509 Tasting Notes

72

This year, the annual awards ceremony for my husband’s work was held at the Four Seasons. After the awards ceremony and dinner, they offered tea and coffee with some fabulous desserts. This individually packaged tea bag was my winnings for the evening (along with a few other tea bags stashed in my purse for later). ;) I can’t help myself! When I see tea, I just go klepto!

The dry leaf aroma is dripping juicy guava and strawberry. Yum! The tea liquor is light amber colored and smells mainly of green tea with a generic fruitiness. I have to say the dry leaf aroma was much fruitier and more appetizing than the brewed tea aroma. But on to the taste!

Hmm, this is kind of unexpected. The beginning of the sip is green tea, but then it morphs in your mouth and there’re tons of fruity flavors by the time the aftertaste hits! I’m getting largely pineapple here, which is funny, because that fruit wasn’t apparent in the scent at all. There’s still a good level of guava, but now the strawberry is somewhat elusive.

There’s also something a little off in the cup, but it only appears at the beginning of the sip and doesn’t linger. I think it might be whatever the flower petals are contributing. The floral element doesn’t seem to mesh well with the fruits. But overall, this is a good fruity green tea, especially considering it’s bagged. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try another Mighty Leaf Tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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72

My husband’s work hosts an awards ceremony every year at a hotel in D.C. We get to enjoy free food and drink and the chance to win $5000! My husband has worked there two years, been nominated both years, but hasn’t won yet. Oh well. At least we got some free tea out of it!

This is dark, nutty, and bordering on woody. The muscatel is there along with a good amount of astringency. I think I’d enjoy this more with milk and sugar. After finagling in the kitchen, I return with an improved cup of tea! The nuttiness seems even more apparent with additions.

I’m surprised that I couldn’t find this here on Steepster. Mighty Leaf seems pretty popular and well known. Anyway, this is an enjoyable cuppa. It’s not overly complex, but it seems reliable for a bagged tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Darjeeling Blend by Harney & Sons
509 tasting notes

This is an individually packaged tea bag I picked up on my mini-moon a couple weeks ago. We stayed at the most beautiful, quaint bed and breakfast in Newport, RI. It’s called the Cliffside Inn, and I highly highly recommend it! They had tea time on Wednesday afternoons, and what was offered? Harney and Sons!!! I grabbed a couple extra tea bags to try later, and later it is! ;)

This steeped up to a nice golden brown. The aroma is nutty and maybe a tad mineral? The flavor is muscatel and sweet, but the mouthfeel is very odd. It’s silky and yet extremely mouthwatering. As in, I have a sip, and then my mouth waters for several seconds as it processes the aftertaste. This results in a lot of swallowing for one little sip of tea. If I fight through that oddity, I can detect a roastiness in the flavor as well.

This is not bad! I can’t say I’m really enjoying this weird mouthwatering aspect. But the flavor itself is good. Maybe adding milk would help. I can’t tell if it’s just my taste buds acting funny this morning or if the tea is really eliciting this odd reaction. With additions, a natural yet subtle fruity sweetness appears. This is a very pleasant tea! And now my cup is empty. Aww. :(

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank White Christmas by 52teas
509 tasting notes

SIPDOWN!

As soon as I saw this label, I immediately started singing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write!” Ahh, I just love Christmas. Who cares if it’s May? It’s Christmas tea time! :D This tea + skim milk + truvia = YUM! This is a delicious treat. I’m thoroughly enjoying this bit of Christmas in May. :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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93

Big thanks to Stacy from Butiki Teas for providing this sample with my latest order. Yay! I love trying new teas! :D

The aroma of the brewed tea is recognizably potato and apple. Wow. How did she do that? First sip! Hmm, the taste is so interesting. The first part of the sip is buttery green tea. The end of the sip is potato: warm, buttery potato pancake. Mmm! The apple is very quiet in this, but it complements the other flavors well.

This tea is very well blended indeed. I’m really enjoying this! My cup is almost empty, oh no! Time for a second infusion for 6 minutes. Wow! The aroma of this second cup seems better than the first! It smells positively AMAZING! I added a teensy tiny bit of sweetener to this cup in hopes of bringing out more apple.

