New Tasting Notes

74

SkySamurai’s mystery advent tea #9  backlog from 12/22
(Note accidentally deleted.)  This seems to be a black tea with a cherry/marzipan sort of aroma.  The flavor is very much the same and also slightly boozy.  It  reminds me of Dammann Frere’s Noel Paris tea.  Which I like but isn’t really my favorite of their wonderful Noel teas. (At least I didn’t brew both teas up on the same day! That would have been funny. )  The second steep is much the same with slightly less flavor.   My guess: cherry marzipan black tea. Was I correct?  Heck no.  There was no way I was tasting black currant here. haha.  And yet another shop I have never heard of.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 24 minutes after boiling  // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 minutes after boiling // 3-4 minute steep

Cameron B.

Heck no! XD

Martin Bednář

Shame that black currant wasn’t present. And it seems like a rare flavour in a tea :)

tea-sipper

Yes, very strange as I think I would have noticed black currant as it is usually very distinct.

Martin Bednář

I am sure that you would, if there is any.

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drank Candy Cane Crush by DAVIDsTEA
243 tasting notes

#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #22

Early AM hours today I need something with caffeine but with some cozy flavor, found 2 sachets of this in my tea bag (I carry a bag full of tons of different teas and measuring spoons, filters, etc. pretty much everywhere.. these days just the back/forth of work/home, but in pre-March 2020 times I’d carry it in my backpack or tote bag out other places and especially during my travels!)

#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge

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90

Got this as a sample and am drinking it now… And it’s a lot better than I remembered. I definitely taste the Rhubarb, and there is a little bit of vanilla going on in the background. Very creamy, not tart, and not too sweet. The aroma gives a strong custard and that’s really good too while I’m sipping it. If I do taste the custard, that’s probably why :P.

Because I wasn’t able to log on for so long… I have so many reviews to catch up with so I’ll probably just start from today if I drink something new. I’m actually still drinking the tons of tea I bought last year and the year before so here’s to the inner fight to continue to get more sip downs before purchasing more.

I hope you are all well and safe <3. I’m same ol’ same ol’.

Flavors: Creamy, Custard, Fruity, Rhubarb, Vanilla

Courtney

This is one of our favourites — the flavour is so tasty!

Kawaii433

Courtney Yes, it’s delicious even the resteeps. Still creamy and fruity, yum!

Cameron B.

Possibly my favorite one from B&B. And yay to seeing a note from you! ❤

Kawaii433

Cameron B. :D

Leafhopper

I’m glad you were able to log in. And yes, the struggle not to buy new tea is real. :)

Kawaii433

Leafhopper Thank you, good to be back… And yeah, the struggle is very real /cry. I don’t have a lot of room where I live as it is >.<

Tiffany :)

Welcome back!

Kawaii433

Tiffany Thank you! :D

derk

Good to see you back, Kawaii :)

Martin Bednář

Happy to see you around again!

Kawaii433

Thanks, Derk and Martin! :D

tea-sipper

Looking forward to more notes from you!

Kawaii433

Tea-sipper I’ll try :P lol :D

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90
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
771 tasting notes

A very complex cup indeed! Purchased as a sample, the sample size is perfect for my regular 4-ish cup teapot. The black currant is the strongest flavour, I think, but the bergamot and caramel come through in the aftertaste. I’m battling a bit of a stomach bug so tea is about all I can handle at the moment and this is very nice. I spent the morning held hostage by a cat-in-lap so finally tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Starfevre

And since I have to share, why does facebook think I’m interested in Boob Polish? Why is this a thing?

Kawaii433

Paris is a good one :) Feel better soon!

tea-sipper

haha, lordy. Also, I hope you feel better!

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drank May Flowers by A Quarter to Tea
1389 tasting notes

I love floral teas, though green teas not so much. I overleafed this one and it’s bitter.

Flavors: Floral

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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76

Matcha Latte Sipdown (326)

I’ve been really slacking at tea drinking in favour of drinking copious amounts of water. However, today I already had 2 litres of water and I just really wanted a matcha latte: the first couple of flavors I picked up (blueberry peach and pina colada) seemed less latte flavors but this one seemed perfect for one.

This one is alright. Less flavourful than I expected it to be. I was nervous because the raspberry flavor they use isn’t the best but this strawberry flavor is better. It is strawberry milkshake so not true to the fruit per se but still distinctive. Just light in flavor until I got to the end of the cup. It seems a lot of the matcha settled so it got a touch chalky and definitely more grassy/traditional matcha. I was excited for this one and while it was good, I did expect more than what it delivered.

Thank you Roswell Strange for sending this my way. It’s one I was definitely interested in trying so now I at least know what to expect if I decide I want more.

Kawaii433

I seriously fail in drinking just plain water. :(

VariaTEA

I was drinking copious amounts of tea in December and very little water. I’m sure the water intake vs caffeine was still beneficial though since it was a lot of tea – both caffeinated and caffeine free. Now I’m trying to balance both.

Lexie Aleah

Same here Kawaii!

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88
drank Ginger Geranium by Rishi Tea
559 tasting notes

Received a sample of this herbal medicinal tea with my Rishi Tea order a long time ago. I had been saving it for a sick day and finally dug it out the other day for my wife who was feeling under the weather.

This tisane has a wonderful, mesmerizing aroma. It smells just like its name. An explosion of sweet candied ginger, tangerine, ginseng, and heady geranium all danced in my nose. It smelled so good I felt like using the mixture as potpourri to perfume the house. Like most Rishi blends though, the taste of the brewed tea wasn’t as exuberant as its smell. An earthy, turmeric-like chalky flavor is the first thing to hit the tongue followed by spicy black pepper and a tingle of ginger. I was really hoping to taste more of the citrus and geranium notes so prominent in the aroma but alas they had tamed down and were barely detectable anymore. There are some other exotic herbs and flavorings in there I’ve never encountered before like ashwagandha root and vana tulsi which added an herbaceous undertone to the tea.

On its own, this is a tad earthy for me but it would be soothing to have when you’re nursing a cold or sore throat. Would reach for this over DAVIDsTea Cold 911 any day.

Flavors: Citrusy, Floral, Ginger, Herbaceous, Medicinal, Pepper, Spicy

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 11 OZ / 325 ML

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85

Rooibos works best when it’s bagged, because the loose leaf is so fine that it goes straight through my mesh strainers and I spend the entire experience scraping it off my tongue and picking it out of my teeth. So I appreciate that Sipsby chose to send me the bagged version. If they hadn’t, I’d’ve just wound up making my own teabags with the empty bags they provide anyway.
This is a smart and enjoyable blend, as cocoa and rooibos both have earthy notes, and the orange note comes through right at the end as a bit of a palate cleanser. I also appreciate that it’s organic. A nice break from plain rooibos, and very satisfying and warming on this chilly, snowy afternoon.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Orange, Sweet

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drank Mint Ginger by Teekanne
163 tasting notes

Not the most exciting mix. Ginger is definitely overpowering. Its a stomach powerhouse blend for upset stomachs. Super healthy. But not delicious or memorable. Only reccomend in certain situations. Price is right though

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20
drank 2020 Pretty Girls by white2tea
73 tasting notes

Gongfu, filtered Brita water off the boil. Several shu puers later, I’ve figured out that I probably just don’t like Shu Pu ers, and it’s not an issue with the teas themselves (now to brew through the remainder of my W2T stash…). I don’t like earthy flavors, which draw medicinal associations for me, so I can never relate to the pretty descriptions. Not really sweet for me. Thicker mouthfeel typical of shus. Will try a grandpa brew tomorrow with the other half of the biscuit I ordered and update.

Update: Grandpa brew was not much different… if possible, perhaps even more bland than gongfu, which I didn’t expect. Not something I’d likely purchase again.

Flavors: Mushrooms, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
Chris Blanton

Lemme know if you want to offload those shu to someone who would like to try em (me). :)

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drank Chinese Green by Unknown
1389 tasting notes

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60

Strong in caffeine but less so in flavour. Definitely bolder than most of their blends, but not particularly smooth, and the bitterness sneaks in quite quickly. S’not bad, but s’not PG Tips.

