471 Tasting Notes

Many thanks to Moraiwe for this sample

I think I over-leafed this cup, because it came out bitter. It’s the exact bitterness that I am accustomed to when I brew japanese greens wrong, so I know it’s not the teas fault. I’ll have to leave it unrated for now.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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65

Tea #3 from Another TTB

I was really underwhelmed by this tea. After the yummy cinnamon spice tea from H&S, I thought that the addition of orange to a cinnamon and clove blend could only make it better! Apparently not. It sort of smells like a pomander, but the aroma doesn’t pop and say “hey, it’s the holidays!” It’s just sort of there, hanging out in a shady corner saying,
" ’sup." I hardly detect any orange in the flavor, which is unusual b/c orange usually stands out. The flavor as a whole is murky and even less exciting than the smell. Oh well.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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65

Tea #2 from Another TTB

At first the floral sweetness stood out the most. It’s a sort of sweetness that I often mistake for fruit at first, not like the floral of an oolong. As I drink more of my cup, the hay notes that i am more used to in a Bai Mu Dan come out more, but they are a lot more subtle than those in Verdant’s Bai Mu Dan. By the end of the cup, I can hardly taste the sweetness at all, but I can still smell it. This may sound strange, and maybe it’s just my taste out of whack today, but something hints at wanting to be a spice, but its not spicy. It’s almost like pepper.

The flavor profile of this one is quite interesting. I don’t know if I like it for sure or not. I think I am going to hang on to the last serving of it from the box to try it out again some time later.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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Alright then, whats the big idea here?! Stephanie sent me an extra sample of this tea in a recent swap and I was so excited to have more of this tea on hand. It doesn’t taste at all like I remember and I didn’t do anything different.

This time around it tastes almost identical to Kenilworth Ceylon from Harney and Sons, which is another tea that I liked a first, but not anymore. The different there, though, is that the flavor never changed on me, I just changed my mind about liking it.

I bought two more sample packs of this from Mantra, before I got this one in a swap. Im glad that I didn’t go all out for a full bag, not that I could have afforded it anyway :) I’m going to really hope (and cross my fingers) that this time was just a fluke or maybe stephanie was sneaky and snuck in the wrong tea. . lol j/k.

Anyway, even if this tea really does taste different than I remember, I mean no offense to the tea. It is a flavor profile that doesn’t particularly suit me, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for someone else! After all, it won a competition :)

Stephanie

Hmm, I wasn’t all that impressed by it either. Maybe there IS something up with this batch! :/

Mantra Tea Taiwan

Hello, I just noticed this thread! This looks like a major malfunction for us, which I would like to remedy. I am investigating it, but Shelley, Stephanie, I’m going to send you by email an Etsy code. I would be gratefulf you would please use it to order the monthly single free of charge. I will personally make sure you get the right Ruby Black.

Stephanie

Thanks very much! I am looking forward to trying it :)

Shelley_Lorraine

Just placed my order yesterday and added the Iron Goddess that I wanted more of. Thanks! Though, as I already communicated to Mantra Tea previously, I think it is more than likely that the Ruby Black tea is just fine, but my sense of taste is off. I’ve started to notice a sort of woody/smoky flavor in at least three different black teas now that I previously though of as more sweet than woody. Maybe my palate has discovered a new side of itself? Anyway, this isn’t a bad thing for the teas, but just not the best flavor profile for me.

Mantra Tea Taiwan

Shelley, we have also been thinking about this, and we agree that tastes change, and in addition there are differences in the batches even within the same season. They are hand-made, after all.

However, in this case, we think what also could have happened is that we accidentally sent you a different producer. Right now we are listing what we feel is our best Ruby Black, incidentally our most expensive. But in China they have a greater range of taste, and so we have also listed another producer – also award-winning. This, we may have accidentally sent to you.

Unfortunately if that is so, it will be some time before we can source that for you again. But let me know what you think of the one on the way, and how it matches up with the past experiences. Happy Steeps!

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74
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
471 tasting notes

Tea #1 From “Another Traveling Tea Box”

This tea smells sweet like honey, but it doesn’t taste like it. There is something almost smoky at the top of the sip that disappears before I can really identify it. Over all, it’s a good cup of black tea, but not my favorite.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

A good cup of black tea to start the day! It has much of the flavor characteristics of a breakfast blend, but not quite as bold.

