Hizen Black from #Steepster Select {Tea Review}

First a little background before I jump into this review. I’ve talked about Steepster a bit here. But what you might ask is Steepster? Simply put it is a tea community where members share their reviews of tea and discuss tea in the online forums. I’ve been a member since 2011. And while my user handle has changed and my posting has been sporadic over the years I love the community. In fact I’ve “met” some great tea friends there too.

Recently I started noticing a lot of my friends had a little orange box with the word “select” next to their name. I was curious and checked it out. Within the last year or so Steepster began what they called Steepster Select. Which is a monthly subscription plan providing five sourced teas from around the world to members. I noticed I could get $10 off my first box and thought “why not”.

My first Steepster Select box!

My first Steepster Select box!

My first box arrived yesterday. This months teas were sourced from Japan. To my horror most of the teas were green teas. Green teas and I have what I’d call a love/hate relationship. I want to love them, but usually I just hate them. BUT there was a black tea in the bunch so I chose to try that one first.

Yes, yes I am a creature of habit and went with the tea type I know and love first. I can’t help it. And I will be trying the green teas later this week. Now that I have the one touch…it should be very hard to mess up these teas.

Packaging contains all information for proper prep.

Packaging contains all information for proper prep.

I used the one touch’s tea basket to make four cups of tea from the sample provided. Which leaves me with 1 tsp. left to sample. Note to self with the rest of the teas use the one touch as a water boiler only and prep the teas in the cast iron pot!

As you can see from the photo at the right, this tea has a short steep time. But you also get two steeps out of it. Which is nice considering how much tea I just used. It also gives some information on the flavors I should get from the tea. I always find it funny when I’m given information on what I should taste in a tea, because I almost never have the same or similar tastes in my teas.

Pre-steeping.

Pre-steeping.

The loose leaf did not smell very floral or fruity to me. Instead it smelled more earthy like a pu-erh tea. This could perhaps be due to the organic fertilizer the farmer used when growing the tea. It isn’t a bad smell at all. In fact I really like it. Two and a half minutes later I was almost ready to take my first sips of tea. Steeped the tea smells more like a malty beer with a hint of olives. Weird right? I don’t get it either. It isn’t bad, just different and I tend to like different!

In my cup.

In my cup.

The taste? I do get a little of the fruity taste promised on the package. I also detect a little honey and hops/malt to it too. Plus the taste of olives. I’m not sure why olives, but hand to kettle I’m tasting olives. Lucky for me I love olives. I’ll say it again NOT all tastebuds are the same. So you may taste sweet potatoes were you to try this tea. Big bonus there is a really clean finish. Meaning there isn’t any leftover taste in my mouth like I have found with other black teas.

Too long didn’t read….I liked it. I don’t know that I would buy more of it only because I have so much tea already (another reason I joined Select). But this isn’t a MUST HAVE for the tea cabinet.

I look forward to trying the rest. Stay tuned for those reviews coming throughout the week.

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