2750 Tasting Notes
I finally added all the teas from StarFevre I received a while ago to my Steepster cupboard (again another BIG thank you for those!) Other than the lovely package from SkySamurai and a couple samples from Whispering Pines, I have not acquired any teas in 2019, so I’m doing GOOD so far! I knew I was doing good when I didn’t buy any of my beloved Coconut Banana Cream Pie tea that was recently reblended. That told me I can stay strong! That insane number of teas in my cupboard will be a big NO to any tea purchases, definitely. I need to work on my beloved, precious teas I already have! But I can’t refuse when other Steepsterers want to have a cupboard clear out and send me some things to try. :D But hopefully the cupboard never gets this ridiculous ever again. Yowzas.This is exactly the tea I was craving today even though I’ve only had this tea once before… somehow I remembered it! Sadly, I only bought a sample from Fusion, but if I’m craving it, that must mean I should have ordered more. It sounded like a chutney tea to me. It has huge mango cubes with some pepper and what looks like two types of oolong: the long black wiry type but also the occasional dark green bundle. The smoke in the name probably scares people away, but it really isn’t that smoky. The fruit flavor is nice with only an occasional hint of spice. The sip is very smooth, like a syrup.. The second steep was the same. It KIND OF reminds me of 52Teas Smoky Butterscotch Peach? That would be the closest tea I’ve experienced anyway… This blend is fine, but I guess I imagine something even more delicious? More mango, more spice? I guess it’s tough to compete with what you WANT something to be. This is a great base to pair mango with though…. smooth, sweet & syrupy and never bitter…
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 19 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
Another from SkySamurai! Thanks so much. You all spoiiillll meeee. I’ve never tried this tea shop before. This blend was odd immediately… upon opening the pouch it smelled distinctly like cola…. slightly strange, as that isn’t what this was supposed to be: a wintery, black chai. The closest reason this might smell like cola would be the anise, as I think they use that in root beer. So drinking, it tastes like half cola and half root beer. Very weird, as the spices didn’t really translate to either cup. It’s very COLA. Very ROOT BEER. And not really any other flavors. So I know where to go if I’m craving soda but don’t want actual soda (like when I’ve already had 4,000 grams of sugar that day)! So the rating won’t be so high for this one, as it isn’t what it says it is.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon (and a half an anise star) for a full mug // 16 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
Flavors: soda, cola
Flavors: Root Beer
From Meowster! Thanks so much — I’m slowly trying to get to all the teas, but usually I go for sipdowns or favorite teas. This one is a quality, tasty keemun. If I was in a blind taste test, I’d definitely say this was a keemun, however this one is a puzzle when it comes to distinct flavor notes. The leaves are very huge and wiry, they seem to be an even mix of black and golden in color. The brew is a medium strength, with a hint of smokiness, but there is so much depth here — it is tough for me to describe. Maybe even notes of grapes, which I don’t usually notice in any teas. It’s funny that so many leaves are huge now, across the board from all tea shops and (I think) that means higher quality for the most part, but I also seem to love smaller leafed teas more… maybe not quite CTC size leaves, but a nice mid-size tea leaf seemed to always be my favorite years ago. Like most of the Teavivre black teas have such HUGE leaves now. This tea is satisfying anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
Thanks so much again to Skysamurai for that lovely package of teas! Here we have a lemon and cream rooibos/ honeybush blend. I had a sneaking suspicion that this was very similar to the old Della Terra Lemon Chiffon and it does seem very similar. However, this one doesn’t seem to be as fantasticly lemon as the DT blend was. However, if you look at the photos for both teas, they don’t seem the same. The DT seems to have MORE in the blend, even more eyeblinding yellow, rather than Queen Mary’s blend that has one or two cornflowers in many many teaspoons and no noticeable yellow at all. So maybe it’s not the same blend. (I also know the ingredients list for the DT is not including everything that should be there.) Overall it’s a lovely creamy lemon flavor, both steeps. Might not live up to the magic of the DT blend… but if you need a replacement for that beloved favorite…
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
2019 sipdowns: 35
Flavors: Cream, Lemon
Additional notes: I saw that Coconut Banana Cream Pie Houjicha is reblended! One of my beloved blends from 52Teas. However, I can’t justify an order right now (especially do to my self imposed tea-buy ban at the moment), so I will console myself with this lovely blend and hope one day it will be reblended yet again. I’m very happy to hear it won the Christmas box poll though… that means others wanted to see it again. I must make a note: this one isn’t tasty enough for me without that extra teaspoon. I like it with a teaspoon and a half the best. The coconut is still spectacular!
