812 Tasting Notes

39

Advent calendar day 18.

Rooibos. We meet again.

I have learned that I’m just not much of a fan of herbals. I’ll try them, sure, but I don’t go out of my way to buy them anymore. They just taste off to me now.

This is no exception. The dry leaf smells mostly of orange and clove but it also doesn’t definitively smell of tea. It has a medicinal smell that gets stronger when brewed (I’m thinking this may be due to the cherry.)

The taste (served with no additives) is okay – mostly orange. The mouthfeel is fine. I just really don’t like that medicinal note – I have to breathe through my mouth in order to take a sip.

Yeah, not wowed, but then I didn’t expect to be, really.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

Bleh, rooibos ;)

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82

Advent calendar, day 19 (though I’m having it today because I got mixed up.)

Another Christmas tea! These are so fun. I like imagining the different cities and why they picked the flavors they did. I’m assuming this was based on the Sachertorte (chocolate cake) and Marillenkuchen (apricot cake) that are traditional Austrian desserts.

Steep notes: no additives, below parameters.

Dry leaf smelled mostly like chocolate and caramel (I’m pretty sure the vanilla is responsible for this). I don’t mind chocolate in tea but it feels like they put it in every blend, practically. Luckily they do it well. Once steeped the aroma has transformed into a sweet milk chocolate. This, again, is pretty standard Dammann…I imagine the apricot is waiting for me in the taste.

Mmm…it was! I get the fruity apricot followed by creamy vanilla and a muted chocolate. As the liquor has cooled the apricot is more evident in the scent as well. I like this! It’s probably my second favorite after the Venice Christmas one. I’ll keep this on the reorder list for sure…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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67

Advent Calendar, Day 20 (EEP: I had this on yesterday accidentally! Sorry to spoil the surprise). Getting close to the end now – I can’t even believe it’s Christmas next Wednesday.

When I first smelled this I got red fruit/berries, specifically strawberry, and even kind of a caramelly scent. Reading the description turned the berry note into apple+peach. Don’t know where I got caramel unless it was the pear (I think it can sometimes have a sugary sweet scent like that).

Steeped at the below parameters, with no additives.

Apple and plum both have that astringence with their skin that I am wary of in tea form. I like eating them both but I’ve had apple teas before and they tend to carry that astringence over. This is the case here – between the plum and the apple it is very astringent and tart, albeit fruity. This is only the second of the Dammann teas I’ve tried so far (the other being their Earl Grey) that I think would benefit from some sugar.

I was so close to the end of the cup before determining this that I didn’t bother with the sugar – and as it was only the one teabag, I doubt I will order it again to try this out. So far I still think that Noël a Venise is my favorite Christmas tea of theirs.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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56

Sil most awesomely sent this my way after some undignified begging on my part, haha. I wanted to make sure an order would be worth my while.

I should have known that you guys would not lead me astray. The dry leaf smells kind of cinnamon/raisiny, but I usually have a hard time gauging dry leaf smell from a swap since it’s in with so many other teas.

Steeped though, this liquor smells mostly like cinnamon rolls. WOW. How can it smell like bread?! The taste is just as accurate, and punched up with a bit of milk and sugar it is full on cinnamon roll with icing.

I only had one steep of this this morning before leaving for jury duty but I am definitely planning on revisiting this later tonight.

Time to put together an order for sTEAp shoppe, it seems…

Preparation
212 °F / 100 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

i found that this was the one tea i really loved from Janet, and most of the others were average. Not to disuade you but i’d read up on some of the reviews to get the ones that you’ll most likely be able to enjoy the most :)

JustJames

hahahahah ‘after some undignified begging on my part….’. =0)

Amariel

I really like this one too.

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77

Day 17 of the Advent calendar. Confession: I gave day 16 to my mom when she was in town because she LOVES figs. Given how spot on the flavorings have been I really wanted her to have a chance to try it. So, no note from me for that one.

With THIS tea, I actually was able to identify a smell before looking at the description! And it was a weird smell to get, too. But the dry tea bag really did smell JUST like prunes. Kind of grapey, kind of raisiny, the boyfriend is convinced it’s fig, but NOPE. It is definitely prunes. I am super proud of myself. :)

Steeped at the below parameters with no additives.

The steeped tea still smells pruney, but there is a sugary sweetness in there, too – most likely the caramel. Caramel and prunes are a weird combination, I won’t lie. I would never in a million years have put them together.

Flavoring is chocolate/caramel first and then…prune. There is a citrusy note to it, though, kind of like stewed prunes that my mom makes (and incidentally, are really good). The ingredients also said something about vodka flavoring, but I didn’t think vodka had any flavor, and I’m not picking up on whatever that supposed flavor may be.

This was pretty good – I still can’t reconcile why chocolate and caramel and prune were put together, but if anyone can do that kind of blend, and do it well, Dammann can. I’m going to be so bummed when I don’t have a new tea from them each morning!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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79

One of my teas from Sil.

Sigh. Well, I got picked for jury duty. At least tomorrow I’ll kind of have an idea of where I’m going vs. today, when it was just little old me and huge, confusing downtown.

But for right now I’m home relaxing, and tea sounded perfect. This was a white tea and I’ve had enough caffeine for today, so between that and the convenience factor of it being a bagged tea I was sold.

Steeped at the below parameters, with no additives.

This brews up a pale to mid orange color, no doubt because of the peach. It certainly smells peachy – a nice natural fruity peach, nothing artificial. The vanilla/cream aspect is very subdued. This holds true for the taste as well – it’s peachy first and foremost with a smooth creamy finish. I really don’t taste any white tea, but I imagine any notes of hay that would be present are drowned out by the fruity sweetness of the peach.

As someone who doesn’t drink white teas very much, I’m surprised by how much I like this. I still have one more bag left courtesy of Sil, and part of me thinks it would be REALLY nice to try iced. Hmm…I may give it a shot but really, it was pretty darn good hot.

Thanks again for sending some my way, Sil!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

yay for trying new random teas! :)

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100

Whee! I’m sitting in the courthouse for jury duty. I knew that I would need some serious fortitude to get me through the monotony so I picked this for breakfast this morning.

As always, this tea is impossible to mess up. I had it with milk and sugar and it was smooth and spicy. Quite warm for a rather cold, early start. Hopefully it will be my good luck charm and get me done early, too…

Fjellrev

Wow, hope everything went well!

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93

My Butiki order got here! (It was here Saturday but then my front office “lost” it so I only just got to tear into it today…the joys of apartment living).

I got SO. MANY. TEAS. My self imposed limit is 75 and I’m sitting at 84 currently thanks to a recent sort-of-swap and this. It ended up being something like 20 new teas after everything got counted up. I wanted to try a Butiki one this afternoon but they all sounded so good that I literally had to just blindly pick one out of the box. And that’s brought me here.

Steeped following Butiki’s parameters and served with no additives.

The scent of the dry leaf is straight up caramel. The sweet, chewy caramels are what immediately comes to mind. That makes me very happy, as I love those things! I also get hints of the Premium Taiwanese Assam, so the end result is a nice malty caramel scent.

This is a nicely sweet tea even without the additives. The caramel is the strongest flavor, but the Taiwanese assam plays really well with it. The vanilla comes out as a buttery note that really compliments the other flavors well.

Well, this is off to a great start…now to try some more!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
caile

It’s always hard to choose which tea to try first out of a new bunch! Sounds like you picked a good one!

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70

Advent calendar, day 15.

The smell of this dry was herby and medicinal. There was orange, but also a lemongrass note (probably the verbena and/or lemon balm) and lemon grass is my sick tea so this doesn’t make me super excited.

I don’t know what it is about drinking sick teas when you’re not sick, but…

The top scent once steeped is orange, then that medicinal herb. Maybe it’s chamomile? I don’t know but I could do without it. Not really any floral notes, but I don’t mind. I don’t like drinking flowers, as a rule.

The taste is very much lemongrass. Maybe an orangey lemongrass, depending on the sip. It is quite soothing, and I imagine it would be a great sick time tea – but I have one of those from Upton and its cheaper and stateside.

As always, glad to try it, but this won’t be a tea that I order.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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79
drank All Citrus by 52teas
812 tasting notes

Really? I’ve not logged a tasting note for this?

I am doing a slight cleanout of teas (since I am now WAY too far above my 75 teas or less rule) and found that this one has zero notes. I drink it exclusively iced, using my typical iced tea brewing parameters and sugar ratio (1/4 cup sugar to 1/2 gallon of tea).

The citrus is a nice addition to a black tea, but these flavorings do fall a little artificial to me. Especially now that I’m drinking all the orange Dammann flavorings, which manage to seem so natural. It’s not as bad iced but I could see it maybe being a tad too fake if I tried it hot.

So, iced it is, for the duration of the pouch. Back to cleaning out the tea drawers and figuring out what I can send along, and what I need to throw out…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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

Atlanta, GA

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