84 Tasting Notes

96
drank Blue Star by 52teas
84 tasting notes

There are two listing for this tea so I’m just using the first one.

I’ve been really excited to try this tea since I saw the description go up on 52teas. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

First I want to acknowledge something—this tea sounds weird. Like seriously strange! I’m guessing most people would be a little dubious if not turned off by the flavor combo. I actually would have been one of those people a week ago. But universe works in strange ways I guess.

Last Wednesday afternoon I was in the Portland airport to fly back to California after spending a couple weeks in Oregon to visit friends and family. It’s a really nice airport with lots of yummy food options so I got there in time to grab an early dinner. There’s a number of nice shops and restaurants before and after security and since I had time I wandered down to check Powell’s Bookstores little annex store before getting in the security line. I’d already bought a few books from the main downtown store so I didn’t let my self look for long, my bags were already heavy enough.

Across the hallway from the little Powell’s shop is a Blue Star Donut. I’d tried them out last time I was in Portland and was mildly disappointed. The Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut is one of their specialities and while the donut itself was a good texture the flavors just didn’t do it for me. I decided I’d just stick to Voodoo as my weird Portland donut shop(the mango one and the chocolate frosted voodoo doll shaped ones with raspberry filling and pretzel “needles” are my favorites).

But I’m in PDX with a sugar craving and there’s only one donut shop so I decide to give Blue Star another go. I ordered the Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib Donut(the fluffy brioche kind not the cake one Anne mentioned in the tea description but they use the same flavors) to eat there and an Apple Brandy Crumble cake one to stash in my bag for a mid flight treat. Maybe it was because I was coming in with fewer expectations than my first try but those donuts just blew me away! While the Apple Brandy was perfection it was a more typical desert flavor combo. The Passion Fruit Cocoa was pure genius. The combo of spicy and sweet, chocolate and fruit with a little crunch was unique and delicious. I was so sad that I only discovered them as I was literally leaving town.

Then I see this tea go up a few days later! I was a bit scared going in with such high expectations but I wasn’t disappointed. Anne captures the balance of the flavors so well and they do go excellently with the base tea. The passion fruit tastes really natural but the tea it self isn’t stick from the powder like Anne was worried about. The spice level was nice, not overwhelming but it makes the other flavors pop nicely. It was great hot and the little bit I accidentally left in my cup and drank a few hours later cold was just as good.

Highly recommended.

52Teas

I’m so glad you liked it. I’ve heard from a couple of the subscribers who have tried it and they also have loved this. I’m glad. It is a little weird but it is one of my favorite donuts from Blue Star (I don’t even go to VooDoo donuts anymore, I far prefer the Blue Star brioche donuts to anything VooDoo makes.)

52Teas

PS: It is usually sold out when I go to Blue Star, but I also highly recommend their Cointreau Creme Brulee – but warning, it is an adult only donut.

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90
drank Dragonglass Dragon Well by 52teas
84 tasting notes

I’m going to start this with request for forgiveness. I waited to write this review till after I bought the very last pouch. I wasn’t going to buy any more tea for a while. I made a small Plum Deluxe purchase and subscribed to their box and the 52teas box this month so I really shouldn’t have… but you see I actually had a feeling I’d want some more of this from the moment I read the description and almost did before I even took a single sip. I kept checking the stock and it was down to one pouch remaining when my monthly box came this morning. It just sounded too perfect and I wasn’t let down.

I’m always unsure of how to eyeball measurements on dragonwells, I should put batteries in my little scale but for today I just winged it and put a few small pinches with a blackberry and a half into the infuser till it looked right and it worked. I was surprised at how dark it brewed for a dragonwell, until I remembered the blackberry and then it all made sense.

The flavor profile is balanced, the blackberry is juicy and the marshmallow is creamy without overbalancing the tea itself. I had half the cup hot and the other half at room temp after taking an unplanned nap. The second half was even tastier than the first with the marshmallow sweetness moving to the front and a bit of vanilla flavor peaking out. I’m debating trying to get a second steep out of the leaves or cold brewing them.

Thank you Anne for doing such an amazing job! If you didn’t get a chance to snag a pouch I’m sorry I was greedy. Vote for it for the Christmas box if it’s an option.

52Teas

To be honest, that’s the way I usually brew most of my teas when I’m not taste testing them. For accuracy with taste testing, I weigh them, but when I’m just drinking tea – I almost always eyeball it except on the rare occasions when I’m having a new to me tea (that I didn’t craft myself).

