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Recent Tasting Notes
An excellent black tea. I prefer Ceylon teas when it comes to black tea, with Assam a close second, and this is a gorgeous blend of both. Perfect on cold days when you want a flavorful cup of hot, strong tea.
Flavors: Malt, Oak wood
A local cafe has this on offer and despite all the choices, this one is hard to beat. An absolutely gorgeous green, wonderful hot or cold. In summer they make a lemonade/Arnold Palmer-type drink with this, and it’s fantastic with ice. I’m fortunate that this company is semi-local to me, and intend to visit their brick-and-mortar store as soon as I make a trip out that way.
Not bad on its own, but even better with honey. I’m personally iffy with chamomile. Since this has a few whole flowers in it, I’m inclined to like it. Chamomile really isn’t hard to mess up anyway as an herbal, but to me, the taste from a whole flower is fuller and thicker. I get that stronger body sensation here. Chamomile, lemon, and the subtler florals dominate with the rose and rooibos more in the background. The rooibos is the herb providing a lot of the tea’s body and color, but it is so similar to the chamomile that it’s hard to notice.
I’d honestly recommend a try and to drink this after long steeps and portions of honey. One of my friends might like this blend for how mellow it is. My mother likes it for this reason herself. Meadow is a name that certainly fits this floral nectar.
Flavors: Flowers, Herbs, Lemon, Smooth, Thick
Snow day? Really? Must be nice. I’m a nurse. There is no such thing as a snow day for medical personnel. Blizzard, hurricane, earthquake, nuclear strike, super volcano eruption, asteroid collision, catastrophic reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, The Apocalypse or any combination there of, we have to go to work!
Richmond, where I live, had almost 16 inches of snow. It’s western suburbs, where my job is located, received over 18 inches of snow in places. Snow sissy that I am, that cold white matter reduced me to a quivering mass of protoplasm. After all, I am a Southern boy.
The day before the blizzard began I booked a room at the hotel within walking distance from my job. The thought of being stuck at work all weekend unable to have any private time whatsoever was a grim and terrifying prospect. Blizzard or not, I needed my me time. Time to unwind, relax and recharge my batteries. Especially since patient acuity on my unit tends to run a little high. So off to the hotel I went with my backpack of essentials including, of course, a mixed box of emergency bagged teas that I had thrown together – Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe and English Afternoon, Breakfast in Paris by Stash(Not a bad little tea!), and my must have Honeybush by Numi Tea for beddyby. The hotel, thank goodness, had a tiny hot water maker. Kinda like a stripped mini Keurig. It saw me through the blizzard.
So today, home sweet home! A poignant, almost tearful reunion with my beloved tea stash! Now one would think that after drinking bagged tea since Friday that I would go for a full fledged loose leaf. But no, I wanted my Bungalow! First and foremost I am a Darjeeling fiend. As in Darjeeling is my blood type. I had fairly recently purchased a box of Bungalow whole leaf sachet tea and it was love at first sip. This blend of first and second flush Darjeeling tea is redolent of hot, buttered toast and warm, roasted nuts that tantalize the taste buds. Classic Darjeeling muscatel and mild floral notes round things out very nicely. There is also a faint, but very agreeable, vegetal note that I think must come from the first flush. It complemented my Chicken Biryani quite well! I believe that it would be a great tea to try for those who may be on the fence about Darjeeling. It is very smooth. Not a trace of bitterness after the recommended five minute steeping time. I let the water cool a wee bit to just a little over 205F to steep.
Steven Smith Teamaker did my dear Darjeeling proud with this blend. The buttered toast flavor is so incredibly rich and comforting – A perfect wintertime Darjeeling! I’m definitely buying more if this #%$•@ snow ever melts!
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Muscatel, Roasted nuts, Toast, Vegetal
Beorhthraefn included a tea bag of this in the Secret Pumpkin package. Thank you!
I was skeptical. This has an aroma of butter and heavy cream. OK, I’ll try. This turned out to be one of the worst experiences I’ve had with tea. It didn’t taste anything like oolong or ice cream. Chicken soup. I almost felt nauseated. I couldn’t finish the cup.
This is delicious! Especially when paired with a spoon full of the huckleberry jam (I’ve never thought to put jam in tea before)!! Unfortunately tho, I’m going to run out of the jam long before I run out of the tea which is a little depressing but thankfully the tea tastes pretty darn good by itself as well… its a touch smokey, a whole bit malty and the jam just adds that perfect hit of sweetness… Actually I have a jar of olallieberry jam I picked up the last time I was in Big Sur which will probably taste pretty darn amazing in this tea… mmmm…. I might need to go brew another cup right now and give this a try!!
