Featured & New Tasting Notes
Guess what? I quit my job at the school yesterday! YEAH! I was really trying to hold out for the last 6 weeks of the school year, but yesterday I realized I was done. The constant disrespect & lack of interest from the students, the stress of all the noise, lack of sleep…It finally got to me, so I calmly packed my stuff up at the end of the day (I’ve already been packing things up, so there wasn’t much left anyway), and resigned. I’m so happy to be home, returning to my pajama lifestyle of students, gigs, gardening, food, & tea! Now I’ll have time to really enjoy my tea drinking & reviewing again too!
And here’s a tea I haven’t reviewed!
I have a ton of this in my cupboard, both from my own purchase of some, & from Sil sending me a baggy full. I guess I’m just going to have to say that although I adore most of the black teas from YS, this is probably among my least favorites, which is why I haven’t reviewed it before now. I just haven’t found the best way to steep it. I’ve tried several, & today I’m trying it gongfu: 5G + 4oz tiny teapot X 15/30/45/60 sec etc
The resulting tea is tart & tangy, kind of like under ripe apricot. There are also bready notes & herbaceous notes, & although it’s drinkable, it’s not really something that appeals to me this morning. I also have tea from Da Hu Sai Village 2013 that has been processed as a Sheng Puer, & I have a feeling that is a much better use of these leaves, although I haven’t tried that one yet. I think the tangy qualities will translate wonderfully.
Anyway, I’m going to keep trying this black version in a variety of ways, starting with turning the rest of what Sil sent me into a cold brew. Hopefully one day this week I’ll also try the Sheng to compare them :)
Addendum: SO it turns out that this makes an excellent cold brewed ice tea! Just thought you guys would like to know!
OMG this tea is the BOMB!!
My first couple of sips I had a sneaking suspicion that there was some unknown and unidentified sugar element hiding down at the bottom of my clean mug and that the dishwasher was on the fritz… And then I realized… NO ITS THE TEA!!!!
The scent of this tea is insanely intoxicating… it smells like fresh buttery sweetbread or pastry! Taste wise, wow! Talk about delicious! Its malty, naturally sweet and has a slight pastry and stone fruit jam taste… I need more of this RIGHT now!!!!
I bought a lot of tea again yesterday, Tea Frens. #whoops Right now I’m sniffing Murchie’s Sugar Maple. WHOA it smells so amazing. It’s kinda weird though because there are apple bits and… dried cherries? Or raisins? I’m not entirely sure. Mmm, it is pretty tasty though. I wouldn’t say exactly how it smells, but it’s nice.
And they’re dried cranberries. SO WEIRD, MURCHIE’S! So weird.
I’ve had people over all weekend. My bridesmaids got tired of my avoiding wedding planning so they have descended on me and are keeping me hostage until i make decisions and spend time with them shopping for things lol…..
so over the past couple of days i’ve had:
-yuchi wild mountain black lot 336
-caramel de buerre sale
-zhen shan xiao spring 2013
-gifting ripe puer
to name a few… back in a more regular capacity once i’ve been release from capitvity!
It is with thanks to my wonderful international friends that I can proudly review this Davids Tea sample. From Canada all the way to the UK!
My first thoughts on this tea are of the scent, which I was met with as soon as I opened the packet. Sweet yet spicy cinnamon stick tones mixed with light herbs and wood with a dry, nutty finish. Chai like but super duper cinnamon-esque. As a huge fan of cinnamon I find it particularly charming!
In appearance the small/fine Rooibos blend is met with large, rough pieces of what I believe to be apple and cinnamon stick. Giving it a rocky, desert feel.
I followed the steeping parameters given by Davids Tea which can be found further up in the Tea Description.
Once steeped I am met with a delicious spicy cinnamon scent that reminds me of ‘Red Hots’ candy. My childhood was built around that candy! This scent takes me back.
In flavour the cinnamon bursts through with spices behind it before softening into a sweet, light, herbal blend that lingers in the after taste. It’s a little dry but still acceptable. In terms of Chai there is a spicy touch about it but the heavy cinnamon makes it completely different, it takes the idea of Chai to a new level. And similar to scent, this does have nutty notes which are increased by the dryness. Tried to consider which type of nut but came to the conclusion it tastes mixed and I couldn’t differentiate it.
Also I can’t help but taste ‘Red Hots’ candy when I take small sips of this. It’s pure nostalgia in a cup!
