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Recent Tasting Notes

75

I haven’t tried a lot of Darjeeling teas before and I wasn’t a big fan of the ones I sampled. But this one was really good! It’s strong and malty (my favorite flavor profile for a black tea) with a taste that reminds me of fresh-baked bread with honey. I didn’t notice any bitterness or astringency, but there was a slightly sour note to the aftertaste that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I’m going to try it with milk next time to see if that mellows it out. Still an enjoyable cup of tea to start my day. Thank you to Kyla for the sample!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Sour

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

If you like yellow tea, then this is one you have to try. I was so happy when this arrived in my Steepster select box this month. Brews up a beautiful light yellow, and if you leave it for the full 2 minutes recommended brew time (175 to 185 degrees F ) it yields up some amazing flavors and aroma. Although subtle, I definitely get tones of baked fruit and light vegetal background. I have never had a tea that actually has such a silky texture. Warm and soothing all the way down.

Flavors: Fruity, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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15

Smells very vegetal with a light yellow color. Has a light body. Tastes soft and mellow. Very bland. No hints of fruit at all.

Flavors: Dry Grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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80

This is a good yellow tea. It isn’t super astringent for me, however I find that it isn’t the most fragrant tea.

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74

Been a while since the last post. Hoping to get back in the rhythm this week.

A memory from Steepster Select’s first shipment, Iron Goddess Dark Roast sips harmlessly. But there’s a protective malice behind its stone-faced facade. Steam rises up. The water poured torments the tightly curled leaves. Bring your face close to the heat and divine steep. Little hands with tiny palms and grey fingers tear at your nose, seeking refuge and a home. Recoiling, grasp the mug with both of your cold, hardened hands. It’s searing – the emanating heat pierces your hands like tiny spears that soon withdraw. “Poor heat insulation!”, you decry.

The little fortress that is this Iron Goddess Dark Roast places divine emphasis on the procedure that is tea drinking. It reminds us why this little ritual is so important to our rote lives. A little respite that wakes us up: but truly awakens our eyes with those unconscious lids. Give Life Back to Music! Neglected by the world, Franz Schubert died at 31 with only a few close friends that were able to see his genius emerge and depart from that world. Romanticism is dead.

Schubert is not the only genius of our time to have died impoverished and neglected. Some crackpot Van Gogh of post-impressionism fame (not of the chocolate, cafe liquor variety) only sold 1 painting before he shot himself in 1980. Kafka wished for his ill popular work to be burned at his death. Jodorowsky’s Dune. I’m not sure who Emily Dickinson is so I’m going to skip that one.

What’s the point of immortality that is posthumous? Can art only achieve fame when it has laid down and died? With little, groping hands does living art rise up and try and wrest open our minds, yet we struggle, we instead almost unconsciously fight back with fists tender yet firm. After the work cools down, however, anyone can begin to consume the precious fluid that the Goddess had protected.

Iron Goddess Dark Roast is a thing of intrigue. Nutty to the scent yet sweet to the palette. Sometimes paradoxes are only truths that we have yet to comprehend.

As a caution, I wrote this while baking a sweet potato so I’m not sure how it will read in totality.


  1. Franz Schubert: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/arts/music/23composers.html?pagewanted=all
    9th Symphony, 1st Movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRdWV-E-pSo
    Beethoven’s String Quartet #14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW8wdpfkpM0
    Posthumous Immortality is a funny thing. : http://mic.com/articles/58657/6-posthumous-discoveries-of-art-literature-and-music

Flavors: Apple Candy, Nutmeg, Seaweed

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Tea Sipper

just read Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ the other day. I started grinning in glee when the bug started climbing the walls.

Tea Sipper

…but then the rest gets very sad.

tantonino

If you liked that, you should check out the Hunger Artist (not of the popular childrens book series)

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89
drank Obukucha by Steepster
1006 tasting notes

Oh, this is nice. It’s grassy and sweet with a strong mineral note right at the end. There’s a hint of a seaweed note, but it is soft and just barely noticeable. The sweetness of the tea is nice. It’s sweet the way spring grass or new hay is sweet. It’s a soft but lingering taste, and I really enjoy it.

The resteeps of this are even smoother than the first cup. Very, very nice.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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99
drank Jou Gyokuro by Steepster
9 tasting notes

Wow, I loved this tea. It’s buttery, green flavor was just wonderful.

Flavors: Butter, Green

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77
drank White Jasmine by Steepster
113 tasting notes

From Steepster Select Box: November 2014
The leaves are very fine. They are long, fuzzy, and thick for a such delicate leaves. The smell of jasmine is heavy on the dry nose. The leaves are fun to watch steep in my glass gaiwan. The liquor is full and bright. I can feel the smoothness from the downy hairs slide down my throat. The scent of jasmine is there at the top, but I still get the hay or corn silk aroma that comes with the silver needles.
I got over the taste of jasmine tea a while ago. It used to be my favorite flavor EVER in tea. Now I see the name and just go, “Eh.”
I liked the white base. I would have liked it more if it was just the base, and not the jamine.

Flavors: Hay, Jasmine

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This was a beautiful tea. The nugget shape was intriguing, and the smell was lush. I didn’t taste any actual licorice, but the sweetness was definitely there. I wish this one was available in the store.

Flavors: Ginger, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

This was very earthy, almost like hay, and had some fruity tones to it. It was just the tiniest bit astringent, but not to the point where I didn’t enjoy drinking what I had of it. Darjeelings for the most part just seem to not be for me. Like many of them, don’t love them.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I am really glad this isn’t bitter – it is super flavorful and smooth. I drank it with almond milk, and it was perfect to wake me up this morning.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

Okay, I am really surprised by this tea. I do not normally like teas with added flavors but this tea is nicely prepared and the licorice flavor is subtle, yet it blends extremely well with the oolong. The dry leaves look a little strange at first but finally start to open up after the 3rd steeping—instructions say 3 steepings, but I went to 5 with good flavor.

