327 Tasting Notes

90
drank Tribute by THE O DOR
327 tasting notes

This is the very last of the very generous sample Ysaurella sent me, and ah, this is one of those teas I keep loving better and better every time I had it. It´s almond, sort of pure, not truly bitter but with a hint of bitterness to warn you this is for grownups. A truly smooth base which is just not wimpy (nor too loud it is rude), and this was a major hit. A tea which normally would have been not a shopping priority and which I am definitely going to buy one day – though still unsure if I go with this proven tea or risk Je t´Aime on my next (soon, my preciouses…) Theodor order…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec
Ysaurella

I need to buy je t’aime as well, last time it was out of stock…grrrr

cteresa

I will take whichever is on stock gladly – trust them by now!

JustJames

what an excellent review! ‘warning you that this is for grownups…’ aptly put!

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58
drank Minty Mint by Haas & Haas
327 tasting notes

A cold brew infusion I believe, or at least that is what I have been using it as. A good idea for flavours, but a bit underwhelming – though that might be by anti-hibiscus bias at work!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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87
drank Mademoiselle by THE O DOR
327 tasting notes

I am saying goodbye to the sample Ysaurella gave me and well this was a lovely surprise. I would never have put it on my shopping list, me and lavender earl greys, no not for me. Except wrong, apparently this one works and very well for me, enjoyed all of the sample very much (do not brew it too cold, though!) and this is going to my shopping list for one of those days.

Hallieod

It’s so funny how a tea can surprise you, for good or bad! This doesn’t sound like a cteresa tea, at first glance. :)

Ysaurella

yes it sounds like an Ysaurella’s tea and I was surprised not being in love with this one even if very nice

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82
drank Notting Hill by Yumchaa
327 tasting notes

Just adding a new taste note, this is another leftover from the back of the closet – two years old at least. And despite Yumchaa´s paper bag packaging not being a favorite of mine (well, I think it is lovely in a spare cool look way, just not air tight enough), this black tea survived so much better than the green teas. Still as fragrant as it was when I bought it – a simple fruity black tea, one I can hardly think what to say about (good smooth black tea base with a strong natural apricot and strawberry flavour) but a really lovely one.

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90
drank Rouge Sahara by Mariage Frères
327 tasting notes

Eureka, finally found a way to prepare it – cold brew. It is absolutely lovely (to my taste buds) that way. Minty, but without bitterness and some rooibos body. With a bit of brown sugar it was even better.

Normal amount of rooibos, cold water, put it in the fridge for a couple hours, added a tiny bit of brown sugar. Might be the most stomach friendly drink ever – rooibos AND mint.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Hallieod

Yum, sounds lovely!

TheTeaFairy

Cteresa, I’m not a fan of Rooibos (red rooibos that is, I don’t mind green but there isn’t many green blends out there). I find the medecin taste in the backgroud always ends up ruining the experience for me! But rooibos and mint sound like a harmonious combination somehow :-)

cteresa

TeaFairy, I like rooibos (normally. Some bases I find horrible, some I love and would take plain), so I am coming at this tea from the other direction, so to speak.

As a hot brew tea is really not working for me because I dislike the bitterness (not quite, but can not think of the right word) gets in boiling water. So yeah, this cold brew really works!

And cold brew, you get rooibos as a base, very fresh mint and a hint of the roses…

Ysaurella

happy you finally managed to have the best of this rooibos

LaFleurBleue

I also tried it steeped directly in cold water and loved it too – but I have never been inconvenienced by steeping it in almost boiling water either.
Glad anyway that you found a way to enjoy it.

cteresa

I think it is definetely the boiling water and mint which is a big bit personal turn-off. In cold water it is not just palatable, it is the best (so-far) cold brewed rooibos I have tried! Speaking of which should go make some today!

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85

This is just exquisite – I might have to review my line “don´t like flavoured whites”, because it seems if the flavouring is right, I do!

How peculiar that the pairing of a herb with a flower produces such fruity notes – like strawberry almost. Really lovely.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

this one is really lovely, I loved it really much too.

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89

I do love chinese black teas, like no other tea can provide that chocolate-yness quality while being oh so smooth. And this sample which Hallieod so generously surprised me with is a very very good chinese tea indeed. Though, for no fault of its own, comparisons are odious, it is suffering from comparison with yesterday´s sample, another chinese black tea (and yes, this is a total embarassment of riches of teas to try), the Laoshan Black I fell totally in love with.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Oh, this is going to be a case of “it´s not you, it´s me”. This tea smells fantastic when dry, citrus with some spices underneath, a very balanced, complex blend of scents.

But these is something here which does not work for me – the wet leaves had a strong sense of something herbal (the little green leaves) which was not working for me, checking the other taste notes, I suspect it is the aniseed. It seems to bring a herby sweetness to the tea, provide some background, which would be more than fine to almost everybody but does not quite work for me. The tea itself has a decently strong base, not rough and not absent, an absolutely lovely blended tea. Thank you very much Ysaurella, for sharing this. I can appreciate how masterfully blended this is, just the aniseed is not a rational thing for me!

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

you confirm me it has aniseed …I was pretty sure it has as I mentioned in my note :)
Personally I loved this touch, but I love aniseed. This tea is really a fantastic one, as you mention, it is a very complex tea and very well blended. It’s just a pity you don’t like aniseed :)

Ysaurella

you need to try le petit prince de Kharkov now because the ingredients of this one are really for you, sure !

cteresa

It was something and I suspect the little green leaves – and knowing how I react to aniseed, it all computes!

I will try le petit prince soon! Thank you.

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90
drank Rouge Sahara by Mariage Frères
327 tasting notes

Experimenting with this – I have figured out boiling water and mint is an absolute no for me, no matter what it tastes bitter in an oily way. And this has a lot of mint. Experimenting with this, I just tried 80 degrees water and a long long steep – it is indeed better, but the end result a bit colder than I like my rooibos. And still too minty (though not boiled-mint bitter) for my own taste.

I will give it another try, just to make sure, but I think this will be up for swap – preferrably for another rooibos. I will have 35-40 grams of it left I think.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 7 min, 45 sec

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70
drank Schisandra Chinensis by Infussion
327 tasting notes

This was a sample, kindly sent by infussion, and I admit that while it was my pick, it took me a while to get the courage to try it.

I was unsure of dosage – I used maybe 20 berries for 3 dl of boiling water, and let it steep some 6 minutes maybe. It´s a very pale infusion, but I think it is just strong enough for me. Any stronger would be way too much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omija_cha

This is supposedly 5 flavour berry. Magical seeing the dark berries. Omija cha. I wanted to try this, thank you infussion!

And it is a very very strange thing to drink. So far, am unsure what I think though I can already say on its favour – it´s better than hibiscus!

I can not say I detect all 5 flavours – no salt IMO, but there is a pungency which reminds me of pepper. There is a woody quality as well, a bit like juniper or cedar. And a lot of tartness, sourness – but I don´t find it unpleasant at all, I do mean it I find it much more palatable than hibiscus.

This could be a lot of fun in blends, particularly fruit blends.

I tried eating the berries, and it is uh, interesting, but no way could I eat more than a couple. It sort of reminds me of sour plums, both the tea and steeped berries – which luckily I like.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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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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