58 Tasting Notes

78
drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
58 tasting notes

Resteep!

I let it go a little longer this time, mainly because that seems to help on resteeping. This holds up well to that treatment, and comes out slightly smoother but still rather flavorful. The perfume is still there, but much fainter, like a sachet of potpourri in your sock drawer. (What is it with me, socks, and this tea, anyway?! LOL)

Anyway, I timed the tea so it would be ready when my cookies were. I made some chewy molasses maple cookies, lightly spiced. They’re just a little crispy around the edges, and soft and chewy everywhere else.

It is heaven. Though, to be fair, these cookies would probably be good with a lot of black teas. I’ll be trying them with the aforementioned Molasses Chocolate Crackle next.

Homemade cookies/biscuits/cakes/whatever really do make EVERYTHING better. :9

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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78
drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
58 tasting notes

TTB sample!

In the package, it smelled comfortingly familiar, if a little faint. I decided it was worth a try.

As soon as the water hit it, the comforting, soothing smell increased. I want to say it’s almost like your favourite perfume, smelled from far away. Wafting on the breeze, teasing you to come find its source. Except, you know, I was standing right over the mug, watching and waiting. But I digress.

It quickly turned a reassuring dark brown, as you’d expect. The smell never changed, the longer it steeped—-only the colour.

On first sip, it’s remarkably smooth and velvety. The flavour is familiar and more-ish, but not overwhelming. The slight aftertaste is nice, though. Like a lingering sigh of tea.

I’m a big fan of black teas, especially first thing in the morning. While there’s no way this could ever hope to replace my beloved Yorkshire as my go-to first-thing-in-the-morning black tea, it’s not bad! Not overwhelming, and not particularly surprising…but kind of like that comfortable pair of socks you had that you forgot about. And then found when you were cleaning under the couch.

Per Lena’s review, and a story from Cofftea yesterday, I think I’m gonna have to bake some cookies later on to try this again. I’ll update if I do. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
LENA

Oh man, dunking in some sugar cookies or tea cakes into this tea is wonderful. Go for it!

Janni

I’m probably going to do some molasses cookies, actually. :9 Again, all Cofftea’s fault. XD

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71
drank pumpkin spice by Subtle Tea
58 tasting notes

I’m a fan of almost anything involving pumpkin. Still, I’m wary of pumpkin-flavoured teas. They usually only disappoint.

This smelled really good in the package, though. More like pie than I was expecting.

The steeping turned out the same…like raw pumpkin mixed with the spices before you mix in any milk or sugar. Or like filling for tortelli di zucca before you add ricotta.

Next time, I’m trying it with milk. This is the best pumpkin spiced tea I’ve tried so far. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than most of the others. Stash’s is just a world of no. Peet’s as well.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Janni

Forgot to mention that yes, this came out of the TTB! :)

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89

This came from the TTB, and was apparently created by someone called Sara Schneider.

This tea smells somewhat smoky, and just like what you’d expect molasses and chocolate to smell like when combined with a black tea blend.

Since it had no time/temp/instructions, I did the standard 1 tsp/212F/5 minutes that I usually use for black teas when I have no other direction. Verdict: quite smooth, not too sweet. it’s like molasses and a hint of very dark chocolate mixed with black tea, but not overpowering. Very nicely balanced. Sometimes chocolate teas worry me, because they can easily get out of hand. This is my first try of one involving molasses, but as a big fan of molasses (and someone who frequently cooks and bakes with it), I know firsthand how easy it is for it to get out of control.

Well done. The resteep was lovely, too. Definite winner, and needs nothing at all added to it. :9

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Glad you liked it! Funny story behind this one. Several years ago my mom and I were making Christmas cookies at my grandma’s. Not cut outs but molasses cookies and chocolate crackles. I LOVE chocolate crackles! Well we were done and about to dive in… I grabbed a crackle and took a bite. To my suprise the molasses cookies had been rolled out instead! So the cookies that inspired this tea really had no chocolate in them they were just “molasses-that-were-supposed-to-be-chocolate” :) P.S. There isn’t molassas in it either- I just had to try to mimic the flavors by using gingerbread, ginger, and chocolate chip black teas.

SoccerMom

LOL when I read this review. About the Sara part!!

Cofftea

Yeah it was a little weird reading “someone called” referring to me. =D

Janni

I don’t know everyone’s actual names, sorry! ;) Nice to put a name to a handle, Cofftea! :D

I didn’t think there was actually molasses in it, but you did a great job of getting that flavor just right. You deserve a round of applause. :)

Mmm. Now I want to make molasses cookies. Hrrm. ;)

Cofftea

I’m glad! Most of my blends are just in my head and then I try to figure out the ratios. So I don’t try them before posting them on Adagio.

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91
drank Ginger Drink by Gold Kili
58 tasting notes

It sound ominous, doesn’t it? “Ginger Drink.” Reminds me of drinking Malk, now with Vitamin R! ;)

Let me assure you that this isn’t ominous at all. It’s dehydrated ginger and honey, and that’s it. It is also the second most brilliant thing ever when you are sick.

Feeling nauseous? Drink some of this. Sniffly, throat hurting, feeling achy and generally terrible? Drink some of this. It’ll perk you right up, seriously. Boiling water, maybe a little milk, and you’re good.

I may love it because of family associations, though. Y’see, my aunt had this family remedy for illness. Peel + slice up fresh ginger, then boil in a pot of water until the water gets really, really gingery. Pour it into your mug over crushed red chilli pepper flakes. Add a little honey or sugar if you like to sweeten it up. Milk also acceptable.

She was right, too. I felt better every time. The combination of ginger and chilli peppers can lick just about any feeling of sickness.

This is a lot like that, only with less effort involved. When you’re sick, chances are good you probably don’t feel like peeling ginger. (The slicing’s easy, but peeling ginger sucks out loud.) I’ve got a stockpile of this on hand for anytime I’m feeling at all under the weather. :)

Preparation
Boiling
S

I love the name of this tea, too…I actually thought of how they label stuff that looks like orange juice but is really HFCS and orange coloring “Orange Drink”. It’s just so…descriptive. Lol.
(Why are my bones so brittle? I always drink lots of…malk?)

Janefan

that’s great! I’ve had ginger green tea + lemon + honey + chili pepper flakes a few times this winter. If I wake up with a stuffy head it is the surefire way to clear it quick! I also keep ginger candies (Gin Gins brand) on hand at home and in my purse for nausea/carsickness etc.

takgoti

Slashed an artery? Drink some of this. [Sorry, had to do it.]

Anyhow, this sounds pretty good. Especially since I’ve really not been digging straight chamomile lately.

Sabina

In trad Chinese medicine ginger + chili are yang – good for any yin unbalance, like winter colds, chills, or menstrual pains. :)

GingerAddict

Is it spicy by itself? I love spicy ginger tea!

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90
drank Yerba Mate by Guayaki
58 tasting notes

I have some serious a$$-kicking work to do today, so I thought it was time to bust this out again. My pack is a couple of years old—-I originally had it sitting in my desk at the library at which I used to work, when I was trying different ways of waking myself up in the morning.

At any rate, despite it being a couple of years old, this mate actually lasts really, really well. It doesn’t taste at all old or musty, and while a 5-minute steep may seem a little long, it’s really not much at all (especially considering that I usually am all about strong black teas).

Totally brilliant, I am very awake and focused, just as I need to be. Now, after having written this review, back to work with me—-as mentioned earlier, I’ve got a lot to do today. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Wiseman Tea Co.

you may like this, its a blend of fresh and roasted mate. I think guyaki is just roasted, or just fresh i cannot remember.
http://www.wisemantea.com/mate-tea-sweet-orange-brazilian.html

takgoti

I love teas that can push me up into ass-kicking gear.

Janni

@Wiseman Tea Company : Oooh, that looks promising! I’ve added it to my shopping list, thanks for telling me about it. :)

@takgoti ME TOO. Actually, my usual “first cuppa,” Yorkshire Tea, is pretty good at that too. It’s just not quite as immediate as this yerba mate is. :)

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drank Aloalo by Lupicia
58 tasting notes

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100
drank Joyeux Noël by Lupicia
58 tasting notes

Oho. Ohoho. OhohohoHO. YES.

As noted in my last tasting note about this tea, I’d decided i was going to try it with a little milk the next time I brewed myself a cup.

I didn’t end up using milk.

What I did use, instead, was a little cream. Normal heavy cream, nothing special…of which I had only a tiny amount left due to having mixed up a batch of cream scones for breakfast this morning.

Oho. OHOHOHOHO.

That little bit of cream + the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar + this tea steeped for 3 minutes? MAGIC. This has now shot to the top of my list of the most perfect winter drinks EVER. The chestnut flavour is now exceedingly smooth, warm, invigorating, and comforting. It’s like the softest baby alpaca scarf for your throat. You just want to keep petting it and petting it, and it’s so light and delicious and yet so warm and satisfying.

In conclusion, my hat’s truly off to whomever it was on Lupicia’s site who expounded upon the virtues of this particular tea when taken with milk. IMHO, it’s now indispensable…much like my preferred method with Earl Grey. Positively delightful, and if this is a harbinger of how 2010 is going to shake out, I am ALL FOR IT. Roll on 2010 and Joyeux Noël! I’m only sorry I don’t have a lot more of the latter!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Should I ever find myself with the chance to try this, I will remember this log.

Janni

It is WONDERFUL. I’m having to pace myself, or else I’ll drink it all and be very sad. XD

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100
drank Joyeux Noël by Lupicia
58 tasting notes

Resteep! :)

Same amount of time, same conditions, same amount of sugar. It’s lighter, but still quite mellow and nutty. The flavor is so strong, I bet some people might even be able to get a third steep out of this, but I’m not gonna try it. Instead, I’m going to try a new bag next time with a little milk like someone reviewing this on Lupicia’s website suggests. :)

In conclusion, this tea reminds me of Kaitou Saint Tail. :)

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100
drank Joyeux Noël by Lupicia
58 tasting notes

Upon opening the package and smelling this tea, even before steeping, it’s got a slightly toffee aroma. Not overly-sweet, but sort of dark and sweet and almost like…actually, no. It’s more like marzipan than toffee. As I said, not overly-sweet.

As it steeps, it turns a pleasant reddish-brown colour, as you can see in the stock photo. Actually, as it gets closer to time (I steeped for the full 3 minutes, as I like most teas stronger rather than weaker), the reddish brown gets a little deeper…almost like the skin of a chestnut. Very nice. The smell of chestnuts gets stronger, too. I grow more apprehensive…I like roasted chestnuts well enough, but I’m not sure how I feel about warm chestnut juice. Hrrm.

First sip is pleasantly toasty and mellow, with none of even the “subtle bitterness” the description describes. A half-teaspoon of sugar gives it that tiny little bit of levity it needed, and now the chestnut flavour is bright and vibrant. It really does taste exactly like roasted chestnuts! (I’ve no clue about the Paris part, as I unfortunately have yet to go there. Though I think we may have driven past Paris, Texas once upon a time. But I digress, as usual. :) )

There’s not much tea taste underneath the chestnut, but at the same time, I wouldn’t say that the chestnut is overpowering. It’s more like they’ve melded together so well that I can’t distinguish them.

While I don’t use it as much in daily life as I’d perhaps like, I’m still awfully glad I’ve retained some of my Japanese, if only so I can read tea boxes and steep my tea at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Although this came from a new package my friend in Hawaii sent me (that arrived just yesterday, bursting with tea, eeee!), this tea was made in Tokyo…and so was the box. XD

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Chef. Writer. Knitter. Inveterate tea lover. The first two are professional; all four are personal.

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Chicago, IL

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http://www.janniverse.com

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