847 Tasting Notes

92
drank French Toast by 52teas
847 tasting notes

Sip down this morning – had enough for one big mug of this.

I was too lazy to get up and add milk and sugar, so while this is brisk it actually has a great cinnamony flavor and chewy, bready texture.

This wasn’t one of my favorite teas from 52teas, but once I got the parameters right it was definitely one of the more accurate. And it’s a nice cozy cup to have on this VERY cold day.

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

ahah, we both had this one this morning. (X^D)

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86

Had this while looking up job postings this AM. Definitely a nice, bright start to my morning. :)

I looked at my previous tasting note for this and still agree with it – you get the citrus and then the tea & cream notes but it definitely all works. It’s a great, if similar tea to Noel a Venise and when I run out of both I’m going to have a hard time choosing which to restock!

(Yeah right. I’ll totally restock both of them…I know myself way too well.)

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Lemon, Milk, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TheKesser

This sounds good :)

Stephanie

This one is fantastic iced as well.

Sil

heh. really glad this one worked out for you

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94

Today’s my 4 year Steepster-versary!

I had this tea because I have a bunch of tea samples that really need to go…but I really think this one will have to be restocked. Unlike my other favorite East Frisian tea, this one stands alone without milk and sugar. This tea has higher quality leaves, as opposed to the East Frisian BOP, so that’s probably why the overt bitterness isn’t present.

It is a nice strong assam-ish black with very subtle vanilla – neither taste overpowers the other in my opinion. I like both Frisian blends but on days where I just want a breakfast tea without the hassle of additives, this is a solid option.

Flavors: Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
KittyLovesTea

Congratulations! Happy 4 years steepster-versary.

Sil

happy steepsterversary!

VariaTEA

Four years is amazing! Congrats :)

TeaBrat

yay! i’ve been here since 2011 myself :)

Jillian

Congrats on the milestone

mrmopar

Congrats! I am still a “newbie”.

JoonSusanna

Aww, thanks you guys! You guys are a huge part of what makes it so fun!

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70
drank Uji Shincha #4 by Kettl
847 tasting notes

Okay, so I tried the Obukucha and it was good and then it reminded me about how I have this Uji shincha that’s not getting any younger, just languishing away in my cupboard. And then I remembered the pine-y ocean breeze smell and thought, I bet that would go really well with some leftover chicken pad thai.

And here we are.

Steep 1: Yummm… this is an excellent steep, just like last time- piney salt air, very light green, almost colorless liquor. THIS I like. The hints of brine and umami aren’t as strong as the obukucha but these are still the basic characteristics I love in a green. I drank this quickly and it did pair well with the pad thai. And the leaves in my gaiwan smell just like buttered spinach. Seriously I could put soy sauce on that and eat it.

Steep two: I was extra mindful of not wanting to steep this too long since this is where it all went wrong last time. So, I went 45 seconds again (rather than 1 minute like the second steep last time) – and the SAME THING happened :(. I guess I could go a SHORTER steep for the second go around – maybe 20 seconds to start off with? Because this is undrinkable and bitter as is.

Back to the drawing board, but the first steep is so promising that I can’t count it out just yet…

Flavors: Ocean Breeze, Pine

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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76

Second steep: Still a very strong, heady cup, veering toward astringent now even though I steeped for barely 30 seconds. I’ll go lighter on the leaf and the steep time next go around for sure! I like the buttered spinach a lot but I’m pretty sure a caffeine withdrawal headache is in my future once it all gets out of my system. :/

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76

Last year’s January Steepster select gave me a chance to try Obukucha, and that’s when I learned about the tradition behind it. I LOOOOVED that tea. It tasted more like a savory umami broth than any green I’d ever had, and I’ve been chasing that flavor ever since. I’ve been told it’s a characteristic of Uji sencha, so I’ve tried that, but it’s still not quite the same. I figured that maybe I was looking for the pickled plum flavor than anything; or maybe the seaweed gave it that savory note?

When I saw the ingredient label on this: matcha, kelp, soybean, genmaicha – I was hopeful maybe I’d get to recreate that flavor again. Plus, this tea has gold flakes in it! And it’s supposed to be a lucky tea. I’m cool with getting some luck on my side. :)

First steep is detailed in the below parameters. The resulting tea is dark jade green and there is a lot of sediment in the cup, but that’s because there’s both matcha and irregularly shaped bits of sencha/genmaicha. The liquor has that opaqueness of a matcha, too. The taste is STRONG, you guys. Toasted rice but strong spinachy buttered grassy notes too. 90 seconds was definitely too long of an initial steep but its not astringent at all. It’s surprising smooth and the only reason I know I left it too long is because I swear I can FEEL the caffeine rush to my head.

