SerendipiTea

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

Amoda again!

This is actually quite nice. I love apricot and I feel like the white base here suits it better than the usual black. The ginger is also fairly well-balanced, it’s noticeable and gives a nice earthy note, but doesn’t overpower the apricot.

Light and tasty. I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to order it, but it’s the type of tea that I would pick up if I happened to be ordering already.

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Earthy, Ginger, Hay, Light, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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81
drank Gen Mai Cha by SerendipiTea
1239 tasting notes

This tea has been waiting for me in a plastic package since December. While that’s not too long I can definitely tell it has taken a toll on the dry aroma. At first when I poured in the water it smelled like burning hair at a salon but now that brown rice, like a senbei rice snack. The wet aroma is glorious. Toasty with rice notes but also toasted rice snack. A gentle, rolling brown rice flavor. Slight grass notes but you have to seek them out. The aftertaste lingers with some pleasant toasty notes and slight grass. I’m on my fourth infusion now.

On a side note… I’m going to Japan in June. I’m taking a master’s course with the Global Tea Association in Kyoto. I’m trying to rally up the amount of learning I am doing so let me know if you have any suggestions.)

Leafhopper

That sounds exciting! I know Yunomi has lots of courses and sample sets for Japanese tea, though you’re probably learning that already if you’re taking courses. I look forward to reading about your experiences in Tokyo!

Michelle

Japanese is not easy to learn, but repetition from an app or podcast will help. It’s always nice to be able to say pardon me and where is the bathroom in any language. They are so polite there that they will appreciate any effort on your part to use their language. What a fun trip!

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drank Green Shou Mei by SerendipiTea
1239 tasting notes

TeaTiff TTB. They only have directions for an English teapot. So I will be winging it using the knowledge I’ve gained thus far. And tea is objective. Water at 185F. The dry leaf contains a lot of stems and a mix of leaf and fuzzy buds. Silver hairs and varying tones of greens. Lots of barnyard notes in the initial aroma.
10 seconds: Hay, it’s a bit indescribable this slightly sweet tone I’m getting…
30 seconds: bready and earthy
Overall, I’m tasting a good amount of barnyard notes with some unique tones hitting at different times. Also a bit of an 1880s house.
The wet leaf aroma is quite pleasing. Sticking your nose deeper into the leaf you go from a freshly cleaned barn to fresh leaf notes

ashmanra

My first white Shou Mei puzzled me. I wondered if it was a prank because it looked like something that had just been raked up in someone’s yard. Big pieces of broken leaf, dry and a little twiggy looking. It was delicious, though!

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79
drank Gyokuro by SerendipiTea
1239 tasting notes

When the owner first presented me the tin of gyokuro my expectations were low. Gyokuro, like many Japanese greens, only stays fresh for so long. But as soon as she opened the lid my expectations were blown away. The leaf is a beautiful glossy, darkgreen, and needle-like. The aroma is pleasant with slightly sweet notes, sweet grass, and stone fruit. I’m doing this first round in my new Shiboridashi. This tea pot is a thing of art in both appearance and use. Fresh-cut grass steams from the bottom dish as it brews. The liquor is soft in mouth feel. Bits of fresh cut grass, ripe melons, and hay. I will come back and explore this one more later.

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90

Do you know what the best sign of a great tea is? When you are feeling stressed out and you take a sip and it blows everything away. This lovely bit of black tea begins with an interestingly sweet dry aroma. Could be a packaging problem or something too but I’ve smelled other black teas like this as well. The leaf is dusty and dark brown, mostly tightly twisted leaf. The steeping tea holds notes of dark chocolate and slight liquor. A bit of a pu er note comes out in the subsequent steepings. The flavor is a bit perfumy. A piece of sweet rosewood. Desert woods. A silky mouth feel with just a bit of abrasive behavior in the finish.

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86
drank Chirrepeco by SerendipiTea
1239 tasting notes

The lady knew I was a picky drinker. And she found just the right teas for my palate. It was surprising to me when she pulled out this tea from South America. You don’t find many companies that have tea from there and I had not tasted one from Guatemala before. You can tell how different the terroir is by the very first sip. The dry leaf gave me a bit of a start. It kind of smells like cherry cough medicine. cringe But also very unique is this aroma. As it steeps it switches to a cherrywood with slight milk chocolate. The liquor aroma is a wow. Baileys and different woody notes and a touch of resin. Mouthfeel: Silky soomth. Very different from the other terroirs. The flavor is maybe a cherry liquor of some sort with woody notes. The wet leaf has unique pinewood, smoked pinewood, and cherrywood notes that finish with a bit of cherry liquor.

