361 Tasting Notes
Something really strange is happening to me. I spent the weekend with a group of girlfriends from high school up at a house in Hood River. After much drinking and catching up till wee hours in the night, we went to breakfast and I needed caffeine badly. The only black tea they had was an Earl Grey. I seriously despise all things earl grey. But I was desperate so I had it. It was the Steve Smith one. It was delicious. I thought it must have been due to my desperation for tea and caffeine.
Then this morning I was desperate again after the puppy and toddler took turns waking me up all night and I had no time to make any tea before hitting the road. I went through a drive through coffee stand and they only had Paris by H&S. I had never tried that before due to the Bergamot, but again, desperation won out. It was SUPER delicious. Could I blame my enjoyment on desperation again?
Nope, when that cup was empty, I wanted more. And not just more tea, I wanted more bergamot. So I made this one. And it’s delicious. What the hell? My WHOLE life I’ve absolutely cringed at the thought of bergamot and suddenly I can’t get enough.
What’s wrong with me? Do tastes really shift soooooo rapidly? The only time that’s happened before was during pregnancy, and I know I’m not pregnant.
My tea world has been turned upside down!
It happens! Sometimes we become plagued by an idea which prevents us from pursuing a type of tea. In my case, I was sure that I was unable to drink jasmine tea, all because of a negative experience years ago (probably of a mediocre variety). It turns out that today I love jasmine-scented teas to the point of being obsessed!
I haven’t been on steepster in forever, but had to share my new way to drink matcha. I’m sure someone has probably written about it before, but I don’t feel like searching so I’ll just tell you.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine was going on and on and on about bulletproof coffee, which, in its simplist form, is coffee, butter, and MCT oil (derived from coconut oil & Palm oil). I don’t drink coffee so I didn’t think much more about it. Then I was at New Seasons (a more neighborhoody version of Whole Foods and infinitely better) and the nutritionist launched into it too. I bought the MCT oil and came home to give it a try, but as a matcha drink instead of coffee.
I chose caramel because the idea of putting butter in tea sounded gross. But I love butter caramels so it seemed like the best bet. I put the matcha, water, and ghee (clarified butter) in my milk frother (I use the breville milk frother thing for my matchas) and when it was done poured some of the mct oil in.
It tastes exactly like a butter caramel. Smooth, creamy, buttery caramel. So delicious and (butter and all) super healthy. If you want to try it and don’t have MCT oil, coconut oil is supposed to have a similar effect. I will definitely be experimenting with other flavors and teas, but this was a clear winner.
So that’s all.
I had a sample of this last year and really did not enjoy it. It had a mushroom taste that I just couldn’t palate. I decided to try again with the recent batch and to my surprise, I really like it! The mushroom flavor is totally gone and the chocolate and spiciness has taken over. Definitely happy I gave this another try.
Quick recount of the last two weeks…
1) New puppy
2) Toddler gets sick
3) Preschooler gets sick
4) I get walking pneumonia over spring break (luckily at home, but no school for kids and a mom with pneumonia is a bad combo for all participants…)
Things are finally calming down a bit. I’m over the bulk of the crud, but the cough is driving me nuts. Throughout the the last two weeks I’ve lived off mostly Laoshan Black, Wild Mountain Black, and Tawainese assams.
It was time to change it up a bit today, but not by much. This is still my favorite English Breakfast tea, and Verdants Imperial Breakfast Blend is my other favorite breakfast blend. Probably because they each have a base of my two favorite teas. Laoshan Black and the Taiwanese Assam.
I have a million teas, I’m too afraid to count the actual number, but over the past few months since life has gotten so busy, I really only drink about 10 of them. Not sure what to do about that, but it is what it is. I don’t want to get rid of any that I like, but I don’t drink them very often. What to do?
I believe this is what they call a first world problem…. :-)
Sorry to hear you’ve been sick! Luckily, at least you had excellent teas to drink, right?
Regarding the ‘problem’, I totally understand! :D
That’s why I print out a list every month, & check the teas off as I drink them (with cute little symbols, this week it’s a little flower). Theoretically, I only drink each tea once a month, but I’m allowed to cheat occasionally (whenever I want), & there are many teas that I never get around to drinking. I’m trying to remedy that, but I have way too many teas to drink in a month, & many of them require gongfu sessions to really be appreciated…sigh…the problems of being a tea lover…
Yikes, that’s awful!
And Terri – I love that you print off your list and add stickers. :D Sounds like fun!
I have the same first world problem! Never thought to make a chart though. Something to consider!!
Hope you are feeling better!
I hope your household is feeling much better!
I think most of us on this board have the same “first world prob” lol
Everything always seems to happen at once. Glad to hear that things are getting better.
Life is too short to drink tea that is meh. At home I end up making tea I don’t want for my husband since he is pretty much a tea garbage disposal that will drink anything or I end up tossing it. At work, there is a much bigger problem. We have boxes and boxes full of samples. Every now and then I try to make it through the samples but usually they end up in the garbage. I’m hoping to find a place I can donate samples to but since they are already open, probably not.
Hahaha. Maybe I should do an educational traveling box or something. Like putting a bunch of Darjeelings together or Assams together or something.
Only issue is, we wouldn’t have them labeled. So, it would be like Assam 1 through 15 or something but it would give a good idea of what makes an Assam an Assam.
Stacy, I do that to Husband too! Or rather, I used to do it. He’s beginning to learn to tell me if I’ve given him one he doesn’t like and he’s lost interest in most flavoured things. Otherwise though he’s after effect rather than taste when drinking tea. If you give him a cup he’s never had before and ask him what he thought immediately after he finished it, more often than not he doesn’t know. He’s learning to pay attention without being told though. I think he’s realised that it’s in his own interest to do so.
Angrboda-I get the I don’t know from my husband too. Hahaha. Or I get ‘tastes like every other green tea I’ve ever had’. Um, ok hun but that’s a white tea. Flavored teas are ones he enjoys more. I bring all of the samples of teas I’m working on for him. I worked on an espresso cupcake with strawberry cream flavor for my friend and brought the 8 different attempts home for him. He liked them all, even the gross ones.
Thanks everyone for the well wishes! Seems like we’re all on the mend and the puppy has kept us quite entertained and busy :-)
Stacy & Angriboda -Ha ha! I do the same thing my husband too, and my mom! They enjoy tea and my worst tea is better than anything they’ve ever had so everyone wins!
Terri- I like your system but I don’t think I’m disciplined enough to only let myself drink my favorites only a few times a month. I should create a favorites list that I can pick from every day and then make a list of the others and start working through them. If I find a meh one, then I’ll throw it my donate box.
Sil — I’d send you all my spares, but i’m pretty sure you’ve had ALL OF THEM! I don’t think I have many teas that you haven’t tried at this point.
And Stacy — I’d be sooooooooo into a traveling open samples box! Not that I need any more tea in my life right now. I was actually happy that hello sweetie was sold out so it would keep me from ordering. It just sounds so good (minus the banana, but I think I can get over that)
TastyBrew-Glad your mom & hubby can help with that. On the plus side with an educational box, you could sit and taste the teas you want in a sitting and send the rest on without adding any to your collection. Sorry for hijacking your note.
Sil-I think I will do it. I’ll put something together and see if I can solicit a curator who can take care of all the logistics.
Stacy, I’m totally open for the samples as well. Why don’t you divide them up, & sell a Spring Sampler Box. When those are all gone, or when you have enough for another round, do a Summer Sampler Box, etc. Supplies will be limited, so they will sellout fast, you could price them to include the postage plus a few bucks for your efforts, & it would be lots of fun! Put me down for one, please. I don’t want to miss out. :)
Terri-I initially thought about doing something like that but then thought the amount of work involved wouldn’t be worth it plus I don’t know how old all of these teas are so I would feel bad if someone got a lot that isn’t great. I did start the box though (sort of): http://steepster.com/discuss/7310-traveling-butiki-educational-box
My notes will be few and far between these days. As if life isn’t busy enough with two small children and a teen, we adopted a puppy! The sweetest little 4 month old, 3-legged, weimaraner mutt dog. I haven’t had time to do much of anything in the past few days other than constant potty training (both dog and child) and all the normal kid stuff. This if the first time I’ve even cracked open my computer. (Kids watching movie, dog asleep!)
I don’t have time to do much sampling of new teas since it will likely get cold and I will guzzle it by the time I remember it and thats no way to try new teas. So I’m sticking with known favorites. Like this one. Always good. Always.
Here are some photos and a video of the pup. He’s pretty cute :-)
Adorable puppy? Great name too! I had a dog named Finnegan for one day before we had to give him up due to allergies, heh.
He looks like he’s going to be a big boy and going to keep you busy!
I haven’t so much been in a tea funk, but a steepster funk. I’ve still been trolling around in the background, but since we got back from vacation, and I got out of the steepster habit, I haven’t been motivated enough to actually write anything.
Until I had this tea. YUM!!! This tastes like a super rich version a TTC black 4 seasons tea, or maybe a cross between the 4 seasons and the golden dragon. Regardless, it’s amazing. Sweet, cinnamony, jammy, delicious. Super stoked by J-Tea. One of these days I’ll have to drive the 1.5 hours down to Eugene and check out his shop. I just joined his tea club too. Very excited!
BBB ladies, I bought enough of this to share with you and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. It’s not a bold chinese tea, but still….
Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Jam
I’m on vacation and haven’t been on the internet at all but had to login today because it’s my 1 year steepsterversary! 1 year ago today I stumbled upon this site when looking for a good vanilla black tea. A year later and I can’t even imagine what life would be without all my steepster friends. Thanks for welcoming me and teaching me so much!
I have been drinking this during our whole trip. It’s just really friggin good. And it was the straight black tea that got me into straight black teas and I would never had heard of it if it wasn’t for steepster.
I have read from other people’s notes to not expect a true vanilla cacao, but more of a spiced variety, so I was prepared for something different, but this…? Very strange, there was some sort of meat flavor in there that finally made me dump the mug, it was just not enjoyable. Really weird tea.
I went 0/3 on new David’s Teas I ordered. And not even kind of okay. I threw out the whole cup of each one. This one was the most egregious.
The initial flavor as the tea hits the mouth is super tasty. Dark and roasty and nutty and then suddenly you’re hit like a truck with this AWFUL fake sweet black LICORICE bomb that goes off in your mouth. I seriously almost vomitted. The initial flavor lulled me into a false state of calm and then BOOM the worst flavor in the whole world took over my whole mouth.
I was stupid enough to see if it was an aberration so I tried again and nearly gagged again.
David’s – Our relationship is officially over. (Except when I need some movie night, that’s the only one I truly enjoy, but no new teas. Nope. Not worth the risk)
I also agree with your last bit there. I have guayusa and genmaicha from David’s but I haven’t tried any new ones in a while.
EW. Why would they even put licorice in there. That is already a hit-or-miss flavor for a lot of people.
When I originally ordered this one, licorice wasn’t an ingredient. Imagine my surprise! So terrible. :(