Kittenna

I’ve also withheld reviewing a limited tea until I’ve purchased more. I don’t think it’s unreasonable! Haha. This would have 100% been a repurchase for me aside from my vast quantities of tea and the fact that it’s a green and will taste best when fresh. I’ll just hope that it’s reblended someday.

52Teas

Just for the record . . . there are just a few of these pouches back in stock. After these are gone, though, that will be the last of this one for a while because I don’t get dragonwell in stock very often and I usually only get just enough for whatever I’m planning on as I don’t want to keep it in stock because I don’t want to age it any more than necessary.

52Teas

And I hate to say this so early, but it won’t be an option for the holiday box because the leaf is too bulky and would make for a very large (overstuffed) box which may seem like a lot of fun to receive (I get that, I really do!) but it makes it a lot more difficult to package everything up and get it out on a timely basis. :)

In other words: If you love this one, please get the remaining pouches now because the earliest that I’ll be reblending it would be next year sometime (not guaranteed, but that’s the earliest possibility for a reblend).

52Teas

Thanks! :)

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99

Since I just logged a tea I didn’t drink I thought I should actually write a review. I looked back and to my horror it’s been three years since I’ve done one. How the heck did that happen? I check here almost every week and I drink more tea than ever.

So this is a really old tea and soon to be a sipdown. I have enough for one more cup and after this one and I think I’m going to make it right after I finish writing this. It was that good.

I’m picky about my rooibos/honeybush teas. Drinking them straight is icky and they have to have just the right flavoring. Honeybush is better than rooibos but I’m always slightly dubious of either. I wasn’t expecting much from this sipdown because of the age of the tea but it’s just as good as I remember if not better. I can taste each part individually. You know how somethings are generic lemonlime flavored like Gatorade and some things are lemon & lime flavored? This is lemon & lime flavored. I can taste both clearly along with a sweet creamy-ness with a hint of vanilla and they blend to create something truely amazing.

I should be happy to complete a sipdown from the dark depths of my cupboard but this leaves me slightly sad. I’m going to have to go digging around to see what other Della Terra teas might be hiding in there.

Rating wise I’d give this a 95 but Steepster doesn’t want to let me use the little slider bar for rating on my iPad and the closest I can get is 99. That’s probably fair though.

tea-sipper

You might be able to find this tea under a different name here. But you have to e-mail them or something to order. They have many of the Della Terra blends: http://www.eastindiescoffeeandtea.com/ Also, welcome back to note posting. :D

Roswell Strange

Yeah; East Indie’s was the primary supplier for Della Terra. I remember that we ordered from them before here on Steepster as a big group buy – but if I remember correctly we had to order a relatively large minimum amount. Which makes sense since they’re a supplier more so than a stand alone tea company.

tea-sipper

I wonder if they still have same minimum amount rule? I thought they were selling in two ounce amounts, though I’m not sure.

Roswell Strange

You could definitely email Mim and ask; worst case scenario she says she’s not able to & you’re no worse off than you were prior. I just checked though, and she’s still listing the Lime/Lemon Chiffon teas in her catalog (as well as Pineapple Upside Down Cake and one called Persimmon Gelato – which is my favourite thing I’ve ever tried from East Indies).

tea-sipper

ok. thanks for the info. I’m probably not ordering any tea myself for a while though. haha.

Frolic

Thanks for the info! I think I need to try and have a few more sipdowns before I can order any more tea without feeling horribally guilty. Especially because I just took advantage of 52teas sale today(I had a gift card that covered half my order so it wasn’t too bad money wise but still….). I was also able to find a few servings worth of Lime Chiffon left after a quick stash dive.

Persimmon Gelato sounds really interesting. I’ve never tried a persimmon tea before. What was the base?

Roswell Strange

It was a rooibos blend :)

Kittenna

Oh yum. I recall liking this one too. I think I have some of one of the chiffons left. Just loved the creaminess.

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84

Ok, I’m kind of cheating by logging this tea when I haven’t had any. I just really want to drink some again. It looks like TG stopped making it though? Does anyone know if it’s still obtainable and if not is there anything else like it out there? I love the combo of citrus and the special tangyness from the buttermilk.

Kittenna

Sad, I had this recently and liked it too. Was avoiding looking at their site because I need to drink what I have, not buy more, but I’ll be sad if it’s unavailable.

CrowKettle

Kittena’s recent note made me crave this tea again (five years after trying it, eh). I am extremely disappointed to see it is no longer available on their website. I wonder why they discontinued it.

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100

It’s 3am and my back pain has been keeping me awake. Despite painkillers and my heating pad I just can’t sleep and I need liquid comfort. I dragged myself out of bed and to my little tea making station in the bathroom(yeah it sounds weird but I don’t like to go downstairs at night, so I keep a few select teas and a cheapy electric kettle in my bathroom.)

I can’t really write a decent review because I’m way out of it but this is exactly what it needs to be tonight. Liquid comfort. It’s smooth and rich. And teay(yes spellcheck that is what I meant to type). See what I mean about being out of it?

Sometimes this tea is good to sip but it also stands up to being gulped. It seems like not a lot of teas are truly lovely when being gulped down by the mouthful but The Jabberwocky doesn’t lose it’s charm.

Ok, my cup is almost empty so I should try and close my eyes again. I am feeling a bit better. Vicodin or tea? Probably both.

AllanK

I find that in some ways tea does more than Vicodin anyway. When I had a serious back injury a while back Vicodin didn’t do much.

Frolic

I agree. It takes the edge off but that’s about it.

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96

Somebody needs to make me this french toast now! Seriously I never would have thought to add cardamom to maple syrup but now I’m seriously craving it. The coconut is just the right amount. It doesn’t take over. I’d say the maple/cardamom hits the tongue first followed by the breadyness and coconut.

The black tea base is nice and smooth. Not as astringent as some of Franks were.

I’m terrible at trying to analyze this. Suffice it to say I am fully on board with 52teas 2.0

I’m so glad I helped with the kick starter. I wish I could afford to buy more of this tea but I quietly shush myself and remind myself to enjoy my tea one cup at a time.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Coconut, Maple Syrup

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Jillian

Oh man, I can’t wait until I get mine.

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97

Of course when I’m sick I want to drink all the tea that I can’t even taste. This is my favorite go too. And I’m almost out!

I can’t comment on taste too much. Medicinal but in a comforting way? A bit fruity? I remember having it when not so congested and liking it. It’s defnitly better than the majority of cold/flu type teas on the market. It’s immensely soothing, especially with some honey and I really feel like my breathing is better.

Long steeps are best with this tea. The instructions say 5 for first steep but I go way over that.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hehe yep, I put this in the french press for an hour usually. Haha

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81

Yummy but doesn’t shine quite as bright as other teavivre oolongs. I think I hold them to a higher standard than most.

I’m actually enjoying this cooler rather than just steeped. I’m not really good at describing it well right now. I had some wasabi ranch snapea crisps with them and that was a really lovely pairing. I think the creaminess of the tea cut the heat of the wasabi.

I’ll definitely do a couple more steepings of the leaves.

Cameron B.

This one was super vegetal to me, and I liked it a lot. :D

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95

So somehow I’ve misplaced that wonderful selection of Oolong samples for review that Teavivre sent me. I know I’ll find it soon, I just have way too many tea stashes. I decided that I should still have a Teavivre oolong day today and drink from my ample stash of samples I’ve bought. I randomly reached my hand into the box’o’samples and this is what I got.

On to the tea. This tea is like wood nymphs dancing through a forest. Ok that may sound a bit overboard but really somehow it manages to smell perfumey(not in a bad way, something I’d love to wear) but not taste like perfume which I abhor.

It’s definitely floral but not sharp. I don’t taste much fruit while it’s in my mouth but there’s a lovely fruity aftertaste I can’t quite pinpoint. Melon and stonefruits?

This tea is divine and I’m actually smiling right now as I drink the final sips.

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84

Buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd

I’d love to get more of this but not enough to place a whole order from Tea Gschwendner. can get two decent steeps out of it which is good for a flavored black. Not feeling terribly poetic tonight or anything but this is a unique tea.

Marzipan

I love this one.

Frolic

Oh I forgot to thank you Marzipan! You were awesome for sending me this sample :)

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Profile

Bio

I’m a long time tea addict since my british grandma started me on english breakfast tea as a toddler.

Since then I’ve branched out substantially. Right now I’m a big oolong fan. I love high mountain oolongs most but any high quality oolong is a treat.

Flavor wise I love vanilla and chocolate as well as stone fruits, whether they occur naturally or as flavorings. My tea stash is pretty much split 50/50 flavored and unflavored.

Oh and coconut! I’m constantly in search of the perfect coconut tea. If you have one or know one shoot me a message cause I’d love to know.

I love reading and knitting. They are my two other addictions besides tea. I think one can never really have too much tea, yarn, or books.

Location

Bay Area.

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