999 Tasting Notes

54
drank Tropical Flip by 52teas
999 tasting notes

I am so tired this afternoon. I put in a little overtime today, and work was so busy that now that I’ve finally stopped doing stuff my body wants to slump right into a nap. Not to mention one of my brother’s cats has started waking me up in the middle of the night by sitting on my pillow and staring at my face. He’s a big lovable dummy, but he’s a 25-pound big lovable dummy (part-Maine Coon, according to the rescue) so when he jumps on my pillow it feels like a midnight attack. And he did it no less than four times last night. Maybe it was five? For some reason he’s been doing it regularly for the last couple of weeks now, and I need my sleep. I know how arrogant that sounds. I’m always hearing “oh, that must be nice” from family members with kids*, but I have legitimate reasons for needing extra sleep. One small reason I don’t have kids myself. But now I have this nighttime lurker of a cat who won’t let me sleep. Anyway, I’m rambling. And complaining. Sorry. On to the tea.

This was a sealed pouch, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to drink it quick before the coconut turns on me. The most prominent flavor is the pineapple, but I can almost taste the faintest bit of soap as I’m drinking it. It may be in my head so I won’t add it to the flavors list, but I should probably finish this one soon. Other than that, it’s not too bad but I don’t love it or anything. I’ve had other green teas I like much better. Not many of them, but there are a few. I also think that after having so many pineapple teas from Teavana (my husband was a big Pineapple Kona Pop fan), I don’t really love pineapple teas so much these days.

*I should say, I’m child-free by choice but I don’t hate kids or anything.

I just like cats better. ; )

Flavors: Drying, Pineapple

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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There is hibiscus in this, but I thought maybe oat milk wouldn’t curdle since it’s not actually milk. It curdles. There are nice big plumes of oat milk in my tea now, so lesson learned. Lovely.

This was part of a Christmas gift from my boss and his wife last year. He knows I love tea, though he misunderstood and heard 50 teas when I said 500. He thought 50 was ridiculous, so I decided not to correct him.

I’m guessing the hibiscus is here to boost or accent the cherry, but I really do hate when companies add hibiscus to black teas. I like a cold hibiscus brew every now and then and in some cases I have enjoyed it hot, but mostly it just leaves this dusty/dry feeling in my mouth like it’s old and stale.

That’s a thought – maybe I could try this one cold.

It was really hard to finish the last couple sips. This is not a favorite for me. (Let’s be honest – I chugged the last half to get it over with.) I mentioned to my husband that I didn’t like it, and when I told him it was cherry hibiscus his eyes lit up. I might have found a way out of drinking the rest of this after all.

I’ll hold my rating for now until I can try it without the oat milk curdle clouds.

Flavors: Cherry, Drying, Dust, Hibiscus

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
anutea

I feel the same way about hibiscus in teas! It’s over used in most teas.

Shae

Exactly! It has its place, certainly, but it seems to be in everything, lol.

tea-sipper

Yeah, non-tea people just don’t understand the necessary 500. muhaha

Shae

Haha, nope. When I first told him about my minor tea obsession, he guessed 25 and was surprised when I told him it was a few more than that. :D

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81
drank Carol by Lupicia
999 tasting notes

I’m surprised at myself that I haven’t tried this one yet. I bought it around the holidays last year (I think this is a seasonal tea?) and apparently forgot all about it. I also forgot that this was a strawberry tea or I’m sure I would have had some sooner. I don’t taste any coconut or rose, but the strawberry is coming through loud and clear. I’ll have to do a little comparison tasting with the other strawberry teas I have from Lupicia to see how they are different.

Flavors: Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

From last year’s Advent tea swap with amandastory516.

This reminds me a lot of the chocolate tea I used to drink from Teavana. I think it was Azteca Fire? There’s no spice in this one but there’s something about the chocolate and the smoke that reminds me of that old favorite. I used two teaspoons this time instead of one and it’s much better than I remember. It wasn’t bad before, but I remember it being pretty light. I can’t say this is one I would purchase myself, especially if it’s similar to Snowball which I already have, but it’s pretty good. I have enough for one more cup I think before I finish it off.