Note: I realized this might not be the correct tea. AprTea might have labeled the tea wrong… so the note is for ONE of the oolongs they carry…
I received this free from AprTea a while ago. Sorry it has taken me so long, but thank you again for sending them! I expected a dark roasted, brown in color oolong. But no, my leaves look green. This also REALLY doesn’t look like the photo for the tea. The photo looks like a charcoal oolong, my tea does not. I guess I have a different concept of ‘roasted’ teas than AprTea. Then what do they call the roasted teas, because this also has ‘charcoal’ in the name? It might be a darker green oolong, but still green. The dry leaves have a great sweet aroma. The flavor is also tasty, but nothing I would call ‘roasted’. It tastes like a green oolong to me, with a sweet flavor that could be considered caramel. When cooled, a hint of peach. Possibly I’m not steeping this perfectly for the best flavor, as I’m not noticing distinct notes.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for my smaller mug // rinse // 15-20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 13 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2-3 min
I wanted to try another steep session with new leaves, as I wasn’t tasting distinct notes with my parameters last time. Maybe the infuser or leaf amounts weren’t ideal. The infuser I was using previously lets tiny pieces of leaves into the mug (not to say that was the problem) so not ideal for reviewing any teas. So I’m using my netted infuser this time, where nothing gets through. I’m not sure it made much difference in the flavor! But I also used more leaves and different steep times. The oolong is very smooth and the flavor lingers wonderfully. It’s hints of peaches and cream. Very sweet. I’d say the third steep was the best, so I went for a fourth. There is no way these leaves can be oversteeped. They stay sweet with a thick mouthfeel throughout all steeps. Maybe this is where the ‘caramel’ in the name comes from. In a blind taste test I would never call this one charcoal/roasted but I’ve had some very charcoal tasting oolongs in the past. So this one is still tough to pick out distinct flavors, but it’s a very tasty oolong. It tastes like OOLONG.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // rinse // 14 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 5 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 2 1/2 min
TLDR: Sweet, smooth, thick mouthfeel, never bitter, can’t oversteep it. I wouldn’t call it charcoal/roasted at all.
For some random reason, SkySamurai decided to send some random teas my way! Very awesome and thank you so much. I tried to convince her to start another teabox because the one she started is now stalled… Somehow, I haven’t tried any of the teas she sent. I’m not sure I know the difference between the TeaQueens tea shop and the Queen Mary tea shop. I like the name. The blend is a black base with roses, bergamot and vanilla. This sounds like an amazing blend in theory! It’s definitely a combination I’d love. The first cup is heavy on the rose with a medium strength black tea. Maybe I didn’t steep it long enough though. Then somehow the second steep is mostly bergamot. The vanilla is missing all around. The black tea gets much darker on the second steep, crisp and brisk like a nice assam. The promise of the vanilla brings my rating down a bit, but I do like this blend overall: the briskness, the rose is nice and the bergamot is delicious enough.
Steep #1 // 14 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
2019 Sipdowns: 34
Flavors: Bergamot, Rose
additional notes: I’m enjoying this favorite today, mostly because sinuses need some Cayenne right now… I wonder if the new version also uses the new black tea base that is stronger, like the other new versions of the other black teas? I hope so. I just couldn’t take this Ceylon and it’s the only bad thing about this blend. This is certainly a blend with my name on it. The cocoa shells never age. (This is an older blend…. still so so good, piping hot.)
I watched the movie of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ last night and what took me so long? I love that movie. It not only made vampires and werewolves funny, but I swear there were various shades of Blair Witch in there as well. I’m a bit afraid for the show though… I have faith that the funny Matt Berry can pull the show off, but I’m already missing Jemaine and Taika’s characters. I’m very glad it’s now a show, because I’m lacking in funny shows lately.
Another from Annie— thanks so much for sharing! I better write a tasting note now, as I have less than a teaspoon left. I LOVE 52Teas’ marshmallow genmaicha blends, so always happy to see more variations. This one looked like mostly popped rice (and I didn’t see any peppermint candy in my serving). However, there is plenty of mint and marshmallow flavor. It’s a surprisingly delicious combination. The briskness of the mint with the creamy marshmallow is great. It seems like a dessert! This is a unique blend, yet straight forward. It is what it says it is!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 27 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
2019 Sipdowns: 32 (52Teas’ Butter Pecan… tossed the last couple of teaspoons because this one is probably around 10 years old and the flavor is just WEIRD now. I don’t mind old teas but not OLD teas.)
I was elated to be able to try this tea! Thanks so much for sending some, Annie! I think I might have been one of the people to suggest a fig tea to Anne? I love the idea behind this one, however, not sure if it works for me in the resulting tea. I used slightly less than a teaspoon, as that is what the package suggested. I see some definite fig pieces which I appreciate! The oolong is roasted, dark and very tightly rolled. Normally I would think a roasted oolong might overpower these flavors, but the oolong used here isn’t too overpowering, just roasty enough. However, reading the description there are three types of oolongs here: Ruanzhi, Wuyi and Qingxin cultivars. The three must me very very similar! The cinnamon somehow didn’t impart much to the flavor — I’d probably rather it be a fig/honey type of flavor anyway. Sadly there wasn’t much fig or honey flavor either, so this mostly tasted like a better yet light roasted oolong. That’s good because I usually don’t like roasted oolong too much. But I can see figs working with this type of oolong best. A little disappointing, but I would love more fig experiments. I won’t say no to more fig teas, there just needs to be more fig in them!
Steep #1 // less than one teaspoon for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
2019 Sipdowns: 31 (This and David’s Jasmine Black Dragon Pearls)