Featured & New Tasting Notes
OMG this is even better than I remember it being. Once again, kudos Stacy and JustJames…major WIN on this blend! So perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it. I absolutely adore it hot, but I am quite excited to try it iced this summer. Coconut banana tropical iced tea? Heck yes!
It was such a lovely weekend; such a shame I had to get up and get ready for work this morning. The winds were really howling in the middle of the night, and I woke to a fairly chilled room and only wanted to burrow further under the covers and make the world go away. But alas, that was not to be. Such is the story of my life.
So I chose this tea to have in place of breakfast, because we’re sort of out of inspiring breakfast options. So a strongly flavoured black that happens to also taste like banana medicine fit the bill perfectly. I’m a little worried that this tea doesn’t keep nearly as well, although admittedly it’s still only in its original foil packet, but I found the flavours a touch muted this morning. I maintain that a three minute steep is the way to go to extract all the flavour possible while keeping the sometimes finicky base at bay.
A great first cup, that’s for sure.
I feel sad that there are people out there who will never try this tea. I realised that this marks 4k tasting notes since i started hanging out on steepster. 2 years, 400 pages of tasting notes, 1738 teas tried (give or take a few) and i only just now feel like i’m starting to understand what i love about certain teas. When i realised this was to be 4k…i went into the special box. the box of teas that i hoard because they will either be gone for too long or because i feel like it :P There are 3 teas in there….this is one of them.
This was graciously passed to me by omgsrsly when i bemoaned the fact that i only had one single packet of this tea left. I still only have one package of this left – the other one from my tea sister terri. I really hope that someday verdant is able to get this tea back, or some variation on the theme from the family experimenting more.
I’ve been saving my sample of this for a special occasion. I’m teaching my first class later today and I am SO NERVOUS! Looking for that theanine calmness :)
Anyway, of course this tea is amazingly sweet and smooth and vegetal. Very luxurious and velvety. Wish I could drink this more often! I do enjoy sencha as well but this is definitely a special treat!
I’ve been SO busy this week, but it was a good busy! The weather was beautiful all week, & Tony was in Michigan, so I spent every waking hour that I wasn’t teaching or playing in my garden, planting stuff! Broccoli, Brussels, Cauliflower, lettuces, various greens, radishes, turnips, beets, etc. In some cases I planted plants (instant garden!), & in other cases I planted seeds.
Needless to say, I’m so behind on my tea logging, that I’m just gonna post a list of the highlights from the last couple of days. I hope nobody will mind, but they are all teas I’ve reviewed pretty extensively by now, I think. In no particular order:
Double Knit Blend – more woody than I remember it
Premium Taiwanese Assam – so good
Devotea’s 1910 English Breakfast – So awesome with brekkie
Butiki’s The Black Lotus – ditto
Upton’s Russian Caravan – not as smokey as I seem to recall
Teavivre’s Rose Dian Hong – to share with a student
TTC’s 2005 aged songboling oolong – sipdown
YS’s Imperial Gold Needle (sipdown) & Imperial Mojiang golden bud
Verdant’s Zhu Rong Chai – my crockpot method reigns supreme!
Verd’s Fujian White Jasmine – with a friend
Peach Rooibos – trail lodge tea
This morning I had Teavana’s black dragon pearls, & I’m having Ms Stacy’s Irish Breakfast with my breakfast. I am hoping to play catch up on reading everyone’s reviews later today, but now I must rush off to play a wedding! It’s a beautiful day in St. Louis!
This is what I drink when I’ve had too much to drink, and I’m an obnoxious arse who asks their nearest and dearest inappropriate things that makes everyone laugh — too inappropriate for Steepster, I assure you. Thanks for putting up with me, friends, even if sometimes I’m a bit.. mischievous! :) And thank you, tea, for allowing me to purge myself of this lovely wino-ishness.
Hot in a timolino; no added things (though I was tempted to add milk).
This is/was the last of my work teas to be drunk, and I had it on the walk home. It was really good; sticky cinnamon sugar icing/glaze. The last little bit was especially sweet and thick and creamy. There were moments when I more so got cinnamon bun and vanilla icing and moments where I got cream cheese and spice cake.
My walk home from work was kind of interesting though. Abdul, one of the cashiers who was let go, stayed late after work today (he was off at nine, and I was off at ten) and walked home with me. He only lives two blocks from me, so it’s not like it was out of his way, but it was a kind of nice thing to do, I guess?
It’s a little sad his last shift is tomorrow. He’s a sweet kid…
God! How old does that make me sound? He’s only two years younger than me (and I’m not that old to begin with) but there’s such a maturity gap. I sound ancient when I refer to people as “kids” when they’re teenagers.
this is from my first whispering pines tea order… first tea from my first order! i held out trying this blend until today for A REASON!!!!!
the semester is OVER! insert soaring freedom music of your choice….. but only for three weeks, lol.
must admit, it was quite awesome- i changed my status on FB re the exam and who should inquire about how it went down? Brenden… the owner of whispering pines, lol.
saving this as my celebratory tea was a good call. dry it smells like vanilla chocolate ice cream. malt, but not the bitey kind. the base is a very deep chocolate- not a cacao, certainly not a milk. very smooth. vanilla is the first taste and surprisingly honey is the last!
superb. a gorgeous tea. brenden says it resteeps brilliantly…. i’m off to do that now =0)
Still super boring thanks to lack of a working nose. Got all these amazing teas to enjoy from Butiki and Shang and Mandala and Harney but grrrr.
Been drinking this every day ‘cause I finally restocked it (yay) so I don’t feel terrible using a cup’s worth of leaves each day (resteep champion!) on this stuffed up, phlegmy, voiceless bag o’ guts. This Friday marks the beginning of what traditionally has been the ushering of For Real Now, No Foolin’, No Turning Back Spring here—the crawfish festival and art walk. Still can’t taste much, still feel blegh. Stupid weeklong cold! But I am looking forward to when I feel better, any moment now, so I can dive into the warm weather, new tea, perfume, and recently mildly redecorated house. So there.
And I’m so grateful for this tea. I can still smell the leather and chocolate and roasty notes, delicious. I’m not sure I’d ever have thought to use pu erh as a sickness tea, but it works rather well.
Happy Steepster-versary to me! It’s been a year since I made my account now. Here’s to another!
This is a pretty fair tea. It appears to be a blend of estates, but it’s satisfying and comforting in the way that Darjeelings are. It has notes of cocoa and malt, but not as strongly as a second flush Darjeeling would, and slight notes of muscatel with an earthy/grassy finish.
I can’t see myself reaching for this over my second flush single estates, but I won’t have a problem with what I have at all.
Ok, I’ve been having far too much fun on facebook and steepster this morning, and I really should try and get some work done. But I feel it absolutely vital to tell you all that I enjoyed the queen with my bagel and cream cheese breakfast this morning. Mr. keychange and I make it a point to have breakfast together on Friday mornings, so there was also great conversation. And I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day.
As I leaned over the cup and inhaled the queen, I literally spoke out loud: Oh Queen, I remember you! i remember how we sat there, legs curled up under ourselves as we sat in Muskoka chairs around the embers of last night’s fire, commenting on how it had rained last night, and how the smell of smoke and rain and wind was so perfectly romantic. Don’t you remember, Queen?
And then Mr. keychange was like “You would never have that conversation, though. You hate camping.”
And i was like stop ruining it!
Long live the queen!
Fake berries! yay!
Honestly though, it isn’t SO bad. I expected much worse based on the reviews. It’s fake in a pleasant way. I didn’t think that was possible.
I do like how it blends with the base. Very well actually. Surprisingly.
Without sugar, it’s pretty good, though a tad weak. With just a dash of sugar, maybe a third of a tsp, it’s more berry gum like. I see it doing well when iced!
How is it possible that I haven’t logged this?
I drank the last of it last night and just went to remove it from my cupboard and noticed that I’ve never logged it. How rude!!
This is one of my favorite from Cornelia Bean. It’s almond, it’s caramel, it’s something like burnt toffee, it’s oooey goooey sweet. Even better steeped with the MissB lower temp shorter steep trick.
If I’m ever allowed into Cornelia Bean again, I will pick up more of this – awesome desserty type tea.
Sorry Steepster, I’ve been in such a blah mood lately, I kind of deserted everything around me, even my dear Steepster friends, so sorry :-(
Today was a YAY day as I received my Verdant order. I was impatiently waiting for the new Laoshan Black. For sure, it was going to be the first one I try. But I had to open the box first.
