475 Tasting Notes

80

This is another tea I picked up when Taste went out of business. I couldn’t resist. I’m getting to it now because I’ve caught a cold. Sigh.

Again, this is packaged in a white envelope with some cool art on it, but it’s basically just sealed in a ziplock bag on the inside. This packaging was made for Taste, though… if you were to order it from Pluff’s website, it would come in a nice tin.

The dry leaf smells nice, but not out of the ordinary. Tangy and pepperminty. It brews up to a medium tan and smells much better. Still a little tart in the scent. The resulting tea is soothing and light-bodied, leaving a cool sensation in my mouth. It’s making me feel a little better, at least. All around this is a nice peppermint tea. Not spectacular, but you can taste that the leaves they used are quality.

Flavors: Mint, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
475 tasting notes

Yes, another violet tea! This is the second I’ve tried, Kusmi’s being the first. Anyway, I got this in a trade with JustJames. Thanks, James!

This stuff is powerfully fragrant! My entire tea corner of the kitchen reeked of sweet, sweet flowers. I had to keep it out on top of the microwave so it wouldn’t contaminate my other teas. Goodness. It’s a lovely-looking tea. Tiny, fine black leaves mixed with little dried flowers – pale brown with a hint of the purple they used to be.

As it steeped, my kitchen started to smell purple. You know what I mean. Like some purple candy tastes, but not like artificial grape. When the tea was finished, a fully-formed violet flower had risen to the top and was floating on the surface of the dark brew. It smelled soothing and very, very floral. Upon tasting it, I see what James was talking about. The black tea base for this one is milder and less sharp than the one Kusmi uses. The flowers take the forefront, of course, in an exotic and spring-like way. Something about it also reminds me of hard candy.

If I make an order with Dammann Freres, this is something I’d definitely get again.

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Fjellrev

Awesome! I’m looking for a really good violet tea. This one just made it to my shopping list. :)

Stephanie

I made violet jelly a couple summers ago :)

Fjellrev

OMG that must have been amazing.

Tabby

Yum! Did you use fresh flowers or dried?

Stephanie

Fresh. My entire back yard is shady and covered in them! I waited till they were in full bloom and easily plucked a couple of quarts of them! You basically steep the fresh flowers like super strong tea, mix that bright purple liquid with sugar and pectin and then can it! I can post a link to the recipe if anyone is interested :)

TeaBrat

i’m skeered, lol

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

This tea sounds amazing!

OMGsrsly

Stephanie, that sounds amazing! I wonder if I can convince my parents to plant violets for me. :) (I have no outside space at my apartment!)

Tabby

Do you know what variety of violets they were, Stephanie? I live in the southeastern USA and all we have are Viola sororia, which don’t have any kind of scent.

Stephanie

Nope I sure don’t, Tabby. They grow like crazy here in Indiana though. The jelly did not have a super strong flavor in the end though. It’s really hard to describe! Based on my googling, I bet they were the same.

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84

Mmm, Earl Grey. One of my absolute favorites. As far as these teas go, this one smells great as it steeps. Pretty heavy on the bergamot oil, but not quite as heavy as what I’ve been drinking from Harney & Sons.

It brews up to a nice dark reddish brown and has a smooth black tea base. Nothing too harsh or bitter. The bergamot is lemony and pleasant. Not overpowering, but it does leave my mouth tingling a bit. Overall, this is a very satisfying Earl Grey. I admit it’s not a very stand-out version, but I like it.

Just Organic Tea’s Kickstarter is in it’s last 5 days! If you can spare a few bucks to help these kind folks out, please do. They’re still about $1300 short of their goal.(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justorganictea/just-organic-tea-the-very-best-tea-delivered)

Flavors: Lemon Zest

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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80

Quick review because I’ve got to get to work. I got this in a trade with JustJames as a bit of a surprise! Yay! I love raspberry tea!

First of all, it’s a black/rooibos mix. While rooibos and I don’t get along, I don’t mind it if it’s blended with other stuff. The scent of the leaves is very, very strongly chocolate. But, of course, it’s not a very authentic chocolate scent. I’m starting to think all chocolate teas are going to be this way. Or maybe I just don’t like chocolate teas… I just like teas that naturally have notes of cocoa, like Fujian blacks. However, there is a strong, sweet raspberry scent that gives me hope.

Anyway, getting down to the actual flavors of this tea. This stuff tastes like straight up Tootsie Pops. The ones with the maroon wrappers. The candy-like raspberry flavor is in the forefront, followed by that somewhat artificial Tootsie Roll chocolate. It also sort of reminds me of a cherry cordial. While this isn’t bad in any way, I think it could have been executed better. I’ll definitely be finishing what I have, as I do like candy… though I don’t necessarily want to drink it.

Flavors: Berries, Chocolate

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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72

A local kitchenware boutique, Taste, went out of business recently. I saw that they were having their final clearance sale, and couldn’t resist cleaning out their tea section. This was the first thing I picked up. I took all three remaining envelopes, mostly for the picture of the moose. And because of chai, of course.

Sadly, though, I’m pretty disappointed with it. First of all, inside the pretty paper envelope with the old-timey art, there’s just a ziplock of tea. Seriously, just a clear plastic baggy.

