Featured & New Tasting Notes
From the EU TTB.
This one I actually really enjoyed! I was in the mood for a good old cuppa with milk and sugar, so this seemed like a good choice. I’m used to adagio’s blacks being pretty strong and turning astringent quickly, so the additions would probably help the tea rather than hurt it. My aunty came round with my cousins to drop off a book unexpectedly, so I ended up oversteeping it for a good 10 minutes. As it turns out, though, it wasn’t too bad. Only slightly astringent plain, and perfectly fine after I added the milk and sugar. It was a really nice cup of strong, malty black tea with just a slight hint of a citrus note. Very pleasant as an afternoon drink, but I probably won’t keep it as I already have some similar teas in my collection.
Well, this is definitely the last RiverTea blend I had in my stash so this is a sad sipdown. It could very well be the last RiverTea blend that I ever taste, as well. And maybe it should be; at this point anything left out there is probably too old to be any good now.
I hate when the last bit of leaf you have it an odd amount too; do you make one really concentrated cup or two rather weak ones? Since this is usually such a gently flavoured tea anyway I opted for an over leafed cold brew. I figured if I hoarded the leaf any longer I’d really be gambling on the quality of the leaf. I mean, I sort of still am…
The cold brew may have been a mistake. I sipped on a timolino of the brew all evening while I was at the laundromat with my mom; two hours of solid laundry (spare twenty minutes to do a crossword) and I still hadn’t finished the mug. At this point it wasn’t me being nostalgic or trying to savor the liquor. Simply put, it just tasted off. The flavours were so strong they no longer seemed compatible.
Cloying apple, caramel, mulberry, jasmine, and honey…
I’m really upset that I’m ending my journey with RiverTea, a company that I absolutely adored on such a negative note. Seriously, it’s kind of ruined my night a little bit. Ugh.
Ever been to Silver Dollar City? One whiff of this and I was hiking in the Deepwoods on the way to Rube Dugan’s Diving Bell (long gone) to see that cute Junior Dugan guy that asked me to marry him…but I digress. All that sentimentality caused me to throw three bucks at a packet from the Savoy sample rack.
At five minutes (max recommended time) this was a little too heavy on the cinnamon and light on the maple corn, but was still a tasty, sweet autumnal snack in a cup. Will let up on the time next round to see if that changes the mix a bit.
Received this as a free sample with my recent order to Chawangshop. Liubao Tea is not a sort of tea I am in expert in. This one was enjoyable. It had what I would describe as a strong note of bamboo. Some might describe this note as wet wood but I think bamboo is a better description. It seems to be a common flavor in Liubao tea from the few I have tried. In this case it was not overpowering. It largely but not completely dissipated after around four steeps. It also had distinct notes of spicy in it. It was as if I had steeped the tea in a red chili. The spice was that prevalent. This is probably not a tea I would end up buying although I do want to order some Liubao the next time I order from Chaawangshop. If a teas qi is related to the effect it had on you this one has a mild but noticeable qi. I definitely feel an effect from this tea and I did not drink that much. Because I was drinking tea later than usual I only steeped this eight times in a 60ml gaiwan. This is not a huge amount of tea. It seems to have a warming effect on me. I don’t know if Liubao is supposed to be warming or cooling but that is the feel of it to me. I am happy that the taste of bamboo was not too strong as I am not overly fond of that note in tea. Again I think bamboo is a better description than wet wood. I don’t know that this tea was wet stored or dry stored. I don’t even know what part of China Chawangshop is in. I definitely want to buy more Liubao teas from their large selection.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. Judging by the color of the leaves I think I would get at least another four steeps out of this should I continue.
Flavors: Bamboo, Spicy
This is a delicious EG, no doubt. I did oversteep slightly as I was vacuuming while it steeped and it kind of took longer than I expected. So it is somewhat on the downslope towards bitter but not intolerably so and I’m relatively certain that if it hadn’t steeped so long it wouldn’t even be noticeable. After all, Golden Snail rules – how could a combo like this go wrong? But yeh, it isn’t for the blergamot crowd. The berg is fairly strong with this one. :)
Plus, the photo of the tea would have made me buy this even if it weren’t two things I love. Just gorgeous presentation of a beautiful looking and tasting tea.
I know I know, same tea different morning. But I’m still trying to iron out some kinks in my tea-drinking experience.
This tea, again, was quite good. but there was still something wrong with the t. It tasted flat, or perhaps even as if the base tea had changed, although I have a theory. For the longest time, I was using my keurig to dispense water into my tea mug, and I was filling the keurig’s water reservoir with tap water. Then, we got one of those culligan water coolers for our house, and I began using the Culligan water to fill up the keurig. This was when I was drinking coffee, for which it is just fine. but any time I used the hot water tap on the Culligan cooler to make myself tea, the teal would always, without any exceptions, come out tasting weird. It’s strange, because cold, the Culligan water is delicious, although it’s a “thicker” water if that makes sense. It is not like spring water, which has a much thinner mouth feel. And I know I sound ridiculous, but the kind of water I use to make my tea seems to absolutely make a difference. So next up, I’m going to experiment with tap water tea and see what happens, although I’ll have to wait for the Keurig to run through the water it already has first in order to get there.
So let’s keep our fingers crossed that I’m right!
Do you guys notice a difference in the taste of your tea depending on what water you use also? I keep trying to tell myself it’s all in my head, but it kind of isn’t.
Not easy to find a Keemun that isn’t one dimensional. Usually flavor falls flat…somewhat like a mediocre merlot. Bleh!
I don’t care much for who scores the best Keemun as long as I can find it and brew it up!
So happens, that the best I’ve found thus far is Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Fragrant. (And yes it is in stock!)
This tea is layered…like an old vine wine. Smooth and not harsh.
I prefer plenty of leaf when I brew and 2-3 minute steep. Don’t steep longer!
There’s nothing wrong with drinking Keemun any way you want to. Tea snobbery is vulgar!!!
Plain, with sugar and/or cream is outstanding! Robust!
Hello to old friends!
I’m torn with this one…..
The genmaicha base (or blend) is just spectacular, amazing, phenomenal – it seems almost sacrilegious to add stuff to it. With nothing added this could easily be one of my fav genmaichas.
But – he did add stuff to it…..
Toasty, roasty, nutty everything a good genmaicha should be and then way in the back there is just this hint of cocoa. The sencha is there but without being grassy and intrusive. I think the hojicha is a smart addition, just adds more nuttiness to the genmaicha. I’m not really getting the caramel, but there is a sweetness here.
I really think this is a case where less is more. If this were overpowering chocolate, I would miss all the awesome notes in the tea. Perfect example of using a good quality base and then adding subtle flavors to it without loosing the awesomeness of the tea.
If you are looking for a heavily chocolate genmaicha – this isn’t it. But if you love good genmaicha – you should try this.
I’m happily drinking my 3rd cup of it – but still torn about spoiling a great genmaicha.
I received a free sample of this tea in my last teaware order. They have wonderful teaware on this site and thanks to boychik for telling me about it and enabling me! ;)
I’m not usually into green tea, but I’ve heard there’s something unique and different about those from Korea, so it was worth a shot! The dry leaf smelled sugary and nutty. Once wet, the leaves are more vegetal in aroma, and there’s some saltiness there too! The tea tastes a lot like asparagus and spinach, nutty and vegetal. It’s a very beautiful tea, with little verdant green leaves and a vibrant greenish yellow liquor. I also felt very warm drinking it. Overall, I enjoyed my session with it.
Some of you may remember that this is my favourite vanilla black of all time. I’ll tell you a bit about my relationship with Fru P at this point and then I’ll leave it up to you lot to decide what that says about me.
When she just opened the shop, it was shortly after Husband and I got married, so I pretty much just bounded in there in an almost Tigger-esque way, “Are you Mrs P? I’m also Mrs P!” (Fru being Danish for Mrs) I got myself a little bit in trouble with her tea selection, but of course I needed to try the vanilla and it was awesome.
I still keep coming back to stock up on that one. It’s just right for me.
A few months ago when I was in getting a big supply of it to drink at work, I was being helped by one of her assistants, and I asked for “that good vanilla black.”
So the assistant went and got the tin, and Mrs P came rushing in from the side going, “wait, wait, that’s not the one she wants! I’ll get the one she wants,” and then she disappeared out back for a moment.
Turns out when they had last ordered it in, they had bought a vanilla flavoured Darjeeling instead of the regular vanilla black, and Mrs P knows I don’t much care for Darjeeling. Luckily she still had some of the old one out back.
Then, yesterday I was in there again, obviously looking for some of my favourite vanilla.
Now, what does it say about me that the exchange went much like this,
Me: slightly conspiratorial look “That vanilla, you know…”
Mrs P: smiles and goes out back "How much would you like?
She assured me that they weren’t going to replace it completely with the Darjeeling one, so now I’m sort of wondering if she’s hiding the other one out there for the benefit of only a few customers. Obviously, this means that the tea isn’t exactly super-fresh anymore, but you know, in a flavoured black tea that’s less of an issue that it would have been in, say, a green or even a regular black. I feel a bit sort of special and VIP-ish when I order ‘off the menu’ like that.
I love that shop, I really do. I took an intant liking to Mrs P first time I met her, and have never had reason to change my mind. Quite the contrary, actually. And I’m not even in there every other week either.
Guys… this is BETTER than DT’s Vanilla Orchid. Fresher, and missing that strange fake-flavouring aftertaste. I would probably prefer it without the osmanthus flavouring, because I’m not a huge fan of floral, but it’s still really good. I wasn’t expecting this. It wasn’t even a tea I really chose – it was a substitution for Dark Chocolate Oolong, since someone bought that out before me.
Pretty happy with this tea. I love a creamy, vanilla oolong.
This tea tasted just like me smashing a dried up whole coconut on my counter then steeping it. Lots of coconut flavor and a thick texture. It’s got a coconut skin flavor along with some chocolate. The honeybush is in there but it’s got that usual weak tasting base.
This steeps up with a lot of residue. I steeped Coconut Ice late last night and this morning I went to make morning tea and there’s a coconut oily ring in my cup and my tea strainer was really oily as well. Clean your tea ware well after this one!
I’m happy to of tried this tea, but I won’t buy it again. It needs a little something something. More chocolate? Rum? Pineapple? A heavier tea base?
Another session with this delicious tea. A little more bitterness this time but probably because I used a prodigious amount of leaf. I continue to enjoy the creamy caramel notes in this one.
On a different note, I’m glad to see that the change in seasons has resulted in an uptick in the steepster activity, or is it just me?
I love a good Darjeeling, for I crave that muscatel flavor. I saw this and the main flavor notes were “muscatel”, so I knew that I needed to try it. The dry leaf are small dark green and silver curls and strands. They have a light white grape scent and some vegetal scents. I brewed these up western in my teapot. The liquor comes out a pale opaque bronze. The aroma from my cup is pure bliss. Then, I actually tasted it. I think this tea may have been idle too long, for the main flavors seem to be diminished. This brew had a spice and astringent background, and at the forefront, a light wood with almost sugarcane flavor. I did not catch any muscatel flavors. The brew was not airy and light. actually, it was quite firm for a first flush. This was a fairly decent tea, but it was not what I was expecting or looking for. I enjoyed what I had, but I will continue my search for the “champagne” I crave.
Flavors: Astringent, Dry Grass, Spices, Sugar, Vegetal
thrs…fri…SATURDAY! it’s clean the house and get all the last minute stuff done day today before omgsrsly arrives on a plane…and my parents roll in to town from ottawa. Crazy times ahead! What does that mean? Well it’s an explanation of me not really being around and a prediction that i won’t be here much until after we get through the weekend. this tea? still love it and have funnily enough been drinking through it more than any of the other damn fine teas in my cupboard. I still need to pick up their newest addition but that will have to wait until i have funds again. stupid wedding lol.
I want to apologise for being inactive. A lot has been going on recently. I had my driving test and study before hand, of which I failed and have had to re-book. That was very upsetting, the nerves got the better of me and I made stupid mistakes. So this left me feeling down, as did the fact that if I want a car I need to find a job and save up for one. My husbands money is covering everything else but we can’t get a car as well, so for the last month or so I’ve been job hunting. After starting at one place and fainting on my first day, there has been no other progress. I was messed around a few times with training and supposing to start work but at the last minute they let me down. So needless to say everything has left me feeling about an inch small and my depression got the better of me. Hence no blog writing, no SS posts, no Steepster posts and so on. It’s been difficult and I’m just back on the road to recovery. This really is a long story put simply into a small paragraph, please know it was not my idea to leave the wonderful tea community for the time being but was rather something I needed to do. I was away from most online communities but continued to cross stitch as a sort of therapy, stitching away my problems.
Anyway that is enough of that, I’m not back to bloody depress people! So today I’m drinking this English Toffee Matcha which was with my last RLT order. I tried it originally in normal flavour but thought I would order distinct, to really see what the difference was. It actually does make a substantial difference, this one is creamier and more toffee flavoured though it does still have some of it’s Matcha flavour characteristics. In the background especially; for example it starts off creamy, sweet and toffee but turns stronger and slightly bitter with mild grass tones. Despite that it leaves a very creamy after taste in my mouth, making it seem that the Matcha qualities were just a figment of my imagination…until I take another sip and taste them again.
This truly is delightful and I’m glad I went for distinctive. It was worth the extra money for it :D And this still tastes like English Toffee so I’m happy on all levels.
I will be working on articles hopefully this weekend, if not the start of next week. I have 2300 Magic The Gathering cards coming tomorrow so I will be busy sorting them out before I go down on Sunday to play with people. So please forgive me for that additional delay, but believe that I am back and plan on staying. It’s time to stop letting my depression get the best of me.
Ooh! A challenge!
This tea came with my Liquid Proust Teas order as an added bonus; thank you Andrew! I have to say, the idea of guessing what’s in the blend fascinates me. I think I did a pretty good job with this for Lupicia’s Cache-cache blend – though I didn’t get a chance to with Butiki’s mystery blends.
The the green base is an obvious given but if I’m going to try and guess what makes up this blend then I’m going to use every angle I can get: taking a look at the dry leaf, the infused liquor’s colour, the smell and obviously the taste.
Starting with the dry leaf: I definitely see fruity chunks. My initial thought is strawberry or raspberry; it’s hard to tell whether they’re freeze dried strawberry chunks or little bits of raspberry with all the sections/seeds. There’s also another visible fruit; something much paler. Going on the smell of the dry leaf I certainly want to say dragonfruit. It also doesn’t seem like a stretch for LP to want to experiment with something more exotic. However, visually this looks more like sections of kiwi because of how the seeds are arranged. The flesh of a dragonfruit has seeds all throughout the fruit while kiwi’s are more central. I also clearly see a piece of chocolate (or ‘chocolate yogurt’) in the dry leaf I’ve measured out for myself. Right now I’m leaning towards strawberry kiwi chocolate. That definitely seems like compatible flavours, but just different enough to intrigue LP.
I did this one as a cold brew, so I don’t really get to use the aroma of the steeping tea as an indicator. However, the visual liquor is giving me a lot to go off – it’s this really cloudly ‘blush pink’ colour and I know this beautiful shade of pink couldn’t be achieved with dried fruit alone so even though I didn’t see any in the leaf I have a hunch there’s some hibiscus in this blend. The cloudiness is also a tip off; teas with chocolate or yogurt definitely tend to look that way so this is in my mind validating that I did indeed see chocolate in the dry leaf.
