865 Tasting Notes

52
drank China Green Tips by Tazo
865 tasting notes

UGH!!! After our 1st cantata performance yesterday I needed some green ginger tea to sooth my throat before the next one and luckily the the Starbucks location I frequent is on the way to the 2nd performance and the only one in the area that carries it. Well… til now. After my order was repeated back to me, I was informed it’s been discontinued. Instead of just driving off, I ordered this instead and was really disappointed. Quite bitter. I’m tempted to call and complain about both issues.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Rob Yaple

That is too bad to hear… I’ve never been a big fan of the Tazo Green Tips. I prefer the “Zen” but even that comes out bitter if the water is too hot :-/

gmathis

Easter musical season … EXHAUSTING! Our church did (and is doing again this year) a Passion Play or musical and it was like a week of Marine boot camp! I’ve lost my chops—-used to be a decent alto, now I waver somewhere between tenor and a hurt hound dog.

Cofftea

gmathis, I’m a 1st soprano and I think I left my voice some place in the ceiling of St. Mark’s Lutheran church. My voice is fine actually, I just feel spacey for some reason.

__Morgana__

Hmm… I’ve steeped this at home using the full leaf bagged version and it wasn’t bitter. Maybe 3 minutes is too long for it, I think I did about a minute and a half.

Networld

what was your water temp during boiling?

Cofftea

Morgana and Networld, as I said in the post I had this @ Starbucks, not at home, so I have no idea what the temp was. Networld, because it was at SBUX, what I do know is it wasn’t boiling (I don’t think they use boiling water for even their blacks)… but if it was, it would have been 212 degrees F. I have little experience w/ Chinese greens so I’m not sure if some of them require boiling water like some Japanese greens or not… since I don’t, I would have erred on the side of caution and not used boiling water anyway. I wish I had known the weight of the bags before steeping.

Networld

Ahh- missed the SB part- yea I"m 90% sure the water was way too hot- Chinese greens are still only 175 I think…certainty not near boiling! Wouldn’t it be neat if a place like SB eventually offered loose leaf teas.

Cofftea

Networld- it was full leaf in sachet (I think if done correctly and enjoyed it would have reinfused extremely well) so that’s just as good. When the quality is this good I just think of the sachet as the steeping vessel:)

Networld

Interesting! I’m gonna have to go check em out now- thanks for the heads up!

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100
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
865 tasting notes

Dirty Chai Mocha Misto!
10 2/3g tea, 4oz water (just below boiling), 4oz cold coffee concentrate, 8oz milk… and yes, I checked to make sure I used the fresh milk=D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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100

After 2 glasses of wine I decided I needed something nurishing so I made this chai style. 1TB leaf steeped in 8oz water for 6min then added 8oz water. Yummm! Very chocolatey and sinful. Suprisingly less bite than Mayan Chocolate Chai although it is still there. Definitely something to try if you like MCC or even if you’re looking for something w/ less of a bite.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

This sounds so interesting I had to order some to try. Haven’t tried it yet. Seems like a love it or hate it thing from the reviews. Really looking forward to giving it a whirl, but I need to sleep tonight. Ah well.

Lori

This is one that I really want to try!

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100
drank Mandarin Matcha by 52teas
865 tasting notes

Mandarin Koicha before my hair appointment! 3.75 grams of matcha and approximately 40 ml (1.3 oz) water, Sorry Frank, but it’s a little gritty and bitter for my taste prepared this way. Quite the flavor punch though! =D

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100
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
865 tasting notes

My daily chai and milk servings! 8g tea, 8oz water, 8oz milk. I can’t wait for Smart Balance to come to WI so I can try it w/ this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Organic Matcha by Den's Tea
865 tasting notes

Ummm… wow… holy crap! If anyone wants to talk at 2am, just gimme call- I’ll be awake!

I love matcha! I also strive to prepare my teas using athentic steeping parameters and teaware. I haven’t really done that w/ matcha though. And, I admit- it’s a money thing. Most of the time I only use one chashaku of matcha and use less or more water (3 or 8oz) depending on if I want it “thick” or “thin”… Well, I’m determined to at least try to transition to more authentic Usucha and Koicha.

I decided to start w/ Usucha (thin tea) prepared with approximately 1.75 grams (amounting to 1.5 heaping chashaku scoop, or about half a teaspoon i.e. level teaspoon) of matcha and approximately 75 ml (2.5 oz). This must be really light matcha cuz it ended up being a crap load of matcha… like 4 or 5 scoops. I can’t quite remember.

The result was a thick, slightly foamy, very dark liquid that is more bitter than most times I enjoy matcha but was the bitterness was balanced perfectly by the sweetness, vegetal notes, and astringency. Now, the question is- will I sleep tonite?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
SoccerMom

I know what you mean about the staying awake part! I have been overdoing it on the black teas a bit and have found myself staring at the bedroom ceiling and thinking about teas and which ones I’m going to order next! I’ve gotta restrain from drinking black teas so late in the afternoon. Otherwise I’ll be giving you a call!:)

Cofftea

I’m actually ok (I have ADHD that’s getting worse as I get older, but it does not seem to be caffeine induced or even affected), but just looking at how much matcha I put in my chawan made me go ooohhh boyyy I can get really shakey and spaced out so I was kinda worried I’d have a heart attack.

SoccerMom

A HEART ATTACK omg!

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96
drank Tencha Chiyo no Sakae by Samovar
865 tasting notes

YAY! MY FIRST SAMOVAR ORDER IS HERE!!! It took forever to get here though! The tracking said it was out for delivery at 7:48am, but didn’t get here til 1:30pm. My UPS guy is normally here ~11.

After forcefully pulling myself away from my (first) yixing pot, I made this. Someone (takgoti?) said that steeping instructions come on the packaging, but I was deeply disappointed that it did not. Also, it’s in a silver bag that is not resealable… bummer… 2 disappointments already and I haven’t even opened it. I went online to contact them, but the only contact info they give there is email and I wanted to drink this now so I looked them up in the yellow pages and called. Meg, the woman I spoke to, said I should steep it using the steeping parameters: 1tsp/160 degrees/1-3min… argh… generalized steeping parameters. Another disappointment. Oh well, this is not “3 strikes and you’re out” so I use the other suggestion I got, from Networld and steeped it like a premium Gyokuro (2g/140 degrees/2.5 min.

Mmmm… The yellowish green may look like a lot of ordinary green teas, but it definitely smells like matcha as the raw leaf does. The aroma is very grassy and vegetal w/ just a bit of bitterness. My brain just doesn’t know what to think of tencha yet. On one hand, it tastes a lot like matcha, but the mouth feel is so much thinner… Definitely a tea for those that love matcha as well as those that don’t like the texture of matcha. I can’t wait to nail the steeping parameters for this!

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 30 sec
SoccerMom

Sounds like your having an all around good day. New yixing pot and teas :)

~lauren.

Congrats on your first yixing teapot! Mine hasn’t arrived yet :( but if that other oolong glass teapot is any indication, should be a dear little thing! Can’t wait to try the tencha from Samovar! Things to look forward to!

Cofftea

The yixing smells like black pepper… yes I’m a tea dork and smelled my yixing…

~lauren.

And why not? Tea is all about the senses!!! Are you going to season your little yixing pot (maybe you already did)? You know, 15 minutes on the rolling boil w/ water, 15 minutes boiled with the tea of choice (oolong?), and the naming of the teapot ceremony, too!

Cofftea

I know what seasoning it is. This one will be for raw pu erh. No, I haven’t done it yet- but I’d be really upset if it smelled like pepper after I seasoned it. I don’t believe in naming objects though.

~lauren.

Ok. I named my yixing (21 oz) mugs. The one for Oolong, I named Serenity because I want to be serene when I drink from it, the one for Pu-erh Tuo Cha I named Tranquility because I want to be tranquil when I drink tea from it, and the one for Lapsang Souchong I named Harmony because I want to be harmonious with all when I drink from it. Silly, maybe, but something to strive for, too.

Cofftea

It’s not silly to strive for those things at all- I just don’t see the need to name things after desirable character traits. Harmony from Lapsang Souchong… hmmm…

Cofftea

I want to devote this mug http://www.stashtea.com/products/Yixing+Beehive+Tea+Mug.aspx?category=TEAPOTSCUPSMORE to 52teas Mayan Chocolate Chai… do you season your mugs as well?

~lauren.

