3125 Tasting Notes

98

Additional notes: I noticed Bird & Blend randomly blurbed me today in their e-mail about this very blend, so I just had to steep some up on this chilly day. Seemed perfect timing anyway! I probably would have reached for it regardless. :D

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82

This seemed like a unique blend I didn’t mind trying from the sale (and still available on their VIP page).  For some, this might be a mix of many ingredients that people aren’t usually gravitating towards: rooibos, smoky lapsang black tea, pu-erh, mint and chili!  To me, it’s just balanced enough for the flavors to really shine together.  I was curious what the mix of bases are and it looks at least 60-70% rooibos.  So it’s a bit difficult to tell what the caffeine level is here with some lapsang souchong and pu-erh leaves mixed in.  But I love the flavor – balanced between a bit of smoke, sweet creamy mint (I love B&B’s mint), and really not too much chili.  The color of the brew looked more like rooibos scarlet than a black tea or pu-erh tea.  I like this though I would have liked less rooibos.
Steep #1  // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled //  4 minute steep

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85

This one is from Ost a while ago now.  Thanks, Ost!  Sadly has a ‘drink by 2016’ on the bag, but we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve had this a few times and think it’s best at this point with two teaspoons.  The leaves are large with only hints of the namesake gold.   The flavor most reminds me of a Fujian black and then forgot that this IS a Fujian tea (face smack)— cocoa powder with a hint of smoke but also something that can remind me of lychee (so not really that much of a Fujian black in flavor, I don’t normally get lychee with those). The second cup is more sour plum and rye bread, so the change is interesting.  A malty, rustic tea, seems aged somehow (and I don’t mean from 2016) that seems perfect for this time of year.  I liked how I steeped this, note to self.  This seems to be holding up with age, but these poor What-cha teas certainly deserve better.  I just checked and luckily other than this tea, it’s just some small What-cha oolong samples that comprise the What-cha part of my collection.  I like samples.  Samples are good.
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled //  3 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 72 AprTea -Fenghuang Dancong Oolong Tea Honey Rhyme Mellow Grade One

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80
drank French Vanilla by Simpson & Vail
3125 tasting notes

I think I must have ordered this a while ago, but the flavor seems like it’s holding up anyway.  I’m always searching for that perfect vanilla tea.  The description says the base tea is from China and Sri Lanka.  To me, it tastes like Ceylon, for some reason especially on the first sips I can taste distinct notes of the black tea but then the flavoring tends to take over and hide the black tea.  (Or since it’s from China it might be S&V’s China black I don’t really like that also tastes like Ceylon to me?) I kept trying this with one teaspoon, and I didn’t prefer it that way — then I tried it with two teaspoons and that was plenty more flavor while also not being too astringent.  The resteep is also fairly flavorful. I’m also not sure how this is different from S&V’s “Vanilla black”.  What makes French vanilla different?  Not sure. But I haven’t tried their “Vanilla black” blend, so I can’t say.   This still isn’t my ideal vanilla flavor (what is, at this point?) and there is no actual vanilla pieces here, but I’m glad the flavoring is lasting this long.   And I can actually tell the flavor is actually aiming for vanilla with two teaspoons, when sometimes with other vanilla teas, I can’t even tell.
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled //  3 1/2 minute steep

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82
drank 2017 Sunday Special by White2Tea
3125 tasting notes

From Meowster!  Thanks so much – started these steeps Sunday, finished yesterday. Steepster is finally allowing me to post about this today. I haven’t tried nearly as many W2T as I would like to try.  Meowster kindly weighed the sample – 4.5 grams.  The flavor is hard to pick apart.  Maybe I’m losing my taster for pu-erh like I am for oolong.  The four mugs were very consistent, though the first steep was distinctly like coffee somehow.  This one would be excellent to use as a coffee inspired flavored blend anyway.  Otherwise, the flavor was always smooth, sweet and very inoffensive with a scarlet tint to the brew.  This was great, but after the wonder that was 2016 Poundcake and this being W2T, I thought it would be even more special than it was.  It looks like the handful of steepster notes agree – nothing too special about this one but ALWAYS appreciative of trying any tea!
Steep #1  // 4.5 grams for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling  //  rinse// 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 12 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #4 // just boiled //10 min
2020 Sipdowns: 71

Flavors: Coffee

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81
drank Matcha Blueberry by tipson
3125 tasting notes

From the last teabox! One of those fun teabox finds — I’d never heard of this. I thought this was blueberry flavored matcha in a teabag but it is mostly small bits of green tea in the teabag. I’d say it surprisingly tasted like matcha anyway, with enough wisping around in the mug. It ALSO tasted of blueberry, so that’s nice. Sometimes it’s important just to note that a tea is actually tasting like it’s supposed to. I liked it!

