113 Tasting Notes

42

Another crazy purchase from the speciality food market. I thought this would be a good way to test a take-home version of boba/bubble tea.

In terms of the packaging, it doesn’t have the most appealing design. Maybe it’s just a cultural thing, but the flat yellow and the basic design of the can give the impression of a cheap substitute rather than a convenient portable version of the real thing.

I cracked it open and was immediately surprised by the color of the liquid. It was much more light brown than I had expected. I guess the “boba” and “pearl” in the title had distracted me from the “milk” immediately following them. So, while I was expecting a straight boba tea, it’s actually much closer to a boba tea latte.

The aroma is super sweet, you can smell the sugary cream wafting out of the can. So much so that I can’t really smell the true tea at all. And now, the tasting…

It’s actually better than I expected. I was thinking it was going to be gross and way too artificial, but it’s not. It’s a tea latte with tons of milk and sugar, surprisingly so. Now I see why it smelled the way it did, there’s excessive amounts of milk/cream and sugar, too much for a tea latte.

Also, whether it’s a mental thing I can’t say, I can’t get over the sense that there’s a slight yet noticeable artificial hint to all of the flavors. The milk is good, but slightly artificial. The sugar is good (if not overwhelming), but slightly artificial; and same with the tea (or what you can taste of it through the wall of sugary sweetness). I’m thinking it’s part mental and part actuality.

It takes a while to get to the bobas, without a straw you have to drink about half the can before you reach the pearls. Now the only bubble tea I’ve had before included tapioca pearls that were big and black and slimy and chewy. So I was surprised when these came out small and white and slightly crumbly when chewed. Based on the texture, my guess is that they are made from rice, which I don’t even know if that’s possible. But, similar to the black tapioca pearls, they don’t have any flavor and are just a novelty I have yet to grasp.

So, it was certainly worth the experience, just so I can have tried bubble tea in a can. If you can deal with seemingly artificial flavors, then this might work for you. If you’re looking for a true tea or true boba experience, I’d go elsewhere.

Ashley Bain

I love making bubble tea at home. I order the big black tapioca pearls.

Jason

Do you order the big straws too?

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3
drank Oi Ocha by Ito En
113 tasting notes

Wow, I’m not sure if I got a bad one but this is pretty awful. It still has about a year left until expiration, so I don’t think that’s the issue.

It doesn’t taste like green tea. It certainly isn’t a #1 green tea. In fact, it tastes closer to a Lapsang Souchong than anything. I’m getting a ton of smoke, lots of bitterness, and it generally tastes kinda dirty. It doesn’t taste like it was sweetened, so that part of the label was correct (that’s about all it has going for it). Really awkward after taste too; tastes slightly of vinegar and brine. Can’t finish the bottle.

I’m assuming I just got a bad bottle because I’ve had other bottled Ito En teas that were good. I’d try this again (hesitantly) just for the sake of seeing if this was a fluke bottle. Maybe this was mislabeled…

Jason

My stomach is actually starting to hurt a little…

LissaMarie

yikes— hope you are alright. maybe you got a bad batch of bottled tea?

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Sounds like it went bad.

Jason

I actually washed the taste out of my mouth with some DQ ice cream cake! :D Feeling better now.

Auggy

Ice cream cures all! :)

extrarice

Definitely sounds like a bad bottle. Oi Ocha isn’t exactly a delicate Japanese green tea, but it should not be smoky and bitter. Glad to hear your stomach is feeling better.

Suzi

Definitely sounds like a bad bottle, the Ito En teas are usually pretty nice for pre-bottled!

Nicole Martin

I definitely think it was a fluke. This is one of my faves. I always get it with my lunch from the supermarket by work :)

srtasabelocasi

Wow awe striking how you literally described what I tasted from this bottle in words LOL Yeah this one does suck. I expected something better than that. I’ve learned my lesson from this about pre (plastic) bottled green teas for sure.

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78
drank White Tea by Teatulia Teas
113 tasting notes

A really nice, soft treat. The liquor is very light, a little yellowish and clear. It has a fairly floral nose and some vegetal notes, almost somewhat like a green tea, but not nearly as strong.

It’s surprisingly sweet throughout the whole sip. You get a good amount of sweetness when it first hits your tongue, then it recedes a little, but comes back the strongest farther back in your mouth. It finishes nice and sweet with an almost buttery flavor.

