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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon here, this is a pleasant strawberry tea that I am enjoying a lot with soymilk today. I haven’t been up to doing much today, the ongoing drama with my office about their paperwork has me feeling totally drained and I haven’t slept very well in almost 3 months anyway. Paying a visit to the acupuncturist this afternoon, maybe he can help me.
In the meantime I’m kind of happy to have some quiet moments to enjoy teeeea on this beautiful sunny day!
I received this sample today (thank you Laurent!) I had heard so much about it that obviously it was the first one I wanted to try.
It’s really quite a nice cup of tea. I am so accustomed to black teas that sometimes I have to remind myself to appreciate the more mild teas, like this blend. I am starting to really love genmaicha. It adds such an interesting level of flavor that is different than anything else. It’s hard for me to pick out individual flavors in this, probably because it is such a balanced blend. I get a bit of honey, some vanilla, some caramel notes.
I would love to know the caffeine content of it, I could see this being a new favorite late evening tea for me.
This was nice, got it in a swap. I had read the reviews so I knew to look for a fruit taste (and that I would probably not find one). Most of the cup was just a moderate black, not especially strong. At the very bottom I got a hint of fruit. I had added some rock sugar and it had dissolved and not been stirred in, so it was that last couple of “insta diabetes” drinks where I got it.
Not bad, not great.
Second time steeping this. Still haven’t figured it out.
The first time I did it for 3 minutes at 90C. This time I did it for 2 minutes at boiling temp. Both times it was still not as fruity as I wanted it to be. Vanilla, chocolate and cream flavours still the most present. All I really want is for this to be a black peach tea, but I just can’t get the peach/fruit flavours to come forward.
Perhaps I should use 1 tsp for 8 oz instead?
Second time I’ve had this, and I admit I like the green base a little better now. It’s still not there yet though. Steeped it for slightly longer this time. Looking over other people’s tasting notes, I’m going to try Lala’s suggestion next (1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 190°F [87°C] for 1-1.5 minutes with a bit of sweetener).
The aftertaste on this is great – fruity and sweet and tongue-coating, almost like a classier, grown-up version of a fruit roll-up!
Thanks for this sample VariaTEA!
The flavor in this tea is on the lighter side. I can taste cherries, but not an impressive amount. It is more of a dried cherry taste as apposed to fresh cherry. The base is nice enough, smooth and not overwhelming the flavor. It feels like it is lacking something to really pop. It’s good, but is getting an “eh”. I’m happy to have tried it though!
this was my out and about tea today. Seriously, best weekend in a long time. My other half was off so we slept in, had breakfast together and then went for a 5 hours walk. Just out enjoying the sun, the day, spending time together being “out.” I got to buy some pants for walking/being active AND we may have found a writing desk that we can use in the house so that i’m not at the dining room table when i work from home with cords all over the place. We went out for lunch, stopped at the liquor station and had a grand ol’ day. And this was my tea for doing it with. :)
Yum yum yum yum! I didn’t have expectations for this one. It seems this one is hit or miss on Steepster. I get peachy and apple with the vanilla. The sip is rounded out with a bit of sweetness at the end. I do not get apricot, but it could just be because it has been too long since I have had one. I am a little leery of the black base in Nina’s Paris teas. It seems a bit “smokey” to me. I might have to try the Japon and Eve next to each other. For this it works, but I could see how it might get in the way of some blends. Thank you NayLynn for including this one.
Backlog from yesterday:
Brewed this up and as it was brewing, I smelled that lovely smell of red fruit: cherries, raspberries, currants. However, my first sip was so scalding hot that I burned my tongue. After I let it sit for several minutes to cool down, I tried it again and couldn’t taste any red fruit at all – not even the lingering cherry aftertaste from last time. That made me very sad.
I really think I’m going to have to leave it at a 2 minute steep – I just can’t predict how to steep these well. The spent teabag smelled lovely of red fruits, though – perhaps the key is to cool it down? I don’t know.
