643 Tasting Notes

drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by Man Teas
643 tasting notes

This cup smells really good, like cinnamon on a deep base. Very comforting and reminds me of being bundled up inside during winter. It’s the end of August and still hot as hell here in Texas, so I think I’m wishfully projecting a bit!

First few sips were a little bitter with a nice spicy warmth. I steeped it on the concentrated side so I could add cream or ice and I chose to go with cream. The cream knocks out the bitterness and I assume mellows out the spice a little, but not by much. I’m left with a mild burning in my mouth and I do love a good burn! I’m really not picking up much chocolate. This bag is on the older side and the 52teas flavors don’t seem to hold up well over time, so I’m guessing that is what is going on with the absent chocolate. I’m not taken by it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tried cold steeping this tea… no good! First sip was a little alkaline with a ginseng tang to it. As I sip a little more, the ginger comes out, a bitterness arrives on the back of the sip and the ginseng hangs on in there. It smells great, like there might be cinnamon in there, but it doesn’t translate to the taste. Now the back of the sip is all bitter and ginseng and I’m done! No more cold steeping Istanbul!

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drank Violet Femme by Zhi Tea
643 tasting notes

I’m about half way through this tin! Been having this hot steeped and poured over ice with soy creamer. It has been a very reliable tea that delivers on the promise of caffeine. After a sweaty motorcycle ride to class today, my mug of this was drained pretty quickly.

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drank Kashmiri Chai by Golden Moon Tea
643 tasting notes

I’m liking this tea much better than the last time I had it! I boiled sweetened vanilla soy milk and steeped the tea in it for about five minutes while stirring. I strained it into a jar and let it cool in the fridge overnight. Today, it is quite delicious! It seems to have a good mix of cinnamon/cardamon/clove going on in it. It isn’t quite as heavy or earthy as I would like and I prefer a little more of a pepper spicy bite, but it is still pretty good. I might try adding a few peppers in it next time and see if that fills my chai desires.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank ryo no kaze by Kanbayashi
643 tasting notes

Picked this up in San Francisco in Japan town. Some store that sold tea an incense tucked away in a back corner. I had no idea what I was buying (other than matcha) and feel I stumbled onto something kind of amazing. I have been adding a little matcha into some creamer, frothing it up and adding an ice cube to combat the summer heat. What I get is amazing! It is so smooth! There is no bitterness! This matcha is quite mellow on the sip and has only a slight green tang at the very end of the sip and aftertaste. I am not super familiar with matchas, but this is the best I have had yet! I’m trying to pace myself and not go through the tin too quickly!

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drank Tochiotome Green by Lupicia
643 tasting notes

Lupicia’s Tochiotome vs. Kusmi’s Strawberry Green

Strawberry Greens! I could have sworn I had a third strawberry green tea in my cupboard, but maybe I had passed it on. Oh well! Both teas were steeped at 175 for 2 minutes.

Lupicia’s Tochiotome
The first sip was very light, almost not there. A few sips in and I get the strawberry, mostly in arouma and aftertaste. There is a little bit of green nipping at the sides of my tongue. It has a softnes at the start of the sip. It is smooth and round and almost creamy without the cream. The start and finish of the sip couldn’t be more different! I can pick out the gummi candy scent again on this one.
Adding cream… It seems to flatten the tea until the aftersip. I made note of a canned catfood taste last time I had this tea and I now wish I hadn’t reread my review and had that idea fresh in my head because I’m picking up on that a little mid sip. It is this light weird hint of it before the strawberry picks up at the end of the sip. Once I’m past the middle of this sip, it is great.

Kusmi’s Strawberry Green
Dry, the scent is overpowering! Almost candy like in it’s intensity. I can pick up the strawberry at the beginning of the sip. There is a little green on the sides of my tongue for this tea as well. I got a strange tingle at the back of my throat, which made me cough briefly… strange. The end of the sip and aftertaste are pretty smooth too. The entire sip is pretty consistent aside from a bit of green in the middle.
Adding cream…. the strawberry is muted. Might be nice with a little sugar to pick it back up. It really isn’t impressing me at the moment. The sip again is even in flavor with no changes. It seems a little more dull in flavor than it’s rival.

Conclusion
Both teas smell fantastic dry, but seem to loose a bit of that magic once steeped. Lupicia’s tea seems to have more depth with the taste changing as you go, but Kusmi’s doesn’t have the weird mid sip taste that the other does. I think I would like a cold steeped round two of these teas to determine my favorite.

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

I kind of liked the Lupicia one!

Dustin

I don’t hate it, I just don’t know what to fully think about it. :)

ashmanra

I’ve never tried the Kusmi one. I bet Gurman’s could do a great strawberry green!

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I’m not quite sure what tea I should post this under, or if I should post it in all the contenders profiles, so for now it will go in the winner’s corner!

Malty cocoa toffee tea taste off! I have a few teas in my cupboard that remind me of eachother, so I thought I’d do a taste off and compare them side by side. All teas were steeped at 205 for 3 minutes.

NY Breakfast
First sip, very smooth, lots of cocoa, only the tiniest bit of bitter in the back of the sip.
Adding cream… Oh god! Delicious! The cocoa is rounded out with creaminess and the flavor sits on the breakfast base. No bitterness at all and the flavor is the same throughout the sip. I sink into a cup of this every time! It is so well rounded. Coming back to my cup after 20 minutes I swear I taste a slight coconut creaminess to it.

American Breakfast – Marriage Freres
Very tangy and bright. Almost has a citrusy green feel to it. Not really getting much cocoa, it has a slight breakfasty base in the background. No almond like
Adding cream… Much smoother! The bitterness is gone. It still has that brightness to it that is familiar, but I can’t quite place my finger on. I must have had a tea that has similar qualities to it before.

Wedding Imperial – Marriage Freres
First sip was a little bitter and shocking, but also full of caramel on a deep black base. A few more sips in and the bitter fades letting the caramel shine through a little more.
Adding cream… Smooth. Caramel. Light. The base isn’t heavy on this and I think I would prefer that to carry the caramel better. It seems like a lighter version of NY Breakfast. There is a depth to NYB that WI lacks.

Toffee – Palais De Thes
First sip was smooth! It is light. The scent is sweet and toffee like. I could enjoy this one without additions, even tho it isn’t as deep of a flavor as I would like. There is a slight alkaline tang to it, which could very well be my water source.
Adding cream… Still so smooth! The toffee is still present, but maybe not as prominent as I would like.

Summary
These teas are all so similar, but so different at the same time. They all have that malty/cocoa/toffee way about them and at the same time they have different depths, intensities and nuances. When I drink one I am reminded of the others similarities. I definitely don’t need all four in my cupboard and think I could be happy with just NY Breakfast, although I will be out of NYB way before I finish off the others. If I had to list my preference starting with the favorite, it would be NY Breakfast, Toffee, Wedding Imperial and American Breakfast.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

That’s really interesting. Is it an unflavoured tea then? I haven’t tried any unflavoured ones from TWG.

Dustin

No, NYB is flavored but on a breakfast base. Lots of cocoa in it! Soooo good!

OMGsrsly

I might have to pick up a to-go cup to try it. Unfortunately I haven’t been enamoured with their teas yet, but I’m always willing to try another!

Dustin

Is there a retail shop in your area that sells it by the cup?
I have several other of their teas and none have resonated with me the way NYB does. I wasn’t super impressed by it the first time I had it, but it has grown on me tremendously over the year.

OMGsrsly

Yes. The TWG store here is called The Urban Tea Merchant.

Dustin

Oh! That’s where I ordered the bulk of my TWG teas from!

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drank Lanikai by Lupicia
643 tasting notes

This has been cold steeping in my fridge for a few days now. It has a generic tropical fruit smell where I can’t quite pick out the individual fruits, but it’s not the more common non tropical fruits. I want to say I taste mango, but I also get that alkaline taste that happens for me in pineapple teas. I don’t get any coconut this time. Maybe a little creaminess on the end of the sip. It baffles me which of the Hawaii teas Lupicia decided to keep and which they discontinued. I think this is one that they kept while cutting out Loki Lani, which makes no sense to me. This one really doesn’t come across as anything special.

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drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
643 tasting notes

I cold steeped this overnight and it really brings out the green tang. I get a little creamy butter at the end of the sip, but the eggnog correlation is still sadly evading me and makes me want a up of nutmeg dusted custard to really get that eggnog tang!

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drank Breakfast Blend by Fortnum & Mason
643 tasting notes

After eyeing F&M teas online, I finally came across some at William Somoma and picked up a tin! I decided to cold steep this overnight and it turned out quite light. I get a little malt to it, but not nearly as much as I’d expect with a breakfast blend. Adding a little cream to it is nice. It is strange, but now that I read apple is one of the flavors, I can definitely pick it out on the after taste! So far this tea is nice, but not amazing.

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Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! I like a little sugar in my tea. I love caffeinated tea, but since I limit myself to one cup a day, I have been exploring more rooibos and honeybush teas. Rooibos now = meh and I have upped my caffeine tolerance. BRING ME CAFFEINE!!!!

Location

Austin, TX

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