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Recent Tasting Notes

78
drank Bombay Chai by Steepster
176 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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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
62 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

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92
drank Imperial Keemun by Steepster
526 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
248 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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drank White Jasmine by Steepster
248 tasting notes

Dry leaf is really nice smelling, just like jasmine growing in your garden. The tea is also very pretty, silver needle buds with bits of flower mixed in. The only thing not pretty was that it was very crushed and had lots of tiny bits and pieces instead of whole, intact buds.
Despite all the broken pieces and particles, the tea is quite clear and a nice champagne color.
I have an aversion to Jasmine tea and pretty much won’t try any of them, so I was quite surprised that this is actually kind of tasty!! It’s more white tea flavor with subtle jasmine. It has a jasmine and cream flavor.
I actually enjoyed this jasmine tea and this was the one I was dreading in the Steepster Box and didn’t want to try, lol.

From the Steepster Select Box; November, 2014

Flavors: Cream, Jasmine

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
Cameron B.

I don’t generally enjoy floral teas, but jasmine can be quite nice if it’s not too powerful. :)

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80

I’m just going to write a short review for now. I didn’t do any precise measurements or steep it for a specific amount of time. I tend to have trouble telling when some green teas are finished brewing. This tea is a light green color, but it has a prominent flavor; I would say a mix of spinach, seaweed, and something more nutty, a bit reminiscent of kukicha but not as strong. I think this tea has a more well balanced flavor than some other sencha teas I have tried.

The tea itself is a mix of two different teas, like the name implies, but the matcha doesn’t seem to be a powder, but a shorter cut leaf. Anyway, I couldn’t distinguish the two teas or say what either added to the brew, but together they make a nice tea.

I will write a better review later when I have more time to enjoy the tea.

Flavors: Nutty, Seaweed, Spinach

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100
drank Soba Cha Deep Roast by Steepster
131 tasting notes

This is one of the best teas I’ve had in a while. I brewed this and re-steeped twice. Each time it was flavorful, roasted but not heavy. It was really warming and tasty.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts

Preparation
12 OZ / 354 ML

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34
drank Bombay Chai by Steepster
10 tasting notes

I prefer my Chai with more spice. I found this Bombay Chai to be too mild and not very interesting to sip. I brewed it extra-long to try and get more flavour after my first try. I will note that I drink my chais without any milk or sugar added.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Finally polished off this sample I got awhile back. I am drinking my last cup of the pot with a biscuit smeared with butter and apricot jam. Good pairing :D I would drink this again.

Packaged up the tea I promised TeaBrat. Just need to weigh it and slap on the stamps, and I will mail it out after work today.

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75

As is customary with Japanese food (and drink as well) the flavors are very fall like. The dry leaf had a smell of autumn leaves, and the sweet nutty liquor has flavors of hay, roasted hazelnuts, and brown rice. It was a lighter, more delicate flavor than I am used to with my usual robust, in your face Hojicha. All in all a refreshing cup of tea that will pair well with any fall food.

Flavors: Hay, Hazelnut, Roasted nuts, Toasted Rice

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 g

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drank Houjicha Ichiban by Steepster
557 tasting notes

HHTTB

I don’t generally like senchas, but I do like houjichas. It seems strange since they seem similar. Oh well!

This tea has that roasty flavor that houjichas have. Almost a slight barley taste to it. I really don’t get the cocoa notes that it is supposed to have tho. The aftertaste lingers and is nice too.

Wow! This is my 500th tasting note! I feel like this is a milestone of some sort!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Veronica

Congrats on 500!

