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Recent Tasting Notes
Additional notes: Waiting ten minutes to steep for 3-4 minutes still results in a hint of bitterness. Maybe it’s just the leaves. Maybe I should be rinsing before steeping. I like the other flavors though… but it doesn’t taste quite the same as it once did. This is really just a note-to-self for future steepings. Lowering the rating for this one (92), since I’ve had about a billion awesome oolongs since this one. Sorry everyone!
I’ve been awake since 4:30 for what I thought was just a sore muscle in my back, but now I’m wondering if I’m getting a bad cold because I also have a headache and the chills. Not fun.
Since i was awake and in need of something warm to drink I thought I’d play with a couple of teas that I initially didn’t think highly of but thought might be better if I babied them. When I first had this tea I thought I would love it, but it fell flat. I thought I’d give it another go and see if I could eek some more flavor out of it.
Unfortunately, this tea continues to miss the mark. It taste like any generic black peach flavored tea. The Oolong flavor is missing completely. I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but it is. There is also no tropical like flavors to be found. So while this one is entirely drinkable it fails to deliver anything resembling its namesake. Sad sigh.
I have been holding on to this oolong for far too long. Oolongs are hit or miss with me, so I’ve let the ones that I have sit in my cupboard unloved until I get in an oolong-y mood. Such a mood struck me tonight, and while it is going to wreak havoc on my sleep it has been a blessing to my taste buds.
This has a beautiful floral note with a nice bit of sweetness. After that there is a roasty note followed by a sharp, but not unpleasant, dryness. I just looked at other tasting notes, and, yes, honeysuckle is what I’m tasting. Wow, this is nice. Sleep be damned. This tea is worth it.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey
This tea is one of those “long lost” teas that was in my stash that I just came across. It’s probably been in there a while. I thought it might have gone stale by now, but it still tastes quite good.
I’m impressed with the pear flavoring here, it’s a strong pear taste. Sweet and maybe even a little on the “candy” side. The black tea is rich and smooth. It’s a really nice tea.
This is a tea that Element no longer carries, and that’s a shame, because it’s a tasty one. I love pear teas, although it’s not always easy to find one that has a good “pear” representation, and this one does.
Since this is a tea that is no longer sold, I won’t be rating it.
I came across a sampling of this tea in my stash. Not sure who sent it to me. It’s not one that is on Element’s website any longer, so I don’t know if they still carry it.
It’s a pleasant Irish Breakfast. It’s a rich, robust tea. I like that it’s organic. It’s got a strong, malty flavor like I’d expect from an Irish Breakfast.
I’m trying to work my way through the smaller samples I’ve received in trades. I actually have two separate bags of this one. I know one came from the Here’s Hoping tea box, but I have no idea who sent me the other one. So whoever the generous tea giver was, thank you!
This continues to be a tea with lots of peach flavor but no oolong. It’s easy enough to drink, and if I didn’t know it was an oolong I’d assume I was sipping on a basic peach flavor black tea. But since I do know it’s oolong I find myself really wanting more (any) oolong flavor.
I think I’ll cold brew the rest of this tea. Who knows, maybe that will coax more out of this one.
Additional notes: Sample sipdown! If I had known how good this one was, I would have ordered it so long ago. It has aged surprisingly well. I guess I liked this cup better than the last after reading the tasting notes for the last time. It’s a tasty flavor, so I’m uping the rating.
Element seemed to have been back in business for a while but I sent them an e-mail weeks ago asking what was going on and never got a reply. I had no idea they started again, so I wish they would have sent an e-mail to past customers that they were open again. Maybe no one knew and they closed again! I was very happy with the teas they carried.
Thanks to Mercuryhime for letting me sample this one, and sorry I’ve taken so long to try it! I think I unfortunately may have underleafed yet oversteeped… it’s kind of astringent yet there’s not a ton of flavour. Of course, I also have plenty of lingering tieguanyin flavour in my mouth as well; I’m sure that’s not helping.
Anyhow, what flavour I am getting is a bit woodsy but also, strangely, a bit green like the TGY. I guess I’ll have to figure out later if that’s just contamination or something… I’ll leave the rating for the time being. I usually like woody oolongs, so expect if I brew this one correctly, I will like it too!
