468 Tasting Notes

85
drank Coconut Chai by Cornelia Bean
468 tasting notes

This is another Cornelia Bean tisane that I’m not sure why they called it “chai”. It definitely has some chai spices in it, but it’s really quite light and doesn’t say chai to me. It is, however, delicious.

The dominant smell of the dry leaf is ginger, lots of really sweet ginger, with some cinnamon, cardamom, and I want to say raisin (pretty sure there’s no raisin in this.)

Taste wise, it’s quite light. Up front is ginger and lemongrass, and then the coconut, cinnamon, cardamom and clove pop up. This is quite naturally sweet. It has a slightly cookie-ish quality to it – more in the smell than the taste.

Super easy to drink and a really enjoyable combination of flavours.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Coconut, Cookie, Ginger, Lemongrass, Raisins, Sweet

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

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90
drank The People's Tea by Tippy's Tea
468 tasting notes

My Tippy’s Tea sampler pack came today. I slept in, had an odd morning and I’m prepping for a big event that I’m organizing and speaking at tonight, so I needed something a bit bold.

The dry leaf is a mix of rolled oolong and twists of black tea. It smells primarily of smoke.

Steeped, the liquor is brown and smells really intensely smokey, grassy and floral. Amazing! The flavours are very similar, with a bit of creaminess and malt as well. Full bodied but very smooth.

This is a really well balanced blend. I can taste each of the ingredients, but they complement each other really wonderfully. One of the best takes on Russian Caravan I’ve had.

Edit: Second cup is even more orchid floral with the smoke slightly muted. Mmmm!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Grass, Malt, Orchid, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Jealous! This is what I get for living in the US. :P

Fjellrev

Nice, never heard of this brand before. Their Underground Pumpkin sounds awesome!

TippysTea

Thanks for the review! So happy you enjoyed it :D

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88
drank Pumpkin Chai by Cornelia Bean
468 tasting notes

Sampled in store.

I think we all had the opportunity to sample about a thousand different but similar pumpkin teas this fall, and I kind of had my fill. I rolled my eyes a bit at seeing another pumpkin tea in the holiday line up, but it both looked and smelled different from any of the others I’ve had, and it is.

I’m not sure why this is called a chai, because it’s almost all fruit and is pretty light on spices. The dry tisane smelled slightly fruity and sweet, but mellow, and a bit squash-like.

Steeped this was a gorgeous bright pink – thankfully from beet, not hibiscus! Flavour-wise, this is light and fruity and unlike any other pumpkin tea I’ve had. A bit sweet, a hint tart, and with a really lovely earthy note from the pumpkin and beets.

I didn’t pick any up because I’m just not allowed, but if I wasn’t on tea buying hiatus I would definitely pick some up.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Fruity, Pumpkin, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Dexter

I find it interesting that this is a tisane. Don’t normally see pumpkin teas without some sort of base. Hmmmmm but I too am NOT ALLOWED. :)

Roswell Strange

Ooh, that does seem really interesting…

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69
drank Maple Taffy by Cornelia Bean
468 tasting notes

Sampled this in store today and it was alright but not enough maple flavour to make it really stand out.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple

OMGsrsly

Oh man, I’ve tried something similar… Bayswater! Same thing, I think, even down to the popcorn. It’s not bad as a latte, but yeah. Not mapley enough.

Anlina

I have yet to find a maple tea that really grabs me, and maple is one of my favourite flavours.

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83
drank Sencha of the Earth by Obubu Tea
468 tasting notes

Wow, I don’t know if my tastebuds have changed or if there’s just something magic about all these senchas I’ve been trying, but this one also tastes and smells strongly of honey. No complaints, I’m absolutely loving it, I’ve just rarely encountered strong honey notes in teas, and this is three senchas in a row.

In addition to the honey, this also has some strong umami and grass notes, with a noticeable but pleasant bit of bitterness.

The second steep is more bitter and earthy, with less sweetness.

Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Honey, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

I had this while out and about this morning, and it was not what I was expecting.

