2520 Tasting Notes

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
2520 tasting notes

Not setting up a new entry for the Donding (Dong Ding with a typo?) Oolong since I don’t see it on the Teamaze website, but I think it’s still available at the storefront—we grabbed a tin at the shop just before Christmas.

Teamaze shines at flavored novelty teas, but my husband took a shine to this plain oolong with a really nice toasty personality—a little reminiscent of kukicha or possibly the genmaicha I had yesterday (of course, that could be sensory echoes.) Any floral essence takes a backseat, which is why he prefers it.

Nice, light, and warm on a solid gray snowy afternoon that makes my toes cold.

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Nice day in: little snow outside; enough to be pretty but not enough to be inconvenient. A little productive writing, a slightly cleaner bathroom, beef stew for lunch, sixty-seven loads of laundry (well, maybe only forty-two). I am, however, done whether the housework is or not. Treating myself to a little time to enjoy a selection from my Palais des Thes tasting sampler.

Genmaicha may be one of those teas that are always going to taste like genmaicha; however, this tin was beautifully fresh and fragrant. The green tea is sharp and bright like fresh spinach, and the rice scent makes me want to go stick my nose in a box of Rice Krispies. A light and gentle change of pace from the heavily flavored and spiced stuff I’ve been leaning on all month.

Skysamurai

I have yet to try this one in the pack I got for Christmas. Guess I know what I’m trying nexT

gmathis

I hoard old tea to the point of embarrassment…the concept of “fresh” just makes my taste buds tap dance!

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I’m missing some dear friends from Tennessee this morning; been way too long since we were able to sit down and sip together, so I’m raising a long-distance Nashville Tea cuppa in their honor. This is a nice blackberry maple blend; better when you go easier on the leaf than the label recommends (1 tablespoon to 12 oz was a little too strong). I would swear I’m tasting a little coconut, too, but it isn’t on the ingredient list…must be the “brittle pieces.”

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After a week of burned-out tastebuds, I’m weaning myself off the decongestant and spicy stuff and decided to try something a little subtler this morning.

For a Yunnan, which I’ve characterized as perky and zingy in the past, this is pretty sweet and mild. Other reviews mention honey and hay notes—I get the honey more than hay. There’s not quite enough heft for me to classify this as a breakfast tea strong enough to suit me, but I did get two reasonable, smooth steeps out of the leaves.

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This tea is positive proof that I would like bananas if they weren’t so fiber-y and slimy :) I like dried bananas. I like banana flavoring. I really like this Bird & Blend blend! The combination of banana, vanilla, and calendula is sweet and pleasant without all that icky peel and pith.

I made my first tumbler with the leaves in a DIY paper steeping bag, and then due to absent-mentia, had to make a flying run back to church to retrieve a lost item (long story). I took the tumbler with me, but by the time I returned home, the cup was getting a little bitter. Easily fixed—-and actually much improved—with a little vanilla syrup and milk! Tastes like a milkshake now.

On Tea and Cocoa Day, one of my favorite 12-year-olds asked if I had brought some banana tea. He asked me about it again today. There’s just enough left for me to send him a sweet and kid-friendly sample of my sample! So double thanks to AJRimmer for the double-duty sample!

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drank Maple Ginger by Cuppa Geek
2520 tasting notes

Oh, so nice! This leans sharply to the maple side of the name and is creamy and pancakey—more so than Celestial Seasonings’ version which compared to CuppaGeek, now comes off a little thin and artificial.

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drank Ugly Sweater Chai by Cuppa Geek
2520 tasting notes

This was a nice twist on seasonal chai with the addition of orange and chocolate. It reminded me of eating a Hershey bar while drinking a cup of Constant Comment.

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Spice Quest Episode XII: A long time ago in a tasting note far away…

…a wizened-up, weary Jedi clerical worker was freezing in her hundred-year-old office, buried under a pile of second semester paperwork and 1099 proof forms, barely breathing out of only one nostril, and was delighted to dig through the rubble and find one tiny packet of Turmeric Amber Sun imported from the spice mines of the far West…

OK, enough. Sorry.

