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Recent Tasting Notes

90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

This is only my second tea of the day; the first day of our new found democracy in South Australia.
i decided to replace the English Breakfast in the micro-cafe with Jim’s Caravan.
So. it’s infuser and paper cup time.
Great aroma and lovely tan colour.
The smokiness is just at the right level, the brackish warmth is very heart-warming.
A little cup of happiness.

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

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74
drank China Jasmine by Custom
159 tasting notes

Last night’s cup was bitter-ish. I don’t know why. Any suggestions?

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

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74
drank China Jasmine by Custom
159 tasting notes

Too much politics and not getting any work done. Must stop for a cuppa.
Second steep – oh so fine.
I think that some teas offer a better 2nd steep than first. This is all gooey and flowery on the palate. Scrumptious.

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

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74
drank China Jasmine by Custom
159 tasting notes

Big mistake last night. I ate half of an iced fruit juice thing. It said grape juice – the migraine says otherwise. lemon or Orange for sure in there somewhere.
Took some heavy duty painkiller, but couldn’t sleep.
So, it’s my famous green tea cure.
HUGE cup of this delicate green.
The first third is needed to wash away the aspirin/codeine taste.
Then i start appreciating it’s lush floral tones.
Taste, mouthfeel and aroma all combine to start me on the road to recover.
I suppose I’ll have to force myself to drink another cup…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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61

Thought I’d finish this one off while browing steepster and appraising the hornet’s nest I (somewhat) inadvertently stirred up.
It’s strong today, and it seems to match the slightly cooler, strong wind buffetting us here.
Nice tannins, earthy, real old-fashioned tea.
Probably the last decent cup I’ll get until I arrive home in 8 hours.

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

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74
drank China Jasmine by Custom
159 tasting notes

Had it last night with slightly lower water temp.
Loved it!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Assam by Custom
159 tasting notes

My better half was eating Turkish delight, so I changed my mind from Darjeeling and reached for this malty assam to cut through the sweetness.
It is everything I want in a tea, great black for me or with milk for anyone else.
malty and caramelly, luscious.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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82

I’m not a big fan of the vaguely bread-like flavor of chamomile, so I put in a smidge of rooibos tropica to liven it up. And it did! The tea came out pale-pale-pale, but it had all the fullness of chamomile and a nice little zing on top from the sweet rooibos tropica. I will have to remember this for the next time I crave some chamomile. I might try adding a little sugar so that not all of the sweetness is coming from the rooibos, although that could also end up being too much.

(My girlfriend pronounced, with a tone of great surprise, that this was “Huh! Actually comforting.”)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83

Just having one of these neat – no milk, no sugar, no wineglass.
It’s silky smooth and refreshing.
Must remember to dig out the Quince version I have at home

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87

Minty and great, with breakfast, which is cheese and tomato on toast.
Wonderfully mediteranean feel with this meal, this tea, in this glorious sunshine ahead of a hot day.
Hard to resist a second cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec
Cofftea

Then don’t:)

Robert Godden

I didn’t !

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57

Alas, this did not work very well; there’s a really strange aftertaste along the lines of a too-sweet toothpaste. It’s still smooth, though — apparently you just can’t wreck this Fortnum & Mason Vanilla. Sadly, that’s the last of mine.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

Talking with Cofftea about chai and stuff, so I had to have one.
really frothed the hell out of it in small steaming jug. Piping hot, sweet, smooth, creamy, foamy.
At this moment, I am king of the world!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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70

I have no idea where this rooibos caramel comes from. I have an old Teavana tin with “Roo. Caram.” scrawled across the label in my handwriting, so obviously at one point I knew more about it…you know, for someone who catalogues as obsessively as I do, I’ve managed my teas rather poorly so far. Anyway, this rooibos caramel isn’t much good on its own — it’s far too sweet in a cloying sort of way — so I keep it to sweeten my other teas. Today I tossed it in with an old and rather bitter Ceylon Black that really needs the help, and the result was a nicely balanced cup of black tea. It would have been too bitter for a first cup of the morning, but as a second one the bitter was mixed with the caramel and the rooibos nicely. (I’ll refrain from any philosophical generalizations on the blending!)

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

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89
drank Assam by Custom
159 tasting notes

I’ve gone through about ten cups of this over the last week without ever reveiwing it. I think it’s because it’s a ‘social’ tea – I tend to drink it with others.
So, it’s dark, it’s malty, it has a delicious heady pure tea aroma.
It is the essence of tealiness .
And i love it!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

With the discussions going on on this forum right now, I had to have some.
I did.
It was huge; it was a large cup of a very large tea.
And it was silky, silky, smokey.
mmmmmm
You either love it, or leave it for me!

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

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33
drank Hazelnut Chocolate Mint by Custom
1260 tasting notes

One teaspoon Hazelnut black tea (Adagio), one teaspoon Chocolate black tea (also Adagio), and a pinch of peppermint (Luka Te m. m.)

BLARGH!

Experiment fail. Wildly mediocre. That is all.

