Teas Etc

Recent Tasting Notes

92
drank Lapsong Souchong by Teas Etc
1 tasting notes

This is a very unique tea, and perhaps very different from what people envision tea is. It is a smoked, black tea. It is rich and savory. This isn’t a tea that one should add cream and sugar to. I simply brew it and sip at it, enjoying its smoky tones.

I scored it so high because it is a very different. While brewing it, those gorgeous, smokey smells tease the senses. I highly recommend this tea if you want something different, and if you like smokey flavors.

Flavors: Smoke

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70
drank Pear Spice White by Teas Etc
112 tasting notes

Okay, so I cheated and picked all the anise pieces out of my cup. (I put them back in the bag, so the boy will have an extra anisey cup when he comes to visit…) And then I brewed it pretty strong, with boiling water. But it’s good! The pear is subtle, but it’s there. Sweet with just a hint of spice. Goes well with my (slightly disappointing) rum caramel chocolate bar. :)

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66
drank Orange U Slim by Teas Etc
952 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 160 for the year 2014. It was overcast this afternoon as I went home and so I actually felt like drinking hot tea for the first time in a while. So I decided to polish off this sample.

More orange this time, and more flavor overall, but still not a favorite.

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66
drank Orange U Slim by Teas Etc
952 tasting notes

This is a nice sized sample in a sealed packet. Too much to be sipped down in one sitting. It’s enough for two servings.

This has a faint orange fragrance in the packet, and I don’t smell tea underneath. The leaves are dark with curls of orange peel among them.

After a rinse and an initial 15 second steep in the gaiwan, the liquor is darker than I expected, sort of a natural honey color. There’s a dark oolong stonefruit aroma with a slight citrus note.

I get what Rabs said about this, there’s an earthy flavor. Even after a very short steep it’s almost bitter, which is disappointing. I get not much in the way of orange flavor. It’s very faint. It could be a fair amount stronger without running the risk of overpowering the oolong base.

Second steep, 20 seconds. The liquor is darker, a sort of brandy color. More orange in the aroma, along with the typical dark oolong toastiness. Still not much orange in the flavor, and as dark oolongs go, this one doesn’t seem to have a lot of flavor to the base, either. It’s not bitter on this steep, but it doesn’t have much complexity.

Third steep, 25 seconds. The flavor has opened up some. There’s a bit more orange flavor, and a rather pleasant, thick mouthfeel. Some astringency and some peach-pit notes starting to emerge from what seemed before a sort of generic woodiness. A slight bitterness at the finish.

Fourth steep, 30 seconds. Pretty much the same as the third.

I may fiddle around with this through a few more steeps, but it’s not doing much for me. It’s drinkable, but it doesn’t bowl me over.

Flavors: Orange Zest, Stonefruits

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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81
drank Shui Xian by Teas Etc
952 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 132 of the year 2014. A sample. Made in the gaiwan with short steeps starting at 15 seconds after a rinse.

In the packet, the leaves are so dark they look like black tea leaves. They smell a little like wood.

After steeping, they yield a caramel colored liquor that has a brisk, fruity aroma with a toasty, almost smoky note.

The flavor is more interesting and alive than the other dark oolongs I’ve had recently . (Those were all from Adagio.) I can see what they mean by the chocolate note. It’s not as strong as the chocolate notes one finds in black teas, but it’s there. It’s not a sweet chocolate, more of a dark beany one around the edges. Very nice. The fruitiness here is more complex than in some dark oolongs where you basically feel like you’re sucking on a peach pit, and that’s the single note stonefruit flavor. This one isn’t as woody/stoney, and is more reminiscent of the pulpy fruity part of an apricot.

It doesn’t change as much from steep to steep as I’d expect, but the smoky notes come out around steep three, as does a little astringency which is interestingly coupled with a soft mouth feel.

There’s a smoky, woody aftertaste. The steeped leaves are chocolate brown and have a mild woody scent with a sharp fruity note.

If I didn’t have about a thousand other oolongs to taste, I would put this on the shopping list as I think it merits playing around with a bit more. As it is, while I like it quite a bit, it isn’t completely knocking my socks off screaming “drop everything and buy me!”

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Dexter

If I didn’t have about a thousand other oolongs to taste :)) so many teas so little time. This one sounds good though. :))

__Morgana__

Haha, I know, Dexter.

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80

Sipdown no. 112 of the year 2014. A sample.

A colorful, geometric (because of the lemongrass), attractive mix. The dry leaf smells very minty, with a little citrus.

The liquor is tawny, like a dark lion color. The aroma is herbal—mostly minty.

Mine is a little on the thin side, and as I’ve used my entire sample I can’t go back and adjust leaf/water/time and temp to test whether this was just a one-off result or a general characteristic of this tea. I mostly taste the mint and a little lemon. I don’t taste much black tea, but I do get an undercurrent.