Oh! It’s creamy orange? I immediately tasted creamy fruit but couldn’t narrow it down further. Now that I’ve cheated and read the description my taste buds are all, yes, yes I can taste orange. Suggestible traitors, aren’t they?
It really seems obviously orange now though. Mmmmm… It’s like drinking a liquid Campino! (those hard candies…. om nom nom). Yes, I’m totally digging this now. I wouldn’t crave it all the time, but it hits the spot for orange if you don’t want to be blasted with cinnamon-orange.
Thank you Sil for passing this sample on to me! (177)
I’m working on drinking teas that are not deeply thrilling to me, and this falls on that list.
A light steep helps keep the base from taking over compleatly, which is an important part of the whole arrangement. When I can get it right it has a decent orange flavor, but nothing completely overwhelming.
Well, thats at least a bit more down of this. And the tin it came in is gorgeous.
Wow. This tea is amazing. I don’t really get the citrus as much as the strange spiciness – it reminds me of Catholic church, so like frankincense and myrrh or something. Maybe it’s the marigolds! Also, golden flowers, yes. It’s very TEA and strong, but soft and lovely. Thanks, Shmiracles, for letting me try some from your samples!
I think I had nightmares last night. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched shows with dismembered human totem poles in them before bed, maybe???? (Though, looked pretty amazing, I must say.) Why didn’t I dream about Hoechlin and baseball, or how Dylan O’Brien looks in all those Maze Runner pics? Oh, brain.
Thank you to VariaTEA for this sample! I had been wanting to try more of Nina’s astrological rooibos!
I think I brewed this a little too strong, but I don’t want to water down the rich caramel flavor! The flavor is more present on the aftertaste, but does start to show mid sip. At the beginning of each sip, there is this mild tartness that made me think this was a fruit flavor at first. My mouth is left a little dry, like most rooibos teas would. It was a very nice cup, but won’t make it to my “must stock” list although I do look forward to a cup or two more before the sample is gone.
Backlog from earlier this evening.
I finally opened up my tin of this! I just didn’t have the time for this one before. As I’m finding typical for Nina’s teas, this smells absolutely heavenly when dry – fruity and slightly floral, even candylike. The raspberry is definitely the most prominent flavour here.
Also as I’m finding typical for Nina’s teas, this doesn’t come with any steeping instructions. Sigh. I went with 1.5 tsp for 8 oz at a temperature of 75°C and a 2-minute steep. In the end, this tea was a lovely yellowish green, mostly clear but slightly cloudy. There was some dust at the bottom of the cup.
Brewed, the scent is very similar: fragrant and fruity, with the raspberrry still dominant. However, alas: the base tea itself tastes somewhat musty! This definitely tastes like a Chinese green, (perhaps Chun Mee?) and I can see why this melds well with the fruit flavours, but I’m not a fan of the base itself. It’s not bitter or astringent, though.
I’m finding that Nina’s teas are rather finicky. The smell is worth it, though – I will figure out how to make this tea work, as I’m rather fond of red-fruit greens.
Backlog from this afternoon:
After I got home from the accountant, I took a much needed nap, then decided to pep up with this blend. This is my second attempt at this tea. I really want to like it because it smells amazing. However, I still haven’t figured out how to make this tea taste the way I want it to (apple with rose in the background).
This time I reduced the steep time, and the rose was far less dominant, but the apple still didn’t come to the fore. I only have enough for one cup of this, so I think I’ll try steeping it for 4 minutes next. If that doesn’t do it, then so long sipdown.
omg i’ve been so MIA
but look. me and 3d!steve. we’ve been spending some quality time.
(i miss you steepster and i’ll be back soon i swear.)
Hmm, I am not sure what to make of this tea. I brewed it at a hotter temp this time to try to bring out more flavor (not boiling, though not quite sure what temp; more below), and it backfired on me. It’s not bitter or astringent or anything, but it’s like a mild mannered person who is really sweet and then you make them angry and they surprise you. This cup has a burnt-toast/burnt-rice/burnt-nuts scent and flavor that actually reminds me of coffee. Um, what? Where was that mild-mannered caramel vanilla tea again? How can these be the same teas?
