141 Tasting Notes

There are many different fruits in here, but the outcome for me is a tea that tastes like dried strawberries. Not the crispy ones with the citric acid taste, but the soft, chewy ones, as if you dried them in a dehydrator yourself, with the slight dark syrupy note under the fruity lightness. As a bonus, this feels like a total indulgence. Dessert, but not sugary.

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This is every bit as delicious as the Verdant version I just discovered. Such a great tea. The only difference I can see is that where the Verdant one makes me think of buttered toast with apricot jam, this one makes me think I blended in some of my American Tea Room Immortal Green, which is a peachy green with brown sugar notes.

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I’m drinking the winter harvest version. You know how your life seems to progress from a love of simple, bold flavors (Hi-C?) to, say, fine Burgundies (yeah, I’m old) that you never would have remotely liked as a kid? I think I’m somehow enjoying this relatively more delicate but creamy, sweet, thick Jin Shuan at least as much as I ever enjoyed the bolder, crazier versions I’ve tried. I think it’s satisfying, thick body makes up for the relatively delicate (but delicious) flavor.

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Tasting this makes me think the first oolong I ever had many years ago must have been a tieguanyin. I brings back everything I love about it with its floral, mineral, mushroom notes. Finally a candidate worthy of filling the spot opened up by the out-of-stock Verdant Handpicked Autumn Tieguanyin. If they were both available, I think I’d have to flip a coin. This version has less-pronounced (but still present) hyacinth flavors in favor of a warmer profile.

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This is my new go-to green Earl Grey. There is nothing subtle here, just a strong, brisk, clean bergamot. I’m in the camp that sees no point in delicate bergamot and really wants to be knocked out by it, so this is a winner. But it’s not only strong, but a nice rounded, balanced flavor.

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When tea drinkers live dangerously. That’s actually kind of true here. Apparently you’re really not supposed to drink this stuff if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and it has a ‘slightly stupefying’ relaxing effect. So it’s basically beer. In flavor it reminds me of….gin? Definitely a bit medicinal but not bad. It’s just a little piney. I’m definitely relaxed, but then, I’m spending an evening drinking tea, reading a cookbook, and playing with my dog. Really hard to pin down the culprit here. Still, I really think I need to keep this around.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Neat! I did not know that any of the Rhododendron’s species were non-toxic (but I am so not a plant expert) I will have to give it a try.

Flowery

Well, maybe ‘mildly toxic’ is the right description, at least if I’m interpreting WebMD’s summary correctly. I can live with that.

TeaBrat

sounds like I might need to try it :)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Yeah, I can live with mildly toxic ;)

Stephanie

interesting…

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This has to be the most beautiful tea I’ve ever seen. You could throw it at weddings. Don’t try to brew it with a little spoon infuser though – even in my basket infuser, I barely stuffed 3.5 grams in there. Next time I might just use a strainer after brewing completely loose. I chose this one because it promises to help with seasonal allergies that seem to be popping up tonight. The flavor is sort of a cousin of chamomile, very comforting, a little less floral perhaps. I think I like it a bit better than chamomile. I’m halfway through the cup, and my allergies have subsided quite a bit, which I of course have to attribute to just being inside for long enough to make tea. Still, maybe it didn’t hurt? UPDATE: Oh it definitely worked. 30 minutes later, after being back outside, I was completely cleared up. My claritin doesn’t work that well. That’s crazy.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

A tea to help seasonal allergies, sign me up! Especially if it doesn’t have the spacey-icky side effects of allergy meds!

caile

Wow, that’s great!

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Surprise after surprise after surprise. I plucked this tea more or less at random from a giant delivery of nearly all of Camellia Sinensis’ herbals. The first surprise: it looks just like that photo! All of their herbals look just like their ridiculous photos. They look like someone may have cut the stems out of a lovely dried bouquet. Next, the tea brewed up to a deep purple I’ve never seen in a tea. Then the flavor – floral herby basil. Emphasis on the herby basil. I think this will be the perfect pre-bedtime tea.

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Profile

Bio

I love cooking, gardening, photography, studying languages, alleys, riding bikes everywhere, snowboarding, travel, dogs, and oddly, housekeeping (as much as one can with another career). Also working on the lifelong dream of starting a business.

If I could only drink four teas ever again, they would be Black Beauty (Mandala), Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong (Verdant), Silver Buds Yabao (Verdant), and Shan Lin Xi Concubine (Eco-Cha, at least the fall 2013). These teas are ridiculous.

Current tea shops under exploration:
Verdant
Mandala
Camellia Sinensis

Wish list:
Mountain Tea
Teavivre
Den’s Tea
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Tea Drunk
Suggestions welcome!

Location

Orlando, Florida

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