Featured & New Tasting Notes

57
drank Eggnog & Pralines by Butiki Teas
268 tasting notes

Sipdown! (66/375)

Thanks for the sample, VariaTEA!

I’m on a roll today! Apologies for all the tasting notes today and yesterday. I tend to work all the hours most people don’t, because I work in a restaurant and so our busiest times are evenings and weekends. That means my ‘weekend’ tends to come in the middle of the week, and since I haven’t had any plans this week I’ve just stayed at home and drank a lot of tea (which has been awesome).

This is one I could take or leave. The base is a blend, which is interesting, because even though I’m not a huge fan of green teas in general, my favourite is Mao Jian, which I can taste a lot of in the smooth, mellow butteriness of this tea. It does also have a Glenburn Estate green mixed in with it though, and I can detect some more savoury vegetal notes in here which I don’t like as much. I can taste some almost pecan-like nuttiness (though nothing like my beloved maple pecan oolong) and some hints of cream, but not enough that I would call this ‘eggnog and pralines’. I added a little brown rock sugar which does amp up the praline flavour and make it much more enjoyable, but still not something I’m sad to see gone. It’s not the kind of thing I crave regularly, and when I do, I have half an ounce of Spiced Nog which I prefer.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
greenteafairy

I would’ve loved a Butiki eggnog blend with any base other than a green; I don’t even remember which iteration I tried, but to me the base and the flavoring really clashed—nothing even remotely vegetal belongs near my eggnog!

Nattie

I agree! It is a weird combination.

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94
drank Peach Brulée by Tea Forte
559 tasting notes

I got this for Christmas in Tea Forte’s Noir sampler. Now, I’m always conflicted about this company. Everything I’ve tried by them has been wonderful. However, to me, they seem really overpriced for the quantity you get. So I only buy something from them every few years. Or if I can find it on sale. It’s a special treat.

About these single-steep pouches, I’d say they’re actually two if you’re using a standard size mug. There’s a little over two teaspoons in each.

Now, this is one incredibly fragrant tea. The peach aroma is sweet, bright, and realistic. Very natural and juicy! As it steeps, calendula petals and pieces of dried fruit rise to the top. As for the flavor, I love it. The brulee aspect is milder than the peach, but still present. It adds a rich layer of creaminess. But it’s definitely subtle, as is the black tea base. It’s only a touch astringent, but it mostly fades into the background. Also, I see this contains coconut too, but I can’t really taste it. That said, this is probably the best peach tea I’ve ever had.

Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Fruity, Peach

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37
drank Rooibos by English Tea Shop
268 tasting notes

I am so over this. One more and it’s a sipdown. It’s just a plain, one-note rooibos, and not even a good one at that. It’s got a sort of chemically taste which I find really odd. On top of that I bought it in a rooibos four-pack, the other three being flavoured, and every single one of them, despite being individually wrapped, has always tasted the same. It’s not exactly foul spit-it-out-immediately tasting, but it’s boring my tastebuds to death and I’d be happy never to drink it again.

Preparation
Boiling 8 OZ / 236 ML
Arby

I’m falling out of love with rooibos too. I do have some great rooibos blends, but I’m kind of tired of the flavour these days (especially plain/rooibosy tasting blends).

Nattie

Tell me about it. I can only think of one rooibos blend that I really really like. ):

Arby

Which blend is that? I’m big into cocoa chai rooibos right now (David’s Tea). It isn’t high in the rooibos flavour category though.

Nattie

I’ve never tried that. The one I was talking about was Della Terra’s Lime Chiffon, but I forgot about another I really like which is Bluebird Tea Co.‘s Rhubarb and Custard. Neither of them are available any more, though, so once I’m out I’m out!

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90

Another of the Georgian teas I acquired from What-Cha during the second half of 2016, I finished off the last of my sample pouch this afternoon. I got so used to the recommended steeping process for Natela’s Gold Standard that I ended up using 203 F water instead of 194 F water the first time I brewed a cup of this tea. It turns out that nine degree difference in temperature really makes a difference with this tea. Brewing it again at the recommended temperature resulted in a much more flavorful cup.

