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Darlene's Teaport

Recent Tasting Notes

Thank you so much MissB for including this in my mystery bag. I have enjoyed it very much even when I first over steeped it and it reminded me of bitter coffee. When I don’t make that mistake it tastes like sweet cherries and tea. I think it helps that I have never tried the caffeinated version because part of my association with a tea is the caffeine kick. I don’t think I will ever find a decaf Earl Grey that I like because the caffeine is part of the appeal

MissB

Happy to hear you liked this one. :)

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drank Blue Lady by Darlene's Teaport
1158 tasting notes

I have never seen a Darlene’s Tea Port offering reviewed before – at least not that I recall. This one is old. I found it in the drawer today unopened and thought it needed to see the light of day. This came from Katiek a long time ago. Bad me.

I steeped this 4 minutes. It’s black tea. I knew better. It isn’t bitter but the black tea is pretty assertive with briskness and tongue tingling astringency. Shorter steep next time. There is no passion fruit listed in the ingredients but that is what I am getting in the taste. Along with it is a pepperiness. Not pepper from a shaker but little red peppers from the garden that ought to be adding a bit of heat except they are not. This is spicy tasting but not spicy hot. It is really kind of an interesting tea and currently is $5.49 for 4 ounces. Even old it is way more complex than the price would suggest.

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36
drank Jamaican Rum by Darlene's Teaport
1189 tasting notes

From the queue

MissB shared a sample of this one with me in the parcel of vast amounts of samples that I received from her in December. I don’t much care for alcoholic drinks in general, so I’m hoping there won’t be that alcoholic note in it. I’ve tried one or two cocktail flavoured blends from 52teas that had that note of burning in the throat. It’s that very thing that I find unpleasant about strong alcohol. Husband, however, was quite interested when I asked him if he wanted a cup. I expect it to be more to his liking than mine.

It smells weird and sweet. I’m also rather reminded of dates and figs in the aroma. Not a good sign as I can’t abide dates. Peculiarly, though, it doesn’t smell unpleasant or making me wanting to not taste it. It actually only managed to make me curious. Bit like when I saw ‘baconnaise’ in the supermarket the other week. It sounded so odd that I had to try it. (Tastes like salt and smoked paprika, by the way, and not at all of bacon. I could stir some of that up myself I should think. With significantly less salt in it, preferably.

Tastes weird. I asked Husband whether or not he thought it tasted like rum, him having a much larger experience with rum than me. Having actually tasted it in his life without it being mixed in a generous amount of cola. He said he’d tried some American rum which had tasted very sweet and raisin-y and not nice at all.

I can recognise that description in this when I taste it. Kind of sweet and raisin-y/date-y/fig-y. It’s certainly ‘brown fruits-y’.

It’s quite strong in flavour, and I don’t know if it’s the flavouring or the base. It’s definitely some kind of sturdy base they’ve used for this.

I have to say, though, this is definitely not something for me.

OMGsrsly

Good to know about the baconnaise. :) It intrigues me (well, it and the bacon marmalade!) when I see it in the stores.

Angrboda

I’ve never heard of bacon marmalade! O.o It sounds… disgusting, frankly. There’s a limit to my curiosity. The baconnaise (if the one you’ve seen is the same one that I saw. Can’t remember the brand) doesn’t actually even have bacon in it at all. I was a little disappointed by that to be honest.

OMGsrsly

I just wish they would sell little pots of unusual things like that instead of 500ml jars. :)

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63

I’m trying to get back to a regular tea time and working on the rest of my samples from MissB

Had this one with breakfast & thought it was good, but I would’ve preferred more vanilla. I’ll finish the sample I have, but it’s not something I’d purchase.

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

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70

Sipdown!! (168)

Thank you MissB for sharing. Luckily this last cup is much closer to my first cup as opposed to the last one I had. It is less artificial and has some more cheesecake flavor but at the end of the day it is just far too finicky for me to want to have more of. I really enjoyed it while it lasted though.

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Thank you MissB for sharing this with me. It hasn’t seemed to be very popular but I actually really enjoyed the first cup of this. My second cup is not as impressive but still not bad. I am getting more of an artificial cherry from this cup and not getting as much caramel or cheesecake as I got last time. I guess my initial love was grounded in excitement. I am still enjoying the cup just fine but I am not as determined to own more of this anymore.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissB

Interestingly, the people I know who tried this had similar experieces. Liked the first cup, less so after.