So glad I bought this before it sold out…maybe they will re-issue. Didn’t think I would like that strong a flavor but since our friend Vitaly Paley assisted with it, had to try. Loved it as suggested with a small spoonful of the house-made huckleberry jam. Noticed that as it sat
awhile, it became too strong to me but my friend who is more of a tea fan loved everything about it. The jam itself was amazing on my homemade scones!
Thanks for this one, Nicole! One I have been wanting to try for a while! I was worried that steeping two teaspoons of this one would ruin it, but it didn’t at all. The way I steeped it, I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. The leaves are mostly a bronze gold. The flavor is delicious and complex. The medium amber cup is a delicious Yunnan – honey, sweet potato, hints of something fruity and a lovely almost wine quality. The subtle flavor notes work really well together. I didn’t find many chocolate notes, but that isn’t to say this is a light flavored tea. It’s dark while not getting to chocolate levels. The second steep was a little different, with hints of smokiness and starchy chewy bread notes and also EARTHY somehow. The flavors in the previous steep staying in the background. A tasty tea!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few min a.b. // 3 min
Tea of the afternoon, quickly before off to the second shift at work.
Its a perfectly nice oolong, but I never get the vanilla ice cream experience out of it. Its softly green, with a note of savory vanilla in the background, but I’m not getting the scoops of ice cream that I expected to have.
When I saw this go up, well, I had to get it. I am a growing fan of oolongs, and oolong ice cream? Ok, sign me up.
It smells beautiful in the sachet, a lovely blend of green and a sugary creamy note, perfumed with vanilla.
I’m going to have to try and tinker around with the brew time, though. I came away with a light and lovely cup of oolong, but not a particular wham of ice cream flavor. I think its in there, though! I’ll just work on it!
The leaf smells very green and strongly of authentic vanilla. It’s the smell I get when I cook with vanilla beans.
I steeped it as directed, 4 minutes at boiling. As soon as the water hit the sachet the air was infused with the vanilla smell. I steeped it sitting right in front of me so I could enjoy the fragrance for the full steeping time.
The tea was still really hot after four minutes, so I let it sit for a few minutes while I played Operation with the sachet. The leaves had totally filled it during the steep and I could almost hear them yelling, “Let me out!” So I did.
Photos and full review: https://tealover.net/2015/07/steven-smith-teamaker-oolong-ice-cream/
Holy crap, you guys! This tea legit smells and tastes just like ice cream! It totally has that creamy, vanilla flavor to it! I was shocked at how much it tastes like ice cream, I’ve never tried anything like it. Too bad that it’s already out of stock, more people should be able to try it!
I really like it, but it does have that creaminess to it that makes me feel nauseous. I drank a cup of it today, along with another tea at the same time (different cups though…xD) so it kinda broke up the milky flavor so it didn’t make me sick. But I still feel like it has that potential. If it does it’s gonna have to go on the sale list. :( But I hope not. It’s a remarkable tea that is spot on with ice cream. Which I barely eat anymore becuase it always gave me insane heartburn or made me super sick back in the day…well like three years ago constantly, but I’ve not really been able to have it again since. My pain wasn’t absolutely horrible this morning when I was drinking tea though, so that also helped me not so prone to getting sick. I’m gonna try it again. Just have to remember to drink it at a completely safe time for me physically. I really lovee the vanilla flavor in this tea, it’s insanely good. I don’t wanna give it uppp!
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Milk, Sweet, Vanilla
Grabbed this one mainly because it was pretty. :) It does keep things hot for a few hours. Not nearly as long as the Ikea thermos but you can’t drink directly from the Ikea thermos like you can from this one. I got the one with the sip top. It isn’t very watertight either so don’t just throw it in a tote bag and hope it stays upright. :) Overall I’m happy with it and it will see a lot of use on road trips.
This came my way via the previous round of the GCTTB. I haven’t had a chance to try any Steven Smith Teamaker teas though like most I’ve drank teas from his other brands, Tazo and Stash. The brewing instructions on the package made me giggle: “Steep 5 minutes while pondering the Earl’s affair with the Duchess of Devonshire.” Alright then. ;)
It’s a fairly standard earl grey though the base is most robust than most, in any event it’s quite enjoyable with milk, but I wouldn’t consider it to be anything remarkable. It’s more the sort of tea that would be a cupboard staple for anyone who wanted a good, basic earl grey.
RIP Steven Smith
Thanks so much scribbles for this sample in our last swap! I like Ceylon tea, and this is a great blend. Through the tea pyramid you can still get a great sense of honey, malt and citrus. I highly recommend following the directions exactly.
Flavors: Citrus, Honey, Malt, Raisins