999 Tasting Notes

98

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 195 degrees + 7 minutes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 195 degrees + 7 minutes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73
drank Organic Peach Cobbler by Tazo
999 tasting notes

I haven’t tried this in a while so I can’t remember exactly how it tastes, but the smell is juicy ripe peaches.

Flavors: Peach

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

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78
drank Chai by Celestial Seasonings
999 tasting notes

I enjoyed this one so much yesterday afternoon that I reached for it as my first tea of the day. This is just surprisingly good. I’ve mostly only had Celestial Seasonings herbal teas and, for the most part, they are just okay to me. I guess that’s the reason I haven’t really tried any of the others until now. It might be a good time to see what else they offer aside from the variety packs of herbal and fruity tisanes.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Chai by Celestial Seasonings
999 tasting notes

Every once in a while, someone will bring a box of something that they didn’t particularly like and leave it in our break room so that someone else can finish it off. I’m guessing that’s the case here. This box of chai teabags has been sitting next to the coffee supplies at work for the past several weeks. I didn’t give it much thought at first since I usually bring my own tea, but one of my coworkers mentioned to me the other day that this was one of her favorites now since trying it here at work. I had some extra cream in my bag today so I grabbed one to try, just to see what it’s like. The first thing I notice is the strong scent of cloves. The taste is mostly clove too, but there is also a caramel flavor that I’m really enjoying. I’m pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s really quite good.

Flavors: Caramel, Cloves

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 7 OZ / 207 ML

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72
drank White Ayurvedic Chai by Teavana
999 tasting notes

I completely forgot that this was a white tea when I put it in my bag this morning. It smells of lemongrass and Red Hots cinnamon candy. The taste is much better than I had anticipated. It’s lightly spiced but still good. I taste cinnamon most of all. It’s calming on my stomach.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 175 degrees + 3 minutes

This cup is lighter, though not by much. The flavor I’m still getting the most of is the lemongrass. It doesn’t really even taste spiced anymore.

Flavors: Candy, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Spices

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

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87
drank Banana Tie Guan Yin by 52teas
999 tasting notes

Backlog from October 7th:

This is such a unique tea. It’s the first banana tea I’ve ever tasted and I was amazed at just how authentic it smells. It’s not as much fresh, ripe banana to me as it is banana pudding. I actually get a sense of the vanilla wafers alongside sliced bananas and creamy pudding.

The blend is made up of tightly coiled tea with large pieces of real banana. Some of the pieces are as big as a butter mint candy. The tea brews up so lovely. It’s a light golden color with a faint banana fragrance. I’m not the biggest fan of oolong in general but this is really nice. The banana flavor is jut barely there but in the right way. It’s refreshing and delicate. Just really something special.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 180 degrees + 4 minutes

After the first steep, the leaves have unfurled and now look like deep green kale. There are still a couple of chunks of banana holding strong. I’m not sure if the banana flavor is actually from the fruit or the natural flavorings, but it’s nice to see that the fruit hasn’t completely disintegrated in any case. I allowed this cup to rest for 6 minutes after steeping just as I did the first cup. Even with the same steep time, the color was just as dark as my initial cup. The banana flavor is not present for me in this cup. The aroma is more vegetal in both leaf and liquid and there is a bit of astringency now. Still a fine and flavorful cup.

Flavors: Astringent, Banana, Creamy, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Cinnamon Apple by Carrington Tea
999 tasting notes

Second tea of the day.

I love the autumn flavors in this tea. It’s just really nicely spiced. My husband has been talking about this tea all week and took some to work with him today so I brought some to work to enjoy too. We both really like this one.

Flavors: Spices

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Coconut Cumin Chai by 52teas
999 tasting notes

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 205 degrees + 10 minutes

This is my second cup of this, or rather my third since this is the second steep of my second cup. The cup I had yesterday I steeped according to the instructions on the bag – 1.5 teaspoons for a 12 ounce cup. It didn’t seem as flavorful to me as I though it would be based on the smell so today I shook the bag really well and dropped to my normal measurements of 1 teaspoon for an 8 ounce cup. The ratios didn’t change but for some reason the flavor is there now. I’m certainly not complaining about that! I’m sure shaking the spices around in the bag helped.

This really is a beautiful mix and so fragrant. The majority of the blend is made up of twisty black tea leaves. There is shredded coconut and something like bark which I am assuming is the honeybush. I don’t see any cumin seeds but it may be that ground cumin was used as part of the the mix of spices listed in the ingredients. Or maybe I’m just not seeing it. The tea smells sweet and mostly of coconut, but there is a spiced note as well. Maybe cloves? I’m not smelling the cumin just yet.

I’ve enjoyed both the first and second cups of this, though both were a little different. The first cup was dark and rich with more coconut flavor alongside the black tea base. The second cup is lighter but the spices are more noticeable. I’m still not tasting the cumin directly. I’m not picking up on any smokiness either, only sweet spices. I’m certainly not disappointed. This is a really good chai. It’s maybe just not as unique as I expected it to be. I plan on trying another mugful soon and will try shaking it more to see if I can pick up some of that smoky flavor I’m missing. I may also try the original instructions for steeping again to see if that might make a difference too.

Flavors: Cloves, Coconut, Spices, Sweet

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

I toasted the cumin seeds and then crushed them with my mortar and pestle. :)

Shae

Well that explains why I couldn’t see it! I’ll try shaking it more next time. I bet that will do the trick. I can’t believe you toasted and then crushed the seeds by hand. What incredible attention to detail! I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to try your teas.

Magycmyste

I should probably be shaking the bags before putting the tea in the steeper. I bet that would even out the flavors (I didn’t actually check to see if any cumin seeds made it into the batch I brewed).

LiberTEAS

Yes, it would be a good idea to shake the pouches of any of my teas – but especially if they’re spiced/chai blends because the spices will settle to the bottom. If the ingredients list vanilla bean, I’d suggest shaking it. Anything where the ingredients would be small and easy to shift toward the bottom of the pouch.

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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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