2939 Tasting Notes
Free sample for my very small order. VERY small, guys. I can’t resist those B&B sales, even it’s for a couple teas. Especially with free shipping! FYI: they have a ton of various teas on their secret VIP page, including the amazing Spiced Pumpkin Pie which is usually hard to grab.
On to the tea: I was intrigued by another sleepy tea especially with those gorgeous bright raspberries that seem almost fresh. My sample really doesn’t seem to have a ton of them. So I’m really not tasting much raspberry at all, which is a shame as the name hinges on those raspberries. What I’m really tasting is something VERY similar to the lovely Lazy Boy blend: mostly coconut and lavender, even though there is also chamomile and fenugreek in this particular blend. It’s almost like they could have just brought back Lazy Boy. On the second steep, much more of the chamomile was noted. I don’t mind this as a replacement for Lazy Boy but I really wanted more raspberry!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 8 (Angry Tea Room – Raspberry Cherry)
Flavors: Coconut, Lavender
Additional notes: So this is for a fresher blend than the first time I had this three years ago. It was never my favorite Earl. Now they are using a much darker black tea than before (awesome) and the bergamot is slightly stronger and better than before (still not my ideal bergamot) but there is still no cream to speak of. The description still says “vanilla pieces” like it did three years ago, so maybe this is just one of those cases where I can never taste the vanilla pieces? I’m beginning to suspect. Anyway, this is an improved blend but not yet as fantastic as I’d expect Bird & Blend to make. Raising the rating from 72.
Additional notes: I really wanted to try a smoky tea mixed with a cream tea. Turns out I don’t have a cream tea around. The closest I could think of is Adagio’s Cream but I don’t have that around at the moment. So I tried Adagio’s Vanilla tea and I can’t taste it at ALL underneath all this smoke. I love the idea though! Maybe plain ol actual cream, but I don’t have that around right now either. It would be GOOD if I had the right teas to mix together.
Any suggestions for cream smoke teas?
This is from TreeGal’s package back in the day. Thanks so much! TreeGal didn’t like this one and I can’t say I do either. It’s odd. It’s almost like there is a chai flavoring sprayed onto the leaves and I can’t say it’s very tasty or appealing. It’s too strong anyway. There was an entire star anise in the infuser… But also the black tea itself is so weak the brew hardly has any color to it. One element of any chai I can’t abide is a weak brew. Chai needs to be deep and dark. Also, there is nothing and I mean NOTHING “chocolate chip” about this blend. Nothing at all. Did they forget any chocolate? The description mentions cacao bean pieces? Also there was a ton of orange blossoms in the blend though the blend didn’t taste like them at all. An odd blend. I’m surprised by the high steepster rating but maybe TreeGal and I have a bad batch.
I won a gorgeous scarlet tin of this tea during Teavivre’s Black Friday event. Very grateful, thanks so much Teavivre! Somehow I haven’t tried this yet, even though I’ve tried most of what Teavivre offers. It is so nice to have a fresh green tea. The leaves are lovely. The flavor is so layered and exceptional. Hints of minerals, very beany, nutty, sweet, lingering, both vegetal and fruity at the same time, with the slightest hint of butter. Like I said, very layered! It’s the flavor of health. I love a great fresh green, so this found a great home to stop at. Hopefully the red of the tin will scream at me to enjoy this one more often than not.
Steep #1 // 34 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 34 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 7 (Upton – China Keemun Heng Ru)
I hate mushrooms. But I like the idea of chaga teas. I LOVED the Teapots n Treasures blend Chaga, Chestnuts & Chocolate. I have sent two e-mails to them about it, but they never got back to me (they do mention on their site to ask about missing teas, so I tried). I kind of expected to hate this blend (thanks chicory). BUT it isn’t bad. Everything in the blend is covered in cocoa powder, so I’m mostly tasting chocolate with a hint of that bitterness from chicory. The brew is of course cloudy and dusty. I wish this was more significantly CHAGA but it really just seems like a watery hot chocolate, so probably I might as well just stick with hot chocolate. I’m not sure how detox this is, but it doesn’t taste overly healthy. There is also an interesting raspberry note happening throughout, whether hot or after the cup is cool. The second cup was certainly worth a LONG steep. Just as strong as the first cup and the flavors really melded together more. I didn’t think the blend had much tea itself since I couldn’t see it covered in the cocoa powder, but after steeping it looks mostly like tea leaves. The long steep didn’t make it bitter at all. Roasty, cocoa, sweet, with just that touch of bitterness that makes it great (I’m a dark chocolate fan.) I like it! It does seem like it fits the missing Teapots n Treasures blend well enough. I wish I could have tried David’s Chaga Chai blend too. Goes well with meatloaf. The second steep really won me over.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // many minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 5 (52Teas – Frank’s Strawberry Pie Honeybush (one pouch anyway))
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Raspberry
Additional notes: If I were to suggest one tea to drink out of your stash the fastest and the freshest it would be any Jun Chiyabari you might have lying around. It changes the flavor the fastest of any other tea varietal I’ve ever had. This is like a different tea from what I had a year and a half ago (yes, that is quite a long time from “fresh”.) I knew it would be different but not THIS different. Only one serving remaining and was very happy to try it when it tasted so nice the last time.
Additional notes: HOW IS THIS OLD BLEND STILL SO GOOD? I’m amazed every time. It’s the perfect Earl, even years later. I wish I could find the specific wholesaler of this one as Element is long long gone. I’m VERY appreciative that I managed to nab a pouch of this back in the day in their close-out sale, and another kind Steepsterer sent me their pouch. I could cry in appreciation at the lovelies in my cupboard. :D
This was my free teabag with my order a while ago, so this is now a sipdown. (yes, sometimes I add single teabags to my Steepster cupboard because I am ridiculous.) It’s a nice one to try, but probably don’t need it stocked. Happy to try it! I used bottled water to boil in my kettle for the first steep and the peach flavor is extravagant. Maybe a little bitey, as I probably shouldn’t have used such hot water. But the peach even could possibly have a bit of a peach pit flavor even? Somewhere between authentic peach and not… Looking at the steeped teabag, it looks like there are tiny pieces of oolong though, and not actual full leaves, so how the heck is this “super grade”?? This tea went through the ringer of the varieties of ways I steep tea: second steep was boiled in my kettle with sink water, third steep was boiled for twenty minutes on the stove, fourth was steeped back in the kettle with sink water. Honestly, all of the steeps were delicious and consistently PEACH. This gets credit for some lasting peachiness. So that gives me more confidence that the variety of ways I’m steeping teas isn’t harming them TOO much… it probably mostly depends on each tea — how they will be with my crazy steeping methods. But it’s also sad that the flavor is so one note for me. Why only peach? I’d like the flavor of the oolong to peak through. Even more sad, I’m noticing the base is pouchong which is my favorite type of oolong. I can’t taste that at all.
Steep #1 // 1 teabag // 18 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 17 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 8 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #4 // just boiled // 2-3 min steep
2020 Sipdowns: 2