216 Tasting Notes

drank Irish Breakfast by Custom
216 tasting notes

I bought this from my favorite café in all of Baton Rouge when I was down visiting this summer… and I have no idea from where they source their tea. Sorry, unknown company!

I’m reviewing this but not rating because I had a rather different experience this time, because of an experiment I decided to try. A bit of explanation first: my sister came to stay for a couple of days, and while she was here she expressed an interest in having some flavored coffee. Not wanting to see her spend $$ at Starbuck’s (or, as Dave Ramsay calls them, Five Bucks), I agreed to pick up some flavored coffee creamer at the store we were headed to. She flew home yesterday, and now we have an enormous bottle of flavored coffee creamer (something we don’t normally keep stocked). So I was looking at it this morning and decided to try some in tea—specifically, this tea, since I thought it likely that the flavor would be strong enough to not be overpowered by the French Vanilla flavor. And I think I like the result.

It definitely has a different mouthfeel than normal (I discovered that the creamer my sister selected was non-dairy, which I would probably have objected to had I known, but it wasn’t marked very clearly on the bottle, and it was in the refrigerated section…). It’s a bit oily, surprise surprise, but I don’t find it unpleasant. The flavor is definitely on the astringent side, because again, the creamer was non-dairy, so there was nothing to cut the bitterness. However, the creamer did add some sweetness and smoothness that isn’t normally there, so one could almost call it a fair trade. I enjoyed it, and will probably do it again. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81
drank Earl Grey by Bigelow
216 tasting notes

Backlog. Had this one yesterday early evening, after a LONG day at the zoo, in which we got completely drenched in a summer shower. So, after getting home and getting in some dry clothes, I reached for what I hoped would be a comforting pick-me-up. This tea, while not the tastiest Earl Grey I’ve ever had, certainly did the job. There was a hint of vanilla somewhere in there, though there shouldn’t have been, but it made it interesting nonetheless. I would drink this tea again, but won’t buy it to have in stock.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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72
drank Four Red Fruits by Twinings
216 tasting notes

Backlog.

I pulled out a bag of this a few days ago, because I wanted some caffeine and I wasn’t in the mood for something tart. I was afraid the water was too hot, but it was actually quite pleasant to drink. Definitely tart, though I couldn’t really pick out any individual fruit flavors, except maybe raspberry. Overall, I enjoyed it, but not enough to crave it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95
drank Oolong Peach by Two Guys' Tea
216 tasting notes

Backlog.

This tea tastes a lot like what I imagine a peach Bellini would taste like—very peachy, slightly effervescent, slightly tangy, almost bitter but not quite. I’m really enjoying it! I had mine unsweetened; hubby had his with honey. I snuck a sip of his before I brought it to him, just to see (shh, don’t tell), and I actually think I like it better without sweetening (I know, how crazy is that??). I will give it another go, just to be sure, but I’m not gonna experiment too much. If it ain’t broke… :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95
drank Oolong Peach by Two Guys' Tea
216 tasting notes

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86

Breakfast today~

One day I will be brave enough to steep this for a full five minutes. It’s light enough (probably because I steeped it at the recommended temp this time) that I think I could handle it. Anyway, it’s robust in flavor without hitting your palate like a falling piano. Good way to start the day!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98

I got this tea as a sample with my order. I steeped it up to have with breakfast this morning (pancakes and syrup with strawberries, yum). It’s not really a breakfasty tea, but whatever. The loose leaf smelled pretty non-descript, and the brew smelled like a light-bodied black, perhaps like a Keemun or Darjeeling. My first sip was surprisingly sweet; I got a big hit of honey flavor, followed by some very mellow malt and a slight hint of bread. I think the reason it is so light in flavor for me is possibly because I didn’t quite have two teaspoons worth, but I steeped it in my 16-oz. perfect Teamaker anyway… I tried to not fill it all the way to compensate, but I guess it must not have worked, unless this tea is just meant to be light—a quality about which I am not complaining, though, since I do love a good easygoing black tea! Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for a strong cuppa. The honey flavor is really complementing these pancakes beautifully, too. I may just have to buy some of this!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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drank Cloud Catcher by ESP Emporium
216 tasting notes

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100

My husband chose this as his free sample to take home after we visited this café for afternoon tea (free single-estate first flush Darjeeling, whaaaaat?). This pouch has got to be a whole ounce, at least. What a steal!

Anyway, we steeped it up this morning with breakfast (I know, it’s not really a breakfast tea, but we just couldn’t wait any longer to try it). The leaf is quite green, and smells of hay, with notes of honeysuckle and cedar, or maybe oak. Unfortunately, it got a teeeensy bit oversteeped, but the cup was still wonderfully light and refreshing. I’ve heard that adding lemon to Darjeeling is a common practice—anyone here care to weigh in on that? I don’t usually add lemon to hot tea, but I’d be willing to try it! This sample will last us a little while, so there’s time for experimentation. I’m quite impressed with this tea. It was quite floral and light, so that even the slight over steeping didn’t take away much of my enjoyment. Lovely.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97

I bought this tea for two reasons: I wanted to support the company’s efforts (in a somewhat indirect way) to do their part to help rebuild Nepal, as they have pledged to do with their profits for the next year, and I wanted to try the tea that won the North American Tea Championship in 2014 in the black tea category. The reviews looked very promising, so I went ahead an ordered the 1.6-oz. package. The tea is very reminiscent of a Yunnan golden tips, but with a slight smoky/bitter edge to it, somewhat reminiscent of the flavor of a pecan, or like a single leaf of lapsang souchong snuck its way into the steeper. It’s deeply malty, but also smooth, like someone took my favorite beer and made it into a tea. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although next time I might try steeping it for less time, just to see. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite, but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3

Location

Colorado, USA

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