1545 Tasting Notes

94
drank Almond Rooibos by The Tea Haus
1545 tasting notes

Mmmmmmmmm heaven. Rooibos almond heaven!!! thanks Tina S for sourcing it!!
The rooibos comes out pretty strong here but then the almond has some serious voice, so I guess it balances out. I just wish it was a tad deeper- then I’d be obliged to give it a full 100!
As it stands, I added less than a teaspoon of light agave and it’s just perfect, if not a little light on intensity. (the rooibos is starting to get heavy so I couldn’t risk steeping longer)
Ovderall, I’m not sure which one I like more… the almond, or the mango I tried last night. Pfffffft. okay, def the almond. hands down!! who was I kidding…

Tina S.

grin Yay liking another one of your teas! dances

Indigobloom

does the Elaine
Hey I can dance like this after having great tea!! look away look away! :P

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83
drank Mango Mango Rooibos by Tea Haus
1545 tasting notes

This smells SO GOOOOOOD!!!
but sadly, as most teas do… it falls a bit short on flavour. This was expected of course! and with some extra agave will probably be solved- I added only a dash after all.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely taste the mango. I’m just not sure this would make it to my “go to” pile once pouch is finished. It might grow on me yet. I haven’t ruled it out!
But the pretty yellow sunflower leaves are so nice to look at… Maybe I should just use this one as potpourri :P

Indigobloom

Thanks Tina for being my tea dealer!! ;P

Tina S.

grin Who me? I’m innocent . . . whistles

Indigobloom

that’s a guilty whistle if I ever heard one ;)

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Erm. Okay so if I had a good tea tasting weekend, today must have been miserable. So don’t stay away from this one cuz of my review, k folks???
Anyhow, I made it through four steeps. The first was incredible.
Flowers drizzled in honey having a party on my tongue. Oh yes, I was mightily impressed!
but then the second steep had a distinct and sharp bitterness about it that took me very much by surprise. The orchid honey note was still present, but hugged on both ends by a sharp vegetal bite. (I don’t think I burnt it, but I suppose it’s possible. I remember waiting atleast one minute, more likely three, before dunking my ceramic tea filter with the leaves in it)
Oh maybe I used too much leaf? I used my perfect tea spoon, and it was just slightly below the full mark. Except even after my last infusion, the leaves didn’t fully expand. Almost as if they didn’t have enough room?
Bah.
The third and fourth steeps were unremarkable, pretty standard for a greenish oolong… and touched by that sweet round aftertaste I find in later infusions of tea. I used to get it on the fifth or sixth steep, but now with my issues it seems to creep up earlier. I can’t say I like it, in fact I really can’t stand it. but then I can’t mention it either in a review because I doubt that it’s a true feature of the tea…
Anyone have any similar experiences? or not? I know it’s likely just me but I though I’d check!

Daniel Scott

I’m sorry, this is unrelated to the tea…but you have a spoon with measurements inside of it?

Indigobloom

no measurements, it’s just a sturdy spoon meant to help measure tea. It’s deep so shaky hands wont spill any! (like mine!!)

TeaBrat

If the water was too hot that could lead to some unwanted bitterness. I think oolongs are best at 180 F (you can translate that to C for me. ;-)

Daniel Scott

Butting in here, but it’s 82 degrees, Amy. :) And if you’re ever not sure about the temperature conversion, Google has this nifty feature in that the Google search bar will actually do a LOT of conversions for you! Go to Google and type in “180 degrees F” and see what comes up at the top of the page.

…It’s pretty slick. :)

Indigobloom

Amy: I agree!! but why would it show up on the second steep and not the first? also my thermometer doesn’t reach all the way into the mug so I have no way of determining the true temp. I usually end up just guessing…

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91

Wow!! thank you so much for the sample Tina! this is deeeeelish!!!
It’s just like my Kalahari from Teaopia, only creamy. and sweeter, with less agave!
It truly has the flavour of creamsicle/tangerines. The Honeybush is there to but it all blends so nicely together. Maybe because I steeped for only three minutes. I usually let rooibos go for longer except I was in a rush!
It makes me think of popsicles!

Tina S.

OMG I JUST SQUEED! I am sooooo happy you loved this. It really is a tea that I can’t live without in my cupboard for long.

Indigobloom

hehe it’s awesome, it really is!!

ChibiiCherry

Another one I’m going to have to try! I love creamsicles and I’ve become pretty won over by citrusy-type teas but I do like ones that are sweet! It being a rooibos is a plus =)

Indigobloom

Yes, I agree. Rooibos rocks :P
Creamsicles were never my fave but I would never turn one away. I prefer the more tart popsicles myself!

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drank Organic Ponmudi by The Tea Haus
1545 tasting notes

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!!
I GOT MY MALTY BACK!!!!!!!!!! This is SO big for me. I’ve missed it so soooooo very much. Oh maltiness, I could kiss you! a thousand muahs!!!!
I don’t know if this is permanent. and I am back to needing it with a dash of agave.
Nevermind that. Today is a gift from the tasting gods. sighs
This reminds me of an Assam, only a little milder and less naturally sweet. I’m not at the top of the game here, obviously… since Assam is on the farthest North Eastern corner of India, and Ponmudi is on the opposite, South West coast! Uhhh yah. There was a time when I could recognize the difference…
Bah! I’ll get there. If this is any indication that is :P
Thank you so much to the lovely Tina for hooking me up with this blend!!! tea love!!

Tina S.

Hurray!! I can’t wait to try my own bag! And double hurray that you can enjoy it! :D

Indigobloom

Hehe thanks Tina!! :P

Indigobloom

It won’t let me edit for some reason so I’ll post this as a comment…
I’m on my second steep now, and it’s quite different. I’m getting alot more astringency, a little bit of malty, and a sort of clay-like drying sensation and taste. This is all overshadowed and strong in the finish with a fresh sort of taste, kindof balancing out the astringency. Maybe that’s because black’s aren’t meant for multiple steeps? Hmmm. Perhaps I should have let it sit in the pot an extra minute.

Kashyap

I’ve been talking to a lot of tea specialists/importers/farmers and they are all rather mystified at the diminishing ‘malt’ that is normally so common in Assamic teas, most have suggested a weather factor, but it would make sense that the Himilayas could be bending the conditions a bit and that the east would draw the normal breath from the west…I’m glad your able to enjoy it as it is sorely missed

ScottTeaMan

Could be the weather, or that maybe some of the maltier higher end teas are purchased in other countries, making them less available here. Higher end Assam teas are also getting harder to come by…ie limited production=less availability & higher prices.

Kashyap

Scott – I also would agree that higher ‘end’ Assam teas are becoming harder to come by, but I’m also dealing with direct farmers and Assam importers who have a broad range of teas/prices and even cupping them across the board, with craft and grade, the ‘malt’ notes are sadly absent. Prices are going up as more and more regions are demanding better wages and living conditions and while I know this might seem a lot to people who are not used to paying much for tea from certain regions, I’d say its about time that people are paid for what they are worth…so if tea prices rise, hopefully so will an appreciation and an awareness of how much work goes into the process…

Indigobloom

I agree, if paying a little more for my cuppas brings up the quality of life in foreign countries, it’s very worth it!!
though it is a shame that malty teas are harder to find now :(

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89

Mmmmmm. If I’m ever craving a chocolate fix, this is the place to go!!
It’s like drinking cocoa tea! So yummy. Trouble is, I so badly wanted to try this with a spot o’ milk… except when I opened the fridge, someone drank the last of it this morning! oh well, something to look forward to next time. I’m sure it will be worth the wait :)
I’m surprised that with this being a black and all, I am really enjoying my cup. When I had intended to sample this with milk, I had divided it into two cups… one of them with some agave in it just to see if it made any difference. I think it did, but not in a good way. In fact, I prefer it without. Nonetheless, when the missing dairy incident occurred, I combined the two samples and so now I have agave in it. Maybe the trick is to just use less.
Somehow, I can actually taste the maltiness and the astringency!! Once in awhile I get blessed with a “good” tea day and well it seems this is one of ‘em! hallelujah!!!!!
Only my friends here on Steepster will understand how happy this makes me :):):)
Maybe it’s the cocoa? or the fact that I had a cat-scan yesterday (I dunno ‘bout anyone else but whenever I go get tested/to the doc for some medical issue or other, the problem seems to miraculously clear up on it’s own! ha. Am I a hypochondriac? it’s possible!!)
In any case, the chocolate is nice and deep. Rich, like I’m eating cake. It’s better when piping hot, but then I find most teas like that. The astringency comes out more as it cools. Heck, I don’t mind. I can taste the astringency!! :P

SimpliciTEA

Yes, I am glad you can taste all of those things in the tea! Woo, hoo!!

Indigobloom

Thanks SimpliciTea!! it’s days like today that give me hope it will return for good one day *sighs

Tina S.

Yay for awesome tea days on amazingly tea-ful days! :D

Ninavampi

Yay for tasting! And yes… Sometimes my problems disappear in the docs waiting room… Odd…

Indigobloom

Tina: YAY indeed! :P I’m so grateful for amazing tea days…

Ninavampi: It really is strange isn’t it?! So many yays for tasting! :P

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87

Hmmm. I’m not sure about this one!
Hot, it’s quite tasty. It reminds me very much of Tea Emporium’s Sunshine Mate. In fact, I’m almost positive it’s the same blend of lemon additions.
Maybe a little more sour because of the green tea astringency. More sour lemony than candy lemony. I’ll rate it next time when I have a better idea of it’s potential.
I think I may have slightly burned the leaves to. I was in a rush!! and I had forgotten to time when I poured the water… in retrospect, probably two min prior. So I have no idea how hot it was. Next time, I’ll try this at home. Maybe then I can get more than two steeps. ha!
Also, this might possibly be the first time I’ve ever been tempting to add sugar. I think it would compliment the lemon really well. not all the time, but for a treat.

Oh and something else!! I like to drink my tea HOT. Not like my friends who let it cool down until it’s practically iced tea. This leaves a teeny window for me to drink my greens. and whites! At least my black teas used to stay hot for more than three minutes. Hmph.

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drank Illam Nepal by The Tea Emporium
1545 tasting notes

So I thought that with my new love of Darjeeling and this being from the region right next to Darjeeling, that maybe this one would fall in under that love umbrella.
It isn’t terrible. but I can tell that there are some things in here I am missing. I mean, it’s certainly a Darjeeling hybrid of sorts. I can taste the influence of both regions… except the Illam part is sort of blank for me.
I made it all the way to four steeps and the first was definitely best. The last one required some honey for me to get through it and even then it was barely saved.
Maybe some milk will help. I’m curious though, what other people think of this one. I’m positive there are notes that I just cannot taste.
Anyone up for a sample?

Tina S.

I’ll give it a try! Be interesting to compare it to the Nepal Black at David’s, too!

Indigobloom

Cool, I’ll bring it on Saturday! :P

Tina S.

Hurray! :D

Kashyap

i’m game

Indigobloom

Kashyap, awesome… you’re on!

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85

So it’s been a long time since I’ve had any juicelike tea in the house. Most herbal fruity tisanes started to taste too much like plain ol’ juice and I wasn’t liking it. but then I remembered this one… which I had way back in the beginning. I loved it!! and now that I have it again, I still do. Despite the hibiscus. but only with honey or agave added. I know I know… it’s already a fruit drink. I have diabetes in the family, I need to watch my sugar! but the hibiscus makes it so sour… I almost feel like it’s a rasperry lemonade! with some honey, the sourness is kicked away just enough that I swoon :P
The lemon tastes so real. I guess the candied lemon aspect mixed with hibiscus really does the trick huh.
Next time, I might add some mint. and if I can remember, I’ll pick out a few of the hibiscus leaves.
The calcium carbonate can’t hurt either. It’ll help settle my tummy and boost my calcium intake. Yay for that!
Now, it’s against my nature to give a “juice” tea a high score. So let me just say that my ceiling here is 90. That makes my 85 pretty darn high, considering!

Tina S.

Memo to self, don’t share juice teas. Got it! ;)

Indigobloom

well if it’s a light juice augmented with other flavours it’s different, ya know what I mean? I usually drink my juice cut 50% with water so most of the juice teas are a little heavy for me.

Tina S.

Ah. Yeah, avoid pretty much everything at Teavana then!

Indigobloom

ha! yes that sounds just like Teavana!! :P

Indigobloom

it should also be noted that I am totally getting an “awesome tea vibe” now that my massive mug is drained. I want more!!

Tina S.

Hurray wanting more! :D

SimpliciTEA

I hear you both on the Teavana thing. I personally do like the taste and aroma the fruit tisanes from them that I have had so far.

Indigobloom I like how you qualified your rating, telling us 90 is the ceiling for a “juice” tea. I may want to do just such a thing in one of my reviews someday.

I didn’t know hibiscus can make a tea taste sour, or that you could pick out some of the things you don’t like in the dried ‘tea’. You are just teaching me things left and right!

Indigobloom

lol thanks SimpliciTea – I consider them more personal quirks but if you find it helpful then maybe they aren’t such bad habits! :)
and Teavana… I am so not impressed with them these days!!

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79

Meh. I second pretty much every tasting note here.
This is a nice standard green oolong. Very basic, nothing special. There are no odd hidden flavours or even ones that pop out and say “hi”!
Pretty much, it is what I expected and to be honest I can see myself needing this every once in awhile. This business of having fabulous teas all the time is a little dramatic and sometimes I just want a cup of simplicity. Well folks, this is about as tame as it gets!
but it is relatively smooth and vegetal. On the fourth steep, when it was hot, I got a surprising buttery note. and then the standard sweetness…
Overall, I’d buy it again but not before trying most of the other ones out there.

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Bio

Let’s see… I’m a tea and workout fanatic, I work in HR, and most of my friends consider me to be an egg. White on the outside, Asian on the inside :)
-from philosophy to food, I love it all
Otherwise, what you see is what you get! I can be very straightforward and yet shy.

Also, I’ve started taking tea sommelier classes and it is an absolute blast! Well, so far I’ve only finished the first out of eight courses, but I am really looking forward to the next one.

Anyhow, if your curious as to how I rate things, this is how I work…

0-25
Like eating dirt, or some other unsanitary indelicacy that mentioning in my profile here would likely get me banned.
I don’t think I’ve found cause to banish a tea to the wasteland yet though so who knows what it’d inspire ;P

25-50
You know that expression “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”? I imagine drinking that water would be terrible enough to warrant this rating!
I’d never make my enemy drink this, but perhaps I’d throw it at them. Good thing I don’t have any enemies!

50-70
This is “tea”?? I tried finishing the cup… but my body rejected it. There may be others who enjoy this tea, but it’s beyond me!

70-80
I tried liking it, and I can almost get there! I certainly don’t hate it, but something is holding me back. Allergies? Men in white suits? who knows… certainly not me!

80-90
Lovely tea! Not my all time fave but close. I likely wouldn’t repurchase, but may decide to based on many factors: price, accessibility, whether it fills a “tea gap”, medicinal applications, and how often I crave it.
Every once in awhile I find the sweet spot that bumps these up to 90+. Those are the days I need to buy a lotto ticket!

90-95
Sweet Camellia! this is realllly good tea! Don’t talk to me until I’ve finished my cup…

95-100
Tea of the gods. I would do anything to get my hands on more of this liquid gold!

Location

Toronto (Mississauga, but I work in TO)

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http://hrslinger.wordpress.com/

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