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Recent Tasting Notes
Another tea box tea! It’s so fun to watch the pearls unfurl, so I used my one clear mug for this. The flavor was pretty strong and classic. It was a little bitter at first, but that mellowed overnight. If you want a tea that’s strongly flowery, this might be the one. It’s one of the better flowery teas I’ve had.
I’ve only ever tried flavored puerh before, so I figured I’d try this pure one that was in the tea box. The smell was just so muddy that I had to see what it tasted like. Surprisingly I did kind of like it at first. It matched its scent and was sort of muddy in a pleasing way. I only had two sips the first day, and the second day it tasted more murky and weird. I wish I’d had more the first day since it evolved into something not so pleasant. Anyway, still not for me, but it was interesting, and much better than I had anticipated.
Today I finally made the switch from morning coffee to morning tea. At first I was going to brew a cup of North Winds, which is one of my favorite straight black teas, but I decided to try one of the straight blacks from my recent Tea Runners box. It is a Sri Lankan tea
I liked this one. A lot. It is very smooth. I didn’t get that faint bitter after taste that I sometimes get. I added 1 teaspoon of leaf to 10 ounces of 205 degree water and steeped for 4 minutes. along with one small lump of rock sugar (about the size of a pea) I can imagine this one iced. Pretty tasty.
i like it strong and i like it with a high caffeine content, so this tea is spot on. i taste mainly malt and nothing much else, which is fine with me. it can withstand a splash of milk without losing flavour. it’s a good morning cuppa. this is the last of the teas from my Tearunners March subscription. i hope you are staying safe, home and healthy where you are.
this is absolutely lovely tea. it’s strong and the sweetness goes with the malt very well. it can handle milk without losing flavour. a mere hint of astringency. the black currant flavour is subtle but resonant. and unique.
Flavors: Black Currant, Malt
dear friends, i’ve departed from my precious black teas for a bit to try this oolong. i haven’t had a lot of oolong teas so far. i adore milky oolong by World of Tea, but that’s another entry.
this is a delightfully bright tea with a bit of zing and a lot of flavour. i can taste the hint of oolongy-ness, how do i describe that? sort of milky/buttery?
it’s also got a smokey flavour as well. the aroma upon first nose sniff when it’s still dry is very plummy but the taste is more peach than plum. this tea feels very kind and friendly on a rainy day in Ottawa and is a good distraction from the free floating anxiety of these sad and worrieome times. i hope you are safe and healthy where you are, my friends.
Flavors: Milk, Peach, Sweet, Tangy
greetings everyone. i hope you are staying safe and healthy during this pandemic. it’s scary, eh? (I’m a Canadian so I say eh, heh). i am grateful for my husband, even though he has to work during all of this, as i’m sure many others here do too, or have loved ones who are at work or caught up in travel bans, in hospital or home sick – hugs!),
i am grateful i have food and shelter and wish everyone could have both.
i am also grateful for a large supply of tea!
but sadly, this Irish Breakfast doesn’t really pass muster. it is too perfumy, acidic, lemony to taste like Irish Breakfast tea to me. it’s light. i like a darker, stronger taste alas. it’s the completely wrong taste for Irish Breakfast.
Flavors: Citrus, Sweet, Tangy, Tart
The second tea I tried from my tearunners subscription box. To me, this one had no flavor. I carefully prepared it according to instructions. As it cooled a faint bitter note emerged. I don’t know if the flavorless bit is just me and my stupid anosmic nose. It might be. This one certainly sounded good. I’m a bit disappointed in the two teas I’ve tried so far. And I don’t want to be! I will try this one again another time. I generally do not add sweetner to my tea, but maybe I will try that next time. I still have two straight black teas to try so I’m not giving up on TeaRunners. Since I paid in advance for 6 months I can’t give up yet ;) But I think I’ll try an old favorite later tonight.
i confess that i don’t really drink iced tea and i’ve brewed this one as hot tea . it’s a sunny and cold February afternoon on a Saturday. i live in a place where winter is a six-month-long affair. i see no point to iced tea now or most of the time. tea, for me, is meant to be hot and comforting whether in February or July in a/c. this is a very plain tasting tea and i’m good with that. it’s strong with a bit of an astringent aftertaste that brightens it.
Flavors: Ash, Caramel, Fruity
The Tearunners subscription package came this week. I am not a fan of floral teas, so please bear in mind that this tasting note reflects my own bias.
First, there was a LOT of rose petals in the leaf. It was very pretty. The base was Yunnan black tea. Rose petals and Vanilla bean were the other two ingredients. I brewed 1 teaspoon in about 8 or 8.5 ounces of water for the recommended 4 minutes.
I did not taste the vanilla bean. I didn’t really taste the rose either. That could well be my faulty nose. I could taste a bitter note which became more bitter as it cooled. I drank about half the cup. Someone who enjoys floral teas might very well like this one a lot more than I did. Maybe I over steeped. Maybe 3 minutes would have been better. I don;’t think I will try this one again though. If you are someone who enjoys floral teas and would like to take this off my hands, feel free to email me at maddy barone at gmail dot com.
