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260 Tasting Notes

67

I jotted down some notes in a Word document about this tea because I knew I wasn’t going to have time to log this when I wanted to [yeah, I’m a nerd, etc. etc.].

Auggy sent me this tea with the caveat that it was a possible “meh” tea, but that it was good for comparison purposes. Really, I’m up for trying something that’s going to give me a better range of comparison, so that means I’m game for pretty much anything.

I was surprised to discover that this had a really full flavor to it. Which I probably wouldn’t have been, had I remembered what Auggy had written about it, but I’ve never made claims as to the strength of my memory. Well, maybe except to say that it can suck sometimes.

Anyhow, this wasn’t weak. And I liked that. What I’m not sure that I liked was that even though it had a fair amount of flavor, it felt kind of…flat. Not quite as dimensional Jackee Muntz. It also had a kind of salty quality to it, which I normally wouldn’t mind, but this was tap dancing just a little too loudly for me. Actually, this one probably had the strongest malt taste to me of all three of the keemuns I’ve had so far [Jackee Muntz, Keemun Rhapsody, this one].

What I did like was that it had a sweetness to it. It reminded me of honey. Not gonna lie, I would have liked caramel [still can’t quite let go of that], but I’ll take honey. You’d think that the saltiness and the honey taste would have combined to make something resembling caramel, but for whatever reason, they didn’t come together for me.

In the end, this didn’t combine quite as nicely for me as the other two. The components read much more as separate entities than anything else, and while I think this makes it easier for me to pick tastes out from it, it makes for an overall experience that isn’t quite as enjoyable. I guess it’s kind of like what they say about a well-composed dish. You should be able to both eat the components on their own and combined into a bite and enjoy it all.

This certainly wasn’t horrible, but it’s not going to make my favorite keemuns list. I’ll finish off the sample though, no problem. Thanks for the experience, Auggy!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ricky

I think I see the trend with these black tea. If you want a bolder cup, you’ll enjoy lapsang. I think it’s a good thing that I’m not ordering Series 2 of A&D.

takgoti

I’ve had lapsang before and yeah, I do enjoy it. Haven’t tried GM’s yet though. I think for me it’s not necessarily…I don’t know. I don’t solely drink black or pu-erh, I drink them all. So, splitting hairs, I’m not sure if it’s bolder flavors that I want, it’s fuller flavors. I like dimension in my cup. I like to be overwhelmed with components. And if I’m not overwhelmed, I want those one or two flavors to be really, really good. When my tea tastes watery, I get sad. And if flavors don’t marry well, that also makes me sad.

Auggy

I know I’ve said this a ton, but this one did benefit from being intentionally lost in my pantry – it got a lot smoother and less acrid. Turned out pretty nice, actually. But yeah, it’s not got a lot of sparkle or anything going on with the taste. It’s pretty one dimensional with no real development or intriguing depth to it. But it’s also one that made me appreciate the flavor and depth better Keemuns have so it’s a good little tea.

Ricky

Well that makes sense. When it comes to food, I prefer stuff that are more bland / lighter, which might be the reason I like lighter tea. Like with spaghetti, I prefer incrementally adding the pasta sauce instead of it mixing all at once. Yes, I’m crazy =P

takgoti

@Auggy It is a good little tea! This reminds me of the Top Chef quandry – where it’s like some of the food really isn’t THAT bad, but when you’re speaking based on comparison [and slanting things for the purposes of TV] it can make something sound worse than it was. It really wasn’t horrible!

@Ricky Oooh, I love spaghetti. Current favorite thing to do, actually – toss it in some olive oil, grate some parmesan cheese on top. Maybe add a bit of rosemary if I’m feeling fancy. Simple. Delicious.

Ricky

Ack, rosemary. It’s too strong for me. Basil for me instead, preferably fresh ones :D Add a dash of salt and pepper, err what else…. nope sounds good enough, ehh maybe garlic salt instead of plain salt.

takgoti

Hah! You do like lighter fare! Probably just means your taste buds are more sensitive than mine!

Ricky

What did I tell you :D, it reflects on my preference of tea.

teaplz

Except Ricky loves pu-erh, which is completely the kicker, since that’s not even remotely bland!

And I love plain-er pastas as well. I actually dislike tomato sauce. I know, I’m weird.

takgoti

Not weird! We all have our food quirks. Tomato sauce can be a little too acidic for me. I require a balanced sauce.

Ricky

Pu-erh is soooooo bland to me. To me it’s standard tea. I can down cups of it like water.

She means, a tomato sauce that’s saturated with flavors ;D. I quote “it’s bolder flavors that I want, it’s fuller flavors. I like dimension …… I like to be overwhelmed with components. And if I’m not overwhelmed, I want those one or two flavors to be really, really good.” Love it! Don’t get sad over tomato sauce, it’s not worth it.

Auggy

@Ricky, actually I think she said, “*I’m not sure if* it’s bolder flavors that I want, it’s fuller flavors.” And your taste grouping doesn’t hold true because I’m starting to really love lapsang souchong and I love Keemun, but I don’t like strongly flavored food. Give me pasta with a little butter and I’m happy. The husband uses a lot of seasonings and stuff in his food and it’s too much for me. I can’t eat it. For me, I think it just comes down to appreciating good tea and the nuances of flavor it has, whether bold tasting or soft and mellow.

Ricky

Well, the idea was to manipulate her words, ahh you caught me :D

Pasta + butter, yum!

takgoti

Dude…that’s not cool!

Ricky

Aww, sorry! * tippy toes away from this conversation now and hides in my tea cupboard *

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80
drank Keemun Rhapsody by Adagio Teas
260 tasting notes

Yesterday’s arrival of the sorapot shattered my Keemun Day [not that I’m complaining], so today was it. I am pleased to say that I like it a lot better today. I let it sit for a full five minutes, and I think it really benefitted from that. This is going to end up being a comparison review, so I’m going to state that up front.

It’s not as dark as Jackee Muntz, and it’s also sweeter. The lack of that whiff of smoke makes me read this as perhaps having a little less flavor, but it’s smoother and I like that hint of sweetness that I’m getting.

Really, they’re reading as two completely different teas to me, each with their pluses and minuses. Jackee Muntz can be too sharp, Keemun Rhapsody can be a little too weak. One has depth but can be dissonant, the other is smoother but a little flatter. To me, I think they about even out, so I’m going to give them the same rating as they appeal to me equally.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Four Seasons by Samovar
260 tasting notes

This isn’t so much about the tea as it is about the teapot.

Wait, let me rephrase that.

This isn’t so much about the tea as it is about The teapot.

Yes, I got my Sorapot in the mail today, and yes, I love it. It is fabulous. It is divine. It is solidly-constructed, and it beautiful, and, for me, worth every single penny I spent on it. I have to give a major, major shout-out to our Steepster Overlords for having the thoughtfulness to include something like this in the Steepster Select cycle and I have to give some major, major props to Joey Roth for designing such a singularly exquisite piece. I have seen teapots that cost much, much more than this [and not just ancient ones – more contemporary ones, too] that I don’t think are nearly as nice, or as well-made. It’s fully functional, I think it’s breath-taking, and it’s made with thought. I can’t ask for much more out of something I’m going to drop a fair amount of money on.

I knew that this would be arriving soon-ish, so I saved my last little bit of Four Seasons for it. One, because I knew that it would look gorgeous as it opened up in the glass chamber, but most of all because I knew that the first tea I drank in this should be special. My BFF dropped by today, and we spent some time catching up, drinking tea, and watching Avatar [the TV show, not the movie – both are excellent, by the way]. She patiently waited while I took pictures, and we sipped on the tea while we chatted about what’s been going on in our respective lives.

It made for a really nice, really calming afternoon. Four Seasons is a versatile tea. It can be enjoyed in solitude, easily taking the center stage of your attentions with its subtle complexity. It’s a lovely companion when you’re sitting down to do some work with its thick yet light richness of flavor. It can swish and ripple softly in the background while you settle in to have a conversation with a friend. And it unfurls majestically in an extraordinarily designed, long-awaited metal and glass teapot.

And now, in a manner completely contrasting to the tone of this review [because I like to shake things up], I present to you: my Sorapot.
http://bit.ly/75ewf1

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
teaplz

LOVE your new Sorapot, and LOVE that you LOVE it. That’s three loves. You can count them.

Also, I LOVE the video. The boyfriend says that the pot is “ballin’.” I’d have to agree.

Kitch3ntools

ur video was really cool :D

Carolyn

Breathtaking! (They should hire you to do their video promotions.)

Micah

The juxtaposition of that video and THAT song….. incredible.

And the teapot is gorgeous!

takgoti

@teaplz Aw, four loves and a ballin! I feel very special!

@kich3ntools Apple: making amateurs look cool since 1998. [Which I know is not when Apple was started, it’s when I consider the pro-tool reinventing to roughly have begun. Yes I am an Apple fangirl. I’ll admit it.]

@Carolyn Oh wow, thank you! Though really they’d need to hire iPhoto. It’s really not difficult to make the sorapot look good!

@Micah Hah, that was my favorite song this past summer. I would sooo annoy people with it. If you haven’t heard the whole thing you should go download it. There should be a link at the bottom of the post. And yes, the teapot is gorgeous. It can’t be right to love an object this much. I am completely failing at Carolyn’s previous mention of Buddhic detachment.

Kitch3ntools

@takgoti lol awesome! ive only used apples when i was in HS. nerd alert i do have an ipod touch (1st gen) that i had cracked b4 but it was a pain so i got the 2.0 update forever ago. there laptops always look so cool but i <3 my toshibas with Ubuntu on them! :D nerding over your video makes me want that teapot!

Katie Alberry

I love Four Seasons! One of the first teas I ever tried at Samovar and still one of my favorites.

How is the Sorapot? It of course looks gorgeous but my friend that serves tea said it is a little awkward to pour and is more about design than function…for the price of course.

takgoti

@kitch3ntools Apple geeks ftw! I have a Macbook Pro and I love it to death.

@Katie Alberry The day when I find an oolong that I like more than Four Seasons will be a review that will shake my tea log like an earthquake. And I love the Sorapot. There’s a slight learning curve, but Joey explains what to expect in the directions – the leaves back up against the perforated section when you tilt it, so the pour starts slowly. When air starts to push through it agitates the leaves and then it comes out like you’d expect. There was a little spillage the first couple of times I used it, but I’ve gotten accustomed to it. It’s definitely a teapot with which you have to pour confidently! Anyway, I have a couple of glass teapots, but none of them allow you to view the steep this beautifully, so I’ll be using it a lot, I imagine. I find it mesmerizing.

TeaCast

I always enjoy your quirky and somewhat sarcastic narratives :).

Katie Alberry

Sounds pretty reasonable then. I haven’t yet found a teapot that is completely flawless, and I suppose that is the beauty of tea. Even the imperfections can be charming.

takgoti

@TeaCast Hah, thanks!

@Katie Alberry Yeah, I agree. This is going to sound completely nerdy, but I almost feel like I “know” it better because of it. It’s just a little quirky, which is how I like most things in my life.

LENA

ok, your video was blocked at my office, so I’m just now getting to watch it. OMG! Total rockage! I’m thinking sorapot when my tax return comes through. yep…

takgoti

Aw, thanks Lena! I really love it a lot. And actually, just in case you and/or someone else ends up getting one and reads what Katie and I were talking about up there, I’ve found that tilting the cup towards it for the start of the pour helps a lot.

Anyhow, if it’s your style, I highly recommend it. It’s pretty magnificent.

Katie Alberry

Not nerdy at all! I feel the same.

Ricky

How does it handle rooibos / other really loose tea?

Mike

Amazing. So happy for you!

takgoti

@Ricky The holes are definitely bigger than your fine mesh or laser-cut infusing basket, so stuff definitely gets through. I haven’t tried any finer tea like rooibos yet [doesn’t seem like it would be as fun to watch], but I imagine I’d probably pour it through an infusing basket. A little extra trouble, sure, but I don’t mind it.

@Mike Thanks! I’m pretty happy, too!

Ricky

Rooibos would be very boring to watch, but we can’t discriminate tea. I’m sure rooibos would like the opportunity to float around inside a luxurious home such as the Sorapot.

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94
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
260 tasting notes

I was already sending tea packages to Auggy and teaplz, and I knew that all of us wanted to try this tea. So when I was standing in line at Williams Sonoma, and it was staring at me I finally said, “Oh, fine. What the hell,” and grabbed a tin so I could split it three ways.

I honestly don’t know how I held off for this long, because the tin explodes in your face with delicious scent. I mean, if it tasted as strong as it smells it would be undrinkable because it would be like kool-aid on steroids, but scent-wise? Mmmmmmmmmmm.

I’m going to sound mildly repetitive here because Auggy and I had very similar drinking experiences with it, but I’ll try to deviate a bit. We all know I can deviate.

As a liquid, this smells rich. Rich like…thick cream rich. I also get strong whiffs of vanilla. And lying on top of all of that decadence is strawberry. Beautiful, beautiful strawberry, glistening above the warm and heavy aromas. Like Auggy, I was slightly hesitant to sip it right away. Part of me felt like nothing could possibly compare, but part of me also felt like if it truly tasted like this I wouldn’t be able to finish it because it would be so cloying.

Once it had cooled down enough for me to take a confident sip of it, I was pleasantly surprised. The vanilla wasn’t there. The creaminess was kind of present, but not overwhelming. Mainly what I got was berry. Specifically, strawberries – like when they’re not quite ripe. The strawberry taste was definitely strong, to the point that the tea almost felt like it was bleeding strawberries. And yet, it never reached the point of “too much.” It was sweet sometimes, but not obviously sweet, and more so when I sucked air in over everything. There was a distinct tartness that hit the back of my tongue as well, that sang of strawberries.

Most impressive to me was the mouth feel. It was thick, heavy, viscous, silky, and it made me feel like I was eating strawberries and cream. If there had been more creaminess in the taste, I certainly could have fooled myself into it.

And then, all of a sudden, the bomb went off. This tea blew up in a very good way. I’m not sure if it was because it had cooled to a magic point, or because Auggy mentioned that she was doing that silly looking slurping thing that people often do with wine and so I started doing it in earnest, but wow. It was like berry-palooza. It was like I had won the lottery, and they paid me in berries. It was like I was the queen and all of the townspeople were berries and I was drinking them. The only two I could pick out were blackberries [sweet, ripe ones] and strawberries, but there were more. It was more complex than that. The tea grew in sweetness, and the texture was making it all slide around very pleasantly, and I officially fell in love with Marco Polo.

I really, really wish I could give this a 100, but I know that the reason why I loved this so much today was because 1) I drank it out of my Sorapot [more on that in a forthcoming review – I’m logging this first] 2) I was really in the mood for a fruity tea and 3) I think drinking tea with someone else is always more enjoyable, even if you are both basically just typing “OH MY GOD WOW!” back and forth.

If this ends up being something that I find myself craving often, or could see myself drinking on any given day, it may reach that point, though. It’s pretty damn good. Never would have tried it if not for Steepster, too, so thanks Steepsterites!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Actually, I mentioned I was doing the dorky slurping method. Hehe.

teaplz

I have totally done that slurping before. And it turns heads. But it adds something special to the taste: air? I have no idea.

AHHHH. Now I want to try this one desperately, but it’s far too late! BOOOO. Perhaps tomorrow, loves.

takgoti

@Auggy An important adjective, indeed.

@teaplz Hah, me too, though usually it’s with wine. I do like to suck in air over my tea, but for whatever reason I never do it to quite the extent that I do with wine. Don’t know why. Clearly, I should do it more often!

Carolyn

There is a magic point in tea temperature or settling or something that causes that flavor explosion with this tea. I’ve had the same experience you did. (This is one of my morning go-to teas now.) I’ve also noted another odd experience with Marco Polo. There is a particular point at which the tea tastes suddenly like an alcoholic beverage with a slight bitter bite. But then that taste goes away. It’s an interesting tea.

takgoti

I’ll have to watch for the alcoholic beverage note. It’s very possible that I hit it, but was so taken by the flavor fireworks that I missed it. Happy to know you discovered that as well. I re-read your review and was pleased to see we had similar experiences, too. It’s always nice when perspectives match up every now and then. Makes me feel not so crazy.

Micah

The image that this review gives me is you gulping this tea like your ship is going down. I think the sentence that did it was “It was like I was the queen and all of the townspeople were berries and I was drinking them.”

Awesome…

Steepster should have chat rooms where we can all get together to drink the same tea and wax poetic about it.

SoccerMom

I love the part about how you won the lottery and they paid you in berries!!! LOL . I am going to Williams Sonoma tomorrow and pick this one up!!

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72
drank Orange Blossom by Rishi Tea
260 tasting notes

Hello! Welcome to a tea that Auggy sent me!

Right, so if you take Rishi’s Citron Oolong, and you take away the hint of lime that you get in that, and you replace it with a hint of orange, you would have this tea.

They’re cousins! Identical cousins!

I’m not going to copy the entire review I wrote on Citron Oolong, but to summarize – light, refreshing, citrusy, with a hint of Fruity Pebbles/Froot Loops. The flavor comes through more at the back of my tongue, and if I can suck in air over the liquid. Very similar to Adagio’s Citron Green, but not nearly as mouth drying, so I like it better for it.

I had been thinking about ordering some Citron Oolong, but I held off this time and I’m glad I did, because this tea also runs quite a bit cheaper [$14.75 for 4 oz. of Orange Blossom vs. $19.50]. Any differences between the two are so negligible to me that it can’t justify the near $5 difference. Bumping Citron Oolong down and having this one take its place.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

Can you taste the tea in this one?

takgoti

Not really. It’s a very light tea, but the citrus flavors really drown out anything else in there for me. I think I get just a hint of sweetness from the osmanthus flowers, but that’s it.

Auggy

Glad to be your Froot Loops provider!

Cofftea

That was my huge disappointment w/ citron oolong. I rehomed it, but was kinda wishing I had it while I was sick, would added some ginger and white tea to it. But to keep a tea that I’d only drink when I’m sick seemed kinda pointless and a waste.

S

Ooh, I’ve been dying to try this (I own far too many orange blossom perfumes). Sounds yummy!

teaplz

Yay for the Fruit Loops continuing! I’ll have to try the Auggy sample as well. :)

takgoti

@Auggy Thanks, Toucan Auggy!

@Cofftea I like that it’s refreshing. I’ll probably like it more during the summer, though. I like this one just a smidge better than the Citron Oolong, so I’ll probably end up ordering it instead.

@Shanti Hee, don’t expect a lot of flavor, though! Honestly, it’s really very light. [Somewhat related, I love perfumes with citrus notes in it.]

@teaplz Oooh, do it! I’m interested to see what you make of it.

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80
drank Keemun Rhapsody by Adagio Teas
260 tasting notes

Lena was lovely and sent me an entire sample tin full of this. I was really excited to give it a try, so I steeped some today.

I’m going to preface this by saying a couple of things. One, I am still adjusting to the fact that Jackee Muntz completely morphed on me from tasting like caramel sauce to tasting like what I guess keemun tastes like. Two, I’m not sure that keemun is a type of tea that is ever going to make my favorite black teas list. Three, this rating is completely liable to change.

Right. Now that that’s out of the way, this tea was decent. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great for me either. It tasted weaker to me than Jackee Muntz, which made me think that maybe I didn’t steep it for long enough, because the water was definitely at a rolling boil when I took it off the stove. Adagio recommends 5 minutes, but I was a little scared to let it sit that long, so next time I’ll try it at the full five.

I didn’t get any caramel notes from this, it was mainly lightly smoky with pine notes, maybe with some very subtle notes of cocoa. Reading the description now, I think I definitely need to let this steep longer. I didn’t get rich or sumptuous from it at all, and the supposed biscuit and fruity notes weren’t available to me on this cup.

I’m eager to try this again, because it looks like a relatively high quality tea, so I’ll probably give it another go tomorrow. Fingers are crossed! Good brain waves are being sent! C’mon, keemun!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Oh well! Better luck with a longer steep then! I think Keemun is a tea that just isn’t for everyone – the husband isn’t a fan at all and my mom’s made a face at it before. But I luf it lots.

takgoti

Yeah, I’d do it tonight, but I’m not in the mood for a heavy tea right now and I want to give it a fair shot. I think that I also really need to work on shifting my keemun expectations leftward [or something – just away from caramel] and then I can be happier about it.

East Side Rob

I’ve been sampling a slew of Keemuns lately (haven’t had time to log them all yet) and there’s a lot of variety from one Keemun to the next. Some are like unsweetened chocolate, but I’ve found too many of them to be too smoky, tarry, or tobacco-like.

takgoti

I haven’t tasted tobacco, thankfully, but the smokiness I’m can definitely taste. I don’t mind it, really [I’m one of the weirdos who likes Lapsang Souchong], but I’m hoping this becomes stronger tomorrow.

LENA

ok, well I’m glad you kind of liked it. keep tinkering. :)

Auggy

The good news is, it really won’t get bitter so it’s a hard one to oversteep.

takgoti

@LENA Will do! Gonna make some in a few minutes!

@Auggy Oh phew, thanks for that. I can steep easy now.

Auggy

groan

takgoti

I’M SORRY. IT COULD NOT BE HELPED.

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89
drank Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
260 tasting notes

Brewed it this morning.
Tasted floral and of corn.
Still quite delicious.

Brew it once, then stop.
Does not hold up to re-steep.
Well, for me at least.

I do not know why
This came out in a haiku.
Refrigerator.

Well, being honest, this is in homage to a shirt/hoodie Auggy found.
http://typetees.threadless.com/product/623/Haikus_Are_Easy_But_Sometimes
I wants it.

Anyhow, I ran out of what I had of this, but they had it in Williams Sonoma so I grabbed a tin. I find myself craving it somewhat often, so this is going to be a tea that I replenish for sure. I like it a lot. Giving it a ratings bump.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

Angrboda hearts this.
Haiku review is clever.
I fail at haiku.

Or something.

teaplz

Your posts are awesome
They make me feel warm inside
takgoti: tea god

takgoti

You all are lovely
Though I am no deity.
Haikus make me think.

Fred

I like this tea too. its crisp and sweet but not overpowering.

East Side Rob

Amazing to think how many different teas can come from the same ancient tea trees. http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/ancient-tree-tea/

Takgoti, the Golden Yunnan I’ve been raving about comes from the same leaves. Kinda cool if you think about it. (Although I’m not sure that if you don’t think about that would necessarily make it less cool, if you know what I mean.)

takgoti

@East Side Rob That kind of stuff still blows my mind a bit. I know of very few things that are so versatile.

LENA

that shirt is pretty sweet. i think i might need it too!

takgoti

I want so many of them. It is ridiculous.

gmathis

Few things amuse me
More than kindred minds that like
To tinker with words.

Sal—-OOT!

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97
drank Ryokucha by Samovar
260 tasting notes

My mom has made the same tea nearly every day for as long as I can remember – Good Earth’s Original Decaffeinated tea. I rarely see her deviate from it, and I’ve taken the I’m-not-gonna-force-you-guys-to-drink-something-else approach when it comes to my parents and their tea drinking.

Over the holidays, though, my brother came back and I made him a fair amount of tea and my mom got curious. It made me laugh, because it was like…when you offer a kid something and they’re not familiar with it so they say, “No thanks,” but then when they see everyone enjoying it they kind of sidle up and stand there, watching. You ask them again of they want something and they look sideways at you and say, “Yeah…maybe. I guess.” So when my mom told me, “You know…the next time you’re making tea could you make me a cup?” I tried to remain calm and just said, “Yeah, sure.”

After much deliberation, I decided on Ryokucha. I wanted to choose something that was different and full of flavor, and so I decided that this would do nicely, but I gave it to her with a caveat of, “This is going to be a little different, so…take your time with it.”

And “Hey Mikey, he likes it!” – when she was done, she came over and said, “It’s good! Kind of…earthy?” So my mom likes Ryokucha! I’d call that a hell of an endorsement. My opinion of it has not changed. Also, I hadn’t really ever noticed it until Auggy mentioned it in her reviews, but it IS really creamy, and I’ve really been enjoying that aspect of it lately. Actually, you know what? I think I’m going to give it a little ratings bump. I’ve had this…probably 5 out of 7 days for the past couple of months, so it’s earned it. She works hard for the money.

Cofftea

I wish I could get mom away from her instant sweetened iced tea. She very occasionally drinks a cup of hot tea (and even more rare that she asks me to make one if I’m not drinking some at the moment), but never wants me to make her any iced tea. It’s weird, she drinks iced instant sweetened black tea, but black tea is her least favorite tea hot and she very rarely sweetens her hot tea.

Angrboda

You’ve had more luck with your mother than I’ve had with mine then. I tried making her oolong once (and Tie Guan Yin to boot!) and she thought it was stinky and didn’t have much flavour. Stinky! My Tie Guan Yin, stinky! O.o My expensive teas are too good for her.

Ricky

Haha, my father’s into tea so that works for me. Except he responds with “good, bad, smooth.” Err he doesn’t like blends too much. He’s into his pu-erh and Ti Kuan Yin. My tea has no flavor to him =(, it’s so sad. My mother likes blends, but she still prefers pu-erh.

takgoti

@Cofftea It’s difficult to tempt creatures of habit away from their routines! I find that it’s a bit like being around animals in the wild – you must do so carefully and strategically. But even then, sometimes there’s nothing that can be done!

@Angrboda O noes! I’d probably get upset if I made Four Seasons for my parents and they blech’d at it. It’s probably why I haven’t done it yet.

@Ricky HAH! I’d totally be like, “…and?” Ah well, it’s still cool that they like loose leaf. My dad lives on Stash. But I figure that tea’s better for them than coffee, so I’m not complaining.

Cofftea

@takgoti- very true! Ignorant people just annoy me though… TOTALLY not calling your mom ignorant, mine is- in tea and pretty much everything else (especially pertaining to me) and she claims to know everything about me. My mom won’t touch matcha (she can’t get over the color), I wonder what your mom would think? I can see a (not necessarily yours) mom saying “it’s not proper to drink out of a bowl!”… Actually that sounds like something my mother would say… and I wouldn’t be fun to be around after that comment lol.

Auggy

Yay! Creamy!

Micah

I don’t think my mom has ever asked me to make her tea. I will occasionally make her a cup just for the heck of it but I don’t think I’ll ever pry her out of her box of Constant Comment or Red Rose dust. Oh well. She will, however, ask me to make tea for guests. So I suppose she has some appreciation for my tastes. Good to know.

My tea drinking habits have rubbed off on my father to some degree – much to my mother’s chagrin. I guess she doesn’t care if I spend a significant portion of my income on tea but, if it’s her and my father’s joint checking account, she’s tempted to put up a fuss.

… it’s fun to watch.

In any case! Another add on to my “order from Samovar” list. That list keeps getting bigger! I wish I lived in San Francisco because that tea room looks incredible!

takgoti

@Cofftea Heh, yeah. My mom’s pretty open to things [she and my dad love to travel] so I don’t think drinking something out of a bowl would faze her. But she’s so accustomed to her tea that I suffered a little shock when she asked me to make her something. To think that I might actually get her to start drinking loose leaf regularly is a small miracle. I’m trying not to hold my breath.

@Micah This was the very first time and it took a good two years for it to happen, so maybe there’s hope? It’s kind of flattering she asks you to make some for guests, though. And Samovar’s tea rooms are wonderful! The only location I haven’t visited is the Mission-Castro one. Hopefully I’ll be able to knock that one off the next I’m out there.

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98
drank Masala Chai by Samovar
260 tasting notes

I am really hyper right now. I don’t know if you can’t tell from the ridiculous commentary I just bombed Steepster with, but I went with the family to go to see Young Frankenstein at the Kennedy Center tonight [decent show, some funny moments but not stellar] and I’ve got plans to go shopping tomorrow and I’ve had more tea than usual today [which means a pretty crazy amount] so I’m bouncing off the walls at 2:45 in the morning.

My brother wanted in on a saucepan of this, so I made one earlier today and we fell asleep on the couch watching TV this afternoon while drinking it. This last one was with 2% but I’ve made it with whole milk [decadent] and soy milk [delightful] before, too. He gave it a thumbs up, and our mom kept stealing sips from our cups, so apparently she liked it, too. This last batch also means I’m out of it [I absolutely flew through this tin and it was a large one, too], but luckily it’s in stock so it’s going on the order this week.

It’s so smooth and creamy and it almost takes on this lovely caramel quality on certain sips. It’s spicy and sweet, and just…oh, I can’t even put it into adequate words. From the process of making it to the taste, it’s just comfort and warmth and homey and delicious. It’s watching House reruns and falling asleep on the couch with your brother under a throw blanket in front of the Christmas tree while your mom sneaks off with your cups to finish them off.

teaplz

Chai is pretty much amazing. I can’t wait to try the sample of this one you sent me!

… and I just looked at my cupboard. 116 teas. WHAT.

Ricky

Haha, I wake up and my email is flooded with X commented on Y’s post. Actually make that takgoti commented on Y’s post :P.

Reading this reminded me that not all chai tastes horrible and I can probably tolerate it better if I add milk.

Micah

This chai looks great! I have to add it to my “order from Samovar” list.

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68

This is the last of the teas I took notes on while I was in the throes of academia. It is another one of the teas Carolyn sent me, and though I was afraid I might jinx myself by prematurely drinking a celebration tea before the semester was actually over, it was too pretty to put off trying it any longer.

This cup is pleasant. It’s smooth, and it’s not too strong, which I was a little afraid it might be when I looked at the ingredient list. I was half expecting a fireworks of exploding flavors [much like the tea is a fireworks of exploding colors], that would perhaps result in a great clashing and clanging with much dissonance on my tongue, but I was surprised to discover that this wasn’t the case. It all melded together. I’m still trying to decide whether or not I was disappointed by that, even more than a week later.

I wasn’t really able to pick anything out of the cornucopia of components, except for a black tea flavor with the slightest hint of maltiness to it, and a tangy fruity flavor. The maltiness makes sense because the description says this contains assam. The fruit flavor slightly reminded of the dreaded hibiscus, if I’m being honest, but only slightly. Probably I wasn’t paying full attention, what with trying to watch a physics video and jot down thoughts on the tea at the same time. [In fact, I have a formula written on the page here that I think is for the escape velocity from Earth. Wow. Guess I retained something after all.] It also had a kind of spiciness to it. Nothing overwhelming, but enough to give it a nice kick.

Luckily, Carolyn was very generous with the quantity of tea sent to me [again, I must thank you, Carolyn] so I definitely have enough to be able to sit down and really soak this one in. Maybe play around with temperature and steep time a little bit. I might have had this a little cooler than it should have been. The rating on this tea is very likely to change, but then again, I’m constantly shuffling all my ratings around anyway, so this point is likely unnecessary.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Former coffeeist, turned teaite. Lover of writing, reading, photography, and music. Traveler of life. Known to be ridiculous on occasion.

Location

Virginia, USA

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http://takgoti.tumblr.com

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