92 Tasting Notes
This tea is magical. Really, truly, magical. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I love it.
I really didn’t know what to expect going into this. No tasting notes yet, no description, no steeping parameters even. it was just a free sample that I won by replying first to a thread. But, intrepid tea explorer that I am, I went in head first, and boy was I rewarded for my bravery.
I decided to start off with a 45 second steep. I used about a teaspoon and around 8 ounces each steep, and gradually increased the steep time as I went on, up to around 3 minutes by steep 6. I would have kept going as it was still strong and delicious, but I had to stop in order to get some sleep and pack, as I had a flight in the morning.
The first steep was like stepping into a garden at dawn; lush, dark greenness, a heavy mist in the air, and large white magnolia and gardenia flowers all around you. Steep 2 and onward were even more magical. Each cup was like gardenias, magnolias, and milk. There was the most delicious buttery component, like orchids and unsalted butter, and a hint of sweetness, like lactose or white bread, or maybe just from the flowers themselves. And something else, like the taste of “comfort”—the smell of warm skin, or your kitty’s fur, or your favorite fleece blanket—I don’t know how to put a name on it, but it was surely there.
The mouthfeel of the infusion was remarkable. Absolutely luscious…it was thick, and rich…just a “whole mouth experience.” Like something that you needed to bite into, but would give way easily to your teeth and tongue. Not that the tea was actually like gelatin or something, but it had an impression, if you will, of smooth thickness.
I wasn’t expecting to re-order anything from Life in Teacup when I first received my samples, but after trying this I know I’ll be placing another order soon.
UGH I HAVE AN ESSAY DUE IN 13 HOURS AND I HAVE LIKE NOTHING DONE YET AAHHHHHH
Um. Yeah, in case it wasn’t clear, I have severe essay anxiety and can never get anything done before the last minute because I get so freaked out. Sigh. I still have 4 more pages to write….
So I went over to my tea chest to procrastinate (!!!) and I was shuffling around some tins and my tin of Earl Grey Le Creme opened up on its own and emptied itself out on the floor of the chest. I managed to salvage most of it, though, yay.
Anyway, I prepared this in my new 12 oz. Bodum coffee French press, which I am liking so far, despite some kinks at first…my filter is a little bent and hard to plunge up, so it doesn’t form a total seal and some leaves can leak through the gaps. Anyway, I made myself a cup of this and added in some Rockstar Recovery, which is a lemonade-ish energy drink that tastes surprisingly good (it’s made of 3% lemon juice, and only as 10 calories per serving but tastes like it’s made with real sugar). The mixture turned out rather nice! Kind of like a very citrusy Arnold Palmer, which I guess it technically is.
Anyway, WHAT AM I DOING ON STEEPSTER I NEED TO BE WORKING ON MY ESSAY AHHHHHHH!!!!
I’ve been away from Steepster for a while because of school (and I shouldn’t be on here now, because I’ve got an essay due tomorrow arghhh) but I just had to pop in and see what everyone’s been up to/procrastinate.
Anyway, the tea. I don’t know why, but the last two times I’ve tried making this on my own (outside of the Zarafina, which I gave to my mom) it tastes too…malty? Caramelized? Perhaps I’m steeping it too long…but it’s gone “meh” on me. Knocking this down a few points until I figure out what’s wrong.
Edit: Okay, maybe it’s the honey I’m adding that’s making it taste strange? Damn you CVS clover honey, damn you.
Today I went to Tealuxe for the first time. I ordered the Strawberry Sencha, and the woman at the register asked me if I wanted a “regular” or “large”. I said regular, which apparently means 16 oz in a to-go cup :/ The tea was way oversteeped and bitter. After I diluted it with LOTS of water, it wasn’t too bad, so I think it was just the preparation that made this tea undrinkable. For that reason, I’m leaving the rating off. The strawberry flavoring was delicious…I hope I’ll be able to try this another time steeped shortly.
Edit: Okay, I turned this into a really delicious iced tea (ultra, ultra diluted). Yum!
Yay, my samples from Golden Moon are here! Woo!
I thought I’d start off with this one because I need some caffeine and the honeyed description sounded delicious. I used about half the leaves in the packet in 8 ounces of water. There is a sweet, honey like flavor, but it’s the kind that I’ve found in a lot of black teas. I think that good black teas tend to have a delicious honey/black tea/sweet aftertaste, if you know what I mean, and this tea has lots of that delicious aftertaste.
The flavor of the tea just seems like “default black tea” flavor, with very nicely executed “good black tea honeyed aftertaste” flavor. It’s just a little tannic, but I didn’t have any trouble sipping my cup without sugar or milk. That kind of smoothness without milk or sweetener is pretty rare for breakfast bends.
Personally, since I drown my tea in milk and honey and sugar, I would rather have cheaper, lower quality, ground up Twinings English Breakfast. It’s not nearly as smooth or honeyed as this tea is, but I don’t mind, since I’m going to smother it in milk and honey anyway. However, I think this tea would be perfect for those times you just want a nice, clean cup of delicious black tea. I might just keep this one in stock for those times, since I’ve tasted very few plain black teas as good as this one without additives. Yum.
There’s a heavy layer of flavoring oils at the top of my cup, but I don’t mind as this tea tastes pretty nice. Last time I tried this, I thought it tastes like someone had dripped real caramelized sugar into a cup of black tea. This time, however, it tastes a lot more artificial. I did, however, let this sit out for around 2 hours before I reheated it, so that could be affecting its taste. There’s a strong aftertaste to this tea…the caramel flavor lingers in your mouth long after you swallow. I know some people like that, and I usually do, but I don’t like sweet things so the lingering syrupy caramel isn’t so great for me. Still, not bad…
This is my first genmaicha ever, so I can’t say how this compares to other brands, but this is pretty yummy! I actually ended up making my own genmaicha extra green/“ryokucha” by stirring in some matcha powder, and the result is delicious! Toasty, milky, lightly sweet, vegetable-ey, a little bitter…om nom nom nom nom.
I finally was able to try out my new tea thermal! I ordered the Copco tea thermos (http://www.amazon.com/Copco-2510-4600-Tea-Thermal-Stainless/dp/B0028N6OLQ/ref=pd_sbs_k_1) which has a twistable infuser so you can stop steeping without having to dump the leaves. Unfortunately the inside of the mug is plastic, not steel…deceptive, because the outside is stainless steel!
Anyway, I decided to christen the thermal with one of my favorite teas, English Breakfast by Twinings. I heated the water and milk to boiling, put a little under 3 teaspoons of leaf in the infuser, added some Splenda and honey, and let it steep for a few minutes. The first thing I noticed was that the tea is HOT! And it refused to cool down until like an hour later…good if you’re planning on packing your tea for a long trip, but bad if you’re impatient like me :(
I’ve never made English Breakfast outside of the Zarafina, so it might have just been my weird steeping methods, but the tea did not taste very good. It actually tasted a lot like Irish Breakfast tea does…malty with notes of brown sugar and, um, sweet potato. I didn’t taste the delicious caramel-honey flavor English Breakfast with milk and honey usually gets. I don’t know if I added too much leaf, or oversteeped it, or if the temperature was off. I’m increasing the rating a little, just because before today, this tea has never let me down.