Overall I really enjoyed this tea. It truly is cinnamon heavy and though it does offer a spicy Chai element and slight Rooibos flavour (which others may find more pleasing) I am taken aback in awe by the simpleness of it. Plus it has to be said that this being Organic is the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak.
Chai? Yes please.
Cinnamon Chai? Heck yes please!
Nostalgia? All the time. :)
For more information on this tea please view my SororiTEA Sisters post.
Sipdown! Trying to get through some of these odds and ends of various unflavoured teas so I can start others that have been sitting around waiting to be opened. So hard to keep up! Suppose I should start working on my Verdant Imperial Breakfast Summer Blend that I’ve had since fall 2013… still unopened. Ugh.
Hello Steepster! I’m back, albeit very briefly. I’m currently having some issues and dealing with some things, at the same time trying to write my dissertation (and a million other essays) and finish my degree. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had much time for steepster of late. I was starting to worry that if I didn’t make some time for it soon I would never come back, and that cannot happen! So I’m making a brief stop by just to check in.
I chose this tea because I haven’t written a tasting note on it yet, and had put it up on the Butiki trading post as I think it could go to a more appreciative home than my own – so many people seem to love it, but it’s just good to me. Nobody has taken it off my hands yet, so if anyone is interested you’re welcome to it.
This tea reminds me of the Mrs. Hudson Adagio custom blend from Cara McGee’s Sherlock collection, only with a much better black base (I think one of my favourites) and a more subtle almond flavouring. In my head I associate this tea with grandma type people, and it could be to do with this connection. The almond flavour is the first thing I notice, but it doesn’t last long and is replaced by the base tea, which is a lovely well-rounded black that goes very well with milk (I’m drinking it like a traditional English cuppa today). Frank isn’t one for my teas usually – he doesn’t like anything he considers to be ‘abnormal’ – but I think this is one he might enjoy. The note that lingers the most is the cinnamon, which only comes through in the aftertaste. This is definitely an enjoyable cup of tea, and maybe a good choice for brunch or when I want something that’s not too fussy, but it’s definitely a like more than a love for me.
So, to recap. I ordered 17 different Dammann Freres teas, and this is the last one. As of today I have tried them all. Some are absolutely delicious, others are just good. It seems to me that their teas that have several flavors are better than the ones that are just orange black, for example.
In the 10 days or so since I got the order I have picked this tea up and put it down maybe a dozen times. I just couldn’t bring myself to choose it over other things or get excited about it. Now I am wondering WHY?
This is. So. Good. I was brewing it on campus, and started to smell it and it was like a punch to the face. Yummy! Then I tasted it and I don’t know what I expected, maybe plain apple tea? But this tastes like a lightly spiced, buttery, caramel drizzled apple turnover straight out of the oven. So, so good. Definitely one of my favorites from the whole batch.
This tea smells nice but at the same time it’s a little strange, like a mish mash of flavoured sweet fruit lipglosses combined into one. Somewhat artificial and overly sweet! It’s steeped scent is also the same.
Yeah…. it tastes as it smells….so like lipgloss. I know I’ve said it a lot but seriously, it’s like applying a vast amount of fruity lipgloss and then licking your lips. It’s chemical, waxy, synethetic, overly sweet, plasticy and the whole crazy flavour just lingers in the after taste. While it is very unusual and unpleasant at times it’s not terrible, just not for me. I had a friend that loved to eat lipgloss, literally she would run her finger around my chocolate orange lipgloss tin and eat what she could scoop out! Maybe she would like this tea…
A recent discussion thread peaked my interest in this company and since it was so close to home I decided to give them a go…. So they’re a little creative in their flavor notes (feels like soft warm mahogany) but wouldn’t you be too when your ingredients include Ceylon black tea, South American cocoa husk, Indonesian cinnamon, Chinese chili and Iranian safflower petals?? Man… I don’t want to think about the carbon footprint of this tea… (its also blended in Germany)… but doesn’t it sound delicious???
