108 Tasting Notes

88

HELLO! Whaddya know, I’m back.

Yes, I know. It has been an ETERNITY since I have been on here. Sorry. I’ve been dealing with ish, and my life has been so hectic lately that I haven’t had the chance to really sit down and try any new teas. Well, that changed this month when I made a haul from YS and it arrived a few days ago. Funny thing, actually spending my tea budget for the month on TEA!! Anyway, this is the first one I am trying from my Spring 2019 bunch that I purchased. I’ve never had black bi luo before, so lets see how this is.

For starters, fresh out of the package this stuff smells DIVINE. There is a strong sweet smell to it. It smells like a dessert tea actually. I’m looking forward to tasting it.
Brewed Western. 3g/12oz/2:30min/190F

Taste is… wow, that stonefruit flavor is intense. Just bringing the tea up to my nose, I can smell the strong sweet/musky smell. I wasn’t expecting stonefruit, but it definitely has that character. I’m also getting a bit of cherry as well. It thankfully doesn’t seem to have that “Meat” flavor that I remember the Bi Luo Green that I tried had. I didn’t like that meaty flavor. This however, is very fruity and delish. There is a bit of tannin flavor in it, but as I was conservative in my brewing, it isn’t at all bitter.

MMmm… as I get further down into the cup, (and as it cools) I’m getting an ever so slight leather note to it. Not unpleasant, it’s just a bit more complex as it cools. Also, as it cools, that signature golden-black cacao flavor is shining through. By this point, the stonefruit flavor has faded, but the cherry flavor is still holding on, giving it a slight “cordial cherry” flavor.

All in all I would say this is definitely a keeper. It’s a wonderfully fruity tea that, as it cools, becomes a more traditional golden black flavored cup. There is still some available on YS (the Chinese site, not sure about the US site) so I would say if you like this sort of thing, pick some up. It’s very good.

Flavors: Cacao, Cherry, Leather, Stonefruits, Tannin

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
derk

Yoyoyo Shanie O. Welcome back :)

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82

Hey all. Sorry for the extended absence. My mood has been really down lately, and I haven’t bought new tea in awhile, so there hasn’t been anything new to review.

All that being said, when my parents went on vacation, they brought back four teabags. Two of this, and two chamomile from the same brand. Today, I am trying the peppermint.

Ok, For starters, I brewed this a minute more than it said. I like a good strong herbal, and I thought it might help. However, upon tasting the result, it was hella bitter. So I opted for a single stevia (I’m at the parents house, they don’t have splenda). It made it taste marginally better. It’s certainly minty – which it should be for supposedly containing nothing but peppermint leaf. Yup I can totally tell that is peppermint. It actually, with the stevia, tastes remarkably like one of those red and white peppermint candies that grandma used to horde. I can handle that. I like those.

Overall, I would say this is a decent peppermint tea. Taken straight, it is bitter, but with a touch of sweetener, it has a lovely peppermint candy flavor. Not bad at all.

Flavors: Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
LuckyMe

Welcome back! Always good to see old Steepsterites return to action

Kittenna

Glad to see you back! Peppermint tea is very much not my thing, but you’ve made this sound oddly appealing. Probably because I also have a fondness for those silly candies.

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87

Ok, so apparently I got more of this. I was browsing my tea drawer and found another pouch of this. I just wanted to post an update, I still really like this. I came up with an idea for a really good description of this. It’s like a Cinnabon, if instead of cinnamon, it is caramel. THAT is what this tastes like. It is mighty tasty. I would highly recommend this if it ever gets reblended. I know I’m gonna get more. I am pretty certain that this last pouch is all I have left. Boo.

Flavors: Caramel, Pastries, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Haha, I love when I’ve forgotten I picked up more of something! Assuming it’s a good something, that is.

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84

Well, I wanted to try something new. And since I’m running out of new tea, I figured I’d try one of these sample packs that a certain Mad Tea Artist sent me!

Quick pre-brew notes: The package smells like berries. Very sweet berries. I’m getting a little bit of green smell too, but not much.

Since it was a sample package, there was no brewing perameters on the bag. So I tried to go for a happy medium between Green Tea and Green Rooibos. So Western Style, at 175F/3Min/16oz/however much the sample was.

For starters, the brewed smell is definitely green tea. It’s very noticibly that. Taste is— Wow that is different. I’m getting the berries, they are providing a bit of tart sweetness. The green tea/green rooibos however, is really not grassy at all. Actually, it’s kind of… meaty? Kinda like a Bi Luo Chun? Which is weird because I didn’t see any of that listed in the ingredients. Besides those two flavors, nothing else really jumps out at me, but it’s more because the tea is so balanced rather than it being bland.

As it cools, I’m getting some floral and fruity notes (besides the berries). It also tastes like there is a background bitterness that is trying to break through, but the rest of the flavor profile is keeping it in check. This was a surprisingly tasty tea. I didn’t think I’d like it this much, but now I am considering getting a pouch or two. Solid Rec, guys. Give this one a shot. It’s different, but in a good way.

Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Meat, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kittenna

Ooh, sounds interesting. I also got a sample pouch of this one, but haven’t tried it yet. Now I’m more intrigued, though!

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83

Sipdown!

So I had about two and a half sessions of this left. I decided to make the rest into a whole pot. So I threw it all into the brevelle and off we went.

This one was pleasing. I did get the peach flavor from it, but I don’t recall nearly as much white tea flavor as I would have liked. Basically it was just a mild peach tea. I did use sweetener with it to bring out the peach, as without it, the peach is very bland and not at all the nice nectary flavor I love.

I would probably get this again. It made for a nice cuppa and I’m kinda sad that I used it all up in one go. Recommended.

Flavors: Peach

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73

Ok, I have to admit, the first cup of this I underleafed AND understeeped. And it was awful. It was, as they say, like making love in a canoe, if you get my drift. So the next steep I intentionally overleafed and oversteeped to compensate. It is much better this way. Even without adding any sweetener, I’m getting a very nice flavor here. It’s a mild fig/raisin flavor with a black tea base. Adding a sweetener (for SCIENCE) and it brings out the fruitiness a bit more. The fig isn’t as strong as I would like it to be though. I was hoping for the full on newton with this, but instead, I get a mild, reserved fig flavor. It’s definitely not “bad” so to speak, but it isn’t living up to its full potential and that’s unfortunate.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kittenna

Maybe I’ll try the overleafing route next time…

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77

Just a quickie review of this, I really don’t know what she was going for with this tea. When tasted plain, it almost has the flavor of one of those specialty blend coffees? Like a maple bacon flavored coffee drink? It’s hard to say. With sweetener added, the best way I can describe it is if you put a pancake and bacon breakfast in a blender and hit PUREE and then drank the result. It’s kinda weird. Not horrible so to speak, but just strange. I’m honestly trying to decide if I like this or not, and I’m having trouble. I think i do? Maybe? This one is just out there. I’ll give it a rec for anyone aching to try something truly different. But for people who are conservative about their tea choices, I would probably stay away from this one.

Flavors: Coffee, Meat, Pancake Syrup

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

This one was definitely different. I believe I was also a bit on the fence about it.

Kawaii433

I really loved this one. :) It is quite strange. You describe it pretty close to what I experience. I have never tried it with sweetener though. It is a pancake, bacon, maple syrup breakfast to me too.

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56

Ok, I made a rather large 52 Teas order, and Anne was kind enough to include a single serve sample of this in the package
Just a quickie review, this tea is OK. I would have liked it MUCH better without the anise. I find licorice flavor of any sort (black licorice that is) revolting and when it shows up in my tea I have to drown it in sweetener just to make it palatable. That is what happened here with each steeping requiring THREE splendas just so I could drink it. However, with the three splendas it was actually not too bad. I got the basic gist of the tea. I’ve never had mulled wine, so I can only guess that it what it tastes like. All in all, not a fan of this one, but I have had much much worse.

Flavors: Licorice, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Frolic

Thanks for the heads-up on the anise. I despise licorice and can only handle small amounts of anise when it’s with other stronger spices so I’m going to have to pass my pouch of this on to someone else.

Kittenna

The licorice must be hit or miss here, as I don’t recall tasting in in the single cup I’ve had so far.

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89

Ok, another one from yesterday’s box! This one I was gonna wait till tomorrow’s breakfast, but that TOTALLY isn’t happening.

Brewed western style 212F/2tsp/2:30min/12oz

Taste is… wow that is definitely creamy! I know this is meant to be taken with sweetener, but it really is very creamy without any. But, since sweetener was intended, sweetener we shall add! MMMM now THAT is tasty. It’s still really creamy, but the added sweetener really brings out the brûlée/custard flavor. Uh oh… I may need a large of this. This is mighty good. This is the third tea I’ve tried of this batch, (although only the second I wrote up,) and by far the best. I would compare the taste to a previous 52teas blend the “caramel monkey bread rooibos”, just without the woody rooibos flavor. I do believe I’m out of that one so I will have to get a bunch of this one to hold me over till we get a reblend of the Monkey Bread. Great Job on this one!

Flavors: Cream, Custard, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

Ooooooh! This one caught my eye when I saw it posted, glad I’ll be getting it to try at some point!

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Profile

Bio

HELLO! My name is Shanie and I am a budding Tea Aficionado! While I have always loved various types of tea, for almost my entire life it has come from a grocery store. I am only now starting to stick my big toe in the pool of goodness that is loose leaf. As such, there will likely be tasting notes I do for bagged tea as well as good quality (and not so good quality) loose leaf teas. I’m still learning as I go so have patience please!

Some of my favorite flavors include: Cocoa, Malt, Bread, Honey, Earthy, Sweet Citrus, Caramel, Apple, Spices, and Cinnamon.

Some flavors I don’t like: Coconut, Bitey Citrus (like Citric Acid), Sour, Smoke, Overpowering Fake Vanilla, and Stevia.

NOTE: I am Type 2 Diabetic. As such, I can really not have sugar added to tea without suffering problems. This prohibits me from using either plain sugar or honey. Instead, I use Splenda as I found my system can handle it well and I like the flavor. I try to avoid stevia as I’ve found it often ruins the flavor of tea. However, good quality teas require no sweetener. Because of this, if I add sweetener to a tea, I will mention it in the tasting note and say what kind and how much. Usually I sweeten flavored and herbal teas, but leave true teas unsweetened. There are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb to go by.

GREAT NEWS! After the recommendation of the discussion board, I invested in some reusable tea baskets. These make brewing tea much easier and eliminates the constant need for disposable cups. Of course, sometimes, both baskets are full and in need of cleaning and I just can’t be bothered, so I use the old cup-to-cup method. Also, if I’m brewing tea for a guest I tend to use the disposable cup method. But as far as personal tea goes, I use brew baskets now!

I have decided to try and make a scale for my ratings. So here goes.

As of March 2019.

100-91: These are my go to favorites. I will likely go out of my way to always keep these on hand, including going on third party websites to obtain out of season.
90-81: This is a tea I really did enjoy, and I will likely purchase again. However, I wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth for it, and it isn’t my all time favorite.
80-71 This is a tea that, while I may have somewhat enjoyed, something is holding me back from making it a mainstay. Maybe because it requires sweetener. Maybe there is an offputting aftertaste. It varies. But something about this doesn’t suit me and while I will likely finish what I have, I may or may not not get more.
70-61: This is a tea which I drank, but I really did not enjoy it. It wasn’t bad enough to dump, and if it is the only thing available to drink, I would likely choke it down. But in the end, this is just not my literal cup of tea and I will likely not get this again.
60-51: This is something that I hated, but for one reason or another, refused to dump. It just is awful, but I suppose I can choke it down and not waste it. These are teas which I will not be buying again, and may not even finish what I have.
50-41: Yeah, whatever this is, I probably dumped it. At this level, it is barely recognizable as tea or any tea like substance, and has few redeeming qualities. On the bright side, it isn’t sewage water, so there’s that.
40-31. On it’s best day this tea has no redeeming qualities. This not only got dumped but the package it came in either got thrown away, traded, or shoved to the back of the cupboard to never be touched again. Not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, but darn sure close.
30-Under: The worst thing I’ve ever tasted. This not only has no redeeming qualities, but it is gag inducing. “Teas” in this range are so bad I not only will never drink them again, I really don’t feel like offloading them onto anyone else because they are just that bad. Actual sewage water.

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