328 Tasting Notes

70

From the EU Travelling box. Yep, am being so slow at trying the samples I removed.

This does not remind at all of Christmas, but that might be cultural (christmas without cinnamon? noooo! And oranges, sometimes pumpkin and maybe lemon as well. Vanilla a bit. Maybe cloves). It smells of cream flavouring (artificial of course, but I do not really mind), vanilla and peppermint on the background. It is full of little silver beads which made me scratch my head and go “seriously?” (weirder than David´s tea even), but they are on the tea description here on steepster and well I will take it on faith. The sample I had might not be very typical, it is the leftover on the envelope (which was the reason I picked it, needed space in the box), and looked pretty broken down. I readied myself for some bitterness, and cut the brewing time short but the tea behaved admirably and it made a nice cup.

It is, for my taste, a sort of weird Christmas tea – peppermint and Christmas? why!?!? Mint is summer stuff, it is known…. Crazy, I say. But a nice cream-peppermint tea in all.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Dustin

Mint is often thought of as a winter flavor here in the States. I’m guessing it is all the festive candy canes that make that association, but when I think about it logically it does seem more fitting as a summer flavor since it is so cooling.

cteresa

I am sorry to be dogmatic, but your country is all WRONG about it. Very clearly ;)

I do not think it is an european thing, though have seen (and used, and think adorable) candy canes on christmas tree). Cinnamon and orange and other spices, those are the proper Christmas flavours ;)

Dammann freres has a series of Christmas teas, noel a someplace, I think not based on local traditions (which will be pretty close anyway) but in inspiration. They could do a Noel a New York or something!

Dustin

My country is a pretty awesome place to live in a lot of categories, but I can definitely admit we do get things wrong from time to time and I agree this would be one of them.

Dustin

I didn’t realize the Dammann Noel teas were based on local traditions! I got the advent calendar and wasn’t too impressed by the teas, but the idea is pretty creative.

Ysaurella

Teresa I do agree with you, Peppermint is clearly not associated with winter or Christmas for me and don’t think it can be for a European.
Dammann Frères Christmas teas are really much dedicated town evocation rather than local tradition (e.g Rose for Noël à Paris – we have nothing really special with roses for Christmas here…more poinsetias !)

ashmanra

Stash Tea makes White Christmas, which is white tea with peppermint. Bath and Body works sells a Christmas blend called Twisted Peppermint, so I think you are right, they are associating the candy canes with Christmas. But I certainly respect that it is not a Christmas association everywhere! :)

Ysaurella

in France Candy Cane are called Sucre d’Orge and the aroma the most seen everywhere is probably Cherry (of course red ones are more popular for Christmas). I may have seen some peppermint Candy Canes but probably not as popular in the south of Europe as I seems to be in North America.

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74
drank Jamaïque by Mariage Frères
328 tasting notes

I opened this package over a month ago. Had it precisely twice being underwhelmed by it, and actually Anna, to whom I sent a sample, reviewed it before me. So I feel like, yeah, I should get to it, and just say something about it.

First thing, I am screwing up brewing this. I have not nailed it it, yet, though I think this tea for some reason does not like my tap water (some teas do not mind even some very grand teas, some do mind. Unpredictable) and I had to up the dosage from my first attempts. And today got distracted while brewing it, brewed it slightly too long and it showed in a bit of bitterness towards the end of my cup.

The dry leaf smells fabulous (which was why i got it), boozy! Rhum, and good rhum, none of that Bacardi or worse stuff, a sugary sweet scent so different from the other more usual sugarcane derivatives. With vanilla and a hint of chocolate. Awesome! Beyond awesome , count me in. 100 grams please.

But I am still trying to crack how to brew this. This third time, it was better, a discernible taste closer to the scent. But I still think I can get more out of this tea, must experiment and not forget it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Anna

I think because I’m so used to Pleine Lune and Wedding Impérial, which are both SUPER rich and almost overwhelming in the cup, I was confused by both this one and Vanille des Iles – then again, I love the base teas so much, I still enjoy them terribly.

Ysaurella

oh Teresa, 5 minutes steeping is really too long…2 minutes is really better. with me 5 minutes and the cup is bitter…

cteresa

I think you are right Ysaurella, I will definitely try 2 minutes!

cteresa

(this is a cousin of wedding imperial, btw, IMO!)

