150 Tasting Notes
So, life has been weird and I’ve been away from Steepster for what feels like ages. I miss my Steepster tea-eeps and I don’t care how odd that sounds. I actually think about you guys when I go about my day, and I hate that I haven’t connected with some of you in so long.
In fact, life has been so consuming that I completely lost track of time and I forgot about my 52teas 12 Day of Christmas sampler! I’m way behind in my sampling but I’m very, very, very glad that I opened today’s tea. I was unable to try Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha when it first came out. The original blend had marshmallows in it instead of marshmallow root, so it wasn’t vegan and therefore off the table for me to try. WELL, now it is vegan and I can’t overstate how excited I was to finally try this blend. I love this tea! It’s sweet, creamy, and utterly delicious. I hope that Frank offers this blend for individual sale because I’ll buy it by the case.
I have to tip my hat to the lovely SimplyJennW who coined her custom blend of Harney & Sons Vanilla Black and Black Currant “Hobbit Tea”. So, keeping in that vein, I’ve added Harney & Sons Chocolate Tea and cacao nibs to create Bilbo’s Dark Side. Bilbo’s Dark Side is regular Hobbit Tea with a tad, a touch, a smidge, a bit of evil chocolate.
You’ll loose your head over Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Chai Tea! However, please don’t carry your head around with you after you loose it because nobody wants to see that. It’s just gross and there are infinitely better ways to get attention.
This pumpkin chai is really tasty and not overly spicy as far as chai(s) go, and that’s a-okay with me because Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Chai is anything but light on flavor. I infused 1 tsp. of tea in 6 oz. of almond milk and this made for a wonderful afternoon treat.
My only quibble is that my sample had no trace of those kickass, colorful sprinkles pictured in the photo above. I deserve sprinkles! Fortunately, the lack of sprinkles did nothing to affect the flavor of this yummy blend despite the injury to my inner child.
This tea requires some explanation:
First, I’ve only tried a sample of the Summer Flush Darjeeling in this gift set.
Second, Golden Tips only offers Summer Flush in this gift set.
Third, most Darjeeling tea companies regard 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas as Summer Flush. Golden Tips calls their 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas Spring flush, and it would seem that Golden Tips Summer Flush Darjeeling might actually be Monsoon Flush. Of course, this is just an educated guess because Golden Tips offers little to no information about their Summer Flush Darjeeling tea.
Confusing, right? And why does this even matter? Well, Monsoon Flush Darjeeling teas are far less desirable than 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas that are often prized above all others. Monsoon Flush Darjeeling tea is often used in breakfast blends because it’s stronger than 1st and 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas in flavor and appearance, and Monsoon Flush Darjeeling is not often marketed outside of these breakfast blends.
Golden Tips Summer Flush Darjeeling is a pretty decent tasting overall. Summer Flush tastes very much like good grocery store English Breakfast tea. The leaves in my sample were far more impressive than the dust you often find in tea bags, but the flavor was much the same.
I haven’t always been a fan of floral teas. Over time, I’ve begun to develop a fondness for jasmine, osmanthus, and orchid scented teas. I still don’t care much for rose scented teas because rose tea tastes like the smell of old lady perfume… blerg.
Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” Green Tea is a damn fine jasmine scented tea. The green tea is very high quality and the jasmine flavor is distinct but subtle. I thoroughly enjoyed my sample and I’m very grateful to Angel for sending it to me.
I LOVE this tea! I can taste the cherries, apricots, and plums. OH MY! I think that SimplyJenW is right on the money with her comparison of Fruits d’Alsace to Tower of London. They do taste very much alike minus the bergamot, (that I have measured love for), and honeyed flavors in Tower of London.AND SimplyJenW is a tea badass so there’s that too ☺
Merchie’s made this blend in honor of the recent royal nuptials, so please imagine me wearing a ridiculous hat.
This is a black and green tea blend as Merchie’s has become famous for. This is where the weirdness comes in, something about the combination of Ceylon and jasmine teas with citrus makes this tea smell like pine to me. Pine sap, that kind of pine. Trying to push that out of my mind… the infusion is a dark red and the aroma is floral-ish and citrus-y. My first sip is a bit bitter and when I expect to get a spicy note or astringency from the Ceylon, the jasmine pushes in and mellows the flavor out. There are some floral notes from the jasmine but the rose petals are undetectable. I’m left with an odd pine sappy aftertaste.
Almond milk and stevia helped my second ½ cup of tea out, but not enough to make me ever crave this tea. Bollocks! I really wanted to like this one.
Another oolong. Am I in Love? Maybe…
Tightly rolled little emerald balls of joy with the most amazing aroma of flowers and freshly cut vegetation after a light rain. I find myself sticking my nose deep into my sample bag of Shan Lin Shi just to breathe every molecule of scent in. The pale yellow liquor is soft with a flavor that is equal parts steamed spinach and osmanthus, (in the very best way). So buttery, creamy, and delicious with a beautiful sweet lingering finish. SWOON
Keemum 3 Monkey is a very interesting tea. I like my black teas smoky and this Keemum has a lovely subtle smokiness. The Culinary Teas website mentions that this tea has been said to have an aroma of a long unopened jewelry box with hints of incense. This is not an appetizing description, but I totally get it because there’s an almost cedar aroma and essence to it. The flavor overall is subtle for a black tea with a medium body and low-ish astringency. And it’s bread-y or rather toasty and cocoa-y… weird but good.
The photos off of Tiesta Tea’s website never work with the Steepster format, but I just don’t have time right now to shoot a better picture. What you can’t see in this photo is that Blueberry Wild child is a really beautiful tisane. Big dried blueberries, apple pieces, pomegranate arils, bright blue cornflowers… the works. This tisane is a tangy tornado of fruit flavor! It does contain hibiscus that works with the pomegranate to balance the sweetness of the blueberries. It’s not bitter, but if you’re a hibiscus-hater this tea probably isn’t for you.