2650 Tasting Notes

drank French Macaron by TeaMaze
2650 tasting notes

Gloomy outside, tree is up and adding a little cheer to Shabby House on Turkey Creek, our new neighbors have a twelve-foot inflatable snowman up and blowing in the breeze, I bruised my hand playing “Santa, Cookie, Elf, Candy, Snowman” with my Sunday kids, and all of that is making me feel prematurely marshmallowy—it’s not even December yet—so what better to accentuate the mood than my favorite cookie-ish tea?

French Macaron has been a favorite ever since we started patronizing TeaMaze, but the more I drink it, the more I think it could have just as been easily titled “Almond Sugar Cookie.” TeaMaze has nailed the cookie element and like the real thing, it’s better with a little milk. Imagine Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride on steroids with frosting.

As to the card game, it’s a holiday version of “Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza,” a silly, souped up version of slapjack. Just perfect for a bunch of 11-year-olds, or grown-ups that occasionally act that age. Recommended.

Lexie Aleah

How cute I didn’t know they had a holiday version of that game!

Nattie

I want Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride now and I can’t find it anywhere T_T

Lexie Aleah

Same here ^^

gmathis

None of our local stores are carrying holiday assortments of anything—I’m trying to hunt down Twinings Winter Spice w/out having to order online; no luck.

The hand injury came from the special “Drum” card … I pa-rum-pum-pum’d the edge of the table too hard, and when your hands are, um, attached to an old lady, you’ll do a little damage to your knuckles. My husband says if I play with the kids again, I have to wear work gloves.

ashmanra

I saw Winter Spice at World Market. Do you have one of those nearby?

Nattie

@gmathis hope your hand gets better soon!

gmathis

No World Markets near us—it’s a required stop when we go see mom-in-law near Wichita, but we don’t go often.

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drank Long Jing by Palais des Thés
2650 tasting notes

After more feasting than I needed, I had an uncharacteristic craving for straight green tea—not much of that in the house, but this is my favorite of the bunch. It’s pleasantly vegetal and not very finicky; an earlier view mentioned some sweetness at the end, but I guzzled my cup too fast to notice this time around.

Second steep had only hints of its notable characteristics, but was nice with a couple of dried orange slices.

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drank Rum Raisin Biscotti by Tea Forte
2650 tasting notes

Evidently, I only drink this on holidays…previous review was on Christmas a couple years ago, which tells me that it’s high time to steep it up. (And Happy Thanksgiving, by the way! We’ve already been out and about to find an open grocery store because, ahem, somebody forgot we were out of baking powder.)

This has held up well. The cookie aspect takes the lead today—very almond-y and pleasant. Sadly, Tea Forte has seen fit to discontinue it, so this is a sweet sipdown.

Wherever you are, and even if you’re not in a locale that’s officially celebrating, hope you take a little time to be grateful, even if it’s just for clean socks. I’m thankful for you Steepsters—you are a gracious and truly interesting bunch of people!

Leafhopper

Happy American Thanksgiving! Yes, Steepster is something to be thankful for. :)

ashmanra

Happy Thanksgiving!

Martin Bednář

Happy Thanksgiving! Indeed, Steepster is something to be thankful for as said before.
A curious question — have you found open grocery store? :)

gmathis

We had to hunt a little. Walmart, which is plentiful around here, actually closed this year. Dollar Generals also pop up like mushrooms in our suburbs and rural neighborhoods, but were sold out. We finally found a Cash Saver across town that was very busy with other forgetful shoppers!

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Another adventure made possible by derk, thank you kindly! Opening the packet, the melba toast-and-chocolate scent nearly made me swoon. Even with a sloppy steep (I forgot to turn on the timer—this is why you should not trust me to cook Thanksgiving dinner), the flavor notes were all playing my song. The crust of toasted rye bread, with a little sweetness at the end. Dries the mouth just a little. Lip-smackingly good!

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You know when you’re about two teaspoons away from a sipdown and all the good bits that gave it the flavor are about gone, but you can’t stand to waste perfectly good tea? Yeah, we’re there. This is mostly just roo now, with maybe a hint of vanilla. The last cuppa is going to need some serious doctoring.

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It’s been a very People-y day and despite the fun of watching my crew of kids load bags half their size and push supply carts twice their size (Thanksgiving basket day at church), it is good to come home to a quiet house, a laid-back cat, and thanks to Michelle, a new tisane to ponder.

Most minty tisanes tickle the top of my palate and sinuses, but beyond that, there’s not a lot for my tastebuds to hang on to. This one’s different and has some low-end, tip-of-the-tongue notes—apple, beetroot, chicory. Sarsaparilla is also on the ingredient list; not sure I’m picking it up individually, but it’s contributing to the whole in a nice way.

Michelle

Flavored chicory is what I thought, though I should just go brew a cup and see. You are a good enabler :)

gmathis

The feeling’s mutual. This was a really nice change of pace.

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drank Gao Wen by Hugo Tea Company
2650 tasting notes

Well, whaddya know…after all my trash talk about my hometown’s lack of tea sophistication, we stumbled on to a lovely pot of this Gao Wen at a coffee shop nestled inside a local nursery and greenhouse, of all places!

The cup smells toasty and malty—-the scent that makes me all gooey and goofy, and that’s what I noticed first, but there’s a little floral happy dance at the end. Hugo’s description mentions roses; I’ll go with orchids or something a little less cloying. Very, very good, and the fun setting made it even more tasty.

So far, every Hugo tea I’ve sampled has been excellent—now that I know where to find some locally, I’m looking forward to trying more.

ashmanra

What a nice surprise!

Leafhopper

It’s always nice to find a local source for good tea!

gmathis

The little shop bags of its coffee for sale, but alas, I saw no tins of tea.

Michelle

This one had a sweet/floral finish as it cooled, a bit like an oolong.

gmathis

I was so excited when I zeroed in on this one, I have completely spaced off the other varieties they offered…all the more reason to visit again :)

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Uh-oh. No notes on this one yet so I’m going to have to figure out the flavor without any help from fancier palates than mine. The cup was a little like a sensory jigsaw puzzle!

Plain old Missouri farm girl western-style steep; four minutes. The scent—-and I had to keep sniffing and thinking about it—reminded me of yeast that had been left to rise in the sun just a little too long, but in a good way. (Fermented a little, I guess.) The flavor doesn’t quite fit my usual favorite toasty or bready adjectives; it was more like a heavy Christmas fruitcake or plum cake—definitely a dark, heavy fruit thing going on.

I’ll add an amendment when I try the second steep, but in the meantime, thank you, derk—this is one I would never have stumbled across without you! It is unlike any straight black tea I’ve ever tried.

derk

I’ve had this once or twice and like you, have had a difficult time groking it. Just thought I’d toss a little your way for something different.

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Sipdown and a bittersweet one at that; this vies with Lemon Swirl for my very favorite Cuppa Geek flavor ever. Even the last dab of dry leaf, with tea dregs and nothing left but strawberry seeds, were pleasantly, sweetly berry. Enjoyed it while Zooming with a far-flung best buddy, which made it a little sweeter.

ashmanra

This is still showing up in my cupboard but I thought I had finished mine as well. I need to dig and find it.

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drank Banana Fudge by Arthur Dove Tea Co.
2650 tasting notes

It’s too early for the seasonal glums, but it’s cold and gray and I was in need a little pick-me-up. Thanks to derk, I have one: a little packet of cheeky, chimpy, perky, cheerful tea with banana bits and a flavor that reminds me of bright yellow banana Runts. I’m getting more fudge in the scent than in the flavor, but I didn’t steep very scientifically, either.

Lancelot Link and Mata Hairi (you’ll just have to Google it) would have approved.

ashmanra

So glum here we are putting up the tree tonight and we NEVER decorate this early.

gmathis

That’s on the books for next weekend. Our hard and fast rule used to be “NO TREE UNTIL IT’S DECEMBER,” but now it’s, “if it’s going to be up for less than a month, it’s too much work."

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Bio

Steepster “geezer;” 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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