517 Tasting Notes

34
drank Lipton Black Tea by Lipton
517 tasting notes

Blech! You call this tea?! This is a sad impression of what could be. (The rhyme was unintentional, sorry).

Forget Lipton and go with Twinings. How could a British tea company get this so wrong? Lipton’s weak, bland flavor just can’t compete with high quality teas. But if you’re in a bind and it’s the only choice so you can get your tea fix, it’ll do.

I mean, come on! It doesn’t even have a name! Hot tea?! That’s not a name! That could be anything!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I only drink this in places like restaurants where this is my only tea option (although lucky I can almost always get green tea- even if it is cheap green dust). It’s ok w/ lemon and/or lime. Certainly better than plain water.

CHAroma

Exactly, I completely agree. But I’d never buy it and put it in my cupboard at home.

Cofftea

Oh no. Well except for possibly for when you’re sick to add ginger and lemon to… those cases just call for something that tastes like tea to serve as a base. But then again I think there are better cheap brands for even that.

Stacy Bunny

You really hit on so many points that also bug me! Twinings is cheap and reliable for a good cuppa, so I don’t understand why restaurants don’t dump the Lipton and carry Twinings. And nothing makes me want to punch people more than when I’m at a restaruant and inquire what type of tea they serve and they just reply “um, hot tea.” THAT NARROWS NOTHING DOWN! But of course they really mean to say Lipton.

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93
drank English Breakfast by Twinings
517 tasting notes

This is what I was raised on. Perfect with cream and sugar, this is something to constantly keep in your cupboard. Thank you, Grandma June, for introducing me to this classic tea!

It can be strong, so I usually don’t steep it as long as others do. It’s so tasty, but be careful you don’t drink too much of the caffeinated version in a short period of time. I made that mistake once and couldn’t figure out why I was shaking. :)

If you’re a fan, you should also try Afternoon Tea and Ceylon Uva (available from Lupicia).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Sakura Vert by Lupicia
517 tasting notes

Sakura Vert is a very pleasant sencha! Normally, I don’t like sencha at all. But this is the best sencha I’ve ever had, including both pure and flavored varieties.

It has a very fresh, clean taste. It’s not overly flavored or spiced. Indeed, the aroma only has a tiny hint of cherry. I almost might not know it’s cherry if the package hadn’t told me so. The flavor of the cherry is quite subtle, which brings out the natural, nice taste of the sencha leaves base. It’s not even the slightest bit bitter!

I really love it! And it has an interesting aftertaste. It sort of prickles the tongue and reminds me of cinnamon. Maybe that’s just my opinion, but I really think this tea is delightful.

The only con is that it’s seasonal, but maybe that’s also its pro and the secret of why it tastes so good.

Now, this review will compare Sakura Vert & Sakurambo Vert, since they’re often confused. Sakura Vert smells and tastes much more like sencha than Sakurambo Vert. Sakurambo Vert has a much heavier flavor of cherry but can also be somewhat bitter. The Sakura Vert is completely different and the cherry flavor is much less present. If you’re a lover of cherry, go with the Sakurambo Vert, which is available year round.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Blue People by Vital Tea Leaf
517 tasting notes

WOW!!! This tea is sensational!

It’s almost impossible to describe, and I don’t see how anyone could dislike it. It has a clean, crisp, sweet flavor going down. But the aftertaste is what’s so fantastic!

The aftertaste is so unique and different from anything else I’ve ever had. It sort of cools your tongue and refreshes your palate, while at the same time being incredibly flavorful and delicious.

I don’t know about the tea being a good alternative to an energy drink. Yes, it has ginseng added to it, but oolong is naturally very low in caffeine. I can drink it right before bedtime and still fall asleep with ease.

It’s pretty expensive as teas go, but it does have a very long shelf life (around 3 years). As with most teas, it’s better the fresher it is. But you can brew the same tea leaves up to seven times! In my opinion, it tastes best on brews 2-5. Funny that the first brew isn’t the best, huh?

But truly, this is a lifetime favorite. Brew it in very little water for 15-30 seconds, and you’ll have magic. Trust me, this tea is worth a trip to a Vital Tea Leaf shop all by itself.

Just don’t buy their Piao I Teapot to brew it in. Yes, it’s so simple and cool. But it breaks really easily after just a few uses. Instead, go for something like Teavana’s Classic Comfort Touch Tea Strainer with lid. You’ll be much happier in the long run, and the large open strainer allows the tea leaves to expand more than a small tea ball would.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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53

The first time I tried this tea more than two years ago, I despised it! I couldn’t stand it! My, how my taste buds have changed in that time.

My impression now is similar to Maeda-en’s other teas. It tastes more standard than premium to me.

Again the tea leaves are chopped too finely. The flavor is still good. It’s an authentic sencha. But I can’t taste any of the matcha notes in it. Overall, I’m underwhelmed.

If you’ve never tried green tea before, this is a good place to start. It’s a cheap way to discover if you’ll like other more robust green teas.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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83
drank Soba Seed Stem by Lupicia
517 tasting notes

The roasted quality of this sobacha is distinctly present but enjoyable.

The green tea base is a very well chosen complement to the soba grains. I only get a hint of that sencha flavor I despise in the aftertaste. And really, even then, it’s so subtle that it adds to the enjoyment of the soba.

The dry tea blend smells like a houjicha. However, the brewed tea has a heavy roasted aroma that’s more like genmaicha than houjicha.

The color of the tea is very light, much lighter than I expected. But it does have a green tea base, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I wish I had written more about what the genmaicha I’ve tried tasted like so I could compare it better.

Overall, this probably isn’t a tea I’d drink all the time. But it’d be fun to have every now and then to shake things up. It is a very distinctive, unique tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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80

This is more of a standard houjicha than a premium to my taste buds. The pro: pure houjicha with no added flavorings.

Yes, it comes in a pyramid shaped bag. But I’ve never been convinced that makes much of a difference. The tea leaves themselves were minced into such tiny pieces, it was like dust. That’s a turn off for me. I think more whole leaves would create a richer flavor in the brewed tea.

If you’ve never had houjicha before, then this is definitely one I would recommend. It’s subtle in flavor and aroma and won’t overwhelm you. It’s nothing like other green teas.

Because the green tea leaves are roasted in houjichas, they have a completely different color and flavor from senchas. So, if you’ve had sencha and despise it (like me), don’t give up on all green teas!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 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).

Location

Maryland, USA

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