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79

Steeped in a hotel improperly the first time. It was good but this time we’re doing it right. Hot water for 5 mins and adding oat milk halfway. The aroma from the dry leaf is just what I expect from a chai. Let’s crazy. We’re frothing the milk. A great chai. Perfect spices. Slight spiciness. Goes very well with my curry.

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87
drank Golden Milk Mix by SerendipiTea
1239 tasting notes

After denying myself tea for a few days because of the crazy prices in NY (I so badly wanted some matcha) I finally broke on the way out of Manhattan. I was driving but my husband said I found a tea shop. This is what we found. The lady at this store was so kind. They offer many great teas and of course, she made the mistake of letting my husband and I smell teas. I bought some and she let us smell some more while waiting and then my husband bought some. This was one he bought.

Perfectly spicy. Actually, very spicy. I think I added too much. Holy crap. I think my husband will enjoy this because he thinks nothing is spicy enough. But my mouth is spicy. The turmeric is so nice in this one. Besides the spicy, the creamy and nutty notes are complex and filling. Make with milk.

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21
drank Poached Pear by SerendipiTea
6444 tasting notes

Sipdown (276)

This is less than a year old and something just seemed rancid about it. The mug got dumped. The tea got dumped. It was sad.

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62
drank Remember Rosemary by SerendipiTea
6444 tasting notes

Sipdown (279)

I don’t know why this caught my eye today. It was one of the teas that arrived in the Amoda box that I received when I forgot to cancel it after the 52 Teas box. Tbh, it is not a tea I anticipated liking so I gave most of it away when I sent the box of teas to my friend. I saved one serving for myself though because the mission is to try all the teas, isn’t it?

It’s a whole lot of rosemary. Surprising, I know. Rosemary and citrus. It’s not bad actually and if this is a flavor you like in tea, it might actually be good. The cup, which I half expected to dump, is gone. Not something I would have again but I wouldn’t turn down a glass if that’s what someone put in front of me.

tea-sipper

I guess the mission IS to try all the teas, which is fun because it can never be accomplished. It’s fun to try anyway. haha

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78

Sipdown no. 5 of 2021 (no. 625 total).

This was a tiny tin, with just enough for about 3 pots of 2 cups each.

Three years ago, I really liked this and remarked on the chocolate/orange flavor. Which is a flavor I really do find enjoyable.

Not so much now. I don’t know whether it’s an age thing or a taste thing. Or maybe it’s just that I have had better orange/chocolate combos? Not sure. Bumping it down.

As an aside, I love that I have all of these prior notes to look back at. It’s very educational about how my own tastes have developed over time.

I would love it if Steepster had an export function that would periodically back up my notes on my hard drive in case something awful happens. It would be horrible to lose 10+ years of notes.

Mastress Alita

That’s precisely why I write all my notes off the site on a Notetab file, then paste the data into Steepster. I have all my notes in the text file on my HDD, and I have that file backed up in multiple places.

Martin Bednář

At least we have our feed.rss which works quite well as kind of backup, though it would be good to write a little bit more there and format it somehow, but I am too lazy (and busy) to do that right now.

__Morgana__

Yeah, way too late for that now. It would be sad to lose the notes but I have so many other projects I need to get done I cannot see when transferring note manually would ever get done…

Mastress Alita

Ya, I never had to transfer; I basically moved off an independant tea blog that had no readers to Steepster, and when I did that, I copied my blog posts (again, which I always wrote “offline” first) as my first set of Steepster posts, then just continued the file from there on. I have over 700 notes plus my Profile and some yearly stat keeping stuff all on that one file, ha!

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78

I’ve had this for ages and just now cracked it open.

I had forgotten this had rooibos in it. I thought for a moment after I opened it that it was all rooibos because I didn’t see anything I could identify as black tea, but honestly I didn’t look all that hard and a check on the packaging was good enough to convince me.

This is chocolate and oranges all the way, but the orange is more separable than the chocolate except in the aftertaste. The orange has a sweetness to it that comes out in the aroma. The chocolate adds depth to the aroma. It’s a nice, full chocolate smell, not a shadowy baking chocolate smell. I smell vanilla as a separable smell, but I think it also adds some depth to the chocolate.

It steeps to a medium brown-orange that is surprisingly clear given the chocolate bits. Usually those make a blend murky after steeping.

It tastes pretty much like it smells. I really like the flavor — but it’s one of those that if I didn’t have it in my cupboard, I don’t know how often I’d miss it.

