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40 Tasting Notes

75
drank Pai Mu Tan by Tropical Tea Company
40 tasting notes

I’m confused. This is really vegetal, and I think I used too many leaves because my brew was rather dark. I don’t have a scale to try and get precise, so I used three super heaping Perfect Tea Teaspoons. It’s not black tea dark, but really deeply golden. I like this, but I just don’t understand it. Part of this could be because I’ve been drinking super aggressive teas all day and I’ve now just thrown my mouth a wacky curve ball. I think he’s scared and angry. He gets like that when he gets confused.

I’m not even sure where I am right now.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Azzrian

You are here -→ [ ]

Blake

Phew…well that certainly is a load off.

Angrboda

In my experience this type of tea generally brews up fairly dark.

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81

First let me explain a little something. This tea is going to be far stronger than I normally drink it due to my issues with sample sizes. You see, I use a perfect teaspoon (trademark thing here), which I’ve been told is actually closer to 1.5 tsp. Given that I use a (roughly) 16 oz mug, I generally fix whatever tea I’m making with two PT spoonfuls. Now the Tea Table sample sizes are probably made for someone who actually uses self control and reasoning, as they contain enough for roughly 2 1\2 – 2 2/3 PT spoonfuls (not heaping, but not level). Me, being the devil may care (read: lazy) man that I am, I just dump the package in. Now previously I’ve handled this by making a full 16 oz cup and about half of a 12 oz cup. The full cup I’ve been adding milk and sugar too, and the smaller cup I’ve been taking straight. This time around I forgot about the fact that I had developed that method, and added my normal amount of water.

I’m digging the result. It’s a bit of a punch in the face, but in the best possible way. You know, like if Natalie Portman punched me in the face because we were in a singles fight club. I took a couple sips of this before I doctored it up, and there was a solid bit of astringency there that follows on the heels of a nice full mouth feel. I did add a drop of milk and sugar, as that’s pretty much how I always drink my breakfast teas, and it’s a bit like putting a saddle on a bronco. It’s still an exciting ride, but it’s just a bit more comfortable.

A nice maltiness, a bit of astringency, full body, and a slight sweetness I picked up on even before I added the milk and sugar. This is a nice rich Scottish Breakfast.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, this tea makes me want to eat provolone.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Dylan Oxford

Nice review. Though I feel we may need to have a face-assault intervention. First you want to punch Vanilla’s face, then you get slapped by Lapsang Souchong, now Natalie Portman? Tsk, tsk!

Blake

Vanilla has it coming. Vanilla knows what it did. It’s not Lapsang’s fault that it’s a bit awkward when it comes to greeting people. I feel like it probably just wanted to gently rub my cheek as a sign of budding trust and friendship, but didn’t understand it’s own strength. As far as Natalie Portman goes…she could slowly force a butchers knife into my shoulder, and as it was happening I’d do nothing but explain how wonderful it was to get to meet her. A punch in the face is the most awakening feeling I can think of, and it coming from Natalie Portman (not of anger, hence the singles fight club) is the most enjoyable way I could think for it to be delivered. It all seems perfectly logical in my mind.

If I were the type to stop and examine things, that would probably explain a lot. As it stands, I’m more the type that I think I heard something outside, better see what it is!

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93

This is an amazingly well balanced tea. I’ve only had one other smoky tea, and as much as I enjoyed it, this puts it to shame. The smokiness is there, but it’s not strutting up to smack you in the face in some odd culturally obscure greeting. It greets you kindly with a nice firm handshake, but before you can ask about how it’s been, you’re already being introduced to it’s friend sweetness. Even straight, the balance between smokey and sweet is really impeccable. I’m already struggling to figure out how I’m going to not just destroy this and the Earl Grey. No milk and sugar are needed, but I did add just a bit to the second steeping and it was delightful. I imagine I’ll handle the rest of the tin in the same fashion (naked on first steep, dressed for prom on the second).

Damn Andrews & Dunham and their Damn Fine Tea. I want to order every single set of this series they’ve got left (9 still? Maybe 7-8 by now?) but I just don’t have the money for that. I now officially hate limited edition teas. I’ve only fixed one cup of this and the Earl Grey (not counting re-steeps), and I’m already having separation anxiety over the thought of running out.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dylan Oxford

There’s some show or book or something where they do the whole handshake-with-slap thing, and I can’t remember what it is. Made me laugh though.

I get the same anxiety over Frank from 52teas’ blends, which is part of why it was so long before we put our first order in. Though, Missy read somewhere that if he has the materials, and you offer to buy a pound, he can reblend a lot of stuff that’s otherwise ‘out’.

Blake

That’s very cool of him. I hope A&D ends up remaking some stuff at some point, because they may have ruined all other Earl Grey’s for me, and I’m not sure I can live knowing my favorite Earl Grey is unavailable once my tin’s out.