Another tea from the traveling tea box! This one has actually been on my shopping list for awhile, so I was really excited to see it in the box. The dry leaves don’t really smell like banana to me, instead I smella tangy tropical fruit aroma. The tea liquor itself smells more like the tea’s description – warm coconut with a hint of banana. The flavor is sweet and malty with a fresh banana finish. The banana isn’t too strong, but it’s definitely noticeable and it’s not really artificial-fakey tasting like a lot of banana flavored things are. There is a soft fruity coconut aftertaste that finishes out the sip nicely. Adding milk and sweetener brings out more of the coconut flavors and an overall tropical fruitiness. The more I sip this, the more that I am liking it. I checked the website and it seems that this one is no longer available. Please bring this one back, Element Teas!
-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves with slivers of coconut and banana and small yellow petals.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of tropical fruit. Tea liquor aroma is of warm coconut with a hint of banana.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium orange brown color.
-Sweet malty flavor with a fresh banana finish. Soft fruity coconut aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Fresh banana and coconut flavors. Not artificial tasting.
Additional notes: ICED! I thought I’d try one of my favorite EGs iced! I thought I’d take a risk with this iced, even though I really didn’t want to waste it. Precious leaves! Elementtea.com seems to be back open after their closing sale they had a while ago but they haven’t updated their page in a while, so I’m not sure their status. When I ordered with their sale, I was never disappointed in any of their teas. I wish they were doing better!
Anyway, two teaspoons in a mason jar for a couple days results in a nice tasting iced tea! I wished more of the cream would make itself known, but the bergamot was tasty. The black tea was tasty as well but it is much better hot. I think I’ll savor this one hot and use up some other teas cold. But it works better than some other teas have been cold brewed!
my first Traveling Tea Box Tea!
sorry swappers box, you’re going on the back burner for a little while.
i only took one little teaspoon of this tea so that there would be some for another sipper. i really think i obsessed too much over how much to grab of what teas. i basically didn’t feel comfortable with finishing a single tea off entirely. so i just took small little scoops of the less abundant teas like a weenie. it’s my first traveling box experience. i’ll make more gutsy choices next time i’m sure. hah
i don’t think this tea would get bitter even at 5 min. it’s a good strength for my taste. good leaves i think. though i would like it to be a bit more cream-creamy. on my second-ish steep i did what CHAroma did and added cream and agave.
i’m gonna reach 400 tasting notes before i get through these TTB samples. that means 400 teas tasted. now that’s hawt.
More tea from the Momo box! This one wasn’t very satisfying. I don’t taste the oolong base and although there is a faint peach taste, there is some other fruit in there that I can’t identify… dragon fruit? guava? Whatever it is, it tastes artificial, almost like a sour gummy candy, but not as strong or tasty. I’m going to finish the cup, but I really don’t want to. There’s just not much about this tea to want to finish.
This is one of my oldest swap samples. I received this tea from Mercuryhime in December 2011 and first tried it in March 2012.
I did a concentrated steep of the remaining leaves and it’s surprisingly fragrant! The aroma is floral and coconut-y. The taste is slightly quieter than the aroma, but not by much. This is still yummy! I’m quite enjoying this. :) Thanks again to Mercuryhime!!
Sipdown, 177. Plus rose buds for this one!
I burned the heck out of my lip tonight while tasting dinner during cooking. A piece of molten hot spinach was stuck to the bottom of my spoon and latched itself onto my lower lip, and now I have a sizeable blister. So I had to wait until this one was fairly cool before tasting. Fortunately I somehow managed not to burn my mouth really.
This was pleasant, and even more so in the second cup after letting it steep for a looooong time, as the rose buds I put in came out more and added a sweetness that was lovely. I definitely need a verbena/lemongrass blend for evenings.
Mm, this is a nice blend. I know that I want to keep a lemongrass/lemon verbena blend around for evenings, and this has both! Also ginger, a plus for after too-rich dinners. The one part of this that I’m not sure about is the honeybush; it’s not rooibos, so that’s a plus, but it still has a kind of woody, medicinal flavor to it that I don’t think I need in my herbals. I mean, it’s not very strong in this blend, and this is still mostly lemon and ginger. A very pleasant tea for the evening, though.
