that this was so good with soymilk added to it. I had never tried that before and it really helped to bring out the vanilla flavor. Still, this is one of the strongest mint teas I have ever had, aside from drinking plain old peppermint tea. Next time I make this I should steep it with an extra bag of decaf green tea.