Thanks for the free sample Stacy :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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45

Not such a great tea. It tastes like a cheap artificially sweetened black tea with a hint of caramel. It’s somewhat in the league of 52Teas Candy Corn tea imo, so maybe those of you who liked that one would like this too. I rated that one higher, though, because the caramel in this one is what really puts me off.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

This is a bright and cheery green, definitely reminiscent of spring time. It’s light without being flavorless. This could be a nice addition to my otherwise heavy vegetal broth collection :)

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

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75

Well, consider me unbelievably impressed!

This has got to be the both the best flavored puerh and the best chocolate tea that I’ve ever had. Ever. Seriously. And if you know me, you know that I have never rated any chocolate tea high and only once before enjoyed a flavored puerh.

So what’s this mean for most of you reading this? probably that you won’t like it as much as I. All you who enjoy those della terra chocolate teas (so gnarly!) might not find this tea to match your tastes. . .but who knows. To me, this is exactly how a peppermint-patty wanna-be tea should be. The mint is strongest, while the chocolate hangs out in the back ground. The puerh gives the tea a weightier/creamier mouth feel than would another base, but it doesn’t contribute a lot to the flavor, which is good imo. I like unflavored puerh, but I haven’t found its unique flavor well suited to dessert blends.

I am especially impressed that this comes from a little Montana tea shop that is only a few years old.

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75

Den’s tea sample of the month. I saw this tea featured on the website when I placed my order for Sencha Fuka Midori, but I didn’t order any. I don’t like naturally citrusy greens, so I didn’t expect to like one with yuzu chips. But I got a sample, so I tried it anyway.

It really is a nice refreshing tea, the kind I’d drink when I’ve had too many flavored samples in a row. My biggest complaint isn’t so much the yuzu flavor, but the bitterness, which might be due to the yuzu, I don’t know.

Anyway, it’s better than I thought it would be, but I am super picky about my green teas and I already have enough favorites to keep my cupboard full, so this won’t be joining them.

Here’s a picture of the tea in the pretty new tea cup that I got for my birthday yesterday:
http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h353/flightysprite/Tea/fallleafteacup_zpsb445f84d.jpg

I’ve wanted this mug since I first saw it in the Republic of Tea Catalogue. It’s just the right size (10oz) for me and a perfect weight. I don’t like heavy/bulky mugs and I usually have to settle for flimsy mugs that feel like toys, which are still better than getting a sore wrist from the heavier ones. But this one has a nice sturdy feel too it without being painful to hold for a long time. So lovely. :)

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

That is a pretty mug. Love the color!

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Profile

Bio

Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Wyoming
Occupation: Student and Evil Genius
Ward: 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 1 Cocker spaniel, 1 super cranky but lovable siamese cat, one bipolar black turkish angora, and my husband’s black and white cat.

Hobbies: Learning, reading books, math, physics (have a degree in it), literature (have a degree in it too), anthropology, traveling, piano, and making TEA, of course (^o^)

Future plans: World domination >-)
Graduate school for Comparative literature (in German, Latin, and Greek) – Update: I’m going to the University of Colorado in Fall 2014!! yay me!

Favorite teas: Kukicha, Green teas in general, aged oolongs, charcoal roasted oolong, taiwanese oolongs, Assam . . .

Don’t like: Genmaicha, Earl Grey, Darjeelings, ginger, coconut, smokey teas (even mild ones), nut flavors, overwhelmingly strong floral flavor (esp. Jasmine), most della derra and adagio teas. . .

My Rating System

100 My happiness absolutely depends on it

95 Will definitely repurchase

85: Might repurchase (teas that depend on my mood)

75 Won’t repurchase (but I would drink it again if offered).

65: meh

45: I reluctantly finished a cup.

15: Couldn’t finish a cup.

I simplified my ratings to single numbers rather than ranges because I can’t precisely compare so many teas with a system more detailed than this.

An unrated tea is most often one that I recognize as having significant notable quality, but that does not suit me personally. Sometimes, I leave teas unrated for other reasons, such as I am undecided or I brewed it wrong, etc.

Note: Boiling temp. barely reaches 200 where I am (and a few times it sticks at 195, I assume due to unexplainable shifts in altitude or the position of the moon. . .aliens?. . .).

Location

Wyoming

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