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Recent Tasting Notes

Sipdown (1368)!

Something about this was a little off too me – the flavour of the mango is so densely packed in there that I couldn’t really taste much of anything else, but the mouthfeel was very lush in a way that was just uncomfortable. It’s hard to describe because it wasn’t oily but it just had a distinct heaviness from the ratio of flavouring used that didn’t feel normal for a green tea.

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37
drank Crispy Dream by T Bar
11102 tasting notes

Sipdown (1338)!

…I hate the name of this tea. It’s so… awkward.

The tea itself wasn’t the best either – I can appreciate that they were seemingly trying this interesting take on a fruity and nutty profile, but the flavouring used is AGGRESSIVE to say the least. It’s a very harsh and artificial tasting orange combined with an equally strong almond/marzipan note and the result in a mighty cloying and fake taste cup of weird nutty fruit punch. I don’t think I’d be willing to drink this one again.

Mastress Alita

The name could be worse… at least it isn’t “Hey-biscus!”

Roswell Strange

You make a valid point! XD

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92

Sipdown (1328)!

What makes Turkish Honey different than other honey!? I guess it probably doesn’t matter, this tea didn’t taste anything like honey anyway – but it was really good! The aroma of the teabag (yes, I am the weirdo who smells the teabags) was all sweet almond/amaretto but the steeped tea? Surprisingly complex!

It’s obviously quite sweet, and that’s fair and expected for a nougat flavoured tea. It’s got the the rich sweetness coupled with the strong almond notes and those just go hand in hand, but it’s also a little creamy and a bit bitter like burnt sugar. Everything is in just the right proportions for nothing to feel too heavy handed but all the flavours are crisp and clear, and well defined. I’d actually buy this, if I had any clue how to.

Martin Bednář

As Turkish honey in Czech we got something similar to Turrón. So, I guess it is that flavour profile this tea tried to recreate. As I don’t like it, not sure if I would like the tea; but interesting flavour profile for sure :)

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drank Orange/Cactus Fig by T Bar
11102 tasting notes

Sipdown (1329)!

Had this one earlier today and it was surprisingly quite tasty. It’s 100% an orange tea over anything else, and a strongly flavoured/sweeter one at that – but I love the mixture of that kind of dense candied orange with the honey and mineral notes of the rooibos, and there is a denser sort of undertone that could possibly be called figgy.

Not anything exception, but very nice for a bagged tea and a good break in my day.

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drank China Milky Oolong by T Bar
11102 tasting notes

Sipdown (1330)!

Oh yeah, hit me with that fake butter flavour! I seriously don’t know why, but I’ve just been craving this style of butter flavouring for weeks now and that craving doesn’t seem like it’s going to let up any time soon. Is this a high quality milk oolong!? Oh hell no, far from it. However, when that creamy buttery hits right it hits right.

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73
drank Milky Raspberry by T Bar
11102 tasting notes

A coworker gave me a bunch of individually packaged teabags from a company called “T Bar” – very thoughtful of him, so I’ll try to work my way through the half dozen or so single cup worth over the next week or so. I’m struggling to find any information about them online so really the only info I have is the ingredients list printed on these clear cello packets, not much to go on. I’ll try just about anything at least once though, so the lack of info doesn’t really bug me…

This seems to be a basic flavoured milk oolong with the addition of some artificial raspberry flavouring. I’ve, weirdly, really been craving butter this week so that fake creamy milk/butter note hit the spot in a way that it probably usually wouldn’t. The oolong quality seemed poor – but between the sweet raspberry and creamy milk/butter notes I was a pretty happy camper sipping this tea.

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72

A tea bag/sachet that I acquired at some point over the last few months – probably from the office cafeteria!? I thought it was decent enough; though I did have the transfer the tea into an infuser when I opened the tea bag packaging up because the bag wasn’t sealed down the seam – glad I noticed before steeping the tea though! It’s actually one of the better “plum” flavours I’ve seen recently – more just because it wasn’t insanely tart generic hibiscus/acidified apple nonsense. It was plum-ish – but more just generic stonefruit with floral undertones, paired with a sensible about of cinnamon.

Drinkable – but not AMAZING.

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drank Orchid Oolong by T Bar
2526 tasting notes

This is a gift from the lovely JacquelineM!

I was really eager to try this tea way back when I first read Jacqueline’s tasting note on it. I never dreamed she was going to send me some of that precious final ounce!

I made this in my eight ounce glass pot. I washed the leaves for about 20 seconds or a shade less, then steeped for two minutes. I set the pot on the tea table as I went to the kitchen to get something, and when I came back there was a light, lovely floral fragrance to greet me! The liquor is pale gold to medium gold. The aroma is lightly creamy/ buttery with a very, very slight nutty note if you really look for it, instead of the really roasty/smokey flavors you find in the darker oolongs. But mostly this is a lovely floral escape!

Thank you so much for sharing this, Jacqueline!

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drank Orchid Oolong by T Bar
1112 tasting notes

My first steep of this was “Hey, this is a pretty good green-ish oolong, but not anything I haven’t tasted before. Hellllllooooo Orchid?”

BUT

My second steep is redolent of the finest vanilla extract. I say extract because there is a particular boozy, intoxicating quality to this flavor. It’s floral, and delightful and downright lavish! I actually stopped what I was doing and said, “Oooh!”

I just have a teeny ounce of this from my birthday gift certificate from this now defunct shop, but I am definitely searching for another orchid oolong to keep in my cupboard, because woah – this is fantastic and so up my alley!

Have you had an Orchid Oolong you’re crazy about? Do tell! I’m in the market!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
LadyLondonderry

Haven’t ventured into orchid oolongs yet, but my favorite oolong, Spring Dragon, is super-floral — like a big armful of lilacs!

JacquelineM

LadyL – went pawing through your cupboard and saw it is from Upton. Sounds FANTASTIC and I def want to put it in my next order from them. Mmmmmm lilacs.

ashmanra

Same here! I am getting more into oolongs and want to place an Upton order anyway, so I think I will put this one on my list as well. I still want that tea scale!

E Alexander Gerster

I haven’t tried the Upton Oolongs yet, but the best Orchid Oolong I have ever tasted came from The Art of Tea: http://www.artoftea.com/catalog/orchid-oolong-p-75.html
They also have some great sample packs, including their Oolong sampler which includes their award winning Mandarin Silk Oolong. :)
The second and third steeps often bring out the most intense flavors of these lush and naturally sweet teas.

gmathis

Any tea that’s redolent of anything has to be good! A thousand points for the vocabulary word and Happy Friday!

ashmanra

@E Alexander Gerster – I looked at that sampler. It looks like a must have! Thank you for recommending!

Kashyap

honestly….if you get the chance…Republic of tea has an orchid oolong that is actually quite good…I get it every year as a gift to one friend of mine who swoons every time they open it….its clean, creamy, passionately orchid floral, and is lightly oxidized….give it a shot…I’ve made ice cream and sorbet from it and it was amazing against pears when I poached them in a simple syrup make from it..

JacquelineM

E Alexander Gerster – I’ve been meaning to order from them for forever and a day! This will most likely push me over the edge, as I’m still thinking about that orchid oolong a full day later!

Kaashyap – thanks for the rec! I’ve never seen it in any of the stores so I looked it up online – all of their Imperial Republic teas look intriguing! That Snow Rose…!

Angrboda

Get thee to Shang Tea and try their Clear Jade Orchid Oolong. (or something) I really really loved that one.

JacquelineM

Thanks Angrboda – I will look that one up!

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drank Cinnamon Pear by T Bar
1112 tasting notes

I’ve been on my break for 3 days so far, and this is the first afternoon that I’ve had the time to sit for a cup of tea! Since it is the afternoon, and I’m home (where the milk and sugar lives!) I wanted to try something froofy, flavored, new to me, and compatible with milk and sugar.

This one stood out since cinnamon and pears sound very hoilday-ish to me! I was excited but scared. Pear flavoring can be so fake, and cinnamon…well, I’m a big fan of Hot Cinnamon Spice, and I can’t imagine any cinnamon tea usurping that one as my favorite. The other scary thing was the tea is very broken/CTC looking. I decided on a 4 minute steep and hoped for the best.

I was rewarded with a nicely spiced, very juicy and natural pear flavor! I wouldn’t call the tea complex, but it’s very drinkable and not bitter. The cinnamon is not hot. Think mulled wine spice, not red hots. I like! Very nice in the afternoon, and extremely nice as a Fall/Winter treat. I’m gravitating less and less toward flavored teas these days, but gosh, it’s comforting as can be to have something sweet, milky, and spiced every now and again!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Rooitea Africana by T Bar
1112 tasting notes

My coworkers gave me a gift certificate to T bar for my birthday back in July, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t made the walk over to use it! I read that T bar is closing its doors next week in order to solely have an online business, so I thought the time to pick out a few things was NOW.

This was one of my selections. It really does taste like a creamsicle, or orange sherbert, with the addition of a little sugar and a splash of milk. Delightful evening tisane. We slurped up our cups in record time! I’m so glad I tried this one. I originally wanted the caramel rooibos but they were sold out. I am no longer disappointed because this is really nice.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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100

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34
drank Citrus Mist Green by T Bar
525 tasting notes

Hmm… so this is probably the least detailed entry I’ve ever created for a new tea on Steepster. I can’t find any info on this tea other than that the store or cafe or restaurant was in California. Maybe MadelineAlyce can help since she provided the lovely sample. :)

So anyways, I gave this tea a try last night but found it lacking in the citrus department. Maybe it’s called citrus mist because the flavor of the citrus is like a mist-insubstantial and impossible to grasp. (That was an awesome simile!) It was an okay green and somehow vaguely floral and fruity but it seemed I might be imagining it. admittedly, I was pretty tired since it was late and I’ve had a bad week of sleep. But I’m pretty sure I’m not a fan. This one doesn’t even have cooking potential. sad. Perhaps I’ll use it to blend with stronger teas.

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56
drank chocolate chai by T Bar
723 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Served in a teapot with a t-sac
Steep Time: over 2 minutes (I let it sit 2 minutes after it arrived at the table)
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Steeped Tea Smell: indistinguishable spice, hints of chocolate
Flavor: black tea, cinnamon
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: astringent, a touch bitter
Liquor: translucent dark brown (amber)

The tea was good, and the chocolate croissant was warmed and went very well on that cold night. I wasn’t getting strong notes of chocolate, but it was a nice smooth spiced tea.

Not something I would miss if it were off the menu, but I might pair it with a chocolate croissant again some night.

Pictures: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2011/01/tbar-loose-leaf-black-tea-chocolate.html

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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64
drank Cinnamon Apple Spice by T Bar
723 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Prepared in store, paper cup and t-sac
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Steeped Tea Smell: Smell apple cinnamon
Flavor: Sweet more cinnamon than apple but mostly black tea
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: Bark
Liquor: Translucent dark brown

Pictures: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/12/tbar-loose-leaf-black-tea-cinnamon.html

Meghann M

I can’t imagine a bark aftertaste being good :(

AmazonV

Actually not bark in a bad way…think rooibos type woody barky (then again i like rooibos)

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51
drank Osmanthus Dragon Pearls by T Bar
723 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Prepared and served in a teapot with a t-sac with a dish for the leaves when steeped enough.
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Steeped Tea Smell: lightly floral, very vegetal
Flavor: vegetal, silky
Body: Light
Aftertaste: bitter
Liquor: translucent brown-green

It started out very weak, and got good and vegetal floral, then I let it steep a little too long and it got bitter.

Too weak for me.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/12/tbar-loose-leaf-green-tea-osmanthus.html

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45

The Monkeys needed more training. Dry it has a lovely, almost Yunnan aroma, but the brewed tea is ho-hum. It is smooth and sweet and kind of subtly Yunnan-ish, but it is nothing special

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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53
drank Caramel by T Bar
723 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Prepared in store by staff
Tool: Make your own tea bag
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Steeped Tea Smell: Vanilla, caramel, sweet black tea
Flavor: Black tea, smooth with no bitterness, but slight astringency. The caramel is a hint as you swallow
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: astringency
Liquor: deep dark brown

I had this tea with my fig and turkey panini for lunch. I wanted a caffeinated punch to keep me going through the afternoon, so I stuck to the black tea section of the menu. I decided to give the caramel a whirl as I found only subtle caramel flavors in teas so far. This was no exception, it was subtlety sweet and caramel. This was an excellent paring with the sweet fig.

The search continues for a bold caramel flavored tea, however if you appreciate subtle or are having something sweet there I recommend this tea.

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/04/tbar-loose-leaf-black-tea-caramel.html

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50
drank matcha by T Bar
723 tasting notes

I visited Tbar on St. Patty’s day (no way was I going to a bar) and ordered a bowl of matcha to drink while I read my 2600 and relaxed a little.

I blame Cofftea for my recent fascination with Matcha. I am not much of a green tea person but she loves it so dearly and describes it so deliciously in her Steepster tealogs I want to love it.

Paid 9.00$ for a bowl of matcha

Smell: Not much, slightly vegetal
Taste: Sweet, smooth, thick, vegetal, creamy
Color: Murky green with green sludge on bottom
After taste: Gritty, vegetal, sweet

It isn’t the same kind of bitter grassy taste I fear in most greens, it is sweet and nice to drink. This also holds true for the matcha I had at Radiance tea house.

So although it is pleasant I don’t love it, and think I may give up on it. It isn’t bad, I just prefer other things, especially at the cost.

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/03/tbar-prepared-matcha.html

Cofftea

You’re welcome!!!

Cofftea

… but $9???

AmazonV

yup, per the menu, Radiance was $5, Tbar isn’t known for being cheap, do you ever get matcha prepared while your out? how much does it run you?

AmazonV

and is the matcha supposed to settle to the bottom like it did?

Cofftea

The only time I’ve had it out (my 1st matcha experience) it was $2.50. Matcha can separate if not drank in a timely fashion because it does not dissolve in the water. The Rishi matcha I had at Kavarna never did, although it did slowly get thicker as I got closer to the bottom of the chawan. I do not believe in rushing something as wonderful as matcha so when I make it at home it can separate a bit so I just rewhisk it w/ my chasen a bit.

SoccerMom

I have been dying to try matcha too! It’s definently because Cofftea is always talking about it and everytime I get to a teahouse (which isn’t often) I think today is the day I am going to try matcha and the person working at the teahouse always looks at me and says “okay, you want Matcha?” and I say well what do you think is the Matcha good here do you recommend it and they say “it’s okay” or at Teavana they said “we have some made up in the fridge” and I say don’t worry about it give me ______________ please. So I am going to be a Matcha virgin until I see 52Teas update that Strawberry Matcha is for sale. So hurry up already 52Teas. :)

Cofftea

SoccerMom, you could always buy some and make it yourself:) The only place that serves matcha anywhere close to my house is an hr. away and we went there not even knowing they have it.

AmazonV

i don’t want to go buying all the stuff to make matcha before i know i love it, more tea stuff i might not need….if i do find i like it i would buy a set which is why i’ll try when i hit a tea shop

fcmonroe

You can get by with a kitchen wisk and a soup bowl. That’s what I did when I tried it for the first time. I ordered some online from Teavana. If you don’t like it the traditional way, you can also add it to smoothies, etc in a blender. It can be used for baking as well, just add a teaspoon or so to your favorite cake. You can even mix it in with the pre-made vanilla frostings to make green tea icing for cakes.

SoccerMom

fcmonroe I love those ideas! Thanks for sharing. AmazonV I’ll send you some strawberry matcha from 52Teas when it comes out. Of course you’re going to have to whisk it which is what I had planned to do anyway but it was a relief to see fcmonroe give me the “okay” LOL :) AmazonV you might have to remind me to send you some since it might be awhile.

AmazonV

sweet, i have wisks and i am going to teavana today…..

SoccerMom

AmazonV you have to tell us what you pick up at Teavana today!

AmazonV

gah, most disappointing visit, they were out of matcha and wegman’s didn’t have the spring cherry ROT green :( so all i came home with was more my morning mate as we were running low

SoccerMom

I love my morning mate I drink that almost every morning I don’t let my stock run out of that one! We don’t have a wegman’s but I have seen some ROT at our World Market I’ll stop by there tomorrow and see if they have Spring Cherry.

AmazonV

none of the other stores around here carry it. i’d usually just order it but i have two orders coming in soon so i’ll be full up again. today was just blah, they put my mom’s cat to sleep, and yea, time to go make some comfort tea

SoccerMom

Awww……poor kitty and Mom. :( Will she be getting a new kitten anytime soon? My grandma lost her yorkie and we got her another about a month later and it seemed to help ease the mourning (a little). Sorry to hear it.

AmazonV

well she lets most pets find her, strays turning up in the back yard and all, so they don’t plan to look around. but my grandparents plan to get a cat or kitten from the local shelter soon so there will be some kitty soon to go get smothered with love for everyone needing a kitty fix.

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86
drank Oorchid Oolong by T Bar
11 tasting notes

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60

First pot was served almost stone cold. What were they thinking.
Second attempt – quite rich. not a bad blend. The other half liked it. Quite reddish

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68
drank Jasmine Dragon Eyes by T Bar
2 tasting notes

Nice change from black tea. No milk required (would taste off with milk). The office electric urn is not the best for the sort of tea. Didn’t leave tea in the cup, you normally do with this type of tea (should have).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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77

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