404 Tasting Notes

drank S'mores Genmaicha by 52teas
404 tasting notes

Just got back from a month long trip on the road and three days of driving to get home. It’s good to be home! I arrive with a new arsenal of tea purchased on my trip and find some 52teas waiting for me in my mailbox. Feeling a little road weary, I’m hoping some tea will pick me up and cut through my stuffy nose a little.

I have been reading Tea Sipper’s notes on short steeping 52teas, so I’m going to give that a go. At first I steeped this for 30 seconds, but decided to give it an extra 30 in an attempt to bring out more flavors. I can taste the genmaicha, it’s toasty rice and a little bit of butteriness, but I’m not picking up on much more than that. It’s a nice comforting welcome home, but I’ll have to try it again when my nose clears up.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Barbara

Would love to do a real road trip. Isn’t really something you’ll be seeing a lot in Europe and certainly not something you could do in the Netherlands. Driving from east to west will take about 2,5 hours and from north to south about 4 hours. Hard to fill a month… ;-)

Barbara

Apart from that, gas prices here are through the roof!! Whereas when I bought my Smart I could fill it up for ‘only’ €35, a full tank costs me a little under €50 nowadays and only gets me some 500 km.

Dustin

I wish our drive only took a couple of hours! Would have been more fun if we didn’t have little ones who quickly become miserable when strapped into their car seats or if we had attractions we were stopping at along the way. Gas prices keep rising here too. :(

Barbara

Yeah I imagine that with children it’ll probably be a lot less relaxing :-)

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I got this as a sample with my Butiki order, thanks Butiki!
I can taste a nice base to this tea, but I’m not picking up on the almond. It tastes like the Butiki Plum Pudding to me. I’m guessing the same black tea is used for both, which is tasty, but the flavors other than that are lost on me right now.

I’ll have to revisit this and several other teas again after I have sinus surgery which will hopefully restore my sense of taste.

Butiki Teas

The Plum Pudding is actually an oolong. It does get mistaken for a black tea quite a bit though. Both are from Nilgiri, so there are definitely some similar qualities.

Oh no, that doesn’t sound like fun. I hope your surgery goes well.

Dustin

Oh, interesting! My sense of taste and ability to identify things has been way off lately. I know I have been missing out on a lot.

Thanks, I hope so too! I’d love to have normal sinuses again.

Butiki Teas

It makes sense that those two teas would be similar since they are both sweeter Nilgiri teas.

I hope you heal fast. :)

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drank Pêché Mignon by THE O DOR
404 tasting notes

Thanks to Barbara for this sample!
Brewed, this tea smells like the filling of a warm peach pie. The smell is similar to the taste with a little more of a floral aspect to it. A little bit of sugar really rounds out the taste and takes it from floral to full juicy peach! The aftertaste is spot on! The green tea base is hidden in the back and hard to pick out over the peach. I really want to try this tea with cream, but I’m hesitant to disrupt something that is already so good. And my intuition was right! Cream really didn’t add to it and actually takes away from the juiciness of this tea. Second steep was pretty good too! I’m normally not a fan of peach teas (maybe because of association with cheap blacks with overdone synthetic peach), but I’m finding this one quite delicious.

Just read the description and saw it had melon in it too! I’ll have to see if I can pick out the flavor in my next cup! These The O Dor teas have interesting flavor combinations that I’m not picking out before I read what is in them. I’m not as good at identifying tastes as I thought, but it’s fun to try!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Barbara

Hahaha I tasted melons and only melons and no peach. Funny thing how different everybody’s taste perception is!

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drank Cookie by Lupicia
404 tasting notes

The directions say to steep this tea for 2-2.5 minutes. I did 2 minutes for my first steep and boy was I disappointed! It was a little bitter and tasted nothing like cookies. I added milk like it suggests and sugar, but it didn’t help. For my second steeping I did 2 minutes again, added a little sugar and it was a whole different tea! It was very cookie dough like and the black tea base wasn’t over powering or bitter. It seemed pretty creamy on it’s own to me. I did just over 2 minutes for the third steep and it wasn’t quite as delicious as the second steeping. Next time I think I will do the first steep for 1 minute instead of the initial 2.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Histoire Tibetaine by THE O DOR
404 tasting notes

