526 Tasting Notes

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
526 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
526 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
526 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
526 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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81
drank Holiday Tea by Market Spice
526 tasting notes

Man, my kitty is really getting to me today. I’m allergic, you see. I build up an immunity to him when I’m with him every day. He’ll only rarely get to me. But since I just went on my mini-moon and was away from him for 9 days, my defenses have disintegrated. I am a sneezy, runny-nosed weakling this morning. Ugh.

I had a cup of chai tea earlier, which seemed to open my nasal passages with its spiciness. But now the cat is getting to me again, so I’m back to being stuffed up. Time for something else spicy and caffeinated! Oh, this isn’t spicy. For some reason I remember it as “Holiday Spice” not “Holiday Tea.” It’s probably because the company’s name is “Marketspice.” Oh well. I’m drinking it anyway! LOL!

This is a sample from LiberTEAS. Thanks, girly! Oh yeah, and this is a SIPDOWN!!! Wow, the aroma off this cup is great! It smells like fruity mint chocolate tea. YUM! Sadly, my nose seems to be getting worse. I can really only taste peppermint. I’m sure age also has something to do with it, as I’ve left this sample lying in my cupboard untouched for over a year. I imagine it’s divine when fresh and consumed by someone not afflicted by allergies.

Cocoa does show up in the aftertaste. And there’s maybe a hint of something fruity and berry-like. Overall, this is a good tea! It’s held up a lot better than some of these other old samples too. The mint is really helping to assuage my kitty-induced discomfort. Plus, mint and chocolate has always been a winning combo in my book. Thanks LiberTEAS!!!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Mercuryhime

Next time you go away, take a bunch of car fur with you and sleep on it like a pillow. I have no idea if it will help, and I’m often told that I have redicilous ideas. But maybe :)

Mercuryhime

I meant cat fur not car fur. And ridiculous. I don’t know where that other word came from.

CHAroma

Hahahahaha!!! I think that could have disastrous results, LOL!

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99

I am IN LOVE with this chai! I drink it almost every day.

I had to break my habit of going to Starbucks every morning because it was making me poor. Then I discovered for the price of one of these lattes, I can buy an entire box of the concentrated mix! The mix makes about 5-6 cups. So that’s 5 for the price of 1!!!!!!!! What a deal! Well, actually I guess that makes buying the latte in the store just a really big rip-off. But now I can still enjoy my delicious chai, and I don’t even have to leave the house! :) I’m very happy with this compromise. Upping the rating from 90 to 99!

P.S. If you have a milk frother/steamer at home, it will taste exactly the same as buying one made by a barista. But with huge savings!! :D

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81
drank Green Tea Hysson by Gorreana
526 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! Thanks to LiberTEAS for this sample!

Aww, here’s another one I let sit too long. Very little flavor left in this. Too bad. Again, I’ll just give this the current average rating here on Steepster.

The leaves were interesting as there were quite a few bits of twig in there. I haven’t seen that before. It was probably 30% twigs and 70% leaves. Now if only I knew what it tasted like. :( I’m a bad swap buddy.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 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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