Ricky

Haha reminds me when I mixed darjeeling, assam and keemun together. Hey, a lot of companies do it! Yeah, total disaster. Worse sip ever.

Angrboda

Well, this is drinkable. But it’s certainly not particularly interesting.

Ricky

Haha, you are a better blender than I am =D

IdentiTEA

Yeah, what Ricky said. At least you have the guts to blend… I don’t!

Angrboda

It can be fun, but also a bit risky. :p I’ve also done it sometimes if I didn’t have enough of something for a full pot (my preferred pot isn’t very big, it’s just about half a liter) I can put in something else to increase the amount of leaves. It’s just a question of finding something that fits. Like for example if you have something flavoured with a type of berry, another type of fruit will usually work. If it’s strongly flavoured, even something plain. If it isn’t strongly flavoured, you can still use a plain one with it, but the flavouring might get overpowered. If you just use left-overs it doesn’t feel as much like a waste of leaves if it doesn’t work.

Suzi

I wonder if it would work better if you added a fruit, like a strawberry tea? At least, chocolate/hazelnut/strawberry crepes taste great, and strawberry/mint can be quite fun…

But add me to the list of ‘too cowardly to blend’

Angrboda

Personally I think I should have left out the mint. It works well with the chocolate alone, but together with the hazelnut something just seemed… off. Chocolate and a fruit would definitely work though.

S

Aww. I have a custom blend fail as well…I mixed Harney & Sons Chocolate Mint black with H&S Vanilla black….gag

Angrboda

Yeah, it seems to me that if one want to use mint, it can only be together with one other flavour. With chocolate alone it’s nice. With vanilla alone it was surprisingly nice also. But together, yeah, that sounds like flavour war.

Dru Bramlett

rooibos + lapsong + ginger. YUM.

shethatisnau

I like adding mint to my green teas, it’s a lovely combination that was inspired by a flavor called “Kyoto Mint” that combined matcha, sencha & mint. :}

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83

Just shot a video of me making this, should be up next week. Layered in a wine glass.
I should have sweetened the milk, but nevertheless, a very rewarding ‘dessert tea’ having just consumed china jasmine, pai mu tan, assam and darjeeling whilst filming three episodes back to back.
The wild cherry is interesting, but for this, I think the plain and the quince are better flavours. The cherry is lost a bit in the milk.
I might add chocolate and make it into a black forest cake tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

Made up a batch of this yesterday afternoon.
For those not familar with it (and since only about 5 kilos have ever been sold at a guess, that’s pretty well everyone) it’s a Russian Caravan-like blend but with a fair amount of FTGFOP 2nd flush Darjeeling.
A good approximation is to buy a good quality RC and mix 4:! with a good 2nd flush Darjeeling. Or make your own RC.
So, I sat down in the late afternoon yesterday with a cup, and with the daughter of the “Jim” who the tea was blended in honour of (who is also my wife).
It was warm, there was a breeze, and it was paradise out on the deck.
Chattering parrots in the fruit trees added to the environment.
I guess drinking anything at that time was likely to work. However, the laptop battery was flat, and I was forced to make paper notes. (Kiddies, if you can’t remember the old technology of a pen and paper, look it up on the net. It’s ingenious!)
First note: CLEAN
I’d been shovelling mulch and moving rocks. Hot and thirsty as I was, the tea cut straight through.
Second Note: Smoky
Definitely a smokiness. There’s no lapsang in this mix, but the Keemun base seems to emit a hint of smoke.
Third Note: Vitality
Your tongue sparkles. This is what the darjeeling adds to the mix
Fourth Note: AAhhhhhhhhh
The lingering taste of an excellent cuppa.
Unpretentious in the extreme, this tea. I’ve created some really exciting teas, including custom heritage blends and a freaky chai for those who take it without milk, but I’m still proud of this one.
If anyone wants to create it at home and review it; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
sophistre

Heck, I would try it. It sounds delicious. Fair warning — I’ve never blended my own tea before. Disaster potential is perhaps fairly high.

Robert Godden

Just buy a good Russian Caravan, a good Darjeeling 2nd flush, and blend by weight. 80% RC.
And enjoy!
Belnding is always fun, even if you get it wrong. We had an old Latvian guy (85yo) at the tea shop, and he lost track while he was blending on of our Earl Greys. So we sold the resulting 2kgs of whatever it was as ’ Latvian Earl Grey", It was a big hit.

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

Ahhh yes, time for that first tea of the day.
Even though I’m sitting at my wife’s desk creating diagrams of social enterprise models, I am supposed to be outside digging up some rock-hard ground and old grass before the horror of the day (Should be about 39degC, or about 105F) really hits and then mowing the lawn.
So, for these manly pursuits, I need a manly tea. LS it is !
I made it in Cyril, my glass teapot, to better admire its leather-brown colour (OK, so not the manliest of starts there)
But the colour is that of a leather belt, or gun holster, or saddle. Very apt.
The aroma is that of a campfire, with a real pine forest feel.Camphor and campfire, saltwater and saltbush all roll through my mouth, it’s like a camping trip in a cup.
And the taste cuts through the mouth, extinguishing the sleepless night I had, and reinvigorates me in exactly the manly way I was after.
“I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK !”
I had put down MS publisher and picked up my garden tools.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Robert Godden

Second steep was interesting. Less smoky, more golden, still quite nice.