Dustin

Thanks! I feel like such an accomplished tea drinker! :)

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9
drank Three Fire Oolong by Steepster
51 tasting notes

You know you are in for an experience when the unsteeped tea smells like fish and old barley (anyone want milk for their Cheerios?)…
Quite possibly the worst tea I have ever tasted. Sickly greenish tan in color with aromas with cooked barley. Flavors range form burned hay and cooked barley, to that of chewing on a brown paper bag. There is some acidity on the finish hinting at the “stone fruit” that is listed as a flavor profile, but that’s a real stretch. It also says “5+ resteeps”……………. I would change that to “0 resteeps, place in garbage”…

Thanks Steepster!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
boychik

did you rinse it? teas this type i prepare gongfu flash steeped

Parsifal

I understand what you are saying, I have had overcooked tea before… had I rinsed it and flash infused it would have tasted like chewing on a brown paper bag, only watered down. lol… I did steep a second time, it is hideous tea.

boychik

gotcha ;)

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80

For some reason, I never tried this one from my Select box in… September? Whenever it was. I put it in my little oolong baggy and it’s been there ever since. Oopsies. Admittedly, the super heavy roast style of oolongs is not my favorite, but I do find them interesting and enjoyable every so often. These pellets are fairly large but irregular in shape, and the color is a familiar dark brown with some greenish hues. Dry scent is heavily roasty with some grassiness.

Hm, this one smells different from other heavy roast oolongs I’ve had. It’s slightly sweet with pear-like fruit notes along with the obligatory roastiness. Flavor-wise, there’s definitely a strong grassiness alongside the roasty, autumn leaf sort of taste. I can taste a hint of sweetness but I’m not really getting the pear from the aroma unfortunately. There’s definitely more sweetness in the aftertaste, but it’s more along the lines of honey rather than fruit. Tasty, but not my favorite.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Honey, Pecan, Roasted, Roasted nuts

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

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5

Ugh. Burnt hay. And the smell that makes me not abLe to tolerate Pu-erh.

Flavors: Hay, Smoke

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

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76
drank Houjicha Ichiban by Steepster
45 tasting notes

This is my favorite Japanese tea so far. It has the roasted flavor of genmaicha but doesn’t have the grassy flavor I usually associate with Japanese green teas.

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23

I am a big fan of oolong, but not so much of this one. It’s seems to be the consensus among tea reviewers here. It reminds me of the flat barley-flavored bottled teas from Ito En that gives Oolong a bad name. After an the initial flavors of burnt toast wears off, the scent and flavor of gingerbread, cherries and brown sugar are present throughout. I prefer my oolong to be on the less oxidized side and this is a good example of hey. The flavor was pretty one note. Nothing to write home about.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Food, Burnt Sugar, Overripe Cherries

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 g

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19
drank Autumn Blend #9 by Steepster
51 tasting notes

While I do not think drinking a cup of potourri is even remotely related to drinking tea… I understand that many people do and to each his own. I received this, as many others did, in the Steepster Select sampler package so I felt obligated to give it a try.

Light honey in color, with very upfront aromas of star anise and hints of autumnal spice, including a “cinnamon” scent which reminds me of Red Hots or chewing Big Red gum in the 80s (do they still make that?). Mouthfeel is very very thin (think hot water) and the mint flavors begin to come through. Cinnamon is very very faint, if there at all, and the citrus notes are also totally muted although there is a little acidity on the brief thin finish.
To say it is terrible would be a lie… but to say that I like it would be like saying that I like cats……. a lot. I refused to use my teaware for this, so I got out a nice mug with a bumble bee on it and found that more appropriate. Oh… it does pair well with fortune cookies, if that’s a saving grace (LOL). My wife and I did not finish our second steep as both of us began to feel kinda ill from the taste… This is just not my cup of tea… potpourri… whatever. Here kitty kitty…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

I have been drinking a variety of Houjicha teas over the past few months, and this Kyoto “Akishun” Fall tea is truly one of the best for my taste buds. When you look at the leaves, you can tell this is a green tea, that has been roasted carefully to bring out it’s distinct flavor. The aroma (dry) is nice mix of toasted rice, nuts, and hay that accurately reflects the flavor yield when you brew. A nice accompaniment for onigiri rice balls or just on its own any time of day. A really comforting tea.

Flavors: Hay, Nutty, Toasted Rice

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

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