218 Tasting Notes

84

Can I squeeze in one tasting note before I disappear for two weeks? Sure I can.

When I was a kid, pistachio was my favorite flavor of ice cream. This tea was definitely a return to those times, which was something I was counting on.

Brewed tea smells and tastes exactly how I remember pistachio ice cream to smell and taste. The base tea perfectly blends with the flavoring and even if something about this tea gets a tad too bitter, the bitterness can always be re-imagined as being a part of genuine nut flavor.

First sips, to be honest, did not impress me too much, in spite of being so nostalgic, but as I kept drinking I was more and more impressed with it. I will definitely consider getting some more of it in the future. This was a free sample that I got from Stacy (Thank you!) with my most recent order.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I got this tea as a sample and I was kind of disappointed. Maybe it was that touch of bitterness? Maybe a lower temp would solve that. If I see it in a TTB or something, I might grab another sample and give it another try.

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88

Another backlog before I hop away to work.

Thank you for such a generous sample of this tea, Angel!

My first as well as final impression of this was that this tea is serious. I mean, it does not have the playful, and almost flirtatious, sweetness of some other Chinese blacks but, nevertheless, it has the same malty depth. For all I remember, it could even have more depth. Every sip would stay on my tongue like a piece of luxurious dark chocolate and melt away slowly.

I could easily see how this tea would become a breakfast, everyday tea in spite of the fact that one should definitely not gobble it down and rush around with it. It is very up to the point, however. Like morning decisions. Like organizing your day. Like trying to wake up :D

The notes I noticed here are those of baked bread and malt with a hint of dark chocolate. While the sweetness, as I already mentioned, is not as pronounced, the tea is neither bitter nor astringent in any way.

It is the kind of tea you just want to keep on drinking. And that was what I did on my last Monday afternoon that I had off work :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
TeaBrat

I love golden monkey!

Kat_Maria

I know I will want more of it once I am out of the samples :)

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89

Backlog. I need to be quick with these backlog notes because my time is severely limited. I am supposed to prepare for work in… 2 minutes ago :P And tomorrow I’ll be gone (away from the Internet at least, for almost 2 weeks). Anyway, here’s my quick thoughts about this tea that I jotted down on a piece of paper when I was having it:

- creamy, buttery, sweet
- delicious!
- has everything I love about Chinese green teas (at least the buttery type)
- it’s more on the honey-like greens than vegetal-greens
- smells divine!
- the dry leaf looks beautiful, wiry and downy, kind of like white tea except greener (duh!)
- I will definitely consider buying 2 oz. of this when I am ordering the Tangerine Blossom Red and Honeysuckle White!

Shang Tea, hell yeah! Great job.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

sounds yum!

Shang Tea

Thanks Kat_Maria, glad you are enjoying all the tea!

TeaBrat

I think I need some of this…

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60

Thank you, VariaTEA, for letting me try this :)

I don’t know what this was supposed to be like but all I got from it was hibiscus. And it was not a completely unpleasant experience. I do not loathe hibiscus even though I do avoid it. And since I have been avoiding it for quite a while, I don’t remember when I had a tea heavily loaded with hibbo last time. When I was drinking it, I was reminded of a time when i was a far less discerning tea drinker and was having all these “supposedly fruit flavored” teas that were just hibiscus teas.

But yeah, refreshing as such memories might be, hibiscus tartness got boring very quick. I didn’t find any other tasting notes that I was perhaps supposed to find in there… Oh well. Me and hibby are even now for the next year or so ;D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
VariaTEA

I think this tea is just hibby and guayusa

Kat_Maria

Yeah, I am pretty sure I requested it from you because I wanted to try some guayusa blend. Any guayusa was smothered with hibiscus though. Unless it gave me some anti-drowsiness kick that I didn’t notice.

Cheri

Butiki has some good guayusa blends that I like. I could send you a sample of one of those if you’d like.

Kat_Maria

Hey Cheri, we should definitely organize a swap! :) I will be away for a while now, but when I am back I will contact you. If you will feel like it :)

Cheri

Sounds great! Let me know when you’re back.

Kat_Maria

I will, Cheri! :)

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60

Woohoo! This is the first time I added tea to the database.

Unfortunately, it won’t be a too positive review :(

I received 5 different teas from Single Origin Teas for review and I loved three so far (Amba Ceylon, Mokalbari Assam and Four Seasons Oolong) but I had a problem with this dragonwell.

As you guys know, or maybe not know, I adore dragonwells. It is easily my favorite green. I have a feeling that this sample was probably not from the recent harvest, which is fine. All the other dragonwells I had before weren’t pristine either. Their website info says that this was harvested in April but it doesn’t tell you the year.

Anyway, I made it in my gaiwan first. Since I am still new to the whole gong fu steeping, I didn’t get the hang out of the loose leaf ratio yet and I think I overleafed this one terribly as the first 15 second steep came out bitter as all hell. I got rid of some leaves after that, but it still wouldn’t steep right. It had this terrible astringency that makes your mouth dry. So I gave up after like 4th steep. I thought “Well, I am sure this dragonwell is fine, I just suck at making it in a gaiwan”.

So the next day or so later I tried it western style. Hmm… the first steep was okay, there were these buttery and sweet notes that I love about long jing the most but they were kind of… generic. Not very sophisticated. And then there was this astringency again. Not as bad as with the gaiwan session, but pretty disturbing nevertheless. The second steep was not very favorable either and I don’t think I even cared to finish the cup.

OH WELL, all them teas can’t be yums. Deal with it, girl.

Thank you, Single Origin Teas, for letting me try it, though! I really appreciate the chance :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Congrats on your first added tea :-)

Kat_Maria

It’s a pretty easy and painless process :D

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96

THIS TEA.

I got it as a sample with my Whispering Pines order and now I want more of this. SO MUCH MORE. Well, at least an ounce.

I made it one morning when my husband and I were at the cabin. We went out on the porch with our mugs, we were getting ready to make some beer. We took our sips…

ME: Wow, that’s a good tea!
HUB: It is a good tea. I was just going to say that! I don’t know that much about tea but this is good. I guess your tea snobbery is rubbing off on me.

Well, like his beer snobbery doesn’t rub off on me!

Anyway, this tea is the embodiment of all the gorgeousness, gorgeousity, gorgeouting of Chinese black teas. Bold with sweet notes, no bitterness, just happiness. And peace. And love.

(Yes, this is a valid tea review.)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Lol, beer snobbery!
I’ll make sure to add this one to my next order…yum.

Kat_Maria

Yeah, I just ordered 2 ounces… ;)

Cheri

Beer snobbery has a way of rubbing off. I caught that, too. It’s always a great sign when the husband also says it’s a good tea.

Cavocorax

Sounds so delicious!

Angrboda

In our house it’s whisky, primarily, rubbing off. Beer to a smaller degree. (I really don’t like the word ‘snobbery’ as a way to describe interest) I don’t like either of those things, but I’ve taken to having a sniff when Husband has a dram. I can definitely tell a difference in how they smell. Some are sweet and others are more alcohol-y.

Cheri

I’m a whisky “snob” too. And yes, I love to suit and just take in the aroma before I drink. I love a good single malt scotch, or bourbon, or Irish….yeah, I love whisky.

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78
drank Gyokuro by Harney & Sons
218 tasting notes

Okay! It’s time to work on some backlogs of teas from the last weekend since the next weekend is… pretty much here already!

So, a week ago I was watching the TeaDB guys doing a video review of a gyokuro (http://youtu.be/vjmcHHB25Z4) and I realized that I have the sample of gyokuro SOMEWHERE and that it is probably rather old ;D Considering how sensitive this tea is, I probably had it way past its prime.

I am not huge on Japanese greens, but this one was considerably milder in funky notes than I know a sencha, for example, to be. Pretty buttery, a little salty, but nevertheless with a hint of sweetness. I was surprised at how savory the first steeping was because the color of the brew, lightly green-tinted water, did not promise that. The second steep was pretty flavorless though but I blame that on the age of the sample.

I would love to try it again, and FRESH. Although the time when I will be able to afford 50g of fresh gyokuro is not to arrive yet for like… 10 years probably ;D But perhaps I could try another sample from somewhere. This could teach me some lovin’ for Japanese teas!

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94

I do love these Chinese black teas. I knew I would love this one as well although it took me three tries to be able to focus on tasting it properly (with the first one I got distracted with something, and with the other – the water was vile, not sure why, such a waste though).

Smells like piles of honey and caramel! The brew if of a beautiful mahogany color. Every sip is smooth, creamy and with no bitterness at all. I think there are some chocolate notes, although faint (yet they do not feel like a weak and funky chocolate notes that are often found in artificially flavored choco teas). Also some nuttiness that is more on the sweet side. It is just amazing how sweet this tea is. I think there’s a slight hint of fruitiness in the aftertaste like… a ripe pear?

I think there’s going to be different flavors in this tea every time I make it. Which is just great. This definitely belongs to my all time favorite black teas now. Whispering Pines are out of it at the moment, so I guess I am going to hoard the rest of what I have :D Hopefully they will re-stock it one day :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90
drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
218 tasting notes

Happily sipping on my fav EG variation and listening to the new Tori Amos album that is not half bad!

The weekend is here and I will be away for a few days (from the computer, from the Internet = from Steepster), but I am going to try a lot of new teas and then I will be backlogging them the entire next week… and then the weekend comes again… and so on. You see a pattern there :D

Wishing a great weekend to all the Steepsterites! :)

TheTeaFairy

A great week end to you also :-)

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95

I am finally, FINALLY trying it!

You should have seen me preparing it, squealing and swooning over the smell of dry leaf and then over the smell of the steep. Insanity! The taste doesn’t disappoint either, lemony notes are attacking me and I happily succumb to them. I love how it’s the lemon-pound-cake lemon rather than lemon-juice lemon that I taste. The macaron notes are fairly faint but detectable, and they must mainly result from the gorgeous almond pieces.

I think it also makes for a great summer drink, hot or iced, although I personally would feel that cold brewing this would be a waste (because of the amount of leaf one has to use for cold brewing AND because I usually have my iced teas when I don’t pay attention to what I’m drinking). It’s super-delicious and I want to have it in my cupboard forever.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

It just smells soooo good. I have to admit, I’ve opened the bag and sniffed it more than once.

Kat_Maria

Haha, I know. It’s wicked. It makes me want to have some lemon cake. I should just make one.

albertocanfly

The excitement in this post is just adorable! . So glad to see people get so giddy about tea! And the tea sounds absolutely delicious to boot!

Kat_Maria

It IS absolutely delicious! I love how tea can make me feel better on a bad day. Although this day, fortunately, is not one of those (I hope I didn’t jinx it).

Cheri

I was having a cruddy day the other day. This was the tea I picked as a pick me up. It helped.

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Bio

ME & TEA

I started drinking tea when I was a teenager, my dad used to make tea a million times a day as it was (and still is!) good for his health. So he would make it for the entire family. Usually it was Lipton with a teaspoon of sugar per cup and a slice of lemon. I was fond of it made this way then a lot.

Then I would have occasional loose leaf teas, I slowly got into green tea… I would mostly stick to bagged tea though. It was just convenient.

Only recently, in the middle of 2013, did I start getting seriously into all kinds of loose leaf tea.

My cupboard only reflects what I have in ‘regular’ (non-sample) sizes. It could be that I have some tea you’re looking for, just in a smaller amount, even though it is not in my cupboard, so you can always just ask when swapping with me :)

[LOVES]:
- Chinese & Taiwanese black teas
- second flush darjeelings
- malty assams
- green oolongs
- Chinese green teas
- super-fruity rooibos/honeybush “teas”

[LIKES]:
- Japanese green teas
- white teas
- dark oolongs
- interesting dessert teas
- earl greys
- pu-erhs

[IS INDIFFERENT ABOUT]:
- chai teas
- herbal teas
- fruit teas

[DISLIKES]:
- mint in blends (it’s ok as straight mint)

JUST ME
Apart from tea, I love reading, board-gaming with my husband, learning foreign languages (currently Spanish and Portuguese) and listening to lots and lots of music!

And if we just stick to food-related stuff I am also a great aficionado of good craft beer and dark chocolate :)

MY FAVORITE TEA COMPANIES (so far):
Butiki
Golden Moon Tea
Harney & Sons
Lupicia
Shang Tea
What-Cha
Whispering Pines Tea Co.
Yezi Tea

You can also find me here:
On Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/dairy_queen
On Last.fm http://www.last.fm/user/poziomka
On Untappd https://untappd.com/user/poziomka

Location

PA

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