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Recent Tasting Notes
A friend gifted us with some black teas, including a variety that have been favorites of ours, 2nd Flush Darjeelings. My aunt LOVED the Thurbo Estate 2nd Flush Darjeeling we tried yesterday and even asked for more, which she never does, then today we tried the Giddapaphar Estate SFTGFOP1 Tippy 2nd Flush and she told me she loved this one even more.
So did I. This one was a bit astringent, but not unpleasantly so. And what was prominant to me was a really lovely honeyed note. So did I love this more than the Selim Hill Darjeeling, our previous favorite of all time? Been so long it’s impossible to know. But this one is a keeper we’ll be ordering again when available.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a darieeling. The darjeelings, especially the second flushes have tended to be our favorites, with Selim Hill at the tippy top. So long it’s been, I’m not sure how to rate this tea. Is it exceptional among its relations? Or is it just that its a good enough second flush darjeeling and we tend to love that? I’d call this medium-bodied, with the usual malty, almost fruity note you taste in many a darjeeling, and one that pairs well with milk. Definitely a keeper—my aunt drank her cuppa right up and wanted seconds.
This was gifted me by a friend. I was surprised to like this as much. I’d had Genmaicha before at TeaLeaf. That one tasted way too brothy for me, while this one was more a toasty flavored—well, Green tea. One I could enjoy—I’ll be keeping and enjoying this. The only reason I’m rating it relatively low is because there are so many teas, even green ones, even green flavored ones I like a lot more from TeaSource: Green Pomegranate, Tai Ping Hou, Clouds and Mists, Houjicha among the greens, not to mention lots of oolongs and blacks. So I don’t see myself ordering this with so many other alternatives.
This tea smells really nice. I could enjoy that while the tea was still too hot to drink!
I appreciate the spice, striking the right balance between asserting itself and not being overpowering. The fruitiness is a nice complement to the spice.
This tea reminds me of Christmas, although that might be a result of the trauma of seeing Christmas decorations already on display in stores. A solid tea!
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Spices
This is a colorful mix. There are whole cardamom pods complete with their little stems, dry orange peel, and red peppercorns in a black tea.
You gotta be ready for spice and orange-cinnamon to drink this. I had opened it yesterday and it was more than I wanted to tackle lol so I planned when to drink it.
It smells spicy and orangey.
I brewed one cup of this and let my water cool down to brew some green tea. I drank all of my green tea then this one had cooled down to where I could really get the flavors.
This is very spicy, orangey, and cinnamony smelling. It smells like those holiday pinecones at Walmart with the cinnamon oil on them. I am scared to drink it lol (I like TeaSource teas though so I know it will be ok).
Flavor is orange and cinnamon with a little bit of cardamom (I had two pods in my teaspoon). It is very much like an herbal tea to me,,,I don’t taste the black tea at all and the liquor is a clear golden color.
This is not too bad, definitely one for holiday time.
From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange
Republic of Tea’s Ginger Peach is one of my all-time favorite teas, so I was eager to try this similar tea from Teasource. When I smelled it in the store, I was immediately impressed: it smelled just like a ripe peach! It has a delicious juicy peach flavor when brewed, with just the barest hint of ginger; definitely less spicy than the Ginger Peach. It’s also slightly astringent, particularly if you brew it longer than suggested. Overall, I think I still like Ginger Peach a bit more, but this is definitely a delicious and less expensive alternative.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Ginger, Peach
This is a beautiful tea! Nice unbroken black tea leaves with cornflower petals and dried blueberries. And the dry leaf smells AMAZING…after I opened it, I kept going around shoving it under family member’s noses and demanding, “Doesn’t it smell just like blueberries?” The first time I tried it, I think I must have over-steeped it because it came out quite bitter. However, I gave it another try, and this time the taste almost lived up to the scent. A nice smooth, juicy blueberry flavor with a bit of richness from the base. I’m eager to try it iced as well!
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Wood
I got this as a free sample with my last Teasource purchase and I may have to go back and buy more, because it’s delicious! It smells so sweet and fruity and the taste does not disappoint. It has a smooth, juicy mango flavor with the black tea base adding just a bit of depth. I’ve tried it hot and cold and loved it both ways!
Flavors: Fruity, Mango
Full and light. This tea smells smooth, buttery, and floral and is worth a whiff before brewing. It has more of a full body taste than one would expect from such a light green color. The tastes are hard to discern, so if you’re not paying attention, it will just be generally pleasant. There are hidden hints of lilac, lemon, and sweet grass. It leaves your mouth feeling slightly dry and is a good palate cleanser.
Flavors: Floral, Lemon, Wheat
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kabusecha it is similar a Gyokuro, as it is a green tea that is shaded, the difference is a Kabusecha s shaded for the final fifteen to twenty days before being harvested. So it is somewhere between a Shincha and a Gyokuro.
Teasource’s Kabusecha is very shredded, Kabusecha traditionally is shredded, and slightly curled differentiating the larger leaves from the traditional Shincha dry leaf. Yet the dry leaf is very reminiscent of a gyokuro, perhaps a little more tart smelling. With this tea I brewed two western style infusions and once more to make iced tea.
For my first infusion I brewed at 160°f for two minutes. The liquor was silky smooth body, with a light green color. It had a mellow vegetal notes and slight grassiness undertone. Interestingly it had both a unami and a sweet edge to it. It had a very sweet grassy aroma that was quite refreshing.
For my second infusion I brewed at 176°f for three minutes. This time the body was still smooth, but had a considerable darker green color. This time the grassy taste was almost completely absent, instead the vegetal taste became more pronounced, while it still was sweet, it was more like caramel then anything else. The aroma was muted this time.
I used the leaves and flash chilled them to make a really delicious iced tea. I left it in the fridge for a little under eight hours. The tea was the best of the previous two infusions, grassy yet tart, sweet and unami. It was sweeter than an iced sencha, but less grassy. It had a very sweet aftertaste.
When I first saw this tea, I was expecting it to be more lightly steamed then it is (while it is not a moderately steamed Kabusecha, it is not light either). Also for those unfamiliar with shredded tea, some leaf sediments is going to escape even the finest filter, so be prepared for some sticky leaves at the bottom of your cup, while some do not like the texture of drinking leaves, I do not, so this was not a deal breaker for me. Teasource’s Kabusecha undoubtedly is going to be a staple of my tea stash! I am positively in love with this.
I was a bit turned off by the smell of this tea in the tin: it has a very sharp (almost sour) beramot scent. However, this mellows out a lot when you steep it. It’s still quite heavy on the bergamot and I wish the black base would pop a bit more…but it’s a very tasty earl grey!
I tried this one hot today and wasn’t a huge fan. The flavor was pleasant, but rather bland…and it was a lot more oolong than strawberry! The company suggests drinking it as an iced tea, so I will try that next time to see if I like it better.
Flavors: Floral, Strawberry
I share teas with my aunt who doesn’t like flavored teas so I don’t order them. A sample packet of this was included in a TeaSource order. If I were only going by my own tastes I’d definitely order this again. It works very nicely by itself or even with milk and suspect it would make a delightful iced tea.
I ordered a bunch of Ceylon teas from TeaSource to give them a try. I tend not to be a fan of the Ceylon’s I’ve tried—from this or earlier orders. I think because I hadn’t found then very distinctive—I feel I might as well be drinking a bagged Lipton tea—too basic. Yet in this case I’d say this is basic black in the sense of that little black dress—a classic you can take anywhere. It’s a self-drinker that tastes quite well on its own and yet also one that stands up and blends well with milk. My favorite among any Ceylon I’ve tried and one I’d definitely order again.
I ordered a bunch of Ceylon teas from TeaSource to give them a try. I tend not to be a fan of the Ceylon’s I’ve tried—from this or earlier orders. I think because I hadn’t found then very distinctive—I feel I might as well be drinking a bagged Lipton tea. This tea is different—my favorite of Ceylon’s I tried, one I’d order again, though I’m not sure yet it’ll be an absolute favorite. But this one does have richness and complexity—a malty, chocolatey note, but also a plummy, fruity note as well. Both my aunt and I (who tends to like more “basic” teas) liked it very much.
This is one of several Ceylon teas we ordered from TeaSource, one of three we’ve tried. So far this is smack in the middle. Not a keeper by any means—but drinkable. I find it hard to summon much more enthusiasm than that, but I should note I’m not generally a fan of Ceylon teas—at least thus far—I find them very basic, not standouts, and this one isn’t an exception, with nothing that much distinguishes or detracts. It does stand up well to milk.
We’re trying out various Ceylon teas from TeaSource—this is the third from this order we’ve tried. My problem with Ceylons so far is that they strike me as very basic teas, like something you’d get from a Lipton teabag, without the personality of darjeelings, assam or Chinese black teas. My aunt who I share these with on the other hand likes basic, unflavored teas, so you’d think she’d favor those. This is her favorite so far, one she said she’d like to see again, and on that basis it may get reordered someday. As promised on the label it’s smooth and mellow—although to me nothing all that special and is getting a relatively high rating more for my aunt’s liking of it than my own tastes—I can say though it stands up very nicely to milk.
Smells like bread in both the leaves and the brew. If you know your culinary/linguistic history, it makes sense: we get the word ‘bread’ from the same word as ‘brew’. It tastes like bread, too, with almost no after taste. A good palette cleanser, as well as an enjoyable, no-nonsense tea. I rated this one more harshly in the paste, because of its simplicity, but as I’ve gained more experience in tasting tea, I’ve come to realize that simplicity is not the same as one-note. This tea is just a good taste with a complexity that is very well blended.
You know how when you make a soup, it tastes better the next day because the flavors have had a chance to marry? The same effect seems to be going on here, except the flavors of bread and whiskey have been married to produce something else entirely, something more elevated.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Wheat
I drink this when I want a hearty tea. It’s bold flavor makes me put it in the same category as black tea instead of thinking of it as an oolong, but it doesn’t have the sharp astringency or sour cherry flavor a lot of black teas have. Slightly toasty with elusive plum notes, this was my favorite among a tasting of similar oolongs.
Flavors: Plums, Rye, Smoked, Toasty, Whiskey