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Recent Tasting Notes
it’s another sunny cold morning in February. i’m drinking a mug before the arctic expedition to the grocery store. this tea has such a delicate flavour that i was going to write it off as bland, but as i let it cool, i notice a caramel taste that is quite pleasing. it is smooth, probably a good afternoon tea, if you don’t mind high caffeine. i might try steeping this longer next time to see if more of the flavour can be teased out.
Flavors: Astringent, Caramel, Malt, Sweet
another cold february day. i’m off to a late start so this high caffeine assam is a good way to begin. a strong and tasty morning tea. makes sense that assam is one of the teas used in irish b, my fav tea. there’s a hint of smoke scent upon lifting the mug but it doesn’t carry through to taste unfortunately. if so, this would be a contender for my regular morning cuppa.
this is an absolutely lovely tea. i’m drinking it post tai chi, post lunch on a cold and sunny February afternoon and it reminds me of summer. the first taste is sweet and blue/black berry ish and the lingering taste is pine. it’s a delicious blend. i suspect it would make a fine ice tea as well. i’ll let you know in july.
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Lemon, Pine, Sweet
pencil shaving rose first comes to mind. you know that woody kind of taste of the end of a pencil crayon? seems to permeate the entire flavour. this is my first taste of this tea. maybe i’ll like it better as it cools.//
a few minutes later … still strongly tastes like pencil crayon shavings. the sweet is coming out a tad more. the base tea is a tad bitter. i steeped for 4 mins; perhaps i should have steeped for only 3. the package recommended 4-5.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet, Wood
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #10
A very tightly rolled, jade green oolong. The flavor is great but it’s tough to pick apart the flavors. The second steep might be the best after the first steep is just beginning to blossom. The third steep isn’t exactly oversteeped, but it doesn’t have that delicateness of flavor that was lovely in the second steep. The fourth steep: the flavor becomes more distinct and it tastes of orchids and vanilla. Perfect. I just wish it didn’t take so long for the flavor to get to that point. The leaves had certainly been unraveled by the third steep. Probably Western steeping isn’t the best for this one. I still feel I shouldn’t have steeped it for two minutes earlier on and I’m very glad I only used one teaspoon.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 16 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Steep #3 // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 2 min
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #5
I forgot this was the company run by Kaylee from Firefly! haha. I just finished rewatching Firefly about a month ago. sigh. I miss it already, yet again. She was also on the episode of The Magicians I just watched last night. Tea Runners actually have a good sale right now. A handful I wouldn’t mind trying: like the coconut pineapple oolong. Though I think I can spot the sources for some of their teas. This is loose leaf ripe pu-erh. The flavor is in the middle of the pack of deliciousness for ripe pu-erhs. It’s not too strong, not too weak. No negative qualities. But not too many things that make it a unique one. A level of starchiness but then a very thin aftertaste? It’s tough to describe. Now that I’m looking at the steep instructions, it says the first steep should have been for five minutes, so possibly I should have been steeping these leaves much longer than I did. Not really many flavor notes I can pull from this one!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 8 minute steep
i adore this tea. it is silky, robust and tastes lovely with milk. there’s a hint of sweetness but not so much as to overwhelm the inherent Ceylonesqueness of it. if i didn’t have so many different teas to choose from, i can easily imagine drinking this as my regular tea. it’s perfect for mornings. it’s gentle but still strong.
Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Malt
very subtle flavour here. starts out dark then sweet, and the flavour gets easier to detect when the tea has cooled down a little. perhaps i need to play with steeping times and temperatures to get a better understanding of this tea. its a tad too subtle for me.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Sweet
the bergamot flavour is strong and the tea is quite sweet. it’s not the best earl grey i’ve ever had and it’s not the worst. it’s not a show stopper. at 4 mins steeping time it should be fine, but it has a slight bitter oaky aftertaste that i’m not sure goes with the spirit of earl grey
Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Oak wood, Sweet
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this tea is what i imagine a cello would sound like if played in the woods amidst a forest dense with trees, a little light coming through from the sun. it’s lovely. light yet a hint smoky, sweet yet solid. i think i’m in love with this tea. i haven’t felt this much love for a tea since my darlings Irish Breakfast and Lapsang Souchong. mmmmmm. here’s the sound the tea evokes for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpE94_RoOro
Flavors: Earth, Honey, Smoke, Vegetal
a subtle and delicate tea that evokes a summer’s eve as the sun is just beginning to set. the floral taste is an undertone to the citrus and the sweetness. the citrus remains as a sustained note. while i don’t taste the lavender strongly, i can tell it’s there.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Rose, Summer, Sweet, Tart
the best part of this tea for me is the aftertaste which is a tad fruity and sweet, with some astringency, making it bright in the mouth. perhaps i haven’t figured out the proper steeping time but aside from a hint of powdered cocoa taste, the tea tasted very much like straight hot water, except for its aftertaste
Flavors: Cocoa, Fruity, Malt
this is a robust tea with a light peach flavour and aroma. i don’t really taste any peach. i’m not particularly into ice tea, so i drink this hot with milk and it’s a satisfying afternoon tea on a cold first day of the new year.
Flavors: Cream, Peach
this is a robust tea with no need for milk. the chocolate taste is quite strong, but it isn’t a sweet tea. the tea has a slightly astringent aftertaste. i’m drinking a mug on the last day of the decade whilst overlooking the early morning snow.
Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate
a lovely comforting tea i’m drinking on xmas night. i added milk to it. sometimes i’ll add a half teaspoon or so of black tea to give this a bit more strength, but it’s fine on its own. the overwhelming flavour is cinnamon. a slightly astringent aftertaste. it is a creamy and delicious tea.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Creamy, Spicy
can also be served as an ice tea, but it’s December 24 and grey outside, so i prefer hot. it is a delicious reminder of summer. has a bright and light flavour. tasty with milk. a little on the astringent side, due to the rosehips, no doubt.
Flavors: Peach, Summer, Sweet, Tart
this tea is sweet with a delicate flavour. i find it a little sweet, but it’s robust with hints of darkness. sip this tea with your favourite cello composition playing in the background on a dark, early winter morning.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dry Grass, Earth, Flowers, Sweet
It’s time to put away the Birkenstocks and fire up the full spectrum lamp! FALL IN PENNSYLVANIA IS UPON US.
How am I celebrating my favorite season? Pumpkin spice, baby. Did you think I would rise above being basic? Fool. I am an ELDER. MILLENNIAL.
This is a mix that leans in hard on caramel. There’s not a whole lot of salty, and only a dash of pumpkin. No, this is mostly a soothing, sweet, creamy mix that tastes like candy and rich black tea.
If you haven’t hit the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks yet, this is a lovely alternative.
Flavors: Caramel, Sweet
I drink this on a lazy Friday after staying at work late last night. This raisin-y, darjeeling-like oolong has notes of amber and spice and sweet, slow honey. It doesn’t have quite enough kick to get me going, but that’s what I get for choosing an oolong instead of a black/pu’erh/mate tea first thing. I didn’t notice, when I picked this one, that it said “medium” caffeine. MEDIUM? WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE — A QUITTER?!
It’s so weird when a straight tea tastes like another thing. Like, how? How do pure leaves taste like cinnamon and honey? What witchcraft are they performing?
I know that Jewel Staite (the owner of Tearunners) tends to be in shows with fantasy/sci-fi elements, so maybe she had some kind of magic hookup? MAYBE STARGATE WAS A DOCUMENTARY?
As the tea cools (maybe I got distracted by this review?), the piquant cinnamon flavor becomes even more pronounced. That’s pretty awesome. I don’t know the science (or even the appropriate spells). If anyone has a lead on that, please let me know.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Raisins