543 Tasting Notes

96

To go out shopping on Black Friday or not. That is the question. It’s going to be so hard to not spend a lot of money today. My inbox is full of 20% off coupons valid through this weekend only. And of course, all my favorite tea companies are having sales. But seeing as how I just spent over $140 stocking up on my favorite Butiki teas, I really can’t justify buying more tea at the moment.

It took me a while to decide on which tea to drink first. Normally I hoard my favorites but I’m going to enjoy these teas thoroughly. I decided to start with a new one. The leaves were big and dry and hard to measure, so I had to kind of guess at what looked like 2 tsp. The flavor is delicate and lovely. The white tea shines through and leaves me wondering if this is flavored or unflavored because it blends so brilliantly. It’s buttery and creamy most of all.

I love it just the way it is. But I am curious to know how sweetener would change the flavor. Right now I’m not getting much in the way of cookies. So I added a little bit of Truvia and now it’s more reminiscent of sugar cookies. I think this is my third favorite white tea of all time. I love this! It’s so beautiful. Cantaloupe and Cream is only a tiny bit better but it’s also so different that I may like this one more depending on my mood.

Why does Stacy have to close the business? Why?! :( The tea world is going to be a much less tasty place with her gone. I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to enjoy as many of her teas as I have, but it’s still impossible not to be sad devastated that one day soon there will be no more restocking. This was probably my last Butiki order because so many of my favorites are already sold out. I feel like crying, especially because my cup is now empty. :(

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Creamy

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

I was shocked at the amount of Black Friday emails in my inbox this morning. I’m sure it’s dangerous out there!

CHAroma

Luckily for my wallet, I’m too lazy to shower and get dressed. So I think I’ll be skipping all the sales.

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85

I am 32 weeks pregnant. Only 8 weeks left! I can’t believe it. We still have so much to do. I need a nice relaxing cup of tea before I tackle bolting the bookcases to the wall in the nursery. Thanks to Angel from Teavivre for this free sample!

The dry leaf aroma is fresh green oolong and a scent that I love. The brewed tea aroma is even fresher and greener. It’s such a comforting aroma. The tightly rolled leaves have fully unfurled into giant whole leaves with a vibrant green hue. They look like they’ve just been picked off the branch. The liquor is a light golden color.

The flavor is exquisite. It’s vegetal, a tad both floral and nutty, and buttery most of all. As the cup cools, it loses its floral quality somewhat. The second infusion was for 2.5 minutes. It’s similar but not quite as flavorful and a tad astringent. The third infusion was for 4 minutes. It was good but definitely the last cup for me. Overall, this tea is delicious and I can confidently recommend it to others.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Nutty, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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74

I have to say, this tea + agave = DIVINE!

Raising the rating from 70 to 74. Also for some reason I can’t record 1.5 tsp as the amount of tea leaves used. That’s what I did here. This is yummy! There’s only enough left for one more brewing session. Sad. :(

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kittenna

I typically use 1.5tsp of leaves and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t sticking. Once I did, I was irritated, and just don’t fill that out now, unless it’s a different amount (then I mention it in the note).

CHAroma

Yeah, it’s weird. I’m guessing they didn’t program the function to allow for decimal points.

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74

The dry leaf aroma is apples and cinnamon and smells delicious! Mmm! The leaves are finely minced and there are huge chunks of freeze-dried apples. The flavor is mostly fresh-cut juicy apple. I can barely taste the cinnamon, which isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. The tea base is light and airy and a tiny bit hay-like. The oolong does give a certain quality that’s reminiscent of oatmeal. The flavor hints at a grainy component without being a direct correlation.

This is also definitely not a sweet tea. You’d have to add sweetener to get that. I enjoyed a second infusion at 180 degrees for 6 minutes. Overall, this is a good tea. Not something that will sock you in the mouth with flavor but it’s not too light either. The aroma is definitely the best part for me. It smells exactly like hot cinnamon apples from a pie.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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59

I’ve had a really crappy day. I decided I needed some tea. I made this one. It’s very underwhelming. The dry leaf aroma is weird. Strong and weird.

The brewed tea aroma is reminiscent of butterscotch but just barely. The flavor is white tea. Umm, where’s the flavoring? There’s maybe a tiny hint of something like a cross between butterscotch and buttercream frosting. But it’s very light and there’s no toffee to speak of. This is probably 95% white tea and 5% flavoring. Boo.

Maybe my sour mood is making me overly negative about this tea or maybe I’m describing it perfectly. I can enjoy it as a white tea, but nothing more than that. Add this to the laundry list of bad things going on for me right now. *Sigh. As a white tea, I’d rate it about 78. As a flavored white tea, I’d rate it about 40. So average the two and that’s how I got to this rating.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
LiberTEAS

I just brewed this today and I used the same temperature as you but steeped it 2 minutes longer. I have a really good flavor with mine. I’m sorry that you had a poor experience with yours. :(

Kittenna

Hmm. I’ll have to try brewing mine a bit longer. I also didn’t get much flavour. Sigh.

CHAroma

Hmm, I tried it again today with a 4 minute infusion. It still mostly tastes like white tea to me. The flavoring is definitely stronger now but it also doesn’t taste like buttercream icing or toffee (IMO). It tastes vaguely sweet and otherwise unidentifiable.

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93
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
543 tasting notes

Caramel Apple Oolong, how have I not tried you yet?? After forgetting about this tea in my cupboard for 7 months, it’s calling my name today. The dry leaf aroma was at first bittersweet chocolate, but that dissipated and now all I smell is caramel. Odd. Maybe it was my imagination (or maybe it’s because I stored it next to a chocolate tea) because the brewed tea aroma is just apples and caramel.

First sip! Well, I am not disappointed. This does indeed taste like a caramel apple, or as close to it as tea can get. The oolong base is very nice here. It adds a butteriness that makes the caramel richer. The apple is equally present and lends a certain acidity to the tea that confirms “this is apple” without being overwhelming. Mmmm, this is sooo good! I guess age hasn’t harmed this one since it was still sealed.

I love this tea. I love how teas like this exist. The world became such a more magical place since I’ve discovered the broad range of teas out there. I think my blood must be English because I do enjoy my tea time thoroughly. Teas are also a lot like books. They can transport you somewhere else. They can be comforting, enticing, stimulating, or calming. Tea is an adventure! I love tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Yay for tea!

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60

I got a sample sachet of this from my apartment complex. It was fully exposed to the air for about two weeks. Whoops. Well from the aroma of the dry leaf, it doesn’t seem to have affected it. I infused this for three minutes, which was probably longer than I should have. The liquor is very dark red. The brewed tea aroma is recognizably pumpkin spice and red rooibos.

Now I don’t really like red rooibos. So take my opinion on this tea with a grain of salt. This is ok. The aftertaste is strongly medicinal. The spice comes across well as does the pumpkin flavor. I think most people would probably enjoy this a lot. It definitely strikes me as a well-blended pumpkin spice tea. I just can’t get past the rooibos base to want more of this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tealizzy

This one does best with a 2-minute steep with some brown sugar and a splash of milk! I haven’t picked up any this year yet, but if I make it over to TJ’s, I will. :)

CHAroma

I still found it drinkable, which is saying a lot for me and rooibos. And I’m surprised that it held up so well despite being exposed to air for so long.

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89

The dry leaf aroma is scrumptious! I’ve let this one sit in my cupboard for a long time. It’s way past due that I try it. The verdict? Mmm, this is really delicious! It’s a soft green tea with light blueberry and cream flavors. If I try really hard, I can imagine a baked pastry flavor too. But mostly that’s my imagination as this is a soft, creamy, blueberry tea at best.

It goes along with my snack of roasted squash seeds very nicely too. This tea is honestly exactly what I wanted right now: something creamy with a green base. I can’t believe how tasty this is. The blueberry adds a subtle sweetness, which made me wonder. So I added a tiny amount of Truvia out of curiosity. I think it’s probably better without, at least for the first infusion.

I am definitely enjoying the green version of this more than the black. Frank was on to something when he made this. The flavors play off each other nicely. This is a time when I’m really glad that I have two ounces. I’ve already given away a few samples of this in swaps, and I think I’ll greedily keep the rest for myself. ;)

Flavors: Blueberry, Creamy

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
543 tasting notes

I made this again today. First steep for 4 minutes, second steep for 6 minutes. I added Truvia and skim milk to both infusions. Honestly, this was really enjoyable today! It’s smooth and creamy and uber delicious. It still doesn’t really strike me as a chai, but it’s great for what it is. Go for a longer infusion with this one because that definitely makes it tastier. I will thoroughly enjoy the rest. Raising the rating from 78 to 82.

Flavors: Creamy

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
543 tasting notes

52teas has officially changed their business model! They now offer all their teas in 0.5 oz. non-resealable packages. I think it kind of sucks that these pouches don’t have zippers, but I do like that I can now buy smaller quantities of tea. As Frank said when he released the news, we all have cupboards that are overflowing with too much tea! He’s also charging for shipping now. Each half ounce of tea costs $3.99 plus $2.00 shipping. So in total, we’re getting much less tea at a higher cost. That part bites. I used to pay $9 for 1-2 ounces of tea (usually 2). Now I’m paying $6 for 0.5 ounce of tea. Boo! Well, that’s the price of convenience I guess. Okay, enough about that.

ON TO THE TEA!

First note! Woot! The dry leaf aroma is very aromatic and spicy. The brewed tea aroma is still spicy but less so. Hmm, I don’t think I steeped this long enough. While it’s still steaming hot, it’s pretty tasteless. I added some Truvia and once the cup cooled, I got a slightly creamy slightly spicy taste. The flavors are very soft and not what I’d expect from a chai tea at all.

I decided to re-steep the leaves for 5.5 minutes. This cup is similar but maybe a little more flavorful. I added Truvia again, and I am enjoying this cup. It’s good, not amazing. I’m definitely glad I don’t have two ounces of it. Is that too harsh to admit? It’s not incredibly pumpkin-y or spicy for that matter. I think I prefer other vendors’ Pumpkin Chai teas. This is pretty calm in comparison but drinkable. And now my baby is kicking up a storm! Settle down, little one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
LiberTEAS

I like that if you buy 3 pouches you get the fourth free.

Kittenna

Eeee, so excited to read that you are preggers! Also, glad I didn’t pick up this tea (although perhaps it will show up in the 12 Teas of Christmas).

Tea Sipper

Yeah, I was trying not to do the math with the new prices. :/ Also, no zippe pouches? The pouches they used before were perfect!

Kittenna

Wait. Non-re sealable? That’s horrible.

52teas

I am working on sourcing some re-sealable pouches. We will have some.

Kittenna

Glad to hear. I much prefer resealable pouches.

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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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