1230 Tasting Notes

88

Yes!!!!! I found an unopened pack… I’m not sure from what year but it’s Anne’s.

I previously stated on another note that I possibly like another lime-flavoured blend from 52teas better than this one (the package I was comparing it too had gone kind of “pissy” for some reason. I blame lemongrass). That was a lie. This less oxygen exposed batch is the best thing ever.

Flavors: Candy, Lime, Marshmallow, Powdered Sugar

52Teas

This blend is probably in my top 5 favorites of all time.

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78
drank Coconut Isle by 52teas
1230 tasting notes

May 2020 Blend

I never bothered to try this one hot because it was just so great iced/cold steeped. It also took a while to finish off because the Pacific Northwest was not into embracing summer weather for the last month. Cool Rain and coconut-mango chilled beverages aren’t the best of combos.

The Gunpowder base curtails what may have been a sweet mango/coconut combo by adding in some grass and (light) smoke; it gives both of those tropical fruit/nuts an underripe quality. The overall result is a clean and refreshing tropical beverage, as opposed to a syrupy sweet one.

Flavors: Coconut, Grass, Mango, Smoke

Preparation
Iced

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80

This was one of three random free samples from Bee’s Soulteez. Thank you!

When I saw goji berries I wrongly assumed this would be a slightly nutty-tart vitamin-c oolong blend. What I actually got was an awesome bright and sweet goji berry/ honeydew melon-like profile, with floral notes of honeysuckle. The flavour held up for at least four steeps and probably would’ve gone for longer if I hadn’t neglected the fifth.

Also, I was not aware that wolfberry was another name for a goji berry.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Berry, Floral, Goji, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Melon, Mineral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nattie

I’ve never heard it called ‘wolfberry’ before either! interesting (:

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79
drank Jamaican Rum by Bee's Soulteez
1230 tasting notes

Bumping up the rating on this one. I forgot about this one and totally oversteeped it, and it actually improved. On a blind test, my mom was a big fan too. It’s so smooth and boozy. A brown sugar-like sweetness is also peaking through and it’s delicious with the pineapple. It makes a perfect tropical, but hearty, latte for these overcast and rainy summer days that our Northwest Coast weather system seems to be churning out lately (this also lowers the chance of forest fires so none of us are too mad, I don’t think. The Cedars, Firs, and Spruce love it too and they definitely deserve some happiness after the last few killing summers).

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Nutty, Pineapple, Rum

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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76
drank Black Goddess by Bee's Soulteez
1230 tasting notes

This was included as a random free sample from Bee’s Soulteez. Thank you!

This is a pretty standard chocolatey mint tea, and has a smooth and satisfying After Eight profile, but more natural/less candy-like than some of its peers. It definitely hits the spot after overeating (Final essay stress + butter chicken = max, possibly unhealthy, level of indulgence. Whoops). The creamy-fresh peppermint aroma alone seems to help right away and provides a soothing back-drop to (hypothetical) writing and plotting. Off I go, I guess, while most of the “jitterys” are subdued. lol

I tried this first straight up, but it’s even better with milk. Amplified the creaminess.

Flavors: Cream, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Nattie

I’m so excited to see some reviews of Bee’s! I can’t wait to place an order with them when I’m through my no-buy. I adore everything about their branding.

P.S. good luck with your essay!

Shae

In full agreement with Nattie here – I’m so excited to see your reviews of these!

Sil

Canadian company i see… were prices in CAD$? Seems a little on the expensive side but i’m ok with that if the teas are good.

CrowKettle

The teas aren’t fancy but are decent enough so far. prices were in CAD$ with a flat rate shipping fee of $8.00. I can send you some samples if you’d like, Sil :)

Sil

lol trying to pawn your tea off on me! I don’t mind purchasing some..just trying to decide what i want/need. they sound good so far

CrowKettle

Ah, you saw through my ploy! And to think that I bought the raspberry earl grey with you in mind…

Sil

hahahahaha

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79
drank Jamaican Rum by Bee's Soulteez
1230 tasting notes

Taken with milk.

This one is pretty nice, with a satisfying combo of pineapple, coconut, and malt notes. The coconut is a little baffling, because it’s not a listed ingredient, but I swear you can taste it; the nutty element may be attributed to the sunflower, as well as my brain’s tendency to pair pineapple with coconut! The tea also delivers on the booze, with an aggressive astringent nip.

All in all, I enjoy this one, even if I wish the base was something more special! I enjoyed the far sweeter Buttered Rum from David’s Tea+, and the more perilous but fancier One Night in Rio! from Camellia Sinensis (always scared coconut will expire and become soap), so not too surprised I like this one as well. I’m going to play around, and potentially make it into a Rum Hot Toddy or a Sweet Tea Rum Punch (Note to self: https://food52.com/recipes/77603-sweet-tea-rum-punch).

+Buttered Rum: A spider (Edit: probably wasn’t a spider as ashmanra points out) somehow made it’s home in my last tin. Needless to say I didn’t get to savour my remaining 40 grams, because.Webs.Everywhere. I’m still heartbroken but at least we have other rum teas!

TMI or TW: If bugs make you uncomfortable you probably won’t want to read the comments on this note!

Flavors: Coconut, Hay, Malt, Nutty, Pineapple, Rum

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Unless you actually saw a spider, I am guessing those are little webs from larvae of some kind of Indian Meal Moth. I got them in a blend with dried fruit pieces.

CrowKettle

Delightful! I honestly couldn’t bring myself to look too closely, but that sounds more realistic. The web’s look similar too; it was a fine coating.

tea-sipper

egads, no thank you buggish tea.

