New Tasting Notes

Shae’s ADVENT CALENDAR, December 11
I am pretty much feeling same as Shae did exactly 8 months ago. Next week an exam period starts, I feel I know nothing, as distant learning isn’t my jam, I have to finish many things, we are baking Christmas goodies and overall preparing for them. So much to do, so little time.

I wans’t really sure what to expect from this herbal tisane. I notice mostly mint when dry with kind of musty note. But don’t want to rate tea based on its smell.

I prepared two teaspoons grandpa in 300 ml (not pictured today) mug. It was a very comforting blend, while mints prevail but I think I get some other, though bit generic, herbal note. It coated my throat well anyway and it was smooth.

Overall, an interesting blend of violets (don’t recognize them in), galium aparine is a herb I haven’t seen in tea blends yet. Also known as velcro plant or cleavers. We call it Svízel přítula, which means something like Cuddly Trouble-plant. A mint combination with lemon balm worked well.

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/2kfKfNY

Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9-pIKZxkVQ and lyrics are here: https://genius.com/Suvi-terasniska-pilvipeiton-alla-lyrics I can suggest copying them to Google Translate and reading it translated.

Flavors: Herbs, Mint, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
Cameron B.

Cuddly Trouble-plant is the best name ever.

ashmanra

I love the sheen of the green thread in your photo. The song reminds me a little of the mellow bits of That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be by Carly Simon. :)

White Antlers

That tea blend looks very interesting. That plant/weed grows here and I can attest to the fact that it sticks to things! It’s pretty and lacey looking but it clings to gardening gloves and clothing. In the ‘old days,’ it used to be used to stuff mattresses. lol

Nice photo composition!

Martin Bednář

Cameron B. it is honestly translated way too literally, but I liked it that way.
ashmanra: I liked it as well; that hint of detail that was missing yesterday. I listened to that song and indeed it got some similar parts :)
White Antlers: yep, it is really common here as well and yes, it sticks a lot on everything. I can’t imagine filling an mattress with it though!

White Antlers

Martin I think the reasons it was used for mattresses were #1 it was plentiful and #2 most important, unlike hay, which slides around and gets lumpy, this sticks to itself so it made a more uniform stuffing.

Shae

I hope you’re feeling better today, Martin. Mint tea has been very comforting to me lately too. I’m glad this one showed up on a day that you needed it.

Also, this has been quite an informative thread!

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drank Spiced Hot Toddy by Cuppa Geek
2528 tasting notes

Cuppageek Advent Day 11

Wake up was much better this morning, without the “rock on chest” feeling.

I did ruminate over the breakfast menu a bit, not really wanting sweet today but savory, but my husband is coming home early from work and we plan to have outside gong fu after lunch (it is supposed to be 68F which is 20C!!!), so I don’t need a big breakfast since I will be having an actual lunch instead of splitting a bag of broccoli with Sam.

I quickly settled on cheese toast with mustard and stood on tiptoe to get my tea.

Well, well, well! Starting the day with a Spiced Hot Toddy! I don’t think I have ever had a hot toddy. It sounds good, though!

This was great with my cheese toast and mustard. Serendipity! A floral tea would not have been a good pairing, but this is perfect.

The spices are right up my alley. How to describe it since I have never had a toddy? It is more like a mulled cider than a chai. There is fruitiness and nice, warming spices that never threaten to get hot. There is a tart tingle on the tongue from apple and hibiscus, but for all us hibby haters I will want to add that it is so light it could easily have been green apple and not hibby, but I had looked at the ingredients. The lemongrass contributes to the tart fruit vibe.

I enjoyed my second cup sprawled on the sofa listening to gmathis’ music recommendation from my yesterday’s tasting note and watching the bunnies play through the bow window.

Martin Bednář

You got a great weather to enjoy gongfu session outside. Here snows, but it melts right away.

gmathis

Loved this one.

White Antlers

ashmanra I sort of envy your weather, but by the same token, I love the 4 seasons here at home. We had snow flurries this week and even though nothing stuck, it was grand to see those flakes swirling down from the sky!

Hot toddies (in my bartending experience) in the classic sense generally are made of whiskey, hot water, honey and lemon. They are both comforting and potent and good to quaff right before a nap or at bedtime. Yours sounds like a treat that won’t interfere with ones ability to be productive-or to drive!

gmathis

They’re making a little noise about some weekend snow here—my favorite kind if it does fly; the ground is too warm for it to mess up the roads, but it’ll lie nicely on tree branches and grass.

ashmanra

White Antlers – I just went out to do some yard work and it was still only 55. Our weather is so volatile – it might be 75 degrees in winter and 36 hours later it is 29 and ice is falling. (Rare) We will have snow on the ground in shady places and yet the high will be warm enough for short sleeves, it really is all over the place. We had a few cold days, so I am longing for open air gong fu and we are going to try a propane stove this time to heat our water. We usually run an extension cord and take the kettle out.

ashmanra

Gmathis – I wonder if it will head our way in a few days? I hooe you get just the dusting you want!

White Antlers: i understand loving the rhythm of the seasons! I need to warn Martin that if he visits the South in winter, he may experience all four seasons in the space of three days or less! I am near the coastal plain, but in the mountains they do have lovely fall color and much more snow than here.

White Antlers

ashmanra Isn’t our idea of ‘winter’ interesting? I lived in the SF Bay area for 23 years. What I considered coastal winter weather happened there in the summer. It was sometimes laughable but often heartbreaking to see tourists freezing at the cable car stops in July or August, wearing shorts, flip flops and thin t-shirts as the fog and brutal wind tore at them. The last Christmas I spent there, in 2014, it was in the 90s and I was outside on Christmas morning, barfoot and in cotton pajamas, filling the bird feeders. Today is in the 50s, warm for December in the Northeast, but the night temperatures are going down to freezing, so at least I can bundle up happily for evening walks.

Martin Bednář

ashmanra: If I just knew when I want to come :D — summers are too hot, winter — everything possible, autumn — rains, spring maybe?

gmathis

Autumn for the Ozarks! (Of course, that entails only about six perfect days the entire season, and never in a row.)

ashmanra

Martin: Spring for sure! It’s the greatest!

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drank Dark Chocolate by TeaMaze
2362 tasting notes

This one is growing on me (just as the packet is getting low, of course). Two teaspoons yesterday in a 16-oz tumbler with milk set me up with almost-hot-chocolate-but-not-quite. The spent leaves still smelled good this morning, so I added a little muscle with a spoonful of my beloved PG Tips and made myself builders’ tea with a Hershey-bar-sort-of foundation.

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ADVENT DAY 10

Honestly, the name scared me at first – I hate peach – so I was hoping this was an apple orchard instead of a peach orchard – I went online and found out it wasn’t talking about peaches, thank goodness :)
I’m on my second day of drinking this tea – I kept it hot in my coffee urn overnight, and it was good this morning – I tried to get it as close to the 175 degree mark as I could, with my Keurig – the lowest setting was 182, so I did that. It turned out a little bit watered down and a little bit bitter at the same time – I used a tablespoon in 27 ounces and steeped it two times in a row – maybe I needed to add a 4th teaspoon to make it perfect, but it was a nice and relaxing blend.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 tsp 27 OZ / 798 ML

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82

A blind buy of a pouch came in my Advent as well.

This tea needs two steeps.
3 minutes First is rather strong on base black tea, and with blackberries. Pretty much mellow, fruity and bit of tartness as blackberries are. I highly enjoyed it, as I have expected blackberry tea like that. I would like bit more juicy, but Martin it isn’t a juice! Lavender is bit missing, maybe overpowered with other notes.

5 minutes Second steep is again nicely fruity and lavender is more prominent. It’s now what it says. Blackberry fruitiness (with tartness and sourness) and floral lavender note. Very smooth and enjoyable and well translated name into a cup. A good one for me :)

Flavors: Blackberry, Floral, Lavender

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML
gmathis

I’ll have to get my info secondhand on this one…I shared part of my Advent with a “best-tea,” and that one is in a box en route to her in Tennessee.

ashmanra

Oooooh, I can hardly wait to try this one! I hope it is in my advent, but if it isn’t I will just have to place an order!

