509 Tasting Notes

52
drank Black Night by Red Leaf Tea
509 tasting notes

Boy is my kitty glad to be back home with me. This is the first time I’ve ever had to board him in 8 years. He hated it! They said he wouldn’t let anyone near him and would just growl. Poor baby probably thought I had abandoned him! But now he’s finally home, and he’s a happy kitty, following me around, purring, and sleeping on my lap. :) Here he is being cute and stretching at the top of the stairs (one of his favorite spots): http://instagram.com/p/YtH7Z_F-rJ/

Many thanks to Indigobloom for this sample! I tried it once before but hadn’t made my mind up about it. I used less leaf this time around, probably about 1.5 tsp. I also did a shorter steep at 2 minutes and added a splash of skim milk immediately after brewing. No sweetener though.

Hmm, this is interesting. It’s much quieter than I remember and definitely no longer heavy. A soft, whispering tea on a cloudy day. I feel like I could take a nap after drinking it, LOL! The bergamot and citrus have faded away probably due to age. It’s also worth noting that again, this tea has oddly no aftertaste whatsoever. The flavor is only apparent while it’s still in my mouth. So strange.

I added the rest of the sample to the second infusion hoping to get more life out of the leaves. That just made this note a SIPDOWN! ;) This steep had probably about 2.5-3 tsp infusing for 2.5 minutes. I added milk again and waited impatiently for it to cool enough to drink. Hmm, it’s still pretty lackluster in the flavor department.

This isn’t the most exciting tea, but it is good. My rating reflects its appeal to my tastes and the leaves’ ability to hold flavor over time. Thanks again to Indigobloom!!!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

adorable kittie!! :P

Kittenna

Agreed!

CHAroma

Thanks! :)

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81

I’M BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!! As a married woman!!!!!! :D

The wedding day was absolutely perfect! It was a whirlwind of a day, and already I can feel the details slipping. All I remember is marrying my best friend and soul mate, supported by our closest friends and relatives. It was a beautiful sunny day filled with unbelievable food, great live music, and the most beautiful floral arrangements I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe it’s actually over! So much buildup and now it’s in the past. I CAN’T WAIT to get back the video and photos. I’ll be sure to post some in case anyone is interested. For now, all I have is our engagement photos, which you can see here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/finally-our-engagement-photos-yay-pic-heavy

We took a mini-moon the week after the wedding. We spent 2 nights at a local B&B in Newport, RI and then 3 days/2 nights in New York City. It was a blast! We saw The Phantom of the Opera, which was the hubby’s first Broadway show. :) We had lunch at the best restaurant in the whole city, Bouley, and then went shopping on Fifth Avenue. I, of course, stopped by DAVIDsTEA on Bleecker Street and picked up some more samples. I also found a delightful surprise in Bergdorf Goodman: Mariage Freres!!! WHAAAAT??! Yep, I bought my first ever Mariage Freres tea, Marco Polo. I also discovered a new-to-me tea company called Bellocq Tea Atelier. So, I grabbed a sampler of 8 of their blends too. Like I needed any more tea, right?

Well, my dear husband has decided that he wants to start drinking tea on a more regular basis!!! I’M SO EXCITED! Now I get to teach him all I know about tea!!!! Okay, well I suppose I shouldn’t come on too strong or he’ll just hate it, LOL! He bought a black Perfect Tea Mug with infuser and lid from DAVIDsTEA. Quite the minimalist, but now his tea journey can officially begin! Hehehe!

I’m going to try and spend most of today drinking down some old swap samples. I have some that date back to 2011! With all these new teas being added to the cupboard, I’ve got to make some room. Here come the tasting notes!!!

ON TO THE TEA:

I received this tea just before Halloween last year from Indigobloom. That makes this swap sample only about 6 months old. :P Hey, I’ve been busy! LOL! I’m finally brewing this one up, and I’m excited about it. All the reviews to-date have been glowing.

Oops, accidently sloshed a bunch of tea on myself in my haste to raise the cup to my lips. :( What a pain. Well, after running upstairs to change, I can now sit down and enjoy this tea. :) Mmmmm! This is great! It’s not very green or grassy like the other Chinese Dragonwell teas I’ve tried. Instead, it’s very softly green. Not in-your-face chlorophyll.

Bigger sips bring in more of the vegetal grassiness. Smaller sips bring in the roast-y toast-y elements. There are also caramel notes here, and am I detecting a nuttiness? Something akin to pistachio I think, though it’s very light. Yum! I’m not getting any spun sugar sadly, but that could be attributed to age. This is unlike any other unflavored green I’ve tried, and I’m really enjoying it! Big thanks to Indigobloom for the sample!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Sil

WOOT! congrats! Love teh engagement photos too :) sounsd like you and hubby had a great time on your mini honeymoon

Mercuryhime

What lovely photos! So happy for you!

CHAroma

Thanks, Sil & Mercuryhime! It was a blast! I’ve been decompressing all day, drinking tea and writing notes. It was super fun but super exhausting too. :)

Ysaurella

congratulations for wedding and beautiful engagement pics :)
Vive les Mariés !

Indigobloom

awww yay!! Congrats!
Sadly, I’ve found that age has broken down my spun sugar in this one. I guess it needs to be fresh! I even had it in a tin :(

Kittenna

Eee, congrats, and lovely photos! Definitely post when you get the wedding pics back :D

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79

Today was a very exciting and productive day! I’m now only 6 days away from my wedding day!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeehhhh!!!

I picked up my wedding dress, put together the table numbers, made our initials out of moss to hang on the front doors of the reception venue, made a long list of all the things we need to remember to pack, and picked up Tiffany necklaces (and one bracelet) for my bridesmaids! :D I am SOO excited!!! I’ve been waiting for this day my ENTIRE life, and now it’s finally almost here!

I decided to celebrate my productiveness with a hard earned cup of green tea. My skin is rebelling and a couple large pimples have cropped up over the last couple days. Agh! Here’s to hoping the green tea works some sort of magic and speeds up their healing. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m all ears!! (I popped them, cleaned them out with hydrogen peroxide, and then put a dab of Neosporin on them).

But I digress. ON TO THE TEA!

The dry leaf aroma is just that. Dry. It smells like a dry generic green tea. The leaves themselves are dark green, almost black, with white tips. The brewed tea aroma is a lot more artichoke-y then I would have expected from the dry leaf aroma.

The taste is very nice! It’s sweet and green, but much less artichoke-y than the aroma. My kitty seemed interested for a couple seconds but didn’t lick it, thank goodness. I don’t need his kitty germs. :P Back to the flavor, it sits slightly heavy on the tongue. It doesn’t have that clean, refreshing quality that I’ve come across in other Chinese and Taiwanese green teas. It also doesn’t seem to have any smokey elements to it, which I’ve definitely tasted before in the Bi Luo Chun variety.

Overall, it’s good. But it’s not my favorite. I’ll still drink another infusion though. ;) Oh, and thanks to Nuvola Tea for the free sample!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Just want to wish you an awesome wedding day!! I hope it ends up beings loads of fun, and I expect details via tasting notes in the future! :)

CHAroma

:) Thanks, Kittenna! It was a PERFECT day!! I’ll definitely be doing some posts about it in the future. Can’t WAIT to get back the video and photos. :D

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91

Big thanks to Momo for this glorious sample of Classic Apple Pie from Della Terra Teas!!! This sample came at the perfect time. I am so stressed out from wedding stuff!!!! I went to try on my wedding dress today. It was supposed to be 100% done, no more alterations, pack it up and let’s go get married! Instead, I put it on and it’s soooo tight on my back. Uncomfortably tight. Like my back is squishing out over the dress in a very non-pretty way. And it’s looser in the waist…wtf happened?!

I went for lunch for 2 hours while they did some more alterations: letting out the back and taking in the waist. I mean, does anyone else find that weird? How could my back get bigger while my waist gets smaller? I’ve been working out like a fiend, so the only thing I can think of is that my back muscles must be larger. I mean, they really don’t look larger and I still can’t do a single pull up despite all my efforts. I don’t know. I called my mom freaking out and she just laughed because apparently she had the exact same thing happen to her a week before she married my dad. They had to let out the top of her dress and take it in at the waist. So, I guess like mother like daughter. It’s still bizarre though.

Anyway, I tried on the dress two hours later and it’s definitely better. I was so stressed though that I don’t think I really looked at myself. I just feel like there’s still so many things I would change about the dress, but we’re out of time. Honestly, I probably won’t feel good about it until it’s my wedding day and the dress fits and I’m married and it’s all over.

Okay, that was a really long rant. ON TO THE TEA!!!

This was exactly what I needed right now. Apple pie is total comfort food. It’s one of my favorite foods and I wait for it every year (we usually have it at either Thanksgiving or Christmas, both if I get lucky). I added Truvia and a splash of unsweetened almond milk. YUM! This tea is amazing! The black base is fairly quiet and non-descript. It’s the perfect backdrop for the other flavors I think. The spices are low key and not in-your-face or overdone. There’s a sweetness like cinnamon filling drizzled with caramel sauce. And then there’s the apple of course. Juicy, naturally sweet apple. Mmmm! This is delicious! Oh man, I’m going to go make another cup right away. There’s no way one cup is enough. Thank goodness for this tea and thank goodness for Momo!!! You’re a lifesaver!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Josie Jade

Oh, I feel for you. I was a wedding planner for 4+ years and I’m sure all the wedding craziness is setting in right about now. Try to relax and just enjoy the day! As long as you end up married the wedding will be a success. :)

momo

You’re so welcome! I’m sorry it took so long, I was losing my mind last week, but it definitely sounds like they got there at the perfect time!

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90
drank Organic Mao Jian by Butiki Teas
509 tasting notes

I brewed another cup of this tonight because I enjoyed it so much two days ago. My fiancé came in the room complaining of a headache, so I suggested he have some tea. You know men, when they don’t feel well they act like they’re dying.

He did the whole sick voice thing, “Maybe I’ll have some tea.”

“Okay, what kind of tea do you want?” I asked.

“Green tea.”

Lucky for him, I had just brewed this up. So, I handed him the steaming cup.

“It’s done already?!” he asked surprised.

LOL! Oh, men. I may not be enjoying this tea tonight, but at least someone is. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

LOL poor boy. hope he feels better soon!

Fjellrev

Haha it’s MAGIC.

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93

I have awaited this day with a quiet reverence. Part of me thought it would never come. But part of me knew to stay faithful. The first re-blended batch sold out in less than 12 hours. But luckily for me, Frank re-blended a second batch. :)

Opening the packet is like opening the first present on Christmas day. Excitement and joy bubble up within me until they overflow with the eager anticipation of this moment. The dry leaves smell amazing! Like blueberry and cream and sugar and heaven. Sweet and fruity and motherwateringly delicious! I set my kettle to boil and measured the leaves into the strainer. Ah, how I love this morning tea ritual.

About three minutes later, I lifted the brewing basket from the cup and inhaled deeply. AAAHH! Oh no!!!! This smells bad. :( It smells like a specific variety of Assam that I really don’t like. Noooooooo! Why did you do it, Frank? I tried a sample of this tea about 9 months ago (generously provided by the lovely Ninavampi), and it definitely didn’t have this base. Ugh, my heart is broken. My perfect Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish tea has been desecrated. :(

Once the cup cooled, I ventured a taste. That awful Assam hits me first. But then up creep the blueberry and the flaky Danish pastry and the creaminess. Maybe this will be okay? Most everyone could enjoy this tea straight, but the Assam is hitting me like a battering ram right between the eyes. So, I went ahead and added a splash of skim milk.

Unfortunately, all that did was tone down the blueberry and make the base even more pronounced. Then I added a tiny bit of Truvia, and now it’s just a cup of sweetened Assam tea. Blech. What total fail. Why do my taste buds have to hate this base? WHY?! I’m going to leave the rating unchanged because that sample was heaven. This cup would probably be rated something more along the lines of a 40. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ball my eyes out.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Aww, I’m so sorry you’re not enjoying this batch. :(

Sil

I’m with you on this one….I can’t believe how awful it is…

Indigobloom

Glad someone else agrees with me on the new base. Sorry it got to you as well :(

Fjellrev

I wonder if both batches taste the same. I also wonder which one I have if it would make a different. I ordered on March 20th, and personally love it, and the old one I had from last year too. Hmm.

Lindsey

This explains why I was so let down by this one – the reviews were awesome, but I just didn’t get it. But knowing they were for a different base… it makes so much more sense.

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90
drank Organic Mao Jian by Butiki Teas
509 tasting notes

I have a major case of the munchies tonight. And I’m doing everything I can not to munch, LOL! So, it’s tea time!!! Somehow, I missed trying this tea when I bought a boatload of Butiki Teas a few months ago. Whoops! Well, I get to try it now! :)

Even after all this time, the dry leaves still smell very green. They’re long, paper thin, crispy, dark green curls. The brewed tea aroma is rich, buttery vegetables. Yummy! I’m not gonna’ lie, I used more leaf than was recommended. I do it every time! I can’t help myself! I just love strong tea. ;)

And this certainly is strongly flavored! Well, it’s unflavored but it has a lot of flavor. You know what I mean! :P Gosh, I sure do love smiley faces today. I guess I’m just happy and in the mood to emote! The wedding is swiftly approaching, and I’m getting more and more excited with each passing day. It’s going to be AMAZING! Probably more amazing than this tea, although this tea is pretty darn good.

I’m so impressed with Butiki Teas. The lowest rating of the thirteen teas I tried was 72. The average rating was 83. Five teas scored in the 90s, and one tea even got a 100! This tea is remarkable and uber delicious. I love the butteriness. I haven’t eaten real butter in about 4 weeks. So, this tastes almost forbidden. ;)

Mmmm, it’s almost creamy but not quite. Buttery is a better description. And it is sweet too. I love sweet! Fresh, crisp vegetables dripping hot butter. YUM! I love this! Go get some Butiki Teas right now. Seriously, you will not be disappointed. Flavored or unflavored. White, green, black, or oolong. They’re all amazing!!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

Who would have thought that describing tea as fresh, crisp veggies dripping with hot butter would be so intriguing.

CHAroma

Hehe, thanks! :)

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50
drank Daydreamer by DAVIDsTEA
509 tasting notes

Oh, wedding planning just never calms down, does it? There’s too much to do!!!

I need some tea. So, I reached for this free sample I received from DAVIDsTEA. The dry leaves smell strongly of guava candy. Like super sugary guava. The brewed tea aroma is guava and mango and a little more subdued.

The ingredient list says that this guava flavoring is artificial. That’s a mild disappointment. But what’s more disappointing is the taste. This tea tastes like a low-grade bancha with very little fruit flavoring. It actually reminds me of some low quality bagged green teas I used to drink before I found loose-leaf.

For all that sugary aroma, this is fairly bland and leans towards the bitter side. Unfortunately, this tea has artificial additives and you can really tell. Thank goodness this was only a sample. I am not a fan.

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

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81
drank Honeydew Mate by DAVIDsTEA
509 tasting notes

In exactly three weeks at precisely this time, I will be a newly married woman! I can’t believe the wedding is so close. I’ve waited my whole life for this moment, and now it’s almost here! Eeeeeeehhh!!!

Well, on to the task at hand. This was a free sample with my latest DAVIDsTEA order. I recently broke my favorite travel mug: a double-walled glass tumbler from DAVIDsTEA. Luckily, it was in stock on the website! So, I was able to buy a replacement immediately. While I was at it, I figured I might as well pick up some tea! Shhh, just don’t tell the fiancé. I’m technically not allowed to buy any more tea. :P But I only picked up a small package of Love Tea #7, so my stash hasn’t noticeably grown. ;)

I don’t usually like mate all that much, but I’m willing to give this one a go! The dry leaf of this sample smells sweetly of honeydew melon. The brewed tea aroma is a nice combination of honeydew and mate. First sip is surprisingly yummy! It’s juicy and flavorful and reminds me of a Honeydew Skittle. Mmm, those tropical Skittles are so yummy.