I brewed this tea Western style. Rather than attempt multiple infusions, I favored a simple one step infusion process. Note that in this review I am specifically referring to the latter brewing method referred to above-3 grams of loose tea leaves steeped in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted a malty, slightly fruity scent. After infusion, I picked up pronounced aromas of cream, malt, raisin, almond, and nutmeg. In the mouth, I detected dominant notes of cream, malt, and toast balanced by gentle, subtle notes of apricot, golden raisin, and yellow plum. Notes of nutmeg and almond were also detectable, becoming more noticeable on the smooth, malty, and subtly fruity finish.

Overall, I really liked this tea. It came across as being smoother and more balanced than Natela’s Gold Standard, though it also lacked the pronounced fruitiness I so admired in that tea. Still, I found it to be very good. I think it would be a perfect tea for whenever one is just looking for a balanced, supremely drinkable cup.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Cream, Malt, Nutmeg, Plums, Raisins, Toast

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nattie

Oh this sounds good!

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This review is from drinking a cake sample. This puer is a fragrance bomb. It is bright, citrus, sweet, amber, grassy, vegetal at first, then a sweet mineral, pavement, buttery, vegetal finish.

I feel this be a good puer, in its current young state, for an oolong drinker. It’s got that fragrance that you just don’t get in many puer, but what oolongs tend to have.

In comparison to the same priced 2016 We Go High, Tuhao is more approachable as it is less bitter. It is totally for an oolong drinker and a great tea to try if you are new to shengs that are expensive or hate bitterness. You more pro, want epic tea drunk, and got that young sheng gut for bitter – We Go High is a better match for $149 cake.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2016-tuhao-fuck-sheng-puer-white2tea/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I see why Andrew loved it so much.

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90

Sipdown.

I enjoyed this tea while I had the sample. Cherry roasted tea against wicked below zero winds. I need to focus on non-attachment. Better yet, balanced attachment. It applies to people and to tea, but I will focus on tea, a thing.

I want more tea and I don’t. I want jade oolongs but I don’t want to spend a lot more money on more tea. I ordered 50 grams of a Da Yu Ling for $20 on discount, but I desire more jade oolong, but I don’t know if I want a flavored or an unflavored. I want to get some chai for my tumbler, but I do not want a lot more black tea. But I would like more Darjeeling. I want to order more tea from What-Cha, but I also want to order from Hugo Tea, Liquid Proust, Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co., and Quarter to Tea. But I want to cut down on my caffeine to help with my attempts to hide my anxiety. Stimulants pumping blood into your forehead and brain does not exactly help one be cool and collected.

Oh well. I’ll give myself a break about it. TMI

Evol Ving Ness

Daylon, are you a Gemini?

Daylon R Thomas

Aries Sun Libra Rising Scorpio Moon

Daylon R Thomas

People always guess the air signs for me. How deep do you go with astrology?

Daylon R Thomas

I do have a Mercury Retrograde in my first house if that’s what you’re getting for the Gemini.

Evol Ving Ness

I was guessing air. Hence, the Gemini. Possibly signs of Libra too, but that didn’t seem like a good fit.

Daylon R Thomas

Too mercurial lol. My writing voice is slightly different from my speaking voice. I’m a lot more gentile and nervous in person, unless you already imagined that.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, the mercurial aspect comes across. :)

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78

This is another free sample I received with a fairly recent What-Cha order. Apparently, this was meant to replace the previous English breakfast blend. A blend of African and Asian black teas, this particular blend is comprised of 30% Yunnan Black Gold, 30% Vietnam Wild Boar, 30% Kenya FOP, and 10% Rwanda FOP.

I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, I noted that the dry leaves emitted malty, woody, and slightly chocolaty aromas. After infusion, the copper tea liquor produced more clearly defined scents of chocolate, malt, wood, brown sugar, and sorghum molasses. In the mouth, I detected a smooth blend of wood, brown sugar, chocolate, sorghum molasses, earth, leather, toast, roasted nut, malt, and mild spice notes. The finish was particularly smooth, pleasant, and expressive, offering a lingering malty sweetness coupled with a hint of astringency.

Truth be told, this was an enjoyable and surprisingly refined English breakfast blend. Unfortunately, I am at a point where I tend to associate English breakfast teas with earthier, woodier, more leathery flavors and more pronounced bitterness and astringency. As a matter of fact, I associate English breakfast teas with these qualities so much that I now actively look for them. With that in mind, I found this blend to be tasty, but I also found it to be a bit tame. Still, I think those who are looking for a smooth, flavorful breakfast tea could do far worse than checking out this one.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Earth, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Roasted nuts, Spices, Toast, Wood

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I got it for the terroirs he used. I used to like English Breakfast with cream and sugar, but my health nut tendencies have pushed me towards pure tea. It turned out nicely anyway. Whenever I make it, I always hope to replicate the way I had it in Egypt for the memories. I was at the Mena House Hotel looking at the Great Pyramid of Khufu through glass and wooden bead curtains. I think it was the scenery and the brown sugar cubes that made the tea taste so good.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m totally showing off at this point, but here’s what I’m talking about:
https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/c8/fb/14/mena-house-hotel.jpg

Evol Ving Ness

The Mena House is awesome. And tea, very Egyptian.

Daylon R Thomas

Ever heard of it or been there, Evol?

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, I used to live Alexandria.

Daylon R Thomas

Sweet. I was an anthropology major before I decided to switch to Social Studies/History teacher and wanted to be an Egyptian Archaeologist. What brought you to Alexandria?

Evol Ving Ness

Work and life. As an aside, on the way to Abu Simbel, I met a fascinating group Egyptian Archaeologists from one of the universities in Chicago. A stroke of luck to be able to eavesdrop on them and converse about their studies in that particular context.

Daylon R Thomas

University of Chicago? I actually applied there for their programs. Got rejected, but went to MSU which I’m finishing up for senior year.

Evol Ving Ness

Possibly. I don’t recall. And yay you! Are you enjoying your studies?

Daylon R Thomas

For the most part :) Micro-econ and the history of Michigan were okay, but my social studies ed. focused class was a lot more enjoyable.

Evol Ving Ness

social studies ed. focused class

What themes were involved here?

Daylon R Thomas

This one is designed for the profession of teaching. Emphasis on teaching critical thinking above all else and making the content accessible to a diverse body of students, namely student with IEP’s and English Language Learners. The rest of it dialed on what the class as a whole was interested in for professional development and different styles of teaching. Some people excelled with lectures, other document based activities. I preferred the latter, though I don’t mind lectures too much.

Daylon R Thomas

The other portion was on teaching the cannon of history and social studies in an approachable way.

Evol Ving Ness

That sounds like a brilliant course. I’d like to take it myself. So, how does one teach critical thinking to a class, which includes students with various challenges, linguistic, cultural, cognitive, or otherwise ? Professional development is a fascinating topic as well. How many styles of teaching are there, and what are they? When you say document-based activities, is that to say research essays and such?

It is your intention to teach American high school students, right? Or am I dreaming this up?

Daylon R Thomas

Having an entire conversation on eastkyteaguy’s note lol.

I do want to teach American high school and middle school students, but my long term future goal is to be a community college professor. I’m up to teaching abroad if the opportunity arises and compensates well with my diabetes, but I think there is a larger need in this country.

Styles of teaching were more focused on in strategies of classroom management (think Jone’s Model) and our individual personalities in the class. We really focused more on the baselines of the best teacher, one that has fully developed senses of logos, ethos, and pathos. As in: a teacher who know’s their shit, is ethical, and has a quality that makes them human and connectable (i.e. personability). My professor totally appropriated them from Aristotle and we go back and forth nudging that fact in class. We mentioned “oh, he’s totally a lecturer” but did not categorize said teachers. We just started with personalities at work using the DISC test and the Big Five traits psyche test. DISC is Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. Dominance is taking control of situations, arguments, etc, Influence is sociability, Steadiness is akin to harmony, and Conscientiousness perfectionism, logic, rules, facts, and so on. I ranked highest with Conscientiousness and Steadiness,a healthy fourth belonging to dominance, and a minimum to influence. I was not really a huge fan of the test because it was to binary. The categories at least had nuance. The Big Five, I think you might have heard of. Here’s my blog which gives you a good idea about the class. There’s a few things I need to clean up, but here it is. https://daylonthomas.edublogs.org/

Our class did not connect critical thinking with students with challenges explicitly (more implicit), but rather we were provided examples of how we would modify a curriculum or lesson for such a student. I’ve had the same question myself, and as a class we are still trying to answer it into this semester. I think that’s the question for a true teacher, really.

As for what we did do, lesson differentiation, or differentiating lessons enough to address different styles of learning was emphasized, and as for students with linguistic and some cognitive challenges, we were taught to simplify and not cookie cutter our lessons. We were encouraged to use concise and direct language with English Language Learners, and to use multiple forms of media outside of lecture and reading. I thought it was kinda ironic how often a lot of us referred back to primary source document reading, essay writing, debate, and lecture most of all for teaching, but we have another semester and a whole internship to go. Media literacy was a huge topic especially with the election ever present in our heads and in our classrooms-we approached by comparing and contrasting Eisenhower’s “I like Ike” to “Make America Great Again”, for example. It is also a primary source lesson, technically. No essay required. It was concocted by my class mate, but it was a stellar conversation.

The rest of the course was more focused on dealing with social studies and history content itself. The course assumes that if you teach history and the other social studies properly, then you will provide an intellectual environment to foster critical thinking. By encouraging your students to realize the limits of time, record, sourcing, and perspective, they should understand that history is a reconstructed story told with a purpose, a specific paradigm, and an intended audience. The same goes for maps which portray specific ideas, political campaigns, advertisements, legal arguments, etc.

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81
drank Birthday Cake by Butiki Teas
839 tasting notes

Thank you VariaTEA for this sample!

I’ve been avoiding trying this because I thought it was mate based. As it turns out, what I thought was yerba mate leaves was actually delicious, delicious mallow leaf. Mallow leaf is my new tea love. I need to find a bulk store that stock it so I can make marshmallow leaf/root tea.

Anyway, as for the actual looseleaf, I really like the orange/red and blue petals, they are colourful like sprinkles. When brewed, there is a strong flavour that starts out vegetal, like dried leaves steeped in hot water.

Then, the magic happens. Hints of vanilla blossom into marshmallow and icing flavours. I wouldn’t describe it as cake, but it definitely reminds me of the marshmallow fluff icing my cousin makes her cakes with. Next time I make a Butiki buy, I’m stocking up on this wonderful herbal blend.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Custard, Grass, Herbaceous, Marshmallow, Rice Pudding, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML
Indigobloom

Did you buy from them? They shut down. Now I have hope it’s been reopened :D

Nattie

Butiki closed a couple of years ago ):

greenteafairy

I miss this one.

VariaTEA

I love this one and it’s quite old now but still lovely. Unfortunately Butiki is no more hence why this is so old

Arby

Aww :( That’s too bad. I was hoping to get more of this.

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75

I had a late session with this tea last night because I was in the mood for an oolong.

I’ve started recording my sessions on a little MP3 recorder so that I don’t have the possibility of skipping anything during the session. I usually jot a brief note on the flavor profile, color, aroma; which can get quite perplex while writing a review (or in my case avoiding the reviewing part via Steepster due to incomprehensible notes).

However, this session ran short due to time/battery life in the device. I noted that there were nutty, floral, & mineral flavors. I also noted that this is a good TGY because it reminds me of other quality TGY that I’ve had int he past, so rated on the scale of “uniqueness” it’s pretty average. It’s a good TGY, but it’s something that I’ve had before.

Thank you for the sample Angel

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80

I do like the scent and taste of this one. What I don’t like about it is its name. To me, although the inspiration of the tea with chocolate, spice, marshmallow may well be Mexican Hot Chocolate, the oolong is earthy and that alone does not work for me to summon the concept of the original drink. The star anise confuses me as well. I like the oolong and black base with the star anise—there is star anise in this, right? It’s the name that muddles me up.

I am raising my rating based on enjoying this tea and always enjoying QTT’s inspired tea efforts and creativity. That and the fact that I really do enjoy this one if I do not call it Mexican Hot Chocolate. Lauren, would you consider calling it Opium Den? Or Somnolent Earth? Or Amber Anise? Or…

Or maybe I’ll just rename it for myself and then, I’m good.

Flavors: Anise, Earth, Spices, Wet Earth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Indigobloom

Does it remind you of cocoa at all? I can’t recall if I ordered this one. Will have to check!

Arby

I definitely found there was a strong raw cocoa flavour when brewed hot for a longer brew time. Not necessarily bittersweet/bitter, but definitely dark chocolate or cocoa rather than milk chocolate.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, not so much, perhaps I’ll try the longer brew time to see if any cocoa emerges.

Indigobloom

I look forward to reading your conclusion :)

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86
drank Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker
1807 tasting notes

Ok, grocery shopping done, work out complete, a work training for another job done, and I am now working on my freelance work. Time for tea!
A pot of this is my trusty companion today, and its proving very bold and lovely. I think I’ll add some honey to it next time, to really make it sing.

Teatotaler

Bungalow is my favorite Darjeeling blend. I believe that I’m going to make myself a cup right now. Might add a bit of honey myself – Great idea, Rosehips! :)

Shae

Good for you, being so productive! I’m still in my PJs.

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77

Well this has cooled quite a great deal but it still captures the taste of an oatmeal raisin cookie…heavy on the raisin and with a great deal of cinnamon. The brew has an awesome fresh-baked cookie scent. All in all, its pretty tasty and though I wouldn’t mind slightly less cinnamon, I am pleased.

Evol Ving Ness

This sounds rather captivating. That said, too much cinnamon destroys the whole thing for me.

Evol Ving Ness

Did you drink this as latte or black?

VariaTEA

I drank it black and tbh I think the cinnamon came out more since it cooled. I imagine it would be more balanced if it were hotter.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks for unravelling that, VariaTEA.

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89
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
8055 tasting notes

Pulled this out for a session today. May end up not drinking anything else as a result but i don’t care. I have missed my beloved. First sips today where exactly what i needed them to be. Now to curl up and read a little while enjoying more of this.

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100

Generally speaking, 52Teas’ black base chai blends—note, I have no idea what Frank’s versions were like—are always, or very usually, a win with me. The spice blends are balanced and kapow with no one spice predominating, just the way I like them. Occasionally, one of the spices does a peekaboo and that’s just great as well. I drink the chais straight up and unsweetened, with perhaps a bit of dark chocolate alongside.

This one too is a beaut with just the right amount of smoke and spice. I know that smoke thing has been tricky to get balanced in past 52Teas blends, but here it is totally working. Yay, 52Teas, well done! I think we’ve got it.

If I were to change one wee thing, it would be to have the vanilla and marshmallow peek out a bit more, but truly, I don’t know if that is a possibility in tea blending. Can’t blame me for wishing and hoping, right?


Edit—As the tea sits and cools more—not that I drink it hot to begin with, mind you— a bit more of the vanilla and marshmallow steps in. So, my happiness is now complete.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Maddy Barone

I had this last night and I really enjoyed it!

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78

First tea of the morning.

I added some cashew milk into it this time because last time I thought it was a little harsh and I remembered wanting to mellow it out a little bit.

