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1161 Tasting Notes

93
drank Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings
1161 tasting notes

I love this. The touch of vanilla takes it over the top.

Bonnie

You may not know this, but Celestial Seasonings is in Boulder Colorado. They were not damaged in the flooding however, which is amazing since they’re very close to a huge area that was flooded out. That would have been a big pot of tea…pun only intended because nothing happened.

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92
drank Earl Grey by Tazo
1161 tasting notes

Iced with Splenda for the monkey. Its like 68 outside and started pouring. I’m soaked and cold but not complaining because this tastes good.

Last time I mentioned this tea I was overwhelmed by homework and watching videos (at Starbucks) for my class. Yesterday the prof singled me out in class as having some real skills. He has even been showing me little things that he hasn’t mentioned to the rest of the group because I am further along than most. I guess old dogs can learn new tricks if they have enough tea in them.

Lala

Congrats on being the top dog!

K S

:) Woof!

ashmanra

Thumbs up!

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drank African Chai by Justea
1161 tasting notes

I have no idea if this is good chai. I rarely drink it. I don’t hate chai. I just don’t get it. That being said, the leaf is interesting to look at. The dry leaf is clove and pepper scented. Hot and no additives this tasted like spicy apple cider to me. I like that. As the cup cooled I added a splash of milk and now it tastes like chai.

Not a very good review but you got to work with what you got. I loved the earl grey and the black tea so I assume the quality level is the same.

Thank you Justea for the sample. By now you all know of their campaign to build a processing kitchen in Kenya. If somehow you missed it check them out on Facebook.

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91
drank Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
1161 tasting notes

I love Earl Grey and I have some very definite ideas of how it should taste. I have a rule about it when reviewing – if it is anything but tea and bergamot you better call it something else or I will complain. If you change the name I will cut you some slack and judge it on its own merits. This tea passes on both ends of my rule. It is Earl Grey but the name change suggests to me there is something different about it. Thank you Justea for this subtle but important attention to detail.

My normal everyday earl is Ceylon based, which I believe to be the standard. I like my bergamot front and center. I don’t want to have to search for it but don’t overwhelm me. I do demand balance. I want to taste the tea as well. Some tea companies call their tea earl grey and overemphasize the base or the bergamot. Justea once again pays attention to the details and balances this blend nicely.

This particular blend using the Kenyan base is malty and smooth, yet slightly drying. It does not have the throat grabbing bite of the Ceylon standard. This is why I appreciate the name Kathryne, it suggests a softer, more gentle approach to my beloved tea.

The bergamot is very well suited to the base. By my standard it is not overpowering. The flavor is balanced between floral and fruit but I would say leaning towards floral. It is not perfumey or fake tasting. Nicely done.

After sipping this hot, I iced it down and found it to be very refreshing. This takes sweetener well. I greatly enjoyed this one. Thank you Justea.

For those who may have missed it – Justea is a non-profit organization attempting to break the cycle of poverty that too many tea farmers face by teaching them to process their own leaves and selling direct.

darky

very nice review, and i was planning on drinking this tonight after work… so now i got some sort idea what to expect! :)

K S

A side note – I tend to be an under-leafer compared to what others appear to use. I don’t measure exact but I used a little over a tsp (maybe 1 1/2) in around 10 oz water. I also used 190F water on this and the black tea.

K S

Upon further study, I simply seem to be far more tolerant of briskness. That surprises me as Assams often set my stomach on fire and cause face twisting contortions while sipping. With the Kenyan teas I only noticed a little dryness. Different strokes.

Lala

I love your Earl Grey rules. Totally agree!

darky

That dryness i understand, if a assam is brewed to far its either bitter or way to strong. While this one steeped to long is capable off not going weird in the mouth

allyshay

I just wanted to make a quick comment. I’m not associated with JusTea, in the fact that I don’t represent them. I can offer some insight on the name Kathryne Earl Grey. Through JusTea, I was able to honor my grandmother, someone who has been inspirational and deeply impacted my life, by naming this tea after her. Your reviews of the tea mean a lot to our 93- year-old grandmother and us as a family, too. Thank you for helping us make her legacy extend beyond our family!

K S

allyshay, what a wonderful note to read first thing in the morning. You have made my day. I will now think of your grandmother with every sip of this wonderful tea. Thank you so much for adding this personal touch.

K S

allyshay, I tried to message you but you have to be following me. Is it possible to email me a picture of your grandmother? I would love to include the information you shared along with the picture on my blog. Follow me and I can message you with an address.

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A simple fun bag tea. Tastes like Jolly Rancher to me but I can see the cotton candy aspect gmathis mentions. Sweet candy without going all cough syrup. The base I catch lightly and mostly in the aftertaste. Not a lot of depth but sometimes you just want simple. Thanks gmathis for sharing.

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96

Using the last of this one. Maybe its a year and a half old. The scent of grapes still pours out of the bag when opened. I used my clear glass press for this as I love the way the leaf moves in the water. The dance is an important part of my preparation experience, as is admiring the dry and wet leaf and the accompanying aromas through the process. During the dance most of the leaf hangs from the surface like a canopy. Other leaves pirouette downward in glorious freedom. I let this one go longer than normal just to watch. The liquor is a bright yellow/honey. The taste is as fresh as the day this arrived. A beautiful tea.

I have learned more from sipping teas from Teavivre than any other company. Just one of the lessons learned is I really love properly processed jasmine tea. Premium Dragon Pearls is my favorite. This Silver Needle is a very close second.

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1161 tasting notes

The brew in the picture looks orange. In my cup it was more of a beautiful ruby red. I was completely surprised by this tea. After reading that 95% of bagged black tea is Kenyan tea, I was expecting this to taste like, well tea. You know like the grocery store stuff. Nope not even close! This is wonderfully malty. Silky smooth with no rough edges. Not bitter. Slightly drying. Nice depth.

Even if this were not part of a great non-profit effort to break the cycle of poverty in Kenya, I would still recommend this. It is really good.

More in depth review here: http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2013/09/justea-kenyan-black-tea.html

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92
drank White Moon - Fresh Puerh by In Nature
1161 tasting notes

After getting all over confident with my first experience with a gaiwan, I have to humbly admit I burned the pudding out of my fingers steeping this one. Gungfu (with skill) not so much. I tried using the traditional method of pouring by grasping the rim edges and the lid. Ouch and double ouch. My novice approach of fingers under the saucer and thumb on the lid was much less painful. I switched back but the damage was done. Nothing serious. I’ll be over it by morning.

Second point I used a lot of leaf this time. I wanted the true gungfu experience. Normally I would use about 2 g. Today I used something like 8. This filled up the gaiwan after a couple steeps. That seems to be what others shoot for. Personally, I thought it added little from my perspective. Your mileage may vary.

1st steep at 20 sec was lightly smoky which I have never caught before.
3rd steep was the most fragrant. Wonderfully white tea aromatic.
5th was similar to third and woodsy as it cooled.

2, 4, 6-8 I poured into a mug so I could feed the Splenda monkey. I’m trying but golly the monkey thought it was much more flavorful this way.

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91

I picked this for a test run of the wonderful little gaiwan I received from Teavivre today. So this is not a review exactly of the leaf as much as the experience. 90 ml looks so tiny by western tea drinking standards (3 oz). First I washed and heated the gaiwan and added 1 tsp of leaf – about 2.5 g. Not exactly sure how much I should use. I boiled my water, filled the gaiwan, covered, and steeped 10-15 sec each time for several steeps.

The fun part was pouring into a cup. Surprisingly much easier than I expected. Fingers under saucer, thumb on top of lid, I gently squeezed and slightly pulled the lid to allow the liquor to pour. I found it very natural. I never lost a drop! The last steep for today was about 30 sec and I noticed the lid became a little hot but not so much that I was afraid of losing my grip.

As you probably know I am a Splenda junkie. Well, unless I pour several steeps together, adding a packet would not work, so I had to go all natural with this one. That is another reason I chose it as I noted earlier with western style adding sweetener did nothing for the flavor.

I noticed the flavors were more subtle than with a long steep. What I detected as mint sensation with western style I now sense as mineral. The leather is noticeable but less intense. Early on this seemed kind of lightly nutty that became more woodsy in later steeps. The flavors popped more when I allowed the cup to cool. That is almost always true for me. I don’t like my tea really hot. The gaiwan actually helps with this as 3 oz cools a lot quicker than 12.

My final observation is on the color. Longer western steeps produce nearly inky dark cups. The gaiwan produced cups ranging from amber to deep reddish orange.

This was a lot of fun. I look forward to many more long sessions.

ashmanra

So excited to hear you got your gaiwan!

mrmopar

Gaiwans are pretty cool! I had to get an easy pour cause the little ones are dwarfed by my hands and I was unable to use it easily.

ashmanra

I got an easy one, too, because the regular ones were causing me to burn my hands! I have really small hands, but I just didn’t get the hang of handling the thin cups without getting burned.

TeaVivre

It seems you are adept at using Gaiwan. Gaiwan is used traditionally to actually brew tea leaves in, and pour the brewed tea from when brewing tea Gongfu style. You can use gaiwan to gaze up the unfurling tea leaves and to smell the aroma of the brewing tea.

K S

It could be my guitar player muscles made manipulating the gaiwan easier for me. It really did feel comfortable and fairly natural.

TeaVivre

I think so:)

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91

As I opened my eyes this morning, I declared this a me day. My wife went grocery shopping and my son went to a friends. I got out my acoustic guitar and played hard and long. Now I am sipping on this most beautiful green. I think this is my favorite green tea – or at least it is at this moment in time on me day. Its buttery, sweet, grain, beans? and a spiciness that leads into a pleasant bite before the lingering aftertaste kicks in.

It may be time to break out the electric guitar and crank the distortion to 11. Hope the neighbors are in a good mood.

ashmanra

The dream of a homeschool mom for over twenty years – to be home alone. Enjoy it!

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Profile

Bio

Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it

Location

Indiana, USA

Website

http://theeverdayteablog.blog...

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