544 Tasting Notes

80

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I figured I’d try the oolong immediately after the green, just so I could compare the two more easily. The leaves look very similar, but I think the oolong has more of a yellow tinge while the green version was more green. The dry scent is different, this tea smells very sweet and creamy with peach notes. I decided to do a 4 minute steep this time since 3 minutes was too short with the green. In hindsight, that doesn’t really make sense since the temperature was higher for this one… lol.

Brewed, this tea smells very creamy and fruity with a slight floral edge. There’s a bit of vegetal wavering about in the background, but it’s not the main flavor here. I think 4 minutes might be too long for some people, because mine has a little bit of a vegetal bite, but I actually really enjoy it this way! It’s not really bitter, but the vegetal flavor is stronger and more grassy than it otherwise would have been. The texture is, of course, creamy and luscious, and there’s a fair amount of peach flavor. The floral comes in at the end, as per usual, to rain on my parade. Lol!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Grass, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I liked this in part because of the floral.

madametj

From what Tea at Sea told me all the Indonesian Oolong, Green, and Black were all harvested from the same bush, just different oxidation levels. That would explain why the leaves look similar :)

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88

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I must admit, I’m fairly enamored with these Tea at Sea teas so far. I love the nontraditional rolled shape (well, nontraditional for black and green teas). This tea looks just like a green oolong, it’s like it’s in disguise! The dry scent screams “green tea”, however. It’s a lovely mild vegetal and sweet smell with a slight grassiness. I decided to brew for 3 minutes just because it seemed like that time worked well for other Steepsterites.

Once brewed, the aroma is quite mild. I can catch some sweetness and a vegetal scent, but not a lot else. The tastes also can out very mild (I probably should have used more tea or steeped longer, but I’d rather err on the understeeped side). The flavor that is there is quite delicious though! I find that it’s somewhere between a green tea and a green oolong. It has that lovely sweet vegetal flavor, similar to butternut squash or mild spinach, and there’s also a light seaweed or marine note. But then it also has a light fruitiness that reminds me of the peach notes common in green oolong. Overall, very sweet, mild, and creamy. Love it! :)

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Creamy, Grass, Peach, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

Lewis & Clarke TTB

This is one of the Yunnan Sourcing teas that I was curious about! Funny how that happens. :P I’ve tried two of their other pure bud Yunnan teas and loved them, and I was wondering how the ones I haven’t tried compare. This tea is gorgeous – big fat fuzzy golden buds that are lazily twisted. The inside of the pouch is covered in a thick layer of magical golden fairy dust! Dry scent is (mm…) very honeyed and sweet with malt and stonefruit notes. I brewed for 3 minutes at 200 degrees (I always forget that I should probably lower it to 190 for pure bud teas like this one… oops.).

Mm, it smells amazing! A lovely combination of sweet, honey, malty, fruity, bready – all of the good Yunnan things! The taste certainly doesn’t disappoint. The most prominent flavor is lovely bread and pastry combined with luscious and creamy sweet potato. It’s complimented nicely by sweet and somewhat floral honey and a very light fruitiness that reminds me of golden raisins. There’s also plenty of malt to be had! Because I steeped mine on the longer side, there’s a wee hint of something that’s approaching bitterness, but I actually love it this way, it adds a nice, deep bottom flavor to balance the middle and top. Delicious!

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-black-teas/2875-jinggu-golden-strand-pure-bud-yunnan-black-tea-spring-2014.html

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Malt, Pastries, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Rie T.

Had the opportunity to try this with Scott when we visited them in Oregon! Such a fantastic tea. Absolutely loved that creamy sweet potato flavor. :D

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70

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I don’t generally go for flavored teas in the morning (errr… early afternoon) but I just happened to open this pouch and take a sniff… and then I had to make it, lol. It smells amazing. Tart and berry, a mixture of blueberry candy and cranberry sauce. There was also a whole dried goji berry in my teaspoon! The green tea itself looks like sencha to me, the leaves are definitely steamed flat. There are also large pieces of dried lemongrass.

The brewed aroma has much more blueberry in it, which I love. I can still smell the tartness of the pomegranate and goji, too. As far as the taste goes, the berry flavor is a bit too light for me. I mostly taste slightly oversteeped green tea (I guess I should have gone for 2 minutes) with a bit of a blueberry and pomegranate hint near the end. The lemongrass does blend with the green tea and give it some added dimension, which is nice. There’s also a bit of the powdered sugar-like taste that I sometimes get from flavored teas.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Grass, Lemongrass, Powdered sugar

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I had pulled this one out of the box to try and just ran out of time. There were so many other teas to try and this fell off the list. I love the flavor of blueberries.

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80

Lewis & Clarke TTB

The name of this tea piqued my interest! The leaves definitely look similar to a Darjeeling, with a mix of green and grey colors. They are rather small in size and appear to be quite broken up. Dry scent is musty hay and raw grains – it definitely reminds me of white tea. Their steeping parameters call for a 5-8 minute steep at boiling, but that seemed excessive to me…

Once brewed, the aroma is quite sweet and fruity with a bit of floral mixed in. There’s also some bread with honey on top in there. Happily for me, the floral isn’t overly strong in the taste. The beginning and middle of the sip are heavily grainy or bready with honey notes and a touch of fruit, and the floral comes out near the end and in the aftertaste. I don’t know much about Darjeeling, but it may not be a genre I should pursue based on this – the floral aftertaste is quite strong and definitely soapy to me. The beginning of this tea reminds me of Yunnan, but the end is too floral. :(

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Grapes, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

Lewis & Clarke TTB

Continuing with my morning black tea spree! I’m actually very happy with the teas that Yunnan Sourcing provided for this box, three of them are blacks that I specifically wanted to try, so it works out well for me! The leaves of this tea are about medium-sized, and they’re got that creepy tree branch vibe going on, long and twisty and very dark in color. Dry scent is sweet and somewhat malty.

The brewed tea smells strongly of honeysuckle, which I was not expecting! :P There’s also strong malt and a little bit of fruit. I also get that honeysuckle note in the taste, and it’s very lovely! There’s a slight touch of earthiness at the beginning of the sip, but towards the middle and end it transforms more into a heavy grain flavor that I definitely prefer. I get a little bit of fruitiness at the end and in the aftertaste, and I would classify it as stonefruit. It goes nicely with the honeysuckle, which stays strong throughout the entire sip and blossoms in the aftertaste. Now, I’m not a huge fan of florals, but I’m okay with honeysuckle since it’s quite sweet and very light on the floral side. However, the floral in the aftertaste here does get a little bit soapy for me, probably because the other flavors supporting it have dissipated. Still a delightful tea! :)

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-black-teas/2934-wild-arbor-feng-qing-black-tea-pure-assamica-spring-2014.html

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Grain, Honeysuckle, Malt, Stonefruits

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mandy

I don’t remember any floral in this one. I quite liked it. (:

Cameron B.

Yeah I noticed that no one else mentioned floral… XD

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88
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
544 tasting notes

Lewis & Clarke TTB

Tea of the morning! I’ve been wanting to try this particular tea for a long time, mostly because of the hype it gets around here. The leaves look exactly like Laoshan Green but black. :P They’re thin and brittle and curled into little loops in some cases. Dry scent is pure cocoa, yum! I did a 3 minute steep as per usual for black teas.

Brewed, this tea smells very similar to Fujian black teas that I’ve tried – it has that same savory dill note. This tea also tastes similar to my idea of a Fujian tea. It’s strong and has robust flavors with that dill note along with dark grain and some lovely cocoa. This tea, however, has a nice burnt brown sugar or caramel flavor to it that really adds depth. And it’s a teensy bit sweeter, especially in the end and aftertaste, and there’s a touch of cinnamon.

Overall, quite good, but not mind-blowing. :)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dill, Grain

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

i get caraway seed in this

Cameron B.

