1585 Tasting Notes

70

I’ve had this (sealed) tin for a year or two, but when I first opened it the smell was as strong as if it had been blended yesterday. The black leaves appear to be almost be oiled – I’m not sure if that’s the oil of bergamot or if that’s their natural appearance.

The bergamot is strong in both scent and flavour almost to the point of being unpleasantly pungent when I tried drinking the tea without milk. With the addition of milk it’s much better, but the bergamot is still a bit strong for my preferences. It brings to mind Adagio’s Earl Grey Bravo though this is a bit smoother and more refined than that one. I seem to be having difficulty finding jut the right earl grey – most of the ones I’ve tries either go too light on the bergamot or add too much.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

I received this sample in a trade I think, or a traveling teabox because I certainly don’t remember ever buying anything from this company before. I may have to change that though if all their teas are as tasty as this one. The pu-erh base is fantastic giving the tea rich, earthy notes that also manage to be slightly sweet. It goes well with the nutty coconut flavours and though I’m not getting hazelnut exactly there’s a distinct flavour of tree nuts somewhere in there. 10/10 would recommend.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84

Sipdown. It’s interesting but I’ve found that I’m not as wild about this tea as I was in the beginning. I still enjoy it and it’s a good decaf blend for drinking in the evening, but it’s not my fav.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 1 OZ / 29 ML

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73
drank Lemon Meringue Chai by 52teas
1585 tasting notes

Frank always comes up with such interesting and innovative tea blends – for instance I’ve certainly never seen a lemon-flavoured chai put out by any other tea company! It certainly is lemony and the chai spices make a good counterpoint to the sour citrus. I’m not really getting the ‘meringue’ part though as the marshmallow root just doesn’t really come through and there’s not very much sweetness. However this is without anything added to the tea – I’ll experiment with adding milk and sweetener to see if that changes things. I’ve found that milk in particular can radically alter the flavours of some black teas.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1585 tasting notes

This is one of the teas that the bookstore I work at stocks without fail, so I decided to do some ‘research’ so I could make good recommendations to the customers (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). ;)

I’ve always found that Harney & Sons manages to straddle the line between putting out a high quality product but at the same time still being affordable and accessible even for those not well-versed in tea knowledge. This tea is good example – it’s refined with the sweet caramel and creamy vanilla flavours but at the same time the hint of tangy bergamot is familiar (just about everyone has tried earl grey at some point in their lives). I could see this tea becoming a staple in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Spiced Brandy Shou Mei by 52teas
1585 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I drank this tea so I decided to give it another go with slightly different steeping parameters. My opinion of the tea remains pretty much unchanged however, though drinking it now it comes across as being even more chai-like with not much of any brandy (or indeed any alcohol) flavours. This tea may go on the ‘to swap’ pile – I know there’s a Traveling Teabox coming my way in the near future.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Peach Earl Grey by Red Leaf Tea
1585 tasting notes

I’m really not sure what to think of this tea to be honest – it’s not outright unpleasant, but I don’t precisely love it either. The bergamot and peach flavours merge together in way that’s a bit like mango – but not quite – though mango is the closest analogy to what I’m actually tasting that I can think of. It’s distinctly tangy, especially when the tea is hot and gradually more sweetness creeps in as the temperature of liquid falls. It’s an interesting blend and I can honestly say I haven’t really tried a tea like this before. I may have to play around with it a bit before I can give a verdict.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84
drank Coffee Cake by DAVIDsTEA
1585 tasting notes

Another tea that smells good enough to eat – like fruit and caramel. The flavour is distinctly cakey and sweet – like caramelized brown sugar. There’s also a slight fruity undertone although it subtle and I can’t really pick out any fruit in particular. This tea is delicious – like dessert in a cup. I hope Davids Tea brings this blend back next winter because I’d say it’s my favourite out of all the teas that were in the Winter Sampler.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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60
drank Browncoat Genmaicha by 52teas
1585 tasting notes

I reduced the steeping time which helped a little bit but this tea still has a rather unpleasantly bitter, almost chemical-like tang to it. I think a sweetened chocolate flavour would have worked better than raw cocoa. I’m adding this tea to my swap/give away pile.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I’m a university student in her twenties who’s currently working her way toward a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree. I love both science and science-fiction and I’m a history nut on top of that. Maybe I should just call myself a nerd and leave it there. ;)

I’ve been drinking tea since I was young but it’s only in the past couple years that I’ve become interested in the good-quality stuff.

I’m also a self-proclaimed Grammar-Nazi, and improper capitalization and spelling invariably makes me twitch (yes, I mean you!)

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