905 Tasting Notes

70

Dry leaf has a strong citrus aroma, it reminds me of that orange/tangerine scented French tea I had not long ago (no time to look up the name…) 2.65g brewed in 350ml 175F water for 3 minutes. The steeped cup is still giving me a strong citrus aroma, but now it is leaning with a sharper edge akin to grapefruit or bergamot. Looking at the description, it is apparently floral and melon. sips again Maybe I’m not refined enough for French teas, I still think it tastes like a bright and pithy lemon! I do have a bit of a melon taste toward the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, though. I’m having a hard time picking out the floral element this time (they mention violet which is one of my favorite florals).

It’s a crisp and bright green tea, the base is a nice fresh and grassy green, but I think it misses the mark slightly on the flavor. Maybe it will pop more as it cools… as per usual, I have no time to really prepare this cup before work and drinking it a lot warmer than I probably should.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Freshly Cut Grass, Lemon, Melon

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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80

Oh, I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this one! I know I’ve had it before, but it turned out my bag (from January 2018!) was still sealed, so I’m guessing this was one of the offerings available at my favorite local cafe, which has a limited and select assortment of teas from TeaSource that you can order in a little pot.

It’s a vanilla black tea. It’s tasty. I can tell age has gotten to this one, as the base tea itself isn’t as rich as I remember, but the vanilla is still quite strong. I think there may be some mint contamination from the last tea I had in this thermos (I scrub vigorously with soap and water every night, but certain flavors can be very stubborn, I’ve discovered, mint being one of them) so I’ll ignore that. Notes I’m picking up are baked bread, cherry, vanilla, and cream.

Satisfying, even if not the best it could be due to age (completely my fault!)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Cream, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

Lovely name!

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85
drank Rose Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
905 tasting notes

I have been saving this, untouched, in my cupboard since my friend Todd gifted it to me years ago, when this made a short appearance with DAVIDsTEA. At the time there were still US physical stores, a few locations of which were in the Bay Area of California where he lives, and he stopped in and picked me up some and mailed it to me at my request; sadly at the time, that location only had 1.5oz left to sell him, so I’ve horded it instead of drinking it ever since. This year I’ve really been focusing on getting out of “hording” mentality and drinking good tea when it is good, so I finally pulled this out for my breakfast smoothie tomorrow.

I used a teaspoon in one cup of vanilla almond milk, blended until frothy, and sampled the cold latte before adding my smoothie stuff. As I predicted, I love this one! Has a lovely rose flavor, and it is sweet as DT matcha always is, but I find I personally like the sweetness added to florals (which have a natural sweetness to me) better than many of the fruity options, which I prefer to be more tangy than candied. I couldn’t taste the matcha itself, but it might pop more if I wasn’t preparing directly in a sweetened milk, or opted to use more powder (which I did not, as I’d rather make it last longer). Not sure if I could decide if I like this more than the Lavender Honey Matcha, which is my other favorite. I at least love them equally!

Added a cup of frozen mango and some yogurt for creaminess and blended again. While this smoothie is going in the fridge for tomorrow’s breakfast, I couldn’t help but take a cheeky sample. The rose pairs lovely with the mango! Juicy tropical with a sweet and creamy vanilla note and sweet floral rose. Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!

Flavors: Floral, Rose, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96

Happy Mother’s Day! Today the prompt is “drink a tea that reminds you of your mother.” I’m the only tea-drinker in my family, so my Mom doesn’t simply have a “favorite tea” I could pull out, so I had to get a bit creative. Since her birthday is Halloween, I figured it was a good excuse to pull out this old favorite at a very un-seasonably fashionable time! (I have reviewed this before, here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/375451 )

I prepared this as a latte, with 12 oz. of tea and 4 oz. of warm and frothed vanilla almond milk. This is such a delicious, decadent latte! Nice and foamy on top, sweet and mildly spicy. Very warm and comforting! I’m getting a lot of a sweet cinnamon early in the sip and more clove popping late in the sip and the aftertaste. The base is warm and sweet with a strong vanilla presense which can even be smelled in the dry leaf. While I never expect “pumpkin spice” (a spice blend) to taste like pumpkin, this tea actually does a pretty good job of conveying pumpkin pie. One of my favorite pumpkin spice chais I’ve tried thus far!

Not changing my initial rating because this still holds up!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

Just now seeing the prompt, but it’s a good one. I’ll have to see if I have a couple bags of Constant Comment left!

Mastress Alita

Always a solid choice!

tea-sipper

My dad and his sisters all have birthdays on holidays too (or one has the day after Christmas.) My aunt is a Halloween baby! The other aunt is St. Patrick’s day! So they share days with you and your mom. :D

Mastress Alita

You know what’s even weirder? My Dad is New Year’s Eve!

tea-sipper

WHOA. haha

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70

Pretty stressed out today and, once again, had no time before work to brew a tea for French Friday (I may have to permanently move working on these samplers to the weekends). Quickly brewed up this cup on my lunchbreak, sample courtesy of Cameron (thanks Cameron!)

No time for fussing, whole packet steeped in 350ml 205F water for as long as it took me to scoop the cat boxes. No measuring, no steep timer, just taking what I get. Smells and tastes floral and grapey. * looks at description * Huh, not tasting anything biscuity/caramelly. It is fruity with that floral undertone, mainly muscatel grapes but I can sorta taste apple and a hint of citrus.

Thanks Cameron!

Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Muscatel

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Cameron B.

This one mostly tastes like a big ol’ pile of orange blossoms to me. Needless to say, it’s not a favorite ha ha…

Mastress Alita

As it cooled, the grape turned to raisins. I like raisins fine, but I never got any of the flavors listed in the description.

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69

Doh, I nearly missed National Lemonade Day! Thankfully this tea has been the nightly herbal I’ve been working on sipping down for a while now (getting through these 50g packages is such an investment!) and it is a lemon/lavender blend.

I reviewed it before (here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/406858 ) and don’t really have anything new to say. Most herbals I leave in my cup in a fillable teabag while I sip for a really strong flavor, but with this one I definitely stick to a three minute steep, since the lavender is strong and goes unpleasantly bitter with a long steep. I also tried this as a latte one night — I like lemon with coconut, I like lavender with coconut, and I had some coconut milk so it seemed to reason they’d go well together — but it honestly didn’t taste good. I have yet to try it cold brew, but I feel like the lemon isn’t quite bright enough to carry it that way. I prefer strong, tart lemon (lemon myrtle and lemon peel being my favorite lemony herbal things) but this tea is lemongrass and lemon verbena. This just comes off slightly more grassy/herbaceous than I’d prefer.

This is pleasant enough to sip on, but I definitely prefer B&Bs Moondrop Dreams to this for a lemon/lavender herbal. I’m getting very close now to finishing off the bag!

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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76
drank Sakura by Lupicia
905 tasting notes

I have been in the mood for a latte since I managed to restock on vanilla almond milk, and was thinking about my options when I ultimately settled on this, since a) my Lupicia sakura teas are very old at this point and b) the salt preserve on the leaves is gross to me but sometimes preparing as a latte with a sweet milk can curb that saliney/briny taste. As I sipped down the houjicha, I only had oat milk in the house, and that did not work well at all; the flavor was too similar to the houjicha and the vanilla of the oat milk wasn’t strong enough to hide the saltiness. I used vanilla almond milk on the Sakura Rooibos with fairly good results, though.

I got a beautiful foamy top on this! I smell a malty and slightly citrusy black tea with a top note of that distinct floral/cherry aroma of sakura which is so hard to describe. Mmm, excellent latte! Yes, I think vanilla almond milk is just my latte preference, or at least it goes well with these sakura teas. There is a mild tannic quality left on my tongue after the sip which I imagine is being curbed by the milk in the sip, so it is overall quite sweet and pleasant and loses the bitey quality some of Lupicia’s black bases have. For whatever reason, I’m picking up a strong citrus note from the base. The sakura is pleasant and left lingering on my tongue; I’m getting a little salinity but it is mostly all hidden by the sweet vanilla almond milk so I don’t have to wince with each sip.

I’m foreseeing many a sakura latte in my immediate future. (Does anyone know of any sakura-flavored teas that are a) real sakura, not just “cherry flavoring and florals” and b) don’t use salt preserves on the sakura? I’m looking for a replacement because my beloved Chasandai sakura green that used sugar to preserve instead is no longer available…)

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Citrus, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Sakura, Salty, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Martin Bednář

Unfortunately no personal experience, but what about this? https://yunomi.life/products/chasandai-sakura-sencha-with-sugared-sakura-leaves?pos=2&_sid=990e0d6dd&ss=r

Unfortunately, right now only 500 g which is too much for everyone. But if you want to split up with me (and maybe (and rather) with some others?)

Mastress Alita

That is the one I liked, but they discontinued the smaller amount packages. I can’t even get through 100g of tea leaf before it goes bad, I would never get through 500g of the same leaf in my lifetime.

Martin Bednář

I found this one, https://www.kupsicaj.cz/kukicha-sakuraba-50g/
it’s from tearoom but completely no idea if salted or not. I can ask for you, even order… but I have no experience with them. Their tearoom seems well reviewed on Google though, but located in Prague where I have no plans to go nowadays.

Cameron B.

I really enjoyed the one from Obubu recently – it’s just dried sakura blossoms and leaves, no sugar or salt. But I think it’s going to be very limited and only available during sakura season…

Cameron B.

