526 Tasting Notes

80
drank Paul & Virginie by Dammann Freres
526 tasting notes

Sipdown #47

The dry leaf aroma is sweet and fruity. The brewed tea aroma is distinctly cherry. I’ve had a few cherry-flavored teas before, but this one has the most spot on, authentic cherry flavor. It is pretty good plain, but I did add a little Truvia to ramp up the sweetness. I let the cup cool and enjoy this much better as an iced tea. Overall, a very enjoyable cuppa! Thanks Sil for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

YAY!

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15

Sipdown #48

The brewed tea aroma is…not my beloved Yunnan black! It almost smells like Keemun…WEIRD! This tea is what I refer to as “dirty diaper tea.” I’m so confused. I LOVE Yunnan black teas! They are one of my all-time favorite tea regions. So, what is this cuppa? Is it a blend of Yunnan and something else?

The dirty diaper aroma doesn’t fully make its way into the taste. It’s more in the aftertaste, which unfortunately builds and gets stronger as I take more sips. Booo! What has Mariage Frères done to my beloved Yunnan? :(

It’s borderline undrinkable and not something I’d want to try again. I’m sure others could drink this and enjoy it just fine. It’s just not for me. Big thanks to Sil for this sample! I might have bought 100g of it thinking it was a safe bet just to be disappointed when I got home. Catastrophe avoided! ;)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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99

Sipdown #49

Finished this off with some unsweetened almond milk and agave. Mmm mm! Thanks to Shmiracles for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

i love this tea…i’ll be so sad when i’m done my bag..

CHAroma

I feel like it’s a whole new take on caramel teas. It’s so delicious without being super sweet.

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80

Sipdown #50

The dry leaf aroma is mostly berries. Catching a whiff of the brewed tea aroma, I was immediately hit by jasmine. But this isn’t a jasmine tea. Odd. I kept sniffing and slowly the aroma transformed into something floral and gritty, tugging at the edge of my memory. Honeysuckle? I think the floral aroma is honeysuckle.

First sip…the immediate taste is rose and rock sugar…then it ebbs into that grittiness from the aroma. I’m guessing that’s the cedar note. Then slowly it transforms again into a lovely floral aftertaste very reminiscent of honeysuckle. The goji berry melds with the floral notes so that I can’t quite separate its distinct flavor.

I should add that what I describe as “gritty” is really my way of trying to describe a flavor, not a texture, that I haven’t come across before and therefore lack the vocabulary to portray properly. This tea is very smooth.

Overall, I’m very impressed with this tea! It has a nice progression of flavors that I haven’t encountered often. I believe that’s a characteristic of the pu’er coming through. I don’t have too much experience with pu’er, but it’s the only tea variety I have tried that morphs in your mouth like this.

It’s a naturally sweet blend and much more yummy and drinkable than I had anticipated. Too bad this one is all gone now too. Alas, my Verdant tea blend samples are all drunk. But there’s still the straight ones to sample!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
MissLena

I love this tea! Hoarding the rest of my 1 oz bag in case it doesn’t get re blended again this year.

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81

Sipdown #51

The dry leaf aroma is intoxicating! It smells predominately of Yunnan Black and Bai Mu Dan. The brewed tea aroma is mostly Yunnan Black.

Wow! The taste of this tea is incredibly unique and familiar all at the same time. I can taste the Yunnan and the Laoshan, the Bai Mu Dan, and a hint of Shui Jin Gui Wuyi. How can this tea be so amazingly complex and yet distinctively each tea in the blend? All I want to do is buy more of this tea!!! But it’s currently out of stock. :( I guess that’s God telling me to stop buying new teas.

Second infusion for 2 minutes yielded a very different cup but still a very tasty one. It’s softer, more balanced, and more cohesive now. I then cold brewed the next cup overnight. This blend makes for a yummy cold brew even on the third infusion! I really like this tea, and I’m sad it’s gone. But I’m very happy I decided to buy a sample and had the opportunity to enjoy many delicious cups!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Sil

i snagged the last little bit of this from verdant…looking forward to try it out!

CHAroma

So you’re the culprit! LOL! You’ll love it. ;)

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98

Sipdown #52

The dry leaf aroma is citrus spice all right. The brewed tea aroma is heavenly and enticing! I haven’t tried Zhu Rong straight yet, so it’s a little difficult for me to distinguish the flavorings from the base. It’s one great melding of flavors to me. The coriander in this is an interesting twist. It’s spicy and noticeable and yet very well blended into the mix of flavors. I really love this!

The first cup disappeared in record time, so I immediately made a second infusion for 5 minutes. While it was steeping, I Googled coriander seeds. It turns out that they’re the same thing as cilantro! Who knew?! I absolutely detest cilantro, but I like coriander. Strange, right? Am I the only one who finds that weird?

Anyway, the second cup is still tasty. This is a very nice, intriguing blend. The only thing I’m missing is the vanilla. If it’s in here, it’s very light. I prefer vanilla teas to be in-my-face strongly vanilla. This is heavier on the citrus and spice and reminds me of a nice calming herbal blend. It is quite a relaxing cuppa.

