134 Tasting Notes


April, 2014 harvest
Searching for descriptors for this tea, a bit of serendipity played out: it tastes remarkably similar to the split pea/lentil/vegetable soup I made last night! So that ‘pairing’ before lunch today was fun, trying to deconstruct the flavors in the soup that gave rise to the similarity. The tea isn’t a straight-ahead pea/lentil soup flavor, definitely pulls in the added veggies… carrot, onion, celery, garlic(!) and kale… as well as the assorted herbs used.

In the end the winner was: kale and tarragon. Finding the tarragon note in the tea was the most fun, because I didn’t use much in the soup but the tea played it up!

One of the more novel tea tasting experiences I’ve had, highly recommend for anyone trying to ID the flavor notes in savory green teas :)

This was my second dragonwell of the day following Teavivre’s organic superfine version, aspiring here to advance my dragonwell appreciation. Both were subtle and had me searching for their nuances, probably due to my modest dragonwell experience. Adding to the description above, this one had a less astringent finish and more roasted flavor though still very vegetal.

Next time I’ll prep them using 2 tsp per cup.

Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the spring green tasting flight :)

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Kale, Roasted, Vegetable Broth

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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April, 2014 harvest
This tea brews up a pleasant, smooth, buttered artichoke cup. The flavor depth is lighter than its fragrance. Mild astringent aftertaste.

Brewed it twice to see if adding more leaf would boost the flavor depth: it helped a bit but it is still a little more subtle than what I would prefer. Looking forward to comparing it to the premium sample that Teavivre sent me.

Flavors: Artichoke, Popcorn, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Mate Roasted by Lupicia
134 tasting notes

I generally enjoy mate blends more than straight mate, but this one is good enough to drink on its own, the best I’ve had in that regard. It has rounder, almost malted notes. Thanks to Becky for the great trade :)

(I recommend this for a straight mate, which to me is a bit of a lower standard than recommending as a tea.)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Barnyard, Brown Toast, Hot hay, Malt, Roasted

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Sometimes when first smelling or tasting a new tea it feels like something of an interaction: its scent or taste ‘greets’ you with something so pleasant that you are moved to respond with a self-surprised “hello!” So it happened to me this morning with this tea.

First the dry leaves’ ripe apricot scent drew me in, intrigued and hopeful that the flavor would bear out this promise; I was kind of excited. And then more so to find that when brewed that apricot flavor remained, although now more toward sweet stewed apricots. Whoop! And complemented by a true lychee flavor. There is also a slightly complex brothy savoriness to it which offers a good comfort factor.

I steeped it at the maximum time suggested, which is 6 minutes. I would recommend that for this tea because it became so nicely full-flavored without any edge. Likely as a result of this, the second steeping had little flavor.

Thank you, Angel, this was a wonderful sample.

BTW, I used the “What flavors and scents do you notice” dropdown for the first time with this tea, and looking through, have to say: “Roasted chicken” is a choice?!!! Come on, how funny is that.

Flavors: Apricot, Cut grass, Green Beans, Lychee, Smooth, Vegetable Broth

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Smooth, a little ‘chewy’ with malt and rich spring earth plus a vague hint of sweetness. Pleasant overall flavor with sustained, mildly astringent finish. Noticing now that Tea at Sea recommends using more than a tsp of tea, will try that next time. Would be happy to be served this tea in a restaurant. Thanks to Tea at Sea for the sample!

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Jasmine Green Tea by Touch Organic
134 tasting notes

For folks who enjoy jasmine that’s not so in-your-face as many jasmine teas. This is a pleasant jasmine with solid but soft notes of orchid-Juicy Fruit, as opposed to being a frank, perfumey one-note jasmine. It also has slight roasty undertones. Smooth but moderately astringent on the long finish. Good for a bagged tea.

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Mmm, this is fun and tasty. Fun because the tea leaves tumble out in a surprising, unusual rocky shape teasing me to see how they’ll brew up. I love earthy surprises and this tea did not disappoint.

Pretty color, a lot of smooth sweet flavor without being in-your-face about it. Fairly sophisticated flavor profile, in fact. A little vegetal, a little roasty, and sweet. Trying to place the sweet note, which I am loving, almost but not quite grape, almost but not quite maple, another tease! Moderate lingering astringency on the finish. The second steep holds up well, making it even more worthwhile.

I’d recommend this as a tea to share with friends at a tea tasting. Thanks to Angel for the delightful sample!

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drank Oolong by Choice Organic Teas
134 tasting notes

Tasted more like an assam than an oolong to me, still quite nice. Medium bodied, pleasant flavor. It’s a more oxidized oolong but not too heavily so, and with a bit of roastiness. Good quality for a bagged tea.

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I am not getting the green tea flavor in this. It is fairly thin-bodied with clove being the predominant flavor. Would likely taste better if sweetened, not my thing.

5 min, 0 sec

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drank Ti Kuan Yin Tea by Ten Ren
134 tasting notes

Musty with some roasted depth as the only pleasant complementary note. Second steep is cleaner.

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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


Metro DC

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