The mix looks nice enough. A few cardamom pods, lots of cinnamon, bits of ginger root, mixed into a lower-quality black tea. Pretty standard. It smells alright, sort of weak on the ginger and no real cardamom scent. It’s mostly just cinnamon. The flavor is even more disappointing. The spices aren’t very potent, and there’s some sort of weird earthy flavor. Like they mixed a little bit of dirt or something into it. Or maybe it’s just really stale. Who knows how long it sat on a shelf until I bought it? Either way, I’m glad I used it all up so I can move on to something better.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Second snow day in a row! I’m resting up now because tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and if anybody else here is in the service industry, you know what that means. Non-stop crazy busy all day!

Anyway, this is a lovely tea. Calendula petals mixed into short, dark brown tea leaves with little green flecks of lemon myrtle. It smells more like apricot than peach to me, but that’s not a bad thing. I love apricot things! The scent mixes well with the bright, clean lemon myrtle aroma. It’s like sweet lemonade or lemon candy.

The flavor is very fruity and juicy. It reminds me of jam, especially after some sweetener. This would be a great tea to have with buttered toast. While I can taste peaches, I still mostly notice apricots. The black tea base is very mild with zero bitterness and very mild astringency. Nothing about this tastes artificial, which is a problem I encounter a lot with peach teas. No, it tastes real, and I’m really enjoying it.

Edit — Also, signal boosting Just Organic Tea’s Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justorganictea/just-organic-tea-the-very-best-tea-delivered

Flavors: Apricot, Lemon Zest, Peach, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec
boychik

I should try it because I love apricots. Is it like dry apricots or fresh?

Tabby

It’s like fresh ones, but without the tartness.

boychik

On my list it goes

Tabby

I don’t think it’s up for sale yet. Just Organic Teas is trying to get funded through Kickstarter for the next two weeks.

boychik

I should pledge then

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82

Snow day!! I went from working a double today to laying around playing Minecraft and drinking tea.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve had a straight up black tea with no flavorings. I’ve been drinking Earl Grey and such for like six months. This is a nice change. The flavor reminds me of an Assam. It’s malty with a touch of molasses and stone fruit. It’s not bitter, but it is a little astringent. Dries my mouth somewhat. As far as black teas go, this one is pretty straightforward without much complexity. Would be a good tea to start the day with.

If you haven’t already, check out Just Organic Tea’s Kickstarter here: (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justorganictea/just-organic-tea-the-very-best-tea-delivered)

Flavors: Malt, Molasses, Stonefruits

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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86
drank Earl Grey Creme by Della Terra Teas
475 tasting notes

Just wanted to add that this is great with a pinch of lavender. Really blends well.

ifjuly

ooh, i will have to try that. this was one of my first favorites i tried from hearing about on steepster when i first joined. good memories.

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84

I’ve been meaning to review this tea for days! I am stereotypically drawn to anything pumpkin spice, and when you add that to another one of my favorite things, which is chai, I get excited.

Anyway, this smells delightful. Bright ginger, warm cinnamon, spicy clove and something very sweet like a dessert. I can see large pieces of cinnamon bark mixed into the black tea, whole cloves, and something round and seed-like that I can’t identify. Neat! As it steeps, the clove scent really comes out and combines with the cinnamon. It smells a lot like Constant Comment! (I mean that affectionately.)

Once it was ready, I added a tiny splash of 1% milk and some of the organic sugar Just Organic Tea provided in my sampler. Now, I generally use zero-calorie monk fruit sweetener. So having real sugar in my chai is a bit of a treat for me. As I sip it, I find it a little mild for my taste. I can taste a hint of the pumpkin flavor, and it’s nice, but not as much in the forefront as I would have liked. Same with the spices. Overall, I like it, but I would need to double or triple-up on the amount of leaf I’d use.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Ze_Teamaker

Is it just me or does it seem like Pumpkin is a hard flavor to come through strong?

Tabby

It absolutely is. I’m definitely on the search for something more noticeably “pumpkiny”.

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85

I’d like to thank the folks at the startup company Just Organic Tea for this sample! (Check out their Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justorganictea/just-organic-tea-the-very-best-tea-delivered) The’ve got some very tempting stuff!

First of all, this smells great. Very fragrant cinnamon aroma with a hint of dried citrus. Perfect for a cold, windy night at home. Mixed into the dark brown leaves are bits of orange peel and generous chunks of cinnamon bark. The moment they hit the water, I found myself going “Mmm” at the spicy scent. The water darkened quickly, making me think this is going to be nice and strong.

When it’s done, the tea is a lovely reddish amber. The resulting flavor is much smoother than I anticipated. The black tea base is gentle with zero bitterness and hardly any noticeable astringency. Cinnamon is the strongest flavor, while the orange rests in the aftertaste. I’m reminded of cinnamon candy, almost like RedHots. Unlike many spiced tea blends I’ve tried in the past, this one does not completely mute the actual tea aspects. I think if I had another chance, I’d go with a longer steep time. Altogether this is a very nice cup – not too strong, not too heavily spiced.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange Zest

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. 20-something and living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, EBM/synthpop/industrial geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

I prefer black teas, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. My favorites tend to be yunnan tips, earl grey, golden monkey, chai, and keemun. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, coconut, apple, raspberry, bergamot, cucumber, sage, vanilla, and caramel.

I’m shy about green tea, curious about white, and learning to love oolong. I hate rooibos and anything with orchid, fennel, or jasmine.

I’m currently growing my own tea. I have a 3-year-old potted Camellia sinensis, and I plan on picking a tiny bit of new growth this spring for my first try at drying my own leaves.

Since joining, I’ve traded with: Kaliska, QueenOfTarts, LiberTEAS, JustJames, Spencer, Ninavampi, Jillian, Teafreak, KeenTeaThyme, and RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas.

Location

Decatur, GA

Website

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