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545 Tasting Notes

65

The July TeaLog Catchup !

I got this tea/tisane combo as a sample with the previously mentioned [in my SBT Lime Cola iced tea post] pitcher. The sample stated to use the whole packet in 16oz of water. But, man, was it a lot of tea. No way, I decided. So I split the packet evenly in two and made half of it in 12oz of water in a mug that could hold 14oz, in case it was still too much and I had to dilute it because even half of the packet came to over 4 heaping teaspoons of tea.

Still, I was surprised when 12oz came out a hint on the watery side and made a mental note to steeper the other half of the sample in a 10oz mug. That said, it was plenty flavorful. I got tart, apple orange, fruity. No tea to speak of though. I easily consumed the cup and steeped up a resteep in 8oz of water doubtfully. I did remember when I walked away to come back sooner rather than later to collect it. A weaker tho more tart somehow version of the same fruity taste.

2nd steep: definitely less than 15 mins, possibly around 10 mins. I think I used around 180 F water, not boiling.

I’m rating this tea a 65, smack dab in the middle of my nice range. It should possibly be a bit lower, but it’s a novel change from my usual non-caffeinated evening options.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

This one is caffeinated, though. I hope the white tea oesnt eep you up!

ashmanra

Doesn’t keep! I shouldn’t comment while lying on my side, typing with one finger!

Fjellrev

Now I have the old-school Macs EEPing in my head.

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74
drank Black & Blue by 52teas
545 tasting notes

The July TeaLog Catchup !

Whelp,, that’s the last of this one! Solidly berried and solidly good, I enjoyed drinking it. For the last cup, despite using more leaf than usual to use the remainder of it up, it came out a touch watery rather that a bit too strong. Silly tea!

2 steeps.

So, The July Catchup update. Blech, I’m behind. Need to get all these teas logged in. I have 10 left from July and 3(!) from yesterday. I’m gonna try to get a bunch logged today, but we’ll see how that goes. Might just be wistful thinking. Right now, I’m trying to decide if I can use needing to pick up the dry cleaning as an excuse to go to Sbux. (Yes, I’m a coffee drinker too. And I’ve noticed both type of caffeine effect me differently. No matter how strong of a tea I’m drinking, the caffeine doesn’t have the same kick for me as coffee does. And I’m happy awake but still in a complete fog this morning for some reason.)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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78

The July TeaLog Catchup !

In the beginning, I thought darjeelings were perfectly fine and good tasting to drink, but didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I was pretty neutral on them when it came to black tea loves.

Hankering for a lighter black tea late one afternoon, I pulled the one out again. With the lower water temperature and more leaf than previously used, I found this one winey and delicious. I believe I also drank this one again a day or two later, but it didn’t get jotted down onto my list.

2 steeps.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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55

The July TeaLog Catchup !

Last cup of the day when staying at my parents. Drank while doing emails, playing my turns on CC, and reading tealogs here. This was also the last bag in the box and I have no idea what water temperature I used, but it was not boiling. I now need to stock some more no/lower caffeine options there. I’m thinking about making a Harney bagged teas order. I need to look into that.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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54

The July TeaLog Catchup !

My morning cup when staying at my parents while I did some things online.

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

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65

The July TeaLog Catchup !

I looked up this tea, anticipating reading others’ reviews to see what people thought of it, and it wasn’t even in the Steepster database yet!! No!! I do not want to be the first one to review this tea! But I am. =) So be it.

I brought one of each of Frank’s SBT’s iced tea blends to try as a gift to my mom and dad, who both like iced tea, but also for myself. That is, I’m leaving them at my parents’ house but they cannot drinking them unless it’s during when I’m staying there, which is close to half of each month so it’s not that bad.

I also brought a Teavana 64oz pitcher off of Amazon to go with them because my parents do not have a pitcher that has a lid. The lid is orange, my mom’s favorite color, and the SBT iced teas made 64oz, both of which are why I picked this pitcher. I would not normally buy Teavana stuff as a rule. Turns out, the lid doesn’t fit very snugly and the pitcher holds 8oz less than stated when filled to the absolute brim. =p But it is a good size to fit into their always crowded fridge.

Now on to the tea. I ended up easily getting two approx 56oz pitchers from the single bag. The first one steeped the recommended 3 minutes and the second left to stew for probably around 15. Both were lightly sweetened.

My mom really loved the tea. She was amazed at SBT’s selection period. She commented that she could taste the tea then the lime then the cola as she swallowed. I was surprised at how specific she was in her “tasting notes”, given that she rarely drinks more than bagged grocery store teas.

My thoughts were exactly the opposite. I tasted more cola than tea and the lime as an aftertaste.

My dad was less than enthused by the oddly flavored tea combo, though he did try it at least, but I suspect he will enjoy the more normal fruity blends.

Rating: 65. Smack dab in the middle of my nice range. Mostly because I’m not the biggest coke drinking. I do like lime coke. But coke isn’t something I can drink all day long. Iced tea should be.

Preparation
Iced

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74
drank Black & Blue by 52teas
545 tasting notes

The July TeaLog Catchup !

This is the second ‘catchup sipdown’ for today. This tea was nice but not amazing to me when I first started drinking it. Over the course of the packet, I found myself liking it better and better. Overall, a solid and enjoyable berry tea. And definitely one that benefited from the less time/more tea treatment. Though I had more than a cup of leaf left this last time, used a larger mug and less time, and both steeps came out a bit watery. lol

ETA: Bumping the rating up 4 points to a 74 (middle of my good range) to better reflect my final feelings on this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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74

The July TeaLog Catchup !

Not a wild success [yet] in the more leaf but less steep time for a stronger cup experiment. But always a good, strong, rich cup and always enjoyed.

2 steeps.

A note on the ‘more leaf but less steep time for a stronger cup experiments’: Trying this has greatly changed the way my non-flavored black teas taste to me for the better (I can pick out more notes in them and the notes show up stronger to me etc), and also made most flavored blacks more enjoyable. This tealog seemed like a good place to mention this as I’ve continued on with it with good results because it [the tealog] was short! lol

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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40

The July TeaLog Catchup !

This one was part of a variety pack, which included vanilla black tea and decaf vanilla black tea, that I got in a set of four Bigelow variety packs for Christmas from my grandma. I quickly drank through first the decaf vanilla black tea, because I don’t have a lot of desserty non-caffeinated teas, then the vanilla black tea, because even though vanilla was overwhelming to the tea and kinda fake tasting, it still made for a comforting warm cup convenient because bagged. But when I tried this one the first time, thinking it would be my favorite of the three because I love caramel, it was very bleck to me in both smell and taste. I wondered how I would finish the remaining five bags of it. I even thought about foisting it off on my mom via leaving them at her house in her miscellaneous bagged teas jar (for when there are only a few bags left in the box so the box can be recycled and new teas brought to replace). But I thought after enough time had passed, my memory of disliking it would diminish and I would try it again.

Recently, I noticed at my mom’s house on some of the other Bigelow teas (namely the variety pack including English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Constant Comment) that the teas were too strong for me and decreased the steeping time thus enjoying them more. The other day, looking for the quickness of a bagged tea, I pulled this one out and thought hmm maybe it’ll be better steeped on the lowest end of the recommended steeping times range but I was doubtful. But glad to be proved wrong when it was! Don’t get me wrong, this will never be a favorite among bagged teas, but it was much more drinkable and I finished the whole cup, which I did not the previous time I had it. I will easily be able to finish the rest of the bags when the mood strikes me now, and feel oddly victorious about this discovery.

This tea still gets a 40 (low end of decent bagged teas range) but it would have gotten a lot lower had I logged and rated it the first time I drank it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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75

The July TeaLog Catchup !

Continuing in the more leaf instead of longer steep time vein, this tea also came out very good. But then again, this is always a good one to me.

2 steeps.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’m 33 years old, studying pharmacy, and have a surly cat named Bin. I love tea, coffee, beer, wine, and most things food and beverage related. I also love music, movies, reading, writing, and learning new things.

I’ve drank tea all my life but about five to six years ago, my close friend Spautz got into tea and got me more into tea. I drink black teas and tisanes/herbals most. Since receiving a variable temperature kettle from my parents for Xmas this past year, I’ve been drinking more greens, oolongs, and whites. I’m very very new to puerh. That is, I’ve had only one.

Ratings scale:
90-100 Awesome
80-90 Great
70-80 Good
60-70 Nice
50-60 Decent
40-50 Drinkable
30-40 Meh
0-30 Awful

Would I order this again ranking:
5 – definitely
4 – likely
3 – maybe
2 – neutral
1 – no

Location

Charleston, SC

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