1832 Tasting Notes

drank Pirate Chai by ThinkGeek
1832 tasting notes

This was a Christmas gift last year from my youngest daughter. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this one before, but I am not a big chai drinker. That being said, this is the sort of chai I prefer – no pepper, no turmeric, but just ginger, cinnamon, and clove as nearly as I can tell.

The tea base seems a bit weak to me. There isn’t much black tea flavor here. I am drinking it plain, but I think that people who add milk and sugar to their chai would enjoy this more than I do. It isn’t terrible, it just isn’t the best chai I have ever had.

The tins are so cool that as each one is emptied, I will probably refill it with a better version of what was inside. So Earl Grey Hot will get Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme, this tin will get Rabbit Hole Chai, Zombie Blood Orange will probably get Orange Grove Vanilla, and Timmy’s 1Up Jasmine will get a Teavivire loose jasmine.

Invader Zim

I’ve been wanting to get this set for a while now. Not for the tea though, just for the tins!

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drank Holiday Chai by Stash Tea Company
1832 tasting notes

Last year I bought some of this for myself and some for my daughter’s fiancé. Back then he really didn’t do loose leaf much. He loved it! So I sent another box. This year I wanted to send more and couldn’t find it anywhere! Finally, I put out an APB on it and a friend found it at the grocery she goes to. We got him two boxes.

I served this as the final tea of tea party today because it smells like mulled cider – a nice, Christmas-y aroma. For a bagged tea, it is pretty good. The shocking thing is that my daughter who does not like black tea AT ALL liked it and drank two cups! She also loves their White Christmas tea, a peppermint white tea blend that is indeed very soothing.

So today, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, eldest daughter drank not one but TWO black teas and preferred them to the white and oolong teas we were serving. She said her beloved may only get one of the boxes of tea because she may keep the other for herself. I guess I had better head back to the grocery and get her some of both of these Stash offerings!

This is mild for a chai, and reminds me of the Russian Friendship Tea as it was called when I was very young – mostly black tea, orange, cinnamon, and clove, but nothing too strong.

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Happy Christmas! Today is Christmas with my eldest daughter because she will be in Ireland for Christmas, so we let her open her presents and have her stocking and we are just spending some time together. In addition, we told her about a puppy that was saved from animal control by the no- kill shelter. She has a broken leg and has pins and wires and screws and a plate and they needed a home for her to recover in, and she really wanted to meet the puppy before she leaves so we picked her up tonight! She is resting in front of the fire with her new toy elephant and has eaten voraciously. Apparently someone forgot to tell the little pup that she is badly injured and must rest. If her leg doesn’t heal properly, it will have to be amputated, so we are praying the fix “takes.” Here she is:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24998856@N06/8267840867/

I got to open my gift from my daughter’s fiancé and this was it! I know, I know! What a great guy! We decided to have some after supper tonight as a celebratory cup.

I made it in my new Krups which I positively love and we are using several times a day. The base is sooo smooth, the almond flavor is dominant without being overbearing, and it is sweet and light, even refreshing, on the palate. Good gracious, the French really know how to scent and flavor tea!
This is an elegant cup and I shall enjoy every bit of it!

Even my daughter who does not like black tea is drinking it. She likes it!

Hesper June

What a sweet puppy! Merry Christmas to your daughter.
This tea sounds yummy:-)

ashmanra

It is good! I love almond scent and flavor!

Josie Jade

Congrats on the little pup, adorable! And the tea sounds wonderful too!

Rebecca Lynn

D’awwwww, puppy!!! You’re lucky your daughter has a tea loving fiancé. Jealous of that Pleine Lune!

JacquelineM

What a beautiful lil pup! My boss adopted a dog that was in the same situation, and sadly his leg had to be amputated. The great news is that Grendel is completely fine only having three legs. He is super sweet and even comes to spend the day in the office now and again — he runs everywhere with his three legs and jumps on my lap even! I’m hoping that the setting takes, but even in the worst case scenario, I bet she will rise to the occasion. If only we could all be more like dogs.

I have a little bit of this tea and I’ve been saving it for my Winter Break — just a few more days til ahhhhhhhh!

cteresa

Puppy is a beauty! My best to her! (And happy holidays to all of you by the way).

I love Pleine Lune! It´s such a staple tea for me. My favorite way to have it (even if I usually like my tea plain) is with honey and a drop of milk – that way is one of the most conforting teas i ever had!

ashmanra

JacquelineM: I am almost holding my breath because this little girl wants to PLAY! She is rather hyper and is supposed to be kept calm with as much movement restriction as possible! And this is how she acts while medicated! Whatever would she be like unmedicated??? :)

cteresa: that sounds delectable! I will try it that way, too!

Shmiracles

this is such a great post. everything about today warms my heart. so happy for you!

