Featured & New Tasting Notes

2024 sipdown no. 33

I’ve been meaning to write a note for this tea since my first cup. Since I’ve just steeped my last cup, procrastination is no longer an option!

This is slightly vegetal at the front, though quite a mellow vegetal taste. There is a subtle unripe peach flavour starting in the middle and becoming more prominent towards the end of the sip. I have really enjoyed this tea and would re-order.

1st steep 1 min
2nd steep 2 minutes, 30 seconds

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79
drank Aloha Blend by Plum Deluxe
2294 tasting notes

This is quite a decent EG. The strongest flavor I get is a banana, then I taste a bit of the bergamot. It could all be heartier, but I like it! With sugar and milk, I find this to be very fun and tropical – I’ve enjoyed my 1 oz bag!

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90

I found this tea on a trip to Oshino Hakkai. It is an instant Matcha sweetened with Peach. It is very tasty and refreshing on ice or hot and very easy to prepare. Just add water and stir. The matcha taste is not very strong, but in this case, i think that it a plus. The Peach is so natural tasting and I like it pre-sweetened.
I only have a few packets left, so I am rationing it and hoping to be able to order some more now that I am back in the US.

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79
drank Oolong Creme by Sloane Tea Company
2294 tasting notes

Not a bad milk oolong! The oolong itself is a little floral. There’s some butteriness, though I would have enjoyed even more. It lasted for two quick cold resteeps as well. It was my favorite tea from our afternoon tea.

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68

This is from Cameron B!  Thanks very much!  I wasn’t expecting much with this tea, as I knew this was probably full of rosehips and strawberry teas are usually a let down.  The hardest flavor to get right, I think, is authentic strawberry.  Surprisingly, both steeps at least had a bit of strawberry candy flavor.  Surprising because it looked like half the blend was rose hips!  So really it tasted like strawberry flavored rosehips, as I couldn’t really taste any white tea.  So this was better than I expected?  But the bar was very very low here. 
Steep #1   // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  20 minutes after boiling // 3 min

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It’s heeeeerrreee!

This past year I purchased one of Anne’s “Create a Blend” fundraiser perks and I pretty promptly sent her what felt like a million different flavour ideas. They all had one common thread, though. I really wanted a rhubarb tea. I think rhubarb is such an underrated fruit (technically vegetable), especially when it comes to tea blends. You rarely see it used outside of strawberry rhubarb teas, and even those aren’t exactly all too common…

I gave Anne a ton of ideas ranging everywhere from rhubarb and vanilla ice cream to just a straight up smoked rhubarb. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Anne hadn’t ever worked with rhubarb before – so it ended up being a bit of a longer and more experimental process (not that I minded one bit). She even sourced some candied rhubarb just for the blend, and dang it looks cool! Ultimately I had all the faith in the world and was really just excited to be along for the ride.

I’m really, really happy with the final tea though! It’s got that perfect jammy cooked rhubarb note with a hint of tartness that I was hoping for and the subtle additions of cinnamon and Lapsang Souchong (just a smidge) give it that cozy baked pie sort of vibe that was in a lot of the ideas I’d sent. Like a rhubarb pie if you juuusssttt slightly burnt the crust. I happen to love that smokey edge though. It feels very tailored to my own personal tastes.

I’ve already seen that Anne’s used the rhubarb flavouring it at least one other blend, so I’m happy to have unintentionally snuck this flavouring into the 52Teas repertoire. If I may be so bold as to suggest another rhubarb concept, I’ve always adored the more British influenced “Rhubard & Custard” rooibos blends I’ve tried but I’d really like to see the same concept on a caffeinated tea base.

Anyway – the tldr is that I am a happy customer!

PS. The name for the blend comes from the 1989 Batman movie where it’s said by The Joker. It basically means something along the lines of “Don’t mess with my girl”. I just thought it was a fun, nerdy reference though.

52Teas

so, so, so, sooooo happy that you like it! I really enjoyed this blend – so much more than I thought I would.

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93

Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – April 2024 Tea #2 – A tea that comes in a special shape

I think the only “special shape” teas I have at the moment are tuochas.  I’m trying the sunflower tuocha in this old sampler again, because the last time,for some reason, regretfully, I used two tuochas for a mug.  I don’t know why!  Because trying it again, this tuocha is PERFECT.  It must be a “golden leaf” because there is a lot of lightness here to the leaf.  I also love the massive biscuity scent wafting from the drenched leaves.  The flavor even on the first steep is deep and delicious. Wow.  Sweet, biscuit, syrup, rich.  This is the ripe I love.  Again, I bet age is helping this one.  The third steep is a little weaker in flavor, but still decent.  The fourth steep, I wouldn’t bother with again.  I’d rather just go for a long third steep.  But this is entirely forgivable as the initial flavor is so good.  It’s a quick unraveller!   The rating for this sunflower wrapper tuocha would be a 94. If anyone has any old tuochas left from older Mandala sampler sets that they don’t want, let me know, as I would love to gratefully rehome them!
Steep #1  // 1 tuocha for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  10 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 10+ min

ashmanra

I thought I was going to have to use a mini tuo for the prompt but decided I would count pearls as a special shape. I am all out of blooming teas.

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70

I’m pretty thrown off here because some ingredient strongly reminds me of a Thai curry. That doesn’t mean it’s bad… it’s just savory and 100% not pumpkin pie. The curry association is so strong. That’s all I taste.

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90
drank 2021 Fox Down by white2tea
536 tasting notes

Sipdown. Sample?
I really wish I would have tried this earlier. It’s sold out and I can’t order any.
So good. Honey and smooth, but I wish I could have more of it to drink.

Flavors: Honey

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73

Is this a good tea for eclipse viewing? Dunno, but it’s going down smooth this morning. Still more coffee and shou but the banana sweetness pulls them together.

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82

My first tea review! I’ve been collecting and drinking for years now, but only recently found out about Steepster, so here I am! This was purchased for me as a birthday treat, and what a treat it was! A beautiful scent right out the tin, whilst maybe being a bit too perfumey, but the taste is nowhere near as strong as the smell, but still delicious. I’d recommend it!

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 450 ML
gmathis

Welcome! The site may be glitchy occasionally, but the Steepsters here aren’t :)

ashmanra

Welcome to Steepster! It is great to see you here. It is a wonderful community!

Michelle

Welcome! Lots of tea knowledge, swapping and tea enabling here.

Jake Lane

Thank you for the warm welcome everyone! Very excited to be here :)

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drank Caramel Buttercup by Savoy Tea Co
2898 tasting notes

My house is irrefutable proof of entropy and chaos theory. Just this morning as I removed a bag containing two petrified bagels from the kitchen table, I wondered, “How long have those been there?” This, of course, does not happen to you.

The scientific principle carries through to this tea as well. Some of you who are schooled tea blenders may have a name or explanation for the breakdown of flavored tea over time. I loved the buttery overtones of this when it was fresh and new, and it is still absolutely acceptable, but the artificial flavoring just seems a little more artificial after a couple years. It’ll be fine as a “drink with” as I get it sipped down, just no longer a stand alone standout.

"Youngest"

Those bagels sound done to perfection in my book. I seem to recall @ashmanra perplexedly but graciously accommodating my preference in toast when it was discovered some years ago: pan-fried, and aged at least a day or until tastefully petrified. We called this my “prison bread” – grizzly stuff in retrospect, but good to see promising tidings of “prison tea” in my future.

gmathis

We made pan bread! In the skillet with butter and a little sugar and fried on both sides to not-quite-burnt.

ashmanra

I have been making pan bread a bit lately, but have never had it with sugar. We just butter both sides (or let one side absorb the butter from the pan) and fry on both sides til golden brown. Then add jam. Mmmmmmmm….

"Youngest"

I recently had pan bread with powdered sugar. Solid snack material, probably even better slightly stale.

Michelle

Ah this is a very good excuse to dig out this tea and have a cuppa before it turns to meh.

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80
drank Tropical Peaches by Java Momma
1151 tasting notes

Sipdown of a convenient tea for ashmanra’s sipdown challenge. Ugh, I took this from the Strange VariaTea TTB months ago and was sure that I’d written a note, but Steepster didn’t even have an entry for the tea! I love this little corner of the internet but sometimes it really does make me feel like I’m losing it (those times primarily being when tasting notes disappear and then I’m not sure whether they ever even existed in the first place). Anyway, I really enjoy this as an iced tea! It’s like very thin peach juice. I like peach juice, so that’s a mark in its favor. This isn’t watery in an unpleasant way, just not thick and sugary the way juice is. And it’s convenient because it comes in those iced tea pitcher sachets.

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85

From Daylon R Thomas a while ago!  Thanks very much!  Impossible to measure these leaves unless using a scale.  Once in a while, I seem to say “these are the longest leaves I have ever seen”, but these must be the longest!  Not so much twisted together, as almost straightened somehow, but still very difficult even to POUR out of the skinny bag. I was pleased to notice the description says: “Our Cang Ya is tightly twisted into a strip shape.”  So there you go.  The dry leaf has a scent of summer squash and dried hay.  The flavor is also summer squash!   But also a sweet fruit candy flavor that I thought might be strawberry, but then settled on candy grape. The second steep is rich but not overdone or bitter.  Biscuity.  I really expected the flavor to be much lighter on this one, so I’m very happy with how this one resulted! (I’m really not describing the richer flavors here, but there are some.)
Steep #1  // 22 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 – 2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  just boiled // 3 min

Flavors: Biscuit, Grapes, Hay, Squash

"Youngest"

This sounds like the kind of tea I would swap somebody and package each leaf individually for a prank.

tea-sipper

Hah, well the leaves are certainly big enough for that!

Daylon R Thomas

I had a hard time packing that one back and just kept the boxes when I sent it. I personally thought the tea was actually too strong for me despite having sweeter profiles. It had an almost jammy malt to me that was a little over powering when I had it.

tea-sipper

Oh “jammy malt” is exactly my jam! (sorry) But when I was sipping this, I definitely thought you sent it because you found it too strong. I don’t think any tea could be too strong for me. :D

gmathis

Did you have enough left for Eclipse Day? Couldn’t be a more perfect name :) We were in the 90% zone. Pretty interesting viewing!

tea-sipper

Good catch, gmathis! I was thinking about which teas I should have had for the eclipse after the fact. And here was the perfect tea right in my hands five days ago! darn. The eclipse was amazing. I thought it was the perfect time to do yard work while I waited for it. Then I was waiting for the lights to turn back on. :D

Daylon R Thomas

Cool. We got 98% totality in Michigan.

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Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan, and served in my porcelain tea cup via my glass cha hai. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout.

Dry leaf is brightly aromatic with notes of stone fruit, melon, wildflowers, and alfalfa. The brewed tea evinces the same elements but with more subtlety. Hints of chocolate and malt as well.

Tawny to Titian Red liquor depending on steep times.

Flavor is gently vegetal/savory with malt and grass intermingling. Blind, I’m not sure I could identify this as a black tea as there are flavors that bring to mind white or even green tea as well. Delicate and complex with a grainy/grassy finish. Hints of fresh water chestnuts and wood ear. If pushed, more dark chocolate flavors emerge, but at the cost of bitterness and a touch of astringency/sourness.

Quite energizing – caffeine made me break up the session over a couple mornings.

Unique but at this price I won’t pick up a cake.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

goodbye, my dear friend, you were a great tea :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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62

[Spring 2023 harvest]

I am not very fond of this vintage. It has a decent aroma, similar to the previous ones. However, the flat taste is not so pleasant overall. The tea is a bit sour and has some dryness to it that rubs me the wrong way. In any case, as a tea to dring with breakfast it is still fine.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Grass, Malt, Pumpkin, Sour, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
"Youngest"

This flavor profile sounds simply heinous.

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90

I’m so behind on tasting notes! The past few weeks it’s just been harder than usual to stay on top of things. Plus I have been drinking a lot of the same teas over and over, because it’s easy or I’m working towards a sipdown or it helps with health stuff in some way.

But! I did manage a sipdown of this very enjoyable blend. It’s just well balanced, true to the name, and makes a great latte. One of my favorites from the 2023 advent calendar.

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94
drank Coffee by TeaMaze
4181 tasting notes

Gmathis noticed me raving about one of my favorites — the many variations on coffee puerh, so she sent over a sample of this one!  Thanks very much (and also for the super cute card! Books!  Tea!)   This might be the first tea I am trying from TeaMaze?   I could tell even before tipping the kettle over, the scent of the dry leaf could not be better.  This blend should have been called “The Best Coffee”.  At least to this coffee novice!  Then again, this is being marketed to tea people and not coffee people!  The flavor couldn’t be better here, the best parts of coffee — it’s coffee, but sweet, mocha, and a hint of cocoa.  Three steeps with great flavor. The twenty minute third steep was almost the same as the second steep.   However, the base is a little too weak for me, no matter which steep it is.  As a combination of puerh and black tea, I love the concept, but the result of the brew is so light in the mug. (The description says “robust” tea and I disagree.) But where I rate this tea so highly, is the perfect flavor that lingers through all three steeps:  IT’S COFFEE.  Delicious coffee to someone who avoids actual coffee. So I will allow the base here to take a backseat as the carrier of this perfect flavor I’m craving all the time (while not actually craving coffee).  Yum.
Steep #1  // 1 heaping teaspoon for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  15 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 20 min

gmathis

I’m not sure I ever let mine go as long as 20 minutes. Largely because the scent is so alluring I don’t have the patience to wait that long. It’s nice with a little dairy, too.

tea-sipper

It IS very alluring! The trick is…. leaving the room while it is steeping! :D Thanks again, gmathis.

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86

Yum, this is so good my tin is almost gone. My favorite of this box! Tastes like a toasted coconut marshmallow. I know this is tea, and that this is just flavoring, but my brain is fooled enough and it’s delicious. I will need more of this one.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Marshmallow, Toasted, Vanilla

gmathis

Next time I can justify a major tea buy (ha!) I have got to shop Old Barrel!

Michelle

You won’t regret it, I haven’t come across a ho hum tea from them yet.

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Martin, thank you for sharing two bags of this herbal blend—I am afraid I have not done the first one justice because I preceded it with several extremely sweet marshmallow chicks that were in my Easter basket. So my first flavor impressions may not be very accurate. It definitely leads with a nice, fresh peppermint vibe, with an undercurrent of dried flower petals—that must be the echinacea.

I’ll stay out of the sugar before I try my next cup, but even with a candy-coated mouth, it is pleasant and calming. I could go for some calm—last night, there were three tense, pacing adults and three pacing, yowling cats in ready-to-duck mode while a series of nasty storms went through. Tornado warnings missed us by just a few miles, but all is well. Just a handful of small branches down in our yard. Amen and amen.

ashmanra

Oy! Those are headed our way over the next couple days but I don’t think it is supposed to be quite as bad. We are level 2 risk and possible tornados. Staying home tomorrow…

Martin Bednář

Praying for both of you!
I wish that next time there will be a better occasion to try this tea.

gmathis

I’m looking forward to a second go. At the tea, not the weather!

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64

From AJRimmer QUITE a long time ago — thanks very much!   Honestly, even the scent of the dry leaf had something a bit offputting to me, an odd scent, which might be why it has taken so long to write a note for this. It’s just a mystery — not sure if it is flavoring they have added or one of the ingredients that is creating that scent. It’s nothing TOO bad, just unique.  It also transfers to the flavor.  I probably majorly overleafed here to use up the rest, and wow it is a LOT of tartness in a mostly hibiscus blend.  But then there is another element that gives it a syrupy sweet note. Not really any noticeable fruit?  Not terrible if you are actually craving a tart cup of hibiscus!  
Steep #1  // 2+ teaspoons for full mug // 23 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5+ min
2024 sipdowns: 32

Flavors: Hibiscus

AJRimmer

I finished my bag of this years ago, but I still remember that smell you’re talking about!!

tea-sipper

haha, oh good, it’s not just me then and I’m not just being picky about it. :D

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71

Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – April 2024 Tea #1 -April 1 – April Fool’s Day  

Don’t have tea today? ha ha, ashmanra.  This is a fun one —  It’s colorful, it has star sprinkles, even the sunflower petals are fun AND it’s a tea inspired by ice cream!  What could be more fun than ice cream?  This is too tart to be ice cream inspired IMO, but I can live with it.  Definitely not close to a sipdown here though.  Happy April!

ashmanra

Star sprinkles? That DOES sound fun!

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