Featured & New Tasting Notes
This was tasty with milk and sugar, and I thought being room temperature helped bring out its desserty flavors the most. I don’t know that I’d call this rum specifically, but it had a hint of something that was interesting. I think I would have preferred a little more going on, but it was a lovely way to finally finish my advent calendar!
I pushed back opening this big bag, but as fall’s coming around, my cravings for something more level and spicy rolled in. It’s more than doing the job before I impulsively get chai teas. There’s a few others from Magic Hour I’ve eye balled yet again. The shipping and my need to budget have restrained me, and unfortunately, there are teas I have bulk of that I’m not enjoying nearly as much as certain samples I’ve ran out of or that I’m about to finish off. I’m half tempted to add bread to the notes for this one, making me think of an orange cranberry biscotti with just enough spice. Upping the rating for sure. 90 is a more accurate score for cost ratio and quality (nevermind the whole pieces of vanilla pods that land my pot), but I keep coming back to it, then I hold off so I don’t guzzle it in less than a month.
Now, it’s time for me to grade and watch some Wheel of TIme. I’ve weirdly enjoyed the series even though it’s not book accurate, though I had a hard time with Robert Jordan’s writing style. His alternation between a modern writing voice, contemporary religion, and fantasy tropes and cliches threw off my suspension of disbelief several times as I was reading. I know I’m a total hypocrite because I like Tolkien, Herbert, Weeks, and Gaiman, but the blended world building doesn’t sit right with my brain every time I read it. The TV show has issues too, but the blended cultural aspects are more cohesive to me. I’m thankful they just refer to the Dark One generally instead of lambusting you with the different names for Satan in Arabic, Chinese, and so on.
I wonder if anyone else on here has read Wheel of Time, and I’d be open to comments and debate about it. I know it’s considered to be on of the greatest fantasy series of all time, and a huge personal favorite for many people, so I know I may have upset a few people, but preferences be preferences.
What an awesome tea. This is one I will probably repurchase in the future when I get my cupboard to a reasonable size.
There was an awkward amount of leaf left but I decided to over-leaf for breakfast because I could always add water if it was too strong, and this is a few months past its “best by” date so it might be fading. It was neglected because I have too much tea, plus I had a number of excellent black teas in large quantities, and this was not one that I was sure Ashman would drink since he used to be very picky about his black tea so I never made it in large quantities. The neglect was definitely not due to it being an inferior tea.
I don’t regret it. It was definitely stronger than it was last time I drank it, but so good. It is deliciously malty with some fruity notes.
I was lacking more than one sticky rice option! So I thought I’d try this. Four ounces of this tea is 15 tuochas in the case of my pouch. These are fairly big disc shapes, with a line down the middle. Possibly indicating you could cut it in half to save for later. But Teavivre’s instructions say to use one piece for twelve ounces. And I like my puerh thick, so I definitely went with a whole piece for a mug. The sticky rice scent is definitely abundant here and it’s very quick to unravel! I’d say the sticky rice flavor is so strong that it kind of overpowers the ripe puerh, even if the brew is dark. But there is a lingering coffee flavor following the sticky rice. There was plenty of sticky rice flavor throughout all the steeps. The last one having like a creamy quality to it. I think the focus here is more the sticky rice flavoring, as the puerh is quite mild, even with my standard mug size. Though the infuser is almost FULL of unraveled leaves. I might like that long fourth steep the best with that creamier smooth quality. I’m glad I have this in stock for the sticky rice craving, but I might not reach for it when I’m craving nuanced shou.
Steep #1 // 11 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 11 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 11 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
Steep #4 // just boiled // 16 minute steep
A bit disappointed with this one thus far. I’ve steeped it two or three times with my favorite mug the same way I do for my other blacks and they have not yielded any desirable notes. So I am trying gong fu instead right now. I wonder about the dry leaf. Maybe it has sat for a bit. There really isn’t any aroma. As a person who enjoys the aroma as much as I love drinking tea, this is very disappointing to me. And for the price paid, I do not think the flavor matches. It is slightly woody, a bit astringent, and nothing to write home about. A disappointing tea for a disappointing day of grave searching. _
additional notes: dashboard is back working! I was taking the Steepster break to drink some old favorites anyway, especially summer favorites, as I will be leaving my tea collection to help take care of Grandma shortly. It’s always fun packing some teas for the trip. THIS tea is miraculous. An amazing balance of Just Enough flavor to not be overdone and hide the oolong. Some might call it suntan. I call it SUMMER and DELICIOUS. :D
Over the weekend I decided to finally take this tea for a spin as a hot latte using some almond milk. I actually really enjoyed it. More than I think I expected to. Birthday Cake is kind of a weird flavour because it’s sort of just a fancy way of saying vanilla with sprinkles, typically. However you don’t get sprinkles with matcha so I did worry this would essentially just be a vanilla matcha. It’s sort of that but I will say it’s also incredibly buttery tasting too and that butteriness combined with the French Vanilla notes does convey “cake” more than if it was only a standalone vanilla taste.
With that said, I think this is REALLY similar to Bird and Blend’s Mermaid Matcha which is also a vanilla flavour. There’s no good reason anyone should need to have both of them unless you reaaalllyyyy care about having the blue coloured version and this more typical coloured one. Still feels pretty redundant, though.
Sampled from the Strange VariaTea Traveling Tea Box
Cold-brewed last night and enjoyed this morning.
OK, first of all, WHAT IS THIS SPELLING. I have never seen it before, but The Internet tells me it’s an alternative for “julep.” Wild. “Julip” looks so much more unpleasant, though…
Well, anyway. “Juicy peach” seems a bit hyperbolic. The sage is actually pretty strong in my cold-brewed cuppa, especially compared to the peach! It’s also got a decent amount of grassiness from the sencha.
Not my favorite, but… fine.
Flavors: Floral, Grassy, Peach, Sage
Labor Day weekend was still beastly hot in our part of the world (it’s September, weather pixies—get with it!) so anything I drank, I drank iced. This fruity little treat worked well, Martin! If I’ve got my information correct, it contains bilberries, which I’ve never sampled before. I described them to my husband as “blueberries once removed.” Even with rose hips in the mix, the blend was gentle and not a bit tart.
September Sipdown Prompt – a tea with natural cocoa notes
This was gift from Superanna for my birthday a while back and it is an excellent tea.
This area of Nepal is known for producing Darjeeling type teas, but this could pass for a Keemun. It has both the cocoa notes of a Hao Ya B and the wine-y notes found in many from that area. It resteeps well. It is great without milk and sugar but would probably be very nice with those if you like additions in your cuppa.
Enjoyed it on the patio with breakfast on our first day dropping below 60F. Highs in the 90’s coming back in a few days, though.
I have enough left for one or two more pots, so we are getting close to a sipdown here.
When Roswell Strange first posted about this one 6 months ago, I was disappointed that it was an in-store exclusive since there sadly aren’t any DavidsTea stores left in the U.S. (or at least not in or near my city). So when it was released online – along with Jelly Donut, which I had already been waiting for the site to restock so I could try it – I made that purchase so fast it’d make your head spin.
I’m pleased to report that this blend does not disappoint. At the moment I’m having it as an oat milk latte, which is really upping the “cream” angle, but it’s flavorful and well-balanced without additions too. I really like the peach flavor here: sweet and ripe without being completely candy-like. The whole blend just works, in a deceptively simple way. So so glad they released it online!
What an excellent tea this is…
Deep, dark, but smooth with notes of cocoa and sweet honey. Very bready as well, with a bit of the that Fujian caraway note. Definitely a crusty dark bread though, maybe with some spelt or buckwheat. Also getting a distinct dried sour cherry note that I’m loving, obviously it pairs beautifully with the cocoa… Sipping this tea feels like eating a meal in the best way.
Drank both mugfuls cold (accidentally, boo work) but they were still so scrumptious. Definitely on the reorder list… :D
P.S. – Am I the only one who didn’t know this is apparently the same as Golden Monkey?
Flavors: Bread, Buckwheat, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Grain, Honey, Jam, Smooth, Spelt, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Wheat
This was balanced in a pretty perfect way. I don’t love lime in teas, but 52teas can usually make me like it! This green rooibos base is just great. Refreshing and delicious first and second steeps. So fruity, yet light and tasty. Not one of my top favorites, only because 52teas has so many even better ones!
