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Recent Tasting Notes
This was day 7 of the Theodor advent, but I wasn’t feeling well and the thought of a smoky tea was nauseating. I’m glad I held off because this is a really nice cup that I’d hate to have a bad association with. This has a super strong smokey scent and flavor, but it is balanced so well which isn’t something I’ve found in other laps. The sip is perfect and the finish is the same. It has a depth to it that I can’t quite put into proper words. Smokey, leathery, slight bit of tobacco. I now regret not getting some of this while in Paris or in my order when I returned home. It will have to be on my next order for sure.
Advent day 6. It’s a rooibos, so I get that woodsy soapy taste. On top of that taste is a pleasant red fruit flavor, which is nice. It reminds me of many red fruit green teas that I’ve had, but I can’t put a name on the exact fruit. I’m sure if I had this flavor on another type of tea base I’d like it, but rooibos is a no go for me.
Advent day 3! Three bags of this tea are in the 3 slot, another plentiful sample. I’m not usually a fan of oolongs, so I’m always surprised when I find one I like and doesn’t have that flat taste I associate with them. When opening this bag I was struck by how fruity and juicy it smelled. It’s just as delightful steeped. The pear and peach are the dominating flavors, but there is a slight sweetness that rounds out the fruit flavors. I’d guess this would be delicious cold steeped and might take a little cream well. This is a tea I’d totally buy!
Day 2 of the advent contained three teabags of this! It smells rich like liquor and raisins. The steeping suggestions say 90c which is around 198F, lower than I usually steep my black teas, but I tried it anyways. My first cup was on the light side and the second at a higher temp was a little richer, but I think a hotter first steep may be a better way to go. It still had that depth to it, but the flavors on top of that seemed muted. I could taste a chai mix, but it was more of a murmur. Luckily, with Theodor being so generous with their advent servings, I have two more bags to test steeping parameters on!
This tea was day 1 for the Theodor advent calendar! It came in one of those silky tea bags along with a card to make tasting notes through the month and a description of a game with a single prize for the winner. It’s a clever way to engage with the customers who bought an advent!
This is a verbena tisane, but the flavor was more like light chamomile and a hint of mint. I’m a little surprised that they didn’t try to dress this up a bit and blend it with other flavors to make it more complex. It was nice, but I wasn’t taken by it.
I don’t recall what dragon fruit tastes like, but I remember liking it. Goji berry on the other hand I have a distinct impression of being really gross. Somehow the two of these combined taste very cola like! I have had several cups of this since acquiring it this summer, but I’ve been doing my default black tea parameters which haven’t resulted in an optimal cup. Today I was careful to follow the instructions on the bag and I feel like that gave a much better flavor. The start of the sip is a little confusing to me, like the flavors need time to sort themselves out, but partway through the sip I get that cola flavor that lasts into the finish. I’m not able to pick out the black tea behind the flavors, it kind of just blends right in there. I didn’t expect cola to be a flavor I’d enjoy in tea, but I’m liking this. Cola tastes pretty good when it’s not drowning in sugar!
I have had this tea for at least ten months. I don’t know quite what to say. It is….weird.
I LOVE most The O Dor teas, with some of the blends being right at the top of my list, but this one baffles me. I don’t hate it. I wish the tin was empty and I will be relieved when it is. It just tastes weird to me.
In spite of the ingredient list, it does not taste fruity to me. I don’t even know what it does taste like to me. Besides weird.
I tried it hot again a few days ago to see if maybe the first pot I made had been a fluke. Nope, still weird. So I decided to ice it and add sugar and while I WILL drink it just to be not wasteful, I groan when I open the fridge and see it. My husband says it is odd but he doesn’t mind it and is fine with drinking it iced until it is gone.
Yes, life is short and it would probably be better to just throw it away, but we really are not wasteful and try to use, mend, repair, redo, recycle….you get the idea. And as I said, it isn’t vile, it is just super weird tasting to me. I think I have enough leaf for about two gallons. That should use it all up within a week or two. We will see.
This was a sample I was given with my purchase. I really liked it the first time I had it, but didn’t make any notes. It is a really interesting blend. I can taste the mate, which adds a bit of an ashy taste, which blends well with the chocolate, which blends well with the light chili kick. The flavors merge together well! The licorice is very subtle adding a touch of sweetness, lingering a little in the finish. It’s hearty, yet light and slightly spicy. I’m not usually into mates, but I’d think about ordering some of this!
Finally dipped into this hefty sample from Kawaii433!
I had to put it in a jar because it was trying to impose its aroma onto other swap teas in plastic baggies. I have a hard time believing this jin xuan oolong is unscented but I’ma roll with it.
So yeah, a thick pillow of love to rest your head upon. Dry leaf was coconut-cream-topped mango? and vanilla custard. Wet leaf was coconut cream, popcorn and buttered egg noodles.
Taste was lighter than expected given all that creamy thickness. Still comforting nonetheless. The aroma brought some of that coconut cream on the sip with butter and sweetgrass followed by crispy rice midmouth and walnut/wood in the back. Light buttery finish. I’d get random tastes of paper, too. That’s okay.
Is it sweet? I don’t know.
Is it creamy? I can’t say.
Is it particularly grassy or nutty or what? I can’t conclude.
Does it make me happy? Why, yes <3
Song pairing: Elvis Presley — Can’t Help Falling in Love
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Custard, Mango, Mineral, Paper, Popcorn, Rice, Sweet, warm grass, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Walnut, Wood
It took several sips to get used to how strong this is. I’d like to try steeping it for 3m instead of 4 next time. There is first a strong bright citrus bite that lingers through the whole sip. At the end the smoke that had been laying low comes out in the finish. Adding cream mutes the citrus and it’s strength. It blends the citrus with the smoke throughout the sip and finish. I like this tea, but I’m not sure if I prefer it straight or with cream. It is similar to another Russian type tea that I like and I think I prefer the other, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy this bag too.
Finishing up my second cup of this today. Took a few sips of the first cup and didn’t like it until I added creamer. Once that modification was made, it was pretty delicious, creamy and smooth! It reminds me of those malty chocolate nutty teas like Lupicia’s Cookies. I can pick up on the pistachios when I think about it. Overall it’s lovely and I’m enjoying it.
Went into TheOdor in Paris to buy all the tea. I’m not an oolong fan, but this one smelled wonderful enough that I thought I’d buy some for hubby, who does like oolongs. The scent was like milky caramel! It smells so good that it was one of 8 teas they choose to make matching scented candles with. I kind of wish I had gotten a candle as well, but I couldn’t justify the weight in my luggage. The guy working there was telling me that this tea was a happy mistake. A person who was processing the tea did something wrong in a batch that went out before they decided it was ruined. The tea was sampled anyway at it’s destination and the discovery of how amazing it tastes was made. I wish every tea had an interesting backstory!
This tea tastes smooth and milky with a little caramel in the finish. It doesn’t have that cardboard taste that I find many oolongs have, which is what turns me off of oolongs. I haven’t figured out the perfect steeping parameters yet, but I think I like it oversteeped a bit since it gives a richer flavor.
Du Loup will forever be a luxurious tea to me. Even smelling it before the brew reminds you of dessert thanks to the essence of chocolate and hazelnuts. Delicious with steamed milk, but like all Theodor teas, absolutely brilliant on its own.
Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut
This is backlog, and I’m still not quite sure what I think about it. I decided to do a cold steep instead of a full blown cold brew, and it was fantastic. I used too many leaves, but because cold water slows down the diffusion, upping the leaves for the most flavor was the way to go. I got custard, gardenia, buttermilk, water chestnut, and of course, vanilla. But when I’ve brewed it hot, there’s something off about the flavoring. It’s like a heady floral vegetal mix that can be a little cakey. It’s hard to describe. I’ll experiment more and see what some people’s recommendations are. I think this one is good, but I personally prefer Mandala’s so far.
This was a sipdown! Today was tea party day (yes, that is still happening!) and this was our tea for the sweets part. Lunch was black bean soup and sweet cornbread muffins paired with Queen Catherine. I felt I needed a somewhat hardy black tea to go with a bold lunch. Since I have made notes on QC about fifty times, I will just review this one!
For afters, we had Oreo Thins in coconut flavor, lemon Oreos, and Bounty bars, which is like an Almond Joy minus the almonds for all the Americans who have never heard of it! There were also Reese’s Chips Ahoy cookies. There was a lot of coconut going on and this went really well with it.
I may have overleafed a little since I was using up the very last of the bag but I made up for it by adding a little extra hot water to the pot when I transferred it. (Sometimes I make the tea in one pot and move it to another, especially if I am combining steeps.)
This is a wonderfully aromatic tea and I am shocked that I am finishing it and there are no reviews posted from me on it. The black tea base really comes through nice and strong and doesn’t need milk or sugar but could deffo handle it. The flavorings don’t make the tea flavor but they are prominent, not wimpy. This is a little malty and also a little creamy. A good bit of almond and coconut flavor, and I feel like I taste hazelnut (Nutella style) as well.
Thanks so much for sharing some of this, Kawaii433! I appreciate it. I always love a good milk oolong. flavored or not. This one is divine. Buttery, thick, creamy on a fantastic oolong base. The butter hits the mouth first, then the flavors of the oolong base really lingers. The first two steeps were the same, the third lost a little of that creaminess which was a shame. More of the oolong peeked through that delicious flavor. I really liked how I steeped this one (though it might not need that extra 1/3 teaspoon anyway… I didn’t want to leave too much for the next steep session). It didn’t get to be too much, but it also wasn’t too weak tasting. I would like to try cooler water on the next steep session though. This is a very good milk oolong.
Steep #1 // 1 1/3 teaspoons for a full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 6 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 3 minutes after boiling // 2 min
I assume this has a gunpowder base(?) as it looked like a green and was definitely smoky in flavour (some research tells me this is correct). I also picked up some mint (spearmint?) in the blend, but that was about it – the end result was that I didn’t much care for it, since I don’t like minty teas. Thanks for the share regardless, MissB!
