1226 Tasting Notes

75

My friend received the Solstice Tea Traders “ultimate tea sampler” but isn’t a tea person so he re-gifted it to me. This is the sixth mini tin from the set I’ve pulled out to work through, and the one that interested me the most of the unflavored teas. It’s been my favorite so far, too! It’s very bready in flavor, with a bit of an earthy/nutty note (walnut?) and a bit of a citrusy note on the finish. It was lacking any heavy malt or tannic qualities, but is very smooth and refreshing and doesn’t need additives. Cold brewed, it has a very clean and refreshing flavor, it’s a bit less nutty than prepared warm, but the citrus pops a bit more. I like it!

Flavors: Bread, Citrus, Earthy, Nutty, Rye, Walnut, Wheat

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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66

My friend received the Solstice Tea Traders “ultimate tea sampler” but isn’t a tea person so he re-gifted it to me. This is the fifth mini tin from the set I’ve pulled out to work through. I don’t mind red rooibos, but I admittedly am more of a fan of it as a base for blends rather than straight-up, and I’ve never really cared for red rooibos when cold brewed or iced… but cold brew is what the weather has been calling for lately, so I decided to give it another shot. And… that first sip gave me that medicinal taste I remembered from long ago which turned me off from red rooibos prepared cold. Something about it just really brings it out for me. But… I also found I kinda got used to it? And when adding some of the rose syrup I’m still working through, or a packet of lemon ginger, just to give the tea some other added flavor, it was actually pretty pleasant. Still glad to have this one from the set past me, though.

Flavors: Medicinal, Woody

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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66

My friend received the Solstice Tea Traders “ultimate tea sampler” but isn’t a tea person so he re-gifted it to me. This is the fourth mini tin from the set I’ve pulled out to work through. I’m not exactly sure what makes it different from their “Irish Breakfast,” honestly. Standard black tea flavor, though it makes a much better coldbrew base for my rose simple syrup than their Sencha did. It holds up more to the sweetness and the malty notes blend nice with the floral rose for a refreshing iced drink.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Malt

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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63

My friend received the Solstice Tea Traders “ultimate tea sampler” but isn’t a tea person so he re-gifted it to me. This is the third mini tin from the set I’ve pulled out to work through. I’ve been preparing it coldbrew (my preferred method for green tea) and it’s mild, grassy, and inoffensive, but also a little bland. It’s a nice fresh grassiness and not the taste of mulchy lawn clippings, but there aren’t really any other flavor notes. I made a bunch of rose syrup and have been adding that for a little more oomph.

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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90
drank Sakurambo Vert by Lupicia
1226 tasting notes

I recently finished off (and quite enjoyed) the black tea version of this tea. Now I’m working through the green tea version, and honestly, the flavoring itself is pretty spot-on to the black version: a light and subtle cherry flavor lacking of syrupy or medicinal qualities, with this really fresh pine note from the rosemary. The green tea base can be a bit biting unless I go pretty light on the leaf, but in the right amount it has a very lovely vegetal and buttery flavor, definitely my preference in a sencha over more seaweedy/oceanic sencha. The fresh green flavor of the base goes really well with the soft fruitiness and clean pine notes. I enjoyed it warm, but have really been enjoying it coldbrewed, 5g to a liter of water left in the fridge to steep overnight.

Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Grass, Pine, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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65

My friend received the Solstice Tea Traders “ultimate tea sampler” but isn’t a tea person so he re-gifted it to me. This is the second mini tin from the set I’ve pulled out to work through. It’s… black tea. Not really any surprises here…. malty, bready, leafy, cardboardy, without any real defining notes. A bit astringent even with a three minute steep. Meant to be taken with milk and sugar, though that is one of the few ways I haven’t prepared it. It has made a nice coldbrew with my leftover peach syrup, and this morning I’ve added some lemon juice and honey which have provided a little more flavor. A bit underwhelming on its own but an acceptable “base.”

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Cardboard, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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75

I pulled this out a week ago when my friend Todd was visiting for the weekend; I have chronic migraine and kept waking up with my head being uncooperative, so I was hitting it with all the things first thing in the morning, including a stronger-than-usual hit of caffeine. I think this was the only “coffee tea” in my current cupboard that wasn’t an herbal substitute to coffee and would actually have the caffeine I needed.

It’s pretty good! I have been brewing it a bit stronger than I would typically brew blacks or mates, so that combined with the coffee beans does make it a little bitter, but that bitterness also just sells the coffee flavor, which is pretty prominent. I can taste a bit of vanilla on the backend, but mostly I taste the really sharp notes of coffee bean and the roastiness of the roasted yerba mate. Very nice for a kick-in-the-pants morning, or a drizzly rainy afternoon at work.

Flavors: Bitter, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Nutty, Roasted, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
ashmanra

A friend recently told us that he heard from a coworker that if you run as soon as you feel a migraine starting, it will go away. he tried jumping on his treadmill, and it worked for him. The last time Ashman had a visual aura and felt one coming on, I reminded him and he immediately took the dogs for a walk/run. It worked for him, no headache although his scalp felt tender as if he had recently had one. It may only work for certain tyoes. Ihope it will continue to work for him as he has complex mograines with aura, loss of speech, tingling of hands, etc.

Mastress Alita

Interesting, physical activity aggrevates migraines for a lot of people (mine included). Caffeine, too, can help some and make things way worse for others (thankfully for me it either helps a little bit or has no affect, but doesn’t make them worse). I’ve had chronic migraine (15+ attacks a month) since I was in my teens, and they used to be unlivable. A new class of medications that came out in 2019 (CGRP inhibitors) has actually given me some quality of life back, and now I have a more manageable number of attacks and the attacks don’t last as long and not at the same intensity. The bad part is the medication is extremely expensive and hard to get, I have a battle between insurance and Patient Assistance Programs every year to stay on it. I hope the best for his migraine journey, it is crazy how many different symptoms they have on the body (once I woke up with my hearing lost in one ear completely for 24 hours!)

ashmanra

Caffeine seems to help him, also.

Sofia Vaz

as a fellow migraine-haver, I feel you!
I’ve been waiting for a year to have an appointment with a neurologist, so at the moment I can’t really prevent them, and instead deal with them with a strong NSAID whenever they appear, as was ordered by my family doctor
if I get them earlier in the day, coffee also tends to help me! It’s cute how these little tricks are so universal among us :)
when the migraines are milder, eating really greasy and salty foods also helps — I’ve found that McDonald’s fries have the best grease and salt ratio for me

I hope you don’t have to fight with your insurance and PAP too much; it sucks that you even have to do that :( sometimes, I wish there was a simulator to make them feel the pain we feel so they’d understand how vital treatment is

by now, your migraine is (hopefully) gone, and if it isn’t, please go rest! I usually just lie on the couch watching Arrested Development with a very low volume and most lights turned off, you could do the same with the original Alita! :D

Dustin

My neurologist suggested some supplements that haven’t helped and wanted to put me on 900mg of gabapentin daily, the current cure all medication. I was on 100mg daily already and hated it, so I opted not to go up to 900 and had to wean myself off the 100mg. I hope you get better results with your neurologist. I’ll have to try running to greasy salty foods the next time I feel one coming on! I’m willing to try almost anything (besides all the gabapentin).

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60

My friend received the Solstice Tea Traders “ultimate tea sampler” but isn’t a tea person so he re-gifted it to me. This was the only tea in the set I don’t like, so I decided to finish it off first, by making my own Moroccan Mint cold brew with it… just 5g of the gunpowder and a single teabag of Twinings peppermint left in a liter of water overnight. Which was fine and didn’t have the tobacco notes I find so unappealing in gunpowder green. Not sure how this would’ve tasted straight up, but as a Moroccan Mint base, it was fine.

Flavors: Grass, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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77
drank Mango Ice Cream by 52teas
1226 tasting notes

The dry aroma of this tea really does come off as a mango ice cream… not a fruit sorbet, but a creamy vanilla ice cream with fresh mango. Steeped up, the mango flavor is pretty forthright initially and tastes a bit green, but as the tea cools the vanilla notes come out more and the mango sweetens up a lot. The black tea base is mildly malty and a little woody. The total composition is very tasty; I could probably do with even more mango flavor, but the more gentle and sweet-leaning flavor is nice too. I definitely see the ice cream inspiration.

Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Malty, Mango, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vanilla, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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80

The name on this one is very apt… all gentle spices and warm, rich maple. This is the last maple-flavored tea in my current stash, so I’m sad to see it go, but it is delicious. It is the most prominent flavor note, with the spices playing a softer role. Of the spices, the cinnamon is the most dominant and paired with the maple really gives indulgent breakfast feels. Using up the very bottom of the package, the nutmeg is really popping, too. Package recommends 3.5g, but I prefer 5g. Cozy indeed!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple, Nutmeg, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 5 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Profile

Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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