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #13
I don’t think I’ve ever had white pearls? They’re smaller than black dragon pearls, but bigger than most rolled green teas. The flavor is light and delicate, despite unraveling to quite a large amount of leaves. The first steep wasn’t as flavorful as I’d like, but the second steep, oddly enough (this is the oddest tasting note ever) tasted like Necco candy hearts… maybe the lemon ones. I don’t have any of those around despite it having just been Valentine’s Day. But a very distinct and obvious flavor of lemon candy hearts. It’s the weirdest thing. Sweet, with hints of lemon.. I’m accustomed to some white teas occasionally tasting like lemon. But I could swear there are melted candy hearts in this mug and it certainly didn’t taste like this in the first cup. The third cup was back to tasting like the first, like actual tea and not melted candy hearts, so I don’t know what magic happened with that second steep. I wish all of the steeps were like that. Maybe with precise steeping parameters. This is currently on sale, if anyone is interested.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 40 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 min
after having returned from groceries this afternoon, i made myself a mug of this tea. the first taste and lingering taste is sweet cane sugar. the aroma is earthy when still unwatered and malty post brew. i forgot to reset my kettle from 100 to 93 C for this one. i’ll try it again at the right temperature. but right now, it isn’t doing much for me.
Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Sweet
it’s another sunny cold morning in February. i’m drinking a mug before the arctic expedition to the grocery store. this tea has such a delicate flavour that i was going to write it off as bland, but as i let it cool, i notice a caramel taste that is quite pleasing. it is smooth, probably a good afternoon tea, if you don’t mind high caffeine. i might try steeping this longer next time to see if more of the flavour can be teased out.
Flavors: Astringent, Caramel, Malt, Sweet
another cold february day. i’m off to a late start so this high caffeine assam is a good way to begin. a strong and tasty morning tea. makes sense that assam is one of the teas used in irish b, my fav tea. there’s a hint of smoke scent upon lifting the mug but it doesn’t carry through to taste unfortunately. if so, this would be a contender for my regular morning cuppa.
this is an absolutely lovely tea. i’m drinking it post tai chi, post lunch on a cold and sunny February afternoon and it reminds me of summer. the first taste is sweet and blue/black berry ish and the lingering taste is pine. it’s a delicious blend. i suspect it would make a fine ice tea as well. i’ll let you know in july.
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Lemon, Pine, Sweet
pencil shaving rose first comes to mind. you know that woody kind of taste of the end of a pencil crayon? seems to permeate the entire flavour. this is my first taste of this tea. maybe i’ll like it better as it cools.//
a few minutes later … still strongly tastes like pencil crayon shavings. the sweet is coming out a tad more. the base tea is a tad bitter. i steeped for 4 mins; perhaps i should have steeped for only 3. the package recommended 4-5.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet, Wood
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #10
A very tightly rolled, jade green oolong. The flavor is great but it’s tough to pick apart the flavors. The second steep might be the best after the first steep is just beginning to blossom. The third steep isn’t exactly oversteeped, but it doesn’t have that delicateness of flavor that was lovely in the second steep. The fourth steep: the flavor becomes more distinct and it tastes of orchids and vanilla. Perfect. I just wish it didn’t take so long for the flavor to get to that point. The leaves had certainly been unraveled by the third steep. Probably Western steeping isn’t the best for this one. I still feel I shouldn’t have steeped it for two minutes earlier on and I’m very glad I only used one teaspoon.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 16 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Steep #3 // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 2 min
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #5
I forgot this was the company run by Kaylee from Firefly! haha. I just finished rewatching Firefly about a month ago. sigh. I miss it already, yet again. She was also on the episode of The Magicians I just watched last night. Tea Runners actually have a good sale right now. A handful I wouldn’t mind trying: like the coconut pineapple oolong. Though I think I can spot the sources for some of their teas. This is loose leaf ripe pu-erh. The flavor is in the middle of the pack of deliciousness for ripe pu-erhs. It’s not too strong, not too weak. No negative qualities. But not too many things that make it a unique one. A level of starchiness but then a very thin aftertaste? It’s tough to describe. Now that I’m looking at the steep instructions, it says the first steep should have been for five minutes, so possibly I should have been steeping these leaves much longer than I did. Not really many flavor notes I can pull from this one!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 8 minute steep
i adore this tea. it is silky, robust and tastes lovely with milk. there’s a hint of sweetness but not so much as to overwhelm the inherent Ceylonesqueness of it. if i didn’t have so many different teas to choose from, i can easily imagine drinking this as my regular tea. it’s perfect for mornings. it’s gentle but still strong.
Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Malt
very subtle flavour here. starts out dark then sweet, and the flavour gets easier to detect when the tea has cooled down a little. perhaps i need to play with steeping times and temperatures to get a better understanding of this tea. its a tad too subtle for me.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Sweet