129 Tasting Notes

85
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
129 tasting notes

Made another cup of this. For some reason, this time around I was able to detect stronger notes of chocolate. Added some half and half to it, which really brought out the chocolate, but dulled the malty flavour a bit. I’m going to increase the rating on this.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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91
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
129 tasting notes

Resteeped. More cinnamon-y this time. Still also rather malty and chocolatey.

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84
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
129 tasting notes

Sorry for the brevity/curtness of my latest notes— some are backlogs and I’m running on about two hours’ sleep at the moment.

Dry leaf smells like cranberries and vanilla to me, but I occasionally thought it smelled almost cherry-like, too. Asked a suitemate about it and she could also pick up on something that seemed similar to cherries.

Aroma while steeping became much more cranberry-like with something vanilla or almond-y in the background. Taste was very similar, too, and left a slightly tart feeling on my tongue, though that may have been my imagination.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

Light, floral, and I think I detected something that could almost be described as buttery.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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91
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
129 tasting notes

My first shipment from Verdant Tea! I ordered this (autumn pick), the Yanxin Reserve ‘04 Shu nuggets, and the Autumn Tieguanyin. As I’m waiting for the water to boil, I’m clearing out a new section in my comfort drawer (filled with teas, chocolates, and coffees) for somewhere to put these new teas.

The dry leaf aroma really, really reminds me of hot chocolate. After steeping, the tea has more of a toasty/woods-y(? I don’t know where that thought came from, but it reminded me of walking in the woods on my high school campus just as spring was beginning to dry out into summer), malty aroma. I also want to say that I can sort of detect a hint of something cinnamon-y, but not as strong. I don’t know if it’s my mind playing tricks on me, though.

On first sip… tastebuds stunned, mind blown. Be back later.

Preparation
Boiling

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75
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
129 tasting notes

Backlog from two days ago. Shared some with a suitemate, who enjoyed it after adding a lot of honey to it. Still couldn’t taste a lot of the chocolate, unfortunately.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
129 tasting notes

Backlogging from a few mornings ago.

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63

Backlogging from last night.

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85
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
129 tasting notes

Backlogging from yesterday. Shared some of this with a suitemate who doesn’t usually drink tea, but seems to enjoy the citrus-y/bergamot-y teas I’ve offered before. She smelled the leaves from the sampler pouch and seemed to have been just as in love with this as I was with smelling the Florence tea (also a H&S tea).

Unfortunately, I don’t have much else to offer in this note. The aroma after brewing was very fruity. It’s a very light, clean, palate-cleaning tea with a berrylike flavour that’s followed by a hint of citrus near the end. I don’t recall picking up on vanilla or caramel like what others have mentioned, but I admittedly wasn’t paying very much attention to the tea as I was drinking it at the time (aforementioned suitemate and I were venting about having a second fire alarm going off in less than a week while sipping this tea).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
129 tasting notes

Had another cup of this earlier today. I can’t wait for my order from Harney & Sons to arrive! I have the feeling that this sampler will be gone well before the package gets here, haha.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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Profile

Bio

Update

Have been occupied as of late with grad school. I’ll still be on Steepster, but will mostly be in lurk-mode with the occasional review.

About Me
Student with far too many interests, ranging from medical anthropology to evolutionary biology to bioethics to medicine to computer science to theatre, and lots more.

Brewing
Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

Preferences
I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

Ratings
My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

The final iteration of my rating system before I stopped (note: I never did get around to re-calibrating most of my older notes):
99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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