483 Tasting Notes

I received my shipment from Mantra today and I brewed this one a little different than the last time I logged it. I steeped it for 2min30sec rather than 3 minutes, used slightly less leaf and steeped it in a tea pocket, hoping to reduce the strength of the liquor. It made a difference. The flavor is a lot better this time. Maybe not quite a fancy as I wrote it up to be the first time, but still enjoyable. yay :)

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I’m not getting the cocoa notes from this that the rest of you are getting. Just honey. That same honey flavor that I used to describe as mushroom and that I’ve recently discovered morphs into “muscatel” in a darjeeling. Clearly, I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to describing black teas. But According to my own personal tea descriptors, I dub this mushroom tea and it shall not be my tea.

It tastes similar to Jin Jun Mei also from Yezi, which I compared to Zhen Qu from Butiki. Should I be finding such overlapping characteristics between these teas or am I on my own little tea planet?

(I keep wanting to type random German in the middle of my English. . .this is a good sign. .. well, not for all you reading my notes, probably. haha)

ok, back to the tea: The one thing ‘mushroom’ black teas have going for them is that they do not upset my stomach the way a ‘mushroom’ oolong or a darjeeling does.

Here’s to hoping that the real tea gurus out there don’t make a fuss at me for trying to compare such individual categories of tea, likely deserving of their own unique taste descriptions. :)

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Tea #11 from Another TTB

Meh, another fall-spice tea let down. Rocky Horror spice. Where is the spice? Tim Curry would not approve.

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Tea #10 from Another TTB

It smells like a stinky shoe! Like a leather loafer that spent too much time in the garden and smells like moldy-weed-leather-and-food in a cup.

Should I taste it? . . .here goes…

Oh man. It tastes like stinky shoe too! Some of you all actually like this?? oh gee, no thank you!!

But, I will say Kudos to a tea tasting exactly like it smells.


Some of us would say…stinky loader and armpits..NO! Redwood forest, library and mushrooms…YES! If this is puerh, there is puke puerh and fabulous puerh.


Well, I might expect this from a puerh… but this even puts the worse puerh to shame. So many good reviews though! I don’t get it… oh well :)


Maybe the fruit in the blend picked up mold. Thought maybe this was a weird puerh but it isn’t. Has to be the fig.

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Tea #9 from Another TTB

Not bad for a dessert tea. A bright natural strawberry flavor with a pastry character. A fun tea, but not one that I would drink often.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Tea #8 from Another TTB

The tea almost promises a good flavor at the start of the sip, but it finishes kind of blah. The flavor is sweet, but I wouldn’t describe it as cherry. Maybe it’s trying too hard not to be cough syrup as is the bane of most cherry teas. Also, it leaves a funky aftertaste.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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Tea #7 from Another TTB

Funny, I was just about to compare this to Brioche when I read Tasty Brew’s note below. The thing is, TastyBrew, Im not a big almond/nut tea connoisseur so its easy, in my case, to lump all the teas of that type together;)

But, I was going to say, as far as nutty teas go, this is one of the better ones I’ve had. This is why I was going to compare it to Brioche, or at least say that those who like that one would surely like this one too. However, while I recognize the quality of both of these teas, they aren’t for me.

This one smells amazing though. I would say it smells better than Brioche. But the flavor is like a plain nutty unsweetened pastry. Im leaving this unrated because I would definitely recommend this tea to others, but Im not drinking it again myself.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea #6 from Another TTB (5th and last darjeeling sampled this morning)

Of the five darjeelings I tried this morning, I liked this one the least. It tastes musty, like old clothes in an attic with moth balls and cat pee too. icky.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

well, I tell it like it is! ;)

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Tea #5 From Another TTB and fourth darjeeling sampled this morning

This first flush darjeeling has much of the flavor characteristics as Giddapahar Musk from Thunderbolt teas, but they are not as pronounced. Namely the sparkling (and astringent) characteristic. The liquor is in between the colors of the other 1st and 2nd flush darjeelings that I brewed thismorning.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Another Darjeeling from Moraiwe :)

Of the five darjelings I sampled this morning, I liked this one the best. The flavor is not heavy and doesn’t weigh-down my stomach the way 2nd flush darjeelings do. This one is light and pleasant with notes of pear. Still not a tea that I love enough to buy for myself, but I would drink it again.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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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?. . .).



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