225 Tasting Notes

50
drank Sangria by DAVIDsTEA
225 tasting notes

Pass the Stash TTB 2.0

Holy cow, be careful that you don’t overleaf this tea! I took my first sip and literally almost ralphed. HAH! I used about a teaspoon and a half, but there was a giant slice of dried orange in there that may have been the culprit. So I added more water to bring it closer to 10 ounces before I drank any more. BLEGH. XD

Ahem.

I totally get the wine reference in this tea! Which is not something I expected. There’s definitely a bit of a winey taste there in the background. And the hibiscus and licorice root don’t really bother me in this blend, because the tart orange is strong enough to hold its own. This is, overall, a rather tart blend, so I added some sugar. It’s very fruity, I can taste the strawberry, the apple, and the orange. I don’t necessarily get raspberry, but the hibiscus is somewhat similar to tart raspberry, so that’s probably why. The licorice is not noticeable, thank goodness!

I will say, there is a certain bubblegum element to this that I do not enjoy. And overall, it tastes quite artificial… I don’t understand why flavoring is needed when there are giant pieces of fruit in here… Just seems excessive, and it hurts the blend overall. It’s not terrible, but the artificiality keeps it from being good.

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Fruity, Hibiscus, Orange, Red Wine, Strawberry, Tart

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

I have a sample of this that I was thinking about cold brewing.

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80

I bought this tea on a whim while I was at a local healthy grocery store. My boyfriend and I had to go to the DMV so I could register my car in NY and the DMV is in the mall (?!). The aforementioned grocery store is also in the mall (?!) so I stopped in to have a look at their tea selection as we were leaving. I don’t have any experience with Republic of Tea but I love blueberry and I recently finished the other blueberry tea I’d had. Blueberry and black tea is my favorite combination, as herbal blends are usually super tart and rooibos blends don’t have enough body. So I picked out this one to try! I opened the tin in the car and the smell was very encouragingly blueberry. :D

The instructions note that one teabag is intended for 6 ounces of water. Umm…what? Does that seem odd to anyone else? So I ended up using two bags and brewing a larger cup than I generally do. The tin recommends 3-5 minutes so I decided to try 3 first. I added a bit of sugar, as I generally do for flavored teas.

This tea is pretty good! The blueberry and the tea are roughly equal in strength, both are tasted at all times. I’m unsure what kind of tea the base is, the tin makes no mention of it and their website lists several countries for “Country of Origin”. India is one of them, and seems the most likely of the bunch. Anyway! The base itself is somewhat malty and there’s a pleasant, mild woody quality to it. The blueberry is somewhat of a “jammy” variety – deep and rich rather than tart and juicy. And I like it very much! There’s a bit of creaminess in here that reminds me of vanilla, although it’s not listed as a flavor. The one complaint I have about this is that when I was drinking it straight, I found it quite astringent. I added some milk (which I never do) and it really helped to tone that down. So this one is definitely best enjoyed with milk and sugar from what I can tell!

I will definitely try it with some other parameters to see if I can somehow eliminate that astringency. Luckily I have many bags to experiment with! Overall, this is a lovely and convenient blueberry black tea!

Flavors: Astringent, Blueberry, Jam, Malt, Vanilla, Wood

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

The proportions are a little weird…everyone I know who drinks Republic of Tea teas ends up using multiple bags per serving too. I think the bag itself being smaller/flatter is the cause?

Cameron B.

It’s very weird! :P Although I think a lot of people probably make 12 ounce or larger cups of tea anyway. I just usually do 8 ounces.

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80

Pass the Stash TTB 2.0

Hooray, I’ve been curious about this tea since the carnival collection came out at David’s. I was lucky enough to try the Caramel Corn and Cotton Candy blends because I got them as free samples when I bought my cups. But I love root beer, and really wanted this one too! TTB saves the day! :P

I was surprised to see that David’s black tea samples actually have enough for two cups! The other samples I received definitely didn’t. So I used half the sample (about a teaspoon) for my cup and left the other half for someone else. It definitely smells like root beer, maybe with a bit more sarsaparilla and some vanilla added. Excited! I did a 5 minute steep.

The aroma is definitely root beer, with added spice! I’m fairly impressed by this tea. It tastes very close to root beer, even with vanilla ice cream added. My licorice sensor is going off, but I actually don’t mind it in this blend (it’s not listed on the ingredients, so maybe it’s just the sarsaparilla). It came out a tiny bit weaker than I would like, but I feel like it’s still a good representation of the tea. I’m not sure whether I would purchase this, but it’s certainly tasty enough and I’m sure it would be fantastic as a latte, either cold or hot. Yum! :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Vanilla

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

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88

SIPDOWN! (113)

This tea has the cutest little teeny leaves… They’re not broken, they’re just overall super tiny and thin. It’s like they’re miniature! Cute. Unfortunately, this came out a little bitter for me, I think because I overleafed so I wouldn’t have half a cup’s worth left over. So that’s my bad! I’m drinking it anyway, because I do love the flavor underneath that bitterness. This tea is all about dark toasted rye bread with a touch of honey and raisin. So so good, thanks Nicole! Definitely a contender for my order!

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

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88
drank Yi Mei Ren by Yunnan Sourcing
225 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! (114)

Taking a short break from TTB teas to settle my stomach a bit. So I figured I’d work on some sipdowns in the process! :P

This tea is quite different from what I would consider the “typical” Yunnan tea at this point. I wonder if it’s because this is apparently grown on a mountain? And it’s wilted/fermented longer according to Yunnan Sourcing’s website. Very interesting! This tea has an interesting herbaceous flavor that definitely reminds me of dill. It has some of the malt and breadiness that I would associate with other Yunnan teas as well. There’s also something there that I can’t quite place, maybe a floral? If so, it’s definitely a heady floral like rose or something similar.

This tea is quite tasty and I may consider getting some when I (finally) make a YS order!

Flavors: Dill, Rose

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

I tried only a sample of this tea and adored it!

Cameron B.

I’ve liked every tea I’ve tried from Yunnan Sourcing. This one’s not a favorite, but I like it a lot, especially that little herbaceous quality. :)

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83
drank White Monkey by Adagio Teas
225 tasting notes

Pass the Stash TTB 2.0

Blegh, I’m feeling slightly nauseous after that Choconut Oolong… And I don’t think it’s because it’s a particularly bad tea. I really think I’m getting less tolerant of flavored teas, and I certainly don’t drink them often anymore. I’ve pretty much settled in to drinking a bunch of straight blacks with a few flavored varieties, so now that I have this box with a lot of flavored things, my stomach is getting unhappy with me. I may have to keep this a day longer than I had planned, just because I don’t really want to drink four or five more flavored teas today, and I don’t think my stomach can handle it. I was planning on sending it out tomorrow, but it may have to be Thursday now.

ANYWAY! I confess, I thought this was a white tea (I mean come on, with a name like White Monkey…). It’s apparently considered a green tea. The shape of the leaves remind me of the “wild” style black leaves – medium size and very twisty and tangly. They smell mostly of hay and alfalfa with a grassy edge. The package recommended 180 degrees, but I did 175 (partially because that’s my standard for greens and partially because my kettle has 175 and 185 buttons and I was lazy).

The aroma is sweetly vegetal and very light, with hay and grass notes. Tasting this, I find it similar to the Drum Mountain I tried earlier today. I could see it being the result of a cross between green and white teas – it has the vegetal taste of a green (albeit a lighter version) along with the distinctive hay note from a white tea. Very lovely! There’s also a touch of grassiness (green) and just a tiny hint of floral (white). And I can taste a little bit of a light grain note, especially if I slurp obnoxiously. ;)

Quite lovely, one of the best (or the best) I’ve tasted from Adagio.

