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423 Tasting Notes

90

Man, this is some good tea. The blend on this is just fantastic. And with the addition of some cream – madly good.

This is a dangerous sipdown. I have sworn off buying any more for a loooong time – I don’t have a problem with having a large stash of tea, but I don’t need to spend any more money on tea. This one will make it hard to stick to that vow since I can just pick up a tin locally. Such a problem to have. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
carol who

I think that we all have that problem. Just a little more tea, just a little more tea, repeat ad infinitum. Should we adopt the old anti-drug slogan “Just Say NO” Yeah, right :)

Nicole

Yeah, I have made it a week without buying tea. I consider that a victory since I have made out 3 online orders in that time and not followed through with them. :)

Terri HarpLady

Good girl! You have much more restraint than I do. I received a couple of nice payments on paypal last night, & the next thing you know I’m perusing yixing pots, tea, etc… I haven’t spent anything…yet…I might allow myself a small present…or not!

This is how you end up with 400+ teas in your collection, BTW, although due to good behavior I’m somewhere below 350 right now, I think.
I did place a Verdant order a few days ago, because I had tea cash to spend by the 28th, haha

Nicole

LOL… I always feel better when I hear about some of the stashes others on Steepster have. I haven’t counted but most of what I have is in my cupboard here and I’m not even at 100. I just feel excessive since they are almost exclusively blacks… My last order was a must place though so it doesn’t count – I had to pick up Golden Fleece while it was still in stock. So my most recent order was with Verdant as well. :)

Terri HarpLady

My stash is very Black Tea heavy as well.
Now I’m sitting on Camellea Sinensis’ website…lol

looseTman

“I just feel excessive since they are almost exclusively blacks…”
“My stash is very Black Tea heavy as well.”
Is there a problem with that? :-)

Terri HarpLady

Nicole, I didn’t realize you were in KC!! We’re neighbors!

Nicole

I know! And some time I’ll make it over your way. Coworker is having a wedding reception over your way in April I think… not sure when exactly though. I can bring a tin of FS for you when I come. :)

Terri HarpLady

That would be awesome!
Tony comes to KC for a few days each month. He keeps inviting me to come with him, so one of these weeks I’ll have to come & meet you & TeaTiff!

Nicole

That would be schweet! :)

TeaTiff

A tea party :)

Nicole

You read my mind!! I have been contemplating having a tea party and inviting all the KC Steepster peeps. I see no reason why the St. Louis ones can’t be included. :) We’ll have to think on timing… :)

Terri HarpLady

Who else is in KC?
As far as I know I’m the only Steepsterite in St. Louis, although I brag about steepster to my friends all the time, LOL.

Nicole

Me, TeaTiff, Amanda Wilson, JustJames & used to be wombatgirl but she hasn’t been online in ages. Not sure if there is anyone else.

Nicole

Gah, make that JustJohn. :)

Nicole

Oh, and Azzrian is within driving distance but also hasn’t been online in ages.

Terri HarpLady

Cool! When I decide to come over there with Tony, I’ll let you guys know. He usually drives there on a monday, meets with clients tues & weds, & then comes home on a thurs. The hardest part for me will be scheduling make up lessons for all of my student, but it would be nice to get away for a few days.

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I have never had a tea that changed so radically with a change in water. My mom was up last night and she always says she can taste my water when I steep tea for her. So I did this for us with bottled water, refrigerator cold level, heated to boiling. Allowed to cool about 45 seconds then steeped 8 balls in 16 ounces of water for about 5 minutes.

The very first, immediate flavor I got was a faceful of brown sugar. Sweet, dense, sticky brown sugar. Not even caramel but brown sugar. Then the next flavor that hit me in the face was the alcohol malt. Both Mom & I sat and snuffled into our cups, trying to identify the smell we both were finding strongly but couldn’t name. All of a sudden it hit me – it was like inhaling in a warm summer room where malt alcohol has been spilled for years. Wood infused with malt.

Then I took it into work today to share with Tea Coworker. Hot water from filtered system, put into microwave and heated to just below boiling. 12 balls for 24 ounces. Steeped about 5 minutes. Didn’t get any brown sugar and the malt wasn’t as strong, but it was still more present than my first steeping with tap water and at a slightly lower temperature. We both still liked it a lot and Tea Coworker said it was a pretty amazing tea. But I want to try again here at home to reproduce the second set of parameters – that was truly the most amazing result.

Edit: just realized that I never wrote a note for the first steeping. Oops. The first steeping was malty, cocoa-y and very good. It was done at 190F with tap water and for about 3.5 minutes. Nothing super awesome, but good enough. Glad I tried again though with different water, temp and time – it revealed something beyond good enough. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaVivre

Different water, temp and time can affect the taste, and you can get different taste each time.

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100

This is amazing. The dry leaf smells so strongly of malt it seriously smells like something I’d get in trouble for having at work! Steeped it is just as malty. It’s deep, cocoa-y, smooth, buttery and yet not heavy. I had a little square of a Valrhona Guanaja Grue 70% dark chocolate bar with cocoa nibs as I finished the cup and that really brought out the more cocoa-y notes here.

Much like high quality dark chocolate, it doesn’t take much of this tea to satisfy a need. I don’t feel like I’d need to drink a full pot of this or like I’d need to drink it all day long. So while I absolutely adore this, it will last for a little bit at least. :)

I overleafed this by a bit. But this is simply a fantastic tea, heavy on the leaf or not. And I will certainly be resteeping.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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96

Dry, this smells like straw. Not hay, but straw, if you are farm enough to know the difference. :) The year that Grandpa planted a field with wheat my brother and I got a straw fort after the harvest. This tea smelled just like that fort.

Steeped, it’s wheaty, sweetish, honeyish, mildly malty and just fantastic. I just got a sample of this one. I wish now I’d gotten a full package. I need to try this back to back with Harney’s Golden Monkey. I suspect this one will come out on top.

The shipping was amazingly fast considering it was overseas. I was a bit disappointed that although the website said free shipping with orders over $30 when I went to Paypal it charged me shipping. But it wasn’t enough to put me off of completing my order. :) Truthfully, it was extremely reasonable shipping for international. Less than some domestic shipping I’ve paid.

And now I’m unsubscribing from the Misc. Sales thread and not trying any more teas from any swaps! Not for awhile. I have been spending like a drunken sailor only on a tea binge. I can’t keep doing this every couple of months! My husband started linking our bank accounts to some financial tracking software and while he never says anything about my tea spending, he can now see just how much I’m buying. Eeek!

I don’t know how to cross out stuff, or I would cross out the shipping part. Angel at Teavivre very helpfully offered to check on the shipping issue and it turns out that although Paypal had me choose shipping with a cost, I was not actually charged any shipping. Add to the excellent tea, excellent customer service, as many others on Steepster have noted. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
gmathis

Taking an imaginary sniff right now. Yum!

tigress_al

you bad drunken sailor you! lol

Terri HarpLady

This is a lovely tea! I share yourtea binge ordering habits…currently on good behavior, but I have a Verdant tea cash thingy I need to use by the 28th, so guess who’d gonna be placing an order this week…

K S

The website must have glitched on you. As I remember I had to bypass Paypal on the first page and selected it later. This is one of my very favorite teas. Good luck going binge free.

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87

Num! I am sooo glad to finally have this back in my cupboard. :)

Just a fantastically smooth and luscious tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

Agreed! My Single Origin stash is disappearing at an alarming speed.

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80

Okay. Again with this one tonight after dinner. I would say definitely spearmint but surprisingly decent despite that. I upped the temp but kept the steep time the same. The tea itself is still pretty light, but still good. The mint is stronger but the tea isn’t bitter yet or dry.

I’ll try the final bit I have left as recommended. :)

1.5 tsp

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

This is interesting. Definitely a Darjeeling, definitely mint. Possibly spearmint… which is not usually anything I like. But this is not a bad after dinner cup. It’s very light and you can definitely taste mint but not in an herbal way, there is tea here, too. I would not pick this out as a 2nd flush, but that could either be to hesitant steeping or due to the fact that my palate just can’t pick out the differences unless I have them side by side. I wasn’t really confident in the boiling for a 5 minute steep instructions so I went with less than boiling for about 3 minutes. Luckily, ifjuly sent along enough of this that I can try another cup or two and play with it a bit!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
ifjuly

ooh, thanks for this note—i haven’t tried this one yet actually. i’m crossing my fingers it will make excellent coldsteeped tea once it warms up (which it seems to be beginning to this week!), since traditionally i love both mint tea and darjeeling separately coldsteeped.

Nicole

It might be a very good cold tea.

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94

Wow, this is a way bergamotty EG. A really good tea. Strong and in your face but not harsh. Thanks, ifjuly!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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96
drank Jasmine Snow Dragon by Shang Tea
423 tasting notes

When I went to Shang today to pick up some samples to send along I asked Nick which of their 3 jasmines he would recommend. He said this had the strongest jasmine of the 3 and wow, this is indeed a strong jasmine! I’m not entirely sure I’d had this one before he kindly steeped a sample for me. I may have had the regular jasmine instead.

Be careful on the steeping. The longer you go the stronger the jasmine gets! I let it go a little long, even at 160, and it is pretty powerful. It still went very well with dinner but steeped this strong it overshadows the tea too much.

If you lurve jasmine, this is a tea for you. If you are lukewarm on jasmine, this is probably going to be way too jasminey for you. As for me, this is the jasmine I’ve been hankering for for months now!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Shang Tea

It was great to see you today Nicole! Thank you for you passion for tea and your kindness in sharing our tea with the members of Steepster. It is deeply appreciated!

Sil

blech :) on another random note… need to teach you to play in fields haha

Nicole

Yeah, Sil, this is so not gonna be your thing. :) And I feel like I’ve been paying half the attention I should to our game. That and I am not very good at it to begin with. :)

Sil

no way! who cares! i’ve just missed playing with someone

Nicole

At least now I can lose to a real person instead of a computer! :)

Sil

haha yeah…those computer players are the suck

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96

This is another mucho nummy tea from ifjuly

It’s one of the only teas I’ve had that I’d describe as savory. It even smells savory, like a soup broth of some kind. Maybe there is a little smoke lending to that impression, but if there is, it isn’t a harsh smoke or something that sets off my smoke alarm. It’s thick and hefty and serious. Yes, this is a serious tea. And of course I like it a lot – I have expensive tastes. I wish I had the funding for all of my expensive tastes. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Kaylee

amen sister

yyz

So true. I really got the savoury notes with this one as well. Remember that they do sell this tea in 20g packets.

Nicole

I’ve been avoiding looking too much at yet another tea company. But I resign myself that it will have to happen eventually so it is good to know they sell small sizes.

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Profile

Bio

Tea afficianado. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)

Location

Kansas City, MO

Website

http://www.travelswithstinky.com

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