1360 Tasting Notes

90
drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1360 tasting notes

All these years of drinking this tea and I only this week figured out that a cooler temperature (195 F) would take the heavy bite right out of the Ceylon base – not to be confused with the Cylon base as I first typed it. That bite is probably harder to get rid of – anyway I digress. I have always enjoyed the bite but now that it is gone, I’ve decided I like this smoother cup better.

My package I’ve been tracking from China has left Florida but evading current tracking. It has officially spent more time travelling the US than it did getting here. Go figure. Any one else find tracking great entertainment?

mj

LOL cylon base (star)

ashmanra

I looked for this tea at Marshall’s a couple of days ago. They didn’t have any. I was going to get you a tin!

I can be quite terrible about stalking my packages, I understand the tracking thing,

K S

Hey, you tried, and thanks for thinking of me. Our Marshall’s never has fun stuff. I used to have to order off Amazon. Now a local world food market regularly carries a good selection of Ahmad teas.

donkeytiara

will that work with other ceylons? I have some Dilmah that just sits and mocks me because I struggle with the bite….

yyz

Definitely try a lower temp donkeytiera. I regularly brew mine between 90-95°C (194-203°F).

KS ironically even though I don’t really care if a parcel has tracking I do watch the ones that are regularly. It sometimes is fun to see bizarrre misdirections. I did have one that was frustrating because it was lost in the system for about a month and a half. It was probably in customs for two weeks and then was lost by Canada Post somewhere.

K S

donkeytiara agree with yyz, it can’t hurt and it just might help.

yyz, it is just bizarre to watch. From China to Chicago? Why not closer to the coast? Then to Florida before coming back to the midwest (hopefully…. soon). It doesn’t get here quicker watching, in fact in probably makes it seem slower, I don’t even need it at the moment but just can’t help but watch.

yyz

That really is bizarre. I live near Toronto and there is no consistency as to whether the parcel comes directly here or enters Canada in BC. I’ve had us parcels leaving the US in Chicago and being sent to Montreal and rather too frequently, the sorting plant decides to send my parcel to TO causing a 3 or 4 day delay. Some of the Chinese sellers have used mail services from other countries so I have to stay on top of their notes as the tracking numbers change! That’s a bizarre route for your parcel.

Christina

I’m doing a little bit of package stalking myself. Teavivre sent me a set of free samples to review, and while other people on Steepster have gotten their teas, mine is still not here. The tracking number just says that it left China on July 30th… which is so not helpful.

yyz

Christina, I’m in Mississauga and I bought during the greens and white, and the black sales. The first package is in Richmond as of yesterday so hopefully yours will be too!

Try this site http://www.17track.net/index_en.shtml. it often gives me info before the postal service sites.

Christina

Just did for my shipment, no luck. But I’ll keep that site in mind for later.

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I know we all have different tastes. I followed the website recommendation for brewing in a gaiwan. The whole 5 g sample with 90 ml of water heated to 195 F (90 C). The steep was 25 seconds. That is simply too much leaf for me. This was so bitter it made my mouth pucker. Maybe half the leaf or half the steep time would have been OK.

I decided to lose the gaiwan and grab the press. I used 10 oz of 180 F water and steeped for 25 seconds. This was much improved. Now it tastes like grassy fresh alfalfa hay. There is a light apricot note and the aftertaste lingers.

Honestly though, I thought the lower grade White Peony was more aligned to my tastes. I have never given Teavivre a negative review before, but this one did not grab me.

I have enough to start again on another day. Next time I will only use half the sample and much cooler water. I am not giving up yet.

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93
drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
1360 tasting notes

I don’t recall others mentioning the light touch of smoke. To me that is what sends this one over the top. I love Yunnan black teas and this one is currently a favorite. Ever since having it with bacon flavored grits, I now catch a old leather note in it each time I have a mug.

