1602 Tasting Notes

drank Sunburst by Chroma Tea
1602 tasting notes

I tried this hot and was not a fan. I don’t recall why, but I thought it would be good cold steeped so I dumped the entire bag into a mason jar and stuck it in the fridge for a few days. This mix is really frustrating because the pineapple bits are huge and light, so they rise to the top of the bag and all the other ingredients fall to the bottom. It was hard to get my spoon past the pineapple and get an even mix of ingredients, so I think the dump it all in the mason jar was really the right way to go.
It’s has a very bright and cheery taste. The sip is juicy, fruity and tangy. Pineapple is woven with the lemongrass. As those flavors fade, the cinnamon pops out. I wasn’t getting cinnamon in the hot cup at all. I didn’t think I really liked it at first, but the more I sip the more I appreciate this. I’m not sure if it’s something I’d buy again, but it is something I’m enjoying. My only regret is not saving it for warmer months when I want something cool and refreshing to enjoy.

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drank Rouge Révolution by THEODOR
1602 tasting notes

I’m surprised I only ever wrote one tasting note for this. My first note doesn’t reflect on how fond I grew of this tea. It has such a good mix of smoke and depth with citrusy notes. I had a tragic sipdown with it today. There was a good amount of dust in this oversized last serving and I decided to dump it all in making a strong and overpowering bitter cup. This tea doesn’t take well to over leafing which is exactly what I did. I’m going to be hopeful and say that I’ll be in Paris again someday and when I do I’d like to restock this. You know… when I get through a few more of the currently 32 Theodor teas I have and can justify tea shopping there again.

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drank Orange Biscotti by Tea Embassy
1602 tasting notes

I reordered this tea a while back. It didn’t taste very good at first. I’ve found that some fresh teas need time to sit and age for the flavors to develop and was hoping that would be the case for this one. It sat for several months (eight to be exact) and it’s never developed into the tea I recall loving. It’s not terrible, but the sip is tart in a very distracting way. Did they over orange it? is it a different base? Something is different. I’ll have to add cream and see if that improves the situation for the rest of the 4oz bag.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Goldenrod by Chroma Tea
1602 tasting notes

Just picked up my last tea order of 2022. Almost feels like cheating to get new tea in a new year that doesn’t go on my totals for the year!

I’m not a huge fan of oolongs, but this sounded interesting. It smells very anisey and that is the dominating flavor in this cup. The coriander comes out in the finish a little where it turns a little more savory. The oolong seems to blend well with the anise, to the point that it’s hard for me to separate the two in my mind. This is very well balanced while being complex and is interesting, but it’s not jumping out at me right now either. I’m hoping this one grows on me.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Ha ha, I also ordered in December and received it in January, unfortunately for me that means it counts for January. :P

Shae

I’m still waiting on my December DT order, so I’m right there with you!

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Ran across this tea shop near where I was staying in Lisbon. I was so excited to find a Portuguese tea company and rushed when I stopped by that I didn’t even look at the logo on their sign out front. When searching for a company website I found the Yelp page that pointed out how racist the sign is with old unflattering caricatures of Chinese and African men. Suddenly something that didn’t even register when I had my tea goggles on came into clear focus. I have regrets.

The tea shop it’s self was pretty inside. The woman who worked there looked like she wanted to be anywhere else. They didn’t have a large selection of tea (maybe 8 blends), but I chose one green and one black tea that sounded and smelled interesting. They were 15 euros each, which is a lot for a moderate amount of tea packaged in a plastic pouch that doens’t lock in flavor and is then stuffed into an oversized cardboard tube packaging. I had to ditch the tubes in Portugal to fit them in my luggage.

Dry, this tea has a very rich red berry scent. Very heavy, like chocolate covered berries, but without the chocolate, just the depth. Once steeped I took a few sips and was really disappointed. It seemed weakly flavored compared to the scent and had this almost tart hibby like tang at the end of the sip. I kept sipping, mostly because I’m stubborn and it paid off! The flavor starts to build the further I get into this cup. The sip is way more perfume like and there is a flash of something alkaline, but the finish is really nice. The deep berry flavor comes out again and lingers. I don’t know that I would pick this out as Port flavored (which was the description that attracted me) as Port has a much more raisiny profile IMO, but that depth of rich fruit is there.

