303 Tasting Notes


Backlog from yesterday. This was a sipdown.

Only gone for a little while. Better believe I’ll be restocking this one!

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
302 tasting notes

This is one of the most highly rated teas I think I’ve seen on Steepster! I was looking forward to this one the most out of my sampler pack because 1) it’s a black tea, and I, like many, looooove black teas, and 2) certain reviews had mentioned a chocolatey note in the flavor, and every time I see that, I get excited.

It is certainly a high-quality tea. The way I’m going to describe the aroma and taste is going to sound very unflattering, but it works in the context of tea: it’s like fake chocolate flavoring. Deep, sweet, off-fruity, goes right to the head a little. There is little to no astringency; it’s a very smooth tea with undertones of something I can’t quite put my finger on, that takes me back to farms and fields I visited on sunny mornings when I was little. The word “barley” pops up in the item description; there’s something wheat or straw or something in there that’s not unpleasant. Both the chocolate and the “barley” (or whatever that is) linger in the aftertaste. This tea is flavorful if nothing else.

Is it my cup of tea? To be honest, I’m not sure. I really, really want to love this tea, but the “fake chocolate flavoring” taste is keeping me from doing so. I’m curious to see how infusion 2 goes, since I don’t think I over- or under-prepared this tea. It’s going to take a few tries to see whether this is a keeper or a sampler.

Edit: A few hours later

I’m currently doing infusion #2. The “fake chocolate flavoring” has given way to the barley or whatever the hell was so subtly present in the first infusion. GAAAH WHAT IS IT?!?!? It’s quite good in the strangest way. We’ll see whether this ends up being one of those I unexpectedly find myself craving. I doubt it, but you never know!

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Tomorrow it’ll go away, tomorrow is the sipdown day





(flies flags while standing atop a barricade of tea tins)

Not even sorry. Les Miz haters to the left to the left to the left.

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You know what? I’m just ready to be done with this tea. I’ve got ~2 cups left before it’ll be all sipped down. I keep telling myself I should go ahead and drink it just to finish it, but I don’t ever want to do it. I loved it when I first got into tea and was really, really into jasmine, but I have lost the taste for it. I’m tired of jasmine, and I’m tired of this jasmine. There’s this quality to it that makes it pretty much always taste like I’ve oversteeped it, even when I haven’t. Is it trying to be smoky? Is that what it is? Because smoky and jasmine do not go together. And the jasmine just goes right into the same part of my head that any food does when I get really tired of it. I used to love it, but now it’s too much like drinking perfume.

And the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s mostly this particular tea. Teavana’s Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl is less burnt and a bit sweeter; it actually works surprisingly well as an iced tea.

Just get this thing out of my damn cupboard, please.

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Backlog from yesterday.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank English Breakfast by Adagio Teas
302 tasting notes

My day off begins with some comfort food: buttered toast and ice cream for breakfast, me looking at floor plans for the Enteprise NCC-1701D, ambient noise of the 1701D bridge playing in the background, and a bit of English Breakfast. Dammit! I should have done my Earl Grey this morning to complete the theme! Ah well. I have an Earl Grey, but everything I’ve heard seems to hint it’s not the best one out there. I don’t think I’ve had a legitimately great Earl Grey yet.

Back to English Breakfast! The flavor I’m getting this time around is on the tip of my mind. It’s some kind of fruity thing. Not raisins, but similar kind of profile. What the hell is it?!? I’ve tasted it before in something else but for the life of me I can’t remember! Gaaah!

I need to start using my timer. I’m traditionally slightly haphazard when it comes to steeping times and temperatures, which is part of why I’ve veered away from green teas in recent history. I’ll watch the clock to make sure I get five minutes, but sometimes I go a little over and get some kind of flavor I wasn’t planning on getting! My boo boo.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Yunnan Noir by Adagio Teas
302 tasting notes

Sipdown. Infusion number one before I head off to work.

(Edit several hours later)

So I did like 2.5? teaspoons of this in ~2 cups of boiling water. Didn’t let it steep quite as long this time, maybe 4 to 5 minutes.


It was so good, when I drank it at work I had to stop and close my eyes for a moment, even though I was drinking it out of the traveling cup that tends to taste like dishwasher detergent. All of the right amount of malty and none of the wrong amount of mushroomy. This is how it’s done. Having a second infusion tonight as I practice my bass. A great way to finish off this sample I’ve had kicking around for a few months.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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I’m upping the rating on this one on account of it officially becoming a standard.

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This one is becoming another standard. It’s my fix for when I want a mix of a clear taste and a sweet, somewhat malty black tea.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m 25 years old and I work at a music store and play various instruments. Besides tea, I love bicycling, writing, teaching myself French, watching things from everyone else’s childhood, ASMR, Star Trek, cats, and awful puns. I’m an INFJ and a Libra too, for all it’s worth.

Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.


One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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