2204 Tasting Notes

A few years ago, my daughter, Superanna, bought some teas I had been wanting for me for my birthday. I was surprised and asked how she knew I wanted them and she said that she had checked my Steepster wishlist.

This year, no longer content to stalk me via wish list, she contacted Mary Bao at Teavivre and asked her to put together a recommended gift list based on my reviews and likes, and Mary came through in a big way! WOW!

This is one of the teas I received. I had tried a sample of it once and it is even better than I remembered. I made it Sunday morning while my future daughter-in-law, ChelseaR, and I were having a chat as I ate breakfast. I showed her the adorable little spirals before steeping. So cute, but meaningless unless the tea is good.

One would usually be distracted by the conversation and not notice one’s tea as much, but this one stopped me in my tracks.

Oh my, that first sip! Golden raisin flavor, bright, molasses, honey, sunshine, thick – I stammered and had to restrain myself from growling sweet nothings into my cup that may have been perceived as naughty and strange by my company. This had layers of flavor to dive into and explore.

Thank you, Superanna, for all the tea, and thank you, Mary Bao, for going above and beyond in customer service. Thank you, Teavivre, for furnishing these tea heads on here with high quality, affordable tea.

Myssy

That was incredibly sweet. Happy birthday!

KiwiDelight

Lovely! Happy Birthday :3

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Tanabata Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2204 tasting notes

After browsing Red Leaf Tea and reading lots of revIews, I took a chance that this was my best bet for a good unflavored matcha that would compare favorably with KaiMatcha Premium, which is very hard to find “in stock.”

I am happy to say that this has turned out to be a very good choice. I compared it side by side with KaiMatcha and the color was nearly the same, perhaps this being a tiny bit less vibrant but almost unnoticeable. I am assuming this is harvested in summer since that is when the Tanabata Festival takes place.

I whisked it in 160F water and got a good froth with my little whisk. I sifted, so there are no lumps or clumps, and it sifts pretty easily. As I drink the large bowl of matcha, I give it a swirl near the finish to keep the tea well mixed. Enjoying this immensely.

This is a good value, in my opinion.

I love having a bowl of matcha with just one – just ONE – Lindt truffle. This is my special treat that I try to fit in every day, though I sometimes miss!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Flower Pu er by Wait Tea House
2204 tasting notes

Miraculously, this is my first tea of the day. I had a quick, light breakfast checking the news constantly to see if daughter’s school was cancelled. I can not remember school ever being cancelled here for tornado watches, but it was today. And the day flew away from me texting neighbor’s who are new to southern storms what to do, and texting kids and friends to see if they were okay. Several times, youngest and I paused, listened, and started to head for our “safe spot” but it turned out to be a hard downburst each time. There were tornadoes all around us, but I have not heard of any severe damage in our area.

What a delight to try this tea tonight. After tasting it, I am thrilled that there is at least one more sample pack. I am also broken-hearted that there is only one more sample pack.

I am surprised this is puerh. The company description is a little confusing. It is listed under both puerh and black tea, the package says it has both, but the online description only mentions puerh. Technically, puerh is made from Yunnan leaves and Dian Hong is Yunnan leaf so….I don’t know.

What I do know is that this tea smelled like burnt brown sugar, a whole pot of it. And a tiny hint of sweet potato. The package said to use 200 ml of water and I used my little gong fu pot. I steeped until I saw nice color, not for five minutes like the package said.

This was delicious and memorable and when I get my stash low enough, I plan to splurge and get some more of this because I really loved it.

tigress_al

That must have been scary, glad you are safe

Teatotaler

Same for us up here in Richmond. It was especially unnerving between 5:50-6:30pm with everyone’s iPhones in the house beeping for tornado warnings every few minutes! Happy that you’re okay.

just john

I haven’t ever heard of school being cancelled for a tornado
. Here in Missouri it’s everything officials can do to get people to take it seriously and not go to their front porch to watch.

mrmopar

We had some bad ones yesterday around Appomattox. I think the blessing is being no one lost their life.

S.G. Sanders

Glad you’re safe!

mrmopar

I just heard 4 people were taken in the storm. With as much damage it could have been way worse.

ashmanra

Oh dear. I hadn’t heard that yet, mrmopar. The only damage in our immediate area is light property damage like broken car windows, downed limbs, uprooted trees. We had a few scares, but thankfully nothing touched down in our vicinity. Glad you are all safe!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Le Bonheur! (Happiness) by Fauchon
2204 tasting notes

A sad sipdown – really great tea and the final tea of tea party this week. The tin is really nice and may try to repurpose it since it is double-lidded.

This is so fruity and flavorful. The French really know how to take what looks like TOO MANY different flavors and come out with a fabulous tea.

Sil

i agree!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

My daughter picked this up in Toronto last year during the tea festival. We served it for tea party with an Italian Cream Cake that youngest made. It went very well with the cake. It is fairly strong but not bitter and not too astringent, has the heft to taste like tea even when you are eating something incredibly sweet and rich like that cake. Malty, bready, breakfasty. And a hint of

I would love to have more of the maple flavor tea they got there. So good….

Fjellrev

The cake sounds scrumptious!

Fjellrev

In fact, I just bookmarked a recipe for it. Someday, someday.

ashmanra

i had never had one until about two years ago and fell in love with it. It is very rich, and I love pecans so they are a huge bonus in the frosting!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
2204 tasting notes

This is a sipdown years in the making. I love Christmas, but I rarely love ANY Christmas tea. I have had only one or two that I loved. This one is good enough but not a repurchase for me unless someone else in the house wants it. To be fair, most people love it but I don’t dig the standard Christmas tea blend.

The black base is good, the clove dominates to me but when there is clove it generally stands out to me. The cinnamon comes next and then the orange, which is pretty light, I thought.

We are working hard on getting older teas out, and I am finally down to about 125 in the cupboard. As I have gone in the delete some of these, I am also discovering that there are some teas I haven’t added to my cupboard . That doesn’t include samples and swaps, so I have a long way to go…

Sil

woot! getting close to 100!

Kristal

Good for you! I’ve been working hard on using up teas as well. I just got down to almost where I wanted to be but I just added 5 teas to my collection (2 are just samples, but the other 3 are very light herbals). Oh well!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Steepster has GOT to be eating my tasting notes, because I can’t believe that I haven’t written one on this tea before. I have had gallons of it.

This is my puerh of the evening, hoping to combat the kind of horrible reflux that awakened me in the wee hours this morning.

This tea comes as small coin shapes that are scored across the middle so they easily break in half, somewhat like a tuocha in volume and diameter. I have had my “tube” for over a year. It was a Christmas surprise from hubby, purchased at Tin Roof Teas in Raleigh, NC..

This is an earthy puerh, not too strong and not fishy. I made two steps with a half coin, and the color is a medium orange “normal” black tea color, not the inky black you sometimes get with shu puerh.

This has been especially delightful tonight, as it is getting a wonderful oily body as it cools a little in the pot. I would call it creaminess, but when that thick mouthfeel appears in a puerh with mineral taste added in, I always think of oil, the way Murphy’s Oil Soap smells to me.

Good stuff! I will probably get another three steps or so out of this tomorrow.

TeaBrat

these are great, I have some too :)

S.G. Sanders

My wife and I are visiting my family near Raleigh this month. I’m trying to convince her to pass Tin Roof Teas while we can! However, within the next few months, I can make the trip more often, considering the (hopeful) move down to N.C.

mrmopar

Raleigh has Angelina’s teas too I think.

ashmanra

mrmopar – Angelina’s is in Winston Salem apparently. I looked it up and that seems to be the closest one. I have never been.

ashmanra

Rufus – Come on down! Our new neighbors right across the street just moved here from Ohio! They liked the warmth and the housing prices. My sister-in-law is from Ohio, too.

S.G. Sanders

ashmanra- We plan on doing so! My wife is from Goldsboro, and wants to head on back there!

mrmopar

Yep, I stand corrected. Not sure why I thought Raleigh.

mrmopar

Rufus I used to have family in Goldsboro and Burgaw. Small world.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is a tea bag that was included with my Christmas card from K S. Thank you, K S!

I have looked up and added the ingredients to the description for a special reason.

First, when I tasted this tea it reminded me very strongly of Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, but wasn’t exactly the same. I had expected it to taste like Constant Comment. Since I couldn’t quite put a finger on what was different, I googled the ingredients. They were not listed on the pouch the bag came in.

In googling it, I found an article about how natural flavor in the ingredient list can mean something we don’t really consider to be natural. They specified this tea as an example and said the company was not forthcoming when they pressed for details about the flavors and how they are made and where they come from, and the article then listed a whole lot of companies that use “natural flavors”, with most of the biggies being in that list, including Teavana. There were only a few companies that use only all natural ingredients.

I do not refute that there is some stuff going in our foods that shouldn’t be there, and I do not take issue with this person’s concerns. We NEED to be informed about our food supply! Read the article. It is worth a read.

What I disagree with was their belief that something was “up”, shall we say, for this tea to be so sweet without sugar. Thanks to Harney and Sons HCS and Penzey’s Cinnamon Blend, I can tell you that when you put the right cinnamons together, you get a super sweet tasting final product.

I did not leave the bag in my cup. I used boiling and gave it close to four minutes steep. While the cinnamon was on top, the ginger was right there blasting away. It added a ton of sweetness in my opinion. Ginger is usually hot to me, and I avoid things that contain a lot of ginger because I don’t like the heat. I can take it and even enjoy it in small amounts. But something about the synergy of this cinnamon with all those herbs and the blast of ginger made me really, really enjoy this cuppa.

I don’t do bagged tea, but if I had to take tea bags with me somewhere, this would probably be one of them.

K S

The complete ingredient list as furnished on the box read: Black tea, natural flavor, rosehip, lemongrass, cinnamon, chamomile, peppermint, jasmine green tea, anise seed, ginger root, orange peel, orange oil.

I don’t catch half the ingredients but enjoyed what I did detect. I immediately thought of Hot Cinnamon Spice as well, and am equally baffled at the sweetness of both.

S.G. Sanders

I knew about Teavana….considering I worked there for 2 years!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is a sipdown and that beautiful tin is now empty. What am I going to do with all the beautiful tins? I can’t keep them all! I have given away tons of them, and recycled some, and redecorated some.

This is a really decadent French tea, as only the French can do. This is sweet and flavorful, even without sugar, and I really don’t know how they capture that flavor I call “pastry crust” but when I went back and drank some of this cold, the front of the sip was like biting into a piece of pie. Given the opportunity, I will restock this one.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank White Tangerine by Revolution Tea
2204 tasting notes

I can’t believe I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard, mostly because this is the special large sachet that is specially made for PF Changs and I called their wholesale division and offered to buy a case if they would sell it to me even though they don’t list it as available to the public. They sold me the case and I divided it among friends and family.

The instructions say to pour boiling water over and leave the bag in, encouraging customers to go ahead and fill their cups when you get it to the table, and then you resteep. Whatever they did at the restaurant worked, but those parameters did not do well at home.

Today I gave it three minutes in 180F water. It was beautiful. So very citrus-y. I agree that the white tea looks quite dark for a white tea. I only did two steeps because it just didn’t seem like it could handle more.

I noticed that the sachet was big and crunchy, so I cut it open to pour in the compost and the leaves were a very nice size! It was pretty much whole leaf tea in a sachet, with good sized bits of something – probably peel – but I didn’t have time to investigate much.

I am really enjoying this. Had three pots total today of just this one.

Sil

oh wow. that’s awesome!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven 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

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer