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80
drank Yunnan Black Gold by Tea Runners
87 tasting notes

From subscription box

The last few days have been so hectic. Today is my third day trying this one out and I am finally getting a change to notice it let alone drink it while its hot or make any notes.

This one almost seems to have a toasty flavor, but its very subtle. Not normally something I enjoy, but its not getting in the way here.

It also has a bit of a drying affect in the mouth, more than I am used to in the black teas I have tried from Yunnan.

I’d say more, but I just slathered the lower half of my right leg with Icy Hot, so now everything tastes and smells like menthol. Not good planning on my part. I will have to return to this one another day.

Sierge Krьstъ

It’s amazing how smell and taste can mess with overall perception of tea.

Random

Of just about everything. Our perception of flavor is actually a combination of taste and smell. That’s part of the reason why things just don’t taste right when you get a head cold.

And why Icy Hot can utterly ruin a nice cup of tea :D

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From subscription box

I feel kind of guilty rating teas that I’m pretty sure I won’t like before I’ve ever tried it, so I didn’t. My preferences really just lean towards black teas. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to try new things out and that was the point of this subscription box.

Its got an interesting mouth feel. Almost thick in a way or viscous. And that’s the good things I have to say. :)

The smell of the dry leaves, wet leaves, or the tea itself just doesn’t appeal to me. It doesn’t really remind me of anything, its just unappealing. The flavor is very light, which I also find unappealing, but what is there also is just not my thing.

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drank Anxi Oolong by Tea Runners
87 tasting notes

From subscription box

The delicious toasted nuttiness is pretty much all I can taste. Its just too much for me this morning. I keep trying, but I’ve just never had luck with oolong teas. Now some years back I picked up an Amber Oolong that was also toasty in flavor. I didn’t like it on then first go, but was able to appreciate it more on later tries.

I’m not going to rate this right away as I want to give it another try or two down the road just in case my opinion changes.

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90
drank High Mountain Red by Tea Runners
87 tasting notes

From subscription box

I think I am coming to realize I have a thing for black teas from the Yunnan province in China. Not quite 100%, but most I have tried I have really liked. This is no exception.

First thing I noticed was that the dry leaves had a pleasant smell. Don’t ask me what it smells like because I have no clue how to describe it. :D

As for flavor, I notice a flavor that kind of reminds me of stone fruit. Its not like stone fruit, but reminds me of it. There’s a slight sweet taste as well. There’s another component as well that, well, made me think of soap. Yeah, I know that doesn’t sound good. It didn’t taste like soap, it just kind of reminded me of soap and is likely something I don’t have the words to describe and that’s the closest I can come up with.

Note: This is not like the horrible lemon joy dish soap flavor I get from cilantro. That’s just disgusting and does in fact taste exactly like the liquid lemon joy dish soap we used when I was a kid before they changed the formula. And yes, I know exactly what that tasted like. I come from an age where every family had a dish washer. It was called whatever kid was available. I started hand washing dishes when I had to stand on a chair to reach the sink. And learned the hard way how important rinsing was. :D

There was also just the faintest hint of astringency. Not strong but just barely noticeable. As the cup cooled, this became more pronounced. Stick the cup in the microwave for a minute and its back to being just a faint hint.

I did a second steep later in the day. I don’t know if its because this was a second steep, or I just steeped it for a shorter time than I did this morning, but all of the elements are more muted this time around. I think the sweetness stands out a little more.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. Not quite in my top 3, but I will happily drink what I have an am considering ordering more.

tea-sipper

oh yeah, washing dishes at age three here. haha.

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90
drank High Mountain Red by Tea Runners
87 tasting notes

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75

Got this from May’s subscription box. I’ve been trying to broaden my tea horizons a but more. I’m also trying to be more detailed on my notes so 6 months or more down the road I know what the heck I was talking about.

And, of course, I start this new and improved note taking with a tea that I have absolutely no words to describe. Why do I have such a difficult time detecting flavors others get? I don’t get toasty at all. No stone fruit, no honey. I still haven’t the slightest clue what malty tastes like.

I can detect a little of the tannins, as after a sip, parts of my tongue get that dry feeling. Not unpleasant, but its basically a unexceptional inoffensive tea. I’ll drink what I have, but I’ve no desire to get more.

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Sipdown (1389)!

Thank you Sil for sharing this one – and VariaTEA for passing it along!

