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35 Tasting Notes

90

Wow, what is going on here? It’s a Darjeeling that thinks it’s a green? This selection from Thurbo Estate look nothing like the Darjeelings you’d expect from northern India. It’s broken very fine and has the hue of woodchips. The steeping time is a done-before-you-know it 1.5 minutes, faster than some green and white teas. The aroma? Smells sort of like a Chinese or Japanese tea to be quite honest. What does this all amount to? How does it taste? Quite good. A strong but quickly passing bitterness; it doesn’t linger. Good viscosity, like a syrup that’s been thinned out. The color is beautiful golden.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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65

A non-traditional oolong due to it’s particularly flowery aroma. Color of the brewed tea is a very light golden yellow. Light to medium viscosity. Slight acidity and aftertaste lingers on the tongue. Good wind down or evening tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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61

Organic teas make up probably 10-20% of my collection. I love organic items but to be honest, for teas, I don’t go out of my way to buy organic. The aroma is very characteristic Darjeeling as the hue of the tea. After my first sip, I must report the taste is wonderful. It’s not a standout tea but it’s able to stand up on it’s own. At 16 cents per cup (if buying the 500g pack), it’s definitely an affordable treat for yourself first thing in the morning. I know plenty of people love putting milk, sugar, honey or other oddities in their black teas. I don’t personally, but even if I did, I would not advise messing with this cup since it’s on the lighter side already.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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63

What a short brew time! Not unexpected though since it’s a green. The leaves are short and crunchy and smell really good. The brew is a light light caramel color. Maybe more like yellow-brown than caramel. There is some acidity but nothing really strong. I want to say it tastes slightly citrusy but don’t take that to mean it’s super acidic. It’s not. It’s a good tea but I am not sure if it’s a “WOW” tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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90

What’s up? I am back from a vacation in Montreal where I had zero, I repeat, zero tea. I was having tea withdrawals. Luckily, when I returned, Upton had a box for me with over 60 kinds of tea to choose from. Today I am trying a, new to me, Chinese black tea. I’ll be honest, I was busy so I drank this after it cooled a bit. I think that’s fine since I don’t like sipping boiling water. Anyway, the dry leaves are very interesting looking and their aroma is quite inviting. They look like they might be hard and crispy but actually yield quite a bit when touched. The brew has some slight bitterness, not unexpected from a black but it doesn’t have that back-of-the-tongue aftertaste that most black Indian teas have. I drink primarily Indian and Chinese teas but there’s something a little bit harsh about the former and a little more soothing about the latter. This is shaping up to be a very good tea for me and I am going to have to recommend it to all my followers.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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63

Fairly dark (colored) brew. To be expected since it’s an Assam but this one is quite dark almost a red rust color. Very little sediment at the bottom of the cup. Brewing it at the recommended time and temp resulted in quite a bitter cup. Luckily, like most teas it doesn’t linger much but this would not be good for an afternoon tea where I prefer something more subtle and less jolting. This is a good pick me up tea (and definitely higher on the caffeine scale). I wish I had something sweet to enjoy with this.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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68

Despite being a Chinese black, this tastes very similar to an Indian black tea. It’s a medium amber color and brews up cleanly will little debris at the bottom. I get cherry notes when I smell it and it has a good amount of tanins but not overwhelming. There’s also a slight acidity.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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96

Wow, talk about an unusual looking tea. Just look at the picture of the leaves, or in this case, maybe stones is more appropriate. It’s a dull green color, and looks exactly like the foam that florists use to make arrangements. It has a chalky (not shiny) appearance and each stone is the size of a large pea. When you brew it, you expect it to unfurl right? Well it doesn’t! The tea is named Oolong but obviously looks green.

How does it taste? Like a very very light oolong with a hint of ginseng but also some green tea attributes. It has a hint of spiciness (the same way ginger is spicy) that rubs the back of your throat. I normally don’t think tea has much of a smell or at least anything to write about but this one has a nice floral aroma!

A must try!

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

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94

4.5 grams for an 8-10 oz cup of boiling water. This is an intense tea. Dark and malty with heavy tanins on the back of the tongue. Medium viscosity, good coating. Definitely a morning wake up tea, that’s why I am having it right now (1030A). The color is dark caramel but almost red in hue. Great Darjeeling.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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89

I love Moroccan mint tea. I can’t deny it. I have to admit I think it’s very suspect of Upton, whose tea I drink almost exclusively, to source their mint tea from Germany. I am sorry but what does Germany know about tea? Anyway, this is actually a good tasting tea. It’s a blend and my feelings about tea blends are similar to my feelings about Scotch blends, though I am easing up on both. This tea brews up very cleanly – little to no residual leaves or “dustings” at the bottom of the mug. The color is a light golden and there’s a hint of acidity on the front of the tongue. There is an underlying tone of tanins but nothing like you’d get in a darker tea. The mint is very subtle but is definitely present. This is an extremely relaxing tea and I wish I could on a comfortable sofa right now instead of my office chair.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I love tea. I have been drinking tea at least twice a day for over 5 years. I enjoy all types of tea but like Chinese and Japanese the most, though I drink Indian mostly (go figure). Accurate tea preparation is very important to me and I am very methodical in my approach.

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Website

http://www.sygyzy.com

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