ETA: After going through my backlogged pile of teas, I realized that this must have been the tea where I got a delicious creamy note in the aftertaste. Not enough to combat the mint, but it was enjoyable.
Bonus Tea Swap Sample Sipdown of the Day! (5)
Bonus round! This sample is the sole survivor from my swap with ashmanra. Poor dear, I guess I’ll just have to put him out of his misery…
This is described as a peach and vanilla black tea on THE O DOR’s website. Sounds delicious to me! I think Nosy Bey from Dammann is a similar profile?
To me, this is more of a fresh peach tea. Not that I’m complaining, I love peaches! But I’m not getting any vanilla or creaminess here. What I am getting is tart peach/nectarine with a slight candy note, and a smooth base tea with very little character. There is a little touch of bitterness and astringency.
So overall, I’m not impressed with it. Oh well, one fewer tea that I need to buy! And a good thing too, that THE O DOR shipping is bananas…
Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Tannic, Tart
I’ve been under the weather the past few days. Fought it off for a while, but it hit me hard. Asthma that lingered is what got annoying. The mucus exacerbates it & had to go to visit the doctor (boo). The only doctor I ever liked was dad, and after he passed, I’ve been stuck with people who either don’t know or don’t care. Left me waiting in a room for 2 hrs (during a severe asthma attack). Hello? I’m dying in here. They finally realized I needed a steroid shot…
I never realized how lucky I was in that respect… To have a dad who took care of all your medical needs (he was also a surgeon so he took my tonsils out, for example.) and no lines to wait in. lol
So, I’ve been quiet here since the cold destroyed the little bit of ability I had to taste anything. lol It’s a good time though, I’m still waiting for my December package(s) from TeaVivre and YS, so I don’t really have anything new… But then, I found another sample from Theodor. hehe I guess they gave me 5 free samples!
With that knowledge, this has a Chinese green tea base with a strong melon flavor, and slight peach, pineapple, passion fruit, strawberry, green apple notes. ^^ It’s a very nice fruity green tea. I normally wouldn’t rate it due to my dislike of strong melon taste but it was more like an exotic slurry of fruits.
175 °F, 3 steeps: 2m, 3m, 4m
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Creamy, Green Apple, Melon, Pineapple, Strawberry
I invited someone over for lunch and tea today – not a hardcore tea drinker. I asked what she usually drinks and she said she usually has a green or black, no milk or sugar. I assumed it was grocery store bags. I showed her my tea shelves and we started opening tins and sniffing, and she got excited about this one. We steeped this to have with….the same soup I mentioned in my first review of this tea. That was totally by accident, because when I made the soup to serve for lunch today I had no idea what tea we would be having!
She absolutely loved it. We drank LOTS of it. It has such a nice base. The smoke is just right. I do not like Lapsang that tastes like smoke and hot water. I really REALLY want a good base under the smoke and I want to taste the tea. My favorite smoky teas are this one, the Dammann Freres tea by the same name, and Russian Caravan by Grace Tea. This went so well with our meal.
After the meal we had matcha, Wenshan Baozhong, and Pu’er, not in that order. Maybe I will get around to reviewing how those went.
I have had this tea for a while but it wasn’t on Steepster so I didn’t get around to reviewing it. I finally roused myself from my laziness and added it.
I think my daughter bought this for me because I have said that the tea of this same name by Dammann Freres was my all-time favorite Lapsang Souchong, at least of the smoked variety. (Teavivre’s unsmoked Lapsang Souchong Ancient Wild Tree holds my heart in the unsmoked department.)
How do the two compare? The DF version is darker and stronger, and excellent in its own way. This is a smoked Taiwanese tea as opposed to the more customary Chinese LS and it is a thing of beauty. These leaves would lend themselves very well to oolong.
We have had a lot of rain and clouds and I needed comfort food today. I had skipped breakfast but refused to eat anything but comfort food, so while I was convinced I was slowly starving, I put together a pot of soup (and oh my it was worth waiting for – really hit the spot) since soup is one of my favorite comforts. Diced tomatoes, cannelini beans, roasted carrots, onions, and garlic, peas, rosemary sprig, and lots of herbs and spices. After the soup I HAD to have tea, and on short, cloudy days of fall and winter LS calls to me.
This is a pretty foolproof tea. I have forgotten their parameters and made it at higher temps for longer steeps without a problem. The smoke is pronounced but not overpowering. The Taiwanese base is elegant. It is, in short, just what I was looking for today.
Last of the four free samples from Theodor. I saved it for last because I’m not really into herbal teas. There was a time, when I was younger, that all I did was drink hibiscus tea. I liked the tang. I have no idea how to rate it since other than that, that’s all I know. This one tasted a lot juicier than the one I used to drink.
When I work out, I often drink fruit infused water, soaking all kinds of fresh fruit in water, then drinking it. I also eat the fruit after. No reason to waste good fruit lol. This is basically all it is, just more portable and convenient I guess. The liquor is a dark pink at first, then gets lighter each infusion. The ingredients consist of apple, peach, rose hips and hibiscus… That’s what it tastes like. Fruity flavors of apple, peach, hibiscus and the extra tang of the rose hips.
Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Peach, Rosehips