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drank Nepal 1st Flush Spring Buds by What-Cha
1360 tasting notes

Afternoon Steepster Dudes and Dudettes! I finally tore myself away from purple teas from What-Cha today as I am seriously in the mood for a subtle white tea. This is a 1st flush from Nepal. Every white tea I have had previously I believe to be of Chinese origin, so I am excited to try this one. The leaf is wonderfully scented of grass and melon. It looks like White Peony with its silver haired buds and big green leaf. I decided to use my 90 ml gaiwan for the first few steeps. 3 g, 175 F, and 15 seconds. The liquor is only the faintest yellow tint. It tastes savory and of cucumber and melon. Second steep was equally excellent. For the third go, I switched to the press so I could steep per What-Cha’s recommended 3 minute steep. As the cup is cooling to drink my wife decides to show me material samples for her latest sewing project. When we are done discussing it, the tea is cold and tastes kind of woodsy and nutty. Fourth cup, has a definite fruity apricot scent. The melon/cucumber notes are lighter but present. This now has a slight mineral note and a cooling sensation. The inside of my cheeks are tingling long after the tea is gone and my breath still feels cool. This stands up to White Peony extremely well.

Cheri

This sounds delicious!

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I don’t normally drink English Breakfast. I find them either too beige or too brutish, but that’s just me. This one impressed me with the dry leaf smell. It was like cherry pipe tobacco and maple syrup. The tea itself is very smooth. I had braced myself for throat grabbing harsh. It was much, much, lighter than I expected, so no brute here. There is an interesting peppery note that wasn’t hot and spicy, just flavorful. It is slightly malty with a lingering aftertaste. Not exactly beige. It may, or may not be what you want from an EB but I liked it. The first mug was 3 g, 195 F, for 2.5 minutes – because EB often hurts my stomach. For giggles, the second mug with new leaf was 3 g, 212 F, for 4 minutes. It made little difference. It was slightly more robust but really still a comfortable, yet forgiving tea. If you need tea to shout at you in the morning, this probably isn’t it. If you prefer a calmer voice saying, you can do it, maybe this will speak to you.

gmathis

Of late, in the morning, I need a tea that says, “That’s OK. You go back to bed. I’ll go into work for you.”

K S

Whoever puts that tea on the market is guaranteed the biggest seller ever!

ashmanra

Ooo, cherry pipe tobacco…

Cheri

gmathis That sounds like a great tea. I like it.

gmathis

OK, Steepster vendor/blenders, the gauntlet has been thrown down: breakfast tea that does the job for you while you rumple back under the covers.

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drank Organic Green Tea Powder by Teavivre
1360 tasting notes

Oh, that sinking feeling when the spoon hits the bottom of the tin and your replacement order is somewhere in a bin in Chicago. It kind of makes you want to be extra appreciative of today’s tall breakfast glass.

I literally start everyday with this stuff. I can’t handle a real breakfast in the early morning but I have to have at least milk with my arthritis medicine. Milk gets boring. Green tea powder and milk make a nice canvas to get creative on. I’m on my way to the world market to look for xanthan gum to up the experience another notch. I just realized I have cacao nibs that I could be using as well. Endless morning fun.

Cheri

That’s so frustrating. How long has it been in Chicago?

K S

Arrived in Chicago the 10th. Tracking still says Chicago. Come on people, man in desperate need of his morning smoothie here. Looks like chocolate milk with a Yunnan chaser tomorrow :)

mj

My teavivre order arrived in Chicago on the tenth too and it was still there as of yesterday. It’s not that far from Chicago to Minneapolis! I feel your pain.

K S

Maybe we will have a mailbox surprise on the same day – SOON!

mj

I hope so!!

ashmanra

My tea arrived in Chicago on the tenth but is in Charlotte, NC today! Squeeeee! Might have it tomorrow or Saturday!

K S

I just checked. It is now in TALLAHASSEE, FL! They could have just opened the door and tossed it out as they flew over my house. I see a Starbucks run in my immediate future. lol

mj

Mine arrived in St Paul yesterday, Minneapolis this morning and should be delivered today!!!!!
But you’re in Indiana, right KS? If so, ohhhh nooooooo

K S

Yeah, ohhhhhh noooooo! I had to choke down a chocolate, peanut butter, banana smoothie this morning without tea. Its a tough life. :) This is the first time I have tracked a package from China. I know it always takes a little over two weeks. Now I know why. Wish I could travel as much as my tea.

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90

This is the best relax your brain, make you tired, tea I have found. It won’t make you sleep if you don’t want to sleep. It just helps make it possible. None of the flavors jump out. They all play nicely with one another. Not strong enough to overpower prednisone but I slept more than expected and awoke refreshed. So good enough.

gmathis

This sounded lovely, but I checked the ingredient list and the a-word gets top billing. (kind of like the h-word; when I see it, I get suspicious) Really doesn’t taste sticky-licoricey?

K S

Steepster lists alphabetically which is not the way things are labelled in the real world. The a-word is there if you look for it but really this tastes more fruity.

gmathis

Noted. Sounds like a nice change of pace from tulsi for lobotomy-tea.

K S

Things have been hectic on this end – I hope to send the strawberry tea your way soon. I’ll try to include a sachet of this one as well. Let me say, I like anise, so I wouldn’t notice so easily. I dislike spearmint which is mostly all I taste with CS Sleepytime Extra. I drink it anyway since I can get it at Wallyworld but I wish it were peppermint – which I love.

K S

Oh, and lobotomy tea :)

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90
drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1360 tasting notes

There is a downside to drinking fabulous new teas. Your old comfort teas tend to get neglected. I’ve been too busy today for new tea. OK, I got my brain sucked out by my space flight simulator game. Then I researched, and learned a new song, made and printed lead sheets before practice tonight. Now I am sitting with one of my favorite inexpensive loose leaf comfort teas. It tastes like heaven. I used more leaf than normal and lowered the temperature to 195 F. It is creamy smooth with none of its usual heavy bite. The bergamot does get a bit reduced but it is strong enough to survive and linger in the aftertaste. Who knew a tiny little change could make this much difference. OK, I should have, I’ve just never tried before.

Flavors: Bergamot

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97

I give this a more thorough review on my blog but to keep it shorter and lighter here – this stuff is AWESOME! I had to check the website to see if it was the correct tea. This is not even close to what I expected from an oolong. This is malt, malt, malt, malt, (tribute to Spam) and honey, and malt, and caramel, and did I mention malt? Seriously, this reminds me of a combination of Tan Yang and the Dian Hong Golden Tips I had this morning. There is no bitterness, and only a slight dryness. If feels thick and syrupy. The aftertaste is sweet and fruity/spicy. They call it plum and that does match the other teas I have tried that mention plum in the description. What-Cha is quickly turning me into a fan.

I haven’t given a number rating in a while – this one earns it.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Plums

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Ysaurella

oh it sounds fantastic : plums and honey notes are among my favourite in straight teas. and this is an Oolong.sounds like a double win :)

K S

I posted after the first steep. Second steep is honey and plum. I think I will shorten the first steep next time and keep some of that malt for round two.

gmathis

Is there any malt flavor in it?

rosebudmelissa

This sounds absolutely wonderful! I’m definitely going to have to get some eventually.

What-Cha

Thanks for another lovely review, Kevin. All What-Cha teas at the moment are marked down 20% for the rest of August if you are interested in purchasing.

TeaWithPolly

I just got this in the mail… can’t wait to try it!

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drank Organic Green Tea Powder by Teavivre
1360 tasting notes

Today I made smoothies. 1 tsp green tea powder, 8 oz 2% milk, vanilla, frozen banana, frozen fruit medley. I had to add some sweetener – the blueberries in the medley are just too tart. Poured into one of those freezer steins that keeps everything icy. Very good. I would do this often. Wife said she would like it if I left the green tea out of hers :(

Stephanie

My trick for not having to sweeten that type of smoothie is to not freeze the banana until it has plenty of brown spots. Much sweeter that way! :D

Cameron B.

Yum, sounds delicious! :D Especially with the vanilla added!

K S

We picked up Great Value brand Fruit Medley at Walmart. The blueberries are really not tasty. I considered taking them out but they do contain healthy stuff, so yeah, sweetener. We buy really green bananas and I let them get almost soft before I use them. They are so much sweeter that way.

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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

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http://theeverdayteablog.blog...

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