I think the cashew milk is doing wonders here; the tea is definitely still thick and very smoky with tobacco, ash, and leather notes but I don’t feel nearly as assaulted by it and it’s smoother/creamier . Previously, it had a level of astringency that sort of felt the way that nail on a chalkboard sounds. In addition to the wonderful Lapsang, the cherry also comes through very nicely. It’s dark and seductive, and tastes sweet without having the brightness that a bing or maraschino cherry would have. If this cherry note were a person, it’d be at the point in life where it’s a bit of a Silver Fox. You know, still very hot/attractive but with hair starting to grey and wrinkles in just the right places. Yes, this cherry is the Clooney of cherries…

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv_nBEgwCaw&index=1&list=WL

Ah, perfect mood music! Completely matches the tone of the tea and is submersive in every way. Plus, Iwan Rheon is just so nice to look at. Whether you see him as Simon from Misfits or Ramsey from GoT I think you’ve gotta agree the man can sing…

Nattie

I didn’t know Iwan Rheon had his own songs! To me he is Ash from Vicious lol, but I agree about him being nice to look at.

Roswell Strange

I’ve never seen Vicious – would you recommend it? And yes! His music is SO GOOD.

Nattie

It depends on the kind of thing you like to watch, I come down on the side of HELL YES but I also know some people that hate it… I have a deep and abiding love for Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, sitcoms and anything camp so I’m biased lol. I’d recommend giving it a shot if you don’t hate anything I’ve listed haha (:

Evol Ving Ness

Can women be silver foxes?

Roswell Strange

Hmm, I’d think so?

Evol Ving Ness

I’ve never heard the term referring to a woman. My mind jumped immediately to a male and then, boom, Clooney.

Nattie

Silver vixen for a woman? I immediately think of Clooney too lol.

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100
drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
269 tasting notes

This tea is so mmm, yeah, I can’t even tell you. It’s in the direction of honey black, but stops just before reaching the outer edge of sweetness, and with so much more depth and layering to it. So smooth with the ever so slight bit of smoke.

The cinnamon that others have mentioned eludes me. This does not trouble me.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Honey, Plums, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Isn’t the Honey Black also from Taiwan?

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, yes, it is. Perhaps to clarify, I meant the honey blacks that I’ve had recently, which have been supersweet. Cryptic, why yes it is. And then, if we put this post in the context me having had a couple of glasses of maaaaaaaple tea directly before it, then well never mind then.

Arby

oooh I ordered this last week. Now I’m super excited to try it! It sounds amazing.

Evol Ving Ness

It is one of my favourites.

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83

First tea of the new year!

I’m all about symbolism or ‘monument moments’ when it comes to tea drinking so I like to time out my big tasting note milestones so I’m drinking teas with significance, and I like thematically appropriate teas for holidays…

So, I wanted my very first tea for 2017 to be significant. And so, instead of ‘Ringing in the New Year’ I’m bringing it in, instead, with a ‘Bang’. Bang Dong Hong, that is. Hooray word play! Seriously though – 2016 was such a shit storm of a year globally that I really wanted to get 2017 rolling in a positive way; and I’m also hoping that maybe choosing this tea might symbolize more of a shift in my tea drinking habits as my tea related new years resolution this year is to drink a larger amount of straight tea overall than I did last year as well as do at least one Gong Fu session every week.

Drinking Gong Fu is something I love but have a very hard time fitting into my work week, and which I really struggled with once I started working two jobs and pulling regular 14+ hour work days. I want to find/make time to get back into the habit of enjoying something I love and find peaceful and relaxing.

This wasn’t my first Gong Fu ceremony of the year – that will probably come later today. I drank this one Western while having a nice soak in the tub and trying a Ginseng face mask that ended up being a complete disaster: it never totally “set” even after twice as long as the recommended time to leave it on, and therefore I couldn’t peel it off. Instead I had to scrape/scrub that gross goo off. Bleck.

Tea was phenomenal though: I was quite taken aback by how nutty and sweet it was. Every sip felt very dominated by an almond/cherry or marzipan like note that was intoxicating and enchanting, and pulled me in almost immediately for the next sip. Other notes were malt, cocoa, and raisin – but they paled in comparison.

How interesting and unexpected.

VariaTEA

I had Tea Trunk’s Long Island Green Tea as my first tea of the year. I didn’t think too much about it and it sorta just happened. I don’t know what to make of that haha.

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87
drank Lychee Black by American Tea Room
1550 tasting notes

I felt so proud sipping this down at work. My new place of work actually has a kettle unlike Sephora! There is a proper break room which makes tea-enjoying more doable and enjoyable. I bought a Perfect Mug on sale after Christmas just for work since I’m too ridiculous not wanting to give up one of my mugs from home. I know it probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to most, but it felt pretty damn good being able to sit down, relax, and sip on this tea at work. Like whaaaat? Such a good feeling.

Would I get more? I would if I needed to make an ATR order more worthwhile. Excellent lychee flavour.

Evol Ving Ness

It sounds like a big deal to me. So lovely to have a workplace which appreciates its staff. Congrats on the new job! It already sounds like a winner.

Indigobloom

I hear you on that! my previous job had no kettle as well and it drove me nuts. Congrats on your new job! Glad to see you’re happy :)

Fjellrev

Thanks to the both of you! Seriously, who can trust an employer who doesn’t provide a damn kettle?

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97

Oh, dear rooibos, this is amazing. Lots of fruity notes (cherry, strawberry, maybe raspberry and blueberry), sweet rooibos, cream, caramelised nuts, almond, sugar, and vanilla. These are all my favourite things put into one blend. Best of all, no hint of tartness if you leave it steeping too long.

I honestly can’t think of anything to improve this. Everything about it is lovely. It also resteeps well and makes amazing lattes!

Flavors: Almond, Berries, Berry, Black Currant, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Cream, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Nut Fruits, Nuts, Pastries, Raspberry, Rooibos, Strawberry, Sweet, Toffee, Vanilla, Walnut

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
greenteafairy

Sounds wonderful. This is the last one I haven’t tried from the group order, and you’ve gotten me excited for it!

Arby

Try it! It is the best of the rooibos blends in my opinion.

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88

pulled this one out to enjoy yesterday as well. I’ve been reluctant to start the tin of this that i have for no particular reason. i ADORE the tins from bellocq and i was so happy to splurge on a tin of this as part of my wedding present from dex heh. Still as delicious as ever. Glad i still have lots of this to carry me through winter.

Evol Ving Ness

See, now every time you drink this tea, you can remind yourself that you are happy that you married this man. I am sure you do this on other occasions too. But, yay, for delicious tea in beautiful tins.

Arby

I love the name of this blend!

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85

This is really different. It actually smells sort of smoky. Like a campfire. It takes me back to Gimli, Manitoba. Over Labor Day I usually go camping up there, and at night we build a big fire and sing and roast marshmallows. One year we eat peaches that had been soaked in brandy. Just the smell of this transported me back. What a lovely thing!

This is smoky, and that was the dominant initial flavor, but it is chased by something sweet and buttery, and a sweet zing of peach at the end. Not artificial peach. The butterscotch is there too, like one of those butterscotch hard candies from Brach’s. I was not sure at first if I would like this, but I do. I really, really do.

Flavors: Peach, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Shae

What a nice memory!

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90

The name of this tea beckons me. Though I’ve been on a bit of a black tea roll lately, I picked this up the other day.

So lovely. When I was drinking this, I found the green tea base so buttery, so very buttery, supported by gentle pineapple and marshmallow flavours. Beautiful.

Perhaps I need to be giving the dry leaf in the pouch a bit more of a shake to include the zing of pepper. I am not feeling any heat from the pepper as is. No matter. Perhaps the blast will come.

A slight segue. People have been speculating whether 52Teas will create a tea to honour Carrie Fisher. I have been wondering what flavours 52Teas would include if she were to create a tea in tribute to Carrie Fisher. What would the tea be called? What flavours would best depict this woman who was both a fierce role model for young women and a fearless champion of mental health, amongst all her other glorious attributes?

Flavors: Butter, Marshmallow, Pineapple

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Indigobloom

I think it’d be a white or yellow tea with cacao nibs and mallow root.
Thank you Evol!!! <3

LiberTEAS

As this is the first I’ve heard about it, might I inquire who has been speculating about a tea to honor Carrie Fisher?

Evol Ving Ness

Local tea-drinking peeps here who connect offsite, ie. off steepster.