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drank AquaRosa by Kusmi Tea
1452 tasting notes

Advent Day 10

Mmmmm… hibiscus. (insert barf emoji) It’s like watered down hibiscus which is way better than full strength hibiscus. The hib really dominates this tea. It smelled really nice dry and I had hope, but I can’t taste anything past that hib.

ashmanra

Bleh hibby

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78

So since I sipped down the caffeine-free Dessert by Deb pouch I had open, I felt I was allowed to open a different one. I chose this on a whim, because it sounded good and I knew I would be opening it for a swap soon anyway. This is from Deb’s recent Holiday Cookie Swap Party collection.

I confess, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a true linzer cookie? I mean, I’ve had sandwich cookies with jam, but I’m not sure if they counted. Some recipes I saw had spices in the cookies and some didn’t, so I don’t know if that’s a requirement.

Anyway! I definitely get cookie from this. There’s a light cinnamon note and an oat-y flavor that together remind me of oatmeal cookies. The maple flavor and sweetness helps as well. I don’t really get the jam part though – the closest thing is a tart apple note that lingers at the back of my throat after each sip.

So it’s not quite a linzer cookie for me, but it is a tasty oatmeal cookie! And I’m quite happy with that, ha ha…

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cookie, Maple, Nuts, Oats, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Martin Bednář

You never get a linzer cookies? Oh well! We make them every Christmas :) Without spices, so certainly not a requirement.

Silent Kettle

Loved your review. You did such a great job of describing the flavours! :) And ha-ha! Surprisingly, I did get a jam taste to this above the other notes you described. I am glad you liked this one too!

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drank Tranquili-Tea by Cuppa Geek
955 tasting notes

Advent Day 9, From the Depths of the Grab Bag.

Somebody had a long day.

“When it was dry, it smelled a little like nutmeg.

Smells like chamomile and linden.

Got a little bit of a lemony flavor. It tastes alright. Tastes like, uh, a sleepytime tea. Maybe it’s got a little spearmint in it. It sure is a green-blue color. It tastes like chamomile. It’s alright, it’s… it’s a 6. big yawn I’d recommend if you’re into sleepytime tea. It’s pleasant, mild."

ashmanra

I hope Kiki got a good night’s sleep!

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75
drank Ramune (Japanese Soda) by Lupicia
129 tasting notes

Wow, it’s already the 10th of December, and the 10th day of Sara’s Old Tea!

This does taste a bit like candy and soda pop. The end of the sip faintly reminds me of Ramune. But the green tea flavor is also pretty strong, and I’m reminded of green tea candy. Which is also a good thing! There’s a bit of a grassy flavor too, mmm.

Flavors: Candy, Grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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60
drank AquaRosa by Kusmi Tea
2256 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 10

Another hibiscus fruit tisane from Kusmi. This seems similar to their AquaExotica that was in the advent a few days ago, so I guess we’ll see how it compares. That one was more tropical while this seems to be berry-flavored. I let it cool completely before tasting it, as hot hibiscus is just weird…

It’s honestly a little bland? But the main flavor is definitely the hibiscus. I guess I could see raspberry as well maybe, and a hint of apple. But honestly that’s it really. Mostly hibiscus, bit of tart red fruit. It tastes watery at first and then there’s a POW of sweet-tartness at the end of the sip.

Meh, not loving it. The other one was definitely better IMO.

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIn4CAHg-sf/)

Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Sour, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

2020 Advent Calendar from The Tea Girl – Day 10

I feel so spoilt this week – my tea advents have been AMAZING! This was no slouch either! I LOVE french toast, and I’ve had a french toast tea at some point (think it was by DT) and it was tasty yuminess. Something about maple in teas just makes me happy.

This one – smells just wonderful! So maple, cinnamon, breakfast! Steeped for 2 and a half mins with boiling water…next time might use a cooler temp, as the flavors here really shone once the cup cooled down. So tasty to drink in my afternoon meeting! This one might have to be a repurchase :)

Shae

I haven’t heard of this company before, but there are a ton of teas from them on Steepster!

mrs.stenhouse12

@ Shae – I have added about…10 so far :D almost every day of my advent calendar I’ve needed to add the tea to the database. I highly recommend them! They are based out of Edmonton, AB :)

Shae

I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other flavors you get in your advent calendar. I love hearing about new-to-me companies.

mrs.stenhouse12

@ Shae – there are going to be some more amazing ones!! Going to get caught up on my tasting notes tonight!

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85

DavidsTEA Matcha Advent Calendar 2020 – Day 10

Finally caught up on tasting notes! This one, I will admit – third day in a row of a good matcha and I was excited haha. The smell was so nice and natural raspberry! Prepared in the usual way, 175 degree water, whisk, top up with hot water.

Smooth, raspberry flavor, not overwhelming, reminds me of the blueberry matcha just with raspberry instead. A nice froth too! Yum yum yum – I bet this would be good iced as well. Will happily finish this one off!

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83

2020 Advent Calendar from The Tea Girl – Day 9

So after my morning vanilla matcha, I was ecstatic to see that my afternoon brew was also going to be vanilla! I remember the DAVIDSTea vanilla orchid oolong…it was one of my favorites back in the day, so I was also excited for some nostalgia with this tea!

It smells sooo yummy! I love how delicate the cornflowers look with the tea!

Steeped at 195 degrees for 3 minutes. The leaves nicely unfurled, and the cup was lightly sweet, fresh and not too strong. A touch of astringency, but in a gentle way. I found this like a mellow cupcake, with a hint of dryness. Pretty enjoyable! I am sad I did not get a chance to do a second steeping, but my caffeine quota was definitely met for the day between this one and the matcha. Very yum, may have to order more of this to play around with it! Excited for my next steeping!

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82
drank Vanilla Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
1177 tasting notes

DavidsTEA Matcha Advent Calendar 2020 – Day 9

This is the week for dessert matchas! I was so pleased to open this one up! I miss Red Leaf Tea’s vanilla matcha so much, it was one of my gateway matchas. This brought back some nostalgia!

Unfortunately I could not get a froth while whisking to save my life lol, found out that it is the coconut sugar making it more difficult. Luckily it did not affect the delicious matcha flavor! Smooth, sweet, not overpowering and not artificial. Yumminess in a cup!

Prepared the usual way, 175 degree water, whisk, top up with hot water. Delish!

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Martin Advent Day 10
This has a familiar flavor profile, like bagged teas I drank growing up. It’s a little minty and herbaceous. Nothing special, but reliable and nice to drink.

Martin Bednář

Yep, exactly my thoughts about this tea. It’s tasty, but nothing much more to write about.

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70
drank Carrot Cupcake by DAVIDsTEA
8 tasting notes

This tea is pretty good. I don’t think it’s sweet enough to call it a “Carrot Cupcake”. It’s very apple forward with the other flavors complimenting that. All the flavors are there, but it’s a little more mild than I would have thought. It’s a nice tea for the evening. I was expecting it to be more desserty than it is. I would get it again.

Flavors: Apple, Carrot, Cinnamon, Rooibos, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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68

Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar – Day 10

I’m with Mastress Alita in saying, another nut tea already?! They could have at least spaced them out a bit more…

This is fine, but the flavors are a bit muddled. The hazelnut is definitely the strongest, followed by almond and cinnamon. Then there’s some other stuff muddled up in the background, I think it’s the black tea combined with rooibos, maybe the orange peel? I don’t know, something about it tastes a bit overdone. Plus it doesn’t help that I just had a very similar tea from them two days ago, so I’m a bit over it at this point. I’m also getting a bit of astringency from the base that is not enjoyable.

Anyway, the nutty and cinnamon flavors are quite pleasant. The rest is meh!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIpHzlcAy2U/

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIn4CAHg-sf/)

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Butter, Cinnamon, Hazelnut, Musty, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Advent Day 10

This smells good! I’m getting an almond flavor with cinnamon. It looses some of it’s depth as it cools. It still smells pastry like. I bet it would taste better if I added sugar, but I’m not dedicated enough to venture ALL the way into the kitchen to make that adjustment. I am liking having a decaf cup of evening tea!

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

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71
drank Noël à Venise by Dammann Freres
955 tasting notes

Advent 10.

It’s like sweet lemon-lime cream sandwiched between thin and crispy vanilla-toffee chunk cookies with traces of burnt sugar on crispy edges. I very much want to like this tea. It’s arguably awesome but I’m not a fan of strong lemon or lime and cream flavors mixed. The base black tea seems to play less of a role in overall flavor compared to the other Dammann Frères black teas I’ve had so far but overall, I’d say it provides a needed thickness to pull off flavors like this.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Citrusy, Cookie, Cream, Lemon Zest, Lime, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Toffee, Vanilla, Wood

Cameron B.

