332 Tasting Notes

96

Did NOT have a good afternoon. My old grudge against Tuesday afternoons might be circling back.

Right now, I’m doing a combination of a comfort tea and some loud, crunchy hard rock.

I’ve had this tea so many times and it never gets old. It’s just so light and velvety at the same time. The bag even smells divine. If all things in life were this just-perfect, I would be a spoiled brat. :)

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75

Backlog from this morning.

I do not watch Downton Abbey at all, but this tea was gifted to me by my grandfather, who very much enjoys gifting me tea. :)

This was one of those Mondays I woke up moody for no reason, so it was a good one to do this tea, which is actually pretty light-hearted and sweet. It reminds me a bit of some of Harney’s blends, like Paris? It’s very vanilla and fruity, but there’s also a cherry note to it that’s a little on the strong side… slightly like cherry cough syrup, but not nearly as obnoxious. I was drinking it on the way out the door this morning, so I didn’t get the most nuanced picture.

All in all, not bad! I have a feeling it’ll grow on me as I drink it some more. I think it would be a good work staple. Lord knows I need to bring some of my tea to work…

Evol Ving Ness

What a lovely way of showing care your grandfather has!

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83
drank Silver Needle by Teavana
331 tasting notes

Seeing as this is my first time with a silver needle PERIOD, I probably shouldn’t have gone as far over the recommended leaf amount and steep time as I did, but I don’t think it suffered for it at all. I’ve been surprised in the past by how forgiving white teas can be.

The dry leaves are full and downy, almost adorable. I want to pet them. The wet leaves don’t unfurl very much; they stay pretty rolled (at least, mine did.)

Going to hold off on commenting about the aroma because I think there might be some influence from the last tea that was in this cup…

The flavor is light. It’s so. Light. It’s the lightest touch of pastel flower. I read “honeysuckle,” and I think that’s right. Bit of soap, but nothing abrasive. What else is there? There’s an airiness in the flavor. I read “hay” and I can taste that too. I don’t really know how to describe it… it’s not perfumey or artificial at all. It’s just very, very, very subtle, to the point where it’s almost a challenge to truly evaluate the flavor. At least, for me. But I can tell I really like it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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85

I keep forgetting I have this one. Brewed it Western style this morning.

Dark, curled dry leaves. Heady smoke aroma, in the mid-treble “range” of scents, is the most noticeable scent, but there’s some forest pine and something slightly sweet.

The smoke seems a little punchier in the wet leaf aroma. Each time I smell the liquor, I get something slightly different: sometimes it’s a little brash, sometimes it’s sweet and deep, like some dark-colored fruit I can’t place.

The smoke rounds out in the taste, although it’s still at the forefront. Still fairly heady, but it has a depth that settles into the mouth. Getting a bit of pine and wood around the edges. Hint of earthiness. Slightly malty? Just a little little bit spicy, which lingers in the aftertaste.

Quite good, and a little more complex than the other smoky teas I’ve had.

Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Fruity, Pine, Smoke, Spicy, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
MrQuackers

How is the strength of the liquor? I have a Wuyi Lapsang Souchong here that is fairly mellow with no bitterness even after 5 minutes of brewing. They use older leaves for the smoked blends.

TeaKlutz

This one’s about the same, or at least it was today that I brewed it for a relatively short time (per Western-style standards.) I don’t know if it’s quite as mellow as your Wuyi Lapsang Souchong – the smoke gets slightly brash at points – but it’s still fairly smooth. Pretty full flavor.

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75

Found this one in a Japanese market several months back, along with a gorgeous moss-green kyusu (Japanese tea pot with the side handle) and a few other teas.

It took me the longest time, and much trial and error, before I could consistently brew Japanese green teas well, but it’s paid off. They tend to have such crisp, cleansing flavors. I love drinking them in the evening.

This is a hojicha, so it’s a blend of roasted tea and roasted rice. So the flavor is this combination of grassy and, as one of my former bosses once described sake, “burnt rice krispies.” Normally I don’t like roasty flavors – I know a lot of people find them warm and comforting, but for some reason I feel them between my eyes.

This tea’s not my favorite, but I still kinda like it. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s nice and crisp or because I just like trying teas. I’d say it’s good quality.

