Featured & New Tasting Notes

75

Sipdown 49- 2021
This is a flavor profile that my boyfriend really loves, so he drank most of this pouch. But, I had a cup and it was quite tasty! Syrupy sweet blueberries and vanilla are most dominant for me, with just a touch of cinnamon in the finish. The honey bush works really well here, adding to the cobbler aspect of the flavor.

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93

additional notes:  I broke into my 150g pouch that I just had to buy during the sale… I was thinking of buying some anyway because I once saw it on the VIP page so I thought it might be leaving.  So I went for it during the sale.  Upon opening, I realized there aren’t any caramel cubes… to me it’s an entirely different blend now.  What makes it “toffee” without the caramel cubes?  I asked B&B and they said they removed those from the blend three years ago.  Ack.  But really, it doesn’t seem like the same blend even if it had the caramel cubes.   The black tea seems lighter even with two teaspoons, the apple is lighter, which makes the smoke seem stronger. So I’m sorry if my praising of the past versions of this blend had anyone buy the less great recent blend.   I just don’t love it anymore.

Cameron B.

This one just doesn’t have enough apple for me. :(

AJRimmer

Aw, that’s sad that they changed it!

tea-sipper

Yeah, it was so consistent for so many years! It was one of the original samples that B&B sent me when they JUST started the company.

Cameron B.

I wonder if the change was to make it vegan-friendly?

Martin Bednář

Such a shame!

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84

Dry leaf is long, thin mostly dark green needles with some of of the typical white hairs. I smell some musty hay, faint smoke, rich undertone of white chocolate or cocoa butter.

Taste is full of white chocolate, hay, melon and minerals with slight herbaceous-vegetal-zucchini tone. Nectar sweetness that I find typical of silver needles. Creamy lychee-oat aftertaste. Rather drying.

I had this a week ago and my notes were rushed, my recollection fuzzy. The flavor profile was unique and I can’t remember enough to say why. Maybe the tea had a deeper, earthier feeling to it… I really enjoyed this one, though, especially the white chocolate note which I was not expecting after reading Leafhopper’s review. It seems like our experiences with this tea differed a bit. Thanks for the share, Leafhopper :)

Note 900

Flavors: Creamy, Drying, Hay, Herbaceous, Lychee, Melon, Mineral, Musty, Nectar, Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal, White Chocolate, Zucchini

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
Leafhopper

Congratulations on 900 tasting notes! I definitely don’t remember getting white chocolate from this tea. Did you brew it differently?

Courtney

Woot, 900!

White Antlers

Thank you for being so wonderfully prolific,derk.

gmathis

^ my sentiments exactly.

ashmanra

Ditto ^!

derk

Thank you all for bringing some kindness to the internet :)

Leafhopper: gongfu with steeps starting at 10s. Not much different than you. This tea had me spinning in place.

Martin Bednář

900! Woot woot! Let’s go to 1000 (and even more!)

mrmopar

Big number there!

Leafhopper

Derk, yes, I also found this tea to have a lot of caffeine. I remember being pretty buzzed after my long session.

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66

My Dessert by Deb ordered arrived today and it was so exciting because it was my order and my sub box and wrapped with so much love. Part of it was literally gift wrapped and it just makes for such an amazing experience! I planned on taking pics but I was so excited I ripped through everything before I did. Oops

Part of the order were teas for Sil and teas for Roswell Strange. They both grabbed this tea and while I was curious, I didn’t want more than a sample. I snagged a cup from Sil to try so thank you, Sil!!

It’s a nice tea. I don’t know if it screams pear so much as just a generic and soft orchard fruit note. It also has turmeric but it’s subtle and alright. Overall, it’s fine but it’s not for me.

Cameron B.

Ooh so exciting! Looks like mine has made its way across the border now! \o/

VariaTEA

Exciting! It’s an awesome sub box. I’m so happy I got it!

Silent Kettle

" I planned on taking pics but I was so excited I ripped through everything before I did. Oops" lol! This is so relatable! It reminds me of when I eat all the food before taking pictures, lol! Which is so sad since I love looking back on photos!

And I loved this one as well! Very turmeric heavy, slightly sweet, but it tastes super fresh.

Silent Kettle

Also, I think I didn’t expect it to taste much like pear? >.< I couldn’t imagine that since turmeric would mask the taste. Maybe if the tea was like pear and cranberries?