Would I buy this again? No. Not at all. It’s weird that the company has no online presence for their only eight teas, making me think it’s a front for something else. Also… racism doesn’t taste good in tea, or anywhere else for that matter. I feel like there are way more interesting teas flavored with rich berries that taste better when sipping and are a fraction of the price. My beloved French teas aren’t usually this expensive and if they were as expensive they would taste phenomenal or have something very unique and special about them. This feels like a store trying to be really fancy with mediocre products.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Festivus by Casting Whimsy
1602 tasting notes

Finally got around to day 24 of my advent. It’s the last one that isn’t a rooibos and I don’t have it in me to drink rooibos right now. I steeped this cup, took a few sips and dumped it. It was boring generic spice, disappointing and I needed a comforting cup to start a hard day in one of the most challenging months of my life. Advents are always a fun and good way to discover new tea brands and expand my horizons. Sometimes I find companies that I end up loving, like David’s and Theodor and sometimes I learn that I’m not that into a company like Dammann Freres or Brutaliteas. This one falls into that later category of just not my thing.

tea-sipper

I’m wishing you strength for whatever challenges you have happening this month!

Nattie

Sorry to hear you’re going through a tough spot at the moment. I hope things get better for you soon.

tea-sipper

Dustin – wondering if you were the one to send me a couple of teas last week? Tea Smith – Almond Biscotti and Arthur Dove – Caramel apple betty? I tried sending you a message…

Dustin

Thanks, y’all. I was at the hospital with my best friend for 35 days straight as she died of cancer. She is gone now. I still have no bandwidth for mediocre tea. I was on a trip abroad after that, which is why I only just saw your message, Tea-Sipper.

ashmanra

Dustin: So sorry for your loss. What a treasure you have been to your friend, being with her like that. May each day feel a bit less sore, and may you feel more comfort and light each day.

Dustin

Thank you!

tea-sipper

Not a prob on the message! I didn’t know how much Steepster is acting up at any given point. I’m so sorry for the loss of your best bud. That is incredibly difficult.

Michelle

Dustin, sorry for your loss and heartache. I hope you have some good memories to savor and maybe can sip some tea in her honor. Sending a hug through the internet.

Kaylee

Dustin, so sorry for your loss! May her memory be a comfort.

Nattie

So sorry for your loss

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drank Double Chocolate Chunk by Almost Tea
1602 tasting notes

This smells deeply chocolatey and very much like a rich brownie. The flavor in the sip is a little muted and that is amplified as the cup cools, but the finish is where it is at. It tastes very heavily of chocolate and I can totally picture brownie. I’m liking this chocolate flavoring better than a lot of other tea companies attempt at chocolate. I bet this tea would taste fantastic as a latte! I might try that with my second bag.

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drank Spiked Apple Cider by Almost Tea
1602 tasting notes

Not into this one. There is something I don’t like about the sip. It’s a weird flatness that almost comes off as a salt free broth sensation with the dull woody flavor of rooibos. The finish leaves me with that dry rooibos mouth feeling, but I do get the apple cider flavors showing up and lingering.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Cinnamon Toast Munch by Almost Tea
1602 tasting notes

This tea is really oily. Lots of cinnamon. It has a cinnamon stick taste in the sip and a dried and powdered cinnamon taste in the finish with a light almost baking soda like sensation flashing by. The rooibos flavor isn’t bothering me here! There is a sweetness to this tea from the licorice root. There is also partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil in this, which is a first in a tea for me and also a HUGE turn off. I try to avoid all partially hydrogenated oils in my diet. Maybe that’s what is floating on the top of my tea. I feel like I can pick out the toast part if we are comparing this to the similarly named breakfast cereal. I’m getting a little bit of rooibos dry mouth in the finish, which I dislike. Flavor wise this tea is enjoyable, but the ph oil is a dead stop for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nattie

Palm oil in general is a turn-off, this is just a big yikes.

Dustin

Yeah, I hear bad things about the production of palm oil. I hear bad things health wise about partially hydrogenated oils, so it’s a double blech for me. The tea had cinnamon confection chips in it that had the oil in it. Like a chocolate chip, but cinnamon.

Nattie

Such a shame, I’m sure they could have done it without the chips!

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This is hitting a little flat for me, especially at the start of the sip. There is something extra artificial about the raspberry and it seems a little sour. It relies a little too much on being perfumey and is a really hard flavor to pull off in a tea. The fudge part is just background noise and the caramel part is really hard to pick out. Adding sugar just made the entire thing worse. Not into this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan, but have had a growing appreciation for plain. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! And no hibiscus. Hibiscus is the devil.

Location

BA, CA, US

Website

https://www.instagram.com/dre...

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