862 Tasting Notes

Well.

This is a sipdown and a first try (from Sil) all at once.

I’m not super upset about the fact that I have no more about this, but given that my stomach has been acting less than optimally lately I thought this would be the perfect time to try it. It was only as I was like 4 minutes in the steeping process that I saw the “DON’T STEEP FOR MORE THAN TWO MINUTES” warning. Whoops. I yanked it out and hoped for the best.

Okay. So, because this was in a drawer with all other samples I didn’t really get to SMELL the spiciness of it. But I sure as heck tasted it. What happens is you think “Ah, this isn’t bad, what’s everyone else talking abou — huh. My mouth is now exploding inward.”

So that happened. It was too strong for me, too savory, couldn’t finish the cup but don’t feel right rating this as I didn’t truly try it when the spice-level was something more on par with my tastes.

It was definitely a wake up call, though. This is a tea that could probably wake the dead. If you like spicy then this is DEFINITELY your bag.

Flavors: Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

hahahahahahahaha omg sorry… lol jones never believes me when i say that i can’ do this one for more than 2 mins..and even then i add honey…and then it’s delicious

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98

Consistently good. Had a big mug of this with some banana bread while making a home on the couch with books all around me.

The beginnings of a stellar weekend, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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79
drank Dublin Cream by Compass Teas
862 tasting notes

Big mug of this with a late breakfast.

I like this with milk and sugar; it has a bit of the Bailey’s flavor then and feels rather a sinful thing to be drinking before noon. It’s quite coffee-like, if you like that sort of thing. A two minute steep is definitely all it needs if you want additives in it; I had a sip plain and while good it was quite astringent, so I’d go less if I wanted it by itself.

Glad I sifted through my cabinet and settled on this today!

Flavors: Coffee, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78
drank Uji Shincha #4 by Kettl
862 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday.

You win, Uji Shincha. From the previous two tasting notes I learned how much you HATE resteeping so I didn’t even try this time. I went straight for a western style brew and you were MUCH happier this way. Still the notes of pine and ocean breeze/salt air, with a bit of astringence that was creeping along the edges of the sip. It was ALMOST, but not quite bitter, and skirted that line well, though next time I might even stop steeping a little earlier.

I will drink you happily because I do love this flavor, but I know there’s got to be a better value for my money out there somewhere…

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 8 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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98

Backlog from a few days ago.

This one’s losing a bit of its strength for me, but it still was pretty good once the cup cooled down. I love that it’s got the raisiny notes of an assam but still has such a bright taste – like a ceylon, almost. It takes the best qualities of both, for me.

Gah, so sad that I’ll never come by any more of this… :(

Flavors: Cocoa, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84
drank Shamrock Tea by 52teas
862 tasting notes

I haven’t had this in a while, but it was just what I wanted tonight.

Still quite creamy from the vanilla, less minty (and thus more balanced) and the sweet green tea just worked well together. I had a headache and a slightly off stomach and this helped with both.

I don’t seem to be in the mood for it much, but when I am, this is quite the good flavored green option!

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Mint, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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77

This was a Christmas present from the boyfriend’s mother. I love lemon things, and I love tea, but for whatever reason am just getting around to trying it.

It smells fresh and herby, but in a good way – and the taste is very fresh and mild. I’m feeling in a rut weather-wise, where I’m getting kind of sick of heavy comfort foods and just want some bright, fresh produce in my life again. This helped with that. I only steeped it for 5 minutes and it tasted fine but I think you could definitely treat it as most herbals do and go for at least 8.

Not bad, and I’m sure that there are other blends of similar ingredients out there that I can move on to whenever I finish this one.

(For future steeping notes to myself: I used 2 tsp. to 10 oz. water.)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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73

Sipdown (and a sample from the lovely Sil!) late last night while reading. My book list seems to be expanding faster than I can keep up, but it’s cold outside, and there’s plenty of tea inside so I’m thinking I’ll manage somehow. :)

Luckily I read the tasting notes before making this or I would have been CONVINCED that this was the wrong tea. I wasn’t expecting caramel at all, in the scent or in the flavor, especially with hibiscus as an ingredient! Usually everything kind of fades to the background with all the tart flavor. I didn’t do much to help the situation, either, by steeping this sucker for EIGHT MINUTES.

In retrospect, whoops.

But the caramel really did a good job holding its own here – not in the middle of the sip, because HIBISCUS, but a nice sweetness took over at the end to make up for some of the metallic, sour tartness. It had a lovely juicy texture – reminded me of cranberry juice a bit, actually- and overall was pretty well balanced. I think the only thing I want to say negative about it is that my tastebuds seemed to get fatigued with it – they seemed less sensitive to the nuances over time and towards the last 4 oz. all I got was tangy hisbiscus and no more caramel.

It was a nifty tea and something to experience for sure! Thanks again Sil for sending some my way!

Flavors: Caramel, Metallic, Tangy, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

hahaha i can just imaging that :)

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100

I had some of my fresh baked bread toasted with honey for breakfast this morning. The last time I had this tea, those were the flavors I picked out the most strongly so of course I had to pair this tea with the meal to see how it stacked up.

Well, with the addition of cocoa powder to a honey wheat loaf, yes, this is the same tea I had before, but I also know it’s not QUITE the same, as it is a chameleon tea and mercurial by its very nature. Fabulously rich, sweet, and complex. This is a definite restock, as it’s probably my favorite higher end black tea.

SO. GOOD.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Grain, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TheTeaFairy

Yes so good! I just drank it also :-)

MissLena

Such a good tea!!

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95

My first cup of this ever as a loose leaf, and WOOOOOW is it strong. And this is coming from someone who LIKES strong teas.

I bought this (again – this one’s a restock for me) hoping to recreate the vanilla cinnamon blend I had at a tea house last week – the cinnamon part of that tea strongly reminded me of this, but since my favorite vanilla teas are no longer sold (RIP Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam..) I thought maybe I’d try my luck with a vanilla bean or and the paste blended in. So I took 3 of my 4 oz, added 2 vanilla beans and we’ll see in about 3-4 weeks I guess.

I figure I can’t really lose – the beans were getting on in age and I’ll like this tea even if I can’t pick up the vanilla.

Meanwhile I took my remaining ounce and couldn’t pass up a cup for old times sake. A nice cozy winter tea, for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Profile

Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

Location

Medford, OR

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