227 Tasting Notes

93
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
227 tasting notes

I gently set the tea on the table to steep when my beloved looked up from his book (a rarity since he hardly ever notices me when he’s deep in a book), sniffed the air and said, “Chocolate tea?” It really does smell good, like good deep chocolate.

It tastes wonderful with a creamy, malted, chocolate, mocha taste and something slightly grassy. No bitterness. No astringency. No weird dusty taste. It’s a far cry from my yerba mate experiences of twenty years ago. (Those were the experiments that led me to swear never, ever, ever again to try yerba mate.) It’s quite nice. I can see using this as a base with ice and soy milk for a chocolate malt smoothie.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Doulton

I absolutely agree with you. 52teas has come out with some really wonderfully flavorful and toothsome blends.

Cofftea

How does malt compare in taste to say genmai cha? Is it all in my head that they’d taste even close to being similar? If I’m completely insane just tell me lol. I already know I am:) Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around things and malt in a tea is one of them.

Carolyn

It’s quite different. Genmaicha has more of a roasted popcorn taste and since it is a green tea, it has that as well. This has much more of a chocolate taste with a roundness provided by the malt. In genmaicha the roasted popcorn is front and center in the taste. in this tea, the malt is in a minor supporting role. It primarily makes the tea taste creamy and rich and gives the chocolate more of a chocolate taste.

Cofftea

Gotcha. I was basically wondering if malt and the toastyness of the rice were anything alike. I obviously know the mate and chocolate would make it taste vastly different.

Ricky

Sounds like a chocolate milkshake, minus the slightly grassiness. Is today 52teas tea day? Seems everyone’s having it.

Andrea in New Mexico

I am learning so much from these notes and the subsequent comments… It’s surely going to enrich and deepen my own experiences as I learn the vocabulary and the possibilities. Thanks, you guys. :-)

Carolyn

@Ricky A few weeks ago 52teas did a Steepster Select. My guess is that everyone’s tea has arrived and people are now sampling.

@Andrea I learn a great deal here as well which is good for my mind, great for my sensuality, and terrible for my pocketbook. ;)

Carolyn

@Cofftea I’ve thought about your question and I still think the answer is no. Malt has a very round, non-bitter, slightly sweet taste that becomes creamy when it interfaces with bitter things (like chocolate). The roasted rice grains have a slightly bitter, strongly roasted taste that becomes more bitter around bitter things. It is as if genmaicha is coffee and malt is vanilla-touched Cheerios.

Cofftea

Haha ok, thanks:)

Gander

Smoothie sounds like a good idea, I totally agree.

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89
drank Sencha Zuiko by Den's Tea
227 tasting notes

There is just the slightest tinge of bitterness to this tea. I suspect that I over-steeped it by a few seconds. Nonetheless it is still quite nice. It smells buttery and vegetal with just the slightest hint of flowers. My beloved says that it smells like a meadow and I can sense that as well. The taste is warm and calming with the same buttered vegetal promised by the fragrance.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

Green vegetables? Yum!

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93

I dressed in my favorite bellydance cover-up, a flowing velvet affair with beads and gold embroidery, turned on an episode of Firefly (Trash) with a tea scene with Inara and then rinsed and steeped the Imperial Concubine tea and served it alongside two pieces of rose Turkish delight.

The tea begins with a musky sweet aroma with notes of honey and apricot and has a light, smooth taste. The second steeping adds a very slight smoky note with an apricot fragrance and taste. The third and fourth steeping develop the sweet apricot and honey taste further. It is a nice tea.

I began with a steeping time of 45 seconds and increased it over the period of re-steeps ending with the fourth steep of 2 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec
takgoti

AHHHHHHH! THIS LOG IS AWESOME!

Carolyn

Wouldn’t you do the same with a tea named Imperial Concubine Aroma? It sounds almost haughty doesn’t it? Luckily it was a very good tea. I worried that I’d be all dressed up and the tea would turn out to be more of Cheap Tart Smell rather than Imperial Concubine Aroma. ;)

takgoti

Hah, so more YoSaffBridge than Inara?

Carolyn

Exactly! Who wants a tea that strips one naked, turns a gun on one, or knocks one out?

