Steven Smith Teamaker
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Recent Tasting Notes
Got this as a free sample with my Steven Smith order that arrived today. It was good. I’m glad I got it as a sample. I almost ordered it but didn’t, knowing that Ceylons are not my most favorite thing. Surprisingly, it was pretty good. Lighter than I like and if I get the astringency then I want a Darjeeling instead. :) But it wasn’t super astringent or bitter, decently smooth and very… tea like. Nothing I’ll order but I’m glad to have tried it.
(Hey, at least I had a sipdown on the Kusmi Golden Yunnan today – and that makes an empty slot plus an empty tin to store the Steven Smith Yunnan in…)
Order from Steven Smith arrived yesterday – yay!
This was part of the holiday two pack I got. I love the tins but I wish this came in loose leaf form instead of the sachets.
I steeped it up at 5 minutes per Steven Smith recommendations and am sipping on it plain. This is a hefty blend that combines an assam, a darjeeling and a ceylon along with douglas fir needles. The overall effect is really delightful and interesting. I feel like there is some smokiness and also a lot of comforting warmth. The herby taste of the fir tree is making me want to go out and buy a bunch of douglas fir tea.
As far as the tea blend itself, the assam and ceylon seem to predominate. I’m not getting a lot of darjeeling in the mix. It has a slight tinge of bitternes in the finish, I think from the assam. Overall it is very unique and enjoyable, especially for the holidays. I wish they had this available year around!
I tried adding two other Smith teas to the database last night but they haven’t “shown up” yet. Hopefully they will in a few days.
I was able to get an appointment to see my doctor, and this is the tea I had during the drive. I really enjoyed the toasty notes this morning. It went well with the rainy day we are having, and it tasted terrific. I was enjoying it so much that it had little chance to cool, so a lot of the other flavors were not present. Still a tasty cup.
Turns out I have a double ear infection and strep throat, so I will be spending this weekend at home with my blankets, books, and tea while the medicine does its thing. Can’t say this makes me overly sad.
I’m backtracking from this morning. I drank this on my way to the brunch gig. It’s a bright & bold breakfast blend.
Good morning Steepster.
This is a sipdown for me. Although it’s a nice morning cuppa, it isn’t my favorite from Steven Smith and probably won’t be a repurchase for me. Also their shipping costs are pretty outrageous unless you buy $75 of tea, in which case it ships free. Other companies have a much lower cost for free shipping.
I have been seeing more of their teas in the Bay area so maybe I’ll just stick to buying the ones I can get locally.
ok, it IS my tastebuds. I know for a fact that there is more to this tea than I’m tasting, & basically, all I’m tasting is bitterness.
I’m not gonna waste any more time drinking new teas today, until I can reset my tastebuds somehow.
It’s probably a manifestation of my general grumpiness today.
I added a little sweetening, but I’m not really digging that either, although I’ll go ahead & drink this cup, in hopes that the caffeine will lift my mood. We’re watching ‘interns’, & I have Dr Who set to record (don’t worry, I won’t post any spoilers). I’m just gonna zone out & do Reiki on myself & watch this movie.
This has been in my cup all week. I keep trying to talk myself into drinking something else, but all I want is a nice Darjeeling. I’ve found that I like this tea best when it’s steeped for 3 minutes and 45 seconds because I still get the toasty notes, but the floral flavor comes through at the end of the sip. There’s also a decent amount of astringency which is refreshing. It’s sooo good.
The second steeping (full 5 minutes) of the leaves really brings out the muscatel flavor. The toasty, nutty notes are gone and everything is fruit and flowers. Lovely. Getting two wonderfully different cups from one tea bag is such a treat. I’m glad I played with the steeping times. This went from being a so-so tea for me to being a cupboard staple.
I’m back from my local Whole Foods and found that they are carrying a few select Steven Smith teas and this was one of them. This is one of the few bergamot/Earl Grey teas that I actually like. I think the assam makes a difference here. Very enjoyable with soymilk and a touch of stevia. I wish they carried the loose leaf instead of the pyramid teabags but beggars can’t be choosers!
LOL, I also gave her this one!
Sil, I hope you are proud of me, sister!
I’ve decided I like this tea!
It’s a bold one, to be sure, & really awesome with breakfast.
I don’t recommend drinking it before breakfast, or on an empty stomach, but with breakfast, oh yeah!
i also had this tea today. friends came over tonight so now i’m scrambling to get ready for tomorrow. it feels like friday today. This was still delicious as i remember :)
This is a good choice for morning time but there is a bitterness present which I am not enjoying a lot, I think it’s the keemun but I also didn’t totally enjoy the plain ceylon I got from Steven Smith. Not too bad but won’t be ordering more when my current supply runs out. See previous notes, if interested.