It’s light, but at the same time feels like it’s coating my tongue (in a good way) which I think may be where the buttery flavor sensation comes from. A good white tea with some flavor complexity and unusual notes that make it stand out from other plain whites.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Tea's Tea Golden Oolong by Ito En
113 tasting notes

Got this from the asian food market a while back. My bottle actually looks a little different (it doesn’t have the Tea’s Tea branding on it) but it appears to be the same thing. I liked this a lot, especially since I like the in-your-face flavors like this.

I think this is a great option for “real” tea drinkers. Personally, I enjoy Arizona iced tea, but I know lots of loose leaf drinkers would cringe at that. However, this one gives the convenience of a bottled iced tea with actual, real, oolong flavor.

I’m not sure how accessible these are since I got it from an asian specialty market, but it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for a “truer” bottled iced tea.

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65

(TTB 1.2)

Pretty tasty, good classic oolong aromas and flavors. Kinda floral and vegetal. The liquor is much lighter than I expected and I’m not getting as much flavor as I expected or would like. Although, the lightness can be kinda pleasing since it isn’t too overwhelming. Even though, I think I may try another infusion to see what else I can get from it.

BTW, I have been drinking tea since my last tasting note, I’ve just been really bad about logging them. More to come + probably some backlogs…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jason

2nd steep was pretty similar to the first, except a little less flavorful and a little more “watery”. I’m not sure how long it steeped because I forgot about it…I think it was about 4 mins.

TeaEqualsBliss

I LOVE Norbu!!!!!

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77
drank Kai Hua Crescendo by Adagio Teas
113 tasting notes

This has some good body to it. Not overwhelmingly so, but not so light that you don’t notice the flavors. The color is really light for a green and given it’s delicacy, I agree with everyone else that this is a green bordering on a white. Very vegetal, grassy, a little earthy/heavy flavor. Some buttery sweetness on the nose and just when it hits your tongue. I’m getting just a tad of bitterness toward the end, but I think that’s because I got the bottom of the pot. For not being such a fan of greens, this is a good one.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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53

The best thing about this tea is the smell. Really great blackberry aroma comes wafting from the tin and the brewed liquid. I tried two cups using my fancy new water kettle my gf just got me (kept the water warm for me!). The flavor seems to be more on the sage side than the fruity blackberry side. But I’m still not getting much from it. First time I tried about 4 mins steeping, then 4:30 the second time…not much difference. I feel like flavored/fruit teas have a hard time meeting my flavor expectations and continually come in below where I’d expect. Maybe I’m not as big a fruit…tea drinker as I thought ;)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

Which fancy new water kettle?

Cofftea

I ended up getting the cheaper one and was COMPLETELY disappointed so I’m scared of the brand now, so I think I may pay more for the Chef Choice brand.

Jason

What was wrong with it? I haven’t used this one much yet for varying temps, but I love how it maintains a temp for you. You can keep a kettle going all day for fresh water without worrying about a thing :)

Cofftea

My main issue was it measures in C instead of F. It’s also pretty touchy. How much is the min you can have in the Pro and have it work properly? That was also a draw back for me. I make my tea anywhere from 2-8oz at a time.

Jillian

Have you tried using Google to convert temperatures Cofftea? All you do is input (whatever temperature) C in F (or in my case the other way around) in the search box and it’ll instantly do the conversion.

Jason

@Cofftea: Mine is listed in F. Apparently you can order it in C or F, just ask the manufacturer or order from amazon. I think the one I linked before is in F (but it also says it’s currently unavailable :( ). For a minimum water amount, I’m not sure; I haven’t tried it with anything that small yet. But you can always just heat more water than you need and only use 2-8oz or however much you want. Also, from looking around it seems like there were some questions about the Chef Choice…but I guess you’ll get different opinions on everything :)

Cofftea

Jillian, yes I have. My issue is that the one in F is more sensitive. (1 degree C =~2 degrees F). If I’d get something like ths, I’d want exact temps, and since all of the temperatures for my teas are listed in F, I’d like that in a kettle as well. I don’t want to have to think about temperatures.

Jason, I don’t think I’ll order it from amazon- I did that w/ the cheap one and now I’m stuck w/ a $40 kettle that I don’t want and can’t return. I need to look around for the cheapest shipping (amazon was $10) and has a return policy. I’d also prefer not to measure my water after it’s boiled, that takes time and passing the water from one vessle to another and results in cooling.

Jason

@Cofftea: Ah true, I just hadn’t thought of that before. Are there many heating vessels that are designed to heat a small amount of water like that?

Cofftea

Unfortunately no. Especially not w/ such temp variation.

