Featured & New Tasting Notes

96

My boyfriend made me a cardamom, rose, pistachio cake for my birthday today! It’s absolutely delicious, and it went perfectly with a nice big pot of this tea. I made it over the stove in cashew milk and it was so delicious. It’s also slightly rainy and overcast today, so the milky chai perfectly fit my mood.

tea-sipper

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Courtney

Happy birthday! :)

Leafhopper

Happy birthday! That cake sounds good! :)

Tiffany :)

Happy birthday! :D

Martin Bednář

Happy birthday! Oh, pistachio cake! And cardamom, rose… I bet it was delicious!

Lexie Aleah

Happy Birthday! That cake sounds so good!

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61
drank Playa Peach by DAVIDsTEA
1031 tasting notes

For some reason DavidsTea peach teas often don’t work for me. This one is a little peachy, but it has a floral element that is at least as strong, plus an artificial taste that I don’t enjoy. I found the flavor less off-putting the second time I tried it. I certainly wouldn’t order this again or recommend it since there are so many better peach teas out there. I drank it cold. The artificial/floral parts don’t really go away, but I guess I’m used to them.

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75

Brewed western style for five minutes. This is a wonderful Lapsang Souchong tea. The smoke flavor was neither overpowering nor did it fade too quickly in the cup. It wasn’t as heavy as I expected it to be, given how full Lapsang Souchong teas tend to be. The only drawback is that it doesn’t stand up to re-steeping—this is a “one-and-done” tea.

I’ve had this tea for over a year now but rarely drink it since I really have to be in the mood for Lapsang Souchong. This morning was perfect for it—cool and overcast outside.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78

Sipdown 84-2021
Added a bit of honey, and it really seems to bring out the blueberry flavor. I’m not getting any mango. But, the combination of fruity blueberry, roastiness, and slight grassiness is quite nice.

Flavors: Blueberry, Dry Grass, Roasted

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79

It was one of those mornings where, actually having the time to properly prepare a cup of tea without having to be in a rush out the door for work, I stood in front of my massive tea collection and couldn’t decided what I wanted. When I saw my two sampler pouches of this in the (almost empty now) flavored black teas sampler bag, I decided I really was in an Earl Grey mood.

I actually do smell the plum and clove from the dry leaf… and something coming across peppery? Lazily scooped one perfect teaspoon leaf instead of measuring grams like I usually do, steeped in 350ml 205F water for three minutes. The steeped leaf smelled more strongly of a lemony/bergamot citrus. The brewed up has a very appealing aroma; beramot, plum, and spices.

Mmm… this is interesting, and I like it! To me, it tastes like an Earl Grey and a Mulled Wine tea had a child, and those are both tea types I really like. There is a deep fruitiness to the cup; I do taste plum, but it is also reading a little like lychee to me, since I’m getting a slight floral undertone. The bergamot is pretty pervasive and fills the sip, with a crisp, citrusy, and slightly tart/sour lemon note. When the berg settles on the touch, there is a strong aftertaste of spices; I taste the clove, but the nutmeg is reading to me as more of a black pepper taste.

Perhaps a strange combination of flavors but it’s working for me… and it feels nice to get to lazily sip on a warm cup of tea, taking my time and savoring the sips!

In other tea news, I recently bought one of those CO2 infusing “soda” machines to experiment with my cold teas. The first one I tried (B&B’s Peppermint Cream) tasted questionable, but I looooooooove TeaSource’s vanilla black, Moon Over Madegascar, that way! Looking forward to experimenting with other teas (I have some of Lupicia’s Ramune tea to try next!)

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Clove, Floral, Fruity, Lemon, Lychee, Pepper, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Spices, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
teepland

I’ve never considered carbonating a cold tea, but that sounds like a wonderful idea! I will have to try that with our machine. I hope you’ll share some that you try and it turns out well!

Mastress Alita

Right now I’m having the French tea I made yesterday (my leftovers from work went into the fridge to get ice cold). It was called C’est Sympathique and supposedly was melon-flavored, but has a strong tart lemony taste to me. That strong, bright citrus flavor also tastes really good carbonated.

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73

Yesterday I got my grades and passed everything so I officially passed law school!! Today I woke up and weighed myself and lost about 4 lbs. I am not doing anything in particular – just trying to overall make healthier choices. Then I had a therapy call. Needless to say I was feeling good so I danced and made a cute breakfast and then had to make a tea to go with it. My breakfast was a blueberry cheesecake smoothie bowl and so I grabbed the first blueberry tea I thought of. I then spilled this and made a mess everywhere. I had about 3/4 left in the cup though (you’d think I spilled the whole thing by how flooded my tea counter was) so when I finished I was able to take my breakfast outside and just relax and appreciate the day. Now I’m procrastinating studying again by posting about my breakfast all over Instagram (check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CO3NZHoA4hc/?igshid=1rgop0ebyyb4) and now writing about it (and the tea) here.

The tea is quite nice. A lot of brown sugar and blueberry notes. It’s a little astringent but not overly so and that could be because it’s at an odd Luke warm/cool temperature. Overall it’s nice though and I’m glad I have more to explore.

Martin Bednář

Congratulations!

Michelle

Yay! Congrats!

VariaTEA

Thank you!!!

Lexie Aleah

That’s exciting! Congratulations

Leafhopper

Congratulations! :)

Courtney

Yay, congratulations! :)

ashmanra

Congratulations! That is awesome! I can only imagine how hard you worked for this, so treat yourself extra nice!

VariaTEA

Thank you everyone!! It feels awesome but they don’t leave us much time to enjoy since the first bar exam is scheduled for the beginning of June. That said, I definitely have been much happier and lighter and dancing much more so I think there may be a correlation haha

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75

Ugh, I’m in such a tea funk lately. I don’t really want to force myself to drink it, but I also don’t want to stop drinking it completely and lose interest, and I’ve been doing so well with sipdowns that it seems a shame to stop now…

Anyway. Trying this as my first tea of the day. It was a free sample that Deb included in my last order, and something I wouldn’t have chosen for myself because of the lavender. So it’s probably a good thing that I let her choose my samples this time around, heh, to try new things outside my comfort zone.

But actually, the lavender here is very mild. At the same time, this is a bit odd-tasting to me. I think it’s because the black base is quite musty and hay-like? The bergamot and lemon are well-balanced though, and I like the slight herbal quality of the lemongrass, and the very slight floral additions.

I’m not sure it’s something I would order though, because of the weird base… Maybe it’s the combination with the lemongrass that makes it taste so musty to me? I don’t recall this being a thing with her other black teas… (shrugs) I really like the blend otherwise.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Musty, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

I think the funkiness is a common malaise once the weather starts warming up.

Cameron B.

It probably doesn’t help that the weather has been uncharacteristically rainy and overcast here for the past couple of weeks… -.-zzzZZZ

gmathis

Southwest Missouri, too. Just when I was getting excited about wearing capris and skirts again.

amandastory516

I’ve been in a tea funk too!

Dustin

It is a time of year thing?! I’m feeling it too. I almost don’t care what tea I drink because none of them are going to hit the ever moving target of what I feel like drinking.

Cameron B.

I’m doing slightly better today. I think it’s just because I was “sick” (vaccine reaction) for a day and it threw me off, and it took a few days to recover my tea appetite…

Michelle

I think its called hedonistic adaptation and it happens with things other than tea too. I’ve often wondered how people can drink the same thing every day (coffee, tea, diet coke, whatever) not craving variety, while us hedonists want new and better things every day, and then adapt to the new things making them less desirable. Supposedly being aware of hedonistic adaptation, along with savoring and gratitude for the things you do have is the way to go. And while I know (and have read the scientific studies) that accumulating things won’t lead to happiness, I can’t get my brain to equate that to tea :)

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66

Hi everyone (waves). Week long hiatus because of my thesis. Thesis done (hopefully). Deadline on Friday. “I like to live dangerously!”

Anyway, I decided to try a new shop for me and I just decided to give a several new teas. I was craving buying new teas, but not from subsciption. Genuine, pure teas…

And as I wanted some pure black, I decided to order this one. Not only to mention that typo in the name… my pouch is saying 2nd Flush 2015. Not happy to see it much, but it was cheap tea. Truly, very cheap tea. That 15 grams sample was cheaper than a beer here. And beer is cheap.

Anyway, took two teaspoons and my 300 ml mug.

It’s described as very malty tea with raisins, honey and licorice flavour, but honestly… (it’s because age?) it was rather like a malty and tobacco. With strong tannic aftertaste. Raisins, in my opinion are different, and honey… no way, sadly.

Overall, it was quite mediocre tea. Far from Mokalbari Assam (but as well completely different area). And that biiter aftertaste isn’t a thing to look forward as well. Well, at least it was cheap and just a small sample. Not every tea is a winning tea.

Flavors: Malt, Tannic, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
Leafhopper

Sorry to hear the Assam wasn’t that good. Sometimes lowering the temperature can detract from the bitterness, though not always. I hope the other teas from this company are better.

gmathis

Yay! “Done” is a beautiful word, isn’t it?

Martin Bednář

Leafhopper: I am kind of afraid it being truly from 2015 :( A shame, as they don’t wrote that on the website. I will try to lower the temperature a wee bit, but it’s black and and 96°C should not be a troublesome. I don’t think I have overleafed it, but I may try a bit less leaf too. Or it’s just not my cup of tea.

gmathis: Ah-haha! Indeed. It was a hard week indeed, but the results seems promising! I just need to pass one last exam next Friday! And then just the finals.

tea-sipper

I’m pretty sure they shouldn’t be selling you 2015 tea without outright stating it on their website? That doesn’t seem right…

Martin Bednář

I agree with you tea-sipper, but for the price I won’t care. At least I know I have to be careful when ordering such a cheap teas there. Selling 2015 black tea is wrong, for sure. Athough it has been in airtight package, it wasn’t fresh obviously!

tea-sipper

Sometimes some people are interested in tea from years ago, but that is only okay when they state that upfront on the website!

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drank Sakura Sencha by Sugimoto America
1031 tasting notes

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a green tea like this, so I grabbed a little from a tea box. It’s quite grassy and vegetal. It tastes pretty fresh, though it’s not a flavor profile I gravitate towards. There’s something almost like pepper in there, but I think it’s some other herbaceous flavor. I enjoyed this more than I expected. I didn’t notice the sakura specifically, but it probably added complexity to the flavor.

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81
drank Keemun Mao Feng by Westholme Tea Company
12436 tasting notes

yes! This is a tea that reminds me of the keemuns i had when i first started drinking tea. That sort of smokey but not, malty, deep, rich deliciousness.

ashmanra

Your black teas have arrived!

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drank Tangerine by Basilur
2371 tasting notes

Happy, happy, joy, joy … there were two tins of this in my Mother’s Day bonanza, and loose leaf to boot! It’s the same blend as the gift-box tea bags I have enjoyed in the past: black tea, tangerine zest, and a little vanilla, but the black tea base is stronger and the zest a little zestier—no doubt due to better quality leaves. Pastry and citrus.

I opened the tin at “tea party” time at work and blethered in ecstasy because I had expected tea bags rather than leaves, then my work friend (derk, she’s my Kiki) brought me back to earth by whiffing it and chortling, “It smells like men’s cologne.” Hmph. All the more for me.

Courtney

Each time I’ve tried to share tea with my coworker It’s been a similar response, but yay for more teas for you! XD

gmathis

She’s one of my besties…we’ve been working together so long, we act like an old married couple and we’ve come a long way—she used to touch nothing but Lipton!

derk

Everybody needs a Kiki.

ashmanra

That sounds delicious!

gmathis

I’ll endeavor to remember to tuck some into the next envelope headed your way.

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80
drank Cranberry Pear Clafoutis by 52teas
1031 tasting notes

The flavor is a nice combination of cranberry and a mild green tea. The green base is the perfect choice to complement the fruity flavor. I got a bit of weirdness/dryness the first time I tried this, but I brewed it more carefully the next time, and for the most part, that disappeared. This turns out to be a light, relaxing tea. I really like how 52teas accomplishes its cranberry flavor. This one also had a bit of a sparkly quality to the flavor. The rebrew tasted almost the same. Very good!

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80
drank Candy Cane Truffle by 52teas
3363 tasting notes

An Ode to Tea challenge – C

Thanks very much, AJRimmer!  So many glowing notes might have hyped this one up for me.  I LOVE that such an unusual black tea is used here – Fujian gunpowder.   I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t use as much leaf as I usually would… I wanted to stretch my sample to two steep sessions BUT the pouch says only to use 2.5 grams anyway and I’m sure I used more than that.  The tea is certainly chocolatey!  Especially on that second steep.   But the peppermint for me leans more herbaly flavored than an actual candy cane.  I would consider adding some candy cane to the next steep session but I wouldn’t want to mess with the recipe of this particular tea magician!  :D
Speaking on the Fujian gunpowder, I would love to try it by itself — maybe that would make a good base for Black Silk Chocolate Milk?  Maybe mixed with another black tea?
Steep #1 // not quite 1 teaspoon // 25 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 4 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep

gmathis

Oooh—I’ve never tried a non-green gunpowder tea!

tea-sipper

I think I have only seen it from 52Teas.