Claire

Oh my goodness cute puppy! I hope she heals properly and feels better soon.

Invader Zim

Oh my goodness! PUPPY! I mean, it sounds like a good tea…but overly cute puppy! I hope she heals right!

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Fabulous, smooth, sweet black tea. Gave it to a tea newbie today and he loved it. I noticed that my stock is getting low, and that is a no-no. This will definitely be reordered! It is on the “if you could only have ten teas list.”

Sil

Hmmmm I wonder if I ordered this one. Ill have to check it out. I do love me some black tea :)

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drank Prince of Wales by Twinings
1832 tasting notes

Thank you to Twinings for sending three teas of our choice to try! This is the sample I most wanted, based on reviews I have read here on Steepster. I was especially interested in whether this one would resteep.

I was a little surprised when I just read that this is a blend of Chinese teas because I could have sworn I tasted some Indian leaf in this. Then I read that it is Yunnan and southern province teas and it made sense, because there is a lot of assamica varietal in yunnan plus they tend to have a slight maltiness.

This is good. It is smooth. I took it without milk and sugar and it was not harsh. There was a hint of tingling or peppery flavor from the yunnan. It is not premium loose leaf tea but is very drinkable and easy to carry and make, so I think it qualifies as a Cheapster Steepster because….I like the resteep even better than the first steep! It is not strong, no, indeed. But it is now ever so lightly smoky and is even smoother.

This is nothing like the PG Tips or Yorkshire Gold that makes me hide under the bed until it has been tamed with milk and sugar. It is more delicate, but not frail. I doubt it would wake up an Assam lover but it is good mid-morning tea for me!

gmathis

Aw, come out from under the bed on over to the dark side :)

TeaBrat

This is one of my favorite Twinings teas…

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drank Mixed Berry by Twinings
1832 tasting notes

My samples came! My samples came! And though I have been wanting to try Prince of Wales for a long time, I could not resist this berry flavored black. It was really calling to me.

I don’t remember having a Twinings tea that I disliked. This one definitely lives up to my expectations. It is a very nice berry flavored tea.

I am drinking it plain and hot and it is great, and it really tastes like it would be over the top good iced and sweetened.

The tea base is nice. Of the flavors, cherry is dominant to me, but it could be that red currant is a big factor also. I wouldn’t know since I have never had red currant, and only recently tried black currant for the first time.

This is a really nice cuppa! I wouldn’t mind picking up a whole box.

Our samples came with a coupon code (Mailer) for 15% off through March 30, 2013. Good thing, as I don’t think this one is sold anywhere locally.

Edited to add: Nevermind the coupon code. When you go on their site, they already offer 20% off.

K S

Hope my come soon – just don’t remember what I asked for.

ashmanra

Well then, it will be a nice…..SUPPLIES!
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RB2GboGOuTI

gmathis

Nope, not a bad Twinings in the bunch. Mine came; I tucked them in my purse for restaurant and away-from-my-stash emergencies.

K S

SUPPLIES! lol :) how do you all find this stuff?

ashmanra

Teenagers + Internet = constant hysteria! The good kind!

Tabby

!!! Oh man, I need to go check my mailbox.

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Two of my daughters had tea with me today. Youngest and I had this one – it is a favorite of hers – with Hungarian Embassy cake which is basically pound cake with a streak of cinnamon and brown sugar and chopped pecans.

This is an easy introduction to smoky tea. The blend is very nice and has a lot of body and character, with a little Darjeeling personality thrown in with the smoke. It is a real pleasure to drink.

Bonnie

You’re a diet breaker!!!

ashmanra

Not if it is the “See Food Diet!”

LiberTEAS

The See Food Diet is my favorite diet.

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drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
1832 tasting notes

My best friend had never had unflavored matcha before so I offered to whip some up today. Even using my metal kitchen whisk in a plain cereal bowl I got a really decent froth.

My friend said she felt like she had just had a serving of vegetables. I thought it tasted a bit like buttered kale, although sometimes leafy green veggies can have a bitter taste and you really don’t find that here. She agreed about the taste. This is the veggie goodness. I told her I hoped she was prepared to do some housework with all the energy that would be hitting her in about twenty minutes!

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Somehow I had failed to add this to my cupboard. What an oversight because I love this one!

Today I made a new cake to try out some new pans. I bought the half size Bundt pans and though I really should have made my pound cake recipe I decided to try a new recipe called Hungarian Embassy cake. I got the recipe from a friend who was at an embassy dinner over twenty years ago. She loved the dessert so much she asked for the recipe, and then was featured in our local paper for her baking and they ran the recipe, too.

I invited my best friend over for cake and tea. I also wanted a good excuse to use my new variable temp kettle again. The cake has a streak of brown sugar and cinnamon through it, so I thought this would be a good match for it.