I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Yunnan blacks lately so I figured I’d give this a try, but the flavour reminded me more of a shou pu-erh than a Yunnan black. Thick, with almost a licorice note to it.

It’s quite decent but not what I was craving or anticipating from the name.

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61
drank Apple from Persia by Gurmano Tea
468 tasting notes

This tisane is what originally motivated me to place my giant Gurmano Tea order a while back. I used to go for afternoon tea on a regular basis at International House of Tea, and for a while they had this amazing Turkish Apple tea, which was just apple pieces, but had a beautiful lemony note when steeped. It got discontinued and so in my hunt for a pure apple tisane that would replace it, I ordered this.

There’s nothing at all wrong with this, but I had a very specific flavour profile in mind when I bought it, and this doesn’t match. There’s tartness, but it’s not a lemony kind of tartness – more of an apple skin tart, and the flavour just isn’t as full bodied and balanced as I was hoping. It leaves me wishing for a different kind of tart and more appley sweetness.

A bit of palm sugar and a drop of lemon juice helps it along, though I can’t help but wish it was something else.

If anyone can recommend a really bright, lemony apple tisane, that would make me super happy.

Edit: Omg, I think they brought it back! I don’t remember it having extra flavourings, but I could easily have been mistaken. Dear god, I need to resist the impulse to order more. ToT http://www.internationalhouseoftea.com/products/turkish-apple-fruit-tisane-elma-cay

Flavors: Apple, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

http://www.questturkey.com/lifestyle/fooddrink/1082-turkish-traditional-apple-tea-recipe.html. You could try variations of this recipe. This company has a Turkish apple lemon tea. I have never tried it and unfortunately they only sell in large amounts but perhaps you could see if they will send you a sample for review? http://www.victorianessence.ca

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90

You know, I’m really glad that I’ve started passing on unsatisfactory teas and moving on to better things, instead of trying and trying to love teas that I just don’t. It really helps me better appreciate teas of all varieties.

I was feeling kind of indifferent to senchas for a bit, after a lot of fairly generic fruit flavoured ones, and an awful, bitter sencha from DAVIDs. But this batch of teas from Yunomi has really got me appreciating senchas a lot more. This one is delicious.

The dry leaf is deep green, needle like and many different sizes, from a few mm to two or three cm long. Mostly smaller pieces though. It smells like seaweed and a bit nutty in the bag.

For this cup I went with 3g, 1min, 75C, 8oz. The liquor is quite green, and I’m really enjoying the flavour. The dominant note is honey, which is one of my favourite flavours to encounter in straight teas. There’s a hint of sweet grass, some umami and a bit of a broth-like quality. Not overly vegetal. Very, very nice.

This is extremely smooth – only the faintest touch of astringency that I notice on my cheeks, after almost a full cup. I could drink a lot of this.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Honey, Nutty, Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

My first try with this tea was so light it was barely worth commenting on. I steeped 2.5g in 8oz of 60C water and no matter how long a steep, I didn’t get much flavour from the leaves.

This time around, I tried 3.5g in 80C water, and it’s much, much better. The liquor is yellow and smells sweet. The flavour is a bit grassy, but more sweet, dry hay than fresh cut green grass. There’s nutty notes, and maybe a hint of kale and honey.

I’m really enjoying this cup a lot. Easy to drink, complex but still delicious if you’re sipping absentmindedly.

Edit: Holy smokes. I steeped a second cup from the same leaves and forgot about what I was doing. This cup was much more vegetal, noticeably astringent (but not unpleasantly so) and just bursting with honey flavour. What an interesting development, particularly for a sencha!

Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Hay, Honey, Kale, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Sweet, super malty, sweet potato, a bit meaty, slightest trace of bitterness. Smooth, medium body. A touch of astringency that builds very slowly. Toward the bottom of the cup, a honey note starts to peek out.

Very delicious.

I’ve been drinking a lot of very similar Chinese black teas lately, and they are all different but in such subtle ways that I’m not sure I can capture those differences in my tasting notes, in a way that’s meaningful (particularly for me, when I look back and decide what to restock.)

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Meat, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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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