Also I asked an Instagram friend who’s a sort-of ambassador for Yunomi and she said she would look into the Chasandai issue, as it’s one of her favorites as well. Fingers crossed!

Mastress Alita

It would be really great if Yunomi could have better size options for general consumers. They used to be one of the few places where I could get 20g samplers of Japanese tea without having to buy a whole 100g of the stuff.

Lexie Aleah

Also really like the Chasandai one and if they had a 100g amount I’d be happy to split it with you. Not sure we could find enough people to split 500g though.

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81

French… Saturday?! I had absolutely no time to brew hot tea before work yesterday (and in all honesty, barely have enough before work today, so I’ll have to make this brief), so I had to push back the sampler from my baggie of French teas (thanks, Dustin!) to today.

The dry leaf smells reminds me of B&B’s Easter Egg Nests… a sweet chocolately, slightly roasty/nutty aroma. Brewed about 2.6g per 350ml of 205F water for 3 minutes. The brewed tea smells like Easter Egg Nests to me as well… a fudgy, milk chocolately aroma. I’m getting a sort of roasty, slightly coffee-like background note, a subtle roasted nuts note, and a rich chocolately top note. I remember that I had more of a bitter-sweet, dark chocolate tasting experience with Easter Egg Nests, unless I prepared it as a latte, which brought out more of a creamy milk chocolate taste… I’m getting something closer to a creamy milk chocolate taste from this tea as a hot plain cuppa with no additions. There is more of a bitter sweet than a sweet edge to it, but it is quite smooth and pleasant.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Roasted, Roasted Nuts

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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85

Happy National Superhero Day! (This is also my final Ode to Tea entry, for B! I now have all 26 sipdowns, woop!)

The prompt today was to drink a tea that reminds you of a favorite superhero. To be honest, while I consider myself a firm “geek,” the superhero genre just doesn’t do it for me (seriously, I’ve never watched any of those “Cinematic Universe” movies). I do, however, tend to enjoy the ones that lean heavily into comedy/parody, and have been a fan of The Tick (has anyone even heard of it? Probably not…) for years.

I picked this tea to represent him because his only “power” really is being “mighty,” so a robust black base (rather than a more delicate green or white or a decaf herbal) seemed to fit this. He’s also blaringly blue, hense the blueberry flavor. And he is really just a soft, extremely loving teddy bear on the inside, hense picking a sweet, desserty tea.

The blueberry is very sweet, reminding me of a sweet breakfast syrup or the blueberries in muffins, which goes well with a pastry tea. I can smell a sweet creamy aroma off the cup which I assume is the cream cheese, but have a harder time picking it out on the tongue; there is a creamy sort of sweetness that pops at the end of the sip. The black tea itself is really smooth, with no astringency or bitterness, and I’m getting notes of warm baked bread and subtle spices from it, which lend into that “bready pastry” feel.

Another solid blueberry entry from 52Teas!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Blueberry, Cream, Pancake Syrup, Pastries, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
AJRimmer

Yeah, I grew up watching the 60s Batman TV show, which is super silly (and still awesome) so I always enjoy silliness in my superhero content as well. I borrowed Shazam from the library recently and enjoyed that!

tea-sipper

Yeah, I have heard of The Tick! Haven’t watched it yet. I know it mainly because Ben Edlund created it and he does many of my other favorite shows – Supernatural, Firefly, Gotham so The Tick is on my list to get to eventually.

Mastress Alita

I am partial to the 90s animated TV series that I watched on Fox Kids growing up (and having rewatched it not long ago, I still think the humor in it holds up), but I also enjoyed the Amazon live-action (which was sadly cancelled after two seasons). I never caught the Patrick Warburton live-action version, I’ll need to catch that sometime.

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80

I really enjoyed the pu’erh I sampled from this company recently, and figured it was time to pull out this sample, kindly provided by AJRimmer! (Thank you!)

The steeped tea has a very fruity aroma. I’m getting a strawberry note and a pithy citrus orange note… and caramel? It smells sort of like a very fruity butterscotch. I quite like the aroma!

On the tongue I’m tasting a sweet strawberry, which is quickly followed by a caramel sweetness and spices (mainly a sarsaparilla sort of flavor, though more mild than that tends to be). I think I get a hint of sweet cinnamon left on my tongue in the aftertaste. The base is silky and slightly buttery, with a touch of nondescript floral sweetness.

As someone who can’t even drink alcohol and has nothing to compare the flavors against, as just a flavored tea blend, I really enjoy this! It’s a shame this company now only sales wholesale and not to consumers since I would like to explore more of their teas! Perhaps at some point when my cupboard is more under control, I’ll make the effort to see if I can’t find some mom and pop shop carrying these blends.

Flavors: Berry, Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Orange Zest, Sarsaparilla, Smooth, Spices, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Profile

Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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