473 Tasting Notes

drank Atomic Lemon by Dammann Freres
473 tasting notes

Day 8 of the advent calendar.
I was a little worried watching this brew because the water started turning pink… hibiscus. It smells nice and lemony when dry, but once brewed I’m getting an odd smell. Candied orange peels like you get in Asian grocery stores, which is coming through in the taste as well. There is some lemon taste, certainly not an atomic level and I get that hibiscus bite too. It isn’t over the top hibiscus, but it isn’t really a back ground or supporting roll (the only way I can stand it) either. The aftertaste is kind of dirty and dry. I recently read a tasting note where someone described a tea tasting like burnt ash and this tea makes me think of that. Definitely an ashy taste here. Well, time to toss the cup and pick a different tea!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Neapolitan Honeybush by 52teas
473 tasting notes

I have had this tea several times now and have tried different temps and steeping times, but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. It is okay, but I am not getting amazing. I can taste a little chocolate and a little strawberry if I sweeten it. And there is that dry mouth feeling like I get with rooibos after each sip. I think I need to face the fact that this tea is not for me and move on. :(

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drank Tisane de Noël by Dammann Freres
473 tasting notes

Day 22 of the Advent calendar. I’m now drinking them in whatever order I feel like and this evening I wanted something non caffeinated. This really does have quite the mix of flavors! I get mostly cardamon on the sip and cacao on the aftertaste with maybe a little ginger heat. I might be able to pick out some light licorice too. It is very well done and I’m surprised at how much I am enjoying it. I don’t know that I like it enough to purchase it, but it will be resteeped for all it is worth.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Dustin

Hmmm, second steep has more licorice.

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drank Eggnog Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
473 tasting notes

I’m chuckling a little after reading the description. This drink will help me appear trendy AND adventurous! I better get out of the house to be seen with this drink in order to reap those benefits! ;)

This matcha came as a free sample with my order, I love free samples! This seems like an excellent way to try a new flavor and I wish they offered the option to buy 10 different flavors in this size as a try me pack.

I mixed it with a little sugar, powdered goat milk and hot water. Usually with eggnog, the most dominant flavor or scent is nutmeg, but it is more subtle in this letting the creamy custard like flavors shine. It is a little bitter mid sip, I’m guessing the free samples are the basic grade matcha which has that nip to it. I get a more full eggnog flavor as an aftertaste with it being creamier during the sip. It is a fun holiday flavor, but it isn’t amazing me with it’s flavor intensity. Looks like there is enough in the sample for a couple more cups, so I’ll try something different next time to see if I can get more flavor out of it. I’m excited that I got to try it. Thank you Red Leaf for the sample!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C
Shmiracles

Oh man, this sounds really good.

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I am always on the hunt for the perfect almond tea, almond cookie, almond cake… you name it. I like almond. So when I was placing an order with Simpson & Vail, I had to try the two most promising almond teas that they had. Dry, this tea smells super cookie like and less almond like. Once brewed I get a really tasty smooth black tea base, but the almond is kind of in the background leaving me wanting more flavor. I steeped it for only three minutes, not wanting to over do it and turn it bitter, but I may have underdone it for this tea. I’ll have to play around with it a few more times before I give up on it. As it stands it is decent, but far from impressive and wowing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Anna

I haven’t had a chance to scroll through your cupboard yet, but Pleine Lune by Mariage Frères, Le Thé d’Amandine by Comptoir des thés et des épices and Tribute by Theodor (which I have yet to try, but who everyone who is an almond fan seems to love) are three really good teas.

Dustin

Oooooooh, thanks for the recommendations! I have not heard of or tried them before, but they will be on my list of things to try!

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drank Earl Grey by Dammann Freres
473 tasting notes

Finally getting back to the advent calendar! I think this is day 9? This is a really enjoyable cup of Earl Grey in what I’m guessing is the really well balanced soft black tea base of theirs that I have tasted before. It is just so smooth! The bergamot is present, but not biting. Nothing is overpowering anything else. I’m not a huge EG fan, but this may be the nicest I have had. I must resteep!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
473 tasting notes

This tea smells delicious both dry and brewed! The red berry scent is dominant and I wasn’t sure at first if it was raspberry or strawberry. This blend is the first green tea I have tried from Butiki and I like it! I’m getting the buttery chestnut flavors, but the ginger is so subtle that I can’t pick it out on the sip. I dislike a lot of cheap fruity teas because they taste really sharp and abrupt and this tea is nothing like those. It is so well rounded and the flavors work together so well that they kind of melt into one flavor experience making them hard to identify on their own. The first cup was very fruity, but that lessens a bit on the second steep, letting some of the background flavors come to the front. Third steep is less fruit, more butter. Wow, this is good! Wish I had ordered a larger amount!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I stuck my nose in this bag of tea and was met with a wonderfully earthy deep scent of spices and pumpkin. What disappoints me about many pumpkin spiced teas (or any product really) is the reliance on the spices to carry the suggestion of pumpkin when it really doesn’t have any pumpkin flavor at all. I swear I smell real pumpkin in here! When brewed, the smell is not as intense, but has all the same aspects as the dry tea. My first few sips were quite bland so I’m adding some sugar. I don’t know if it is my taste buds flickering in and out or the candied smoked salmon I have been nibbling on that is drowning out anything else, but I feel I am dooming this tea! Adding milk weakened it more and pumpkin is such a delicate background flavor as it is. This is going to have to go in my revisit when feeling better pile of tea. I’m sorry little tea, I’ll be nicer next time!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
473 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from Skysamurai, thanks for sharing! :)

I really couldn’t pickup on any scent when this tea was dry or once brewed. When I took a sip, I did get a faint creamy coconut flavor, maaaaaybe a little almond when I think about it. Coconut lingers on the aftertaste. Slight bitterness that goes away with a little sugar, but really nothing too exciting. I love almond/wedding tea flavors, but this one a a bit dull. Glad I got to try it without having to buy a whole tin!

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

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drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
473 tasting notes

First thing I smell when opening the bag of this tea is tart ripe strawberries! Once brewed the scent mellows a little bit and reminds me of flavored chapstick I had as a kid. Scent memory is such a funny thing! The first few sips seem a little tart, almost bitter, but that mellows out and I’m left with a taste that reminds me a little of hibiscus. Is that the rhubarb? I’m not quite sure. I can taste the strawberries throughout the whole cup and I think I can pick out a buttery crust like flavor. It isn’t as smooth and balanced as other Butiki teas I have had, it has some edginess to it. I’d like to ponder this tea some more, but I have come to the end of my cup and have many new teas to try. Ruby Pie, we shall meet again soon!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

We (Sil & I) did add a little bit of hibiscus to tart up the rhubarb a little. :)

Dustin

Ah ha, I called it! I’m getting better at this tasting thing! :)

I usually hate hibiscus just for the sake of hibiscus, but I’m starting to appreciate it being used sparingly to make fruit flavors more realistic and lively.

Butiki Teas

Good job at figuring that out! Hibiscus is super easy to go over board. We only use a maybe 10 grams per pound (453.59 grams) of tea and that is definitely enough to add just a tiny bit of tartness. It does seem to work for some fruit flavors. We did a custom blend with mango and added a tiny bit of hibiscus so that the mango had that slight tart edge to it that made it more realistic.

Dustin

Wow, that isn’t much at all! The more I learn, the more I realize how much of a complex art blending flavors is!

Butiki Teas

Some ingredients are very forgiving and easy to blend and others are much more difficult. Hibiscus is a very challenging ingredient. I always love a challenge!

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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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