672 Tasting Notes

83

I feel a cold coming… Not full-blown sick yet, but definitely dealing with post-nasal drip and general feeling of being run-down. I expected this, honestly. It’s getting colder out, and I need to face the reality that windows need to be shut, heat needs to be turned on, socks need to be worn at all times, and jackets and pullovers need to be worn outdoors. Doesn’t help that my sleep has also been horrendous for weeks. I’m hoping this tea will help me fight off the impending blahs, if not nip them in the bud altogether.
Ginger is one of my favorite flavors ever, and ginger-turmeric teas help with congestion, joint pain, and inflammation. YES PLEASE.
I like the brothy mouthfeel and just general warming, autumnal effect that this blend of spices and roots has.

Flavors: Broth, Ginger, Licorice, Rose, Spices, Spicy, Sweet

gmathis

Got zinc and vitamin C lozenges? I’m a fan!

teaqueen

@gmathis Ooooo, those are both great ideas. I will add those to my shopping list for this week :)

Mastress Alita

Ginger is my go-to for my bad IBS symptoms, it really calms my GI down! When I feel a cold coming on, I love a 50/50 blend of hibi and ginger (I know, I know, everyone else isn’t a fan of hibi, but I like it!) as the hibi is full of Vitamin C and the ginger is soothing on the throat.

gmathis

The trick with the lozenges, as far as my experience goes, is that they work best when you start pumping them at the first hint of a thought of a tickle…almost before you realize that you think you might be under the weather! A preemptive strike, if you will.

tea-sipper

Oh lord no.. 50/50 hibiscus and ginger?!?!

teaqueen

Half hibi, half ginger… that definitely packs a healthy punch if you can handle it! More power to you XD XD XD

Mastress Alita

I like all the things notoriously hated on Steepster. :-P

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74
drank PG Tips by PG Tips
672 tasting notes

A classic, easy go-to. One of the best bagged black teas commercially available. Prepared as builder’s tea.
This box of bags is very old, and I was apparently storing it next to something flowery, as it came out weak in flavor with a weird floral/ soapy note that is foreign to this blend. Have chucked the last of the unused bags and will re-stock when I get to the store next.

gmathis

On my never-let-it-run-out pantry list.

Leafhopper

I used to drink PG Tips before I got into loose-leaf tea, and I agree that it’s among the best bagged teas out there. Much better than Lipton!

teaqueen

@gmathis and @Leafhopper— yes! It’s great to keep on hand for rushed days and for blah, low-effort days. It’s a solid workhorse of a tea.

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70

Horrible. Tastes like what Lemon Pledge smells like. I definitely oversteeped it though, so that’s probably why it came out so awful. I don’t remember it being this undrinkable the last time I made it. For that reason alone, I will hold off on changing my rating.

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89
drank Chinese Orchard by Tazo
672 tasting notes

I love this one. The flavors are so delicate and just really delightful. Low-maintenance to make, and pretty to look at in the mesh sachet. A gem in the Tazo (aka Starbucks) empire.

Flavors: Floral, Licorice, Lychee, Sweet

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85
drank Black Assam by Mana Organics
672 tasting notes

I don’t have much else to add about this that other reviewers haven’t already said— it’s a nice, mild, non-astringent, honey-tasting Assam. It makes for a very pleasant, mild first-thing cuppa, on those days where you want to ease into your morning. I don’t get caffeine jitters from it either, which is also nice. The second steep is just as good as the first. Like someone else mentioned, I wouldn’t add any sweetener or milk/ dairy-free milk products to it, as it is mild enough on its own and might not hold up to either well. It’s not mind-blowing or restock-worthy, but it’s completely agreeable and inoffensive, and I’m glad I got to try it!

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Got this for free at my local grocery store with a promotional coupon, so I figured, why not? I drank it yesterday, so this is a backlogged note.
I’ll preface this review by admitting that this is not the kind of oolong I prefer— I like oolongs that lean more toward the black tea side than the green tea side. And the list of ingredients says that this is a blend of green and white tea. But, again, it was free.
I poured it into a glass over ice. The colder it got, the better it tasted. It has a mild flavor, slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall, a fairly weak blend. I suspect it’s under-leafed during the manufacturing process. Still, it’s not bad as far as premade bottled options go; it’ll do in a pinch or during a road trip. I did appreciate that it wasn’t loaded down with 40 grams of sugar like many other commercial bottled iced teas.

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80
drank 2018 Waffles by White2Tea
672 tasting notes

Backlogged from Friday, because Steepster had the latency of a baked potato and I got aggravated with it.
This Waffles cake is another one that I dug out of my cabinet and decided to try again. I brewed it Western style in my Kati.
White2Tea probably named it Waffles because the cake physically looks like a waffle. It was pressed with a cross-section pattern to make it easier to break into quarters. I don’t think it’s actually supposed to be waffle-flavored. I get no notes of maple, butter, fruit, or waffle batter.
I agree with other reviewers that the first steep has a wet earth-fishy-peaty smell, which then wanders off into caramel and vanilla-land as the liquor cools, somehow. You can tell by the list of flavor notes people have tagged this one with that it’s a bit of an adventure and hard to pin down. It’s complex, it’s fun, it’s fermented, it’s pu’erh. If this one had an astrological sign, I’d say it’s definitely a Gemini because of its duality and refusal to be labelled with either one flavor profile or the other.
You have to be in the mood for it and be open to the journey, is all I will say. Tune up your tastebuds and bring your sense of humor.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Decayed wood, Fishy, Peat, Vanilla, Wet Earth

tea-sipper

Yep, trying to post some tasting notes and it JUST ISN’T opening tea pages again. sigh.

tea-sipper

Also, it seems like many posts are for W2T lately! Or maybe it just seems that way because I’m trying to post about a W2T.

Mastress Alita

tea-sipper, I think it’s because those are teas with lots of reviews on them, which causes the page to simply time out instead of loading, as opposed to a tea page that has only a handful of reviews. It took me weeks once to finally get into the Random Steepings entry, which has over 1k tasting notes on it; it would 404 every single time, even if I tried in the middle of the night when (supposedly) there would be hardly anyone using the site.

tea-sipper

Didn’t think of that, Mastress Alita! However, it seems to be every single tea with 404s at times.

Mastress Alita

Yes, I’ve definitely run into the “every single tea” issue as well. And it is quite annoying.

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90

I didn’t love this zhu cha first time I tried it, but this time was much better. I let it steep a few minutes longer and drank it straight. I could smell hay when the water hit the leaf, and then on the sip, I’m getting a slight metallic note, which mellows out into raisin, honey, and the same kind of mineral-y finish that good spring water has in the aftertaste. It’s very smooth and full-bodied. Really enjoyable.
Upping my rating.

Flavors: Hay, Honey, Metallic, Mineral, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

I love a black tea with honey flavours.

teaqueen

Same! :)

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100
drank Honeybush by Rooibos Rocks
672 tasting notes

This was some AMAZING tea. I didn’t even know that honeybush could taste this good… My prior experience with it has been meh at best. This smelled heavenly, was packed full of flavor, and lifted my spirits tremendously. It’s like rooibos, but naturally honey flavored and a bit smoother. Sweet without being sugary or cloying, and really delicious. I’m usually on the fence about red tea in general, but this one is definitely a keeper.

Flavors: Honey, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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72
drank Shui Xian by Made Of Tea
672 tasting notes

This one was just OK for me. It’s a pretty straightforward oolong (haha, words I never thought I’d say…). But it kind of is. Ticks all the boxes for what you’d expect in an oolong, but in a generic, lackluster kind of way. The leaves are broken up, so it’s not really pretty to look at while it steeps, and I didn’t feel compelled to bother with using spring water and the gaiwan. I just brewed it in my Kati, Western-style, with plain tap water.
The dry leaf smelled good when I opened the packet, like roasted roots. The liquor tastes like standard oolong. Roasted, earthy, mineral-y, with a faint cocoa note, etc., etc.
It’s fine. Just not particularly memorable.

Flavors: Cocoa, Mineral, Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

Hello! 28, female, American. A total hopeless bookworm— I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in English. I also love dogs, all things that are colored purple, and sarcasm. I work in the Information Technology field at present.

I’m not a swapper, but I hope we can still be friends :)

Favorite tea types: Black, pu’erh, oolong, kombucha, genmaicha, matcha, rooibos, honeybush (recent change of heart there), and floral greens.

Favorite flavor notes: Roasted, fermented, earthy, floral, nutty, bread-y, umami; dessert-inspired flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and maple.

I’m very picky about chai and spice/ spicy blends as well as fruit-flavored teas; they really need to be done right, IMHO. I’m iffy about mate and herbal teas, although there are a few that I enjoy (roasted dandelion root, chamomile).

Flat-out dislike: White tea, most unflavored green teas, hibiscus in high quantities, plain peppermint.

90-100: Perfection and heaven and magic, all in one cup.

70-89: Good.

50-69: Meh.

49 and below: Blerg.

Location

United States

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