Martin Bednář

Was your tea bag fresher? Or what was wrong with my cuppa? I am glad anyway that you liked it :)

tea-sipper

Yeah, I saw your note, Martin! I have no idea how fresh this was, as it was from a travelling teabox. I noticed you steeped yours for 3 1/2 minutes, and I like to steep much shorter on the greens. So that probably can make the difference. :D

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82

Thank you so much for passing this along, derk!  derk wasn’t thrilled with this one and we had a swap we were building, so I requested this one.  I love these types of pu-erh that look like a candy bar that you break a piece from.  This one just happened to have lilies in it.  By the time the fourth steep had unraveled in the basket, there was an entire big lily blossom floating at the top, not to mention the smaller petals throughout.  Wow!  It’s amazing how tea unravels sometimes.  The flavor was very consistent throughout all four steeps.  A very dark shu — I couldn’t really taste anything floral per se, but the pu-erh is very delicious on it’s own.  The main note being starchy and bakey like a good rye bread.  Nothing offensive here at all. But also not terribly distinct.  I do like how dark it is though! Now that it’s cooler weather… let the great chai avalanche commence!
Steep #1  // 1 square for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling  // rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 18 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 5 min steep
Steep #4 // just boiled // 11 min steep

ashmanra

Tea-sipper: Speaking of chai avalanche – Cuppageek has released a TON of chai blends, and a lot of the blends benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital where her son is being treated. I should have them in my hands in just a few days, so I will try to get some notes posted quickly!

tea-sipper

Oh cool, I’m looking forward to your notes on all of those!

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62

From StarFevre! An entire pouch – thank you! (From Frank’s 52Teas days.) I’ve had this a few times and this will be a quick note, because though it is older than the hills this tea that should taste like cucumber and mango (and even has mango cubes!) now somehow tastes like LIME?!?! I’m not sure how that happened, as it is obviously stored properly in the original pouch. Mango and cucumber is leagues away on the flavor spectrum than lime. hmm. For a lime tea, it’s fine but certainly not as delicious as a 52teas blend that is intentionally lime. Nothing to blame but age here. But the description says this was inspired by salsa, so maybe the lime is the only flavor remaining.

Mastress Alita

I can see that happening, if there is lime flavoring in there! I was using up some coconut matcha recently and making “Lime in the Coconut” smoothies with a mango base, but after putting in the lime juice, that was the only flavor left in that smoothie. I couldn’t taste the mango at all.

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98

Additional notes: Can finally post a note after a day of 404 errors. This is the saddest sipdown. It was one of my favorite traveling teabox finds of all time because personally I would never go out of my way to buy a tomato tea ( I hate tomatoes like Mastress Alita hates bananas but apparently not quite to that level, because I tried this), but I’m totally fine with finding odd blends in a teabox that I might not usually reach for. I got these few teaspoons to last quite a while! This was fantastic every time I steeped it up. Maybe it’s the smaller last dregs of the pouch that made a difference but this was so wonderfully flavorful and pizza pizza pizza. I didn’t want this tea to last past this summer, so into the steeping basket it went. I’m glad it was enjoyable to the last drop. A perfect blend I would love to see again!
2020 Sipdowns: 69

Martin Bednář

Weird blend, but I would try that for sure!

Mastress Alita

My banana aversion is at unreasonable levels (I retch if someone else eats one in front of me, so tasting anything banana — even that “fake” banana used in candy, is right out). I’m not like that with any other food though, and there are plenty others I don’t like…

I think a dislike of tomato is more common (or at least I know more people who dislike it). The only thing I can’t handle with tomatos is tomato sauce because I have a “mushy texture” problem (so it isn’t the taste, but the texture of the sauce sets off my gag reflex… that is the case with me and lots of foods). I know I had one tea once that was a mix of dried tomato, cucumber, and fruits, and it was wonderful! (Still miss that tea) so I bet I’d like this! I actually cook my ramen in various teas (cause the flavor packets that come with have MSG, one of my migraine triggers) and this sounds like it would make a delightful ramen broth…

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84

Additional notes:  I had to snag a pouch of this old favorite during the sale!  I’m surprised they still had this available, as I think they discontinued it a while ago.  Though I haven’t had a new harvest in a while, I can tell this is vastly different from what I remember.  In the harvest from a few years ago, I could taste more guayusa and definitely more cola flavor. I wouldn’t even guess this had any cola flavor.  Now it’s very tart lime and very one noted.  Ah well, glad to have fresh guayusa anyway.

Dustin

There is a Theodor tea with dragonfruit that tastes surprisingly cola like! Can’t recall the name of it right now. :/

Mastress Alita

I love pop/soda/cola teas and there were only samplers of this left by the time I hit the B&B sale (this person is no “up at 1 and 2 am type”) but at least I have that much to try. A little sad to hear it doesn’t have much of that flavor, though.

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Bio

Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite tea shops (still operating):
birdandblendtea.com
teavivre.com
52teas.com
svtea.com
teakruthi.com
harney.com
angrytearoom.com
Dammann Freres
Yunnan Sourcing
fusionteas.com
AprTea.com
Javateaco.com
Lupicia
Plumdeluxe.com
Octaviatea.com
Davidstea
eco-cha.com
what-cha.com
justea.com
singleoriginteas.com
teasenz.com
tealyra.com
whisperingpinestea.com
Mandala
verdanttea.com
thenecessiteas.com

Favorite tea shops (RIP):
butikiteas.com
steapshoppe.com
steepcityteas.com
aquartertotea.com
dellaterrateas.com
zentealife.com
theteamerchant.net
joysteaspoon.com
tealiciousllc.com
Rivertea
Specialteas

My icon photo is Richard Mayhew from the graphic novel ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey & Glenn Fabry.

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! Many of my teas have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), turmeric, bee pollen, charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites – cupboard essential
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
50-65 – Okay
1-50 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. (Or as evidenced by the great computer hiatus of 2019, something happened to my computer.) :D

Happy sipping!

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USA

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