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456 Tasting Notes

15

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Shelley_Lorraine

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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75

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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This Darjeeling comes to me, courtesy of Moraiwe

This darjeeling is the first that has a notable difference in flavor profile from the few I had before (see my tasting note for Upton TD33 thurbo Est.)

It has the same muscatel flavor with the addition of a sparkling character, almost champagne-like. But as I said in my previous note, I’m not a wine person. Although I can vaguely recognize the quality of some of these characteristics, it’s not my thing.

Still happy that I have the opportunity to get familiar with darjeelings though.

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

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Tea #4 From Another TTB

With the help of this tea box and a swap from Moraiwe I was able to compare 5 different darjeelings together.

I’ve had one darjeeling before this (Makaibari Darjeeling from Della Terra) as well as the oolong variant “Oooh Darjeeling” from Butiki. I did not particularly care for either of those, but I wanted to give Darjeelings a fair chance. I think I can safely say now, that I am not a darjeeling person. Makes sense though as Im not much of a wine person, so why should I like the “fine wine” of teas? :p

This particular darjeeling is the most similar of the five to the one I’ve had before. It’s a heavy, overwhelming flavor, muscatel, apparently. I think of it like the same heavy honey flavor in some dark oolongs. Why this flavor becomes “muscatel” in a darjeeling is beyond me. I can’t tell the difference. It hits my stomach like a brick and leaves me feeling momentarily unwell. Fortunately, the feeling doesn’t last long after I stop drinking.

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

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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
456 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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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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