I have many emails to go through. But first! Tea. I hate that this has flavoring. Being allergic to things makes drinking flavored anything difficult. But here we go. The smell is full of buttery toffee notes with a slight pu erh hint at the end. I’m steeping mine at 180 though it calls for 210. It’s getting a bit toasty outside so I just couldn’t bring myself to do that high. That is a dark liquor. Very opaque. Though it’s not artificial flavor it does have some artificial flavor and aroma notes that aren’t too pleasant on the tummy and palate and nose. For how strong the toffee aroma is the flavor is lacking. The pur erh has a nice touch of old wood and 1800s house notes but that toffee flavor just slips on and off the tongue leaving much to be desired.
For the August Sipdown Challenge Prompt – drink your most refreshing tea
It doesn’t have to be this exact puerh. Most any shu served cold from a glass container is so refreshing to me. Oftentimes I will make a pot of shu to drink hot and then toss the leaves in a carafe and fill it with water and pop it in the fridge for anywhere from several hours to a couple of days or more. The taste is so fresh and earthy but light, and being chilled in glass containers makes it all the more refreshing.
Not a sipdown, not even close, but with puerh I don’t mind as much since it gets better with age.
Sipdown! (59 | 311)
So this is meant to be an Earl Grey with orange, cardamom, and vanilla.
Sadly, I just taste a plain Earl Grey. The bergamot is nice enough, it’s a bit lemony and not floral at all. I perhaps get a teeny weeny hint of cardamom and a subtle suggestion of vanilla? Black tea base is fairly smooth but lacks flavor.
A shame, this sounded so good to me. I keep finding with her “tea infused with _” blends that I can’t taste whatever flavoring or oil the tea is supposedly infused with. Not sure if that’s a Ziploc sample bag problem or what.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Cardamom, Citrus, Lemon, Vanilla
A sipdown! (M: 6, Y: 46)
Tasting note nr. 1600
I thought I could finish those Thai teas much faster. I used my last 4 grams for western steeping and honestly, the flavours I noticed are pretty much similar as in description. Maybe it needed some rest, maybe my taste buds were more refined today, maybe it was just different day and I could notice more.
The flavors were somehow similar to coffee, a little of its bitterness, spiciness and little of the roastiness. On the other hand there were also some sweet cacao notes, which makes whole tea amazing… though my brain was more used of playing pexeso (in English more known under pairs game) which I played with my father (61) and niece (almost 12). What a fun day!
Sipdown! (58 | 310)
I think this one sounded more interesting than it actually is – Assam and lapsang mixed with honeybush, roasted dandelion root, mint, and orange peel.
In reality though, it mostly just tastes like a light lapsang with a subtle undercurrent of peppermint. It’s pleasant, but I wish I tasted more of the other ingredients, like the roasty notes of the dandelion root or the sweet orange peel. Ah well, can’t love them all!
Flavors: Earthy, Herbaceous, Meat, Mineral, Mint, Peppermint, Savory, Smoked, Smooth
From Daylon R Thomas! Thanks so much! I’m thrilled I get to try some of these Trident teas that Daylon introduced Steepster to a while back. The leaves here COULD NOT look more delicious: Mostly black with the perfect amount of gold leaf, not only is each piece of leaf twisting around itself, but all of the leaves twisting around in a lovely mess in the pouch. It looks like the perfect black tea. From Nepal! The flavor is sweet, malty, honey, a bit of sweet potato but also like little summer squashes — mostly reminding me of a light Chinese Yunnan, but not too light! The second steep almost tastes like a lighter traditional Assam, even though this is not Assam. From the look of the leaf, I’m shocked they compare this to a Darjeeling. Then I re-read Daylon’s note and he compares this to Darjeeling and a Chinese black. I bet this tasted more like Darjeeling a year ago, and now those flavors might be muted.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min steep
Flavors: Honey, Malty, Squash, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Okay, now this one is just completely delicious.
Soooo incredibly smooth with a creamy quality to it, and the flavor is so bready and grainy with sweet golden honey notes and hints of tart stonefruit. There’s almost a slight greenness to it in the finish? But not in a grassy way, more light and refreshing than that, perhaps like the flesh of a green apple? The texture is just amazing, it feels full and round in the mouth yet so light and airy, almost like a mouthful of whipped cream.
Anyway, I adore this one. Somewhat light and smooth yet so satisfying, and reminds me of a lightly toasted whole grain baguette drizzled with creamed wildflower or clover honey, perhaps with just the tiniest smidge of apricot preserve. Scum-diddly-umptious!
Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Creamy, Floral, Grain, Honey, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wheat, Whipped Cream, Wildflowers