1230 Tasting Notes

84

Oh man, I feel bad I never made a proper note of this one while I had it. We will all just have to make due with this belated note.

This tea was consumed enthusiastically and without care by the tea drinker. It was wispy and sprite-like in nature, both in its fleeting non-committing flavour profile and brief but flighty sojourn in and out of my cup. Sometimes it tasted like nothing at all. Other times, like the sweetest of sugar crystals and smooth sensual grass. Gone before you know it – with memory altering effects that are sure signs that this tea might just be another moniker for the Springs of Elysium. Like, I don’t even remember the year I bought and consumed most of this tea.

You think this tea note is fluff but it was the tea that was fluff! And I want more despite not having the foggiest clue why. Thanks for all the confusing feels tea.

Flavors: Grass, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Daylon R Thomas

The black version was sneaky too. I tried Gong Fuing it, but ended up grandpa and it was still too light. I westerned the second time with at least five grams, and it was better. It was still very light and a little bit confusing too, but it was smooth and sweet like a Taiwanese black

CrowKettle

Ha! That makes me feel less crazy and also a little envious I didn’t pick up the black tea version. I’ve had (Big Island) Hawaiian (white) tea before this and also recall it being extremely delicate and sweet but I pegged it at the time as being the result of the flavourful water there and the type of tea!

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90

Today this is all about the sourdough. I guess sour fermentation and nutty rice grains promote some crossovers with other food associations.

I wonder how many steeps I’d have to go through before stripping back most of the flavouring.

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Camphor, Chocolate, Grain, Milk, Nutty, Pleasantly Sour, Toasted Rice

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Nattie

How many steeps did you get in the end?

CrowKettle

Oh, my ongoing status was a lie! Other teas distracted me yesterday. Will have to try for a long session again.

Nattie

Lol. I have a few teas I keep meaning to drink, but avoiding because I want to have a long session with them and I know I’ll get distracted with other teas. It happens to us all XD

Kawaii433

Great Pu’er. I have some still, now you make me what to have some. Maybe I’ll have some this afternoon.

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88

I had a few 2018 Nepali teas from What-Cha once upon a time. I’m pretty sure this was my least favourite, and the only one not to disappear almost instantly upon arrival . That’s not to say it’s a bad tea; it’s actually pretty awesome!

Aroma of liquid: browned butter, wood resin, brown sugar, chocolate, malt, and weirdly enough, veggies (Togo’s Bell Pepper Note is spot on).

The smell gave me the impression that this would be a bright but woody/dry tea, but it’s surprisingly creamy and liquid sweet to taste (liquid honey, brown sugar, or the creamy sweetness of processed malts). the astringency does build with each subsequent sip but it’s quite pleasant.

For beer lovers, this tea’s profile is a close approximation of a rich stout.

(2018 fall harvest)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Malt, Pepper, Resin, Roasted Barley, Sawdust, Vegetables, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Martin Bednář

Because of beer-related note I put it into wishlist. It looks good even without that though!

CrowKettle

Right? That’s a big plus for me too. Hopefully when you get the chance to try this you get some of the same dark beer vibes!

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88

Here’s another tea that’s gone on practically untouched since buying it back in 2018, despite loving it a lot. I just stopped drinking it as a got more and more stressed over the last year and a half? Some teas are meant to be savoured and not chugged in sleep deprived desperation, I guess.

Since I ordered some of the 2020 harvest I figured now is the time to drink up and enjoy this batch.

Aroma of steeped tea is lovely as always, invoking both a delicious and hot chocolate caramel fudge brownie as well as dusty cocoa powder. First steep is brisker than the the second and third, with a bright pine or citrusy orange peel finish more apparent (this is a nice note if you like chocolate orange-like desserts). There’s a bit of pepper and cinnamon too, I swear. I don’t remember tasting all of these notes in my earlier harvest batch from yesteryear (sweet potato and chocolate were my main takeaways).

Also, it’s a shame steepster doesn’t allow us to remove the old broken images. This is a pretty tea. Edit: and the broken image is gone! Hurrah!

Steep Count: 3, plus a short rinse

(spring 2018 harvest)

Flavors: Camphor, Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Pepper, Pine, Powdered Sugar, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
derk

I removed the broken image link.

CrowKettle

You’re the best!

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97
drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
1230 tasting notes

Today I debated on whether I should take a break from caffeine in the vain hope that it would reduce my wonderful inflammatory flare-up symptoms or drink this tea. This tea obviously won. Mental Health won. Seriously, this tea is balm to my soul some days. It has made bad days manageable and already awesome days stellar. This all may sound cheesy, but man do I love this tea.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Mango, Milk, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Teatotaler

I really, really love this tea too, CrowKettle! One of my all time favorites! A cup of buttery sweetness!!

Nattie

Tea really does soothe the soul.

Kawaii433

Mandala Tea makes my favorite Milk Oolong. I love TeaVivre’s too but it’s more grassy than Mandala’s so they are quite different. I bought so much of the Mandala’s when I first tried it, I haven’t had to add it to a Mandala’s order for a long time hehe. Yes, tea gives me that Je ne sais quoi during stressful times.

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90

How did I forget that I have 100g of this sitting in my cupboard? Shame.

