2085 Tasting Notes

100
reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
2085 tasting notes

Every time I’ve complained on Steepster about how hard it is to remove scents and stains from my ingenuiTEA and Mason Jar Drinking Mugs I’ve been told that Smart Soak Tea Stain Dissolver is the product I need. The people who told me this weren’t kidding about how well it worked and I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time scrubbing everything down with baking soda and a baby bottle brush. That method may work, but it is anything but efficient.

Overall, I was suitably impressed with Smart Soak Tea Stain Dissolver from Mandala Tea. I was skeptical at first, but it cleaned everything that I threw at it. I didn’t have to scrub a thing, saving me a tremendous amount of time. Now I understand why so many people recommended this product to me.

You can read the full review on my blog, complete with before and after photos:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/5/12/tuesday-tea-smart-soak-tea-stain-dissolver-mandala-tea-midwestteafestival

scribbles

I have got to get some of this stuff

Short Sorceress

I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try it, it’s pretty amazing.

Garret

I truly enjoyed your review of the product, my dear! So very happy that you are enjoying the Smart Soak. I am grateful.

Short Sorceress

I loved it! My teaware hasn’t looked this good in years :) Thanks again for sending me the samples.

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95

It took me a few cups to find the perfect way to steep this tea. Single Origin Teas does not provide instructions on their website (other than to say not to use boiling water,) but once found my preferred time and temperature— all I can say is wow. The flavor is mellow, slightly sweet, and almost nutty; but what really stands out is the texture. This tea is exceptionally smooth and almost buttery when you hold it on your tongue. It feels almost as luxurious as the silk sheets I’ve been lusting over the past few years. Since tea is much more affordable than silk sheets, I think I’ll pick up some more of this while I’m in Kansas City. It will be perfect to enjoy during the hot days of summer.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/5/5/tuesday-tea-white-monkey-single-origin-teas

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Comparing this tea to silk sheets is perfect! Man, I have not had White Monkey in forever, it keeps popping up, so clearly I need to get some too at the festival.

Short Sorceress

It’s a great comparison, isn’t it? And yes, you should definitely pick some of this up while you’re there. This really blows the other White Monkey teas I’ve tried out of the water.

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92

This week I took part in a matcha blind taste test which was sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. Each tea was rated based on color, flavor, and sweetness. Terra Verve Organic Matcha tied for first place. It had a more traditional flavor than the other samples and tasted exactly how I expect matcha to taste like— sweet with a mildly grassy flavor. It was also the most expensive sample, costing $8.52 per ounce. Because of the hefty price tag, it’s not something I could afford to drink every day, but it is something I’d gladly pull out for my tea drinking guests or purchase for a special occasion.

You can read the results from the full taste test on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/26/tuesday-tea-blind-taste-test-12-matcha-teas-compared-sponsored

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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92

This week I took part in a blind taste test of 12 different types of matcha which was sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. Each tea was rated based on color, flavor, and sweetness. Deluxe matcha was one of the teas that scored the highest. It had a sweet and heavily floral flavor that is unlike any other matcha I’ve tried. The texture was great, it didn’t have the bitterness or grainy texture you find in lower grade matcha. Best of all, it was one of the least expensive, costing only $1.56 per ounce

You can read the results from the full taste test on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/26/tuesday-tea-blind-taste-test-12-matcha-teas-compared-sponsored

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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92

I’ve tried several other chili pepper teas and have found the flavor to be rather one dimensional. The spice from the peppers tends to downed out all other flavors, which is why I think that the combination of ginger root, cloves and chili pepper is brilliant. All three ingredients add their own brand of spicy to the mix, giving the tisane a lot more depth than chili pepper alone would have. The addition of lemon peel cuts right through all of the spice, lending a tart, citrus flavor the the blend. Adding a spoon full of honey, as suggested, rounds out the flavors a little more leaving you with a drink that is sweet, tart, and spicy all at once. I was looking for a unique blend from Arbor Teas and clearly found it in the ginger chili tisane. I don’t think I’ve come across another blend quite like this, they definitely know how to think out side of the box with their flavor combinations.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/21/tuesday-tea-ginger-chili-tisane-arbor-teas

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I was impressed with this box from Curious Tea, they definitely paid attention to detail. My teas arrived in under ten days (UK to US) and when I opened the box I found my teas wrapped in blue art paper. I know I’ll be repurposing this at some point, it’s gorgeous! On the lid of the box were cards with steeping instructions, a brief description of the tea, as well as space for taking tasting notes. All of the information I needed was easily found, but I did have to hop online to convert the temperature from ˚C to ˚F since I never can remember the formula, even though I know it’s simple.

I never have and never will have a math-brain. That gene skipped over me and went to my little brother. I on the other hand got the good looks in the family (but don’t tell him I said that ::grins::)

As for the tea, the quality was top-notch. Both selections were teas I would consider ordering again, but unfortunately Curious Tea doesn’t currently offer an option for reordering the teas I enjoy. That is the only negative thing I found with this box, but according to the FAQ they are working to make reorders possible in the near future.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/14/tuesday-tea-subscription-curious-tea

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85

I don’t even know where to begin with this tea, except to say that I could drink a lot of it. The mild flavor and light sweetness pair well with almost any meal, or can be enjoyed on its own. I managed to drink the entire 50g (1.76oz) package in under a week. It’s unusual for me to stick with the same tea for so long, I tend to get bored with it, but this seemed to fit all of my moods.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/14/tuesday-tea-subscription-curious-tea

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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81

The first thing I noticed about this tea is that it is very dry, with a wine-like, or muscatel flavor. When I hear Darjeeling tea referred to as the champagne of teas, this is exactly the type of tea I picture. It has many of the same characteristics of a quality champagne.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/14/tuesday-tea-subscription-curious-tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

Just looking at this tea brightened my day. My son and I spent over an hour dropping balls of tea into a cup, then pouring hot water over the top to make them bloom. My favorite part of the afternoon was watching him and the myriad of reactions he had as the tea blossomed. If he could talk he would probably tell you his favorite part of the afternoon was drinking the tea, he’s a bit of an addict, especially if the tea is sweet.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/4/7/tuesday-tea-sunshine-flowering-tea-the-persimmon-tree-tea-company

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nichole

I just checked out your blog and my son will die over that dinosaur cake! I’m going to have to try that for his birthday this year! Very cool!

Short Sorceress

Thanks! It was a huge hit with my son, I made it for his 2nd birthday.

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80
drank Kamba Berry by Butiki Teas
2085 tasting notes

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Profile

Bio

I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Butiki, Della Terra, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Verdant, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

Ingredients I’m on the fence about:
Pu-erh

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Allergies
Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

Teawares:
FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea

Location

Oregon, WI

Website

http://www.notstarvingyet.com/

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