254 Tasting Notes

80

Oh, this is so much better! After the abysmal fail with the Adagio Pumpkin Spice this morning, I needed something to sooth my poor, abused tastebuds.

I added two teabags to my 16oz infuser mug, 4tsp of raw sugar (I have a horrible sweet tooth!), and steeped it for three minutes. Mmm.

While the fresh teabag didn’t smell much like pumpkin, the flavor really comes out here in the steeped tea. This is like drinking pumpkin spice bread, where the cook hit just the right spice balance: enough to leave a tingle on your tongue, but not so much as to let any one spice overwhelm.

Actually, I think I might use a bag to infuse butter for the pancakes I’m making. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Update: If you’re curious at all, here’s how the pancakes turned out!
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2013/12/sweet-harvest-pumpkin-by-celestial.html

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

What an idea! (Now…do I have any waffles in the freezer….?)

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35
drank Pumpkin Spice by Adagio Teas
254 tasting notes

Wow… this is pretty bad. When I opened the sample, my nose was assaulted with bitter, sharply sweet notes of what I think was supposed to be pumpkin. But it was like no squash I’d ever smelled.

That note, which tastes and smells pretty artificial, is overwhelming the whole cup. I can’t pick out any of the spices I normally associate with pumpkin pie. The absolute best thing I can say about this tea is that it’s warm on a cold morning. That’s it.

I keep adding the Adagio teas to my list because their samples are so inexpensive, but I think I should just save my money for more expensive, higher-quality teas.

Not an experience I would care to repeat.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This poor, poor tea. It didn’t deserve what I did to it this weekend. I tried so many different ways to heat water during our 36-hour power outage, but getting water hot enough to properly steep it just wasn’t in the cards.

The closest we came to a proper cup was when I stuffed extra tea lights into my teapot warmer, but even then it would only be lukewarm once it did everything it could do to steep.

I did manage to get a little crafty, but alas, without tea:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2013/12/beaded-tea-infusers.html

gmathis

We did 8 days without power some years ago, courtesy of a wicked ice storm; one of the coldest and most miserable weeks I can remember. We grilled soup. The first real cuppa when the lights came back on was heavenly.

wheezybee

Yeah… a miserable time. Sorry you had to go through that, but glad to hear you made it through okay. Like you, I’m delighted it’s over! I’m very, very grateful that we’re back up. There are still something like 130,000 customers still without power down here. It’s funny… we roughed it more in Dallas than I did living in Alaska!

Nicole

Cute addition to a tea infuser!

wheezybee

Thank you!

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85
drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
254 tasting notes

For those of you keeping up with the news, we were one of the 250,000 homes in North Texas without power this weekend. It was off for nearly 36 hours, and things got pretty chilly. The thermostat was completely off the scale. We got stuck heading out for emergency supplies, and had to go to the local supermarket instead. Let’s just say that the little fireplace “logs” they sell can’t heat up anything… much less enough for a good cuppa!

I managed to get some tepid water going with a teapot warmer and a tetsubin, but by the time the oolong I grabbed would steep, the water was just a little warmer than I was!

As soon as the power came back on I wanted something quick, something bracing, and something delightfully hot. This was at the front of the cabinet, so it was elected.

The best cup I’ve had all weekend!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

it is so ennoying to spend a day without power, sure you’ll enjpy more your cups just after that

wheezybee

Yes, a whole new appreciation!

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95

My 200th Tasting Note!

This is my last sipdown of the evening, and I am very, very sorry to see this go! I received a sample of the Laoshan Black with my last order, and mixed them 1:1 at something like 1-1/4tsp each in my 16oz mug.

Ohhh…

Forget the sipdown. This is going on the shopping list. The chocolate maltiness of the Laoshan Black is just dancing with the Eight Treasures Yabao in the cup, and making something new and graceful.

Now, I adore their Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black blend, but this may actually give it a run for its money. I might actually, dare I say it, like it a little better because it has even more layers and a balance I just couldn’t anticipate when I dumped the blend in the cup.

