Another tea from the gracious Ashmanra
My oh my!
This is on the totally opposite side from my first taste of Puerh tea.
Obviously, this is flavored so it should be in a different category, however the Puerh is still present in this tea.
But, I just want to talk about the smell of this tea for a minute.
It is incredible.
I mean, if I could I would walk around with two mugs of this all day, one to drink and one to make any area that I am currently occupying smell utterly divine.
The strawberry in this tea literally smells like a French Strawberry Cream Tart I had one time.
So fresh, and so creamy!
I only get a little chocolate, which I am totally okay with, since I am not huge into chocolate tea.
More like a chocolate drizzle over the creamy tart.
The puerh in the background is bringing a bit of earthiness to the whole mix.
Taste is a little different.
It moves from Strawberry Tart to Strawberry Field.
Strawberries warmed from the sun with a bit of field dust on them.
Thats what this tea tastes like to me.
Which as I sit, looking out my icy window at the frozen landscape, this tea feels a little like a promise.
Thank you, Ashmanra, for giving me a bit of summer in the middle of January.
145 Tasting Notes
Another tea from the gracious Ashmanra
I like black tea.
I like oolong tea.
So, when I saw this tea, I thought I couldn’t go wrong with it.
I am so happy when I am right:)
For some reason, I was afraid that the black tea would overwhelm the oolong, but it does not.
The Oolong is very much a part of this lovely cuppa.
Malty and Nutty.
Fruity and Savory.
The tea makes me think of chocolate (dessert) yet a like it would be tasty with a Dinner.
Well Done, Brendan!
Another winner in my book.
I acquired this tea in a swap with Amy Oh
Technically, this is a sachet not a bag, but I thought it would be the perfect way to finish up my day of bagged teas.
Mmmmm…Rose and Orchid teas? I am spoiling myself today:)
This brews up to a lovely golden tea, with a creamy floral and oolong odor.
What I love is that the floral does not overpower the oolong, it is still very present and hits the tongue first before the orchid makes itself known.
A lovely tea from a lovely person, Thank you Amy Oh!
Another sample from the lovely Ashmanra
I think I was besotted from the first moment I tore open its little packet.
I realized that this is the first Rose tea I have ever tasted (I have had floral teas with rose in them but never just a Rose and Black tea)
I love the name Rose Garden, for that is exactly what it smells like, a whole garden full of those pink English Roses.
As I was sipping this, I literally caught myself with my pinky raised, HA!
But, it just feels like that kind of tea.
Taste is sweet, lightly floral and very proper.
If you don’t like roses, do not even try this tea.
But, for me, I am thinking a Rose Tea is needed for my permanent collection.
As I was sipping this tea, I was looking through Pinterest and bumped into this, which made the whole Rose experience even more British:
(beware: Only those who love the Doctor might get this;)
Continuing my bagged tea day.
This is a sample from the wonderful Ashmanra in the awesome package she sent me just before Christmas.
I hear that there might be a discussion on if Twinings in America are different than European Twinings.
Well, I do not know if I have much to say either way on that, I simply have not had enough of either to know for sure.
But, the one thing I have noticed is the difference between the leaf in the European and the US.
When I opened the samples from Twinings US, a poof of powder would always fly out of the packet.
The European samples are certainly chopped leaf but not anywhere as fine as the US ones.
The US ones were literally a powder.
Now, on to this tea.
Odor is a bright, sugary orange bergamot.
Taste. Mmmm, I like this tea.
I love the juicy sweet orange bergamot flavor!
I am a bergamot lover and I despise when its weak in the tea.
This tea does not disappoint.
This is my last sample from the great Twinings sample giveaway.
I have heard good things about this tea, so I have looked forward to giving it a try.
Odor of the tea is softly malty and a bit fruity.
Taste is not real strong and I can taste a little bit of the paper bag.
Not a terrible a cup of tea,just a little light on taste for me.
The land of the living.
Toward the middle of the night on Saturday it hit me like a Semi Truck.
