133 Tasting Notes

Another tea in the Traveling Tea Box (A) – this smelled DELICIOUS! Slightly sweet and almond-y.

I haven’t had a blend with green tea and green maté before, which was interesting. But this doesn’t taste like Black Forest Cherry cake to me – I’m not sure what it tastes like exactly. There’s a sweetness to this (almond?), but I don’t taste cherry. It’s not bad, just not what I was expecting based on the description.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I didn’t know what to make of it either. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great. Definitely unique. I’m glad I left it in the box for others to try.

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This is the first tea I tried from the Traveling Tea Box (A)! It’s been on my shopping list since it became available a few months ago.

The smell from the bag was pretty off-putting, which was surprising. It was pretty stinky!

The initial taste was odd as well. Perhaps it was too hot when I first tried it, but it tasted like it smelled. After letting it cool for a bit, it started to taste like cola and cherry.

This isn’t as great as I thought it would be, but happy that I was able to try it without having to buy 50 grams of it. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Yeah this tea wasn’t a hit with me either. I just don’t like blends with stevia. But I wanted to put it in the box in hopes it could find a new home with someone who might like it.

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I used two teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie (robust flavored) Matcha in the buttermilk pancake recipe I made this morning. I liked it and probably would have used a little more if it was just me, but I didn’t want to scare my husband away from breakfast.

The pancakes were a Fall-ish shade of green too!


That sounds like a great idea!

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There are two similar teas in my cupboard – this and Shamrock (both by 52teas). Since I love the later tea so much (with an additional vanilla bean mixed into the bag), I wanted to see how Graveyard Mist compared.

In short, I like this one better! No sweetener needed for this one, which I couldn’t say for Shamrock. There was a minty “POW” in the Saint Patty’s Day-blend that still needed to be toned down, even though there’s vanilla to mellow it.

But in Graveyard, there’s a damp, gentle coolness – kind of like what I’d expect fog to taste like, even though it (disappointingly) doesn’t. (Yes, I’ve stood in the fog with my mouth wide open…) I find it pretty awesome that Frank has created that feeling in a tea – it’s perfect for these Midwest October days!

This one’s a re-stocker!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Ah I am the exact opposite although I did like both as well I prefer the shamrock.

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This is day four of abstaining from caffeine AND sugar, which is really limiting my choices of tea, and a lot of other things. As a black tea-lover with a bit of a sweet tooth, this (religious) act (which will continue for another 3 days) has left me very tired. It’s a little crazy to see how much caffeine and sugar I consume on a regular basis.

So thank goodness for this new-to-me tea. I believe this came from tattooed_tea – so thank you!

The dry tisane smells very sweet – almost vanilla-y and orange-y. Steeped, it’s not as sweet as it smells, but its still pretty good for an unsweetened tea. Good for morning as an orange juice alternative. Probably not something I’ll keep in the tea cupboard, but very enjoyable right now.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Thanks goes out to tattooed_tea for this sample!

In all honesty I usually gloss over the non-flavored teas for the most part, especially greens. Maybe it’s because of the vegetal-ness I get from them, which is not my favorite flavor. But I am glad to try this as it’s not something I would normally seek out.

I got a weird spicy note on the first sip, which I really wasn’t expecting. But then the vegetal washed it away. This happened all through out my cup. It was very interesting.

I am resteeping the leaves as a cold brew, so we’ll see if that can coax something different from this.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Interesting, I am more likely to skim flavored reviews… except Earls.

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I’ve been curious about this version of chai since before becoming a Steepsterite. But I’m very cautious to actual purchase a new one until I can taste it. I really should have thrown caution to the wind this time…

For my first cup, I chose to prepare this “The Ultimate Pumpkin Chai” way, and MAN is it good! (Note to self: try increasing the chai by a half teaspoon for even more pumpkiny goodness!) This is mostly creamy pumpkin with some cinnamon and nutmeg spice notes – Not spicy like some chais. I can’t wait until I place another DT order as this will surely make it into cart – especially since it’s being offered in a special tin. :) (I’m a sucker for those!)

Much thanks to tattooed_tea for sharing a sample of this (and so many others)!

170 °F / 76 °C 6 min, 0 sec

Glad you like it. This is by far my FAV black tea. I recently purchased it in the new country tin.

