676 Tasting Notes
Thank you Will Work For Tea for this Sample!
I’m catching up on my reviews now that Steepster is working fine again.
Hello all! Missed you’hooo!
This is my spiff up day. I put on a dress and heels, try to look a bit respectable but not flashy (don’t want to call attention to myself just blend in) and off to Church.
The drive is one of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen. There is open space set aside…long stretches of fields between Fort Collins and Loveland so that you have total unobstucted views of the Rocky Mountains. The Mountain Peaks jut up higher and higher in layers to just over 14,000 ft. and are snow capped much of the year. Breathtaking!
When I returned blessed twice with the Liturgy and the Rocky Mountains,
I wanted tea. Of course!
The Lupicia Caramel Macchiato Tea had coffee beans mixed in it. Uh huh!(You could keep some of this around for those “doubters” who have not come over from the dark side to the light.)
My steeping went a little long (I like it this way). A nice roasty coffee/tea. I must say, this had a strong coffee flavor. Mocha and caramel, much smoother than a cup of black coffee would have been.
I added a good bit of cream and some sweetening for a cuppa Joe/Tea.
This was pretty good.
Not too tea’ish if you want tea that tastes like TEA.
Time to revisit this spicy smooth yummy Chai.
I have a movie to watch and a Dark Chocolate “Love” bar with Crystalized Ginger from Boulder…(Oh Bonnie is a very bad girl)!
I love pairing Chai tea with chocolate. Black malty tea’s taste great with chocolate or with a spiced cookie like I had yesterday with a chewy ginger cookie.
Sometimes people think Chai is only for Winter. Ha! (I love hot Chai year round.) Then again, cold Chai is refreshing.
This spicy tea is packed with so much flavor…I mean really, packed with the best tea base… then the freshest spices layered on top. When you add your favorite milk (or almond/soy addition) and honey or sweetening of choice… you’re set. In the Summer, chilled this is the best! Tasty!
I wonder, what would this be like chilled in the freezer? A real slushy Chai steeped in milk and frozen then blended in the blender? (I’ve got to try this!) What an idea!
I vote for MORE CHAI PLEASE!
Keep making more and more Chai Verdant Tea!
Thank you Bo at The Tea Spot for this Sample Tea!
Breakfast 32oz pot of tea for my Saturday morning!
Hard to believe it but out of my huge cupboard full of tea…I only 1 Earl Grey Tea! This tea presented a perfect opportunity to expand my Earl Grey experience.
Lets just jump right to the taste…
This tea tastes like lemon cream pudding! Creamy slightly vanilla lemon milky creamy pudding!
I kid you not! Really it does. I can taste the bergamot in the tea in a non-overwhelming way but I am so in love with the creamy pudding that who cares about the bergamot!
There is supposed to be licorice in this blend too. Oh really? Wherever it is must be taking the bite off the bergamot…you know the usual tang or bite that can make it a bit harsh. Well that’s not happening here. The licorice is not a distinct flavor but mellows out the bergamot.
I really like this tea! The lemon pudding took me off guard! I want this in my cupboard forever!
Gotta go…drinking…wanting more and more….so good….
I stopped in at my tea pub again today…but I had a reason to drop by!
I had been to the doctor and was wilting from lack of tea! It was 3:30pm and I hadn’t eaten since 6:30am or had any tea (worse than no food) for many hours. So you see…? I had to!
Things were busy for a bit. I’ve become so familiar a face that after a few minutes at the bar, I began to say “ahum…hum..yoo hoo…I’d like to have tea today…” I got a smile, which happens with friends and I didn’t mind.
I wanted something new and different to drink. A dark and hefty tea.
Andy suggested China Golden Pagoda. “Oh,you’ve never had this? You’ll like this one,” he said with confidence.
“What’s that?” I proclaimed as Andy put the large tin of tea up to my nose to smell. Um, it was malty with hints of cocoa.
He pulled out some dry cones of tea that looked like smaller versions of Hershys Kisses. All pointy and fat bottomed. He said that each was hand tied. Looking closely I could see string lacing each into shape.
This tea was so cool!
When the steeping was done, Andy lifted the brew basket from the pot and handed me the wet leaves. They were brown sea urchin looking bundles. The scent was smoky and malty.
The liquor was reddish golden light brown.
When I tasted the tea I first noticed a dry splash of tannin across the roof of my mouth that was exciting. It felt like a dry sheet and wasn’t bitter or unpleasant. The flavor was malty but not smoky and had a yammy cocoa flavor sweet enough to drink straight.
