517 Tasting Notes

50

I went to my Dad’s house for Thanksgiving this year. His wife, my stepmother, offered me a selection of Republic of Tea teabags. I chose this Ginger Peach green tea. It is a bagged tea, so my expectations weren’t that high to start with.

But honestly, it’s not bad. It’s not fresh, and it has that off taste of non-authentic Americanized bottled green tea. But I’ve had worse. My biggest complaint is that there’s no string!!! How do you steep a teabag with no string?!

It was kind of inconvenient. But not as inconvenient as the cup of tea on the table became. Apparently, it was blocking my boyfriend’s view when we played the Mexican Train Game. So he blamed the tea when he lost. Hahahahaa! [Insert evil maniacal laugh here].

Anyway, back to the tea. I steeped it in almost boiled water for somewhere around 1.5-3 minutes. I’m not very precise without my tea paraphernalia. The liquor was an orange-tinted, dirty brown color. It smelled and tasted mostly of peach. Not much ginger, which is a good thing. The ginger stayed subtle and paired well with the tea base.

It’s not the best example of green tea, but it’ll get you through the day. If it were on Netflix, I’d give it 3 stars.

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30

This is my first yerba mate. I only used 1 tsp in 8 oz. of water because I read that online somewhere for steeping instructions. I’m not sure if it would be better or not with more leaf. It definitely isn’t too watery.

But that’s probably because I’m tasting A LOT of banana in this cup. I don’t really like banana flavorings, let alone in tea. I believe I’ve said this before. I also am left wondering what yerba mate really tastes like. All I can think of is…tea. Hello, Captain Obvious! But alas, descriptive words are eluding me today.

I’m not getting much in the way of cherry either. I think I’d like a pure cherry flavored yerba mate over this. Overall, I don’t fault the tea as much as I fault my own taste buds. I’m afraid the last few 52teas blends have been a bust. This is just not my thing. But if you like banana, this is your tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

I am pretty sure that I’ve some unflavored yerba mate around here somewhere, if you’d like to try some. Drop me a PM with your shipping information, and I’ll send some out to you… it won’t be immediately, because I’m in the middle of a huge shipping commitment, but, sometime mid-week next week? Let me know!

CHAroma

That’s so generous! Thank you!

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89

The first time I tried Tie Guan Yin, it was while I was watching my boyfriend play Dark Souls on PS3. Just tasting this tea made me think about that game, hahaha.

Anyway, this is a really good oolong. It’s not quite as tasty as Life In Teacup’s version, but it’s pretty close. The aftertaste is just as yummy as the tea itself.

The leaves came a little crushed though. I think they vacuum packed the sample too tightly. But it did come in the most beautiful little packet I’ve ever seen! So colorful with a gorgeous bird on it. Crushed leaves nonetheless, it still brewed a delicious cup. And it holds up to multiple infusions really well too.

This tea is like a meal. Lipsmacking good!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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28

Well, I’m sorry to say it, but 52teas has finally disappointed me. 1 ounce? Really? Sure, it’s a white tea, and white tea leaves tend to be big and long and take up a lot of room. But does that mean you use half as much to brew a cup? Nope. In fact, most people see how big the leaves are and put too few in their strainer, thus creating a weak cup and furthering the misconception that white tea is tasteless water.

I mean, I get 2 ounces of honeybush and even 1.5 ounces of the Very Important Tea that costs an extra $6. But for my regular $9/week tea I only get 1 ounce??! That’s not really acceptable to me, especially because these white tea leaves are diced into little tiny, unrecognizable pieces.

But maybe I’m being too critical. Hold on, what’s that funky smell in my kitchen? What did the boyfriend cook for dinner last night? I should take the trash out and clean the litter box. Oh wait, that aroma is coming from this tea!! Eeek! What could it be? The kiwi? The tequila flavor?

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be complaining that I only got 1 ounce of this. It’s not so great. The strawberry tastes like overly sweetened strawberry puree. The kiwi doesn’t really taste like real kiwi to me. The white tea is indistinguishable from the other flavors, unless it’s that funk. But I think the funk is probably coming from the “tequila flavoring,” whatever that is.

I thought I was going to love this. Bai Mu Dan is one of my top favorite teas in the world. I know its flavor very well. But I don’t detect that lovely flavor anywhere near my cup. :( I’m sad. I wish I didn’t have to write about such disappointment, especially since it’s the first review of this tea.

Don’t let my pessimism deter you! I gave it to my boyfriend to try and he said, “Mmm, it’s very good. First thing I noticed was how good it smells. Fruity. I really like it.” So clearly, this just isn’t my cup of tea. But it could be yours!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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33

Wow, this is definitely a mint tea! And that’s pretty much it. The mint obliterates any flavor of green tea.

It’s not that this is a bad tea per say. It’s kind of like Lipton black tea. It’s great when you think that’s all there is. But once you taste some high quality loose leaf teas, there’s just no going back.

What is this? A full 60-90 seconds after the sip, I get a faint, vegetal, green tea aftertaste. So strange.

If you were dying for tea, this might tide you over. But it’s not something I’d stock up on.

EDIT: I drank the bagged version by the way. It was a sample from an awesome co-worker! :)

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

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92

This pretty much tastes exactly like all the other White Peony teas I’ve tried. And that’s a very good thing, because I’ve loved all the other White Peony teas I’ve tried.

This is fantastic and remains one of my top favorites. But the best part is, it’s the cheapest iteration of Bai Mu Dan I’ve found!!! Samovar is a whopping $12 per ounce. Adagio is $5 per ounce. But Teavivre? It’s less than $2 per ounce!!!!!!!!!!!

Simply amazing! I’m definitely a Teavivre convert.

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

Teavivre does have some amazing prices. :D

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51
drank Butter Pecan Black Tea by 52teas
517 tasting notes

The black tea base is very smooth, no bitterness or astringency in the least. But I’m not getting much else in the way of flavor. Perhaps that’s because this is a rather old blend. Still, it’s too bad the flavors didn’t last. It sounds like this was a good one.

Second steep yields a tiny hint of vanilla, but still no pecan. Pity.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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58

This tea has me a little frightened. It’s a honeybush, which I hear is very similar to rooibos. Rooibos and I don’t get along. I knew there was a probable chance of receiving a honeybush blend with my 52teas Tea of the Week Plan. But I also had heard so many good reviews of 52teas that I figured it was worth the risk.

And overall, I’m a very happy customer. All their blends are unique and delicious. And I’ve found while perusing my credit card statement that I’ve bought a lot more than just the 6 teas that came with my subscription.

But enough stalling. On to the honeybush tea! The dry leaves smell of raspberry and banana and slightly medicinal. The brewed tea aroma is still raspberry, but the medicinal quality has gotten stronger. I feel dread as I sniff the aroma. I want to like this; I do! But I’m not so sure…

Okay, time to sip it…Wow, actually I mostly just taste raspberry with an aftertaste of banana. Thank God! I really thought this was going to be awful (no offense to 52teas). With the second sip, I’m convinced that 52teas could blend just about anything and make it wonderful!

I mean really, I don’t even particularly like raspberry or banana-flavored things. And don’t get me wrong, the tea nails these flavors. Yet somehow, I find myself enjoying the cup. Insanity. Simply insanity. What is this world coming to?

That being said, if anyone would like a sample, I’m more than happy to share.

Did I mention that 52teas has done a popular tea revival? Check out their in stock blends to see a couple favorites return to your life. The world is a happier, brighter place with their rebirth.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Mercuryhime

I learned to like honeybush because of 52teas. I am wary of banana flavored things since they just taste weird to me. I would like to try this and see how Frank dies banana. Perhaps a swap?

Ninavampi

I am sooo happy about the revival! I put in a second order of pancake and ordered 2 cinnamon roll expecting to love it!

Also, I would love to try the raspberry banana. I would love to swap if there is anything I have that you might like! Also, if you are willing to deal with the whole me being so far away thing…

TeaBrat

@Ninavampi – I went to the 52 teas website and did not see any cinnamon roll. where are you finding yours?

CHAroma

You have to click the In Stock! button, not the Most Recent Creations button. Here’s a link: http://www.52teas.com/in-stock/

Ninavampi

@Amy oh – Yep! CHAroma is right. I found it there : ). Right now there are still 10 Cinnamon Roll and 7 Pancake.

TeaBrat

found it, thanks!

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59
drank Sweet Autumn Tea by Lupicia
517 tasting notes

It’s an amazing tea that can overcome my strong dislike of red rooibos. I’m impressed with this.

It’s super sweet even sans additions, and I usually like overly sweet concoctions. The flavor is strongly chestnut and sweet potato. I’m not getting much in the way of pumpkin, or at least not the way I’m used to tasting pumpkin in drinks.

In something like a Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, it’s a lot of spice and milk and espresso. There’s very little actual pumpkin flavor, or maybe I should say authentic pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin that’s in this tea is more like slicing open a baked pumpkin and digging in. More natural and less processed.

The taste lingers long into the aftertaste too. This is a really nicely balanced cup of tea. The flavors mesh well together.

Yum! I’m liking this tea! It does still have a little bit of that red rooibos quality I don’t like. So, I won’t be placing an order. But I am enjoying my cup, and that’s saying a lot right there.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Spiced Apple Chai by Adagio Teas
517 tasting notes

I made this as a chai tea latte in the morning, and again as a regular brewed tea in the afternoon. No additions at first, then a little bit of sweetener.

It was still really good, but I definitely prefer it as a tea latte. Still couldn’t really taste the apple either. I suppose this should be upsetting or disappointing. After all, it is an apple chai. But I really enjoy it anyway, sans apple flavor.

I also recently put in an order to Lupicia that included their apple green tea called Tsugaru Green. That’s where I’ll get my apple tea kick!

So, I’m perfectly fine with enjoying this tea as a chai and nothing more. Call me silly. I don’t know. But I’m a happy camper, and that’s what matters most, right? :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Ninavampi

I love this tea plain with sugar or sweetener. As long as you don’t over steep it it tastes a lot like apple cider (it’s just missing a bit of sourness). I will have to try it with milk at some point…

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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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