I think the pear just adds a sweetness to it, and is a nice diversion from apple. But I think most pear teas use natural/artificial flavourings to get it to really taste like pears? :)

Sil

i’m a little sad i didn’t pick up this sub…but then variaTEA and i would have too much of the teas we don’t love lol because sharing is caring

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85

I really love this tea. It reminds me of being in Salem, sipping on tea on Halloween. Such a wonderful trip. Hopefully I can visit again soon!
As for the tea itself- it’s a lovely smoky vanilla. A nice balance of the subtle smoke, and richness of the vanilla.

ashmanra

OOO, smoky and vanilla sound good together!

tea-sipper

A book you might like: We Ride Upon Sticks – Quan Barry (funny but spooky around Massachusetts)

amandastory516

ashmanra: They are! Simple but so tasty.
tea-sipper: Thank you for the recommendation! It definitely sounds like something I’d enjoy.

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85
drank It's Snowing! by 52teas
3267 tasting notes

Thank you for this, AJRimmer!  It’s snowing!  So ’It’s Snowing!’ the tea blend came to mind.  On first sip, I thought “yes, this is a perfect snowy day blend.”  It’s not a chai, but that’s ok!  You can’t drink chai on every cold day.  First, the coconut flakes look fresh and TASTE fresh.  So nice.  Then hints of ginger and cinnamon on a smooth yet dark enough black base.  I love that the coconut is so present.  It’s a smooth, comforting cup for this endless winter.    I MUST finish the last steep session before next winter and the coconut is older.  It’s so good now. 
Steep #1 //  1 1/4 teaspoons // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 4 minutes after boiling // 4 min
2021 sipdowns: 25  Della Terra – Café Vanilla

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drank Caramel Nougat by Tea Forte
934 tasting notes

Last traveling tea box sample from 2020. Hmm this is much more mildly flavored than I expected. Hot, it tastes like rather plain black tea. I’m not really getting caramelized sweetness here. I imagined it being much richer than this. Once it had cooled, the base was a bit more metallic than I prefer, but I also got some burnt caramel hints, which were pleasant. I feel like I did get some nougat in the end, but I wish the flavors were stronger.

gmathis

Now I’ll have to go prowl through my TF sampler box to see if there is one more … I think I’ve tried this one but forgot to review it.

AJRimmer

I’ve never ordered from them before, but their flavors always sound tasty and are fun to try when I come across them!

gmathis

Revealing my OCD side here, but I can’t bear to get rid of the cute little triangular boxes the pyramid bags come in…I just turn them over to the unprinted side and put them right back in the box. I am bound and determined to figure out a kid-friendly game or art project to use them with!

gmathis

P.S. Have you ever seen Tea Forte for sale at a mainline grocery or chain store? Last time I remember seeing some at a store, it was a fancy-pants little touristy gift shop in the Ozarks.

AJRimmer

I totally agree about the packaging! Nope, I’ve never seen them anywhere!

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82

I thought this was the nicest of the teas I tried from Hotcups yesterday, and also the most interesting/unique. Cherry and almond are such complimentary flavours and this is an intense and juicy take on both of them – robust and sweet with this tangy candied cherry and boozy amaretto profile that loosely makes me think of an Amaretto Sour. I believe this is the best selling flavour from Hotcups and I can understand why. It was great hot, but it’d obviously ice very well too – just punchy and straight forward without sacrificing having some layers to the flavour to make it a bit more dynamic.

Martin Bednář

This sounds great! Almonds and cherries, whoa!

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90

The last tea from my Mountain Stream order before I move on to Floating Leaves. This one turned out to be the best one of the bunch. I had a very similar Orange Blossom from Mountain Stream a couple of years ago – it might even be the same tea – and there are a few differences in this one. It’s cleaner tasting while the other was more rough around the edges with a sharper orange taste.

Grandpa steeped 1.2g in an 8oz glass using 200 F water. Dry leaf smell is very inviting and juicy. Creamy with citrusy notes of tangerine and bergamot. The brewed tea tastes like perfumery orange blossom water and apricot. The taste is evocative of baklava with its sweetness and exotic floral flavor. After topping off with boiling water, the orange fades and gives way to jasmine like florals. Doesn’t become bitter as long as you don’t overleaf.

A great scented tea if you’re looking for a citrusy floral oolong.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Jasmine, Orange Blossom

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 g 7 OZ / 197 ML

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87

I’ve been really impressed with everything I’ve tried from TeaVivre. This is no exception. It’s quite complex and multidimensional, and was an extremely enjoyable drinking experience.
It’s thick and slightly savory. Notes of molasses and white flowers follow. Baked brown bread and raisins are in the finish.

Cameron B.

Teavivre is definitely one of my favorites for Chinese teas!

Courtney

Seconded!

ashmanra

Fourthed!

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drank Birthday Cake by Cuppa Geek
2512 tasting notes

Nichole sent me Birthday Cake in my last order, and she didn’t even know that my birthday is next month! Naturally, I decided to save this to open on my birthday.

Naturally, I didn’t.

It started innocently enough. I would just SMELL it. That’s all.

I opened the pouch and sniffed and it smelled exactly like Birthday Cake Oreos! Or….like birthday cake but we always do chocolate or lemon cakes so I didn’t associate it with cake first!

The next step in this parade was that “it wouldn’t hurt to try just one cup.” After all, it resteeps twice more so I could have a lot of tea with just one teaspoon gone and still have plenty for my birthday.

It does not taste quite the same as it smells. It tastes better, way better, because I don’t like overly sweet bakery cake and cupcakes with towers of icing. The reason it is better? The base here is the same very “adult” black tea that I loved in Vanilla Black and Peach Vanilla. It is a sophisticated tasting black base. It is forward enough to keep this from tasting like a syrupy sweet children’s tea party tea. The base has the raspy unsweetened cocoa “feel” that I enjoy.

The aroma of the steeped tea is largely caramel to me! It smells really good! So good that I asked Ashman if he would sniff it. You know where that went, right? Another teaspoon bites the dust. The vanilla and cream are there for sure, but the caramel got its hooks in us.

Giving up entirely on the notion of saving this for my birthday, I made a huge pot of it for breakfast the next morning. I guess I am going to have to order a new pouch.

Thank you, Nichole! We loved it!

White Antlers

What’s that old saying? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions…LOL!

AJRimmer

I was debating whether to order this one, and it looks like I need to!

Sil

oooooh…..

ashmanra

Ah yes, that road well travelled!

I had it again today for tea time with the last three pieces of Quality Street chocolates left from christmas. It will be a miracle if any is left by my birthday.

White Antlers

Life goes by so very fast; I say seize the tea! : )

DrowningMySorrows

I was debating whether to add a sample of Birthday Cake to an order of goodies for my mother and I think you just convinced me to. She’s usually not big on things that are supposed to be cake or cookie flavored but she loves caramel.

ashmanra

DrowningMySorrows: I hope she likes it! Once steeped, it really is mostly caramel to me! Nice and rich and dark. I am not a fan of grocery store birthday cakes and cupcakes. This does not taste like those! Let us know what she says about it! I just ordered more along with the March partTea package!

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85
drank Banana Pancakes by 52teas
3267 tasting notes

additional notes:  I’m having my own themed day and having three pancake teas for PANCAKE DAY (also will be having pancakes for dinner.)  Just finished a pouch of this.  It’s sadly losing some of it’s flavor at this point, though not that old.
2021 sipdowns: 21

Lexie Aleah

I may have to pull out a pancake tea as well ;)

tea-sipper

haha. Do it!!

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83
drank Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea by Teavivre
902 tasting notes

2016 harvest, sealed sample packet from Leafhopper!

Dry leaf is pungent! chestnut, cacao, an impression of cherry pie filling. The look of it reminds me of Laoshan green. I’ve had this as mini-bowl tea 1g:100mL and teapot 2g:190mL, 3/4min. Prefer the bowl.

Let’s see… lemony, roasted chestnut, pan-fried green beans for sure, steamed escarole, gentle floral-powdered sugar high note, underlying umami. Vegetal, salty-nutty-brothy-sweet ending brisk and tart with a light bitterness on the swallow. Aftertaste is at first metallic, turning into a salted citrus rind tingle then apricot to a subtle impression of violet and lavender.

It’s not extremely vegetal or too robust, has a range of flavors that are well rounded. Pretty dang good for 5 years old.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Broth, Cacao, Cherry, Chestnut, Citrus Zest, Floral, Green Beans, Lavender, Lemon, Lettuce, Metallic, Nutty, Powdered Sugar, Salty, Sweet, Tart, Umami, Vegetal, Violet

White Antlers

I initially read this ‘turning into a salted citrus rind tingle…’ as ‘turning into a salted circus ring tingle,’ and said to myself-Damn! derk has really outdone herself with this tea note!!! Needless to say, I was most disappointed upon re-reading. Ah! The joys of dyslexia.

derk

Hehe. Now I feel compelled to come up with an absolutely batty note.

White Antlers

Oh, I don’t think you make notes up. It was fun to take a break from scrubbing the floors, drink seltzer and try to imagine if you were tasting peanuts, sawdust, cotton candy, grease paint, tiger dander, high wire sweat, clown wig fibres or a combination of all of those.

derk

and the pungency of hungover carnies.

eastkyteaguy

There’s nothing like the pungency of hungover carnies. I love the way the combined scents of cheap cigarettes, sweat, body odor, horse manure, deep fried twinkies, malt liquor, unwashed clothing, crystal meth, and bottom shelf vodka just roll off of them as they emerge from their carnival trailers into the July heat. It’s magical.

derk

That was a real LOL I did there.

derk

I think one of my aunt’s was a local carnie for a minute.

