149 Tasting Notes

80

When I opened my mailbox this morning, the samples from Just Organic Tea were there, and they sent quite a few to try! :) Thank you for letting me try your tea!
I glanced through the samples and this one caught my eye…I saw carob, and had to try it. A vanilla with carob?
Opening the little sample baggie, the scent was very pleasing, with carob accenting the vanilla in such a balanced, harmonious way. This doesn’t smell like your run of the mill vanilla black.
The liquor smelled sweet with hints of vanilla and caramel.
There’s no vanilla burn here—just very soft, natural flavours—nothing artificial.
I find the carob to be really interesting here, providing a base note to each sip. The mouth feel is smooth and lovely.
The cup doesn’t scream out vanilla to me, but I’m ok with that. What it does is much more interesting than just a straight up vanilla. As the cup cools, the caramel notes come to the front.
This is a really lovely cup of tea.
Thanks again, Just Organic Tea for offering up these samples to try!

Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Marzipan

So much fun!

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Marzipan sent me a bit of this to try, and I was so excited when I pulled it out of the envelope. Reading the story behind it made the tea tasting even more fun. I’ve never had a Hindbaersnitter, so I can’t exactly review this tea based on it’s relation to that, although after seeing Marzipan’s baking pictures, I’d sure love to try one. :)
The scent of the leaf is intoxicating—-raspberries. Sweet, tangy, ripe raspberries.
This first cup, I steeped 4min at 170°F (I have enough for another cup, and I’ll try that later at a higher temp, since Marzipan liked hers that way….). The frosted crust (I’m thinking buttery pastry with real icing, compared to boxed pop tarts) actually does come through in a subtle way; the star of the tea cup is the raspberry.
It was really fun to try this, so thank you so much Marzipan for sending it my way.

Marzipan

I’m glad you liked it! This is the recipe I use when I make it here. http://mydanishkitchen.com/tag/hindbærsnitter/
They are extremely sweet, so the raspberry jam is important to offset that. I have a hard time eating more than one, but my kids (who are almost grown, not little) love them.

DeliriumsFrogs

Thanks so much for the recipe! I have a feeling that my kids will really like these… I’m definitely going to have to give them a go.
Yummy!!

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This was included in my super amazing package from Carol Who (Doctor Who books and tea! W00t!). I was desperately looking for something different from my no-caffeine options currently, which happen to consist solely of rooibos. This was so lovely!
The scent is amazing, and while I probably wouldn’t want it all the time, I would definitely like it on hand. My experience (while limited, keep in mind) with this type of tisane, is that they can often be sort of too tangy, too many cranberries thrown in there, or something. This one isn’t like that at all, though. It’s spicy with sweet sugared fruits and cake, with just that end hint of tang…like a plum galette in a tea cup!

The setting only added to the enjoyment of the tea….I sat sipping while my husband told me all about the story ideas and poems that have been floating around in his head lately… It was one of those glorious moments where somehow you love someone more, and you don’t know how that’s possible because they already had your whole heart….but it just somehow is. :)

Thanks so much, Carol Who!

Flavors: Plums, Raisins

ifjuly

going to haveta agree with carol who on that awww (: i LOVE those moments! :D

i totally know what you mean about how fruity tisanes can be too tangy in a cranberry way! so if this isn’t like that, AND it makes you think of plum galette (!! the notorious recipe for original plum torte is one of the staples in my baking repertoire, i adore it), man that sounds so good. i am making a note of it!

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I don’t have much of this one left… just a cup or so.
This has become one of my favourite unflavoured blacks…it’s just absolutely delightful. :) Since I drink it without added milk or sugar, I’m fine with it not being exceptionally strong, and find myself reaching for the tin whenever I want just a really good, not too fussy, cup of tea.
If I drink it in the morning, I tend to pair it with a big bowl of porridge, complete with a giant dollop of preserves (blackberry being preferred, but I’m fine with variety… today it was blueberry, actually). I love the texture of steel cut oats, or pinhead as they’re sometimes called, mixed with rolled oats, toasted first before adding the cooking liquid…. it’s the perfect breakfast on a cold rainy day.
So, along with my bowl of porridge , I drank this tea…and felt so comfortable. The drizzle outside only managed to add to the warmth emanating from my mug.
This tea will have to be reordered when I run out…. My cupboard is sad without it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

