103 Tasting Notes

89
drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Samovar
103 tasting notes

Pu-erh on wheels. Delicious, juicy, multi-note bittersweet orange marmalade tempered by the perfect touch of ginger are riding shotgun. This tea has great complementarity of flavors and is a fun changeup from the more serious straight-forward pu-erhs that I love. Might be a good intro to pu-erh, especially for folks who like flavored teas; I didn’t pick up much of the usual fishy/seaweed but it still had decent depth. The hint of ginger leaves a bit of a tingle on the tongue.

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83
drank Mocha Nut Mate by Adagio Teas
103 tasting notes

Nice full-bodied coffee/mocha analogue. The hazelnut is most prominent in the fragrance and in the aftertaste. Added almond milk. I imagine it’d be great extracted a bit stronger and with fresh whipped cream. For those looking for comparisons with similar mate’s, this is more coffee/mocha-like than Teavana’s Morning Mate or Matevana, but less so than Guayaki’s Vanilla Nut Mate and Mocha Macha. To me, those Teavana blends don’t have as satisfying or well-rounded a flavor profile.

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76

This is a nice ti kuan yin, a gentle embrace of a tea. Fragrant and… best way I can think of describing it is it leaves your palate feeling fresh. Of course, it’s not minty fresh, it’s spring flower fresh. I’ve been spoiled by Chicago Tea Garden’s version, which has both more flavor and more subtle, dancey notes.

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85
drank Russian Blend by Samovar
103 tasting notes

At the first sip I was taken aback by the upfront deep smokiness of this tea. Kind of a sharp snap-to for the morning senses. But as I grew more awake I started to enjoy its smooth, full bodied, earthy depth. Rich like a pu-erh but a lot more smokey. With the first cup, each post-sip exhale gave the sensation of exhaling pipe smoke. Second cup seemed to be a touch sweeter and less smokey. I found the lychee to be a little subtle, but it’s there and complements the smokiness perfectly. I would come back to this tea in the same frame of mind in which I’d seek out the kind of friend with whom you have deep, serious conversations. An enjoyable contemplation tea…

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79
drank Genmaicha Satsuki by Den's Tea
103 tasting notes

Smells smokey, tastes roasty. Enjoyable, rich flavor, a full-palate experience. Kind of a symphony playing around the green tea flavor. This is not a tea that you sip without taking notice of its personality. 2nd steep retained the flavor profile well.

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72

This tea has good personality with an unambiguous smokey roasted aroma and taste. I got more of a roasted walnut experience mingling with charred peppers. The flavor lingers in the mouth longer than most teas I’ve tried, evoking an amusing sensation of exhaling roasty smoke out of the nose. I enjoyed this sample but the astringent aftertaste went on too long for me to put this in my regular rotation. If you like a strong roasted flavor you would enjoy trying this tea.

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70
drank Chocolate Puerh by Numi Organic Tea
103 tasting notes

The aroma and flavor profile of this tea are enjoyable – cocoa and cinnamon with a hint of spice. But that blend doesn’t carry the bland thinness of it, unfortunately. This is especially noticeable for puerh drinkers anticipating some depth to dive into. If you’re willing to give it a double or triple bag infusion its personality would probably pick up, but I haven’t taken that route. Adding a touch of almond milk added body and seemed to intensify the flavor a bit, so that’ll be its destiny.

Cofftea

Hm. What were your steeping parameters for this?

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91

I have had a few “wow” moments with this tea, which is always a welcome surprise. “Wow” anything is nice, of course, but tea doesn’t often engender that response from me. More like “mmmm” most of the time if it’s good.

The first wow was inhaling the fragrance of the initial steep: it was like stepping outside on an early spring day… thinking about it (“what is that familiar fragrance?”) I realized it’s lilac. Your first whiff of lilac in the spring. Actually fooled me for a second into feeling like I’m not locked into winter here on the east coast. Then as I drank it it was just like honeysuckle, one of my all-time favorite scent experiences. This continued in subsequent steeps. I’m not too fond of any floral tastes or scents in tea, but this tea’s front floral personality coupled with its butteriness just kept making me smile with enjoyment.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Purple Tip by Bana Tea Company
103 tasting notes

Loved this tea. Inhaling the first steam from the rinse elicited a rare, spontaneous “wow” that pretty much held through to the final sip. The brew doesn’t have the dark intensity of other puerhs I’ve tried — it’s more silky than velvety yet somehow equally satisfying in its subtlety. A little smoky but very clean. I’d agree with the company’s “malty” description, but in an understated, well-balanced way; it’s a great full-mouth flavor that’s reminiscent of the gentle, rich scent of leaves walking through the woods in autumn. There is mild astringency after a long brew, but that wouldn’t deter me from drinking it frequently, because it is delicious.

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50
drank Pu'er Tuo Cha by Teaism
103 tasting notes

This tea has an up-front jasmine-y fragrance and taste. Not like other pu-ehrs I’ve tried so not what I was hoping for.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

You might want to try a shorter steep time. I’ve never had tou cha, but that’s the only way I can drink loose leaf shu. Hope that works!:)

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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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