330 Tasting Notes

drank Laos Black #05 by Steepster
330 tasting notes

Brought my second sample packet from a previous Steepster box into work, and I brewed it this morning. I really should bring a teapot into work. I think these leaves really need a chance to expand, and my cramped work mug is not the implement in which to do it.

The dry leaves smelled heavenly.

I’m not liking it as much this second packet, but it’s really hard to brew a great cup at work, so I don’t fault it. I can still tastes the hints of awesomeness that made me really like the first packet.

Also, I may be grumpy and overly picky this morning. :D


Tea at work is such a PITA! I want my variable temp kettle and all my home equipment, but it’s just not reasonable. The hottest water I can get is 182 degrees. :(


Yes it is! I have no idea how hot the water even is in our hot water dispenser. I am flying blind! I should report this to HR, this is not a tolerable work environment ;) LOL


Exactly! I took matters into my own hands and brought a battery operated thermometer. I already have that kind of thing for brewing beer, and I really wanted to know how hot the water gets coming out of the dispenser.

I’ve taken to brewing a variety of whole leaf oolongs grandpa style, since they tend to do well with the 180 range temps, and clean up is super easy.


I have a jasmine that I used to brew grandpa style a lot, but the tumbler I used was plastic and started making everything taste plastic. So it got tossed. Ick.

I will have to check into a battery op thermometer after my spending fast, and rearrange my work teaware.

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drank Bai Hao Yin Zen by David's Tea
330 tasting notes

I got a sample of this with a DavidsTea order awhile back. I brought it to work last week, and decided to have it this morning. I opened the little packet (I hate the packaging for their loose leaf samples, BTW – I’m always afraid I’m going to get it all over the place trying to rip through the sticker, and ripping the sticker means I can’t read the label while I sip) and turned it into the brewing basket for the cup I use at work.

I took a sniff of the dry loose tea, and confusion sets in – I smell chocolate. I have never had a white tea that smelled of chocolate. Not malty, not cocoa-y – chocolate. I drank a chocolate flavored tea last week – did I not wash out my brewing mug and basket well enough last week?

Next issue – I sweeten black teas more than green or white, so I grabbed two packets of sweetener by habit, and poured them both in. I should have gone with one. It’s too sweet.

And it tastes of chocolate. There are only 3 reviews of this tea, none of them mention chocolate.

There’s a little bit of the vegetal taste I would expect. But there’s that chocolate too. And it’s overly sweet.

I’m so confused.

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I am polishing off the last of this today! Added some of their Chai Spice mix to it, and brewed. I used more Zhu Rong than needed to see if it would be stronger. No, not really, but with the chai spice, it’s ok.

But hey, more cupboard room developing! I will have enough room for a super spree when my summer spending fast is over!

Edit: I think this is a lot better as a chai base – the spices bring out the cocoa/malt aspects of the tea. It’s still not a favorite, and I won’t reorder, but it works as a base. If I had more of it left, I would play around with mixing.

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This is my second recorded tasting of this. My bag is near empty, so I know I’ve tried it a couple of times.

Smells good, tastes decent, but this tea is just kind of weak and underwhelming. It doesn’t have the body I want from a black tea; which seems weird, as the description calls it “full-bodied” and “rich” and it’s named after a freakin’ warrior queen!

It seems strange that it gets such high reviews and praise and songs in its honor, and I’m left looking at my cup and going “Am I drinking the same tea?”

Now I am on the second and last cup from my little white teapot (it’s probably a 4 serving teapot, but I drink from huge mugs) and it sat and steeped while I drank the first. It’s got an oversteeped taste, it’s a little brisker, but still underwhelming. I would expect this warrior queen to slap the crap outta me at this point, but it’s more like Queen Elizabeth’s royal wave.

Apparently, Zhu Rongs…

( •_•)>⌐■-■

…don’t make a right for me.