Flavors: Chocolate, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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98
drank Colonille by SerendipiTea
1219 tasting notes

I got a free sampler of a tea called “Vietnam Vanilla” from tea web vendor California Tea & Herbal when I ordered from them a while ago (they had a few of my favorite blends stocked in 2 oz. sizes, and I was having a hard time finding other vendors having anything smaller than 4 oz. available; I just don’t need that much tea on hand, storage space is an issue and it takes me forever to drink a quarter-pound of tea!) After a bit of research, I’m fairly certain that their “Vietnam Vanilla” is actually just wholesaled “Colonille” from SerendipiTea; I could be wrong, but I found at least one other black tea blend in their line-up that matched another of SerendipiTea’s blends, which makes me pretty confident I’ve found the right tea. It however may be an earlier version of the blend, since the ingredients listed are just Vietnam black tea and (presumably artificial) French Vanilla flavor, which differs from the updated Kosher recipe of Colonille which now includes vanilla beans and natural vanilla flavor.

Old recipe aside, this tea is amazing! The base is super smooth, and almost has a chocolately richness with a slight honeyed sweetness to it, and just a hint of some cherry notes. The vanilla flavor just gives it this sweet, creamy taste that is really divine! It somehow makes me think of Neopolitan ice cream after it’s all melted together at the bottom of the bowl; a little cocoa, a little cream, and a hint of berry sweetness. Fantastic dessert tea! This is proving to be an all-too-enjoyable sipdown while I patiently wait for the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars S3 finale digital release from Amazon to finally hit my inbox.

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Cream, Creamy, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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88

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Blueberry

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

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85

Really enjoyed the subtle peach flavor.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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91
drank Congo Bongo by SerendipiTea
2036 tasting notes

I got this ages and ages ago. Stunningly, SerendipiTea still carries it. I thought for sure it would be off the rotation by now just given the number of years I’ve had it. The last Steepster note on this tea was 6 years ago.

In the tin it smells coconutty, mangoey, cookie like. After steeping there’s a citrus edge as well which is weird since there’s nothing citrus in the ingredients.

I was prepared for this to be another tropical tea that basically devolves into coconut. That it doesn’t is a pleasant surprise! There’s a very obvious and discernible mango here and the coconut, at least in this cup, is more in the background. But it does a nice job there of keeping the tea from becoming too sharp. It provides a natural sweetness that tamps down any acidic notes that could detract from the flavor.

It’s been a long time since I had a mango black tea, and I can’t remember being overly impressed by any — though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. I should go back and look at my notes to see what I thought of the others I’ve tasted. But that wouldn’t be an apples to apples comparison unless they also had coconut and didn’t also have pineapple, which is always the challenge — introduce pineapple into the mix and everything is either pineapple or coconut. Everything else gets lost.

Not so here. Eureka!

Flavors: Coconut, Mango

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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100
drank Gen Mai Cha by SerendipiTea
14 tasting notes

Full disclosure I have very large nostalgia goggles for this tea as this was the first tea that my mother ever made me and even as bitter as the taste is the memories attached to it for me are very sweet.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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95
drank San Jose by SerendipiTea
1 tasting notes

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1
drank Puerh by SerendipiTea
6 tasting notes

This was horrifyingly bad tea. I bought this from amazon, on the picture it was labeled as organic certified but when I got it in the mail that was not the case. To make matters much worse I open up the package and the mini puerh cakes smell like straight chemical mixed with this minty smell. I thought perhaps it could be salvaged by seeing how it brews. Absolutely disgusting!! A very dirty tea. I emailed the company and gave my concerns and I asked for a refund for the false advertising of being organically certified. Straight crickets! No word back from this company. Skip this tea, and skip this company!
Unfortunately I can’t describe the flavors from steepsters list so here they are-
Chemical, plastic, butthole, mentos

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I never knew that Bolivia had tea estates. This is a really good green tea. I read anote review of a Bolivian tea that suggested it was a bit salty! stupidly, I read it just before I drank it, which probably clouded my judgement. I found it smelled a little of salt, but didn’t taste salty luckily. I’d certainly drink it again.

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80

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
3 min, 15 sec

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After much debate and talking with Ben, both of us have decided that I need a sun-lamp, because my SAD is just awful. Each winter I turn into this pitiful, miserable, pain filled lump…clearly I am actually a plant, though not a coniferous, alas. I used to think I had SAD during the summer as well as winter and I would just deal with it, but thinking things through I tend to just feel grumpy and uncomfortable in summer because I loathe the heat, it is just me being a big baby, but in winter I just get kinda catatonic, one step away from hibernating. Next step is to research a good sun lamp, any SAD people out there with suggestions?

It is time to delve into the pile of notebooks from long ago, filled with tea notes of yore! Today we are looking at Monk’s Mead by SerendipiTea, a blend of Apple, Apple Flavor, Chamomile, Mango, Mango Flavor, and Rosehips, all organic and natural! This tea is supposed to evoke the taste of mead, and I have never had mead, the closest I have had is Oenomel, or Grecian Honeyed Wine, so I cannot say how close this tea gets to its goal. The aroma is pretty great, blending dried apples, honey, and the straw and vaguely fresh apple aroma of chamomile. At the very finish is a slightly citrus sour note from the rosehips, though that fades really quickly.

You know one of the things I kinda hate about chamomile? It gets sooooo stuck into the fine mesh of the steeping basket, meaning it is a real pain to clean, other than that I love the stuff. The aroma is primarily chamomile, blending straw, pollen, strawflowers, and a touch of apples. I pick up a gentle note of mango at the finish, but mostly this is all chamomile all the time. The liquid is a blend of mango and apple with a slightly sour note and a finish of pollen and strawflowers.

The first thing I noticed about this tea is the utter lack of anything but chamomile, the front taste is all chamomile all the time, with strong notes of pollen and wildflowers fading to apples. That apple note builds from a distant apple memory to a full on baked apple, with extra sweetness from the mango. At the finish there is a note of honey, with a slightly sour citrus note, it lingers for a while, making me salivate from the sourness. This is not a bad tea, it did not wow me overly much, but I found it pleasant, I think I would have liked it a lot more if it lacked the rosehips, since for me this tea shined most when it was very sweet.

For blog and (crappy old) photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/01/serenditpitea-monks-mead-tbt-tea-review.html

kristinalee

Yep, mine broke when I moved, and now I need one too. It really helped me with energy during the winter.

kristinalee

Anyway, I don’t know whether or not they will, but I’m currently trying to convince my health insurance to cover it.

TeaNecromancer

That is actually a really good point, I should check with them to see if they will cover it since supposedly my insurance is really good (cough cough it is selective with how good it actually is)

kristinalee

Yeah, I think this differs a lot between insurance companies and states. I’m thinking mine was covered when I got it in a different state, but it seems to be more complicated where I live now. Basically, my family doctor hadn’t ever heard of one being prescribed here, so I had to find a psychiatrist who is willing to prescribe it and blah blah blah… It’s been a big pain.

kristinalee

But I think I got it pretty easily when I lived in Pennsylvania.

TeaNecromancer

Ugh, that sounds immensely frustrating. It is always ‘fun’ getting doctors to work with you, especially when you have a previous setup going with a different doctor. Good luck!

TeaNecromancer

More reason for me to move back home to Pennsylvania!

kristinalee

Thanks. I hope it works out for you too! The funny thing is, I currently have better healthcare than I did then. But my healthcare plan was designed for graduate students, who apparently tended to get depressed in the winter on a regular basis. So they were very used to approving these things.

OMGsrsly

I got one at Costco. And it’s actually pretty nice! I don’t use it every day, because the day after a sunny day I don’t need it so much… but I do use it. http://www.amazon.com/Verilux-VT15WW1-HappyLight-Liberty-Energy/dp/B00EUF67DU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1452224749&sr=8-3&keywords=verilux+happylight

kristinalee

Wow, that’’s the lowest price I’ve ever seen for one of those. Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely do this if I can’t get it covered (I finally got an avatar).

OMGsrsly

I, uhh, got mine at Costco for $40CAD. hides So you see I couldn’t really pass it up even though it’s not a necessity for me.

TeaNecromancer

Oh very awesome! I shall have to check my local Costco, I need an excuse to get an industrial size jar of kalamata olives again

kristinalee

I haven’t had one in a few years myself, but for the past 7 years I lived in the South and didn’t really need it. It gets dark much earlier where I live now, and I’ve seen a lot less of the sun. I’m checking the American Costco — it’s still a good price for these even if it’s a better price in Canada.

kristinalee

This is the one I had, and it was about this price before. Or at least it’s a newer version of the one I had:

http://www.amazon.com/Sunlight-Jr-Therapeutic-Light-Therapy/dp/B00172X49Y/ref=sr_1_41?ie=UTF8&qid=1452225349&sr=8-41&keywords=SAD+lamp

It was fine while I had it but I would not get it again… The only thing that broke was the lightbulb, which would have cost $78 to replace so I just got rid of it. And I think I can find something that works just as well for less than $78 in total.

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drank Monk's Mead by SerendipiTea
448 tasting notes

My second tea for soothing the sore throat. I actually did about half this tea, and half spearmint. Chamomile and mint is my absolute trump tea for when I’m sick, but I didn’t have any plain chamomile so I went with this.

It was extremely smooth and soothing on my throat, but one thing that I think I’m learning is that chamomile just isn’t my favorite tea flavor. It helps my throat, but I basically only drink it when I need it.

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