That’s probably the flavor that I interpret as dill. :P

boychik

i think so. i got bulk spices in Turkish store nearby. I dont know why i bought some, i dont know the recipe where to use it and i dont bake bread. but i luv the smell of caraway seeds. Childhood memories of dark bread with those seeds on top

Cameron B.

I don’t think I’m familiar enough with caraway to pick it out as a flavor, I need to buy some and eat it so I’ll know next time. :P

boychik

i can send you some. i just chew a few;)

Cameron B.

Hah! I’ll remember that when we do a swap eventually. :D

Stephanie

I’ve made Irish soda bread with caraway seeds. It is super easy, no bread skills required! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Irish-Soda-Bread-with-Raisins-and-Caraway-107136

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85

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I seem to be the only one interested in these odder teas so far. :P This one literally looks like I scooped up a handful of debris off the forest floor and put it into a cup – it’s large dried leaves, twigs, and these huge shiny seeds that resemble small acorns. It mostly smells like musty autumn leaves with a touch of herbal spicy note. I did a 10 minute steep in boiling water.

Brewed, it smells somewhat spicy, maybe similar to ginger? And that autumn leaf smell is also present. I can also taste that hint of spice, and it kind of reminds me of clove? Maybe with a little ginger too. This tea is quite mild and it has a bit of a roasted flavor, which is nice. It reminds me in some ways of Whispering Pines’s Elder Grove, but without the berry flavor. The aftertaste reminds me of roasted coffee beans. There’s also something here that’s similar to licorice root, because I’m getting a slight sweet aftertaste, but it’s very mild and doesn’t bother me here. Overall, I like this one a lot, which is rather unexpected considering how odd I thought it would be. :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Coffee, Ginger, Licorice, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I thought about this one, but in the end decided against it. I don’t know why. It was in my box that I pulled from the box to try….

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80

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I have no idea what holy basil tastes like, but the fact that it’s called “Spa Blend” sounded interesting to me. This tea is a mixture of very small pieces of herbs – looks like mint and fennel seed with chunks of something else. Dry scent is mostly mint to me, though I can smell the fennel a little bit. Again, weird instructions, so I did boiling for 5 minutes since it’s herbal.

Brewed, it smells like mint and honey. The taste is mostly mint to me, but there’s also something in here that tastes similar to honey to me, but without the sweetness. I can taste the fennel, but only just slightly. I don’t know what holy basil tastes like so I can’t comment on that really. :P I can’t say that I taste burdock root, or at least it doesn’t taste like the burdock root tea I had earlier. Pretty good, but I wish the other ingredients stood up to the mint more. :)

Flavors: Fennel, Honey, Mint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

Have you had tulsi? I think holy basil is another name for tulsi

Cameron B.

No, I haven’t. :P But good to know!

Stephanie

We grow tulsi at home to use in Thai food. It smells crazy fresh!

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90
drank Golden Earl by Verdant Tea
544 tasting notes

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I was unsure what to expect from this one based on the name, other than the bergamot. I was happy to see that the “Golden” part of it is a Yunnan base tea, yums. There’s also lemongrass and orange peel mixed in, which is lovely. The dry scent is overwhelmingly bergamot. :P The instructions are… weird, so I just did 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Yum, the brewed tea smells strongly of lemon and orange, and it’s making my mouth water. I love that I can taste the lemon and orange more than the bergamot in this tea! Yeah, I like bergamot, but I hate it when it overpowers other flavors. The Yunnan base is light and bready and pastrylike, tasty. It’s like eating a lemon pie! :D

Their website says that this blend is archived. :( Now I’m very sad.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Pastries

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

Hello, my name is Cameron. I’m 24 years old and currently living in Saratoga Springs, New York 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!

Currently trying to move out of the flavored tea phase and into those tasty straight teas!

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:
Flavored Black
Yunnan (esp. Pure Bud varieties)
Mild Sencha/Kabusecha
Genmaicha (traditional or otherwise)
Blueberry
Vanilla
Fig
Almond/Marzipan
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Currently Exploring:
Chinese Black
Oxidized/Roasted Oolong

Not A Fan
Green Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
Licorice Root
Hibiscus
Rose Hips
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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