333 Tasting Notes

drank Coconut Cream Pie by Butiki Teas
333 tasting notes

A sample from Ysaurella, and a great idea for a rooibos team.

The dry tea smells just heavenly, like coconut yes and cookies and maybe a bit of vanilla. The rooibos itself was a bit smaller than I expected, but it turned out to be a very smooth rooibos base. Good for those who do not love plain rooibos. And full of beautiful whole coconut shavings.

The brewed tea, makes for a very pleasant cup. I don´t know how long ago the tea was blended is, but coconut oxidizes and I think I got a hint of that in the background here – not going to rate this because of it. In all a very good idea for a blended tea, a beautiful balance of flavours.

Ysaurella

one rooibos I’ve been able to like …a little :)

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90
drank Lapsang Souchong by THE O DOR
333 tasting notes

I love Lapsang Souchong teas. Theodor is probably the tea company I find more interesting currently. When Ysaurella offered to share her Theodor Lapsang Souchong with me, I jumped at it, and was the very first tea of the very tempting package I tried.

Much as I love LS, I wish I was more educated about the differences regarding those, to understand better the (very obvious) difference s. My inevitable comparison of this Lapsang Souchong was with my current favorite, Mariage Freres´s Lapsang Souchong Imperial and the dry leaf of both smells unmistakably different. Like totally different tree smokes – the MF is sharper, maybe more piney. This reminds me of something else, something almost eucalyptus like or oak (not the same at all, but I truly can not describe better), a smell almost umami-rich. It was so different from what I expected I was sure at first sniff I was not going to like it! But no fear, that old magic of lapsang souchong tea, the ability to taste so very different was at work – this is just wonderful, extremely smooth. And now the first shock of not recognizing the smoke smell, I love the smell at least as much as the other Lapsangs in my collection.

A very lovely tea and perfect for a rainy afternoon…

Sil

yum!

Tabby

Today is a good day for lapsang souchong. I thought so, too. :)

Ysaurella

Glad you loved it ! I did too. yay for The O dor

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79

I was interested in rooibos earl grey last year, at the Thé-o-dor shop, while smelling all of their sublime rooibos blends. With limited luggage space, I ended up restocking a few other favorite blends, thinking this simpler idea might be easier to find, and test, from other blenders. And did find this one. It was a bit cheaper, a reasonable around 5 euros per 100 grams. And that kind of shows – the rooibos is not as smooth as from some other brands, the bergamot is a bit too-much. It still makes for a very nice cup of tea, if I am careful to not brew it too hot (bergamot goes bitter) nor too weak. It´s just perfect for a late afternoon cup of tea, when I am already weary of too much caffeine but want something more tea-like than a mere tisane.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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85
drank Tzar Alexandre by Mariage Frères
333 tasting notes

This is the last, the little bits at the bottom of the tin – am clearing a lot of teas, I have a totally unprecedented number of available tins. Weirdly with no compunction to have a large mega order yet, almost as if I am not really sure what teas I would really love to have. I have been trying so many flavoured things, I might have tired from the concept a bit, at least in general. So for now, am just happy to be drinking what i got at home.

This is one which is no chore to finish and might be a rebuy though I need to see how much I will miss it now I have finished it . There is something so perfectly civilized, so elegant and smooth about it, the smoke I love so much, the bergamot just a hint.

Terri HarpLady

I also have a bunch of used tins, which have been languishing in boxes/bags for quite some time. A few weeks ago I washed all of them in soapy water, then rinsed them repeatedly, then soaked them in vinegar water, then rinsed repeatedly, then soaked them in Baking Soda water, then rinsed, then left them to dry. They are still empty, although I’m pretty sure they are completely dry by now :)
One of these days I’ll make cute labels for them & refill them with teas that I love…

cteresa

Terri, I do that, any tin, I wrap in italian paper for reuse. I don´t wash the tins though, because of rust, but I steam them, put them upside down for an hour or so over a vessel of boiling (cooling) water and wipe it down and then store them open for a while – all smells really disappear, though I am kind of wary of smoked teas

Ysaurella

thanks to you and the sample you sent me I have now bought a 100g of Tzar Alexandre- this is a very lovely and smart tea.

cteresa

Thanks for letting me know, this is one which I will rebuy as well!

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81
drank Acte II by THE O DOR
333 tasting notes

Winter is coming! Or at least autumn is, you should have seen what it rained this morning. Summer is on the way out and I was finally in the mood to make some tea. This is a new purchase, from this very summer, and my first, fast tasting of it

First, this smells like the french-est tea ever blended. French teas, do you have a mental idea of what that style is? This is precisely it, like the most paradigmatic french tea ever. (well, and there is Vert de Provence as well. Maybe a few others, Thé au Tibet also comes to mind as the most french imaginable Earl Grey tea, but no other tea I ever had, and I have been having a lot of french teas, is more French tea than this). Really sublime perfume, far too complicated to categorize – fruity, flowery, with tea underneath. And it was one of the few The-o-dor teas I could buy locally and hello, welcome Acte II.

But at my first try I suspect lotus is an ingredient even if they do not explicitly mention it. And lotus in tea is for me like tuberose in perfumes – it ruins things. I did not quite love it as much as I loved the smell, but I must experiment some more.

