792 Tasting Notes

95

Yay! I found my tin of pumpkin pie matcha when I was reconfiguring my cupboard!

Since I like these as a cold latte I had it as a dessert last night. I don’t really think I got much more than pumpkin pie spice and green tea flavor but that was more than enough for me.

Once I clear out my matchas I will definitely be placing a bulk Red Leaf order – these matcha lattes are going to be PERFEECT for desserts in the summer.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg

Preparation
2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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82

The smelled so malty and raisiny. More than anything it was raisiny, though – I’ve never smelled that much of a fruity note in a black tea before, unless it was flavored.

My note for this mentioned how astringent it got even after 3:30, so I reduced the steep time to 3 minutes even and…its still pretty rough around the edges. That beautiful raisined and fruity note is nowhere to be found, and without a good helping of creamer this would be impossible for me to drink. It’s a breakfast tea and so that’s fine, but I wish I could have the option of having it plain, you know?

Oh well, it is still brisk enough to get me moving this morning. And I can always reduce the steep time even more to see if that makes for a less astringent tea. I’ll go for 2:30 next time and see what happens.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98

Tea of the morning. Still one of my favorites from 52Teas. It always captures pancake + maple syrup so well, and even better when there’s some creamer added.

Sigh. Schoolwork for a bit, then more tea…

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

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73
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
792 tasting notes

The dry leaf smell in this has mellowed out to be a lot more pleasant than I remember. It is mostly coconut and vanilla with a lot less of the chocolate (which I believe was the part I didn’t like).

Steeped at below parameters with creamer added. Taste wise it is mostly toasted coconut with chocolate on the swallow. Perfectly palatable with additives, though not so much plain, and the fact that its bagged is always nice for convenience.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

Sipdown #2 of the day.

I decided to try this cold brewed just to see how I’d like it. I liked it quite a bit hot, but I either had enough for 1 hot cup with about 1/2 tsp. to throw out (gasp!) or I could just try it cold and use all the leaf. I don’t like wasting leaf, guys.

So I did this about…whew, 20 hours now in the fridge in my little canning jar. It smells so creamy! Cold creamy vanilla. I don’t get any lemon, though. I do get a large amount of bitterness but I steeped it way too long and I’m chugging it with lunch anyway (see: I don’t like to waste leaf).

So, good blend, but why name it winter? A lemony white tea screams spring to me. Not sure if this is seasonal or not but as its probably one of my favorite white teas I would consider buying some if its still available.

Flavors: Lemon Zest, Vanilla

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Sil

if you’re ever dying for a taste, i can always send you a bit more as long as it’s in my cupboard heh

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95

Well. A sipdown is a good way to start off the morning, even if its a blend you really liked.

I have been doing a massive spring cleaning of my cupboard and am in the process of getting some very old blends out. Down to 64 today! Hmm. I guess I should start placing some orders soon… :)

Today’s final cup was made extra strong and with a splash of creamer. It is tasty as ever, sweet vanilla custard being the dominant flavor, as usual. I love vanilla blacks. I suppose its time to face the music and start searching for another one, as this was a limited edition blend.

Schoolwork first, then time to peruse some tea websites I think..

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Vanilla

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

Oooh. Tea website perusing is one of life’s little luxuries.

Fjellrev

I really miss this one.

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78

My last to try from the Steepster select box. Green oolongs are usually not something I prefer due to their florality, so I’m not really expecting to be bowled over by this. But, after reading the story of the tea itself and the farm it comes from I am curious to give it a try.

Steeped gong fu method per the Eco-Cha website instructions.

First steep, 1:10.
Smells of butter, tastes strongly floral. Reminds me strongly of a Ti Kwan Yin (though without that thick, oily mouthfeel), down to the tightly rolled balls that constitute the appearance of the dry leaf. Perhaps I am imagining it but as the tea cools I do think there’s an indistinct fruitiness that is trying to assert itself. Those flowers are pretty tough to contend with, though. A pretty yellow liquor and zero bitterness.

