827 Tasting Notes

75

We were discussing the remodel of the 52teas website in Steepster chat, and I was considering buying some of their Genmacashew to try. Sadly it’s out of stock, but it inspired me to try this genmaicha blend. Miss NayLynn sent me this sample in our swap, along with two other banana teas. It looks similar to their other genmaicha teas – flat steamed dark green leaves mixed with mochi rice and a piece or two of popcorn. This one appears to have shaved coconut in it as well. Dry scent is a very sweet combination of banana pudding and banana taffy. I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 175.

Once brewed, the tea smells mostly of toasty genmaicha with a little bit of creamy banana mixed in. I noticed as it cooled, it started to smell more of banana taffy. This actually has a nice amount of banana pudding flavor to it, which surprised me since the other 52teas genmaichas I’ve tried have been disappointing in the flavor department. The toasted rice is nice and toasty, and the green tea is overpowered by the banana flavor, which is nice since I haven’t enjoyed their particular green tea before. There is a wee bit of bitterness here, so maybe I oversteeped this a bit. Overall, much better than the marshmallow treat versions I’ve tried!

Flavors: banana, Candy, Custard, Toasted Rice

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

Credit where credit is due, Frank does banana really well :)

TeaBrat

agree on the banana

Kirkoneill1988

no milk needed this time eh? :)

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88

More black tea! This one is from Blodeuyn. I’ve had a couple of Golden Monkey teas in the past, so we’ll see how this one compares to them. The leaves are thin and wiry, and about half golden in color. Dry scent is very grainy with hay and a little bit of honey. I steeped a teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Brewed, this tea smells like french fries! There’s also some bread and rich molasses, and maybe a touch of dark fruity aroma. Oh my goodness, it tastes just like french fries! That’s certainly a flavor I’ve never encountered before… There’s some thick breadiness backing it up, and perhaps the slightest touch of honey. Otherwise, all french fries! :D

Flavors: Baked Bread, Grain, Honey, Potato

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

That’s the first French Fries note I have seen describing tea!! lol

Starfevre

wow, french fries? That’s a first for me too.

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90

My second black tea of the morning came from KiwiDelight. I’ve had several Jin Jun Mei teas before and enjoyed them, so I requested this one in our swap. The leaves are familiar – small, thin, wiry, and mostly gold in color. Dry scent is strong malt with some sweetness and molasses tones. I steeped a heaping teaspoon for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Once brewed, this tea smells rather savory with strong malt and grain aromas. This reminds me of another Jin Jun Mei I had in that it has a nice savory smoked meat flavor to it. However, it’s not the main flavor in this tea. I get a strong toasty grain note along with a nice creamy texture and together, they remind me of white tea. There’s an underlying richness that makes me think of molasses and it helps to deepen the overall flavor. I can taste a touch of sweet potato as well. Overall, a lovely savory tea with layers of flavor.

Flavors: Creamy, Grain, Malt, Molasses, Smoked, Sweet Potatoes, Toasted

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

oooo coincidence! I’m drinking the Jin Jun Mei from Teasenz.

Cameron B.

Ooh that one is yummy too! :D

KiwiDelight

I’m going to write a note soon :3

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85

This was my randomly chosen black tea of the morning! This sample came from scribbles. I’ve been curious about this one and Yu Lu Yan Cha (which she also sent a sample of!) for a while now, mostly because I’ve been generally impressed with Verdant’s offerings and black teas are definitely my favorites. The leaves of this tea are large buds, mostly golden with some grey spots. Dry scent is very sweet honey with malt. I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Yum, aroma! There’s malt and soft homemade wheat bread with honey butter over the top. Then there are also sugarcane and milk chocolate scents. This is definitely a deeper flavored Yunnan tea. The main taste I get is dark wheat bread and malt, and there’s something almost roasty about it that reminds me of coffee. There’s a bit of sweetness, maybe from molasses. Then there’s a touch of chocolate and an interesting fruity quality (especially near the end) that reminds me of berries. A robust Yunnan tea!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Berries, Cocoa, Coffee, Malt, Molasses, Roasted

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

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65

Another flavored tea from NayLynn! I remain curious about this one and the peanut butter version, even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha. Visually, it’s flat green tea leaves with toasted rice, pieces of marshmallow root, and freeze-dried strawberries. It smells like genmaicha and strawberry milk, yum! I steeped a heaping teaspoon for 3 minutes at 175 degrees.

Brewed aroma is mostly just toasty genmaicha with a hint of strawberry. Hmm, this one is also disappointing. The green tea that they use in these blends is too grassy and it totally goes against the whole creamy confection thing they’re going for. And the strawberry flavor here is too tart to mesh well. With agave and soymilk, this tasted basically exactly like the regular Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Marshmallow, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart, Toasted Rice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kirkoneill1988

i usually don’t add milk to my tea

Cameron B.

Me neither. Occasionally I’ll add milk to a flavored tea if it needs it.

Skysamurai

Yea this one confuses my mouth

VariaTEA

The peanut butter one was the most disappointing of all so don’t even waste your time with that one. I had high hopes for it and it just tasted like grass. And this is coming from someone who liked all the other marshmallow treats.

Cameron B.

VariaTEA, I think I would enjoy these teas a lot more with a different base. The green tea they use is just too grassy and it doesn’t work for me in a “creamy” flavor. :P

TeaBrat

I wasn’t a big fan of this myself.

Roswell Strange

Yeah, I agree with VariaTEA – I liked the other Marshmallow Treats but the Peanut Butter was completely dissatisfying. I think I ended up adding Peanut Butter matcha to it to make it drinkable.

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80
drank Banane Chocolat by Lupicia
827 tasting notes

The lovely NayLynn sent me a swap package full of awesome-sounding flavored teas, most of which were on my wishlist. Woohoo! This one is the first to try just because it sounds tasty and the whole package smelling like banana made me want some. I’ve had good experiences with Lupicia’s teas so far, and I’m always on the lookout for them in swaps. The leaves of this tea are small and somewhat broken, and there are a few yellow flower petals mixed in with them. Dry scent is sugary banana taffy mixed with a bit of creamy milk chocolate. I brewed a heaping teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is still sweet banana taffy, but now it’s joined by malt. There is still a tad of milk chocolate scent present as well. I tried it plain first and there is a decent amount of banana flavor. Then I added some soy milk and agave and it’s amazing… So much creamy banana, similar to banana pudding. There’s a little bit of chocolate I suppose, but it’s very easy to overlook. Overall, decent plain, super yummy with milk! :D

Flavors: banana, Chocolate, Creamy, Custard, Malt, Sweet

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

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75

This sample came from Blodeuyn. She was kind enough to send me samples of three different teas from this company, which I’ve been curious about since I stumbled upon their website a couple of months ago. The leaves are very small and dark, and there are several colors of flower petal/buds mixed in with them. Dry, this tea smells very sweet and almost candy-like with grape and plum notes. It also has a weird powdered sugar scent to it that I do not enjoy. I steeped a teaspoon of leaf for 4 minutes at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is also sweet and fruity with some malt and definite wine-y characteristics. However, it still has that weird powdered sugar/chalky scent. Meh, that scent carries over into the taste as well, which is too bad. It reminds me of those berry-flavored Tums. The other flavors are quite nice here, the winey grape and the plum along with a touch of licorice and floral. I would enjoy this one a lot if it weren’t for the weird chalky flavor…

Flavors: Floral, Grapes, Licorice, Malt, Plums, Powdered sugar, Red Wine

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
827 tasting notes

I wanted something refreshing and calming after my run, so I chose this sample from KiwiDelight. This is the first of Den’s flavored senchas that I’ve had, although I did try and enjoy a couple of their plain ones. The leaves are dark yellow-green and flat steamed. Dry scent is spot-on fresh pineapple with lots of tartness. I steeped my leaves for 1 minutes at 175 degrees.

The brewed aroma reminds me of a fictional pineapple milkshake! It’s sweet and pineapple-y but also creamy. And that creaminess is present in the taste as well! The pineapple flavor almost reminds me of citrus in this, it’s definitely underripe fresh pineapple and isn’t very sweet. And it’s very nice this way! Definitely a tart pineapple milkshake or smoothie. :)

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Pineapple, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kirkoneill1988

oooh! that tea sounds delicious :D

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80

Another black tea for me this morning! :D This one came from KiwiDelight. I haven’t had many broken-leaf teas, so I’m not sure what to expect here aside from strength of flavor. The leaves are very broken and dark chocolate brown in color. They smell of malt and wood with a slight sweetness. I followed Kiwi’s instructions and did a 1 minute steep.

The brewed aroma is rather sweet and strong with lots of malt and wood. Oops, I accidentally dipped my nose in it… XD The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma. It has a strong woody presence, and the sweetness really marries well with it (sounds weird, but it’s good). There’s some malt in the background, and a slight bit of astringency. Overall, a simple tea but a nice one.

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Sweet, Wood

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

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88

I was in the mood for a Taiwanese black tea this morning, and this was the first one I saw, so here we are! This sample is from Blodeuyn. The leaves are beautiful and have that gnarled, twisty Taiwanese Assam style. They’re very dark in color, almost black. Dry, they smell surprisingly strongly of molasses, and there’s also some sweetness and malt. I used a teaspoon (roughly, these teas are difficult to measure!) of leaf and let it steep for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Once brewed, the tea’s aroma is grainy sourdough bread with lots of dried fruit and some caramelized sugar/molasses tones. The taste is very similar. There’s a combination of tangy sourdough and soft homemade wheat breads, along with a fair amount of malt. The molasses seems to have lightened itself into honey, but definitely a stronger raw honey. I must confess, it took me far too long to identify the dried fruit that I was tasting, and then I felt like a complete dope for not thinking of it sooner… It’s definitely dried apricots, and I can say maybe there’s a hint of a second fruit – a mild and sweet one like golden raisin or fig. Overall, a very delicious tea for the morning!

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Burnt Sugar, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt

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!

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
French Flavored Teas
Yunnan (esp. Pure Bud varieties)
Lightly Roasted Oolong
Japanese Greens (esp. Sencha & Gyokuro)
Genmaicha (traditional or otherwise)
Sobacha
Blueberry
Cherry
Vanilla
Fig
Almond/Marzipan
Chocolate-Orange
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Favorite Companies:
Lupicia
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Fauchon
Kusmi
Mariage Frères
Dammann Frères
Yunomi

Not A Fan
High Mountain Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
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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