I wanted something with this tea to kick it up a notch! It was good…but I wanted more.
In a glass case by the cash register were some goodies which I usually avoid. Today, I hadn’t eaten so I didn’t care about my diet!
I spoke up and asked for a large Ginger Molasses Cookie.
Do you have any idea what that Ginger Molasses Cookie tastes like with Malty, yammy, cocoa tea? Oh My Goodness!!! It was such a fantabulous paring! So, so…..to the zillions good!
I bought and ounce of the tea. (And I got a sample of Jasmine Silver Needle) And someone else took care of my pot of tea…Thank YOU!!!!
A side note.
I was talking with the Happy Luckys guys…about the Original Disneyland Main Street. The architect was from Fort Collins and Main Street U.S.A. in California is modeled after the buildings in our town.
The Firehouse (which is where Happy Lucky’s is located even down to having a firepole still inside) is where Walt Disney had his office.
It is the exact copy of where go to I drink my tea.
When I left with my little bag of tea, I walked around Old Town a bit, watching the crowds strolling about on a warm Friday night. People sitting at the numerous outdoor cafe’s and listening to the street musicians. A tuba trio, guitarists, a band, the outdoor pianos located around town. There’s a sidewalk sale going on with people shopping, sale tables and flowerpots filled to overflowing with color everywhere. I stopped in Savory Spice Shop to pick up some powdered Maple Sugar for my Lapsang Souchong tea, a Whole Spice Chai packet, and some Hickory Smoked Black Peppercorns. Then I stopped at the cheese shop for Powdered Tea encrusted Cheese with Bergamot and a strong Welsh Chedder.
Now I’m hungry!
Off home to watch a movie.
You might look around at this peaceful town and think there are no troubles in the World. It does seem like it. I wish it were so.
Thank you Happy Lucky’s Staff for this Sample from the back room!
When I go to my neighborhood tea pub, I usually have a few tea samples tucked inside my purse, and sometimes I have a whole bag or box that I drag in and set on the bar like treasure. I can’t help myself. I have beloved tea’s that must be shared with people that love tea too.
Many times when you go into a tea shop the people working there are transient. Students, or casual part time workers who may know something about tea but have not made tea their passion or career. This is not the case with my tea pub. (These people know their stuff!)
I received this tea on one recent visit as a gift. (There had been exited tastings behind the bar of my Laoshan White and the Bailin Gonfu Black that day).
I used a Gaiwan (4oz) with boiling water and steeped 2min.
Wet leaf, copper and olive…very pretty…changing to dark olive green by the 3rd steeping with the leaves open and large.
The liquor was honey red gold gradually getting lighter by the 3rd steep.
I was just about to go into the 3 tasting phases of this tea when I couldn’t. The tea is not about a sterile set of numbers and discriptions. So here goes ad lib…
When I look at the whole tasting experience I’m reminded of Fall.
There is an introduction immediately to a sweet malty rye bread with peach jam. Then banana peel, not a bitter taste at all…but a taste and texture that is thick and fuzzy. Fall, bread baking and holidays.
I could picture my daughter, three grandaughters and I in her big (huge) farm kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving Feast. She would grind wheat and make the bread for the family. Someone else would make pies (Used to be me). Homemade cranberry sauce bubbleing on the stove, Turkey already in the roaster. I’m commanded to make the beloved candied yams layered with apples and pecans.
The second steep had my yam and apple flavor (without nuts and butter), just a more squashy yam and the sugary golden delicious apples cooked together so that the flavor melts in your mouth. Fragrant and luscious. Oh the taste is so good and rich. Dripping. I’ve never tasted a tea like it!
The breadiness of the first steeping was gone along with the malt. The banana too.
The final steeping was like the end of a meal when you’re full and scraping the bottom of the bowl. Not much was left. It was still good to drink but lighter and squashier. This was a shadow of that amazing second steeping.
What a generous gift. One of the finest, fruitiest Black Tea’s I’ve tasted.
A Taiwanese Tea and Assam blend grown close to Sun Moon Lake.
Thank you DHart1215 for this Sample!
My daughter and grandchildren came over this evening to cool off in my pool (a plan I had when I moved in to my condo to ensure more family visits!). The teens watched the younger boys while my daughter Annalisa and I had time alone to chat and drink tea.
I was careful not to steep the tea too long. An earlier test had gone wrong and produced a bitter brew at 3.5 minutes. An adjustment to 2 minutes was just right.
The scent and flavor is fruity and sweet but light. I didn’t taste any rhubarb which would have been warm, almost peachy and a little sour (rhubarb is hard to discribe). Even the strawberry was not very berry.
I’m not saying that the tea lacked fruitiness…there is strawberry and it tastes nice but it’s light.
Adding sweetening helps intensify the strawberry flavor.
When the tea cooled, the flavor changed. There was astringency from the green tea (which was not a bother), and a sour note that was what I would expect from rhubarb. With the strawberry flavor, this was better tasting cold than it was hot.
Some like it hot. I like it cold!
Thank you Will Work for Tea for this Sample!
I haven’t tasted very many 52teas which some of you may have noticed.
Noone sends me samples of them for one thing, and another is that the three I ordered were not very tasty so I just gave up. I still have hope that one will brighten my day.
Here’s my chance to try one of the 52teas!
I used a finum for a 1 cup brewing.
The liquor smells like one of those gummy mint leaf candies with vanilla creme. A nice scent.
Even without any sweetening, the flavor is mildly minty with smooth vanilla blended in. The peppermint and spearmint is united so that neither is dominant. If anything,vanilla is the prominant flavor and mint is a cooling afterthought.
While I crave a hefty mint tea with assertive flavor, not everyone feels the way I do and would prefer a muted version such as this one.
This is not my cup of tea, but there is nothing wrong with the flavor and is pleasing as a soft vanilla mint tea.
Thank you Roughage for this generous Sample!
Oh I do love Pu-erh! I admit that have so much to learn! So much fun!
How Roughage could break off a hefty amount of this Pu-erh cake to share with me…well…I am speechless (but not wordless).
The dry Pu-erh looked very dark brown with some green and gold woven in.
The instructions: Use a small pot with 3-4 grams at 203F (95C) for 20sec. Multiple infusions 6 times. (This sounded like a good morning tasting!)
I didn’t want to do 4grams so I chose 2grams (about 2tsp) and used my PIAO infuser with 5oz water.I rinsed the Pu-erh first. Each infusion was 20 seconds. The liquor was always a medium gold color.
The leaves changed color after infusion to medium green.(now that did surprise me)
I have to comment on the scent of the wet leaves. Usually this isn’t a remarkable enough event to comment on. The scent of these leaves was something special.
There is a scent that is woven in the life of my family that can be explained in a story…
A number of weeks ago, my daughter received news that the Godmother of all her children (and a beloved friend) only had a few months to live. Before telling the kids, she went to her Icon corner where she prays every morning, lit a vigil candle for her friend and prayed using a censor with incense (which she reserves for Feast Days). Up the stairs bounded Micah the 7 year old fully awake running into the middle of the room and announcing with a loud voice…
“What’s wrong?! Something smells Holy in here!” (In the middle of sorrow we had a laugh)
Ah, the power of incense. How a smell or scent can bring us to a place of full attention, or memory or quiet place.
I smelled incense in the wet leaves. It was a floral, charcoal scent that was familiar. Not the artificial too strong chemical stuff that I hated in the 60’s. Not that. The natural, faint…good kind that is natural. Very faint behind the vegital of the leaves. I never smelled this in leaves before.
1. The first scent of the tea liquor was spicy, salty, briny and vegital.
I took a sip and the tea sparkled with pepper. There was an energy that spread in my mouth tasting a little mineral with a vegital base and floral undertone that I could not understand. I was distracted by the juicy, peppery popping on my tongue, which was like this youthful tea playing a game with me. “Guess what I’m going to do next”?
2. I’m awake! I thought this was going to be an earthy Pu-erh. No, it isn’t. Then, maybe like a Sheng? No,it isn’t like that either. What is this?!
I think I know what it is at the moment.(This is my guess)
A Pu-erh that’s young and on a journey.
I used to go into the wine cave with the winemaker and tap a barrel tasting a young wine which showed the promise of what would come with aging. It might taste good now, but you could tell that with a little aging…oh, this was going to age into a fine wine.
This young Pu-erh is doing the same thing. Hinting at the future. Teasing and tempting with those hints.
2. When I tasted this time there was more fruit and more energy from the tea. Very potent.
I went back to the wet leaves and smelled them again but still could not tell what the underlying floral fruit was. I had to be content to wait with the sweet, salty light flavor thick and juicy in my mouth.
3. While the leaves were still steaming in the pot, I was able to find the fruit that had been so elusive. Nectarine. Not the sweet peachy fruit but more like the skin. I had been thinking of apricot pit but that was too bitter.
