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Recent Tasting Notes
Early in my tea journey I didn’t like Breakfast Blends, but I am warming to them now.
This is fairly nice. Strong, but not so strong that it affects the taste. Its just the sort of gentle hand I like to ease me into a morning.
I rarely have tea with milk or sugar in it, but i think it would taste really nice with this tea. Maybe I’ll have to try it.
Another from the TTB. I taste a lot of different herbal ingredients here. The strongest one is definitely mint, but I sense something savory too – maybe the pepper. Everything combines in an okay way, though it’s not great. There’s just a lot going on. It’s best cold. There’s something that lingers – maybe the licorice and/or echinacea.
This one continues to be good. The blend borders on grassy from the other green tea bases, so I am following my two to three minute rule with it. I’m still not sure what to rate it. Flavoring and combo of flavors is in the 90s because it highlights what I like about Green teas. None of the flowers clash, and it remains heady and fruity without cloy. I’m going to have to pick it apart some time.
I didn’t expect this one to be a hit. I expected good and unique. Instead, it’s a tea on the levels of good as Rose City Genmaicha. The smell is incredible, fruity and floral with some household freshening spice hints. Having cardamom and ginger with a jasmine tea would probably clash badly, but the flavoring, rose, and osmanthus smooth this out. I actually didn’t really taste the jasmine that much. First brew is primarily jasmine, nectarine, and rose. As it cools, the ginger is a little more prominent with the osmanthus. Second steep was more cardamom, but it’s not dominating. It enhances the rose and nectarine in a skittles like effect. Got it to the third cup, more ginger. Good hot or cooled way down.
So yeah, in short, it tastes like skittles. Taste the rainbow this spring. I will likely down this soon.
Flavors: Candy, Cardamom, Floral, Ginger, Green, Jasmine, Nectar, Nectarine, Osmanthus, Rose, Smooth, Sweet
Surprisingly pleasant note: the tea reeaally works tumbler style. The water was a little too hot to drink, so I actually poured what I had in another cup. Same notes, but balanced and evenly layered. Beginning lilac, pineapple, cream, and finishing the typical qin xin grass milk taste. I did it again, let it sit well over 5 minutes, cooled down and….not astringent. Or bland. OR BITTER. Just smooth pineapple, creamy milk in the roof of the mouth, grass and fuller texture. I am very happy with it so far. It’s not super complex or as dramatic as my other Qin Xins, but we’ll see how this tea does in other methods.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Lemongrass, Milk, Pineapple
I’ve wanted to try this one since Oolong Owl posted about a few years ago either at a World Tea Expo or a West Coast One. It’s also a floral fruity pineapple kind of oolong, so up my alley. I originally didn’t buy it as a limited tea because they were charging close to $40 for two oz originally, maybe less, but too much for something I could get cheaper. This time, I got it at about $27 for 3.5 oz and a tin with a new impressive seasonal release.
I gong fu’d it, and had trouble with the first steeps. 10, 20, 20, 10, 15,20, 25, 45, 55, 65 were the brews with 7 grams. Initial 10 sec rinse was creamy, milky, floral, and lilac leaning, though extremely soft like a Jin Xuan. Second was much the same, but third was floral, bordering on bitter, but again soft. Pineapple crept in profile, then bloomed in steep four making the tea more fruity and Qin Xin like as rebrewed it.
I am impressed with what the tea was able to do and has its Taiwanese flavor, but more of a Chinese tea’s texture. Since I had to coax the leaves, it was not quite as forward as I hoped. I don’t think I’ll have trouble figuring it out. I’m not sure if I’d get a full 3.5 oz again, but I won’t mind having it around nor a tin I can store my other oolongs in.
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Grass, Green, Lilac, Pineapple, Soft
Mastress Alita’s Monthly Sipdown Challenge: a sleepytime tea
Not really sure why I bought this…because this isn’t really something I would drink. It basically tastes like chamomile with a tiny bit of lemon myrtle. Not getting any of the floral qualities of the rose or linden flowers. Meh.
Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge January 2022: A Tea with Bean Notes
Another tea bag unearthed during the Great Congestion. I consider this quite the find and don’t know where it could’ve possibly come from. Back when I first started venturing more into tea I really wanted to try this tea company, and this tea in particular. Don’t ask me why. I don’t believe they ship to Canada, however.
Before steeping, it was not promising – a generously filled satchet with some brown looking, sour smelling, long-leafed tea. How old is this thing? Add water and the leaf remembers it’s green and gives off a wonderful lemon-hued butter veggie aroma. To taste, it has notes found in other Chinese green and white teas (ie – Silver Needle, Dragon Well): lemon, sesame, green beans, spinach (you know how spinach has that milky calcium quality?), melon. It’s smooth, nearing cream and butter.
Yeah, this is a treasure in a tea bag.