Anyway, this is a really lovely tea. The green rooibos helps even out the mate. The melon flavor tastes true and authentic, not artificial at all. Of course, I am comparing the honeydew taste to Skittles, which isn’t the most dependable comparison. But I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten a real honeydew melon before. So, it’s all I’ve got!

I am pleasantly surprised by this tea. The only negative I can think of is that with each sip, I seem to feel the caffeine hit my system. It’s an impact that first strikes my soft palette and then moves up into my head. It’s an odd sensation but tolerable. Thanks to DAVIDsTEA for the free sample!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Super exciting! Good luck with all the last minute preparations.

Ellyn

GOOD LUCK with wedding stuff!! also, this tea is GREAT

Gabriela

Have fun on your wedding!! Congrats.

Kittenna

Yay, hope all goes well! My friend is getting married in three weeks in Mexico, and my sister in 3.5 weeks (not in Mexico, haha). So I will be very much in the wedding spirit at the same time as you (although hopefully much less stressed?)

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51

Life has been brutal. My fiancé was diagnosed with a disease last week. His treatment plan is intense for the next 8 weeks…and our wedding is only 7 weeks away. I feel sad and angry and frustrated and defeated. His health is the #1 priority. I suggested we postpone the wedding so he can concentrate on getting better. He doesn’t want to postpone because he’s worried about the money we’ve invested. I’m a lot less worried about money and a lot more worried about him getting better. There’s just no good option, and I feel powerless.

On to the tea, which was a free sample from Nuvola Tea. I apologize it’s taken me so long to get around to tasting it. This tea appears to be everything anyone could want from an Oriental Beauty Taiwanese oolong. Sadly, my heart isn’t in it and this has always been one of my least favorite varieties.

I’ve known that there’s been something wrong for a while. I think he has too. But we’ve just been in denial. It’s easier to ignore than to deal with. I apologize for hijacking this tasting note with sadness and bad news. It truly is a great tea: woodsy, dark, a little nutty, and a little spicy. I’m sure others would really enjoy it. It’s just not meant to be for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I’m so sorry to her about your fiance. :( That sounds so stressful, I hope he recovers soon!

Indigobloom

BIG HUGS
That is distressing news, I’m so very sorry to hear it.

Bonnie Oh no. I pray for peace were there seems to be none,and that your love will help the physical healing come quickly.
Fjellrev

I am so sorry. :( I will keep my fingers crossed that his treatment will be successful.

Kittenna

Oh no, that’s terrible CHAroma! I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m hoping that whatever disease he has is fully curable. I completely agree that his health is worth more than any money you’ll lose from postponing the wedding, but understand how tough something like that would be. Please keep us updated :(

CHAroma

Thanks for the love and support, everyone. Last week was pretty brutal, but this week has been much better. Unfortunately, we found out that his illness is chronic. So it’s only treatable, not curable. :( But the good news is that he’s doing great and we decided not to postpone the wedding! I’m confident that he can beat this and life will eventually become almost normal again. I appreciate you guys so much. This community has been a life saver for me in so many ways.

Bonnie

Hooray! Getting married is a cure for the heart that is beyond what people imagine. My parents and my brother have had much happiness even through illness. My dad knew my mother would always be sick when they married. He cared for her for over 40 years with great love.

CHAroma

Thanks for the kind words, Bonnie! I hope to be married for over 40 years too. :) I’m so happy to hear that your parents had a long, happy life together.

Bonnie

My mother wasn’t supposed to live as long as she did, which just goes to show you how we never know what the future holds. Love and faith were the center of my parents lives.

canadianadia

I’m happy to hear that your fiance is managing well with the treatments.
Sending you both many wishes for a long, happy, and healthy life together.

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Profile

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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