I’m rating this based on a combo of my two experiences. Steep it like a green tea, and it is sweet and caramelly, but lacking depth and body from the base teas. Steep it closer to a black tea, and it turns into some kind of weird caramel-flavored weak coffee. So although I wouldn’t turn down another cup or the chance to go for it again, this isn’t really doing it for me.
Finally, the reason I don’t know what temp this is really at is that my Adagio UtiliTEA kettle may have finally kicked the bucket. It worked this morning but when I tried to make some water at ~195°F, I noticed that it was just boiling forever without shutting off. It boiled so hard that I lost probably two ounces of water out of the pot through boil-off. I stopped it, let it cool for a bit, and then ended up putting in a bit of room temp water to top off my cup since the water had boiled off. Will have to try going to a lower temp and seeing if it works that way; otherwise I may be in the market for a new office kettle.
I will write a proper tasting note for this one from my swap with variaTEA when I can do it justice. For now, it was poor and totally my fault as I fudged it up.
It smelled very strongly of apples in the packet, with a creamy hint which I suppose came from the vanilla. Almost like Adagio/Cara’s Ten blend (Doctor Who) only without the coconut. Brewed, the peachiness came through more than the apples and it smelled very juicy. HOWEVER I got distracted and alas, totally forgot about it for over half an hour, with the leaves still steeping in the cup in my little brew basket. I was so annoyed with myself when I remembered, as I was so looking forward to this!! It also turns out I underleafed, so the flavour was weak as well as bitter. I am planning on using the rest of the sample to very carefully prepare a cup exactly as it should be, as I want to enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.
Although it was bitter, I didn’t have to dump the cup – I added a teaspoon of sugar which mellowed it out a little, and was able to enjoy the fruity flavours in the aftertaste, after each bitter sip. The bitterness was just bearable enough, thankfully! Near the end of the cup, I added a touch of almond milk, out of curiousity, which didn’t turn out anywhere near as good as it sounded in my head. It kind of curdled a little, and the flavours seemed to remain separate in my mouth, too – first bitterness, followed by fruits, followed by a faint almond hint which ruined the overall aftertaste in my opinion. I think it would be good without sugar, too, but wasn’t able to tell this time due to the bitterness. My rating reflects the way I drank it with sugar before adding the almond milk as it was the most enjoyable, but I am sure the rating will increase massively when I manage to brew it properly without breaking it.
I am so angry with myself for overbrewing. I may have to find a way to acquire more (read: place a Nina’s order) as punishment. Yep. That’s what I’ll do.
Well, now that I look at the picture on this page and at my actual tea… I am not sure if they are the same. Because I sure don’t have any of these fancy fruit pieces! The Mon Secret that I got is largely just tea leaves… There’s bits and pieces of something in it, I guess. Hmmm…
The steep has a beautiful dark ruby color but it looks and tastes just like keemun tea with not much else to it. It’s a little disappointing, but I am not sure who to blame for it. I seriously believe that there’s something not right with the blend I got. Perhaps getting their teas from Amazon is not an entirely good idea?
Finally had a chance to open the package that I received last week. The dry leaf smells strongly of peach, apple, and vanilla, so I was really looking forward to testing it out!
Nina’s teas don’t come with any steeping parameters, unfortunately, so I tried the tea with 2 tsp/12 oz for 3 minutes at 90°C. I initially meant to steep it for 2 minutes, but the phone rang and I got interrupted.
Brewed, the tea still smells strongly of peaches and vanilla, as well as chocolate, with the apple being fainter. The taste is of chocolate/vanilla and possibly some cream, with the fruit tastes being less dominant. This is not astringent at all, but I think that I would have appreciated it more if it were steeped at a higher temperature for a shorter length of time. I still have 2 oz to play with to figure out the perfect steep. Withholding a rating for now.