There’s pretty gold bits in the tea making me feel very fancy (as I sit here in my pajamas at 2 PM) and I do like this. As Japanese greens go, my favorite flavors are represented quite nicely. But, it still isn’t that pretty obukucha from last year, sadly. I would love to find that tea again and maybe if I keep drinking this one that is where I can channel all the lucky vibes?

A girl can dream, right?

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach, Toasted Rice

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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100

Okay, what tea is this? I ask because I need ALL OF IT.

The dry leaf smell on this is pleasant enough, that earthy malt typical of a good black tea. But once it is steeped, it just turns AMAZING. Honey and baked bread, turning into an agave/raisin as it cools. There is so much going on. I gave the boyfriend this tea to take a sip and watched as he took a drink, paused, and pulled the cup back toward himself. “Wait…” he said.

Chameleon teas are the best. I really do need to know what specific varietal this is (maybe the Tan Yang that Angrboda loves so dearly?) because I’ve decided it’s my favorite black tea.

Yeah, unapologetic 100 here. This absolutely deserves it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Raisins

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

YUM! Saved to wishlist!

Sil

haha glad you liked it!

looseTman

Brenden, Please tell us about your Wild Arbor Yunnan Black Tea. Thanks!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Top secret, no one will ever know ;-)

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81

Happy almost new year, steepster!

This is actually a backlog entry from a few days ago – I had family in town so never really got around to making a note, but I do have a few impressions that stuck with me so I wanted to jot them down.

This was not as complex as the Jabberwocky, which I had a day or so before. I liked this but I just basically got the notes of raisin and a chewy, malty texture. I suppose there was a cocoa undertone but it was really faint. I think this is the tea that the Golden Orchid is based off of, right? I wasn’t overly enamored with that one either, so maybe this isn’t that surprising…

Not bad, obviously, but just not the ‘wow’ I was expecting. Maybe it will grow on me?

Flavors: Malt, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

is this the new one or the old blend? I wasn’t wowed by the old one either but word is the new blend is better

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88

Alright – my first Whispering Pines order, which I got during the Cyber Monday deal.

I love a good black tea. A good, malty black tea and some vanilla notes is even more up my alley, and the smell of the steeped leaf (mostly malty, potatoey yunnan notes) and steeped tea (mostly vanilla, but so much vanilla it’s almost chocolate…has this happened to anyone before?) is really promising.

I followed the parameters recommended on the bag, so 1.5 tsp., 3 minutes and 200 degree water. The first tasting impressions I’m getting are a very creamy vanilla/chocolate combination. Not so much black tea at this point, but I have the rest of the cup to go to find that. :)

As it cools the malty notes peek out in the scent of the steeped tea, but I still mostly pick up chocolate and vanilla in the flavor. I may try some milk just to see if I can tease out a little something different…and, no. This cup is just meant to be those two flavors for me.

I agree that this is a lovely winter sipping tea – and I definitely prefer it without anything added, after trying it both ways. I’m not as wowed as others seem to be though. I’ll enjoy what I have, for sure, and I like it fine, but as of right now it doesn’t rank as a must-have.

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
looseTman

IMHO, GO is an excellent desert tea. It’s not a robust malty breakfast tea.

Cathy Zheng

I found that this one took some time to grow on me, and then I became obssessed

MzPriss

My favorite.

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70

Hmm. I ordered this because Vienna was in the description and I was on a nostalgic kick remembering my trip there a few months ago. When I got this I thought, hmm, sounds familiar, and I was right! There’s a tasting note here from 2-ish years ago.

I also remembered not being too thrilled with the blend but I believe sometime after that I was told about how Darjeelings are gentle souls that cannot handle boiling water. With that in mind I made a big cup with a little more leaf and a cooler brewing temperature.

I would say this is a much better cup this time around. More flavorful, definitely tastes like tea and bergamot. It’s got a nice creaminess in it too, though I don’t believe there is vanilla in the ingredients. A tea pretending to have vanilla in it will never lose points with me though :).

I’ll definitely have to prep the remaining part of my sample this way. It is a lighter blend for sure, and I would say I need heavier teas to get me going in the morning, but I’m glad I’m able to raise the rating on this one and find a sweet spot for how to best enjoy it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

“A tea pretending to have vanilla in it will never lose points with me though” – oh so true!

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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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