143 Tasting Notes

80

Had no expectations for this tea, since I am not familiar with the company, and I got it from a Home Goods or TJ Maxx, one of those kind of stores. I just knew that I needed a ginger peach flavored black for making iced tea and this wasn’t an expensive purchase, so if I didn’t like it, it would be no big deal.

Well. This makes a damn fine iced tea. Love the balance of peach and ginger. Neither overwhelms the tea taste. There’s a lot of it to the package, so it’ll take some time to get through, which is more than OK with me! Very pleasantly surprised. Not sure if I would have it hot, but I feel pretty confident that it would be just as nice that way as iced. This is a winner!

Flavors: Ginger, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

This had been on my wishlist for quite some time, and since I was ordering more Green Coconut (the weather is slowly warming up, and this is a solid, refreshing tea in iced form), I tacked O’Conner’s Cream onto my order. I really think Teagschwendner should offer smaller amounts for online ordering (100g minimum? Really?), but I just went for it.

Basically, it’s an Irish Cream-flavored black tea. I happen to love that, and I also happen to love flavored blacks in general. Not to say I don’t love unflavored, “pure” teas, but there’s room in my cupboard for pretty much all kinds of teas. Except rooibos. I will never love rooibos.

Upon opening up the package, there’s a strong alcohol scent from the flavoring. Not the first I’ve experienced this, but it’s still disturbing. If this goes as I expect, after awhile that will dissipate and the flavoring will be intact. If you love Bailey’s, then this is the tea for you. I imagine this would be a great tea for one of those raw, damp, November days when you crave something comforting. Definitely has a taste of whiskey and cream. Does it crowd out the black tea flavor? No, it still tastes like tea. Would I drink it black? Nope – this cries out for milk. Just the way I like it. Great dessert / treat tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Whiskey

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

72
drank Chokolat by Ranra Tea
143 tasting notes

Chocolate flavored teas are very much hit or miss for me, so when a close friend was super generous and sent me a bunch of teas from her trip to Sri Lanka, I put off trying this one for awhile. But, it’s good! The flavor reminds me of Chocolate Fudge Pop Tarts (that’s a happy thing for me, I adore them, maybe it’s a holdover from childhood – those of you groaning and shaking your heads in dismay can just get over it – we all have our guilty pleasures).

When I first opened the packet, the strong alcohol scent from whatever was used to flavor the tea was very strong (alarming!), but it’s chilled out over time. The flavor doesn’t overwhelm the tea, it sits nicely with it. I’m reaching for this more than I thought I would, kind of like a tea hot chocolate for the winter. And the leaves are pretty big, as was the case with all the teas she sent me from her trip. Makes brewing tons easier, as the steeps can go well over five minutes without adversely affecting the flavor. Not the most complex cup, but still very enjoyable.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68

I feel like I say this all the time: “Finally getting around to trying (insert name of tea here)” but here we are.

This brews up quite light in color and flavor, as I find many of Whispering Pines teas do. Not a complaint at all, just an observation. I am not getting much in the way of malty, cocoa richness. There is a pleasant citrusy note that I find refreshing. Also a bit of earthiness. A very nice tea, but Golden Orchid remains my favorite. I do not recommend having this with milk, as it’s a bit too delicate for it and the flavors get lost. Going to try the spent leaves as a cold brew next, so we’ll see how that goes.

Flavors: Citrus, Earth

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

65

I need to abstain from caffeine for awhile due to surgery, so all the herbals in my cupboard are on heavy rotation. I’ve said in the past that I really don’t care for rooibos, but August Uncommon has such great teas I thought I’d give this a shot. Brew smells like vanilla pudding, and the vanilla flavor was the most prominent for me. A tiny bit of burnt sugar smokiness from the rooibos. A very nice tea, but not in love, despite it being warm, sweet and comforting. Dang, I really miss my black teas!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92
drank Coco Colada by DAVIDsTEA
143 tasting notes

It’s summer. It’s hot. This tea iced is perfectly refreshing – coconut, pineapple, tropical, strangely but pleasantly creamy. A great alternative if you want to steer clear of caffeine. It’ll be getting me through the rest of the summer heat for sure. I actually had this a couple of summers ago, and for some reason never reviewed it, I guess. It’s not Bamboozled (nothing will ever be as great as Bamboozled for an iced herbal summer tea), but it’s almost as delicious. It’ll be a summer staple for me – at least it will be as long as David’s Tea decides not to yank it from the roster (I HATE when they do that).

