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Recent Tasting Notes
I haven’t done any reviews in a while—not because I haven’t been enjoying tea, but mainly due to the limited amount and limited variety I have been drinking. I pretty much have only one or two cups of either Assam, English Breakfast, or a Yunnan black tea per day, all of which I have already created tasting notes on. That, and as my taste buds are rather goofy sometimes so I don’t quite trust myself to write a thorough review! So that at least partially explains my absence from Steepster of late.
After a random bout of morning sickness today, I could only really keep down (at least as far as beverages are concerned) a cup of Assam with a little milk added, and this ginger rooibos. The ginger rooibos was a great tummy-soother! Warm, rich, with a slight sweetness, it was a very good choice for me today. Thanks TeaTiff for the sample!!!
This was a typical decent Mao Feng, nothing out of the ordinary to report.
This tea became even better after the first resteep – so in future I would probably abandon western style and favor an eastern approach to wake up the leaves. A gongfu session with this would be wonderful.
Flavors: Chestnut, Mineral
My first cup of this is the quick and dirty western way, because I’m pretty tuckered today. I’ve saved enough of the sample that I will be able to do the traditional brewing method as well.
The picture of this tea is an exact representation, there’s heaps of spices. I had a taste of the full strength version before pouring milk into it, and it was amazing (too strong sans milk thought). Now that i’ve added sugar and milk, it’s lovely. Now knowing what I do, I would have extended my steeping time (which is what Zen recommends, and I always find them to be so bang on about steeping times and methods that it’s almost unsettling. Does Kenneth have a camera in my house, to see exactly how I like my tea? I wouldn’t be surprised) by a couple of minutes. I cut it off at 4:30min as there is/was a decent amount of the ctc base tea in it, and I didn’t want it getting too astringent. I needn’t have worried.
Alright, despite how tired I am, my curiositea (oh bad tea puns! how I enjoy you…) got the better of me, and I’ve prepared a cup on the stove.
It was delicious this way too, but I think I need more practise at stovetop brewing. Okay, I know I do. I scalded the milk. Twice. Lesson learned, do not prepare stovetop tea while tired and distractible.
I’m planning on continuing my search for my perfect chai (and knowing me, I’ll end up with 3 of them), but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what I settle down with.
Omg you guys, I suck! I fully intended to catch up on my logging, but I fell off the map. And now it’s almost summer here in New Zealand, and thus a lack of hot tea drinking. Our winter was milder than usual as well, so I didn’t drink even a quarter of the normal amount.
There’s a huge storm going on outside, so I’ve pulled down my samples box and picked one at random.
Plain – Yum! Base doesn’t overshadow the flavour. This is great!
With milk and sugar – pretty damn good!
With just milk – I prefer it straight, definitely still good though. Takes milk well.
Plain, with sugar – Good! The sweet and slightly sour notes are bouncing off each other, it’s interesting. I’m also picking up on something that tastes faintly like saffron?
Overall, I was impressed! I always love when there’s a tea I equally enjoy several different ways.
Flavors: Blood orange, Citrus Zest, Saffron
At three and a half minutes, it already tastes a little astringent. That said, it’s also malty and full; with milk and sugar it would probably be lovely. On its own, though, not anything too special. The instructions do suggest adding milk and sugar, though, so it it up front at least.
Not bad by any rate, rather malty and full-flavoured, but definitely needing something to balance it out.
From the SanTEA Claus TTB
I think this is the last tea I need to review from this ttb. It’s taken me a while, but hey, I got it done. :)
I’m not a huge fan of white teas, but this one was a treat. The toffee flavor was light but present throughout the sip, and the tea itself had a clean – almost sweet – flavor. It was nice and refreshing while also feeling like a dessert tea.
More pearls to go with my dinner, which is this concoction of basmati rice, spinach, parmesano, random spices, light cream, and margarine. It’s like a cross between curry and risotto haha. Then I was bad and had Ferrero Rocher for dessert. For shame!
This was a good choice because it doesn’t have any sharp or loud notes which can interfere with food. Surprise surprise, I’m detecting a faint smoky note this time around.
These pearls are a lot more subtle than I was anticipating. Bready, malty notes are what I’m picking up on the most, and there is no bitterness or astringency whatsoever. It’s a pleasant cup to sip on, however, I wouldn’t buy them again only because I prefer Teavivre’s black pearls, and I know that this would never get touched if I had both in the house. And I do! Which explains why it took me this long to try this. These have been sitting in my cupboard unopened since January.
I also just tried them mixed with cacao husks. The cacao overpowered the pearls despite intentionally adding lots of pearls. Still need to work on the ratio to accommodate the subtlety of this tea.
This is a tea I’ve had for quite awhile and haven’t been drinking it. Took some today to work.
First off – this looks more like snails than pearls. Regardless of what it looks like this is GOOD. Holy chocolate!!!! About 2 tsp in a coffee mug – water 90 ish – for about 2 minutes seemed to be the sweet spot for me. WOW – this is great.
It’s not fancy, it’s not full of interesting nuances (at least not for me Western brewed at work) but it is darn tasty. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone who likes this style of black tea. More than just pleasantly surprised – down right shocked at how good this is.