Flavors: Bamboo, Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Beans, Lemon, Melon, Nutty, Peas, Sesame, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
Another Christmas Giftie to try.
I have to say I really like this one; which is good because I was given a large box of it! I taste rose, grapefruit, and chamomile. I think I might add this to the list to purchase when they release the 2022 batch.
Flavors: Chamomile, Grapefruit, Rose
After a hectic Christmas celebration, I thought this would be a “good morning” tea. A friend had dropped off a tea gift bag in the middle of the night including this one. She loves this brand of tea and introduced them to me.
The tea bag is huge and I’ll remember that for my next cup and brew a pot instead. Enjoyed while watching children decide which Xmas gift to break open for the day.
A good, smooth, and strong black tea. Might be a new favorite black tea for me.
Oh, it’s been a crazy few weeks. I’ve been in a one night only play, I’ve held down my office during the busiest season of the year, my boss has taken a week long vacation immedietly after, and now, his MIL has covid, so what this week will look like yet.
Ooof. Tea to the rescue?
I hope she’s ok, and my boss is ok, and his small child is ok.
Starting to get in the holiday spirit a bit early with some holiday crafting. I pulled this sample out of my shelf to take a cup with me to paint night. I really enjoyed this. Licorice is not a flavor I gravitate towards but it blended really well. I definitely would put this one on my buy again list.
I swear I wrote a note on this one the year before last. Anyway, Backlog, I’m glad it’s on the site. I contemplated on toxically “therapy buying” some for the incoming cold weather in Michigan. I liked this one a lot, but didn’t absolutely need it. I did finish this one quickly and a part of me wish I re-orderd it for the last order I did because it’s one of my top 6 steven smith blends.
The spices are really well balanced in warming, and I always got a nutty graham cracker vibe from it. The cocoa nibs comes in hints after the spices, but I remember the ginger and cinnamon being pretty noticeable. I think there needs to be more hojicha blends period because it works well to add nutty and more caramelized notes to a tea if it’s not overcooked, and it’s one of the few green teas that I’ll drink nearly any season, but especially in winter. Price is the only gripe.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Ginger, Graham Cracker, Spices, Toast
I’ve been trying to find a place to get a single sachet of this company’s jasmine tea to give to a friend. I remembered them mentioning this coffee shop they loved that I’d never heard of. I figured it was worth a try to look up what tea they carry and what do you know? They serve just what I was looking for. Not only that but they had this tea!! This one has been on my to try list for quite a while. I’ve been to many places that serve Steven Smith tea but they never served this one.
This one isn’t bad it’s got a lot going on and is an interesting combination of flavors and ingredients. There’s a strong taste of roasted rice but alongside that is a slightly citrusy bergamot flavor and a hint of rose. I’m not sure how I feel about the bergamot, rose, and toasted rice all in one tea though. I like that this blend is a Portland-inspired one in name as well.
I don’t think I’d need to purchase this one since the bergamot rice combo isn’t one I’d often reach for vs. a classic genmaicha. I need to try this one again steeped at a lower temperature as they used boiling water. Perhaps it would be a bit more balanced steeped at a lower temp. Next time I’d take the sachet home.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Grass, Rose, Toasted Rice
So I gave into temptation, and sampled a bit of the tea I made with cream and sugar….holy heavens. The astringency hits the cream just nicely, and the sugar plays really nicely into the currant and lavender. I’ve also experienced with adding a light shot of Grand Marnier with just honey, and then again with cream in sugar, and ooooooooooooooh, so good. Yeah, this is a mixers tea. Rating increased. I usually prefer unadulterated teas, but this one makes me feel naughty with my calories.
Got this one discounted and have hesitated to get it for a while due to the ceylon, and people either think it’s too strong or too weak. Definitely more of a fall/halloween kind of blend. I don’t really get the creme brule, but the rose+currant + vanilla is really interesting and dense, followed by the thick herbaceous lavender. It bordered on sage, but it was not too overwhelming. I don’t know if the smokiness came from the Chinese or the Ceylon black, but the smokiness with the lavender, currant, and vanilla made the tea taste like I was drinking a candle.
It’s a pretty good tea. While I don’t think the currant or lavender are too strong, and actually remind me of an older Butiki blend I’ve had, the vanilla and smoky tea pushes it in the candle/tobacco/soap category of flavoring. It’s not at all artificial, but it’s just a few packets of cocoa butter away from being sold at a Bed Bath and Beyond. The ceylon also pushes it into a more bitter category, so this one is a sugar, or a cream and sugar brisk morning/afternoon British style tea, or a even Halloween Tea Party tea. It’s too strong for me to get again, but I can see the kind of demographic who’d be into it. Personally, I’m getting some witch dominatrix vibes from it. (I’m probably going to have to delete this comment…)
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Currant, Lavender, Leather, Rose, Smoke, Smooth, Soap, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla