29 Tasting Notes

70

Latergram from last night.
Standard CS Sleepytime minty-lemongrassy-chamomile with an extra, untastable kick of valerian root.

Feels like the directions called for a way longer steep time than their regular Sleepytime.

The valerian did give me unusually vivid and odd dreams, but nothing freaky and nightmarish like I got with melatonin.

I was somewhat groggy this morning, but I did manage to shut my brain off and get to sleep a lot faster. Placebo effect or valerian, who knows.
But for the same amount of tea and cost, why not add the extra help?

Flavors: Lemon, Lemongrass, Spearmint

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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80

Loose leaf – bought from the bulk aisle @ the fancy grocery store.

Large black tea leaves with yellow strips of dried mango.
Not a super scented tea.

Added more sugar than I do for other teas.
Added milk.
Tasted like a melted mango ice cream bar.

Had a little less than half a pot left at the end of the workday – sweetened it, faux-iced it in a giant tumbler for the drive home. Cold, milky tea is odd, but not bad. Wouldn’t necessarily need the milk if drinking as iced tea on a regular basis.

*faux-ice: those plastic, chemical filled, reusable ice cubes that come in weird shapes, like flamingos and fish shapes.

Flavors: Creamy, Mango, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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70

It does live up to its All Day moniker – a good, comforting, reliable tea to drink throughout the day.

Added milk & sugar.

I may have oversteeped it a bit or added more leaf than needed, as this pot was somewhat more tannic than when I usually make it by the cup.

Flavors: Malt, Tannic, Tannin

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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85
drank Cream Earl Grey by The Teaguy
29 tasting notes

Sipdown. The last of the last in my (very generous) sample bag.

So yummy. Got out a fancy cup and saucer, the good teapot, and the fancy mini pitcher for the milk. Drank the entire pot by myself.
Added milk and sugar to it in the cup.
Sweet, creamy, smooth.

Flavors: Bergamot, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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20

Latergram. Received it as a sample with my throw pillow sized pound of Earl Grey Moonlight.

Large, not-paper bag of mostly whole leaves. Not a lot of scent.
Put it in my Hario cold brew pitcher with 4 cups of filtered water and left it in the refrigerator for ~18 hours.

Diluted, rusty red black tea color. Light tea flavor.

Added a good amount of simple syrup and ice. Had to shake vigorously to mix the syrup as a spoon didn’t cut it.

Not terrible, as far as iced tea goes, and no astringency at all, very smooth; however it had next to no flavor, unlike other not-meant-to-be-iced teas I’ve cold brewed previously. (Still a hobbyist cold-brewer, not an “expert” by any means).

I tossed the baggie of tea, although I probably could have either left it in and refilled the pitcher, or transferred the remains to another large glass and steeped a new batch with the bag, but it wasn’t worth even experimenting with a resteep.

It was free, it was ok for a cold drink after a hot day and sugary sodas at the Renaissance Faire; I could get the same flavor from cold brewing Tetley or Luzianne.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 32 OZ / 946 ML

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88
drank Reading Nook Blend by Plum Deluxe
29 tasting notes

TLDR: Yum!

In the bag:
Looks: Like some tea leaves and grandma’s 1983 bowl of Pier One potpourri had a party.
Smells like: Tea, flowers, chocolate.

Brewed:
Looks: Like black tea, steeped; maybe a bit on the pale side.
Smells like: The chocolate and roses really jump out. Sort of what I hoped Adagio’s Valentines would be.
Tastes: Almost sweet enough for me drink on its own.
Added sugar, added a little more. Best without milk, shockingly to me. The milk flattened every flavor to near non-existence.

I read on the PD forums that even their black teas can be brewed a 2nd time, so I gave it a whirl, since my ride was a little behind. Holy Cats! I think it was even better the 2nd time (and a someone who almost never re-brews…well, that’s huge).
Skipped the dairy but hit the sugar hard for the 2nd.

110% get the knitting podcasters’ exuviance over this blend.

I cannot wait for next month’s tea of the month so I can order more of this.

Flavors: Chocolate, Flowers, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
29 tasting notes

Cold brewed for a day and a half. Added a teensy tiny bit of simple syrup (like a tablespoon to all 32oz).

Delicate, yet flavorful.

This smells so good in the tin, but hot-brews up iffy for me. Cold-brewing, on the other hand, winner!

Flavors: Apricot, Cherry, Peach, Plums, Stonefruits

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 6 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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60

Another generous sample from The TeaGuy — Thanks!!!

In the Bag: Large, reddish-orange flakes.
Smells like: Vanilla flavored tobacco.

Brewed in a mesh infuser basket in a mug.
Made a half cup, because other vanilla rooibos teas tend to give me heartburn.

Brews up: That reddish brown/whisky color of rooibos.
Smells like: Vanilla and a hint of old liquor.
Tastes like: Sweet vanilla candy.

So far, no heartburn!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

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59

“Cold” steeped 2 bags on the counter in a camelbak bottle with filtered water from the refrigerator while I ran errands in the morning.
.
Served with straw and a generous spoonful of simple syrup, after shaking it with ice in a cocktail shaker and pouring over more ice in a giant coffee mug*.
.
Refreshing and tasty; I am, however, blaming it for the bizarre dreams about British attack owls I had during my afternoon nap.
(Did I tell you my work schedule was bonkers? It is bonkers.)
.
.
Side note: Holy cats, now that I’ve discovered cold steeping, its all I want to do anymore! It helps that its already in the mid-high 80’s here and will only get worse.
But so much forethought – I’m generally not that organized with my food/beverages.
.
*Seriously, that thing is huge. It can hold an entire regular bottle of wine.
Or half a day’s worth of tea.

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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40
drank White Tropics by Adagio Teas
29 tasting notes

Sipdown. I usually don’t care for white tea of any kind. This wasn’t awful, but I wouldn’t reach for it again once I finish it off.

I cold brewed it, because of the “short” time needed for a white cold brew tea. About 6 teaspoons in 32oz of filtered water, popped in the refrigerator for 6 hours. I’m leaving the leaves in the jug until its empty.

From the scent in the bag, I sort of expected it to be a very watered down “pina colada and tea had a baby” kind of beverage.
While I know cold brewing makes for a smoother, less tea flavored tea, this was barely ok, like very watered down juice. I added a spoonful of honey powder to my glass of it, and that made it slightly more drinkable (I’m at work and there’s not a good way to make or store simple syrup until I get home).

I’ll finish off what I’ve cold brewed and maybe it’ll grow on me by the end of the jug.

EDIT: Ok, leaving the leaves in the cold brew thingie overnight (ok, nearly 24 hours because it was at work and my schedule is bonkers) = GIANT improvement. Still not my favorite tea ever, but way better than yesterday.

Flavors: Pineapple

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 6 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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