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91

An Ode to Tea challenge – E

All you naysayers!  This very very much tastes like eggnog to me.  I can’t see it tasting more like eggnog unless it was actual eggnog.  This might be the first ever actually tasty eggnog tea!  Raising the rating from 86 because of it. Low temp and only a minute on the first steep really lets the flavor pop.  Sad to see it go.   
2021 Sipdowns: 63

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Grabbed a tiny sample from a tea box. It really isn’t my sort of tea, but I think it tastes pretty good for its category. The flavor is light and floral. No orange, but lots of blossom. It’s just a light floral oolong with not much else going on, but it’s not bad.

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70

Pretty stressed out today and, once again, had no time before work to brew a tea for French Friday (I may have to permanently move working on these samplers to the weekends). Quickly brewed up this cup on my lunchbreak, sample courtesy of Cameron (thanks Cameron!)

No time for fussing, whole packet steeped in 350ml 205F water for as long as it took me to scoop the cat boxes. No measuring, no steep timer, just taking what I get. Smells and tastes floral and grapey. * looks at description * Huh, not tasting anything biscuity/caramelly. It is fruity with that floral undertone, mainly muscatel grapes but I can sorta taste apple and a hint of citrus.

Thanks Cameron!

Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Muscatel

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Cameron B.

This one mostly tastes like a big ol’ pile of orange blossoms to me. Needless to say, it’s not a favorite ha ha…

Mastress Alita

As it cooled, the grape turned to raisins. I like raisins fine, but I never got any of the flavors listed in the description.

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drank COÏNCIDENCE BLACK by THE O DOR
1462 tasting notes

My first steep of this was 3m and the cup was great. I sipped through it while getting the tiny roommates online for school. There are six alarms on my phone daily to get them into all the zooms on time. I stuffed my face with leftover coconut naan, washing it down with my first cup, not taking the time to appreciate the tea. Now that the morning has settled I’ve made a second steeping, which isn’t as delicious as the first. It still smells great with a deep strawberry like scent, but the flavors are now lighter than I’d like. Now that I’ve let my cup cool it is getting a little of that flatness I mentioned in my previous notes. This appears to be a cup better sipped hot!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Lexie Aleah

Coconut Naan sounds so yummy! I still need to try this one. Good to know it’s better to drink it hot.

Dustin

There is a restaurant in Austin that does a dried cherry, raisin and pistachio naan that is AMAZING! God, I miss that stuff! Their korma was really good too.

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88

Am a fan. Sample of this from VariaTEA and it’s delicious and exactly what i wanted on this cooler/rainy day. It IS like white rhino but slightly different. May be worth picking some up from Camelia… hmmm thanks lady!

Courtney

I loved this one too but it sadly wasn’t available when I placed my last order :(.

Sil

i put myself on the waitlist or whatever just in case heh

VariaTEA

I remember being surprised by this one since I am not normally into darjeelings at all

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drank Dark Chocolate by Teeccino
2371 tasting notes

Every time I drink and review a chocolate tea, I bellyache that it isn’t chocolate enough. Well, the Hershey bar stops here. Wow. Thick, rich carob and chicory—this definitely hits the “unsweet chocolate bar” mark. I’m drinking this unsweetened, and there’s enough coffee-like bitterness to open my eyes a little, even though it’s purely herbal. With a little milk or as a latte, this is going to be just flat delicious.

ashmanra

Mmmmmmmmmm…..

Lexie Aleah

I didn’t even realize they offered this flavor!

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76

The irish breakfast base is underneath chocolate and caramel with a hint of cream. The chocolate isn’t artificial tasting, and the tea is very smooth. It’s not my very favorite Cuppa Geek tea, but I’d certainly be tempted to order more. I do use a bit more leaf for this one, and while it seems to disappear from my mug quite readily, its not that memorable of a cup.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cream

ashmanra

I don’t think I realized this was a flavored tea. I may have to try it now.

Michelle

If you need an excuse to place an order…

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100

This tea is so freaking tasty. Strangely, I don’t get coconut. Just creamy, custardy banana. Tastes just like the Magnolia Bakery banana pudding.

Shae

When did this one come out? Was it recently?

52Teas

It was part of the 12 Teas of Christmas box this past year.

Shae

@52Teas: Thank you!

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82

I received this from Ost ages ago, thank you! I have steeped it up a few times but never write a note.  It’s a confusing tea for me!  Even using two teaspoons the big leaves have a roasted flavor, but very light.  I don’t think I should steep the first steep so cool, as the tea is never that tasty being so light.  It’s a slow unraveler.  The flavor is roasted, lychee, or smoky – when it cools it’s like maple syrup.  Somehow I would still describe it as one noted and not the flavor notes I’m looking for.  I’m not tasting most of the flavor notes that other Steepsterers are. Also, the packaging with this is like the Fort Knox of tea packaging.  Crazy metallic wrapping that folds way too many unnecessary times to create a crazy amount of unnecessary packaging that seems very wasteful.  It has probably changed by now.  I’m not thrilled with the tea, not thrilled with the packaging. 
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  4 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep

Mastress Alita

T2 has some of the sort, most wasteful packaging I’ve ever seen.

tea-sipper

The Tao Tea Leaf reminds me of metal though! And it rolls down at least a foot!

Leafhopper

When I made a big order from Tao Tea Leaf in 2017 (or was it 2016?), the packages were resealable Ziploc bags, with the 5 g samples in small paper envelopes. I hope it hasn’t changed for the worse!

tea-sipper

I can’t see an original note from Ost for this tea, so I don’t know how old it might be. (Probably older than 2017.)

Leafhopper

LOL! I’m glad I’m not the only one drinking very old teas! I only have a couple teas left from that order, but plenty of others from the same time period.

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drank Taiwan Black by Steam Tea House
1112 tasting notes

2021 sipdown no. 82

I’m not sure what this tea is exactly, but I have a suspicion this isn’t a Taiwanese black? Perhaps it’s mixed with another black tea?

I has an almost cardboard-like taste, but not like that of an oolong. Like an actual liquified cardboard. Hmm.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Courtney

Such a shame, but only a wee sample!

Martin Bednář

At least something positive about bad tea :) Not a big loss.

Cameron B.

I wonder if it’s a lower-grade Taiwanese black tea than we’re used to seeing or something?

Courtney

It could be!

Leafhopper

That’s disappointing. I guess all Taiwanese black teas can’t be winners.

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93
drank Lavender Lemon Potion by Tealyra
3363 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Sunday, May 2nd: National Lemonade Day Tea #3

I drank the first cup on Lemonade day and the second steep the next day, so getting around to posting this now.  Ever have a wacky complicated tea blend turn out EXACTLY like how you wanted it to be?!  That is this blend for me.  I blind bought 50grams…it’s the perfect amount of lavender flavor, lemon flavor, sweetness from the one white chocolate chip in the teabag, and even the perfect amount of tartness from the hibiscus.  Lovely.  So so good.  It reminds me a bit of Bird & Blend’s Moondrop Dreams or like a very elaborate French dessert cookie.   It has the tartness of a lemon rind type of flavor, but also sweet lemon,  but then also sweetness from the white chocolate chip and a bit of floral from the lavender.  It’s balanced quite amazingly.  Very glad I bought it, would buy it again and Tealyra better not discontinue it! 
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for big mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep

tea-sipper

Reading Mastress Alita’s note again, I’m glad her great note convinced me to buy this one. This is what Steepster is for. :D

AJRimmer

I love the idea of white chocolate in there! How fun!

Mastress Alita

I absolutely love this tea! One day I’ll restock it… (TBH, I figured it was just a “me thing” cause I’d say this tea is pretty hibby heavy, which I like and most others on Steepster do not).

tea-sipper

Not too much hibiscus for me! I hope this blend ages well… possibly the hibiscus takes over or something. I already consider this blend a cupboard essential!

tea-sipper

Just looked at the photo on their site and it looks like WAY more hibiscus than what is in my pouch. I’m surprised I took a gamble on this blend, looking at that photo now.

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