52 Tasting Notes

80

At first whiff, this tea smells divine right out of the bag; just like sweet, fresh coconut. After steeping, the tea retains much of its coconut scent, but with the added earthiness of the black tea. The tea leaves themselves looked gorgeous, having unfurled fully, and returning to their natural length (pleasantly surprised how intact they were).
Since there were no hints on how long to steep this baby (the company’s website is lacking a little as yet), I went for four minutes, which unfortunately, was too long. At four minutes, it’s a little bitter, so next time I’ll try three and see what works. But, even though the time was too long, the tea still manages to taste deliciously of coconut. I’m loving the aftertaste, and looking forward to trying this one again.

Oh, and I wanted to add that this is a “local” tea company for me, so I’m excited to be the first reviewer. I picked this one up at a great co-op near Albany, NY.

Divinitea

I noticed your review and thought it would be a good idea if we included steeping instructions on our website. We just completed instructions on all the teas. Now when you view a product page, you will see those steeping instructions. Hope that helps!

Elizabeth

Lovely! Thank you very much. It makes the tea much more approachable. Looking forward to trying more of your teas ASAP.

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34

Second cup of this one. I wasn’t terribly interested the first time around, and decided to steep it just a little longer (4 minutes this time, as compared to 3 before) to see if it drew me more. Oops, too long of a steep. Instead of being light and delicate, and the caramel and marshmallow notes readily available, it’s slightly bitter. Yes, it’s to be expected when let alone too long, I was not expecting the extra minute to change the tea experience so completely. Not my last try, though, so I’ll be giving this another shot.

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45

After enjoying Della Terra’s Earl Grey Creme yesterday, this Grey seems to lose a little of its lustre. It’s more, bam, in your face, and not subtle. The bergamot and tea are not complex or terribly interesting.
I suppose this is to be expected, a tea I used to enjoy a great deal has proven to be less than ideal in comparison with others.

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86

First taste on a nerve-wracking exam morning. So far, loving this tea. The bergamot is definitely flavorful, but not overpowering as in some Earl Greys, and the creme flavor softens it enough to allow for a milk-free cup. I love the marshmallowy creaminess the creme adds. Since I’m still a newb, I haven’t had the delight of tasting many creme teas yet, but if this is a hint of what’s to come, I’m pleased to start on the adventure.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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42
drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
52 tasting notes

Yes. Yes I did get a pick-your-own sample pack from Della Terra. S’mores is my second foray into the delectably scented teas made by DT, and I will admit it was fairly good. I used two level teaspoons for 12 oz. of water, and steeped for 3 minutes. I added a heaping teaspoon of raw sugar.
The tea had a nice subtle flavor of chocolate and marshmallows, and overall, it was tasty. I don’t feel like I got any graham-cracker essence in this steep. Perhaps this will be a little more flavorful with a full, rolling, boil and a little longer steep. Experimentation time!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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62

OK, so I love having a nice black tea I can drink in the evenings (I’m hugely sensitive to caffeine, so sue me), and this one has some great flavor. The vanilla is neither overpowering nor weak, and overall this has a great, slightly nutty, taste. I make a cup of this using one teabag in 8 oz. of water, steeped for 4 minutes, and with a teaspoon of sugar. It’s pretty yummy, and I enjoy it that way….But, I’m also a fan of milk in my tea (depends on my mood), and with the addition of milk (whole, organic) it gets too dilute. Well, darn it, that’s not cool. I have even tried steeping it to 5 minutes, and I still couldn’t get enough flavor to stand up to the milk – it just managed to get bitter.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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57

First try. My phone was on silent, so my tea-timer did not alert me that this was done steeping, and I may have left it sitting a little longer than I should have…That said, Walnut Brittle has a lovely delicate walnut taste, and opening the lid of my cup to see the beautiful green tea leaves having unfurled was a pretty sight. I’m currently enjoying this with a teaspoon of raw sugar, and it’s going down quite nicely.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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18
drank Lavender Dreams by Teavana
52 tasting notes

Just got this baby in the mail yesterday…For an unknown reason, Teavana enjoys paying UPS to deliver my backordered teas one packet at a time (I’m still waiting on 3 packets and a canister) from their post-holiday sale. If I’d known about Steepster when making that order, I probably wouldn’t have ordered this one, since I’m not terribly interested in a cup of lavender perfume. But, I will certainly not judge until I’ve had a proper cup. This morning was most definitely an Earl Grey morning, so Lavender Dreams will have to wait a bit.

Ace

Have u tried the lavender blend with earl grey? It’s fabulous.

Elizabeth

At the moment, I’m avoiding any and all teas containing lavender!
; )

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55
drank MateVana by Teavana
52 tasting notes

OK, so now I’m learning about the love/hate relationship many tea sippers have with Teavana, and I’m realizing also that I did a darn good job at squeezing good deals from the company during their after-holiday sale. This one, which is usually pretty cheap, I got for $1.45 for a packet. Yay!

Anyway, this is my first foray into the world of mate, and since I was nervous (yes, I’m a mate wuss), I only put enough mate into my 12 oz. cup for an 8 oz. cup. I didn’t want it to be too strong! Well, it sure as heck wasn’t. I added my hot (not boiling, as is what I’ve been told) water, waited 6 minutes, then put in 1 teaspoon of sugar. And darn it, the stuff is weak. Now I know, I’ll put in the proper amount of mate next time…

For being weak, it has a nice flavor, so I’m happy to give this another go at its proper strength.

January 18, 2013
Second try. I put enough mate in the cup for 12 oz. but it still wasn’t very strong. Curious what’s up with that. Will try again tomorrow.

January 24, 2013
Well, that was a long “tomorrow.” With the stress of my current nursing class, I had been needing my daily Earl Grey, and just couldn’t substitute that for anything. Yesterday morning, though, I had to get up before the sun and get my butt outside in below-zero weather in order to be at the OR on time (my first OR clinical day!). I knew I needed something highly caffeinated, and wanted to give the mate another shot. I made it strong: two heaping teaspoons for my 12 oz. cup, brewed my water hot to boiling, and let the stuff steep a good 6 minutes. It was finally nice and strong, and I felt a good jolt from it that morning. Not sure I’m a huge fan, but the Matevana stuff sure did its duty.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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85

I’m a huge fan of almond…I love it in cookies, candies, cakes, whatever. So, when I found this tea at the shop, I just had to try it. I wasn’t expecting the almond flavor to be as gorgeously full-bodied as it presents in this brew! The fruity flavors are definitely there as well, and allow a touch of sweetness to this tea, but the almond creaminess is to die for. I didn’t expect to find a tea-cupboard staple so early in my explorations, but this is definitely a keeper!

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

Mm, I love this one

Elizabeth

I wish I could find refill bags of this locally!

sozz06

Elizabeth where are you located? If you give me a zip code I might be able to lead you to a place.

Elizabeth

That would be lovely! I do live in the middle of nowhere, though, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. My zip is: 12043

sozz06

You are right… we aren’t nearby yet but you should request it at your local grocery store or cafe :). The nearest place we are by is Hannaford.

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Profile

Bio

First and foremost, I’m a Mommy to my one-and-only daughter. After that, I’m a full-time student-nurse working on degree number two. Then, I’m a wife, a voracious reader, and a newly minted lover of loose-tea.

All my life I’ve enjoyed herbal teas, but am ready and willing to explore other flavors and concepts.

Being a full-time mom and student, the ritual of brewing and enjoying the subtlety of tea is extremely appealing.

I tend to like strong teas: original chais (not boring “masala chai”) are a big deal for me, and I’m hunting for new ones that can accompany my breakfast. I love EGs, especially EGCs, and I hope to find the perfect one some day. Not a huge fan of tisanes or overly fruity teas. I’m starting to love greens and whites, but only if they’re generous enough in the flavor department: no wimps. I’ve got to say, though, I really do not understand pu-erh (yet?).

80-100
Outta the park: delicious, amazing, a cupboard staple.

65-79
Good tea: not a staple, but would brew and/or buy again if in the mood.

50-64
Fair to good: nothing wrong with the tea, but not particularly interesting or not flavored highly enough.

25-49
Not good: can probably finish the cup, but may not brew again.

0-24
Down the drain.

Location

Upstate, NY

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