New Tasting Notes

94

2021 Sipdown #9

This one is a sad sipdown! I have really enjoyed this tea and hope to find something like it! This particular cup was a lot heavier on the vanilla than the previous ones, and not quite as much lavender. Either way, au revoir, you will be missed!

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48

A gift from Devon Bartholomew in honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day. I had wanted to try this one before buying a full box and Devon kindly offered to send me a bag to sample. I’m glad I did try it first because it’s not really my thing. I don’t taste any caramel, only an artificial apple candy flavor and that familiar dusty quality I always get from hot hibiscus. I’m glad to try it though and mark it off my wishlist. Thanks, Devon!

Flavors: Apple Candy, Artificial, Dust

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98
drank Woodland Walk by Tea.o.graphy
29 tasting notes

I don’t drink this every day. Not even once a week. But when I do I’m always grateful for it. It’s such a pleasurable unique combination of herbs and leaves. One of the most beautiful teas I’ve ever seen, so colorful and evocative. Just a pure delight and nicely caffeinated too.
Just another reminder that Tea-o-graphy may be one of the most innovative little tea shops in the country. They really care about what they’re doing and they’re using the very best of ingredients to push the envelope. I hope to get down to Taos some day and visit in person.
I would highly recommend this tea.

Flavors: Anise, Cardamom, Earth, Sweet, Vanilla

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

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77
drank Neptune by Lupicia
1306 tasting notes

Still working my way through a bag of this. I did increase my rating a bit, because it is tastier than I previously gave it credit for. Adding a tiny bit of honey really accentuates the candy sweet fruit flavors.

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48
drank Fujian Oolong by Bare Leaves
1306 tasting notes

Sipdown 42-2021
From a SipsBy box. I temporarily cancelled my SipsBy again as I try to sip through my stash.
I really didn’t like this one. I found it to be a pretty boring roasted oolong, and lacked any complexity or depth. I’m actually quite sick of this flavor profile.

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88

Sipdown 41-2021
Sad to see this one go, but I will probably repurchase in the future. Such a nice, easy drinking Yunnan.

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68

Sipdown 40-2021
Not much has changed since the last cup- vanilla black tea with some orange notes. A nice cup in the morning.
I’ve been doing shockingly well with not buying any new teas, and focusing on sipping down what I have. Hopefully I can keep this streak up.

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77

Happy National Random Acts of Kindness Day! Today for the sipdown thread the prompt is “drink a tea that was kindly gifted to you!” Dustin kindly gave me several extra French tea samples above and beyond the THEODOR ones I purchased, including this one! Brewed as my morning cuppa.

Made my first cup with my typical black tea parameters: 2.5g to 350ml 205F water, steeped for three minutes. The packet says to use shorter steeps, but since in general I trend to using a lot less leaf than most folks, I decided to start with my standard, then adjust for the second cup if needed. I find it interesting that the company page says the flavoring is rose and apple, because the aroma I got sniffing the dry leaf was a mix of pear, black currant, and purple grape candy!

The aroma from my cooling cup mostly just smells like pear to me, but knowing that it is supposed to be apple, I can certainly get green apple. I’m definitely smelling rose now; a gentle, sweet floral, finely mixed with the fruity aroma and not overpowering. I’m not getting a strong astringent bite from the tea liquor on the sip, so I think it steeped just fine; the base is a touch malty and a touch smoky, neither characteristics I’d peg for a Ceylon, but that’s what I taste. The fruitiness on the sip still presents as pear to me, with soft rosy undertones. I like the flavor pairing. It’s only long after the sip, once the tea has settled on my tongue, that a mellow sweet red apple flavor emerges.

This is nice! I’m really digging the rose paired with a sweet fruitiness. Thanks for the chance to try it, Dustin!

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Pear, Rose, Smoke

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

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24

New tea from the MF website. When it arrived, I opened the bag and recoiled—what perfumed the air was not pleasant to me. A round, pronounced mechanical smell was front and center. I had to wade through these strange notes to even discern the vanilla.

Curious minds want to know, so I decided to brew this tea first, before the others in my shipment. I followed the brewing guidelines to a tee, hoping the off-putting aroma would transform into something actually appealing. Nope. There was a bit of false hope on the nose—the overwhelming chemical notes of the tea leaves seemed to soften as the vanilla become more multidimensional. But when I tasted it, with a teaspoon of sugar, I was not a fan. It tasted like how the leaves smelled.

