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456 Tasting Notes

85
drank Dong Ding by thepuriTea
456 tasting notes

I just posted a note for Verdant’s Dong Ding Oolong and I have a cup of this too for comparison. I steeped it for less time than I did before, but I seem to pick up a slight mineral flavor that I only detected in the second steeping last time. I think I only notice it now because I am comparing it with the other tea, so it stands out more (though it could also be because the water temperature was 5 degrees higher than last time). I still like this one and my rating remains the same, but I like Verdant’s a bit better because it is more savory.

Update: I gave my husband samples of both too and he likes this one better than Verdant’s. Guess I’ll be keeping both in my stash now :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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95

I ordered a sample of this after my husband said he liked Dong Ding Oolong. He previously tried a sample from thepuriTea, and I ordered that one too. I wanted to compare them. They are very similar, but this one doesn’t smell floral at all and it is slightly more savory than thepuriTea one.

Thank goodness that Verdant clarifies the distinction between mainland and Taiwanese Oolongs. So far, the only green Oolongs that I like are from Taiwan and I never made the association before. I really do like a delicate floral aroma (I didn’t used to) but I don’t like floral flavor so much (who knows, maybe my taste for that will develop too). What I really like is savory. yummy. (^o^)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

It tastes like vanilla coffee! I didn’t know it was supposed to taste coffee-like until I read the description just now. Of course, with a name like Java Tea Co. it makes sense. Coffee was my first addiction before I discovered tea, but I wasn’t so much into flavored coffees. Sometimes I’d go all out and get a toffee latte, but that was rare and I hardly considered it ‘coffee.’ Straight up black dark roast is where it’s at for me.

My husband doesn’t often sample new teas. He’s reluctant to variety and when he finds a favorite anything, convincing him to branch out is a chore.

I was in the kitchen brewing up three small cups of new samples and brewing up a larger mug of one of his favorites. I brought him his tea and then he followed me back into the kitchen and asked to sample my teas. I certainly wasn’t going to say no to this unusual change of character. Lucky for him he found a new favorite. I like this one alright, but he definitely loves it, so I guess that means it will be a repurchase. :)

Thanks TastyBrew!

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

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65

Thank you Rie for sharing some of this tea with me.

I didn’t realize that it had ginger in it when I first asked to swap for it. I do not like ginger except in cookies and other heavily spiced recipes, just not ginger alone. ginger tea makes me nauseous just smelling it. For the longest time, I didn’t realize that ginger was my problem. There was a flavor I frequently detected in some Chinese dishes and it was awful, but as I didn’t know what it was, it was impossible to avoid. I never suspected ginger, because it is common in all the yummy autumn pastries that I love, how could it be the enemy? Then one day, when I was eating some store-bought sushi, I sampled the pickled ginger that came with it. Yuck! that was it. That was the nasty Chinese food flavor that alluded me for so long. Finally! On a related note, I was in shock the day I learned that ambrosia fruit salad is made with mayo. Strange how ingredients can take on a life of their own in a blend. So far, I haven’t had any luck with ginger blend teas.

I read reviews of this tea and most of them say that the ginger stands out. Strange enough, I didn’t detect it at all. A case of ambrosia salad? This tea tastes like peach gummy rings. Oh man, I used to love those things when I was a kid. I had a bag of them in my candy stash at all times. The tea brings back memories, but I’ve largely lost my taste for candy. My sweet tooth aims for cakes and bakery goods, but generally not candies.

My husband on the other hand, who is not the biggest fan of peaches, likes this tea. He says he gives it an 88. Good thing since I have quite a bit left!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Mayo in ambrosia salad? blech! My mom never put it in hers, thank god!

Shelley_Lorraine

Yeah, I’ve heard that some people use sour cream, cool whip, or both. And mayo is often mixed with cool whip too. My mother always used just mayo and coulda fooled me, I always thought that it was cake frosting!

Rie

I’m really glad this turned out okay despite the ginger! :‘D The gummy rings comparison is appealing, I’ll try imagining that the next time I attempt to like this, haha

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85

This was a bonus sample in my swap from Rie. Thanks!

I really am starting to appreciate green oolongs more than I used to. They aren’t my favorite teas, but I think I can be in the mood for them sometimes and might even keep a few in my regular stock.

I brewed this one western style as I didn’t have a lot of time, but it came out pretty good. It has a very delicate floral aroma and a creamy texture. I think when it comes to flowers, as long as they aren’t jasmine and they aren’t slapping me in the face, I can appreciate them in my tea.

Rie tells me that her family brings this tea back from Taiwan. I suppose I’ll have to find my own source for a good Gaoshan oolong if I want any more.

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

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75

Backlog:

I selected this sample from Shmiracles as my after dinner tea with an episode of Merlin. I am surprised that there are so many just-average ratings for this tea. My only issue with it is that raspberry is my least favorite berry. Other than that, I think that this is an excellently blended tea. The flavors don’t taste too sweet or artificial and there is absolutely no questionable aftertaste (as I have found all too common with many flavored teas). This is like the tea version of a berry blend juice. If I liked raspberry more, I’d give it 100.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
456 tasting notes

Backlog:

I really wanted to love this tea because of the name. My husband loves it. To me, it’s another novelty flavor that hardly tastes like tea at all. It’s fun and pleasant to drink, but my cravings are usually aimed towards tea (and flavored teas so long as the tea isn’t lost to the flavors).

This tea tastes like a melted stick of chewing gum. The marshmallow gives it that gummy-like texture. Unlike the 52teas Lime Jello Salad tea, I could see myself drinking this tea again, but not too often.

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75
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
456 tasting notes

I bought this tea mostly for my father and husband. They both like spicy cinnamon and they are both a fan of Butiki’s Winter Fire tea, so I thought this one would be for them too. I can’t handle the Winter Fire tea at all. It tastes alright, but I feel like I am suffocating for just a moment after each swallow. My mother and sister felt the same way. I attribute it to the hot peppers. This, having cayenne pepper and all, I figured would not be a good match for me. And it supposedly has Lapsang Souchong in it too! Oh, no thank you to that! Adagio’s custom Smaug blend was all the Lapsang Souchong encounters that I ever needed.

So why am I sitting here with a cup of this tea anyway? I don’t really know. I seem to be having an OCD issue causing me to try out teas just because I have to simply say that I tried them. Here and there, if I am in the right mood, I can override the OCD, but not tonight. Of course, I only brewed a tiny tea cup of this.

The Lapsang Souchong is completely lost on me in this tea. I know it is in there sparingly, but that’s some powerful stuff to hide even in small quantities. I’m getting just a small touch of the same sensation that choked me upon swallowing Winter Fire, but not enough to actually make me cough. That all being said, this is really just a strong cinnamon flavored tea. It’s not fooling around when it comes to flavor.

I like cinnamon plenty, but I don’t usually crave it in a tea unless it’s blended with other ingredients too. This is a tea that I will likely drink more of simply because my husband likes it too, but I won’t be reaching for it when I’m making tea for myself alone.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

TastyBrew’s Personally recommended blend from her mystery swap box.

It’s not half bad. The flavors are very well balanced and there’s no unpleasant aftertaste. I’m not super thrilled about almond flavor in my teas, but I wouldn’t say no to a second cup of this.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
TastyBrew

This is definitely one of my favs. Glad you kinda liked it!

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85

After sampling a few so-so teas, I needed a definite good one with which to end the day. A bit odd going from three black-based blends straight to a green, but it was so worth the abrupt transition.

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

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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) (this will be my 4th degree, but first/only graduate one :) )

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 most often one that I recognize as having significantly 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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