321 Tasting Notes

69

I won this in one of Della Terra’s Facebook giveaways – they are the best!

This is the second time I’ve tried this, but I held off logging it the first time around.

The aroma in the pouch is astounding. It smells like pure maple syrup. There are little blocks of what look like wood. Curious, I picked one out and ate it – it’s maple candy! Yum.

Maple’s not my favorite flavor, so the first time I steeped it, I did 5 minutes. The liquor was a slightly murky brown-gold. The smell was still maple, but much less strong. The taste was much the same as the smell. It didn’t taste like much of anything, unfortunately.

This time, I steeped for 10 minutes. It smells stronger and tastes more like maple. Still, though, I’m finding that the tea itself is lacking in the taste department. It smells really authentic, but I don’t really want to put maple syrup into the tea to sweeten it. I also used ~2tsp/8-10oz, so I don’t think I’m under-steeping it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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59
drank Raspberry Soiree by Teavana
321 tasting notes

Thank you to Autumn Hearth for this!

On opening the tin, there’s a sort of tart scent that I don’t immediately associate with raspberries, but there’s a big dried raspberry sitting on the top. Cool.

I put the filter in my cup (I’m doing little cups because I have SO MUCH TEA to try!) and pour water over; it immediately turns bright red as it passes through the tea.

Unfortunately, hibiscus is listed as the first ingredient, and it shows. It’s okay, I mean. But it’s not really raspberry, just sort of a generic hibiscus fruity blend. This could be a tisane for all the tea I taste in here. I’ll definitely drink the tin, but it’s not something I want to spend my money on.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Autumn Hearth

I guess I should have asked where you stand on hibiscus before I sent this and the Sakura. This and the Nine Dragon are retired so no money spending ;)

Autumn Hearth

Oh also I apologize for not putting temps and times on the packets. We keep this one at a minute for 175, so perhaps for next time?

Michelle

I’m okay with hibiscus, I’m just not a huge fan of it. But sometimes, that’s what I want! :) I just went by Teavana’s general steeping parameters. My kettle only does 180 and 212, so I’ll let it cool off a bit the next time I try it.

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drank Sour Apple by Adagio Teas
321 tasting notes

I got this as a free sample in the last Adagio order I placed.

Opening it – wow. That’s sour. It almost reminds me of smelling a bag of Sour Patch Kids or Warheads. I love sour things, but I’m not good at a lot all at once. Still, I’m really intrigued.

1tsp/8oz, 5 minutes, boiling water.

It’s immediately starting to turn a bright red, probably from the hibiscus. Cool. It’s a really pretty tea.

The tea doesn’t smell as strongly sour when brewed as it does steeped, although I still smell it.

It doesn’t taste that sour either. I think I’m going to make another cup but steep for ~10 minutes, and see how that changes it. Leaving off the rating for the moment.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

Many thanks to Autumn Hearth for her incredibly generous samples of this and so many other teas! I cannot wait to sink my fangs into the box :)

I started my day with this tea. I figured, as it’s not your typical breakfast blend, and it’s a Chinese instead of an Indian black, I’d be okay with it in the morning and drinking it without milk or sugar. I was more or less right. It got a bit heavy towards the end of the mug as it cooled, but I didn’t really have time to focus on steeping it perfectly.

Parameters: ~2tsp/12oz, 180 F, ~3min.

These are the notes I took in class:

Smell: Wheaty, with whiffs of dark chocolate, like the chocolate bread at the bakery I used to go to after ballet class. I never really liked that chocolate bread (I much preferred sticky buns!) but my sister got it fairly often.

Leaves: Long, dark and twisty, with streaks of gold running through the space.

Liquor: golden-brown, kind of a chestnut color.

Taste: There is a definite taste of salt here, something I’ve never really experienced in a tea before. It’s predominant at the beginning of the sip, but I didn’t always get it. It’s wheaty, as expected. Kind of dark and heavy. A little bit of astringency, especially as it cooled, but not a whole lot. There’s some sort of dark berry here too, maybe currant or raisin? It’s not a juicy, fruity tea, but there’s something there.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Tawny Kira

I’ve found that I like a little saltiness in tea (and other not typically salty things, like caramel/chocolate) as it helps bring out the other flavors more. I think I may have to try this one just for that bit of saltiness :)

Autumn Hearth

Hehe fangs!

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89

Last night I steeped up a cup of this in my fancy Bodum Pavina glass – seriously, I love it. And it’s 8oz, so I feel like I can do a semi-gong-fu sitting with it and have two or three cups)

I had two cups last night, and then began my day with another two. It’s sweet and vegetal and really really good.

Sil

YAY for reviews from Red blossom tea company. I’m planning on visiting in a month-ish so starting to try and come up with 1-2 that i might get.

Michelle

Ooh la la! I’ve only tried this one, it was sent to me in the last Steepster Select, but it’s delicious. This is a really bad review of it, but it’s really, really good.

TeaBrat

I live in San Francisco and Red Blossom is pretty fun. :D

Sil

Amy – any other recommendations for other places in San Fran besides lupicia…er whatever it is.. I have it written down haha someone else suggested it

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75

Sipdown. I’ve been doing a lot of stashbusting lately, and it feels good. I’m ready to move on to autumn teas and rotate out some of the old ones.

I still can’t believe I haven’t rated this yet though – definitely thought I had.

The leaves are long and dark and twisty, and they sort of shine a little bit. It’s not just like a piece of dried leaf. They’re very unique.

The smell in the tin is very smoky. Good.

I’m actually a huge fan of cold-brewed Lapsang, so that’s what I did with this.

The smoke is the predominant flavor, as I would expect, but it’s not as strong as when I brew it by traditional hot methods. There’s a really unique charcoal flavor in there too, like I’m not drinking the smell of smoke but rather the taste of the burnt logs. I really like it.

(In the process of writing this review, I get a knock on my door. As I’m going over to open it, the key turns in the lock and our prankster friend RS is there. He goes “Well, this is awkward. E – my roommate – forgot her keys, so I’m playing a prank on her. You were never here. You saw nothing.” Okay, RS, I saw nothing. So now half of our room is a mess. He’s going to get it back, though, because I’m HORRID at keeping a straight face!)

Back to the tea. There’s a lingering sort of mineral sweetness that washes over my tongue at the end of the sip. I think there’s a lot more character and depth to this when cold-brewed than there is hot, although it’s great both ways. A delicious tea that will be missed!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Bonnie

I like it cold too.

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67
drank Caramel by Adagio Teas
321 tasting notes

Okay…

This tea is best in latte form, where the milk gives it a bit of richness and creaminess. Without that, it just tastes a bit bitter (probably my own fault) and artificial. It’s decent, but it needs a lot of milk, which is unfortunate. It is, however, really good mixed with hazelnut.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
MsWhatsit

I would have mixed it with hazelnut too. Caramel and hazelnut are a favorite combination for me.

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100
drank Dragonwell by Teavana
321 tasting notes

Oh, hello my sweet. We’re reunited, I see. It’s good to have you. I’ve been lonely.

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93

Thanks to my friend Aisha for swapping me some of this tea!

Today is one of those days where the thunderstorm’s been building all day long, and now it’s a bit darker than it should be at 4:30 pm, and the air is cool and damp, and it smells like rain. I’m so excited. I love rain and thunder and lightning.

The leaf of this smells like buttered, movie theater popcorn. It’s great. It’s mostly green leaves, and they’re flat and hard-edged and sort of artichoke colored, and then there are some twisty black leaves in there as well.

I steeped according to my general Adagio green parameters – 180, 2 minutes.

Okay.

The smell is still sort of caramelly, but the flavor is first buttery green tea (green tea + caramel?) and then vanilla. I taste a tiny bit of the pu’erh in the background, but it’s not enough to overwhelm the flavors.

If I had tried this tea before placing my last Adagio order (it should get here on Wednesday, hopefully!) I’d definitely have added some of this. It’s creamy and mellow without tasting too artificial.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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76

Thanks to The Tea Merchant for this sample!

Hm. It’s a really pretty peachy orange color. I cold-brewed it overnight. The dry smell is really fruity and great. The tea liquor definitely smells like apricots. But I’m not sure it tastes like them. I mean, I’d definitely go with fruit, but I’m not sure I want to jump straight to apricot – blood orange and nectarine, maybe?

It’s good, though, I’ll grant it that. It’s been crazy hot here in NY, so I’ve been drinking iced almost nonstop!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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Michelle, 24. Freelance writer, Indiana.

A little bit lost in life.

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