Featured & New Tasting Notes
Sipdown. Boy, are my sipdowns super slow. In the beginning, I bought way too much of a tea at a time.
The dry leaf smelled good, sweet caramel aroma. It brewed to a pretty deep red, liquor smells of caramel. To me though, the flavor came off as artificial. I do like that it wasn’t overly sweet, but this caramel/toffee flavor rooibos just wasn’t for me. To be fair, I admit that I’m not a huge fan of rooibos and I drink it for health purposes. The strawberry is by far the best of the three.
Preparation western brew: 12oz, 212 ºF, 5g, 5 mins
Flavors: Caramel, Sweet, Toffee
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #12
Another interesting one to see in the teabox. I wasn’t paying attention to the instructions though and made this as a normal tea instead of the latte. This is the finest ground rooibos I’ve ever seen. It almost looks like rooibos matcha but they say to put it in a teabag. The ingredients say rooibos, vanilla bean and fenugreek for some reason. The resulting brew is surprisingly light. The flavor is vanilla enough but there is also the tiniest hint of an off flavor, like onion or something? I looked up fenugreek and it says it should have a maple flavor?
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Another day: The second steep session, I tried to steep how they say on the bag: A teaspoon in a teabag in half a mug of water for five minutes (or less), then add milk to it. I don’t usually adding milk to my teas, but I wanted to try the LATTE brew. I can’t say I liked it better this way. It was fine. The milk really brought out that onion flavor though. If you can ignore that, it DOES really taste like caramel. But it mostly just seemed like milk. I’d rather just drink this brewed normally, without any milk.
This one was resting in cupboard for long time and I wasn’t really sure if I want to try it.
But today… I just wanted something warm and bit energy boosting.
derk wrote exactly what is this about; it is strong in cinnamon, it works well with base tea, I noticed notes of cloves and little of allspice. It is overall enjoyable, but nothing really to return. Maybe prepared in milk it would be bit better? Who knows?
1.25 tsp for 250mL: water @95C, steeped 4 minutes.
Dry leaf: dark greenish black with many visible chunks of ginger and cardamon. Sneeze-worthy spicy scent.
Wet leaf: very little tea. Mostly chunks of spice and cocoa shells.
Liquor: cloudy brown. Most unappealing.
Aroma: assertive ginger, cinnamon , and caradmom. Everyone in my office wants to know what I’m drinking.
Flavour: well now! That’s some hot ginger and cinnamon. I quite like it. Very subtle earthiness in the finish from the pu ehr. Thin-bodied tea, not much heft or mouthfeel, We’ll see later what effect the guarana has.
I loved the old Chai Guarana, made with a black tea base. It was one of DavidTea’s more interesting blends. Like most of my DT favourites, it’s long since been been continued. (Oh, what I wouldn’t give for Super Chocolate to come back!) In fact. DavidsTea’s deplorable habit of offering a truly interesting tea or tisane and then withdrawing it is one of the reasons I hardly ever shop there anymore.
This blend’s decent for a spice hit, If you don’t mind not getting much actual tea, this should work for you.
I thought I’d either love this or hate it. Such an odd blend. Cereal?! I made sure to get at least one frosted flake looking piece of the cereal in there. But there is a ton of huge pieces of coconut. I MUST make sure to get one of these huge pillowy marshmallows in each mug… but they hardly melted at all in the first steep. This actually tastes like the sugariest of cereal milks at the bottom of the bowl. And WHOA this is very sugary. I guess I don’t really have too many issues with stevia, if it’s FRESH stevia but I think it tends to age very quickly and ruin any blend it’s in. This is one of those blends I will have to sip down faster between the coconut, cereal, stevia. It will certainly help sugar cravings, but I do wish there had more elements here than just sugar milk, maybe a toastier cereal flavor.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 20 min steep
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #11
Somehow I haven’t tried this one from any tea shop yet. I think it’s sourced from Bitaco and Simpson & Vail also carries it. (ALSO Simpson & Vail has a new national park collection of teas!) This tea is as lovely as I’d expected. It’s strictly for cocoa/ dark chocolate cravings because it is strictly dark chocolate and cocoa. I’m not sure how much is from the cocoa shells and how much of the flavor is from the black tea itself. But the flavor is dreamy. Two solid steeps. Not much else to say! There are some fancy teas in this teabox — thank you SkySamurai!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate
I had somehow upset stomach, really bad feeling (it included more than just being sick)…
I don’t know, if the beer yesterday was bad (I feel like one wasn’t really fresh); if combination of beers and rum (mexican) made that mess? No, I don’t really think so. Kebab wasn’t to shame as well, it worked rather well as it something warm.
Maybe just nerves, because new semester just started. Maybe combination of lots of together. Maybe tiredness as well.
Anyway, I know that black tea works best when feeling like that. And with lemon, it sounds quite good. And it was so lemony… that it doesn’t want to brew at all. It was quite light base tea with hints of lemon. I know I said it was so lemony, I was exaggerating a bit. I blame lots of lemon in for not brewing much. As citric acid slows steeping.
The tea itself was…
Base was prominent, but nothing really strong. Lemon wasn’t much present, it made it bit pleasantly sour. But that was only note of lemons there, no juicyness, no lemon peels. Well, I have expected more.
Flavors: Pleasantly Sour, Tea
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #10
A very tightly rolled, jade green oolong. The flavor is great but it’s tough to pick apart the flavors. The second steep might be the best after the first steep is just beginning to blossom. The third steep isn’t exactly oversteeped, but it doesn’t have that delicateness of flavor that was lovely in the second steep. The fourth steep: the flavor becomes more distinct and it tastes of orchids and vanilla. Perfect. I just wish it didn’t take so long for the flavor to get to that point. The leaves had certainly been unraveled by the third steep. Probably Western steeping isn’t the best for this one. I still feel I shouldn’t have steeped it for two minutes earlier on and I’m very glad I only used one teaspoon.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 16 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Steep #3 // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 2 min
I’ve had my eye on this beautiful tea for the last two years, and I finally bought some. I’m drinking it warm, which probably isn’t how it’s meant to be enjoyed, but I like it like this! The flavor is almost like white grape. It’s so light and delicate. It’s also pleasant cold. I’m not sure it’s great enough to order again, but I definitely enjoyed my one ounce of it!
I grabbed this sample with the Japanese Orange matcha sample I tried from the same company. They claim to add sugarcane and sugar syrup to their soil to enhance the natural sweetness of the tea. Not sure if I buy that, but it was a perfectly decent bowl of matcha. Very smooth flavor, nicely grassy with only mild bitterness.
Made a mug of this in the morning today; I was really intrigued by the concept because it seemed so weird and out there to me – but then a coworker pointed out how common it is to see lemon or lime zest paired with dark chocolate in bar form and it seemed a lot less strange to me…
This really is just a hot cup of cocoa though; like making a flavoured instant hot chocolate but without the sugar in most instant hot chocolate mixes. I feel very on the fence about whether or not this should be considered “tea” or a “tea powder” given that it literally has no tea in it, and it’s more cocoa-y that herbal or fruit infusion.
It tastes nice, but still a little weird to me. The chocolate/cocoa is very smooth and rich, with quite a nice coating sweetness all over my palate. I enjoyed the other cocoa matcha that I tried from Bird & Blend in my advent calendar this past Christmas, and this isn’t an exception. I do get a little sourness/tartness from the lime, it’s bright and sweet but not stronger or more intense than the chocolate. So, it’s definitely there – albeit a very fake tasting lime. You have to remember, of course, that there isn’t any actual lime in the blend though aside from the naturally lime flavoured granules that have been mixed into the cocoa powder so that’s to be expected.
I think the reason this combination still feels so weird to my palate is because of the way I’m used to seeing lime zest and chocolate paired together, though. You don’t see it with milk chocolate, typically, but with dark chocolate. If the flavour of the cocoa in this powder was a little bit darker and had a touch of bitterness I think my brain would accept it a lot more.
Even still, neat concept and not a bad execution!
Had this one last weekend, it was technically the last tea that I had in my old apartment but it wasn’t necessarily selected as such. I had it with a plate of mini scones while reading Febuary’s ‘Book of the Month’ (part of my goal of reading a book a month this year), which is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman…
The tea was paired with the scones – which were almond cranberry with maple syrup. This tea, despite the name, has always been more of a sweet almond so I knew it would compliment those scone flavours perfectly. Truly it was delicious; the scones were sweet and nutty with those nutty elements and a little pop of acidity. The tea was malty and rich, with hints of almond and a baked bread note. Very dense and decadent but sometimes you just want/need comfort like that!
It was a good farewell to the apartment.
Nightcap to a dinner of homemade green curry. I’ve never had straight verbena. Pleasing, mellow aroma. Sip is citrusy and herbaceous followed by a unique, light sweetness. The aftertaste is fantastic and lingering. I couldn’t figure out how to describe it beyond green-sweet-citrus-floral(ish) but then I saw Mariage Frères mentions a taste of candied citron. That’s it. Lovely.