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83
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
113 tasting notes

For my thoughts, see: http://steepster.com/lfiske29/posts/24744

Ditto, minus the starbucks and never having had actual Coconut Cream Pie, which is delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
takgoti

#lazy #ifhashtaggingworkedonsteepster

All things green

That sounds very tempting

Jason

#maybeiwastoobusyworkingonsteepstertowriteanovel(likesomepeople) #soyoucouldhaveanawesomeplacetologyourteasandmeetotherawesometeadrinkers
#booyah

Jason

@all things green: sorry you had to get in the middle of that, literally :)

Give it a try if you haven’t already. As someone who likes tea but also thick strong flavored drinks like straight hot chocolate, its a good middle ground.

takgoti

#almostsprayedmyteaonmykeyboard
#booyah?
#thingsisaidinthe1990s

Okay, I can’t keep doing that. Maybe you’re lucky that you have someone not-quite-ghost-writing for you on Steepster. #golaura

Get back to work! #sike

Jason

Retro is the new black. Get back with the times…like Back to the Future, McFly.

Jillian

Tsk, tsk! So mean Takgoti! *shakes head *
;P

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28
drank Jasmine Tea by Fujian Tea
113 tasting notes

I was busy when we made this so I kinda forgot about it while it was sitting right next to my laptop :/. I think that probably affected the taste, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible.

I get a nice, fresh, floral aroma from the cup. I can’t say it’s specifically jasmine, but seems fresh enough. Unfortunately, I also get a ton of bitter green tea smell too. I think, largely, that’s a result of me letting it sit so long before drinking it, but I also think to some extent it as to do with the tea. It’s just too bitter and not flavorful enough to compensate for the bitterness. The instructions say boiling water for 7 mins which seems like a lot for green tea , so I think it could just be a lower quality tea. It was also pretty cheap :)

I’m going to have to give this one another shot sometime…just don’t know when.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Jillian

Yeah the instructions confused me too. I generally nix the boiling water and that seems to make it taste decent.

Jason

Very true. I just need a variable temp kettle now. The one I have is not very exact….basically boiling and not boiling :(

Yakki

Boil the water, take it off the heat source, let set for about 15 minutes, then try steeping the tea, but for about 3 or 4 mins. The first time I had this was at a friend’s house and she just murdered the tea. It can actually be quite good, but you have to be gentle with it.

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83
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
113 tasting notes

It’s been so long since I’ve had any tea!!!!!! After holiday travels to distant lands, battles with various viruses/viri, and a good heaping of “damn those people on Steepster really love their tea and while their love of tea makes Steepster possible it also makes me quite busy,” I just haven’t found myself with a nice warm cuppa in hand in quite some time.

Luckily, my gf saw our feature of 52Teas’ Coconut Cream Pie and knowing how much I love that sh** (even though we just had Strawberry Rhubarb pie) she sneakily got a pouch for us to enjoy. Now on to the tea!

I opened the pouch and was pleased to see plenty of large coconut shavings mixed throughout. The black tea seemed like a pretty good quality, albeit a little on the smaller side (I’m assuming because of the plastic pouch it travels in). What surprised me the most is the very noticeable mint smell coming out of the bag. I read the other reviews of this and nowhere do I see mention of mint, but I get a ton of that…I think it’s a natural part of the coconut (or maybe I’m just coco-nuts) – sorry.

The brew has a nice darkish browny amber-likey color a you definitely get that punch of coconut and that mint thing I mentioned. Sip time :)

Ok, I feel this is more of a coconut tea than a coconut cream pie tea. There are some more subtle cream/dairy undertones that compliment the natural flavor of the black tea, but I’m still feeling like it’s not quite a slice of coconut cream pie. Great coconut flavor though (if you’re into that, def give this a try)! I’m still getting that after-dinner mint-iness a little, which surprises me but isn’t unpleasant.

Overall, a great experience, good flavor, nice to sip. Not quite a coconut cream pie flavor explosion in your mouth, but I see the potential. I’ll definitely be trying this again soon and I will most certainly be attempting their tea latte recipe with this -it’s supposed to deliver the greatest pie flavor you can get. (speaking of that…if a certain someone happens to be reading this and they are planning to stop at the store on the way home, it would be pretty cool of them to pick up 3 (14oz) cans of fat free sweetened condensed milk :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Cofftea

Too funny! When I read the last paragraph I actually said “Ha ha! I love it!” out loud- and the only other “person” home is my dog. Sounds like you need something w/ no or a very quick steeping time. Matcha or Mecha (from Den’s Tea) comes to mind;)

52teas

FYI, you only need one can of sweetened condensed milk. Empty it and add three cans full of milk. Otherwise, you are going to be making an awful lot of latte mix.

Jason

@Cofftea: I’ve yet to try matcha! I really should jump on it (…kemosabe)

@52Teas: Thanks for the rec. But do you really want to discourage people from drinking vast quantities of your tea? ;)

Laura

@Jason: nice attention to detail.

@52Teas: thanks for catching that. :)

LENA

haha! i like the shout out to the gf. nice!

52teas

@Jason, please do drink vast quantities of our tea, but the recipe we use for the latte mix makes about a half gallon of latte mix. If you made a gallon and a half, it might go bad before you could drink it all. I would hate for you to not enjoy our teas because of spoiled latte mix. :)

fcmonroe

Where do I find the recipe for the latte mix???? Someone, please share!

Jason

@Laura: does that mean you’re gonna pick some up?

@52Teas: A gallon and a half might be pushing it, so maybe you have a point.

@fcmonroe: Here’s the recipe from their site:

“How to make a fat-free tea latte: Combine 1 can of fat free sweetened condensed milk with 3 cans of skim milk in a saucepan, heat and stir until uniform. Combine resulting mixture with hot tea in equal parts tea and latte. Thank me out loud for sharing our latte recipe.

Leftover latte will keep in the fridge for a few days, allowing you to either reheat, or use to make iced tea lattes, of which, the coconut cream pie flavored black tea iced tea latte is the KING." – note: apparently the recipe makes 1/2 gallon of latte mix FYI

fcmonroe

Thank you so much!!! That would give me a good way to use up partial cans of condensed milk.

takgoti

Firstly, your girlfriend totally gets a +15 for ninja-ing y’all some tea. Secondly, I was totally going to -10 you for the coco-nuts [COME ON] but then I saw the Apache reference and you got a +10 for that…

So I guess you win today, Shredder. [By the way, did you know that Shredder was voiced by Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince? I learned this a couple of days ago and was very much “WHAT?!”]

Jason

@Takgoti: several things…
- My gf gets way more than +15 points because not only did she order the tea ninja style (or the korean version of that) and then stop to get the condensed milk, she also waited around while I worked on the new Steepster updates (which i hope you enjoy) and we didn’t even get a chance to make tea lattes!
- I apologized for “coco-nuts” in advance
- However, I still defend my tame pun with the fact that I also included a “sh**”. I have a diverse fan base – gotta get a little something for everyone in there.
- Yes, I did win today. Like all other days. You may call me, The Shredder.
- I actually did know that Uncle Phil voiced the Shredder and it’s sometimes hard to watch the cartoons again with that in mind. But I remain a true fan until the end.
Out

takgoti

⚀ As a Korean, I think that officially the Korean version of ninja is AWESOME. It’s either that, or Korean popstar Rain, so I’m gonna go with AWESOME. I will have to revisit my little book of points and adjust accordingly.
⚁ I would make another comment about your pun foul, but I’ve made enough bad ones that I can’t really ethically continue at this point.
⚂ Touché, salesman.
⚃ I’m gonna find people to replace their avatars with appropriate TMNT characters, and then we will take you down.
⚄ I still can’t wrap my head completely around it. This has been doing a pretty good job of weirding me out, though. http://uncleshredder.ytmnd.com/
In.

Laura

@Takgoti:
1) Yes, we korean-ninjas rock. :p
2) Uncle Phil/Shredder weirded me out too. I can’t take Fresh Prince seriously anymore. …Not that I ever did…?
3) I just read a previous line of postage about you never wanting to be April. I feel your pain (or rather, I did at that age, too). I wanted to be Raph or Leo. Plus, kudos to you for beating the arcade game. :)
@Jason: Nice SHG reference. I love how the songs you get stuck in your head always make them into your steepster posts.

takgoti

@Laura HOLLA. Also, re: April – I would get so MAD. I so feel for little…us? And beating that game and the Simpsons one are like, major, major triumphs of my childhood. We had a sack of quarters we had found at the bottom of the pool during the summer and a crowd gathered and my friend jumped up onto a table after we bested the Simpsons. It was rather epic, though at the time it just resulted in us nearly getting kicked out of Fuddruckers. WHOO! That was like a nostalgia adrenaline rush.

AND just to bring it full circle, the Apache dance might be my favorite Fresh Prince moment.

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Bio

I’m one of the creators of Steepster!

I really like oolongs but I’m open to pretty much anything (although I’m still hesitant of pu-erh). Either way, any tea that expands my tastes, teaches me something, or promotes a love of tea is a winner in my book. If you have any questions, shoot an email to [email protected] or PM me.

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Brooklyn, NY

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http://www.steepster.com

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