This tea was a bit vegital, spicy, juicy, vibrant and energetic. Youthful and naughty. Playful with a punch of mineral but no tannin and a touch of nectarine and briny salt.
All you Non-Pu-erh drinkers would like this. It’s a good example of why you should jump in the water and begin to get your feet wet.
This has been one huge Pu-erh learning experience for me! Loved every sip!
(I read other notes and I decided not to over pack with leaves and am
glad I didn’t. With a young pu-erh, I wanted to avoid the rough edges and get to the heart which I think you can do with a moderate amount of leaves)
Thank you so much Roughage!!!!
Thank you Bo from the Tea Spot for this generous Sample!
Morning Tea! It’s a beautiful morning on the Frontrange!
What is the Frontrange?
At 5000 ft. there is a point where the high plains meet the mountains running the length of Colorado. All along that point resides most of the population of the State. The views are stunning! I’ve seen antelope in the neighboring fields, fox and bald eagles.
Boulder where the Tea Spot is located, was voted the town with the happiest people in the United States. It might be because the people have been drinking this tea.
As tea lover, I’d stop in at the Tea Spot and pick up this tea to go, then stroll over to the Pearl Street Mall and walk until I found the perfect place to people watch in the shade. The Mall is open-air and closed to cars…filled with fountains, flowers, people walking their pooches and musicians from the Colorado Music Festival.
You can visit tea house after tea house, spice shops, boutiques and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This is a tea friendly town!
I made a whole 32oz morning pot of “O” using 1TB leaves and steeped
3 minutes. The liquor was a medium honey brown.
First I took a sip without any additions and was relieved that there was no artificial chocolate flavor or sourness. Hooray!
You could easily enjoy this tea as it is without additions. I found so much more enjoyment with sweetening, cream or both added.
When I added a little sweetening the chocolate flavor began to wake up.
Um…“How about that”?! I wasn’t expecting such a change.
Then I added some cream.
“Well?!, Where have you been all my life my sweet sexy, smooth chocolate bonbon”?!
(I did say the “S” word which with the “O” makes “SO” as in “SO” good!)
The sweetened chocolate creaminess reminds me of Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Seashells that I used to eat at Christmas.
Marbled and precious…better than Nutella…way better. More chocolatey.
Ok Bo….this is a great tasting tea!
http://youtu.be/kccxXCGn9n8 A little Frontrange Slide Show….Come and visit….these scenes for you photographers, at Rocky Mt. National Park are about 1hr from me although the Mountains are right outside my door and just as grand.
Thank you Roughage for this Remarkable Sample Tea
An Oolong from India! Yes! This is one from only a handful of Estates allowed to grow Oolongs and it’s an organic tea grown at 3000ft.
(I always think that’s not too high since I live at 5000ft., but it depends on how steep the incline!).
I tried to brew a cup this morning but failed. The method with my Finum basket and mug was too weak. I decided to try again later.
This time, I decided to use 6oz (200ml) water at 185F (85C) in my Gaiwan
and steep for 1-2 minutes. I let the 1tsp of leaves swirl to infuse the water with more flavor.
The wet leaves smelled lightly vegital but sweet and the liquor was clear yellow gold.
The taste was juicy sweet with a muscat flavor and dry bite on the tip of the tongue. As the tea cooled the dryness moved to the underbelly of my tongue which instead of feeling wierd created a body to the tea like a tea confection was in my mouth melting slowly. Pretty interesting first steep.
As the Oolong cooled, it became buttery on my lips which I rubbed together like lip balm…it felt good.
The second pour was a little sour. I was informed by Roughage that this was gently sweet and sour. Right he was. It isn’t unpleasant, and very short in intensity up front. Then there’s a dryness that flecks up to the roof of the mouth and dies. So odd. Like you just experienced a defective roman candle. Pop, Whiz,…Fizzle.
I could detect the fig, muscat and plum skin that gives the sour edge to this Oolong but no chocolate like the notes on the tea discribe. No chocolate at all. Interesting tea. It was becoming increasingly sour.
I’m not the biggest sour fan unless it’s sweet and sour. I had to add sweetening to please myself. A scant amount. Ha! The pucker power was still there! It lingered as the tea cooled and became pretty strong!
Warning, not to let this tea cool down all the way! Wheeee! Tart!
This is unlike any Oolong I’ve ever tasted. It looks like a Darjeeling dry but it’s an Oolong. From India. One that a collector would want to try.
Thanks Roughage, this was a fun one!