I steeped a third cup for 8 minutes; it was less spice and more citrusy tea. I suppose that’s to be expected. That first cup was magic though, and now I’m wishing I had a lot more! I MUST resist the urge to pick up more. Why do Verdant teas have to be so darn good? *Sigh. Someday.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

Mmm, you’re making me feel better about ordering some of this. The mixed reviews had me going back and forth.

CHAroma

I don’t know why this tea has so few reviews, and so few glowing ones at that. I think it’s magnificent!

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97

Sipdown #53

I always start my morning off with chai. Why not Laoshan Village Chai? :)
I decided to use the whole 7g sample in one cup. I may come to regret that, but it’s too late now! The dry leaf aroma is an aromatic blend of spices. The brewed tea aroma is spicy with a woodsy element from the Laoshan Black.

First sip…mmmm! What a beautiful tea! The chai spices are very nicely blended, and the Laoshan Black comes through strong with its chocolaty malty goodness. Ohhhh yeaaahhhh!!! This is a fantastic tea! I’m very pleased with it and find it much more enjoyable than plain Laoshan Black. If I didn’t already have so much tea, I would definitely take advantage of the current 25% sale on all Verdant tea blends.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I’ve always bought laoshan black tea not only to drink on it’s own but to add to other blends such as the chai base or winter ginger blend that had no tea in it. I make blends myself too. A little goes a long way and adds so much flavor and body.

CHAroma

I get in the habit of drinking teas the way they are and always forget that I can blend them myself. What’s your favorite Laoshan Black combo?

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97

I’m not exactly sure which year this tea was harvested. The sample package just said “autumn.” But since it’s fairly late into 2013, I figured this must be from 2012. The dry leaf aroma is floral green oolong at its finest! The brewed tea aroma is more subdued since I did a quick one minute infusion.

The first sip was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth! At first, it was super sweet and creamy. Then it morphed into a floral, silky, green oolong. Finally, the aftertaste had a metallic tang to it. This is mouthwateringly good! Mmmm! I can tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy this sample.

The leaves completely unfurled during the second infusion for two minutes. The flavor has changed slightly, but it’s difficult to describe how. I suppose it’s a little less metallic and a little more floral. In any event, it is still super yummy! I did a third infusion for three minutes and a fourth for five. Mmm mm! I could drink this every day!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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100
drank SBT: Pink Lemonade by 52teas
526 tasting notes

O-M-G!!! WHAT IS THIS??!

IT IS MAGICAL!

IT IS AMAZING!

IT IS THE BEST ICED TEA I HAVE EVER EVER HAD!!!!

Man, and I thought the other SBT iced teas were amazingly delicious. How could tea ever be improved upon again? Well, Frank did it. This is perfection! Frank has made THE BEST iced tea IN THE UNIVERSE! I can’t even describe what it tastes like. It tastes like Heaven. It’s naturally sweet without being sugary (unless you add sugar, of course). It’s slightly lemon-y…and a whole lot of delicious! Ahh, sooo good! :D

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

This is the ONE new one I wanted to try. I take it by your note that it’s pretty good hahaha.

CHAroma

Frank seriously needs to blend some more ASAP. My in-laws came to visit this weekend and drank all my iced tea! :(

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98
drank Cotton Candy White Tea by 52teas
526 tasting notes

Guys…I think I may have a problem.

See, it all started with this tea. Frank just HAD to blend another cotton candy tea. Don’t you know I’m broke, Frank? But I allowed myself this one little bag because I know it’s going to be awesome. Well, that’s how it starts right? Next thing I know, I’m buying two more packages of this one, three of the SBT iced teas, Turtle Cheesecake Black Tea, and the S’mores Chai re-blend. What have I done??! Oh jeez. I just can’t help myself!! Do they have a Teaophile Anonymous? ‘Cause I think I need to go.

Why did this tea have to be so good??? My initial reaction upon sniffing the dry leaf was, “Hmm, this is a weird chicken.” The dry leaf aroma is weird. The brewed tea aroma is weird. The taste? A little weird. LOL! The aftertaste is sweet, melt-in-your-mouth, spun sugar! But while the tea is on the tongue, it’s mostly white tea with some added component I can’t quite describe. The aftertaste is perfect cotton candy though.

The second steep for 3 minutes was really tasty too. The cornflower is more apparent, while the cotton candy flavor is softer. And the white base is simply beautiful! This is heaven in a cup. No bitterness or astringency at all! I probably do like the black base better, but not by much. Let’s face it, Frank could add cotton candy to just about anything and I’d drink it.

I also find that I can drink this tea like water. It goes down super smooth, and I can imagine this being divine iced. I’m really sad each pouch has only an ounce. It seems like very little tea. (Thus, the spontaneous shopping spree on the 52teas website to buy a couple more bags). Y’all better hurry up and purchase this before there’s none left! And at the rate I’m shopping…that’s very little time indeed.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha i was really tempted by the turtle cheesecake and the smores chai….must. resist.

Ze_Teamaker

It’s ok. One does not simply resist buying a few of Franks teas; it really is hard to just get one flavor.

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Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

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Maryland, USA

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