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Recent Tasting Notes
Came home feeling like one raw exposed nerve, so careful, measured, conscious tea-blending wasn’t in the books… not sure what proportions I used, what the actual water temp or steep time was…but the results of an unspecified amount of tulsi combined with one carelessly tossed-in bag of Celestial Seasonings sweet apple chamomile yielded … one cup of liquid Juicy Fruit gum. Not bad for an accident.
1 tsp Hibiscus (Jamestown Teas)
3/4 tsp Pomegranate (Dori’s Tea Cottage)
12 oz water
I used the last teaspoons of each of these together in a cold steep.
The result was very tart and hibiscus-y with a sweet-tart pomegranate aftertaste. There wasn’t much in the way of the coppery flavor I associate with large amount of hibiscus, so that was refreshing. Sugar helps this along, but it was still on the far too tart side for me. It was definitely drinkable, and probably a good way to jump start your mouth in the morning, but it’s not something I’d do again.
What could be better than Eight Candles & Butterfly Kisses blended together? Both of them by themselves. A good idea in theory, but not in execution. Running terribly low on both. Looking forward to Della Terra’s sale Friday and a stop at Tehku Tea on my drive home from Thanksgiving. I will stock up on both as they are the teas I seem to be choosing each day :)
The Junkyard Tea jar is getting full, and the temps cold enough that “it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s warm” is the rule o’ the day. This morning’s kaleid-o-tea has a few last leaves of Laoshan Black, a little Ceylon, a little Keemun, a lot of whatever else was already in there, and a surprise in every sip.
I certainly had fun coming up with a way to list this here on Steepster… I like the analogy of using assorted teas to create some kind of Frankenstein’s Monster of tea.
Side note: I will hunt you down and punch you in the face if you make the mistake of calling the monster itself Frankenstein: Frankenstein is the scientist! It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine when people mix that up.
Anyway, I’m getting tired of trying to find new ways to use up the leaf I have from my DAVIDsTEA Earl of Lemon, DAVIDsTEA Goji Pop, and my McQuarrie’s Ontario Ice Wine so I figured why not try and kill three birds with one stone and throw some of each leaf into a teaball and steep myself a random mishmash of tea. I fully expected to hate it, but figured it’d use up some of everything so I might as well TRY it and then if I had to dump it I could feel somewhat justified in doing so.
Preparation was kinda tricky: I had to balance the steeping requirements of three different teas. Fortunately, I didn’t care a whole lot so I more so went with simplicities sake. I used a somewhat heaping 1/2 tsp. for each tea – bringing me up to around 1/2 tsp. for the total amount of leaf used.
Temperature wise, I used closer to what would normally be used for the Ontario Ice Wine since it’s the most sensitive to temperature (approx. 80 degrees celsius) – and then I left this to steep in my 10 0z. mug for around 8 minutes (closer to the steep time of Goji Pop). The liquor turned about the same colour as gingerale.
Well, colour me shocked… Because this isn’t so much a “monster” of a tea but a miracle of one. Somehow this has worked out to be DELICIOUS! It’s like the best aspects of each blend somehow are the only present flavours. There’s a gentle sweetness and tartness from the Goji Pop that marries nearly perfectly with the bergamot and light lemon flavours from Earl of Lemon, and then as the tartness fades there are these really gentle berry notes from the Ontario Ice Wine. And somehow the white bases from Earl of Lemon and Ontario Ice Wine work quite nicely together. The aftertaste is a lightly “red berry” kind of fruitiness with very gentle lingering bergamot.
Damn I am a happy camper! I suddenly feel like MAYBE it wont be so hard to drink down the rest of these blends. If someone sold a tea just like this one I’d certainly buy it. It’s gentle but still flavourful and none of the things I greatly hated about each blend come through. There’s also no astringency or bitterness despite this being a long steep time for the white teas – and it feels quite refreshing.
For this FrankTea blend, my rating would be around an 85-88.
I changed up my chai recipe a bit tonight, only 1 clove, more ginger, maybe more coriander and fennel, less cinnamon. Oh and in total used the ingredients coriander, cinnamon, cadamom, fresh ginger, black peppercorns, a single clove, and fennel. It smelled a lot spicier, I like it. I also used 12 oz water, simmered spices for 10 mins, and steeped Verdant’s Shui Xian Wuyi oolong in it for the base, one of my favorite oolongs. This made for a buttery smelling chai, and to top it off, I used 1/8 cup cream and 1/8 cup 2% milk today lol. And… If that wasn’t creamy enough.. When I added honey (1 tsp) I also added in 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (unfortunately artificial extract).
The result? The creamiest, richest chai I’ve ever had. My goodness. It probably didn’t need the vanilla, and I was worried it ruined it, but it adds a wonderful sweetness. My next experiment, I want to buy whole vanilla beans and put one in. Lol and the added cream with the Wuyi just puts it over the top into decadent, buttery goodness. I imagine my lactose intolerance will be furious with me, but I am gonna enjoy this slice of heaven for now. I quite enjoy my chai experiments!
