336 Tasting Notes

Overboard Traveling tea box

This is the last tea I’m trying in this tea box before packing it all up and sending it off to the next recipient (which I think will be tomorrow – but I want to add a couple more things first). I wasn’t expecting that much from this, to be honest. First, it’s a decaf and sometimes decaf black tea can taste a bit funky and 2nd, I’m always worried about astringency in black teas. This doesn’t taste like decaf. The first sip unsweetened, I tasted a bit of something bready and a tiny bit of raspberry, but no real chocolate to speak of. Sweetened is another story! Really tasty, mostly raspberry, but then the chocolate comes in and it’s creamy without adding milk or cream. I feel a bit greedy keeping 2 of the Butiki blends in this box, but I love that it’s a black dessert blend I can have at night and there’s really not much left. Also, the whole company going away – thing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Overboard Traveling tea box

After having Assam “Black Beauty” #8, this just doesn’t even compare, even though it’s a different type of tea. It smells sweet and almost fruity in the bag, but unlike the Black Beauty, nothing translates to the actual tea. I added sweetener just because otherwise it just wasn’t special enough? I mean, why drink something ho-hum when you can have sweet potato in a mug?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Overboard Traveling tea box

Hmm, I’m not really getting any notes with this one. It almost reminds me of the tea that you get at a Chinese restaurant. Light, unoffensive, not especially memorable. It smells sweet, it’s a tiny bit creamy at the front of the sip but not enough to remember. Not bad, but not something I’d likely stock.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Overboard Traveling tea box

I am so glad I didn’t pick a tin of this up. It’s bitter and almost has a cardboard note (can cardboard be a note?). Anyway, I steeped for 3 minutes, tasted a bit and added sweetener. With sweetener, I’m still getting the cardboard note, but at least it’s only 6oz since I used 1 bag.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
rosebudmelissa

I’ve only had a couple of flavored blacks by republic of tea,but I’ve really disliked both of them.

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Overboard Traveling tea box

I’m up drinking caffeinated tea, but only because I chose to go out late and also drink a Diet Coke, so what’s more caffeine going to do what hasn’t already been done? Also, I made the mistake of going to Kmart and trying to use their e-coupons. It’s a great idea, but never works… anyway, right – this tea.

It was freezing when I came inside so I figured I should make myself a cup. Unsweetened, it’s light, a little bit floral and citrusy, though I’m not detecting anything buttery about it; its mild. I tend to like my earl grey with a bit of vanilla. Ok, a lot of vanilla, like I added cream but don’t want to clog my arteries. I’m sure my palette isn’t refined enough to appreciate the finer nuances of tea, but creamsicle tea is pretty awesome. I added sweetener, which made it a sweet citrus tea. Tasty, certainly not horrible, but I’d reach for my Argo Earl Grey Cream over this, even if this is easier and bagged and white.

1 sachet in 12 oz of water.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Overboard Traveling tea box

Well yesterday’s tea hiatus really worked because this morning, my throat finally feels normal again and hopefully it will stay that way knock on wood! I’m so bummed that I missed out on many of the Butiki teas that I wanted to try before they were in the process of closing and before I knew it, the one I would have wanted to stock up on was sold out (the Pistacho Ice Cream one). I almost made orders so many times but then I would look at my overflowing cabinet and just couldn’t do it; plus, I have this free shipping ""issue"" and $75 of tea is a lot. Anyway, this was on my wishlist because I love pumpkin teas, especially Davidstea Pumpkin Chai. I can actually taste the flavoring before adding sweetener in this blend, which is always appreciated but I added some anyway and it makes the caramel really pop. I bet this would make an awesome latte.

Sad to see Butiki go before I could restock some favorites that I discovered through swapping, but like this box, hopefully some of the blends will be shared for a little while longer, but I will be keeping the rest of this sample.

edit

Oh my goodness, so I remembered I had bought a couple boxes of Aspen Powdered Eggnog mix (which at 80 calories for 3 tsp is far less than regular eggnog when prepared with skim milk!) when World Market had them on sale. I heated up some skim milk in the microwave, added 2 tsp of the eggnog mix and the resteep of the Pumpkin Creme Brulee and a tiny bit of sweetener since I didn’t do the full 3 tsp of the eggnog mix. I used my trusty Ikea frother and wow, eggnog latte. But even better, pumpkin creme tea eggnog latte. So good. If you have a World Market nearby and like eggnog lattes and watch your calorie intake (cause eggnog is extra caloric – even if it is delicious), give this a try. Mmmm.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
rosebudmelissa

There are a few herbal teas that can help with heartburn. I looked into it because I got heartburn while pregnant. Chamomile was the most helpful for me. Mint makes heartburn either better or worse depending on the person (it made things worse for me). Marshmallow is supposed to help as well, but it’s harder to find. There’s actually a heartburn tea in the Herbal TTB that you might want to try. If it works for you, let me know and I can send you the other two boxes I have.

jeweledthumb

@rosebudmelissa: I saw that and am eager to give it a try! I don’t get it often, but enough black tea on a more or less empty stomach usually gets me (reduced appetite is a side effect of a medication I’m on so for a day there, I had way too much tea and not enough food).

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Overboard Traveling tea box

I totally over-did it on tea the last couple of days. Acid reflux from hell. Poo. Anyway, I figured a little rooibos wouldn’t hurt. This one was odd, unsweetened it doesn’t really taste like anything, sweetened I’m getting a faint creamsicle taste but it’s not obvious and could easily be confused as just sweet. Back in the box it goes.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Organic Bramblewine by Tazo
336 tasting notes

Overboard Traveling tea box

Hot this was weird and really hibiscus-y, but cold, it is really nice! I steeped per the instructions on the back of the bag (175 degrees, 3 minutes), tried it warm and just thought “oh, no no” and carefully poured it into a glass to be put in the fridge. It actually kind of reminds me of my Tealux Angel Falls Mist. Definitely drinkable unsweetened. I can’t even taste the licorice! Total win. Definitely claiming the last 4 bags of this!

Preparation
Iced

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Overboard Traveling tea box

Hmm, I’m pleasantly surprised with this one. Unsweetened, it was something I wouldn’t mind drinking, but adding a touch of sweetener really brought the hazelnut out and covered up the remains of the rooibos taste. I wonder how this would taste with some cacao thrown in… hmmmm. Might have to keep this one for experimental purposes.

(omg the remains of the first steep with a tsp of cacao husks and a tsp of cacao nibs and some sweetener is… really yummy)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
rosebudmelissa

That does sound delicious! Where did you get your cacao husks and nibs?

jeweledthumb

@rosebudmelissa: The nibs you can get at any “gourmet” or specialty grocery store – although I often find them cheaper at HomeGoods (or Marshalls/Tjmaxx). The husks, on the other hand are a slightly bigger pain to get a hold of, even though they are the casts off in the chocolate making process. There are a few brands that sell husks: Herbal Infusions, Tisano, Teaobroma, though I’m sure there are others.

rosebudmelissa

Thanks! I love chocolate, so I think I may have to look into this. I noticed that there’s a discussion about chocolate tea, where someone mentioned that the shells have a lot more flavor. Do the nibs add much to the flavor in your opinion, or should I just go for the shells? And do you know anything about how they compare to brewing chocolate like Crio Bru? (can you tell I got distracted researching this after I asked my question? :)

jeweledthumb

@rosebudmelissa: In my opinion the nibs add some flavor, but not a heck of a lot and the husks and the nibs need to be steeped for a long time before you get much flavor, and when you get flavor, it’s not sweet chocolate like many would expect, so I almost always add some sweetener. I did a LOT of research on the husks myself… in fact, I wrote a lot about it in this tasting note (http://steepster.com/jeweledthumb/posts/231665#likes). I’m half tempted to buy the beans, roast them myself and get the husks for tea and have a (probably horrible) attempt at the chocolate making process just to see.

(You don’t want to know how many articles and youtube videos I watched on the chocolate making process after trying “chocolate tea” for the first time – so I totally understand!). When I learned that the husks are the cast offs, I was really annoyed that the “chocolate tea” is so expensive. Most places probably get the husks for free or close to it!

rosebudmelissa

Thanks for the information. I look forward to trying it out for myself.

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drank Fig Formosa Oolong by Tealux
336 tasting notes

Overboard Traveling tea box

So this one is a bit odd. Without sweetener, it barely tastes like anything; maybe a little oolong, but it’s minimal. With sweetener, it tastes like sweetener, but there’s no specific fruit that I can detect, definitely not fig. And of course, it doesn’t have the buttery appeal of greener oolongs either so I’m quite meh with this one. Back in the box it goes.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

I recently discovered loose leaf tea and am already addicted (much to my husband’s dismay)! I prefer fruity teas iced and savory teas hot. Looking forward to drinking and chatting.

Some likes/dislikes I’ve been noticing:

Likes:
Pineapple
Jasmine
Fruity White Teas
lighters Blacks
Most Oolongs (especially greener varieties)
dessert teas
tisanes iced that don’t require added sweetener

Dislikes:
Spicy flavors unless in chai
astringent black teas
heavy ginger teas
teas with licorice (as primary ingredients – somehow I like some where the licorice is in the back drop)
heavily oxidized oolongs

For my own reference, I’m only placing “full size” teas in my cupboard.

Location

DC/Metro

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