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Recent Tasting Notes
French… Sunday! Not my choice for the Father’s Day prompt (I’ll get to that later) but my last French tea sampler from Dustin (thank you!) I know it was slow-going drinking them only once a week (took six months!) but at least they didn’t just sit in my collection for years like many a swap sample/tea gift has done. So I’m pretty happy about that!
Used about 2.75g of leaf in 350ml of 205F water. Steeped for 3(ish?) minutes. I am really tired this morning and such a zombie ambling around the kitchen I didn’t pay as close attention to usual while weighing and steeping. Both the dry leaf and brewed cup have a strong peach aroma that is reminding me of the aroma of Bird & Blend’s “Peach Cobbler” tea.
This tastes like B&B’s “Peach Cobbler” to me, too, but looking back over that note, I did have a few astrigency issues on some of the cups, and this is proving to be very smooth. But it has that same deeply bready and slight honeyed sweetness from the base, with a very juicy/fresh peach flavor rather than that candied flavor I taste in a lot of teas. Simple but very satisfying!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Peach, Spices, Vanilla
French Friday! Trying to finish off these samples this month since I’m so close to the end… I prepped this one last night as a cold brew, and strained and filled up my water bottle during my lunch break.
The tea had a sort of odd grapey scent in the dry leaf, and I’ve noticed a lot of these THEODOR samples that have “lotus flavoring” either smell or taste like grapes to me. In the flavor of this one, I do get a bit of that sweet grape flavor coming out, but mostly I taste a sort of floral-forward pineapple flavor. I’m not tasting the lemon or bergamot oils at all.
It’s nicely refreshing, it isn’t a bright and juicy sort of pineapple but a sweetly floral pineapple, and since I like pineapple and florals, I find it quite pleasant. It’s a tropical flavor with a sort of a rose and grape candy sweetness undertone. A pleasant enough cold brew.
Flavors: Candy, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Pineapple, Rose, Sweet, Tropical
French Friday! This sampler courtesy of Dustin, thank you! (Only three more to go!)
I haven’t been drinking much hot tea lately on account of the weather here being solidly in the 90s for weeks now, but I also have felt more more tired lately, I believe due to not having my typical warm cuppa of black or green tea in the morning and only drinking cold brews (which extract much less caffeine, or happen to be herbals). So this morning I prepared this warm to sip before work, but may throw any leftovers in the fridge to turn to a chilled brew to drink later.
The dry leaf aroma really reminded me of a buttery lemon cookie! Brewed 2.5g to 350ml 205F water for three minutes. I’m still getting that aroma from the steeped cup, though a lemon cream smell is most dominant.
Mmm, the steeped tea definitely has a biscuity taste to it, with a sweet lemon that fills out over the tongue mid to late sip. The lemon tastes creamy, but also has a hint of tang that gives it just enough sharpness to not taste artificial. I’m really digging this lemon cookie vibe! Probably one of my favs thus far.
Flavors: Citrus, Cookie, Cream, Graham Cracker, Lemon, Vanilla
French Friday! This sampler came from Dustin, thank you! I figured I wouldn’t have enough time to brew tea before work (as has been the case most Fridays lately) and I’ve gotten so used to just grabbing a water bottle of iced tea out of the fridge in the mornings, that I dumped this into my cold brew bottle and brewed over night. I accidentally left it on the counter instead of putting it into the fridge, though… room temperature brew?
Attempting to shock the tea into ice-cold-without-using-ice this morning, but took a small amount for sampling. Smells very peachy! I feel like I even get an impression of the fuzz from the peach scent of the brew. The… green tea has gone quite bitter on me, so I don’t know if that is on account of me being a derp that didn’t get the cold brew into the fridge, or me being a derp that didn’t measure the leaf and figured I’d use the same amount of water (24 oz.) that I’ve been using for all these samples when made hot. If I wince through it, I can taste a sweet peach and a melon flavor. This would probably have been a wonderful cold brew, if I’d managed to prepare it right. As is, it’s too bitter to drink.
