2623 Tasting Notes

90
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
2623 tasting notes

Thanks to Krystalen for this awesome sample!

I’ve been curious about this for a long time, I like spicy things and for whatever weird reason cayenne pepper does not seem to hurt my stomach. And this just sounded so good. I’ve been known to add ginger and a touch of cayenne pepper to my rooibos.

I steeped it in an infuser mug for 5 minutes – definitely knew I would need soymilk so I went ahead and added some.

Wow – this is good! Yummy, even. It really reminds me of a spicy hot chocolate. The cayenne is very prominent, so if you can’t take the heat I would not even try going here! I’m also getting a fair amount of ginger in this cup. What a yummy tea for the cold and foggy weather (which is just about every day, here). The cardamom and the pepper are a little more faint but they are definitely in here. I can see how this is either a “I love it” or “I hate it” kinda thing but I’m loving it so far. And – these spices are good for your health.

I think I will need some the next time I place an order with 52 teas!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Missy

I knew a man who had ulcers bad enough he was looking at an operation. He started taking cayenne pepper every morning and with in 3 months his ulcers were better, enough so he no longer required an operation.

TeaBrat

very interesting!

Missy

It’s also good to keep your toes warm. ;)

Kittenna

Glad you liked it! So delicious :D

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81
drank Green Coconut by TeaGschwendner
2623 tasting notes

I had some of this today and it way past its’ prime so I decided to chuck the rest, too bad.

Armed with this knowledge I am definitely trying to not buy a lot more green tea… or green oolongs. I just don’t seem to be drinking them fast enough. :(

Scott B

don’t buy nearly as many green teas as compared to black. I definitely like the ones I have, but I just have to be in the right “mood” for a green tea. Moroccan Mint is probably the only one I can drink any time.

TeaBrat

I like them both but black tea has a much longer shelf life…

Scott B

Yep. The only tea that I ever had go “bad” on me was green tea that I had not had that long.

Bonnie

Yes but Amy lives in a cool damp city and tea ages faster in that environment right Amy?!

TeaBrat

Bonnie – I don’t know, you maybe right. But I was told by my Chinese tea shop guy I could keep the green tea in my refrigerator and isn’t it cold and damp in there too? :)

Bonnie

I don’t know but I was reading this morning about what ages tea especially Pu’er. Dampness, scent exposure are two bad ones. I won’t put coffee let alone tea in the frig because the air is damp and the smells like foods (good smells). But I think you have to trust your own gut instint! It’s your tea!

TeaBrat

Hmmm. that’s too bad because I was hoping my pu-erh would age okay even though I live in San Francisco. I guess I’ll find out the hard way!

Bonnie

No don’t worry I think there are things you can do to help like what it’s stored in. But length of time can be less according to the article. I have the opposite issue with semi arid environment. It’s nice to be able to dry leaves in a half hour but you wouldn’t want brittle bricks of Pu-erh!

TeaBrat

I always heard a cardboard box or the original wrapping was fine but some people use clay pots, I think

ashmanra

I think puerh is usually stored in something that breathes a ittle. I had some fishy puerh and after reading on here, left it sitting out. The fish smell dissipated and the tea still tasted fine. It was only out for a week or so and was still in its little paper wrapper. I think on purepuer.com they have a puerh gift that comes in a little woven storage basket. WANT! My Japanese neighbor keeps all her tea in the refrigerator.

ScottTeaMan

I don’t refrigerate my teas because of the different food aromas can affect the tea flavor-especially sharp aromas. I’ve also heard that clay pots were good for storing Pu-erhs.

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93

Enjoying this cuppa from Rare Tea Republic, a delicious and hefty assam! I was eyeing more assams in the Upton Tea catalog last night which inspired me to reach for this one. It’s cold and foggy here today. Sorry to hear about everyone’s problems with Steepster, let’s hope it gets better…

gmathis

Is it a sign of illness when you read the Upton catalog with a highlighter in hand?

Mercuryhime

@gmathis: naah, it’s a sign of your excellent organization skills!

TeaBrat

LMAO- I was doing that last night

gmathis

Of course, I’m not sure why I do it…by the time I drink down my stash to an order-justifiable level, the catalog will be out of date ;)

TeaBrat

I’m thinking about getting some samples but I need to wait until pay day!

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82

Thanks to Scott Tea Man for this one, the last of my pre-chingming samples!

I steeped this in a glass teapot for 3 minutes at around 175F. The color of the tea is a very light yellow and I agree it looks kinda like a white tea due to the large furry leaves on this!

This is a very light and delicate tea, I am definitely picking up notes of honeydew melon and perhaps… cucumber? There is a slight sweetness to it as well, a corn husk aroma.

I’m trying to appreciate the subtle flavor of some of these lighter green and yellow teas, it is a bit challenging for me at times, but I am coming to appreciate them for what they are and enjoy them at different moments when the mood might strike. It’s great to have some teas that are devoid of astringency and I would place this in that category as well.

As always I am grateful for the sample and have enjoyed trying something new. This is fairly tasty but not something I’d go out of my way to purchase.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

You’re havin a good tea day! Nice thing about the CITY is that it’s always good tea drinking weather! Did you go to the bridge 75th? Both my parents were kids and walked across the day it opened to foot traffic only. I have the original ticket (brochure). I went to the 50th with my kids. Don’t think I’ll be alive for the 100th! (hum 89 maybe).

TeaBrat

@ Bonnie, I did not go to the bridge anniversary, was kinda busy last night. :) There were lots of fireworks here though.

ScottTeaMan

This is one of the pre-cm’s I would reorder. Glad you liked it amy. Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day! :))

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96
drank Gyokuro Suimei by Den's Tea
2623 tasting notes

Definitely a nice treat for this morning. I usually just drink gyokuro on the weekends which is a good thing, since it’s kind of costly.

Lovely and sweet, vegetal and seaweedy kind of cup. I got two excellent steeps out of it, which was great. See my previous notes for more info.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

This wasn’t the Shincha you ordered from Den’s is it?? That reminds me, I have to order mine in the next day or two.

ScottTeaMan

How much tea did you use??

TeaBrat

No, this was another tea I ordered from Den’s. They recommend a lot of leaf – 1 tsp. for 2 oz. of water.

ScottTeaMan

I’ve gongfu’d Sencha-I would guess, using 6 grams, and got 3 quality steeps, but i use 6-8 oz H2O. I’ll have to try abiding by steep instructions when I order my Shincha.

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82
drank Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons
2623 tasting notes

I’ve had so many lapsangs lately but I thought I would give this one a whirl too, to see how it stands up to the competition!

The aroma is very smoky – woo! This tea certainly packs a wallop. The aroma is definitely that of a campfire I would say. The aftertaste is definitely not as sweet as some I’ve had so I’m missing that a bit, this is more like liquid smoke all the way!

I thought I would try adding some soymilk to this but I accidentally got vanilla soymilk at the store instead of my normal plain. Could not resist the urge to try it with this tea, it actually isn’t too bad… ha ha

There’s something about a lapsang that seems strong and fortifying. I thought this was pretty good but there’s a few I like better right now.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Woman after my own heart!

ScottTeaMan

The only straight LS from Stash many years ago-and it reminded me of this review-campfire & liquid smoke, but I seem to remember quite a bit of sweetness. I really liked it alot at first, but put it aside for months. When I came back to it something had changed! I ended up drinking half of the 2 oz sample, and threw the rest out. Maybe it was stale. ://

Anywhooo, I suspect Bonnie may be sending me a LS sample or two, so I’m getting back on the LS horse. Speaking of horses, I can’t forget about the Belmont this Saturday!

Amy, next time you order from Upton Tea, I think you would enjoy their Baker Street Blend:

http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?UTid=385-7-10616397&afterCart=/shopcart/item.asp&from=catalog.asp&itemID=TB75&begin=0&parent=Teas%3EMiscellaneous%3EBlends&category=Afternoon&sortMethod=0&categoryID=40

Vortegne

I just ordered my LS, waiting for it eagerly now :)

TeaBrat

Scott – i have had the Baker Street and it’s nice. I am still partial to Hu Kwa and also the Lapsang from Mandala tea.