Martin Bednář

I am thinking how tastes salted citrus rinds; never had it!. And all others comments me laugh; much needed!

White Antlers

eastkyteaguy-That was an absolutely stunning and spot on sensory picture!

Leafhopper

Derk, I almost didn’t include those green tea samples because they were so old. Glad you’re getting something out of them.

Eastkyteaguy, your comment made me laugh!

tea-sipper

Tasting note and comments on a roll here. I think my Laoshan is about five years old by now…

gmathis

I was just thinking this tea sounds like its own buffet.

derk

Yeh, Leafhopper, I was surprised. No worries, I try anything that lands in my cupboard through the kindness of others :)

gmathis

Now that you mention it, I really do have circus in my DNA! My great aunt and uncle weren’t performers, but were on kitchen and setup crew, traveling on a real circus train. Wish I knew more. I was an afterthought, a decade behind elder siblings, and by then, I guess it was just assumed everyone had already heard all the good family stories.

gmathis

Moral to you young’uns: WRITE THIS STUFF DOWN. IN A BOOK. WITH REAL PAGES. THAT WILL NOT BECOME OBSOLETE TECHNOLOGY.

tea-sipper

That is awesome, gmathis (but not awesome they skipped the stories with you.)

gmathis

(rocking chair creaking) Pull up a chair, honey, and I’ll tell you about how Grandpa won the money for Grandma’s wedding china in a craps game in the attic of their unfinished house and hauled it back from the train in the buckboard…

tea-sipper

:D I had to look up buckboard.

DrowningMySorrows

I don’t think there were any circus folk in my family but there are definitely some stories I wish I knew more about. Certain family members were considered embarrassments for things nobody would bat an eye at now and asking anything about them would get you a “don’t shake the family tree, a bunch of nuts will fall out.”

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100

So glad I bought another pouch of this tea, especially in the midst of this brutal cold spell that’s hit Chicago and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon (thanks Polar Vortex). The windchill was -15 F the other day and I knew my usual morning green tea or green oolong wasn’t going to cut it. I was craving something warm and toasty and this tea came to the rescue.

It’s been a year since I last had this tea which was picked nearly 3 years ago. Despite the age it was still mind-blowingly good. Credit to TTC’s hermetically sealed foil bags…I wish every company packed their tea like they do.

Grandpa steeped 1.3g of leaf in my 8oz mug @ 200 F. I was immediately greeted by that familiar yet delicious honeyed flavor. Nectar sweet with notes of wildflowers, toasted pine nuts, and caramelized minerals. As the tea steeps, wildflower honey gets mingled with a subtle bug bitten sweetness. A wonderful example of a skillfully roasted tea that brings out complex flavors without tasting roasty.

Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Mineral, Muscatel, Roast nuts, Toasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

We’re at -40 C here brrr. Also, I can’t seem to enjoy this one no matter how hard I try!

LuckyMe

@Courtney OMG, spring can’t come soon enough. I was honestly puzzled reading all of the negative reviews for this tea. The only explanation I find is I won the Gui Fei lottery and got the lone good batch from this picking.

Courtney

You must have! Mine is far too floral for me, sadly! I still have an unopened bag that I can’t bring myself to open and try haha!

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drank Jaffa Cakes by Cuppa Geek
2512 tasting notes

My tea came today! This is the one that incited me to order so I had to try it first.

I opened the pouch and sniffed and my knees trembled. Literally. You think I am joking? Watch the video. There is no video so just imagine it. It really happened.

It smelled so good that I thought my heart would break if it didn’t taste the way it smelled.
Since there are orange peels and chocolate chips and I know I am going to triple steep, I used a teaspoon and a half.

I am going to cry.

This is so good. It tastes like it smells. I think I had Jaffa Cakes once in Ireland. BUT easily available in the US are orange Pims (also in raspberry) which are nearly the same. And when my two youngest daughters and I first started having tea together and wanted to be fancy we bought Pims. Back when you could have people over for tea, remember? Back before viruses and nasty February weather that keeps you from even having tea with friends outside.

And this has taken me back to the best memories of those days.

The orange is fresh “peeling-an-orange-and-the-juice-lightly-mists-your-face” orange. Up front the aroma is all orange orange happy orange. Aromatherapists know that orange scent is a mood lifter and even peeling one can make people feel better. (I am so tired of all the orange, clove, and cinnamon teas though.)

As you swallow, the back and sides of your tongue are drenched with chocolate, which haunts your mouth after swallow. Orange up front, chocolate lingering after.

Tonight as I am sleeping, I will be whispering, but if the Ashman leans close to hear what I am saying, all he will hear is, “Jaffa Cakes.”

I prolly need more.

Sil

omg i miss jaffa cakes….

Emilie

Well I definitely need to get this now!

gmathis

At this point, I don’t think it’ll even come close, but did I ever send you any of my dearly beloved Chocolate Orange from TeaMaze? It evoked a similar response the first time I tried it. Well, maybe not the weak knees…

LuckyMe

It’s been years since I’ve had jaffa cakes. Admittedly it was from Aldi so not the best quality but I will have to seek out Pims.

Cameron B.

I guess I’m lucky – my local grocery stocks Jaffa Cakes in the International section.

DrowningMySorrows

This sounds delicious. I don’t think it was available when I ordered a bunch of samples for my mother. Might be time for another order!

ashmanra

DrowningMySorrows: it is a brand new blend! Along with three others that I am excited to try!

ashmanra

Cameron B: World Market here may carry them, not sure, but my daughter said she has seen them in Raleigh.

Gmathis: No, I never had that chocolate orange!

ashmanra

Sil: Why do you miss them? Do they not sell them where you live?

White Antlers

I don’t even LIKE flavored tea but your tasting note made me want to buy this! Great writing (as always) ashmanra! : )

ashmanra

White Antlers: Thank you! Ha ha! I had three sisters here today for lessons and I had let them smell this tea packet. It is raining and thundering and dark so an hour into lessons I asked if they would like tea. They said yes. I asked what they would like and the eldest said perhaps something caffeine free so it wouldn’t keep her up. Hmmm. I said…”Do you want Jaffa Cakes then?” Ha ha! Yes, they wanted Jaffa Cakes but we’re kind enough to say “only if you can spare it” because they saw my face when I sniffed it. They had a pot of Jaffa Cakes! I couldn’t, cuz mask! But I got the leftovers!

White Antlers

Awww! That is SO heartwarming. <3 I do love good manners; they really never go out of style.

Martin Bednář

I guess I will place an order as well! This sounds so lovely!

Sil

@ash – they aren’t relaly a thing in canada…you can sometimes find them in places that import things from the UK but they’re just not as fresh and delicious as they are when you buy them in the UK. Kinda like timtams…you CAN get those here, but they’re not the same lol

Cameron B.

Ooooh Tim Tams…

ashmanra

Tim Tams……drool

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90

There’s a break in the impeachment trial. Such disturbing, horrifying, sad unseen footage shown. Thought I’d write a quick review during the break.

It’s been two years and these improve with age so thought I’d try another today. I put the dried tangerine stuffed with Pu-er in my little gaiwan and rinsed it with boiling water. It barely fit lol. The liquor is a really dark reddish/brown color, tangerine scent. Afterward, I did like 5 to 10-second infusions. So many times that I lost count. It’s fallen completely apart now lol. I can not emphasize enough just how mellow this pu-erh is compared to many. I am reluctant to even put “earth” in the taste profile because it’s that mellow. I haven’t been in the mood for any pu-erh tea for months but this was just wonderful and warm.

It’s a really nice, mellow pu-erh with no leather, fishiness, or strong overbearing notes. Tangerine, citrusy notes and aroma, filling the room.

So time did, in fact, make this even better. I have a couple more. I just ordered from TeaVivre and I am looking forward to trying Quanzi green mandarin pu’er. I added that as a sample. If it is as good as this, I’ll be a happy camper.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Citrusy, Earth, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML
ashmanra

I am nearly out of my Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls. You are tempting me to add more tea to the order…

Kawaii433

ashmanra hehehehe Now that I’m back and I can even update my profile (yay), my temptation has gone up 10-fold. Oy vey~

Lexie Aleah

I’m drinking Teavivre’s Green Mandarin Orange Ripened Pu-erh right now what a coincidence!

Kawaii433

Lexie Aleah Yum! I have that one in line for tomorrow! :D

derk

Kawaii appears again! I’m just now watching trial videos from today. Disturbing indeed. I haven’t had any shou this winter besides white2tea’s channel orange, a different take on this style of chenpi puerh. My body feels warmer this year compared to others so I’ve been drinking lighter tasting teas like darjeeling, whites, unroasted oolong and sheng. But this sounds nice :)

Kawaii433

derk! :D I really, really like white2tea’s channel orange. This year something is up with my body too. Far less shou, black tea even… Greens and light oolongs here.

LuckyMe

Nice to see you back on Steepster. I’ve been following the trial too and I’m not sure what to be more outraged about. The storming of the Capitol or the lack of impartial jurors in this trial.

Kawaii433

LuckyMe 100%

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91
drank Pineapple by Silver Tips Tea
3267 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge Tuesday, February 9th: National Pizza Day –Tea #2

additional notes:  YEP, I’m a pineapple pizza fan!   This tea is a mighty fine pineapple tea – straightforward pineapple on a brisk mixture of black teas.  I’ve written about it before, so I will refrain from saying more.  (Also having a stromboli today for pizza day!)

Cameron B.

Hawaiian pizza used to be my fave when I was younger, not so much anymore hah.

Mastress Alita

I’m crazy about it. I especially love it with garlic ranch sauce, roasted garlic, and traditional bacon with the Canadian bacon!

Courtney

I love pineapple on pizza! We always add it to our homemade creations!

AJRimmer

Stromboli! I won’t go to an Italian restaurant that thinks it’s too fancy to have a calzone/stromboli on the menu. It’s what I order every time.

DrowningMySorrows

Yum, stromboli!
I love pineapple but not on pizza. I don’t think I’ve had a pineapple tea, though. Maybe my freeze-dried pineapple needs to meet a few of my teas.

tea-sipper

I love pineapple/ham pizza with a bleu cheese dipping sauce.

gmathis

Well, without knowing it, we were right on target for dinner—homemade (ahem, assembled on pre-fab crust) pizza with ham, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes on my favorite Pastorelli canned sauce. It’s zingy.

tea-sipper

You unintentionally celebrated pizza day, gmathis!

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I was sitting on the couch trying to put out some work fires and felt like I wanted to make another matcha latte because I really enjoyed my first cup of Teavivre’s matcha last week. I Iazily didn’t want to get off the couch but then saw the matcha Monday post from VariaTEA and it motivated me to get up haha.

I made this latte with soy milk and maple (instead of almond milk and a date) and it’s come out differently, yet still tasty. I think I almost prefer the date, but I’m going to make a date paste next time that will be incorporated better. The soy milk has made it thicker, but it still has that delicious matcha flavour with almost no bitterness.

Preparation
2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

Yay for Matcha Monday!

Courtney

Truly! Cameron has me intrigued with 3 Leaf Tea now as well…perhaps I’ll have some flavoured matchas for upcoming Mondays soon. :P

Cameron B.

Once my New Moon order gets here I’ll have to send you a sample package!

DrowningMySorrows

Ooh, I should start doing matcha Monday. I love a good matcha latte but I haven’t been drinking many lately for some reason.

Courtney

I always forgot to drink mine too. Thanks VariaTEA for this new trend!

VariaTEA

I can’t take credit. It was started by @teaisawishblog on Instagram. There is also Tea Together Tuesday. They’re good inspiration for drinking teas.

Cameron B.

Matcha Monday is so fun! :D

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91

I broke into my stash of this to work as liquid courage. I hate selfies but decided to post one on the Sororitea Sisters instagram page as part of a Meet the Sisters series I wanted to start since the new year. My hair, which I have been attempting to perft with the curly girl method, was looking alright and I decided to just go for it. You can see the post and learn a little about me (though if you read my notes, you likely know most of the info) here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLAUzdlgYZ5/

As for this tea, its one of the oldest in my stash and I have a lot of it but once it is gone it is gone. That’s sad because this is spot on for a lemon poppyseed muffin, the bright yellow one bursting with citrus flavor and topped with a vanilla glaze. It’s accurate and delightful and just what I needed.

Courtney

Yay for the curly girl method going well!

Courtney

Your hair looks awesome! Love the photo. :)

Sil

hair is coming along nicely! love it

VariaTEA

Thank you. I’ve been using DevaCurl samples and Mizani Miracle Milk but I’ve ordered a bunch of other products to try because I read reviews that the Devacurl didn’t help much with frizz. I figured I’d try other things before committing to more

Courtney

Love that! I don’t use a curly specific shampoo (I use Calia), but I do have curly products (we both love Innersense).

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drank Chocolate Rose by Tea Forte
2340 tasting notes

From the sampler box. There is chocolate (not quite enough for me); there is rose (a little too much for me), but it performs exactly as advertised. Tea Forte recommends it with milk. I recommend it with a Russell Stover chocolate cream. Adds a little elegance to a glumpy afternoon, the highlight of which has been vacuuming cat hair and folding far too many loads of laundry.

Lexie Aleah

Breaking out the Valentines Day chocolate already? haha I’m trying to wait a little longer.

Cameron B.

I made sure to not have mine delivered too early so I wouldn’t eat them… o.o

gmathis

Leftover Christmas in preparation for a new supply next week ;)

ashmanra

I am also finishing Christmas chocolate in preparation for Valentine chocolate! LOL

Cameron B.

Wow, I’m impressed that you have any Christmas chocolate left! I definitely would not… XD

ashmanra

Cameron B.: I bought THREE JARS of the Quality Street assortment from BJs, one bag of Hershey’s assortment (I only ate the Reese’s cuz Kisses cuz jump in a lake), and was gifted a box of See’s and two bags of Lindt truffles. Fortunately, I am not eating these alone.

tea-sipper

I usually have holiday candy leftover from one holiday until the matching holiday shows up the next year. So my Christmas candy will last until next Christmas. :D

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A few months ago, Cameron B mentioned loving some freeze dried miso soup so I ordered it for Youngest for Christmas. She loved it so much that I ordered some for myself! I had never had miso soup. I tried it and it was really good. My husband liked it, too, so I decided to try to make some homemade miso soup.

I made miso soup with zucchini, fresh chives from the garden, and wakame. I also made potstickers and a homemade yumyum sauce. Naturally I wanted a Japanese tea to complete the meal and this is probably the only one I have other than matcha.

The first time I made it we had it more or less gong fu style, resteeping and pouring into tiny cups. It looked almost gray/pink with purple at the edge of the cup until we added lemon juice which turned it really pink, but I preferred it plain.

This time I made it western style and poured two steeps together into a large tetsubin for serving. I think it had more purple/pink color this way, but probably just because we used larger Japanese cups that Superanna gave me. (The tea was also from her.) It was probably the depth of the tea that made it appear to have deeper color.

We both enjoyed it, and it was really great with the food. It is a rather mild Sencha so it can tend to disappear if sipped right after a strongly flavored bite. We made a third steep to drink after the meal and I think it looked even pinker. It was easy to drink and had very little drying effect, nicely hydrating.

Cameron B.

Yum! Zucchini in miso soup sounds delicious. What type of miso was it? :O

ashmanra

MUSO Dark Aged Miso, full-bodied, naturally crafted with soy and rice. And the back says Maruya Hatcho Miso and says it is aged in wooden barrels. But I know little about miso so I am just typing what is on the package.

When I had breast cancer, I was told to avoid soy products as much as possible since it is in EVERYTHING now, including gelato, but miso and real aged soy sauce were fine.

White Antlers

ashmanra I’m allergic to soy so I can’t eat any of it in anything, but my understanding is that non-GMO soy is okay. The trick is finding it!
My late wife had celiac. When she was in Italy, she threw caution to the winds and ate pasta and bread in moderation with no ill effects. Her PCP told her that she might have fared well because (once again) she ate non-GMO wheat flour products. Of course, when she returned to the states and thought she was ‘cured, of celiac’ she quickly and painfully discovered that she wasn’t.

Sil

mmmm good miso soup is hard to find

Lexie Aleah

I’ve definitely bought some not so good miso soup mixes from the store before. I still need to get some of the one’s Cameron Recommended to try.

Cameron B.

Ooh Hatcho miso is very dark and smoky!

ashmanra

White Antlers: How I wish we had better choices with our foods! The milk in Ireland was heavenly, and every place that had cows’ milk had goat milk, too. You can’t find it where I live except for really expensive condensed type.

Lexie: you may already know, but the one Cameron recommended was Amano Foods variety pack. The eggplant one is superb.

Cameron B.

I agree, the eggplant one!!! (drools)

Mastress Alita

Miso is the one migraine trigger of mine (it’s the fermentation of the soy in things like miso/soy sauce) that I will cheat on. I just can’t give it up!

ashmanra

Mastress Alita: I bought another miso paste first and can’t use it because it has MSG. Naturally occurring MSG doesn’t get us, but added MSG makes me drunk and triggered a migraine for my husband. We had been to a local Asian buffet restaurant many times with no ill effects, but one day we went for lunch and I stumbled in the house, giggled for a minute, and then told the kids mom was gonna take a nap and crashed on the sofa. By that night, Ashman had a migraine, I can only guess they had started using MSG.

Since I was a teen and had my first Chinese food, MSG makes me giggle and then crash. I didn’t know why it happened until I told the owner of the restaurant and he said it was the MSG and told the staff not to add it to my food anymore. It never happened there again.

Mastress Alita

MSG is one of my migraine triggers, and ya, I usually don’t have issues with naturally-occuring glutamates. But soy that has gone through fermentation (like it has in miso and soy sauce products) can also get to me. It’s some chemical (which I forget the name of now) that is released during the fermentation process. I try to limit my miso soup intake at restaurants to a very small cup.