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
143 tasting notes

I got this tin at a Home Goods store, and it was the only one on the shelf. Thanks to the wonderful people who post on Steepster, I knew that Nina’s Paris teas were generally highly regarded. I saw the description of caramel and vanilla flavors, and snagged it immediately. Definitely my kind of flavored black!

Just brewed a pot of it this morning, and I was NOT disappointed. Creamy-caramel-vanilla-cookie happiness. This could have been enhanced by the evaporated milk I added to it and maybe the tea wouldn’t be as lusciously creamy without it, but – who am I kidding – I’ll always add milk to it.

I’ve been on a bit of an unflavored tea kick for awhile, but had a craving for something sweet and comforting. Surprisingly and delightfully, this completely fit the bill. I’m really satisfied and happy with it. Great as a dessert tea, and for me, great with breakfast. Delicious.

Flavors: Caramel, Cookie, Creamy, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sakura Sushi

Oh, yeah, and as it cools a little, noticing toasted marshmallows. So great.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68

Tried this one as a hot brew first, and was a bit concerned. Although I like the Assam base tea and am definitely detecting the creamy, white chocolate, there is something off about it. I first noticed it in the scent of the dried leaf – overall enticing, but then ruined by some weird, tangy note that seemed very off putting. It showed up in the liquor as well, unfortunately. I usually really like August teas, and the description seemed perfect for me, so this was a little disappointing. I then tried it iced. So. Much. Better. Makes a lovely iced tea and for some reason, that weird tang (perhaps the booziness others are noticing?) was almost completely obliterated. Whew! It’s too bad I can’t really enjoy it hot, but since I do drink a lot of teas iced, this will definitely be drunk.

Flavors: Cream, Plum, White Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Wonderful black from Song Tea. I had no reservations about the quality as I had been lucky enough to sit for a tea tasting at the shop that went on for about 2 hours – a really lovely experience. These people are serious about tea.

Unfortunately, yet another tea that I should have been brewing way earlier. This is why I don’t want to buy any more tea for now – I have so much that some really excellent teas end up languishing in my cupboard for way too long.

Brewed this up according to vendor instructions, using my small gaiwan (~100 ml, ~3 g), 1.5 minutes for first and second infusions, then 2 minutes for the third. Keeping in mind this tea is probably way past it’s prime, there was no bitterness at the 1.5 min brew time, but started to get a bit too tannic at 2 min.

According to the vendor notes, there should be cinnamon, cherry and mint notes. I’m getting cherry for sure, and a tiny bit of mint, but no cinnamon, which is fine with me. Getting warm caramel sweetness instead, which is heavenly. Again, this tea is already over 3 yrs old (!), so no telling what it would have been like had I opened it much sooner, and since I didn’t taste this one at the shop, I’ll guess I will never know! Still, very happy with it, it’s warm and comforting, which is exactly what I need right now.

Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Mint

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Sakura Sushi

Update: After brewing this western style (I know, I know), for just one infusion, I decided to take the brewed leaves and cold brew them for some iced tea. First of all, Eighteen is great even without brewing it gongfu. And more importantly, those leftover leaves made a heavenly iced tea! I mean, the sweetness and honey was awesome. So enjoyable and I can feel pretty good about using up those leaves differently. I don’t think cold brewing from the start is a good idea – you need to kind of get the leaves going with a hot infusion first – but what an amazing iced tea it makes doing it this way.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

OK – second attempt. Gongfu this time, and overleafed it. Much stronger this way, more flavorful, but a bit too tannic for the first couple of steeps. I guess I went too far. Still, I ended up going thru about a liter of hot water, about 5 or 6 infusions, before it got weak. So, there’s definitely a balance I need to strike here. I’m thinking next time I’ll stick with gongfu method, pull back just a bit on the leaf, and go with extremely short infusions at first. Wondering if I’ll ever find the sweet spot on this one, but it’s fun to try!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile