3042 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: I tried this again with two teaspoons. I can’t say that it tasted much stronger than the 1 1/2 teaspoons I used previously, but the parameters were different anyway so it’s hard to say. But note to self: if I DO use two teaspoons, don’t miss a third steep that is 1/2-3/4 of a mug full and really steep that sucker for a long time. I REALLY like the resulting flavor either way. It’s like a rustic, earthy raspberry cocoa. All three steeps – very soothing and tasty. I think I’ll raise the rating from 85.
Thanks so much for the awesome swap, derk! The swap was inspired by this tea — an Earl I’d never heard of before. (Have to try ALL the bergamot.) The leaves here are larger than is typically seen flavored with bergamot so I went with two loose teaspoons for a mug, so as not to spill any leaves all over the place… so it could really be 1 1/2 teaspoons if I was really packing the leaves into the teaspoon. The flavor is lovely this way but I will try it with less leaves next time anyway. The black tea is brisk enough with two teaspoons, without being overpowering, but I didn’t really expect any astringency from these big leaves. The bergamot is tasty — bright, strong citrus, sometimes hints of cream occasionally which is unexpected… or maybe I’m just imaginging this/wishing this. I miss my unnatural as all getout cream EGs. It’s amazing that some bergamot can be the best tasting flavor ever, but then others can be the most disgusting flavor. Maybe this isn’t my favorite bergamot ever (it’s great!) but that will be tough to find these days (which is exactly the reason derk offered to send some of this over). I will certainly enjoy the remainder of this sample!
Steep #1 // 2 loose teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 3-4 min
2020 Sipdowns: 34 Teavivre – Moonlight Beauty
Thanks very much, Meowster, from a while ago! The bundles here are HUGE. Probably the biggest bundles of oolong I’ve ever seen. Maybe the bigger bundles mean a more milder flavor? Less leaves in the scoop? The flavor is certainly different from a typical oolong, though tough for me to describe why. Very mineral – very sweet, hint of sweet corn and cream. Kept the flavor going on the second steep. Got busy and didn’t do a third steep the next day… so sadly tossed the leaves on the third day. I won’t use the same leaves for over 72 hours. Had enough to try again though! The second steep session about a month later was much the same. Almost a tangy quality when cooled on the second steep. The third steep session to finish the leaves off, also not really distinct flavors here… not a helpful tasting note… All I’m getting flavor-wise is MILD. OOLONG. Should have been all different parameters with all three steep sessions, and really no change in flavor between ANY of the eight mugs. I’m sure this absolutely tasted much better (and more distinct) when it was fresh, so that is a shame. I love the flavor notes on Leafhopper’s tasting note. I wish I had tasted any of that! But it looks like Leafhopper used many more leaves than I did, so I guess I SHOULD have steeped the second and third steep sessions together. Darn it – should have read Leafhopper’s note sooner.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 29 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 1 min
Second steep session:
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 32 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Steep #3 // ??
Third Steep session:
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 30 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 20 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 min
2020 Sipdowns: 33
Thanks so much again for the swap, AJRimmer! This is how I’ve never run out of new teas to write tasting notes for… there has always been teas that are new-to-me because of so many swaps over the years. :D This is actually tastier than I expected. The rooibos is okay – but it does have that woody flavor that reminds me of a barbecue sauce for some reason. But then there are fruit cubes in the blend that add a nice sweetness to the rooibos. The fruits: papaya and mango, for a fun twist on the name PAPANGO. (You can even get these papaya and mango cubes separately from S&V for pretty cheap if you want to try them that way. I have tried both the mango and papaya before and they are delicious.) So a few cubes in a teaspoon along with the rooibos lends plenty of sweetness to a refreshing cup. You can even add more of the fruit cubes to the blend if you wanted. The second steep is full of flavor too. I really appreciate that S&V blends their own teas (and SO MANY blends) because I am guaranteed to find unique teas from S&V, more than any other tea shop. I hope everyone at S&V is doing okay during these tough times.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min
2020 Sipdowns: 32 – TeBella – Almond Shortbread
From Annie a while ago, thank you so much for this unique tea! I just plopped a yeti in a mug. I also dumped the loose leaves from the package, that weren’t attached to the yeti to keep steeping in the mug while taking the tied-together piece out after a minute. Not sure if I SHOULD have dumped the broken leaves into the mug, but I don’t like wasting tea! The yeti in general reminds me of a sea urchin! The flavor once you remove the uniqueness of the yeti from the cup, is a sweet, light white tea. Once you sip down the majority of the trichomes (or ahem, the hair of the yeti) in the first steep, the second steep is much smoother, so possibly an initial rinse would also be a good idea. The second steep was even better! Even sweeter, even lighter — I don’t think leaving the few loose leaves in the mug made the tea bitter at all… I should have kept going with more steeps, now that I think about it..
Steep #1 // 1 yeti for full mug // 33 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 31 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Thanks so much for the excellent swap, derk! Some amazing teas that I have wanted to try in that package, including the first I’ve ever been able to try from August Uncommon! So very thrilled for that. I tried this a few days ago, late on the tasting note, but I was drinking this from derk and Yeti from Annie and was feeling quite tea spoiled!! I’m grateful to Steepster for all the tea buds and the oceans of tea I’ve been able to try over the years because of those tea buds.
This is GOOD. A great tea to have on hopefully one of the last colder days of the season. Apple, yet also savory from the clove and fennel on a lighter black tea base. I love to find an occasional fennel tea. I debated using two teaspoons for a BIG mug to finish the sample off but I’m glad I didn’t, as the flavor is certainly full and lingering in the mouth long enough to only use one teaspoon. Now I have the extra teaspoon for another day. A great introduction to August Uncommon!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Thanks very much, Meowster! For a Darjeeling, I would never guess this is a Darjeeling by the flavor profile. It tastes much more like a straight-forward black tea. I like the “gold and silver tips” in the description – I agree! The dry blend has very small leaves but the resulting flavor is mostly sweet and fruity quality while still having that brisk black tea characteristic. Like rye bread, but on the lighter side. One teaspoon is enough! It’s a good tea but not a tea that really fits a Darj craving. Wish I had more to say! But this is an enjoyable black tea if I’m not expecting a Darj profile.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
WAIT a minute… why the heck was I expecting Darjeeling from anything about this? Now I’m confused. It’s not in the name or description… sigh. This is possibly not a Darjeeling at all then… which explains LOTS.
From my order a while ago, I think the Boxing Day sale? I think I’ve had a Rocher ONCE in my life. One little sphere of a Rocher. I like that the blend tries to incorporate gold like the candy wrapping into the blend, which are sprinkles that look like gold bars. I think they also used them in Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. What happens to the brew, is a sort of wispy, cloudy substance floats around in the cup. Not exactly gold, but it’s different. The flavor is certainly chocolate thanks to all those lovely cocoa shells. A great idea for hazelnuts in the blend… but I’m tasting mostly marzipan on the dark black base. The second cup, wow, I’m glad I brewed the second steep for five minutes as the chocolate flavor is fantastic – the deepest chocolate, so so good. So I think my parameters couldn’t be more spot on. I had this once before, and the parameters must have been different, because this is a much better tea steeping it this way or the flavors are at their melding together perfection that sometimes fresh leaves don’t have (especially something like chocolate flavor). I drank a second steep from yesterday’s leaves today and upon finishing the cup, I steeped up fresh leaves of the same tea. Now that is saying something. I don’t think I’ve ever had the same tea/fresh leaves on the same DAY… It’s the tea for the moment for me, I suppose!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 5 min
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Marzipan
Thanks so much for the swap, AJRimmer! I like this one! It might be up there with my CS favorites. It has a sweetness to it that doesn’t seem like stevia to me, as far as I can tell. And then there is a SPICY kick which must be only ginger? But the ingredients in the teabag were like a fine dust, so maybe more of the spice of the ginger is imparted that way? It seems simple, but it’s different. Not really MAPLE but what tea is ever actually maple? The second steep had less of a kick, but plenty of sweetness. With the kick, I’m glad I only used one teabag at a time.
Steep #1 // 1 teabag for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 1/2 min