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74

I didn’t forget I had this one to sample. I’m still trying to get over the allergy/cold that won’t quit. I opened the packet and found that I could smell the vegetal goodness of the dry leaf and figured now was as good a time as any to try it out! The green leaves smell very much like fresh veggies to me. Thought I can’t place which veggies. Not a problem, as I think I’m going to like this one!

I will admit the first sip was like buttah! If you get the reference I’m very proud of you! In fact it reminded me more of a Gyokuro and less like a Sencha. Yup that’s how smooth this tea is. Yes, the steeped leaves smell good enough to eat. Though I’m not quite brave enough for that one! The flavors profile on this tea are SPOT ON. It certainly does taste very savory with a lovely buttery finish. I paired it with eggs and sausage this morning because, well why not. I must say this was not a bad choice at all. The flavors play so well together.

The short of it is this is a VERY good Sencha. As you know I’ve very picky about by green teas. But I would buy this one again…once I sip down at least twenty teas in my cabinet. I’m almost out of room and I have NO idea how that happened. Ok I totally know how that happened.

Flavors: Butter, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

First steep (200, 2:30 min): Strong floral taste, on the verge of astringent so I may try this again with slightly less steep time. Standard black tea.

Second steep (200, 2:30 min): Lightly floral some peppery aftertaste.

Great black tea, floral seems to be common to most black teas but the peppery aftertaste really set this apart for me. Decently caffeinated, probably average for black tea. 9/10 would steep again.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Floral

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

First Steep (190, 2 mins): Lightly sweetened green tea yet very similar to an oolong.

Second steep (190, 2 mins): Barely noticeable sweetness, more traditional oolong flavor in this steep than green tea.

Definitely interesting, a green tea that tastes like an oolong. Light sweet aftertaste but very complex initial taste.

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

First infusion (180, for 2 mins): Very nutty, probably the main flavor I smelled and tasted. Slight floral after taste.

Second infusion (180, for 2 mins): Nutty flavor is diminished but still present. The floral flavor comes forward more in this steep.

This was my first genmaicha and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to trying more but unfortunately I will have high standards after this one.

Flavors: Nutty, Toasted Rice

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

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90

I was going to try to save it as the last tea I reviewed, but as you can see this did not last long. Genmaicha’s are one of those green teas I love, even if some folks consider it a novel-tea. It is a bit weird for those drinking it for the first time. Besides the green tea there’s a lot going on here….fire-toasted and popped rice…in tea? Yeah actually that’s exactly what you’ll find mixed in with the green tea! Spoiler alert it’s usually amazing.

When I opened the package I was hit instantly with the scent of vegetal goodness and toasted rice. As someone who loves both veggies and rice I was instantly excited to get to steeping this tea. This time I chose to use the one touch’s water mode and customized my settings to match those suggested on the packaging. In this case 180 degrees – once ready I poured the water into the awaiting cast iron pot and set the timer for two minutes steep time. The minute the water hit the tea I got a great sniff of spinach and toasted rice. Honestly this tea smells good enough to eat (and I know people who have eaten their green teas before). I chose NOT to eat the steeped leaves…because the instructions say you get two steeps out of them. Also (personal opinion) it sounds a little gross to me.

The timer I set startled me as it’s set to some very load “Good morning” tune. I dashed into the kitchen to remove the basket in my tea pot and get down to sipping business! The smell is very vegetal with the added bonus of toasted rice. My husband the non-tea drinker thought it smelled “weird”. This is what I live with folks…please send help! (I kid) The taste is really nice and there is a little hint of sweetness to the tea. I am also, as the tasting notes suggest on the package, getting a taste of grass on the finish. But it isn’t bitter, which is what also turns me off green teas rather quickly. Of course the taste of toasted rice also carries through in each sip. All the flavors play so nice with one another! This is one smooth cup of genmaicha tea. I would really suggest picking up some if you have the chance. I know I might if the funds allow it.

Now I have tried many a genmaicha and I can tell you, not all are created equal. In fact I happened to order some from Adagio Teas (that arrived Monday) as I noticed I didn’t have any in the cabinet. So look for that review later this week and we’ll see how it measures up. As this particular genmaicha was really really good.

Flavors: Grass, Green, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Earl Grey by Steepster
69 tasting notes

I tend to be a tea hoarder: the better the tea, the worse I feel using it up. This tea has just the right balance between being drinkable and being expendable. Drinking it also makes me feel productive, because the closer I get to the bottom of the tin, the closer I am to being able to repurchase my favorite Earl Grey: Mount Gray by Andrews & Dunham.

Over time, I’ve learned that this tea is best brewed a bit colder than most blacks – it tends to develop a bitter taste at higher temperatures.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

My first box arrived yesterday. This months teas were sourced from Japan. To my horror most of the teas were green teas. Green teas and I have what I’d call a love/hate relationship. I want to love them, but usually I just hate them. BUT there was a black tea in the bunch so I chose to try that one first. Yes, yes I am a creature of habit and went with the tea type I know and love first. I can’t help it. And I will be trying the green teas later this week. Now that I have the one touch…it should be very hard to mess up these teas.

I used the one touch’s tea basket to make four cups of tea from the sample provided. Which leaves me with 1 tsp. left to sample. Note to self with the rest of the teas use the one touch as a water boiler only and prep the teas in the cast iron pot! This tea has a short steep time. But you also get two steeps out of it. Which is nice considering how much tea I just used. It also gives some information on the flavors I should get from the tea. I always find it funny when I’m given information on what I should taste in a tea, because I almost never have the same or similar tastes in my teas.

