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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

This anonymous family favorite is launching my first excursion into cooking with tea. We found a lookalike recipe for P.F. Chang’s oolong marinated sea bass online and it’s soaking in the fridge right now. Well, cod instead of sea bass…availability and frugality caused that substitution. (The beauty is the fact we haven’t tasted the original yet, so we won’t know if it’s way off the mark!)

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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

I’m thinking the store may have switched up—or mixed—the leaves in my favorite cheapie bulk bin oolong. This batch wasn’t as large and stemmy as I usually expect, but still a nice green-and-brown blend. Yard mulch. Steeped up light and nutty for a morning-long writing session yesterday; the rest wasn’t bad chilled. And still 31 cents an ounce, bless the store. Can’t beat that.

Azzrian

Good Lord 31 cents an ounce!? WHAT store? LOL

gmathis

Fox Farm Foods … a little independently-owned health-food & specialty grocery store here in my hometown. A lot of their bulk teas come from San Francisco Herb & Spice, but this one I think is direct from overseas; I see the big dog-food sized bags they use to fill the bin.

ashmanra

The thought of a big bin of tea makes me tremble a little bit. I have a problem.

gmathis

…Makes you just want to stick your hands in it and sniff, huh? :)

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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

This was one of the first things I picked up on my first re-stock the pantry run to Fox Farm (local health food and goodie store). Price hasn’t changed for months. Just a good, tawny, tasty oolong. And I still haven’t remembered to ask what the brand was…

Ellyn

Sometimes the best teas end up being the onces we have the least amount of information about!

potatowedges

True that.

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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

This still continues to be my favorite cheap-keep-the-canister-filled-at-all-times tea; someday I shall ask to see the bag so I can actually see the brand. (Yeah, I’m sure the store clerk will enjoy toting a 50-pound feed sack off the top shelf just to entertain the customer…)

In the meantime, I played a bit this morning and did 2 parts shaved unsweetened coconut chips to 1 part of these oolong leaves. I believe I’ve found a new favorite blend-in. Coconut and …. any suggestions?

Cofftea

Coconut + green chai + lemongrass … and maybe just a tiny pinch of curry powder? Or Coconut + a peanut butter flavored tea + chai spices + curry

ashmanra

Oh my! That sounds delectable!

gmathis

MMM! I happen to have a nice little neglected canister of lemongrass that may need my attention!

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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

Still haven’t unearthed the brand of this nice (and wonderfully inexpensive!) bulk tea from favorite local store, though I see big ol’ 25-pound bags on their shelves with characters I can’t deciper. It looks a little leafy and woody and stemmy dry, but is still a good pantry staple, especially on days when you want to be tugged awake instead of booted out the door.

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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

We buy this in bulk…about 31 cents an ounce…at local health food store. Can’t beat it for the price! I’ll have to see if I can associate it with a brand. The leaves are big and loose and … well, leafy instead of tea-ey. It has a nice wet-earth sort of aroma and a hearty brown (as opposed to golden or black or chartreuse) flavor. Ices pretty well in the summer too.

laurenpressley

That sounds lovely! I wonder what brand it is… I have a few teas like this, too, where they’re good, but I’m not sure what company they come from.

gmathis

We literally scoop it out of a bin; I think I’ve seen some 20-pound feed-sack sized bags of the same on the shelf. (Can you imagine how long it would take to drink 20 pounds of tea?)

laurenpressley

That’s awesome! And I can’t even imagine with 20 pounds of tea looks like, let alone how long it would take to get through it! Fun stuff!

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87
drank Gen Mai Cha by Unknown
22 tasting notes

I need to get more of this. A small-leaf tea with roasted rice (some bits popped like popcorn) in it, I love this for relaxing. The smell is sweet and not very grassy, and the liquor is a pale gold. The taste is smooth and has a nutty undertaste that’s very subtle, almost like a cornsilk infusion.

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74
drank Oolong tea candy by Unknown
1317 tasting notes

I may be pushing the limits with this one. I debated whether or not it belonged on the board or in one of my own posts, but eventually I decided that since it’s made of primarily real tea and it’s built pretty much like my other posts so here it is.

Once upon a time I was in a travelling teabox, the very same that inspired the one I’m organising here (note! Sign up for the Travelling Teabox by emailing address and steepster username to me at [email protected] before dec 31st! Guidelines for participation can be found in this thread (http://steepster.com/discuss/102-travelling-teabox) on the board) and someone added these candies that I nabbed a couple of. Two red ginseng candies from Korea, containing sugar, maltose, red korean ginseng chunks, raw honey and peppermint, and two oolong tea candies from god knows where in Asia and containing oolong tea, maltose and sugar. (There were also a couple of maple candies which I’ve eaten long ago)

I’ve never had the guts to try either of these, but tonight I happened across them and I was feeling brave. It’s a sort of greenish dark grey colour and it smells vaguely of tea. It definitely does taste like a sweetened proper oolong tea, though. It’s like a dry cup of tea. It’s like…. sucking on the leaves after brewing. It tastes like the inside of the pot smells after a number of good steeps. I wish I could get my hands on more of these, because they’re really kinda yummy! One is definitely enough, but I could get addicted to these things.

(The ginseng ones didn’t actually have tea in them, smelled rather bad, and tasted worse… it was like sucking on a bit of dry toothpaste. The less said about those the better.)

Carolyn

I came across this today while looking at pu-erhs: http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=105&products_id=725

They’re called pu-erh candies. I’m not certain whether they are actually candy or not. All I know is that they definitely have pu-erh in them.

Cofftea

Oolong and pu erh candies! WOW!!! I’ve only seen green tea ones before! I would agree w/ the “pushing the limits” (at least for current steepster usage, I’m praying we’ll some day be able to offically log tea food items/accessories/wares)- but this is just too cool! This is the very reason I want that idea implemented:)

Cofftea

@Carolyn, it isn’t actual candy. It’s brewed so I’m thinking they use the word candy instead of cake maybe?

takgoti

I can totally see myself becoming addicted to these.

Angrboda

Carolyn, those look awesome. Just right for travel sized. Although I can just see someone getting one and try to eat it. LOL! :D

Takgoti, I am blessed with not knowing how to get more. Really. If I knew, I might get myself in trouble.

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89
drank Woody Piece by Unknown
45 tasting notes

Very nice and very unique tea I keep having at an Italian restaurant here in Kyoto. Unfortunately they keep their teabags in a glass jar so I can never find out what brand it is but the tea itself is lovely with a definite but subtle pine flavor. I believe it also contains mint and some other root like substance but I can not place the taste exactly. It certainly keeps me coming back again and again.

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76

This has green tea and good sized chunks of strawberry and there is apple in it. It mostly smells like green tea and strawberries. I steeped this a short time. This has a natural tasting medium apple stawberry taste with green tea. I think this I’s good.

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16
drank Respiratory Rescue by Unknown
6 tasting notes

Has anyone tried the Respiratory Rescue Tea ?

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30

I brought this tea from a vendor at my local farmer’s market. Either I don’t remember the brand or the vendor blended it herself. After the first few tries, I decided I didn’t like it much so I haven’t drank it in awhile. It tastes mostly of chamomile with something else that is not distinctly citrus-y.

I made my husband a cup tonight since he has been drink teas in the evening with me when I offer to make him some and I’m trying out different kinds of tea to figure out what he likes, which is so far everything – he did particularly like a spicy holiday bagged tea last year though I can’t remember the name now. He rarely drinks a second cup unless I make a pot which he will keep drinking, even more than his fair share sometimes. So I brewed it again for myself. In a lighter version, it’s actually not bad but I’m not sure I actually like it still.

2nd brewing: 1.5 tsp.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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63
drank rooibos, durban by Unknown
10 tasting notes

Mystery tea/tisane. Found in bottom of box of random rooibos I was given by Angrboda, about enough for one pot, wrapped in cling film and labelled “durban”. Apparently this is a town in South Africa, so possibly this is the point of origin.

Smells of something apply or peary, albeit faintly. Taste is not as strong as I was expecting. In fact, maybe this is plain rooibos. Any pear smells may be from cohabiting in a box with some very fragrant neighbours :-)

Anyway. Not a bad choice for winding down after a rather trying journey on public transport. Goodnight Steepsterites.

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100
drank Lapsang Souchong by Unknown
1 tasting notes

This has long been my favorite tea. I purchase it loose these days from a local tearoom; I’m not sure who produces their tea for them. It’s intense and smoky and I’ve had it branded “stinky tea” when I’ve had it at work. As others have said on other lapsang boards, it’s the type of tea people either love or hate. I love it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Lapsang Souchong by Unknown
4 tasting notes

I really enjoy it at the evening.

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36
drank Roasted Barley Tea by Unknown
1830 tasting notes

Very, VERY different—you definitely get the grain taste. Picked up some experimentally a couple summers ago and discovered I liked it iced better than hot. Supposed to have lots of health benefits, though I can’t remember any at the moment.

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drank Green Tea by Unknown
1317 tasting notes

I’m bagging it this morning because as usual I’ve slept far too late and I dreamed something seriously strange that made me cry buckets (in the dream) so now I’ve woken up with a post-wail headache without actually having shed a single (real) tear. Lovely.

No matter how deeply mediocre and dull these bags are and the lowness of the supposed quality, it works for me in a situation like this. I think it’s because it’s so much easier and quicker than fussing with pots and leaves. I don’t really need something awesome right now. I just need to wake up.

Wasn’t around all day yesterday so I’ve woken up to 70+ notifications and who knows how many reviews. I can’t promise to be able to catch up with that, so if someone wrote something really interesting, could you link me please?

takgoti

Eep. When I wake up from a dream where I’ve been super emotional – crying, terrified, pissed off as a howler monkey – it usually throws me off for the better part of the morning if not longer. Can’t say I’ve ever gotten a headache, though…I feel for you.

Angrboda

Confession; it might also have been a got-up-too-late-headache. They feel more or less the same for me and they last for the rest of the day. Oh yes, it’s still there, but it’s much smaller now.

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drank Green Tea by Unknown
1317 tasting notes

I’ve been gathering courage for this. After dropping a certain package off at the post office I was attacked by sudden drowsiness. Initially I thought, “bad time for tasting a new tea”, but then I thought, “half unconscious is probably a pretty good time for tasting a new and intimidating tea, actually…”

For Christmas I got this great big mug with the word ‘tea’ on it (which btw isn’t very good to drink from. Too large and unwieldy), some biscuits, a tea measuring spoon and a tin with these bags in it. I can’t find anything about which brand it supposedly is or which type of green tea it supposedly is.

It looks like dust and fannings in the bag, so I’m not getting my hopes up about the quality. Also, it smells rather a lot of salt water and seaweed. Like, when I smell it, I can almost hear the seagulls. It smells like something you ought to drink on a blustery day while standing in the dunes and looking out towards the sea.

Oh look, it’s radioactive green tea again! That must mean there’s a good chance for it being a japanese green, but then it quickly turned a much less amusing sunny yellow, so now I don’t know.

It still smells pretty salt waterish, but not as blustery-day-in-the-dunes-ish. It’s more like after you’ve gone home again and you’re feeling all blown through, so you need something warm so you can feel like a person again, while waiting for dinner to be ready. The dinner bit comes from a buttery note in the aroma.

Okay, there’s no way out, so I’m taking a sip. Aaaaaaaaand we’re back on the beach. Very strong note of seaweed in the flavour here. To continue with the blustery-day-at-the-beach scenario, a fricking seagull just flew off with my dinner so now I have to make do with seaweed in a cup! And not that fancy sushi stuff either. I’m actually finding myself wondering what it would have tasted like if it had been brewed on lightly salted water instead of just tap water. (I’m not even remotely dumb enough to actually test that particular theory out, though)

All that said, I’m not actually completely disliking it, it’s just different. It’s a pleasant enough sort of taste once you’ve reconciled yourself with it. If you expected something sweet and grassy, you would be hugely unhappy with this. But if something like this was what you were expecting, it’d probably be quite nice. Having remembered to take a good sniff at the bags before steeping, I had a fairly good idea of what I was in for, so I’d probably give it around 65 or so.

This isn’t the first unknown green tea I’ve had and others might need it too, so I’ll refrain from using the rating slider.

Ricky

Sweet the mysterious package is making a journey around the world! Hopefully it doesn’t get stuck in customs when the time comes ;D

Angrboda

I crossed off ‘gift’ on the customs sticker, so I’m hoping it shouldn’t happen. :)

RubySlipperLady

I love to read your tasting notes. Such vivid writing! Thanks!

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drank Green Tea by Unknown
1317 tasting notes

Huh. I’m drinking this one now because I couldn’t figure out how to add it so I could put it in my cupboard. So I thought, HA! I’ll just drink it, I will. Only had the one bag, see! Genious, I am.

Except too late I realised that I couldn’t log it without adding it. headdesk You would think that would be logical, but nooooooo!

Anyway, this is a tea that was given to me by a friend who had been on holiday in Japan. I haven’t the slightest clue of what it says on the bag, it’s all in Japanese. It only says ‘Green Tea’ and the name of the hotel in letters that I can read. There were these teabags in the hotel rooms for the guests. (There was also a super-foul …concoction that they claimed, apparently, was plum tea. It was a powder that you stirred into hot water, it looked like washing machine soap and it tasted like sweat. It was disGUSting!)

