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Recent Tasting Notes

72
drank Candy Cane Craze by The Tea Spot
4070 tasting notes

I don’t know why I feel compelled to keep trying candy cane teas, I always seem to find them disappointing.

This has all kinds of nice-sounding ingredients, like candy cane pieces, mini marshmallows, cacao shells, and white chocolate and vanilla flavorings. But in the end, I still mostly just taste rooibos and peppermint. And I don’t particularly love red rooibos, so…

I guess I just really like the idea of a peppermint bark type of tea, but all the ones I’ve tried have either had weird additions (cinnamon, why?!) or just lack the extra creamy/vanilla element. I guess the closest I have is B&B’s Peppermint Cream. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll continue trying new ones, as I can’t seem to help myself. XP

Flavors: Mint, Peppermint, Rooibos, Sweet, Woody

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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95

I recently bought a pound of this tea, flavor untasted. I’m becoming brave (or reckless) in my old age. What intrigued me about this one was that it was advertised as an English breakfast tea blend of four black teas from three countries: India, Sri Lanka, China. That all sounded good to me and worth checking out.

I opened up the pouch and the aroma that shot out was a pleasant combination of, yes, more than one tea type. Black China teas are my favorite and my sniffer could definitely detect their presence in this tea. I also perceived the existence of Darjeeling and possibly Assam, all coming together nicely in the unbrewed whiff.

I steeped the brown leaves for five minutes in boiling water. This resulted in a golden amber colored liquid with a pleasant aroma containing tea and sweet undertones.

The taste of this tea was very smooth and full of flavor. The four teas melded exquisitely into a total merger of sweet and malty deliciousness. No bitterness was discovered anywhere.

I should also add that I drink all of my teas straight up. I never add milk or sweeteners. I prefer to experience the teas on their own merits.

If a tea plantation can figure out how to create this richly combined flavor from just one tree, they will have a huge winner on their hands. But, until then, I will just appreciate this exceptional blend as it is.

Flavors: Honey, Malty, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 40 OZ / 1182 ML

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90
drank PU'ERH, ORGANIC by The Tea Spot
262 tasting notes

Pu-erh tea is one of those entities that people tend to love or hate. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground, even when someone WANTS to love it. I happen to be a guy who loves Pu-erh. However, let me qualify that by saying I love GOOD Pu-erh. I have tried one or two Pu-erh selections that left me less than enamored.

I am fairly new to The Tea Spot’s offerings, having discovered them in a great pastry café in Myrtle Beach a few years ago. I’ve had great experiences with their Bolder Breakfast and Earl Grey selections. So, when I saw that their Pu-erh tea was on sale, I figured it was worth a taste.

When I opened the one-pound pouch that I purchased, I was instantly greeted with the familiar rich and leathery aroma of Pu-erh. I steeped the medium-length black and brown tea leaves at 212 degrees for five minutes, as recommended by the folks at The Tea Spot. The brewed result was the color of black coffee. The smell was leathery but not as strong as I’ve experienced in the past with other selections of that variety.

Another surprise (somewhat) was the flavor contained a gentle fortitude. It was quite pleasant and smooth, without slapping my tastebuds. A leathery and earthy zest was front and center, but it was in no way over-powering. I did not detect astringency anywhere. Even the aftertaste did not overcome the bowl of cereal that the tea washed down.

To summarize, the flavor is rich but not oppressive. This is a very tranquil Pu-erh tea that probably won’t trigger the most committed Pu-erh skeptic’s gag reflex.

Flavors: Earthy, Leather

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 40 OZ / 1182 ML
ashmanra

Heeeeeeeey, Stoo! Welcome back! Looks like the dashboard is frozen again but at least it seems to get fixed fairly quickly.

Buying a whole pound of puerh was a bold move! I am glad it turned out to be one you enjoy!

Stoo

Well Hellooooooo, ashmanra!