I don’t know what type of “tea box un-wrapper” you are:
Type A) you carefully open the box with a sharp knife, and take out the pouches one by one, checking and matching everything with the packing slip, then, happy with yourself, put everything away in a very tidy manner. You WILL NOT open the pouches until you decide to drink your new tea, which might be in a couple of weeks or even months from now.
Type B) you literally rip the box open, I mean with your bare hands. You fetch everything out in a very frantic manner. You don’t care if it matches the packing slip or not, it’s new tea and it’s all you care about. You gather all the pouches in one big pile and you circle them with your arms, eyeballs out of their sockets, you whisper to them “all mine, all mine, my precious!!”
You will not wait any longer to open all the pouches, no method whatsoever to your madness, you just go from one to the other, trying to figure out which one smells best and which one should land in your cup as of RIGHT NOW! By the end of the evening, you’ll be tea drunk and will have tried them all.
Well, maybe you guessed already…I’m type B. This is how I roll and I won’t apologize for it.
Now back to the order and my tea choice. After a spectacular type B grand opening, I throw myself on Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha cause the smell, oh my, the smell…freakin unreal!!!
It’s so chocolate, so Laoshan Black, so nutty and crispy toasted rice, it’s the bomb people!
It,s like having Laoshan Black with Rice Krispies squares, just in a more fancy and sophisticated way, so yummy!
Enough said, just try it for yourself :-)
P.S. Thanks again Verdant for such a pleasant shopping experience as always, you guys are wonderful!
I already told you about the liquid, cherry-flavoured penicillin that was forced upon me when I was but a tiny Anna, so I will spare you a rerun. Keywords like, ‘very vomity’, ‘traumatized’, and ‘still terrified of Dr. Pepper’ might help jog your memory.
Artificial cherry flavouring, hence, is about as far from what I can take as possible, palate wise. So in the interest of pushing boundaries, here I am with some of this. I don’t know if it’s one of those limited edition blends, but it comes in a special, extra-pretty tin, which is nice.
Again, I am conflicted when it comes to cherry. I mean – what do cherries smell like? What do they taste like? It’s one of the most elusive flavours to me, which might be a further reason (I mean in addition to the PTSD, mom) why it’s so hard for me to accept artificial cherry flavouring.
So does the dry tea smell like cherry? I don’t know. It doesn’t smell of Dr. Pepper, not even close to anything coughsyrupy or medical. It could be cherry preserves, I guess – more like jam than maraschino, though. The scent is rich and thick and darkly, stickily red – it makes me think of the cherry pie in Twin Peaks.
In the cup, the scent metamorphoses to something much closer to the cherry I’m used to. But as you may remember, Lupicia also do the bitter almondy, plummy nuance of stone fruit – Ume Vert is one of my most unexpected favourites. This scent lands somewhere in between. I get both the plum pit and the potentially scary cherry.
Taste wise, I’m surprised to say I can drink this without any signs of retching or wanting to curl up in a fetal position and mutter reassuringly to myself. The steeped tea is in no way cloying, and the aftertaste is lightly floral. All in all, this is a fairly delicate tea – not overly complex, but pleasant and highly drinkable. If I sound detached, it’s because I have no idea what just happened, but apparently there’s a cherry-flavoured tea that I can both drink and enjoy? Okay – mind blown.
ETA: Well, this is definitely a limited edition… with the little kicker that it actually doesn’t exist on the US site. This is a first, but the US do get the black version, and it’s called Cerisier, so that’s the name I’ll enter into the database. Oh, Japan, you and your obsession with French stuff. SO confuse.
ETA 2: In other news, French Lupicia have now added an English version of the website… with English names that are direct translations of the French names for the teas, and not pulled from the US site. Just to make things a little bit more confusing. But hey, somewhere a translator got paid, and I’m all for that.
[From my Lupicia order to Rome, April 2014.]
Oh! It’s creamy orange? I immediately tasted creamy fruit but couldn’t narrow it down further. Now that I’ve cheated and read the description my taste buds are all, yes, yes I can taste orange. Suggestible traitors, aren’t they?
It really seems obviously orange now though. Mmmmm… It’s like drinking a liquid Campino! (those hard candies…. om nom nom). Yes, I’m totally digging this now. I wouldn’t crave it all the time, but it hits the spot for orange if you don’t want to be blasted with cinnamon-orange.