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73

This was a sample from a friend, and it has languished for a while in my sample tin, inside a plain plastic bag. So maybe not ideal conditions for the tea condition. Or something.

I find myself very underwhelmed by this tea. It looks like the most beautiful tea ever, particularly when being brewed, floating on water. Many many different flower leaves (i.e. leaves, which might explain why I find the result weak), bits of citrus peel. Just amazing. Though the tea itself is rather broken and small.

The dry leaf smells amazing as well – a strong fruity-floral, like good perfume.

It brews nice, just a hint of astringency. But I do not get much taste (besides a kind of floral taste) on the tongue, and the body is quite thin. Maybe I used the wrong dose, it is so full of fillers I should have upped the dose even more than I did.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I love beautiful flowery teas, it makes me think to impressionist painters and Giverny

cteresa

This was mostly about the scent, which was really incredible. But as a drink, I think I let my cup cool down and did not finish it.

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68
drank Bali by Dammann Freres
328 tasting notes

A sample from a friend and wow this is fruity and flowery – though I admittedly used a very generous dosage.

The green tea base is innocuous, nice enough, with some bitterness which I blame on not having been careful enough with temperature and time. The leaf I used was full of jasmine blossoms including the cutest whole blossom just starting to unfurl. So for me there is definetely a strong jasmine note, just behind the lychee, and the rose coming third to the jasmine.

I do not know quite what to think of this – it´s really intense, maybe too intense for my tastes though a nice enough blend to have now and then.

Ysaurella

would you say DF uses always the same green tea base for flavoured greens as well ? I didn’t have very much DF greens to have an idea

cteresa

This is probably my second DF green and can hardly recall the first. And this is hard to tell much about the base, it is such a busy blend. I did think it was one way to make sure I was not bored by the same base!

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68

From Kitty´s european travelling tea box, this smelled just heavenly. It smelled fruity, vaguely like cola, and oh so delicious. Checking the blend, I braced myself for hibiscus, and well yes it is is hibiscus. but it did smell to heavenly that even not being an hibiscus lover, well, let´s try this and maybe expand my horizons.

In reality this is not a hibiscus fruit tea for me. It is very hibiscus (even if most of the tea in the strainer seems to be dried apple, lovely lovely dried apple which I am actually eating) and a bit too acid for my taste and there is kinda dusty flavour I can not really identify but might be associated to one of the other dried fruits.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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87
drank Winter Fire by Butiki Teas
328 tasting notes

Wow, was not expecting this. I had read it was somewhat spicy, ok fine. My second guyasa, second as well from Butiki. Not sure I noticed the energizing properties on the first one I sampled, but it´s cold and winter and this seemed like a good idea.

Sniffing the dry sample, I got overtones from a green smell which reminded me of the other guyasa I tried. I am not really a fan of that note, but I should not have worried. The brew was instead very very spicy and in a way I just found glorious. This is probably borderline to how much spicy a tea might be and me still find it enjoyable and drinkable but arguably I brew it strong. Fire, and cinnamon and some energizing tisane body underneath. Really glorious, for my own taste.

I would recommend this only very cautiously to spicy food lovers, and would not recommend it at all to people who do not love spicy foods (and I mean really love). Me, I have loved it. Though would not want to have it ALL the time, but wow what a kick.

Might be totally psychosomatic, but been having joint pains all day (due to approaching bad and cold weather probably), and they seem more tame after this tea. Chillies are supposedly good for joint pains, though I thought it was through skin application.
ox.
From kittylovestea european travelb

Ysaurella

hope you feel better now Teresa

cteresa

Thanks!

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83

From KittyLovesTea´s european travelling box, and this is a really intriguing tea. Whole, but small, copper leaves, full of unfurled tiny leaves. (you bet it will be high on polyphenol and a bunch of other goodies).

I did not make it too strong, made it european style and I am glad I didso, this was just right for my taste – I have no idea how many grams I used because the leaves are whole and large and difficult to estimate and my scales just are not precise enough for this).

It is quite a strange tea to describe, though undoubtedly a lovely one. It is quite astringent (am glad I did not make it any stronger though will resteep a few times more). It has natural fruity notes, like raisins and, like another reviewer mentioned, ripe peaches. The wet leaves smell like berries with peaches. A really interesting tea.

PS – just to add, going by my reaction to it, I think it packs quite a caffeine punch.

TastyBrew

What is European style?

cteresa

By european style, I mean not traditional asian ways, not gongfu or anything of the sort, just the old european standard of adding a tea spoon of tea leaf for a cup of water.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Makes sense! If you’re in the western area and you brew non asian, you say western style, it wouldn’t make sense to say western style if you’re European, we’re so used to it, reading european brew seems like a novelty, I understand why you asked TastyBrew :-)

TastyBrew

Ha ha. Totally.

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59

Another sample from KittyLovesTea wonderful travelling box. This seemed oh so tempting and I was just in the mood for a matcha kickk.

But this turned out to be a total dud. I am all for raspberries in tea, but this smells totally artificial to me and actually the one thing it reminds me of is medication. Underlying tea is bitter, though I admit I might have screwed it up.

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70

I really hate the new steepster look. I had not written a taste note using it yet but “unavailable”? Offputting and anyway, considering where my part of the world is, most of everything would be unavailable to me on a internet setting anyway.

Recommend this tea? WTF. I have no idea, I might recommend it to some people, depending on what they were looking for.

This is a tea from the euro box prepared by KittyLovestea, thank you so much! I am always on the look out for night tisanes with some punch and this was my first pick of that travelling box. In all a pleasant drink but got some issues with it. The most basic might be that I like, love rooibos (good rooibos. There is a difference between good rooibos base and bad rooibos, trust me), and honeybush seems kinda of wimpy next to my usual rooibos. This might make honeybush a much better choice for people who actively dislike rooibos, though.

The other problem was while this smelled intensely and tasted nicely of caramel and chocolate it was also a sort of artificial candy bar caramel and chocolate scent and taste. Just stroke me as artificial and a bit cloying. Though perhaps that sounds too harsh, a pleasant drink, not just infatuation or staple material.

Anna

Hahaha, I love a good WTF-review.

cteresa

I hate the new steepster look. And with the travelling box I got tons of things I feel obliged to make taste notes of, when I am finding the new look totally off putting. I suspect I will not hang around here for much longer.

Sil

Initially I liked it…now, after a few days? I don’t like a bunch of things and find myself ignoring most of the new stuff. I REALLY don’t like the “sell” feature.

K S

The recommend feature I am OK with. The unavailable – if that means from Steepster then say so. If it means from the vendor, it doesn’t belong here. The similar and recommended teas belongs at the very bottom of the page – it is just annoying. Move the vendor description back to the top. Lose the from the community snippits – also annoying. If I don’t give a review a score it considers it not reviewed. Most importantly give us back the avatars next to the reviewers name on our dashboard. Applause for trying to update things but listen to what we want- OK? Off my soapbox.

cteresa

I dislike the recommended, maybe because for me it´s not so clear. Or maybe I just live with finicky tea drinkers, who only like one type of drink. But recommend a type of tea for everybody, probably not, I would put caveats even to my most loved teas.

Unavailable, LOL, as if “available” would be available to me at a decent shipping costs, so for me just strike that.

And yes yes to tea description at top, it is baffling why it is down.

cteresa

Oh, and just to add, am beta testing the ios app, and did not like it. A few of the things were already, in retrospect, geared towards this change like not showing user icons but tea photos (and oh dear, since we can add any image to tea descriptions without them asking about copyright of the image, this might end biting them), so I had mostly been ignoring the app and using the web interface, though that is now gone.

Anna

I agree with everyone’s peeves about the new interface. Considering the amount of work that went into it, it would have been pretty awesome if some more of the actual user requests from the massive forum thread containing actual user requests had been addressed.

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86
drank Winchester Breakfast by Char Teas
328 tasting notes

This is a sample which a friend gave me as a souvenir, and for some reason was way at the bottom of my sample tin (yes, I got a sample tin, a LARGE one). But this morning, it seemed to be precisely what I was in the mood to try.

And it´s a winner! Assam? Really? I did not realize that until making this taste note, and did not fuss like I usually do with Assams – this time used straight boiling water and was a bit careless with time. Result is lovely nonetheless, maybe a little bit Darjeeling-y with some astringency. And then some maltyness. In all a really balanced tea and one that could find a place in my permanent collection easily!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

of course you have a sample tin ! I have too :)

cteresa

Mine is very very big, I admit!

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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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