What a charming mug (look at the little feet on it!)! Yes, I did do that whole seasoning procedure — the puerh mug smells good (like puerh) and so does the lapsang souchong (smells very smoky!) but unfortunately, the oolong mug doesn’t smell like it yet (only drank from it three times so far – I guess needs more time).

Cofftea

Do you fill the mug up to the top w/ tea when you season it? That would be a LOT of chai so I’d probably use a cheaper version to season it. I don’t want to waste all that wonderful chai! :(

Cofftea

2nd infusion, 3min 20 sec. More green liquor. Not bitter at all, so sweet and yummy!

~lauren.

I added like 6 tablespoons of the intended tea (and 6 pellets of the puerh tuo cha when I was doing that mug) in the boiling pot but I used a smaller pot that had sufficient space (about 3 inch clearance around the mug and tea towel) which submerged the mug totally. I know, I felt a moment’s hesitation, too, using up all that tea! And now, after I drink from a particular mug, I do a last infusion in the mug, full to the brim and leave it in the mug for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on when I get to it again) before dumping.

AmazonV

@Lauren i name everything, my car, my computer, if i need to use it daily i want to call it something! not just ‘one of the multiple pots’

~lauren.

@AmazonV – I now have to try and remember the names – my memory being what it is (somewhat non-existent at times!). LOL : )

Ricky

Oh yeah Tencha! I forgot about this. Mine comes in tomorrow =]]

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Congrats! What else was in your order? That tea mug is just darling with the little round feet.

Cofftea

Chrine, I didn’t get a mug I got the yixing and the calendar.

Cofftea

For anyone interested, I talked to someone (via email) from Den’s Tea and while they do not sell it and he was not completely sure, he did also suggest steeping it similar to a Gyokuro so you could either steep it as a regular grade Gyokuro or a Premium Grade Gyokuro, as I did here. For info on where to start steeping Gyokuro, here’s Den’s suggestion: http://www.denstea.com/index.php?main_page=perfect_brewing. And then there’s also the room temp method…

~lauren.

All this advice would be so useful if my Samovar order including this Tencha would get here, pronto! Still waiting for my order, though, UGH!

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100
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
865 tasting notes

Continuing my leaves from last nite- 4th infusion, 8min. I can’t believe how good this still is!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Cofftea

5th infusion, 9min. Oddly darker than the last infusion and less sweet.

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100
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
865 tasting notes

My 1st Ti Kuan Yin! I’ve seen lots of amazing tasting notes about Samovar’s version(Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy), but I wasn’t sure how big the sample size is and I have a butt load of frequent cup points accumulated, so I figured I’d try this 1st. It is the 3rd most expensive sample they offer (outright cost, I’m not sure how it compares when comparing cost/gram), but this is the featured tea for March for their Roots Campaign so I thought now would be the perfect time to try it.

It’s definitely a green oolong and is beautifully rolled and twisted. 2.25g/6oz just below boiling water.

I could watch this unfurl forever… who says only blooming teas are pretty? The liquor is a very light yellow- lighter than I was expecting for the 5 min it steeped. The aroma is light, slightly vegetal, and… there’s a hint of something else… maybe lemony notes?

The flavor is very much like the aroma- light, slightly vegetal, subtle lemony notes, and just the slightest hint of astringency. Inspite of this astringency the mouth feel is still very much clean and smooth- it’s also thicker, almost broth like. I can see why people devote yixings to this one! Due to the subtle lemon notes I think this would be excellent yixing steeped then chilled for iced tea.

If you’re hesitant to drop $6 for a sample, I encourage you to try this WONDERFUL tea and support tea farmers!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

2nd infusion, 6 min. Just as wonderful as the 1st! Lemony hints are gone, more broth like.

Cofftea

3rd infusiion, 7 min. Liquor, aroma, and flavor are all as strong as the 1st two infusions, but this one is much sweeter.

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100
drank Organic Matcha by Den's Tea
865 tasting notes

Decided to try it double thick (2 scoops/3oz water) and I was really surprised! While ever so slightly more bitter it was not chalky like I feared. And it stayed homogeneous w/ the water longer because the matcha:water ratio was higher. YAY!

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Bio

Are you a company or tea blender on sites like Adagio that would you like your tea reviewed? If so, please e-mail me @ [email protected].

