New Tasting Notes

68

I feel like I say this all the time: “Finally getting around to trying (insert name of tea here)” but here we are.

This brews up quite light in color and flavor, as I find many of Whispering Pines teas do. Not a complaint at all, just an observation. I am not getting much in the way of malty, cocoa richness. There is a pleasant citrusy note that I find refreshing. Also a bit of earthiness. A very nice tea, but Golden Orchid remains my favorite. I do not recommend having this with milk, as it’s a bit too delicate for it and the flavors get lost. Going to try the spent leaves as a cold brew next, so we’ll see how that goes.

Flavors: Citrus, Earth

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100

There’s that perfect moment when the tea cools to just the right temperature to allow the buttery fried dense pastry dough with burnt brown sugar with a bare hint of cinnamon melding beautifully with the toasty fried dough bits and the base to emerge all in the exactly right proportion. Another masterpiece.

And it’s a sipdown!

Sipdown 64

VariaTEA

I have a sealed package of this I keep looking over. Perhaps I need to start drinking it.

Arby

I desperately want to try this tea

52Teas

This is one that was made possible with a very special base that I don’t usually keep in stock – and really, I haven’t purchased any for quite a while so I don’t know when/if I will reblend it.

Evol Ving Ness

Well, VariaTEA, should you decide that it doesn’t work for you, I’d be happy to take it off your hands. :)

Sil

V – would love to try if need help haha

VariaTEA

Duly noted Sil and Evol Ving Ness

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84

Daily work tea. Got about two teaspoons of this left, then it’s on to other things. My curiosity has been satisfied. Also, I somehow managed to oversweeten this? Even though I used the same amount of sweetener I always use? Maybe it’s time to cut back. Hmm.

EDIT: Oh god, it’s because I didn’t stir it. What is wrong with me this morning?

EDIT 2: Also, I meant to mention that it’s a New Year’s goal of mine to have one Sipdown per week to keep the stash under control. So far, it’s Wednesday and I have been unsuccessful.

Sipdowns in 2019: 2

Mastress Alita

Feel free to join us on the 2019 Sipdown thread in the forums to track your progress and share encouragement, we are having a sipdown extravaganza this year! <3

Tabby

Oh, that sounds cool! I will certainly join. :D

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90

1.5 tsp for 300mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: mostly brown, some dark green.
Aroma: smoky toast, some nuttiness.

Wet leaf: mahogany, brown, and amber with some bright green.
Aroma: subtle smoke, earth.

Liquor: reddish brown, light body. Smoky but not tarry. Some surprising crispness and florals— a Nepal or Darjeeling tea in the blend? Some mineral notes as the tea cools.

I wish the body was just a little heavier. Otherwise a very fine Russian Caravan, distinctive and smoky yet also balanced.

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70

Disclaimer – I dislike jasmine but adore crème brulée, so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about this one.

I’ve sipped a quarter of this and I’m not quite getting the dessert notes I was hoping for. I’m picking up on a lot of vanilla, a bit of apple and some mild caramelized notes…nothing too strong on the jasmine, but also not what I think of when I fantasize longingly about crème brulée.

It’s a solid tea – smells amazing, tastes good – but it’s just not what I hoped for based on the name, so I doubt I’ll drink the sample down.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

Western style, 3 grams in strainer, 4 minutes in boiling water.

Dry tea smells very nice, lots of “tea smell”, bit of malt.
When brewed, bit of fruit tones appear, mostly I think it is orange and tangerine aromas, later more malty.

In flavour it is mostly malt tea with slight of oranges.

In colour it´s mostly brown-orange, clear and nice.

Smooth and nice malt black tea, I can suggest it to everyone. I didn´t notice jam notes.

Flavors: Malt, Orange, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 11 OZ / 330 ML

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75
drank Pink Mermaid by Par Avion
105 tasting notes

Container has rainbow, iridescent scales decorating the outside. Advertises that the tea steeps pink. I think it’s more of a pink/brown, maybe cranberry color. Smells lightly floral and sweet. Tastes like apple and hibiscus. I can maybe taste the cornflower (?) but I’m still learning what that flavor is. Tasted 01.2019

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Hibiscus, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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89

According to Mandala, this is organically grown in pure soil and fresh air and picked/processed in April of 2012.