I adore this one, but then again I do like lemon with cream. :D

gmathis

Ooooooh!

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78

Plum Deluxe Advent Calendar Day 10

This wasn’t bad. I like a caffeine free tea in the evening, but usually they are herbal or honeybush or rooibos. So a black tea is different.

This isn’t strickly a black tea though. It is flavored, and I kinda like the flavor profile. Sorta chocloate-y, sorta vanilla-y, with an underlying nutty note. I did enjoy this one. Maybe some day, like 5 years from now, I will have drunk a substantial bit of my tea drawer and have room for more. This could be an order at that point.

gmathis

I think I’d buy this one based on the title alone!

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drank The Dark Lord by Geek + Tea
11133 tasting notes

Adventaggedon Day 10 – Tea 6/6

Nothing to put you quite in the holiday spirit like a tea named after Lord Voldemort.

That said, I was so incredibly excited to see this tea this morning because it meant I had an excuse to have a nice Gongfu tea session! Between being so slammed at work with the holiday season, the podcast, and balancing doing six advent calendars I’ve really not had time to squeeze in any Gongfu sessions on top of all that. However, I started my day with one and it really put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. So, I guess you could say that he who shall not be named really did boost my holiday cheer!

This isn’t the best Lapsang Souchong that I’ve ever had, but it really hit the spot this morning and I was definitely not in the mood to be picky about it. The taste is pretty intense/harshly smokey but with a brassy/metallic type of twang about it. Like licking a penny that’s been in a campfire pit – but in an actually tasty way, as gnarly as that sounds. Over steeps it got a little fruitier, with more of a red fruit twang than a metallic twang. Also pretty woody, as well.

Loved this!! The Harry Potter advent seriously continues to deliver!

Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIov0XiAU8T/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZLS_ZHUHJc&ab_channel=CallMeKarizma

Dustin

I love that tiny little pineapple!

Shae

That matcha cup is gorgeous!

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70

I kind of lost track of my steep brewing up a little pot of this as my night tea tonight, so I hope I didn’t turn it astringent. If it is… totally my fault!

The dry leaf smells very nutty, and I can’t help but feel like Plum Deluxe has laid heavy on the nutty flavors for quite a few days in a row now… brewed up, I’m finally getting some cinnamon presenting in the aroma, reminding me of cinnamon covered almonds from the Farmer’s Market (man I love those!)

It tastes pretty smooth (phew), very nutty, with a subtle hint of sweet cinnamon and vanilla. I’m not picking out much from the base tea itself under the flavorings, aside from a general breadiness. It’s a pleasant cup, like a nutty bread with a light dusting of cinnamon; maybe just a tiny bit drying after the sip, and a slight bitterness like biting into dry nuts.

I like it, but I think I’m ready for a new flavor profile!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Nutty, Smooth, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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80
drank Apple Nut Chai by 52teas
646 tasting notes

I got this one in my recent 52Teas order as a sample. Last night I wanted something caffeine free before bed. I have many other teas that qualified, but I decided to try this one. Num! really enjoyed it. Spicy but not overwelmingly so, with a subtle apple flavor nicely coplimented by cinnamon and other spices. Just a delicious cup before bed.

tea-sipper

Wow, this sounds like a good blend.

Maddy Barone

It really is!

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drank Maple by Tea Hippie
1090 tasting notes

I decided to order a very small handful of teas from a wee shop a somewhat short drive from us. It was a great reason to get out of the house for a tea curbside pick up! The woman that runs the tea shop was lovely as well and let me know these teas were just blended yesterday (via email, of course)!

This tea is actually nice. I was hoping for it to be a little more maple-forward, but that’s okay. The black base isn’t astringent at all, which is wonderful and there’s a subtle maple at the end of the sip that lingers. The tea also has a subtle scent of buttery maple, which is nice.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Shae

How special to have such a shop so close by! And hand-blended yesterday?? Swoon.

Courtney

It’s very exciting! :)

Martin Bednář

I am pretending I am not envious.

Leafhopper

Being so near a tea shop might be dangerous! :)

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