This started my nearly 48 hour migraine.
I have not had one this bad in awhile.
My darling sweet husband took care of me the entire time.
I lay in the dark bedroom.
Husband quietly bringing in cups of tea, water, juice and bits of food and pills, leaving them on the bed table where they sat barely touched.
My pets never left my side.
Last night, when I finally ventured out of my cave and husband promptly asked me what I wanted.
I said “A cup of tea”
He made me a cup of this.
I have had this tea for awhile, but have not logged it, because it is the tea that I grab when we are up long before normal people should arise and are out the door into the cold.
I bought this initially because Husband said he was interested in drinking more tea, but there was no way that he could make himself a cup of loose leaf tea at the shop.
So, I got this and I have ended up drinking most of it, because it surprised me with its delightful full flavored malty-ness and bracing spirit yet convenience of a quick cuppa.
It also is one of the only teas I have tried with a bit of milk and sugar, it seems to bring the malty-ness out even more.
They come in a cellophane wrapped box of 80 bags.
Have a tin ready to place the bags into, because they are not individually
Husband has made himself a cuppa of this and also when he makes me a cup of tea he grabs this, because its right by the kettle in a large tin that reads “Tea Bags”
So, last night when he handed me a mug of this, you would have thought he gave me a million bucks, I snatched it from him and inhaled while wrapping my hands firmly around the mug.
After I had nearly finished the mug of tea and he coaxed some peanut butter toast down me, he looked at me and said “there you go, looking better babe”
Then he went on to tell me how these last couple of days I looked like something that crawled off the Walking Dead filming set.
A little later catching my image in the mirror, I saw what he meant.
But, this morning, I am among the living and having another cuppa of this tea.
I am weak today, as I usually am after one of these episodes.
I want tea, but want it easily without thinking, so I think today, I will go through some of the bagged tea samples I have.
Maybe you will see more of me on here today.
So, my first taste of Pu-erh reminded me of mucking out the stables.
This Pu-erh gives me a horse-y memory too, but thankfully a more pleasant one.
Hubby gets fish from Pu-erh, and I get horses, so odd how one tea can appear so very different to each person.
I use one of these little cups for a 2 1/2 cup pot instead of for a 8 oz serving (as suggested) I also start with very short steeps.
I am finding with Pu-erh if I can let it sneak up on my taste buds, I enjoy the whole experience a lot more.
The smell of these tea reminds me of horseback riding with my big red Tennessee Walker,named Star, up on the mountain behind the farm where I grew up.
There is a tiny stable smell, but the good kind (if any of you have been around horses you know what I mean) that good, healthy horse smell.
That smell is mixed with a few other memories, like riding over the soft damp earth under the trees, some patches of the earth covered in a thick dark green moss, the horses hooves would be so muffled on the moss that sometimes we would come upon a deer and her fawn grazing or napping in the filtered sunshine.
Then, maybe we would ride around the other side of the mountain next to the creek where there was a beaver slide and in a small hollow in the shade, there would be a patch of wild mushrooms growing.
Woody,damp earth, moss, mushrooms and horses.
With the taste I get small amount of horse, moss and a lot of mushrooms with a tinge of forest.
It’s very interesting, and although to the new comer to Pu-erh, all of this sounds completely nuts.
But, This tea has fetched a memory from back in the dusty corners of my mind.
I am grateful for that.
Another morning of -10 temps, but with wind chill it brings the temperature down to -30.
My poor hubby is already out in it, but he told me to not come out till later, and then only if he really needed my help.
He told me to stay warm and drink tea.
I grabbed this Assam because it’s a Assam kind of morning.
While it is brewing, I am inhaling it.
Yup, its Assam.
Malty and leathery.
Taste is, well, assam-y!
Ha! nicely malty and a little drying at the back of tongue.
Its not a bruiser of a Assam, but it is certainly a Assam.
Brewing up one last cup of this before shipping the rest off to Sil
Yummy and warming on this very chilly day.
See previous notes for more info.
She is here for breakfast.
I have heard good things about this tea and am delighted to finally get the chance to try it myself.
Dry leaf smells slightly smoky, and even a little floral.
I brewed this for 4 mins, instead of 5.
There was almost something about the dry leaf that hinted some astringency if brewed to long.
I am enjoying smelling this tea, this is a wrap your hands around the mug and inhale kind of tea.
I smell hints of smoke and maybe a bit of chocolate.
On first sip, I was surprised to taste fruity notes.
I don’t find this tea astringent at all, in fact next time I think I will go the full 5 minutes.
I am very glad that Queen C. is here, and I just think she might be someone I invite to stay around for a good while.
I wanted to share this with you.
I think its fair to say that this tea is quite potent.
Well, in the tea box that my friend sent me for Christmas (she just ordered from H&S and had it sent to my house) they sent me like 8 tea sachet samples, all the same flavor, and all this.
I groaned inwardly.
Where I do actually like this tea, its almost something you have to mess with.
Either mix with another tea or just be creative.
So, the day before Christmas I was pulling out the apple cider to have for a drink on Christmas day and I was thinking “I should do something with this to make it fancier”
Then total light bulb moment!
I got out my giant tea jar, dumped in all the apple cider and then put the tea sachets in and cold brewed the whole lot till the next day!
It was so good!
Everyone kept wanting to know what I seasoned it with!
It was tasty cold, it was yummy warmed up and it even tasted good with a wee snort of rum in it!
So there is just an idea on what to do with all the Hot Cinnamon Spice tea you might have around (and if you want to be slightly naughty you can tell everyone its a super secret recipe;)
See previous notes for more on this tea.
This delightful brew comes courtesy of Ashmanra
My oh my does it smell lovely.
I was trying to decide which one of her delicious teas to try first and my exact words when I saw this one was “Oh! its so pretty!”
And it is, blue and pink floral petals mixed with the black tea leaves already promise something special is in store.
Then the smell! Oh! I want a perfume to smell like this! I would wear it everyday and I would smell so yummy.
Notes of floral but also a little candy-like, not a gaggy sweet candy but some sort of foreign confection that I probably could not even say the name of.
The odor of the tea itself turns more cookie-like upon brewing.
With maybe just small hints of almond, perhaps?
All this before I have even taken a sip!
The color is a lovely dark amber.
At first sip I taste the black tea, which is good.
Then floral, with a hint of almond cookie to finish off.
None of the flavors are overpowering, though they are there.
I appreciate the I can in one sip taste all the aspects of the tea, but none pushing out the others (how very polite!)
Well, what a lovely tea!
It makes me want to have a tea party:)
Thank you for allowing me to taste this fine tea, Ashmanra!
Backlogging from yesterday.
What a way to start the new year.
We arose to temps dipping to 10 below outside and our oil heater had quit during the night.
The house was freezing.
Hubby went out to fix it (yes, the problem was outside in lines or something)
He bundled up and went to grab the door knob and it shattered and fell apart in his hand!
No, we do not use glass door knobs and no my husband is not the Hulk.
So, we both looked at each other shocked and now there was a gaping round hole in our door allowing the evil cold in.
We shoved a rag in the door and went out and I huddled around an electric heater in the house.
After a bit, I decided that I would start some laundry because the dryer would help heat up the house.
SO, tossed laundry in the washing machine and then decided to shower and get ready for the day.
THEN, while in the shower, the washing machine water backs up into the tub.
The water keeps coming, so I have to shut off the shower water and huddle on a ledge with a towel around me, shivering and of course, shampoo in my hair (nothing ever happens just after you rinsed your hair, does it?)
Finally, the water went down and I was able to shower.
SO, my whole point that this was just our first hour of New Years Day!
I needed a good tea to counteract this craziness.
I opened up my tea sample drawer and grabbed this and dumped the rest of it that was left in my tea infuser (about a teaspoon and half).
I needed its wonderful strength yet, polite gentleman like qualities to give me courage for the rest of the day.
Whew! Thank you Amy Oh and Thank you Hu Kwa.
Read previous note for on this tea.
Oh, and Happy New Year…I guess.
This is a tea that Amy Oh sent me.
This is my first butterscotch tea, and my first time trying a tea from 52 teas.
Dry leaf, I get a slight sweet odor.
As soon as you add the water over the leaves, a sweet brown sugary odor emerges.
This tea brews up to a lovely amber color.
I get more of creamy floral notes than butterscotch smell.
Hmmm, taste…well, I am again not getting much butterscotch personally.
Sort of tastes like a mild black tea that is flavored with a bit of flower petals and brown sugar.
It is good, and I enjoy it.
A lovely afternoon tea.
Not sure I would purchase, but I am certainly enjoying drinking up this sample.
Thanks again, Amy Oh!
This is a long one, folks. So grab a big cuppa:)
Okay, I got this tea from Brenden at Whispering Pines Tea clear before Christmas with the rest of my order.
I had never tried Puerh tea and decided that with my next hundred tea notes I was educated enough in tea to start on something anew.
I was still secretly quite intimated, so I waited until a day when I knew I would be around most of the day to play with it.
So one day a bit before Christmas, I decided that I wanted to try it.
Set the kettle to boil, got out my little bodum infuser cup (8 oz), got the kettle up to a boil, performed a 15 second rinse and then infused the tea for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, per instruction on little tea packet.
The smell after this infusion was so strong.
I have cleaned a lot of barns in my day and this smelled exactly like that.
A deep manure and hay smell.
I tried not to let it deter me from tasting this, I had read enough of Puerh teas to know that it is common for these to scents to emerge, I just had no idea it was going to be so strong.
Then I grew brave enough to take a sip.
GAG! Oh my land! It seriously tasted like strong bitter manure (don’t ask…but yes, I do actually know how that tastes, growing up on a farm and then being a Vet Assistant for years,sometimes your mouth is just open at the very very wrong time)
I felt tears of disappointment prick my eyes.
NO! I must like this tea. I am supposed to be improving my taste in tea!
I gagged down the rest of the cup, determined not to waste.
I felt sick to my stomach, but still plowed forward and messed with the tea the rest of the day, shorter steepings and such, but every time I tasted it from that point on it just tasted so bitter and nasty, it was like that first tasting never left my tongue.
It did not help me when I read the previous tasting note on the tea is was from Bonnie my tea and life idol, giving this tea high ratings.
That was it. It certainly was not the tea, it was me.
By the time my Hubby came home, I was so irritated and angry and I hadn’t gotten half of what I had wanted to do that day done and he kept asking me why I was so upset.
So…I told him. He listened and gave sympathetic nods, then broke in and said “You don’t have to like this type of tea just because everyone else does” to which I responded like a 13 year old girl throwing a fit “Yes! Yes I do!” but I was seeing I was starting to lose him.
He spotted his new Diesel Power magazine he got in the mail and was browsing through it.
I started to walk away mumbling to myself when I heard the words “Make me some” I turned around “what?” and he said “yeah, make me some of this Poo-poo tea that ruined your day, I wanna taste it”
Okay… I was slightly shocked.
Starting with a new piece, I took a new look on preparing the tea.
I took a deep breath.
I was going to start with tiny, tiny steepings.
So, I did. I started with just a 15 second steeping. no rinse.
The water had barely even turned color.
It was so much better.
From there I would go up to like 25 seconds, then 30 and so forth.
This was so much more delightful of a experience.
And sharing it with someone too, we both held cups and talked about what we smelled and tasted.
It still has some barnyard notes to it, also deep woody notes.
But, I find it intriguing.not bitter at all.
I am not going to rate this tea yet, because I am still so new and still experimenting.
This was just a beginner at Puerh point of view.
For a expert review please read Bonnie’s review on this tea, it does it so much more justice.
But for me…
So, begins my journey with Puerh.
Merry Christmas, Steepster Friends!
Hubby and I enjoyed this tea today.
It just tastes so Christmas-y to me and was perfect for cozying up to the tree and opening gifts.
See previous tasting note for more on this tea.
Not physical, but that heart gripping breathless kind.
I try to keep Steepster as a happy place and normally do not want bring any one down with my petty problems, but this is also a place for tea and comfort.
And sometimes we need to speak of our problems while wiping away a tear with dear ones over a tea cup.
(skip down to the bold lettering for just the tea review)
I have a little sister.
She is my little sister, no matter that she came to us through adoption.
My parents have 2 daughters, not a natural born and adopted daughter.
She came to us when she was 4 and had already been through 11 foster homes in the two years she was in the system.
She is twenty now, and a college student and very smart and doing well in school.
Just yesterday, she sent us all a letter, saying that it does not benefit her to be a part of our family anymore.
She wishes that we had never adopted her.
She wants to make lots of money and be successful and she is ashamed that she came from a farm in Idaho, thus, she wishes she could tell people she never even had a home.
My parents were not rich, but my Father always worked hard and none of us kids ever went without.
My parents are honest people that instilled morals,and taught us to be kind to all people and animals. They were never cruel or antagonizing to us girls.
I weep. for them. for me. and for her.
I do not understand.
I needed comfort.
Enter this tea
I did not sleep well last night and my stomach was upset.
This tea had just arrived yesterday from a friend for Christmas (she told me to open it when it arrived and not to wait for Christmas:) she gave me the whole Chai gift set from H&S.
I prepared it with the exact instructions that were in the gift box, water and milk and the included sugar cubes.
Its warm, its softly spicy, its soothing.
Its not the best Chai I have ever had, but its tasty and it hits the spot this morning.
In fact, I think I go make some more.
Thank you for letting me speak of my recent heart struggles, dear friends.
(any advice on how to go forward from this is also appreciated:)
A sample from Twinings.
I am enjoying this tea.
Yes, its bagged,but its actually a nice Chai.
AND the creamy cookie-like almond flavor is really enjoyable.
I think if I can find this tea in my area that I will pick up a box to have on hand for quick tea times.
Well done, Twinings.
Thank you Amy Oh for giving me the chance to try this tea.
What a elegant Lapsang Souchong!
The dry leaves smell of fine quality black tea and smoke.
Then when the water flows over the leaves, emerges this deep smoke.
If this tea were a Man, it would be a Gentleman, with some royal blood, yet totally is rocking a 5 o’clock shadow. Ahem, Anywho!
I have found since I started drinking LS’s, that each one has a bit different level of smoke, even a style of smoke.
Some LS’s are almost rough, others have a honey note, while others are not heavily smoked.
This tea is smoky, but the fine quality black tea shines through as well.
In fact, the first note I taste is the rich black tea, then the lovely smoke hits your tongue.
This tea is a delight to drink.
I also enjoyed reading about its rich history in my Mark T. Wendell catalog.
Thanks again, Amy Oh!
I wanted something warming and comforting this Monday morning.
Sleet is hitting the window hard, mainly because of the 70 mph gusts of wind.
I reached for this tea.
Because as soon as I smell it, it smells like Christmas Eve in front of the fireplace.
A little smoke alongside a orangey clove aroma.
What hits the tongue first is a little clove than orange and a nice smoky black tea base.
This is one of those teas you curl your hands tight around the mug and just inhale.
It makes me happy clear down to my toes.
I know this is not a holiday blend, but it really speaks christmas-y things to me.
I have to wrap some presents and makes some holiday treats today, so this is a prefect tea to start out my day with.
Good Morning, Steepster Friends!
(Beware…I feel a wordy tasting note coming on)
Here I sit, on the morning of my 100th tasting note.
When I first started here (about 7 months ago) 100 tasting notes seemed so far away and I just figured that by then I would like know everything about tea.
Yeah…still far from it.
But, if you would have told me about 90 tasting notes ago that by 100 I would be having a small love affair with Lapsang Souchong, I would have laughed right in your face. (truthfully…I would not have, I just would have politely disagreed. Mother taught me that its rude to laugh at someone)
You see, long, long ago (about 10 years) I was deeply betrayed by a substance that called itself Lapsang Souchong.
It tasted like burning garbage.seriously.
So, I was hesitate about trying it again.
But, I have tried about 5 and while each and everyone is slightly different, none have tasted like burning garbage. Yeah!
So, that brings us to today and this tea.
I thought that a Lapsang Souchong would be a appropriate tea to drink on my 100th tasting note.
A couple weeks ago, I was messaged by Brendan from Whispering Pines Tea and he said to me “Hey, Girl, I see you like Lapsang Souchong, You should buy some of mine” okay…so it didn’t exactly go down like that, but this is my 100th tasting review and if I want to hear it in Ryan Gosling’s voice I can (you know, like these: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/03/hey-girl/ )
So, I was just going to buy some of Whispering Pines LS, yeah right.
I ended up getting a little of this and a little of that.
I told myself its a treat for my 100th tasting note, and I also told myself that it was because I was not getting tea for Christmas from anyone, so I should buy myself some.
Anyway, upon opening the nicely sealed sachet of this tea, I said “Yup! that be some smoky tea!”
I measured out a single serving in my little bodum brewing cup, and when I poured the water over it, I took a big long whiff.
We hear a lot that LS smells like campfire and such, but I swear I could pick out a specific wood.
I was transfered to a top of a mountain in front of a campfire that had just been built.
You know, where some of the ash and still fresh pine needles fly in your face and mouth?
Then I poked about the bodum as the tea was brewing (because I am impatient and if you poke at the tea it totally brews faster, right?) I swear I spotted some pieces of pine needles…maybe!?
Taste is just lovely.
No bitterness or fake smokiness at all.
In fact the tea is quite smooth and the smoke turns more delicate upon tasting, instead of rough or burnt.
Very, very tasty. I am glad I got 4 oz of this, because I think this will be popular in this household.
Well done, Whispering Pines Tea!
This was a perfect tea to bring on the next 100 tasting notes:)
A friend of mine gave me this tea along with the Autumn Cranberry tea as a thank you for a favor I did for her.
Apparently, my Christmas gift is from H&S too.
She said I could open it as soon as it arrived, I don’t have to wait till Christmas.
Now that is a true friend.
Okay! Now the tea…
This tea smells very holiday-like.
Obviously, Cinnamon is the focus point in both taste and smell in this tea, but I love the fact that the clove and orange are present as well.
Taste is like red-hot candies.
I like this tea…but honestly its mainly for the smell.
One thing that does not thrill me about this tea is that whatever vessel you choose to drink this from will smell like cinnamon red-hots for days to come.
I thought Lapsang Souchong left a taste/smell behind in my go-mug.
But, nothing like this tea!
I have soaked and scrubbed my go mug, but when I first open the lid to add my tea, I still smell a hint of cinnamon.
The other thing about this tea is that it is black tea based, however you are not going to find the black tea anywhere in here.
I was not expecting too, but just wanted to make sure it was known how very pronounced the cinnamon is.
That being said, this tea is perfect for the holidays and to have on hand for company.
I think even a non-tea drinker would like this sweet, cinnamon-y tea.
Overall, a very nice tea to have on a blustery Monday morning.
I just have a smidgen of this tea left.
Seriously, I keep making smaller and smaller amounts of tea.
I feel like I am making tea for some elves that might drop by (if they did I don’t know if I would want to share though)
There is just something about this tea.
Its so dreamy, like something fairies would drink on a summer morning out of tiny teacups made of flower petals.
Yet, the fine quality Oolong is still present and not overpowered by the floral.
Very lovely tea and I will be so sad when its gone.
I think this tea would be lovely in the middle of winter when we are longing for a breath of spring.
See my previous notes for more info.