174 Tasting Notes

67

This is tart and pretty hibiscusy, but it’s also nice, because there are some distinct non-hibiscus fruit flavours in here that linger nicely on the finish. The orange and pineapple notes make this juicy and pretty pleasant. I do wish it was a bit sweeter naturally.

I think this would probably be pretty lovely iced, with some sugar.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Orange, Pineapple, Tart

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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66
drank Brown Rice by Tea Story
174 tasting notes

This was labelled brown rice, but I’m fairly certain it’s actually roasted buckwheat. It doesn’t look or taste like rice.

It’s warm and toasty tasting, quite dry, no sweetness. Quite nice, though I find myself wishing for it to be a little bit malty. It was a good cup to accompany dinner.

Flavors: Grain, Nutty, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97
drank London Fog by Cornelia Bean
174 tasting notes

Ah sweet, wonderful london fog. Always a safe bet, and so nice to sip when feeling a bit over stimulated.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I got this as a free sample from Sonya’s Flowers. That’s the only reason I have this and the only reason I’m drinking it. I don’t like hibiscus in blends, so I wouldn’t expect it to be different when it’s straight. And it isn’t.

The liquor is an intense red, which is gorgeous. The smell is tart and floral, and the taste is mostly tart, with a light floral hint that I don’t usually detect (or at least, identify as the hibiscus) when it’s in blends.

Best to send the rest of this sample off to someone who can appreciate it, because I definitely can’t.

Flavors: Floral, Hibiscus, Tart

Preparation
1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Jade Dew Gyokuro by Cornelia Bean
174 tasting notes

I haven’t had this in a while, but I’ve been craving it for a bit now. My palate has improved a fair bit since I last made a cup, and I’m excited to drink this again.

When I was first getting into loose leaf tea I lucked into a package of gyokuro on clearance for incredibly cheap, and I fell in love with it, not knowing what I’d picked up. I was shocked to discover how expensive this tea is when I went to go restock – figures, I always tend to have expensive taste by accident.

My first steep of just over 30 seconds is definitely over steeping this. It’s so incredibly rich and thick, with an almost overpowering flavour. Not at all astringent though. The liquor is a bright yellow green . Umami, seaweed, grassy and roasted flavours coat my mouth. It’s broth-like and there’s an almost meaty quality to this. The finish is seaweed and roasty. Delicious, but almost too much.

Second steep, and I’m wondering if maybe I just overleafed this. 15 seconds and this cup is almost as intense as the first, with a hint of bitterness. The flavour and nose doesn’t really change from steep to steep – seaweed, umami, roasty. Very delicious. I can already feel myself getting over caffeinated.

For my third steep I pulled half the leaves out of my gaiwan, and did a quick pour on and pour off. This is still very flavourful but light and delicate compared to the last two steepings. Better.

I’m really enjoying this, but I think I will have to take a break and revisit it later. It’s a little bit like eating a rich meal first thing in the morning – tasty but a bit too much.

Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Grass, Roasted, Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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72
drank Chai Guarana by DAVIDsTEA
174 tasting notes

This is a nice chai to drink straight, no sugar or milk. The dominant flavour is cinnamon, and I’m not getting much in the way of other distinctive chai spices. However, the cinnamon with the earthiness of the mate makes for a much better, more balanced cup than just black tea and lots of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly smooth and light for a 7 minute steep too – no astringency.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Spicy

Preparation
7 min, 0 sec

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75
drank White Tea with Raspberry by Tetley
174 tasting notes

Had a cup of this at a friends house and it was very nice, light and fruity. I pulled the tea bag out of the cup as soon as it was brought out to me, so no astringency or over steeping. Pleasant. I used to drink a lot of these Tetley teas and always enjoyed them.

Flavors: Raspberry

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91

Oh my god, this tea is amazing to drink while eating chocolate. I’m working on an absurdly huge bag of Lindt chocolate, a result of too little self control in an outlet mall. The rich sweetness of the chocolate that lingers after a bite just makes each sip of this incredibly creamy and loaded with vanilla notes. I have the urge to try making hot chocolate with this tea as the base. Mmmm.

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Went to the farmers market this morning and drank a cup of genmaicha chai from the GreenBean coffee stand. It was a great choice for just walking around with a take out cup with the leaves in it. The chai spices complimented the light, toasted flavours of the genmaicha perfectly. I definitely need to get this tea or one like it for my cupboard.

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94
drank Coco Chai Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
174 tasting notes

Holy wow this is delicious. I accidentally steeped it for about an hour and it’s just smooth and tasty. The dominant flavours are cinnamon and coconut. There’s a nice heat at the back of the throat, a touch of fruitiness and lots of really delightful sweetness. And not a trace of that woody dryness that sometimes comes with rooibos – it almost has a creamy mouth feel. I may make myself a second cup of this right away, it’s that good.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Coconut, Creamy, Fruity, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
sweetea

Yes to all of this note! It’s rooibos without being overly rooibos? Confusing and delightful.

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Profile

Bio

I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.

Location

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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