133 Tasting Notes

Made a nice strong pitcher of this the usual way: 2 cups boiling water with some rock sugar and resteeped the bag in another cup of water and iced. Pretty tasty.

But you know what? I couldn’t help but put in a splash of half and half into my glass! I think I like it just a tad sweeter, but it tastes pretty close to liquified Neapolitan Ice Cream.

Definitely will do that again!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I don’t usually reach for Earl Grey teas, but if there’s some creamy vanilla added in there’s more of a chance I’ll try it. The bergamot is many times too overpowering.

So enter this offering from Upton provided by Alphakitty! The dry leaf smells a little chocolatey and creamy. Hmmm… that might be because there was a H&S’s Florence sample in the swap too. I’m pressing on anyway.

Brewed 2 tsp of leaf with about 10 oz of boiling water. The wet leaf smells a little like cream soda! Ok, now we’re talking! :)

I did try this without sweetener first and was pleasantly surprised there was very little bitterness. It’s very smooth, which is also something I find lacking in many EGC’s. A little rock sugar added and it brings out more of the creamy vanilla.

This is a really nice offering. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a more enjoyable EGC before. And it’s my first sampling from Upton. It’s going on my shopping list when I get around to building up enough of an order to justify a purchase – thanks Alphakitty!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

This is my favorite EGC!


Oh goodness. This one was very, very delicious.

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Thanks again to Alphakitty for parting with some of this – I know how much you like it! :)

Trying to make some progress on all traded tea samples that I’ve accumulated. Three is a good start for today and all of them have been green-type teas. Tomorrow: black teas!

Used a heaping 1.5 tsp of leaf for 8 ounces of water. The brewed liquor smells good – slight lemony coconut over a nice green base. The taste is even more nice. I was tempted to add a little rock sugar, but refrained this time.

I liked this better than H&S’s Tokyo blend. Next time I might use a little more leaf, but it was pretty tasty the way it was.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
133 tasting notes

The dry leaf smells a touch buttery and toasty.

Used a heaping 1.5 tsp (maybe even closer to 2 tsp.) of leaf for 8 ounces of water. Brewed, this tastes like a mix of lightly toasty genmaicha smoothed out with a touch of buttery caramel. The flavor is a little lighter than I’d like. It’s kind of meh, but I think that’s because I’m still a little congested.

A big thanks goes out to Alphakitty for sharing a nice sized sample of this! I look forward to taste testing it again, and maybe even iced.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

This one is a little light on flavor, I think it benefits from a longer steep time or perhaps even cold brewing!

Will Work For Tea

Dually noted – thanks! ;)

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Thank you Bonnie for passing along this sample!

I brought 4 ounces of water to a boil and let it cool for a minute. Poured it over the teaspoon sample of dry leaf for three minutes, resulting in a pale yellow liquor. This has a slightly fuller body compared to GM’s coconut pouching offering. The coconut flavoring in The Spice and Tea Exchange is very similar to that of GM’s; it light and refreshing.

A resteep with slightly hotter water and an additional minute of brew time provided an equally enjoyable cup!

In the third steeping, the coconut taste is much less so, but there’s still plenty of oolong flavor to press forward for those who are looking to get the most bang for their buck.

This is definitely a contender as a cupboard staple, especially since it’s half the price!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I still need to go to their San Francisco store!

Will Work For Tea

I didn’t even think to look at their locations! Husband has a (business) trip planned for Berkeley in December & I want to go too, but that’s looking more and more like a pipe dream. Will keep that in mind just in case! :)


Pier 39

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drank Pot O' Gold by 52teas
133 tasting notes

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

Looking forward to having tea again after not having it for a week! My allergies were so bad (because I couldn’t take any medication for 7 days leading up to the allergist appointment), that I couldn’t justify having tea – I mean, I couldn’t even taste it!

The Pot O’ Gold dry tea leaves are long and wiry with yellow marigold petals that waft butterscotch goodness. Brewed 3 tsp of leaf with 14 oz of near boiling water. The result is a little less butterscotchy. The base comes through nicely – it’s very smooth without sweetener. I enjoyed the next cup with rock sugar and found the butterscotch flavoring to be enhanced.

I like that this can be drunk with or without sweetener and, to me at least, it tastes like two different teas. Oh, and this is lovely with an apple pastry! :)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I was sick too so I’m glad you’re better and back!

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Last month Amanda sent me a sample of this and I ended up really liking it – so much that I broke down and bought a half a pound of this offering from Golden Moon. Took advantage of a free shipping promo so I could justify it’s purchase! :) I really love that there isn’t any pepper in this blend, but it’s rather cinnamony and spicy from the cloves and cardamon.

So this time I prepared it as a concentrated chai syrup so that I can just add it to milk when the mood strikes. Here’s what I did:

Brought 2 cups of water and 1 1/3 cup of sweetener to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Let it boil for about 3 minutes to let the sugar & rock sugar combination fully dissolve. Then I added 6 tablespoons of the Kashmiri chai dry leaf, letting it steep for 5 minutes. Strained the leaf from the concentrate and let cool in a swing top glass bottle. When cool, refrigerate.

Now I can have a delicious iced chai latte with a fraction of the work!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This sample came to me by way of Azzrian – thank you very much!

The dry leaves smell quite good – I smell berries!

I brewed up 8 ounces of water and poured over a teaspoon and a half of leaves. Tasting the tea liquor its just a tad bitter for me, so I end up adding a little rock sugar. It mellows out the bite a bit and brings the lemon and berry taste forward. I can see why this is a favorite of Azzrian’s. Thanks for passing a tasting along! :)

I bet this would be tasty as an iced tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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This was my iced tea of choice a few days ago. Cold brewed it up nice and strong and threw in a few freeze-dried strawberries to make it a little more fruity. Turned out very nice with some sweetener added.

Iced 8 min or more

Strawberry is, no question about it, my favorite fruit tea additive. Sounds wonderful!

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drank Exotica by DAVIDsTEA
133 tasting notes

I have had Exotica twice now (does that sound dirty, because I really didn’t mean that). Anyway, I purchased some samplers last month and immediately became a little leary – there are peppercorns in it. I hate pepper in my tea. The only think I loath more is licorice root! So I went really easy with the sample and cold brewed it hoping the pepper wouldn’t be noticeable. It steeped in the fridge for 24 hours and it produced a very light but refreshing sweet lemony water, without the acid lemons will give you. No trace of pepper from what I could tell. Having done this, I knew I’d love it brewed the traditional way.

So my latest DT order arrived at my door today and in less than a week. YAY! I’m becoming more and more of a fan of this company! :) I bought 100 grams of this because if nothing else I can cold brew it and really increase my water intake, something I’m really bad at despite all the tea I drink.

I brewed 1.5 tsp of tisane in about 6 oz of boiling water for just over 7 minutes. I tried a sip of it while hot and it was very lemony! Again no pepper detected. :) Put in a couple rock sugar pieces a few ice cubes and it’s pretty awesome! I may have to rethink my disdain for pepper – at least pink peppercorns, let’s not get ahead of ourselves now…

I’m really glad I got the extra pouch because I’ll be having this year-round!

Boiling 7 min, 15 sec

Sometimes what’s called pepper is really fruit from a different plant which is the case with pink peppercorns. You may have lucked out!

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I’m a native Midwesterner (Iowa, specifically) who was happily uprooted to California twice. SoCal is what I consider home, even though I currently don’t live there. I hope to return home again!

Tea has really come to fill the void of my current displacement. My husband & I (with our two tiny weenies) moved to Indiana hardly knowing a soul. It’s been a tougher transition for me than I’d thought it would be. I have amassed a cupboard of teas to keep me company until I feel more familiar in my newer surroundings.

I will refrain from giving numerical values to teas because I am a faddist. My likes and dislikes are constantly changing. Flavored blacks are what I gravitate to the most. Having said that, I do enjoy a wide variety of teas – you name it, I’ll try it. I may not like it today, but I might revisit it later and love it.

Flavor note: I prefer my teas to be bold in flavor. I am starting to come around to drinking tea without additives. But I do like to dirty my tea with rock sugar/simple syrup and sometimes with half-n-half/milk. Unflavored greens are unsweetened, but flavored greens I usually add rock sugar. Lately I have been favoring flavored guayusa and matés.



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