What I most enjoy from obtaining samples from companies to review is that it helps me to better learn to drink and review teas from a more objective perspective, meaning more of the “This tea is…” point of view rather than the “I like/don’t like” this tea. I feel objectivism in tea reviews is EXTREMELY important because no two tea drinkers tastes are exactly the same. I’ve also been extremely surprised by several teas. I love recieving a sample I think I will be only writing an objective review on, only to completely fall in love with it upon tasting it.

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Are you interested in redoing or starting your own tea related website or adding Search Engine Optimization? If so, please contact me at my work e-mail address: [email protected]
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Tea tastes:
I will ALWAYS pick loose leaf over tea bags. I only drink bagged tea if that’s my only choice or I find a flavor that I can’t find a loose leaf version for. When I do drink bagged; however, I always weigh my bag and am constantly curious as to the weight/flavor ratio- sometimes I am quite surprised by the flavor punch of light bags.

I have a preference for organic and fair trade teas (preferably both), but would never pass up an amzing tea just because it isn’t organic and/or fair trade.

I love savory teas.

I’m currently searching for a chai flavored soy powder or a soy based chai mix (either already mixed or a recipe).

I hardly EVER sweeten my teas. I feel that sweeteners (unless flavored like tea honeys, brown sugar, ice cream topping syrups, flavored coffee syrups, etc) do not add anything to the flavor profile of tea- in fact, I’ve found that they dumb down the flavors.

I NEVER serve my tea over regular iced cubes- I always make tea cubes.

I LOVE cooking w/ tea and making smoothTEAS.

I LOVE tea blending.

I rarely drink herbal teas unless they are mixed with true teas. My favorite herbals to mix with true teas are: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, rose hips, and gingeroot.

I can’t stand anything w/ fennel or anise. Hot black teas (except orange pekoe bagged tea that you get when you go out to eat and chai teas) tend to upset my stomach.

I drink matcha daily and love flavoring it. I’m also in a constant search of preflavored matchas.

I’m constantly searching for information on how to prepare tea authentically according to its country of origin.

My Tasting Notes Ratings (edited 8/8/10)
1: I can’t even stand the raw leaf enough to make this (I’ve never owned a tea w/ this rating, but I’ve smelled some before buying resulting in me NOT buying them that were that bad)

2: I steeped this tea but couldn’t stand the aroma enough to get it past my nose

3: I immediately gagged at the 1st sip and spit it out.

4: I manageed to get the 1st sip down, but I tossed the rest.

5: I drank the 1st cup but I can’t bring myself to resteep

6: Made it thru the entire set of infusions but I can’t bring myself to tinker w/ the parameters and won’t be making it again.

7-10: Does not taste anything like the ingredients or name suggests (i.e. Adagio’s Sour apple)

11-25: I can taste some of the ingredients, but the flavor is severely lacking

25-49: Teas that I would not consider bad in their flavor profile, but certainly below average

50: Average.

51-69: Teas above averge, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling them “good”.

70-75: Very good, but still room for improvement

76-85: Above average flavor profile

86-90: REALLY good flavors

91-99: Almost PERFECTLY achieves the goal of the ingredients and name of the tea.

100: Abosolutely perfect teas!

Other Interests: GOD! and all things pertaining to Him and His children, my dog Madison, travelling, and coffee.

Favorite Music: ANYTHING Christian. I don’t normally listen to secular music, but I do love jazz and swing.

Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies mostly. My Sister’s Keeper, P.S. I Love You, Fireproof, National Treasure Trilogy (I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE 3rd ONE TO COME OUT!), Night at the Museum 1 & 2, Sister Act 1 & 2, Yes Man, Bruce & Evan Almighty, rarely watch animated movies but LOVE anything 3D.

Favorite Books: THE BIBLE!!! & My Sister’s Keeper

Favorite Quotes: “A sad soul can kill you far quicker than a germ”- John Stienbeck "

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”- Aristotle

“You should always carry burdens, but they should never be your own”- me

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Mom was right, ‘because I say so’ is enough- at least when it comes to God.”- me

Favorite Foods: fried calamari, lemon chicken, anything w/ buffalo sauce.

Favorite Places: WA state, Switzerland, Orlando

Places I Want to Visit: Hawaii, Africa

Anything Else: I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida which is the failure of the spinal column to close en utero. Because of this I am a parapelegic and use a manual wheelchair.

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Oshkosh, WI

Website

http://www.adagio.com/signatu...

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