1102 Tasting Notes

97

Sipdown for National Compliment Day!

It’s National Compliment Day, and I’m giving this beautiful tea a huge shout out. It embodies so many of the things that I adore from the teas from Nepal. There is a muscatal note along with sweet hay. It’s light and clean with the slightest hint of mineral at the end of the sip. I’m a big fan of muscadine notes in tea. I know Darjeeling teas are best known for that flavor, but I feel like so many teas from Nepal showcase it beautifully. This tea is no exception. In fact, it does it to near perfection. The muscatal note is present without having an artificial grape flavor or a wine-y taste. This is a total win in my book.

I would love to pick up more of this at some point. Unfortunately Upton only sells this in 100g or larger quantities, and while I truly love this tea I’m just not in the market for 100+ grams of any tea. * sigh *

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
gmathis

Lovely description! Upton does a good job with their unique black teas…I haven’t ordered for a while so they haven’t sent a catalog my way for a while, but I used to read them like novels.

Veronica

I’m do the same thing with Upton’s catalog. I love the articles they write about tea history, but I really love reading their descriptions on all of their teas. I’ve had a couple of days where I grabbed my Upton catalog and various seed/gardening catalogs and made wishlist of teas to drink and plants I want to grow. Kind of like the Toys R Us catalog for adults. :)

gmathis

Or the Sears Christmas Wish Book … (yes, I’m dating myself here).

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87
drank East Frisian by Harney & Sons
1102 tasting notes

I love this tea. I’ve gone through a tin of it each winter for almost a decade now. It has the magical ability to chase away the winter chills when nothing else can. And let me tell you, as someone who hates being cold, I appreciate anything that helps me warm up when the temperature drops outside.

This is a wonderfully robust blend. The mix of Assam, Ceylon, and Darjeeling is lovely. There’s lots of malt and bread notes as well as a light lemony flavor and a bit of a honey note. The flavors are consistent throughout the cup. There’s also some astringency at the end of the sip. I know some people don’t like that, but I’m a fan. This blend is designed to take cream and sugar well, and it does. For those times that I want the tea sans additions I’ll steep it for three minutes. Today I let it steep for five and I added heavy cream and sweetener. I regret nothing.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Lemon, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Strawberry Fields by Clipper
1102 tasting notes

I received a box of this as part of a Christmas gift. I’ve been side eyeing it for a few weeks trying to figure out what to do with it. The first ingredient listed is hibiscus. I’m not a fan of hibiscus. I am a fan of strawberry teas. See the dilemma? Anyway, I decided my best shot was to cold brew it, and it actually turned out ok. The strawberry flavor is artificial and candy like. It reminds me of the little hard candies wrapped in cellophane that have a strawberry design on it. There’s also a “green” flavor. Like someone threw some strawberry leaves and vines into the mix, too. The result isn’t unpleasant just… odd. I do get some sour notes from the hibiscus, but they’re nowhere near as intense as they would be if I drank this hot. Final verdict: I’ll drink this as a cold brew, but it’s nothing I’d buy for myself.

As a side note, the artwork on the box is adorable, and I’m digging the shades of pink and green they chose to use. So cute!

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Green, Hibiscus, Strawberry

Preparation
Iced

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95
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
1102 tasting notes

Sipdown.

Taking a slow minute to say goodbye to this one. It’s as utterly delightful as always, and I’m going to miss having it in my cupboard. I don’t have any new thoughts on the tea itself (see previous notes where I sing its praises over and over again), but I am already daydreaming about placing a H&S order this autumn and adding this to my cart. If reviews for the current harvest are anywhere close to this one then I’ll happily splurge on another tin.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Earth, Hay, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

Okay, I haven’t had this in ages but I really have to order some now!

Veronica

It’s so good! I wish it wasn’t so expensive, but at the same time I don’t mind paying for a quality product.

Lexie Aleah

They have a 20% off promotion going right now but they do those pretty often.

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82
drank Winter Solstice by Premium Steap
1102 tasting notes

This is a classic orange spice tea, and it’s well executed. The orange flavor is bright and tangy rather than tasting artificial and candy-like. The spices are listed as cinnamon and ginger, but if I hadn’t read the ingredients list I would’ve guessed there was black pepper in the mix. Not a lot, but enough that it makes its presence known. I enjoy the heat mixed with the sweetness of the fruit. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m guessing it would take milk and sugar very well.

I picked up a couple of ounces of this, and I can see myself drinking all of it over the next few months. That’s a good thing though. This isn’t a tea I see myself craving once the warm weather returns.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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76

My order from Premium Steap arrived a week ago, but this has been my first chance to sit down and enjoy one. I was excited to get this because I don’t have anything like it in my cupboard at the moment. I was craving variety as well as sweet, so into my cart this went. It turned out to be good timing on my part since they stopped offering their fall teas right before the new year.

The dry leaf smells nothing like pumpkin or marshmallow. It smells like cinnamon toast and cardamom. It’s pleasant, but I’m really wanting that pumpkin goodness. Once steeped I can sort of smell the pumpkin, but it might just be wishful thinking. Definitely earthy with bread and spun sugar notes. There’s also cinnamon, which I can get on board with as long as it doesn’t overwhelm the blend.

The first sip is… lackluster. I don’t taste pumpkin. Honestly, it tastes exactly like the dry leaf smells – cinnamon, toast, and cardamom. The more I drink it the more I like it, but it’s not what I was expecting. Adding monk fruit sweetener and cream brings the spices to the forefront even more, and as the tea cools I get a soft vanilla flavor. Nothing that shouts marshmallow, but it’s a very nice addition to the other flavors.

I can see myself really liking this one, but as a first impression I have to say I’m disappointed. If I could detect any pumpkin flavor at all this one would be a complete winner. As is, it’s just ok. I’ll keep playing with it though. Maybe I can eek out some pumpkin and marshmallow flavors with a few tweaks.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Toast, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
tea-sipper

aw, what a disappointing result for the intriguing name.

Veronica

Right??? I’m going to give it a few more try’s, but I’m already thinking about turning this into a base for a homemade chai.

AJRimmer

Yep, disappointing black teas become bubble tea base for me! It’s handy to have a few around!

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80
drank Moroccan Mint by Harney & Sons
1102 tasting notes

I’m a fan of Moroccan Mint teas, so when I placed my recent H&S order I threw a tin of it into my cart. This is my first time trying this blend from this company, but it’s a pretty standard MM. The peppermint is strong but not overpowering. I can still taste the smokiness of the gunpowder green tea as well as a slight vegetal note. I can see this getting bitter if it’s over brewed, but following the directions (175 degrees for 3 minutes) produces a nice cuppa.

I had this hot today, and while it didn’t blow my socks off I did enjoy it. I can also see it being great as an iced or cold brewed tea. Maybe I’ll try that later today.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Eggnogg'n Tea by Bigelow
1102 tasting notes

So today’s been horrible. Had this tea and a chocolate chip cookie for dinner. Now I’m going to bed a praying that tomorrow is better. Please let it be better.

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85

This is really nice and took me a bit by surprise. It’s a light but flavorful dessert tea that I’m finding ideal in this colder weather. The immediate flavors I taste are orange, vanilla, and caramel. The ginger isn’t so much tasted as felt – a touch of heat on the back of the throat. The floral notes, mostly rose, are present as the tea cools, but it’s very light. The caramel flavor fades a bit, so it becomes more of an orange, vanilla, rose tea. Really nice.

Flavors: Caramel, Orange, Rose, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Courtney

This one sounds tasty. I really need to look at doing a new H&S order!

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80

I’m not sure what I think about this one. The coconut and caramel flavors are there, but I’m not getting the toasted rice or sesame seed notes. Adding sweetener heightens the caramel taste, but that’s about it. Given that this tea is inspired by Nian Gao, a sweet rice cake, the missing flavors make this tea disappointing. I’ll keep playing with it to see if I can coax more from the tea.

Now that I’ve said all of that, if someone gave me a cup of this and said it was a coconut and caramel dessert tea I’d enjoy it! The base tea is slightly malty, and the coconut doesn’t have an artificial taste. The caramel is the main note, but the tea and fruit are there and quite tasty.

So like I said, I’m not sure about this one. It’s good, but it’s not all that it should be.

Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Tea obsessed since 2010.

My Rating System:

100-95 = Teas I actively seek out and keep in my pantry. If you are a guest in my home chances are I will offer you one or all of these teas. Also, if/when these teas are discontinued I openly mourn their loss.

94-85 = Teas I truly like, often have in my pantry, and sometimes restock. These are my variety-is-the-spice-of-life teas.

84-75 = They’re good teas and I enjoy drinking them on occasion.

74-65 = These teas are ok, but not really my thing.

64-55 = meh.

54-45 = I will if I have no other option.

44 and below = Coffee, please.

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New Jersey, USA

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