And finally the taste test! Let me start by saying that despite the green base I do like the way this tea tastes and first and foremost that’s the most important thing here – not solving LP’s mystery tea flavour. Though that’s certainly fun and a part of the experience too.
I have to say, I was leaning towards strawberry before trying the tea but now I definitely get more of a raspberry note – especially in the lingering aftertaste. The base is really grassy and kind of marine tasting too, I like the flavour but unfortunately I feel like it’s masking some of the ingredients LP has used here. Other than raspberry and base, there’s a tartness that’s clearly hibiscus but not a lot of it. If the colour hadn’t tipped me off I may not have noticed? Or, at least, I’d probably have attributed it to the raspberry. What I’m really trying to figure out is this whole kiwi/dragonfruit dilemma. I wonder if there’s a possibility this has both? When I thought the raspberry was strawberry, kiwi seemed a lot more plausible than it does now and whatever the flavour it’s a little too mild to really stand out as something distinct and not just ‘tropical’.
Alright Andrew, here’s my final(ish) guess:
- Green Tea Base (duh)
- Chocolate of some kind
How’d I do?
Say, did anyone ever sing a song in elementary school that went something like:
Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie
Tasty as can be
That down home country cookin’
That’s the kind for me
Whenever I drink this tea, I think of this song, only I sing it as, “Pumpkin chai, pumpkin chai, tasty as can be…”
This year’s rendition smells drool-worthy. Super duper spicy and creamy, surely this must be a winner this season.
But I don’t know, once I steep this up and add a touch of light cream, it tastes off. The base has a weird stale undertone, the cinnamon is the most powerful note in here, much like cinnamon candy hearts, and I don’t taste any caramel in this as I had been hoping.
I’m glad I only got 12g, which I split with my mom into two big mugs, so it’s already done. Cinnamon cardboard candy? That kind of sums it up.
My goodness, I haven’t gotten nearly enough sleep the last few days, and some situations at work are incredibly stressful, and I woke up all worked up this morning and went to sleep worked up last night. So I needed an old best friend, and of course was not let down. I have said so much about this tea: how it tastes like waffles, how it tastes good with and without additions, how it travels well, how it keeps well (I’ve had it for over a year now). I will miss it so much once it’s gone.
Mmm, thanks very much to Oolong Owl for sending me a small sample of this.
I’m sipping it right now and the taste is malty, sweet, and complex. The brewed tea smells similarly spicy and chocolaty. In fact, it smells like chocolate-covered raisins! Now I’m craving Glossettes candy, but this will do in a pinch.
I think I’ll add this to my wishlist.
Edit: I just checked the Upton Tea Imports website and found that shipping to Canada starts at $13.60. Yikes. I may not restock this after all. Steepster-folk, do any of you have any suggestions for anything from Yunnan Sourcing that may have a similar flavour profile? Spice, chocolate-covered raisins?
I’ve become a little too lackadaisical in my tea preparation lately, so I went back to basics with this one. I carefully measured the amount of tea leaves, double checked that the water temperature was correct, and set a timer. Most importantly I watched the timer rather than waking away and forgetting it for 10 minutes.
Lo and behold, I was gifted an ever so lovely cup of tea for my efforts. Really, this tea is dang tasty. Lots of fruit, honey, and chocolate flavors that blend nicely into each other.
So, it turns out that following the directions can be a good thing. Go figure. But the resteep.. all bets are off there, and I can play forgetful mad scientist again. :)
Yep. Squidward Fandom Tea. Gotta say, I’m glad Squidward is getting his time in the spotlight finally. This tea my kiddos would even drink. Simple apple flavors that remind me of a crisp green apple. So far my favorite of the Geeky Teas.
Flavors: Green Apple