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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m sure everyone else who reviews this tea would agree and has in previous posts, that this is a unique blend. I’ve seen genmaicha mixes. I’ve seen bergamot mixes. But never have I seen a bergamot/genmai mixed together. It is calming and smells nice. It has a bit of umami mixed with roasted notes and a bergamot citrus finish. It is good but I’m not overwhelmed with the goodness.
Samurai TTB #61
This was the final teabag that I had pulled from the TTB a couple of weeks ago and has been waiting for me in my desk drawer at work. Although the quality of this seems really nice for a bagged tea, the flavor combination just isn’t working for me. The base tea is quite grassy and aggressive and seems to almost be fighting the toasted rice and floral flavors that are also present in the blend. I also find that it’s drying out my throat at the end of each sip. While I’m curious to try more from this brand, this isn’t one I’ll be returning to.
Flavors: Drying, Floral, Grass, Rose, Toasted Rice
I had not heard of this tea maker but a friend had commented on their Facebook page and that led to a conversation which led to her dropping off a surprise tea package for the holidays. Love my tea friends!
I really enjoyed this black tea. Generally I feel black teas need a little sweetener but I always give the tea a chance first. I added nothing to it and enjoyed this one morning before heading to work. I loved the scent of rosemary which is not a herb I would typically associate with a cup of tea.
Oh my, Smith, you’ve done it again.
This houjicha-chai tastes like gingerbread! And wood a bit, cause it’s houjicha. I can pick out notes of clove, chocolate, cinnamon, and gingerbread.
I find it resteeps pretty well. I plan to try it with almond milk too, hot and iced. I got a 2.75 oz tin, although I plan to send some to Sara soon. She’s the one who linked me to it.
Oh. I have some gingerbread. Dips gingerbread into the tea Gingerbreadception! Holiday overdose! Also tasty.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Wood
Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it! And Happy Holidays to all! ❤
This is my first tea of the day! I intended it to be this morning, but then there was an unexpected Zoom call with my husband’s family, so I had to jump in the shower and get ready for that, and then we were opening pug stockings.
So now I’m relaxing on the couch, watching Elf and drinking a pot of this tea. It’s not quite what I expected, but really good. The base tea and the cinnamon combine into a sort of creamed cinnamon honey flavor, which is reminding me of my beloved Taiwanese black teas. I start to pick up on a piney note from the rosemary about halfway through the sip, though it’s quite subtle. It’s strongest in the aftertaste, where it leaves a nice cooling sensation. As for the blackcurrant, I’m not sure I taste it specifically, but there is a sort of dark, rich, and syrupy sweetness in the background that I attribute to it. There’s also a light hay note, I wonder if there’s some Darjeeling tea in here?
Overall, it’s a rich and subtly flavored tea with a lovely sweetness to it. Looking at the description, it does have Darjeeling as well as Assam and Ceylon teas. Maybe next time I’ll try a slightly lower temperature just to see how that affects the flavor.
So far, very pleased that I bought this holiday tin set from Steven Smith!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Berry, Cinnamon, Creamy, Honey, Jam, Malt, Pine, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic, Tobacco
I had a very happy tea mail day today, with orders from Dessert by Deb, Adagio, and this holiday tin set from Steven Smith Teamaker. All the things! This is the one I was most excited about, so since I’ve finished all of my advent teas for today, I thought I’d steep up a mug to try. By the way, the tins are gorgeous and such nice quality!
Yum, this is very tasty. The hojicha base is, of course, cozy and comforting with a lovely soft toasty flavor and notes of nuts. The spices are light and not overpowering, and I definitely get cardamom and clove with a bit of ginger. I can actually taste the chocolate, and it’s very natural and goes well with the toastiness of the hojicha.
Tasty, I dig it. I’m very happy that the spices are light enough to let the base tea shine through!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cacao, Cardamon, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted
New tea! A can’t resist a flavored hojicha, especially not a seasonal one. This does not disappoint. The hojicha is rich and caramelly, and the cloves/cinnamon/cardamom are present but not overwhelming. There’s perhaps a bit of a chocolatey note, but nothing distracting or artificial tasting. So cozy!
