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Recent Tasting Notes
Wonderfully strong aroma of marzipan. Wish the flavor was as strong. Not a bad tea though, just had hoped for a bit more almond/marzipan flavor. Can still pull a bit of marzipan out of a second steeping but by number 3 not much left other than black tea. A little sweetening helps bump up the marzipan flavor, but still disappointing compared to the aroma.
Heavily cinnamon and also clove. The leaves were very fine after going through the mail in a card, so it didn’t take long to steep. :) It smells sweet though I don’t think there is any sugar in this. It’s not bad, even without milk and sugar, which is how I would normally do spiced teas. I added some sugar to the last half a cup but it didn’t seem to bring out any other spices, just made it sweet.
Thanks, carol who for sending this in the Christmas card swap!
Thanks to Carol Who who sent this in the Christmas Card swap.
Dry leaf unfortunately didn’t look anything like the photo. The tea was pretty much mostly dust by the time it got to me, so my tea to water ratio was kind of iffy. The smell is rather strong in cinnamon and clove. It reminds me a bit of pumpkin pie spice.
Brewed the tea was kind of flat. I got a little bit of spice and vanilla, but the base wasn’t really robust enough to make a really good brew. It was mildly astringent and a little bit dry. I think I’ll try the rest of my sample again on another day and use up the rest of the leaf/powder. I have a feeling this would go better with some sweetener, maybe cream.
Thanks for the sample, JustJames!
This is a really lovely tea. The leaf is very pretty. Full of fruity bits and bamboo leaves. The wet leaf smells fantastic – basically like grapefruit juice.
The brew is tart and sweet. The woody bamboo flavor complements the citrusy aspect nicely. It’s equally good cold – light and sweet – and resteeps well as long as you let it sit for a while. Overall, I think this is an excellent option for a spring or summer evening cuppa.
Another one from Sil! And it’s another multiple base tea, although this one is black/green/oolong. Interesting… The leaves are quite large, and I can see all three kinds. The oolong in here is definitely an oxidized and unrolled variety, though I don’t smell any roastiness to speak of. Dry scent is vaguely caramel-y.
I can definitely smell a touch of roast in the steeped tea, as well as the oolong itself and strawberry and caramel flavors. Hm, this kind of just tastes like a generic roasted oolong with not a lot of distinguishing characteristics. I’m not picking up on much flavoring either, maybe a tiny hint of caramel. Sad panda.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Roasted
I love iced tea! Hot tea, too, of course, but I drink cold teas with meals and so it is a much more year round thing for me. This tea is another sipdown sample that comes from the ever generous Sil!
Glad I saw this only needs to be brewed for 2 minutes – I initially set the timer for 4 minutes but then decided to check and was able to yank out the steeper just in time. I added my preferred amount of sugar for iced tea and waited (rather impatiently) for dinner tonight.
I first had lime iced tea at a mexican restaurant around here and I fell for it HARD. Iced tea with lemon has never worked for me but iced tea with lime? It paired so well with the flavors of mexican food (my most favorite of all foods) that it has become my favorite flavoring to add to any iced tea, any time.
This tea was a surprise in that it was kind of creamy lime – like lime and vanilla? Only it’s actually the other way around – you get the vanilla first and a citrusy lime tang later. Like a lime flavored meringue, I guess. More of a desserty tea, actually, so I’m surprised it’s recommended to be iced.
Seriously, it’s kind of like key lime pie iced tea. Weird! Not bad, but not exactly the flavor profile I was expecting. I have had lime teas that worked better iced, so while I enjoyed trying this one I don’t think its one I’ll buy. It was fantastic getting to try it though!
Flavors: Lime, Meringue, Vanilla
Sipdown sample from Sil!
Had this last night with the boyfriend to end a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. What made it so fantastic, you ask? Why, not leaving the house for 3 days, actually. Tea, the food we had in the house, reading (me), video games (him), and putting together my Cyber Monday orders. (Also known as bye bye monies…)
I’ve had the Fauchon L’Hiver blend and from the description on this I was really expecting it to be similar. Lemongrass and vanilla? Yes, please. But the lemon meringue lightness about L’Hiver just wasn’t present here – it was more tart lemon than vanilla, and I guess the white tea played more of a role than I thought in that one because this was decidedly more herby.It was drinkable, and as the tisane cooled I definitely got more vanilla undertones, but this one isn’t the best of its kind I’ve had. Given how much money I just spent on tea though ($100+… cue heart attack) that is SOOOO a good thing!
Another sample from Sil!
I’m normally not fond of decafs and herbals but, for whatever reason, TeaGschwendner does not make a full strength Cream Caramel black tea. There is Cream tea, and Caramel tea, but the combination is only decaf. Weird.
It definitely smells caramelly. Dry leaf and steeped leaf smells specifically like caramel popcorn and when freshly boiled was deliciously cozy to sip. I did need to add creamer though – while the flavor was really nice, the watery texture was offputting and demanded some fortifying.
So I liked this. I would recommend it for someone who wants caffeine free dessert options to drink. I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself just because I would rather have the real caffeinated thing (and I may resort to buying caramel and cream separately and combining them to see what happens). But it was tasty and fitting for an afternoon cup of tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Popcorn
Picked this up at the Christkindlemarket in Chicago this past weekend. I generally stay away from gimmicky, flavored teas, but I am a big fan of almond flavored items and marzipan and since I wanted a tea for Christmas time, I decided to pick this up.
Opened the tin and the aroma screamed Christmas with accents of cinnamon, almond, and orange zest. Brewed a small pot for me and my wife following the recommendations on the package although I wasn’t dead on with the temperature. Slightly sweetened the tea with honey which I think helped accent the almond flavor.
