406 Tasting Notes

Buttery, custard-like, and a wee bit tart. Vegetal with the slightest whiff of coconut in the second steep, or am I dreaming that up?
My tastebuds may be clouded with vanilla chocolate.

Subsequent steeps ensured that no, I was not dreaming up the coconut. It’s there with the butter and the vegetal nature of the tea. Six or seven steeps later, it’s all still there. Gently, gently, but there.

This may be my first experience with tea from Chiang Rai, Thailand. I do so wish that I had had enthusiasm for tea exploration when I was there. Yeah, nope. No recollection of tea drinking adventures there. At all.

Fjellrev

Did you enjoy that flavour combination, vegetal and tart notes with custard?

Evol Ving Ness

The tartness and vegetal natures were gentle enough to let the custard butter shine. That worked.

Fjellrev

Ah ok, cool beans.

ashmanra

I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately! Are you guys old enough to remember it?

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100

When you need to make a phone call to your bank, this is the tea to make the process more palatable.

CrowKettle

lol. Every cupboard needs an “on hold” tea :)

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80

I spent a good part of yesterday at a silent meditation retreat in the city. This is the tea that I picked as the first one of the day to set me in motion. The rest of the day I spent with various oolongs.

My experience with 52Teas berried black teas has been that there hasn’t been enough berry. 52Teas appears to be remedying this issue here with this tea. Hurray for the tea to berry balance! The raspberry flavour is true and real and comes through with good proportion to the lovely black base.

Even though I had given the bag a good shake to distribute all things, I am not really detecting the piquant element here. Even if I squint.

Maybe the next cup or the one after that will be the spicy one.

I have considered that a bit of cream here would not go amiss. And vanilla cream, even better.

That said, a very enjoyable cup, nonetheless. I am starting this day off with another cup with similar results. Lovely.

Now if the neighbour with the tile cutter machinery would come to his senses and realize that it is Sunday and that construction noise is against the law. People, *&^%!

Flavors: Raspberry

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

that sounds lovely – where was the retreat?

Evol Ving Ness

Downtown. It is a part of this programs. Highly recommend.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness-based_stress_reduction

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100

Found a wee bit of this, thankfully. It’s been a challenging week and yes, I know it is only Tuesday. You know, like when the universe decides to pour. Thank goodness for meditation. Seriously.

I like this a lot. Totally works for me. There’s plenty of mango and the genmaicha is just what it is supposed to be—green with roasty toasty rice. The mango lends a bit of sweetness and the green and roasty adds that other je ne sais pas quoi.

Not quite sure what wasn’t working for others with this one, possibly that it is not overly mango or overly sweet. For me, it is just perfect as is. Nothing missing. Nothing over the top.

Flavors: Green, Mango, Rice, Roasted, Toasty

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
52Teas

I love this tasting note. :)

Rosehips

I know exactly what sort of week you are talking about. Glad you had a tasty tea to help!

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100

Coffee. Caramel. Boom. And great with chocolate.

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80

Came across a tiny bit of this in my sip down basket. Delicious. However, I’d like a bit more caramel and a bit more pumpkin and a bit more cheesecake. I am detecting only a bit of caramel and the slightest bit of of cream on a lovely base. A delicious cup—and I’d happily drink many many more as is—but not quite living up to its name.

That said, to be fair, this leaf is getting a bit old. It is from fairly early on in Anne’s reign.

apieceofquiche

This sounds like a lovely cuppa. Maybe it’ll make a return re-blended this fall. Fingers crossed.

CrowKettle

This is one of the teas that hooked me on the old 52teas. I also second a hopeful return of this or the oolong version (with even more cheesecake)!

Evol Ving Ness

Oolong version too—-oooooooooooooh!

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80

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100

I used more leaf this second time around which resulted in far more caramel and far more sweet potato, like caramelized sweet potato. Delicious.

Really enjoying this sample, Angel. Thanks.

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100

The golden tips are so plentiful that the dry leaf is soft and spongey, like dry moss. making it a bit challenging to scoop out the dry leaf with my teaspoon.

Beautiful smooth bready caramel sweet way to begin my morning here where the rain either silences or muffles the sounds of my neighbourhood. Already a heavenly day. The sip ends with the slightest bit of stone fruit.

More and more of the sweet potato note emerges in the second and third steep.

Thank you, Angel, for this sample and the chance to try this delightful tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

As I read up on the notes I’ve previously written about this tea, I see that a bit has changed with my neighbours and my communication with them. I understand the situation there more and I have communicated more directly and more clearly with them. Yes, I am still being disturbed, but less. They have made several accommodations to lessen their impact on me, but essentially, the load all falls on the woman next door because her man is thoughtless and clueless. Other less savoury descriptors come to mind as well. And clearly has entitlement issues that sadly she has to suffer the results of. But, hey, she chose him while I did not.

Last weekend, he had a male friend or two over which led to hours and hours of talking and incredibly annoying laughter against our adjoining wall.

In the wee hours, perhaps two or so, I assume there was an argument with his wife as their front door slammed hard, waking me up. A few hours later, there was a stream of cursing when I assume he came home from wherever he ran to and found that door locked. Of course, waking me up again. Nevermind that their baby regularly wakes me up in the night and disturbs me during the day.

I haven’t mentioned being woken by this latest thing to them. Add it to the dozens of times that I have been woken up by them in various ways. How does one even start?

That said, this week has, thankfully, been a bit better. I am certainly delighted that she is putting up with less of his nonsense.

This tea may be one that I continue stocking in my cupboard. The bitter roast of the coffee contrasts beautifully with the rich caramel sweetness. The caramel flavour imitates the type that is thoroughly caramelized, the kind that is a few seconds from being burnt.

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Bio

Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Location

Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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