I’m pretty sure it’s Sencha. It’s light, like Sencha, and it would seem the obvious choice to give to the guests in Japan. It’s got a sweet, mild and nutty flavour, but it’s not really particularly interesting. No clue about the quality of this stuff, obviously.

Suzi

I’m encountering a lot of little mystery bags as I clean out my cupboards. I can never decide whether it would be better to log ‘em as I drink them or just move on since I’ll never get any more of it. (They’re hand-labeled, or discontinued, or I can’t locate the tea on the Internet ANYWHERE)

teaplz

Oh my. That description of that horrific plum concoction you found in your room made me want to gag and laugh hysterically at the same time. Love your description, but I can’t imagine how awful that tasted!

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drank Earl Grey by Unknown
1317 tasting notes

Hello steepsterites!!

Honeymoon is nearly over and we are leaving Norwich after breakfast. I’ve ticked a few more of those Very English things off my list such as fish’n’chips and brown sauce with breakfast sausages. Also banoffee pie and a large number of J2O flavours.

Most importantly though, THIS was as close as I got to a real proper cream tea. I could have had it. I was supposed to have it. But I’d had a large lunch and I don’t know if you are aware of this.steepsterites but cream tea involves an awful lot of food. There are little sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and cakes, and I just couldnt eat all that without bursting, so we went for just tea and cake instead.

So clotted cream and cucumber sandwiches are still unticked but i saw someone else having it so I was definitely close.

I hope you all have been behaving yourselves in my absence. It was the plan to try and keep up womewhat with the phone but the B&B wi-fi is dreadfully slow.

Azzrian

Oh yes a proper cream tea is WONDERFUL! I had one at The English Tea Store last time we went to St. Louis. I don’t think we will have time or funds to have one this time around but I so loved it! I did a review under places here on Steepster with photos! :)
It sure IS a ton of food!
You can get clotted cream on many tea sites just FYI and it is SO SO GOOD! I got some from Harney and Sons recently.
I LOVE that stuff! :)
There is Clotted Cream and Double Devonshire Cream – similar but a little different. I think I prefer Clotted. A little sweeter I think.

ashmanra

Thanks, Azzrian! I bought Double Devon Cream in Raleigh and thought it was great, but I didn’t know if it was the same as clotted cream. Next time I go up there I will get some more. You can buy it here in town but it is $2 more. Then maybe I can put some colored cream on my next Harney order and compare.

ashmanra

Clotted cream! Stupid autocorrect.

Azzrian

LOL its okay … I pay about 6 bucks or more USD for mine in mail order. How much is it there?

Bonnie

Some Whole Foods stores carry it too. My local King Super has a large British food section with clotted cream…(they have a whole long isle of european food) . City Drugs in Old Town carries Dutch and Russian goodies (kind of odd) .

Dylan Oxford

Yeah, there’s a place not far from here that does ‘High Tea’ that Sandy is pretty fond of. I’ll make it there one of these days… :)

CHAroma

I’m surprised you’re on here at all if you’re on your honeymoon! Best wishes for a long and happy life with your new husband!!

LadyLondonderry

Yes, our Angrboda is one dedicated tea lover, posting from her honeymoon!:)

Angrboda

Thanks everybody. Unfortunately no second chance for cream tea arose, so I’m still unticked there. Will probably invest in some imported clotted cream eventually, but it’s just not the same. I’ve also seen a recipe for making it myself, but I’m not sure I can bring myself to actually boil cream. O.o

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drank Earl Grey by Unknown
1317 tasting notes

Backlogging, yesterday during work.
Or, work and work, I was at a course all day and this is what I assume they gave us. It was definitely citrus-y and when you serve a citrus-y tea to a large group of people without bothering to tell them what sort of tea it is, this is usually it.

It was watery weak and synthetically citrus-y. Drinkable, but only for the lack of better. On the next course day, if we’re not having it somewhere where I can pop into my own lab and make me a quick cup, I think maybe I’ll just drink coffee instead.

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77
drank Blueberry Rooibos by Unknown
17 tasting notes

This tea is best after it has cooled to room temperature. Drinking it cold doesn’t let all the flavors come out; same with drinking it hot. There is something about having a glass of this once it has cooled that is really refreshing.

Not complicated, but lots of fruit flavors. Definitely a must for blueberry fans. No sweetener needed – it’ll confuse all the natural flavors that are in it.

This tea was purchased from a Wegmans grocery store. At the time of this review it did not appear on Harney’s website.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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68

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70
drank Irish Breakfast by Unknown
422 tasting notes

This smells like black tea. You can see I’t when you look at I’t. This brewed up quick, I did not have to steep this long. This was really good.

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