59 Tasting Notes

98

The ‘little oolong tea adventure’ contains a number of oolong teas, amongst which the Golden Water Turtle, the White Cockscomb and the Big Red Robe. It may be my not so advanced palette and the fact that I haven’t been tasting these side by side, but to me they are rather similar. In all these teas the roasted mineral impression is the dominant feature. I really love it…, but won’t be reviewing the others as I can’t really pinpoint the exact differences…

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88
drank Black Guanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

I received a sample of this with my ‘little black tea adventure’.

I divided the sample in two and prepared two cups on two separate days. The information provided by tea-adventure is rather accurate. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic after my first cup and thought the tea to be a bit curious, with overly fruity tones or an excessive ‘fruity freshness’. When having my second cup I knew a bit better what to expect and that seems to have had a positive impact on the tasting experience. Rather like when you put a sandwich in you mouth, convinced that it has peanut butter on it, while actually it has jam on it…

While tasting the different samples I’ve discovered that my profile remains true. I prefer flavored black teas to unflavored black teas. Nevertheless I’ve tasted a few I’m considering to buy and this is one of them. Once I was used to the flavor I found I actually appreciate it quite a lot. A great black tea for the summer in my opinion…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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69

Cteresa warned me that this tea wasn’t a love-at-first-sight experience, but had to grow on her over a certain amount of time. Taking that into consideration, I’ve been trying this tea for some days now (Cteresa, thanks for the very generous sample). I even went so far to take this tea with me to work.

Despite my efforts this tea hasn’t grown on me. I don’t have the advanced palette some of you clearly do have (gosh, the number of different flavors you pick up on!). To my taste the sweet (vanilla, almond?) and cinnamon dominate the entire experience too much. It’s certainly not a bad tea, but just not my thing… I’m apparently just not a fan of the nutty-cinnamon-floral combo.

Nevertheless, thanks Cteresa!! As I’m quite taken with MF, I would have ordered this sooner or later and you’ve saved me the disappointment.

cteresa

I am glad it was useful! A tip, if you still got something to experiment – I usually like my teas all plain, but this one can be really special with some honey and milk.

Barbara

Good idea. I’ll give it a try…. Still have a little bit left…

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76

The last week I’ve been tasting plain (or straight) black teas. So far this is one of my favorites, although I must confess not having tried Keemun, Golden Yunnan and Bailin Gong Fu yet… (which are supposed to be very good as well)

This is a very smooth and sweet tea. It has an earthy character with malty undertones. The sweetness precludes it from tasting too earthy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
59 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tea from Dustin. Thanks Dustin!.

This tea is unlike anything I’ve ever had before. I don’t really like rose, so when smelling the dry tea (with a very dominate rose smell) I was hesitant. After brewing the rose smell still is very present, but you also smell something ‘behind’ the rose, something sweet and dark. It’s really very intriguing.

The taste holds up well to the promise of intrigue. The first or top note is floral, but the roasted almonds and cinnamon follow fast on its heels, so that overall the first impression is a dark and intriguing rose+. It has a body and complexity that is very similar to expensive red wines. A very true desert tea and one that has converted me to not strike rose teas off my list of to-try-teas.

This isn’t an everyday tea though. More like a special occasions or special mood tea. And it probably is a hit-or-miss tea as well. My partner can’t stand the smell of it and complains when I brew a cup. :-)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

this one is very appealing to me for ages !

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74
drank Wedding Cake by Tea Embassy
59 tasting notes

I’m doing this one from memory, as I’ve been so stupid to accidentally lock the drawer of my desk at work. As you may guess, I don’t have a key to open it and the sample of Wedding Cake rooibos I received from Dustin is in it. Darn! Hopefully someone will be able to open the lock next week.

Anyway as Dustin I find the tea’s to be similar in that they both have a powerful almond smell and flavor. I think because the rooibos in itself is sweeter, it blends more into the mix than the green tea base of Almond Cookie, which is a pity. Although a very good rooibos, it isn’t as interesting as the Almond Cookie Green in my opinion.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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76

I’m not really sure how I could have been so stupid, but I posted this note accidentally with Amaretto of Davids Tea.