Flavors: Citrusy, Floral, Green, Herbaceous, Sweet
For some reason this tea was not in my steepster cupboard but I have a lot of it since I stocked up when AQ2T announced they were going out of business. Tbh I have been a bit terrified to try it since I received it in August because I have been panicking that it would not be nearly as good as I remembered. However, steeped it has made my entire bedroom smell as mouthwatering as I recall this tea tasting. With that said, I managed to let it get quite cold and while it does remind me of the last batch, the base comes out a bit more at this temperature and the berry is a touch tart. However, I know the love is not gone and I probably just need to drink this while it is still at least warm.
What was this “tea”?
Company motto is “Ceylon’s gift to the world”
I think they meant German word Gift, not English one. In German it means poison.
THIS WAS TERRIBLE.
I have hoped it is black tea with citrus fruits. Their website: www.empireteas.com did not brought any results of this (or other teas). I have been warned by it, but still I wanted to try.
Oh, and I haven’t noticed the ingredients list on the backside. But it is there.
So, apparently it does not include any tea at all. But hey, it was so bad! Even smell of dry bag reminded me dish soap, artificial lemon, drying, medicinal. Taste, even brewed with almost boiling water… was disgusting! It was soooo artificial, sour and not even close to lemon. I would rather drink straight lemon juice than this tea again.
Yes, I finished my mug of tea… but luckily I was eating Scottish butter cookies along, otherwise I will throw up.
Bleh, never again. I have few more tea bags of this company, but now, I am not really sure if I want to try it.
Flavors: Artificial, Drying, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Medicinal, Sour
OK, experts, are TenRen and TenFu cousins? Stepbrothers? Identical twins? A friend whose husband travels shared a little two-teaspoon sample packet with print so small it was nearly indecipherable. Anyway, my bifocals are pretty sure the label said TenFu, but the logo was almost indistinguishable from TenRen and the lovely, long blonde leaves look just like the ones in this picture. Everything else was in Chinese.
Tea itself: Superb. Sweet wheat bread. Will resteep this last spoonful as many times as possible before it becomes dishwater.
I don’t even know how to convey how excited I am to have a large stash of this tea at my disposal now, but I am VERY stoked about it! I’ve been hoarding this tea, along with all my apple blends from AQ2T, for a while now because I love them so much but now I don’t need to…
Potent, sweet, juicy, dense, floral – even boozy.
It’s such a particular but excellent apple flavour, and this mug made me smile soooo much.
I swear I threw a bag of Whittard’s Chelsea Garden in my purse last night before leaving for church, but it was no where to be found once I got there. I had resigned myself to drinking something awful from the church cabinet (I really need to mercy stock that thing) when the Bible study teacher pulled out a tea wallet and said, “Here! Choose from one of these!”
She loves black tea and was listing the contents (PG Tips, English Breakfasst, etc.) when she said, “Vanilla Caramel Chai? Where did that come from? I don’t even like chai, at all!” So I told her I would take that one to get it out of her wallet and to keep from depriving her of a tea she loves!
It wasn’t bad! The tea aspect was pretty weak but the flavors were pretty good. We had tiramisu as our snack and it went well enough with that. By the end of the mug, the licorice root was really noticeable, but I don’t mind licorice root in the right places and it didn’t bother me. I include that info for those who hate the stuff, because I know a lot of people do.
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #5
I forgot this was the company run by Kaylee from Firefly! haha. I just finished rewatching Firefly about a month ago. sigh. I miss it already, yet again. She was also on the episode of The Magicians I just watched last night. Tea Runners actually have a good sale right now. A handful I wouldn’t mind trying: like the coconut pineapple oolong. Though I think I can spot the sources for some of their teas. This is loose leaf ripe pu-erh. The flavor is in the middle of the pack of deliciousness for ripe pu-erhs. It’s not too strong, not too weak. No negative qualities. But not too many things that make it a unique one. A level of starchiness but then a very thin aftertaste? It’s tough to describe. Now that I’m looking at the steep instructions, it says the first steep should have been for five minutes, so possibly I should have been steeping these leaves much longer than I did. Not really many flavor notes I can pull from this one!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 8 minute steep
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #3
The name on this one sure was intriguing… I figured it was some sort of Darjeeling, and I’m correct. (The package of the tea doesn’t say Darjeeling.) It’s one of my favorite types of Darjeeling, very distinct and strong while being complex. It reminds me a bit of Butiki’s Dark Side of the Melon. Drying mouthfeel and a brew the color of butternut squash. Flavor almost like aged grapes bordering on raisins. Super muscatel. As usual, a Darj very difficult to describe but very sophisticated and delicious. The flavor makes me think of being buried under a giant pile of yellowredorange maple leaves in autumn.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug // 19 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep