390 Tasting Notes

thanks very much to MissB for this sample.

this blend baffles me a bit. the smell when dry is fresh blueberries, all the way. freshly picked, sitting in a bowl on my counter….

once the water is added it just becomes a tea. nothing special. except every now and then i got a whiff of fresh blueberries. the cooler it gets the more blueberry it becomes. curiouser and curiouser.

very nice as cool, just there as hot. hmmmm. no numbers, could have been operator error.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
MissB

I’ve been hit and miss with Naked Teas, and I think I’ve yet to try this one. I was thinking of trying it as a cold brew.

JustJames

it could have been me. it’s true. =0\

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

thank you so much to laurent and sophie for this sample…..

the description of this tea is wrong. it is appallingly understated and borders on misleading. strong words, i know. allow me to explain:

apple teas are rarely what they claim to be. they are rarely ‘apple pie with spices’, they are rarely even good bases for tisanes— the apple gets lost, becomes vague…. not sweet, not tangy, not there.

at this point i will segue: french teas are a different breed. the nuance, the layers, the hundreds of years backing the study….. still what could they do with an apple. just because it’s a french apple doesn’t mean it’s going to carry any more punch. while i was excited to have a famously named sample….. as soon as i saw ‘apple’ listed in the ingredients list my heart felt a little less buoyed.

wrong. WRONG. i need a size 22 font……WRONG.

if i’m not mistaken they chose crab apples. plenty. of. punch.

clever, so clever…. rose can be too perfumed, crab apple could be too bitter…. the acid aspect of the apples draws out the fresh petal suggestion of the roses, i get fresh flowers…. not an intense perfume. fruit, flowers…… all made brilliantly because of what seems to be a crab apple.

laurent, sophie, mes compliments tres sinceres.
laurent, sophie, my most sincere compliments.

this is the first and only apple tea i have ever found even remotely tolerable, nevermind outstanding.

i steeped for 3 minutes after a full boil, i think perhaps a slightly lower temperature for perhaps 2.5 minutes next time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
yyz

This is my favourite apple tea so far too!

JustJames

okay…. definitely squirrel suits, from the top of the eiffel tower and then stop by vendome (nina’s), mariage freres, dammann, fauchon….. you decided it!

Bonnie

This tea reminds me of an old classic French movie…an oppulant one of course. But crab apple? Not for me. The sweet yellow delicious apples that grew outside my window growing up in California tasted like this too!

yyz

Sounds good! I need to spend more time in Paris anyways;) I picked up my accent in French in the south of France and all the Quebecois think I’m from Germany. Ironically the French congratulate me for being able to speak proper french.

JustJames

lol, people always thought i was from beligium. was told to ‘eradicate’ my francophone accent before arriving in paris, and thus i now carry an indiscernible one. =0) call me a mystery man…. well, that’s not what my wife most commonly calls me, but anyway!

@Bonnie… they have captured the scent of crab apple….. not the vicious twang. if you can coax a sample from laurent i absolutely would. the next time i place an order if i’ll probably get some of this blend and i’ll ship some down. it’ll be a couple of months though.

Bonnie

I’ve tasted it. Thought it was splendid. My daughter has a crab apple tree (messy thing).

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Northern Wilds by Verdant Tea
390 tasting notes

this sample came from the gracious Stephanie whom i am thinking of at this ungodly hour as i sip.

i have an exam in a few hours. i need to be able to think. which means i need to sleep….. instead i go over and over my information. this is NOT helpful!!!

the tea…. mild, minty, hopefully conducive to sleep in the near future. although going by the name i am not inspired to look up in awe at majestic trees or dodge charging elk (which has been known to happen in northern BC). to me this blend is a murky mint. i don’t get any oolong, birch, cinnamon or clove….. i smelled anise in the dry blend, but that is explained by the fennel. murky mint sums it up for me.

no numbers, c’mon, it’s 4:15. i’ll try one more time. at the moment though i’m not amazed.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

Yeah…this seems to be the consensus on this tea. Meh, sorry!

Hope your exam went well :)

keychange

Good luck on the exam!

