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11 Tasting Notes

51
drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
11 tasting notes

I found a bag with probably half an ounce of this, forgotten and forlorn in the darkest corner of my fancy thrift store tea chest. I remembered the hole it left in my pocketbook and decided to use before it went bad.

In the year and a half since I last tasted it, I figured my palate had to have evolved to pick up on the nuances of this tea, to see if it justified the price Teavana asked.

Well. . . not really. I was able to pick up more maltiness and appreciate the lack of astringency. The leaves themselves are gorgeous little twists of sable and gold. I love chinese blacks, and this is not a bad cup, but it’s just not one I can justify purchasing when compared to other, far cheaper Chinese black teas.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Pyramid Teabags by PG Tips
11 tasting notes

I like strong, BLACK teas with lots of mouth drying tannins that wake me up and don’t go all soft when you add the milk.

This is the most functional, strongest tea I’ve had from a bag.

I dig it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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96

This is just fantastic. Rich with a thick mouthfeel, slightly smokey, quite sweet, with strong malty chocolate and hazelnut notes. Very addictive, and the price is almost unreasonably low—I would have paid much more for it. If you love Yunnan, treat yourself to this.

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60
drank Yunnan TGFOP by Upton Tea Imports
11 tasting notes

This is my new post dinner tea.

Unusual for me, I take it with a little sugar and no milk, because I like how the sugar seems to bring out the smokey-floral notes of the tea, and that quintessential taste of Chinese black teas that I adore.

An unassuming but capable cup of tea.

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

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94

I am in love.

It’s strong but not pushy, subtly smokey and tannic in the manner of a elegant wine. It’s amazing with milk, a quality I appreciate.

I am so in love.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91

Screw Folgers, this is what I like to have in my cup before going out into the unpleasant outside world of traffic and other people.

I like strong, caffeinated, dark teas that are complimented rather than weakened by the addition of milk. Upton’s Scottish blend has these qualities and then some. It’s strong, but not astringent, and dark without being bitter. Caffeine is a wondrous chemical, and this wakes me up like coffee without any meltdown a few hours later.

I’ve never had a blend like this, and I want more like it. It’s gotta be the Yunnan that adds a slight Chinese delicateness and keeps the Ceylon and Assam in check. To me, it’s the perfect reward for getting out of bed.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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66

I picked this one up at my nearest Asian grocery. I envisioned myself sipping this in the afternnon while wearing a flowery hat in a sunny garden. Plus, the tin was totally adorable, and the price was very reasonable, considering its 1/2 pound size.

Opening it rushed an almost overwhelming scent of rose deep into my nasal cavities. I worried that the taste would be too perfumey.

After brewing, however, the taste was more subdued than the scent had led me to believe. The smell, once brewed, is enchanting and light. The color is (ha,ha) a rosy brown. Drinking it plain did prove a bit too astringent, but the addition of a teaspoon of sugar enhanced the already present sweetness and rounded it out. After the second steeping, I added milk, and that worked out, to my surprise.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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70

I found this for cheap while wandering around Marshalls. Having never seen it before, I thought it must be some cheap tea dressed up to appeal to tourists in London and gullible American anglophiles. Well, I am a gullible American anglophile, and since loose tea is generally hard to come by in the wild around these parts, I snatched a tin up.

I opened it and was initially horrified. I love loose tea, but I am used to ordering higher quality stuff off the internet, and the brown micro-particles of tea leaf looked more like dollar store instant coffee than what I recognize as loose tea.

It was a beautiful late spring morning and life was already unbearably irritating. I figured that it at least contained caffeine, so I dumped two and three quarter teaspoons into my 16 oz pot and kept my expectations lowered.

It brewed up quickly and very darkly. I poured from pot to mug, and added more milk than usual, probably over an ounce. I steeled my taste buds, blew over the rim of the cup and sipped.

And. . . I enjoyed it, to my surprise. I felt guilty for judging it so harshly based on its initial appearance, like some sort of tea snob. Nice and malty, with suprisingly minimal astringincy. Quite smooth. Milk really compliments it, if milk in tea is your thing, but I kind of want to try it iced.

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

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76
drank Irish Breakfast by Adagio Teas
11 tasting notes

My everyday breakfast and second breakfast tea. Strong enough to wake me up, simple enough to propel my wandering thoughts without distracting them.

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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95
drank Himalayan Splendor by Teavana
11 tasting notes

This is the one tea from Teavana that exceeded my expectations.

Much, much more complex and rewarding than the Golden Monkey the staff kept yammering about, and stood up to multiple infusions (of varying times/temperatures, thanks to my ever-wandering attention span . . .) without showing a trace of bitterness or unpleasantness. The floral notes are delightful.

It’s almost worth what they charge for it.

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

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