I received a generous sample of this tea from Dustin. Thanks so much!

This tea smells very amaretto-y, a smell I find infinitely comforting. Although the taste also is rather amaretto-y or almondy, it isn’t over the top. Generally I’d associate almond and amaretto flavors with black tea bases. I would have thought a green tea base too delicate to carry such a flavor. In reality that doesn’t pose a problem. Actually the green tea base provides a rather neutral base, due to which the almond/amaretto is more noticeable than it otherwise (probably) would have been, without tasting artificial (like some other fancy flavors).

PS: After relocating this tasting note, I’ve had a look at the ingredients. I wonder if I can actually discern between the taste of almond cookies and amaretto. They rather belong together. Anyway after reading the ingredients, I can imagine that what I perceived as amoretto-y is rather the combined flavors of almond and coconut. After all it’s very long ago that I’ve had amaretto and then I’ve never had it by itself, but always with either almond cookies or stratiatella ice crème.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Mélange de Galice by THE O DOR
59 tasting notes

A received a sample of this from Cteresa, thank you very much!.

Although this is arguably the best peach flavored black tea I’ve ever had, it still isn’t a favorite for me.

The black tea base is mellow and rather neutral. On the first steep the peach dominates nearly entirely. The vanilla notes stay firmly in the background, way back… The first steep is a bit too fresh peachy fruity to my taste. On the second steep the peach fades a bit so that the vanilla becomes more prominent. Due to that I actually like the second steep better (and that’s a first for me :-)).

Apparently peaches aren’t that much my thing or rather I prefer berries & vanilla to peaches & vanilla. As I do like peaches in itself, I think I’ll be looking to peaches in a more tropical setting next.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85

Cteresa packed a teabag of this tea by way of a surprise with the swap we had agreed upon. Thank you, Cteresa!. While I was sipping this tea the first thing that came to mind was that I would really like to order some of it…

This tea actually has what I miss in Theodor’s Place Saint Marc: balance between the tea base (a very smooth green tea), the fruity top note (red berries) and the vanilla impression in the aftertaste. Everything comes together beautifully in a well rounded and balanced taste.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
cteresa

Glad you enjoyed it – and hope you saved the bag, it can hold for a couple of extra steeps! It´s a really nice flavoured tea isn´t it?

Ysaurella

I love this one too

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Profile

Bio

What to say about myself and my tea drinking habits? I’ve been staring at the screen, reading other’s bio’s and still can’t come up with something worthwile. I’ll just stick to the basics.

I generally prefer white, green and oolong teas to black teas. As I read a scientific report that stated that black teas lower the level of stress hormones in the blood, I try to add a few cups of black tea every day.

Overall I prefer black teas to be flavoured. The white, green and oolongs may be flavoured or straight.

I brew my teas per cup, mostly in my – much loved – Kati mug with Cha Cult strainer. I’m rather a stickler for brewing time and temperature, so I use a tea timer and watercooker with temperature indication.

I also love a good cup of coffee and especially cappuchino. As far as I’m concerned, a good cappuchino requires a real milk/foam topping, not something made with skimmed milk, powder or the like. Unfortunately a lot of cafes still haven’t caught on to that one and serve low quality coffee and tea (type vending machine and bagged fannings). I hate it when, on a cold winter day, the choice is restricted to bad coffee, bagged fannings or a cold softdrink… :-(

As for rating teas, I more or less make the following distinction:

100:
Nothing is perfect. Probably won’t be using it ever.

98 – 99:
Nearly too good to be true.

90 – 97:
Exceptional.

80 – 89:
Excellent.

70 – 79:
Good. May rebuy depending on price and availability.

60 – 69:
Ok I’ll finish the cup and maybe even have a second, but probably won’t finish the entire package as I have other – (far) better teas in my cupboard.

< 60:
I feel cheated. I won’t ever be buying this again.

< 50:
This really is no good.

< 30:
I hate this. I want my money back.

1:
Beyond horrible!

PS: Recalibrated my ratings according to this index on 23 feb 2013.

Location

The Netherlands

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