829 Tasting Notes

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
829 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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86

This is another super generous sample I received from Sil! Thank you so much!

I’m even more excited about this blend because of how much I fell in love with Noël à Venise from Dammann…that has had me craving a vanilla lemon tea. This one doesn’t have a black base, but it’s French and smells heavenly, so I am happy to use it as a substitute in the meantime. (BTW, Sil, I totally sent that shopping link to my boyfriends’ parents so I’m thinking that I will be getting some Christmas tea thanks to you! You really are my Steepster Santa!)

I don’t actually get much scent from the dry leaf, though I think it’s because it’s so delicate that a lot of the fruitier teas it was shipped with have overtaken it. None of that has carried over to the steeped tea, though, which I am drinking sans additives and after steeping at the below parameters.

Whereas Noël à Venise was more lemony, this tea stresses the vanilla first and foremost. That’s a good thing here, as the white tea is very light and needs some heaviness if it’s going to boast of being a winter tea. The vanilla manifests as a heavy sweet cream note with a slight lemon tang on the swallow. This is not a cold dark blizzard kind of tea. It is the liquid equivalent of waking up to a sunny cold morning and seeing the ground blanketed with snow.

I am not a white tea drinker normally but it does work here. This is my first Fauchon tea and I am impressed. Too bad my bank account isn’t going to be with all those foreign transaction fees in my future, haha.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec
Sil

I don’t like white teas most of the time but this one is pretty good. Glad you’re having fun with them :)

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67

Advent calendar, day 14.

Per usual, no additives, because the tea doesn’t need it. Served with German Pancakes for a really awesome Sunday breakfast

The dry leaf definitely smells like cough syrup. It’s the cherry flavoring, I’m sure. Anyway, I have learned not to put too much stock in their dry leaf scent because it always turns out okay once the water hits. I will say this, though – the pink flowers in this blend and the white tea leaves looked absolutely beautiful while steeping. I’m not a particularly visual person (auditory learner, don’t know how to accessorize a room to save my life) but I had to stop and watch for a while just because of how pretty it was.

Yup, the steeped tea has a beautiful clear, pale yellow liquor and a slightly more natural cherry scent. Taste wise the cherry is at the forefront ant it surprisingly a fruity, bright pie cherry flavor. I excepted the spices and more of an almond cherry, but I prefer this so I’m not complaining. I guess there’s a hint of cinnamon trailing behind the cherry notes, but again, it’s more like pie filling than anything else.

As it cools the white tea becomes a little harsh/astringent but that may be the effect of the nuts becoming more prominent in taste as well. Either way, I prefer this more when its warm but there isn’t much left to drink up now.

Eh, it was good for a one tea bag attempt, but I’m not really clamoring for more.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

what is a German Pancake ?

JoonSusanna

Kind of a more eggy, crepe-like pancake that you bake in the oven. They’re super easy to make. Here’s the recipe I used: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/12/loopy-breakfast-goodness/

Terri HarpLady

I’d like to come up with a gluten & dairy free version of these :)

Ysaurella

Thank you :)

OMGsrsly

I’ll know in about half an hour if they work with coconut oil, almond milk and 50/50 almond meal and tapioca starch… I hope they do! I used to make them all the time.

OMGsrsly

Pretty good, but not perfect. :) I devoured it anyways. These flours brown really fast, so keep an eye open. Maybe 15/5 instead of 20/10.

JoonSusanna

I find that even with the regular flour I can only do about 20 minutes total. I must have a really hot oven. :) But I’m glad that it worked for you- those substitutions are good to know!

OMGsrsly

It was more custardy than crunchy. I remember the wheat flour ones being kind of crunchy where they browned.

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64

Well, at first today started off awesome because my Butiki order was out for delivery early. But then I was sad because the mailman delivered it to the front office, which closed before I got home. That sadness didn’t last for too long though, because next to the delivery notice was a package from Sil! A really generous package, too- it’s like a European tea invasion in my apartment. :)

It couldn’t have come on a better day – it was rainy and cold out and we’d been out in the weather for a few hours so a warm cup of tea sounded perfect. The boyfriend wanted tea too, which kind of limited me to this one as he doesn’t do any “crazy” flavors.

He also doesn’t do milk or sugar, which in this case made the tea a no go for him. I went a little conservative on the steep time (the recommended parameters are 3-5 minutes, and 4 minutes is what I usually go for with black teas) but WOW. Astringence city! It has that beautiful earthy black tea smell and it certainly stood up to milk and sugar but I like my black teas to be drinkable either way, and this is definitely not something you can drink plain. Not the way I brewed it, anyway.

I should have enough for one or two more cups (see: Sil and her generosity) and I’ll try to bump down the time even further but as it is, I can’t see this competing with Frissy, my most favorite breakfast tea. I loved being able to try it though – it’s officially the first Fortnum & Mason tea I’ve ever had!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

Missed seeing this note…..try 2.5 mins and just slightly under boiling…this is NOT my fav breakfast blend but it’ll do in a pinch. Bellocq has a wonderful breakfast blend I got to try via fuzzyp. :)

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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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