487 Tasting Notes

Ah boo to buying mandatory large packages of unfamiliar teas! I absolutely HAD to buy more Macaron tea and my mother wanted Wedding Imperial so we split shipping charges to order from Mariage Frerès. I figured I ought to get something extra to make the order efficient. I saw that this was a best seller and went for it.

At least it is palatable. It has a wine aroma from dry leaf to cup and I’ve already expressed my dislike for alcoholic-like flavors. Perhaps that is why this one is so popular though. Fortunately, for me, the wine notes aren’t too strong and there is a pleasant fruitiness about it. When it is very hot, it kind of gives off a perfumy aroma like the smell of department store samples in a catalogue. That wore off as it cooled and doesn’t come through in the flavor.

I’ll be taking a sample of this to my parents and if they aren’t so keen on it, I’ll have plenty for swapping! :)

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

I so wish MF sold sample sizes! Or even 50g packs. They have a bunch of blends I’d like to try, but I’m hesitant to shell out for such large quantities (especially given that my one and only MF experience so far was somewhat of a letdown).

Shelley_Lorraine

I probably never would have ordered from them if I didn’t first get some samples from swapping. It would be more sad to spend all that money on overseas shipping to get a whole box full of duds! I’d be happy to swap samples of the few blends that I have now if you want to try them. Just let me know :)

greenteafairy

I was lucky enough to be able to get someone to bring the tea back to me from London, so at least I didn’t have to pay shipping. I’d love to try a sample of Marco Polo (and wouldn’t mind trying the Macaron as well, although I totally understand if you want to hold on to that one). I only got the Bouddha Bleu from them; I still have a bit of it but I think it might be too floral for your liking (although I found it more fruity than floral, personally). Take a look in my cupboard and let me know if anything looks good to you – I have swappable quantities of most things except for the Butiki teas.

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85

I can see why this is Den’s best selling Sencha. It’s sweet, vegetal, and not too bitter or astringent (when brewed according to Den’s instructions). I absolutely love a good green tea, but I’ve had trouble working with Sencha in the past. It’s so easy to over steep or to steep with the wrong temperature. Even following guidelines have given me mediocre results in the past. This one has a very slight bitterness, but it is a welcome addition to the sweetness. My husband really likes it too :)

ETA: This tea does leave a lot of powdered debris in my cup with lend to more bitterness as I near the bottom. It seems that Dens has a thing for powdery greens.

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

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75

Yummy yummy blueberry muffin tea. Even better than I remember.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Lariel of Lórien

Purple tea? Is comes in purple?

Chelle

I had to add this to my shopping list…blueberry, Butiki, and I’ve never had purple tea…

Shelley_Lorraine

Yeah, its some kind of new-ish hybrid tea from Kenya (I think). The Butiki website has more info (and unflavored purple too, but this blueberry one is just divine). And it really brews all purple in the cup. I don’t know how much of that is the blueberry or the supposed purple of the tea, but I just love it. My favorite color <3

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85

Thank goodness that this one is so much better than that Royal Phoenix that I just dumped. I was taking a big risk brewing another unfamiliar sample, but it worked out.

This is a really good roasted oolong. It retains a lot more of the floral flavor than other roasted oolongs that I have had. Way to go thepuriTea! (^^)

Oh by the way, in case anyone is wondering (I know I left you in suspense and you are dying to know, lol), I survived my piano recital on Sunday. It wasn’t as perfect as I way hoping for, but it could have been a lot worse. I was terribly stressed out about other things the couple days before and I’m just glad that I was able to make it through the performance. My hands completely went off on their own tangent right in the middle for a whole 7 seconds. grrr. The awfulness of it. Playing a piece perfect a thousand times over for no one to hear and then a whole audience hears that. ugh. Oh well. At least I had a pretty dress (^^)
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxNRCCXF70kYdTZrdHN2ZW5GelE/edit?usp=sharing

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

Good for you getting up there and performing!

That kind of experience is exactly why I didn’t go into performing although I was a music major. I love singing and creating music with other people, but freeze up to an extent on stage. It does get way better though the more often you do it. I still dabble with performing from time to time, but mostly in choirs or really informal settings.