Flavors: Grass, Rice, Roasted

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

OH MY LORD…. how long has it been since I’ve written a tasting note on Steepster? Years? It’s good to be back! (And I’m happy to see the interface is mostly the same!)

After living in a rural neighborhood all my life, I moved to a township in Dayton a few months ago and I still can’t believe things are actually close to me. Although Teavana is hit-or-miss for me, I was so excited to have one within a ten-minute drive from my place that I stopped by to pick up this and another tea.

It’s funny because BDP is my favorite kind of tea overall, but I haven’t managed to get this particular version to be quite satisfying. It’s either not flavorful enough or I brew it a little past its prime. I think I’ve had similar problems with some other Teavana teas in the past. This morning, I can taste a hint of the trademark BDP cocoa/raisin sweetness, but it’s just a little oversteeped. Might have used too many pearls, but with any fewer I can’t get the flavor to come out. Egh.

Honestly, it’s just so nice sitting on the couch in the morning, drinking a cup of tea and writing about it, that I don’t care!

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Raisins, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaKlutz

Thanks for the suggestion! I default to 4-5 min on black teas, but that might be why it turned out a little astringent.

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95

Oh, goodness, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had some loose-leaf tea. I’m feeling a bit rough around the edges today: tired but jittery, and it’s already been One of Those Weeks although it’s barely Tuesday afternoon.

I think this is already helping. It’s nice to have something warm and caffeinated that’s not coffee. I still think it’s my favorite comfort tea. It’s the tea equivalent of a big, snuggly blanket on a cold night.

I’m already starting to run low on my bag of this. Sadness!

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Japanese movie (live action adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin) + late at night = perfect timing for sencha.

Of course, the one time I don’t royally screw up a sencha is when it’s in a teabag and I nuked the water. Figures. :/

I don’t have much to say. It’s good? It’s bright and grassy in a good way. I’m sure the bagness makes it less than ideal, but honestly, I’m just happy I didn’t make it taste like rotten meat.

Aren’t I such a discerning tea snob?

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

Dear lord, can you say “winter blues?” For some reason, I’ve felt really dumpy and discouraged over the past twenty four hours, and I don’t know why. I have to think at least part of it is the weather. I wouldn’t say it’s S.A.D. levels yet, but this has been happening more over the past few winters.

Let’s put on some comfort tea, shall we?

Ohhhhh this is good. I don’t remember quite as much smokiness last time! It’s such a dark, sweet smokiness… it makes me think of the very last red embers on a log, or smoked meat. Actually, it kinda reminds me of smoked ham. Huh.

I’m so happy I used the big mug for this. I’m going to keep sipping away while I do my homework. I’m sad I’m running low. Come onnnnn, commission check!

tea-sipper

Yeah, it’s been a rough winter! Today my comfort tea was Verdant’s Yu Lu Yan Cha… also smokier than I remember!

TeaKlutz

I’m glad I’m not the only one sludging through winter. Yu Lu Yan Cha is another good one!

Indigobloom

Hang in there, winter blahs are no fun at all! I get it too

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Profile

Bio

The name’s Holly. 27. Work for a small IT company. About to finish a Master’s degree this winter. ISFJ for what it’s worth. I play various instruments (mostly bass guitar right now), attempt to write songs that I’m too scared to play for anyone, and I’m currently taking voice lessons. I also enjoy starting various hobbies, wearing monochromes, writing, cooking, taking walks, and various and sundry other things…

I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is a source of happiness, positivity, curiosity, and relaxation (…and caffeine) for me.

I’ve been on and off this site over the years, and I even had a separate tea blog at one point. For now, I’m just working on getting back in the habit of enjoying tea regularly and to its fullest.

Love: Malty Chinese black teas, shu/ripe pu erhs, soft flowery teas (esp. jasmine teas)

Like: Japanese green teas, sheng/ripe pu erhs, white teas

Still trying to get into: Most oolongs, chai teas

Not crazy about: Roasty teas, fruity teas, rooibos, many (not all) herbal teas

Ratings:
90-100: YEAH!
80-89: Nice! This is good stuff.
70-79: Respectable tea.
60-69: Not bad.
50-59: Middling. Not really worth it.
25-49: Eeeeeugh. Not good.
0-24: Did you know you can use tea leaves as odor absorbent?

Location

Ohio

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