Seconds steep, 1:30.
Now that some of the leaves have unfurled I am seeing a lot of branches still attached. Interesting. I wonder how they were concealed? Did those tight little leaf balls really contain that? Mm.. the dry leaf now holds a very sweet pear note. I hope the liquor does as well. It has, sort of. The floral note is still the strongest but fruit (apples or pear) has become more obvious too. Much more juicy and sweet to taste. Definitely like this steeping better.

Third steep, 1:50.
In the smell of the dry leaf – flowers again, a darker, spiced fruit. Cinnamon, strangely enough. This steeping has considerably less floral and is becoming a bit astringent. A mix of astringence and fruit, but the flavor is waning in general.

Fourth steep, 2:20.
This will be my last steeping, as it’s really really light on flavor now…almost tasteless. Flowers are back, fruit is gone. It’s come full circle, if you will.

I will say this was an enjoyable experience. It solidified what I already knew about my tastes and greener oolongs. Still, it was the first time I’d ever gotten to do a gaiwan steeping of a green oolong and there is a lot to being able to smell and examine the leaf between steepings. It was quite relaxing and a great exercise in mindfulness, and that’s never a bad thing.

Preparation
Boiling

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96
drank Obukucha by Steepster
792 tasting notes

Obukucha, you are so tasty. I could almost have you for lunch instead of miso, you remind me that much of a brothy salty seaweedy soup.

I am so sad that this is only sold around the new year. I placed an order with Obubu tea to try and get another sencha and a sample of their sakura so that I can sort of have some kind of salty beverage in my future, but I am still going to miss this cup.

It is my ideal green. From the flavor profiles it almost seems like I should be looking more for a gyokuro if I want something similar, so I suppose my next step will be to research that. In the meantime, does anyone have any idea who supplied this tea for the Select Box? I love them so much for it. If you have any recommendations for similar tasting teas I’ll take that too.

So so SO good, and now it’s all gone. I hope my sencha gets here fast..

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML
ZachMangan

Hey Joonsusanna, I sourced this tea for Steepster Select, and while its all gone for the year, I would recommend you try to purchase a sencha and gyokuro from the Uji region. The salt/brine flavor you are describing is a hallmark of teas from Uji. Good luck finding a replacement!

JoonSusanna

AH! I am just now seeing your note for whatever reason, so a VERY belated THANK YOU! I have not been able to recreate the lovely briney flavors in any sencha I’ve tried since this tea, so I really appreciate the help…I also went ahead and ordered the Uji shincha that was for sale at Tea Wing because of this, once I saw that that was your store. :)

I’m really excited to try the Uji shincha, but if you think there is another tea with a flavor profile even closer to the Obukucha I’m all ears – and I trust you implicitly! Thank you again for responding!

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66
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
792 tasting notes

I don’t think rhubarb likes me very much. :(

It makes my throat scratchy. I know there’s hibiscus in this as well so I’m not about to blame the sharp metallic taste on it, but…the scratchy throat thing is off putting. It’s a shame, because the dry leaf scent of strawberry is so fresh and tantalizing, and the bunny graham crackers are cute and do give a good pastry note to the steeped tea. Rhubarb and hibiscus just are not playing nice today.

I will try it cold brewed to see if that will take the edge off it (though hibiscus may not do well with an extended steep) but otherwise I will likely send this along to someone who wants it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Oh that is a shame. It is such a great tea! Sorry it didn’t agree with you :(

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51

Cold brewed this since I had such bad luck with it hot. 1 pkg. in 14 oz. water in a mason jar, chilled overnight (24 hours total, because I forgot about it – oops).

There is more of a honeyed, woody note when cold, and its sweeter. Cold brewing took care of the astringence, which I figured it would. But now there’s kind of a smokiness??? Where did that come from and WHY IS IT HERE? Ugh, I hate smoke.

Nope. This one is a miss for me. I can’t overlook bitterness and I really really can’t overlook smoke. Oh well – at least it’s a sipdown!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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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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