Featured & New Tasting Notes

74
drank Mandarin Chai by Davidson's
911 tasting notes

Did half milk/half water + sugar and tea and brought it to a boil. It’s like chai with a splash of creamsicle. Or if I made a light masala chai using my orange milk instead of normal milk. (Yes, I have orange milk – it is gooooood).

takgoti

Ok, this tea sounds simply delightful, one. But two, ORANGE MILK? That sounds uh.maze.ing. Where? Where?

Auggy

Promised Land brand milk – it’s a seasonal flavor that I picked up at Central Market (which, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a gourmet/hippie grocery store). I also got the tea at Central Market. Yay Central Market!

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75

I wouldn’t bother logging it, but it has been very good to me. I’ve been at home, sick, for the past five days. Part of this sickness has been a hacking cough. Yesterday I had a cup of this tea and felt tremendously better. I slept through most of the night and the cough is much better today. My plan is to drink huge quantities today.

takgoti

Man, everyone’s been feeling under the weather lately. I really hope I don’t fall prey to the sickness, knock on a really big wooden table. Hope you feel better soon! [Drinking lots of tea is always a good start.]

laurenpressley

Thanks! I’m doing much, much better this week, and back to drinking real tea! :)

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79

Although the directions call for a boiling-steep method, this tends to make a very astringent concentrate best diluted with milk and sugar. When done in a bag and steeped for 5 minutes at 200F it was weak and disappointing. However, when left loose in a mug of water at around 208F and allowed to sit until cooled, you get a warm spicy cup, a nice balance. Be wary of tea leaves in your teeth!

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80

This is the first and only so far oolong tea I’ve ever tried.

My local Earth Fare had several Rishi loose teas 50% off and this is one of the several I brought to try. I did not know if I would enjoy it at all. I haven’t been too fond of unflavored black teas so far and thought an oolong would taste similarly. To my surprise, I loved it. It rapidly became one of my favorite teas of the current batch in my apartment. I start drinking and before I know it I’ve consumed the whole pot already.

I’m about to drink a pot of the second brewing of this set of leaves.

takgoti

I logged about the epiphany I had surrounding oolongs a while ago – they caught me off-guard too. They’re really quite amazing when you catch a good one. They’re also one of the few types of tea I’ve found that consistently evolve through steepings.

I haven’t tried this particular one yet, but enjoy your second steep!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I have found that all three steepings are quite drinkable. I’ve yet to try brewing a fourth. I do look forward to trying other oolongs in the future so I can see how they compare to this one and if I continue to enjoy them so much. Do you have any favorites that you recommend?

Cofftea

try flavored oolongs!

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91

This organic Earl Grey is made using the same ancient assamica tree leaves as Rishi’s regular Golden Yunnan. The leaves here are much darker than in the Golden Yunnan either as a result of the scenting process or, as I suspect, because it’s less tippy (has fewer buds). Truth is, if you’re planning on scenting a tea, it makes sense that you wouldn’t use a lot of buds, the flavor of which will only get overwhelmed by the bergamot. Anyway, this brew yields a rich liquor with a great citrus taste that doesn’t taste medicinal the way some some cheaper Earl Greys can taste. A nice tea, as my grandmother would say.

A nice travelogue about the ancient Yunnan harvest can be found at http://www.rishi-tea.com/travelogue/Fair_Trade_Organic_Tea/slides/Map_of_China.php.

Another good article about the wild Yunnan harvest can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/world/asia/21tea.html?scp=7&sq=tea&st=cse

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

LOVE this tea. Just ordered two lbs as a birthday present for myself. The sheen of cinnamon oil on the tea is awesome. I’m a big fan of cinnamon altoids and this is like one big cup filled with them! Great fall/winter tea! Ditto on this tea not needing any sugar.

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93

The most expensive tea I’ve ever bought and I think it’s probably the nicest too. It’s certainly very good anyway. I didn’t put in properly boiling water and it took off the edge to it but it still tastes sweet and good!!