Out of curiosity, grabbed the water bottle I’d filled out of the fridge and it isn’t nearly so bitter/astringent! Perhaps the sample I took from my cold brew bottle, which was at the bottom and could’ve been a stronger concentration of leaf dusties, was the problem. To further combat the astringency I got in this brew I decided to carbonate the tea rather than just drink cold brew… and that helped immensely! Get a nice peach and melon candy flavor, and the edge I was getting from the green tea leaves is gone under the Co2 taste/texture.
Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Fruity, Grass, Melon, Peach
French Friday! Pulled this sampler from the sampler bag from Dustin, thank you!
Dry leaf has a crisp lemon aroma. Steeped 3g in 350ml 175F water for 3 minutes. The steeped cup is bright lemon yellow and has that same strong, lemony aroma, but I’m also getting a bit of a pithy orange peel aroma, as well. It definitely has a strong citrus flavor. Mostly I taste a very bright and tangy lemon, with some orange popping toward the end of the sip and lingering in the aftertaste. The green tea is fresh and midly grassy, but difficult to taste at all under the strong citrus flavor.
A very pleasant lemon green tea! I made a big thermos to take to work, but if the tea goes cold before I finish it then I’ll pop it in the fridge and once chilled, carbonate it. I’m finding I really like strong citrus flavors like this as tea soda!
Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Orange, Orange Zest, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tangy
French Friday! Pulled this sampler from the sampler bag from Dustin, thank you!
Dry leaf has an odd aroma… I get grape candy, but it also smells sort of like rootbeer to me?! Steeped 2.6g in 350ml 185F water. Smellin my steeped tea, I’m still getting a slight grape candy aroma, but it is waning more towards cherry with a rosy sweetness… the more I sniff the more I’m now getting cherry candy instead. There is still something about the aroma that vaguely makes me think of cola or rootbeer, but I’m not sure what it is… with the sweet cherry scent, I’m getting a “cherry cola” aroma. With a rosy florality to it.
Tasting it… I definitely taste a sweet cherry. The sweetness leans the cherry taste away from anything medicinal and more towards candy. And I get a pop of rose toward the end of the sip. It tastes nothing like cola, but I still get that aroma on my nose. Now looking at the entry, I see it does have cherry flavoring, but other than rose petals, the floral flavoring used is lotus… maybe the two things together are reading very “rose water” to me. There’s citrus and bergamot flavoring in this?! I taste neither, though do wonder if the citrus is popping enough on my nose to remind me of cola.
The flavor for me reminds me of “American sakura” — cherry flavoring and rose as an emulation of sakura petals (which taste quite a bit different than that to me). It’s pleasant though, especially since the cherry is sweet and floral and not reading medicinal in any way.
It’s nice, but I think I prefer Fleur de Geisha just a bit more for this sort of flavor. I’m sure it would read less as a sakura tea if I was actually tasting the citrus elements.
Flavors: Candy, Cherry, Cola, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Rose, Sweet
Dry leaf has a strong citrus aroma, it reminds me of that orange/tangerine scented French tea I had not long ago (no time to look up the name…) 2.65g brewed in 350ml 175F water for 3 minutes. The steeped cup is still giving me a strong citrus aroma, but now it is leaning with a sharper edge akin to grapefruit or bergamot. Looking at the description, it is apparently floral and melon. sips again Maybe I’m not refined enough for French teas, I still think it tastes like a bright and pithy lemon! I do have a bit of a melon taste toward the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, though. I’m having a hard time picking out the floral element this time (they mention violet which is one of my favorite florals).
It’s a crisp and bright green tea, the base is a nice fresh and grassy green, but I think it misses the mark slightly on the flavor. Maybe it will pop more as it cools… as per usual, I have no time to really prepare this cup before work and drinking it a lot warmer than I probably should.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Freshly Cut Grass, Lemon, Melon
Well, this is bizarre. A while back I saw a review of this here, probably the one by Mastress Alita, and thought it sounded delicious. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that I had tried it, possibly as a sample that came with an order.
Later I was going through my tins of The Odor looking for Perseus when I saw that I have a whole tin of this and it is nearly full, but it must be a few years old now.
Youngest thinks we had this together last March but I am not sure because when I came on here tonight, it still wasn’t even listed in my cupboard!
So here we go!
This is Chinese green tea with ginger and mandarin and you need it right now because it is delicious. I am not a fan of ginger. I use it sparingly in cooking and there a few dishes that I feel really really need it, but I don’t like it when hot ginger bites my tongue and makes my mouth burn. Ashman did ask me if there was mint in this so I guess he noticed the ginger tingle, but he didn’t seem bothered by it.
This is tingly but not hot, and overall it is just a perfectly balanced flavored green tea.
Served tonight with Asian buffet style mushrooms that were so good I am saving up for a ring so I can propose to myself.
My usual prep for big pots – steeped it twice and combined the two in a large tetsubin. All 36 ounces gone bu end of supper.
French Friday! Drinking this sample kindly provided by Dustin (thanks Dustin!) this morning, and snagging as my Ode to Tea P entry.
Dry leaf smells like a very floral bergamot… a sort of violet/lilacy scent? Brewed 2.8g per 350ml of 205F water, steeped for 3 minutes. The steeped cup smells pretty much dead on for the leaf; the bergamot doesn’t smell overwhelming because of the sweet florals peeking through, and reads a bit grapefruity citrus on the nose. Drinking it, though, it has a quite full bergamot flavor, and it is a bergamot that is leaning more grapefruit tasting than lemon-lime (I go back and forth depending on the tea). There is a sweet finish, but it isn’t the vanilla/cream that often accompanies Earl Greys. It’s definitely a sweet floral note that is reminding me of the (extremely limited) taste I got from a violet tea once, with a subtle sort of grape note left on my tongue after the berg settles. Looking at the tea entry, apparently this is bergamot with plum and yuzu flavorings, but I’m not getting either of those as flavor notes.
It is very pleasant! Been a while since I’ve had an EG and it’s a nice way to start the morning. I still have a hard time believing that when I first got into tea, I hated the taste of bergamot; now those teas are some of my favorite!
(Reminder that tomorrow is National Haiku Day! Tomorrow, leave a haiku about your tea in your tasting note!)
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Grapes, Smooth, Violet
French Friday! This is the tea I pulled from the sampler grabbag from Dustin for today! Thank you, Dustin!
The dry aroma of this tea is reminding me spot-on of the Voulez-Vous? tea I had last Friday — a lemon-lime cream soda, or a very sweet and vanilla/creamy citrus dessert. Brewed 3g of leaf in 350ml 185F water for 3 minutes. (Or at least, that was the plan… I did that thing again where I set the time on the timer but forgot to hit the start button, then when I went to check out much time was left, noticed and just strained at that point, so it could be less or more… oops! Second cup going straight into the “will be too hot to drink for a bit” work thermos will be timed properly, though…)
I am still smelling that lemon cream aroma from the steeped cup, but it is also more floral than the dry leaf. Tasting the tea, the citrus is very obviously bergamot; bergamot is one of those things that can wax differently for me depending on the berg, and this one is leaning closer to that “limon” taste I sometimes get (as opposed to grapefruit or heavily floral). It’s almost an Earl Grey Cream sort of tea, at least in flavor, except the base is far lighter/silkier than the really dark blacks those sorts of teas are usually built on, and there is an underlying florality to the flavor. In fact, the mix of the bergamot and light floral note is reminding me more of the Minnesota N’Ice tea that did very well during my March Mad(Hatter)ness rounds this month (just minus the strong orange component), and looking at the scenting notes on this tea, now I see why; the floral is apparently jasmine. It’s definitely a gentle sort and not the heavy, perfumy, grandma-perfume-in-your-face sort.