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Tea Forte
404 tasting notes

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drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
404 tasting notes

This was one of my picks for Nina’s samples. I tried the other two quickly, but saved this one until now. I don’t remember what the description of it was, so it will be interesting to see what I detect. I think I’m smelling a little chocolate in the tea when dry. Not getting much while it’s brewing, but my nose is a bit stuffy. First thing I taste is orange. Strong orange, but not puckering, overpowering or bitter. Adding a little sugar makes each sip juicy and taste like the chocolate oranges that you smack to break up. This tea is balanced well. The black base is almost undetectable leaving the chocolate orange to take the lead. On it’s own, it’s really good, but when compared to the other two Nina’s teas I tried, it is my least favorite.

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drank Blue People by Aroma Tea Shop
404 tasting notes

My sister and I went tea shopping in San Francisco. Our last stop was the Aroma tea shop. The other tea shops we stopped at in Chinatown had only a few flavored teas which was a bit of a let down, but then we stepped into Aroma which had a ton of flavored teas. I chose a coconut green tea and as the gal was weighing it out she offered us a tasting of another tea. She peeked into a few gaiwans she had on the counter with wet leaves in them, choose one and poured. I sipped and at first it seemed plain and run of the mill. Then on the back part of the sip, the magic happened! A wave of sweet licorice and herbs washed over my mouth getting more powerful on the aftertaste and lingered a while. I was a little floored! The gal said it didn’t have any sweetener, it was all the licorice root that added the sweetness. Then she told me it was $39/4oz! It is good for up to six steepings and our tasting was the fourth. I must have sat staring at the wall of tea for a minute or so holding onto the last shred of my willpower before I caved and bought two ounces. On the way back to my car, I could still taste that tea and wanted more.

At home I’m discovering that to get it as strong as it was made at the shop, I have to use more tea than I am accustomed to. The gal at the shop said to use a tablespoon worth! The smell of the tea also reminds me of a medicinal chinese shop and I have always been fascinated with those stores. It’s that mixture of dried ginseng, ginger, licorice root and a bunch of other herbs. This tea is so strange and I like it! I’ll have to play around with it some more to get it to taste like the sample.

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drank Saigon by THE O DOR
404 tasting notes

Thank you Barbara for sending me this sample!
It’s fruity, it’s floral, it’s something I can’t quite put my finger on. The smell of this tea brewed didn’t really stand out as anything unique, but the taste has much more depth to it. At first I thought I was tasting peaches, but now as I taste a slight perfume like freshness on the sides of my tongue, I’m thinking roses. Not the overdone synthetic perfume rose flavor, but a true fresh rose petal flavor. The more sips I take, the stronger it tastes. My mouth feels a little dry after each sip with inviting me to drink more.

Now I’m reading the description of the tea to see what the flavors were… fig and lotus! Fig?! I mistook fig for roses? Now that I know what that flavor was, I can clearly taste how it is fresh fig off the tree, reminding me of how much of my childhood I spent up a fig tree. It amuses me that fig and rose have similar taste qualities, something I had never linked in my head before and I wonder how well they would pair.

This tea is really well rounded and has a rich quality to the taste that I enjoyed to the last sip. I’m intrigued by the unique ingredients, but I think I need to have another cup before I give it a rating.
Barbara

Funny to see how tastes differ. I put the floral note to the lotus and the sweetness to the fig :-)

Dustin

I don’t think I have ever tried lotus flavoring before, so I really can’t say what it tastes like. I wonder how similar the taste of lotus and fig are.

Barbara

I’d think not too similar, but then again before this tea, I’ve only tasted lotus as part of tea and fig as dried fruit. So who’s to say how the one or other would taste fresh… :-)

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drank GenmaiCHAI by 52teas
404 tasting notes

A big thank you to teapot1 for sending me this tea! I am really enjoying it!
This tea smells like cloves and toasted rice. Never thought to put the two together, but it seems to work! For most of the cup the flavors of chai vs. genmaicha is pretty even, but as I get to the bottom, the cardamom and clove start to dominate and the rice is less noticeable. I hesitate to add milk for fear of ruining something that is already quite nice, but I’ll have to give it a go one of these cups.
What a strange and beautiful creature this tea is!

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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.

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Austin, TX

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