The Steeping Room

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

Day 1 of our Advent Tea Swap. From amandastory516.

I’m so excited to kick off our Advent tea swap today! Though I’m not typically a fan of green teas, Amanda has kindly sent her steeping suggestions in the hope that I’ll be converted. That’s my hope at least! I have so many green teas (from past subscription boxes) and would love to really enjoy them.

I hadn’t heard of The Steeping Room before so I’m excited to learn about a new company that I might enjoy ordering from down the road. According to their website, this tea is the most popular one they sell. It does have some great reviews there, though not many reviews here on Steepster.

I’m not sure if I am associating coconut with pineapple, but I do smell pineapple in the dry leaves. Coconut too. There are some small pieces of shredded coconut mixed in with the long green tea leaves which is nice. The coconut aroma isn’t as strong once steeped, though I can still smell and taste the flavor. Mostly I taste the green tea so I do wish the coconut had been stronger. I’m enjoying this more as it cools to room temperature. Perhaps that’s where I’ll find my love of green tea – in the iced versions.

My husband really enjoyed his cup of this one and commented that he could really smell and taste the coconut.

I’m so glad to have tried this tea and hope to try others from this company later on. Any recommendations from The Steeping Room?

Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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57

There is just something about this tea that is not sitting right with me. I generally like green tea. I LOVE coconut in tea. But this particular coconut tea is just not doing it for me. I think it’s whatever green they are using. It didn’t make me sick to my stomach (yay!) but it tingled along my tastebuds as almost a weird flavour I can’t put my finger on. Into the free tea stash at work it goes.

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Sipdown (594)

Sample comes from VariaTEA!

I’m basically doing the whole sample from VariaTEA in one go, as a larger Western-sized teapot of it. I was really skeptical of this one, as the smell of the dry leaf is somewhat off putting (peppery citrus and sour grass) and the steeping recommendations are strange. Plus, I’ve not had great luck with yuzu teas as of late…

I decided to follow the weird AF steeping recommendations on the package though: if I’m only making this once then I might as well do it the way they want me to, right? So I measured out my tea leaf, boiled my water to 185F and steeped the tea… for one minute. To be totally fair, it is flavourful even after only a minute of steeping. Now, is it a flavour that I’m on board with? That’s a great question.

It’s weird, to put it simply. I’m not gagging in disgust of anything, though. The green tea itself is actually really roasty tasting – giving me strong roasted brown rice/Genmaicha type vibes, as well as this sort of “popcorn” kind of taste? A tiny touch vegetal/ocean-y in that way that Japanese green tea often is. If this was the only flavour in the cup, I think I’d actually quite enjoy this type of profile. However, it’s not the only thing going on here and that’s where shit gets kind of weird?

So, there’s yuzu in this tea and it’s actually a really strong yuzu flavor. Very distinctly citrusy, with a sort of lemon/grapefruit kind of vibe to it. It’s also really peppery though, and I think what I’m settling on as I sip away at this pot is that as much as I like the lemon/grapefruit kind of notes of yuzu I just don’t really like yuzu ‘as a whole’ because I loathe how strong that black pepper sort of taste is, and how it cuts into the citrus notes. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to my palate.

Even ignoring how much I’m not feeling the peppery notes though, there’s something that feels very inharmonious to me about this heavier roasty elements of this tea alongside that bright citrus note. Doesn’t mesh well, and there’s not a flavour note really tethering the two together. So even though the roast is good and the citrus is good, they’re not quite good together? Or at least that’s where I’m landing on this one, I think.

So yeah – not a bad tea, though some bad qualities. Just kind of a weird and not really for me type of tea? I’m sure some people would love it, though.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Citrus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Ocean Breeze, Popcorn, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Seaweed, Vegetables

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88

Another from Sips by. This is listed as White Tea with Apple and Spice on their website, but judging by the picture and description, I can see it’s the same.

I’m really impressed with the fruity apple aroma, but even more impressed by the ingredients. The white tea base is mostly whole, with lots of long, skinny stems mixed in. There are 1/2" sections of actual cinnamon stick, big slices of dried green apple, and halved dried cranberries. After steeping, the fruit reconstitutes and looks pretty tasty! I should have nibbled.

The tea comes out very lightly colored, sort of like hay. Apple flavor is in the forefront, complimented by cranberry. The spice is mild and lets this come across as very fruit forward. In fact, the spice is almost hidden, despite the big pieces. As is the white tea base. I can somewhat taste the leaves, but not really. This tea is pretty much all apple all the time. Not that I mind!

EDIT: Now that it’s cooled to a little less than room temperature, I can really taste the cinnamon! Interesting!

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Fruity

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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65

Home – 6:00 PM

So I went to afternoon tea today! The tearoom: The Steeping Room in Austin, TX. They had an amazing selection of teas! I chose a tea service with tea sandwiches (chicken watercress & edamame cucumber), scone (spiced apricot), teacake (glazed orange bundt), cookies (various), and a pot of Golden Monkey. Everything was tasty! I bought a small teacup and two teas to bring home with me – this is the first of them.

I’m fairly sure this blend is actually from Art of Tea, but it was already entered under the tearoom, so that works too.

It’s not great, but not bad. The blueberry flavor is the main event, and it’s a bit candy-ish but still nice enough. I happen to love blueberry. The jasmine is there as a nice supporting note, sweet and floral. I can’t really taste the green tea much, but it is slightly bitter even though I steeped it at a low temperature.

Overall, decent! I won’t have trouble finishing the 50g bag.

P.S. – I had planned to write a note for the tearoom, but the “Places” tab doesn’t seem to be working for me. Is that normal now or is it down for some reason…?

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Blueberry, Candy, Floral, Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kawaii433

“Places” doesn’t work for me either, Cameron.

Cameron B.

Thank you for confirming! I wonder if it’s just not usable as a feature anymore or if it’s down temporarily…

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90

Late night tea time! Another term paper, another delicious cup of tea. I absolutely love this. It came as a sample in my most recent order. I think I like it even more than my beloved Golden Monkey.
It tastes beautifully of chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. It’s similar in taste to their golden monkey, but has a richer taste. It’s a little more dark chocolate than cocoa. It’s got a smooth roasted nutty flavor in the background, too. Yum yum. Maybe I’ll buy more as a treat when my finals are done!

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90

This is a sort-of sipdown. I finished off my original package. It’s a little bittersweet, because that was a gift from someone I’m not close to anymore, but luckily I can also buy my own tea. The next package is already here!

I kind of killed this steep a little. I wandered off and it steeped for probably around 7 minutes. It got a bit bitter (obviously) but I already planned to add milk and sugar, so now it’s a lovely, creamy treat.

The new bag smells a lot richer in flavor, maybe because it’s fresher. I’m curious to try it. It smells close to the Teavivre Bailin Gongfu (which I think is basically the same tea), but not as fruity as the Yunnan Sourcing version.

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90

This was the first loose tea that I ever really got into. This one is very chocolatey, and a little nutty, I think. There’s a teensy bit of astringency, and it doesn’t do well if steeped for too long. It’s wonderful hot or iced. I’m a bit of troublemaker and like my black teas with milk sometimes, and this one is certainly perfect for it. It’s like hot chocolate when hot with milk

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80

This listed on the package as a “double bergamot…very robust” tea and it doesn’t lie. I can usually get two steepings out of a portion of these leaves, it is strong enough and “in your face” with the bergamot that a quick first cup brew will leave you satisfied and enough left in the leaves for a second brew that is just as good, if a little less “in your face” about it.
Otherwise it’s based on a good, if not remarkable, base tea.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

This tea has a toasty, fired flavor to it. Almost burnt if you let it steep too long. Not smokey though. More of a cocoa than dark chocolate flavor, has an edge that is nicely smoothed by a bit of honey.

Flavors: Cocoa, Roasted, Tannic, Toasty, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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72

Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Six – Tea #39
Another one I took the last serving of before sending on the teabox. Blueberry and jasmine is an odd combination! The green tea is a little tough but I like the blueberry flavor. I wish more of the jasmine made an appearance though.
I was also sipping Mountain Tea’s Sencha that I took out of the teabox because I saw it before and it was in a thin bag, but it still tasted delicious! So if a sencha can hold up in a teabox, I shouldn’t be too worried about other teas. My tasting notes might be slowing down a bit, as I will be focusing on getting some reading done for themorningnews.org’s Tournament of Books! I’ve got about six novels to read in about three weeks which will never happen because I enjoy being a slow reader. :D

MrQuackers

Sencha is steamed to keep enzymes from activating. Usually I get mine in a tin, though.

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80

Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Six – Tea #11
This is solid sweet green tea with subtle hints of fruit flavor. The dry leaves look like a sencha. Possibly peach, but it’s subtle enough that it isn’t cloying. This never was overboiled or astringent — just sweetness all around! Another little company that is fun to find in the teabox!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep

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75

A pleasant surprise. I thought for sure it was going to be artificial tasting but this actually tastes like real blueberries! The jasmine is on the light side of flavors, which I find rather odd considering jasmine usually like to make its self known. Had to cold steep this one. I’m wondering if the jasmine would come out more if its hot.

Inkling

I actually remember the jasmine being really strong in this one! Interesting how different brewing methods affect the taste.

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70

Another tea from my swap with Emilie!

I haven’t tried a jasmine green tea with another flavour blended in previously, and I must say that blueberry works very well in this mix! Although the jasmine is the dominant one, the blueberry is a subtle aroma and background aftertaste that I quite enjoy.

I hope everyone enjoyed their new year celebrations! I sure did mine. It consisted of opening my bottle of champagne at 8pm, drinking a few glasses of Mimosa while watching TV and falling asleep on the couch at 11. Then I get waken up at midnight by my boyfriend and I go to bed. It was just wonderful, considering I was pretty tired from being up at 7am for work.

Happy New Year everyone! Best wishes for 2016.

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45

I was intrigued by this tea when I read Emilie’s recent tasting note on it and she was kind enough to send me a sample in our swap. Unfortunately, this blend just wasn’t for me. The green tea base seems nice, with no grassiness or bitterness, but the jasmine flavor completely overwhelms whatever blueberry taste is supposed to be here. I feel like I’m drinking a garden!

Flavors: Jasmine, Smooth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This had beautiful long green tea leaves as I was scooping into the tea ball. I had to break one of the leaves to fit it into the tea ball. Seeing that always just makes me extra enthusiastic for what I’m about to drink. I’m also getting a soft but strong coconut scent wafting from the resealable bag when I scoop. It makes me happy.

The coconut scent keeps wafting from the cup while it steeps and cools. This is a soft, unsweetened coconut scent.

The focus of this is definitely on the coconut, rather than the green tea. My first drink is almost pure coconut flavor – I don’t even notice the green tea. Subsequent sips bring out the green tea flavor more (there’s a tiny bit of bitterness from the green tea, but I like that), but the coconut doesn’t disappear. Instead, they blend beautifully together.

2nd infusion – left the tea ball in the cup his time. The flavor is a bit lighter, but still delightful.

Flavors: Coconut, Tea

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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75

My first review!

This is a very fluffy and light tea, so I used I bit more than I usually would for most teas. While steeping, this has a pleasant floral scent – predominantly chamomile, though I can detect a little bit of rose if I look for it. It’s definitely a calming scent.

I’m letting this steep awhile, partially because I’ve burned my tongue too many times by being a little too eager to drink my tea. I’ve probably oversteeped my teas many times, but I’ve never had a huge problem with the flavor.

There is a very mild sweetness to this, like a drop of honey among the (not-too) bitter flowers. The chamomile is the predominant note here, blending with the other florals.

This is definitely a very soothing tea. The scent (combined wiih the warmth) just relaxes me, as it’s meant to.

Flavors: Floral, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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