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The Tea Smith

Recent Tasting Notes

94

I’m sipping on a cup of this evening, it’s very soothing and calming. I’ve had a very busy, very frustrating day. My husband needed to go to the doctor, and the doctor would not address the issues that were bothering my husband, he wanted only to talk about other issues, and so tomorrow I will be spending my afternoon shopping for a new doctor. After the frustrating trip to the doctor, we ran over a metal spiky object that got lodged in our tire, which meant an hour at the tire shop. Not much went right today.

Anyway … now this tea seems to be making up for it, because it’s lovely. Sweet, beautiful, the lovely notes of a darjeeling but with the light, delicate qualities of a white tea … so wonderful.

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86
drank Blue Shadow by The Tea Smith
4227 tasting notes

Backlog:

Thank you Azzrian for sending me some of this tea!

This is really interesting … I’m very unfamiliar with the lulo fruit. I described the appearance of this fruit in my full-length review as a fruit that looks a bit like an orange that had a funky twisted romance with a kiwi fruit. You can read my full-length review here (and see the photo of the lulo fruit): http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/04/14/blue-shadow-flavored-black-tea-from-the-tea-smith/

A very interesting tea. I taste strawberry, black tea, and berry notes. I also taste notes of citrus. Quite a unique tea, I liked it.

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This is one of the most flavorful unflavored white teas I’ve encountered—had a teeny bit of a sample from azzrian left to enjoy this evening. After cleansing my palate with Braum’s ice cream with caramel topping (sorry, no fancy sorbet available), my taste buds were all vanilla’ed out and I could catch the grapey, fruity tones bouncing around in these big ol’ white leaves. Wouldn’t add ice, but I bet it’d be good chilled.

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I think this was in a little package from azzrian that arrived while the weather was still cold—tried a cup and then set it back thinking it’d be tasty in hot weather.

And it is. Tasty. Not hot—we’re having a lusciously cool and sunny day in late July (mid 70’s).

Cold steeped this in the fridge, adding a little extra straight-up lemongrass from local herb place. Tart, but not unpleasantly so.

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This is a fantastic tea – it’s very gentle, floral and sweet, not exactly what I would expect from a Darjeeling but in very good way.
It tastes even better because I’m drinking it from my new cup: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-glassware/26729111.jsp
(I have the blue and white one). I also have a small scone from a local bakery with my tea.
So good!

inguna

It is super cute and in real life looks even better than in the picture.
Thanks to this purchaseI have started my own collection of mismatched blue and white tea ware. I love the blue and white combo: Dutch, Japanese and Chinese, German, Russian, Swedish – I intend to collect all of that :)

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82

Loose
Appearance: dark brown-black, crinkled leaf
Aroma when Dry: slight fruity notes hints of creamy maltyness
After water is first poured: slightly fruity, musty
At end of steep: faint fruity, malty
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: light muddy brown
Staple? Unsure, first tasting
Time of day preferred: afternoon, evening
Taste:
At first: balanced fruity maltyness
As it cools ? Gets slightly fruitier, tea deepens, notes layer
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? no
Lingers? Yes, with slight tang, fruity, faint metallic note

Second steep (8min)
Taste: notes flatten and weaken, tea smooths out a bit

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Ceylon Star by The Tea Smith
10 tasting notes

The chocolate in this tea tastes great! I expected the star anise to clash with the chocolate but it really doesn’t. The anise is very mild- don’t buy this tea if you’re looking for a spicy blend, but it makes a delicious choice for a unique chocolate tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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When I pulled this up to read the description, I saw Darjeeling in big letters and missed the white tea in little letters. So my first sips surprised me some…typical Darjeeling this isn’t.

Of course it isn’t, silly … it’s a white tea, and a fine one at that. Held up well to nearly-boiling water and a 3:30 steep time. Nice satiny feel on the tongue. Light on the flavor, but then again, I was light on the leaf, not realizing what variety I was making.

My thanks to Azzrian for the sample. Enough in the packet to add a little leaf and give this a more informed tasting.

(We’re 2 for 2 on Tea Smith varieties. Further investigation pending.)

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71

Had a bit more of this today thanks to Azzrian
See previous notes :)

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drank Blue Shadow by The Tea Smith
1626 tasting notes

This smells heavenly—like blueberry pastry or blueberries and marshmallow. Which may be a clever trick or a sign of my own olfactory incompetence. Not a blueberry in it. Strawberries and lulo. I wouldn’t know a lulo if I stomped on it :)

But at any rate, this is a wonderfully sweet tea—berries drizzled with powdered sugar glaze. Belongs to the Tower of London/Marco Polo family of fruity goodness. My thanks to Azzrian!

K S

I had to look up lulo and I’m still not sure what it is. Looks like a cross between an orange and a tomato. The taste I saw described as rhubarb/lime. Your blueberry marshmallow sounds far more delicious.

ashmanra

Sounds delicious! And I have never even heard of lulo!

gmathis

Not a bit of tartness in this. Pretty fair second steep, too.

gmathis

Thanks for sharing the link. Now I’ll know what I’m stepping on :)

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100

Dang this is GOOD! I mean REALLY good! I have never had a white darjeeling before but there are notes of grape, peach, honey, and a very flavorful white tea leaf here. I am HIGHLY impressed and thank goodness I got 2 ounces as I would totally be ordering more of this stuff right away!
Delightful!
Nice lingering after taste.
I am not a huge fan of white teas but this has won me over!

K S

Never heard of white darjeeling. Interesting. What will they think of next?

LiberTEAS

White darjeeling ROCKS! I’ve only had a couple of them, but I’ve loved the ones that I’ve tried.

The Cup of Life - Lu Ann

I’ve never tried white darjeeling before either…now I have the urge to buy some because of the first sentence of your review ;)

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87
drank Blue Shadow by The Tea Smith
807 tasting notes

What an interesting cup!
Sweet but its like the lulo sort of cuts it giving it an almost savory twang.
I need to focus on this more and will probably do a longer review for SororiTea Sisters but right now I just want to immerse myself in the cup.
I just had a really creamy sweet strawberry tea before this tea, and I was almost expecting this would be really sweet too but its not – yet it is – but its not – what the? LOL

KeenTeaThyme

LOVE the name! :)

Azzrian

Me too! :)

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71

Special Thanks to LiberTEAs for this one!

This is a nice, sweet run-of-the-mill-type honeybush. There isn’t anything overly exciting about it but it’s not bad either.

The sweetness makes it, for me.

Helena

you can always add it to something :D

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93
drank Ginseng Oolong by The Tea Smith
1 tasting notes

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85

My first thought when I opened the bag was dried apples. Its that concentrated aroma that you smell on dehydrated apples. There is a bit of that apple flavor in a tea. It reminds me of a weak apple cider. It also has a natural sweetness to it which is nice. I like it and think next time I will add some cinnamon to keep the cider thing going.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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68

Decided to start tasting my teas from my steepster select box, starting with this one (mostly because it’s 10:30 pm right now, and I think if I were to brew a cup of guayusa, I’d be up all night).

It’s tasty enough. But, it’s a plain, unflavored, rather boring honeybush. I’m glad it’s organic, as I find that organic tastes better than conventionally grown when it comes to rooibos and honeybush. And it’s … alright. But, I’d have been a much happier camper if it were a flavored honeybush. On it’s own, it’s got basically what I expect from honeybush. I light sweetness, nutty tones and woody notes. Tasty, but nothing all that exciting.

Kittenna

I can’t say I’ve ever tried straight rooibos or honeybush, but I just can’t imagine myself liking them the way I do straight greens/oolongs. I think it must be because I always attribute funky flavours in such blends to the base (which is perhaps unfair!)

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85
drank Organic Honey Bush by The Tea Smith
119 tasting notes

SPOILER ALERT FOR THE STEEPSTER SELECT BOX READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

After finishing that last tea I thought, “What the heck! Let’s try another!” I’m saving the guayusa for tomorrow morning (getting up at 5:45 five times a week really kicks your butt) so I decided to make this.

I’m going to maybe be the first to actually come out and say it (or at least the first that I’ve met here on Steepster): I Like Honeybush A Lot
I don’t think it tastes like honey like you would think, but I actually really do like the taste.

This is no exception to that! It’s pretty much just a generic honeybush. There’s a nice…… “dampness?!?!?!” to it and it has a good woody flavor, with a nice and natural sweet flavor that remains in your mouth. This is very nice and a good late night tea!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Honey, you can like whatever you want! Give yourself permission! If you think that you have to be a tea snob…then stop drinking tea and start drinking red bull! I didn’t like wine snobs at the winery, and food snobs are boring, and tea snobs are boring. I used to get so irritated at people talking down to me about computers because I didn’t LOOK like an engineer!!! ERH! (till I fixed theirs…ha!)
Anyway! DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE…this is a quote from the winemaker at Mondavi who also drinks GALLO! Drink Honeybush! Drink Lipton! (love u Ian!)

Azzrian

I read it and have not tried it yet but I don’t think you divulged too much info so thats good :) I think a straight honeybush is a good thing since I have yet to try just plain ol honeybush and we all need to know the base of a tea right!? :)

Ian

@Bonnie: Thanks so much Bonnie! You’re very good at putting a smile on my face!

@Azzrian: I’m glad that there weren’t too many spoilers! I put the notice there just in case because I know first hand how exciting it is to try a new tea and I didn’t want anybody to lose that excitement! I do agree that trying the bases of flavored teas is really important! I happen to like honeybush plain and flavored though most people like it flavored.

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3

In short, this was disgusting. Mouth coating in a sickening, medicinal way. Sweet in an unpleasant, sickening way. Just, in general, sickening.

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75

I believe this is the tea I’ve recently enjoyed as a part of this month’s installment of steepster select, however I don’t see any mention of it being Organic.

As I don’t see a non-organic version of this on here, I’ll assume this is the correct one.

This is a beautiful tea. I have previously only utilized honey bush to add a sweetness to my brisker black teas. I tend to blend them in with my morning tea, or add them into whatever I’m bringing in my travel mug to get me through the workday. They’re always the perfect accomplice, but I never before allowed it to be the star of the show. I was skeptical because I tend to go for full-bodied, complex teas. And while I have nothing against caffeine-free blends, I usually prefer rooibos, and don’t often go for herbals.

This changed all my ill-begotten misconceptions. This was exactly the full-bodied, multilayered tea I enjoy and appreciate. It was like a black tea, not syrupy or overly sweet, or watered-down and weak with a hint of honey on the finish, as I was expecting. An overall treat that was enjoyed for multiple infusions ranging from after dinner to later tonight. Hats off, once again, to steepster select for broadening my perception of tea.

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10

I wasn’t a huge fan of this. It smelled like chocolate- then at first it just tasted like a nice light black tea. But then all of the sudden the spiciness really hit the back of my throat and it was almost painful. I had 3 sips and then had to dump it out. I might try it again and steep for only 4 minutes and see how it is. I must admit, I ended up steeping a couple minutes longer than I should have because I got distracted…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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