968 Tasting Notes

83

Hello tea friends! I haven’t been posting notes lately because I’ve been working on sipdowns of teas that I’ve already logged, and I’m not the type of person who feels the need to log a tea every time I drink it. This sample is from Sil. The leaves definitely look quite wild, they’re long and gnarled and their color is a combination of gold and dark grey/brown. I didn’t get much of a dry scent from them.

The steeped tea smells quite fruity in a wine-like way. The aroma almost reminds me of Darjeeling a bit. Wow, this is a unique one! It has a strong herbaceous note at the beginning of the sip that reminds me of thyme and perhaps oregano? There’s also malt and a touch of hay. The end of the sip has strong and fuzzy stonefruit notes, mostly apricot or peach. Underneath it all there’s a thickness and a smooth bread-like flavor, though I would describe it as more of a flatbread than a yeast variety. Very interesting and tasty!

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Herbs, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruits, Thick, Thyme

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
968 tasting notes

This was one of several individually wrapped tea bags that Sil thoughtfully included as bonuses in her “swap” package (she never told me what she would like in return!). I don’t usually gravitate toward black tea blends for whatever reason, so I’m glad others see fit to send me samples of them! This one is apparently a blend of Ceylon and Assam. Mine is a traditional paper tea bag, so obviously the leaves are extremely broken. Dry scent is mildly fruity.

This is actually quite good for such small leaf pieces! Fannings, really. It’s not bitter or astringent, which surprised me a lot. It does have a bit of that “generic” tannic quality to it, but it’s softened by some lovely soft stonefruit, specifically peach, notes. There’s also a tiny bit of breadiness to it. Overall, pretty good, especially for a tea bag.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Peach, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

Send her a bit of everything to try and explode her cupboard! :D

whatshesaid

Yeah that!

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This was a sample from Roswell Strange. I’ve tried the vanilla and maple versions of it, and this one is a “plain” version but it has a green tea base instead of black. I mixed the whole sample, which looked to be about two tablespoons, with 8 ounces of hot unsweetened soy milk.

I must say, it’s just okay for me. The level of sweetness is somewhat high, but I tend to like sweet things so it’s not really a problem for me. I do find the spicing to be a bit too mild, I would call it more of a mildly spiced creamy beverage than a chai. I also can’t taste the green tea, which makes me question the point of doing a green tea-based version. It’s perfectly drinkable and tasty and decadent, but I see no reason to purchase this version over the black tea one.

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
6 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

I like this one with matcha. The only thing I like when matcha is involved. :)

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65
drank Carol by Lupicia
968 tasting notes

The very last untried Lupicia holiday tea! The tin features a trio of children – one singing, one playing a harp, and one playing an oboe or clarinet. Love the stained glass style art on these! The tea itself appears to be the mix of whole leaf and CTC that Lupicia uses in a lot of their flavored blacks. There are also pieces of red rose petals and small coconut shreds. Dry scent reminds me of those strawberry candies with the juice centers that are wrapped in the strawberry printed plastic.

Once steeped, the tea smells of strawberry candy and french vanilla ice cream. Hmm… This one is just okay. I can actually taste the base tea more than the flavoring, and it’s a somewhat earthy and woody black tea. There’s just a little bit of strawberry candy flavor and a tiny touch of cream. Meh!

Flavors: Candy, Cream, Earth, Strawberry, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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93

So… I got my Taiwan Tea Crafts order yesterday. I was planning on waiting to try any of these teas until I had sipped down a few more teas from my cupboard, but I figured trying just one would be a lovely way to start the day, and Steepster chat agreed. I chose this one to try first because miss Ysaurella’s note makes it sound delicious, and I love strong honey notes. The leaves definitely have that creepy tree branch look – they’re very large and long and twisty in a way that looks gnarled. Their color is a deep brown that’s almost black with a hint of red. Dry scent is heavenly sweet and creamy honey with bread.

Mm, the steeped tea smells of sweet and rich honey with a touch of warm cinnamon. Yummy! This tea has a lovely thick and silky mouthfeel that makes it feel even more decadent. The sip opens with bread and a touch of hay, but almost immediately it transitions to tasting of sweet waffles with honey slathered over the top and just a sprinkle of cinnamon. The amazing honey flavor just lingers and lingers on the tongue, and the cinnamon stays as well. The two together are such a sweet, warm, and comforting combination. This is making me want stroopwafel! Curse you, Marzipan! :P

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Honey, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

Oh yes, all of the YUMs! :3

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78
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
968 tasting notes

Last DF sample! Thanks again to the lovely and generous tea friend who sent these to me. This one is a mix of smallish black tea leaves and cream-colored dried flower petals. Dry scent is sweet and creamy and vanilla-ish, which makes sense considering it’s supposed to be a hazelnut/vanilla tea.

The steeped tea smells delicious – creamy, sweet, nutty with vanilla notes. Hmm… I’m actually slightly disappointed with this one. The vanilla flavor here is similar to bourbon vanilla or vanilla bean, which I think seems wrong for this blend. I feel they should have gone with a more creamy, confectionery vanilla flavor. It’s not a bad tea, just not what I expected from the aroma. Still yummy though.

Flavors: Hazelnut, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Amariel

Hazelnut…mmmm!

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Miss cookies was kind enough to send me a sample of this one (along with their Genmaicha powder). I must say, I was quite curious as to exactly how this would taste. The powder is very fine and it has a slightly greenish brown color, the same color I would expect to see in regular houjicha. It also smells extremely similar to houjicha and has a nice sweet roasted aroma. I used a half teaspoon of powder in 8 ounces of unsweetened soy milk.

Ooooh I could smell the lovely roastiness as soon as I popped the lid open on my Blender Bottle. Yum, this is delicious with the nutty and very slightly sweet soy milk! It tastes exactly as I would expect a houjicha prepared chai-style to taste. It’s roasty but not overpowering and the creaminess of the milk accents it perfectly. So good! :D

Cookies, if you’re reading this, try this one with milk! :D

Flavors: Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

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70

Another DF tea! This one sounds like the quintessential “holiday” tea with a blend of spices, orange, and a few others flavors including almond. To be honest, I’m never a fan of these teas, as generally they’re too heavy on the spice and not heavy enough on the other things. Visually, the tea is a mixture of black tea leaves and yellow flower petals. Dry scent is sweet and cinnamon-y.

First of all, I’m drinking this stone cold because I got distracted while making ramen for dinner. It came out really tasty! Anyway, this is mostly a mild cinnamon tea. It’s a little bit sweet and there’s perhaps a tiny amount of nuttiness, but otherwise it’s a cinnamon tea. Ho hum!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

Good evening, dear tea friends! This is my first note of the day (at 8 PM my time) because I’ve been mostly working on sipping down some of my samples before trying new ones. However, I saw how few flavored tea samples I have and figured I should try to get through them, since I don’t crave flavored teas lately and I have several favorites in my cupboard already. So, time to finish off these Dammann Frères samples that a very generous tea friend sent me! This blend appears to be simply black tea leaves and flavoring. Dry scent is mildly fruity and sweet.

Hm, this seems to be a subtly flavored one. Mostly I taste the vanilla, and it’s nice and creamy and dessert-ish. There’s perhaps a little red fruits flavor, and overall it comes off as a decent “berries and cream” sort of tea to me.

Flavors: Cream, Red Fruits, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Yay, back home from an exciting day of eating dim sum and going to the Asian market! I just recently got a Japanese cookbook and needed to stock up on dried noodles, miso, sauces, etc. This was my only tea purchase from the Asian market, which let me tell you, is impressive. They basically had an entire aisle of tea in various mysterious packets and I wanted to check them all out, but I didn’t want to subject the boyfriend to that when he was already being sweet enough to go shopping with me. I just happened to see this package in passing, and since I love kukicha I decided to give it a try. It was only about $7 for the 150g packet, after all. The stems have that familiar straight and stick-like appearance with a mix of rich green and lighter cream colors. Dry scent is a touch grassy but really sweet.

I would say this tea is definitely worth the price! The beginning of the sip has more of an umami presence that I normally find in kukicha and almost tastes like sencha. However, the middle and end have that unmistakable sweet flavor that just says “kukicha” to me. It’s also very smooth with no astringency or bitterness whatsoever. Definitely worth the price at just over $1 per ounce! I’ll have to make another trip to the Asian market sometime soon just to check out all of their teas.

Flavors: Creamy, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Ubacat

I have a Korean/Japanese market nearby I’ve stopped in for teas occasionally. I’ll have to check to see if they have this tea. The cashiers at that market are so friendly! It’s a great place to shop.
Good luck on the Asian cooking!

Cameron B.

The market I went to seemed to have everything – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, etc. It was huge and we were there for quite a while, ha ha.

They also had Maeda-en’s sencha and genmaicha, and they were some of the very few packages with English on them. :P

Ubacat

I’ve become a bit of a tea snob when it comes to sencha and genmaicha. lol I find most of the packages from Maeda-en are clear (letting the light in) and the quality is not the greatest. If you can find packages that do not let light in, I find the tea is better.

Cameron B.

Yeah, you’re right, it was in a package that was partially clear. However, it seems quite fresh and I’ve already transferred it to a tin. :)

Most of the other teas were in totally opaque packages, but they also were mostly in Chinese/Japanese so I would’ve needed to spend a lot of time looking through them all, and I didn’t want to make the boyfriend endure that, ha ha!

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Profile

Bio

Hello, my name is Cameron. I’m 25 years old and currently living in New York state with my lovely boyfriend (a software architect). I am currently not employed, which leaves plenty of time for cooking and tea-drinking! I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-face dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one. :(

I originally got into tea a couple of years ago. My sister introduced me to Teavana (there was a store in the nearby mall) and I was hooked. I have just started to drink tea again and I am very grateful to have found this community where there are so many with experience and wisdom to share!

I am a shameless Western steeper!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, shoot me a private message and we’ll work something out!

My general tea info:

Likes:
Taiwanese Blacks
Yunnans (esp. Pure Bud)
Lightly Roasted Oolongs
Japanese Greens
Genmaicha
Sobacha
Blueberry
Cherry
Vanilla
Fig
Almond/Marzipan
Chocolate-Orange
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Favorite Companies:
Capital Tea Limited
Lupicia
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Yunomi

Not A Fan
High Mountain Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
Strong Licorice Root
Hibiscus
Rose Hip
Strong Bergamot

Rating Scale:

90-100: Spectacular, a staple
80-89: Delicious, might buy again
70-79: Pretty good, won’t repurchase
60-69: Just “okay”
00-59: Undrinkable!

Location

Saratoga Springs, New York

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