509 Tasting Notes

59
drank Budou Green by Lupicia
509 tasting notes

Another randomly found Lupicia sample. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a sipdown since it’s only this one tea bag. I guess since I have so many one sample tea bags floating around, I won’t count them as sipdowns. Anywho, on to the tea!

The dry leaf aroma is grape and green tea. The brewed tea aroma is the same and yet different. It smells sweeter now. Mmm, the flavor here is lovely! It’s a nice mixture of grassy green tea with grape candy. The end of the sip is slightly bitter, but that’s counteracted nicely by the grape flavor which lingers long after the sip.

I’m content with this one. It’s definitely more enjoyable to me than Lupicia’s Happiness tea I just tried. Still, it’s probably not something I would re-stock. But I do feel confident in recommending it to others!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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49
drank Happiness by Lupicia
509 tasting notes

This is a sample I received forever ago in a Lupicia Monthly Newsletter. I actually forgot I had it as it wasn’t even recorded in my virtual cupboard here on Steepster. I literally stumbled across 5 Lupicia tea samples in my quest to organize my non-virtual tea cupboard. Score! This is the first one I wanted to try as I’ve had it a couple other times, but I’ve never really formed an opinion about it.

For those of you new to Lupicia tea bags, it’s important to note that the instructions say to brew them in only 5 oz. of water. I’ve made the mistake many times of brewing them in 8 oz., and they taste like barely flavored water. No mistakes this time! ;)

The dry leaf aroma is very fruity. It does strike me as happy fruit, if there can be such a thing. The brewed tea aroma is purely green tea with just the smallest hint of fruit. The taste is the same as the aroma here: green tea with a hint of fruit. The fruit is largely unidentifiable to my palate. I looked up the ingredients to see what it is supposed to be: peach and grapefruit. I suppose it does taste faintly of those, but it’s not obvious. I’m not getting any recognizable green rooibos flavor either.

I’m sad to report that this tea does not evoke any happiness in me. Rather, I find that it’s a lackluster tea and largely forgettable. I suppose that’s why I’ve had it three times and can never remember what it tastes like or whether I like it. The longer I sip it, the more generic it tastes. It also has a very drying effect on my mouth. I feel positively parched! Lowering the rating from 60 to 49.

This is not a winner in my book, but I’m glad I can finally put my mind to rest about this one. Farewell, Happiness tea! May you be loved and appreciated by others!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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96

SIPDOWN!

Thanks to LiberTEAS for generously sharing this one with me. It’s been in my cupboard for a loooooooong time. I held on to it because I couldn’t bear parting with it. But what’s the use of tea if you don’t drink it? I’m super sad to see this one go finally. :( See my other note.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82

SIPDOWN!

Thanks to the lovely LiberTEAS for providing this one. It’s a solid Darjeeling. I’ve really enjoyed it! :) See my other note.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
509 tasting notes

This tea has 315 tasting notes! Wow. That’s hard to compete with. Well, here’s #316!

I have a sample of this thanks to Verdant Tea’s awesome 5 teas for $5 promotion. Woot! What a deal! I’ve only tried Verdant before through swaps, so I’m excited to try fresh tea directly from the distributor. Each packet has enough for two brewing experiences. So, I’m going to make one Western style and one Gongfu style. ;) First up, the Western style brews!

The dry leaves smell pretty good. Hard to describe, but good. I’ve never had Laoshan anything before, so I can’t wait to try this one! I hope it’s as good as Yunnan teas. I’m in love with Yunnan teas. WHOA! The brewed tea aroma smells exactly like salted sunflower seeds!!! That’s crazy!

The first sip is AMAZING! No wonder people are raving about this tea. The initial sip definitely echoed the salty sunflower seeds from the aroma. But that was quickly followed by chocolate notes, and then something sugary, creamy sweet definitely akin to caramel. Yum! What is this magical substance? The very end of the sip leans towards bitterness but doesn’t quite reach it.

I’m interested to see how subsequent steeps turn out. Second infusion was for 3 minutes. This time the aroma is less sunflower seed and more dark Formosan oolong. There’s less bitterness now and more caramel sweetness. This is the first time I’m getting honey notes too. Mmm, how yummy! I’m really enjoying this cup. It’s very different from the first infusion. The end of this cup was just slightly astringent.

On further reflection, that sunflower seed flavor I’m getting could be interpreted as a roasted grain flavor by others. It’s hard to know for sure. On to the third infusion for 4.5 minutes! There’s much less aroma to this cup. Flavors are still going strong in the taste though. There are even less chocolate notes now, replaced fully by caramel and honey. There’s a little more grain flavor and a super silky smooth mouthfeel. This just gets better and better!

My husband just came home, so I gave him the cup to try. He sipped it and said, “Oooooh!” Then sipped it again. :) I don’t really have any idea how to rate this. It’s definitely very special, but it’s not quite as consistently enjoyable to my palate as Yunnans or Tieguanyins from one infusion to the next. The first steep was probably my least favorite. I’m really enjoying this third one though. So, I guess I’ll give this a 92. Thanks to Verdant Tea for offering this great promotion! First tea was a complete success!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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83
drank White Orchard by Mighty Leaf Tea
509 tasting notes

Backlog…I had this tea on my mini-moon last week.

My new husband and I were walking around Newport, RI on a very windy, rainy day. We stopped in a Starbucks and the line was long and unmoving. So back out into the rain we trudged. A couple blocks down was an independently owned coffee shop. We walked in and BAM! I spotted some Mighty Leaf teas!

I decided on this one because I didn’t really feel like a green or black tea. White tea really is one of my favorites. After trying 52teas’ Stone Fruit White Tea this morning, I think I probably prefer that one. But this Mighty Leaf tea wasn’t bad!

I recall that I oversteeped it, and it turned pretty bitter. But the earlier sips before the oversteeping incident were really good! I definitely got lots of melon and peach flavors, balanced nicely with what I think was a Bai Mu Dan base. I’d recommend this tea to any white tea lovers. It’s quite enjoyable. :)

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96
drank Stone Fruit White Tea by 52teas
509 tasting notes

The dry leaf aroma is fruity heaven! Wow! It’s hard to discern a particular fruit, but to me it smells like peaches and cherries. Mmm!

I brewed it up and when the water hit the leaves, there was another whoosh of sweet, fruity aroma. But once infused, the aroma was muuuuch quieter. What happened? Did I not use enough leaf? I’ve always found Bai Mu Dan leaves difficult to measure correctly.

The taste will be the tie-breaker. Hmm, I probably could have used more leaf. LOL! Oh well. What I’m getting from this cup is still delicious! Just not as assertive as I’d like. The white base pairs perfectly with these fruits. The flavor profile is very different from the Forest Berry Silver Needle from a while back. The fruit here is perfectly representative of the fruits themselves. It doesn’t taste like I’m drinking a flavored tea. Instead it tastes like I’m drinking a white tea mixed with 100% real fruit juice!

This is absolutely delicious! Peach, cherry, and plum are the fruit that stand out the most for me. But that’s mostly because I’m not sure what a nectarine or apricot really tastes like. The fruits blend very well together and create a symphony in my mouth. There’s no bitterness or astringency to speak of.

This has instantly become a new favorite! I’m so glad I decided to give it a shot. Now if only I could sit around all day and enjoy this tea, but I’m off to work! In the travel mug it goes!

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

sounds yummy!

CHAroma

There’s still plenty available on Zoomdweebies.com. I highly recommend it!

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
509 tasting notes

2 tsp Butiki Teas’ Raspberry Truffle + 1/8 tsp Adagio’s Peppermint

This combination was inspired by Marketspice’s Holiday Tea that I tried earlier today. I eyeballed the Peppermint, so I’m not 100% sure what the exact amount was. It’s definitely less than 1/4 tsp though. I’m excited for this one! I hope the ratio works out well.

The brewed tea aroma is mostly raspberry with only a whisper of mint. The flavors were a little too quiet for my liking, so I added some Truvia. Hello! That worked! I’m getting a nice balance of raspberry, chocolate, and mint now. The mint could probably be stronger, but then so could the chocolate. I really love chocolate.

My husband gave me a bunch of Lindt and Ferrero Rocher truffles on the morning of our wedding. I’m trying to make them last. But all I want to do is stuff all these glorious truffles in my mouth pronto! LOL! This tea is a good compromise for my waistline. Tea to the rescue!!! I’d rate this combo an 88.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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79

SIPDOWN!

As the name suggests, this tastes like a roasted version of the green yerba mate I just drank. Wow, how incredible! The aftertaste does have a very coffee-like flavor. After trying it straight, I added milk and sweetener. Now it’s less like coffee and more like roasted mate tea.

I prefer the unroasted variety I think. But I’m very curious to hear what the husband thinks of it since he loves coffee the way I love tea. There’s just enough left to brew him a cup when he gets home. ;) Thanks to LiberTEAS for making this cuppa possible! This is the last overdue sample I had to try. Victory! :D

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

SIPDOWN! Almost time to go pay rent! Ouch. That always hurts. But this tea will get me through!

This isn’t so fresh anymore thanks to me. But now at least I can say I have a better idea of what unflavored green mate tastes like. It’s not bad! I think I actually like it. Thanks to LiberTEAS for providing this generous sample! I probably still prefer the flavored variety, but I really did want to try it unflavored. Another bucket list tea checked off! :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 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).

Location

Maryland, USA

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