1305 Tasting Notes

78
drank Qi'Lan Fireside Oolong by Teavana
1305 tasting notes

Q is for… Qi’Lan Fired Oolong.

My only ‘Q’ tea. This is also one of the oldest teas in my stash, way back from 2014. It still tastes fine, maybe a little drying, but it’s nice and roasty toasty.

Flavors: Drying, Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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P is for… Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle.

So cute with its little pumpkin sprinkles!

This came out bitter, even after adding my usual honey and cream. I’m sure I must have used to much tea leaf, but this is the last of it so I’ll never know. This is heavily spiced. I wish I could smell or taste the cardamom or even the cinnamon, but all I notice is the clove.

Flavors: Bitter, Cloves, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Boo for overwhelming clove. Too bad, such potential.

Shae

I normally like clove in chai blends, but this was too much. This was an older tea though, so that might have had something to do with it. Maybe everything else just faded.

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P is for… Plum Oatmeal Squares.

I remember vaguely that I didn’t love this one before, but I never wrote a note and couldn’t remember why I didn’t really like it. Tasting it now, there’s this tang that is making it feel thin. My husband says he can taste the oatmeal, but I don’t taste oatmeal OR plum.

Flavors: Tangy

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Oolong Goddess by Adagio Teas
1305 tasting notes

O is for… Oolong Goddess.

Sipdown! Unfortunately this tastes only like a very watered down, very unextraordinary oolong. I can’t say for sure how old it is though, since I only have the one single sachet.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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95
drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
1305 tasting notes

N is for… Nepal Black.

This is probably my favorite tea from DT. I love its chocolaty flavor. I reordered a few bags of this last year sometime, but this was the last lone teaspoon of an older bag that’s been in my cabinet for a while. The flavor may have faded some, but I’m still enjoying this long-time favorite.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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48
drank Mango Fruit Tea by My Cup of Tea (USA)
1305 tasting notes

M is for… Mango Fruit Tea.

This has never been one of my favorites, so I tried Martin’s steeping parameters to see if that might make a difference. It really is a beautiful blend to look at, but it’s always been far too citrusy for my tastes. I also never taste any mango. This cup is lighter in flavor than others I’ve had before, and I do think I like it better this way, but it still isn’t as enjoyable as I’d like it to be. Maybe a cold steep? I think I’ve tried it cold before, but I can’t remember for sure. I’ll give it another go iced and see if that might boost the rating for me.

Flavors: Citrus

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

Interesting that it didn’t worked well to you.

Shae

I think I’ve decided that I just don’t like the strong citrus flavor in this one. My husband loves it, so it’s definitely more to do with my preferences than anything else.

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70

L is for… Lapsang Souchong Imperial.

Another gift from Michelle. I asked Michelle if she could send a bit of this one since I’ve had it on my wishlist to try, no doubt due to a fantastic note I read here on Steepster some time ago. I really enjoy smoked Lapsang Souchong, ever since I tried my very first one. I think it was a bagged Twinings. It tasted like bacon and I loved it.

This one smells very smoky right out of the bag – definitely campfire smoke. After steeping, I get more dirt/earth scent coming from the steeper. The flavor is lighter than I expected, but I followed the online instructions and used less leaf than I would have normally. Next time, I’ll try steeping with more. There is plenty left for me to play around with. Thanks, Michelle!

Flavors: Campfire, Dirt, Earth, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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70

K is for… Kunlun Mountain Snow Chrysanthemum Flower.

These are beautiful. A gift from Michelle. I used five buds in a clear mug and steeped for four minutes. The water turned dark as soon as it hit the dried flowers. They opened fully and swirled around the top of my cup as they steeped. I thought I smelled dark chocolate covered cherries in the dry flowers, also lemon, but both the aroma while steeping and the taste after hints at dill (just as Michelle said). There’s something else I can’t place, like the feeling you get when you walk into an antique store full of leather furniture and old books. It’s not a musty smell, not at all, but it seems very familiar. Each drink feels as though I’m about to take a sip of pickle juice as I’m leaning in, but the flavor isn’t so strong as the scent. The description said that honey would increase the flavor, but I’m not really finding that to be the case. If anything, the honey is overpowering the taste. It also says that rock sugar is often added, so I may try that next time instead. Michelle mentioned that she frequently adds this to chamomile or Assam. I feel like this herbal has a lot to offer, both on its own and as an add-in to other teas. I’m intrigued by it and really glad I’m having an opportunity to try it. Thanks, Michelle!

Flavors: Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dill, Lemon

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
Martin Bednář

I checked those out on Etsy, but they don’t ship them here *sobs

Michelle

This is so very different from regular chrysanthemum flowers! Glad you got to try :)

Shae

Martin – Michelle mentioned that Vital Leaf Tea also carries Snow Chrysanthemum, though they are often sold out. I checked their shipping and it’s a little confusing, but I think it says that they will accept orders from international customers. Here is the link if you would like to check – https://vitaltealeaf.net/collections/tisanes/products/snow-chrysanthemum.

Michelle – I’ve never had regular chrysanthemum flowers, but these were such a treat. Really just a unique flavor!

Martin Bednář

Thank you Shae! I had those from Yunnan Sourcing, which do ship here, so I am considering placing the order there. But I don’t want to place any orders now… too much teas here!

Shae

I understand that! :D

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drank Just Peachy by 52teas
1305 tasting notes

J is for… Just Peachy.

Hot, this tea reminds me of something I would use for an iced tea. It has that Lipton-esque flavor (and I don’t mean that in a bad way – I like Lipton). So I put it in the fridge, thinking it might mellow as it cools and I would be able to taste the peach. Now that it’s cold, it’s even more bitter and astringent than it was when it was hot. I still don’t taste the peach either. This is an old sample, and this cup finishes it off. Perhaps it’s just gone off with age, and it was better fresh.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

I is for… Ice Cream Matcha.

Unlikely green and
Cream and warmth, contradictions
Abound! Swirl, sip, soothe.

For National Haiku Day.

Another sample from my Mix ‘n’ Matcha set, and I’m loving it! It tastes similar to the Mermaid matcha (going from memory here), so I think I’d like to try them side by side to see how they differ. James says he likes this one better, so it looks like I’m going to be getting a full size later on. Interestingly, he thought it tasted like coconut and vanilla and said it reminded him of the beach. I guess they do sell ice cream at the beach, so it works!

Preparation
8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

I have always really liked this one, as well!

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Profile

Bio

Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. Thirty-something elder millennial. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Favorites
Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, red fruits, bergamot, chai spices, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, peaches, plums, valerian root, cinnamon, cardamom

Not a huge fan
Lime, white teas, green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice, lemongrass, lavender, hot hibiscus, hibiscus in black tea blends

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband, James, who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-49: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

50-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Currently reading:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
by Diana Gabaldon

Updated October 2020.

Location

Alabaster, Alabama

Website

https://www.instagram.com/sph...

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