2750 Tasting Notes
ANOTHER from Ost. Thank you! I’m just burning through Ost’s single samples lately. This one was calling me today, even though I wanted to save the single teabag until summer. I’m glad I didn’t though… it’s not what I expected. Lemon verbena in the past has been like a sugary donut topping…. this is very vegetal or herby with only hints of lemon flavor. It tastes like chamomile to me. The second steep was very much like pine. Maybe I oversteeped? I thought it was just be me noticing the pine, but then it was in the flavor descriptions from other Steepsterers. So this is probably more authentic lemon verbena, but it’s not what I’m accustomed to. Also, even though it was a mesh teabag, the particles seemed to be catching on the back of my throat. Harney’s site now mentions big green leaves. But this version at least has tiny crumbles of leaves.
Steep #1 // 14 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 min
2019 Sipdowns: 29
Additional notes: Finishing a sample amount of this from Kawaii433! It seems to be much more like brandy now with slightly different parameters. The flavor is lovely but nothing I might have named ‘chocolat’. It’s such a lovely, full unique flavor. It’s almost like a plum jam? With hints of chestnuts and chocolate? Again, don’t know what brandy tastes like… It reminds me a bit of my beloved Dammann Freres – Noel Prague, probably my favorite from them. I’m raising the rating from an 89. I’m very very glad and appreciative you sent more over, Kawaii! :D
Steep #1 // 17 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 9 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
2019 sipdowns: 28 (sample amount)
Also, guys, a little bit of my heart is broke right now, as it looks like next year Supernatural will come to an end. I’ve dreaded the day. It MUST be one of the shows with the most heart from cast and crew. Just watching the video of Misha, Jared, and Jensen, obviously recently in tears is HEARTBREAKING: https://tinyurl.com/yyqj2qat They’ve always said the show would probably last however long M,J&J wanted to make the show, and with their emotion in that video, it looks like they wanted to keep going. So WHAT HAPPENED? Also, M,J,&J better get cast in some AWESOME stuff, not like it would compare to Supernatural. I would watch Supernatural forever.
Another single sample from Ost! Thanks again! (Hope you are well!) I LOVE the idea of an orchid oolong, it’s my favorite type of oolong — floral. However, I’m not sure what the age of this sealed teabag might be. The packaging is quite nice. I may have oversteeped the first steep.. the color of the brew was bright GREEN. uh oh. I guess the teabag might have contained more than a teaspoon and shouldn’t have went in my smaller mug. The flavor isn’t as floral as I’d expect. Buttery,sweet, a bit vegetal. I guess oolongs as they get older, tend to be harder to describe. It’s decent enough. I guess I just didn’t want to sip this down without writing SOMETHING. Poor tea. I see the site has a 20% off spring sale, if anyone is interested… though I’m not sure when that ends.
Steep #1 // 1 teabag for smaller mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 7 minutes after boiling // 2 min
2019 sipdowns: 27
edited to add: Whoops. just got an e-mail from Art of Tea saying there is hours left in the sale….
Another sample from Ost. Thanks so much! It’s been a sipdown sort of day. Whoa this one is just drowning in sugar. Luckily even more didn’t dissolve in the first cup, as the second steep became much more tame and bearable… and delicious. The second steep even with nine minutes, was much more mellow and smooth with a nice balance of the black tea and spices. A balanced blend of spices on a not-too-weak black base. Not just the sugar drowning everything in the first cup. This is middle of the pack Davids blend for me. It would be much better without all that sugar (or maybe it was just my sample that had so much). But I’d rather reach for S&V’s AMAZING Apple Cinnamon French Toast or 52Teas Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple syrup (which has many of the same flavor ideas as this one.)
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 9 minute steep
2019 sipdowns: 26 (This & T2’s Banana Bake)
Thanks for a sample of this, Ost! Though I’m not usually a fan of Teavana, the name was too intriguing. I hadn’t actually had any macarons until last week, my grandma had some while traveling, so they might have been a bit stale but I was thrilled to finally try them anyway. I also just had to look up macarons and macaroons because I was confusing them. I got to try macaroons a couple years ago — my cousin made them. I really should make more cookies. I love cookies. Cookies go with tea.