ScottTeaMan

I’m looking at a Fall order from Mandala, so I’ll keep that in mind. To me LS teas are more for Fall…….however, the whole smokey, campfire thing is a summery activity. What am I trying to say?? WTH!!…….It can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

TeaBrat

Well, in San Francisco the foggy summers make it feel like winter anyway. :)

ScottTeaMan

I know, yesterday it was 92 here…….I was wondering about SF and you had a high around 62 and a low of ?? like 49. Cool nights to be sure.

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91
drank Russian Country by Harney & Sons
2623 tasting notes

This morning’s cuppa. I really like the lapsang element in this and I don’t know why I can handle that and not keemuns as much. Yes I am weird!

Anyway I was working on a new blog post all morning and here it is. I wanted to add my new dragonwell tea to the database but Steepster is acting up once again so you’ll have to read about it over on Tea Trade. :)

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de/2012/05/27/ladies-who-lunch-and-drink-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

READ AMY’S BLOG STEEPIES…….IT’S REALLY GOOD! UM, no pressure Amy. :))

TeaBrat

ha – thanks for the endorsement!

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90

I got a sample of this and decided to break out the gaiwan to have a couple of steeps that way.

This is a very unique and lovely white tea, I definitely like all the white teas I’ve had so far from RtR. The leaves are BIG and slender!

This is definitely sweet, especially in the aftertaste. I definitely agree with the custard sort of description and it also reminds me of sweet buttered corn, nice! The one thing that disturbs me a teeny little bit is I have gotten a slight chlorine smell but maybe I am imagining things. My gaiwan steeping is probably not the most optimal for this, me thinks…

So I tried steeping it again in my Finium tea filter around 190F for 5 minutes. I thought perhaps that was too much but that’s what the instructions called for and these leaves were already steeped twice. Now the curious aroma is definitely gone and the light sweetness is still there, hmm. yummy! I don’t think I like it quite as much as the Sandapku or the Himalyan white but it is still rather yummy. A sweet pudding indeed. :)

ScottTeaMan

I’ll have to remember this:

RTR & Shang tea for my new whites, Mandala for Pu-erhs and China blacks (they have a coupl really nice ones)-and Bana for Puerhs.

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80
drank Original Tulsi by Organic India
2623 tasting notes

I’ve been experimenting a bit with this tulsi lately and I am finding it is good with some dried lemon peel and a bit of lemongrass. I also stuck some in the fridge to cold brew so I’ll see how that is tomorrow.

Cheryl

Blended my 3 Upton holy basils today too, then brewed with some dried bananas. It turned out pretty good, and even got a 2nd steep from it. Was thinking berries might be good too (need to pick some up).

ScottTeaMan

That sounds like a REALLY good cold brew blend.

TeaBrat

@Cheryl, I’ve tried blending my teas a few times too!
@Scott, I think it will be

gmathis

Thanks for the lemongrass idea. The two would definitely go together. And bananas…who’da thunk?

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66
drank Leaf Tea (Loose Leaf) by Typhoo
2623 tasting notes

I got this at the Middle Eastern market where I go to buy all my cheap teas. I just got it a month ago and the expiration label already says Feb 2012 so that was clearly my mistake.

It is strange that the leaves in this loose leaf pack are ground up so fine, it’s like they just used the same tea that they would use for teabags. Is it necessary to be THAT cheap?

Anyway I digress. I steeped this for 4 minutes with boiling water and it is generically average, mundane is definitely the word that comes to mind (see my rating scale on the right). I wouldn’t choose to bring this with me on a desert island but if it was there I would most likely drink it. :)

I think it might be a Ceylon, there is a bit of briskness in the cup, a slight bitterness. I did run off to get some soymilk to throw in this, but oddly enough I liked it better plain. I don’t know if this is my tastebuds adapting or what.

I’ve been thinking about doing an art project with tea and this would be a likely culprit. Though I reckon the tannins in tea would eat away at paper and such over the years.

ScottTeaMan

What kind of art do you like to create??

TeaBrat

Different things, I’ve done a lot of watercolor paintings in the past and collage stuff. I really need to get my act together and post them on the internets somewhere!

K S

This happens at the market where I shop as well. Buyer beware because they take nothing off the shelf. That’s why I will never buy loose leaf out of the bins.

Bonnie

Use wood board! Or use canvas and gesso it first and let dry!

TeaBrat

hmm. I wonder if the tea would sufficiently permeate the gesso? I’ll have to try it one of these days!

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Profile

Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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