307 Tasting Notes

69
drank Almond Cookie by SpecialTeas
307 tasting notes

This tea is pretty good, but I’m don’t think it is meeting up to the expectations based on all the hype in the reviews. Maybe I’ll change my mind after I brew it a little stronger next time.

The tea itself is gorgeous. Big fat slices of almonds mixed with beautiful safflower blossoms. It smells pretty good (pre-brewing). A mixture of almond, cinnamon, and something fruity (orange?).

Once brewed, I taste a nice black tea with a hint of cinnamon and a light almond flavor in the aftertaste. I tasted it both with and without some silk soy creamer and a little sugar.

Brewed as directed. 1 1/2 tsp for 8 oz steeped 2.5 min.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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87
drank Golden Spice Blend by SpecialTeas
307 tasting notes

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Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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80
drank Blueberry Cocktail by SpecialTeas
307 tasting notes

This is the first SpecialTeas tea that I haven’t been thrilled with. I really wanted this to be like a blueberry cobbler flavor. But it isn’t.

Smell of unbrewed tea is very herby and flowery. I don’t smell much blueberry.

Brewed tea smells strongly of grapes and hibiscus. When I first tasted it, I immediately yelled “EWWW”. Then about a second later, said “mmm, blueberry”. The blueberry flavor definitely hits you about a second or two later. It tastes pretty strongly of grapes too. It’s just ok.

This was a sample.

Update – I noticed that this is really tasty when cooled completely. I think it would make an excellent iced tea. This tea did grow on me after a couple of cups so I am upping my original rating.

Update – And now I have to up it again. I am out of this tea and find myself really wanting a cup of it. I guess I am going to order some after all.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

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84

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87
drank Golden Spice Blend by SpecialTeas
307 tasting notes

I ordered a really large bag of this because SpecialTeas didn’t have a sample size and when I opened the bag and smelled it I was worried that I wasn’t going to like it. It smells very lemony to me before brewing. I can also smell some anise in the pre-brewed mixed but it didn’t smell spicy or gingery like I expected. The look of the tea is very entertaining as it has large pieces of cinnamon stick and dried ginger. It looks like someone ground up a stick.

Once brewed, I love it. The smell is complex and I can start to really smell the coriander and ginger. I was still worried at this point because the smell is very different from what I expected. I added a little agave nectar to it and then tasted it. It tastes like candied ginger with asian flavors and has a nice roundness. The spices hit you gently in the back of the throat. It definitely lives up to its description as exotic. The more I drank, the more I wanted. When the cup was empty I was very sad. When I was done with this tea, it left me with a nice warm feeling in my chest for a long time. I think this tea would also be great if you have a cold.

The licorice flavors in this are very background (in case you are a licorice hater like me; although i do like star anise, fyi).

Brewed 2 tsp to 11 oz for 10 minutes.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more
Jim Marks

Sounds like a great tea for upset stomach, head cold or flu symptoms.

Kristin

Yep! But, I think I am just going to drink it all the time. :) ❤

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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
307 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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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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