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Recent Tasting Notes
Cooking TTB #10
I didn’t expect this to be nearly as delicious as it was! I made it without reading anything about it and was pleasantly surprised at just how malty it was. I had it with some cookies after dinner, which was perfect. My coffee-drinking grandmother said it was so good that she’d even like a cup. So, because I am eagerly trying to get through as many samples as possible from the TTB before sending it on, I figured I’d give her my cup and get to try another tea! :) This makes me more curious to try other high-quality English Breakfast type teas since I’ve been generally avoiding them thinking they’d be pretty much all the same (shame on me). I’m also happy to have tried another new tea company!
This is my first time with mugicha, Japanese barley tea. I’ve read it’s a popular iced summer drink. I am drinking it hot and in the winter, so I suppose this’ll be different than the usual.
There’s a cereal this reminds me of… If you’ve been to the USA and have had Honey Smacks or Golden Crisp, I think those cereals are made from popped barley because the flavor and scent is just like this tisane.
The infusion here is a pale gold color, so I’ve definitely brewed this on the lighter side. I only used 3 oz of water, but I had a pretty small sample of it to try. It tastes malty, grain-like, roasted, slightly sweet. It’s very easy to drink. I really could see myself enjoying this more often. It reminds me of houjicha but with more maltiness and grain flavors.
A-OK by my book!
Flavors: Grain, Malt, Roasted Barley
Cooking TTB #14
This is such an interesting oolong! The leaves really do have a blueish cast and they are rolled into tight little pellets that look kind of like pebbles. The flavor is also unlike other oolongs that I’ve tried…no vegetal flavor or silky mouth feel. Instead it’s heavy on the ginseng with a lingering sweet licorice aftertaste. The re-steep was very similar. I’m glad I got to try this, but it’s not something I would reach for again.
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
When I saw this in the box, I wondered how similar it was to TeaVivre’s version and decided to try it so I could compare. Visually, it looks the same, just a plain green rolled oolong with small to medium pellets. Dry scent was very slightly strawberry, but I don’t expect anything to have much of a scent with the number of teas in this box.
The steeped tea smells like vegetal, slightly floral oolong and strawberry candy. Hm, this has very little strawberry flavor. I only get a small hint of fresh strawberry at the end of the sip. Most of it is just generic, slightly grassy green oolong. Luckily it’s not floral.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Strawberry, Sweet
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
Hooray, I got the box! And there are actually quite a few things I want to try, which is awesome. I’ve actually heard really good things about this tea, though for some reason it has barely any reviews, and a low rating? Weird. The leaves look nice enough, they’re black and quite thick and curly. There are a few blue flower buds mixed in as well. Dry scent is sweet blueberry jam.
Mm, the steeped tea smells very blueberry, and it’s actually quite convincing too. There’s that deep sweetness but also a little hint of tart that makes me picture fresh blueberries instead of jam. Hm, this is way too light on the blueberry for me. If I drink a blueberry-flavored tea, I want it to taste like blueberry. It mostly tastes like a somewhat woody base tea with a little bit of blueberry and a touch of floral. Meh!
Flavors: Blueberry, Floral, Jam, Wood
The ginseng and licorice don’t taste at all like ginseng and licorice, because they meld together to create something entirely new that is very pleasant. It has an aftertaste that leaves the mouth feeling smooth and cleansed.
I brewed this in my YiXing pot that I have seasoned with Blue Beauty Oolong. The cumulative taste has made it a wonderful choice for an YiXing pot.
Flavors: Licorice, Metallic, Stonefruits
I don’t believe this is something I requested in my swap with Inkling but I am so glad she included it because it’s great! When I read both “ginger” and “peach” in the description, I immediately thought this needed to be iced so I dumped the whole sample in my gravity steeper and started brewing. I actually wasn’t sure if this was for me but then I smelled the wet leaves and it was a noseful of peachy goodness.
When it came time for drinking the tea, I worried the base might take over but from the first sip, I am happy to announce that the mouth-watering peach smell translates perfectly into the taste. The base is incredibly smooth which allows the fuzzy peach-like flavor to shine all the while, a slight kick of ginger underlying the sip keeps things interesting. Once again Inkling has not only introduced me to a tasty tea but also a new company to explore. This is why I love swaps! Also, thank you Inkling for such a fantastic package :) 182.
From the Cooking TTB.
I’m glad I got a chance to try this, but this is not for me. On the first steep, the ginseng sweetness is a bit cloying, in the way that licorice often is, and masks the taste of the oolong. On the second steep of these leaves, the balance of flavours is better, but the oolong is very woody tasting. Probably my least favourite flavour profile for oolongs.
Ah well. I’m sure someone else will enjoy the rest of this sample more than me.
Flavors: Licorice, Sweet, Wood
Matronly, thin and disgusting.
Sounds more like a description of your mother in law than tea. However, this is not tea… its potpourri with some tea in it.
I do not like flavored teas, but felt obligated to try it as it was sent to me as part of my Steepster Select membership… which so far has yielded nothing I have enjoyed, but that’s a different story.
The reddish brown color of the cup is inviting, however the aromas of toffee, butterscotch and caramel remind me of walking by Garrett’s Popcorn in downtown Chicago around the holidays… which is not terrible at all, when that is where you smell it. The taste profile is better than the aroma, but not by much… sweet peppercorn and cardamom dominate, with hints of citrus (orange), which is supported by the coriander cinnamon notes and closes with a decent astringency, which may be its savior. The actual black tea flavors are all but completely washed away. Overall the mouth feel is thin and the finish, although lasting is a bit minty, soapy and disgusting… like the smell of one of those candle-potpourii-soap shops in a mall has been jellified and you brushed your teeth with it.
Now… with all of that being said, this is far less offensive than other flavored teas I have had, and I know that some people love it and I am not saying they are wrong for enjoying it (some people also like sangria over wine – cough)… this is just my opinion and an honest review of the product. Now if you will excuse me, I think my cats stole my yarn and I need to finish my knitting for the holidays. Here kitty kitty… haha
I can only second Teaman’s review. This isn’t quite what you expect of a Assam. The maltiness is there, but it’s smoother, with less bite, and for me more reminiscent of some Chinese blacks I’ve known and loved than the Assams I’ve tried. And I quite like it. Definitely one I’d order again.
This was the last of four Darjeeling 2nd Flushes sent me by a friend. We really loved a Giddapaphar Estate and Thurbo Estate, was less wild about the Oaks Estate. I’m afraid this belongs with the second group. It’s not bad—there’s nothing odd or off about it, but nothing that stands out either. In that regard its less distinguished than the Oaks Estate tea. It tastes to me like a generic second flush darjeeling. More medium-bodies and less oolong like than the spring flushes, pairs well with milk but still a good self-drinker, slightly astringent with that slightly fruity taste, but certainly not as honeyed as the Giddapaphar 2nd Flush. Drinkable and enjoyable.
We recently received a bunch of teas from a friend, including 5 different varieties of 2nd Flush Darjeelings, which are particular favorites of ours. This is the third we’ve tried and suffers in comparison. It’s not bad at all—nothing unpleasant, if rather strong, almost smokey for a darjeeling. It’s just we loved the Thurbo Estate and Giddapaphar Estate Darjeelings we tried and this didn’t impress us after two days in a row of teas we loved.
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