65 Tasting Notes

82
drank SBT: Maple Marshmallow by 52teas
65 tasting notes

I bought this to try as a hot tea, so I must confess I just cut the bag open and have been brewing it by the teaspoon. The dry leaf is cut very fine and dusty! I don’t know if that’s the usual thing with SBTs. It smells great through, the marshmallow is heavier than the maple.

I wasn’t super wild about the first steep of this. I did it for three minutes and I think this one might fare better with two or two and a half as the tea got more astringent than I’d like. The flavors were present but dominated by the taste of the black tea. It was drinkable but not wonderful.

I resteeped it for three minutes though and I must say I love this second cup! The flavors really shine through on the second steep, both the maple and marshmallow elements are clear and the maple in particular is a very good quality flavoring.

I think next time I’ll try a shorter steep the first go and definitely remember to resteep this one! Yummy.

Flavors: Maple, Marshmallow

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90

I’m on my last cup of this and I wish I’d ordered more than an ounce! It’s such a beautifully smooth, sweet cup, and I’ve finally figured out what the taste reminds me of: coconut milk caramels. I’m always on the hunt for a good vegan caramel and the ones made from coconut milk have so far been the best I’ve found. This tea really captures the essence of that flavor for me, and the creamy mouthfeel of a coconut milk caramel.

I found this company through a sale they were having linked on the miscellaneous sales thread, and I’m so glad I ended up giving them a shot! They have a really unique approach in how they flavor their teas and create blends, I’ll definitely be ordering from them again.

Flavors: Caramel, Coconut

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Cantaloupe Pleasure by Tealux
65 tasting notes

Well!

Hmm. So I just received this, and added it to Steepster since it’s so new it didn’t have an entry. At the Tealux website the ingredient list is as follows: apple pieces, date pieces (dates, rice flour), cranberry slices (cranberries, sugar), melon pieces, almond pieces, apple cubes, flavoring, cinnamon rods, pistachios, freeze-dried pumpkin pieces, fig pieces and cranberry slices, beetroot.

But I’ve just opened up my 25 gram pouch, and it has white tea in it. I mean not JUST white tea, it also had some of the other ingredients listed (definitely apple, date, melon, almond, lots of fruity bits, and chamomile buds, which weren’t on the list either). But the white tea base was a surprise since it wasn’t in there! And the tea itself isn’t in the white tea section on the Tealux site, it’s filed under fruity tea. And as you can see in the picture that went with the listing, white tea isn’t visible.

This is a puzzler. Did they send me the wrong tea in the correctly labeled bag? It does resemble what’s pictured here, only with the addition of white tea leaves, possibly a bai mu dan.

On to the tasting! Dry the leaf had a vaguely fruity scent, a muted melon that was more watermelon than cantaloupe. Steeped the scent is all chamomile! I’m afraid to take a sip, but in the interests of science…well, it’s alright. Flavor-wise I’m getting very mellow fruit, but it’s a whisper under the warring tastes of white tea and chamomile. More of the fruitiness peeks out as it cools. I had dazzling visions of this being a bright sparkling fruity marvel of an iced tea, but I don’t think reality will see that through.

Let this cool to barely lukewarm and it just tastes like chamomile now. :(

Going to contact Tealux about this tomorrow and see what they say!

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78
drank Smokejumper Ginger by Tealux
65 tasting notes

Got my Tealux order in today from their recent sale! Trying a bunch of new things from them as usual, I’m so weak for companies that sell 25g or 1oz at a time. I’d just almost always rather a new bunch of many things rather than larger quantities of fewer things. STUFF! THINGS! TEA!

I don’t know why I hadn’t tried this one before as it’s right up my street! Nice smoky lapsang and my beloved ginger. It’s a nice bacon-y lapsang souchong they’ve used here, good flavor. The ginger doesn’t come through very strongly in terms of taste, but I can definitely feel that it’s there as a mild gingery tingle follows each sip and lingers for a moment.

I’ll probably do a longer steep next time, as I let this go for only about three and a half. I think next go round we’ll try five minutes and see what that does for it. As it is I’m still enjoying the cup though!

I’m in a sales-y spirit so I’m doing a sale for my Etsy vintage shop today until midnight…10% off everything with the code 10PERCENT. Check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SaraLouiseVintage :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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86
drank Florence by Spice Merchants
65 tasting notes

Pretty bold to take the name from Harney & Sons and use it to make the same type of tea! Like a designer imposters fragrance (anyone else remember those from the 90s?).

And yet, having tried both…I like this one much better. Sorry, H&S. I feel like hazelnuts are tricky to get right in a flavoring unless you’re working with a creamier beverage. Harney’s Florence didn’t quite nail the hazelnut flavor for me, and I recall it being more pushed to the front than in this blend. It was one of the few teas of theirs that I struggled to finish when I went on a buying spree a few years ago at the Soho store.

This is quite lovely though. The dry leaf is very strongly scented, rich chocolate layered over hazelnut, and the scent practically fills the house once it’s brewed! Powerful stuff. The taste is similar – the rich milk chocolate leads, then the hazelnut comes right in. It’s very much like the sensation of biting into a chocolate-covered hazelnut, which I’m sure I’ve done having spent a great deal of time in Oregon hazelnut country!

This tea was a gift from a visiting friend, and I’m definitely going to look into purchasing from this company.

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Green Tea by M.I.M.T.
65 tasting notes

I must confess…this tea is merely a vehicle. I’ve started making my turmeric ginger honey for tea again and while I usually use it to flavor up second steeps of other teas, I saw this at a local Armenian market and figured it would go well as a more neutral base tea to add my honey to. And I mean, it was nice-looking loose gunpowder green for $6 a pound. Not an enormous investment for a tea I can play around with.

I have to say it was a good purchase! On its own this tea is a perfectly pleasant cup. There isn’t a great deal of nuance to it – just a simple gunpowder with an edge of smoke, a tea you don’t really have to think about drinking. I think it would be very nice iced as well. And as I suspected it takes my turmeric ginger honey very well. I think I’m also going to use it to experiment with adding other herbs to make more savory teas.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Green Tea by M.I.M.T.
65 tasting notes

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84
drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
65 tasting notes

Finishing up the last of this one! It’s definitely a favorite, the dry leaf smells just like a Creamsicle. Of course they describe it with rather more sophistication – but yes, the tangerine and vanilla come through quite clearly, and the green tea takes the edge off the black a bit.

I like to steep this for 3 minutes at 180 degrees; anything more than that and the green starts to sharpen up too much for my liking. This does rather mellow the flavor, but makes for an overall pleasant cup. Brewed up the scent is lovely, with the black tea itself meeting the flavored elements for a more muted Creamsicle, as it were. The taste matches the scent, with the black base leading and flavors layered over like a thin frosting. The tangerine is usually much brighter, but I think that’s just the consequence of the tin’s end.

This was the last three teaspoons from the tin, so she’s not giving her best performance today, but I’ll wave goodbye fondly and hope to see Paris Breakfast back in my cupboard again soon!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Paris London by Mariage Frères
65 tasting notes

Another from my swap with Cameron B! I’m always so excited to try Mariages Freres teas, they’re probably my favorite tea blender. I have plans to visit Paris next year and am excited to bring a basically empty suitcase and come back with it FULL OF TEA.

The dry leaf is lovely – twisty blacks and curled whites, lavender and rose petals. It smells strongly of lavender, which I’m beginning to embrace right now. Brewed up the liquor is paler than I expected, more like a well-steeped green than a black tea. This may be a function of how long I let it steep, as I don’t generally pass the three minute mark on black teas unless it’s a chai.

I’m drinking this on and off and liking it more as it cools. One of my favorite MF teas is their The des Impressionistes, which is a lavender cream green tea, so I can’t help but compare it to that one. Impressionistes definitely wins because the vanilla element gives the lavender a depth which I feel is lacking here. Still, this is tasty! Smooth and faintly floral. The rose doesn’t stand out, which I appreciate because a Fauchon experience made me leery of intense rose flavors.

The white really mellows the black base, so I didn’t get any astringency or anything. I’d be interested to try this heavily leafed and iced. Not one I’d buy probably, but I’m very happy to drink it and to have a little bit left for a few more cups!

Flavors: Lavender

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Sweet Apple Cider by DAVIDsTEA
65 tasting notes

Got this one in the mail today from Cameron B, my first ever Steepster swap! Huzzah!

The dry leaf has a lot of apple pieces, and leaves small enough that I went for a tea sac instead of a regular steeping basket. Smells like apple and vanilla, definitely more of an emphasis on the sweet than the cider.

Brewed up the taste is similar to the scent, and it’s nice and strongly flavored. Not quite the tartness of a green apple, but there’s an element of Golden Delicious which I really like, overlaid with a caramelly vanilla. The sweetness tames the apple sharpness very nicely.

I do miss the spicier elements of apple cider, there’s a hint of cinnamon here but it could be drummed up to really capture that autumn feeling. Still, I’m enjoying this cup pretty well. Sweet and tasty!

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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I like ‘em sweet, spicy, fancy, and sometimes French. I’ll choose intriguingly flavored over single estate every time.

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