149 Tasting Notes

74
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
149 tasting notes

Now 4 years from my last review of this tea, a friend gifted me with a Kusmi assortment box and I like it better now for some reason… I’m boosting my rating several points for pleasant taste and drinkability. Wondering if they’ve changed their sourcing or recipe…?

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80
drank Darjeeling No. 37 by Kusmi Tea
149 tasting notes

A friend surprised me with a sampler box of Kusmi teas, and this Darjeeling is the 2nd I’m trying, and it’s a pleasing morning cup of sweet flowers. Not at all perfumey, just lightly sweet and floral like a humming along of the otherwise somewhat brisk tea. This is the first time ever that I have actually enjoyed an astringent aspect to tea, as well, it seems to actually complement the flavor. It is a simple drinking tea with layers of interest.

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80
drank BB Detox by Kusmi Tea
149 tasting notes

It also contains Guarana (not currently on the steepster ingredients list though I wrote in to add it.) The grapefruit ingredient is listed on Kusmi’s website as “scent of grapefruit”… So apparently no actual grapefruit in it.

Liked it well enough, not clear to me why this is one of their most popular teas, though.

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84
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
149 tasting notes

Chocolate, malt, baked bread, nice body. Would be knocked out of the park if it didn’t also have a perfumey note that almost reminds me of bergamot.

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84

If you are looking for a smokey tea this is a good one to try. They did a good job with this Yunnan-Lapsong blend ratio… straight Lapsong is too smokey for me and the Yunnan pulls it down to a point of acceptability while maintaining the richness and character, minus the too-intense smokey bite. Its still a very smokey tea and needs to be stored away from others.

Compared to Samovar’s Russian Blend it is smoother and richer, with higher and more diverse flavor notes. The samovar is more of a frank, charred smoke, while this one is more of a burnt/roasted cedar. Both have a background sweetness which is a great component. They are both very good teas if you enjoy smokiness. I drink both of them straight. For the money, and the organic aspect, I’d go with this one.

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83
drank Plum (Sencha) by Design a Tea
149 tasting notes

This is a Sencha with “natural flavorings” and I rarely drink flavored teas. It does taste natural. :). It’s a juicy, fruity flavor and fragrance, but it tasted more like some other kind of fruit than plum. Maybe black grapes. There’s no hint of tartness at all, which I associate with plums… this has a straight sweet flavor. I can’t pick up much of the Sencha to comment on. The label states that they use natural organic oils, so to avoid if one has “any sensitivity to tree nut oils or any flavor/ingredients.”
I’ve had this tea for quite some time but it’s still quite tasty.

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83
drank Qing Pin Black Tea by Yezi Tea
149 tasting notes

Smooth, baked bread, a bit of cocoa (especially in the nose) and malt, a touch of peach and kind of a Sauvignon Blanc tone. The fragrance is especially pleasant; it gives the impression of being quite rich though it is actually medium/light-bodied as blacks go. The first steep has the best flavor/personality.

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84

Savory, smooth, cocoa, peat, bakery, a wisp of smoke and the faintest bit of anise. Medium-rich for a black, full-flavored. A nice cup, would be delighted to find this tea in a restaurant.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke

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87
drank Taiwanese Green Tea by Sanne Tea
149 tasting notes

This tea has a lovely, pleasure-inducing fragrance and it also tastes delicious. Sweet, grassy, buttered baby spinach with almost a hint of roasted caramel. It is a full bodied green, too, which I love. Plus, organic! I could easily have this as a staple.

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77

Was looking forward to trying this, in my quest for upping the “maté factor” in my tea rotation. It’s good, tastes pretty much like you’d expect from the ingredients: maté with carob/chicory/roasted barley… It tastes, in other words, like one of those coffee substitutes with a nice addition of maté. I appreciate the ethics of the company and it’s always great to try a new maté blend rendition, but I much prefer the flavor of Guayakí’s vanilla or mocha maté’s. Those also have maca and ramón nut, so more functional benefits IMO.

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Profile

Bio

Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket

Location

Metro DC

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