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

Just tried this using the steam wand method but without sugar or any other sweetener.
Just doesn’t work

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 45 sec
bikermonster77

what is the steam wand method?

Cofftea

Yeah, ditto Chris’ comment. Although I never add sweetener to chais.

Robert Godden

I put this chai, which is my own recipe if you check it out, in about a third the normal amount of water and then let it steep.
Then I put the liquor, COLD milk and sugar in a frothing jug and steam it on the steam wand of an espresso machine.
Pour it into a cup, latte style and sprinkle with powdered cardamon, cinnamon and sugar.

Cofftea

@Robert, I can’t reach my stove so I do it that way too- except I microwave the mixture… unfortunately I’m very good at scortching the milk and making a huge mess…

Robert Godden

The microwave is the natural enemy of a good cup of tea.
Microwaves were entirley invented for warming scones to have with one’s tea, and any other use is the work of the devil.

Cofftea

Yeah well, when you’re in a wheelchair in a home that isn’t built for one sometimes you have to make due. It’s better than having no chai at all IMO. And unfortunately mom refuses to let me use a hot plate so that’ll have to wait til I move out.

Robert Godden

I once bought a house that had been built for someone in a wheelchair, and it taught me a fair bit.
Everything was really low, so for example, everytime i missed a light switch by hitting the wall above it, it reminded me that I was fortunate.
A microwave is a matter of choice for me, but is clearly it is essential for you and I should not be so flippant.

Cofftea

And I’m not average height either. I’m only 3 ft 8… which is one of the reasons I don’t walk w/ leg braces and a walker. Since I’m so short I feel safer in a chair. Especially in the winter.

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83

OK, made this as one of my famous layered rooibos lattes.
Layer of hot milk
Layer of vibrant red rooibos
Layer of froth
(I’ll shoot a videe of this soon, promise)
I like to take a few sips carefully to enjoy the full Rooibos falvour, then a quick stir and enjoy the milky goodness.
Sweet and invigorating

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec
bikermonster77

where is this available?

Robert Godden

Not sure. I bought a tea shop and found 4 kilos in a cupboard. Oh, and I’m in Australia.
The origin of the tea is Germany, where they mixed German flavourings and Cherries with South African Rooibos.
If you can’t find it; have plain rooibos and a black forest cake.

bikermonster77

haha alright thanks for the input

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74
drank China Jasmine by Custom
159 tasting notes

Today’s mild coffee hangover is being tackled upon waking with a China Jasmine.
I brewed it in a little ceramic pot and am drinking from a Croation cup from 1914 with gold filigree patterning. I’m trying to have as delicate and refined an experience as possible.
Maybe it was posting about Darjeeling that did it, but I’m detecting a gummy/menthol flavour that I’ve not picked up before in this tea. It’s actually clearing my head.
Whatever your problems, tea is the answer! And this one makes a fine answer. Golden ambrosia, a magical medicine in a cup.
And with reference to a discussion elsewhere on Steepster, no medical insurance required!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 45 sec

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71
drank Spearmint & Cream Blend by Custom
911 tasting notes

I am sick.

Correction: The husband got me sick.

I need mint.

This is mint.

I feel better. But I am still sick.

Mike

Aww…feel better, Auggy!

gmathis

Family germs…nothing like it!

LENA

oh man, I just got over a really bad stomach bug. hope you feel better soon.

jennlea

Feel better! I am still sick and it is no fun!

teaplz

Feel better Auggy! :(

wombatgirl

Oh poor thing. Feel better soon!!

Angrboda

Poor Auggy! :( I hope he spoils you rotten, the bugger. ;)

takgoti

Duuuude! You’re sick! That’s bogus! Feel better!

LENA

total bummer, dude.

sophistre

Ugh. This time of year is so bad for that. I hope you get well in a hurry! In the meantime, enjoy many cups of excellent tea. Not that you don’t try to do that anyway, I guess. ;)

Auggy

Aw, thanks all! I feel pretty horrid still and have been sleeping all day but more tea is soon on the way! Fortunately, the husband is about over his so he will be able to take care of me! :)

Cynthia Carter

I think this is what they mean by “in sickness and in health.” When he gets sick, you get sick. You can take turns making each other tea. Marriage is truly romantic, isn’t it? Especially with a runny nose.

I hope you both feel much better soon.

Auggy

Hehe! Ah, marriage! The guaranteed passing of germs from one spouse to the other. Though I’ll tell you a secret – no matter who is sick, I always make the tea. Poor hubby still has issues making a decent cup.

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61

Went back for another serve. Slightly weaker this time. Nice colour, nice aroma, nice taste!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
gmathis

And deserves at least 5 extra points for the name. Kerfuffle. Love it.

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