2959 Tasting Notes

75
drank Frosted Cereal by DAVIDsTEA
2959 tasting notes

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

Roswell Strange

Do you mean stevia? (Also yes – totally a sweet blend meant to taste like Cereal Milk!! It’s really uncanny if you try it as a latte, imo.)

tea-sipper

Oops, stevia. They’re the same to me but I’ll switch it in the tasting note. haha

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96

‘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

AJRimmer

Yessss, I need to get Zion in my next order for sure.

tea-sipper

The packaging on the S&V parks teas are amazing. I especially want to try the smoky blackberry.

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84

‘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

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93

‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #9
An intriguing one to see in the teabox!  It’s not even available on adagio’s website anymore even though the pouch says it’s from 2019.  It’s a Tie Guan Yin leaf that is processed like a black tea. The leaves look like a wiry dusty black tea.  So you can’t tell this is Tie Guan Yin by looking at it. I’m not sure how this is different from how black tea is usually made. The leaf has to start somewhere and it’s all from the same plant.  The flavor is a unique one – light in flavor, though nothing like an oolong.  The flavor is like mixing a Ruby varietal with a Premium Taiwanese Assam.  Very mineral and sweet, with hints of sugar candied almonds. I was worried the second steep would be ruined at boiling, but it isn’t at all ruined.  It tastes exactly like the first steep but slightly deeper.   The third steep also isn’t astringent and starts to taste like some sort of buttery pastry.  I swear it tastes like I added a bit of fig strawberry jam to this cup.  It’s even starchier but in a good way.  I didn’t know why I was comparing it to PTA but that strawberry flavor I usually associate with PTA peeks through on the third steep. I’m glad I didn’t miss that third steep.
Steep #1  // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #3  // just boiled // 6 min

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89
drank Dark Rose Hearts by Octavia Tea
2959 tasting notes

Thanks so much for the samples, Octavia Tea!  Another I had on Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t intentionally wait to try this on Valentine’s Day but it seems a goodaday as any.  The cutest tiny heart shaped ripe pu-erh that unravels into small pieces of pu-erh and plenty of tiny rose petal pieces as well.  The rose flavor is certainly there in the cup.  The pu-erh is definitely dark yet none of the negative pu-erh qualities at all.  The third steep I really let loose for a very long time (15 minutes), and surprisingly for a pu-erh it did have a touch of bitterness.  User error.  But this might be the longest I’ve ever let a pu-erh steep.  Dark enough, smooth enough, and rose enough.  There is nothing to dislike in this unique offering. Back to the regularly scheduled teabox teas….
Steep #1  // 1 piece for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // rinse // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 15 min steep

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95

This seems the perfect blend for Valentine’s Day (had it then).  Thanks so much, Plum Deluxe!  Black tea and ripe pu-erh with raspberries and cocoa nibs and orange peel.  I was worried the orange peel would ruin this, but if anything, it might just add some brightness to the raspberry.  The raspberry is tart yet jammy sharing a perfect balance with the cocoa.  The second steep is just as dark and delicious, still a ton of bright raspberry and cocoa. As it cools, the citrus tastes like a hint of bergamot. The base is strong enough for me to love it, but gives enough room to allow those lovely flavors to shine.  If I had to guess I don’t think I could even tell that this had pu-erh in the blend?  So I don’t think the pu-erh has any of those negative pu-erh flavors.  I bet it would be nice if I added a bit of cocoa shells or even a tiny bit of hot chocolate.  I had Lupicia’s Framboise Chocolat once or twice and the flavor here is VERY similar to that one.  This is great because I love that blend.  Not to say that they are sourced from the same place because Plum Deluxe blends their own teas.  I REALLY like this one even more than I thought I would.   This is only available through March 1 so grab it now if you want some!  
Steep #1  // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled // 4 min

Flavors: Chocolate, Citrus, Raspberry

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81

‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #8
This was much less spicy than the chai I had the other day!  Despite being almost convinced by the lovely Uplifting Chai I had from Plum Deluxe last week, I don’t usually like lemongrass or orange peel in my chai.  But they aren’t too bad here.  I like the addition of nutmeg in this, but I’m not really tasting it.  Why cinnamon LEAVES but no cinnamon?  That’s a weird choice… The resulting flavor is sweet and mildly spicy. Wisps of citrus in the second steep.  The black tea leaves in the blend are sparse, so the brew isn’t too dark. But I NEED dark chai.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled  // 5 minute steep

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94

‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #7
I finally have a new water filter that is NSF certified, so hopefully it’s working wonders.  I can tell flavor wise that it’s definitely different!  I won’t feel like I’m ruining some good teas now!
I know I tried an earlier harvest of this, and looking at my notes, it was also from another teabox!  It’s nice to revisit a new harvest though.  It looks like in the past, I was only steeping this for 35 seconds, so I hardly will be getting the same flavor notes now.  Last time results were creamy lemon so I wish I had steeped this the same way this time.  It’s just not quite the same when I steep it so long.  I guess I was smarter about white teas back then.  No fault of the tea, I suppose.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 42 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 18 minutes after boiling  // 2 1/2 minute steep

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75
drank Masala Chai by Shafa Blends
2959 tasting notes

‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #6
I had this one yesterday. I love a thoughtfully spiced chai.  This is one on a CTC base.  It’s funny because SkySamurai included two chai blends that look exactly the same in spices… even though they’re different…but one has a CTC base and the other has a longer leaf black tea.  I bet I end up loving both of them.  This one is very spicy.  It must be the spiciest chai I’ve ever had without actually including chili of any kind.  How is it this spicy!?!?  1 1/2 teaspoons is probably too much.  So much heat only from ginger and black pepper?!  I’m usually fine with spiciness, but towards the end of the second brew, I’m all spiced out. Shafa might need to tame this one a bit. The resulting brew isn’t too dark despite the CTC leaf. 
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep  

Flavors: Spicy

derk

Sounds like my kind of chai

Shanie O Maniac

Same. I may have to try and get some of this. I love me a good super-spicy chai!

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78

‘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

ashmanra

Wait, really? Did I miss something?

tea-sipper

ashmanra, I don’t know what you think you missed? Nothing new about Firefly… I was just rewatching it? Jewel Staite is on a couple episodes of The Magicians? Or Tea Runners is owned by Jewel Staite or that TeaRunners is having a sale? I don’t know. :D

AJRimmer

Yeah, I would love to support her company, but it seems like a lot of her teas come from Simpson & Vail, so it makes more sense to buy it straight from them.

tea-sipper

yep, I noticed S&V teas too.

ashmanra

I LOVE Firefly! I had no idea Jewel Staite had a tea company! Squeeeeeeee!

ashmanra

I agree though, if it is S&V teas I would just order straight from them.

gmathis

(Off to check out website NOW.)

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Profile

Bio

Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite tea shops (still operating):
birdandblendtea.com
teavivre.com
52teas.com
svtea.com
harney.com
angrytearoom.com
Dammann Freres
Yunnan Sourcing
fusionteas.com
aquartertotea.com
AprTea.com
Javateaco.com
Lupicia
eco-cha.com
justea.com
singleoriginteas.com
teasenz.com
tealyra.com
whisperingpinestea.com
mandala
Teajo
verdanttea.com
thenecessiteas.com
Davidstea

Favorite tea shops (RIP):
butikiteas.com
steapshoppe.com
steepcityteas.com
dellaterrateas.com
zentealife.com
theteamerchant.net
joysteaspoon.com
tealiciousllc.com
Rivertea
Specialteas

My icon photo is Richard Mayhew from the graphic novel ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey & Glenn Fabry.

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! Many of my teas have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), turmeric, bee pollen, charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites – cupboard essential
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
50-65 – Okay
1-50 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. (Or as evidenced by the great computer hiatus of 2019, something happened to my computer.) :D

Happy sipping!

Location

USA

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