Irish oatmeal is the best! I luv McCann

DeliriumsFrogs

That’s exactly what I was eating, boychik! Opening the McCann tin along with the tea tin is always a great morning treat. :)

ifjuly

that breakfast sounds divine. i really want some proper oatmeal now…and then to make muffins with the leftover oatmeal (if there is any…) a la orangette!

this blend always makes me happy when i drink it, ‘cause i think it’s one of the very first you ever sent me! i always think of you. and your old irish man persona, hee.

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85

I’ve had this before (ordered a sample with my last Harney box…), but was very delicate with the steeping, after hearing from ifjuly that this could be a bit tricky. I liked it very much that way (steeped 4 minutes at about 185°F), but wanted to see what it was like done how Harney recommends…
Before I get there, I need to say that I love how this tea smells… it’s like no other tea I’ve tried (admittedly, I’ve got LOTS more to try…). The heady honey aroma is really my thing…
Anyway, to the ‘full throttle’ tasting… My first sip and I knew I couldn’t drink this on its own. That’s ok; I was expecting it. Wayyyyyy too strong for me. So, doing what I never do, I reached for the milk and sugar, and adding that to the cup turned it into the most comfy, interesting sweetened tea I’ve had. The astringency was toned down to exactly how I like it in a milk/sugar tea (when I drink them, which isn’t very often….).
While I wouldn’t order a full tin of this, it’s something I’d want in my cupboard for those moments, however seldom they may be, when I’m looking for a milk tea.
So, I’m rating it based on that…. it’s a finicky tea, and needs to be played around with, but when I get it where I like it, I love it. :)

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ifjuly

phew, glad you have ways to make it palatable! and it’s cool i’m not the only one who loves the aroma! so overpowering, mm. i should try your hacks!

DeliriumsFrogs

Oh, the aroma!!!
Yeah, I’m not one to usually go for the milk and sugar (which is funny, because that’s the only way I used to drink tea), but it made this cup amazing. I think I’ll just keep tacking on a sample of it whenever I have to restock my Harney. :)
Was thinking of you this morning…sent something your way (just really little, but I wanted to send you a ‘mail hello!’).
I hope your weekend is lovely!!!!!

ifjuly

it’s cool to know i’m not the only one who does that! (some of harney’s super luxe greens i could never afford a tin of, when it’s warm out i stick a sample in when i’m ordering anyway…)

that is super sweet of you to send me a hullo the good old fashioned way. :D i can’t for the life of me remember what it was we were talking about recently, some tea you thought sounded interesting, and i said i could shoot you some to try…if you think of what it was, let me know. i am due to send you some tea stuff, i reckon.

it’s so lovely having you here. i know i keep saying that but it’s ‘cause it’s true. (:

DeliriumsFrogs

You are never due to send me tea stuff…. never! I’ll owe you ‘til I’m grey as Sophia (which is actually more white—Dorothy is more grey)….Nevermind. That could be too soon; you should’ve seen my hair before I dyed it yesterday. lol

And it’s super lovely being here with you :)

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95

Hello, Sweetie (I can’t drink this without imagining that little mischievous smile of River’s….).
The leaf is pure decadence. Baked banana, cream, and brown sugar float up to meet your nose. To say it’s delightful just doesn’t cut it.
What surprises me the most is how pure the banana smells…. real, true banana! Not artificial in any way…. and bananas are good(9th Doctor reference…) when they’re not plastic-like yellow runts (ifjuly, I will use banana runts as my prime example of artificial flavour for the rest of my life. thank you. lol).
The magic in this cup is of Willy Wonka proportions—so fantastic that your senses cry out “FICTIONAL!” But, they’re instantly silenced by your brain assuring them that “No, this is very, very real….. now enjoy.” :)
The coconut is more pronounced in the aroma of the fully steeped cup, which is like the second act in this whole experience.