Second pot of black tea this morning, & although I have loved this tea originally & still like it, for some reason it hasn’t been as exciting to me the last couple of times I had it. I’m not sure why. I could be that allergies are dulling my senses, or it could be that I’ve become somewhat jaded. Or maybe it’s just that I’m so busy lately I don’t always have time to really appreciate my tea as much. Or maybe all of the above.
Tea #4 from Traveling Tea Box C
I wasn’t able to get my hands on any of this for the Battle of the Earl Greys, so I took the opportunity the box presented to give it a try. It is a tasty one, but the low bergamot makes it taste a little more like an English Breakfast to me than an Earl Grey. I’m still going to enjoy the rest of the cup, though!
On a long day like today, accept no substitues. Only the best of the herbals for me tonight!
Steepster seems slow today, so here is a tasting note! You’re welcome! :D Another I was dying to try that I’m so thankful that Terri Harplady sent some of. Turns out, this is exactly the tea I wanted this morning!
Steep #1 // boiled // probably 3 1/2 minutes
I added a teaspoon and 1/3, mainly so the next steep session is a sipdown. The leaves are dark with just occasional hints of gold. Steeped, the cup color is very red! I love the flavor: brisk, malty, bready. If I hadn’t added an extra 1/3 teaspoon of leaves, I probably would have gotten more of the caramel that others have noticed. This one actually compares to the Ovation black teas I have that I have a ton of, that no one really wrote tasting notes for. They may have rated as high as this one if others had tried it. So I’m glad I have large amounts of the Ovation.. I don’t really have too much quantity of plain blacks and those are my favorite. (Most of my teas are sample sized – not usually any over two ounces!)
Steep #2 // boiled // 4 minutes
This cup was still delicious, yet oaky. I’m trying to figure out why second steeps often have this flavor. It’s either too many leaves or too long of a steep time, BUT I’m beginning to think that it’s since the leaves are already unraveled from the first steep, they might be over steeping. Like I said though, still delicious! A tough tea: wake-up, it’s flavor!
Thanks again, Sil. :)
This one is really tasty. It’s a little strong right now, but I did steep it for 3 minutes. I think I might prefer it Silk Road style (1 tsp per 16 oz, not 6-8!). It’s really good though. Such nice assam flavours.
I’ll be resteeping this one after I have a nap!
(I’ve been going through all my paperwork from school, getting rid of EVERYTHING but the course outlines. So freeing, wow. A lot of work, though. And a lot of realizing that most of the stuff I learned is kind of useless for the kind of career I want. Oh wells. I enjoyed learning, even though I hated being tested.)
I came across this recipe for making iced Thai Chai. It calls for a homemade coconut milk creamer, which I had to make a half batch of, just to try it out. While I was making it, I started thinking how nice a hot latte would be, & so this tea became the first latte.
The coconut milk has a pleasant oranginess to it, which goes nicely with the Bergamot, & I added a little more sweetness to the cup. Not something I’ll be drinking regularly, but fun to try. I’ll let you all know how the iced chai comes out once everything cools down.
- Tea of the morning here. We are having network IT and phone issues at work which is impacting my productivity but not internet access or the ability to make tea. :)
This is one of the better 2nd flush darjeelings I have had and I’ll be wanting to pick up more with my next Steven Smith order. It has lovely honey and stone fruit flavors and is equally good hot or as a cold brew. I really wish it was available locally — you lucky Portlanders!
Upped the rating by a few points today…
there’s a certain freedom that comes from having cleaned up your cupboard and made it under 200 without ordering anymore. I totally took a break today from worrying about old teas or sipdowns. I will still try to get my one in when i get home tonight, but this morning’s teas were all about enjoying teas. I picked this one, since it’s out of the box of teas i’m not allowed to open until there is more room in my cupboard. It’s been a while since i’ve had this one and man it is STILL delicious. I am loving it!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian Friends!!!
Tony & I just shared a decadent breakfast of Eggs Benedict with asparagus, crispy potatoes, & all the other stuff, including my kickaxx homemade hollandaise. YUM! A strong & flavorful Assam was required, of course, & this one fits the bill!
Now I’m off to go play a wedding, with a one hour drive in each direction. That will fill my afternoon, but it’s a lovely day, the leaves are starting to turn, & it’s a rather scenic drive.
Savor the moment!
Hmmm…for some reason this tea didn’t come out quite as expected…
It seemed like the time went off kind of quickly, so I put the brew basket back in the cup for a few more minutes, and yes, that’s better. That’s more like what I was expecting! Bold, tangy, bright, & a little smoke. Much much better.
I may be getting weird in my old age but I am always seeing these chia seed infused juice drinks around and I thought I would try making a chia iced tea.
I cold brewed this overnight and added the chia seeds this morning. After letting them sit for a few hours they got nice and plump. It’s kind of tasty, albeit slimy. It you try this I would recommend shaking the drink every once in a while to prevent the chia seeds from clumping together.
This is such a nice blend. I have one cup left, but I shall be where I can buy it very soon. Yay tea!!!