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124 Tasting Notes

45

This had a really nice fresh moist green scent. I love the little curled up tea leaves.
The leaves opened up into cute little Brussels sprout looking wrinkly leaves.
I like the color of the liquor – it’s a straw yellow green golden color.

Brewed up, this smells a-ma-zing. Buttery, toasty, and even, strangely, slightly jammy. Strawberry jam, I would say, if you pressed me.
Taste wise, it’s a little burnt and a little bitter, but it’s just the first infusion. I’ll do the same length for the next infusion and see if I like that better. I didn’t rinse the leaves first, either.

Second steep I did at 195 for 2 minutes. The leaves really unfolded and filled the entire cup (I have a cup sized strainer I used). The liquor was a little lighter and closer to a true straw color. The scent this time is much sweeter, in a toasty honey way.
The flavor still disappointed me. It’s too bitter. I must be oversteeping this.

I’m not giving up though! I’m going to throw adagio’s instructions out the window and try the :30, 1:00, 1:30 brewing instead.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Green Pekoe by Adagio Teas
124 tasting notes

For reference, I rated this a 16 because it tasted really really soapy and weird to me. But no one else had a similar rating and my sister thought it tasted fine and great, so I’m not going to skew the numbers with what is obviously a bizarre personal reaction to the tea.

Review:
The leaves had a nice buttery scent, with a little bit of dustiness.
When I brewed it up, there was a strange soapy residue on top of the pot. I hadn’t used soap last time I rinsed my teapot, so this was just from the leaves. I don’t know why it was foamy…
The liquor smells toasty with a little bit of a lighter scent, almost citrusy.
Unfortunately, this is going to be a tea I pour out. It is bland, bitter and sour all at the same time. Eww. I’m disappointed – I really wanted to like this. I didn’t even oversteep it!

ETA – I see that I’m the lowest rating for this tea. Perhaps I’m a fluke and there was just some bizarre reaction going on here… I used filtered water in a water rinsed teapot, at the recommended settings. Who knows?

ETA again – My sister tried it and thought it was great. So… I’m out of ideas :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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73
drank White Monkey by Adagio Teas
124 tasting notes

The leaves smell perfect – that buttery toast scent. And I love how cute and curled and twisted the leaves are.
I smelled the liquor as it was brewing – it went through a couple interesting cycles. First it smelled just a buttery and wonderful as the leaves did. Then it went through a bitter cycle and then caramel notes came out. I’d be interested to try this next time, stopping it after 1 minute.
The final scent of the liquor is a caramel creamy scent.
The flavor I found lacking. None of the butteryness or creaminess came through. There was some nuttiness, but in a more bitter way than I like. The aftertaste has some nice mellow nutty notes though.

Geeze, what is it with me and being so critical? Am I too picky? I think I’m just comparing all teas to the one incredible tea I had a few years ago. I had a small sample of Jade Tie Guan Yin from teaspring and no other tea I’ve had recently has been as good. Yes, it was an oolong and this is a green so it’s not a fair comparison but it was just such an example, to my palate, of a really complex interesting tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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86

I went a step lower (185 vs 190) and a tad longer (7 minutes vs 6.5) to see if it would change the flavor.
It wasn’t bad – I drank this distractedly and didn’t end up seeing much of a difference.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

Try a 10 minute steep. Thats usually what I let it go for and it really lets the creamy deliciousness come out =)

BlueKittyMeow

Oooh thanks, I’ll try that. What water temperature do you like to use?

Lynne-tea

No problemo! I like to use ~93 and prefer making a bigger pot vs just a single cup for myself. For some reason this tea (to me) tastes better when brewed in a pot. I dont know why… it just does =S

BlueKittyMeow

I tried this your way, Lynne-tea, and it was made of win – it gave it a really nice creaminess :) Thanks!

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79
drank Jumpy Monkey by DAVIDsTEA
124 tasting notes

This is bizarre! I’ve never had tea with coffee beans in it. The loose leaves have a strange scent that I’m not sure if it’s from the coffee or another ingredient or if it’s one of the artificial ingredients (there is some artificial flavoring in this blend). I love the carob/cocoa nibs in it, I usually really like those and they look so pretty in the loose mix.
The scent of the brewed tea mellowed as I let it cool a bit. It’s less in-your-face bitter and more nutty.
Taste: Yay! Yet another tea I was expecting not to like from the scent that I ended up finding nice. It has a minty grassy tone to it, probably from the mate and nice roasty flavors in it. There are certain barky notes that remind me of damp trees. There’s a really smooth sweet aftertaste to it.

