613 Tasting Notes
Ugh, been outta commission due to work and then the last couple days when I’ve had free time to finally backlog Steepster’s been wonky. I’ve tried a ton of good teas the past month but logging has passed me by. :/ Will try to make note here and there the ones I remember being restockable.
The pine in here is lighter than I was expecting (I’m a fiend for those evergreen and rosemary-ish notes) but gives a little mysterious oomph that makes this good as a first-thing tea on a winter morning. The tea itself is nicely morning-y TEA flavor sturdy but not bitter or drying; I found the smoothness rather remarkable given the bases. Along with Bon Bon which I got obsessed with over Christmas, this is a definite “would restock” from SST (which is nice—I’ve been underwhelmed by the more notorious Steepster faves I’ve tried like Lord Bergamot and the Assam). Alas, it’s seasonal only. But bonus, like some of my favorite low fuss (read: no finicky temps needed) Harneys it’s bag-only and good for the holiday season when I’m mostly likely to be out of town and in need of decent bagged tea.
You will be so awake! Yes.
Was a little freaked out at first—to me this is a tea that NEEDS milk, which isn’t something I say very often—but as soon as I add some it becomes scrumptious. Really good! I get hints of cocoa, and the milk smooths out some of the tannins but they’re strong enough what’s left is a nice velvety softness, with contours or bumps or something that are welcome, not uncomfortable. I also appreciate the opacity in the cup when milk’s added; like a good dutiful breakfast blend, it doesn’t fade to dishwater but turns that lovely “creamy coffee” hue, with those pearl pink undertones. I could definitely drink this first thing regularly (provided I’ve got milk!). Yum. Thanks so much Dexter3657 for giving me the chance to try it; I’ve been curious a long time about it and am pleased it lives up to my hopes! Makes me feel willing to, at some point when I can get back on the horse with tea orders (ha), give F&M’s classic blends a shot.
This is from Dexter3657’s way over the top box—a million thanks!
Finally reached where Buffy hits its stride and the evenings this week have been such a pleasure—spent last night laughing my tail off at the “Band Candy” episode (grunting aloof teenage boy Giles!!). Tonight, this accompanies me—my first S&V ever! It’s crazy smooth, like headscratchingly so, and smells rich and strong (the scent of the S&V blends Dex sent me reminds me of holiday coffee grounds like Fresh Market’s Panettone…heady, roasty, strong). I think I might’ve underleafed it slightly but it was still tasty, excellent for the drafty cold weather (it won’t make up its mind here…60F one day, 30F the next). Thank you! :D
Had for afternoon tea with the husband today. This one was actually quite good! I was a little skeptical/meh about trying it because I was so bowled over by Butiki Lychee Oolong and because these days I almost always prefer fruit flavored teas to have a green or oolong base…but this was delicious, burst-juicy lychee much like the oolong one. Huh. Wonder if lychee’s just one of those magical flavors that goes like gangbusters with tea. Threw it on the list of “if you reorder from ATR, what are some options you’d be happy about stocking up on” teas. Yum.
True to its name, this is an archetypal brisk black with that hint of tannin-y bitterness and lingering dry woody mouthfeel. Yet something about it sets it apart slightly, makes it familiar but better: the bitterness to me for some reason manifests a bit like the bitterness of the 80% cacao bars my husband likes to nibble on, that sort of brick-y, chocolate-y minerality. It may well be because I just finished prepping chicken wraps for afternoon tea and the “glue” binding everything was a lot of honey, mustard, and mascarpone, and I licked the bowl before washing up. Makes me think this would be good with sweet breakfast or dessert treats, things like honey poundcake or iced cinnamon rolls. It can definitely take the place of bold coffee any place where usually that’s what a sweet snack is screaming for. Despite the classic “some bitterness and astringency, feel those tannins” profile, there’s a smoothness, a creamy silkiness that lasts in the mouth too. Quite nice. I’m curious how this would taste mixed with something like Harney’s Rose Scented, might try that soon…
Was caught offguard at how toasty, almost smoky this tea is in the first steep. It’s not that strange every-tea-type-all-at-once-coming-out-a-wash flavor and odd darker color the Zen Tea Yellow Bud was, more like the delicate nature of a white tea but an assertive top note more akin to smoky Chinese black tea and the sweet fullness of a Chinese green. Huh! Rather nice.
Took along to do errands this morning. It’s relatively light on the bergamot; either that or the warmth of the vanilla is muting that brightness. Whatever it is, this is a nice intro to Earls if you’re afraid of that part. It’s still definitely there, with that wonderful heady Earl fragrance that gets me every time—I opened up my tumbler in the car and my husband went “Mmmm that smells good, fresh and orange-y!”—but the body and flavor are lighter than most I’ve tried. Yet it doesn’t feel wimpy or lacking. A nice “don’t think too much about it” Earl for busy days you need to be soothed, not knocked over the head with strong zesty elements.
This is surprisingly smooth and somewhat creamy, with a sweet vanilla thing going on. Has more flavor than most flavored whites I’ve tried so far, but the flavor never clashes or overwhelms the white base, a nice feat. Most (not all—Cantaloupe and Cream is a beautiful exception—but most) flavored whites I’ve tried and seen have a fruity, lemony zing to them; this has that aroma at first but it’s not in the flavor so much; it’s round and rich and decadently sweet, which I like (I’m not nuts for that lemony thing). Does evoke white chocolate and nut but thankfully without the plasticky element of actual white chocolate. Good with a cookie (who thought I’d say that about a white, even a flavored one!).