Flavors: Floral, Grain, Grass, Hay, Spinach, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mandy

Yes slurping obnoxiously is the best way to get those hidden notes. I shamelessly slurp (:

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75
drank Choconut Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
225 tasting notes

Pass the Stash TTB 2.0

Hooray, another David’s tea! This sounds delicious and I have recently discovered a love for dark oolongs, so it was a no-brainer for me. Dry, it smells quite coffee-like. Definitely hazelnut coffee with some mocha in there too. I happen to like coffee, especially as a flavor, so not a problem for me! David’s seems like it’s been hit-or-miss for me so far, but I have high hopes for this one. I did 5 minutes at 200 degrees, using the whole sample, which was about 1.5 tsp.

The brewed aroma is very nutty, which is amazing! There’s definitely chocolate there too, but the nut is the main event. The taste is also centered around the hazelnut flavor. The chocolate is a lovely complement, and I also pick up on caramel and cream notes. There’s still something quite coffee-like about the whole thing, perhaps because the cocoa beans are roasted combined with the oolong base (it doesn’t specify the type of oolong here, but it’s very dark and I would assume roasted from the taste).

My only issue with this tea… LICORICE. HOW DARE THEY ADD LICORICE TO THIS! It doesn’t make any sense here and it makes the end of the sip have that weird creeping sweetness that reminds me of artificial sweeteners. I dunno, the licorice might be a deal-breaker for me… There’s just no reason for it to be here. >:(

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Cream, Licorice, Roasted nuts

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

I hate licorice. And I hated this tea. High fives?

Cameron B.

Lol, I didn’t quite hate it, but it was definitely severely damaged by the licorice. So high five anyway! :P

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85

Pass the Stash TTB 2.0

I don’t have a lot of experience with white teas, so I figured I’d try the few that are in here! This one looks different than any other white tea I’ve seen – it’s a combination of fuzzy silver buds and small leaves of multiple shapes. Similar to bai mudan, but on a smaller scale. It smells of alfalfa and hay, mmm… For some reason I find that scent comforting.

Whoa, the brewed aroma surprised me. It smells very similar to sencha! Vegetal with squash and spinach, but there’s some hay in there as well. Interesting! The taste is quite similar to the smell. It’s like a combination of green and white teas! It’s vegetal but in a lighter way than sencha normally is. Then there’s also the white tea side of it – creamy, light, with hay and alfalfa notes, and maybe something a little bit floral. And even a little bit of sweetness! Overall, I like this a lot! :)

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Creamy, Hay, Spinach, Vegetal

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

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75

Another Yunnan from (who else?) Nicole. The leaves definitely have a lot of gold in them, mine are almost all golden. So that’s a good sign! :) I can’t comment on the dry scent because mine kind of smell like Maple Moose Chai, hah! Which is my fault, not Nicole’s. I did my usual Yunnan method – 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Aw, man… The aroma is very earthy and woody with smoke undertones. Sad face. Another forest floor Yunnan! The taste is basically the same as the smell – earth, wood, and smoke with some malt. I guess leaf color isn’t everything! Kind of disappointed by this one. :(

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Smoke, Wood

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

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65

Pass the Stash TTB 2.0

Another one from 52teas. I tend to enjoy honeybush blends when they’re done well, so I figured I’d give this a try. Supposedly there are cacao nibs in it, but I didn’t see any in my cup’s worth. Just looks like honeybush with flower petals in it. It smells kind of alcoholic, which is odd.

Meh, I wouldn’t really call this pumpkin brownie… There’s a bit of spiciness and maybe a small amount of pumpkin. I definitely don’t get any chocolate, but I guess that makes sense if I didn’t get any cacao nibs. To me, it just tastes like honeybush with a very light spice cake flavor. Not terrible, but not worth trying again.

Flavors: Pepper, Pumpkin, Spices, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 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 Blacks
Golden Yunnans
Genmaicha (traditional or otherwise)
Blueberry
Vanilla

Currently Exploring:
Chinese Blacks

Not A Fan
Licorice Root
Hibiscus
Rose Hips
Most fruit blends (they all taste the same to me…)

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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