The loose leaf did not smell very floral or fruity to me. Instead it smelled more earthy like a pu-erh tea. This could perhaps be due to the organic fertilizer the farmer used when growing the tea. It isn’t a bad smell at all. In fact I really like it. Two and a half minutes later I was almost ready to take my first sips of tea. Steeped the tea smells more like a malty beer with a hint of olives. Weird right? I don’t get it either. It isn’t bad, just different and I tend to like different! The taste? I do get a little of the fruity taste promised on the package. I also detect a little honey and hops/malt to it too. Plus the taste of olives. I’m not sure why olives, but hand to kettle I’m tasting olives. Lucky for me I love olives. I’ll say it again NOT all tastebuds are the same. So you may taste sweet potatoes were you to try this tea. Big bonus there is a really clean finish. Meaning there isn’t any leftover taste in my mouth like I have found with other black teas.

Too long didn’t read….I liked it. I don’t know that I would buy more of it only because I have so much tea already (another reason I joined Select). But this isn’t a MUST HAVE for my tea cabinet.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Malt, Olives

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Formosa Oolong #1 by Steepster
113 tasting notes

Nice and toasty with a sweetness and finishes strong. Just what I need to help me fight through a cold.

Flavors: Honey, Roasted, Sweet, Toasty, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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74

Finished off this sample today! Very nice jasmine flavor and subtle vegetal notes – great for starting the day :)

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74

I woke up with this tea today. It tastes great, but it didn’t really seem any different than a jasmine phoenix pearl (or similar tea). It has a nice light jasmine flavor, which is good for me, since I don’t like overpowering jasmine flavors/scents. Overall, it’s a good tea :)

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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95

Thank you Jason for including this in my tea box.

This was good. This was very good. I haven’t had a tea session as serene as this one in a awhile. This has a wonderful body and is incredibly smooth. The taste is sweet and lightly floral. It helped create a bright and peaceful atmosphere. Today my tea table seemed very balanced; the colors seemed to flow well with the sunlight. This was good for me.

https://instagram.com/p/0yX7ePTGa4/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Flowers, Herbaceous, Nectar, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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36

I’m going to work on tasting the finer points of teas, so this is devoid of that- but: I think I’m finding I’m not much of an herbal tea type. What this tea most reminds me of is chamomile tea; many love it, but- I don’t get a lot from it. It lacks the punch or grassiness of, say, green teas- it is clear, smooth, easy, but- not necessarily my cup of tea, haha. Perhaps it’ll grow on me.

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drank Dai Bai Cha Jasmine by Steepster
12 tasting notes

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72
drank Imperial Keemun by Steepster
1723 tasting notes

I found this tea to be rather smoky—reminiscent even of Lapsang Souchong. Or perhaps closer to Russian Caravan? It was okay. Not so imperial to me.

Flavors: Smoke

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72
drank Da Hong Pao Red Robe by Steepster
1723 tasting notes

I think that my batch of this tea was too dilute. I used the entire envelope but made it in a bowl, not a mug. Note to self: Steepster Select packets are for a cup only—not a pot! I have a second chance and will report back!

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drank Fuding White Peony by Steepster
385 tasting notes

I tend not to be a white tea fan because they’re light and delicate teas. I wasn’t expecting this… it’s got a strong taste that is actually kind of nutty and earthy. Not the white tea I was expecting it to be at all. I kind of like it :)

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drank Fuding White Peony by Steepster
385 tasting notes

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70
drank Fuding White Peony by Steepster
12 tasting notes

I got this tea as a part of Steepster Select.
The scent that comes from the tea immediately reminds me of alfalfa, or hay.
The tea’s taste mimics the scent but it is light, sweet and slightly floral. The thing that surprised me about this tea is that the flavor is far bolder than most other white teas that I have had. It was a pleasant surprise.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Hay

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Mmmm, so floral and sweet! This peony is no pansy white tea. I was excited to try this because “nutty” was a listed tasting note, and I adore nutty teas, but I can’t find nutty anywhere in this cup. I can’t bring myself to be disappointed, though, it’s that good.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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60
drank Organic Nilgiri by Steepster
169 tasting notes

tried to like this as a hot tea, did not like. did not try iced, as do not like iced tea. not my cuppa tea, obv.

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90
drank Fuding White Peony by Steepster
84 tasting notes

Not a white tea drinker. Can’t get my taste-buds to pick up on the subtleties. Not with this tea. Brewed as directed and thought it was going to be pale insipid and I was wrong. Golden hue with flavors of hay, fall leaves and a hint of sweetness which my be the nutty expression from the package tasting notes. I like this tea and I want more. Curious if Steepster will divulge where this came from?

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1

Wow, this has to be one of the most awful teas I’ve ever tasted. I dumped the pot down the drain after one sip and threw away the rest of the tea.

You know how closely linked taste and smell are…and how something can taste like a odor? Well, this tea reminded me of the smell of the of the room in the barn where milk, fresh from the cow, was poured into the milk/cream separator. I’m talking 50-60 years ago, but that tea brought me right back. There was this pungent odor of barn smells and old straw that had milk spilled on it and had by then gone somewhat rancid. I don’t quite know how to describe it…but that’s what the taste of this tea reminded me of…strongly. It was awful.

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75

I enjoyed this tea…sweet and subtle. But, like so many of the teas offer by Steepster, it is not available. That’s the one downside…you find a tea you like but you can’t buy it. Happens too often.

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