268 Tasting Notes

80
drank Mon Secret by Nina's Paris
268 tasting notes

All the previous Nina’s Paris teas I’ve tried I have really liked because the flavors were subtle, but still definitely present. In my opinion, this tea has gone over too far into subtle territory. It just seems vaguely fruity, in tropical kind of way. The keemun base really takes over. I’m not saying this tea is bad- it’s not at all. It’s just not what I expected given the description and doesn’t live up to the other Nina’s teas that I’ve tried.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
268 tasting notes

How have I not had this tea before? This makes me think I need to explore more decaf black teas for evenings. I drink herbals because I want to sleep, but I’m not in love with most of them. The ceylon base is light and a little malty. The vanilla is soft and gentle. Yum! And I get to have black tea at night, which let’s be honest, is superior to the majority of tisanes.

Flavors: Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
sherapop

Well, mj, in my experience Vanilla Comoro is something of an exception to the rule that decaf flavored blacks are usually wan and insipid. So don’t get your hopes up too high! ;-)

mj

Well, that’s disappointing but not totally unexpected. Have you come across any other good ones?

sherapop

The only other one I can truly recommend so far is Numi Decaf Earl Grey. It is very good for decaf and also for a filter bag.

MzPriss

I agree with sherapop – this is pretty much the only good one I’ve found so far

mj

Boo…the blergamot is not my friend. Thanks anyway for the recommendation though!

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84
drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
268 tasting notes

I haven’t been drinking much Butiki lately, which is a shame because Stacy knows her way around some tea! Actually, the only guayusas I’ve had have been Butiki and I’ve liked all of them. Thanks Cheri for the opportunity to try another! I tried it first without sweetener and the taste was mostly the guayusa base, which I really like, with some subtle spices in the background. I wasn’t really getting any apple though. So, I added a tiny amount of sweetener and that really woke up the flavors in this one! The base is still the main flavor but there is an apple turnover-esque quality shyly lurking in the background. Very tasty!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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So tired this morning and really needing a kick in the pants or the face…possibly both. It’s my own fault I was up late. I probably shouldn’t have taken a long nap yesterday and then spent two hours drinking oolong when I woke up, but it was fun :-). I thought a good spicy chai might do the trick. I did not know that this was a spicy, smoky chai until I opened the pouch but I decided to go with it anyway. Sigh….smoky teas are just not for me. I pretty much only taste the smoke and this is anathema to my tea drinking enjoyment. This is not the fault of this tea. I’m sure it’s lovely if you like smoke in your tea, but I don’t. I pretty much only like smoke flavor in my gouda and my sausage. Thanks for this sample though, Miss B!

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
boychik

Little maple syrup does wonders.

Cheri

I agree with boychik on this one about the maple syrup. Seriously, a couple of drops does wonders.

And a smoked gouda…….yum! I also like other meats smoked.

boychik

I love smoked everything especially fish

mj

Mmmm…andouille. That’s my favorite. I suppose I will need to keep some maple syrup on hand for these occasions. I keep forgetting to buy some!

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1
drank Coco-lada by Owl's Brew
268 tasting notes

I’m going out for Pride with my friends tonight, so I thought I’d have a drink and try this out before I left. Dear god, this is disgusting. First of all, it’s cloudy and that completely skeeves me out. It seriously looks like a bacterial culture, a little darker than a beaker of LB (luria broth) with an overnight culture of E.coli growing in it. I followed the directions: 2 parts tea-stuff to 1 part alcohol; I went with vodka. Holy crap, will that get you drunk in a hurry! It tastes so thick too (again, reminds me of a liquid rife with bacteria, although I have obviously never tasted that) and is cloyingly sweet. There’s so much going on in this and the taste is so strong, my tongue is crying in a corner of my mouth. JUST. NO. Do yourself a favor and never, ever try this. It’s a shame too because I got this as a gift and now I feel bad for hating it.

Virginia

Oh dear lord this sounds so terrible, I feel bad for you. But am also giggling incessantly from this tasting note xD

mj

I made myself take 5 sips. It is truly terrible. At least it brought laughter to this world. I should mention, I’m waiting to get picked up. Don’t drink and drive, kids!

MzPriss

Nasty bacteria tea?? I’m laughing

Marzipan

At least with the vodka there was likely no actual bacteria?

mj

No I don’t think there was actual bacteria in it. It just looked like it and felt like it in my mouth shudder

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Kombucha gone wrong! ;)

Janefan

I wish I’d read this before impulse buying a bottle of it today! I figured it couldn’t be too bad with those normal, wholesome looking ingredients. Now I’m afraid to try it, esp with the recommended ratio. :-(

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80
drank English Toffee by Simpson & Vail
268 tasting notes

Another tea from Miss B! After the butterbeer disappointment I decided to try this one because in the words of Dumbledore, “I think I could be safe with a nice toffee” (I’m still watching Harry Potter). I tried this plain first and I could strongly taste the tea base along with a subtle buttery, slightly nutty taste. While I wouldn’t exactly say toffee, I did find it pleasant. I decided to resteep and try with sweetener to see if it brought the toffee taste out a little more. Unfortunately, all that accomplished was to hide the base tea. So, I added some milk and it became nicely and predictably creamier. I prefer this plain though. It was a good tea, but nothing that leaves a lasting impression.