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90

4tsp for 500mL water @90C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk plain.
Picking date: 2 August 2019.

Wow.

The “raspberry” in the tea’s name is not an added flavour but a pronounced tasting note. Raspberry jam and dates, as the packaging says, and some soft malt. Medium body. Only mildly astringent in aftertaste. Sweet and deep. No bitterness at 90C. I think I’m falling in love with Assams all over again, thanks to TeaBox.

ashmanra

^What she said..l

Michelle Butler Hallett

I am super-impressed with TeaBox. I ordered their Assam sample pack and got 15 different Assams to try. I also got 100g of their Temi Summer Muscatel Black, grown in Sikkim, and it’s beautiful.

gmathis

You are making it hard to beat the new tea lust back into submission!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yes, I’m sure I’m no help whatsoever. I hadn’t ordered any tea in AGES, but then TeaBox caught my eye … their tea is super-fresh, too. I’m digging the picking dates on the packaging. The only reason I didn’t get into their Darjeeling collection yet is that I still have, oh, two pounds of 2019 Darjeeling from TeaKampagne to get through.

Sil

myteabox.ca? or somewhere else?

Sil

nm i assume you mean teabox.com lol

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yes, teaboxcom. The tea comes to you direct from Siliguri, West Bengal, India.

Leafhopper

I usually think Assams are too strong, but this sounds wonderful!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yeah, I hear you on too strong. I gave up on Assams years ago — one too many upset stomachs. Teabox recommend 85 to 95C water, depending on the estate. I’m starting to think that 100C boiling water is just too hot for Assams. (And Darjeelings. I go no higher than 95C for Darjeelings.)

Not one of the Teabox Assams I’ve tried has been bitter, and the maltiness so far is present but not stripping the lining of my mouth.

I got a sample pack of single estate Assams. The sample pack is on sale for $50 Canadian right now, and you get 15 different 10g/0.4oz packets of different estate Assams. (Lord, I sound like I work for them. Sorry about that.)

Leafhopper

I usually steep both Assams and Darjeelings at 195F; I may have to go lower on the Assams. If I literally didn’t have over a pound of Darjeeling right now, I might get that sampler set.

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drank Ghost Town by Arthur Dove Tea Co.
1437 tasting notes

I’ve been finding myself craving the subtle smoke found in several Arthur Dove blends. Today I reached for Ghost Town. Smokey scent with a lighter creamier smoke in the sip that linger pleasantly into the finish.
Wish I had time to enjoy this cup, but I’m gulping this down on my way out the door to buy more oxygen for my casting torch. It’s still really good, even speed drunk.

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

You and Ros have been so tempting with these Arthur Dove teas!

Dustin

Ros is the one who made me aware of this company. NO REGRETS! Well, except that one hibiscus blend, but even that one was well done. ;)

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60

TEA MAIL from ashmanra, thank you for sharing a few cups with me again :)

Okay, another exam passed. I was exhausted. And cold, as it was raining all the time I was going home from the train station. Felt asleep watching a ice hockey match in early afternoon!

So, decided to brew this one. It sounded very fiery and I wasn’t that sure about it at all, ginger and Mate; Fire in name, I was afraid this tea isn’t for me.

Well, it has got indeed interesting taste. I had Yerba Maté several times, but never cared if roasted or not, or how it should taste like and those things.

Today cuppa woke me up sucessfully. And it was somehow mineral, quite spicy (fiery, from ginger I guess) but it wasn’t excessively. A wee hint of cinnamon.

Wouldn’t call it Chai honestly. It was a ginger drink with yerba maté. That’s it.

Flavors: Ginger, Mineral

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

Congratulations on ANOTHER exam passed! : )

gmathis

I like mate for its effects rather than its flavor. This might work pretty well for me.

Martin Bednář

White Antlers… only two more! On Friday and next Thursday.

gmathis: I see, it certianly woke me up. And more than I would expect :) Too bad it’s quite simple in flavour though :(

Leafhopper

Congratulations on passing your exam! I’m glad you have only two more to go.

Martin Bednář

Thanks Leafhopper :)

ashmanra

A passed exam and an afternoon nap in the rain sounds like an almost perfect day! So happy for you! Step by step you are getting closer to your goal!

mrmopar

Congrats on passing another one sir!

Martin Bednář

ashmanra: If only I don’t have next exam tomorrow! I wanted to prepare; but I am not even able to be that productive today (an yesterday). So, it was part-perfect :) Sometimes it’s just a bit more than I can. But of course, super happy that only two are remaining.
mrmopar: Thank you! Small steps, but it’s something :)

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