Anyway, I used three teaspoons for one giant mug. I didn’t want to leave one teaspoon hanging and also thought 1 1/2 teaspoons wouldn’t be enough. It looked like a really good smattering of all the ingredients listed. Except for one tiny marshmallow. The flavor is actually pretty accurate to the name. It’s sweet with hints of marshmallow and fruit. A marshmallow macaron! There is a hint of something that might remind me of playdough but nothing too bad. Though there is coconut here and this is an older blend, I wasn’t tasting the oldness. I do like this blend and that is surprising with a Teavana blend, especially when the Steepster rating is already so low.
Steep #1 // 3 teaspoons // 10 minutes after boiling // 5 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 15 minute steep
Thanks so much for a sample of this, Kawaii433! I definitely wanted to try it, especially because the name is too precious. I was in the mood for a shu, so this is what I went with. Note: I completely bypassed the rinse. Somehow my brew doesn’t look as lovely dark as the photo. The description might be over-promising… dark chocolate, chocolate, brown sugar? Really any shu can taste like that if you’re stretching your imagination. The flavor is delicious – I do notice a bit of chocolate, but really any shu if brewed dark enough would taste like dark chocolate. I feel like I could never overbrew shu. The darker the better. But there is also a sweetness that I always appreciate in shu. Clean and clear if that makes sense. The leaves of this puerh start out huge, but then it’s odd looking in the infuser and the leaves don’t seem to be expanding. All three steeps were the same… I tried really milking the third steep but nope, the flavor remains the same. It’s certainly a delicious enough puerh, but the description really set a high bar. But maybe I like the tiny leafed puerh so it can be dark dark dark. So I’m not sure if this shu fits me!
Steep #1 // 1 1/3 teaspoons for a full mug // 17 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 10 min
2019 sipdowns: 24 (Steven Smith’s Brahmin which turns out was in my steepster cupboard but I never actually had it? Does that count as a sipdown?)
Another B+B shop blend sample from Cameron B! Thank you very much (and hope you’re doing okay). Such a beaut of a blend here. Green tea with lovely floral colors… it does look like a garden in the description. Sadly it may work better visually than taste-wise. It also mentions this was inspired by an Earl Grey, and I’m not quite seeing the connection. I would have loved if it was a floral green tea with a quality bergamot. However, this is not that. The buttery vegetal green tea makes itself known. Otherwise, a bit of a fruity flavor. The color of the brew does turn a tinge pink, but luckily that hibiscus doesn’t take over. The second steep seems a bit thin. More pleasing to the eye than the palate.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Somehow I don’t think I have any Irish teas? How is that possible… so the last couple days I’ve been majorly soaking the kettle and infusers - meaning microwave tea. Time to get to a few aging teabags. This was from a teabox ages ago, the packaging is just too cute… maybe I didn’t want to drink it because the wrapping was too nice. Now this isn’t a fair review, because I know I’ve had this for ages (also, microwave tea) but I was tasting hardly any cinnamon, maybe only a hint of tartness from “plum”. Somehow if I had to guess, I would have thought this was a mildly vanilla black tea. It was a decent cup. Now the tea kettle is clean and I’ve already brewed up some FRANKENBERRY. Also from another teabox…
Poor tea… this is from an ancient teabox, a single hand filled tea bag, artfully hand wrapped in something like paper. So it wasn’t even SEALED… it was wrapped in something like PAPER… but the flavor is lovely. The best sort of chamomile. All sweetness, apples, and summery field plants. I’m so glad I gave this one a chance. I can’t imagine it being better when it was fresh (or even sealed). Delicious stuff. I really want to try more of Octavia’s teas. I LOVE their French Breakfast and I’d love to get more. Maybe next year.
Another little packet I received from TreeGal! Thanks so much! I felt like following my Lupicia’s coffee tea with another coffee tea today. This one is interesting (as in, potentially I might hate it) because the ingredients lists coffee grounds. I really like it better when a coffee flavor is artificial, I guess? Like Lupicia’s yesterday? No actual coffee. Otherwise, if a coffee element is genuine, it becomes too funky for me, as all coffee seems to be. Anyway, this is certainly better tasting to me than many other Steepsterers have experienced. There is definitely a coffee element throughout both steeps. But the coffee just seems a bit sour, again maybe it’s my coffee pickiness. There is also a sweet element as well, might be the cocoa beans. I don’t understand the chamomile in this blend at ALL. But it also doesn’t appear to result in the flavor. The color of the brew is neither too dark or too light, as this should be a puerh and black tea together. I wish more of the puerh made an appearance. Overall, a decent blend. However, I imagine the “coffee lovers” from the name might prefer coffee. But this isn’t terrible for a tea fan who wants a coffee flavored tea once in a while.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoons for a full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep