New Tasting Notes

35

RoT’s 12 Days of Sipping (2020), day 7. First of two sachets, prepared plain. I like neither cinnamon nor vanilla, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly. The brew smells like Big Red (the chewing gum)—all cinnamon, with perhaps a bit of vanilla smoothness. (I can’t really explain what I mean by a fragrance being “smooth,” so make of that what you will.)

It tastes like rooibos. Maybe a hint of cinnamon, but that’s it. Great for me because I love the taste of rooibos, not so great for anyone expecting cinnamon and vanilla. And if I wanted plain rooibos, I would just drink plain rooibos.

Flavors: Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Sipdown! (4)

The last one from my December Sips by box, hooray! Prepared on the stovetop with half water and half milk, and sweetened with a bit of honey.

Unfortunately, I’m getting a lot more black pepper this time. And it’s a lot of pepper… There’s some ginger and cardamom underneath, but mostly I’m getting a lot of black pepper.

Clearly I shouldn’t have used the very bottom of the bag, that’s where the black pepper lived. XD

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

Black pepper tea haha — interesting!

amandastory516

My whole bag was black pepper city…

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82
drank Caramel Cream by Teekanne
161 tasting notes

Another tea that is surprisingly similar to Mesmer. Except I think this one is sweeter with a better aroma. It is very caramel like. And nice with a splash of milk. But one that is easy to get tired of. I loved it on the first cup, but by the last cup I was tired of it. The caramel overpowers the rooibos. Which might be a good thing if you aren’t a fan of Rooibos.

Flavors: Caramel, Cream

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Sipdown but it turns out I never added this to my cupboard so still sitting at 300 teas.

In addition to this sample, which I have from Kittenna (thank you!), and Affogatea by Bird and Blend from July 2019, my oldest teas are the ones I bought in very large quantities when A Quarter to Tea went on hiatus. With that said, they should be what is going into my oldest tea box so I can actively sip them down. However, (1) they are too big to fit and (2) I don’t want to finish them since I am not ready to say good bye. I am thinking of skipping the August 2019 teas and throwing the September 2019 teas in the focus box instead.

This has been in a small ziploc bag for a year and a half and I feel like it suffered because of that. There is minimal flavor here. I can see it was probably custardy once but now it is sort of just a roundness in the mouthfeel than it is a flavor. The only flavor left is a sort of very generic fruity black tea. I’m sorry I left you for so long tea. I think you could have been good if I enjoyed you fresh.

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85

Sipdown! (3)

I’m saving the last little bit of this to send over to Mastress Alita sometime soon.

I still love this, but I do feel like I’m getting a bit of smokiness this time around that I don’t remember before. Still has those lovely oat and hay notes that I adore, though… And a soft subtle sweet apple note with a hint of cinnamon.

I would love to try some of this company’s other blends, but it looks like they only offer 4-ounce packages… Sigh…

Flavors: Apple, Ash, Dry Grass, Earth, Grain, Hay, Herbaceous, Mineral, Oats, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

The same sigh I make every time I go to a tea site and they only offer 4 oz. packages… (Did that with Serendipitea today… Well, they do have 1 oz. sampler tins, which cost half the price of their 4 oz. bags, and that math just doesn’t add up to me… Just nope…)

Martin Bednář

Wow, 4 oz is lots of tea. Good for splitting in half, but for one tea-drinker? Nah.

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90

The first steeping tasted very much like peanut, but in a wonderfully savory way. The color was golden brown and very pleasant. The second steeping tasted similar, but more muted. The third steeping still had the color, but not much flavor. If this is what roasted buckwheat tea tastes like, I’m a big fan!

Flavors: Peanut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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65
drank Berries N'Cream by Cuppa Geek
5963 tasting notes

Sipdown

This was the remaining tea for the CuppaGeek advent meant for New Years day. It’s god a hibiscus-berry flavor and perhaps some vanilla but I don’t get much in the way of cream.

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76

additional notes: First sipdown of 2021 (and Mastress Alita has a new sipdown challenge thread in the forums!) This still holds a ton of flavor — strawberry! champagne! (and chicory?) – impressive and accurate. I wouldn’t mind having more of this around but for now it’s gone!
2021 sipdowns: 1

Mastress Alita

New year, new sipdowns!

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93
drank Peppermint by Harney & Sons
48 tasting notes

Just had a big hot mug of this ehile sitting out on the patio with my gloves, hat, coat, boots on New Years Day 2021. I’ve almost finished this whole tin, which doesnt happen often for me. It was so soothing after all the junk food Ive been eating. And so relaxing to sit outside alone with my steaming cup and my thoughts

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82

Sipdown no. 1 of 2021! (no. 621 total).

Happy New Year, and may it be a lot better than 2020!