I’m bumping up the rating on this one because, while it’s flavour profile is not dynamic, it’s one of the most consistent and trustworthy teas in my arsenal. There aren’t many teas that I can resteep all day without a second thought (besides Milk Oolong and friends, + puerhs).

Steep Count: 3

(spring 2018 harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Popcorn, Rice, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Kawaii433

My all-time favorite What-Cha tea!

tea-sipper

I was just thinking of this one!

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84

April 2020 Blend

I didn’t do an overnight cold steep until I reached the end of my sample. Big Mistake. Hot, this tea is a pleasant enough warm cocktail punch with a mildly brisk and bright malt base (I’d rate it an enjoyable 75 maybe). Cold, this is a summer carnival fruity cocktail dessert full of all the fruit magic (+A iced tea). I now wish I’d ordered some (curses, terrible exchange rate and COVID-19 related financial uncertainty preventing me from binge ordering all the tea).

Super refreshing.

Flavors: Berry, Blackberry, Candy, Citrus, Malt, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
52Teas

Yes this one excels as an iced tea.

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83
drank Grilled Pineapple by 52teas
1230 tasting notes

April 2020 Reblend

Imagine pairing this savoury grilled pineapple tea with your cheesy pineapple pizza. Maximize the hot, steamy pineapple to 200%. My father and all savoury pineapple haters out there just cringed right now but the rest of us are golden! Pineapple golden.

Flavors: Grilled Food, Malt, Pineapple, Smoke, Umami

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

This one was delicious!

tea-sipper

YES for pineapple everything

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82
drank Lime Marshmallow Mate by 52teas
1230 tasting notes

This April 2020 blend appears to be a close relative of my much loved and coveted Lime Marshmallow Salad (I still have some of that blend from years back and it only comes in second for being the oldest green tea in my stash. The honour of such an infamous prize goes to Butiki’s With Open Eyes).

So, yeah, This and Lime Jello Salad… Most of the similarities are in the aroma of the dry blend. The two types of Yerba Mate used create a roasted earthy profile base whereas the Jello is bit more of a raw veggie base. Both are good and spark joy. Both are also being consumed cold right now. Life is solid.

I’d probably order more if I see it as a large pack on 52tea’s website (love the flavoured yerba mate and guayusa blends).

Flavors: Candy, Citrus Fruits, Earth, Forest Floor, Lime, Marshmallow, Roasted

52Teas

I think that this one will be added to the website fairly early tomorrow morning. I don’t recall if I have a large pouch of it, ,but since you are a subscriber, if I do have some of the large, I will hold on to one of them for you if you want it. Let me know!

52Teas

Oh, I also meant to say – I love the way this one turned out. The lime and the mate seem to be very well suited to one another.

CrowKettle

Thank you for the info and offer, Anne! Depending what’s in store tomorrow, I may even go with a couple small pouches. No need to put anything aside for me! :)

And yeah, I’m really glad you came up with this pairing! It fills a bit of the niche left by Butiki’s citrusy guayusa blends and is also a great contrast to your Malted ChocoMate! :)

52Teas

I’m hoping to get some guayusa in stock by mid-fall. I’m not sure that will happen, but I’m hoping it will. :)

52Teas

Just did the count – no large ones of this one! Sorry!

52Teas

However, if you do order some – or place any order, really – if you want me to hold on to the order until it’s time to ship subscriptions, I can ship the two things together and refund you the shipping charges of the new order. :)

CrowKettle

Thank you! I took you up on that suggestion; just had to wait until Melon tea was on the website!

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78
drank Blackberry Oolong by 52teas
1230 tasting notes

Hello, Steepsterites! I wish I was back under happier circumstances but you know there is nothing like Covid-19 temporary layoffs and chronic illness flare-ups to get one back to the basics and appreciating the little luxuries in life (hello, tea).

The floral traits of the tieguanyin smooth out the tangy dark berry notes. Blackberry is the dominate berry flavour here but the flavouring can also go in interesting directions, like blueberry or black currant. The cream note rounds this tea into the pastry-like category.

We will see how it holds up to re-steeping.

Flavors: Black Currant, Blackberry, Cream, Floral, Tart

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Roswell Strange

It’s nice to see you back, even if the reason isn’t the happiest!

tea-sipper

Welcome back!

gmathis

Still the best place around to talk tea and get sympathy! Consider yourself hugged :)

derk

Hello!

mrmopar

Good to see ya!

LuckyMe

Welcome back. Sorry to hear about the circumstances hopefully it’s just a temporary set back.

ashmanra

Welcome back! And I hope things start looking up really soon!

Nattie

Covid has brought me back too! Glad to see you here, though I’m sorry about the circumstances. I hope you’re keeping well and staying safe (:

CrowKettle

Aw, thanks everyone! Nice to hear from you all :)

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.

FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS/NOTES:

DESSERT FLAVOURS
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

FRUIT & BERRIES
Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry, Banana, Melon, Pineapple, Persimmon, Rhubarb, Passionfruit..

CITRUS
Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Yuzu (orange is a hit or miss)

SPICES
Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai

AROMATIC & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

FLORALS
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc. ALL the flowers!

VEGGIE/GRAIN NOTES
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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