133 Tasting Notes

Thank you Azzrian for adding this as a bonus in the swap!

I like this! It’s cream and almonds in a caffeine-free tea. Added a little rock sugar to sweeten the deal, but it really didn’t need it. :)

Boiling 8 min or more

This is my late night comfort craving tea! :)

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Thank you Amanda for swapping this sample out!

I’m very cautious of chai in general. I like the warmth that it can give you, but not necessarily the spiciness. It’s the only tea blend that I religiously check the list of ingredients before swapping/ordering. If it has pepper in it, it’s a deal-breaker.

There is a certain tea vendor’s chai that I really used to like and it had pepper in it, but it was the very last ingredient. Then for some ungodly reason, when I went to reorder the blend a year later, the company changed up the ingredient list and pepper was listed at least 4 ingredients higher. Oh and did I mention when I went to reorder, I bought a POUND of it? So now I’m stuck with lots, and lots of a chai that I no longer like. Ugh! And I’m oh-so-slowly getting rid of it by mixing it with a similar but unpeppered chai. (If you want a coconut chai, PM me and I’ll send you some – probably even more than you’d want!)

Anyway, THIS tea – I was very excited by just smelling it! It’s warm and cozy like my favorite scarf and sweater on a Fall-ish day. I put the sample away, but its been calling out to me for a few days now.

I wish I could share the brewing parameters, but quite honestly I didn’t measure the milk & water. All I can say is that I used 3 grams of tea and 4 tsp of rock sugar. The rest was left to chance. I did brew it in milk first for 3 minutes. Then brewed the leaves again in maybe a third cup of water for another 3 minutes. Having done that, I’m quite happy with the way this turned out! It’s delicious – I really like the way the cinnamon, clove and cardamon mingle in this offering. It really doesn’t taste spicy, but more reminds me of a biscuit or cookie.

It’s going on my shopping list! Thanks Amanda for the sample and saving me from another potential chai-tastrophe!


lol chai-tastrophe cute! ;)

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Made the last 3 grams of this western style with the below prep details.

I think overall I’m a fan of the shorter, multiple steeps. Green oolongs in general tend to be too vegetal for me to enjoy when I brew them longer. Maybe I’m brewing at incorrect water temperatures or too long. I think I need to play around with oolongs a lot more than I do.

I did enjoy this more the first time I brewed it at the shorter steeping times.

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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Made a half of a pitcher of this to keep in the fridge as it’s currently 102º outside. Oh and that’s not counting what the humidity makes it feel like! Gross…

Anyway, I really like traditional Italian dessert. The coffee and cream in it is so rich that I can only occasionally enjoy it. So I thought this would be a lovely way to have my dessert but without the crazy fullness that happens after I indulge.

Steeped 2 cups of water with 5 tsp. of tisane for well over 10 minutes. I couldn’t wait until it cooled down, so I poured a little of it over a couple ice cubes, some whole milk (no calories spared here!) and some simple syrup. This is DELICIOUS – Definitely a wonderful way to have this! I taste coffee and cocoa and if it wasn’t already in there, the milk takes the creaminess over the top!

I’ll probably be keeping this on hand to have latte-style!

Boiling 8 min or more

It’s getting hot here too, but oddly it’s not humid at all and it’s really freaking me out. Stay cool!


Just Shut Up! Sounds toooo good!


Oh YUMMMMMMMMM One of my favorite desserts!

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This came in the Father’s Day special “The Gentleman’s Collection” which I purchased… for myself. :)

Overall, I’m not crazy about Brazil nuts, but I do enjoy overall nuttiness. It was the combination of the nuts with the raisins and coconut that intrigued me – that, and it was a sample size (small tin included! yay!). The dry mix smelled very toasty and nutty, similar to peanut butter, but saltier. And the nuts in this mix of tea are T-H-I-S BIG! The coconut shavings are quite sizable too.

Initially I used only 3 grams of tea, but the brew was weak for 8 ounces. The color of the tea liquor was also lighter than I thought it would be. It was more of a darker yellowish color, slightly leaning toward brown and a very watery version of what the second cup produced.

On the suggestion of another Steepsterite, I cut up the giant nut pieces so it would be more evenly distributed throughout the dry tea mix.

Trying once more, I used 6 grams of tea (there’s nuts AND raisins in the blend, making it a heavier blend) for the 8 ounces of water. 5 minutes later I added a little Sugar in the Raw. This was so much better than the first cup. The tea liquor this time around is murky and light reddish-brown in color. The top of the liquid glistens with nut and flavor oils. Not the best tea to be drinking out of a clear glass cup, but I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

The taste is very Brazil-nutty. I’d assume the raisins were in the mix to offset the saltiness imparted by the nuts. The coconut just rounds out the nuttiness of the tea.

Glad I got this as I have a tin to show for it, but probably not something I’d put on my shopping list.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Those are my favorite nuts!

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An offering from the Sweet Indulgence sampler…

I have mixed feelings going into this. I really like coffee, but haven’t had it in months. But the fishiness of pu’erh is kind of a turnoff. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE seafood, but not the old-fish-outta-the-water smell it can sometimes have.

Brewed 3 grams in 8 oz. of water and waited to cool down some. I can taste some fishiness, but it’s not bad enough to not drink the cup. There’s a slight sweetness to this brew, unlike actual coffee.

I added a touch of milk and found that it’s very nice with the addition.

Resteeped for 6 minutes. Added sweetener and milk and found that I like this version the best, even though the coffee pu’erh is sweet enough on its own. The additions tend to bring out the sweetness and muddle the fishiness.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

you could try rinsing it, that might help with the fishiness.

Will Work For Tea

Oh, I forgot to say that I did! It was really quick – like 5 seconds. Maybe a longer rinse?


Couldn’t hurt to try, I guess

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A big thanks to darby for swapping this one! This is my first experience with Culinary Teas. :)

The smell was big and bold upon opening up the package.

“Hhhhhhhhhiiiiii, I’m Pumpkin Cream!”, it exclaimed as I pulled the chock-full, snack-sized bag out of the postal packaging.

I can tell I’m going to have to repackage her. (Yes, this tea is definitely female in my mind.) I’d hate for her to get overly friendly with my other less perfumey teas in my corner cupboard. Finding her a more suitable container to call her own, I dug up a nice canning jelly jar.

The smell is spicy, sweet and creamy – there’s definitely the smell of cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in there. I’d assume the sweet is maybe some vanilla and cream flavor. There’s also something that smells a little burnt – is that the smell of canned pumpkin?

Using dry tea leaf that wavers between 2 and 3 grams for 9 ounces of water, I wait until the infusion looks like a nice pumpkin-orange color – about 3 minutes and 45 seconds. The smell of the dry leaf transfers to my cup.

After waiting a few minutes, I try a taste. It sort of tastes like unsweetened pumpkin pie filling. The spices are well balanced and smooth. Yet the pumpkin flavoring is not dominated by them.

I did try this with a little simple syrup, but it seems to muddle the taste for some reason. I like this better pre-sweetener.

I look forward to playing around with this tea. The smell of the dry leaf scared me a little, leading me to not use as much leaf as I initially planned on. Next time I’ll try a little longer infusion with just a few more dry leaves.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Thanks to Butiki Teas for throwing this sample into my last order!

I thought this would be pretty good to go with the leftover Pineapple-Coconut Chicken Curry and Indian rice – and it was!

This is pretty delicious! I really enjoyed the sweet, creamy mango in this blend. I’m pretty sure I’m missing the rest of the taste in this due to allergies, but what did taste was impressive. First taste was all mango. Then I got the creaminess a few sips later. After adding a tad of sweetener, I could taste some citrus which was kind of a surprise. Next time, I probably won’t add sugar because it really was great on it’s own.

I also like this because it’s not a black tea base. The rooibos base is better in my opinion because it can be enjoyed at any time – without the worry of a late evening caffeine intake.

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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drank Rum Raisin by Lupicia
133 tasting notes

Oh Rum Raisin, how I’ve missed you! You have been out of stock for many, many months – how could Lupicia let this happen?

I have greatly missed your raisin and vanilla bean flecked tea base. Post steep, you greet me with a sweet rumminess that cries out for a little cream and sugar. I willingly oblige. In return, my cup wafts with the sinful smell that has others wondering if this tea drinker has spiked her cup. Giddy, she eats the lone raisin from her steeped leaves.

You have found your way home, back into my cupboard where your four bags have been properly tined – always at attention, waiting to be enjoyed. To many, many cups of happiness, may my tin never be empty.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

Sounds wonderful. I’ve been reading a plausible sequel to “Treasure Island;” I should be swigging something rummy as I read!


Now that’s a good question! Start a thread on book and tea pairings!


Search a little in “discussions” and I think you’ll find one started some time back—but it’s been a while since anybody added to it.


(Of course, I loved “Muppet Treasure Island” so much, I can’t see anybody but Tim Curry as Long John Silver as I read.)


Oh, pooh. I’ve forgotten how to edit comments, so I’ll just string on another one: http://steepster.com/discuss/1172-novel-teas-what-to-sip-while-youre-reading?page=2

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This morning’s first cup before heading out to do errands.

My Teavivre order of a ton of samples arrived yesterday morning – woo hoo! Since I had the most samples of this tea, I decided to start with it first.

Three grams of leaf in 8 oz of water at the below preparation notes yielded a delicious cup of black tea. There was heft in the cup, but no sign of bitterness. Some have said this is reminiscent of beer and I’d agree with that. There’s a malty-sweetness to the liquor. I had no desire to add anything to this cup to make it taste any better – it was that good!

Resteep: Water was just under boiling for a 3 minute soak. This turned out to be another delicious cup similar to that of the first cup.

I could see this as an everyday tea, but not something I’d necessarily want if I needed to be kicked out of bed in the morning. But a very nice change to the usual black-tea-with-milk-&-sugar routine.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

One of the best!

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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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