It’s a pleasant tea, I imagine it being the sort of profile that would appeal to Earl Grey fans looking for more of an “afternoon” tea or just a lighter/more delicate take than the sort of astrigent/in-your-face black tea/bergamot combos of many Earl Greys. And it held up very well to inconsistent steeping!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Cream, Floral, Lemon, Lime, Vanilla
French Friday! Today from the sampler bag from Dustin (thank you!) comes this tea. The dry leaf smells really nice… it is reminding me if a lemon lime soda (!?) but with a sort of creamier, vanilla aspect. Brewed 2.6g in 350ml 175F water for 3 minutes.
I’m still getting a strong citrus cream aroma from the brewed cup, and something a little floral/berry? Like an aroma somewhere between strawberry and the floral/cherry aroma of sakura. Has a very fresh, grassy undertone; the flavor is strongly that lemon/lime sort of taste I was getting on the nose, but there is a sweetness there that lingers on my tongue, a mix of a cream/vanilla/coconut note. I only get a very subtle red berry sort of flavor close to the end of the sip and lingering into the aftertaste; it isn’t reading as the rhubarb listed in the flavorings at all, though, more of a subtle strawberry mixed with a more tangy cherry.
I really like this one! Of the more citrusy green blends I’ve tried so far, this is by far my favorite. I think only the Oh La La…! (which tasted like cola to me) tops this of the teas I’ve sampled thus far.
Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Coconut, Cream, Lemon, Lime, Strawberry, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vanilla
Last tea bag sample from Dustin: thank you!
But unfortunately I have to agree with the only one tasting note, which is from Dustin as well. It’s a nice green tea base, with mellow and sweet spearmint. The base was quite average in my opinion. But it’s sweet, almost the buttery; and lacking the peppermint strong menthol note. Which makes sense there isn’t any in; but in my opinion that fresh punch is indeed missing here.
Steepster Freeze 2021 #4: 03/05/21
Happy National Day of Unplugging! Today is the Sipdown Challenge day to drink a favorite tea for relaxing; for me, those mostly fall in the tisane category, which I drink after work. During the work day, I drink caffeinated tea. So, I won’t be posting my tea choice until this evening (and once again Steepster is broken on a prompt day… I swear it is a planned effort at this point…).
So now onto… French Friday! This was the tea I randomly grabbed from the sampler bag from Dustin today. Thanks Dustin! The dry leaf has a very alluring smell of juicy pear, stonefruit (I’m getting a bit of the Mirabelle plum aroma that is present in Lupicia’s “Kotobuki”), and a florality that I can’t distinctly pinpoint. I brewed the full 6.4g to 500ml in 205F water for 3.5 minutes.
Brewed tea is a pretty burnt sienna orange. The aroma smells pretty much spot-on for the dry leaf — a floral/perfumy mix of pear and stonefruit. The mouthfeel is giving me a bit of a strong syrupy/coating feeling, which I remember I had from Marco Polo as well; I’m suspecting I may have either used a bit too much leaf for the amount of water or steeped a little longer than necessary, producing a quite strong cup. My personal preferences on this sort of “perfumy/fragrant” French teas seem to be a softer/more gentle brewing than a heavy-handed cup. It’s also just a tad astringent/drying toward the end of the sip, backing up that theory. Ah well, sometimes you just have a bad-steep day…
That aside, the flavor itself it mostly a sweet, succelent pear note. I’m still tasting a bit of the stonefruit, not as strongly as the pear, though; on the tongue it is reading more as apricot or peach than Mirabelle plum, though. The floral note is really strong, but I don’t know how to describe it… my botanical knowledge is not great. It reminds me of jasmine because it is thick, coating, and strong on the nose, but it doesn’t taste like jasmine. Cheating and looking at the flavor notes from the manufacturer, it appears the floral is lotus… which I really have no experience with, so I’m not surprised I couldn’t peg it (I’ve only had one lotus tea before, and it was so old the scenting wasn’t that potent). It’s a very pretty aroma, even if I can’t describe it. I just don’t like the coating/drying feeling that sticky florality is leaving on my tongue.
I think, if I could brew this again using slightly altered parameters, I’d find a cup in my “perfect” zone and be really into this flavor combination.
Flavors: Astringent, Drying, Floral, Peach, Pear, Perfume, Plum, Stonefruit
Thank you Dustin for this tea as well; and only one remains that I haven’t tried yet.
To be honest, it’s biggest dismal from THEODOR; it smells very nice, but brewed it isn’t that great at all. It’s pretty much basic, although nice green tea base and hints of cherry flavour. That fruit note is though very weak and I haven’t noticed anything from other flavours added nor coconut that should be in. No rhubarb at all. Sad!
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za05HBtGsgU (could I pick anything else? :D)
Received a bag from Dustin, thank you!
It’s quite classical Ceylon tea; pretty much okay, lighter than usual. Not much malty, rather citrusy, lightly on malty + sweet side.
It’s better than MlesnA teas I have in previous days. Somehow more round. I wonder if it is because more quality leaf is used, or what.
Flavors: Citrusy, Malt, Round , Sweet
Thank you Dustin that I could try this French company, from which I wouldn’t order myself otherwise I guess!
I took two teaspoons and big strainer. Accidentaly, I overbrew the water, so I have used rather 90°C water instead of 80°C, and steeped for 3 minutes.
It was still great. I got a cup full of pineapple-yellow melon-peach green tea; which was delicious as well. It was mouthwatering cup and well, here’s regret I haven’t resteeped the leaves. Aroma was peachy, but lovely and not artificial. It wasn’t typical red peach aroma too, rather some lighter variety. In conclusion, it was great fruity green tea. Not overpowering fruits nor base tea. Certainly a tea to gladly have again!
Flavors: Fruity, Melon, Peach, Pineapple
French Friday! This is the sampler packet I pulled out of the sampler bag for today. Thank you for sharing, Dustin!
The dry leaf smells like the Petite Ourse tea by THEODOR that I tried recently; a strong tangerine citrus aroma. Steeped 3.1g of leaf in 350ml 175F water for 3 minutes. The brewed tea doesn’t smell so strongly of citrus, though; it’s a very tropical aroma, mostly mango, with a bit of a citrusy undertone. On the sip, the tea takes on more of a lemon citrus flavor than the tangerine I was getting on the nose; it has a slight tanginess at the end of the sip, but is a pleasant fresh lemon flavor, with no abrasive “floor cleaner”-esque qualities. I can taste a mango note too, but it is more subtle and gentle compared to the bright citrusy lemon. There is a hint of a sort of floral-quality sweetness as well, though I couldn’t place any particular floral to it.
The tea has a very bright and refreshing feel to it; I like lemon teas, and this one is top-notch!
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest, Floral, Grass, Lemon, Mango, Tangy, Tropical
An other idea?
Another tea bag from Dustin, thank you so much! Unfortunately last from those being caffeine-free.
Steeped as suggested; 85°C water (rather closer to 90°C); steeping for 4-5 minutes.
Tastes nice, tropical and mellowed with vanilla, though I have hoped the latter would be more prominent in taste. It’s not creamy vanilla. It’s the sweet vanilla taste. Along with coconut. From tropical fruits there is a load of pineapple, but again… somehow weaker than I have been expecting, like overpowered by the rooibos base?
It’s quite complex, but somehow not my cup of tea. Quite sad; because it sounds so good in ingredients list. What a shame. Especially for that price tag!
Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple, Rooibos, Tropical, Vanilla