Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

1625 Tasting Notes

Level teaspoon instead of heaping, 3 minutes instead of 4; now smooth, light and toasty.

I’m thinking perfection will be 30 seconds more + 10 extra leaves. I’ll go get my tweezers.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

After several weeks of scrimpily, scroungily sipping scraps of swaps and samples (say that five times fast!) I splurged with this sumptuous selection from Upton.

At 4 minutes, it steeps a deep burgundy-brown and tastes the same color. Rich and crusty-malty, and - just because I was very excited to open a new packet and was very generous with the leaf - almost on the edge of bitter. I think that can be fixed next time by backing off the measurements a bit.

gmathis

Second steep was much better. The edge was gone. (Usually I don’t like that in a second steep.) The residual bread-crusty taste makes me look forward to a cup done properly.

Which raises a question…once you’ve fried a tea on the first steep, are the leaves ruined from that point going forward?

Michelle Butler Hallett

I think that depends very much on the tea. I wrecked some ginseng oolong a while ago with near-boiling water and didn’t even try a re-steep. Maybe I should have.

gmathis

Guess it depends on how temperamental the oolong is. Good ol’ Assams don’t get their feelings hurt too easily.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Hahaha! They’re pretty sturdy.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Was my handy in-the-purse bag for breakfast date at Denny’s. For what it costs locally ($7.99 for 20 bags), it’s a little pricey for a fair-to-middlin’ Assam. My previous notes include “toasty” and ‘wheaty" as adjectives. I won’t adjust that, but there are so many other kick-your-eyes-open breakfast teas I like better, this isn’t on the repeat list.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Dear Gussie, what a week. I feel like something the cat dragged in. However, Lord willing, I have a lovely unscheduled weekend of “not much” ahead of me.

So in keeping with the no-thought, just-rest-and-be-comfy theme, this was perfect with my break and bake sugar cookies for dessert. The hibiscus gives it the tang of fresh blueberries without the typical nasty h-tartness.

Hubby and I were reminiscing about college days … remember when Red Zinger and Lemon Zinger were about all there was in the Celestial Seasonings lineup? (And back then, I drank them with no qualms about the hibiscus overkill.)

JacquelineM

I think it’s why I like hibiscus perfectly fine! When I was first on steepster and everyone was complaining about hating hibiscus in my mind I was saying “But it tastes like COLLEGE!” :)

gmathis

The reason I care for it much, much less these days is that it masks the other good stuff.

Michelle Butler Hallett

What a flashback. I drank SO MUCH Celestial Seasonings (and Stash) in university! Yes, hibiscus, which I no longer care for, totally tastes like libraries and quads and term papers and cement stairwells. Thanks for that.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1625 tasting notes

Ever since I read the reviews of Verdant’s Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew, I’ve been playing around with base ingredients to see if I can concoct something similar on my own.

Tonight, we did equal parts Belgian Chocolate Rooibos, cacao nibs, and chamomile. Wasn’t bad, made some sensory synapses fire (been brain-dead all week), but next time I think I’ll back off the chocolate a bit. (Back off chocolate? Am I nuts?)

K S

should we have you tested?

Bonnie

My local shop makes a health blend of cocoa nibs, ginger, spearmint and mint, chamomile (5-7 minute steep). They do a cocoa nib, puer and chocolate rooibos too. All sell well. (The rooibos puer one they take the rooibos out for me and call it Choco Pu).

gmathis

I’m not crazy. My mom had me tested :)

gmathis

…haven’t been brave enough to introduce anything minty into the mix, but ginger sounds interesting! I’ve also been eyeing the bulk bag of calendula leaves at our local health food hangout—that’s another ingredient in the Verdant version.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

The level of this one is getting distressingly low. I have whined before about being the Black Hole of Flavors. As soon as I develop an I-want-a-pound-of-this affinity with something, it disappears off the face of the planet. (Same applies to Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candle scents.)

This is a lovely little melange of green tea, lemongrass, and lemon rind. Citrusy without being painfully tart. Inexpensive, too; everything you’d want in a humble little tea … except available, to the best of my knowledge. Sigh.

yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

good thing you still have some :)

gmathis

Rationing v-e-r-y parsimoniously!

Em

Ooo parsimoniously. Good word!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

A sunny Sunday afternoon sipdown. A much needed dose of “yes, spring will come” both outside and inside.

You know how when you get to the dregs of a sample—enough for one cup, not enough for two—you just say, “aw, shucks” and dump the whole thing in. Wasn’t the wisest move in the world; turned the green tea base a little bitter on the back of the tongue. But the strawberry/vanilla was still sweet and pleasant at the front of each sip.

I fixed it, though…treat yourself to a big slab of cherry dump cake and you won’t notice the bitter at all :)

Terri HarpLady

I know exactly what you’re talking about! I tend to go for “more tea, less time”, in an effort to avoid bitterness.

gmathis

I like strawberry as a tea ingredient so much it’d have to be pretty lousy for me not to like it.

Veronica

Now I want dump cake!

Nicole

Dump cake! Aw, man. Shades of Girl Scout camp and cooking in box ovens.

gmathis

Sprinkle slivered almonds on top and it looks like you really fussed :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Hawaiian Dreams by Della Terra Teas
1625 tasting notes

I’m overdue trying this one from Nicole, and I’ve been dreaming about being anywhere warm, sunny, and away for days, so why not?

Based on reviews I’ve read, I already had the preconception that Della Terra is a whiz at flavored teas. So I was expecting nothing but excellent…and got it.

Got the pineapple, got the coconut, got enough black tea that this would pass for a morning blend. An 8 oz. mug of micro-vacation. Pass the sunscreen.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Lichee Black by Choicest Tea
1625 tasting notes

Working on a sipdown of this one … it gets props for taking abuse. Dumped some water in my trusty Hot Shot, forgot that I had done so until it cooled, and tried a three minute steep in almost tepid water. It was still fresh and a touch fruity.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Phooey. Lost a whole rambly note on this one.

In short, it’s so light in color, even after 4-5 minutes, you wonder if there’s been mal-steep-function.

Conclusion: this is just supposed to be delicate. I don’t think I have a delicate or refined bone in my body; which may be why it puzzles me. (I expect black teas to wear ten-pound Doc Martens.)

Nicole

LOL – I expect the same from my blacks. :)

Claire

I like black teas that kick me with the Doc Martens.

Michelle Butler Hallett

@ Claire: hahahaha! A good Assam, then?

Claire

A good Assam, any Irish or Scottish breakfast that deserves the name. ;)

gmathis

So far, I haven’t met a Scottish breakfast tea that was strong enough to suit me. Which is a surprise..you’d expect it to be the stoutest of the English/Irish/Scottish clan.

Claire

I’ve heard Harney’s Scottish Morn is strong enough to wake the dead…I need to try it one of these days!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Me, too.

I’ve got a packet of Unilever’s Scottish Blend (sent from a friend in Scotland), and, while I quite like it, it was milder than I was expecting. I’ve tasted some really good English Breakfast blends — my favourites seem to have Keemun in them — but the Irish blends seem to smack me the hardest. They’re often heavy on the Assam. The Unilever Scottish Blend seemed to be mostly Kenyan, to me.

Nicole

H&S Scottish was pretty strong, I thought. Though IIRC, it is rotovaned so easy so steep super strong in minimal time.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.

Location

Southwest Missouri

Following These People