Kawaii433

I once used a red pepper bottle (pizza topping) and halfway through the bottle, I looked at closely and saw it was loaded with bugs. I bet I ate a lot of bugs. Ewww.

tea-sipper

oh no no no Kawaii!

CrowKettle

Ahhh… This is why I don’t look too closely once I’ve committed to eating or drinking something. If I spot a spider, silverfish, ant, or larvae beforehand (that’s my count), great, but once I’ve dived in, ignorance is truly bliss XD

My heart goes out to you, Kawaii433

Shae

Oh my goodness, this whole comment thread is giving me the shivers!

Nattie

Well this is a whole load of nope I wish I hadn’t read.

Leafhopper

Yikes! I didn’t need to read this thread either! I’m glad I don’t have too many tins.

CrowKettle

Ah, lol.. I’m going to do a quick TW on the original note re-bugs. Sorry, guys.

Nattie

Lmao, at least I’m informed as well as grossed out.

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84

Spring 2020 Harvest

This was provided as a sample with my latest order. Thank you, Alistair!

This tea has a gentle yet persistent creamy profile that is more than pleasant. I may have forgot I was drinking this tea and thought I made a Jin Xuan on the second steep. It was early and this tea is very creamy and smooth.

Steep Count: 5

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Mineral, Vegetal

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89

This was part of my “three tea mystery grab bag” purchase, and was definitely the one I was most excited to try after sniffing the leaves (what tea purchaser doesn’t immediately open all of their mailed teas and smell them, eh?). The leaves are also lovely and curled/twisted and black with gold-red highlights ( I took a crappy phone pic for steepster).

The aroma of leaf and steeped liquid is dusty rose, malt and grape, bearing some similarities to Darjeeling.

Tangy-sweet muscatel, stonefruit and floral rose are the most prominent notes. A faint hint of pepper. Malt is also present and incredibly smooth and syrupy – You know how some lagers are like super boring and taste like funky water for most of the mouthful, but then, BAM, you’re smacked with the finish of decadent honey-malt syrupy goodness? It’s like that except you don’t have to wait each mouthful for “payoff”.

Ok, so I enjoyed the few Darjeeling teas I’ve tried but never tend to buy them because I don’t love their tendency for astringency. This tea has all the qualities I loved about my favourite Darjeeling experiences minus that big con. There is some pleasant astringency but nowhere near the level of some of the first steep Darjeeling teas I’ve had.

This tea is just so incredibly smooth and full-bodied and hits all the right notes for me (I’m a rose note person). I don’t know how this would hold up with connoisseurs of Darjeeling or Nepalese teas but it’s more than perfect for my pedestrian tastes. Wish it was available for purchase!

Steep Count: 2

(2019 harvest)

Flavors: Floral, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Pepper, Plum, Rose, Stonefruit

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Leafhopper

I’m guilty of opening and smelling all my newly arrived teas, too. :) What-Cha always seems to source good Darjeelings and Nepalese teas.

Nattie

I’m always sniffing my teas! When they arrive, when I’m about to steep them, several times while they’re steeping, after steeping, and constantly while drinking. Haha. It’s part of the experience! (:

What-Cha

Very glad you liked it, I got a small quantity via a wholesaler but will try to order it directly with Pathivara this year, and if I’m successful it should appear for sale on the website :)

CrowKettle

Fantastic! Here’s hoping – otherwise, I’m open to similar recommendations! :)

Mastress Alita

I actually stopped the habit of “opening and sniffing” because it would take me so long to getting around to actually drinking the tea, that if the packages were sealed, at least then the leaf would be better preserved… * has problems *

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83
drank What The Fluff? by 52teas
1230 tasting notes

May 2020 Blend

I haven’t had the chocolatey goodness of Laoshan Black in ages! Mmm..

The two other black teas that make up this blend add a thin brown sweetness and a kind of bright oompf that’s hard for me to pinpoint or describe.

The Vanilla note on my second steep is slightly reminiscent of Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Vanille Coco Perfume.. so a kind of creamy floral coconut vanilla (but thankfully far less overpowering)! I’m pretty sure there is no coconut in this blend, or brown sugar, or banana, or cream, but the brain is weird and the sweet vanilla finish is taking it on a spectacular journey. Second steep is good. Also, name of tea is accurate.

Flavors: Banana, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Chocolate, Citrus, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Floral, Hay, Malt, Pine, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Nattie

Gah, this one sounds amazing!

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88

May 2020 Reblend

This is such a freaking good iced tea. It tastes and smells exactly what you’d imagine and want the tea equivalent of strawberry lemonade to be like.

The blend brings back memories of being a kid obsessed with the smell of those sickeningly sweet and citrusy frozen Minute Maid Pink Lemonade cans (so poignant a smell, so strange a child) . Now I, as an adult, can smell and drink this refreshing tea with no weird looks and a far less chance of developing cavities. These are the real milestone moments.

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Lemongrass, Strawberry, Sugar

Preparation
Iced
Nattie

Bird and Blend used to do a great strawberry lemonade tea. I wish they’d bring it back for the summer.

CrowKettle

I think I vaguely remember their strawberry lemonade tea but that was ages ago.. I keep meaning to reorder from them too, but I’m waiting for the peach thing to transition into limited edition stuff that will hopefully be better aligned with my tastes! XD

CrowKettle

I want to see if I still like Vicky’s Sponge Cake. I pretty much lived off of that stuff in 2013-2014, along with now defunct Della Terra’s Lime Chiffon D:

Btw, Strawberry Lemonade is back on their website!

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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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