VariaTEA

Very strange how that happens. I loved the first cup so much I almost bought 4 oz. I am glad I didn’t.

Roswell Strange

Cherry/Caramel seems like such a weird pairing to me.

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71

Forgot I even had this tea, and also forgot how much I like a Monk’s Blend. Reminds me of the Shirley Temples my parents let me have each time that we went out for dinner. This time though, there’s a floral note that I’m just meh about. I’d rather the grenadine, with zero flowers in this blend.

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94

I needed to try this asap when I started seeing MissB’s tasting notes saying she loved it so much she was drinking it every day! Basically, I wanted to see if I loved it too, hopefully to make up for the fact that she sent me some before she tried it herself. So I especially thank you for sending this one, MissB!

Both steeps of this ARE amazing! (Just boiled, one teaspoon, 4-5 minutes.) It’s the best sort of pu-erh. Deep, dark, flavorful, sweet, dusky. It’s perfect, really. The toffee (tiny chips) are just an added bonus to add to the sweetness of the pu-erh. I just love the deep earthiness with the sweetness. Exactly as I was wishing/hoping this tea was! I could sip this one every day too… so I hope you don’t regret sending some of this over, MissB! :D

Edited to add: hmm… apparently I have no idea what I’m talking about, since I don’t actually SEE any tasting notes from MissB for this tea!

Edited again: Ah, I was just reading tasting notes and it’s Tea Desire’s Caramel Pu-erh that MissB loves so much. Now I don’t feel so bad about buying some of this one. :D

MissB

Heh. I had a real problem with most of the Darlene’s blends, so I just shared this one until it was gone. I’ve heard mixed reviews on it, so I’m thrilled to hear that this is great for you! :) I can definitely send you some of the Tea Desire blend to compare too, if I forgot to already.

Yvonne

Oh my, this sounds just stunning. Toffee in teas is wonderful!

Tea Sipper

Ah, I don’t want you to send another package so soon after the other one, MissB! And I also don’t want you sending your favorite teas!

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79

Another one from MissB! I’m trying the T&C teas as fast as I can, but there’s only so much black tea I can take at once. And I’d like to get to MirandaGou’s swap teas, too… Perhaps over the weekend I’ll go on a spree, since I’m hoping to get the box traveling along soon.

This one smells like…granola bars? An odd thing to say about a tea, but it smells like a berry granola bar. This brews up surprisingly dark for a rooibos. It almost looks like black tea brewed! The granola bar smell is still there after steeping, but I think that’s the berries mixing with the lavender.

I definitely taste the berries up front, and then the florals are more of an aftertaste. The rooibos adds to the florals and gives them some depth, which I sometimes feel is lacking in rooibos blends. It makes for an interesting sip. This is taking a little time to grow on me, but it is growing on me.

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70

Backlog: This one is good. Amazingly good. It is like having a amooth and creamy piece of cherry cheesecake, complete with the cheesecake tang and the sweet cherry syrup. That isn’t actually the right word for what I am thinking of but right now my mind is blank – I am talking about the sweet saucy cherry (or strawberry or blueberry) stuff they pour over cheesecakes, funnel cakes and other tasty desserts. You know what I mean. Anyways, as if that weren’t enough deliciousness for one cup, it has a nice bit of buttery caramel to really top things off. MMmmmm…thank you MissB for this one. I will definitely be getting more of this (especially when it is only $5.50 for 4 oz! – I might have already been shopping around Darlene’s website :S)!!.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

This review makes me want to drool – now I’m so hungry for cheesecake! Can’t have it though!

Yvonne

Oh my god….I want to drool reading this.

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Thanks, MissB!

Sadly this was meh. I didn’t even finish my travel mug today, which is tea-sacrilege

I couldn’t really taste the caramel. :(

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drank Ice Wine by Darlene's Teaport
1164 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, MissB. :)

This smells quite grapey. Kind of like sweet wine but without the alcohol. I’m trying it without sugar or creamer first, as I feel that what I want to add would kill the flavour. I didn’t realize there was white tea in it (I noticed the different leaves, but it didn’t make it much further in my brain!), or I might have steeped at 185F, even.

Doop di do. Waiting for tea to cool is boring. This is why I like creamer!

Ok. This is pretty good, actually. Huh. It’s not wine, it’s definitely tea and sweet white grape juice. I’ll drink it, but I don’t think I’d purchase the flavour.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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71

Less flavorful than normal, but maybe perhaps my mind was just blown by Nina’s Paris’ Mon Secret. That, or I oversteeped it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more
__Morgana__

I’m having issues too. That makes at least 3 of us.

