1928 Tasting Notes

86

Well, I tried to fix the picture but couldn’t get it to take. Oddly enough, there are images further down the page that seem to show up just fine.

This smells and tastes a lot like the Caribbean Crush of yesterday, but more. More color (a deep, dark red) and more flavor (described below). It may be that the hibiscus is stronger and that’s pushing a synergistic effect with all the other flavors.

This one also reminds me a lot of the late, great Teavana offering, Caribbean Breeze — a bit of a black cherry flavor, but sweeter than my notes show for Caribbean Breeze and less tart. It also has the strawberry leaning flavor I described in Caribbean Breeze.

It’s reminiscent of Tazo Passion as well, but it has a more robust flavor that I think comes mostly from not being in a teabag.

The aroma is fruit punch-like after steeping. In the packet, it’s pretty eyewateringly strong unsweetened black cherry.

This gets the same rating as Caribbean Breeze as a thank you for being a nice stand in for one of my old faves.

Flavors: Cherry, Fruit Punch, Grapes, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
eastkyteaguy

Just took care of the picture for ya.

Lexie Aleah

guess I was a bit slow lol.

__Morgana__

Thanks! Wonder what I was doing wrong.

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72
drank Caribbean Crush by DAVIDsTEA
1928 tasting notes

Continuing to sample my panoply of new herbals and fruit blends. The weather has been chilly here, so it’s been great to have a warm drink at night.

This one has small chunks, rather than the normal big chunks. But I still over-chunked it slightly out of habit.

The dry mix smells very sweet and a little tart. It’s hard to discern the individual flavors in the smell of the dry mix.

After steeping I can’t really differentiate the flavors either, but it’s kind of nice that way. It’s rather like a fruit punch effect, like a nice Hawaiian Punch (if you’re old enough to remember that).

It is sweet, but at least my initial impression isn’t that it’s cloyingly so, and there’s a tartness in the finish and aftertaste that keeps it from being a mouth full ’o sugar.

I’m not sure I like it better than the Flamingo, but I like it as well in different ways.

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Fruity, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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72
drank Jade Bamboo by The Tao of Tea
1928 tasting notes

I didn’t rate this the first time I tried it, but I think I’m ready now.

I tried it the past few days as my take it to work tea, steeping at the full 4 minutes suggested.

Even with the additional steeping time, this isn’t among my favorites. It’s tasty enough, and does have a very interesting bamboo shoot-like flavor and aroma. But it’s not a strong enough flavor for me.

Sometimes a less than amazing flavor is perfect for a work tea, because you aren’t distracted after each sip with the thought of how good it is.

In this case, the distraction is me constantly asking myself whether there’s something else I could have done to make a stronger flavor come through.

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67
drank English Breakfast by TeaFrog
1928 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 36 of 2018 (no. 392 total).

Stuck the last of this into the fridge to make cold brew, much sooner than expected. The last cold brew mysteriously disappeared quite quickly.

No. 2 fessed up as the culprit.

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67
drank Calming Chamomile by DAVIDsTEA
1928 tasting notes

I totally forgot that I bought this.

It’s actually quite decent for a straight chamomile. The flowers smell juicy and sweet in the pouch, and after steeping they still smell juicy and sweet.

There’s none of that papery, strawy, sour-to-bitter taste that chamomile can sometimes have. This is no mouth full ’o stale potpourri. Indeed, it has a freshness to it that I find rare in chamomile.

What it doesn’t have, that I have found I like in chamomiles, is a creaminess to it. A sort of smooth and almost heavy mouthfeel.

Instead it’s crisp, with the characteristic hint of green apple.

I’ve discovered that I like this as much as the creamy, sweet kind, if not more.

While chamomile is, still, for me, a sometime thing — I can see this growing on me. I’m giving it a tad higher rating than the Samovar, which is pretty much unheard of for me. Nice job on the fresh flowers, David!

In other news, I’m pretty excited that a couple of total strangers have liked one of my stories enough to recommend that those nominating for Hugos give it a read. Here’s a link to my post about this, and you can also find a link to the story there in case anyone is nominating. :-)

https://jjroth.net/2018/02/26/diabolical-plots-recommends-all-of-the-cuddles-with-none-of-the-pain-for-your-hugo-ballot/

I’ve been on a writing hiatus lately. Too much going on. Trying to gear up for my new role at work which is coming this spring, working hard on the weight loss (it is going well, thanks — so well in fact that my doctor wrote me a love letter about my lipid panel), and trying to keep up with my kids who are now surly teenagers and have secret lives that both amaze and worry me.

But having some folks who don’t know me like my stuff enough to post about it makes me want to at least think about breaking the hiatus. I don’t know whether it will happen soon, but it will happen eventually. It always does.

Flavors: Flowers, Green Apple

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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85
drank Ginger by American Tea Room
1928 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 35 of 2018 (no. 391 total). A sample.

Still liking this one on a second try. If/when I place an ATR order, this will be on it.

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67
drank English Breakfast by TeaFrog
1928 tasting notes

Having now had quite a few more English Breakfast blends than I had had when I wrote my original note, I’m not as impressed upon revisiting this one so I’m bumping down the rating into the good category.

It’s not that the tea has changed, it’s that my tastes have, and I now have a clearer idea of what I like in a breakfast blend. I generally prefer at least some Yunnan in mine. If there’s any Yunnan in this, I can’t tell.

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75

Sipdown no. 34 of 2018 (no. 390 total).

I tossed the rest of this into a cold brew but it was only enough for half a pitcher, so I supplemented with Teafrog English Breakfast. It’s steeping in the fridge now. I can already tell it’s going to be a tasty iced tea.

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55

Apparently, my only note about this was in reference to a cold brew. I’m almost to the end of this, so I decided to try it hot again to record my thoughts.

It’s not a favorite. It’s rather nondescript. Yes, there’s chocolate in the dry leaf and steeped aroma, and in the taste. But it’s a rather surface chocolate flavor, not a rich one. The chili aspect is even less obvious. I suppose there might be a hint of it, but it isn’t strongly peppery.

It’s not terrible. It’s just not anything special.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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86
drank Almond by Mariage Frères
1928 tasting notes

I thought this might be another in the same vein as Brioche and Almond Biscotti, but after smelling the dry leaves I think it’s a different type of almond. It’s less pastry and more Amaretto.

I find it interesting that The Cultured Cup sells this under the Mariage Freres brand, but it’s not available at the Mariage Freres web site.

But I digress. The steeped tea also smells and tastes like Amaretto, but without the alcohol. The underlying tea blends pretty seamlessly into the almond, to the point where it’s not really discernible as a separate flavor. Admittedly, I have a cold so my taster may be a little off, but I don’t think I’m missing anything here.

It’s an interesting change from the usually pastry flavored almond teas. It’s the sort of thing I might consider having around even if I also had Brioche because they’re so different.

I am puzzled by the fact that it doesn’t appear on the Mariage Freres web site, though.

Anyone have any thoughts on that? Does Mariage Freres have different flavors that they sell to other outlets?

Flavors: Almond

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Brioche is particular. Accept no substitutes. This one sounds lovely, but only if I was not anticipating Brioche.

__Morgana__

Agreed. I have been hoarding my last little bit of Brioche but one day soon I will have to let it go.

kcush

It does look like MF sell an almond flavored black tea on their website. Do you think this is the one you tried? https://www.mariagefreres.com/UK/2-amandes-T802.html

__Morgana__

It probably is! No idea why it didn’t come up on my search on their site. I tried both French and English.

Evol Ving Ness

Maybe they fiddle their products according to the market, like DTs does.

Evol Ving Ness

That is to say that some of their teas are available through the Canadian site and not through the American one.

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Profile

Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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