JustJames

i’ll know soon….. i leave in 45 mins, then i’ll have a much better idea. thanks for the positive thinking!

yyz

Hope everything went well James!

caile

Best of luck!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

this was an insightful inclusion by one miss VariaTEA in a return swap.

this blend calls old fashioned christmas trees to mind, the ones decorated with oranges studded with cloves in eccentric patterns, hung by huge loops of ribbon. the air is always spicy when i see them, almost sharp; cloves, orange peel and some invented element when they combine that i have never been able to identify… hmmmm a few tweaks and this could be a chai!

heavy spice, but beautifully balanced. a very good way to wake up, especially if you’re feeling rotten. very smooth base, very smooth transition into and out of the spice. the orange has a strong presence…. THERE IS NO PITH!!!! i am getting no lingering bitter after taste. full marks for that kusmi!

honestly, i am wondering where i can buy some of this. this could absolutely be my seasonal theme tea. thanks so much VariaTEA! such a thoughtful inclusion.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
yyz

Hi James, you can use this tool to search for a retailer near you. Call first I’ve found that some of them only carry the mini sets and 3 or 4 varieties of large tins, but some have a more diverse collection.
http://www.kusmi.ca/en/retailers/kusmi

JustJames

yyz…. you are a hero! inquiring minds and all that….. do you wear a cape? ;-)

yyz

Nope, but I have had training in reacting, responding to, and coordinating emergency services;)

VariaTEA

I actually have not even tried this one yet so I am sooo glad you liked it! Now you are making me want to run upstairs and brew a cup because your description (like so many others you have written) make this sound amazing! They also sell this on a green tea base if that is something that interests you although personally I though black tea suited the flavors better.

JustJames

ha! outstanding! as have i…. though it was a long time ago. oh. and i’m a parent. that might count too. though not officially. definitely exhaustively! i don’t wear a cape….. the kids would laugh and point more than they already do.

JustJames

@VariaTEA….. i have NO desire to try it as green. the pairing could not be better than it is on the black. i would find it frustrating. not one likes a frustrating tea, lol.

yyz

I’m not a parent, but I have spent weeks at a time looking after my relatives and friends kids. Fun and definitely exhausting. All parents, I think, have a little bit of a super hero in them. Perhaps the cape can come out next Halloween?

JustJames

you what i would like more than a cape? one of these…. not the same, but not too different…. and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L8UCfxmtSw whaddaya say yyz….. shall we respin a tacky old joke? ‘two guys fly over a tea house and…..’ ?

yyz

That could be incredibly fun!

JustJames

i think so. from the top of a building? or from the top of a mountain? and maybe the most important question….from the top of the eiffel tower so we can stop by theodore? lol. can you imagine? it would be like walking in a body suit of corduroy. ksh ksh ksh. bwahahahaha.

Ysaurella

I should have sent you the rest of my tin of this tea ! I am unable to drink it.

JustJames

oh dear!!!! i hope i didn’t send you anything undrinkable?

Ysaurella

nooooo until now I think my reviews of the 2 teas I drank were really positive !
but Rois Mages is really not my thing !

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

thank you so much to Stephanie for this sample. (her timing was very ninja-like…. quite cool!)

for those that have been following the nonsense that has been my life of late: i saw the emergency opthomologist yesterday. surgery likely in two weeks, steroids up until then. reading isn’t fun which means my exam on monday is going to be….creative? thus Stephanie-ninja’s package (and VariaTEA’s) found me yesterday!

the tea: hmmm. my sample does NOT look like this, first off, although the smell wasn’t too far from the photo. this tea would give darwin new insights, lol. (ie: the blend has a dramatic evolutionary shift).

i do not care for it hot. i scowled at it openly. i got no chocolate, no almond…. coconut? hah! i do try not hold grudges…. they serve no purpose but to grow poison trees. i channeled zen sipped again and….. MUCH BETTER! not robust. not clearly chocolate almond…. but the cooler it gets the more it improves.

i think the blend itself needs more oomph. an oomph boost! good idea… not done yet though. darwin could meddle!

Fjellrev

Gah! I hate when teas have some awesome notes but you can’t taste them.

JustJames

my thought is: go all the way with the idea, don’t stop part way there. it has potential…. but not done cooking yet i think!

