523 Tasting Notes

70
drank Kirara Rice Tea by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

For those who don’t know, genmaicha is green tea with roasted brown rice in it. It certainly smells like roasted rice!

My thoughts: genmaicha is like a more roasted version of houjicha. It’s not like houjicha at all really. And it’s definitely not like sencha at all! But the closest thing I’ve ever had to genmaicha is houjicha, so that’s what I’m comparing it to.

My overall impression is it’s good. But it’s not something I’d drink every day.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Kaga Bocha by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

This tea is very unique and very delicious!

If you like houjicha, you simply HAVE to try this tea! It’s perfect without milk or sugar. Houjicha is my favorite type of green tea, and this is a definite favorite. Don’t give up on green tea without trying this one.

I had this tea on the same day I tried my first genmaicha, so I’m going to compare them in the rest of this review. The genmaicha I had was Kirara Rice Tea.

“Kaga” Bocha has a much sweeter aroma than Kirara Genmaicha. Roasted leaves are very different from roasted rice. The genmaicha reminds me of eating roasted peanuts from a street vendor. Houjicha tastes more like tea.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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97
drank Afternoon Tea by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

This is hard for me to describe, but it’s a winner!

It reminds me of Twining’s English Breakfast or Lupicia’s Ceylon Uva, but it has a different taste. I definitely like it! It’s more light-bodied than the aforementioned, which makes it a nice alternative to English Breakfast (which can be heavy and almost “in your face” to me).

This is a very pleasant, easy going tea. It’s a winner for tea parties and for when I’m an old lady. This is one to remember.

I don’t even have to add milk or sugar! And that’s the best complement I could possibly give a black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Ceylon Uva by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

I can’t believe more people haven’t tried this tea!

It smells exactly like Twining’s English Breakfast. Sure enough, it pretty much tastes exactly like Twining’s English Breakfast too.

Maybe it’s a little weaker and less bitter than Twining’s, but that could be attributed to steep time and the ratio of leaves to water. It’s definitely more enjoyable with a little milk and sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Sakurambo Vert by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

This is a really good green tea. I disagree with some of the other users though.

To me, it can be kind of bitter. I’ve tried steeping it for less time and using cooler than boiling water. I even added sweetener, but it’s still bitter. Granted, my taste buds usually like overly sweet things and can’t take bitterness at all.

Brewing it as an iced tea works but makes the bitterness even more pronounced. I prefer it hot. And this is a very heavily cherry flavored tea! There’s nothing subtle about it! Lupicia does make a lot of very subtly flavored teas, but this isn’t one of them.

If you want a more subtle cherry tea, try Sakura Vert. You have to like sencha to be able to appreciate its unique flavor, but it’s delicious! I tend to water down my Sakurambo Vert to cover the bitterness, but then I also lose the cherry-ness.

Still, it’s a good tea and understandably on Lupicia’s best seller list (well, the black tea version is but same thing).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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2
drank Piccolo by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

I don’t think I like rooibos tea, at least not the red kind.

It reminds me of cough medicine I took as a child. But that could be the apricot. Hmm, no way to tell until I try another rooibos variety.

The tea has a slightly cool, refreshing aftertaste. It’s definitely weird. But I just can’t get over that medicine taste. I hate to do this, but this one’s going down the drain. :(

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Don’t give up hope- red and green bush are two COMPLETELY different animals… er… tisanes. Adagio has really good ones I completely suggest.

CHAroma

What would you suggest in the green variety?

Cofftea

Definitely Adagio as I stated before. 52teas’ blends are great too- hopefully he’ll come out w/ another green bush soon.

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34
drank Lipton Black Tea by Lipton
523 tasting notes

Blech! You call this tea?! This is a sad impression of what could be. (The rhyme was unintentional, sorry).

Forget Lipton and go with Twinings. How could a British tea company get this so wrong? Lipton’s weak, bland flavor just can’t compete with high quality teas. But if you’re in a bind and it’s the only choice so you can get your tea fix, it’ll do.

I mean, come on! It doesn’t even have a name! Hot tea?! That’s not a name! That could be anything!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I only drink this in places like restaurants where this is my only tea option (although lucky I can almost always get green tea- even if it is cheap green dust). It’s ok w/ lemon and/or lime. Certainly better than plain water.

CHAroma

Exactly, I completely agree. But I’d never buy it and put it in my cupboard at home.

Cofftea

Oh no. Well except for possibly for when you’re sick to add ginger and lemon to… those cases just call for something that tastes like tea to serve as a base. But then again I think there are better cheap brands for even that.

Stacy Bunny

You really hit on so many points that also bug me! Twinings is cheap and reliable for a good cuppa, so I don’t understand why restaurants don’t dump the Lipton and carry Twinings. And nothing makes me want to punch people more than when I’m at a restaruant and inquire what type of tea they serve and they just reply “um, hot tea.” THAT NARROWS NOTHING DOWN! But of course they really mean to say Lipton.

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93
drank English Breakfast by Twinings
523 tasting notes

This is what I was raised on. Perfect with cream and sugar, this is something to constantly keep in your cupboard. Thank you, Grandma June, for introducing me to this classic tea!

It can be strong, so I usually don’t steep it as long as others do. It’s so tasty, but be careful you don’t drink too much of the caffeinated version in a short period of time. I made that mistake once and couldn’t figure out why I was shaking. :)

If you’re a fan, you should also try Afternoon Tea and Ceylon Uva (available from Lupicia).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Sakura Vert by Lupicia
523 tasting notes

Sakura Vert is a very pleasant sencha! Normally, I don’t like sencha at all. But this is the best sencha I’ve ever had, including both pure and flavored varieties.

It has a very fresh, clean taste. It’s not overly flavored or spiced. Indeed, the aroma only has a tiny hint of cherry. I almost might not know it’s cherry if the package hadn’t told me so. The flavor of the cherry is quite subtle, which brings out the natural, nice taste of the sencha leaves base. It’s not even the slightest bit bitter!

I really love it! And it has an interesting aftertaste. It sort of prickles the tongue and reminds me of cinnamon. Maybe that’s just my opinion, but I really think this tea is delightful.

The only con is that it’s seasonal, but maybe that’s also its pro and the secret of why it tastes so good.

Now, this review will compare Sakura Vert & Sakurambo Vert, since they’re often confused. Sakura Vert smells and tastes much more like sencha than Sakurambo Vert. Sakurambo Vert has a much heavier flavor of cherry but can also be somewhat bitter. The Sakura Vert is completely different and the cherry flavor is much less present. If you’re a lover of cherry, go with the Sakurambo Vert, which is available year round.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Blue People by Vital Tea Leaf
523 tasting notes

WOW!!! This tea is sensational!

It’s almost impossible to describe, and I don’t see how anyone could dislike it. It has a clean, crisp, sweet flavor going down. But the aftertaste is what’s so fantastic!

The aftertaste is so unique and different from anything else I’ve ever had. It sort of cools your tongue and refreshes your palate, while at the same time being incredibly flavorful and delicious.

I don’t know about the tea being a good alternative to an energy drink. Yes, it has ginseng added to it, but oolong is naturally very low in caffeine. I can drink it right before bedtime and still fall asleep with ease.

It’s pretty expensive as teas go, but it does have a very long shelf life (around 3 years). As with most teas, it’s better the fresher it is. But you can brew the same tea leaves up to seven times! In my opinion, it tastes best on brews 2-5. Funny that the first brew isn’t the best, huh?

But truly, this is a lifetime favorite. Brew it in very little water for 15-30 seconds, and you’ll have magic. Trust me, this tea is worth a trip to a Vital Tea Leaf shop all by itself.

Just don’t buy their Piao I Teapot to brew it in. Yes, it’s so simple and cool. But it breaks really easily after just a few uses. Instead, go for something like Teavana’s Classic Comfort Touch Tea Strainer with lid. You’ll be much happier in the long run, and the large open strainer allows the tea leaves to expand more than a small tea ball would.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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