Finally to the actual tasting of the tea…. The layers of flavour are inexplicably amazing. The balance of them all is perfection. The caramel playing around in the back is the type of caramel that has been taken to the darkest, but still not bitter, form… creamy and complex. It has a ‘baked good’ feel, but baked by someone who really knows what they’re doing…. hints of flambeed bananas, and subtle coconut… It’s happiness in a cup, and I know that sounds cheesy, but it really is.
I can’t possibly feel stressed out by life when I’m sipping this tea….. :)

Butiki Teas

Did I ever mention that I almost renamed this, “always take a banana to a party”

JustJames

i thought it was ‘no, i was the banana’…. what an excellent review! it made me grin and i only just woke up =0)

DeliriumsFrogs

Hahahaha! “The girl in the fireplace” is one of my favourite episodes…

Thanks, JustJames! Your reviews (and comments on facebook) are great. :)

JustJames

i loved the girl in the fireplace! as well the one where the doctor becomes human, falls in love and then gets very, very angry. (name eludes me…. family of the blood or some such)

DeliriumsFrogs

OH yes, James!! Human Nature and Family of Blood! Those are so great…. the montage scene where Joan and Mr. Smith hold hands, and he sees his life as it would be if he remained human with her…. ahhhh!!! (I’m such a nerd… I just got goosebumps…)

And Stacy, that clip if fantastic. lol Now I just want to go rewatch the episode… and listen to the theme over and over…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1sadZktyos

DeliriumsFrogs

*that clip IS fantastic… not ‘if’… ugh. Doctor Who got me so excited I can’t type. lol

JustJames

stacy…. don’t make me dig in emails! lol

Butiki Teas

Awesome, love the soundtrack. I was listening to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-SBNgu1hO4 trying to come up with a Gallifrey tea but alas it is really quite a challenge to come up with a tea worthy of the name Gallifrey. I can’t undertake the challenge of that tea lightly.

JustJames-I came up with the “always bring a banana…” idea too late and was contemplating re-releasing it with a new name but ultimately I thought that would be disrespecting our creation to change the name.

DeliriumsFrogs

I remember when you were trying to come up with a Gallifrey tea, and after you were talking about it, I had to listen to that song endlessly the rest of the day. :)
I think your ideas for the tea were fantastic (I remember white chocolate and orange…not sure if that’s right), especially since tea blending seems so impossible to me! You’re amazing at what you do, Stacy. I do understand the weight one must feel at attempting a tea named ‘Gallifrey’, but if there is a person who can do it, it’s YOU. :)

Butiki Teas

Hahaha. It was brandy, white chocolate, apple. Nope, those don’t work well together. Hahah. I’m still working on it. We will see though. Awww, that is so sweet of you to say. :) One day I will conquer the Gallifrey tea, one day.

JustJames

gallifrey tea….. red grass…. where children look into the void. serious, old, heavy, fatalistic……

https://www.google.ca/search?q=gallifrey&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=d59QU8bVG_PCyAGe6YBQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=600#facrc=&imgdii=&imgrc=I0GM3YIxc0Bf7M%253A%3B4dUVsYL2zbO6IM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Ffc01.deviantart.net%252Ffs70%252Fi%252F2013%252F137%252F7%252F7%252Fgallifrey_byylianakapellaneidon-d65koz5.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fylianakapella-neidon.deviantart.com%252Fart%252FGallifrey-372160625%3B1024%3B768

http://evionn.deviantart.com/art/Gallifrey-lights-84928349

somber. unforgettable. never been done before…..

JustJames

what about quince? not apple? brandy yes…. chocolate no…… but what instead? quince and, and, and….. what’s red and dark and not fruit?

Butiki Teas

Quince, that’s random. :D no for the brandy. will not work. right now i have mango and white chocolate but need a red that is harmonious.

JustJames

red, red, red……red that’s not brandy. red that’s somber. rhubarb? oak? red wine? cedar?

quince isn’t random! on new new earth they talked about apple grass, why not quince? =0P

Butiki Teas

brandy was orange but opted for mango instead. unfortunately, none of those sound quite harmonious with the mango and white chocolate. a nut would be great but that would throw off the gallifrey theme. I was hoping for a red, orange, white combo.

JustJames

what about a pine nut? they aren’t traditional nuts….. this is going to bug me.

Suziqzer

Ok, that is an awesome tasting note that pushes me to want to try this one. Artificial “runt” style banana flavor doesn’t sit well with me, but this sounds amazing.

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
149 tasting notes

The leaf smells absolutely fantastic! I’m so in the mood for this today, and the cornflower petals are so pretty (ahhhh, pretty tea…).
Oooooh! I really like this one. (after the first sip)
The cream is so lovely…… I feel like this cup of tea can melt the slush outside of my window. Yes. It’s got those types of powers.
Light bergamot with comforting cream….
If someone tried to take this mug away from me right now, I think I’d react like a feral dog protecting its pups.

ifjuly

i’m glad you dig this one! it’s a steepster fave i think. it’s very creamy, almost tastes like sweet cafe au lait to me it’s so thick. great on cold days.

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I didn’t log anything I drank yesterday (or over the weekend, for that matter, but I always fall behind on the weekend…), feeling off-ish and not as attentive to what was in my tea cup as I’d like. So, it’s nice to ‘think’ more about that today….it’s calming and meditative. :)

It was sunny and 80°F for most of yesterday, and now it’s 37°F and rainy, so I figured a cup of The Queen would do me some good.
I love this tea. I love opening the tin, with the soft smoky aroma and bright edges of the blend.
Your Majesty, I am honoured to be in your presence, Ma’am.
You know what I love so much about The Queen? She’s sophisticated, but so comfortable…..so welcoming. She’s equally right at home in my finest tea cup, or doubled in my biggest mug (with my feet up, cuddled under a blanket, with Netflix all queued up and ready to go….). She’s layered without being overly complicated.
Yeah, she needs a permanent place in my tea drawer. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
keychange

I will follow you now and we will worship the queen forever more!!

Marzipan

Looks like one I need to find!

DeliriumsFrogs

I’m all for shared Queen worship! lol

Marzipan

Soooo what else should I order from Harney?

ifjuly

I totally agree about how she’s fancy/complex, yet comfortable. Yes! That is exactly why she’s so wonderful, and unique. I can haul her in a to-go tumbler for Saturday errands just to get me awake, or I can sit alone at the breakfast nook and enjoy the balance of smoke with brightness with sweetness.

I hope you’re feeling better. teahug.

DeliriumsFrogs

Exactly, ifjuly! And teahug right back at ya’. :)

Marzipan, I’m by no means a Harney expert, only having bought a tiny bit of what they offer. But, I love Florence, and Paris is delightful. If you didn’t hate coconut (and, I totally understand how that flavour could be one of those bad memory type flavours….I loved how you said if you taste it, all that you think of is suntan lotion. lol!), I’d tell you SoHo is a great flavoured tea…but it’s coconut, so stay away!. I ordered the Rose Scented on a whim, and ifjuly told me afterwards that it’s a ‘thing’ to mix Queen Catherine with Rose Scented (it’s really good!). Harney is great…. :)

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drank Matcha Kaze by Den's Tea
149 tasting notes

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70

Drank this last night before bed.
Rooibos is not my favourite tea, but since I need a decaf at night, I’m growing to like it a lot more….
This one I found to be really nice, tart creaminess and distinctly ‘lime’…. but then my husband had to comment that it smelled like I was drinking a mug of skittles.
Somehow, that brought it down a bit in my book, I hate to admit (it was a really innocent comment…how I let it turn into a pernicious remark is beyond me….. but, I guess I wanted chiffon elegance, not 7-Eleven sour skittles and slurpees…alas).
I still like it, though, and although I’d probably reach for something else if caffeine intake wasn’t an issue, that’s just me and my slow-growing affection for rooibos.

Marzipan

I feel exactly the same way about rooibos!

ifjuly

“chiffon elegance, not 7-Eleven sour skittles and slurpees” aww.

it’s weird, when i started drinking loose leaf i didn’t mind rooibos at all—i guess because i had nothing to base my feelings on, had never had it before, and usually some woodiness is ok by me—but the more tea i’ve tried the less and less i like it. in a good blend i don’t mind it, but it’s definitely noticeable now to me. strange.

Dexter

I agree – loved rooibos when I started this journey – now I think it’s just ok. I too am finding it more “noticeable” now than it was back then. I’m finding the MissB trick works for me to help reduce the woodiness of it in some blends – worth a shot. (Try 90C for 3 minutes)

boychik

same here, but sometimes I like it. Butiki Mango Lassi is very good only because its rooibos. i cannot imagine this tea with the diff base. I like rooibos cold steeped.

ifjuly

i love mango lassi, boychik! that bit of cardamom really sets it apart, yum.

i need to try that trick, Dexter. funny to hear i’m not the only one who went through phases with rooibos!

DeliriumsFrogs

ooooh! I’m definitely going to try that trick, Dexter. Thanks!
And, I really, really need to try Butiki’s Mango Lassi (I’ll have to order that next time!).
Yeah, I don’t hate rooibos, it’s just not my fave…. Sometimes I’m really into it, and other times I’m sad I can’t have something else instead because it’s nighttime. lol
Coldsteeped…mmmm… I haven’t tried that yet, either.

boychik

you should have Puerh. i sleep like a baby after 3-5 steeps. i swear:)

ifjuly

the more i think about it, the more boychik’s right though, occasionally the way rooibos tastes/feels is actually helpful in a blend. it’s been reblended now IIRC, but butiki’s coconut cream pie has (had?) a rooibos base and i thought it was genius because it evokes the graham cracker crust of a cream pie.

DeliriumsFrogs

really!? hmmmm…. i may have to try that and just cross my fingers that it doesn’t keep me up.
I’m weird with caffeine, where sometimes it doesn’t affect me at all, and other times I lay there with eyes exploding like a kid who drank a 6 pack of Jolt Cola.
Puerh at bedtime… that would be lovely!

DeliriumsFrogs

And, I totally agree, *ifjuly…..
I really need to get the coconut cream pie along with the mango lassi next time….graham cracker crust!!! mmmmmmm.

DeliriumsFrogs

ifjuly (geesh… I can’t even BOLD something correctly!!! lol)

ifjuly

pu erh is interesting to me, because that quality in classic black tea where it revitalizes but also calms you is amplified for me with it. it makes me feel very tranquil and peaceful and focused. there’s a guayusa blend from Stacy that does the same thing. it’s intriguing, the way some teas manage to accomplish both.

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Profile

Bio

Oh, tea….
you’ve taken over my life, but I’m ok with that.

I’m pretty new to the tea scene, only drinking tea bags most of my life, but my friend ifjuly really got me into it (that sounds bad…). Butiki, Harney, and Verdant seem to be my ‘go to’ places to order from, but I LOVE trying new teas and companies. The variety is partly why I love tea so much…you can’t possibly get sick of it.
Well, that, and the transporting aroma of each cup…. I love that. It’s why I love wine, and tea does it just was well.

Really want to learn about different tea vendors out there, and about tea in general… it’s all so interesting to me.
I’m really excited to be part of this community and learn from all of you.

I don’t usually sweeten or add milk to my teas, so my notes are based on that….also, the rating system kind of throws me—I’ve always been horrible with giving number ratings to things, so don’t take those as set in stone (Honestly, I usually don’t even use the numbers…).

Everything in my cupboard has at least one serving left in it…I try to keep it updated. :) (I actually just added all my sample sizes to my cupboard, so MOST of the tea in my cupboard is of that ‘sample’ size…)

random info: music and art are pretty important in my life… i also thoroughly enjoy nerdy things like video games, anime, knitting, Doctor Who (the 10th is my favourite…), A Song of Ice and Fire, and random cartoons and such…. and i love, love, love to read. :)

I’m married to my best friend (I’ve known him since I was 15….we were totally going to be in a band together. It was going to be HUGE…), and we’ve got three kiddos. They’re pretty neat, too, even if they try to put sugar in my Verdant tea when they drink it….

Location

Rochester, NY

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