I’m trying to understand if I’m missing something delicate with this tea. It just doesn’t resonate with me. I wish I would have chosen another MF scented black tea that was in my cart.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Reading about young sheng. I got that grassiness and pleasantly bitter astringency that indicates it’s a good candidate for aging, woo. And I see what someone meant when they said it’s not so much about the taste but the feeling you get during and after drinking—the sweetness and energy really built up through the afternoon. It is my understanding that this may be what is referred to as hui gan.

Was a little worried when I read that young sheng may upset the stomach due to certain enzymes being present but it had the opposite effect on me, even as someone with digestive issues.

Looking forward to seeing this tea evolve. Gonna try this again in a little while to see if lower brewing temperatures bring out more flavor.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Tulsi

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95
drank Lion's Mane Rhodiola by Teeccino
721 tasting notes

Lovely, perfume-y, full of umami and earthy. Warm. Satisfies my desire for a second cup of coffee without actually being coffee. No acidity and no caffeine. I rely on coffee for survival, but tea is truly the magical side of things.

Today is Ash Wednesday, so for us Catholics, that means it’s a day of fasting and abstention. Drinking this to warm myself up and boost my mood so that I can more fully embrace and embody the spirit of Lent.

I choose to live in the American Northeast, so I have zero right to complain about the winter weather, especially with the amount of cold weather-related suffering that’s occurring in the American Deep South, where they didn’t choose to deal with snow and ice (and indeed are not equipped for it), but… it’s just the truth that it’s bloody freezing out today and everything is coated with glare ice. The wind doesn’t help.

I donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts in the hopes that the money will go toward helping my fellow Americans in Texas and other impacted states. If any of my Steepster friends live in those areas, know that I am sending warm wishes, prayers, and happy thoughts your way!

Flavors: Earth, Fig, Floral, Perfume, Roasted, Rose, Umami, Wet Wood

gmathis

Your acts of kindness are making me smile this morning! One of our local stores has started to carry a Teeccino flavor or two. I am going to have to take a closer look.

teaqueen

Can’t recommend this brand enough!

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drank Raspberry Fluff Mate by 52teas
1188 tasting notes

Amandastory516 sent me the loveliest package of teas, and this was one of them. I was cooking and way oversteeped it, which definitely didn’t help, but it managed to be not bitter until the last couple sips. Still, the flavor was just mate without a hint of anything else except maybe a bit of marshmallow softness, but so subtle I’m not sure. It doesn’t taste bad, but it’s not what I’m looking for in a tea. The resteep was the same. I wish I’d gotten some raspberry or more marshmallow, but at least it was a decent mate.

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90
drank Princess Grey by Tealyra
45 tasting notes

A lovely interpretation of the classic, well done and on the higher end of affordable. This tea blend tastes to be built on a good Keemun, with a bit of orange peel adding complexity beyond a toned-down hit of bergamot, and rounded out by some peach flavor. The black tea flavor dominates and the orange peel is clean and uplifting, while the claimed chrysanthemum ingredient is so subtle as to be undetectable. Not overly floral or fruity, and not particularly sweet. Less assertive than standard Earl Grey, but solid enough to make a great iced tea (sweet or un-), if it wasn’t below zero F outside! This was among my earliest purchases from Tealyra, around 4 yr ago, and it’s as good today as it was back then. I’ve kept it in a dark, closed mason jar at ambient. Glad they still offer it because it’s time to buy more! Only as a loose tea for now—I would happily buy it in mesh sachets—meanwhile I use fabric drawstring teabags and brew Western style in a big mug. No re-steeping.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Pretty in Pink by Cuppa Geek
1132 tasting notes

2021 sipdown no. 43

This smells and tastes exactly like when I smash up fresh strawberries to make strawberry shortcake each summer. The scent is reminding me of home and my grandmother, who taught me how to make strawberry shortcake. What a winning cuppa! Also, the green rooibos is such a great choice — to all tea companies, please feel free to use it more! :)

Edit: Forgot to mention before that I picked the marshmallows out of here, just in case they weren’t vegan!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
AJRimmer

I love strawberry shortcake – I always serve myself 60% cream, 30% strawberry, and 10% cake. But I’ve got this tea on my shelf, and I think you’ve convinced me to finally open it!

Courtney

Strawberry shortcake is the best! I hope you enjoy this one!

Inkling

This sounds so good! Why do so many tea companies use red rooibos and not green?

Courtney

I’ve no idea Inkling, but I wish they would incorporate more green!

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86
drank SAÏGON by THE O DOR
1155 tasting notes

I was in mood for green tea; and why not to try a new one from Dustin? Thank you a lot, I wouldn’t order myself there!

It was random choice from three being sent, and turned out great. While the aroma in pouch wasn’t saying much to me — some floral, perfume like scent, I decided to give it a try anyway.

I have used two teaspoons per 300 ml, while I haven’t checked recommended preparation at all. As a green, I did my best to have water temperature around 80°C. But as it is started to steeping a mellow tropical fruits-floral notes started to waft through all the kitchen where I was preparing my breakfast. After two and half minutes I took the strainer off and took a sniff. Oh my… so wonderfully pineapple scent! With some, again, florals beneath. I coud not wait to take sips of this tea.

In taste it is floral with pineapple notes. They say there should be “Prickly fig” aka Opuntia and while I have very limited experience, I think it’s there! Maybe there are some other tropical fruits in taste too (as it was somehow generic tropical for me, and they say papaya pieces are in).
Lotus? Not sure… but again, very limited experience with this ingredient — only What-cha’s Vietnam West Lake ‘Golden Flower’ Lotus tea.

Hmm… glad I have this tea!

Flavors: Fig, Floral, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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70

So, first thing, credit where due: I posted two images taken from Yunnan Sourcing’s website since that’s where I bought this CNNP-brand of tea, and the vendor description posted by Hukman exactly matches (perhaps coincidentally) what YS wrote (I don’t know where Hukman bought his when he created the listing).

I really enjoy drinking this tea! Lots of character, spiciness, and aroma across the first eight gongfu steepings (cheated by using a stainless steel infusion strainer). The kick was gone and flavors diminished in the 9th – 12th steeps, but still quaffable. The last infusion went for around 10 min. but still produced a coppery-colored liquor. I’d buy more of this if my cupboards weren’t already packed with tea!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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90

The epitome of Keemun! This one has a potent yet smooth flavor with minimal astringency and what I call a good ol’ Keemun kick! Yes it’s got plenty of caffeine which accounts for it being used in “breakfast” blends. Superior to the Sri Lankan blacks I’ve sipped and quite distinctive, too. I like it much more than the Qimen Mao Feng Supreme by Tealyra, which might be too refined to suit me . This gives a powerful Qimen taste and would be a good standard-bearer for someone wanting to learn to differentiate among various tea types. The leaf is small, fully oxidized and well rolled, but not not overly chopped (not CTC) and not “fannings”. Gives an aromatic, fast coppery brew. I’ve had both loose and sachets of this with equal pleasure in Western mug brewing. Haven’t tried resteeping.

Postscript: Since I bought this after the company changed name from Tealux to Tealyra, I’ve edited the company name in the listing to avoid duplicate entries and retain previous tasting notes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84

A real good Taiwan-stored Pu’erh, and only the first steeping had hints of earthy compost and fresh fish. Then it was smooth sailing through sixteen steepings of lovely, sweet, aromatic and tongue-pleasing tea, ranging from deep dark walnut to red oak to light copper in colour. Mine was a sample-size gift from BTTC last year, and I don’t know if it’s still available. You can see how the starting dry leaves differ from the spent leaves after the 16th brew in the photos I’ve posted & close-ups. I would buy this as a routine morning tea if I could get more!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Mermaid Tea by Østerlandsk Thehus
1132 tasting notes

2021 sipdown no. 42

A lovely tea from VariaTEA!

I quite enjoyed this one. The fruitiness is slightly generic, but there is definitely a sea buckthorn tartness that I really like. The green tea blends into the background and accents nicely.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #56 overall / Tea #23 for February
#drinkwhatyouown January slot 23/25

Tuesday 2/16 — One of my earliest Sipsby boxes (I started sipsby fall 2017, so from late 2017/early 2018) I got 4 sachets of this. I’m not a black tea or earl grey gal so this got put in my large box of sipsby teas. As I’m trying to be more mindful and sipdown my 342049432904830943 overall collection of teas this was pulled out for a black tea option. Steeped 2 teabags as loose tea in my DT favorite tumbler before work and been sipping on it all shift long (2 pm-10 pm).

#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge

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