I think, under typical circumstances, I likely wouldn’t have been a huge fan of this blend as it’s very earthy and robustly spicy – so much turmeric and ginger and a crawling heat down the back of the throat, as well. However, I was watching a very emotionally charged episode of one of my favourites shows of the moment and there was a main character death during it that left me feeling emotionally WRECKED.

…and so what probably would have originally been an uncomfortably spicy blend actually ended up being the deeply cozy and warming hug that I needed. Plus, cardamom! I will very, very rarely complain about the use of cardamom in tea.

tea-sipper

which show which show

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71
drank Yunnan Black Gold by Tea Runners
5963 tasting notes

Y is for…Yunnan Black Gold

Another black tea that’s alright but nothing special. Stone fruit, malt and honey.

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April Sipdown Alphabet Challenge: “L” Tea
This was another tea in my box that I was really looking forward to. It’s a raspberry herbal tea without hibiscus! I like this one though I do wish they had used real raspberries here instead of natural flavoring. The natural raspberry flavoring does come across as a tad medicinal. Always happy to have another caffeine-free tea in my cupboard to balance it out more. Short notes in between working on my 3 essays that are due soon.

Flavors: Medicinal, Raspberry, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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April Sipdown Alphabet Challenge: “I” Tea
So I finally have an “I” tea now for the challenge. I’ve never had a yellow tea before as far as I can remember at least. I’ve always wanted to try one though so this a nice surprise!
The description of this tea compares it to a green tea but I’m not sure I agree with that?
Don’t remember much about it other than I liked it and it resteeped well. I’ll have to write another tasting note on it with more details.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I’ve had some yellow teas that remind me of green teas and some that remind me of Yunnan black teas…

derk

My experience as well.

Lexie Aleah

Interesting

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68
drank Kanchanjangha Black by Tea Runners
5963 tasting notes

Sipdown (258)

K is for…Kanchanjangha Black

I really need to say thank you to Mastress Alita because her alphabet sipdown challenge has done wonders for my sipdowns!! I think I am at 28 empties for the month already. Plus, it makes figuring out instagram content for the Sororitea Sisters blog so simple. Thank you Mastress Alita!!!

Also thank you Sil for this “K” tea. It is one of 3 K teas I have and so its nice to have some variety. This is the only caffeinated one in the mix.

Tasting it now, it’s an okay tea. Nothing particularly interesting about it. It’s a sort of standard darjeeling profile – a little on the greener side though not metallic at all. Smooth. A touch vegetal/floral. Fine. Meh. Still always fun to try new things though!

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75
drank Black Rose by Tea Runners
5963 tasting notes

Sipdown (266)

Thank you Sil for sharing this one with me. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Despite the name and the many petals, this was a malty vanilla black tea. Smooth and really quite nice. Not overly floral, which is weird since its a rose tea.

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April Sipdown Alphabet Challenge: “E” Tea
Quick little write up more next time though.
This smells just like rootbeer before steeping I can’t stop sniffing it. Once steeped it definitely is a lot more of an herbal rootbeer flavor and with chamomile. It’s good but not as good as it smelled. I still will be playing around with it and really enjoying my pouch of this.

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Sipdown

This is like an earthy ginger tea with cardamom. I usually find turmeric too earthy for me but I don’t hate it here. I don’t think this is something I need more of but it’s a cozy enough cuppa for watching Into the Spiderverse with my brother-in-law tonight. Thanks Sil!

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89
drank Herbal Root Beer by Tea Runners
1067 tasting notes

This tea smells absolutely amazing, exactly like root beer. The flavor is authentic too. The spearmint is so clear and delicious, and there’s almost a feeling of carbonation. I never really drank root beer, but I’m loving this tea version! It’s so refreshing – I grabbed the last servings from the tea box, and I’ll have to track down some more! It isn’t quite perfect – I feel like maybe some added vanilla or something could really make it great, but it’s quite good.

Mastress Alita

Mmm, I love rootbeer teas!

Tiffany :)

I don’t know that I have any experience with root beer teas AJRimmer and Mastress Alita but for very rare times I drink soda I do like root beer, so this must be something I didn’t realized existed in tea form and must now investigate! :D

AJRimmer

Simpson & Vail has root beer rooibos that I’m definitely trying on my next order!

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April Sipdown Alphabet Challenge: “O” Tea
I didn’t expect to like this one as the loose-leaf looked pretty heavy on the lemongrass along with the citrus oils in it. It’s actually a nice citrus herbal blend. I honestly don’t remember much about the cup other than that.

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Cold Brew Sipdown (1377)!

Discovering this tea as a cold brew was both a blessing and a curse – as soon as it became a part of my stash it was out because it’s just damn good as a cold brew. Basically just straight up rootbeer, but with a bit of wintergreen poking through that delicious quality. Kind of wish I had more…

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Cold Brew!

Decided to give this one another go, even though it lost its bracket in my sipdown tournament. I think it’s much better suited to this form of preperation, and I completely see the root beer comparison that Mastress Alita made. In fact, root beer was practically all I could taste: just this wonderful translation of the wintergreen, sassafras and other ingredients in the blend.

Dangerously enjoyable with this method!

Tiffany :)

Hmm. I love rootbeer and I love wintergreen. Even though the first ingredient is “Chamomile” and one the last in the long list is “stevia” (and those two are the bain of my existence) I may just have to see if this company does samples…

Mastress Alita

I loathe chamomile and don’t taste it in the blend at all.

Roswell Strange

I tasted the chamomile hot, but not at all cold brewed.

Mastress Alita

Even hot I don’t taste it. I just taste hot rootbeer, heh.

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March Sipdown Madness

In my brackets, this tea was paired off against Kusmi’s White Anastasia.

This was actually my first time trying this tea, and based on the dry leaf aroma I had very high expectations for it. Despite an ingredient list featuring a lot of things that I’m not a fan of, the aroma of this tea is pure, robust and sweet wintergreen extract. Like, it goes HARD on the wintergreen. That seemed right up my alley!

Unfortunately, steeped the intensity just doesn’t match the dry leaf aroma. I could probably sit and smell the dry leaf for hours without tiring of it, but the steeped tea is just fine. Certainly not unpleasant, and most of those touchier (for me) ingredients don’t come out in the taste which is a relief. Just not nearly the punch of wintergreen I had anticipated. Not close.

Ultimately, I picked White Anastasia as the winner.

Mastress Alita

This is one of my favorite teas. I just get “rootbeer” from it; must be the mix of cherry bark/sarsaparilla/wintergreen. I recently sipped down my stash just because I’d rather restock fresher, but it was an enjoyable few months of evening cuppas.

DrowningMySorrows

I’m not all that familiar with Tea Runners. Do they blend this themselves? I ask because I was under the impression that it was a Montana Tea & Spice (in Missoula, MT) creation. It’s sold EVERYWHERE here under the MT Tea & Spice name but it wouldn’t really surprise me if they were trying to claim credit for someone else’s blend, honestly. Other MT Tea & Spice teas I’ve had are seriously underwhelming but people here rave about them because it’s a local company.

Mastress Alita

TeaRunners are out of Portland and wholesale tea from several different sources. TeaSource sells Evening in Missoula as well (which is where I get it) and they are out of Missouri. Considering Montana Tea & Spice has a pay-by-the-pound retail catalog on their website (and I don’t see anything else) that seems to indicate they are a wholesale supplier (that is, they sell their tea blend to other tea businesses/companies, who may resell in their own packaging, price points, and even rename the blends) which is very common in the tea industry.

DrowningMySorrows

Thanks, Mastress Alita. I get confused about the origins of some teas with the giant wholesalers and companies putting their own brand name on things.

Mastress Alita

I do too! It could also be that all three of those are getting the blend from yet another source… it can be hard to tell sometimes!

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50

Grandpa Style!

I’m pretty sure this is wholesaled from Rishi – they carry a Tuo Cha style under this same name, and I recognize several of the other pu’erh blends on the Tea Runners site as Rishi catalog offerings, like the Pu’erh Ginger and the Vanilla Mint…

I only point it out because I actually tend to really like the pu’erh offerings from Rishi; they usually feel so well balanced and the quality of the tea leaf itself is really good for wholesale. I’ve not tried these tuo cha direct from Rishi, but assuming (and that feels like a safe assumption) this is the same… it’s not good, and that caught me off guard.

For starters, the leaf itself is so finely cut/mulchy and light that it didn’t actually sink in my mug when I attempted to brew it grandpa – something pretty shocking for a compressed style pu’erh like this. So, I ended up having to basically use my front teeth as the filter for the leaf as I drank – definitely annoying. The taste!? Not off at all, but pretty boring. Not the standard I’ve come to expect.

Yeah, this was a miss for me.

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