Thanks to Tea Sipper for sending me this tea to try! I am finally getting around to it. I realize now I am logging two pear teas in a row, but many hours have separated them so I don’t really feel like I am on a pear kick per se.
Pear and black tea is an interesting combo; I always feel like pear is an appropriate flavor for a green or white tea. In the scent of this I can smell the bright pear, but also the robust black tea too. I was concerned about bitterness and astringency from this cup based on the smell (and also some of the comments here) but fortunately I am not getting any. It’s a pretty smooth, malty base tea that I am enjoying, along with some lightish pear notes. I often enjoy a lighter flavoring on my flavored teas these days, but in this case the pear and black tea don’t really do anything for each other, they just kind of are there together, sharing the spotlight but not improving one another. Anyway, it’s a decently tasty tea. I will be cold brewing this as well because I feel like cold pear black might work.
Another from the Traveling Tea Box! There’s a large amount of this one so I made up a small pitcher (and there’s still tons for everyone else!).
Peachy! I was expecting more of a flavor from the oolong, since it’s so pretty. Big, fluffy whole leaves. There is a small sample of the pure base in the TTB, so I’ll have to try it and compare!
But essentially this is just a peachy tea. I don’t know why it’s called ‘tropical’ because peach is the only flavoring I detect. I thought there might be pineapple or guava or something but this really tastes like a super basic black peach. Not like that’s a bad thing, especially sweetened and with some lemon slices, but I think they kind of squandered the base on this one.
This is, I think, the final tea I got in my trade from Tea Sipper (that I hadn’t had before, so I’ll be able to move onto someone else soon. I’m so behind on tasting my trading teas. With the possible exception of my Red Leaf Tea orders, I’m going to stop opening boxes from tea companies until I get through these trades. Probably.
Wow, this is strong rooibos. I’m not sure I like rooibos enough to really enjoy this tea. And yes, just taking some to drink, I can barely taste any vanilla but the rooibos is REALLY REALLY strong. I just don’t like rooibos this much. This is the type of flavour I would expect from a pure rooibos tea since the vanilla flavour is very subdued, if it’s even there at all.
Tea #16 from the ‘Here’s Hoping’ teabox.
Backlogging this from last night.
This was my before bed tea. A very nice, relaxing herbal with lots of flavor. The strawberry was the dominate, but there was enough kiwi to keep it from becoming an all strawberry tea (not that that would be a bad thing). I added some sugar to help highlight the fruit and hide the hibiscus, and I ended up with a really pleasant cup.
I’m kicking myself for not knowing about Element Tea earlier because I would have loved to have ordered from them. I think I have liked every tea I have tried from them out of the teabox, and they have some of the best herbals ever. Many thanks to Tea Sipper for allowing me to try these great teas that I otherwise would have missed all together!
Tea #14 from the ’Here’s Hoping’ teabox.
Oh. Holy. Yum. This is delicious.
I normally stay away from banana flavored teas because I think that too often that they end up tasting like banana flavored Laughy Taffy. Thanks, but no thanks. This tea, however, isn’t a banana tea as much as it’s a tropical tea with banana as one of the flavors. The coconut keeps the banana in check, and the two blend with the black tea very well. There is a bit of an artificial flavor that comes out more as the tea cools, but if I ever have another cup of this I doubt it sits around long enough to cool.
Element Tea, please, please, please carry this again!
First tea I’m trying from tea box B, I really should also get back started on box A now that I think about it! This one though has very few teas I don’t want to try.
I thought this might be something good for having this morning, plus I wanted to try making a EG cream without over steeping it.
At first sip this was almost terrifyingly bergamot tasting. Since I had to make a ton of bread last night and we got whole milk for the purpose, there’s still a cup left so I added a little to the cup and now it’s a lot more tolerable.
I think this one is just a bit too strong for me, I like Earl Grey but some of them just are way too much flavor for me. It actually feels like the vanilla is increasing the strength of the bergamot oil! The milk did kind of smooth it out, and it is definitely creamy tasting, but the way it switches over to this strong citrus note is a bit too much for me.