Custom

Recent Tasting Notes

drank "Dude" Grey by Custom
4359 tasting notes

I created this blend a couple of months ago, I call it “dude” grey because it’s got a California feel to it (citrus-y flavors) but with a pleasant Earl Grey note.

I like inhaling this tea through my mouth just before I take a sip. The aroma wafts over my palate and yum! The black tea is smooth, not too robust, nice for afternoon or early evening. The Earl Grey is softer than in “straight up” earl grey teas (such as the one I enjoyed earlier this afternoon) as it is softened by the other citrus notes. I especially like the grapefruit in this blend.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Dude Grey! lol! Love the name! :)

~lauren.

Great name!

JacquelineM

I am imagining the Dude from the Big Lebowski drinking this when he is not enjoying his White Russians – he has a very uncanny ability to know when the tea is done steeping even though he never times it! ;)

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drank ChocolaTEA by Custom
1112 tasting notes

Made this for a second night in a row. Yup, must mean I really, really like it! I love how it still has the same sort of Florence like flavor, only intensified.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Lori

So this one is even better? I will need to try this one!

JacquelineM

What I did was get Harney’s Florence and Chocolate tea and mix them in equal proportions, then throw in some mini Chocolate chips like Adagio does with their Chocolate chip tea. I really like it and would go so far as to get more tins of Florence and chocolate tea just to do this again when I run out :)

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Another cooked puerh – they’re definitely starting to grow on me, but I still have trouble distinguishing one from another. I’m starting to taste more interesting things – spice, molasses, minerals? – but not enough that I’d pick a puerh over a good black or oolong for sheer drinking pleasure. For education, well, that’s another matter ;)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

Properly brewed pu-erh should have completely unique notes to either oolong or black teas.

And yes, pu-erh are all going to taste more or less the same with the distinction of raw vs. cooked, since all true pu-erh comes from the same region and is made the same way. Going up or down in quality (not necessarily age) will impact flavor, but not much else. Once you’ve identified a pu-erh you like at a price point you like, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to look elsewhere.

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

Now that I take no sugar in tea, I’m having to learn to love some teas again.
Funnily enough, the mildly smoky’s have become my absolute favourite blacks, while LS has not gone down well. It’s very, very savoury without sugar.
So making a cup at 5am was a little risky.
In sort though. it’s been a rough night and I need some invigorating.
This isn’t it. It tastes good, but sometimes, went you need your tea black and strong, the smokiness gets in the way.
I’m not going to blame the tea, rather my choice. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed it, I just might have enjoyed something else more,

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

I’ve never thought to try sugar in Lapsang Souchong… I can see how it could work though.

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drank ChocolaTEA by Custom
1112 tasting notes

So as I was straightening my cupboard this morning, I noticed that my tins of both Florence and Chocolate Tea from Harney and Sons were less than half full, and the wheels started to turn…I wondered what would happen if I combined them, and then added some mini chocolate chips like Adagio does with their Chocolate chip tea…

Success! I was afraid that the chocolate chips might overwhelm the tea and especially the hazelnut flavor, but not to worry – each taste comes through. I’m really pleased with this one!!! It is working to satisfy my chocolate craving AND it made a little much needed room in my cupboard!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
the quiet life

Ooo, since you gave me samples of both, I may have to try this too!! Mmmm chocolate.

Doulton

That sounds great. I love how inventive you are with teas.

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drank Blend Experiment by Custom
158 tasting notes

Not really an ‘experiment’ this time, per se, but a quick cup. This weekend has been an end-to-end slog of geekery of the highest order, capped off, two nights in a row, with a night out at a noisy bar with about 12 other people all conversing over the noise, and then a drunken collapse into bed (alone, not with 12 other people).

I am hoarse. I am raw. I’m exhausted. And I am about to do it for night #3.

No time to make a full chai, I steeped 1 teaspoon of Samurai Chai Mate and 1 teaspoon of Samovar’s Masala Chai (which I have mysteriously not written a tasting note for, yet?) in a quick 16oz. of water, and threw a tiny bit of milk and sugar at it. I need the caffeine from the mate if I’m going to survive.

Reminds me, as it usually does, of a holiday tea. I’m at a point where I think I really need to get some yerba mate that isn’t dressed up as a chai so that I can try it alone, prepared in a gourd and all of that good stuff. I’m not sure I’ll like it, but there’s no denying that the impact of the caffeine from mate kicks the pants off of the caffeine from almost anything else I’ve tried (though I did manage to get an interesting, refreshingly mellow mood lift from the pu-erh I’ve been drinking, after prolonged periods of sipping — something I can thank takgoti for pointing out).

Anyway…today, back to the con. One last day, one friend’s b-day dinner, and then rest…sweet, sweet rest.

Dan

Ahhh I can remember burning the candle at both ends and then trying to light it in the middle. So long ago the details escape me.

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91
drank Organic Breakfast Chai by Custom
403 tasting notes

So very yummy. I prepared this accord to takgoti/teaplz’s instructions ( http://steepster.com/teaplz/posts/20967 ) and now I think I need to re-rate all of my chais so that this one doesn’t have an unfair advantage. I had been preparing my chai like normal black tea – hah! I only added a little bit of stevia for sweetener, but it tastes much sweeter; something about heating the milk, I think? Anyway, very very tasty.

I always forget that there’s black pepper in this chai blend, because it’s very understated – mostly cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves – just enough to give it a little bite. I can barely taste the assam, but it enough there to make this taste like tea, and to keep it from being too sweet.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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95

WOW. I made a cold brewed iced tea with this and it is amazing! It really is like St. Germain liquor iced tea because of the Darjeeling. I am really impressed. Very sweet and fruity with that almost grapefruit edge. Very sophisticated! I’m going to save this one for hot summer evening dinner parties :) It’s too good for every day!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Dan

Gonna have to try this.

Dan

Just wanted to let you know that my wife loves this also. Its very good.

JacquelineM

Goodie!!! I really liked this one too – I am going to have to hunt down the teas I used so I can make it again. I am so so on plain darjeelings but am crazy about that little fruity lift they give to the bolder teas.

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drank Vanilla Assam by Custom
1112 tasting notes

I just drank two cups of this tea as fast as I could make them! There is something about me and vanilla tea – I just can’t seem to get enough! I baked black bottom cupcakes (chocolate cupcake with the top third a sort of cheesecake, and mini chocolate chips to decorate), and brought some into work (the rest are for a Tupperware party I am going to tonight. Everyone that I mention it to says “They still HAVE Tupperware parties!?!?” and I am here to say, yes, they do, and my niece is having one. I think the “2010” part is that it’s being held in a bar (!).

Anyway! The combination of these cupcakes and the Vanilla Assam is great! The tea tastes really caramel-y (perhaps the mixing of the malty Assam and vanilla with the rich chocolate and cheesecake?) and very decadent. Tupperware parties at bars, blackbottom cupcakes and vanilla tea at 10am – what can I say – I am a wild, wild woman.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Those cupcakes sound SO GOOD! Maybe w/ Mayan Chocolate Chai frosting?

JacquelineM

I have to say, they are really, really good. I got into making cupcakes because once, for doing extra work, a department at our school bought us a dozen cupcakes from this really fancy bakery, and they were so great. I went in one day to get more, and they were so expensive I almost fainted! So I made it my mission to try and find recipes that were as good as these cupcakes that have mythical status in our office :) So far these are just as good as their blackbottom cupcakes and I have a great recipe for chocolate chocolate but I have not perfected the vanilla buttercream frosting! It always comes out too sweet! Maybe the addition of a tea infusion will give it the richness and complexity it lacks!! :)

Cofftea

Try it and report back!

sophistre

Want. D:

Doulton

I know that you used a good vanilla bean What kind of tea did you use? I, too, am a vanilla fan. Is Tupperware “sincere” or “kitsch” or “retro” or something else nowadays?

JacquelineM

I used Premium Steap Assam Khongea FTGFOP-1

http://www.premiumsteap.com/p-154-assam-khongea-ftgfop-1.aspx
and a Nielsen Massey vanilla bean!

I’m not sure about the current cultural significance of tupperware (I spent last night baking from scratch and listening to Rigoletto. I am out of the loop to say the least!), but I can say that I am in earnest! I am always trying to make things ahead and freeze them since I work full time and am also in school, plus I garden and like to freeze extra produce for the winter. My freezer is pretty much 100% tomato puree in August :) I haven’t learned to can yet!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I want your day, please.

~lauren.

I am in awe of your awesomeness. Seriously. You cook, you garden, you work, you school (oops, you try to make that into a verb! LOL!) and you party (tupperware)! Hope you had fun! :)

JacquelineM

Awwww shucks! Thank you ~lauren!