Flavors: Tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

As a lover of all things PGT, I heartily appreciate that description!

Nik

Yay! I think someone said they’d choose this over PG Tips and I was like, wait, whaaat? Different strokes!
¯\(ツ)

gmathis

We may need to start our own little “Steepster Unleaded” subculture :)
Today, I’m gripping my mug of slightly stewed Murphy’s Irish Breakfast like it was a life preserver.

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75

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70
drank Rhubarb and Ginger by Teapigs
1141 tasting notes

Light fruitiness mixed with light ginger. Not too remarkable, but not bad. Not clearly rhubarb, but the fruit is interesting. I like my fruits and spices separate, but that’s just personal preference.

Cameron B.

Aww it’s always a shame when a rhubarb tea doesn’t taste rhubarby. There are few enough of them as it is!

AJRimmer

Agreed! I have another rhubarb tea on my shelf that I’ll have to have later as consolation!

Cameron B.

Now I need to have some Rhubarb + Custard later!

Courtney

Rhubarb (and raspberry) teas are consistently my favourites. Hopefully you can enjoy your other rhubarb tea later!

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
1141 tasting notes

Sample from a tea box. I enjoy the black base that Kusmi uses. Even when the flavors aren’t too exciting, the base still keeps me interested. This one tastes lightly of lemon (though apparently the ingredient is actually orange peel), but I mostly just taste the tea. You get more of the tang from the citrus than the flavor. Against my better judgement, I added milk, which just made it sort of weird. I’ve never made a Kusmi order, but I always enjoy coming across them in the wild!

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52
drank White Ginger Pear by Tea Forte
743 tasting notes

DO NOT under any circumstance stick your nose in the tin. Let me save you the pain of having ginger straight up the nose. It is not the most pleasant experience but with how COVID can rid one of their sinus ability maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Take a look and you’ll first notice how very broken the leaf is. Sad to see for a white tea. But seeing as how it’s organic one doesn’t have to worry about them using a pesticide-induced leaf on the bottom of the bush. The flavor is very interesting. The ginger adds a nice spicy kick, but not too spicy, it doesn’t make your mouth pucker like ginger sometimes does. The pear adds a lot of sweetness. There is a bit of earthy flavor when you first take a sip but the lemon immediately follows with a wham of pear and the flavors. Suddenly I am reminded of the green sour gumballs. It’s not bad but I honestly don’t think I could have another cup. It’s a bit too much in my mouth. Unfortunately, the white tea is too muted.

Inkling

Oh man, sorry about the nose-full of ginger! :(

Lexie Aleah

I am so guilty of doing this with everything from tea, to candles, to essential oils… lol

Skysamurai

It’s so hard not to! Aroma is my favorite part… I mean, don’t get me wrong I love to taste tea but something about aroma just makes me excited!

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2021 sipdown no. 23

This one is really tasty! I would consider ordering this one for my cupboard in a heartbeat.

The blueberry and peach and pastry notes all come through perfectly. They don’t fight for attention. Yet they’re all there, right at the forefront. The flavours are also very true to form. There’s no fake or cloying-ness here. The blueberries are so true, I felt like I was back home on the east coast, eating blueberries from my grandmother’s garden!

The base tea is lovely, but ever so slightly astringent, though this may be fixed by steeping temperature. As the tea cooled, it only got better! The flavour profiles didn’t change, but it’s just so refreshing!

Thanks for such a wonderful tea Nichole!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

Yum! Going on the wishlist…

Courtney

Right? I have to try more of these teas so I know what to order, but this is for sure going into an order. XD

Inkling

Ooo, this sounds so good!

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65

This is a standard ‘every day’ shou. I used 10g in a 150ml duan ni (Fang’gu shape) pot with boiling water and rinsed twice. The first few steeps were a bit on the pale side, but it got nice and dark after steep 3. It’s good for about 5 infusions, after which it weakens noticably.