I can see this being a really nice iced tea, and I think I’d quite enjoy it hot as well if I could get it a bit stronger. There’s nothing at all offensive about it—on the contrary, it has a really nice mint flavor that’s mellowed slightly by the lemon and vice versa.

I can’t rate it extremely high based on this one experience, but I like it well enough to put it on the wish list if I ever get out of lockdown and order from Teas Etc. again.

Preparation
2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Memily

Ahhh, just saw your reference to lockdown. Now your high sipdown count makes sense ;)

__Morgana__

Yes, I’m desperately trying to reduce my collection by about 80 percent. It’s going to take a while. ;-)

Memily

And I thought mine was bad! =P I’m a novice when it comes to overwhelming tea collections. Steepster makes me feel better…

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75

Sipdown no. 97 of the year 2014. A sample.

The name leads me to believe this will have a passion fruit flavor, though there’s nothing in the ingredients (or even the tea description) that says so.

Out of the packet, the pretty blend of flower petals and tea does smell like passion fruit, or at least it smells like other passion fruit black teas I’ve had.

Steeped according to directions on the tiny sample.

There’s a fruity aroma to the tea, which steeps very dark. A really beautiful, reddish brown color. I want furniture this color.

The flavor is fruity as well, though the fruit represented isn’t tasting like passion fruit. It tastes a bit like grapes, a bit like berries. I can get a sort of a passion fruit flavor out of it if I concentrate.

The tea doesn’t represent itself to be passion fruit, so I can’t really fault it for giving only the barest suggestion of passion fruit. Once I take that bias out of the mix, I can enjoy it for a tasty fruity tea with notes of berry, grape and sometimes a fleeting bit of citrus. The black tea base is pretty astringent, but otherwise not very remarkable.

I’ve had better fruity teas, hence the rating. But this is tasty and I wouldn’t turn it down if offered.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Love the floral tastes but sometimes it’s too floral so searching for a good mixer. Any ideas let me know.

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69
drank Honeybush by Teas Etc
4 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Juicy Peach White by Teas Etc
702 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 6g
Water: 500ml at 180°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: poptpouri, sweet, fruity, weird chemical after
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, fruity, peach pineapple, hint floral
Flavor: smooth, silky, sweet, peach, pineapple, vegetal after taste
Body: Light
Aftertaste: vegetal, floral
Liquor: translucent yellow-green

as usually, teas etc has delicious teas

Rating: 3/4 leaves

Blog: http://amazonv.teatra.de/2013/09/08/teas-etc-loose-leaf-white-tea-juicy-peach/

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Orange Spice by Teas Etc
9 tasting notes

Very spicy, especially clove. Lots of big pieces of whole spices.

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80
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
358 tasting notes

Today is a happy day. I stayed up late last night finishing the final exam for my summer class and am officially done! It was an online class, but was so much more work than I was expecting so I am relieved that it is over. Now I have three weeks left of summer to enjoy before starting nursing school. I plan on reading a ton of books, drinking a ton of tea (hopefully getting through all of the untried teas in my cabinet) and having one last beach trip with my mom. :)

This tea is from The Traveling Tea Box. I didn’t get a chance to try it until now since I wanted to get it in the mail before leaving for the beach last week. When I opened the little container a sweet florally scent wafted out. There was a little hint of Earl Grey in the dry leaves, but none at all in the tea liquor. The flavor is very floral. The aftertaste is heavily of rose with a light note of bergamot. I added milk and sweetener this tea became a smooth cup. It’s primarily jasmine and rose flavored, but I can taste the bergamot peeking through every once in awhile. I would love this tea for the scent alone, though, so it’s a winner!

-Dry blend has large black tea leaves and twigs with pink and yellow rose petals.
-Dry leaves smell floral with a hint of Earl Grey. Tea liquor aroma is heavily perfumey with jasmine and rose notes.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium orange brown color.
-Floral flavor with an astringent finish. Rose and light bergamot aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. A smooth cup of mostly jasmine and rose flavors. Little hints of bergamot noticeable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

Congrats! Enjoy your break!

Josie Jade

Thanks, Terri! :)

Fuzzy_Peachkin

My Mom just finished nursing school and was exhausted! Enjoy your break!

Tea Sipper

This one sounds nice!

Josie Jade

Thanks, Fuzzy_Peachkin! I’ve heard from so many people finish exhausted. Congrats to your mom on her shiny new degree!

This one is very nice, Tea Sipper, especially if you like florally teas. I’m not a big fan of jasmine green teas, but I like the flavor in black teas!

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drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
114 tasting notes

North American Tea Champion: 2012, Third Place
World Tea Champion: 2009

Brewed per Teas Etc. recommendation: 1 level tsp. / 8 oz. / 212*F / 4 to 5-min. – without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: various length, dark brown with many golden tips
Fragrance: Reminded me of fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & dark coppery

4-Min.: The tea was very smooth and full-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency. The rich malty character and caramel-like sweetness are easily appreciated.

6 min. Resteep: Produced an enjoyable cup.

Impression: This is a very smooth, malty, full-bodied Assam with a caramel-like sweetness. An excellent breakfast tea!

Thanks to Beth Johnston at Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Key Lime Coconut by Teas Etc
290 tasting notes

sip down 2

not gonna rate this because it smelt so foul I couldn’t even drink it.
I bought this a long time ago from iheartteas & it was stored in less than optimal conditions.

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drank Persian Lime by Teas Etc
1196 tasting notes

When I opened this to take out some to give to JoonSusanna, it just made the entire room smell like a key lime pie. And it lingered. And finally today I couldn’t handle it anymore. Warm day? I need iced tea.

It smelled amazing again while it was brewing. I find it pretty cool they use a Nilgiri base for this.

I decided I had to have it iced, and at first it was WAY too strong, I think that was a product of the lime peel rather than the tea. Once the ice diluted it and I added a bit of agave it was really good.

I don’t think there are that many lime teas out there, but there doesn’t need to be any competition for this one. It’s awesome. It tastes just like lime with no weird aftertaste.

I may have to make a pitcher + spearmint for tomorrow, I believe it is another 80+ day :D

JoonSusanna

Yeah you definitely have to let me know what the spearmint does – even though on its own this is pretty fabulous iced!

momo

I will! And if you ever want more just let me know, it will take me ages to get through this bag.

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drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
114 tasting notes

Sample package label:
“USDA Organic
*Heat water to boil
*use 1 level teaspoon of leaves per 8 oz.
*pour water over leaves, brew 4-5 mins.
Ingredients: Organic Chinese Black Tea (Golden Monkey)”

6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 18 ppm, boiled, allowed to cool to ~200*F
(After yesterday’s experience with Nilgiri tea from Teas Etc., and given the cost of this tea ($81./lb.), I didn’t want to risk using this sample to find out that 8 oz. of water is too much.)

1 level Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
This tea has a wonderful fragrance that reminds me of fine pipe tobacco.
Amber hue
3-min Infusion Initial Impression: The taste is light-bodied and creamy smooth. It’s not at all bitter or astringent. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
4-min: It’s a creamy smooth medium-bodied tea with a caramel-like natural sweet flavor and a finish that leaves you with a wonderful full mouth feel that lingers long on the tongue. (I’m glad I chose to use only 6 oz. of water.)

2nd Infusion: 212*F, allowed to cool briefly until steaming hot
5-min: It’s a creamy smooth medium-bodied tea with a caramel-like natural sweet flavor and a finish that leaves you with a wonderful full mouth feel that lingers long on the tongue. – Yes, the 2nd steep was as good as the first!

3rd Infusion: 212*F, allowed to cool briefly until steaming hot
5-min: Noticeably lighter but still enjoyable. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
6-min: Somewhat light, but still enjoyable.

Impression: This is my first Golden Monkey black tea and a wonderful first-impression and one that should not be missed! – Excellent!

Thanks to Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.
http://www.teasetc.com/details.asp?prodid=0140

2/2/14 Update:
Teas Etc. now offers “Golden Monkey Superior”, which is not USDA organic certified but is EU compliant.

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Rachel J

I really enjoy your thorough tasting notes!

looseTman

Thank you for your very kind comment. I’ve also enjoyed following your enthusiastic tea journey on Steepster and its given me some helpful information for mine. Kudos! Congrats also on your young son!

Rachel J

Thanks so much! :)

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drank Nilgiri by Teas Etc
114 tasting notes

Sample package label:
“USDA Organic
*Heat water to boil
*use 1 level teaspoon of leaves per 8 oz.
*pour water over leaves, brew 4-5 mins.
Ingredients: Organic Indian Black Tea”

8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 22 ppm, boiled
1 level Tevanna teaspoon

This tea has a light grassy fragrance.

Amber hue

4-min Infusion Initial Impression: The taste is light-bodied, smooth, not bitter or astringent with a clean finish. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
5-min Infusion: It has a smooth light- to medium-bodied flavor that’s not at all bitter or astringent with a clean finish. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
6-min Infusion: It has a nearly medium-bodied flavor with an initial bitterness that has faded as it has cooled. It’s not astringent and has a clean finish. A five minute infusion is probably best.

Given how my experience didn’t match this tea’s description, I tried again:

2nd Cup: 212*F, 6 oz., 1 level tsp.
5-min Infusion: It has a smooth nearly full-bodied flavor that’s not at all bitter or astringent with a clean finish – Much improved versus 8 oz. of water. However, it doesn’t provide a full mouth feel or a rich/creamy flavor.