Flavors: Chocolate, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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76
drank Lemon Coconut by 52teas
999 tasting notes

Hello. It’s me. Mrs. No Green Tea, thank you very much. But I gotta say, this one is really good. Really, really good. Could it be one of my top two favorite green teas? I think maybe so! Not sure if that says much, since I don’t normally like them. But I’m actually happy to drink this one. I’m enjoying it! The lemon flavor is light and not tart like I might have expected from a lemon tea. I don’t know that I can taste the coconut, but I do think it gives a creamy mouthfeel to the body of the tea. Or maybe I’m making that up. :D

Jumping into the news of the day – I just spewed all of my emotions over in the comment section of ashmanra’s latest post. This takeover by Adagio has me more emotional than I expected. I guess I knew that Steepster wouldn’t last forever, but I guess I didn’t ever expect things to really change. I want to be hopeful that things will change for the better, that they’ll fix the bugs, that maybe SkySamurai will actually be able to post something in the near future. But I’m also worried. I love it here and I don’t want to see it turn into something impersonal. I don’t want this to become a place where only Adagio reviews are welcome and all my tea friends slowly drop away. I’m probably overreacting. Sure, I guess it’s just tea, but the community here is something I look forward to being a part of every time I have a cup. I love reading about your days and your favorite teas. TTBs and swaps are my new favorite hobby! Will those still be allowed?? I know it’s not the end of the world, but I’m really feeling all the feels right now. Anyone else? Or do most of you think it might be a positive thing? I’d love to hear some positive thoughts right about now!

Note – Apparently there are many who can’t post to the forums! Hopefully this will be one of the first things they fix. Steepsterites need to actually be able to use Steepster!

Flavors: Creamy, Drying, Lemon

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
ashmanra

Latest statement on discussion board from Michael at Adagio is encouraging:

My Adagio Teas colleagues and I are honored by the opportunity to restore Steepster as the preeminent destination for tea discussion and knowledge, especially at a time when online communities are so important to our social wellbeing. In days to come, we will listen and note your ideas for the improvements that you’d like us to prioritize as we work to make Steepster a welcome place for all.

Roswell Strange

I think it’s great that they seem to want user input on future changes/improvements (we’ll see what the follow through is on that), but I don’t think that should be the immediate focus – where I would put my initial effort is learning what things they need to leave alone in order to preserve the small, but very loyal and active, collective of people currently using the platform.

tea-sipper

Shae, I understand what you’re thinking. But I guess this could be better than Steepster completely disappearing one day? And hopefully if adagio ever decides to bail, they will also be considerate enough to ask if anyone else wants to take over, as Jason & Mike have.

Shae

ashmanra – This is so encouraging! I’ve read some of Michael’s comments in the discussion post and I’m feeling much better about the whole thing today. They do seem to be taking this seriously and have plans to fix a lot of the bugs and make it better.

Roswell – I also really appreciate that they are asking for user input and that their primary focus seems to be fixing the issues with the site before making any major changes. That sounds like a step in the right direction.

tea-sipper – You are so right. This could have been a complete shutdown. I know I’m acting entitled here when Jason and Mike have been fronting all the costs to keep Steepster up and running for us. I certainly don’t mean to be ungrateful for all they’ve put into this over the years. I think my emotions got the better of me yesterday. I’m feeling much more optimistic today after reading through some of the discussion posts. I’m hopeful this will be a really good thing!

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78
drank Sister Grey by Gnat and Bee
999 tasting notes

I’ve been sipping on this one all day. I don’t think Natalie uses any kind of artificial flavorings in her teas, so it’s not a strong or overpowering blend. It’s very balanced. I had this side by side with Adagio’s Earl Grey Bella Luna not too long ago. While I love them both, the flavors in the Adagio blend are much more assertive. With the Sister Grey, I can taste all the flavors – lavender most of all – but they are more subdued in a really delightful way.

Gnat & Bee is one of our favorites around here. If you’re at all interested in herbs, cats, or beautiful nature photos, definitely check out her Instagram. Natalie is the sweetest and has always been more than willing to chat with me about herbalism and tea blending when I have questions.

https://www.instagram.com/gnatandbee/

Flavors: Lavender

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Coconut Flan Genmaicha by 52teas
999 tasting notes

I found an unopened bag of this in my tea cabinet, so that gives me hope that it’s very well preserved and still delicious. Green teas in general aren’t a favorite for me, but there’s something so delightful about the aroma of genmaicha. I love that toasted rice smell especially, and the flavor is usually pretty good too. Since I bought my electric kettle, I haven’t been so afraid of trying the lower temp teas. I always seemed to mess them up before. This one has a nice coconut flavor, and the toastiness I love is there. I don’t get anything like flan though. To be fair, I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten flan. I think of it as a kind of caramel custard or pudding. So if that’s how flan tastes, I don’t taste it here. But it’s still a nice tea for an afternoon.

Flavors: Coconut, Toasty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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68
drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
999 tasting notes

My very favorite coconut chai is from Satori Tea Company, so I might be giving an unfair review of this one. It doesn’t at all compare to my #1 in that category. It smelled delicious as I spooned it out of the bag. The coconut is evident, though I’m thinking it might be on the very edge of spoilage. Either that or I expected it to be spoiled so my mind kept sending me there. Or I just wanted a cup of my fav and I’m being grumpy about it. My husband loved it (and he doesn’t very often drink black teas or chai) so this is probably a good one, but there’s definitely better coconut chai blends out there.

Flavors: Coconut, Spices

Preparation
8 OZ / 236 ML

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My first attempt at this tea followed package directions and ended up being an almost clear liquid. Convinced I must have done something wrong, I doubled the tea leaf and increased the temperature and steep time. It came out clear again. What’s going on with this tea?? Granted, it’s an older one but I’ve never had a black tea look like this. And there were plenty of tea leaves in the scoop. Very curious. The coconut, I’m guessing, left a shiny film on the surface which was at the very least unappetizing, but the flavor was fine (if light). I tasted the cherry almond flavor that I noticed in the dry blend and it was enjoyable, but overall this tea left a lot to be desired.

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Coconut

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
tea-sipper

oh nonono. I could not do a clear black tea. haha

Shae

It was so weird!

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74
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
999 tasting notes

I bought this a couple of months ago after seeing that DAVIDsTEA had brought back some of their past favorites. It seems a lot of people on Steepster really like this one, so I thought I’d give it a try. Probably not the best move since it was only available for a short time, but hey – you only live once. I had my first cup this morning, and it was really nice. It had a deep flavor, and I could taste the raspberry. No coconut in this cup but I’ll play around with it to see what comes out.

Unfortunately, I put my mug down on my nightstand while I was folding laundry and came back to find my cat playing in it. I was only able to drink about half, but that just gives me an excuse to have another cup soon.

Flavors: Raspberry

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
AJRimmer

I’ve been letting my cat stick his head in my mugs, hoping he’ll realize that it’s not something he wants. Apparently he likes tea too much to be swayed!

gmathis

I have a tea mooch cat, too.

Shae

Must be a cat thing if a few of us are having this problem! :)

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Profile

Bio

Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Favorites
Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, chocolate, bergamot, chai spices, cinnamon, cream, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, stone fruits, coconut, valerian root

Not a fan
Lime, white teas (someone tell me what I’m doing wrong with these!), most green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Currently reading:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
by Diana Gabaldon

Me and White Supremacy
by Layla F. Saad

Updated July 2020.

Location

Alabaster, Alabama

Website

https://www.instagram.com/sph...

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