A pretty good chai. I like the sachet. It is roomy enough to get a good flow. This is a bit blander than some other chai I have. I like a spicy blend and add milk and honey, so I want something that doesn’t get washed out.
Flavors: Cardamon, Ginger, Spices
I received a bag of this from a cupboard sale from Ost several summers ago, so thank you Ost! Now I see that bag has a “packed on” date from 2016, so this has been a major priority for sipdown. I had a Silver Needle tea not long ago gong fu style, but I just ain’t got no time for that when I need to sip down nearly 2 ounces of this stuff, so this has been my morning (and lunchtime second cuppa) take-to-work-thermos tea for a while now. I brew just slightly over 2g in 185F water for 3 minutes, western style.
The tea has a grassy, warm hay flavor. It’s a little sweet toward the end of the sip, a bit like melon water and slightly floral, like honeysuckle. Mostly it’s quite vegetal, slightly herbaceous, and very subtly floral. I’ve been getting a light pea-like note, as well. Probably not the sort of tea most people would choose as their first morning cuppa, but I’ve been enjoying it enough as I sip it down.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honeysuckle, Melon, Peas, Vegetal
I got a sample of this tea some time ago from a cupboard sale from Ost, so thank you Ost! I decided to brew the two teabag sample in a small 500ml pot of tea for breakfast, using the new teapot I got from my mom for Christmas. It looks like a black cat and has two stackable teacups, it is so cute! She got it for me because I adopted a black cat this last August right after I bought this house.
This is a black tea with rose, chamomile, and citrus — I love rose-flavored blacks, and don’t like chamomile, so this is going to be a matter of how strong the different flavors play out in the cup for me. The tea brews a light sienna color, and smells a bit stronger in the chamomile than I’d prefer from the aroma… but I’m also getting a strong orange scent coming from the cup, which may damper that a lot in the flavor.
Normally I’m a big Steven Smith Teamaker fan, but I’d have to say this is probably my least favorite of their blends I’ve tried thus far. Even though I don’t like chamomile, I even don’t mind their chamomile blend, Meadow, all that much (something about how it is blended with the rooibos/honeybush and other flowers it works with a honeyed, floral sort of taste). This just tastes too traditionally chamomile for me to really dig it. I do definitely taste the rose and citrus notes, but it isn’t enough to really hide that particular chamomile flavor that leaves that kinda soapy taste on my palate. The floral comes on quite strong at the beginning of the sip, and I almost pick up a sort of pollen-like note as well. The citrus lingers quite heavily, which I think may be from pairing citrus flavoring with Ceylon tea, which often has natural citrus notes, and it actually leaves a faint sour/acidic note on my tongue after the sip. I pick up a pithy lemon peel and orange notes. The tea feels a bit drying, but I think it’s from the strong citrus… though I suppose the black tea leaf may have a bit of astringency to it. This is an older tea so I wonder if the balance would’ve been a bit better if the base itself were fresher, but I think knowing my personal tastes regarding chamomile, this would probably still end up being a miss for me. It wasn’t so bad I couldn’t finish my pot with my breakfast though, and I’m glad I got to try such a rare blend; I believe they only make this one around Valentine’s Day. Thanks for sharing!
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Drying, Floral, Lemon Zest, Orange, Rose, Soap, Sour
A sample from LiberTEAS from eons ago, oops. But happy to report that since she used fantastic mylar pouches, it was actually still remarkably tasty despite its age. Some nice beany/vegetal notes, and no astringency.
Not giving it a rating because of age, but it would be in the high 70s based on today’s flavour, and undoubtedly higher in previous years.
I received a single tea sachet sample of this from a cupboard sale by Ost, thank you Ost! I am always a little worried when a blend includes chamomile (I don’t like the flavor of it, but can handle it in certain blends depending on the amount used/if the taste isn’t too strong in the overall flavor profile of the blend), but the one chamomile tea I can stomach is Steven Smith Teamaker’s Meadow, so I’m hoping for the best here.
The tea steeps a bright golden color and smells very floral, with a touch of honey. The flavor is… surprisingly pleasant! I can make out the chamomile a bit, but mixed with the osmanthus in the blend, I’m tasting more of a sweet, floral flavor, closer to a subtle rose mixed with honeysuckle. There is a subtle hay note as well, especially near the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, but the floral dominates during the sip. I think this is a pleasant tea for early evening.
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honey, Honeysuckle, Rose, Sweet
I got this in a cupboard sale from Ost over a year ago, but looking at the packaging date on the package, the tea is from 2015… so this is moving up as my herbal sipdown target. I was craving something with sarsparilla tonight and found it going through my spreadsheet, since I can sort by ingredients.
The tea has a peppermint base, and the minty notes are definitely there, but the sip is quite sweet — I’m getting cinnamon most strongly, with sarsparilla and licorice root notes. The sarsparilla isn’t coming through quite as strongly as I was craving tonight, but since I find peppermint very soothing on my tummy/GI, I am enjoying the added flavor and sweetness. I can imagine the sweetness might be too much for many; I like the taste of licorice root but I know that is a rather universally hated ingredient, and I’m tasting it quite fully toward the finish of the sip. Really savoring on it, I can somewhat get the taste of a typical peppermint candy from the sweetness/minty notes of the cup, though the strong cinnamon breaks that illusion a bit.
It’s a good evening tea for a sweet tooth, and I appreciate it isn’t a rooibos smothered in flavoring which tend to dominate the “dessert herbals.” I really like the flavor, though do wish the sarsparilla was a little stronger/popping a little more. But that is likely entirely being influenced by my mood.
Flavors: Candy, Cinnamon, Licorice, Mint, Peppermint, Sarsaparilla, Sweet
um. hi. hello. hey.
I AM OBSESSED WITH THIIIIIS. this tea has everything I have ever wanted in it and I am so pleased. funnily enough this was just a last minute addition to my last order bc it felt weird just restocking one tea. ended up with the tea bags bc the loose leaf was sold out, and it’s been convenient to have around. HOWEVER I noticed yesterday that the loose leaf was bag in stock and promptly ordered three bags. so. much. for. my. budgeeeetttttt. and dammit, I did so good not getting anything from the Bitterleaf salllllle (but I did cave earlier and got a vampire-witch-cat tea pet bc I could not resist. it is so wonderful. and Percy was a vampire for Halloween!! how perfect!!)
^^^I would not lie to you, I still put her in that cape for treat time! it is the best thing!!
ANYWAY, this is no dian hong, but it IS a very beautiful ROSEMARY-Y/assam-y/piney/black curranty/slightly cinnamony experience. it’s winter in a cup. /chefs kiss/
I’ve been drinking this before bed, I am on the verge of being an insomniac and someone at work said I should try peppermint tea before sleep. I’m not sure if it’s helping me sleep, but damn, it is very delicious and REFRESHING. I’ve had various peppermint teas in the past, but this one was the first one that left me like: damn, this is refreshing, I AM REFRESHED.
that is all. I hope you are doing well.
off topic: I saw Parasite last night and I want to see it five more times. I love Bong Joon-ho so much.
it’s 2am and this is still delicious. exceptional.
I’m really here to tell someone to buy this so that I don’t have to, it’s a matcha chawan and it is so beautiful. I have a small collection of teaware (including a custom order) from Ray and all of them are exceptionally made and he is a good dude. this one in particular is SO BEAUTIFUL. I already have a matcha chawan from him and I ccccccaaaaannnn’ttttt get this bc I’m trying to be good. so. SOMEONE GET THIS AND TAKE PHOTOS SO THAT I CAN LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH YOU. okay. byyyyeee.