Good morning, Steepster friends. Enjoying a cuppa Della Terra’s Love In A Cup mixed with Candy Cane this morning in the winter wonderland of Middle Of A Cornfield, Ohio. SNOW!!! There is a reason I will never leave this great state: I love weather! Nearly all kinds of weather except HOT weather. Snow has to be my favorite.
I found myself distinctly in the mood for shu pu’er today, which doesn’t happen often, so makes for a very good reason to drink it. I wanted the earthy grounding flavor, the complexity, and the sense of well-being that usually follows drinking it; I wasn’t feeling too picky beyond that. Browsing the pu-erh shelf of my tea cupboard, I found a forgotten tin of cheap loose shu: perfect. I was also craving something spicy and warming, so this would be just right to mix with an herbal chai blend (Adagio’s Thai Chai in this case, which was sent along as a random freebie with my latest Etsy order).
It is everything I wanted: rich, dark, warming, mood-lifting… just the thing for a cold and cloudy day at home.
I used 1 tsp pu’er and .5 tsp chai in my 3.5oz glass pot, steeped just a few seconds until the color was right. 3 steeps so far, many more to come I’m sure
I made my chai again, this time with less honey..it is definitely much stronger. The tea base is very prominent haha, I also used 1/3 of a cup of milk instead of 1/4 by accident, but I don’t mind. I might try less cloves next time though, because I think that’s my least favorite spice of the bunch. It is so cozy and warm tonight though, with the snow falling outside. I still might have my nightly matcha later too haha, we will see how caffeinated I am!
Prompted/challenged/inspired by recent lavender experimentation, I attempted a little kitchen chemistry this evening:
1 teaspoon Mariage Freres Bourbon Rouge (rooibos)
1/4 skimpy teaspoon lavender
1/2 teaspoon cacao nibs
Ooohhooooh! The lavender gives the rooibos a fruity tinge rather than flowery, and you just can’t ruin cocoa. Did I say oooohhhhhoooo?
I made myself a homemade chai blend tonight! We went to the Little Italy market in the city, and I conveniently happened to end up in the spice isle..and the jar of star anise caught my eye. I didn’t get any for my chai, but I did get coriander, cardamom, ground cinnamon, black peppercorns, fennel, cloves and fresh ginger root. I blended according to Verdant’s blending recommendations on their site – blend until no one scent overpowers the others. I reached this point after adding a lot more pepper and cardamom and ginger when I put a bit too much cinnamon lol. I am not sure the individual amounts (darn it, will probably end up different every time now) but I ended up with ~1.5 tablespoons of chai mix.
For my base tea..I picked Tiger Assam by Andrews & Dunham..I know people might be thinking gasp, why would you put such a good tea in a chai?! But I wanted an Assam in it, and I am out of LB, which would have been the first choice lol. So I put in 3 tsps, after simmering the spices in 1.5 cups of water for 10 mins. Simmered another 2 mins and then took off and let sit and steep for 4 mins.
Then I strained it, and added a large dollop of honey (homemade too, my parents have bees!), probably a bit over a tablespoon. Mixed that around, and added 1/4 cup of milk. Brought to a low boil again then poured it in my cup.
The verdict? HOLY GOODNESS. SO MUCH HONEY. LOL. Maybe a bit less next time..I was a bit worried it’d be too clove-y, as that was the predominant scent when it was simmering, but it actually is pretty well balanced! I definitely taste the fresh ginger, and the cloves and maybe a bit of fennel. The honey brings out everything sweet in it, next time I will probably put less in haha. But it is sweet, cozy and soothing! Ah! And the base is there too, providing a bit of astringency I think, which goes well here. A bit of a burnt clove note too. Overall it’s sweet, smooth, and surprisingly well balanced, for my first attempt lol. Next time, less sweet things though! But I won’t have trouble sleeping after this, and will gladly slurp it down and head to bed! I think it was a good success, and I will definitely make more chai in the future! Excited that I’ve blended my first tea blend!
I’ve been too lazy to log the teas I’ve been drinking lately but not everyday do I grab a bubble tea. I had to go buy new toner after the union meeting (zzz…) and figured that since I was in the area, it’s Friday, and I need some excitement in my life, I skipped over to the nearby tea house and ordered one of their new flavours: chocolate banana. Crazy, right? I usually go for coconut or taro, or some random fruit, but chocolate banana sounded mightily intriguing. And it is!
It tastes more chocolatey than I had imagined. Almost like chocolate pudding, which makes sense since this tea house has other pudding flavours like strawberry pudding, which was a close second. This reminds me of Booster Juice’s funky monkey, only with more chocolate, plus tapioca pearls.
