514 Tasting Notes

79

Sipdown #31

I saved a tiny bit of this tea for my husband. He tried it last night and said it reminded him of sushi. How is my husband so smart? This tea does have a briny, seaweed taste to it!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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76
drank White Ginger Pear by Tea Forte
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #32

No matter how hard I try, my cupboard always seems to be at 180 teas. *Sigh. Well, all I can do is carry on! This tea is juicy and delicious! It has very little ginger. The aroma is candied pears, but the flavor is more natural pear with a touch of lemon. I think if it had a tiny bit more ginger, it would be much improved.

The ginger is coming out more at the end of the sip now that I’m halfway through the cup. But the predominant flavor is juicy, sweet pear. Like those Dole cups of diced pears in natural juices. No sugar added. ;) I can understand how this won an award. The flavors are delicately balanced. This is super yummy!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

The dry leaf aroma has bite! It’s spicy and pumpkin-y and downright scrumptious smelling! The brewed tea aroma is calmer and the taste is calmer still. Don’t get me wrong; this is tasty! But I wish the taste had the same bite as the dry leaf aroma.

The green base comes through strong and in the forefront of the sip. It’s not thickly grassy as I would expect a dragonwell to be, but that’s actually to my advantage. Next comes the pumpkin spiciness (think Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with nutmeg). And at the end of the sip, there’s a sweet, caramel-like, toffee finish. This is delicious! Not quite as potent as I’d like the flavors to be but delicious nonetheless.

I know this isn’t a cheesecake tea…but I swear I can detect tanginess too. Overall, I’m not floored by this blend as I have been in the past with some 52teas’ creations. However, I’ll happily drink the rest of this and even share it with my husband. I have a feeling this is exactly the type of tea he’d love. Green teas are his favorite. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

This was one I was curious about but I’m mostly off of 52 teas now until frank gets back to what hews a producing earlier. Too many disappointments lately :(

CHAroma

Aww, well I’d be happy to send you a sample if you’d like to try it. It’s a lightly flavored tea, similar to the gentle way Stacy from Butiki flavors her teas. The base is really nice too, so at the very least you’ll enjoy a nice cup of green tea. I don’t need anything in return, and I promise I won’t send you a million samples like last time. ;)

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78
drank China Lychee by Upton Tea Imports
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #33

I’ve had this in my cupboard for over 2 years and never written a note about it. Shame on me! Well, it’s time to turn this poor overlooked tea into a sipdown! I originally received this from Camiah who was my first swap partner on Steepster. Thank you, Camiah!!!

The brewed tea aroma is very strong! The base is Chinese, but that’s all I could find about it. It reminds me of a cross between Assam and Keemun. That is to say, this has an odd, pungent, almost smokey aroma that calms as the cup cools.

Upon sipping it, the initial flavor is the base. Again, it’s a bit strange. I can’t figure out what it is. I guess that’s because I just haven’t had it before! The aftertaste is a lovely, sweet lychee flavor. It’s a tad astringent but tolerably so. No bitterness. The lychee here is delicious! It’s not the best I’ve had but that could easily be attributable to age.

Overall, this is a lovely tea. I’m sorry I neglected it for so long. But I am happy to move on to new tea adventures! I never tire of trying new things. After all, isn’t that what life’s about? And now that my husband enjoys tea too, we can share in the exploration and discovery together. :D

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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40
drank White Ambrosia by Tea Forte
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #34

Hmm, this pretty much just tastes like coconut oil. Upon opening the sample, there was some weird golden fuzz on the outside of the teabag. I’m not sure what that’s about. This tea has a slight acrid aftertaste, and each successive sip grows more astringent than the last.

It’s not going to become one of my favorites, but I’m happy I got the chance to try something new. I had higher expectations of something named ambrosia. Sadly, that’s just a fancy name for a mediocre coconut tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Jasmine Green by Tea Forte
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #35

This isn’t a bad jasmine green tea, but it’s not among the best I’ve tried (I’m looking at you, Verdant & Teavivre). The jasmine is strong and flavorful in the first steep and quieter in the second. The end of the sip leans towards bitterness, so I probably should have used a little cooler water.

I’m also not sure if the bitterness is originating from the jasmine flavoring or the green base. I brewed the second infusion at 180 degrees for four minutes and the bitterness was noticeably less apparent. So, I think it’s safe to say that 185 degrees is just too hot for this particular tea.

This is similar to Tea Forte’s Earl Grey. There’s a harshness to the flavoring that dulls the overall flavor profile, making it flat and one dimensional in the second steep. It doesn’t dance across the tongue. Like I said, overall it’s not bad. But I think I’ll stick to the other jasmine teas I’ve found.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank SBT: Razzleberry by 52teas
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #36

Mmmm, berry delicious! LOL! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’m in a great mood today! I’m finally feeling better. :)

I love 52teas’ Southern Boy Teas’ black base. It’s the perfect base for iced tea. The berry flavor here is perfect too. I should have bought more! I’ve been hanging on to this teabag since it was first released over a year ago. It’s held up nicely though.

This tea is very flavorful with a natural berry sweetness. I think this actually tastes a lot like blue cotton candy. I really like it, as I have pretty much every other SBT I’ve tried. This is another winner!

Preparation
Iced

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76
drank Ginger Lemongrass by Tea Forte
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #37

This tea is definitely all it claims to be. It’s naturally sweet and a tad spicy. I’ve been sick in bed all day and thought this might be gentle on my tummy. Well, I was right! This is an alluring citrusy herbal blend perfect for the evenings, and it’s really hitting the spot nicely.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Earl Grey by Tea Forte
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #38

Sadly, this tea is not that special. It tastes one dimensional and flat and sits thickly on my tongue. I’m sure it doesn’t help that my night has been pretty awful. I’m throwing in the towel. :(

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

Here’s hoping things get better for you.

keychange

^+2. I hope a good night’s sleep makes you feel better.

CHAroma

Thanks. I got a stomach bug out of nowhere, so the past 24 hours hasn’t been very fun.

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59
drank Green Mango Peach by Tea Forte
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #39

I had two sample teabags, so I made them two different ways. The first was 175 degrees for 4 minutes. This produced a cup with very little in the way of mango or peach. If I had to say one of them was in there, I’d pick mango. But mostly, it was really lacking in flavor. This tea may be called Green Mango Peach, but I think it would be more appropriate to name it Green Ginger Mint, as these were the only flavors I could easily identify.

With the second teabag, I tried boiling water for 3 minutes. This produced a much more flavorful cup. I got more mango and peach flavors, while the mint and ginger were still apparent. However, the boiling water turned the tea bitter and astringent. So, I can’t recommend this brewing technique.

Overall, I can’t say I’m impressed with this tea. I tried it two ways and both were underwhelming to me. Oh well. Can’t say I didn’t try!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 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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