301 Tasting Notes

87
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
301 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
301 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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80

Cinnamon, bread, chocolate – that’s what you smell first. Also, earthy due to the Pu-Erh base and this all results in a very unusual combination. This is good! Would not want to drink every day but definitely want it in my tea pantry.

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

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87
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
301 tasting notes

This tea makes me happy! I like coconut very much and I have become quite fond of oolongs so the combination is great for me. The coconut flavoring seems quite authentic (i.e., not at all artificial)in my opinion. The oolong leaves open nicely on the first steep and unfurl completely through the 2nd. I’ve not tried for three because I would not want a flavor any weaker than that resulting from the 2nd infusion. This will be a staple in my tea cupboard – I’ve already reordered.

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

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79

I’ve been drinking far too much caffeine lately so although I am not a rooibos fan, I’m trying many to find pleasant alternatives to my normal blacks, greens, and oolongs. This tea is enjoyable and one that I intend to keep on hand.

The rooibos flavor is not too strong (which I like). It’s not creamy but definitely soft and mellow and the hint of blueberry definitely comes through. I’ve tried it hot and iced and I enjoyed both very much.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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48
drank Caramelized Pear by Art of Tea
301 tasting notes

I bought a sample size of this tea due to lots of very positive reviews. This tea is unusual and, I am sorry to say, not for me. I’ve tried it hot and I’ve tried it cold. I’ll not be buying again. The smell of the dry blend is strange and not particularly appealing to me. That did not deter me because teas often change in water. This one did not – the brew still had a strange aroma. The taste seems strong with rooibos and another taste which I am unable to identify.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74

I enjoy senchas and this fruity blend is good for iced tea. Cold brewed over night with two rounded teaspoons in a 16 ounce mug produces my afternoon iced tea. I drink it chilled without added ice. Today’s tea is brewing in the fridge as I write.

The smell of dry leaf in the can is grassy, overly sweet, and a bit artificial. The cold brew softens both the aroma and the taste to produce a nice strawberry flavored iced tea. I drink this without any sweetener because it is sweet enough as is.

Not my favorite green tea for icing but I’ve already had it several times and I know that I’ll continue to use it and enjoy it frequently.

Preparation
Iced

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93
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
301 tasting notes

Lately I’ve been drinking Butiki Mi Xian Black several times a week. This has become a morning favorite of mine. It really hits the spot!

The leaf is beautiful – long, dark, and spindly. Putting my nose in the bag I pick up the woodsy smell – seems to be a lingering fermented fruit aroma as well. The brewed liquid is also dark but not as dark as the dry leaf. The wet leaf is almost as richly dark-chocolate brown as the dry. The aroma coming from the brew is quite enticing.

The first sip reveals the honey. I later learn that after cooling, the sweet honey taste is even stronger. Those leafhoppers have really done a job on these leaves and the resulting flavor is quite magnificent. The creaminess is also there. I can sense a bit of a malty taste but, for me, the delicious honey flavor is dominant.

3 teaspoons in a 16oz mug with boiling water for 3min 30sec works well for me. Typically go for a second infusion at 4min and it still makes a good cup although not quite as flavor rich. Mi Xian is a must have in my tea pantry!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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79

This is in tea sachets but I cut them open and dropped the tea into an infuser and left in the fridge overnight. Works nicely as a cold steep. Mild but flavorful with the coconut coming through – I like coconut so this is a good thing. I’ll definitely cold brew again for a nice afternoon tea.

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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. I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Moved quickly into unflavored blacks and puerhs and seldom drink anything else. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging.

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.

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North Carolina

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