Worth noting that this just arrived from China after a 2 month wait and I haven’t let it rest or aired it out. So this might not be entirely fair.

The tuo is quite loose in compression, but possibly my example was a bit on the dry side. Inserting a pick had tea practically falling off the tuo.

It tastes pleasant, mine has a vague concrete note, probably from the floor piling or storage. The main flavour notes are earth, wood and nut shells, more specifically it’s like concrete dusted walnut shells and the smell of fresh rain. It’s lost any of the ‘wo dui’ and gives a nice clear reddish soup. There’s a slight hint of charcoal minerality or smoke at the very end.

Not bad tea, very clean and transparent soup. It’s dry (mildly astringent) without being sour and never bitter. Smooth, but not creamy or thick in mouthfeel and in terms of ‘energy’ this is very mild.

It just doesn’t ‘stand out’ much. If you’re looking for an everyday non-sweet, nutty cup of shou, this could be a winner.

Good, but a bit boring (it’s pretty cheap). So we’ll say 3-star tea. Maybe it’ll get better after a few months of ‘awakening’. I have a lot of tea to get through though, and the five cakes I have will be in storage for quite a while before I revisit it.

When I was young, we would boil up ‘black walnuts’ and pour it over the muddy ground to summon worms (which we used as fishing bait). This reminds me of those wet steaming ground puddles.

Flavors: Walnut, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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78

I was very curious about this infusion, so I decided to buy a pouch. Of course, preparing this tisane is a treat for the nose, as especially the dry buds smell wonderfully. The steeping takes longer with this tisane (5 to 10 minutes is recommended by Kent&Sussex Tea Co.), and the colour changes throughout the steeping process : surprisingly, it starts darker blue and ends up clearer near colourless. The typical lavender aroma´s change as well and I even find myself noticing a sort of antiseptic smell, which I´m not so fond of. Maybe 10 minutes of steeping is too long, as in mouth a definite wood taste comes through. Will try to steep only 5 minutes next time, to compare.

Flavors: Lavender, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85

This is one of those teas I buy on an impulse, and then store away, to discover quite a while later, grr.
A shame and often a waste of money, but here, I have the impression that the loose tea has maintained its quality better than in other cases. Without any temperature indication on the pouch, I brew a heaped teaspoon of tea at 80ºC, and after 2 minutes it turns out really nicely.
A lot of taste for a white tea (also quite rich in colour), with even a smoky hint, but also a sweet touch to it, very well balanced. In short, a white tea I can really enjoy on its own.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Coconut Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
2428 tasting notes

New flavored matcha! Yay!

I prepared this one straight and hot this morning, with a teaspoon of matcha for 8 ounces of warm water.

For me, the coconut flavor is too strong for this preparation. The matcha is fine, quite grassy with just a touch of bitterness. But the coconut flavor is like WHAM in your face! It’s a very creamy and rich coconut, and it lingers on my tongue for what seems like forever.

I added a glug of oat milk to the second half of the bowl, and like it much more. Can’t wait to try this one as a hot or cold latte! Which, to be fair, is how I would normally prepare a flavored matcha – I just wanted to try all of these plain first.

Flavors: Bitter, Coconut, Creamy, Grass, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

I like the way you measure … glugs. I know exactly how much that is: one blop more than a blurp!

Cameron B.

Glug is a highly technical term! XD

gmathis

My grandma (born 1892, I believe) used “mess” a lot, as in “a mess of spinach.”

ashmanra

Gmathis: Yep! My mother made a mess of field peas. Or ate a mess of black eyed peas.

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95

The last time I ordered at Kent & Sussex Tea Co., I decided to buy a few new (for me) teas to try out, and amongst them this Nepalese tea. I´m quite sure I´ll order more of it!
Very good quality loose leaf, black tea which has a definite green appearance. In nose dry and brewed a sweet touch is the first to come through, and then a minty freshness, all very subtle and what I often describe as “elegant”. I should take it in china cupa, really ;-)

Flavors: Mint, Sweet, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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