Angrboda

Cheap Tart Smell! LOL! I’m glad too that didn’t happen. :D

teaplz

Ah-maz-ing log, Carolyn! And hilarious comments too. :) I find myself craving pu-erh now…

takgoti

@Carolyn Certainly not I! Trash was such a…satisfying episode.

Carolyn

@takgot “Satisfying” is it? We know what is in your naughty little mind. ;)

takgoti

HAHAHAHA well, I really meant story-wise, because of the comeuppance of it all, but also because someone was more than a little naked. That was nice.

Ricky

Before I read all these comments, I thought you were calling the Firefly show trash_. I was like =O. I should have picked up on the "_tea scene with Inara." I thought Inara was your friend, how silly of me. I did a quick google search and hey look Trash is actually an episode. Oh, how I miss Firefly and wished Fox didn’t mess up the series.

LENA

GREAT POST! I love that you dressed up. Certain teas just call for that little extra something. And a 93 to boot….awesome!

takgoti

@Ricky You should DVD it. A lot of places have been selling it at a pretty good discount lately [not that I think Firefly needs a discount to justify purchasing it, but it helps] and they have all the episodes. I think some of them went unaired. AND they’re in order. Fancy that.

Ricky

I have Firefly, I was actually just rewatching a few episodes of it on Hulu a few weeks ago. Maybe I should just have a marathon and rewatch the whole thing, it’s been a while. Definitely worth it.

takgoti

@Ricky Ah, okay. From your previous post it sounded like you weren’t terribly familiar with the show.

Ricky

No worries, I have a really bad memory. I tend to forget details about stuff I watch. Like I’d watch a movie and a few weeks later I’d be like wait what did I just watch with you last week?

Keemun

…lovely review.Instead of Turkish delight…may I humbly suggest dry plums…very sexy in combination with the right tea.
Well…and inspired by what I’ve just read…mmh, I am honestly thinking I should put my cufflinks on this afternoon as I meet the " Prince of Wales" at 4.00pm. maybe put a nice classic CD on…Händel or Bach perhaps…

Carolyn

Thank you, Keemun. Dry plums might go better than the Turkish Delight. I will try that next time.

I think it would be splendid to meet the “Prince of Wales” with music and nice clothes. I hear, though, that he is very much in his cups by late afternoon. ;)

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94

A very similar tea to my favorites: The Simple Leaf’s Dawn and Golden Moon’s Sinharaja. The leaves look different, though. Where Dawn and Sinharaja have mono-colored leaves, these are variegated with shades of olive green, chocolate brown, yellow, and gold. The fragrance is redolent of cocoa, raisins, and sweet tea. The color of the liquor is reddish brown (and it actually darkened as it sat once I removed the leaves).

It has the same strong tea and cocoa taste I love but with a tad more astringency. It is a very good tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
takgoti

I’m going to give Dawn a spin today. Very excited!

And this tea is pretty!

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93

I had to go off on a variety of errands, which seemed like a good excuse to try out my marvelous new JoeMo tea travel mug that I got through one of the Steepster Select offers (via TeaFrog) and this cold-brewed iced tea from Den’s Tea. I’m so glad I did! All I had to do was place the little pyramid silk tea bag in the tea holder of the mug (which works for loose tea as well), pour in cold water and wait. Den’s Tea suggests an hour, but I was impatient and was sipping wonderful mango flavored iced tea in 45 minutes. The mug is a revelation. It is sturdy, cleverly designed, has a lift out tea strainer, and a mechanism that makes drinking out of the mug a great deal more pleasurable than most travel mugs. I highly recommend it. Here is the link: http://teafrog.com/teas/joemo-xl-tea-travel-mug.html

On to the tea! I was surprised. It was tasty, well-flavored, non-bitter and basically delicious. I didn’t think that cold-brewing would work that well, but it did. The tea has a creamy mango sencha flavor that went well with my errands. Also highly recommended.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
takgoti

Oooh! I have the travel mug from Teas Etc. that I enjoy, but I like the look of this one, too. Bookmark’d!

Also, I have no recollection of this on SS. Must have missed it. Humph.

Carolyn

It was either right before or right after the Soropot so I imagine you were in your little Soropot heaven fugue state. I think this is the best travel tea device I’ve ever seen.

takgoti

Likely true! Ok, I think this is going to finish off my next round of tea purchasing. I’m going to try and be good and wait until next month. We’ll see how well that works.

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84

Delightful oolong with a nice honeyed flavor and notes of apricot.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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64

This is a tea that is better as it cools a bit. Initially I could taste no fruits at all but as it cooled I began to get a pleasant banana and slight cherry sweetness toward the end of each sip. The tea used as a base is very strong, slightly astringent and slightly bitter. I recommend steeping it for less than 4 minutes. It is an ok tea. I can see myself drinking it again. I prefer 52teas’ Coconut Cream Pie, which seems to have more flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Madison Bartholemew

did you add sugar? when I did I felt there was too much flavor… but without I think you’re right and there isn’t enough.

Carolyn

No. I try to avoid sugar in food since it seems to play merry hell with my appetite and energy levels through the day. (Which is not to say that I will never do it, but it is a very seldom sort of thing.)

Madison Bartholemew

wow… go you resisting the sugar gods… I am in awe

Carolyn

I should point out that I am not a sugar-free purist. My Silk Creamer has a bit of sugar in it, though I avoid the flavored creamers because they have a lot more than the plain creamer. What I mostly do is try to taken sugar in very mindfully knowing that it will drop my blood sugar to the level that puts me to sleep or makes me ravenously hungry. So other than special occasions (like New Years Day) I prefer take in sugar before bed rather than in the morning. Also I don’t fret about sugar that occurs naturally in fruit. I eat fruit through the day and enjoy it without much problem. So I assume that it is the concentrated sugars in white sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. that is problematic for me rather than fruit. Perhaps because the fiber in fruit slows down the intake of sugar. Who knows? I think everyone eventually learns the foods they can eat with abandon and those that require caution and since everyone is an individual, it varies from person to person.

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28
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
227 tasting notes

OK, I thought I’d just top off my caffeination before heading out (while waiting for my beloved to slowly ready himself) and try this new tea at the same time. It’s not for me. I couldn’t finish it. The spices are too strong and hurt my throat and the ginger smell is too strong for me to enjoy the fragrance of the tea.

I’ve put it in my “Give to a Good Home” box.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Andrea in New Mexico

This is on my shopping list, one I’ve wanted to try!

I’d love to send you some of my beloved white chai for a taste of this one!

Andrea in New Mexico

(Or anything else in my cupboard, if it looks more enticing to you…)

Cofftea

Carolyn, I’d like to try some too, please.

Andrea in New Mexico

(Cofftea, if you’d like some of this white chai—or anything else!—I’d be happy to send some your way as well. I’m drinking nothing else today and it’s divine!)

Cofftea

Thanks Andrea, but I don’t care for lemon or coconut in my chai- but P.S. I think you’d like Adagio’s Thai Chai. I think I have some I can send you, I’ll check and let you know for sure. The only thing in your cupboard that really interests me is Essencha’s matcha, but I think I’ll wait til I go there in June to try it. I’ve got 2 different kinds I’m kinda sorta almost done w/ and one more on the way anyway.

Madison Bartholemew

this is waiting for me to try… have you had the chai with chocolate? Now I’m wondering how it is in comparison to that.

Carolyn

I would be delighted to split the tea up amongst you and send it out. I will send an email to Cofftea requesting her address.

@Andrea If you would send me your email address via Twitter at http://twitter.com/CarolynDrinksTe I will make arrangements that way. Alternatively, if you are not shy about sharing your email address publically (as I am) you can post it here.

@Madison I am not sure which chocolate chai you are talking about. I’ve had the Adagio chocolate chai (which made me a bit sick as all the Adagio flavored teas do). Is that what you are referring to? I can tell you that this does not compare well for me with any chai tea, which I normally like.

Carolyn

@Andrea I would be delighted to try your white chai, which has received such stunning acclaims by you. But please send a very, very small amount since my husband is looking askance at the room my tea is taking up in the kitchen.

Cofftea

@Carolyn, I do believe she’s referring to 52teas chai w/ chocolate which is in stock.

Madison Bartholemew

hmmmm I was wondering about the 52teas chai with chocolate… let me link you http://steepster.com/teas/52teas/6471-chai-with-chocolate

Carolyn

Oh, I see. Thank you. No I haven’t tried it.