This Gong Ting (Imperial Court) had a very dark dense liquor color, similar to strong coffee. The small (young) dark wet leaves smelled of strong leather and earth, rich forest soil. The flavor of the liquor had leather notes, but rather gentle, mild… Surprisingly not overwhelming considering the strong aroma. It also had the classic earthy notes. No fishy or dirt notes. In later steeps, I got some fruit notes of prunes or figs which gave it a slight sweetness but throughout the entire process, it mainly consisted of leather, earth, topsoil notes. I’m pretty sure my inexperienced ability is at fault here as far as being able to detect other notes but I still enjoyed all steeps regardless hehe. It’s full-bodied, rich, smooth, and a delicate soft mouth-feel, creamy, with a rich aftertaste of fresh damp earth.

212˚F, 110ml, 14 steeps:rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s, 65s, 75s (3:17 am… I think it outlasted me. Stopping now lol)

Flavors: Dates, Earth, Leather, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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45

It didn’t taste like pu erh nor citrus to me : the only thing I felt and smelled was a very smoky, almost burnt ‘aroma’.

I ordered and tried only one, and maybe I got ‘an old one’ or ‘the wrong batch’, but bottom line, it was as little enjoyable as a random tea bag : not good enough for the price.

I tried with and without the skin, 30 seconds as well as 3 minutes… It’s possible I didn’t prepare it right, but I really tried – and won’t try again.
Not this brand anyways.

Flavors: Burnt, Smoked

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 g 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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63

Another tea I misplaced, and found again. My first cup of this, I had to look up recommended steeping instructions as I am not yet skilled enough yet in tea identification to eyeball this stuff. So 2:30 at 180F it was. The aroma is very lovely. Fruity and sweet. The flavor, however, eh- not so much. I taste a faint sweetness to it, but not enough for my diabetic mouth. I’m definitely getting some vegetal notes from the green tea and a SLIGHT fruitiness. The flavor overall is very mild. I just don’t think it is for me. I almost want to add sweetener to this to see if it will bring out the peachy fruity notes. Really not my cup of tea. I will likely finish the free sample but probably not till there is nothing else to drink again. I mean, it’s better than Grocery Store, but not by much I feel.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Peach, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

Small gaiwan, lots of leaves, boiling water.

Dry leaves: sweet, cookie like.

Wet leaves: wood, chestnuts, slight sweetness. Gaiwan lid is really sweet. Leaves are mid sized, tender but slightly thick, dark leather colour, really nice quality. Barely any sings of breaking.

Liquor colour: dark amber

Liquor scent: very sweet, honey,

Taste: Smooth, warming black tea. Sweet, light in aromas, with hints of tannin, dry wooden notes at the back, giving some character to the tea. Nothing unpleasant.

Second steep bring out more character. A slight hint of pleasant bitterness rounds the tea. More wood, darker flavours. Not sweet, but juicy. Drying on the throat. Heavy on the tongue.

Third steep is smoother in texture, less intense. But more wood. Thick bark.

Fourth steep is still very generous in flavours. Even more balanced I’d say. Tannin leaves space to more sweetness coming back through.

Fifth steep start to show signs of dying, but still pleasant.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Tulsi Tranquility by DAVIDsTEA
561 tasting notes

Oh man! This one smells so good and fruity! Tastes fruity and delicious too! I will be buying or redeeming some points towards this one!

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drank Choco Chaga Detox by DAVIDsTEA
561 tasting notes

Got a free sample of this tea to try with a purchase I made in store. There was also a 20% coupon on the back for 1 item! Free tea and a coupon?! Ok! Thanks DT! I decided to try this as a latte and it was quite good-tasted like a hot chocolate basically with a little sweetener. I am not a fan of having Chaga mushrooms though so it was nice to try but I won’t be buying any.

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drank Pomegrateful by DAVIDsTEA
561 tasting notes

I am simply obsessed with Pomegrateful! It smells wonderfully fruity and tastes amazing! With just the right amount of tartness. It is amazing iced too! I kinda already have a 200+ stash of it already!

