572 Tasting Notes

90

This is one of my favorite green teas, and I find sipping on a cuppa now I enjoy it just as much as when I first shared a pot in a local teashop with a friend last winter to review on my blog. It has this beautiful scent of cherries and roses, but the brew is not nearly as heavy as the smell might lead one to believe. It is very light, delicate, and smooth; a brisk two minute steep leaves a light amber brew that still has that enticing aroma, but the taste is a soft, relaxing, delicate cherry taste that rounds out into a floral finish, rather than being overwhelming and coming off too much like cough syrup as a result like so many cherry-flavored teas have a tendency to do. This tea does a good job of pulling the cherry flavor back into more of a floral experience and mimicking cherry blossoms, like its name, and to me it reminds me of springtime in Japan in a cup. The tea has a nice natural sweetness and doesn’t have any bitterness as long as you mind your water temperature and steep time, with the grassy green tea flavor becoming very soft beneath the floral notes.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/tea12/

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Cut grass, Floral, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65

I’ve never been a huge fan of straight black teas, but as a St. Patrick’s Day baby I felt inclined to give an Irish Breakfast blend a go. My coworker is a big fan of English and Irish Breakfast teas and donated a bag of this Twinings of London bagged tea so I could review it on my blog. I’m not particularly a fan of bagged tea, either, but she claimed it was a “better brand” and I wasn’t going to turn down some free tea.

The scent of this tea brought back so much childhood nostalgia… I was instantly transported back to my grandmother’s house! It occured to me, that growing up as a small child, I associated a single scent as the “smell of tea,” much like one might associate a single scent with the smell of coffee, and that “tea smell” always made me think of my grandma’s house. Of course, now that I’m grown and have become an avid tea drinker, I know that each tea has a very unique aroma, but now I know… my grandma must have been drinking an Irish or English Breakfast blend!

As far as the taste, it wasn’t as bad as I remember. Usually straight blacks just come off too harsh for me so I prefer flavored blends with some sort of desserty or spicy or fruity taste, but trying it “English style” with a bit of milk and sugar, I actually found it quite pleasant! Perhaps my palate has just changed over the years, or maybe I just needed to take it English style to balance the astringencies.

I’m sure I would enjoy a looseleaf variety more, but as far as bagged tea goes, I was pleasantly surprised!

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/tea11/

Flavors: Astringent, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

I purchased this tea from Steepers, a tea shop in Campbell, California, and am fairly sure they source several of their tea blends from Metropolitan Tea Company, including this one.

This is one of my favorite dessert teas, though I admittedly have to use a lot of leaf to get the sort of nice, rich flavor that I really love. At a tablespoon of rooibos, the tea has this lovely toffee flavor with some subtle caramel notes, while managing to not be overly sweet and allowing just a bit of the rooibos base to come through. I also found that, unlike many of my flavored rooibos, this one resteeped for me fairly well with an increased steep time, perhaps from the increased use of leaf, and I can manage to squeeze a few extra cups out of it while still getting a pretty decent flavor. This is a nice tea to hit a sweet-tooth craving around bedtime, since it is caffeine-free.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/tea06/

Flavors: Caramel, Nutty, Sweet, Toffee

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70

I picked up a small sampler of this tea from Steepers in Campbell, California. After a bit of hunting, I’ve discovered that the blend is identical to that of English Tea Store, which I highly suspect is probably the wholesale source of the tea for the shop.

This tea had a nice green tea flavor with a fruitiness that rounds out any astringency and gives it just a bit of natural sweetness, with a hint of a tart apple aftertaste. It has a nice apple flavor, but it isn’t too strong; there is a nice fruitiness without it being overwhelming. The description text from the website is just a bit misleading, however; the tea flavor is described as “hints of sweet caramel and apple pieces adds to the lightly astringent green tea,” but the tea did not have a caramelly flavor or taste. I’d describe it a bit like a dash of apple juice mixed with green tea, though if the apple flavor were just a touch more subtle and the blend not quite as sweet as your typical juice.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/tea10/

Flavors: Apple, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

Of all the seasonal teas from Art of Tea I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite, and has earned a spot as a permanent mainstay in my tea collection. This tea tastes like York Peppermint Patties in a cup to me; you can taste subtle chocolate tones beneath a strong, vibrantly fresh burst of refreshing peppermint. There is not a strong chocolate taste, as it is more grounded in the dark black tea, but it is noticeable, and the tea has a natural sweetness to it. It has a warm, hot chocolate sort of appeal, while also having a soothing, cooling sensation from the brisk peppermint. It’s a lovely winter tea and dessert tea, and great for fans of a choco-mint flavor profile.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/tea09/

Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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88
drank Butterscotch by Art of Tea
572 tasting notes

The smell and color of a brewed cup of this tea had me thinking of Werther’s Originals before even taking my first sip! The taste, however, was not quite so strong as that; the tea has a very distinct butterscotch flavor and aroma but it didn’t come off as overpowering to me, but more light and sweet. I did have to use quite a bit of leaf, as the white tea leaves are so light and fluffy, to get a nice, solid flavor, but the tea held up to multiple steepings well. I found it a very pleasant dessert tea, and one I plan to restock now that Art of Tea’s winter seasonals are back in stock.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/tea08/

Flavors: Butterscotch, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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20
drank Salted Caramel by Bigelow
572 tasting notes

This tea put me off immediately by smelling sickeningly sweet. I made it at work, and my coworker seated on the other side of the cube kitty-corner to me could smell the cup, it was just so syrupy-sweet smelling! I enjoy sweet teas, and it took me a long time to wean myself off adding sugar to my cuppa, and even I thought, “Ugh, that looks way too sweet!”

The taste was far too syrupy to me. There was certainly a caramely flavor to it, but it came off as a caramel-infusion of maple syrup rather than a caramel-flavored tea. I thought that adding sweetener was throwing fuel onto the fire, but trying to drink it plain, it somehow came off as far too astringent, despite having such a sweet flavor. The whole taste was just off-putting to me. I found it drinkable when I sweetened it, but it was so sweet I didn’t particularly like it. I couldn’t seem to find any happy medium where it came off right. The flavor and the blend just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/tea06/

Flavors: Astringent, Caramel, Maple Syrup, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Red Berries by TeaSource
572 tasting notes

This is a very fruity tisane; it has a sweet fruity berry flavor with a zingy, tart finish. Depending on how you like your fruit teas, a little sweetener or honey may help take the tart edge off the finish, giving it a sweeter, punchy flavor, but it is fine sans sweetener if you like fruits that have a bit of a tart bite to them. The tea is very rich and surprisingly pleasant warm, but makes a great iced tea with a fruity, punchy flavor that is refreshing during hot weather.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/tea05/

Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Hibiscus

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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15

I picked up this tea at a time that I needed to cut all caffeine from my diet, and as a fan of green tea, I was glad to find a decaffeinated flavored green tea option. I’ve since been able to reintroduce caffeine into my diet, but kept this tea around to drink around bedtime.

This didn’t taste so bad back when I was drinking only herbals and decaf teas during the period when I couldn’t have caffeine, but now that I’m drinking caffeinated teas again, I’ve revisted this tea and find it completely unpalatable! There is something that tastes bitter, metallic, and off-putting about the tea, and the mango flavor just can’t hide it. My initial impressions of this tea were that it was quite pleasant, with a fairly nice green tea taste and a very pleasant mango flavor, but now that I’m drinking regular green teas, my palate just can’t stand this! If you are used to decaf teas only, this might be fine for you, but I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/tea04/

Flavors: Bitter, Mango, Metallic, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

This is the sort of tea that I love on cold winter nights. It is like a warm, thick fruit cider, but is wholly unique from the typical spiced apple cider. This tea has a rich hibiscus base with some plum-flavored notes, and a nice warmth added from spicy cinnamon. The tea has a bit of a tart and spicy bite to it, but is still naturally sweet enough to drink sans sweetener. A great tea if you like hibiscus teas and want a warm spiced fruit cider experience.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/tea03/

Flavors: Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Plums, Spices, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
MrQuackers

Coincidentally, I was looking at a tisane, perhaps by Rishi with the same name.

Mastress Alita

Ah, I didn’t know Rishi had this blend! While I enjoy Spice and Tea Exchange’s blends I’ve always found their tea a bit over-priced, so once I need to restock this one I think I will try Rishi’s version and see how it compares. Thanks!

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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, RuPaul’s Drag Race, 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)
-Grapefruit (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.

Currently Sipping Down: Thunder Mountain Tea’s Strawberry Dawn, CitizenTea’s White Pearls, Snake River Tea’s Coconut Oolong

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.

New Teas Tried for 2019: 90
Sipdown Count for 2019: 137

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/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts 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 gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, 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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