469 Tasting Notes

Got a sample of this tea to try to figure out which bases I like my flavored black to be. I let this tea get cold before drinking it and that was a bad move! I’m hit with a bitter taste. Kinda subtle smokey. I may have brewed it to strong. Watering it down and heating it up makes it much better! It is now smoother, but a little bland and leaves my mouth feeling dry after each sip. Sweetening it really doesn’t do much to change it for me, good or bad. I give this one a meh for being pretty unremarkable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This is the second tea in my plain black taste test! This one is definitely more mellow than the Ceylon. No bitter twang and fairly smooth. A tiny bit of caramel on the sip and maybe a touch of smoke at the end. Sugar adds to the caramel flavor.

This is nice. I kinda like it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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In an effort to better understand the flavored teas I like and don’t like, I picked up a few small samples of popular basic blacks to try on a trip to Bird Pick. First up is the Ceylon.

I recognize this flavor. It is the flavor I remember tea tasting like at Chinese restaurants. It has never been one of my favorites, but drinkable in a pinch. It is very grassy. Like a watered down warmed up wheat grass shot. It is a little unpleasant on the tip of my tongue when I sip and a little bitter in the back when I swallow. When I sweeten it, it reminds me of the Lipton sweet tea that my in laws would make and drink down by the gallon each summer. Bittersweet memories with a bittersweet tea, how fitting! I’m also thinking this may be the same base as some of the desert David’s Teas that I have tried like Red Velvet Cake. I wish more companies who do flavored teas would list the type of blacks they are using so I could form a better opinion of what I like and dislike.

This tea is alright once I sweeten it, but I’m not a fan of it plain. It gets an eh.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I’m about to brew my third cup of this today. Sore throat city! Should have taken better care of myself yesterday and not breathed in so much smoke while smoking the Thanksgiving turkey. I don’t mind the flavor, being a lover of licorice and anise, I just wish I could enjoy my other teas right now. The first cup definitely made my throat feel better, so at least it is doing the job!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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It has been a while since I have had one of these and I neglected to do a rinse before steeping. I picked up three or four of these at the bulk tea section of my Whole Foods, which also carries packages Tea Embassy tea as well. I live in a good place to be a tea lover! The first steeping was at under boiling water for two minutes and the taste was really bland. Second steeping was with boiling water for a minute. It is a little bitter, kinda earthy, but not very enjoyable. Third steep, boiling water. Maybe 20 seconds… much better. Fourth steep was for a minute. Tastes good, but not as delicious as I remember this tea tasting the last time I had it. By now I’m totally geeked out on caffeine and need to end this experiment before I get the jitters any worse! Learned a few lessons that I can look back on next time I’m in the mood for this tea, so that is a win.

Preparation
Boiling

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drank Vanilla Honeybush by Zhi Tea
469 tasting notes

I got this sample because I wanted to know what mostly unflavored honeybush tastes like so I can identify it in flavored honeybush teas. I can smell the vanilla, but it is pretty bland otherwise. Seems like it would be a good carrier for added flavors because it won’t compete taste wise, but on it’s own it is pretty meh.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Violet Femme by Zhi Tea
469 tasting notes

Violet Femme. Heh. Cute.
Went on a walk to Zhi Tea today and grabbed a sample of this since I have been interested in violet teas. The people that work there are always so sweet, accommodating and mellow! So it turns out this isn’t actually violet flavored, it is lavender and it smelled so good that I had to try it. I love floral flavors and this definitely has that! The citrus, lavender and vanilla dance so well together in the scent of this tea dry. At first I smell the combination of all three merged, then they take turns standing out on their own. I want to smell like this tea all the time!

It is late in the day and the other Zhi teas I have had pack quite the caffeinated punch, so we will see if I regret this cup come bedtime! Once it is brewed the smell is almost honey like. Citrusy honey with a touch of lavender on the end.

The first sip was a little harsh. Not sure if it was the tea base or the lavender punch, but it quickly subsided and smoothed out. Again, the flavors take turns merging and stepping out. It tastes quite good without sugar and I’m a sugar in my flavored tea kinda gal. I could enjoy the whole cup like this, but I’m going to try it sweet too. Hmmm, it is good with sugar too, but it doesn’t really make this tea significantly better, just different. I think it is better without.

Overall this tea is pretty tasty and I wouldn’t mind having it around for a while! If you like floral, give it a go!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Cotton Candy Black Tea by 52teas
469 tasting notes

I think I killed this tea. I am a tea murderer. I remember it tasting pretty good and resembling cotton candy quite a bit. Sitting around for a year in a container that used to house rosemary (could have sworn I got all the rosemary scent out, but apparently not) did not do it any justice. It didn’t really taste like much for most of the cup, but as it cooled I got a lot more of that cotton candy taste from it. I’m taking away two lessons from this; 1 treat my tea better and 2 I really do prefer the black 52teas cold.

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

Aww you’re not a tea murderer!!! Just need to improve your tea colonies conditions ;)

Dustin

I suppose so! Still, I do feel a little guilty for letting a good tea down like that.

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drank Sencha #1 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
469 tasting notes

The first cup was over steeped slightly and a touch bitter. Second steep was successful. It tastes a little grassy and it is smooth, but is it far from amazing. Actually, I find it kinda boring.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
Tuscanteal

This made me laugh… that’s totally how I feel about some senchas… grassy. And then to top it off… I’m feeling kind of bored. Maybe I’m easy to please this morning, but it got a giggle out of me.

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drank Apple Pie Chai by Simpson & Vail
469 tasting notes

I got this as a sample (looks like a generous amount that will brew 3-4 cups) and would never have thought to order this on my own. I hate hibiscus and avoid teas with it like the plague, BUT I couldn’t even spot it in the mix and can only detect a slight tang that goes well with the apple flavor. Just enough to give the apples a natural tartness without over tanging it into oblivion. Well played Simpson & Vail!

The dry tea smells amazing and full of spices. I can spot lemongrass and dried orange and can only pick out clove by scent. The lemongrass comes out at the end of my cup when it cools. The apple doesn’t rule the pie despite the name, but it is in there. So far I like it! We’ll see if it grows on me more as I work through this sample!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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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