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I like this one a lot. My stomach has been upset a lot lately and the ginger in this is just so soothing to it at the moment.

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99
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
2823 tasting notes

A big thank you to Cameron B for sending along some Lupicia samples. Now that they are disappearing from America (minus Hawaii), I’m very appreciative to try some of these blends. I’ve never bought any teas from Lupicia, only sampled here and there from tea boxes and other Steepsterers, but I did love the teas I was able to try. I think Lupicia never fails with excellent, accurate flavoring. This one is amazing. Could it be more melony? No way.. not even if I shoved some actual melon pieces in the cup. It’s fantastic, even with one teaspoon. One teaspoon is definitely enough. And I’m very pleased it isn’t watermelon.. it’s cantaloupe. My favorite melon. It’s hard to taste the oolong, but with accurate melon flavor, I’m fine with that. On the second steep, I was tasting hints of floral which I thought must be the oolong, with still a ton of melon flavor. Third steep: tons of melon again. I could probably keep going. I couldn’t think of a finer base tea for this flavor, but their melon white tea and melon green rooibos is also amazing.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for not quite full mug// 16 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min

Cameron B.

This is my absolute favorite from Lupicia!

tea-sipper

Thanks for sharing it then. :D I’m glad it was the first I tried. It would be a tough one to beat, favorite wise, for me too.

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drank Cool Eucalyptus by DAVIDsTEA
561 tasting notes

Tried Cool Eucalyptus in store on Boxing Day as a sample and loved it. Got a tea of the day to go a few days later to make sure I liked it before buying some more and I hated it. Plus, it was a red-ish color now instead of golden but I could still smell the eucalyptus so it was the same tea. I had a free sample coming my way from an online order, so I decided to try it again as maybe they just over brewed it or something. I am glad I did! I really like this tea and would imagine it would be helpful when feeling sickly. I steeped it at green tea temperature from my variable kettle and for 1 and half minutes only and it is the golden color like the first time I tried it.

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96

I love this tea. More flavourful than a basic earl grey, not as perfumey as Harneys Paris. The lavender cleans it up a bit without being cloying. I love it. One of my favs. I make it with lots of shaken foamed milk. My perfect afternoon treat.

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89
drank Takibi by Lupicia
292 tasting notes

You guessed it, another great gift from Cameron B. hehe I’m really enjoying all these different flavored teas. I can’t wait to try the B&B ones, S&V, A&D, Dammann Frères and more. All these stores I’ve always wanted to try after reading all the reviews. Thank you again <3.

I really loved their mango oolong, and this is very similar. It has the addition of passion fruit and the citrusy notes, grapefruit. I like this better than the mango one because of the added citrus notes. Also, I like the oolong base a bit more, baked/oxidized more. Their site says this one uses Chinese oolong and the Mango oolong uses Taiwanese oolong (pouchong specifically). Both are great though.

Still heartbroken about the thought of them closing their Hayward store since I just started adding flavored teas to my rotation. On Twitter, I wrote on one of Lupicia’s tweets “California mise o tojinaide kudasai. ^^” which means “Please don’t close your California store.” lol To my surprise, they “liked” it. Wishful thinking that they won’t? I guess haha.

Flavors: Astringent, Grapefruit, Mango, Passion Fruits

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

I really like this one, it’s the first flavored oxidized oolong I’ve seen from Lupicia.

P.S. – The two A&D teas are unflavored!

Kawaii433

Ok :D So looking forward to them. I dreamt about your package while having a nap!! haha

Mastress Alita

しょうがない…

Kawaii433

Mastress Alita… Nooo. I still have hope! hehe

Todd

I found your tweet and retweeted.

Kawaii433

Todd, hehe thank you! Let’s hope they listen (I know wishful thinking hehe)

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68

Teabox Tuesday! I got a sampler of this tea from the Discovery Teabox, so thank you to Skysamurai for organizing and all participants of the box! This blend is from 2013, so I’m not sure how much flavor will be left after six years… that said, when I get the chance to try old 52Teas blends, I usually take them, since I never know when (or if!) those blends will reappear, and they are always such unique/interesting flavors.

Hmm. The aroma smells quite strawberry-banana-like, which is very off-putting to me, but there is no banana listed in the ingredients, so I’m willing to try it. It smells quite sweet and I can pick out a bit of lime from the aroma as well.

It is a bit weak, but not terribly so. It’s fairly sweet from the honeybush, and I’m getting a strawberry flavor, and it’s sort of that sweeter, candied sort of strawberry note, rather than particularly fruity or juicy. There is a citrus note as well, with the lime having a bit more prominence. Apparently there is rum flavoring, but I’m not really picking out anything that has a dry/alcoholic sort of taste, though the citrus is a bit brisk, which may be some of the lingering remains of the rum… it does remind me a bit of a note from a different lime cocktail tea I have, come to think of it. It’s a slightly sour sort of citrus taste, but fades quickly because the base tea and strawberry note are so sweet.

For the age, this has actually held up much better than I was expecting, with quite a bit of strawberry and lime flavor still present. I imagine it was quite potent in its prime, and the flavor combo is quite pleasant.

Flavors: Citrus, Honey, Lime, Sour, Stonefruits, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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LASTED FOUR YEARS! Not too bad! Read on for deets…

This morning I was making the tea for our weekly tea party when I noticed water all over the countertop. Earlier, I had seen some bubbles skittering through the window of the water level window in the kettle and thought it was odd since I have never seen that before. I should have paid more attention to that, because it was an indicator that my kettle was leaking. Those were air bulbbles as little drops of water slipped out of the base of the handle and ran into the bottom heating ring.

It can still be used but the leak will surely only grow. I have had this kettle for four years, so I feel that this isn’t too surprising. It gets a lot of use. I will probably buy exactly the same kettle to replace it, because it really does have great capacity and is quite useful. I will ask hubby first if it can be fixed….he can do anything, so if he says no then it is truly gone.

Cameron B.

This is the kettle I use, too! I actually have two, one for work. :)

Lexie Aleah

I just got this one for my birthday last June (my first electric kettle) and I’ve been loving it.

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75

It’s funny because this review starts off by saying something along the lines of “I may have gone a bit overboard when ordering teas this past Black Friday”. Except, this past Black Friday I ordered no teas. The Black Friday in question is from 2017. I wrote the review in April 2018. Sometimes Sororitea Sisters takes forever to post reviews and then you get weird discrepancies like this one.

Anyways, I quite enjoyed this tea. It is somehow light and rich at the same time and dessert-y without being a dessert-inspired blend. I really should drink this more often.

Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2019/01/07/vietnam-gui-fei-oolong-from-what-cha/

Evol Ving Ness

This one is from our joint What-Cha order. I lost my mind that Black Friday as well. Hell, make that every BF since I discovered tea, with the exception of this past one.

Thank you for reminding me of this tea. It’s a good one.

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80
drank Momijigari by Lupicia
292 tasting notes

Another sample from Cameron B. :D

The dry leaves smelled like apple cider. I don’t drink wine but it reminds me of the smell of certain wines from Olive Garden hehe. I love the smell of some wines, I just can’t drink it without nausea. Long story, I’ll share it sometime.

I can drink this though. :D I found it to be refreshing. I bet this would be good iced. When it comes to fruit, I love the ones that are tart so momijigari goes in the win column for me since it has some tart notes. Sweet and tart apple, some apricot notes with the comforting malt notes. I like the black tea base in this. Is it darjeeling? I’m such a noob.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Floral, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I so wish I could order more of this before they close the website. Unfortunately, it’s an autumn tea… QQ

Kawaii433

Cameron, I saw that. /cry. There are a few that you sent me that I can’t get but am so glad that I will be able to try them. <3

Mastress Alita

I really wanted this one last year too, but they didn’t release it loose leaf, my preference. I was willing to get the teabags just to finally get to try it, but it was sold out online and by the time of my autumn trip in November, it was sold out at the San Jose store when I got to visit it for the first (and now, only) time.

Cameron B.

I know, I was so annoyed too! My loose leaf is from the year before.

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