50 Tasting Notes

76
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
50 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I’ve drank any oolong, and this wasn’t a bad way to get back into it. The coconut smell is rather strong from the dry leaves and stays present once steeped. It brews to a pale golden color with a very, very buttery mouthfeel. Seriously, this is one of the most buttery teas I’ve tasted. There’s a bit of a vegetal aftertaste. This one won’t win over anyone who isn’t a fan of oolong, but it’s not bad to have in your cabinet. I think I’m going to ice my next cup and see how that turns out.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

sounds lovely!

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70

Not too shabby for a little bagged tea with no actual fruit in it. The flavoring doesn’t read as artificial, just a nice blueberry-like taste accompanying a slightly bitter black tea. I’m not sure how huckleberries compare to blueberries when eating the real fruit, but I really can’t tell the difference in flavored tea. I won’t seek this out, but I wouldn’t turn it down either.

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78
drank MateVana by Teavana
50 tasting notes

I picked this up in Teavana’s Heavenly Sale for fantastically cheap. The minute I opened the package I just went “Yep, this is a Teavana tea alright.” It probably had something to do with the overwhelming smell of Cocoa Puffs and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to the blend. Snarking aside, it’s not bad at all. The sweetness isn’t nearly as overpowering once brewed, so it’s quite drinkable. The cocoa does overpower the delicate flowers, of course. I’m not sure why they’re even in a cocoa-mate blend except to make the dry leaf more colorful. Halfway through the cup I added a splash of cream, which complemented the mate and cocoa nicely.

Overall, not bad for a morning cuppa if not a little heavy-handed and clumsy. Recommended to chocolate tea lovers and sweet-tooths (sweet-teeth?) who want to give up coffee.

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90

This is what all of those dusty sort-of fruit teas from Celestial Seasonings wish they were. This blend does everything better: a widely varied medley of real dried fruit and hibiscus as a supporting role, not the main character. The taste is tart berry jam through and through. I’d be interested in sipping this next to a cup of that Buttered Toast tea 52Teas makes. My only complaint would be that most of the flavor dominates up front but doesn’t give much of an aftertaste. Still, I can say without hesitation that this is one of the best herbal fruit infusions I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.

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62

Very… interesting. I’ve never had dried bilberries in a tea before, and it’s a little interesting that they’re brown. I would have expected them to be blue. I’m not sure that they come through in the tea very much. What we get is a strongly floral tea with a lemony finish. I wouldn’t say I entirely dislike it, but I would say that it’s a spritzer and a fancy label away from being perfume.

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97

I was so confused by these little leaves before I tasted them. I’m accustomed to my black tea turning large and leafy during brewing, and these just look like coffee grounds! But rest easy—this is not tea dust.

The taste is best summed up in one word: Robust. More robust than any English or Irish breakfast I’ve had before. If you like your tea weaker you might want to give it a pass (or brew with half the recommended amount), but if you’re like me and you want a strong, flavorful tea to knock your socks off in the morning this is a worthy contender. It’s like the hardy Dwarven warrior of teas coming down from the mountain halls to smack you awake, and I respect that.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Evening Lights - herb by Zen Tea
50 tasting notes

An interesting tisane with just a bit too much going on to be truly successful. I love a good herbal, and I appreciate what they were trying to do here, but every sip has several herbal flavors vying for attention. Each sip starts nice and ends nice, but there’s quite a bit of turmoil in the middle. I also wish there was a bit more rose to add some sweetness and round things out. I’m sure I’ll finish the packet eventually, but this won’t be my evening blend of choice.

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96

A lovely sample from Nature’s Tea Leaf!

I’m a huge fan of Hong Kong milk tea, so I was interested to see how that would translate into a normal tea that doesn’t need anything mixed in. Amazingly, it’s very spot-on! The black leaves (amusingly mislabeled as “red” on my sample packet. No, I know black when I see it) smell very strongly of condensed milk, hitting your nose as soon as you open the packet. When you pour the water, you can see the milk seep out from the leaves. The brewed smell is quite a bit softer than the leaf smell, but both the tea and milk scents are there. The flavor is one of the smoothest I’ve ever tasted, with the milk and sugar flavors right there in the tea! I suppose you could add extra milk and sugar, but wouldn’t that ruin the point?

I do imagine I’ll be buying the full size in the future. I highly recommend this tea to people who love a good milk tea!

Kasumi no Chajin

the Chinese use “red” to refer the same tea to what the British know as “black” (black for color of leaf, red for color of the brewed tea liquor)so could that be the mistake on the label?

Crocuta

I never thought about that, but that just might be it!

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76
drank Honeydew Green by Silkenty
50 tasting notes

I had been very disappointed with this tea when I first started sipping it, as none of the fruity notes were coming out over the very powerful and slightly vegetal green tea. But as the cup cooled, the fruity notes began to hit my tongue first followed by the tea itself. Still mildly disappointing, because while the loose leaf (very attractive stuff despite being in a bag) smells like honeydew, the tea itself is far more dominated by the apricot. But it’s still very drinkable, and I think it’s begging to be iced.

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97

I was delightfully surprised by how much I loved this blend! Rooibos is usually something I can take or leave—I’ll take it if there aren’t any good black, white, green or herbal teas around. I definitely didn’t have high expectations for a rooibos that comes in 50-count/container bags. But it had real vanilla pieces, and it smelled amazing, so I had to give it a try.

I never would have thought to pair rooibos and peppermint, but the combination is amazing. The sweet flavors of the orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla come through, too. It’s sweet enough on its own not to need sugar! Each sip ends with a lovely minty finish softened by vanilla. Delicious!

I’ve been drinking it in the mornings and at night. Since it’s caffeine-free, it’s suitable before bed, but the mintiness helps wake me up on a weekend morning, too. Definitely recommended to mint and dessert tea lovers.

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Bio

I’m a tea omnivore if there ever was one. I’ll wax poetic about the finest sencha loose leaf but have no problem slurping up a few bags of Celestial Seasonings in between them. Everyone deserves quality from time to time, but every well-traveled road has a bit of dust (and fannings) along the way. :)

Location

Chicago

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