100 Tasting Notes
Should I do something special for my 100th tasting note, or is it just another cup of tea?
How my tea tastes have changed since my first few reviews when I thought Teavana and Mighty leaf were the best teas, through the Steepster Select experiment, to now when I look for tasty bagged tea or a chocolatey yunnan black or a creamy shu puerh.
I thank the Steepster community for introducing me to Butiki, traveling tea boxes, and secret pumpkin swaps. So many yummy teas I have discovered since logging onto this site!
I do love a bargin, and this Vanilla Tea is just that. To me a bargin is quality at a lower price, and I like the challenge of paying less for a similar good product that others may pay more for. I have tried many steeps looking for a flaw in this tea, could it be an aftertaste, a bitterness, too much astringency? I haven’t found much negative here, its a single note tea, but it does it quite well. It reminds me of a Bryers Ice cream natural vanilla, but not so sweet. This is comfort food at its best, the reason why vanilla is a favorite dessert flavor, and why do other vanilla teas end up with a weird after taste? I am still impressed by every sip and have been unable to oversteep. Is it the vanilla bean or the vanilla flavor that is spot on? Maybe my only complaint is the black tea base isn’t really there, its just a conveyance for the vanilla.
I will order this again, and I will savor the sips of this comforting tea that only needs one flavor note to be delicious.
A sample size of this tea was added to the ‘new to me’ tea bundle from Amanda, thanks! The dry leaf looks long and wiry, not a whole lot of golden tips here. On the whole I’d say this tea was smooth and average. Not that memorable, not a bad way to start the day. There is a bit of a roasty note here, but not all that sharp or interesting. While this cup is very smooth, I wouldn’t gravitate towards a purchase when there are better Yunnans out there.
Flavors: Hay, Toasty
A decent black tea with mostly coconut notes and some lingering toasty notes in the background. It’s fairly tasty as far as coconut goes, nothing fake or artificial as an aftertaste, but it really is a one note tea. Some sips I get a little of the the toasty sesame coming through, not on the first steep, the second is where the coconut turns pleasantly toasty. No bitterness here, I bet this would do well grandpa style in a go cup all day. Not usually the type of tea I gravitate to, but I’ll add it to my tea bag travel stash and sip it down :)
Flavors: Coconut, Toasted
Apparently I am doing a poor job of timing my steeps today as this one steeped for over 5 minutes the first time. A bit of a burnt taste to this over brew, but I stuck with it and tried a second steep that is a bit more butterscotch and caramel. Less burnt and more peanut brittle with a light lingering butterscotch after taste. Might need to try this with less leaf and a shorter steep time.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Peanut
Not my favorite example of Golden Monkey, but still very drinkable. The first steep got more chocolatey with each sip as it cooled. The second steep is a bit disappointing , its still smooth, malty, and chocolatey, but its just a muted version of the first steep. I’ll try using more leaf and see if the second steep holds up, this doesn’t seem like overleafing will become a detriment to taste. While this tea is quite good, I might try a taste test beside the SV Tippy Yunnan to see which I prefer more.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
This is a fair example of an Assam. A smooth metalic, coppery taste without a lot of bitterness or bite. I may have under leafed this for a morning cup, but I’m not sure it would get very much bolder with more leaf . I don’t mind a bit of an aftertaste in an Assam, so this one seems a bit bland to me. I have been blending tea lately, a scoop of this and a scoop of that in a cup. I might try this with a bit of honeybush next.
Flavors: Bitter, Metallic, Tannic
I am always looking for a bagged tea to add to my travel stash, it’s just so much easier to brew on the go with a bag. And I try not to sacrifice taste too much. This Chai is very heavy on the clove with a second note of cardamon. I prefer more cinnamon or ginger in my chai, this one just seems a bit harsh and heavy to me. I do like that it is very forgiving, I can throw it in my travel mug and not worry about it getting bitter. I’m not sure that makes up for the overpowering clove, but maybe I should add another flavor teabag to make it more interesting.
Flavors: Cardamon, Clove
Sipdown! Somehow I saved one of these mini tuo cha and I pulled it out of my cupboard a few weeks ago. I wondered if I should gongfu this last bit of tea, but decided on grandpa style brewing in a double walled glass mug to watch the brew darkness level. The first few steeps were harsh and earthy, but as the steeping session went on, a creamy vanilla tea emerged and I remember how good these little tuo chas were when I brewed them in a clay pot. I’ll keep these little creaminess in a cup in mind when I need another shou fix.
Flavors: Camphor, Creamy, Earth, Vanilla
Smells like pinesol tastes like limeaid. Don’t really taste the black tea, but I know it’s there as I see the bag expand in size. At least its not bitter, and I think this would actually be a good candidate for grampa style brewing. Maybe throw in a bag of ginger(which typically disappoints as a solo cup). I am always looking for bags that taste good as they travel much easier than loose leaf, but I’m not sure I’d purchase this again. I’ll experiment with iced tea, but as hot tea the lime taste seems decent up front, then lingers into meh as a chemical afterthought. A small dollop of honey makes it a little less aftertasty and more limey.
It’s nice that there’s a best before date on the box as I’m not sure I’ll be drinking this all that fast.
Flavors: Lemon, Lime
FIrst I must say this tea is quite old, I’m sure it would have tasted better if I had drunk it all long before now. But I do like this tea, and I tend to put tea I like back in the cupboard and ‘save it for later’. Even if this batch is past its prime, I like the roasty hay taste with a sweet nutty finish. Some grassy notes are showing up in the second steep, but on the whole an enjoyable light cup.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Nutty