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94

Absolutely love it. You’ll get a full review later, but I’m late to see Electronic 6.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Hmm…I’ve never had a rooibos before, so I can’t really compare this to anything. The in bag smell wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. The brewed smell I actually really enjoyed. I can see some white chocolate coming through here, but not enough to make me hate it. I can also see the medicated vanilla after taste, but that’s probably not fair. A.) I had just read Azzrian’s review, and I’m amazingly impressionable. B.) Vanilla has a tendency to taste like medicine to me. Seriously, if the flavor of vanilla were a person, I’d punch him right in the face.

Anyway, this is just kind of meh. I’m not preparing to buy another bag, but I’m also not looking for friends to give this away to.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

LOL Poor Mr. Vanilla!

Blake

Poor Vanilla nothing! I’m sorry, but it’s plagued me for ages. I understand that some people do truly love their vanilla (here’s lookin’ at you Dylan), but I don’t. I can’t. I won’t. Vanilla is that flavor that’s there to spit in my face when the flavor I want is gone. It’s the hail storm that comes when I decide to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Then why I decide to go in and enjoy the soothing sounds of rain, vanilla is that disgustingly awful humidity inducing sunshine. Vanilla is that funky smell on the leftovers I’ve been saving for JUST the right time (which clearly should have been a week ago). Vanilla is a reminder of every disappointing event in my entire life.

Sorry, we’re out of sherbet, lucky for you I’ve got vanilla ice cream.
Want some cake? Have some vanilla.
Oh, sorry bro I don’t have any stouts on draught, but I do have this porter that was probably great until the brewer decided to douse it with levels of vanilla that would turn you into the Hulk if it were gamma radiation and not vanilla.

VANILLA HULK SMASH.

Azzrian

Ohhhh I do miss porters and stouts! Brewed a smoked Porter once and won a competition but that was another lifetime ago…you would have loved it – not one drop of vanilla in it – on the other hand it had lovely chocolate notes!
So sorry about your vanilla issues but I do see your point. Unfortunately too many PEOPLE these days are vanilla but I suppose that is a topic for some other forum. :)

Dylan Oxford

Haha, Blake, that made me laugh so hard. I can just see Bruce Banner getting angry at a vanilla tea and going on a stomping spree through Madagascar.

Missy

Very amusing and I love the visuals here :D

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drank Earl Grey by The Tea Table
40 tasting notes

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Lemongrass Chai by The Tea Table
40 tasting notes

This I’m excited for. The smell of the dried leaves is pretty much what the name implies. You’ve got your typical chai culprits like cinnamon and ginger demanding attention but with a lemongrass blanket laid over the top. The brewed liquid is DARK. Dark as in, can’t see through my clear brewing vessel dark. The smell of the brewed leaves really makes me think of delicious fresh baked pie crust more than anything. Taste wise, this is interesting, but I actually ruined that part of the review. I had nothing but dinner on my mind, and I started eating my jambalaya before tasting this enough to think of what to put for the review. Lemongrass is one of my favorite scents, but I’ve never had lemongrass flavored anything. I’m hit with a vegetative and flowery taste first and foremost and that’s followed with the normal chai spices, but they’re pretty muted by the spice of the food. And actually, the fore taste is a bit muddled by the butter on the bread I’m eating as well.

I’ve taken way too long away from my food to type this, and I’m absurdly hungry. Back at it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Lemongrass Chai by The Tea Table
40 tasting notes

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77

This is the second steeping from the earlier brew. Unsurprisingly, it’s noticeably weaker, but far from neutered. This time around I was worried about the weakness of the tea so I went ahead and added a bit of milk and sugar. This results in a very enjoyable tea I would imagine having for desert. The milk is wrapped in layers of tea and apple for a really delightful drink. Next time I’ll reverse things and go with milk and sugar from the start, and then none.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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77

A few cups of the warm comfort of Irish Breakfast later, and I’m ready for something new. Let’s see what Tropical Tea Co.’s next offering brings us eh?

The in bag smell is a very sweet apple flavoring with a hint of cream. It initially tastes far more like apple candy than actual apples. The resulting liquid is a light/dark middle ground, reminding me of copper and deep blood oranges. The brewed leaves hit the nose first with the familiar black tea smell, and follow with a much more natural apple smell that quickly gives way to hints of cream. Apples and cream, unsurprisingly, are what comes through in the taste. In a rare turn of events, I didn’t add any milk and sugar here, and I’m glad for it. The apple taste is a far more subdued sweetness than say the monks blend I’ve got. The creaminess really just negates my desire for milk. The taste even mimics a bit of that full mouth feel I love in adding milk. I’m sure I’ll try it with milk and sugar eventually, but it’s natural taste really adds the qualities I look for in those items anyway.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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