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Samuari TTB Tasting note #1
I thought this was a herbal blend (today is a caffeine free day). The name is misleading, since yerba mate is heavily caffeinated and not what I associate with “calm”. More like “energetic and awake”. I should have checked the ingredients xD I like to come up with tasting notes without knowing the ingredients so that I’m not influenced to taste something that I wouldn’t have picked up on.
Anyway, it has the typical roasty mate flavour (minerals, citrus, coffee grounds) in combination with medicinal herbs. I can’t find a complete ingredient list, but it seems this is unroasted mate(?) I can taste peppermint and citrus. Google says this might have tulsi/holy basil in it, but I’m not sure if it is the mint or the basil that has a slight peppery flavour. It isn’t a bad cup, but offers nothing interesting or unique. I mostly taste plain peppermint and mate.
Flavors: Coffee, Mineral, Mint, Pepper, Peppermint, Roasted nuts
I bought this tea in February along with a bunch of other herbals. It was a choice between this and lemon myrtle, and I can’t remember why I picked the verbena. I’ve been drinking it off and on, and despite how simple it is, I’ve been enjoying it. For this session, I steeped around 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug using boiling water for 3.5, 5, and 10 minutes.
Dry, the leaf smells of lemon and herbs. The tea has notes of lemon, herbs, camphor, and honey. If chamomile tea tasted like lemon, it would taste like this, if that makes any sense. It has a long lemon and herbaceous aftertaste. The flavour doesn’t change over the three steeps.
I’d recommend this tea for those looking for an herbal tisane that doesn’t have any of the usual suspects (hibiscus, rosehips, licorice, or mint). While I’m dubious of the health benefits, it is indeed a nice, calming infusion to have at the end of the day.
Flavors: Camphor, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon
When I was buying a bunch of herbal teas in February, I couldn’t resist adding this Bai Hao to my order. I was a little wary because these teas are often eye-wateringly expensive and this is around $13 for 50 g, but I decided to give it a chance anyway. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 30, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of baked peaches, honey, and grapes. The first steep has notes of honey, muscatel, peaches, citrus, baked bread, and flowers. There’s some dryness in the aftertaste and it lacks the darker sandalwood and spicy notes that characterize pricier Bai Hao. The second steep introduces pears and dates (thanks to Eastkyteaguy for noticing this flavour!). All of these notes intensify in the third and fourth rounds, and the citrus and muscatel become more prominent. This tea leaves a lovely grape/citrus/baked pear aroma at the bottom of the cup. Hints of malt and wood appear in the fourth steep and the drying sensation in the mouth gets stronger. This Bai Hao becomes more like a black tea by the sixth steep, with noticeable malt and tannins. The black tea character gradually overtakes the tea until the end of the session, which features malt, metal, faint fruit, and tannins.
This is a nice Bai Hao, particularly in the early steeps, and I don’t regret purchasing it in the least. However, it lacks the balance among sweet, spicy, and sappy/woody notes that makes really great examples of this tea so magical. If I had to compare it to another Bai Hao, it would be the Jingmai Bai Hao from China from Camellia Sinensis, which also lacks that bug-bitten complexity. For the price, this is excellent, but there are better Bai Haos out there.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Dates, Drying, Floral, Honey, Malt, Metallic, Muscatel, Peach, Pear, Tannin, Wood
Hot/no sweetener. I’m pleasantly surprised by how vibrant the raspberry flavor and fragrance are. It actually makes sense, as the oolong leaves are intermingled with tons of freeze-dried raspberry pieces. While it’s nice hot, I imagine it would be incredible as a latte (or even better as an iced latte). Looking forward to trying it as such.
Yesterday was hot af and personally I didn’t see the appeal of being outside. Since I was in the air conditioning, I was enjoying teas and getting in sipdowns. I had a mere 8 oz serving of this left from the sample Evol Ving Ness gave me, so I brewed it up. Thank you Evol for sharing!
Of course as soon as I brewed this, my sister decided it was pool time. So this tea cup ended up in one of our pool floaties. (Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCPcxA9gOKi/) Not only was this a hot cup of tea outside on a hot day but of course it had to be a more winter-y spiced tea. It was not a great experience.
In addition to it just being wrong place at the wrong time to enjoy this, the tea itself wasn’t great. It was a muddled mix of spices and I can be quite picky. Nothing really shined here so it was mostly just dirty tasting. Still fun to try something new though.
I just received my first Tealyra order and I’m so excited to try so many new-to-me teas! I had a coupon from SipsBy, so I got 50grams of 11 teas and a glass carafe for $50 (with free shipping).
Anyway, onto the tea. This is my ideal black tea flavor profile, and one I will definitely want to keep on hand. It’s delicious hot/straight, but I can imagine it would be wonderful sweetened with a bit of milk or cream. So rich and sweet, and extremely easy to guzzle cups and cups.
Flavors: Malt, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes
I received this from Ost’s cupboard sale in summer 2018. I had about enough for a single cup so I brewed that up this morning. The tea is a lovely brown color and does have a nice fruity aroma.
The taste of the tea is slightly malty with some honeyed notes, but the lychee flavor fills out strongly in the brew. I really love the taste of lychee, I get strong notes of pear and rose. The fruitiness and florality leave a lot of sweetness in the brew and the tea is very smooth. I think I enjoy Art of Tea’s Lychee Peach a bit more, but the age of this sample might have something to do with that; fresh, it could easily be on par with that one for me. Even aged, it is still a very enjoyable cuppa.
Thanks for the sample!
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Pear, Rose
Had this one yesterday evening. It’s a pretty cool Ginseng oolong also blended with Chinese Vanilla!! It has all the normal sweet licorice-y, woody, and sharper/bitter grassy notes of a typical Ginseng Oolong, but also a softer and more floral/orchid-like tasting sweetness from the vanilla that softens the rougher edges of the tea considerably!! Really quite pleasant as an after dinner tea session & digestif!
Also the ginseng is less “tightly” packed in as other ginseng oolongs I’ve had, so you get into the ‘meat’ of the session a lot faster.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SBw4urUbzs
The #SeptemberSipdown prompt for yesterday was to have a tea that fit you as a person/your personality, and I was struggling really hard for what to do for it because it felt like a lot of pressure to boil yourself down into one tea…
I ended up asking friends on instagram to help me out by giving me a word or two that they thought described me – I had a surprisingly amount of people contribute, but the words that stuck out and/or were most common were: Weird, unique, curious, and adventurous. Reflecting on those words, I decided that the perfect tea would be something strange/out there concept wise that could capture that unique/weird side but also reflects that I’m the type of person who’s not only willing to try new teas/flavours/experiences/fandoms/etc but who actively seeks them out. Plus, black tea base because that felt right for me as both an extreme lover of black tea and someone who is fueled by caffeine/always tired.
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest, Herbaceous, Herbs, Malt
For my birthday this year my boss got me one of those glass water bottles for cold steeping with the strainer in the top, and while I still tend to make a lot of mason jars of iced tea that I strain and keep in the fridge, this is a nice alternative for something that brews a little quicker. The only real problem I have with it is the condensation on the bottom is very bad, so I have to remember to always have a coaster handy…
This was another unopened, and now expired, bag of tea from an ancient Tealyra order. I wanted a fruity hibiscus iced tea and it’s a nice red color, so hopefully it’ll deliver. I am getting pear, and it is a nice, juicy flavor, but not as strong as other pear teas I’ve had. It does have that tangy fruity hibiscus flavor, but it isn’t as tart or as fruit punchy as I’m used to in hibi-fruit iced teas, I think because the cinnamon in the blend is acting as a sweetener. I don’t really taste a distinct cinnamon flavor brewing this as a cold brew, so I may need to try this one as a warm cuppa as well, to see if it presents more as a cinnamon-baked pear or cinnamon-baked apple flavor. It is getting the job done as an iced hibiscus tea with a strong fruit flavor, though, which is what I was craving in this warm weather, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a pear one before.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Hibiscus, Pear, Sweet, Tangy
A little bit thrown by the presence of cinnamon in this blend because I’d somehow blanked that out of the ingredients list in my memory, but otherwise really liked this one. For a pu’erh blend, it feels soft and soothing with silky vanilla notes and a cooling, comforting peppermint that still has some crispness to it.
