514 Tasting Notes

87
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
514 tasting notes

Mmm, how I love Paris! This is just as delicious as I remember it. It tastes like berries and vanilla cream. Yum! I added a little milk and sugar to experiment, but I think it’s better sans additions.

This is another individually packaged tea bag I picked up on my mini-moon from the Cliffside Inn. I enjoyed a cup then too and knew I had to grab a sachet to have later. I think it’s finally time to invest in a tin of this stuff. It’s a near perfect creation! I bet it would make an amazing iced tea too.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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77

This is surprisingly smooth sans additions. Hmm, maybe I need to change my opinion of Keemun. Sometimes I try it and it’s God awful. Other times, like now, it tastes fine. Enjoyable even when milk and sugar are added.

It’s not very brisk for a breakfast tea though, in my opinion. I require a little more oomph in the mornings. It’s lacking the strong, full-body of Ceylons that I love so much. That’s my go-to breakfast tea.

This is okay, but it’s not quite there. I agree with others that it really lacks complexity. It’s just sort of one-sided, like one note in a song. I am glad I got the chance to try it though, thanks to the lovely Cliffside Inn where I spent my mini-moon! :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Protect by Ikaati
514 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 actually smells quite good! By the look of the leaves, it has lemongrass and some kind of red berry in it. I poured boiling water over the bag and the water immediately turned bright golden yellow. I bobbed the bag around and that’s when I saw it: red liquid seeping out of the tea bag. Oh no! Those red berry looking things must be the dreaded hibiscus! Agh!

Well, I suppose I should have seen that one coming. But I honestly didn’t. I thought it was going to be a lemongrass berry tea, which I guess it kind of is in retrospect. Anyway, the tea liquor is a golden brown color now. The aroma of the brewed tea is kind of off-putting. What is this?

The flavor isn’t nearly as offensive as the aroma. It actually tastes okay! The hibiscus is at first tart, then sweet. The lemongrass complements the hibiscus well. It’s not bad. I’m enjoying this cup although I probably wouldn’t re-stock it. I’m just not an herbal gal.

On another note, has anyone watched the last season of The Office? It’s HILARIOUS! I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life. My husband is away on a business trip for 4 days. So I’m alone at home with my cat, laughing hysterically. I didn’t think it’d be very good without Michael. But it is freaking funny!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Jade Dragon by Ikaati
514 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.

Mmm, the dry leaf aroma is lovely, vegetal green tea! I didn’t follow the steeping instructions because the ingredients list says this is dragon well. So I brewed it at my normal dragon well parameters plus 30 seconds because the liquid brewed up very pale yellow at first. Now it’s more of a golden yellow color, and the aroma coming off this cup is butter! Yummy buttery vegetables!

The taste is rather lovely as well. It’s not grassy like I usually find dragon well. Instead, it’s just a delicious cup of green tea that doesn’t taste bagged at all! There’s no bitterness and only a slight astringency. This is a very solid choice to keep stocked at the office. If only I had more. :( The second infusion is a bit weaker but still tasty. I really like this one! :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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47

This is the last of my Mighty Leaf bagged tea samples. I know it says to steep for 5 minutes, but it was a very dark reddish brown after only 3 minutes, so I decided to take the bag out early. The mint is very strong here in the aroma of the dry leaf and the brewed tea. It smells like spearmint to me. I hope I can taste the verbena under all that spearmint. The whole reason I wanted to try this was because it has verbena in it!

My favorite Bath and Body Works scent is Coconut Lime Verbena. Of course as soon as I fell in love with it, they discontinued it. :( So I immediately went to Ebay to stock up, and now I have at least a 5-10 year supply of shower gel and body spray. :D Honestly, it mostly smells like coconut and lime to me. I don’t even know what verbena is. So when I spotted this tea, I thought, here’s my chance to find out!

Well, to make a long story short, this tea tastes like funky spearmint. I love how the description says “soft citrus notes of verbena leaves balanced with a beautiful hint of mint.” Hint of mint my butt. This is overpowering mint! There does seem to be some kind of citrus punch in the beginning of the sip, but it’s quickly covered by mintaplooza. It’s really off-putting to my palate. Eck, I just can’t finish this cup. Sorry, verbena mint tea! You are not my cuppa!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Never thought they’d discontinue it! At least they still have the hand soap. Speaking of that, what’s up with their lack of moisturizing hand soap? I was there the other day and noticed that the majority of the soaps only come in the deep cleaning and foaming now. Jerks.

CHAroma

LOL! Total jerks! B&BW is my bane. I have more shower gel, body spray, soap, home fragrance, and lotion than I could ever use in a lifetime.

Hesper June

I try to stay clear of B&BW, because I am trying to use more natural soaps and body products. But, my one weakness is the Cherry Blossom scent…I have loved it for years and wore that scent when I first met my now husband:)
I have a few bottles of it and use it for our dates and special occasions. I suppose they will discontinue it at some point too:(
Sorry about the tea! I have never been too clear on the exact scent/taste of verbena as well.

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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
514 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
514 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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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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