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When I receive a new matcha from Red Leaf Tea, it’s become customary to tear into the package (ASAP!), removing the matcha from its gold foil packaging and emptying it into a tin. I’m always surprised at how delicious each one has smelled during this ritual. And the Brandy Matcha is no exception!

The smell of this particular offering is really fruity and sweet, very much like what Juicy Fruit gum smells like. I almost didn’t believe I got the right item, because in my mind, the alcohol tends to overwhelm the fruitiness of the brandy. (Maybe I’ve never had any great brandy?) I almost always get that spine tingle when I consume alcohol – probably because I’m such a lightweight now that I rarely ever indulge. I had to look at the packaging to make sure what I got was what I ordered: Brandy Matcha, Size: Small, Flavor: Robust ( found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/brandy-matcha.html ) – yep, that’s it!

Onward and upward – I start with a Brandy Matcha latte. (The thought of having it straight scares me a little with it’s intense smell right now.) One teaspoon brandy matcha with three-fourths teaspoon sugar and two ounces of warmed water. Wisked to frothy perfection and added 6 ounces of icy-cold half-and-half.

The taste is very true to the smell, intensely sweetened fruit. Quite honestly, it’s too much!

So I tried again, this time with just a teaspoon of Brandy Matcha and 2 ounces of warmed water. Wisked and added another 6 ounces of cool water. No sweetener, no dairy – it’s is so much better! It’s matcha with brandy flavoring! Really, there’s no need to add sugar/sugar equivalent to this – its quite sweet already.

Initially I as I was drinking the Brandy Matcha latte I was thinking that this is probably the first matcha from Red Leaf where I would actually consider nocking the flavoring down to “distinctive” level Don’t get me wrong, it’s good at robust, but maybe a little overwhelming if you’re looking for something less fruity. But now that I’ve tried it straight with no sweetener (which is not my default way of drinking matcha), I’m finding a simpler preparation is better.

I have a soft spot for blackberry and apple brandies – I think they’re the first type of brandy I ever tried. Memories of good times! I look forward to trying this mixed with either of the apple matchas or a dark berry matcha Red Leaf offers.

140 °F / 60 °C

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We had such a nice Fall Saturday morning. The ground was still pretty damp from overnight rains and the air was cool and crisp – I actually needed a light jacket to have breakfast on the deck. We took advantage of the cooler weather by making an unplanned trip to a local apple orchard after enjoying some homemade breakfast burritos.

We took a nice walk down half of the orchard before spotting raspberry bushes, still with lots of fruit! So I got to pick a small bucket’s worth for the awesome price of $5! We also made out with a peck of Gala apples, a butternut squash, a gallon of apple cider, two caramel apples and 2 fried apple pies that were amazing! I’m already planning on going back next month if for nothing else a pumpkin or two, more apples and cider.

We got a couple additional cups of cider for the 35 minute drive home. I hadn’t finished all of mine by the time we got home and found some Cider Guayusa chillin’ in the fridge and dumped it into my remaining cider. It was quite tasty! Couldn’t taste the guayusa too much, but the tea added an energy boost to my cup of cider. Definitely something I’ll do it again. :)

Iced 8 min or more

OOOOOh I call that an excellent morning!!!!!!

Daisy Chubb

Um, yes. AMAZING morning! Sounds sooo lovely!


What a lovely day!!

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I’m a native Midwesterner (Iowa, specifically) who was happily uprooted to California twice. SoCal is what I consider home, even though I currently don’t live there. I hope to return home again!

Tea has really come to fill the void of my current displacement. My husband & I (with our two tiny weenies) moved to Indiana hardly knowing a soul. It’s been a tougher transition for me than I’d thought it would be. I have amassed a cupboard of teas to keep me company until I feel more familiar in my newer surroundings.

I will refrain from giving numerical values to teas because I am a faddist. My likes and dislikes are constantly changing. Flavored blacks are what I gravitate to the most. Having said that, I do enjoy a wide variety of teas – you name it, I’ll try it. I may not like it today, but I might revisit it later and love it.

Flavor note: I prefer my teas to be bold in flavor. I am starting to come around to drinking tea without additives. But I do like to dirty my tea with rock sugar/simple syrup and sometimes with half-n-half/milk. Unflavored greens are unsweetened, but flavored greens I usually add rock sugar. Lately I have been favoring flavored guayusa and matés.



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