Anyone remember Creme de Menthe from DT? That’s an old school blend, but if you remember that one then this is really feels like the same thing to me.
Also, always on board for a pu’erh blend with mint – it just seems to work so well.
I ordered this tea so long ago that I have had the UNOPENED package sitting in my cupboard all this time, and I pulled it out, and the expiration date was 05/2019. …And THIS is why I refuse to buy/trade/etc. anything that has to do with tea. SIGH. At least it still smells nice when I cut it open, bright citrus with floral undertones, so I suppose I can use it for sachets if nothing else…
Aroma off my steeped cup isn’t very strong, which is a bit worrisome, coming across more like a standard English Breakfast — that malty black tea aroma, with a subtle lemon aroma. However, the sip is far more pungent than the waft was letting on. It isn’t so strong of bergamot (which is okay with me, I don’t mind bergamot these days, but it isn’t a necessity for me either, and this is already scripting itself as an EG blend rather than the Earl himself) so rather it’s a strong citrusy black tea, with notes of orange, lemon, and a more subtle hint bergamot mixed in that citrus flavor. I’d say the bergamot is waxing somewhere a little between a lime and grapefruit. It packs quite a tart hit with three citrus notes paired together, and they are the strongest flavor in the tea, though there is a noticable rose floral flavor that comes out at the end of the sip, towards the back of the tongue, after the bitterness of the citrus starts to subside and the sweetness of the floral is able to fill the mouth. I really like it, but I also am keen on tart/sweet flavor combinations, and I particularly am known to have a palate that can handle tart/sour flavors better than most (I drink hibiscus straight with no sweetener). I think most would probably find the citrus in this one too strong, even with the floral chaser.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Lemon, Malt, Orange, Pleasantly Sour, Rose, Tart
Really happy to report that upon my second tasting of this tea I still found it absolutely incredible and delicious, with all the same notes as my first tasting!
It was part of the tea & comic series I’m doing on the Geek Steep IG account. I was excited when I saw an Archie comic in the free comics because I love classic Archie comics (also the Jughead: The Hunger series which is very dark/gorey) but it wound up being much more focused around the Riverdale TV show which does not excite me…
At least it was Jughead focused – he’s my favourite.
I had a mug of this in the morning today, and it actually blew my mind how delicious it was! The dry leaf has a beautiful aroma of honey and sweet potatoes, so I felt pretty confidant this was going to be delicious as soon as I’d opened up the package. Though, there was a large rock mixed in with the tea leaf I measured out – but honestly that’s far from the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a tea before and it doesn’t bother me.
The taste with very rich and full bodied, and leaned heavily into those caramelized sweet potato/yam notes that I love so much in a black tea. In addition to that, there were lovely brown sugar, cocoa, malt, honey, and grain notes as well – and the finish was just a little bit cinnamon tinged. It’s was absolutely delightful, and one of the best straight black teas that I’ve had prepared Western style in a long ass time!
Steeped this one up after work today!
I was doing some household chore-type stuff, like dishes, while getting the kettle going and I didn’t hear the kettle get up to temp. I felt the side of the kettle and it seemed hot enough so I poured the water instead of reboiling. I think it had cooled just a smidge too much because, while this was good, it was definitely on the light side of the flavour spectrum. Very delicate/milk cherry and florals. I added stirred in a pinch of lemon flavoured honey, and I very much enjoyed the mix of cherry blossom and lemon.
Gonna try to hold on to that mental note about those two flavours going well together…
First tea at work today…
I was really focusing on other projects while drinking this so a lot of what I was tasting didn’t really stick in my head, but I remember thinking that it was surprisingly sweet for what is quite a floral cherry (versus a tart cherry of the dense, sweet cherry like in DT’s Cherry Berry Punch). I enjoyed it a lot though, and I look forward to my next cup where I will hopefully be able to pay more attention to the tea…
Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral