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39 Tasting Notes

87
drank Irish Breakfast by Culinary Teas
39 tasting notes

Okay, I love this. It’s strong, smooth, comforting, and tastes thick which is something I’ve never experienced in a tea before. This would definitely be good for multiple steeps, but I didn’t have time to try it before I left for class. It’s great with turbinado sugar and milk, although I may have added too much milk because this brews up super dark and I didn’t want it to be bitter. Might have masked the flavor a bit. But there’s no bitterness or astringency to be found. Overall a really great morning tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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67

Super strong and super DARK when brewed. Like, stain your teapot and teeth dark. This reminds me very much of Tazo’s Chai, which I’ve only had from a teabag and found quite stale tasting. So, this is a similar flavor/aroma, except better. Stronger, more ceylon base peeking through, fresher spices, more pepper. The spice is definitely there, which I love, and is more warming and full-bodied than burn-your-mouth hot. Just a teaspoon per 8oz water is enough to unlock full flavor.

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

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61

Gorgeous to look at, with the green & purple candy sprinkles, bright yellow sunflower petals, wiry black tea, spices, and pink hibiscus pieces.

This is also a very interesting blend. The ingredients list rooibos (though I don’t see any), apple, rosehip, and almond in addition to the black tea and chai spices. I can tell there’s going to be a lot going on here. However, pumpkin is mysteriously absent from the ingredients on the bag. Perhaps it’s in the “natural flavors.”

Steeped this on the stove in three parts water to one part milk, with 1.5tsp per cup and a heaping tsp of turbinado sugar.

This has a vegetal rich pumpkiny flavor and aroma that stands out against the warm spices. I don’t detect any rooibos or hibiscus. The pumpkin isn’t as pronounced as something like DavidsTea Pumpkin Chai, but I wasn’t really a fan of that so this is perfect for me. This doesn’t quite taste like a slice of pumpkin pie or anything, but it’s warm and flavorful and stands up to milk and sugar.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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61

I’m having sneezing fits this evening, and the powdered spices in this blend are not helping! This chai is incredibly fragrant and obviously full of different spices: ginger, cardamom, cloves, definitely black pepper. I don’t detect any whole cardamom pods or cloves in the bag. It seems they’re all chopped instead of whole. It’s also quite sweet smelling. Once brewed, the spicy aroma still comes through, namely cloves.

I wasn’t impressed with the strength of the previous two teas I tried from Culinary Teas, so I brewed this double strength, upped the steep time, and used slightly cooler water to cut back on the astringency I found in their Assam base. I think that really made a difference in terms of strength, but this still leaves my mouth feeling dry. Seems I’m really sensitive to astringency lately.

Unsweetened, this tastes quite sharp with a hint of bitterness. Not something I would drink straight-up. Some added turbinado sugar (about a tsp) cuts the bitterness and really compliments the spice, but doesn’t enhance the white chocolate. There probably just aren’t enough of those mini chips to really make a difference. Milk makes this much smoother and creamier. I’ll try this next as a proper latte, simmered in milk and maybe with some honey.

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

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43

A light, delicate, hint-of-gingerbread tea. Like other reviewers have said, I would love if this had some more sharp fresh ginger taste. Perhaps brewing this double strength would help. This doesn’t have much body and brews up very light, so I think it would be fantastic blended with a spiced black tea, just to add some punch.

Dry leaf aroma has hints of dried ginger with a dominant sweet caramel-y molasses smell. The brewed tea doesn’t smell as strong, but as it’s cooling I definitely get that molasses aroma coming through. Added milk and sugar reveals vanilla notes and a gingery aftertaste, but not any creaminess. I’ll have to give this one another go. I think it has potential to be a really nice dessert tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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75

FInally, some new teas to try. I believe this is my first straight-up assam, but I’m impressed. The dry leaf aroma has slight cocoa notes in the background but smells mainly starchy, like potatoes? Along with the typical “black tea” aroma.
The brewed tea is a lighter orangey-red, fitting because it’s about medium strength. There’s a bit of astringency as it cools but no bitterness, just a smooth bright flavor. A bit of sugar really enhances the flavor but milk masks any sort of nuance, so I prefer this tea without it.
I re-steeped once and it was just about as flavorful as the first cup, but it’s now way too dry and astringent for me to enjoy, so I will have to try shorter steeps next time. Can’t wait to try the rest of my order from Culinary Teas!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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52
drank Almond Chai by Twinings
39 tasting notes

Received my Twinings samples in the mail and since I’m running fairly low on loose leaf altogether and am almost completely out of my go-to morning teas, I gave this a try. I guess that’s life as an unemployed college student who’s just finished Christmas shopping for friends & family. Ah well. This tea kind of makes up for it!

A lot better than I expected from a bagged tea, but I see that’s a trend with Twinings. I definitely taste the almond, sweet with a bit of a floral note, and extremely fragrant. I don’t really taste any spice or much of the black tea base, just the almond. It’s getting a bit astringent as I reach the bottom of my cup, but I quite like it. Not bad at all.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I need to drink this one today! My daughter ordered it as one of her samples but then decided not to drink it because she loves almond but not amaretto and she was afraid it would taste like the latter. If you think it is strongly almond and not amaretto, I might save it for her.

Lauren

Yes, very almond-y. Almost like marzipan

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59

I completely forgot about this while it was steeping and probably left it for about ten minutes. But it isn’t bitter at all! In fact, I don’t think it’s any stronger than a regular 3-4 minute steep. Interesting… But still drinkable.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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68
drank Chance Combinations by Custom
39 tasting notes

Was craving a chocolate mint black tea this morning and have none in my stash, so I improvised. I could have made a peppermint hot chocolate again, I suppose, but I needed tea.
So I took two teaspoons of Bourbon Sunday Blend (vanilla black tea) from the Tea Table, threw in a Bigelow Mint Medley teabag, and added milk, turbinado sugar, and a tsp or two of mini chocolate chips from my baking cupboard. Makes a pleasantly sweet, minty, slightly chocolatey cup. Craving indulged.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ruby Woo Scarlett

Lucky you, I never have time to think when I crave something, let alone prepare it. I just dive in :D

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67

This is super mellow. The cinnamon could definitely be stronger, in terms of both the dry leaf aroma and taste. However, it really smells of vanilla, and I’m even getting hints of cocoa. This is a rich black tea through and through, and the tea flavor is what really shines. I detect a tiiiny bit of bitterness & astringency, which becomes more apparent as I reach the bottom of my cup, but I actually find it quite pleasant.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Introverted old soul, Nerdfighter, feminist, fashion student, vegetarian, and consumer of all things pop culture. I obsess over literature, music, movies, TV series, & belong to more fandoms than I can count.

I live for spicy chais and robust black teas.

Location

Atlanta, GA, USA

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