Impression: This is my first straight Nilgiri black tea. For a breakfast tea, I typically prefer a fuller-bodied rich black tea. As such, I would welcome an opportunity to taste an Assam and a Keemun from Teas Etc. I also have an unopened sample of Golden Monkey from Teas Etc. that’s much more likely to be “my cup of tea”.

Thanks to Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Organic Earl Grey by Teas Etc
114 tasting notes

Sample package label:
“USDA Organic
*Heat water to boil
*use 1 level teaspoon of leaves per 8 oz.
*pour water over leaves, brew 4-5 mins.
Ingredients: Organic Black Tea, and natural Bergamot essential oil.”

8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 17 ppm, boiled
1 level Tevanna teaspoon

Introduction: I understand Organic Earl Grey from Teas Etc. is a blend of organic Nilgiri teas. Most EG teas come from Shi Lanka formerly known as Ceylon. Having a different base tea, was a significant reason for wanting to sample this tea. Our current EG has a Ceylon base and I can’t get past the astringency. Other primary reasons: My wife loves EG and prefers organic teas.

Fragrance: This tea has a very potent classic lemon Earl Grey fragrance that will wake up your senses all by itself!

Amber hue

4-min Infusion Initial Impression: A strong lemon aroma. The taste is smooth, not bitter or astringent with a clean finish. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)

5-min Infusion: It has a strong lemon aroma and a smooth medium-bodied EG flavor that’s not at all bitter or astringent – Excellent! A pleasing tart lemon flavor lingers long on the tongue.

2nd 5-min Infusion: A lighter-bodied & less lemony version of the first infusion that’s still very pleasing.

Impression: An excellent classic Earl Grey tea with a potent lemon fragrance, a strong lemon aroma and a lemon flavor that that stands out above the organic Nilgiri base. Clearly the best “lemon forward” Earl Grey I’ve tasted.

Additional thoughts: I would like to encourage Teas Etc. to also develop a well-balanced organic EG Cream or Vanilla Earl Grey.

Per Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergamot_orange):
“Citrus bergamia is a small tree which blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit. The distinctive aroma of bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea.8

The tartness of citrus bergamia is a common characteristic of most Earl Grey tea. Adding a creamy vanilla should smooth out the natural tartness of the oil of Bergamot while adding a full mouth feel. Other tea companies have tried this approach. Many of them are not organic, and at least one uses artificial flavoring. Only a few have discovered a pleasing balance of among all the ingredients.

Thanks to Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
12 tasting notes

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drank Qi Lan by Teas Etc
1269 tasting notes

Sample number four out of ten this week! Hey I’m doing quite well!

This is one I can’t remember where came from. I’m a little concerned about what sort of impression it’s going to leave me with because it came in a ziplock pouch which had originally contained a TGY sample from Norbu. How does one clean those bags for re-use? How does one avoid TGY traces in the new sample? Oh well, at least it wasn’t a super-strongly aromatic one that was in there before, so I don’t imagine it to be much of a problem, really. But the idea of it puzzled me.

This one looks like a dark oolong and the leaves smelled like a dark oolong, with some cocoa-y notes to it, but after steeping, it suddenly smells greener. Kind of butter-y and vegetal. It still has the cocoa notes and the dark oolong oak-y notes too, though, so you can probably imagine that it’s a bit odd. (Again, I think of that TGY…)

The flavour is also a funny mix of two types, and it’s not just that it tastes like one of those oolongs that seem to be exactly half-fermented. It more like a blend of two. (TGY ghost? None of the others have described this, but on the other hand none of the other posts are very detailed.)

What I’ve actually got here is a very complex flavour profile, and it seems to change like a chameleon several times in just one sip. At the very front of the flavour I’m hit by something floral. Then immidiately after that follows something vaguely like cinnamon and after that we get something fruity, almost peach-y, but not as juicy. Finally the aftertaste is very green tea-ish and slightly minty. Of the cocoa notes in the aroma, I can find nothing.

I’m not going to award points for this because I don’t feel certain that the sample isn’t contaminated by what was previously in the pouch. While what I’ve got here is very enjoyable indeed, there something about it that strikes me as sort of… off. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way. If there is no contamination, however, it’s a very lovely tea indeed.

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drank Bai Hao Silver Needle by Teas Etc
1817 tasting notes

I have been enjoying different teas this holiday season, especially white tea and puerh tea. I am finishing this sample from LittleMewBrew today, armed with having read the entire section on white teas in Michael Harney’s Guide to Tea this morning. The first time I had white tea, and the first cheap green tea for that matter, all I tasted was hot water. I am really glad I kept trying different ones and studied the tea so I can enjoy more and more.

This has nice flavor, a tiny bit of nuttiness like lightly toasted walnuts, and a bit of hay.

Thank you, C, for the tea!

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