470 Tasting Notes

90

I remember not loving this tea the first time I had it. I didn’t necessarily dislike it but the citrus was too strong and a bit bitter—either I got a weird batch, there was some cross-contamination in the sample, or I over-leafed my cold brew. But this has such rave reviews I wanted to give it another shot, so I threw a sample of it into my last Persimmon Tree order.

So much better this time! The vanilla is sweet and creamy, they could totally call this “vanilla pudding tea” it would be quite accurate. Delish! And the cirtusy vibe is softer now, in the background and cuts the vanilla a bit making it a light and refreshing brew despite the dessert-y quality of the vanilla.

I think DavidsTea’s Vanilla Orchid is my current favorite vanilla oolong (and boy are there a lot of them!) but this is close behind. It reminds me so strongly of the Tea Merchant’s Silk Dragon, but if you look closely between them, Persimmon Tree and Art of Tea many of the blends are near-identical! Persimmon will always be my favorite though because of their great customer service, sample sizes and loyalty program. It’s funny how much difference things like that can make when you’re shopping for tea!

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85

I love a good oolong blend, so of course I had to ask for some of this in my swap with T.C! Plus the name is just so delightful—I occasionally buy teas based on the name alone and if I saw this in a shop there would be no way I could resist. Slightly off topic but I am the same way with music, if I see a band or album with a intriguing name I buy it! That’s how I have found a lot of my favorites though, like Doves or Iron & Wine.

This tea is peachy! I was expecting a more tropical taste and I am getting something vaguely tropical but not the standard pineapple or coconut. Maybe guava or papaya? Hmm, quite possibly papaya. And, of course, peach! The flavoring is rather soft, letting the green oolong shine. There’s also a nice floral taste, not just from the oolong but from the amaranth petals as well. Very nice!

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82

A book club tea from Threewhales! Every time I go to Harney & Sons’ physical store I swear that I am going to pick some of this up. Then I forget, and end up coming home with 5 different teas that were totally not on the list. So I’m happy to finally have some of this!

As others have said, this is a rich and creamy vanilla tea. It’s not very complex but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, sometimes you want a simple, delicious cup of tea! And this certainly fits the bill, it reminds me of frosting. Mmmm, vanilla! One of the best flavors for a tea, I think, especially one with a black base.

On its own it’s delightful, but I think this will really shine with some blending. I’m thinking with a rose earl grey to make a rosy EG cream, or with Lemon Dreams for a particularly indulgent bedtime treat (since this is deaf!).

TastyBrew

This sounds worth a taste! Adding to shopping list right now! Thanks!

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drank Chai Spice by Verdant Tea
470 tasting notes

Sometimes I am drinking a cup of tea and think to myself “man, this would be great as a chai!” Which essentially is why I purchased the revamped version of this: it’s all the spices without the tea, so you can add it to whatever you want!

First experiment: mixed with Ovation’s Apple Cinnamon, honey and a splash of cream. Delicious! It’s like Adagio’s Apple Spice Chai only, you know, a million times better. Don’t get me wrong I do love the Adagio blend but the spices here are so deliciously complex. I’m going to have a lot of fun with thiw!

BoxerMama

I love this blend! Even without tea added it keeps me up though!

Alphakitty

I do find chai blends energizing! If I want a chai-like tea late at night I will go for Celestial’s Bengal Spice—not the classiest, but better than bouncing off the walls at midnight!

BoxerMama

I have one celestial blend but I’m nervous to try it.

Alphakitty

Celestial can be really hit or miss. They’re obviously not up to par with loose leaf but some of their bagged teas are very nice. I can’t live without Sleepytime and they have a fantastic dragonfruit/melon blend. Some of them are so tart though, too much hibiscus!

BoxerMama

I like hibiscus, lol. I think I have ginigerbread though. I bought it for my daughter

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I’m not going to lie, I enjoy fruit tisanes that taste like juice. I mean, it’s hardly even tea even in the most generous sense of the word, but it’s tasty! Like fruit punch without all the sugar. A lot of Teavana’s blends are like this bu just a bit too tart for me, so I am looking for a less hibiscus-y version.

I got a sample of this on a whim, and oh boy am I glad I did. When I opened up the little bag I smelled… cinnamon! The first thing I thought was that my sample had been contaminated, but I have never had a sample from Persimmon Tree pick up flavors from other ones they are packaged in. Also, I don’t have any cinnamon teas in there—a chai, but the smell of that one is pure ginger and cardamom. My second, more reasonable thought was that my nose was just off so I cold brewed a cup and thought it would be totally fruity by morning.

Well, blessedly, it’s not! The smell is strong cinnamon and vanilla, with a strong fruity undertone. The taste is like cinnamon coffee cake with fruit compote on top, cherry and strawberry! I’m kind of fascinated by this since there are only fruity ingredients listed aside from the flavoring. But really, I’m sure if there was cinnamon/vanilla in here someone else would have made a note of it!

As it is, I would give this tea a ridiculously high score because it is just so so tasty. However, I don’t think it is really supposed to taste like this— happy accident indeed, but I am left wondering what happened.

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95
drank Li Shan Oolong by Naivetea
470 tasting notes

Earlier in the evening I really wanted to make something in my gaiwan, but I ended up with a rich latte instead. But the gaiwan bug wasn’t leaving, so I decided to just go for it! At 2:30 in the morning. Maybe no the brightest idea, but my packet of this from TeaEqualsBliss was calling out to me.

Rinse: 10 seconds. Okay, I know you are technically not supposed to drink this, but to heck with it! I tea how I want to! Yes, I just used tea as a verb. I was amazed at how fast the leaves unfurled. After a mere ten seconds in hot water they were fully expanded! And so pretty, all of them fully intact like they just fell off the tree into my cup. I almost overestimated the capacity of my little gaiwan, they’re right up to the lid.

This “steep” was like a punch of floral nectar, rich and thick like honey. Orchid and jasmine! Also a wee bit vegetal.

1st Steep: 20 seconds. This smells like vegetables, fresh buttered spinach. It’s still floral, orchid but now with a hint of lychee. Sweet, fruity.

2nd Steep: 20 seconds. Buttery! This steep has a creamy mouthfeel, not sweet but quite savory. I’m smelling kale! It’s less floral but still with the orchid element. More honey.

At this point I stopped, for some reason green oolongs (and ONLY green oolongs) have the tendency to make me a bit nauseous. I still love them, but 2 steeps + a rinse is my limit.

There’s such an interesting mix of sweet/savory here: butter, honey, spinach, flowers. It’s so complex, I saved my leaves and can’t wait to see what the next steeps bring tomorrow!

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79

I didn’t log many teas for a while, but now that I’ve started I apparently can’t stop! This one comes to me from Josie Jade and was the tea for the first book club, which I missed due to, well, not having room for a 600 page monster book in my schedule!

I love smokey teas, thought I know they are really love it or hate it. This is actually quite mild, even after an overly long sleep because I didn’t put a timer on. Smells like a campfire! I took this without milk or sugar because I honestly find milk weird in smokey blends, though I know that’s really the norm.

The idea of smoke and rose is so nice. However, this tea doesn’t entirely live up to the idea in my head—it’s smokey but not as strong as I expected, and the rose is on the light side. But it’s still nice, in fact I think it would be a good evening cuppa! I have quite a few bags of this left so I think I might split open one and mix it with RoT’s rose black for an extra floral kick.

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89
drank Lemon Dreams by 52teas
470 tasting notes

This is one of those 52teas blends that I really wanted to get when it first came out, but my tea budget said “no way!” Thankfully (for my wallet) I got to swap with Starfevre for a whole pouch! For a girl with insomnia, 2 ounces of sleepy tea is an absolute dream. Because, much like how medicine becomes less effective the more you use it, I’ve found my usual go-to night tea (Marketspice’s Knockout) to be losing some potency.

This is a pretty simple mix of flavors: lemon, chamomile, honeybush. But together they really are dreamy! Floral, woodsy, and wonderfully lemony. It’s a soft citrus, rather creamy. And the honeybush and chamomile blend perfectly together: the chamomile’s floral is toned down and the honeybush isn’t so sweet. It’s such a drowsy blend, a few sips (with honey!) have me almost nodding off. I’m kind of sad this one isn’t a permanent blend, it’s so useful (not to mention delicious).

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86

I’ve learned that the trick with Republic of Tea teabags is to use little mugs. I actually collect (or rather, er, hoard…) mugs from Japan, which are much smaller than American or European mugs. The one I’m using for this has Teddie from Persona 4 on it! They’re perfectly sized, about the same width as the teabag and they hold enough water so that it brews up extra strong.

I’m so happy Josie Jade sent me this one because I adore it! Brewed up this way the plum is really strong and quite distinctive, like those sugar plum candies you get around Christmas. Which makes sense, it’s a holiday blend! The spice is very nice, and the base is quite forgiving—I didn’t notice this was a green and brewed it in boiling water for an insanely long time (7 minutes? I forgot about it!) and it was not bitter at all! I like that it’s a lighter base, so the plum flavor pops a lot more.

I know RoT doesn’t get a lot of love on Steepster but I have always bee a fan. And as much as I love fancy loose leaf I always have to have reliable bagged teas around because honestly, sometimes I just want no-fuss tea! This one is a keeper.

gmathis

Absolutely agree on the no-fuss issue!

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75

I got my swap from yssah today! Of course I had to try this one first, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect blueberry tea. Plus I adore Della Terra’s Blueberry Creme and hoped this would be similar.

This smells very strongly of blueberry, but there’s not much blueberry flavor in the brew. Funnily enough, it doesn’t smell of cream at all but the flavor of cream is so strong and delicious! Creamy vanilla, it reminds me of an EG cream in its richness. There’s a bit of blueberry, but I really do wish there was a little more. It’s still quite tasty though! I think I’ll try mixing it 50/50 with the DT blend, which is heavily blueberry but doesn’t have quite as much cream as I’d like.

yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

i was actually thinking that these are good teas for blending with other teas coz the flavor is so stable :)

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Bio

Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!

Location

New York

Website

http://www.plastikitty.com/

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