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302 Tasting Notes

56

Today I used 1.5 tsp and steeped for 7 minutes. I definitely liked it more yesterday when I steeped it longer and used a little more tea. The strawberry flavors really start to come out when it gets more syrupy.

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66
drank Five O'Clock Tea by SpecialTeas
302 tasting notes

I’m not great at reviewing plain black teas. To me they are either good or not good. I taste them and think, “yep, tastes like black tea”. So, take this for what it’s worth. This tea falls into the good category. It is smooth and not bitter at all. Tastes malty with some floral notes in the background. I am detecting a slight sourness in the aftertaste.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

When it comes to Darjeelings, Assams and other black teas, I tend to talk in terms of “sparkle”. Is there anything in the cup that makes me think beyond “yup, it is black tea”? If not, it may be a perfectly good cup, but nothing special. What I love to find are those Assam teas that are so astringent, so dry, that you’re almost thirstier when you’re done than when you started, but they aren’t at all bitter at the same time. Those are great on a cold, blustery day.

Kristin

Good advice. I’d say this one wasn’t particularly special other than is was smooth and mellow. Nothing that makes me really want another cup. There is this black tea that is served at my local vegan diner that I love love love. They sell it at their store and I keep meaning to get some. We’ll see if I love it as much at home.

Jim Marks

I always have this sneaking suspicion that the habit of flavoring tea (either sugar, or lemon, or dairy, or spices, or floral scenting or oil essence flavoring) is all a response to someone having had a really good cup of tea from really good leaves, that had all kinds of depth and character, and when they couldn’t recapture that in any other cup with inferior leaves, they started trying to fake it.

There is just nothing like a great cup of tea made from great leaves.

Kristin

Oh, I add some sort of sweetener to everything. I just like them sweet. So my comparisons are always sweet to sweet. I don’t like tea without at least a little sweetener. :)

Jim Marks

Remind me never to send you any good tea ;-)

Payton

I understand the difficulty telling black teas apart. I have the same issue most of the time. My solution is to infuse the teas (full leaf, anyway) for less time to allow the leaf flavor to overcome the robustness of the infusion. Say, 1 to 1.5 minutes. (If it’s not strong enough, you can always put the leaves back in.)

Stephanie

Such great comments! I have a new appreciation about black teas now—I need to discover the “sparkle” too. The teas from The Simple Leaf seem like good candidates.

Kristin

Good idea Payton, thanks! Stephanie, I’m lucky to have friends with much better tea knowledge than me. :) I’m learning a lot here on Steepster.

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56

This tea is so yummy! When I was a kid, little wild strawberries grew all over my grandmothers property in the mountains of North Carolina. We’d go out and pick them by the bucketload and then my grandmother would make strawberry cobbler with drop biscuit dumplings. That is exactly what this tea tastes like. It’s like biting into warm cooked strawberries that are sweet and slightly tart. I only have a sample of this and I’m sure it will be gone in no time but it will definitely be on my reorder list. I have to say that I am normally disappointed in fruit herbals, but this one is great.

I added a touch of agave nectar to this before I even tasted it. It probably doesn’t need it.

Steeped 10 min as suggested on package. Used 2 tsp for about 11 oz.

Update – as it is cooling, I am starting to pick up some floral notes, but they are definitely background flavors.

Update – had to lower my rating as the whole bag that I got after this sample does not taste the same. The whole bag is much more floral.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more

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84

I don’t normally like Rooibos but I like this one. Usually when I get a flavored Rooibos, I can only taste the Rooibos. With this tea I definitely taste some sweetness and a hint of almond. The Rooibos flavor is not overpowering. I am not sure if I brewed it strong enough. I used 1.5 heaping tsp for about 10 oz and steeped for about 5 min. The water wasn’t quite boiling since I just got hot water from the Keurig which is about 190 F.

I am trying to learn to like Rooibos since it offers a great caffeine-free tea option.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Meghann M

Thanks for recommending this tea, I may have to try it next paycheck! I just ordered some PinaColada Honeybush from 52teas after all the rave reviews (and the Black Currant Bai Du Man). Also, I like that you use the Keurig for hot water, I do that in a time crunch, as I finally got a kettle, but I have a Keurig (my husband likes the coffee), too.

Kristin

I just got a kettle for my birthday (birthday is actually a couple of weeks away, but the kettle came today!). I like having a kettle mostly for the process of making tea. But the keurig works fine if you don’t have much time or its all you got!

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40

Still smells funny and I am still drinking it. Not sure why I am still drinking it. Perhaps it is because of the lack of other options in my tea drawer at the moment. On a really nit-picky note, the string on the tea bag is too short and I have a hard time keeping the paper tab from falling into the cup while water is being poured into the cup.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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66

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Gina Amaretta by TeaGschwendner
302 tasting notes

I’ve had a love of Amaretto/Almond flavored black teas for as long as I can remember. It’s so hard to find a good one though. This TeaGschwender tea is really really good. The almond flavor is not overpowering, but is more of a background flavor enhancing the black tea. The black tea tastes like a ceylon. It can get a little bitter if you over brew it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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40

Ok, this will probably be the weirdest tea note I’ve made but here goes…

I REALLY like the taste of this tea. It is raspberry, apple, and something more herbal which I’d assume is the hibiscus. The berry flavors don’t get too strong or syrupy like they often do in berry herbals. The color is amazing: dark violet. But, I don’t really like the smell of it at all. This is going to sound strange but the smell has something in addition to the raspberry that I can only describe as a light mix of mustiness, chamomile, and vomit. Luckily that smell is not overwhelming. The smell gets much better after I add agave nectar to the tea. Despite the smell, I keep drinking it so I guess that says something. I’m on my 3rd cup.

It’ll be interesting to see if I keep drinking this after I get my tea order next week which contains some other berry herbal teas. I really have some mixed feelings about this one.

Steeped 2 minutes at 190 F.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
302 tasting notes

I’ve had this tea for a while and I have finally gotten around to trying it. I hadn’t tried it before because every time I opened the tin it smelled so grassy. But it brews up into a very nice, light, and floral tea with only mild grassiness in the background. It has a beautiful golden color. I added some agave nectar to it since I like my tea sweet.

Brewing info: rinsed tea leaves in hot water for about 5-10 seconds then brewed with hot water (~190 F) for 3 1/2 minutes.

Update: I did NOT like this on the second brew. Brewed again for 3 1/2 minutes and the cup was very grassy. So, I recommend only one brewing of this if you want to avoid the grass flavor.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Payton

I think the grassy flavor is probably coming from the 3 minute infusion. Give 45 seconds a try, and increase in 20 second increments until you find the flavor you like. I haven’t had Adagio’s TGY, but oolongs usually seem to work well for me with a 30 second to 1 minute thirty infusion.

Kristin

I’ll try that next time. Thanks.

Jim Marks

Don’t ever, ever buy Japanese shade-grown green teas if you don’t like grassy.

Kristin

Thanks Jim.

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66

I know most people don’t seem to like this tea, but I love it. It is a great afternoon herbal tea. It smells and tastes like a vanilla wafer. Brew it for a long time (5-6 minutes) and then give it a good stir before removing the tea bag. Add minimal sugar or a tiny dash of agave nectar. I’m going to be sad when this one runs out. I am on my second box of it and I had to order it off the internet.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Lisbet

I have a box in my house right now too! I like it :) Our Whole Foods still has a big surplus though.

Kristin

I usually get tired of tea long before I finish the box or bag… but I am on my second box of this and still like it.

I just looked and I can still get it from LuckyVitamin.com if I decide I need more. I’m hoping that new order from SpecialTeas will hold me for a while!

Stephanie

I love this tea too! Every place around me is out of it (of course). I know Celestial Seasoning’s website still has it available for sale but the shipping is so high. Thanks for the heads up about LuckyVitamin!

Kristin

Oh man… I didn’t mean to tell everyone about my secret stash, lol. LuckyVitamin shipping isn’t too bad if you order a couple of boxes of things because the tea is cheaper (if that makes any sense).

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Profile

Bio

Rating Scale:
90-100 – Love it. Must order this one again.
75-90 – Pretty good. Maybe I’ll order it again.
60-75 – It’s ok. Drinkable. It’s not my thing, but someone else might love it. Won’t order again.
50-60 – Meh. I wish I hadn’t ordered it, but i’ll finish this cup.
30-60 – Barely drinkable. – Throwing away/giving away the rest of this one.
0-30 – Went down the drain. Too sad to even pass along to friends.

Location

Salt Lake City, UT

Website

http://vegetablenirvana.wordp...

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