Flavors: Butter, Nutty

Cameron B.

Well at least it didn’t turn out to be earwax. :P

mj

LOL amen to that!

Cheri

I was thinking the same thing about earwax. Hah!

Cameron B.

Oh Dumbledore, you rogue…

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drank Butterbeer by 52teas
268 tasting notes

Well this tea is a big old NOPE for me. It’s probably not this tea’s fault… I hate root beer. It’s a shame because all of a sudden, I was like “I’m going to watch Harry Potter and drink this tea.” Also, I’ve had “real” butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it was sooooo delicious. It was cream soda based; no root beer. That’s more of what I was expecting. I won’t rate it because of my aversion to root beer. Anyway, I love all things Potter and was very happy to be able to try this courtesy of Miss B. Thanks!

Flavors: Root Beer

ohfancythat

Aw, too bad. I thought it was decent! I enjoy root beer though :)
Man we are going back to Orlando in the fall and you better believe I will be drinking my share of Butterbeer!!

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98

Next up in the Whispering Pines sample pack! Yes, I did choose all the expensive ones….what can I say :-)

I opened the cute little pouch and I was shocked! It smelled like super rich fudge. I knew there was vanilla added to this blend…but there must be chocolate too? Nope! HOW? I managed to wait long enough to not burn myself to take the first sip and it did not disappoint! It also tastes like rich, creamy fudge, but not overpoweringly so you get tea + fudge. Tea fudge! Is that a thing? If not, it should be! I make a lot of fudge since it is my boyfriend’s favorite and this is giving me ideas :-). This tea is surprising and wonderful and just so well executed. Love it!

Flavors: Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Tea Fudge is a thing now, for sure! :)

MzPriss

I called it vanilla fudge :) and welcome to your new addiction mj

TheTeaFairy

Yep, MzPriss said it, ADDICTION!!!

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100

I got my Whispering Pines samples early! I checked the tracking this morning when I got up and was so excited that I rushed to the mailbox in my more-than-slightly sheer tank and some shorts that I slept in….oops. I seriously did not even think about it until I was almost there but luckily, I don’t think I was spotted. I love the packaging and the handwritten note, btw. That totally made me smile :-).

Anyway. THIS TEA. Let me tell you about how great it is. At first sip, a really nice salty caramel note hits that morphs quickly into chocolate all over a very malty, bready background that reminds me of a croissant. The sip ends with a burst of sweet fruitiness. Sorry I can’t be more specific about the fruit, but I don’t have magical Tea Fairy taste buds that can detect that level of nuance. The flavor then fades away to a really clean mouthfeel that I’ve mentioned in a couple of my tasting notes. I also feel like that’s not a helpful descriptor but I’ve thought about it a lot and that’s all I can come up with. I am a HUGE fan of that in a tea though.

I feel like I am not even allowed to say this on Steepster, but here goes. I like this better than Verdant’s Laoshan Black!! (cue the throwing of rotted fruits and veggies) I don’t even care, it’s the truth! It’s perfect and I love it. This is my new favorite unflavored tea. Thank you for the sample, Brendan!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Chocolate, Fruity, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hehehe :) I think I need to go have some now, too! :D

So glad you liked it, and I’m also glad you like the packaging! I’m actually really proud of my sample pack packaging :)

TheTeaFairy

This review rocks!! Lol, my tastebuds are no more magical than yours sweet girl. I’m glad more people are stating to review this wonderful tea. (And psst…it is this close to surpass LB by a notch for me as well. Right now they are neck in neck, so no rotten tomatoes from me!!)

inranger

My first sip of Ailaoshan Black is scheduled to arrive on Monday! :) These reviews are providing sweet anticipation.

I may rush to my mailbox, but for the sake of my neighbors I will hopefully contain myself and show some discretion. But then again, sometimes one has to do what one must do.

mj

Brendan, the sample pack packaging is so cute! Rustic, but also refined :-). I didn’t just like it, I love it! And I need it. What have you done to me?? LOL

TheTeaFairy, I remain convinced that your taste buds are indeed magical.

inranger, I do try to keep exposing myself to the neighbors to a minimum, but you know sometimes things just happen. Sorry neighbors!

MzPriss

No tomatoes from me either – this one rocks

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Profile

Bio

Tea-obsessed, book worm scientist.

I love black tea, especially Chinese black tea- I’m looking at you Fujians and Yunnans! I also enjoy Indian teas, mostly first flush darjeelings (and a select few assams).
I think I’m recently starting to like oolongs better though- gasp! I’ve been cheating on my black teas with all these lovely, alluring green floral oolongs. Sorry I’m not sorry.
White tea gets a lot of love too! I am particularly fond of silver needle whites.
I can’t seem to appreciate green teas and rooibos is foul, IMO.

Other interests: Books! Board games! Nerdy entertainment like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, all the nature documentaries, etc etc. Also Disney!

I’m up for swaps!

Follow me on instagram if you like tea, food, and animal pics plus some other randomness:
http://instagram.com/mj1851

Location

Minneapolis, MN

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