Mmm, it worked! The aroma is weighted towards potato pancake, but the taste is weighted towards cinnamon apples. This is the first time I’ve identified cinnamon in the tea. The sweetener was just the right amount to bring out the apple flavor without actually making the tea taste sugary sweet. And there’s still plenty of potato pancake flavor! This is perfect!

I’m loving this! It’s so unique and delicious. And I’m sooo impressed that it re-steeps this well! I just can’t believe it. Sooooo good!!!! I never want to run out of this! This is MAGIC!!! Thanks, Stacy!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90

SIPDOWN!

Many thanks to Mercuryhime for this sample! This is a very special tea indeed. I gave most of this cup and its subsequent infusions to my new husband. It’s so unique! He needed to try it.

He described it as, “It’s got that weird tongue thing again…like the tea is trying to get away from my tongue and escape.”

“Okay, you’re describing the mouthfeel. But what about the flavor?” I asked.

“It tastes like brown construction paper. I like it,” he replied. LOL! Who describes a tea as tasting like paper and then likes it? “I know,” he continued, “It tastes brassy! Yeah, like I’m licking a doorknob.”

I laughed at him and then he said, “I think people would really like to read my tasting notes. I’m the best at tasting notes. You’re jealous.” :) Aww, he’s so adorable! I love my hubby. Maybe he’ll join Steepster and track his own tea journey. You never know!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec
K S

If he decides to join Steepster, I want to know. His description of this tea is quite unique. :)

Mercuryhime

If that’s how he writes tasting notes then I would definitely like to read them. :D Glad the sample I sent provided some bonding time.

Sil

haha love it! that’s the thing i like about everyone’s tasting notes. they’re all different and none of them are wrong! it’s fun to read how people experience things

CHAroma

LOL! Thanks all. His response to reading your comments was, “Told you! I’m the greatest!” Hahaha! ;)

Kittenna

D’awwwww that’s cute and hilarious! :D I wish my boyfriend would do something other than tell me that it “smells like tea” and wrinkle his nose at me. Although tonight, he chided me for leaving an infuser in my cup after the timer went (it was rooibos, but he doesn’t have a clue what that means), and I said he could take it out… he did and said “that was fun! No, not really. I’m just trying to be involved in your addiction.” Le sigh.

CHAroma

Awww! Well, at least there’s no risk of him drinking your favorite teas. :P

Kittenna

That’s true. He wouldn’t even know what to do with them…

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76
drank Imperial Earl Grey by Ikaati
509 tasting notes

Another raided complimentary sample tea bag. For more info on the story of Ikaati and my finding it, see my Black Orchid tasting note.

The dry leaf aroma here is very perfume-y bergamot. The brewed tea aroma is classic dirty diaper Keemun followed by bergamot. Unfortunately, the dirty diaper aroma has made its way into the taste. This is just nasty. Blech. :( You know, this tea says it has Yunnan and Keemun in it, so you’d think I’d like it better than the all Keemun Black Orchid tea. But I’m really only getting Keemun here. Weird.

I’ll have to add milk and sugar to see if this cup is at all redeemable. I added quite a bit of milk and only a little sweetener. This seems to have killed most of the Keemun yuckiness. Now I’m left with a pretty good cup of earl grey! If you like Keemun, then you’d most definitely like this tea. There’s nothing wrong with the Keemun here. I’m just not a fan of that particular base.

The bergamot oil is not overdone either. It’s blended nicely and reminds me of my visits to Paris. OMG! I’m going to Paris again in less than 6 months!!! Ahhhh!!!! I better buy our plane tickets! :D Damn, prices have really gone up lately. I should have bought them in March. Dang it! I knew they were good prices back then! Agh!

Oooh, but flying into London is cheap! Hmm, I need to go revise our travel plans. Maybe we’ll do London AND Paris. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Black Orchid by Ikaati
509 tasting notes

First cup of the day! It’s time to continue drinking down all of these one sample tea bags!

This is a sample I grabbed up at the Spa Terre at Hotel Viking in Newport, RI. I went the day before the wedding to get a French manicure with my mom. It was just the two of us, and the total bill came to $132! Needless to say, I felt a little cheated. So on the way out, I raided their complimentary tea stand. ;)

I’ve never heard of Ikaati. And apparently neither has Steepster, as I was the first one to add these teas to the database. I grabbed two black teas, one green, and one herbal. My hopes were a little dashed as upon Googling the black teas, I discovered they’re both Keemun. Blech! My nickname for Keemun is “dirty diaper tea.”

I went ahead and brewed them up anyway. First up, Black Orchid! The dry leaf aroma is just weird. I can’t really tell what’s going on here. It’s not bad necessarily, just unidentifiable to me. The tea bags are hand-tied pouches. Honestly, they didn’t seem particularly stable. Think taking a square piece of mesh fabric, putting some tea leaves in the center, and then pulling all the edges together and tying it off by wrapping a piece of string around it. O_O

But upon steeping, they held together well. Ooh boy, that Keemun is making itself known! I’m getting a lot of dirty diaper scent in the brewed tea aroma. (Sorry to all of you who actually enjoy Keemun.) I’m actually a little afraid to take this first sip…but the more I sniff it, the more recognizable it’s becoming. In fact, I think this smells a little like strawberry Twizzlers! Or Red Vines.

Okay enough stalling…first sip…hmm…second sip…this is surprisingly not bad! It does kind of taste like Red Vines too. Interesting. Hmm, I rather like this! The vanilla is coming through strongly, followed by a glimmer of orange, and then finally what must be a ylang ylang flower. I can’t say I’ve ever tried that before, but it’s rather tasty and leaves a wonderful aftertaste: a natural, soft sweetness with no bitterness or astringency.

Yay! This tea is a winner! Oh, I’m so relieved! I’m even enjoying the cup sans additions, which is rare for me. What a treat! I can now say that I recommend Ikaati to the Steepster community! Well, this tea at least. ;) It’s very unique.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

that’s really neat… the wesbite has a picture of the little bundles as you describe them: http://www.ikaati.com/our-story/origins/ heh looks like they’re more about partnering with spas and hotels than selling direct to ppl too bad!

CHAroma

Yeah, I guess I got lucky finding them. It was a complete accident. They should make it easier to find retailers who stock their tea though. I have no idea how to find them again! (‘Cause there’s no way I’m going back to that overpriced spa). :P

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81
drank La Belle Epoque by Lupicia
509 tasting notes

I think this is the freshest of my randomly found Lupicia samples. This is surprisingly good! It’s a nice balance of smooth and brisk. The Darjeeling comes through strong, but the other teas in the blend are equally present. I usually hate drinking black tea straight, but I drank the whole cup this way! Yum! This is a solid choice if you like Darjeelings. I’m thoroughly enjoying this. :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Wedding by Lupicia
509 tasting notes

Another randomly found Lupicia sample. I actually bought this one with Kotobuki as a trial wedding favor. They both came in one white, mesh, organza bag with a drawstring closure. Each sample was packaged in its own plastic slip colored cream and gold. Overall, I like the favors. But at $2.50 each, I decided it wasn’t worth it. My mom ended up making cookies for our favors. :)

Anyway, I digress again. This tea is DELICIOUS! The dry leaf aroma is fruity, floral, and yummy! The brewed tea aroma is simply mouthwatering. And the taste? DE-LISH! It has a natural sweetness and can be drunk straight, which is the way I enjoyed it. I highly recommend this one, and I don’t even like Keemun! This tea is great!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
canadianadia

Homemade cookies sound like a great favor – you really can’t beat the personal touch of something homemade

CHAroma

She made two cookies for each favor bag: my husband’s favorite cookie (Snickerdoodle) and my favorite cookie (Candy Cane Cookie in the shape of a heart instead of a cane so it would be more spring wedding appropriate). :)

canadianadia

What a nice mom, and such a well thought out favor – I’m sure your guests loved it

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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).

Location

Maryland, USA

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