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40 Tasting Notes

80

I am just now digging into my second Steepster select box. I actually cancelled for the time being because I am a bit tealogged at the moment, and I don’t want the tea I have to get old and stale. The tasting notes for this tea mentioned a grape flavor, so I was initially a bit apprehensive. I love grapes, I like wine, but I have never been a fan of grape flavor. However, it is such a natural and subtle note in this tea that I actually enjoy it quite a bit. This tea is a lot of different from other black teas that I usually drink, but not in a bad way. It’s a bit more mellow, with a nice mouthfeel. It’s not too weak or too strong, and the grape keeps it interesting. I am glad this was one of the Steepster choices!

Flavors: Grapes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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83

This is the first of the Steepster select teas I have tried. I was initially pretty unimpressed by the amount of tea in the packet, as I would generally use more tea to fill my mug. But I wanted to get the right flavor, so I measured out 8oz for each of my two steeps, and I would say this amount of tea is perfectly suited for 8oz of water.

I thought the dry leaf smelled like other plain black teas – nothing too significant about it. I prepared according to the instructions, and thankfully didn’t get the wet dog scent that others have noticed.

I find that this is a smooth and tasty black tea. On both steeps, I got similar flavor profiles, just less intense on the second go-round. It’s definitely slightly fruity, with a pleasant mouthfeel and no acidity or astringency whatsoever. It has a light, smoky flavor, and it’s not a strong tasting black tea, but I do like it.

For a plain black tea, this is a winner. I would recommend giving it a try if you get a chance!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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91

Smooth, not astringent, slightly malty. This is my current favorite plain, black tea, as there is nothing about it that I don’t like. It’s good for the morning or the afternoon, as it is strong but not overwhelmingly so. I took a chance on a tin based on reviews from Steepster, and it was a wise decision.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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77

Drinking this for my morning cup. I wanted a breakfast tea, but English Breakfast is a little too mellow for my tastes. This Irish Breakfast is similar to Twinings in taste, but with much nicer depth of flavor. I don’t add things to my tea, and though this one is pretty strong, I almost wish I had gotten one of their Scottish blends, which are supposedly stronger.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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93

I love this tea. I first got it as a sample from H&S, and I immediately knew I had to have more. It is the perfect tea for fall. It has a beautifully smooth base, tastes like cranberries without being too tart, and has a juicy, sweet taste that makes me crave it specifically. It smells amazing, too. I was going to try Cranberry Autumn, but was afraid I wouldn’t like it as much as Boston, so I just ordered a tin of this. My first cup in, I know it was a wise decision.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
40 tasting notes

Yay, a green tea that doesn’t just taste like water that I boiled spinach in! ;) The leaves are huge even when they are dry, and after they are steeped they are enormous. The liquor brews up super pale, and though the tea is slightly vegetal, it is also slightly sweet. That balance really works for me. The sweetness really only popped as the tea cooled down, but it makes the tea distinctive and enjoyable. I can only detect the sesame as an aftertaste; it’s certainly not a prominent flavor in the tea, but I’m not complaining.

Just to be upfront, I tend more toward black tea than green tea. But I try to be open-minded about trying new things, and this green tea is one I wouldn’t mind drinking more of in the future. Which is good, since I still have to finish off my sample.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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81

Since I just had a cup of H&S’s Caribe, I decided to compare and contrast it to another tropical tea in my stash, 52 Teas Tropical Eyebrows. They are both tropical, for sure, but have very different flavor profiles. Tropical Eyebrows has a green base, rather than a black and green mixture, and it has a smokier flavor. It is also much more tart; I like the taste, but my mouth puckers a bit with every sip. Interestingly, the teas have completely different tropical fruit inclusions, but they both give you the impression of a warm day on a beach. Any tea that has that power is ok by me.

Altogether, I enjoy Caribe more; it’s a smoother, less tart tropical blend. But it won’t be a burden to finish my pouch of Tropical Eyebrows, either.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
40 tasting notes

Whoops, I got distracted and let this steep for close to 10 minutes… and it still tasted fine. If anything, it was a little weaker than usual, so I think I need to use a little more leaf next time. I swear, Harney’s teas are incredibly forgiving.

Anyway, love the smell and taste of this tropical tea. I prepared it as a black tea this time, and can still taste the fruit flavors really well, but I think I will go back to using slightly cooler water. The scent and flavor remind me of tropical lifesavers, though obviously not as sweet. I am glad I have a tin of this, as it is a tea I am happy to revisit, no matter what time of year.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

The more I drink this creamy Earl Grey, the more it grows on me. I have been drinking pretty much a cup a day of this blend, and it is very comforting, full flavored and tasty. I will probably stick to my plan of trying other Earl Grey blends before I buy this one again, but I will be enjoying this one while it lasts!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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68

This is my first experience with a genmaicha tea, and it is certainly memorable. I ordered a sample from Harney out of curiousity, and am just now getting to opening it four months later. The blend seems to be equal parts green tea leaves and a rice & popcorn mixture. The popcorn smell is very strong, particularly when the tea is steeping, and it is very evident in the taste as well.

This green is nice in that it’s not as grassy/vegetal as other greens (sencha, for instance) nor is it drying. It’s slightly creamy, slightly vegetal, and very popcorn-y. I am not super into it, but I could see being in the mood for it again at some point. I will probably do a shorter steep next time, too, to see if I like it better that way. I steep the hell out of black tea, so I tend to oversteep greens even though it’s such a short time that it doesn’t feel like they could be possibly be oversteeped.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Married lady in her late twenties who is relatively new to tea (that isn’t iced and artifically sweetened, that is) and loving it so far.

I have liked most kinds of tea that I have tried so far, but I especially like rich black teas. I enjoy tea iced and hot, but generally don’t add anything to it either way. My husband only drinks iced, but I have been expanding his tea horizons!

Current favorite: Harney & Sons Black Currant

Location

Los Angeles, CA