Evol Ving Ness

Casual conversation about whether that would happen, so I thought I’d put it out there.

LiberTEAS

Ah – OK! Quite alright that you’re speculating – I appreciate it greatly. I haven’t yet decided – however, before I do, I would need to craft an Alan Rickman tea because – Snape.

Evol Ving Ness

Alan Rickman. sigh

Maddy Barone

Oh, yes. Alan Rickman. Something dark and rich?

Indigobloom

Alan Rickman yes! and perhaps Willi Wonka?

Nattie

There have been so many sad deaths this year ):

mrmopar

Too many…

apieceofquiche

This sounds very tasty.

Evol Ving Ness

It truly is.

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90

I have finally done it. Here is the review/tasting note for tea #200. As I eclipsed the 150 mark, I began to wonder if I could manage to find the time to try 200 teas this year. I then challenged myself to do so. Though I am cutting it close, this review marks #200 for me.

I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped approximately 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I have tried multi-step infusions for this tea in the past, but I have not liked the results quite as much as those obtained from a single extended infusion.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted gentle, pleasant aromas of toffee and raisin. After infusion, the scents of toffee and raisin were joined by malt and cream. In the mouth, gentle, superbly integrated notes of golden raisin, toffee, malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pistachio, and roasted almond washed across the palate. The finish emphasized a lingering balance of the flavors described above plus a note of steamed milk. Overall, the flavor reminded me a lot of kheer, the Indian rice pudding.

This was a very sweet, mellow, resilient tea that seemed to adapt easily to a number of different brewing styles. There was absolutely no tannic bite nor any astringency whatsoever. One thing I’m beginning to notice about a lot of these Georgian black teas is that their mild, balanced flavor and smooth texture give way to an extremely robust, flavorful, and long-lasting finish. With this tea, I was continually impressed by how much flavor lingered in my mouth after the swallow and how wonderfully soothing the afterglow was. Due to this tea’s lack of bite, astringency, and immediate caffeine jolt, I would not recommend it as a breakfast tea or as a tea to be paired with heavier foods. I would, however, strongly recommend it as an afternoon or evening tea to be consumed on its own or paired with lighter, sweeter fare.

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Cream, Malt, Milk, Nutmeg, Nutty, Raisins, Toffee

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nattie

Wow, congrats!! That’s a lot of tea

eastkyteaguy

Thank you. It keeps me from drinking soda and other sugary beverages.

Evol Ving Ness

Woohooo! Congratulations!

Evol Ving Ness

And kheer, oh. sighs

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97

Art of Darkness is an all time favorite of mine. I don’t know why, but I fell in love with it as soon as I tasted it. Then, I heard about this tea, and I had to give it a shot. I am not one for flavored teas or blends, but Whispering Pines hits these right on the nose, and they are delicious! This leaf is a long slender leafed shou with a distinct scent of Jordan almonds. Also, the small black and dusty gold tendrils smell intensely of a sweet, creamy, nuttiness, with some fluffy tones on top. I warmed my teapot and scooped some inside. The scent opens up into a whipped crème atop dry cacao with some earth woodiness mixed in. A quick wash, and its off to paradise. The brew is thick in the mouth with a flourishing marshmallow flavor. The drink is like milk chocolate hot cocoa with vanilla syrup drizzled atop. The brew continues with each steep developing into a dense chocolate with a lightly fading marshmallow. The brew lasts for an extensive amount of steeps, and it is fantastic! This leaf is a lot like Art of Darkness except more direct, smooth, and long lasting. The brew is not overly complex, and that’s fine. I am not drinking a cocoa nib imbued tea for the complexities. The taste is great; however, I do wish it was a tad bit cheaper…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDBQ3PCTGU-/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Almond, Cacao, Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Wood, Marshmallow, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I’m so glad someone finally reviewed this thing on steepster. I’ve been hesitant to try it because of the price myself.

Haveteawilltravel

Highly recommend it! Brenden knew how much I liked Art of Darkness, so he slipped a sample of this with my order. It persuaded me to buy a lot more.

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