So glad I joined Steepster Select. I NEVER would have purchased this tea independently. Now, I definitely plan to get some!

Flavors: Flowers, Licorice

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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61

This one doesn’t have much flavor. It’s a very lightly roasted Dong Ding. Nothing super special. But I’m glad it’s not overly roasty. I really don’t like overly roasty oolongs much anymore. >

Flavors: Roasted

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78
drank Bombay Chai by Steepster
183 tasting notes

This one is from Thain of Buckland’s Christmas card. Thank you for thinking of sending me chai! Brewed both servings (two tsp in two filter bags) on the stove-top. Brought to a boil, simmered for five minutes, added 2% milk and white sugar, brought to a boil again.

The dry leaf smells delicious – I’m able to discern cinnamon, ginger, and orange rind. Reminds me Constant Comment. The aroma is a pleasure to savor as the leaf is simmering.

This is an alright recipe. Good spices, good ratio. It’s definitely spicy, though not biting, more on the tamer side. On the down side, I wasn’t able to find notes from the Assam, and I didn’t particularly find the citrus/orange zests appealing.

However, my dad, lover of masala chai, approves. Check plus for him! (The rating is mine.)

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I’m not convinced that this is Tea, maybe a leafy vegatable from a distant planet dried to look like Tea.
Whatever it is, its not too bad
I kinda like it and I kinda don’t, kinda glad I have another sample to try.
I’m not sure what to think of most darjeelings tho,I’m not sure what it is about them that make them odd to me but they are, I think I’ve never had a really good Darjeeling.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I rarely see my post show up in the dashboard :(
that’s one of the reasons i rarely post to steepster these days, Oh Well

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82

This was the first tea that I have tried out of my November 2014 Select box. I loved watching these little balls ‘pop’ in my gaiwan! For some reason, I got fruity smells on the dry leaf. It was like a ripe peach and pineapple. My thought is that it was some kind of fluke. The actual liquor was a different story. My first infusion was structured and smoky, but not an overpowering smoke, almost like a light Hickory note. The second infusion was a little more bitter, too bitter for me. which was bizarre. I didn’t change the temperature at all and I the steep time wasn’t prolonged… weird.
If I hadn’t ruined the second infusion, I would have liked this tea much more. If I ever have a hankering for unique white teas, I will be ordering it from Steepster.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 g

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82

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I opened this tea today. There’s quite a lot of tea here for 2 oz. It has a smoky, toasted seaweed smell with a hint of sweetness. After brewing it the suggested amount of time on the package, it has a more green, floral scent. In my white mug it doesn’t look much different from hot water, but it smells lovely. I don’t think a minute is enough time to brew the tea. It does have a grassy flavor like a green tea. I’m not sure I know what I think about this tea yet. I’ll brew it longer next time to see what happens.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 0 OZ / 0 ML

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80
drank Baozhong Oolong by Steepster
10 tasting notes

Got this as part of a monthly Steepster set. It has a light woodsy scent. I enjoyed it as an afternoon sipper.

Flavors: Wood

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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9
drank Autumn Blend #9 by Steepster
113 tasting notes

Steepster has such a sense of humor. The tagline for the description for this tea is, “You’re not gonna want to share this tea!”
Yes, Steepster, you are right. I would not wish this tea on my worst enemy.
This was a part of the October 2014 Select box. While all of the other teas in the box were generally lovely, (Oktoberfest, anyone?) this was the one tea that stuck out like a sore thumb. The dry notes were overwhelmingly licorice – y and clovelike. Which was actually pretty pleasant to my nose. But this tisane does not get better when you steep it. The licorice and the clove increased tenfold, with a small citrus consolation prize. A sweet cinnamon mint after taste helped me forget the whole thing. I couldn’t finish the sample. Too bad too, I could use some new incense.

Flavors: Anise, Citrus, Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Jason

We kinda walked right into that one. Sorry you didn’t like it!

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92
drank Imperial Keemun by Steepster
552 tasting notes

Okay, so I have a bunch of teas, old favorites and new discoveries alike, that I didn’t log in the past five days or so, but I’ll just add tasting notes for the new teas that I tried. I pulled this new tea from the T&C TTB with no expectations really. It just sounded like something I wanted to try out. As it was steeping, I started smelling the smokiness of the tea, which excited and worried me at the same time.

As it turns out, I was right to be excited. The smokiness was well matched by the boldness of the black tea. Plus, it was not the tobacco type of smoky that I don’t care for. It kind of reminded me of when I was up in a cabin in Tahoe with the pine trees, fresh snow, and general foresty nature smells all around me. For that reason, I think this was the perfect winter tea for me. Unfortunately, there was only one serving since it was from a Steepster Select box originally. I did save the leaves and resteep the next day, though, and it was still wonderful. A big thumbs up for this one in my book!

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85

Smoky without being all-up-in-your-face about it. Tasty for a cold winter morning. It’s like drinking your fireplace, in a good way.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Spring Downy Pearls by Steepster
249 tasting notes

Dry leaf are nicely rolled balls of white tea that have a surprisingly salty aroma.
Smells a bit like sheng and produces a fairly clear liquor,,there are the little fuzzies from the tea leaves floating in there and a champagne color to the liquid.
The tea is not very sweet and it has a bitter note that is not unpleasant, like bitter melon.
It is pretty smooth and no astringency but I have had a much better example of this type tea and found that this one was a bit one-note. No sweet, no fruit, cream or any other flavors but the bitter melon so I didn’t like the lack of complexity or balance.

From the Steepster Select Box; November, 2014

Flavors: Bitter Melon, Salt

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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