A number of the reviews complain about the tea component of this drink, and I agree that there might have been better choices for a base for this tea, but overall, we really enjoyed it and expect that this will probably make it into regular rotation around the holidays.
Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Orange Blossom
YUM. Another Teagschwendner sample from Sil and I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed so far!
I typically don’t really do a lot of herbal teas but these blends are really fabulous. This one in particular is very bright and citrusy – now that I know pomelo is a type of grapefruit that is definitely the main flavor I get – strange how a mix of apple, orange and lemon accomplishes this!
Two things I do want to note: I steeped this for 9 minutes but I don’t see what harm an even 10 minutes would do. Also, the ingredients list says licorice root, but none of that flavor is present (yay!).
This seems like a really nice summer bedtime tea, but I imagine a cold brew would be nice as well. This one definitely surprised me – I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself but it’s actually a GREAT fit for my tastebuds! Thanks again, Sil!
Flavors: Grapefruit, Lemongrass
Part of a generous sampler I received from Sil!
Okay – any time I see blends and realize they are a mixture of tea types I get so nervous. I mean, black and oolong and green? What am I supposed to do about temperature? And strawberry, caramel, and jasmine? What a combination – I was curious to see what the final result would be.
I ended up going with an oolong temp (195) and black steep time (4 minutes) and came up with a light liquor that looks a lot like dan cong oolongs do, so kind of light amber. The scent is all strawberry and caramel/vanilla. I can never bring myself to add anything to oolong or green teas, so this is going to be a plain tasting.
And, surprisingly, it reminds me of the strawberry shortcake blend from DAVIDsTEA. Weird, especially because that’s a black tea I always had with milk and sugar, and this tea manages to have a strawberry and cream quality without any additions.
Yes, I quite like this, though I do think its more of an afternoon than a breakfast tea. But it’s a cold morning here so any warm beverage is appreciated…and this, I’m sure won’t be the last tasting note for me today. :)
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Strawberry
This is a rather mediocre holiday blend. The cinnamon, almond and cardamom are pretty traditional in a holiday blend, the addition of sandalwood is interesting but doesn’t do much for the flavor. Nothing really wrong with it but nothing to rush out and buy. They had these in a sampler pack in the store and looked very cute. I just got an individual package of 50 grams. Glad I just got the 50 grams. The staff in the store were terrific and gave me smaller samples of a bunch of teas to take home after I talked about Steepster. Tea shop employees are always really impressed by Steepster. :)
A truly magical brew! Already just smelling the potpourri of various fruit, herbs and flowers reminds you of the complex character of Mr. Ollivander. It tastes sweet and light with hints of licorice. The fruit are more dominant in taste but not overwhelmingly so. It’s the perfect tea to accompany a good book (of the Harry Potter series, naturally!) or simply to relax and warm up during a cold winter afternoon.
Flavors: Berries, Fruity, Licorice
This’ll be my last tasting note probably for the day, but for at least a good 10 hours because I’m done at job #1 in about twenty minutes and then have to head to job #2.
Thank you Marzipan for the sample! This looked really interesting, but also conflicting because any kind of milk and lemon makes me cringe a little internally. bad curdled milk experiences…
Prepped in a timolino, it was pretty good though! Lemon was definitely present, and it was thicker in mouthfeel with a creaminess to it, but the black base had a slight astringency to it that detracted a bit for me. Don’t think I’d purchase it for myself, but would drink it again, and if another sample made it to me I wouldn’t complain; I can think of a few ways to play with this one.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Lemon, Pastries
Okay, now I’m annoyed. I wrote a whole note about this and then Steepster went through as if it had posted, but didn’t save any of the text. WTF.
Anyway, this came from Sil.
It’s not bad, but I would like more flavor. There are nice butter notes and a bit of burnt sugar in the background. The base tea is mild and unobtrusive, with a bit of a malt note but not much else.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Malt
Part of the swap (nay, sampler) I received from Sil – thank you so much for sending me so much Teagschwendner to try!
The smell of this dry is nauseating. Like, headache inducing – it doesn’t smell like natural lemon. But strange things can happen when water hits the leaf so I’m hoping that it is the case here.
Yep, this is totally transformed in the best way possible. The scent and taste are totally mellowed to a much more natural lemon. It acts just like Noel a Venise, actually – creamy lemon that doesn’t need any additives to be a great, flavorful cup. The main difference between the two is that here, lemon is the main flavor, whereas in the Dammann Freres blend, cream is at the forefront.
I definitely like this, and Sil gave me enough for several cups that will not go to waste. Yay for a good cup of tea, and a promising new (to me) tea company!
Flavors: Cream, Lemon
I bought this since I am looking into touring the Dragonwell tea producing area of China. I never had Dragonwell tea before. I am more a Japanese green tea fan, so might point of view and taste come from that. I just wasn’t that impressed with this tea. It needs to cool down to have any depth to it. I used 2 tsp per 8 oz of water, and it still was very mild. I don’t know if Dragonwell is known for being weak. I taste the chestnut notes, but really nothing else remarkable.
Awwww, I just tried Zen tea’s Bossa Nova and didn’t like it, was hoping to have a better experience with this one, but it’s not happening. I guess I need teas that pack a powerful flavor punch and this one doesn’t. I’m not getting much flavor and what I do get is watery and vague.
As a fan of 1st flush Darjeeling, this was recommended to me by the great merchants at TeaGschwedner. Reddish-amber honey in color with bright orange hues draw you into aromas of citrus and fruit with touches of mountain flora. Lovely honey-apple sweetness with hints of cut grass which is balanced with a great astringent finish which draws upon flavors of fall leaves, dried flowers and lemon zest.
A great every day tea for fans of Darjeeling 1st flush as it is considerably less expensive. Where it lacks in depth is makes up in honesty… this is just a classy tea.