Thank you Sil for passing this sample on to me! (177)
Thanks to sami kelsh’s urging, as well as Garret’s encouragement, I tried this tea a different way this morning. The keychange way! that’s right—that means there was milk and sugar. And I found that to make a pretty big difference for me. It tasted sweeter and creamier, and I could pick up on distant floral notes that without additions seemed to be missing. And I love floral notes, so this made me very happy indeed.
Sipdown! thanks, Stephanie, for giving some of this to me to try. I may eventually be persuaded to visit this tea again.
And thanks, Garret, for such a thoughtful response to my original tasting note.
Chocolate, hazelnut, coffee!!!!
Oh, and I guess tea?
It’s a magic happy makeup potion!
(I wouldn’t need it if I had actually gone to sleep at midnight but I stayed up another hour reading this great fic and then couldn’t get my brain to shut up after because I wanted more but couldn’t keep my eyes open… Kindles with built-in reading lights will be my downfall!)
This was a bagged offering I grabbed from a tea box a while back, and while I was working on dinner yesterday, figured I’d brew it up.
The dry bag smells nothing like what I was expecting! It smells like lemon cream and is heavenly! I could seriously keep this bag and just like give it a good sniff once in a while. But that’s kind of weird, so I’ll hold off.
The flavor is a sweet creamy lemon, with a touch of mango. It’s very gentle, and just slightly tropical. The rooibos is pretty much a non existent flavor, so this is a delicious caffeine-free/rooibos option for me!
It’s also fantastic iced. Very fresh and refreshing. Yum!
I must say that I’m feeling a lot better this morning. I felt a lot better yesterday afternoon, actually. I obviously can’t get into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the entire world seems like such a different place when you are disabled and actually have the tools to do your work accessibly. i was in a right panic yesterday morning, and was on the verge of a most unsightly meltdown (those are necessary sometimes, actually), but managed to resolve the situation without feeling like running away to some sort of Victorian novel fantasy island. But when isn’t that in the works? haha.
I’d read such amazing reviews on this tea, and charlotte0 was so thoughtful to include it in the package she sent me. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant, simply because I think I largely fall into the “if i want to be drinking chocolate, I’ll have hot chocolate with all the fixings!” category. But I also know that MF knows what they’re doing, so I took a chance. Brewed it up for about four minutes, threw in some milk and sugar, and set to work enjoying it. And my my, this is a most delicious cup of tea. The chocolate blends so perfectly with the base. By that I mean that you know how with some teas, you’re like “oh hello flavour. Oh, hello there, base!”? but with this, I knew I was drinking a chocolate flavoured tea, but the base was just there, all unobtrusive and coy, and not being like “ooooh! guess what base I am! guess guess! where am I from? what do I do? who do I know??!! come on! heelloooooo!!”. And the chocolate tasted as though it was of the highest quality and I felt quite spoiled indeed.
Thank you, charlotte 0. This is going straight on my shopping list for my eventual mf haul!
oh bother. It’s official. these are finally finished up, out of my cupboard, possibly never to be seen again. sad. but happy. but sad. Seriously though. Favourite pearls ever. there’s just something deliciously wonderful about how malty and rich and yummy they are. If garett ever finds some again, they will be insta-buy. even if they won’t be exactly the same.
edit: also drinking this so early in the morning means i can resteep it aaaallll day! oh happy day!
I took a sip of my matcha milk today and got the caramel, as I expected I would, but was also surprised to get a hint of saltiness that reminded me of the caramel popcorn flavor. I actually had to do a double-take to make sure I grabbed the right package. However, after confirming it was just plain caramel and being confused for a moment, I realized I had just had peanut butter and the saltiness was remnants of that. Nonetheless, it made for a pretty tasty treat.
The first few sips: Hmm. This is ok . Dark. Rich. It’s decent.
The next few minutes: OMG. Something smells amazing. It’s like fresh baking. And like fancy whiskey and other dark earthy things. Tobacco. Gun oil.
After: It’s the tea? Oh wow. Now that it’s cooled I taste far more cinnamon and puerh. The mouthfeel does suggest a warm pastry. Excellent.
Will have to re-steep this one as well. Today may be a day of many resteeps and less variety but that’s ok. I want to experience this tea completely.
ETA: So far I love Lupicia. What don’t I love? Their 50g bags aren’t resealable. Also, they don’t ship to Canada and when I emailed to ask if they had any plans to change their international policies I got nothing. Nothing but heartbreak.