Desert matzos (dark chocolate, coconut, agave and pecans) that my sister just made, go GREAT with this.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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84

I could really pick out the individual ingredients (coriander, fennel, with a little bit of cumin) – they all seemed to be very distinct and yelling out “Hey! I’m right here!” like they were little hot dog vendors at a baseball game or something :P
I wasn’t expecting to love this from the scent but I actually think it tastes nice. There is some kind of a sweet element here that tastes like black licorice (I guess that’s the fennel). Normally I’m not really a licorice person, but I really like that flavor in here.
It kind of strikes me like Moxie – either you like those flavors or you don’t. It is another one of those teas that seem like my grandmother would have liked. I think it’s good :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74

I received this as a sample in my order from David’s Tea – it smelled really nicely of orange zest when I opened it up. (I think I’m slowly becoming a “citrus” person. I never used to like it but it’s been some of my favorite notes in the tea I’ve been drinking lately). The tea also looked really nice – I’m really digging eccentric herbal blends right now.
I steeped this a little cooler than the package recommended – I didn’t want the oolong to get bitter.
There’s a real low sweet nutty earthy scent to the brewed tea. The citrus is still there but the darker scents have come to the forefront. I suppose that’s the pu erh? I had a great pu erh once and haven’t found one that has been interesting since, so I’m not the best judge here.
The flavor is okay. It kind of tastes like I let some orange zest sit in water. It’s decent to sip on and the scent balances some of the lack of flavor out.
Nothing I’d seek out again, but not awful, just average.

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

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89
drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
124 tasting notes

The leaves of this smell like sweet powdered milk – I like the nuttiness of the macadamia nuts.
Brewed it is so nutty. It smells incredible – really more like a desert than a tea.
The flavor of this is really nice – it’s a very sippable tea with a nice full body. The nuttiness is more of an aftertaste. The main flavor of the tea is smooth and subtle – I’ve never had mulberry leaves so I can’t really comment here except to say that I like it. It’s a relaxing, smooth, nutty cup.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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82

The flavor of the loose tea is really nice – I especially smelled the peppermint, fennel, and the licorice.
After brewing it I smell even more peppermint and it seems more like a digestive tea than a general “herbal” tea.
Taste: weirdly sweet – that must be the licorice. This doesn’t taste like something that would pep me up – I’m half expecting this to make me drowsy actually.
It’s not bad and I’m really acquiring a taste for the more medicinal herbal blends, so I’ll wait and see if this actually gives me energy.
The flavor isn’t bad and at least it’s interesting.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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89

Hurray! Something interesting :)
After the disappointing tuo chas, I’m actually glad that I have no idea what to think about this.
From the beginning, I was fascinated by this tea and I really wanted to like it. I opened up the bag and was baffled – it was so much smokier than I had expected! I brought it around to my dad who likes whiskies and asked his opinion. First he said it smelled like a wet campfire which is, I think, what it was reminding me of. Then I mentioned the whiskey aspect and how it was made and he said he could absolutely see that.
My sister thought it smelled fabulous. I’m still on the fence. The piney scent really smells like some kind of carcinogenic chemical to me.
The flavor isn’t bad… it’s super interesting and less abrasive than the scent.
I’ve never tried anything like this before – the smokiness really lingers in my mouth and I can’t tell if I despise it or if I love it. It is one of the other.
My (vegan) sister mentioned that the scent smells a little like beef jerky – that scent/flavor started coming out more as the tea cooled.

Halfway through the cup I decided I like it :)
I tried adding milk to it at that point. I really like that too! I think this would be the perfect breakfast tea on a rainy day. The smokiness with the fogginess, the dark mellow notes with the color of the day, the sharpness with the drumming of the rain… yup. I’m sold!
ETA – I want to try brewing this for 3 minutes next time and see if it’s easier to drink black.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I’m a writer and as such, am obviously an emotional rollercoaster. I used to drink tea a lot more, but kind of stopped and switched to coffee. Now, after too much stress, I’m completely unable to drink coffee anymore, so I figured tea would fulfill some of my “awake” needs as well as calm my emotions. I’m working my way through a huge selection of samples of pretty much everything, leaving notes so I remember what I like.
I love being adventurous and trying new things, even (especially?) things that sound strange or off-putting. Aside from tea I also enjoy tasting wines. The last really interesting one I tried was a dandelion wine! (And yes, it actually was delicious. Extremely bizarre and herby, but delicious).

I don’t have a set of numerical ratings set down yet, mainly because I’m very intuitive (read: disorganized and opinionated) about how I rate things. Basically, If something is in the 70-85 range, it’s pretty good, totally drinkable. Below that, in the 50-69 range, it was probably incredibly boring. I really hate boring tea. Below 50, I wouldn’t drink it again and might not have finished it (I actually really hate leaving ratings below 50, it makes me feel bad. I’m probably too nice). If it’s above 85 then I really liked it. Super high ratings are reserved for teas that totally blew me away.

Location

Massachusetts

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