It was really fun! We played games and made salsa in the little tupperware hand run food processor and drank a little bit too much wine :)

~lauren.

Oh, I just got a great idea! Remember those little tupperware midget thingies (we used to use them for salad dressing) http://tinyurl.com/3pdog4, next time I go away for a weekend, I am taking some favorite loose tea with me in those! UGH, this weekend, went somewhere and had the MOST atrocious tea ever.

JacquelineM

I was thinking of getting them! I got a set of freezer containers, a cake decorator, and a lunch carrier and containers for my husband, and felt like I had already spent a fortune and stopped there :)

takgoti sent me some samples in these mini gladware containers and they would be good to travel with too!

http://www.amazon.com/Gladware-Containers-Lids-Mini-Round/dp/B0030HTZTM/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1269908501&sr=1-7

I also love the little tins the quiet life got from specialty bottle

http://www.specialtybottle.com/

I am washing and saving everything for reuse :)

~lauren.

I had a sister-in-law and a close friend that sold tupperware. You have a niece. It’s very hard to say ‘no’ because 1. tupperware items are cute and colorful and usable 2. they are your sister-in-law, your close friend or your niece who hands you a pretty catalog while looking at you, silently, pleadingly, hoping you will buy just one more thing …! LOL*SIGH. Thanks for the links, too.

Batrachoid

Vanilla Assam with vanilla sugar? Would That be too much? Maybe different kinds of vanila in each? Sounds amazing with or without matching decadent cupcakes.

JacquelineM

Batrachoid – vanilla sugar is a grand idea! It would be lovely in so many things. I’m all done my Vanilla Assam, and should really make more…

Batrachoid

it is! You make it just like you made your Assam. klI just made a big batch of vanilla sugar based in turbinado sugar with a Indonesia vanilla bean. The molasses tang and richness go great with the vanilla. PM next time you make a batch of Assam and I’ll send you some (we usually have some; sweet drinks here are usually honeyed).

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66
drank Rice Pollen Green Puerh by Custom
403 tasting notes

1st steep, 1st impressions: okay, so green/raw/sheng puerh is clearly a whole different animal from black/cooked/shou. Noted. Seconds impressions: smoky aroma, warm cream/pale orange color, smoky/grassy/complex flavor profile. Not a hint of barnyard or fish. Did I just spoil myself for lesser puerhs? :(

Holding off on the numerical rating for some longer steeps
Steep 2, ~2 minutes, boiling water into room temp pot. Same warm gold color, slightly fainter aroma; this is reminding me of a Formosa Oolong in character.
Steep 3, ~3 minutes I think I’ll try cooler water on the next steep, because I’m getting some very roasty toasty notes but not a lot of depth; this tastes like it ought to be bitter, but of course it’s puerh so it isn’t actually.
Steep 4, 4 minutes. Did the boiling water → cup → pot this time, so it ended up around 180°F. I don’t think I mentioned yet, but the leaves are big and beautiful, dry and wet. Very little scent; I think I should start upping the steep time more, but I’ve certain these leaves have more to give. Still a nice pale gold color, and the flavor profile hasn’t changed much (smoke, hay, roasty), but the flavor isn’t as intense this time around.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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64
drank Superior Black Puerh by Custom
403 tasting notes

Certainly a fine example of a cooked puerh, from my limited experience. Looks and smells a bit milder than Maiden’s Ecstasy, but also a bit… sweeter? More floral? Sipping: either I got used to the barnyard taste overnight, or this is a better puerh than I’ve had before. The latter seems more likely. It’s still there, but muted; more sweet hay than dirt. There’s a bit of spice, too. And some fruit, now. It still doesn’t have the kick of a black tea, but this is definitely growing on me.

I’m finding that the mood/energy effects of puerh are more like yerba mate than regular tea or coffee; smoother, and more drawn out.
Steep 2 at ~2 minutes is rather weak; need to up the steep time I guess
Steep 3, ~5 minutes, scent is getting weaker but color and flavor are still good. Starting to lose some of the nuances I got on the first steep though
Steep 4, m sure with a higher leaf/water ratio it would give more steeps.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec

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drank Vanilla Assam by Custom
1112 tasting notes

Today is an exciting day! My Vanilla Assam is ready for consumption!!!