Straight mate has a lighter flavour, like green tea. (Not that the two are in any way interchangeable, they just have a similar refined lightness.) Thankfully, it doesn’t oversteep as easily, meaning it survives travel mug abuse quite well.
Usually I prefer blends with mate in them, but I was in the mood for it straight today. It’s dry, light, refined. Pairs well both with savoury and sweet foods. I’m happy with this.
I finished the last of this off tonight. I really enjoy thins sencha. It has a nice, mellow fresh cut grass aroma that reminds me of spring. The flavor is nice, too. It has a nice sweet/vegetal/grassy flavor. The color is beautiful too! It will be missed. I will have to make a note to restock when my tea stash a little less than it is now!
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Sweet, Vegetal
I was given a new travel mug, and it’s pretty much a thermos. Hours later, and my tea is still piping hot to the point that I’d actually like it marginally cooler to drink. (Mind, if I were to leave the top open, it would probably cool down more. I’m just REALLY IMPRESSED, okay?)
The tea has a nice vanilla taste to it. Adding milk added a creaminess that matched the taste well; I think having the tea with something sweet and creamy (a milk custard bun comes to mind?) might have had the same effect.
I like this better than a lot of other vanilla teas that I’ve had, but it’s still not necessarily a favourite. Still, pretty good.
I received the SSTTB from Bear With Me today. As I’m starting to feel sick…sore throat and congestion building, I opted that I would try this as my first tea from the box, not because it appealed to me the most, but more for the medicinal aspect of the ginger.
I found this tea to be ok. Just..ok. Not amazing or anything. But, I think it could be something better if cold steeped and drunk cold on a hot day. The flavour that I picked out most was the ginger, with the lemongrass not to far behind it.
I would not say that it is a bad tea, but I would say that it is not great either.
This isn’t as flavorful as I was expecting. It could be that my nose is getting a tad stuffy though. It also isn’t a bad thing, it’s not “in your face” like several of the herbals that I have (and love). The word light comes to mind while describing this taste. I am terrible at discerning separate tastes when I try a tea. All I can really tell is fruit, probably some apple. I could see keeping this one around. It is perfect for relaxing a bit and digging in for the night to read some pharmacy guidelines.
I have never really gotten into oolongs. I can appreciate some, but they aren’t something I seek out, so my opinion might be biased. This a little floral… I taste some nuttiness… a little vanilla, but I’m not getting any depth to the flavors. It feels too light and bland for me. :(
This is a nice start to my morning. This tea has quite a thick, creamy mouth feel, which is always nice in a cream tea. Very mild, pleasant astringency, and lots of creamy flavour. There’s berry sweetness that I don’t know if I would immediately identify as strawberry, but is quite nice. The black base is malty with a touch of bitterness.
Thank you TraceyC for sending me this!
Flavors: Berry, Cream, Malt, Sweet
It’s a teapot and tea cup day! I haven’t had a chance to sit down and enjoy a full teapot for awhile. I’ve mostly been mug and thermos brewing lately, or using my inguinetea.
Malty, sweet, robust. Maybe just a tad astringent, but that’s totally my fault. I’ve been avoiding black teas lately because they tend to go bitter on me because I forget to take the leaves out too often. Oolongs and greens are much more forgiving. I’m surprised that this still turned a bit bitter on me, I guess the first cup out of the pot didn’t completely clear the water level from the brewing basket.
As you would think, the dry leaf is tightly curled into little pearls, soo precious. The leaves unfurled are mostly whole, about 1.5in from tip to stem. The color is a dark chocolate brown.
If I had anymore pumpkins, this would be the tea I would make pumpkin pie for. Unfortunately for me, the market ran out of small pumpkins 3 weeks ago.
I’m certainly not the best candidate for reviewing such teas. I’ve decided now that I just don’t like the smokiness of certain teas, and lapsang souchong falls under that category. It smells like burning wood! I don’t know, it’s just not appealing to me. It just screams RUN AWAY RUN AWAY!!
Once I can get past the smokiness of this tea though, there is essentially nothing wrong with it… It’s got a nice texturity (if such a word exists). It’s kind of dry on the tongue and yet smooth on the finish. Like an old fashioned bourbon with bitters. Not that this tastes like bourbon at all. Minus the smokiness I’m reminded of when we drove through Avenue of the Giants. Smells like nature and the smallest bit of freeway.
I’ll keep it around for the ‘every once in awhile’, but it’s definitely not top of my list. but I don’t completely dislike it either. I guess it tastes like trees. lol.
On a side note, we won the World Series! Go Giants! Of course it would rain (POUR) on the day of the parade. Maybe the weather is celebrating with us and it’ll signal the end of the drought. A girl can dream?
I like this flavored rooibos, but it’s not my favorite. The raspberry and vanilla are there, but very subtle. I first taste rooibos, and then it leaves a pleasant aftertaste of berries and cream. Maybe it would be richer if I steeped it longer. Oh well, I’m still enjoying it. Thanks TeaTiff for providing me with a sample!