331 Tasting Notes

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
331 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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79
drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
331 tasting notes

This is a very nice strawberry flavoured black tea. Not sure what else to say about it, the rhubarb I am not familiar with enough to be able to spot it with certainty, but any background flavour melds very well with this wild strawberry flavour.

It is a little bit thin for my taste and for some reason, despite being flavoured it could not stand up to my tap water. But in all, very nice.

From a swap with sil, thank you so much!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

welcome!

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86

This is from a swap with Sil, and I have been kinda of saving it for when I needed a new tea – and this one I thought really likely that I would love. In the shop when smelling all of MF´s breakfast mixes this and American Breakfast (and Sultane) were the clear winners. I ended up buying (and not regretting) American Breakfast, but funnily enough ended up having a swap with Sil because of these two breakfast mixes – I sent her American Breakfast and she sent me this French Breakfast.

And this indeed a lovely elegant breakfast mix, a very classy one. I keep comparing it to American Breakfast which seriously it´s its fraternal twin and they might just fit the stereotype perfectly – french breakfast has a hint of smoke; american breakfast is more exhuberant, maybe sweeter and more intense. I love both, though, despite me usually loving french flavoured teas better, I might just prefer the american breakfast mix (as done by these Frenchmen!). But a difficult choice, they are both excellent.

Preparation
Boiling
Sil

i think? i like american breakfast just a little more…

Ysaurella

I need to compare next time I’ll go to MF tea room

cteresa

Sil, I would be pretty happy with this one as well. And I think French Breakfast is easier to find, I know I have seen it for sale locally and American Breakfast I think no – so when I finish my stock, will definetely consider. They really are siblings, aren´t they?

Ysaurella, they are both very nice (and IMO both very french!) blends!

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90

Just a short note to up the rating once more. Wow, this was not love at first sip, but the cup I am drinking right now seems some kind of perfect to me. And yes hazelnuts, they were right.

But while making this tea, I keep saying to myself, this is not a black tea, not a black tea. It does even not look like one, green and silver like olive leaves, not sure why i insisted on scalding it. But water not too hot, not too long and then this is amazing.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

I should try this one

cteresa

oh, that can be arranged!

I am definitely getting more or their plain unflavored teas, though LOL they are also awesome at flavored so massive shopping wish list.

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51

One of the few teas I got at Betjman and Barton, I am always looking for more rooibos suppliers and new different blends.

But it turned out to not be my cup of tea. I was sort of dubious when I opened the package – full of little pieces of I suppose dried pineapple but the rooibos itself looked small and broken. I opened my tins of other rooibos blends and this rooibos does indeed look a bit lower grade than my favorites. But it turns out that it is not necessarily a problem, it is the flavouring itself I do not like – pineapple I can not detect on the taste, only a kinda of cream flavour with coconut which makes me think of coconut gone rancid (sorry, not meaning to imply that is happened here, just that the particularly combination is evocative of that to my nose).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Pouchkine by Betjeman and Barton
331 tasting notes

Another tea from a swap with Ysaurella which was a tea I really really wanted to try. It was on my shopping list, tried to buy it a few months ago but was out of stock. But, and not for the first time, Ysaurella came to the rescue!

This is probably the nicest (do not check numeric ratings, I am seriously considering deleting all) Betjman tea I have tried yet. It´s a “russian” french tea and very much so – some citrus, some bergamot and an elegant base. For me it works very well, I get little bergamot but more orange, some smoke and a hint of bitterness which somehow make it even more drinkable. Very nice indeed.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

that’s so funny ! I made a full pot of this one today and was wondering when you would decide to taste it ! I like the smocky taste of this Pouchkine tea and need to do a better tasting note one of these day.
I was pretty sure you would like this kind of Earl Grey’s spin of !

cteresa

I have had it before I confess! Sometimes it is such a treat to have a new tea, but I do not have the time to write a taste note immediately afterwards and I decided to delay the next taste note. But this was only the second taste, so not too bad! I must go and check if I did taste notes of a few more I have already had!

Ysaurella

yes not bad for a kind of EG especially for you who don’t like so much EG but Pouchkine is different, really

Anna

I always loved how his name is spelled in French – it sounds like a cute little monkey.

Ysaurella

a monkey,yes why not :)

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78
drank Violette by Mariage Frères
331 tasting notes

just a really short note, because I have just been remembered of this.

I love violets, in perfume and in candy and preferably in the flesh – some of the sweetest, wildest, more perfect of flowers. A perfect flower and a perfect flower scent.

Now I have been lucky enough to try a few violet teas, a strange idea which can be surprisingly good. Two of those teas came from Ysaurella, a Dammann Freres versions and the Mariage Freres version. This might just be the only tea concept ever where I think the Dammann take is better (and pricier!) than the Mariage Freres one. Very good, but somehow only the second best violet tea I ever had – try Dammann´s instead. (Though, do not extrapolate from that to other kinds of tea!)

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

Have you tried the La Palais De Thes violet tea? That is the first and only violet tea I have had so far and it was pretty good. I wonder how it compares with the DF version.

JustJames

i love the DF violette, myself.

Ysaurella

agree, DF violet tea is the best vs MF one and from far to my opinion.
I’m glad you appreciate both

cteresa

Dustin, no, never tried it – maybe one day.
James, it is so lovely, like drinking fresh flowers. This Mariage Freres version is just different, more candy like but not quite as charming.

Ysaurella, thank you very much, loved trying both of these. I completely agree the DF is superior, just captivating in a way this one was not.

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80

This is a lovely cherry tea. Kindly sent in a swap with Ysaurella, and been drinking and drinking it and just not leaving taste notes. Perhaps because I do not know what to say about it, it´s a totally correct take on what it is supposed to be.

It´s cherry, and a nice kirsch-like cherry flavour, not like cherry flavoured lip balm or medicine. I mean it tastes natural and that is a total wonder in cherry flavoured anything. The base is absolutely adequate. Liked it very much.

Lovely tea, does what it says on the label, so to speak.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

I am very picky for cherry teas and I think this is probably the only one I would keep in cupboard. I am happy you liked it

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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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