I took about 3 oz of Very Good but Nothing Earth Shattering Like Dear Thomas Assam (Premium Steap’s Assam Khongea FTGFOP-1) and cut into it a vanilla bean (one Extremely Intoxicating Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bean). Let sit for 3 weeks to a month, shaking whenever you remember, to infuse. When you make your tea, steep the vanilla bean pieces along with the tea leaves.

Ooooooooh it’s FANTASTIC! If you are a vanilla lover, you HAVE to try this! I guess because I used an entire high quality vanilla bean, the tea is just making me swoon with deliciousness! So much vanilla bean flavor and that slight smokiness. BUT – because it has no extract or flavoring, it’s delicate and really lets whatever tea you use shine. It’s old fashioned and home made and just wonderful. It is sublime for drinking and I think it would really be great infused into a vanilla tea buttercream frosting. I’d also like to play around with different vanilla beans with different origins – e.g. Tahitian Vanilla bean instead of Madagascar, and different teas.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dan

This sounds like fun, I like to blend teas anyway and adding either fruit or vanilla beans sounds yummy.

Cofftea

Gotta try this w/ green tea!

Bethany

Awesome! Such a great idea!

Jillian

Mmm, sounds yummy! :)

Lori

Not that sounds like a great idea…

Janefan

thanks for the idea! I’m going to try this with my boring Adagio Cream to give it a new lease on life!

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drank Blend Experiment by Custom
158 tasting notes

In an effort to reduce Adagio sample tins, inspired by Bethany, I decided to go ahead and start mixing stuff together. Today it was Assam Melody and Keemun Rhapsody, and the results are pretty good…one teaspoon of each for my 16oz. teacup. Raisiny-sweet without being too astringent, a smooth cup to start the day.

And yes, that’s Mr. T. Mr. TEA. …yeah, I know, it’s not that funny.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Mr. T and his chamomile blend made me laugh. I so needed that. Thank you so much.

sophistre

Hey, anytime! Though I notice that steepster cut off the part that says ‘I PITY THE FOOL’. Probably I will have to fix that later.

I hope your day improves, Auggy!

Jillian

Bwhahaha! That pic is so much win! I’ve actually had it saved in my DevArt Favorite folder for awhile. :)

~lauren.

You know, when I read Melody & Rhapsody, my mind immediately conjured up … oh, y’know, sonatas & concertos, violas & cellos & grand pianos— it was a complete surprise to see Mr. T again! hehehe : )

teaplz

Best.

Picture.

Ever.

I am crushing on you very hard right now, sophness.

Teaman

Really liked your review. You have a way with words on this one. I tend to struggle sometime to come up with descriptions of what I’m tasting that don’t involve comparisons with other teas. But you have provides tangible objects that work well to share your epxerience! Well done!

sophistre

@Lauren: Adagio does have a way of making me want to dig into the sometimes-neglected classical parts of my musical library, I admit.

@teaplz: Not bad! Google image search ftw. I probably ought to rotate the picture out, but it’s going to be hard to top that one.

@teaman: Thanks! Sometimes I wonder if saying ‘this tea tastes like x, y, and z’ to me is really that helpful, since I’m not sure that the foods or smells or things that get referenced are experienced precisely the same way by other people, but it helps me to remember those elements when I go back to read later. I’m glad it works for someone else, too.

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85
drank Earl Grey Melange by Custom
1112 tasting notes

My first blend is a success! The sum is truly greater than the parts on this one :) A nice synergy is going on between all the random Earls and the Assam. I’m so glad I did this! The soapy citrus from Adagio’s Earl Grey got really tamed with the additions (some of which were smoky Russian Earls), and it results in a pleasant bergamot infused tea. I can’t wait to try it iced in the summer with fresh orange slices!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

Can you help me clarify this a bit? Congrats — it sounds like you made up the very successful blend “Earl Grey Melange”. You gave it a score of 82. When I clicked on it, the rating came up as 75 with 1 rating. Shouldn’t it have said 82 since I am assuming you made this blend up and there was only one tasting note on it (yours)? Or shouldn’t it have said two ratings – yours & anonymous_person and the combined score would have been 75? Or have I totally messed up on what this ratings thing is about today? Wouldn’t surprise me, not having a good tea day.

JacquelineM

Here is a post that explains the rating system:

http://blog.steepster.com/post/247562587/brewing-a-better-rating-system-the-2nd-steep

in a nutshell – it’s a Bayesian Average and it takes into consideration things like average rating across all teas on Steepster, average number of times each tea has been rated, number of ratings for the tea you’re looking at, and
average rating for that specific tea. I hope I summarized that correctly because statistics are not my strong point to say the least!

~lauren.

Got it – this really helps clarify – Thanks!

Cofftea

This rating system is so dumb in my opinion.

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87

A tale of two tea occasions.
Last night, I was feeling great, needed a nightcap. This was the one. Great smooth minty finish to the day.
This morning, woken up in horrible condition. real belter of a migraine, and of course, urgent work to complete.
So I’ve been re-steeping last night’s pot for medicinal reasons.
It’s helping. The clean palate of the mint helps clear my head.
Unlike other additions to tea, mint does not seem to disappear from re-steepings. It’s just as perky as when it was first steeped.
I wish I was.

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

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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

The last few grams of my Jim’s Caravan.
I actually had this as a nightcap last night, and have re-steeped this morning. My tastebuds are cold-addled.
And yet, it cuts through, it’s smooth, it’s invigorating.
A good choice.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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87

I might have to recreate this one, I do love it.
On my second cup. I have developed a head cold and a sore throat- it’s not been my week – and this is keeping me going.
It’s invigorating and head clearing. Keeps the doctor away!
Oh, and I have it sweet. It’s traditional!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Eep, feel better! Good thing you have good tea!

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drank Camel Blend by Custom
429 tasting notes

I liked this tea so much I made some more up. I’ve been drinking it all morning. It tastes like a cross between Caravan and Russian Country. Its smooth and tasty and still has a bite to it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Camel Blend by Custom
429 tasting notes

I’m finishing up this blend. It taste as good today as it did yesterday. Nice smoky tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Camel Blend by Custom
429 tasting notes

So, I’m sitting here bored and thought I would do a little blending on my own. I used Lapsang Souchong, Keemun, and Formosa Oolong. All of these teas are from Harney and Sons. I surprised myself, this is a real smooth blend similar to Caravan and Russian Country. The tea had no bitterness and was really tasty. I love the smokiness in this blend of tea. Its so easy, I just used equal amounts of each tea. I’m not going to rate this tea as it is something I put together, but I love it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

My 100th Tasting Note!
Our kids cooked us dinner last night, some Asian fusion stuff. We knew our youngest (Saxon) is a talented chef – he has worked for us as such in the past – but our older son Lucas also did a great job.
But… we were promised tea and it never came.
So, arriving home at 10:30, time for a cup.
I made the chai up about two months ago, and this was the last of it. Immediately, you know it’s going to have a more cinnamon taste, because it falls to the bottom over time, When we owned a tea shop, we had customers who would only buy chai when the jar was low.
So, out with a chai, 4 grams in 150mls of water for 6 minutes.
150 mls of skim milk, 1 sweetener and two spoons sugar (yep, diet time)
Steamed to a frothy 80 degrees, poured two steaming mugs, sprinkles on top.
A very worthy, sweet, delicious 100th note!
PS: Saxon’s partner Sarah was wearing a “No Woman No Chai” badge last night.

Jason

Congrats on hitting the century mark!

takgoti

Congratulations, indeed! ::cue applause::

By the way, “No Woman No Chai” is genius. I might need to gank that for unknown future use.

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97

I thought I’d update on the experimentation we’re going through with this blend and the triniTEA.

I’m using about 6 tsp of English Breakfast and 2 (heaping) tsp of Lemon Youkou. It’s on the hotter setting of the triniTEA (II) and brewing for 2 minutes.

We’ll get about 32 oz of tea, which will then have sugar added to it (about 1/3 cup) and the pitcher will be topped off with ice (it’s a 1 L pitcher).

The bitterness seems to be gone (good, because I can’t brew it for any less time on the triniTEA!). I’m still playing with the amount of lemon because the last one I thought was not enough but the husband said it was too much. I’m making it more to his taste becuase he tends to drink it more than I do.

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89
drank Assam by Custom
159 tasting notes

Note to self: Dopn’t add too much tea. Don’t let it steep too long. Don’t try adding more hot water to the cup make it better.
And don’t expect to be cheerful when it’s 4am and you can’t sleep.
Wrong tea, at the wrong time. Tastes like Mud. But all my own fault.
Wouldn’t be fair to re-rate this tea over this.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

My morning Pick-me-up. It’swas hot already at 6:30am when I had this.
Great tannin tones on an ultra-gentle smoky base.
Wobnderful start to the day.

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

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