My friend was captivated by the honey aroma of the tea. She really loved it. The resteep was just as good, making this an excellent value as well as an excellent tea. It was a great value even without its resteep-ability!

Smooth, honeyed, a tiny tad malty, and utterly delicious, this is a cupboard staple. Teavivre blows me away.

K S

The only tea I have rated 100… at least so far.

ashmanra

I believe it!

TheTeaFairy

I second that as well, awesome tea!

ashmanra

My friend cracked up and laughed at me today as I rooted through my Teavivre tea chest to get it! She couldn’t believe how much of their tea I have bought!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! I know, my friends and family think I’m an alien when they look at my tea cabinet! I have to admit that my collection has expended out of normalcy…

ashmanra

I think I have actually broken out in a cold sweat and chanted, “I have a problem. I have a problem,” several times recently.

TheTeaFairy

Oh, thanks for saying that Ashmanra, I don’t feel as lonely now. The real problem is that I do enjoy having this problem… I’m in the loop here, can’t escape!

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drank Tea Maker FL7000 - Krups by Krups
1832 tasting notes

Finally! I have my variable temp kettle! I like the way it looks, especially with the filters in it, isn’t that silly? But it is attractive just as a pot for boiling water, too.

All of this section will be the pros and the facts. First, you can set the kettle on the base any old way. It spins – you can turn the handle how you wish. I find that handy.

The lid comes all the way off for filling and cleaning. (Some brands don’t, and they are harder to fill and clean because of the angle you must hold them.) The lid twists on securely so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself with steam or water as you pour as could happen if a lid popped off.

The lid and filters are plastic but they are BPA free. The dual filter allows you to tout leaves or bags in the small filter, insert into pot with filter raised, then you can lower it when the water reaches your desired temperature. When time is up, simply twist the top and the filter draws up out of the water and you can serve straight from the variable temp kettle if you wish. I bought this just to heat water, though!

The water came to a full boil at about 4 minutes 38 seconds. Testing it against my English kettle on the stove, which was more expensive than the electric kettle and is designed for super fast heating, the electric was a little faster as my stove kettle took 4 minutes 50 seconds to come to a full boil. I have noticed it whistles starting at about 195F so I gave it until I could hear the water rumbling a bit to stop the timer.

One of the deciding features for me – this kettle will hold your temp for ONE HOUR! Most others cut off after 20 or 30 minutes.

The lid and glass must be somewhat insulating because HOURS after I tested the pot I poured out the water and it was still warm. Not tea making warm mind you, but I expected it to be cold by then.

Now the one and only con I have found so far. It only holds one liter of water. I often make two Beehouse pots at a time and on tea party day I make three. One liter doesn’t quite cut it, but I can work around that, especially since I really bought this for gong fu steeping sessions.

Edited to add: Also, it doesn’t beep when it hits the target temperature. The blue light on the base turns red and flashes. I don’t know if that is a pro or a con! Beeping would get annoying, but sometimes I might not be paying enough attention!

So far, I really like it and I am not disappointed!

These are available at Tin Roof Teas and I had waited a long time for them to come back in stock. Just when they did, I found out that none of my kids were coming home for a couple of weeks, and I wanted my kettle yesterday, so I ordered it with a discount coupon code from Macy’s and also got free shipping. LOL! So it all worked out in the end, and I think I am still going to be picking up one more from Tin Roof for a friend!

LiberTEAS

Before I got my breville, I never really thought that a variable temp kettle was necessary … I had been eyeballing my water temp all those years and I had it down pretty well, but, it makes life so much easier to have the kettle do the work for you. That’s also why I absolutely love my Breville, it does even more of the work for me. :)

ashmanra

It was very nice to just hit a button for the temp I wanted! No pulling out the thermometer now! I think this will be especially useful for whites and greens. The fact that it will hold at 167F appealed to me because I have a couple of white teas that go that low and most of the kettles I saw did not. I think I am going to wish I had bought a while back!

TheTeaFairy

Hi Ashmanra, I just received mine, (had to replace a cheaper one I had bought). You were right, it looks fantastic! I was just wondering if it stood the test of time, do you still enjoy using it as much?

ashmanra

I still love mine! And I gave one to my daughter and her fiancé as an engagement gift and they are thrilled with it. We use it at least several times a day and it still looks great and works great. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have enjoyed mine! I will not be without a variable temp kettle ever again if I can help it.

TheTeaFairy

Sweet! Thank you so much, I’m happy to hear that cause I just made my first pot and I absolutely love it!!!! Very well constructed and so easy to use, a breeze. I chose to buy this one cause I remebered your review :-) Also, it’s got pretty good reviews on Amazon.
Gongrats on your daughter’s engagement, what a lovely gift!

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

Location

North Carolina

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