Dexter3657

yep it’s misbehaving…

Dexter3657

VariaTEA said she was having problems… 4

Yvonne

Make me 5.

Roswell Strange

Me as well – for the last five or so hours.

MissB

Sigh. And now my review has changed? Weird. Well, I DID mention Steepster having issues initially.

Kamyria

Me 6… Had issues the whole night.

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71

Still far from my favorite tea, however likely my favorite from Darlene’s Tea Port… if you like Monk’s Blend/grenadine. A bit bitter because I steeped it just a bit too long.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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drank Monk's Blend Decaf by Darlene's Teaport
4034 tasting notes

sipdown! (not that it means much when my cupboard is this far from it’s goal lol 192) another tea from MissB. Turns out? i still don’t like monk’s blend. something about the addition of grenadine into a perfectly delicious cup of tea makes it undrinkable for me. Ah well, at least i tried and it’s not the fault of the tea – it’s a flavour preference from me. Ignoring the fact that i dislike monk’s blend, this would probably be a decetn enough cup for someone who enjoys that type of tea :)

TheTeaFairy

192?? What’s up with that???

Sil

YOU! and dexter! lol i was almost to 150 hahaha

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79

Another one from missB! I felt like i was making cupboard headway today but then 12 teas arrived today from dexter so i’m back to square one lol oh well, that’s half the fun! And i have given myself until the end of the month to try and get down to 150 so i think i’m still more than fine :)

I like this one quite a bit. It doesn’t have that woodsy rooibos going on and there is a creamy amaretto like taste that i can get behind. The flavour isn’t overly strong but i only steeped it for 4 mins or so, so it could likely brew for longer. Looks like darlene may do rooibos well haha thanks missb!

Terri HarpLady

I’ve given up on lightening my stash. Instead I’m going to celebrate it’s immensity!! LOL!

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68
drank Ice Wine by Darlene's Teaport
4034 tasting notes

soooo i figured while i’m enjoying a puerh, i’d take the opportunity to have a few of the flavoured teas missB sent me as a contrast against the straight puerh deliciousness.

Dry this one smells like grapes…sweet grapes. As it brewed, the scent became more floral, which of course worried me. However, drinking this, there is not floral to be found. It’s not quite a grape tea…i suppose if you used your imagination a bit, this could be like a weak icewine. It’s not a bad little tea and certainly better than the last icewine tea that i tried. This one actually comes closer to feeling like an icewine. My only complaint? Darlene’s teas tend to have a bit of a film to them that rest on top of the water. Thanks for this one missb! i’ll enjoy this cup :)

Bonnie

When I first started Steepster 2 years ago, almost nobody drank puerh. Really. Amy Oh and I did..one other maybe. Then gradually people began to try and liked it. What an amazing turn of events!

Sil

i love puerh! i just don’t always have the time to really sit and enjoy it :)

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15

sad sad tea. Thanks for sending this my way missb! I was excited about trying this one out because not only did it smell amazing in the bad but there were little caramel droppings in it. However…brewing this has left me with a cup of artificial tasting slightly tart weird tasting tea. it’s pretty gross lol. I’m going to pass on drinking more than the couple sips of this one and chalk it up to not the tea for me. too bad since i’d had high hopes for this one. heh thanks missB!

Fjellrev

Tsk tsk, Darlene. What were you thinking.

JustJames

could be worse…. could have been caramelized cough syrup. i had a cherry something blend from teavana in the summer which was robitussin all the way.

MissB

I’ve yet to try this. My daughter’s friend loves this stuff, and I’ve had barely passable feelings about this company’s tea in general. You said you wanted to try new stuff… :P

Sil

Yep! No complaints here with new things :)

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79

sipdown! (174) I apparently felt like a few of missB’s samples today :) I love a good scottish caramel toffee puerh. I have no idea if the few that i’ve tried all ultimately come from the same source but i will never say no to this particular tea. there’s something delicious about the earthiness of the puerh mixing with the caramel that leaves me happy. It’s not sweet but it’s delicious! Happy to have tried another variation on this one!

Anna

This sounds gooood.

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67

I suspect this comes from somewhere else and gets repackaged, although I have no idea where; this is where I purchased it from however.

A pretty straightforward vanilla rooibos, with a hint of something caramel in there after a few sips. I wanted more hit-me-in-the-face flavor, and it’s just okay.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Tea Sipper

It looks like a tea than zentealife carries.