I finally have a couple of new teas to talk about. I have mostly good experiences with Pu-erh, and two prior good experiences with The Tea Spot, so I was willing to roll the dice. Fortunately, I won that bet!

It’s great hearing from you!

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100

My absolute favorite tea hands down. My default in the mornings though lately I’ve been changing it up by adding dried ginger and cinnamon sticks. Can keep resteeping and drink all day!

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79

Holiday tea 2023 #10 
From CameronB!  Thanks again for the wonderful teas!  Almost a full tin of this one, so I best start working on it.  I think two teaspoons in a mug would have been okay here, I tamed it a bit with 1 3/4 teaspoons.  It’s nice to occasionally see an organic tea.   And I love to see “BREAKFAST” in the description — for some reason I expect more scrumptiousness in a “breakfast” blend?  The black tea seems sturdy enough on a medium level of spices added here: licorice, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and vanilla flavor.  And then I see it’s also mixed with puerh!  There was an odd flavor in there, and I think it’s the particular puerh they used. Not bad really, just noticeable. Reminds me a bit of Butiki’s puerh, which was never really my favorite from Butiki. This is supposedly an eggnog inspired tea, which I can see, but also wish they hadn’t included orange, in that case.   The flavors/ spice are smooth enough to work for breakfast (kind of like the amount of spice in eggnog), with a fairly sturdy base for snowy winter mornings.  I’ll have to try it with a splash of eggnog or milk at some point.  The second steep, I sometimes leave the infuser tilted over the mug.  This time it happened to fall back IN the mug and I didn’t notice for a while, but the flavor wasn’t entirely ruined.
Steep #1 // 1 3/4 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // <10 min steep

Holiday tea 2023 #11    Bird & Blend – Yule Log

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80

Lady Lavendar does do a milder, less intrustive Earl Grey with that floral touch – hence likely the “lady” – but I was hoping for a wee bit more strengtjh. The black tea is in the background, perhaps more of an oomph in that area? It’s mildly bergamot, which comes across more when cooling of course. The orange scent is predominant when in the bag but brewed it mixes in and hard to tell it from the bergamot besides taming it slightly. It is creamy and a pleasant cup, just doesn’t stand out as much as I’d hoped.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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64

I got it in my head that I wanted to revisit a tea I’d just had a bagged sample of, so I ordered a few from TTS.

This is astringent green oolong with artificial coconut flavoring. The oolong tastes cheap and subpar — reminds me of the stuff I got from Upton’s. Blech.

Consider my curiosity sated… don’t need to revisit this shop, I don’t think (the wild green puerh is what I’d really ordered for — satisfying enough, but I don’t need to restock it).

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Green

Daylon R Thomas

Their Pu-Erh blends are better. I was dissapointed with this one too.

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64

Light and a little non-descript, like someone took the yummy steeps and dried it back out. I hate to compare it to the big L, but I wouldn’t guess Yunnan. The leaves are quite large.

Flavors: Tannin, Tea

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90

Been at work for almost 96 hrs. This was a last-minute grab as I left home, and I cracked into it yesterday when I got sent to a different station and needed a liquid hug. I don’t know what it is about this maocha, but I like it. There’s a simple earthiness here that often manages to meet me where I am and makes me feel good.

Packed up to come back to my home station this morning and left the damn ziploc behind. I am quite sad about it, but know full well I’m not going to feel like going to retrieve it in the morning. It’s a shame no one will probably know what it is or enjoy it, lol. Easy come, easy go.

ashmanra

96 hours? That is brutal!

beerandbeancurd

I do not disagree! .

Martin Bednář

96 hours? A week of rest for you I demand!

Daylon R Thomas

96 hours straight? 4 days straight? Even if that is a 96 hour work week damn. What do you do if you mind me asking?

Daylon R Thomas

Are you a trucker?

ashmanra

My first thought – a firefighter!

beerandbeancurd

ashmanra for the win, hehe <3

ashmanra

Yaaaaaaay!

derk

Be still my heart!

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90

“Wild” in the name, but the description on the little packet mentioned “cultivated.” A conundrum.

There was just a baby pinch of leaves in this bag and I was thus not expecting much, but I was pretty well impressed. The wet leaves — holy mushroom soup, batman. Smelled like dried porcinis and shiitakes rehydrating in boiling water.

I steeped easy to start, then pushed the second steep pretty hard due to the amount of leaf. Delicious. Taste remained true to the scents — still mostly porcinis, some nice astringency, very pleasant. Would be interesting to taste this with some age on it, but it’s unfussy and delightful right now.

Thank you, ashmanra, for the sample!

Flavors: Astringent, Mushrooms

ashmanra

You are very welcome, and I am glad you enjoyed it!

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80
drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
262 tasting notes

For the last few years, I’ve been in a kind of tea rut. I’ve quietly settled into my favorite five or six black teas, rarely venturing out into unchartered waters (not sure if this is a pun). However, I’ve been wanting to try out teas by The Tea Spot after a pleasant experience with their Earl Grey at Myrtle Beach in February.

So…for my first venture into the The Tea Spot universe, I decided to purchase some Bolder Breakfast from their website. I chose that blend because I need all of the caffeinated help I can get to fuel up my brain in the morning, and that blend seemed to be advertised as caffeine-fortified. I also learned that Bolder Breakfast is their #1 top-selling tea.

The purchased pound arrived in a sturdy decorative pouch. When I ripped open the seal and plunged my honker into the bag, I was deluged with a strong, but pleasant, flowery and chocolaty aroma. The full brown tea leaves were peppered with calendula flowers and sunflower petals.

I followed the directions on the pouch and steeped the leaves, flowers, and petals, for five minutes at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The brewed blend smelled sweet and chocolaty with flowery accents close behind.

My first sip produced a flavor of chocolate mixed with flowers. There also was a twang of another flavor which I almost chalked up to astringency. However, I then remembered that this blend also contained aged Pu-erh tea as one of its ingredients, in addition to black teas from China, India, and Sri Lanka- twang solved.

This is a surprisingly gentle tea, considering all of its different components. The pronounced dark chocolate essence is more than satisfying to my relentless sweet tooth. In my case, the rich sweetness of this blend more than cancels out any twangs that might materialize.

All-in-all, this is a delicious tea with many fine attributes. As for the effects of the bolder caffeine, I don’t know yet, but I do seem to be typing faster than usual!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 40 OZ / 1182 ML
ashmanra

I had a sample of this years ago and enjoyed it. If I remember correctly, a puerh hater was drinking it with me and had no idea there was puerh in it. Good stuff!

Stoo

My wife hates Pu-erh too. As a chef, she has very sharp taste buds. She took a sip of this tea and immediately identified the Pu-erh in it. No more Bolder Breakfast for her. :-D

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65

Company says, "Our award-winning magnolia green tea won the Gold Medal at the 2017 World Tea Championship. This delicate tea is naturally scented with beautiful white magnolia flowers, giving it a diverse array of aromas that range from deep plum fruit to light citrus. "

Not my cup of tea. I brewed at 3 1/2 minutes at 185 due to the green tea, and it still is bitterish. I didn’t get the butter or the smoothness as described. The smell of Jasmine is balanced and pleasant, but in the cup it’s a little overwhelming when touched with the bitter green, so this one is sadly a nope for me. A shame as I like the name.

I used a satchet sample bag already portioned.

Flavors: Bitter, Jasmine

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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86
drank Morning Mojo by The Tea Spot
306 tasting notes

Company says, “Wake up, Buttercup! Morning Mojo’s boost will help you take charge of the day. This breakfast blend pairs Pu-erh with the ideal black teas to create a perfectly rounded morning cuppa.”

I had a tea satchet sample of this for free from an order.

I know it shouldn’t matter as much, but I love the creativity and care The Tea Spot puts into their packaging designs, including customized bags sealed for these satchets.

I have to say that if you look through the reviews on the website, this is a re-vamped blend. Pre-Organic label, they used a different vanilla, and some fans loved the old version but not the new version. I double-checked I have the newer blend which says organic, so I have no idea if the older blend was actually better or not — the organic trend usually annoys me — but to comply with organic rules they had to change the vanilla which is more artificial apparently.

That said, I really liked this. I was surprised how much. I’m a newb with Pu-erh, but have not had stellar experience with it previously. This one is warming, delightful all around good morning tea. Very good with breakfast and brunch and high in caffeine. Will order more of this one for my keeper shelf.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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75

I brewed this strawberry fields at 6 minutes due to the type of tea.

It turned a dark purple read, the berry is strong. I finished half the cup. Unfortunately like many herbal blends this one is sour to me. The tartness even diluted with sugar is a little intense and makes this one semi-enjoyable. It’s not horrible but it’s not something I’d drink again or do a full order of. A shame since the scene is a nice strawberry jam that got my excited. The first ingredient is listed as cranberries, so you get that particular tartness, and hibiscus is the second, which gives the strong sour fruit flavor. Perhaps this would be better if they changed the order of ingredients. I would have liked more of a strong strawberry without the citrus lip pucker.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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78

This tea is not super smokey, but it is calming. Probably will not be a re-order. It is not that strong, as many Russian mild smokey teas don’t seem to be, but it’s relatively pleasant. I do wish my cup did not cool so quickly, though – as this doesn’t work on the tastebuds lukewarm!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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74
drank genmaicha by The Tea Spot
3 tasting notes

Ooh. Y’all. I’m probably going to come back to this in a year and think I was an uncultured swine, but this smells like something… isn’t right. It tastes okay, I can taste the rice flavors but I think it’s the rice that makes the smell. Now that I’m drinking it I actually kind of like the taste? It’s sort of nutty and a really beautiful light green color. I’m going to set a reminder to come back and try this one again in like 3-4 weeks.

Flavors: Nutty, Smooth, Toasted Rice

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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57
drank Twilight Rose by The Tea Spot
4196 tasting notes

This was from TreeGal a while ago!  Thanks so much!  It’s actually in a package that looks like it contains a teabag but it’s actually a surprising amount of loose leaf!  This could have been enough for a teapot… but into a teabag it went, and into a big mug it went.  This seemed like it would be my thing. The ingredients are lovely and the name sounded like I would fragrantly be drifted off to sleep on this blustery night.  Sadly, there is a flavor note here that seems odd — like licorice —  and I can’t tell where it’s coming from.   But it kind of takes away from what should be a lovely blend of flavors.  I can’t even smell these bright rose petals.  Maybe it’s just an unusual flavored chamomile, when usually I wouldn’t have a problem with chamomile. I really wish this tasted like a great mix of these four ingredients: chamomile, rose, fennel and lemon verbena. And I also can have no idea how old this tea is… Oh well, it was worth trying one serving anyway!
Steep #1 // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min

Evol Ving Ness

Fennel can taste like licorice.

tea-sipper

Well, that was probably it then. :/

Leafhopper

I tend to avoid fennel and anise because they both taste like licorice to me.

Evol Ving Ness

And star anise.

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80

Not bad at all. Nothing stands out to me uniquely enough to order more – - this was a sample satchet sent with another order - but it’s a pleasant, strong tea.

Preparation
4 min, 15 sec

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80

I brewed it longer than 5 minutes, and it’s still not bitter. I had a sample tea bag. It’s smooth and the chocolate touch is nice and subtle, not artificial. It’s not a BAD tea, and it has flavor - but there is something of substance missing, some strength or oomph in the sip. While not bad, it’s forgetable, especially for a breakfast tea steeped 5 minutes minimum.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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