Andrea in New Mexico

Carolyn, I’ll message you on Twitter in a few. I’m AndreaNM there for anyone who cares…

Cofftea, I was going to offer you some of the Essencha matcha and I would really like to send you some. You don’t need to wait until June and anyway, I’d love to hear how you think it compares… my matcha experience is so limited.

This will be my first time sending tea out and I’d love to know how people prefer to receive it—my instinct is just to put some amount (an ounce? Some tablespoons? What’s typical?) in a Ziplock baggie. Is there a better way?

Andrea in New Mexico

Carolyn, I’m not able to send you a message via Twitter. My e-mail address is my first name dot [email protected] at gmail dot com. And change the at sign in my second name to the letter it most resembles. :-)

Carolyn

Ok. I’ve emailed both Andrea and Cofftea.

@Andrea In my limited experience ziplock bags seem to be very common. One thing to keep in mind is that ziplocks do not adequately keep scents in or out of the bag. So if you are sending a lot of tea you may want to segregate the strong smelling bags of tea from the more delicate teas. takgoti used tissue paper which I thought was merely decorative until I put all the little ziplocks together in a big ziplock and had some trouble with fragrance leakage. Since that moment my admiration for takgoti’s knowledge of all things tea has merely increased.

Cofftea

Ok, Andrea- you win:) I’ll take some. Thank you so much! Email me and let me know what you’d like in return.

Andrea in New Mexico

Cofftea, did you get my e-mail? I still need your address!

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100
drank Matcha Miyabi by Den's Tea
227 tasting notes

Mixed this with hot chocolate “mix” (actually ground up dark chocolate bars is our hot chocolate mix), Vanilla Soy Milk, and Soyatoo Cream then frothed in our hot chocolate maker for a delicious frothy beverage with lots of chocolatey and matcha goodness. It’s a great start to a new year. Now off to our run!

Andrea in New Mexico

That totally deserves a 100, from what I can tell…

Happy new year. :-)

Andrea in New Mexico

p.s. Hot chocolate maker???

Adam Hansen

Sounds like something worth a try in my future.

Carolyn

Hmmm. I thought I’d upped the rating to 100. Off to do that now.

Yes, Williams-Sonoma outlet was selling them cheaply so I bought one. It is an attractive carafe with a built in electronic whisk to froth the hot chocolate. It worked admirably in this making a full inch and a half of matcha hot chocolate foam.

Cofftea

YAY! Glad you liked it!

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95

I’m continuing with my tea drinking instead of food to prepare myself for an evening of riotous pleasure. Chai Agni is perfect since it is decaf, which means that I won’t be up all night if I have it late. I wish I could find more decaf teas (not rooibos or honeybush) that tasted as good. It is, of course, delicious and warming with its lovely peppers, spices, and chocolate notes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I did email them and request a caffinated version. Until then, as soon as I have cupboard room, I think I may get a sample size of this just to see of I like the tea/spice/chili ratio. But then again by the time I actually have cupboard room, they’ll probably have the caffinated version lol.

takgoti

I’ve been craving this lately. Going to need to make some soon!

Cofftea

“Chai Agni is perfect since it is decaf, which means that I won’t be up all night if I have it late”… so not planning on making it to midnite? The only way I will is if I have to get up about then to go to the bathroom lol.

Carolyn

We’re running in the morning and then doing a yoga Sun Salutations mala (which is 108 sun salutations) to greet the new year. So we need our sleep tonight. Tomorrow I greet the day with the amazing Cofftea Chocolate Matcha mixture, then run, then exhaust myself with yoga. We just had more Indian food than is decent to have. Now we let it digest while enjoying ourselves and waiting for just the right moment for liquor saturated chocolates and Silk Nog. Mmmm! New Years Eve yumminess.

Good for you in requesting them to make a caffeinated version. Did they respond? I’d be happy to drop a bit of Chai Agni in the mail to you if you want to try it.

Cofftea

Yes, she said she’d pass my request along to the person that makes that decision. And I’d LOVE some:) My email is in my profile, just let me know what you’d like in return.

takgoti

@Carolyn That sounds like a wonderful way to welcome the new year. Best wishes to you and your beloved!

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Bio

I’m a suddenly enthusiastic tea aficionado. I had no idea how varied and delicious teas could be. Also I’m a dairy-free vegetarian, so if you see me say “cream” or “milk” it means soy milk or soy cream.

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