I promised myself that I will go to the library to work on my proposal revision today, so I’ll do that after I’m finished my bubble tea. Translation: I’m going to try to saviour this like crazy.
6 tsp Risheehat Golden Musk Second Flush (Thunderbolt Teas)
6 tsp Blueberry Syrup (California Tea House)
2 quarts water
So, right now there’s a pitcher of this in the fridge. Fiance insisted he was getting sick of iced Darjeeling, so I doctored it up a bit.
It’s a decent blueberry flavor (a little tart maybe) but it pairs well enough with the sweet, earthiness and delicate florals of the Darjeeling. It’s not something I’d choose for myself as I think plain Darjeeling is perfect thankyouverymuch, but it’s nice to have someone to share my tea with.
I wasn’t really sure if “Bubble Tea” counted as tea and whether or not people logged it on Steepster regularly, but after a quick search I guess it does have a place so I might as well log what I had today.
In the mall I work at, there’s an Asian food restaurant (the name is escaping me – it’s not really a place I often eat) that sells bubble tea. They come in about 30 different flavours, and I’ve been curious about them since I started working there. I have had bubble tea in the past, but not often and I don’t really remember much of my experience having it other than I didn’t like the ‘bubbles’ (gelatin balls) themselves in the same way I liked the drink.
Today I had a lychee flavoured bubble tea. Lychee is one of my favourite flavours and this popped out of the list of choices for me; maybe that was because it was spelled incorrectly (‘lichee’), but still…
I really liked it initially: it was sweet and frosty. But, the more I drank the nastier it taste. It got TOO sweet and sugary, and I felt overwhelmed by the amount of flavour. Plus, the gelatin balls were disgusting and I couldn’t stand eating (drinking?) any of them. Eventually I just threw out the rest of my drink (about a third was left).
Maybe I’ll try a different flavour before I totally make my mind up, though. Anyway, since this is an amalgamation of teas under one heading I wont make an ‘official’ rating – but for the Lychee Bubble Tea I had today, I think I’d rate it somewhere between 45 to 55.
Long Sunday and I am worn out. Kid wrangling in the morning followed by a run to the nursing home to check on Mom followed by a run to the farm to do some running/fetching/carrying for tired and arthritic Dad. (Fun side note—Mom’s nursing home gets therapy miniature ponies. They bring ’em to the rooms like dogs!)
Couple all that with a really poorly-thought-out speed lunch at Long John Silver’s…ugh…I need tonickin’. So I steeped a strong infusion of chickweed and stirred in a spoonful of Pappy’s sassafras concentrate. The sassafras is a good mask for the chickweed—its pretty barky flavored, and between the two compounds, I am good for stomach ailments, arthritis, high blood pressure, and scurvy.
SO much tea, too many options, too much love for all things tea!!
Today I haven’t had any tea yet (it’s 4pm). That’s just ridiculous!! Who waits ALL day before diving into their first cup of tea?! ;)
Anyway, another combo! This one is very similar to my last mixing, but this one is Chocolate cake from Davidstea and a mystery black tea!
I’m so mad at myself. I got a few of my plain black teas mixed up and now I don’t know which one is which, so I’ve just been drinking what I have and enjoying the surprise.
But chocolate cake with a spoon of mystery tea seems to be working quite well for me today. I’m enjoying it. It’s a very subtle chocolate tea now instead. I’m liking it much better.
Teavana Champagne Sangria Punch + Cranberry Singapore Sling
I was clothes shopping on Tuesday and the mall was a fruitless endeavor other than tea buying…thank god for my 30% discount cause that sales associate overpoured my 3 teas for a total of 1.7 oz in excess. SERIOUSLY?
I came really just for Champagne Sangria Punch but then the two of us realized we had similar tastes and that’s how I ended up with three teas. It was funny because I said “it’s a new tea” and he’s like “passion berry!” “oh no, I am well aware of Passion Berry…I bought a tin on the day it was in my Starbucks.” Well he had already gotten a tin of it from Starbucks too – and I was about 12 miles from home where they don’t have Teavana in their stores yet so that was too funny…in fact he already finished his tin and had it with him to refill. SO YEAH you guys, Passion Berry is here and you need it http://www.teavana.com/the-teas/herbal-teas/p/passion-berry-herbal-tea
So this combination is pretty tart. But when I smelled Champagne Sangria Punch it reminded me of Cranberry Singapore Sling. Combined it’s pretty fruity, very much like fruit punch but with a little rooibos and a little black tea. I can get the sangria in here but not really the champagne.
This is like my first time making tea in a week it’s so sad.
Mmmmmmmmmmm! I got jasmine pearls from Stephanie from an unknown source. I am a sucker for jasmine tea. This one was very light. But not bitter what so ever. The jasmine strength was perfect! Watching these little guys steep was so amazing. They were so pretty as they opened. Not only is this a tasty tea but an entertaining one too ha ha.
Thank you for this sample!