(I’m so sorry, but I had to do it…)

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Chocolate Energy Tea
Tea Man

Black tea, yerba mate, chocolate extract

Working on polishing this tea off, at work. I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit when drinking, but I detest cleaning out the steeping basket after it’s done. Generally, I dump the basket, and let what’s sticking to it air dry, then it pretty much knocks right out. Then I rinse the basket. This stuff though? The yerba mate CEMENTS to the side of the basket, and it takes actual effort to clean. I’m so lazy :D

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Packet 1 of 2 from the most recent Steepster Select box.

I was unsure this would be good after watching it steep and comparing it to the instruction on the packet – 1.5 minutes and it was still pretty light in color.

The scent reminds me of Milk Oolong, and it mentioned being milky and floral, so I tried it as a latte first – good, but a little insubstantial.

Second steeping, I’m having it without milk and it’s been steeping awhile – better, but not spectacular to me. I’ll try the second packet in a gaiwan, I think, when I have time to spare.

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Yesterday, I made a pot of this for the hubs and I. I had some left in the pot when we were done, so I sweetened it and put it in the fridge. Pulled it out, poured it over ice, and added some lime juice.

It’s really good this way. I wish I had some fresh mint or sage to add to it, I think that would be good.

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drank Chai Green by Stash Tea Company
330 tasting notes

Moved onto this from the break room after dumping the rooibus. I dislike Stash’s black chai, but thought I would give it a whirl anyway. The box recommend milk, which seems weird to me – I don’t usually put milk in green teas. Brewed it up, sweetened it and creamed it… it tastes… smokey? I don’t recall drinking a Dragonwell before. Is it generally smokey? The other reviews don’t mention it. Maybe it’s the clove I’m getting?

Hmm… not great, but drinkable.

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drank Kiwi Lime Ginger by Tea Forte
330 tasting notes

Augh! Sneaky rooibus strikes again. There’s a mixed box of Tea Forte bags in the breakroom at work, and I thought Kiwi Lime Ginger sounded just the thing for my scratchy throat. Brewed it up, sat down and took a sniff. Nice, very fruity… not really a tea smell… hey wait, is this not a green? I brought it up here, and saw the dreaded Word. Rooibus. Grabbed the little box each bag comes in… it just says “organic herbal tea / naturally caffeine free” D’oh! dumps tea Dangit :( I don’t know why I assumed it would be a green.

Without Steepster to save me, I would have drank it and had an unpleasant surprise when the stomach cramps set in! Thanks Steepster!

Not rating it, since it might be a perfectly lovely tea – I actually like the taste of rooibus, just not its effects on my stomach!


weird, I thought rooibos was supposed to be good for your stomach. Not in your case, evidently!


Yup, it’s one of the purported benefits… but not for moi. I get stomach aches and cramps. Which makes me sad since people seem to want to put it in half the herbal blends these days.

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I brought some souvenir tins of tea back from England. Two of them are adorable retro WW1 tins with graphics about tea rationing on them. I opened one of those up this morning and brewed up a cup. I am pleasantly surprised – it’s quite good, and I was expecting crap since it was a fairly inexpensive tourist trinket.

You can see the tins I got here: http://www.newenglishteas.com/memorabilia.html

The box says the tea is sourced ethically, which if true, makes me happy.

With cream and sweetener, it smells nice, tastes a bit malty, and isn’t bitter.

Thumbs up! If you are in the UK, want a fun souvenir for yourself or a loved one, I think the tea rations tins are a good choice.

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When I was a very young child, I swallowed an ice cube whole. It got stuck in my throat, and my mother had me drink hot tea to melt it away. That started a love affair with tea that has never abated.

I dabbled with Celestial Seasonings and other grocery store teabags for awhile, in my young and foolish days. But a few years ago, I received a tea of the month subscription from Adagio, and I found that there was a whole other world of tea out there that I had never experienced.

I love drinking tea, and I love the personal ceremony of making a glass or pot of tea for myself. It’s like a meditation.


DFW, Texas

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