It is still a wonderful, balanced, quality tea by the way.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Pecadito by THE O DOR
333 tasting notes

I have been desperately craving another Theodor the, their Peché Mignon, their melon and peach green tea. This is their green mate with melon and peach and well it was on stock – and it´s just as amazing!

I made it iced, cold brewed and then strained for maybe half a hour (with mate and tea, I find it gets bitter if I leave it much longer than say one hour even when cold brewed. Even hibiscus I do not like to leave overlong. Only rooibos I leave overnight). It really tastes a lot like Peché Mignon, even their own page makes a reference to it, but with a mate base. I suppose this description won´t be much help to anybody who never had the fortune to try Peché Mignon but it means it tastes naturally and strongly like melon and peach, in balance somehow. Pecadito reportedly has some passion fruit as well, which I think i detect on the aftertaste and makes it non-cloying somehow.

Love it, this package will probably not survive the summer here.

Flavors: Melon, Peach

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Ysaurella

green maté…I have no idea why I am so suspicious about matés…without having any !

OMGsrsly

That’s a good tip, steeping it for only 30 minutes. I’ve tried leaving a mate overnight before and it was very bitter.

cteresa

Ysaurella, the green mates are smoother than the red – the real sold in 1 kg packages of southern brazillian/argentinian mates are a bit scary, but these flavoured Theodor ones are so much smoother and softer. i think you might like them – I got to send you some of this one! They do give an energy kick which is difficult to explain, smoother than coffee, less jittery.

OMGsrsly, I have tried cold brewing mate and had to throw it away, which was a waste. really really bitter.

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75
drank Rooibos Peach by Demmers Teehaus
333 tasting notes

A little while ago Anna sent me a sample of Lupicia´s Jardin Sauvage – a Jekyll and Hyde tea for me. I loathed it when brewed hot and absolutely loved it when I cold steeped it overnight. It did wake me to the possibilities of cold brewed flavoured green rooibos, which is such an awesome concept for me in the summertime.

I was reminded of that Lupicia tea when I chanced upon this green rooibos with peach. Blender is another of those kind of generic german (austrian in this case, i believe) blenders – you know, not expensive teas, lots of flavoured teas, a certain propensity for adding sunflower petals, dried carrot or pineapple or grapefruit rind to unlikely teas. This one just has the sunflower petals and it´s pretty much what you would expect – not as awesome, or subtle or full ot interesting secondary flavours as the Lupicia. But it is nice, and it is much much cheaper than the Lupicia, a definite plus particularly for a iced tea. Flavour is mostly artificial, but not too cloying and it´s kind of one of those correct does-what-it-says-on-the-label teas. No surprises or hidden depths, but it does make very nice, and very lazy, iced tea – put some tea in a bottle, pour water and put in dridge, strain whenever you want it, sweeten if you want. I suspect the 100 grams I got will not make it to autumn.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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90
drank Rouge Sahara by Mariage Frères
333 tasting notes

How I misjudged this… I got it on the recommendation of the saleslady, and it was not the rooibos i was looking for. First couple times I tried it hot, I disliked it – I am coming to realize I dislike the flavour of mint brewed in boiling water. But after i discovered the cold brewing process, oh it was love. This just might be of my favorite iced teas ever – the rooibos, the mint, the rose.

Finished but a rebuy for sure.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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66
drank Jewelled Apple by Tea Palace
333 tasting notes

I had a surprise swap with Scheherazade and this was one of the teas she selected for me, and the one I picked first to try (i want to try Om very much but kind of not in the mood for something I know will be strange and different right now). This smelled heavenly, and it´s a blender I do not know.

The tea itself, is a bit baffling – smells like caramelley apple which is a win indeed. The tea base reminds of Dammann´s and specifically their Pomme d Amour tea. But while I am not crazily in love with Dammann teas in general or that one specifically this one cames out worse out of that comparison – the tea base is (even) weaker and there is a kind of tannin like acridity which I can not quite name but which is not working for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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73
drank Orange Pekoe by Ronnefeldt Tea
333 tasting notes

This is from another sample Courtney sent me, thank you!

Weather is dreadful, dreadful, seems to have turned to the worst ever since the equinox and it being officially spring. I wanted a tea-ey tea. Something with presence. Body. No elusive, light, stuff. And this was an excellent selection for that mood.

It´s unmistakably a Ceylon tea, it has what I call the copper-y-ness of it. It´s slightly more astringent than I expected, though this seems to be an altitude grown tea, which might explain it. It´s not going to be a favorite orange pekoe ( the azores one is to me, just superior in everything) but it makes a nice cup of tea and is a good example of why this type of tea was so popular for so long.

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Profile

Bio

Inconstant tea drinker – I mostly drink tea when not too hot. I hang around steepster much more frequently in (northern hemisphere) cold season.

- Teas -

I like all sorts of tea, flavoured and unflavoured, though I am picky. I am always willing to try anything new. I am now particularly interested in single origins.

I am one of those people who actually loves Lapsang Souchong. I am not crazy about Earl Grey, in general. I don´t quite get Darjeeling teas, but I am trying to make sure …

I like rooibos, though not all bases. I loathe hibiscus. I do not like fennel/liquorice/anise in blends or teas with chicory. I am picky about what I consider true cinnamon.

As you can probably tell from my cupboard, the brands I find more interesting right now are Mariage Fréres,Thé-o-Dor and Yumchaa.

Location

Portugal

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