I had more plans this evening, of other things I wanted to do, to organize, or to clean, but they’re sliding from my mind like clouds burnt off by the sun. Mmm…

Totally going on the shopping list.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
BrewTEAlly Sweet

This is definitely one of my top favs from verdant. I used to cold steep it on its own. But love adding laoshan black too!!!

OMGsrsly

Ooh, I’m going to have to try mixing this with the Imperial Breakfast blend. Thanks for the idea. :)

wheezybee

I haven’t tried that one yet… more for the shopping list! ;)

OMGsrsly

LOL. It’s about as much Laoshan Black as I can handle. Definitely not my favourite tea flavour, but I find it does well in blends.

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70

Sipdown! This came as one of the free samples in our most recent order. We finally got around to trying this little oddity, and it definitely lives up to the new name. I was hoping for more coconut, but this really is all creamy mint. I’m not in love with it, but I do love the idea that while we found enjoyment in it, there’s one less little tea scrap in the cupboard. Yay!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Amaretto by DAVIDsTEA
254 tasting notes

This was one of the last teas from the swap with Aimee Popovacki that I had yet to try. Once Jake gets home and I steep the cup I’ve prepared for him, this will be a sipdown as well.

And I’m kind of sad about that, as this smells amazing! I am a bit of an almond nut, and adore using almond extract in things like almond poppyseed cookies and scones and the like. Since I split the sample in half, I didn’t strictly follow the steeping guidelines and just kind of winged it. As such, while the aroma is heavenly the flavor is a little lighter than I would like, and it doesn’t have much staying power after the first wave of almond… it just kinds of dissipates on the tongue.

Should I get this one in the future, I think I’ll use a little more of the dry blend. But for now, that’s one less thing in my cupboard!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
254 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m trying to bring order to my tea stash (how did this happen?!) and trying to work my way through some of the smaller quantities. The school storm closure gave me an unexpected three-day weekend… and I LOVE organizing things! I think it’s a sickness… but in a good way.

But I will miss this tea. I picked it up on a lark in one of their Try-Me sets, and didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. It’s chocolately and creamy, and makes me want to drag someone out camping.

Maybe once order has been restored and chaos brought to bear then I will be able to order some more… but not now!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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70
drank DUPLICATE by DAVIDsTEA
254 tasting notes

This tea needs a name change, STAT!

It really, really tastes like pineapple upside down cake, and doesn’t have any of the cinnamon-sugar gooey and crunchy goodness I’m used to in a coffee cake. This is much more caramelized pineapple and yellow cake than anything that cinnamon-sweet.

I don’t know if it’s a regional thing, but this really doesn’t speak to me with that title.

You can read the whole review here:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2013/12/coffee-cake-by-davidstea.html

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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60
drank French Toast by 52teas
254 tasting notes

I let my husband pick the tea this morning, and he felt this one was the most appropriate for breakfast time. Here’s what we did:

Teaware: 16oz travel mug
Measured dry: 2tsp
Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 4min
Additives 4tsp raw sugar

This nearly exhausted our sample, but should I have the opportunity to make this one up again, I think I’ll use 1-1/2tsp per serving and possibly increase the steep time. It’s a little weak this morning.

I’m getting hints of the french toast flavors, with its vanilla and eggy notes, as well as a slight maple syrup quality, but nothing is standing out firmly… not even the base. It’s weak and rather lackluster.

When I use up the rest of the sample, hopefully the things I learned here (about what not to do) will come in handy and I can make up an enjoyable tea with this blend. Fingers crossed.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Feel free to browse my cupboard if you’re interested in swapping, but all the mate and pu-erh in our household is my husband’s.

For swapping purposes, please note the apple allergy. Thank you!

I tried to limit my cupboard to teas that were 1oz or larger, but that was a gorgeous failure in terms of swap communication. It’s all going back up.


Okay, I just feel wrong trying to grade things without a rubric – it’s too inconsistent! So, here is the grading breakdown:

0-50: Dump it!
50-60: I might finish the cup
60-70: Possibly finish the pot
70-80: I may keep this on hand
80-90: Cupboard space guaranteed
90-100: Poetry may be involved!

Location

Dallas, TX

Website

http://www.wordsabouttea.blog...

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