This tea is seriously like a big warm hug!! Its the perfect blend of cocoa and spice, no one flavor overpowers any of the others, they’re all in perfect harmony!! A splash of milk adds a delicious creamy mouth feel to the end of each of my sips.I can see why this tea was a winter release for August Uncommon! Unfortunately its probably a little too warm in California these days to be drinking this but I can see myself hoarding the remainder for the winter months around a fire watching the snow come down… assuming it ever snows again in California…
I never would have been inspired to pick this up on my own, but after seeing lots of positive reviews on Steepster, I figured it was time to give it a try. I’m glad I did. This has the most distinctive cranberry flavour I’ve experienced in a tea yet, and the pear flavour is there, though less distinct than the cranberry. This has a lovely, sweet, creaminess to it as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I can see picking this one up again – it’s a tasty, easy drinker.
Flavors: Cranberry, Creamy, Pear, Sweet, Tart
This went quite well with my classic breakfast: bacon, eggs, and toast. The bacon was particularly amazing. Fresh, local, thick-cut microwaved so it was wonderfully crispy.
Added light cream and a touch of vanilla extract. It’s a little on the contaminated side, however. I have all my Butiki teas in one box and it was next to something, something fruity perhaps, so this kind of smells like it, and even has a faint flavour from whatever was next to it for a long time. It still tastes good but it’s just so hard to try to figure out what it’s absorbed exactly!
Backlog – I didn’t like this too much when I tried it yesterday out of the store. I think this tea needs to be prepared gong fu or at least with short steeps to really appreciate the flavor. I could pick up some of the classic Phoenix flavor but mostly it got bitter and muddy after it was steeped for around 3 minutes. So I can’t really rate this either, but I feel bad for anyone whose only experience of a Phoenix Mountain oolong is trying it this way.
I made a huge DF order and it all arrived last week, and I haven’t had much else since then. I have been bad about writing tastings notes on them. Some of the teas are real WOW teas. Some are just normal, but by normal I mean still a really good tea.
This one was a WOW tea. I found myself thinking about the tea each time I took a drink – it kept pulling my attention because it tasted so good. Sometimes I can sort of zone out and drink the tea automatically. The description says red fruits, papaya, and strawberry bits. But the really interesting part is the “biscuit” – which of course it not like an American biscuit. It’s like a European one, or a cookie. That’s the magic here.
It’s hard for me to describe exactly what biscuit tastes like in tea, but it’s sort of like a bit of cookie on the finish, but it’s not a sweet cookie. More like a shortbread. This tea alone makes me want to order one of every one of the teas they sell.
Yesterday my partner and I decided to go on a mini road trip, to see how the landscape is melting and to try out the new truck on some dirt roads. We drove the loop in Nopoming Provincial Park, which is north of the Whiteshell, along the Manitoba-Ontario border. It’s a lot more rugged and less developed than the Whiteshell, and much quieter at all times of year, which, in my opinion, makes it far superior. When I’m camping or in the wilderness, people are the last thing I want around.
The prairies at this time of year are fairly dull. While I generally see them with an artist’s eye, and appreciate the nuances of all the different colours and textures, even those subtle differences are flattened in the post melt, pre bloom of spring. The fields, trees and ditches blend together into a fairly uniform grey-brown, contrasted with the uniform blue and deep green of the sky and evergreens. Add to that the road and the clouds, and you have five colours for this season.
Once you hit Canadian shield, the landscape gets more interesting – shield is always a less subtle beauty than the stark flatness of the prairies (and so utterly flat, in a way that I haven’t experienced anywhere outside of Manitoba.) The rock, interspersed with mixed forest of fir, spruce, poplar and the occasional birch, creates a macro texture, while the lichens covering the surface of the rock, and striations of broken sedimentary rock that protrude along the side of the road add a more subtle and delicate texture. Lakes, rivers and streams frequently abut or cross the winding road that undulates over granite that the road builders chose not to remove.
I sipped a travel mug of this as we drove, prepared earlier. Two pagodas, steeped for five minutes in 14oz of water yielded a rich, deep tasting brew, full of cocoa, malt and sweet potato. A good choice, whose flavour held up well in the travel mug, which seems to inevitably carry some trace of other flavours, no matter what I do.
I got a second excellent steep out of the two pagodas later in the evening, still rich and deep tasting.
The directions on the package recommend three pagodas per cup, but that is without a doubt overkill. Each one is at least the equivalent of a teaspoon of tea, possibly closer to two.
Between sharing these and drinking them often, they’ll be gone soon, and this will be a definite restock. They taste wonderful and the shape is also wonderfully suited to steeping without a strainer, and so, quite convenient.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes
This tea is one that I don’t properly know how to describe. It tastes nothing like a raw puerh, and nothing like a ripe puerh. It is not bitter but the main flavor is not one I would describe as sweet or for that matter sour. It is closer to a salty flavor if anything. Is this what they call umami? I don’t know. I stored this tea in my pumidor with my sheng as Dragon Tea House calls it raw puerh. It does not seem to have taken on the flavor of the sheng in my pumidor. I don’t love or hate this tea but I don’t think I would buy it again if I ever ran out.
I steeped this six times in a 170ml teapot with 11g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. I should also mention that this tea developed the color of a black tea if anything by the second infusion. I think you would get at least ten or twelve infusions out of this tea but I didn’t like it enough to continue after six infusions.
Ho-leeeeey cats, this is good stuff.
Malty, sweet, woodsy but not too woodsy and with a scent but not taste of coconut. Even more coconut smell as it cools down and I stuff my nose deep in the cup. And yes, the cup is clean so I’m not getting coconut impressions from a previous tea. :)
This I need to have around always. This is beautiful and completely delicious.
Oh, and this was my first order from Golden Tips. Overwhelmed by the samples thrown in doesn’t even begin to cover it. There are as more samples in here than tea I actually ordered, I think! Color me impressed. :)
update turns out that while I wasn’t imagining the coconut smell it was on my hands from my shampoo. LOL
Also known as “Grapefruit Earl Grey”, this Award Winning blend certainly packs a citrus scented punch. Whilst raw it has a wonderful grapefruit, rose and floral scent that is very refreshing but super citrusy at the same time.
In flavour this is lightly sweet with moderate grapefruit and rose petal tones which offers a refreshing taste compared to it’s dark black tea base. Somewhat perfumed but in a wonderful way! Every time I drink rose petals in tea it makes me feel beautiful, and this tea holds no exception. Behind the floral and citrus notes is a dark, malt base which holds the lighter flavours together.
Throughout the flavours remain consistent, even as it cools, and I would say that the balance of flavours was delightful! An inventive twist on the classic Earl Grey but a blend that keeps itself ‘close to home’.
Overall I would say this makes a pleasant change from your classic Earl Grey but keeping the elegance and debonair vibe it has accustomed over the years. While it may not take the place of some of my beloved Earl Grey blends on my shelf, I admit the grapefruit is a wonderful extra in the early afternoon!
So, grapefruit in an Earl Grey? Yes please!
For more information please read my SororiTea Sisters post.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Perfume
In my timolino!
I did a complete cupboard shuffle while drinking this one; I’ve got an entire closet dedicated to tea tins and now teaware, and it was definitely time for a new system because things were starting to look awfully cluttered, and the tea type groupings weren’t very easy to see anymore. Very happy with how it looks now though!
This tasted absolutely delicious; such creamy, silky pear notes with faint cranberry tartness underneath. I picked up a few coconut notes as well; but that’s definitely from the lat thing I made in the timolino – cold shaken coconut matcha. I guess I didn’t do the most fantastic job washing this one out. Welp. But it all went together anyway.
Sadly, it felt like I was drinking it so out of season! I’ve never thought about myself as someone who has ‘seasonal interests’, when it comes to tea or anything else. But this spring is proving to be completely opposite of that.
Gonna have to see if I can come up with a way to make this seem like more of a Spring tea; if not, it may be a few months before I get back to drinking this one regularly again.
Golden Earl Reblend is up next (#26)! Super delicious. It kind of irritates me that this blend (and Gardens of Anxi, which is after this one) is archived, thus never coming back, and instead we just get tons of blends with too many ingredients (e.g., the Intelligent Nutrients blends, and tons of herbals). I see they do have an Earl Grey in their blends now, which is new I guess, but it has Wuyi Rock Oolong in the blend. Oh well, guess I will just continue to hoard this forever.
I’ve been drinking this a whole lot more lately. I don’t know why, but I’ve totally been craving that creamy lemon flavor this tea has! It’s just soo good!
Kinda nervous about the whole DTT “closing”, they just kinda seem sketchy about the whole deal. :S But they were selling off some of their stock the other day and I got to buy 4oz of this tea, for like 14 bucks! :O
I don’t know why on earth I didn’t stock up on this one during the BF/CM sales! I stocked up on literally everything else, EXCEPT this tea. I’m an idiot…
But Super stoked I had the opportunity to get more!