268 Tasting Notes

87
drank Decaf Assam by Harney & Sons
268 tasting notes

Earlier today I wanted to stay away from caffeine so I selected Harney’s Decaf Assam. For a Decaf, it has a full bodied flavor.

The dry leaves are mostly dark chocolate brown with enough golden mixed in to make it appealing to the eye. The aroma from the tin is not that strong but definitely assam-like. I Infused the leaves for 4min 30sec in my Zojirushi travel mug and added a little agave and a T of coconut milk. As I have grown quite fond of assams, the smell is very enticing. The tea has a malty and slightly bitter taste as assam should. The touch of sweetener and milk allow a light caramel flavor to emerge.

I would be happy if I could drink regular black teas all day long but I cannot handle too much caffeine in any given day. This Harney Decaf Assam brew is a great choice on those days when caffeine is just not a good idea. I do not hesitate to recommend this tea for others to consider.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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87

I am enjoying tasting the Spring 2013 harvests from Teavivre and others. Opening the bag of this Pi Lo Chun reveals green, curled dry leaves with a sweet vegetal fragrance.

Heated water to 175 and steeped for 2min because I wanted stronger flavor. This resulted in a pale yellow-green tea with a rather sweet vegetal taste and very green open full leaves. The smooth and mellow flavor of the liquid is pleasant and very enjoyable with no bitterness at all.

The second steep was almost as good as the first. Definitely recommend this tea as a nice green for any collection.

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

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80
drank Cream Caramel Rooibos by Zen Tea
268 tasting notes

I’ve not had this tea hot but lately, as I try to reduce my caffeine consumption, I’ve been drinking this rooibos iced quite often. Very sweet as is so I’ve not needed to add sugar. Makes a nice cold beverage on these summer days. I’m not a real fan of the rooibos taste but in this particular tea, the rooibos flavor is minimized by the sweet buttery caramel flavor.

Preparation
Iced

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80
drank Pear Spice White by Teas Etc
268 tasting notes

I am enjoying this white tea iced. The flavor – combination of pear and star anise- is quite pleasant and refreshing. Star anise is an ingredient in 5-spice powder and garam masala. I would not expect to find it in a white pear tea but this combination actually works.

Opening the bag results in a sweet, fruity, spicy aroma which is quite nice. The smell of the cold liquid is not nearly as intense but the flavor is strong, unusual, and pleasing to the palate.

I recommend this as a nice summer beverage!

Preparation
Iced

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80

I’m easing into Pu-Erhs and the tea’s name enticed me enough to purchase it. When I opened the tin this morning, I was hit with a very sweet smell. Then the earthy aroma of the pu-erh hit me.

The taste is pleasant – definitely caramel; sweet and creamy yet earthy and musty all at the same time. I did not add sweetener and it was just fine for me. Unfortunately it did not hold up as well for the second steep which was a bit bland for my tastes. I have a tin of this so I’ll keep it in the rotation for now but it is too early to determine if I’ll repurchase – another 2-3 “experiences” with the tea should reveal the answer.

A pleasant pu-erh but not too harsh. Could be a good pu-erh desert tea. It’s also a good selection when just beginning to explore pu-erh teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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28
drank Juicy Peach White by Teas Etc
268 tasting notes

For me, this tea is undrinkable. When you open the bag there is a strong, offensive aroma - kerosene-like. Nonetheless, thinking that it might just be me, I decided to go ahead and brew a cup. While the smell has softened a little, it continues to smell bad. The taste is very bland. Where is the Peach!?!

Overall: Undrinkable due to the terrible smell of the tea.

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89

This morning I enjoyed these lovely 2013-harvested needles over a two hour period. I understand the high reviews. It is quite a lovely tea.

Needles largely unbroken. The leaves themselves are green with the classic white fuzz and the liquid produced is a pale, pale green (almost yellow) color. The flavor is vegetal, floral, and nutty all at the same time.

Very smooth liquid and I definitely recommend to all. This is everything a silver needle should be – subtle, sweet, delicate.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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87
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
268 tasting notes

A very enjoyable Yunnan! This one is a winner – as suggested by many earlier reviews. I don’t think that I can add anything new but….if you see this tea on sale again, buy it and try it if you have not done so already!

I should note that the time listed below is higher than recommended because the second time I had this tea, I was distracted and forgot that I was making a pot. It probably steeped for 11-12 minutes before I remembered – the tea was still amazing (no bitterness at all).

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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92

Vanilla + caramel – this tea is delicious!

The dry leaf in the tin is strong and bright; long and tight; so dark it is black in color. If you’ve not tried the Assam teas, this would be a great one to convince you that you’ve been missing out on something special! As the tea brews, the aroma is soft and creamy. The malty flavor of the assam makes this a very fine black tea to drink at any time. Always able to infuse again for a nice second cup (almost as good as the first). (Note: I did add a little sweetener to bring out the caramel.)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Butterscotch by Art of Tea
268 tasting notes

When I opened the sample tin, the aroma was wonderful – sweet like butterscotch. As I steeped the tea, the smell intensified – yummy! I could not wait for the first taste – I love butterscotch! Disappointed – the cup of tea is OK but I do not taste butterscotch; the pepper taste is unusual but no butterscotch. Sweetener should help bring out the butterscotch, right? Nope, I taste a little sweetness but no butterscotch.

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

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Profile

Bio

For me, tea is magical with its ability to transform by bringing one back to center and inspiring both peace and contentment.

Reformed coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since. Surprised to learn what a passion I have developed for all things tea related.

I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Started with flavored teas but moved quickly into unflavored blacks and puerhs. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging. My cold brews for iced tea tend to be a fruity green, white or rooibos but every once in awhile I’ll chill an oolong or puerh.

I no longer assign numerical ratings to teas because our enjoyment of tea is very subjective. Reactions to a particular tea vary from person to person and within the same person across different tasting sessions. My tea notes are now simply comments reflecting my impression at that specific point in time. They are useful to me and if they happen to be helpful to someone else that is good.

Location

North Carolina

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