Still continuing with the house project. Going room by room. The easiest rooms first. I feel a lot better without all the clutter around. I don’t have high hopes that it will stay that way, though.

Anyway, I thought this tea would be right up my alley. I love fruity teas, and particularly French fruity teas. And yet, as I said in my original note, this one doesn’t have that mysterious French thing going other than in the name.

It’s an ok fruity tea, but I prefer the ones from Kusmi, Mariage Freres, etc. Those have more depth — this one has a sort of painted on quality to the fruit flavor.

tea-sipper

happy new year!

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62

I drank this tea sitting outside on thenpatio on New Year’s Eve afternoon. Trying to get more fresh air every day is one of my 2021 goals. I got this as a sample. I very much enjoyed it. Was flavorful and sweet. The citrus gabe it a lot of flavor. Thought after a bit the ginkgo flavor lingered a bit too much and reminded me of those Sobe iced tea drinks my mom and brother used to like when I was a preteen age. I dont think I would purchase myself. But, still glad to have tried. I cant get this tea rater to move properly. All my ratongs are totally off

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80

So, it’s after Christmas, and second bank holiday is today; so… Christmas time is already over for me. Happy New Year! everyone.

I was asked for brewing a pot for family again. I decided for this one and it seems I have last amount for one cup in. So, unfortunately, no sipdown. But soon!

I think that Izzy described this tea very well! Very interesting flavour and aroma. I get prunes (not dried plums Martin!) and mostly almonds. And then spices. I think mostly cinnamon and cloves. Maybe hints of cardamom.

I get raisins too, though not a major flavour. I agree with her saying its being a bit thin, but still quite creamy and enjoyable. I was expecting more from hibiscus, but I am glad it wasn’t that case.

I am impressed, I knew this company is doing a lot of blends. If it comes to actual orthodox teas, this brand isn’t that great. I had their teas ages ago. They weren’t that great, but honestly I am not sure now. Maybe those were a good batch, maybe that teas were stale, maybe… I prepared them wrong.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Plum, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 85 OZ / 2500 ML
Courtney

Happy New Year! :)

ashmanra

Happy New Year! The company name is Oxalis, and that is the name of a flower that grows here. I have some pink oxalis that I dug up at my husband’s grandmother’s house after she died, and some of the relatives laughed and said I was just digging up clover! Ha ha! The pink oxalis is very pretty and a nice herald of spring.

White Antlers

ashmanra Funny about oxalis. I lived in California for decades. Oxalis is an invasive garden pest there. It sends out runners and rhizomes so it can’t just be pulled up. It is nigh on impossible to eradicate. It does innocently look like clover and the flowers are very pretty. No doubt it is not a killer plant in other parts of the country, but in California, it is considered a weed and it can choke out native plants very rapidly. https://www.mercurynews.com/2010/12/06/master-gardener-get-a-jump-on-oxalis/

Martin Bednář

I have never cared about the company name, to be honest. I tried to search it and I think I have seen it over here too. It looks indeed pretty, though apparently it is invasive too.

mrmopar

Happy New Year Martin!

ashmanra

White Antlers: Same family, different oxalis! This one has pretty little pink flowers and hardly spreads at all. I think the plants I brought home from Granny’s are about the same size and have sat still in the same spot and they have been here about fifteen years.

Virginia Spiderwort, on the other hand, is EVERYWHERE! Fortunately it is pretty and is easy to remove, so I leave it where I want oretty blue flowers, cut it down when summer heat makes it get ugly, and it springs back up for more pretty flowers in fall!

White Antlers

ashmanra I think temperate California makes oxalis a ‘pest’ plant. I’d like to get some for my yard since we do have hard freezes here and it’s such a pretty little thing in the garden!

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90

I have received this herb from dear derk and I selected it today afternoon-evening, because my stomach went a bit upset (I blame the nerves, because 4th is coming way too quickly) and I needed to unwind a bit too. Not sure if sage is gonna help me with the latter, but I decided to brew it anyway.

Okay, caution from me first: this is a strong stuff and extremely powerful compared to common sage

But I didn’t knew it before and derk did not warned me beforehand, it was just double wrapped in airtight wrappers. My fault, that should warn me.

But it didn’t. I took our family favourite herbal tea cup; it is a bigger volume than normal and looks like having a fat belly. I have decided to brew it grandpa instead of using porcelain strainer which I couldn’t find. I found it afterwards.

Ohh well, I have used three pinches as I was lazy to measure that. Again a fail.
As I wrote the caution in a first half, it is so strong. It isn’t bad even this strong, but it was overwhelming and the taste is somehow indescribable, but sage. It reminded me a lots of things, but not really sure if anything would be a good desrcriptor.

I think this is a herb that needs to be tried to see if you like it or not. I can understand that somebody won’t like it. But not me!

Flavors: Sage

White Antlers

Happy New Year, Martin. I believe I sent that to derk and it’s normally used as incense although it can be had as tea. As always, I applaud your bravery in trying new things. : )

White Antlers

Here is the copy from Mermade Magickal: This sage came directly from the Growers in Crete. Greek Sage is a wonderful aromatic sage, similar in some ways to White sage but softer and sweeter. The scent has a unique potent green/herbal camphor scent. It has many healing properties* and is used in Greece to make the healthful tea known as Faskomilo.

As an incense, it is delightful, cleansing and fragrant. Use it for tea, cooking, incense or a nice energy clearing potpourri.

“It has a long tradition of use in Greece, where it is valued for its beauty, medicinal value, and culinary use, along with its sweet nectar and pollen. Salvia fruticosa was depicted in a Minoan fresco circa 1400 BCE at Knossos on the island of Crete. The ancient Phoenicians and Greeks likely introduced the plant for cultivation to the Iberian peninsula, with remnant populations of these introduced plants still found in some coastal areas. It also has a long tradition of use in various Muslim rituals—for newborn children, at weddings, in funerals, and burnt as incense. A cross between S. fruticosa and Salvia officinalis developed in the middle east is called “silver leaf sage” or Salvia" Newe Ya’ar’", and is used in cooking.

In its native habitat, it frequently develops woolly galls about 1 inch in diameter which are called ‘apples’. These ‘apples’ are peeled and eaten when they are soft, and are described as being fragrant, juicy, and tasty.

*The East Mediterranean Sage (Salvia Fruiticosa/triloba) is a native plant of the Mediterranean, which has been used in traditional medicine by many Asian and Middle Eastern countries to treat several ailments. The leaves of the plant are boiled as an herbal tea for the relief of headaches, stomachaches, abdominal pain and many other disorders. The aqueous and oil extracts of sage have been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimicrobial activities. It has recently been shown that the oil extract of S. triloba has potent chemopreventive abilities in the DMBA/TPA mouse model of skin carcinogenesis. This review describes the popular uses of the East Mediterranean Sage in traditional medicine with an emphasis on the anticancer properties of the essential oil extract of the plant.

Martin Bednář

White Antlers: I am that brave trying new things and probably never got a bad experience. As derk is having a Greek ancestry, I thought it is from her. But that’s not important at all; if it is from you… just change in mind the name.

I believe it would be wonderful as an incense too, but I would rather drink it completely. If I once travel to Greece, I know what to look for when picking some souvenirs back home.

White Antlers

It really doesn’t matter WHO the tea is from; it’s the experience, as you said. If you ever start to take an interest in incense, most of mine comes from Mermade Magickal. I wish I still had some of her blue lotus flowers to send you for tea…If she ever gets them in stock again, you’ll get some from me!

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drank Oolong by Joy Luck
2378 tasting notes

The new year arrived with a bang at our house. Lots of them, actually. For those of you who have not had the privilege of weathering a Midwest ice storm, there’s nothing like hearing frozen limbs slam onto your roof and praying that they don’t jab holes in your shingles. Come join us next time! (All appears to be well and the power lines held.)

I had already set this out to drink on New Year’s morning, but a little joy was especially in order after the lousy night’s sleep. Gifted to us by niece and nephew along with some other funny, random Chinese grocery items (smoked eel, anybody?), it was nicely and securely sealed, with big, rolled leaves.

According to my husband, who likes his oolong stewed to the consistency of mud, it “wasn’t toasty enough.” Sleep-deprived impatient steeping probably had something to do with that. However, I liked it just fine—it is does lean toward the wheat-toast flavor category rather than peachy-fruity. Perfectly acceptable second steep.

Martin Bednář

Uhh, happy to hear that everything is fine. Smoked eel sounds okay to me :)

Mastress Alita

I slept terrible last night, too! Greens seem to “wake me up” better than blacks these days, so I’ve been ODing on Japanese greens to get by, ha!

gmathis

Funny how everybody’s body chemistry is different. I must have blood as thick as cake batter because nothing but heavy duty black stuff makes me wakey.

gmathis

Oh, and mate.

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80
drank Pina Colada by Tealish
12553 tasting notes

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80
drank Unicorn Dream by DAVIDsTEA
12553 tasting notes

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drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
1116 tasting notes

Happy 2021!

This one smells so good! Very fruity and somewhat similar to some of their blends with strawberry, but lighter somehow. I’m not sure I get a lot of rhubarb, more like a strawberry rhubarb mix — which is one of my favourite mixes! The rhubarb is coming through in the subtlest hint of tartness. As the tea cools, the rhubarb comes forward and the strawberry takes more a background note. I had so many homemade strawberry rhubarb pies and jams growing up, so this just brings back good memories. I really love this tea and I would happily keep it in my cupboard!

