386 Tasting Notes

85

Sipdown! (113)

This one is definitely my favorite of the Star Wars fandom blends. It’s a nice combination of almond and hazelnut flavors with just a bit of cinnamon. Super delicious with sugar and vanilla soy milk! And you can’t really taste the rooibos or honeybush much, which is nice.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This sample came from Mandy. This tea seems to get quite a bit of love around these parts, so I was rather excited to try it. Jasmine is one of the few florals that I can stand, assuming it’s not overly powerful. The green tea leaves are dark blue/grey/green and quite thin, and they’re curled up slightly. There are also very thin pine needles mixed in. I used 1.5 teaspoons of leaf and steeped at 175 degrees for 1.5 minutes.

The brewed aroma is very sweet with jasmine and just a little bit of pine scent. Hmm… Brewed this way, this tea is a bit too light for me. Perhaps next time I’ll try a longer brew time. The jasmine is at the forefront, but it’s not too strong. The green tea is quite mild and buttery with a sweet edge. The pine mostly manifests as a nice cooling sensation near the end, but I can also taste hints of it throughout the sip. Overall, I can see this one being nice and comforting and relaxing, but I think I would either brew it with more tea or for longer.

Flavors: Butter, Jasmine, Pine, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Milk Tea by Gino Cafe
386 tasting notes

Sipdown! (115)

Trying my second (and last) packet of this in cold water today, just to make a fairer judgment of it. Last time I had it hot with vanilla soy milk and it was delicious, but I could definitely taste the milk more than the tea itself. In water, it’s not bad, but not nearly as good. It has an almost woody flavor, which is odd. Still pretty tasty though!

Not going to rate this as I don’t really have a point of reference for it. :P

Flavors: Creamy, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown! (116)

I find that I just don’t enjoy this one. Yes, it’s strong, but I don’t mind that about it… It’s the weird mineral/earth taste that I don’t like. I’ve tried it with sugar and milk and even then it’s not great, plus I don’t really want a tea that I can’t drink straight. This time I tried a 2-minute steep and it’s better, but still very… dirt and rock-like. :P

Not rating it since I don’t know jack about Assams. :D

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Trying another tea from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress this morning! I’m very happy to have new and exciting Yunnan teas in the house! Some of these may end up going in the cupboard, but I have to try them all first to determine whether or not they’re keepers. I must say, these are very generous samples for only two bucks, especially since I got three baggies of some of them when I was only supposed to get two! Plus free samples! Anyway, this tea. It looks similar to the other biluochun black tea I’ve had (the Whispering Pines version). The little curls are almost all golden, with some little black stripes mixed in. Dry scent is mild and honey-sweet with stonefruit notes.

Brewed, this tea smells strongly of sweet potatoes. Yum! There are also bread and nice sweet honey scents. This tea is lovely and malty with a rich sweet potatoey taste that fills the mouth. Underneath the sweet potato is a nice bready quality that reminds me of light, crisp, crusty toast with honey spread over the top. Near the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, I taste faint stonefruit notes and something that seems a bit floral. Overall, very tasty!

I need to do a 3-way tasteoff between this tea and the Whispering Pines and Yunnan Sourcing versions (as soon as I order the YS one, teehee).

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Floral, Honey, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes, Toast

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

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85

My last white tea sample from TeaVivre’s last tasting event. I’ve loved all of them so far, even though I’m certainly not a white tea fanatic. I find that white tea makes a lovely evening beverage as it is very light and calming. This tea looks like other bai mudans I’ve had – leaves of various sizes and colors mixed with lovely fuzzy silver buds. Dry scent is hay and alfalfa. I did a 2 minute brew at 185 degrees.

Once brewed, this tea has the usual hay-like white tea scent, but there’s a strange mineral edge that I haven’t experienced before. The taste is mostly lovely hay and grain flavors, and it’s quite naturally sweet. That unusual mineral note is also present here, and it’s throwing me off a little bit. I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t rinse my cup after my last tea, but I’m fairly certain that I did… So odd!

Overall, a nice standard white with an interesting and unusual mineral taste.

Flavors: Grain, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Straw, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

This was the first tea to try from my sample order from Han Xiang Ecological Tea on AliExpress. There’s no particular reason that I chose this one, I just pulled it out of the pile and went with it. The leaves are slender and curly, and it’s about half golden tips and half dark brownish grey leaves. Dry scent is vaguely honey sweet with some fruit and malt notes. I did my general “black tea” 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

Mm, this smells delicious! Brewed, the aroma is rich and sweet, reminding me of molasses with dark, syrupy dried fruits. There’s also a bit of a mineral edge to it. Yum this is a great start to my Han Xiang experience. It’s definitely a somewhat earthy tea, with a little bit of mineral quality to it. But there’s a lovely rich molasses sweetness that really helps to moderate that earthiness, along with a nice dark dried fruit note similar to raisin, prune, or cherry. There’s also a bit of a grain element that pokes its head out occasionally. Interestingly enough, I also get a flavor that somewhat reminds me of slow-cooked green beans? It sounds very odd, but it’s actually very nice in combination with the other flavors. It’s worth noting that this tea didn’t get bitter even as it cooled, and still remained very tasty at room temperature. :D

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Grain, Green Beans, Malt, Mineral, Molasses

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

Sounds good. I am interested in how his teas are.

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This tea was one of Ellyn’s gifts for me in the Pass the Stash 2.0 TTB. I’ve kind of been putting off trying it because, well, it looks like potpourri basically, and I am not a floral tea gal. But it’s Mariage Freres, so I have to try it at least. Dry leaf has large white tea leaves along with small black ones, rose petals, and a ton of lavender. Dry scent is sweet and floral with a spicy note. I followed the directions in the tea’s description here on Steepster and did a 5 minute steep.

Smells very… lavender. I can catch a little bit of rose, which does nothing to improve my opinion. There’s also a citrusy quality which I assume is coming from the lavender. First taste and… noop. This is basically lavender tea. I get a little bit of white tea flavor in the aftertaste, but otherwise all I can taste is lavender. Interestingly enough, it has a certain limey quality to it, but that’s not enough to make it drinkable for me. Not going to rate due to bias, and this one is going into the rehoming box.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Hay, Lavender, Lime

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
386 tasting notes

Sipdown! (106)

Hooray, another old one down! I generally add soy milk to earl grey blends, but I’m having this last cup without it out of respect for this tea. Wow, that sounded weird… :P

Lovely mandarin and orange flavor that blends perfectly with the bergamot, which is not overly powerful. Yum! I would keep this one around if I weren’t already keeping two of the Russian Blends. Goodbye, old friend!

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

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93

Sipdown! (107)

Aw, I’m sad to see this one go, but I couldn’t bring myself to keep the two servings I had left when I can easily order more when there are fewer teas in my cupboard. This is a very lovely tea, combining very strong honey flavor with grain and fruity notes. My final cup was a little bit bitter but that was due to overleafing – I didn’t want to have a tiny awkward amount of tea left over. :P

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

heh go go sipdowns!

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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
Light to Medium Yunnan
Mild Sencha/Kabusecha
Genmaicha (traditional or otherwise)
Blueberry
Vanilla

Currently Exploring:
Chinese Black
Oxidized/Roasted Oolong

Not A Fan
Greener Oolong
Overly Floral
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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