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75
drank White Blueberry by Adagio Teas
161 tasting notes

I’m a huge fan of this tea iced…but this morning in my sweat pants and hoodie, I’m drinking it hot. And it’s great! I think there are one or two blueberries floating about that I might have to fish out and eat. Tasty cuppa!

Although, after looking at the fuzz covered blueberries in the picture, I might pass on eating them today.

takgoti

SWEAT PANTS AND HOODIES FTW.

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75
drank Yerba Mate by Guayaki
2 tasting notes

My first experience with this tea wasn’t the best. But it’s grown on me over time. I now drink this every morning. I enjoy using the loose leaf tea with my cast-iron tea pot, as it really adds to the whole “tea making” experience. Contrasted against the boring tea pouches you drop in your cup.

I recommend this to all my friends already, so I’ll recommend it to you.

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52

I had high hopes for this tea after I smelled it – I thought it might compete with Teavana’s Rose Marzipan for a place in my heart. Well, it doesn’t quite make it but it’s close. I feel like it needs just a little extra something to make it really wow me. It’s sweet and I love the almond with the vanilla peeking out at the end but maybe a touch of maple or something would add that oomph I want it to have. Also, it tastes a little thin but I’m not sure how to change that. I made it strong enough that I can feel the affects of the caffeine so I’m not sure how to make the taste bolder without causing someone at work to beat me with a hole-punch due to hyperactivity.

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75

I have to admit that I have been on a bit of a coffee kick as of late…usually having a cup every other day or so in the morning. In an effort to eat healthier I have cut out the coffee but surprisingly this chai has filled that gap quite nicely!

I tend to brew my chai a little differently though (hey, I think it tastes great). Usually I throw it on the stove top the night before, bring it to a simmer and let it do its thing for 10-15 minutes. I then chill and repeat in the morning to get a really strong brew and add some almond milk and a splash of agave nectar. Yum!

BTW, the subtle jasmine is refreshing and really rounds out this chai tea.

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75
drank Jasmine Pearl by Samovar
20 tasting notes

Totally addicted to this tea.

takgoti

Not to get all freaky-outy on you, but I KNOW!!! ISN’T IT THE BEST???

[???!!!]

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75
drank Vanilla Chai by Bigelow
7 tasting notes

They have this in the cafeteria sometimes at school, which was where I first found it. It’s pretty tasty, especially with a bit of creamer or milk and maybe a cookie, although it doesn’t have quite as good flavor as some of the other vanilla chais I’ve had.

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75
drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

This tea is what I was thinking of when I was a child and making imaginary magic potions that could heal your lifeforce or imbue you with magic. The tea itself is a feel good item and can lift spirits. It allows you to shrug off discomfort, like it was some kind of winter coat and just feel good.

It has a cool blonde liquor and a mild smell like tanned leather or some sort of soft herb like tarragon. The taste has notes of butter and hay, like some impossible grain beverage. There are no truly bitter flavors present.

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68
drank Serenity by Tavalon Tea
260 tasting notes

I got this as a sample and decided to give it a soak tonight. First off, I almost want to buy this for the sole purpose of being able to yell SERENITY NOW! whenever someone asks me what I’m drinking. And while we’re on the thread of non-practical reasons to like this tea, it also reminds me of my most favorite canceled television show ever, Firefly.

As for the tea itself, I’m officially impressed. The concept of a Tea Sommelier is pretty cool, but with the way that this tea come together it makes me think that the people at Tavalon have someone over there whose work is more akin to that of a mixologist. I could easily pull out every single one of the components they listed in the description of that tea, and they unfolded very nicely. The chamomile, the vanilla, and the rooibos give it warmth, the lemongrass adds a brightness, and the peppermint leaves you feeling clean at the finish. The combination of it all, at points, reminds me ever-so-vaguely of Red Vines [who, for those unfamiliar, makes the best red licorice in the world and would stab the heck out of Twizzlers in a knife fight]. The tea is not sweet, but the aftertaste makes you think that it is.

I don’t hate chamomile, but I don’t love it either, so this isn’t something that I could drink on a regular basis. When I find myself in the mood for a little chamomile action, however, I can most definitely see this being a tea I would crave.

Sorry, but I’ve got to do it.

SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!

Fin.

Carolyn

I love Firefly. It always seemed to me that Joss Whedon had produced multiple dramas and each person on the ship had their own show with quite different emotional timbre. So for this Serenity tea, whose drama is it? Is it Mal? Zoe? Inara? Simon? Kaylee? River? One of the others? From what it sound like it couldn’t possibly be Jayne, right?

Auggy

So totally unrelated but – I had a friend in school who named his dog Taxi because he really wanted to go out in the neighborhood (which at the time was pretty country) and yell “Taxi!”.

takgoti

@Carolyn Hmm, that’s a toughie. I’m going to have to say Kaylee. It’s too “soft” to be any of the men [well, except for Simon I suppose, but it doesn’t read as a Simon tea to me]. It’s not exotic enough to be Inara or bad ass enough to be Zoe or crazy enough to be River. Actually, now that I think of it, it reeks of Kaylee to me [in a good way]. As for Jayne, I’d peg him to be more of a Lapsang Souchong, myself. Possibly a gunpowder. [Ba-dum, CHING!] THE AMOUNT OF THOUGHT I AM PUTTING INTO THIS IS EMBARRASSING. GOING TO STOP NOW.

@aug3zimm That’s hilarious. My friend Steve wanted to name his dog Damnit, for similar reasons.

Jason

Do all teas remind you of Firefly in some way?

takgoti

Please. Everything in the world can remind me of Firefly, so far as I’m concerned.

Jason

touche

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82

Boiling water 3 min, resteeped 4 min. The liquor is red-amber, rosy, almost orange — a beautiful shade — with a chocolate aroma. I am tasting caramel, toasted almond, bittersweet cacao, with a sweet plum finish. A perfect accompaniment to the Walkers shortbread I brought home yesterday!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Sounds wonderful! I’m going to have to try that!

Jillian

You make it sound so delicious! :D

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88

Among tea snobs, Assam teas often get a bad rap and are largely relegated to the category of mass-market teas, due to the fact that there are more than 3,000 tea estates in the Assam Region, many of which produce lower-quality teas that wind up in tea bags. By comparison, there are less than 100 Darjeeling tea gardens, enabling the Darjeeling growers to better protect their “brand.” That said, however, good Assam teas from the better estates are great teas and Rembeng is definitely in that category. This organic tea is everything a good Assam is supposed to be, malty, balanced and rich enough to hold up to milk, but smooth enough to drink straight. A four- or five-minute steep seems about right. One of the best teas for making iced teas, too. Available at Itoen and a slew of other online tea purveyors.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Teaman

Rob, what source did you get this tea from. It doesn’t say. SpecialTeas has it as Rembeng TGFOP Organic which is pretty close to what this one is called.

East Side Rob

I got mine from Ito En in New York — from the actual store, not the website. That said, Rembeng was the estate that grew and processed the tea. So the Rembeng that SpecialTeas has is going to be the same stuff.

Teaman

I understand what you’re saying about the same estate. However I wonder if some supply buyers don’t get higher grades than others from the same estate per a given harvest by paying a different price. Hence I like to know the consumer source so I know where to order if from if I want to experience what others who bought from the same consumer source have found.

East Side Rob

To my chagrin, Ito En doesn’t list the Pekoe grade on the Rembeng they sell, which is particularly annoying since Indian teas always come with a pekoe grade. That said, however, Ito En is selling their Rembeng for about $3 an once. And the TGFOP grade you refer to that SpecialTeas sells is a fairly high grade.

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75
drank Blooming Tiger by Teavana
7 tasting notes

This is my first blooming tea. Nice light floral scent/taste. It does get a little bitter after a while, which is somewhat problematic since I’m steeping it in the Teavana Rhapsody tumbler – I can’t really get the bloom out until I’m done!

It’s an enjoyable experience, though, and I’ll definitely drink it again.

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95
drank Ancient Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
181 tasting notes

Mmm, this is great after dinner too. I’m already dreading the day that I run out.

Also, we rolled out a few minor bugfixes and updates to Steepster this evening. The most noticeable thing is that the “recent activity” items that used to be on the side in your dashboard are now rolled into the main column. Let us know what you think!

Jillian

I actually sort of liked having the Recent Activity stuff such as comments and ‘likes’ seperate on the side bar.

I do however like being able to see when a tea is logged even if there were no comments posted by the drinker.

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90
drank Pu-erh Vanilla Mint by Rishi Tea
84 tasting notes

THIS… IS… THEBESTTEA… I… HAVEFOUND… IN… AGES.

I cannot imagine anyone disliking a single thing about this tea. Even me… usually I’m not a mint person. But I cannot drink enough of this. It’s incredible. A very new blend from Rishi, and it’s sure to get rave reviews once people start trying it.

Also… I was incredibly impressed to see the reference to Yak butter tea that is a rumoured delicacy from Tibet. I’ve heard of Yak butter tea on numerous occasions now due to the personal interest I take in that part of the world, and have yet to come across anything that would compare to it.

Rishi’s reference to this rarity is what sold me, but the tea’s taste is what I’ve found to be beyond impressive, and is sure to please.

Jack

Whoa, Yak butter tea is a new one for me. This sounds SUPER interesting.

Oh Cha!

Wikipedia will give you a lovely overview of Butter Tea if you’d like to know more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_tea
I believe I saw either Andrew Zimmern or Anthony Bourdain from the Travel Channel try butter tea also! I’ll have to see if I can find the clip online.

But yes, the accounts I’ve heard of many Americans who have tried Butter tea say that it is not to their liking – however they usually credit their “American palate” as the reasoning for their distaste for it.
Nonetheless, I am curious to try it for myself!

On a related note; Rishi recommends that you try brewing the delectable Pu-erh Vanilla Mint like you would a chai – half water, half milk, and slightly sweetened… I haven’t had the opportunity yet, because I need more! But as soon as my order arrives that is the first thing I am going to do :) I’m really looking forward to it!

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75
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
23 tasting notes

Finally drank this last night – got in my Steepster Select Adiago Fall tea set a few weeks ago! I have never seen a pearl tea before so I was really excited to try this out! I enjoyed the tea. It was light and subtle. But, I think something up went wrong in prep, either not enough pearls or water wasn’t hot enough. Still enjoyable and will certainly try again.

Cofftea

try 10 pearls per 16oz at 212 degrees F for 5 min.

Jason

@cofftea: Wow, really? I think I used 3 pearls for about 12oz at around boiling for 5 mins. Maybe I’ll try more tea next time. But I have been trying to use less because I feel I usually pile on too much.

Megan

Thanks for the advice, Cofftea. I will add more pearls next time and let you know how it turns out! Jason, made the same mistake, only used 4 for about 12 oz! Could be why it was so light!

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100
drank Green Tea Heaven by Teavana
6770 tasting notes

Had 2 cups earlier today and am having one again now. The Rhubarb and sencha tastes are really coming thru more than usual today. It’s very nice…paired with the strawberry and raspberry.

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75
drank Momo Oolong Super Grade by Lupicia
53 tasting notes

Received this as a gift. I have been spoiled! Smells heavenly, and the taste is just right. I made it strong (1.5 tsp) and it’s wonderful. With the light sweetness of the peach it’s a liquid dessert.

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drank Masala Chai by Samovar
28 tasting notes

Cooking this up now. Makes the house smell amazing! I’ll be sure to edit this after I’ve tried tasting it. I predict it’s going to taste just as wonderful, if not better, than it smells.

Jared A. May

Follow-up. This is excellent. Namaste you’ve got competition.

takgoti

Theirs is easily the best Masala Chai I’ve ever had. Love, love, lovelovelove.

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