Courtesy of Michelle, this was a nice, warming afternoon change of pace, although I agree with previous reviews. It isn’t what you expect. It doesn’t lead with the heat, it’s significantly more savory than you’d think, and is much improved with the contents of a honey straw. However, it warmed the bones and opened the throat. Mission accomplished.

Evol Ving Ness

I was quite enjoying that intro. No need to stop yourself if/when you feel another urge come on.

Michelle

Ha! I will send more tea if your notes will all be as creative as this one.

gmathis

I’ll see what I can do ;)

Evol Ving Ness

Yay Michelle!

gmathis

Back some years before many of you were Steepsters, one of the regulars at the time ran a limerick contest. I’ll have to fish a little and see if any of the entries survived the discussion board.

Michelle

That’s awesome gmathis, what was in the tea box, do you remember?

Evol Ving Ness

I love this! And where did all those people go?!
We are all still drinking tea here.

gmathis

Steepster has always been home to extremely kind, quirky, creative people…I wish I knew the whereabouts of some of those who drifted away. Should we conduct a missing persons investigation? Memories of the box itself are fuzzy … I think I got to try, for the first time, either corn or barley tea.

tea-sipper

WOW but your limericks were great, gmathis. Thanks for digging that up for us. :D (and your fun intro to this tea note… I always like your writing!)

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drank Gingerbread by TeaMaze
2520 tasting notes

Normally, by the first week in January I am absolutely done with chai, mint, and spiced concoctions and crave just plain strong black tea—but after four days of clogged nasal plumbing, I can’t seem to get enough. I killed off multiple bags of Twinings Gingerbread Joy at work, and have settled down for a nighty-night with this loose leaf blend from TeaMaze.

As I mentioned in a previous review, I’m still not getting a lot of ginger bread vibes, but I’ve discovered that with the leaves in a DIY paper teabag, the longer you leave it, it starts tasting like a cookie with a little ginger in it. The citrus hasn’t gone bitter, and there’s enough spice to open the sinuses and burn out the throat gunk. Without the Christmas-y label on the packet and more accurately renamed Ginger Citrus Rooibos, I think this would still sell well.

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drank Wintergreen by Camellia Sinensis
2520 tasting notes

The right tea at the right time is a blessing. Due to change of schedule, more running around over the holidays than usual, and probably some general sloppiness and inattentiveness on my part, I’ve caught myself a good old fashioned head cold—the kind you wouldn’t have had to apologize for, pre-plague ;)

So I taught kids from a distance and behind a mask this morning (we’re blessed with awesome adult volunteers who kindly do any legwork needed…today they were scorekeepers and measuring judges for the Forest Park Junior Olympic Fake Ski Jumping Competition). I’m home now spending the afternoon feigning invalidism and pampering myself with a beautiful mugful of wintergreen steam, RX courtesy of Dr. derk!

These were big, flat leaves straight off the plant, and I gave them ten minutes over a warming candle. In retrospect, I should’ve thrown a towel over my head and the mug for the duration. Even though the final product is so pale I can see to the bottom of my pottery mug, the flavor itself is warming and gently mentholly (no burn) and sweetly medicinal.

Quiet house, fragrant tea, one sleeping cat in each corner of the living room, sunshine on my toes…if one has to be under the weather, this is the way to do it.

Mastress Alita

I have had two bad colds since post-plague, and both times I hated the way everyone would stare at with a sharpened gaze over any cough or sneeze. As if colds haven’t always been a thing! (Harumph!)

gmathis

I allowed myself the luxury of some wonderfully loud head-clearing sneezes at home this afternoon. And, two mugs of wintergreen later, the overinflated inner tube behind my sinuses is starting to recede. I’ll have to see if our local bulk herb proprietor carries it.

Evol Ving Ness

Awww, that derk…

Hope your under-the-weather ness blows over very quickly.

CrowKettle

Feel better soon! Derk strikes again with fitting, unique teas :)

And I hear you about the pre-plague colds; coughs tend to stay with me looong after the actual illness subsides, which can make public life challenging these days :|

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Bio

Steepster “geezer” (been reviewing here for more than a decade); tea barbarian who has no systematic method for storage, preparation, classification, or rating; lover of strong unleaded builders’ tea. Never quite grew up—I cut and glue, play with Legos, design kids’ curriculum, and play with fifth graders every Sunday.

Location

Southwest Missouri

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