779 Tasting Notes
Backlog from yesterday – my birthday tea!
I woke up and my stomach was really upset for some reason. This always steers me toward green teas or mint teas, and I saw this first so into the infuser it went.
I still think the directions on this are really confusing – they say 5 grams to one quart, which is what – 1/2 tsp. to a cup? Still at boiling for two minutes. I can do the boiling water and the 2 minute steep time (hesitantly!) but anything less than 1 tsp. would surely be too weak for me.
I went with the 1 tsp. and yeah, I can’t imagine doing less leaf – as it was I got a light vegetal green but I think it would have been little more than tinted water if I’d followed that recommended amount. This was very soothing and there were some roasted undertones that did give it an oolong-ish character. I had this with honey in Hawaii, but yesterday it was just plain and it was more than drinkable.
It is unlike any tea I’ve had before – I don’t know if that’s because it was grown in such a unique climate or what, but I’m going to be sad when my small sample is gone. Guess I’ll just have to move there so I get it more frequently! :)
Prep notes: below parameters, some milk and sugar, 8 oz. water, 1.5 tsp. leaf.
Tasted like a generic chai. Maaaybe some marshmallow but I think that’s more creaminess from the milk. No real chocolate or graham cracker notes. All the spices were there but there wasn’t anything really notable. Guess I’ll play around with this a bit more.
Am I really the first person to log this?
I got this based on how much I love cheesecake blends, and that caramel turtle blend a while back. I figured that no wrong could come of two flavors I liked separately.
Prep notes: 1.5 tsp., 8 oz. water, 2 oz. milk, some sugar, at my standard parameters for 52teas black teas.
This blend wasn’t bad – I could taste the caramel and chocolate first and foremost, with some nuttiness a bit more as an afterthought. There was sort of some cheesecake present only in the form of a background tang, even less present than the nutty flavors. There was a lot going on here and that easily overwhelmed the black tea base – I didn’t really feel like I was drinking tea during the whole cup. That really isn’t a bad thing and I should have expected it given how much this blend has going on.
Eh. My first taste of this wasn’t bad but I’ll let the flavors sit a bit to see if they become a bit more cohesive. I got all of the elements separately but if they truly combine to taste like turtle cheesecake this rating will increase for sure.
Bought this while on Mauna Kea for the summit tour on the Big Island. (How is my vacation over already?!)
Anyway, I was not about to pass up tea grown on the mountain I was currently standing on – I mean, how often does that happen? Once I got it back to our rental house, I realized the parameters were pretty atypical for a green – boiling water and two minutes. The leaves were pretty atypical for a green, too – there was no uniformity, some were as long as grass shavings, others as small as mint leaves.
As is typical for a vacation brew, I guesstimated at amounts and steeping times. This didn’t suffer from the lack of precision, though. It reminded me most of an oolong, probably since it was a dark roast, but there is a notable vegetal flavor too. Mostly I’m surprised that the leaves held up to boiling water without turning into an astringent mess.
I’m rating this high for now partly because of the nostalgia factor, but I have enough left to give it a try at home and judge it a little more carefully then. It was pretty fabulous to be able to get tea so close to its source – if only that could be a permanent thing (sigh).
UM. I have to say, the smell of this dry IS A&W Root beer. How does it manage to smell like carbonation?!?
So normally with 52teas I like my black teas at 4 minutes, 212 degrees, 1.5 tsp. for 10 oz. water. That tends to be my default so I started from there.
I wasn’t disappointed! Once steeped, the liquor smells of creamy rootbeer. Slightly less of a carbonation smell, but then, adding ice cream tends to dull that in a real root beer float. The cream note also rounds out what would probably be a slightly astringent tea base – next time I’ll go a little less on the steeping, though this is fabulous even with the over steep. It would also probably be amazing with milk and sugar but it doesn’t need it.
Soooo glad this got restocked – it’s definitely one of Frank’s best!
Finished off this sample today – bringing me down to 71. But then 52teas and that Turtle Cheesecake! So that plus a S’mores chai and I’m back to 73. Under my goal, though, so that’s something!
This was one of the teas I sent to a friend and it was one of her favorites of the lot. “Damn good” was the description I got. Along with “loose leaf tea really is better”. This was from a person who two months ago decided she was not a tea person at all. I am quite proud. :)
I will miss this cup, though. I feel like you can never have too many black teas and this one is one of Upton’s best. Doesn’t hold a candle to Frissy, but it’s not a bad option. And it’s super cheap, too. Judging by the lower rating I have here it must have grown on me, too, so if you have this and weren’t wowed – maybe a second cup will change your mind?
Oh, and does anyone know what distinguishes a Scottish blend from an Irish or English one?
My stomach was a bit upset before dinner so I wanted some tea with mint to help soothe it.
This did the trick – with that extra creamy vanilla note to boot. Definitely my favorite mint green, largely because of the added vanilla. It calmed my stomach down too, so added bonus!
Another sipdown – but this one is bittersweet. I’m now at 72 teas (yay for meeting my own self imposed limits) but this one is SO. DARN. GOOD. I don’t know that I won’t be restocking as soon as I finish this note.
Prep notes: 2.5 tsp. leaf to 10 oz. water with some milk at the below parameters.
I remember how this one tasted before with just milk so I replicated it today. I don’t get as much chocolate, more of the rice/starchy notes, but the texture still wins all the points. Thick and creamy and decadent. My favorite.
A really nice way to start my early morning.
Technically, I’m decupboarding TWO teas with this (almond biscotti from Teavana as well), but for some reason that one had already disappeared from my steepster cupboard. Oh, well. At least I’ve now dropped my numbers on here by one!
I’m normally not a combiner of teas for whatever reason, but since I knew the nutty notes had been lost in this for a while and that I didn’t have enough of this one alone to make a full pot, I added in the last of the almond biscotti. I lowered the steep time since that one tends to be a bit astringent, and just went for it. Sugar and milk added.
Mostly I added the sugar and milk because this brewed up DARK. Like, make me nervous dark. I made this in my Breville, 3.5 tsp. of combined leaf in there because that was what was left. The two teas definitely work together – cinnamon nutty notes present in the almond biscotti seem to bring back the semblance of bread that was missing in this one. And the sweetness of the banana downplays the almond astringence. Definitely a good call putting these two together.
Well. That’s the last of this one for the time being. I will miss it – this was a classic 52teas for me. :(