I checked the tracking on Teavivre and it’s made it to Canada! Yay! I need to get sipping some things down to fit all these teas in my cupboard!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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62
drank Bee Well by Well Rooted Teas
3392 tasting notes

SkySamurai’s mystery advent tea #6 backlog from 12/19
I’m really banking this is a herbal blend as I’m saving it for nighttime.  (Not that caffeine affects me at this point, probably.)  But visually it looks very different than anything else I have tried! A rainbow of herbally ingredients. (It COULD have yerba mate in it?)  The scent is like catnip or mustard.   The flavor seems the same!  Definitely not mint – seems savory and mustard.  The brew is almost clear! I don’t think I’ve had this before… whatever it is.  It does seem slightly like that Viking moxie blend. Some odd sweetness happening.  Possibly blackberry leaf?  Maybe linden blossom?  I’ve only had linden blossom in one tea before.  The second steep is almost unbearably too strong… can’t say I like it, so I’m intrigued to find out what this blend actually consists of.  Watch this be the one time I’m allergic to a food….  My guess:  a herbal something or other.  Was I correct? Yes?  It’s an herbal but I can’t say I would have guessed any of these ingredients.  I’ve never heard of this shop and it looks like their inventory actually burned, which is terrible.   However, NONE of the ingredients in the Viking Moxie blend are involved in this one. The ingredients list sounds like the result should be better than what I’m actually tasting though.
Steep #1  // 1 teaspoon for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 8 minutes after boiling //  3-4 minute steep

Skysamurai

I generally don’t drink this one unless I’m not feeling great. They have another blend that has pine needles in it!

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79

SkySamurai’s mystery advent tea #5 backlog from 12/18
Looks like a green today!  Healthwise, I feel like I could use a green tea.  These winters always make me feel physically terrible.  Honestly, I’ve been trying to align some of these mystery teas with what I know of Teavivre teas… I suppose Teavivre is the shop I’d have most knowledge of plain teas from.  They have so many varieties of green tea though, it would be tough to narrow down.  But I think Teavivre has a green tea like this, just from looking at it.  Very twisted fuzzy leaves in various shades of pale green. The scent of the dry leaf isn’t great or spectacular — it’s an odd fragrance.  The scent of the steeped leaves is like corn chowder with tomato soup somehow.  The flavor is lovely – sweet, creamed corn, also a bit nutty.  The second steep wasn’t as great… not as much flavor. My guess: mao feng green!  Was I correct? NO.  I’ve never heard of this one either!   It’s a green from Vietnam. Interesting – I have probably only tried a couple of Vietnam greens.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 39 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 35 minutes after boiling // 3 min

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74
drank French Vanilla by Three 6 Tea
5963 tasting notes

Matcha Latte Sipdown (300)

So I realized after I finished Honey Dew Gelato that I didn’t put in my DAVIDsTEA order. Most of the purchase was restocking matchas I still had from the advent so the number didn’t really go up – though I do have more tea. So with this sample packet finished, I am back down to 300 teas.

This, like all the other Three 6 Teas, is from Roswell Strange. Thank you!!

I made this as a matcha latte. It certainly had a nice vanilla scent when steeping so going in, I hoped for the best. Drinking it, its just a smooth vanilla flavor. It’s pretty good. Rich and creamy and just vanilla. Not much to it beyond that but that’s okay.

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drank Réglisse by Dammann Freres
1116 tasting notes

This smells just like black jujubes! Which I’ve always loved! I can’t eat them anymore, but perhaps this tea can be the perfect replacement?

Wow! This one is so interesting, in a good way. A sweetness hits you right at the start of the sip, then gives way to liquorice. The sweetness isn’t cloying at all. The liquorice almost ‘bites’ at the tongue. It is so reminiscent of liquorice and I love it!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

I haven’t had this one in a while, I’ll have to remember to steep up a pot of it later.

Courtney

I hope you enjoy it! :)

Cameron B.

I’m glad you like it! I remember it having a nice black licorice flavor.

Courtney

Me too! I’ve always just scrolled past it, so I’m happy Jessi asked to split because I may have missed out on a delicious tea!

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65

This was my tea last night. I am not allowed alcohol for medical reasons, so I thought this might be an acceptable replacement. I did not stay up to midnight either.

This tea was part of my Bird & Blend tea advent calendar. I simply couldn’t keep up with the calendars, so I will have plenty of new teas to try the rest of this winter. This one brewed up a dark pink color, almost red. A little spicy. Way too much hibiscus for my taste. My brother LOVES zing-y teas with hhibiscus, but to me it is just sour. I’m glad I got to try it, but this will not be a re-order for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
AJRimmer

I didn’t keep up with any of mine either, so you have plenty of company there!

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