529 Tasting Notes

99

This is the tea that I decided to sip on and resteep throughout the day. I only had a little packet of this, so when I fell in love with it, I decided to hoard it a bit and save it for a figurative rainy day. I think that was last winter. Anyway, I busted it back open and I think that I may have waited a little too long because it was much weaker today than I had remembered. Not only was it weak, but it also just tasted like a plain-ish black tea instead of having all the nuanced and intricate flavors that I remember and loved so much. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it just wasn’t quite as special as I remember. I still have some left, so I’m hoping that maybe I was just a terrible tea maker today, and that the rest of this tea will be back to my normal deliciously lovely tea.

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83

When I first started out on Steepster as a tea newbie, this quickly became one of my favorites. Now that I’ve really gotten into the world of straight teas (unflavored), my taste buds have definitely changed. While I still enjoy this one, I’m gonna lower my rating just a little because it does come off as a little too perfume-y to me now. Not so much that I can’t drink it, but just a teensy bit enough that I wonder how I didn’t really taste it as much before. I think that today’s cup was also just a little extra jasmine-y, which is usually not the case if I remember correctly. But all in all, it’s still a good flavored black tea to me, and I’m still liking it!

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98
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
529 tasting notes

And I’m back from vacation and back on Steepster! I actually got back home yesterday, but kind of took the holiday to decompress and relax without diving right back into the land of the internet. I’ve been saving my last little packet of LB, but I decided to bust it open yesterday to celebrate coming home to my teas and also Christmas. This tea is every bit as good as I remembered it from last winter. It’s so intensely malty with chocolate notes at the end and so many other flavors all cooperating so perfectly in this one cup. I even got three or four resteeps out of it, so I’m definitely savoring the last that I have of this tea.

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I’m finally getting around to tasting the last of my new teas from my two Butiki orders. I was hesitant to try this one after tasting the cantaloupe and cream. Both of the teas had a really nice melon smell mixed in with something funky smelling (to me at least). After I steeped this up per the instructions on the package, I could still smell that weird smell. It’s hard to describe. Maybe like something is spoiling? The tea starts off tasting wonderfully melon (but again, very similar to cantaloupe and cream), but then ends with that weird taste that I could smell earlier. Perhaps it is something about the flavorings that I’m sensitive to? I’m really sad about it because other than that weird smell and aftertaste, the melon is so wonderfully light and delicious! I will have to do some investigating and experimenting to figure this out (hopefully).

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drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
529 tasting notes

Oops, I accidentally deleted my tasting note. Basically, I pulled this one from the T&C TTB before sending it off based purely on the fact that it had “breakfast” in the name. I didn’t realize until after taking a few sips and going onto Steepster that there was puerh in the blend. That would explain how it got so dark (it looked like coffee!) and why it was less malty than I expected it to be. I also found it sweeter than I expected, which seems to have been on purpose. It was a bit of a caramel taste to me rather than chocolate. And finally, I also feel like I tasted some kind of spice. That’s about as specific as I can get. I also spilled about half of my mug as I foolishly practiced doing headstands near the cup. A have a nice little tea stain on my carpet to remind me not to do that again. Oops!

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85
drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
529 tasting notes

I polished off the last of my free ounce of this, but I have to admit that I used another Starbucks reward to get a fresh new ounce of this tea. There’s not much else at Teavana that I really wanted to try out an ounce of, so I just went for this reliable tea. Besides, I normally wouldn’t spend that much money on this tea. Anyway, price aside, this is a pretty nice tea. I’ve mostly had it cold brewed over the summer, but I had it as a hot tea today. I was mostly getting baked bread/potato-y notes from it, which is one of my favorite flavors from straight black teas. Otherwise, it was a bit light for a black tea, but that may have to do with my leafing. The flavors did fade a little on the resteep, but were strong enough to be worth it.

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90

I pulled this sample from the T&C TTB before I sent it off, and now I’m glad that I did. Lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of the same teas, so I haven’t been motivated to write tasting notes. I thought I’d be a tad more adventurous today, so I steeped up this darjeeling. I’m still on a quest to figure out the different types of straight black teas, so I had to snatch this sample out of the box to try.

The packet says “muscatel and cut wood.” I’m definitely getting a woodsy taste out of this one, but I’m not entirely sure what muscatel is even supposed to taste like. So perhaps it is in there and I’m just not tasting it? To me, it has the malty flavor of a black tea with wood notes in there. Others have also mentioned something about lemon that I’m not picking up on either. I do have enough leaves for another round, so I will keep these facts in mind and see if I pick up on any of that next time around.

I did quite enjoy this tea, though. It wasn’t bitter and only had a slight hint of astringency. If this is representative of darjeelings in general, that is definitely a direction I want to be exploring!

Anlina

I’m trying to figure out muscatel, too. It’s a grape flavour, but because I’ve never actually had muscatel grapes, I’m not sure how to separate that flavour from just “grape”.

I’m hoping if I drink enough muscatel teas I’ll figure it out.

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74
drank Organic Iyerpadi by Butiki Teas
529 tasting notes

I received some of this tea for free as part of a promo for spending over a certain amount on a Butiki order. Sorry about the vagueness, I just can’t remember the specific details at the moment. Anyway, I’m not usually a fan of green teas that aren’t Japanese, but of course I am gonna give this one a shot. I steeped it as recommended (180 F, 2 min), which resulted in a lovely pale yellow-green color. It both smelled and tasted very vegetal, though I couldn’t tell you exactly which veggies. The vegetal flavor was a bit mild, though, and it was a bit bitter from some extra leaves that weren’t caught by my strainer.

Overall, it was just a bit ho hum to me. It was a fine tea, but I didn’t think that there was anything particularly special about it. Again, it may also be because I don’t generally enjoy these types of teas.

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100

I have been a little cranky these past couple of days because I have relatives visiting, so I’ve been reaching for my reliably delicious teas rather than branching out and trying new ones. This particular tea was very comforting after an hour long excursion around Safeway for random American food goods. The tea seemed to sense my pain as it was a little extra roasty and a bit smoky today. It may also be because I think I measured the leaf with a heavy hand. Anyway, very comforting, very rainy season appropriate kind of tea. Love it.

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86
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
529 tasting notes

Sipdown (97)! This is also a backlog because Steepster was acting up yesterday when I tried to log this. Coincidentally, the trackpad on my mouse is also not functioning and one of my light bulbs just blew out, so all in all not a great day for technology/electricity? This tea was very comforting mostly due to how thick it is. I’m sure I mentioned this in previous tasting notes, but I am a little irritated at how fine the leaves are because the bunch of leaf particles at the bottom of the cup make for a bitter cup toward the bottom. Despite this, I find this tea very comforting and will consider repurchasing in the future when I have a smaller stash.

Stephanie

always a nice reliable sencha

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Bio

I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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