Shelley_Lorraine

It’s my 4th recital there (I’ve only been playing a few years). The only thing that keeps me looking forward to more recitals is that piano. Oh boy I would do anything to have that piano!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

From what I can see, it’s a beautiful piano! (I can’t watch at work.)

moraiwe

The Storm! That song is so fun to play! And I thought you did lovely! :)

(And for what it’s worth, unless anyone in the audience was really familiar with the song, they probably didn’t notice your mistake. You kept playing and it passed off as part of the song really well <3 Performing is hard)

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Just got to watch it and like Moraiwe said, you pulled off the mistake with confidence. I am not familiar with the piece and didn’t detect a big mistake. The piano, your playing, and your dress were beautiful!

Shelley_Lorraine

DELETEless than a minute ago
oh gee, i know I could have done worse! Most of the students there were playing things much harder than I. The teacher I have is excellent (albeit intimidating and Russian. lol) I haven’t heard a single student of hers ever sound like a beginner (except maybe me! haha). But one girl there completely stopped playing three times during her piece and just trembled at the piano until she could remember. I felt her pain. But then, with a piece as impressive as hers was, that kind of mistake is easier to forgive.

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15

After reading the positive reviews for this tea, I just had to try it. GiggleGoddess was kind enough to share a sample with me. But oh gee, is it NOT the tea for me. I don’t know what dimension everyone else tastebuds are lingering in, but this tastes like noxious weeds and I dunno, sugar snap peas maybe? Whatever it is, it made me feel sick after two sips and I had to dump it. Fortunately, it had no bad aftertaste so I was able to overcome the queasy feeling quickly. Not every tea can be a winner. :)

TeaBrat

I liked this! ha ha

Shelley_Lorraine

yes, your review being one of the many that prompted me to try this tea! lol. Something in it just didn’t agree with me.

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85

Another white tea sample here from GiggleGoddess :)

White tea became one of my first favorites after green. Most of the whites I had in the beginning were vegetal, citrusy, and even a touch floral while remaining mild no matter what the flavor notes. Only recently have I experienced the hay and barley side of the white tea world. The first one I had in this category was not to my liking. The second was alright, but not re-purchase worthy. This one is very similar to the second (that being Wild Honey Sprout also from Art of Tea) but lacking the honey aroma. It is my favorite of the “barley whites” as I will call them. The flavor is mild, just as I like from a white tea. I often think of whites as my palate-cleansing teas. The ones I go for when I’ve had way too many flavored blends in a row or when I’m simply not feeling in the mood for a loud tea.

Monkey Picked White from the Tea Spot remains my most favorite white, but this one could find a place in my cupboard at times too.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I have one more sample left from Shmiracles after this one and only a few more from other people after that. The never ending box of samples is nearing it’s end. It’s almost time for more swapping! (^.^)
I’ve said before that although I like pu-erh, I find it an awful base for most sweet flavors. That being said, this is one of the better sweet flavored pu-erh blends that I’ve had, and from DavidsTea no less. If you are into flavored pu-erhs, I hight recommend this one. As for me, I’ll take my strawberries and blackberries with a black tea, thank you :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Tea Sipper

Well, you could always mix this blend with a black tea…

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65

One of my last few samples from Shmiracles

The leaves smell like fruity and alcoholic. Not a winning scent for me. But the tea tastes quite different than it smells. I can’t figure out how to describe it accurately. The best I can come up with is spices, possibly clove among them. But not spicy like a chai, it’s more delicate than that. The alcoholic scent that I detected before lingers slightly in the flavor. The rest I cannot describe. I can’t say that I am a fan, but is an intriguing flavor nonetheless.

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

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85

Hmm, I thought I’ve logged this one before. Guess not. Well, this isn’t the first time that I’ve had this tea. I like it more this time than before. Sometimes teas need time to grow on me. It’s smooth, slightly malty, and fruity. A very good every day black when you don’t want something too bold.

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

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85

Having a glum day and I thought this tea might make it better. It’s not quite as sweet as last time, but I think that’s just my mood getting too it. I have a piano recital tomorrow and I really hope it goes well and puts an end to my glumy spell.

For the time being, ordering some more of this tea might help, since my sample from Shmiracles has not quite enough left for another cup.

ETA: Oh hey, there it is! there’s the sweet that I was missing. It all fell to the bottom :p

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Shmiracles

hahah it DOES fall to the bottom doesn’t it.
surprise ending!

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Profile

Bio

Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Colorado
Occupation: Graduate Student and Evil Genius
Ward: 2 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 >-)

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

Colorado

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