415 Tasting Notes

74

First, thank you to Courtney for sending me a sample of this.

It was very un-tea-like of me, but in my haste to get ready this morning, I completely forgot about this pot of tea and it brewed for up to 10 minutes. It still turned out wonderfully! It’s strong with pleasant tannins and no bitterness. It stayed really good even when it got cold. This is a nice English breakfast tea, nothing standout about it, but it’s very good.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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97

I love Verdant Tea’s black teas. Today I brewed a big pot of this western style. What can I say about it? The hype is right.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

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42
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
415 tasting notes

First of all, thank you to Toi Toi for this!

It’s funny the way that the name of something can influence how you experience it. I don’t smoke anymore, but smelling this tea immediately made me want to smoke a Gauloises Blondes. I discovered those cigarettes in Paris when I was 16 and thereafter, I would to go down to St. Mark’s Place in NYC to buy them. Ah, those were the days before gentrification changed the character of the Bowery and CBGB was still open. Damn, I’m old…

Anyhow, enough of reminiscing. This tea reminded me of being in a European bakery. I could smell jam-filled cookies, carmelized sugar, and marzipan. This is one of the best flavored teas I’ve experienced, but I’m not really into flavored teas. Personally, I like my sweets with my tea, not in my tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
tea-sipper

GASP! A 42 rating for my beloved Paris?!? Feel free to put the rest in the traveling tea box when it gets to you. :D

CharlotteZero

I’m sorry, Tea Sipper! First, I’m sorry I offended you with my rating. Second, I’ve already promised the rest of this to someone else. :-(

ToiToi

Too bad you didn’t like it :/ I like this tea, personally because it is not too strong but fragrant flavored tea. But then I understand your final statement. I enjoy flavored tea time to time but I think I always end up coming back to classic tea :)

tea-sipper

Oh, I’m not offended, just shocked! :D

CharlotteZero

Thankfully, I know someone who will love this tea!

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I’m not going to rate this one, because I really don’t drink enough white tea to know what they should or can be. As I poured this one I could smell steamed sugar snap peas. The wet leaves had a astringent smell that I really only usually associate with black teas. There is a unpleasant lemony note note mid-sip. As it cools down a bit, this improves. The aftertaste is a bit metallic, but not in the worst way… :-/

I let this sit for a couple of hours and then made a fourth infusion. Now the floral notes are dominating the aroma.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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82

I’m almost out of this tea (very sad), but I’m excitedly looking forward to the Spring 2013 teas!

I don’t drink a lot of Darjeeling. This may be the only Darjeeling that I have had more than once. So, take this rating with an especially minuscule grain of salt. It has a savory aroma (as described) and a floral note that reminds me of roses after a cool spring rain. It is light bodied with a pleasant astringency. I think I finally understand what people are talking about when they speak of a “muscatel” note. When I smelled this tea, I was momentarily transported to a night this past summer when I opened a Martinelli Muscat Alexandria for some friends of mine.

This is a wonderful tea if you want something to drink many cups of or to go with food. (I brewed up a big pot of this at around 11AM to drink with my breakfast of curried lentils and rice.) I guess I should also note that this tea had a lot of broken pieces in it and really clogged up the narrow slots of my glass infuser.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

If you want to try Della Terra’s Darjeeling, I can add some in our next swap.

CharlotteZero

Thanks! That would be great. I was going to message you today to let you know that I hadn’t forgotten about the samples you asked for, I’ve just been mostly busy with a hint of procrastination…

Kasumi no Chajin

cool. I’ll set some aside. no worries on timeframe!

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70

This “black matcha” is touted as being made from the finest Darjeeling and Assam tea leaves, yet inexplicably I was hoping this would taste more like a pu’erh. (This may have been because of Pure Matcha’s mention of the powdered tea of the Song Dynasty, which I’m pretty sure was in cake form before being powdered.)

Anyhow, despite defying my expectations, I liked this pretty well. I first tried making this in the style of a thick matcha, because I like my black teas strong. Not bad. I went a little bit overboard with the amount of powder used, and suspect that I should have used a hotter water temperature than for standard matcha.

Later I added milk and sugar to this, and it made a really good black tea latte.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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drank Red Matcha by Pure Matcha
415 tasting notes

Ahhhh! What did I just drink? I guess all I can say is that you should make sure you like rooibos before you buy this product. This pretty much tasted like sawdust to me (I will say that it tasted like the sweetest sawdust from the most delicious wood) but this drink just wasn’t for me. I will refrain from rating this one.

yssah

This is a good preparation for the experience of opening a tin of matcha….has to be done very, very carefully! :D

Thank you for sharing this with me, Charlotte!

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77

Thank you, ToiToi for swapping this sample with me!

I had to try another Ceylon after my disappointing experience with Canton Tea Co’s Sri Lanka black. I wondered, had I lost my taste for Ceylon?

Nope! This tea is beautiful. Pleasant aroma with nice citrus notes. Just a little bit of astringency in the finish that makes your salivary glands wake up. I hope the tea bag lasts until morning so I can brew another cup!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Tea means so many things to me, it is so deep and it is revealing new meaning to me all the time.

Tea is a mindfulness practice, and a doorway through which to explore different philosophies, cultures, and historical times. Tea is hospitality and a way of communion. Tea is an art, a ritual, and a tradition. Tea is a complement to the foods I eat (preferably vegan desserts) and is something I enjoy collecting and curating.

I love to swap, or even just send people samples, so if there’s anything in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message!

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

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