OMGsrsly

Everywhere carries something similar. Pearl Drops also has one, but it tends to be quite caramelly/boozy.

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71

Out of the bag this smells just like a Shirley Temple to me, likely because of the grenadine. I love Shirley Temples (or, used to)!

Steeped it smells like a black with a hint of something floral. Drinking it wasn’t terribly exciting – a black tea, basically – so I added some sweetener. Now this tastes like a tea Shirley Temple to me, and it’s quite tasty. Still not a fan of the base, as it’s gotten bitter really quickly even with a short steep (and zero instructions to give me any sort of guidance).

I’ll try this with a shorter steep next time, maybe even a slightly lower temperature, and hopefully then the bitterness disappears.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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68
drank Ice Wine by Darlene's Teaport
342 tasting notes

thank you to MissB for this sample. this one was really interesting….

the dry leaf gives me a very straightforward ice wine grape scent. it changes once water is added it changes. a floral component chimes in…. one i can’t name…..not honey suckle, not hyacinth…. i’m prompted by H though, lol.

has a heavy presence, a syrup that gives a distinctly exotic weight. not sure it’s quite my thing, but a lovely thing to try.

on a side note: i DO believe that misfortune comes in threes, or i do now. so… the left eye a month ago, the left kidney 2 days ago, and a broken back left molar as of 30 minutes ago. huh. happy holidays? sigh.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
MissB

Oh boo (for the tea). I have yet to try this. Floral is so not my thing. Huge hugs to you.

JustJames

it’s not strictly floral, and it’s just one guy’s appraisal. cold steep it…. try it that way to start?

Veronica

Good grief… I bet you’re going to be happy to see the backside of 2013! I hope things get better (much, much better) soon.

TheTeaFairy

Don’t give up James, if trinity is the rule here, then it should also apply to the GOOD stuff…I wish many rounds of good things will also come to you in threes :-)

MissB

I will. Having said that… I have an awful lot of things like Nina’s Paris, Dammann Freres, and Fauchon in the house right now. ;)

JustJames

i like the concept of a three way reversal of this nonsense….. i can’t believe all this. BEYOND stupid. isn’t it true that we’re supposed to thrive in the face of adversity? i guess my final psych mark will be the barometer of that…..

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In the bag, and in the steeper, it smells sooo sweet and yummy. I can’t tell too well, but I don’t think this is quite as good as a previous, and similar, tea like this…but it is still tasty. The two teas could be from the same source, for all I know, but the caramel/toffee bits in this one seem smaller. Maybe it was a little weaker? I definitely picked up the pu erh base, and it was sweet and yummy….

I’ll definitely drink this one down, but maybe I was not in the mood for this after all…even though I’d been thinking about it all during my failed nap.

I dunno…I’m having mixed feelings about this one for some reason, even though I did like it, and like this sort of tea. Thanks to MissB for tossing this one my way.

MissB

I’m glad you tried it! Hopefully it grows on you, or finds a new home with someone that enjoys it more.

Amariel

I do like it, but I’m trying to compare how it was to the other caramel/toffee pu erhs I have had before. I generally like this kind of blend, so I think I was just in a weird mood funk when I had it. Like, I knew I wanted it, but when I began drinking it I was like it’s good, but did I really want it? Weird, I know.

MissB

Nah. I’ve had that happen lots! It’s all about moods, and perspective. I can love a tea one day, and be all, “What the?” another.

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77

Long day, longer night, and I was still having dreams about coming home to the Laoshan Black from earlier today. Yet, I need to sleep at some point, so I grabbed the first rooibos I found: this one.

It smells delicious, like juicy, ripe peaches, and even more so as it steeps. The smell however threw me as I drank it. Sure, it’s flavored tea, however it got lost in the rooibos. >sniff< aaaahh. >sip< uuuhhh?

It couldn’t have been that bad though, because I did drink the first 2c mug effortlessly. Now I’m on my second, and it’s much more flavorful, tangy and sweet with some Truvia.

Anyone want to try some? I doubt I’ll get through the minimum 50g I had to order anytime soon.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
CelebriTEA

This sounds good.
I love peaches and apricots in tea, but sometimes if the flavor
isn’t strong enough it does seem to “get lost”…
I fell in love with the Apricot Guayusa from Butiki and in a few days,
I will have to order more ;-)

MissB

The Apricot Guayasa is amazing! I’ll put some of this aside for you CelebriTEA, and you can try it, too.

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