New Tasting Notes

I mixed Zhena’s Chocolate Chai and Republic of Tea’s Good Hope Vanilla and drank it iced.

These are two high-quality rooibos teas that mix quite well together. It tasted like earthy- spicy dessert. I would do it again, except that I like the vanilla rooibos better by itself.

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My first tea of the day, and the last of samples (mj) sent me. The dry leaves smell pretty foresty. After I brew, I get some more floral scents. There is a tangy, and kinda creamy flavour. Not really what I was excepting, but good on a rainy afternoon.

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drank Pear Cider Green by Design a Tea
114 tasting notes

Okay, so this one is a bit of a conundrum. I ordered pear cider, the invoice I received says pear cider, but the handwritten slip says rum cider. However, it tastes more pear than rum, so I’ll say that they got the order right. :)

This one is a very gentle tea, with a mellow, Japanese-styled green tea base. The fruit flavors are quite juicy without being too sweet. What impresses me is that there’s an almost effervescent quality to it, that touch of bubbly sugary spice that really does remind me of cider. I’m a little conflicted on the best preparation for this—it seems like a good cozy tea to serve warm, but in my experience fruity greens are best enjoyed cold. Regardless, it was a rather unique and fun tea.

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Well, I’ll be. I have a job interview next week. Huzzah!

And this tea is very nice! I’d completely forgotten what was meant to be in it when I made it, but as it brewed I got a fragrance most strongly reminiscent of biscuits. Like, plain rich tea biscuits: that simple comfort, not too sweet, the kind of thing your gran always has on hand to serve with tea when you come round to visit. A tea that smells just like those biscuits is kind of the best kind of meta.

And then there’s the flavour. And it’s rich and nutty and cozy and very nice indeed. I’m not sure I’d have picked out that it was chocolate I was tasting until I read that it was chocolate and almond, but then I was like, yeah, I totally get chocolate. So there’s that. And it’s not the sort of very marzipanny sort of almond flavour you get in a lot of almond teas, but more just a nice, creamy nuttiness. And I’m not sure I’d have picked out orange in it either, but I think it serves to sort of bolster the other flavours, rather than standing out as a flavour in itself. So all things considered, it’s a very interesting tea, and also very very good. Many thanks to Ysaurella for sending this little gem my way!

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This tea was included in the last tea-of-the-month set (along with the roasted oolong and the bilochan as points of comparison).

I have to say I’m a bit confused with this tea being described as an oolong. The appearance both dry and wet, the aroma both dry and wet and the resultant cup all seem to me to be very much a green tea.

I enjoyed it very much, but I found nothing oolong about it at all.

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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Oh, God, this is gross. It tastes like overripe green beans that have been boiled in canned chickpea juice.

I’m only drinking it because it will help irradicate the free radicals that I’m probably full of from stress. But it’s like taking medicine- not enjoyable.

Next time I will try making this at a slightly higher temp- this one is lukewarm- and adding some honey to see if that helps any.

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Looks like I designed a tea that was already in the system for once! This one smelled a little confusing—sweet, but hard to differentiate the ingredients. The tea itself is quite robust. I’m probably imagining things, but the black tea base seems different this time; maybe this one came from a stronger batch, or I had oversteeped it. In any case, it wasn’t as crisp as the previous black tea I had tried from them.

The pomegranate flavor is quite nice, just a little tart without being overly so. The vanilla is not prominent, but adds some sweetness. The lingering taste of these flavors is very delicate, much more so than the brew itself. Overall, it was fairly enjoyable, but probably not a reorder.

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Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #24
We have some Wegman’s around here, so it’s nice to see kind of a “local” tea. This is actually very nice for a grocery store tea! White and green teas mixed with plenty of blueberries. There was around ten in the infuser. I think they also add blueberry flavoring since I doubt there would be that much blueberry flavoring even with all those blueberries. I only saw a few pieces of white tea, so this is mostly green tea here. I like it!
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 2-3min
Steep #2 // half mug // 20 min after boiling // 2-3 min

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Thanks so much to Blodeuyn for sending me samples of the Vintage TeaWorks teas that she ordered! I’ve been curious about this line for a long time, and I’m not exactly sure why, since I’m not a wine drinker. I decided to start with this one because a light tea sounded nice after having a strong black, and because I actually do like some Riesling wines. :) The tea itself looks like bai mudan – pieces of leaves of varying color and size with some silvery buds mixed in. I also saw a peek of a red flower petal in mine. Dry scent is somewhat sweet and fruit with a floral edge. I let it steep for 3.5 minutes at 175 degrees.

I was a bit worried by the aroma, mostly because it was highly floral. Luckily the taste is delicious! I taste mostly lovely creamy and buttery white tea with grain notes. Then there’s a little bit of white grape flavor, which goes nicely with the cucumber notes of the white tea. Lastly, there’s some floral presence, but it’s not overly offensive to me and comes out mostly at the end of the sip. Overall, this tea is very tasty, and I actually do find it similar to Rieslings I’ve tried! :)

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Grain, Jasmine, Lemon, White Grapes

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #23
Another really odd blend from Verdant. I’m not even sure what these ingredients are… looks like some things I’ve never seen before. I wish Steepsterers who had the info for these blends (or Verdant) would update the Steepster page at least with the ingredients… it could become a potential allergy issue. Anyway, the dry leaf scent is not at all appealing. I decided to try it anyway… like the pear tea I had the other day I figured the dry scent could be entirely different from the flavor. Not here. The flavor seems kind of woody and kind of like BBQ. It definitely seems like something that would say ‘cask’ to me. And of course the natural woodiness of the rooibos helps. Sipped it while catching up on Supernatural… I’m going to be so sad when I’m done with season five but the new season will be epic, I hope. I can’t wait for the meta music episode!
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min

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Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #22
I always wondered what a hojicha/genmaicha would be like! Really, it doesn’t taste all that different. I thought it would be toastier with the popped rice but the hojicha already seems to have that toasty quality. It just tasted like a normal hojicha to me. I wonder what it would taste like split 50/50 with the actual green leaves of a genmaicha….
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep #2 // 15 min after boiling // 2-3 min

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I recently had to go caffine free for roughly just over a month. It was very difficult but I made it through in part due to this wonderful blend that my Spa & Salon happens to serve and sell. It is very expensive but so worth it. It is very calming and soothing. I plan on keeping this apart of my permanent tea collection. Yum!

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Apple Cider by Bigelow
318 tasting notes

Found this at Market Basket today! I’m so happy. I love this one.

The hibiscus somehow manages to taste good with the cinnamon and the lemon peel. This tea really does taste like apple cider! Bigelow captured the texture and consistency of it perfectly. It’s sweet without being sugary-sweet.

I can’t wait to drink this more once the leaves have changed color!

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I picked this tea up on a whim. I was at the mall because I needed to go to the DMV and change my driver’s license to NY, so I stopped by the health food store to check out their tea selection. Honestly, it was pretty disappointing… Mostly Republic of Tea and similar bagged brands, but this cute little handmade box caught my eye, so I bought it! I must say, the box is stunning. The scene on the front/sides is actually made of individual paper cutouts that are pasted on. So cool!

The tea itself is a CTC black, which is a new one for me. It resembles coffee grounds. Dry scent is very strong and malty, with maybe a bit of bread? I’ve tried brewing this tea a few times and it always comes out too strong for my tastes, so I’m giving it one last chance and finally writing a note. This time I did a scant teaspoon of tea for 1 minute at 200 degrees.

Brewed aroma is strong and malty with a sharp, almost sour note. At first sip, I am reminded of miso soup. Eh? Strange but there it is. Definitely very malty, with a hint of seaweed or some other savory green. It’s somewhat drying on my tongue, but not enough to be a bother. Definitely not like any other black tea I’ve tried! :P

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Seaweed, Tannic

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’ve had this in my cupboard forever, in an unsealed bag. It’s picked up a bit of fruitiness from from other teas but it’s still pretty good. Lots of toasted rice and a pretty smooth green tea. Very easy to drink.

Flavors: Toasted Rice, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Today I felt like having something a little different, so I mixed together three different Yunnan blacks.

-2013 Hong Yun Yiwu Mountain Wild Arbor black tea cake from Yunnan Sourcing: A very fruity, floral, almost sheng-like hong cha
-Some cheap dian hong from an AliExpress seller: A very earthy, malty black with a honey sweetness
-And bit of Adagios Yunnan Gold, which is a very silky and smooth tippy Yunnan

Three different extremes of Yunnan black tea that balance each other quite well :)

Brewed in my black tea yixing, which has started to take on a really gorgeous patina

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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drank Butter Rum by 52teas
273 tasting notes

A lot of tea with a little butter rum. It’s a good blend of blacks. I’m not going to try to guess which types they are… I’m better at guessing greens. The butter rum is lighter then I expected but at the same time I think it’s better like that.

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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drank Mango Lassi by Butiki Teas
480 tasting notes

This is my last untried Butiki tea! Hooray! Visually, it’s mostly red rooibos with a few yellow flower petals and some pieces of candied mango. Dry scent is very strong medicinal rooibos! There’s a little bit of cardamom there too, but I don’t smell any mango. I steeped 1.5 teaspoons for 5 minutes in boiling water.

Brewed aroma… still mostly rooibos with some cardamom. I must say, I’m quite disappointed with this one. I definitely expected a lot of mango, and I’m barely getting more than a little hint of it. I did try it with sugar as suggested, and I didn’t find that it improved the mango flavor or the tea in general. I guess this one’s not for me. :(

Flavors: Cardamon, Rooibos

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Lariel of Lórien

You need to try it cold, as that is how you drink a lassi.

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drank Cold Zing (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
5 tasting notes

Having had a touch of congestion and sore throat last week (you have to love that rapid hot/cold temperature chang going on) I decided to purchase a small amount of this tea and sample it today.

I can definitely pick out the lemongrass and minty flavours and it’s pleasant whether you drink it hot or cold. It’s a nice clean tea without any nasty lingering aftertaste.

If anyone is drinking this while battling a cold, I would love to hear from you. At this point I’m not sure if this is something I would buy in a large quantity (I would have some on hand just in case, though). If it does work, definitely I will. I prefer to deal with ailments more naturally wherever possible.

…besides, since taking away PPA from cold medicines I find NOTHING works with congestion and stuffiness.

Flavors: Lemongrass, Mint

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Ooh, I like this one! Lots of lemon flavor with the holy basil and spices making an appearance towards the end of the sip. I added a little sugar and am really enjoying the sweet/savory combination.

Thank you, Just Organic Teas for sending me this sample. It’s great!

September Sipdowns: 20

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Spiced Chai by Bigelow
225 tasting notes

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200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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10g (to finish it off)
5s – Colour strong already. Taste: Not much, dusty.
10s – Colour more strong. Taste: Simple, dusty.
15s – Flavour feels closed in. Subdued. Green flavour, mid strength.

Impressed by the age but disappointed by the flavour.

10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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