Hesper June

Oh,my! That poor tea must have been quivering down to it’s very leaves…to be scowled at openly by JJ!
Glad that it redeemed itself once slightly cooled.
Sorry to read of your recent eye problems, I hope it will all soon be quickly resolved.

JustJames

lol, i don’t often glower at teas! but it behaved somewhat… in the end. }=0^

the eye thing is so random! very badly timed too…. i’ve been offered an extension for my exam on monday, but i can just see that causing a snowball catchup effect…. i have two major final projects another exam and surgery in between. i think just doing it makes more sense? though i am always slightly out of my head with steroids in my system…. thoughts anyone?

Hesper June

I might have to try that next time I believe a tea is misbehaving:)
Sorry about the dilemma, I often tell others that it is most important to take care of your health first…sadly I rarely take my own advice.

JustJames

i’m doing everything that can be done…. i really don’t think putting off the exam (though the offer was kind) will help. i have 12 days of steroids left, another assessment, then they book the procedure. in between i get my disease modifier.

i feel rotten. that isn’t going to change anytime soon. heaping the stress of a delayed exam on top of my other due dates won’t be helpful……

bah!

Hesper June

Very true. So sorry that you have to deal with this. Wishing you some relief soon!

JustJames

thank you, my dear. one of these random occurrences. my prof is in for a bit of a shock though…. i’m studying mostly off TED and youtube. lol. reading the text book isn’t going so well.

Hesper June

I sure you Prof will be impressed on how well you will do.

JustJames

man i hope so! you are a lovely soul…. xo

Fjellrev

By the way, best of luck with surgery! I hope it won’t be too high risk and the recovery will go alright.

JustJames

thanks for the well wishes! my mother piped up today ‘so i guess you don’t want tea for christmas anymore?’ ???? ‘sounds like new glasses might be better?’ yes, but noooooooooooooooooooo!!

it was tragic, but also very amusing.

Fjellrev

Aww, yeah, my mom’s been doing through a series of eye surgery and and her prescription keeps changing. It can be such a hassle and so expensive. Let’s hope you can hit a good pre-xmas sale and get a good deal on the glasses so you have more money for tea!

JustJames

there’s a positive thought, yay pre-christmas sale thinking!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
Aimee Popovacki

thats one i’m hoping to try this holiday season!… my computer still isn’t fixed and i’m so backlogged on reviews that i haven’t been able to review the fact that i’m in a tea rut ever since you sent me those awesome teas :) … they have really changed my tastes quite a bit.

JustJames

? what? i totally logged a review!!!! NOT COOL. Aimee, this blend is great. it’s even great as a latte….. no idea how they managed that.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

VariaTEA was thoughtful enough to send me this sample, thank you much!

this tea has outsmarted me tonight, lol. now, i was fiddling with it trying to sort out the steeping time without searching the steepster data base…. but i didn’t think i was that challenging?

the base is a rare green, i would go so far as to say BARELY a green. it reminds me very much of mandala’s yellow tea. very light, very sweet. the base is so gracious i found myself wanting it uninterrupted, which is what the almond was doing.

on its own the almond is a very nice flavour! not too strong, very smooth, a nice combination of a fresh almond crossed with marzipan. no amaretto. the separate halves are very nice on their own…. i just don’t know if i want them together?

rather unexpected that! no numbers yet. =0)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

I was definitely on the fence about this tea too. In fact I still am. I found the marzipan flavor of the almond didn’t quite blend with the taste of the green tea base.

JustJames

i think it’s that they’re both good quality but argue as a result? holy moly, i anthropomorphize my teas!

MissB

“the base is so gracious i found myself wanting it uninterrupted”

I love this. Pure poetry.

JustJames

flatterer ;-P

sherapop

That is exactly my question, JustJames: do green tea and almond belong together?

JustJames

i certainly think they can is they are balanced correctly, the example that comes to mind as close kin is butiki’s pistachio ice cream. i don’t think there are any rules at all about what can/can’t go together…. you just have to be just that good to prove yourself under certain circumstances.

i’ll have to try it again, but i’m not sure this is one of those brilliant proofs.

JustJames

sherapop- i have plenty left (pretty sure), if you’re thinking of buying i can always throw some your way.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
390 tasting notes

this graceful tea has long gypsy curls, winding into cocoa, then twisting into malt. each arch is pronounced, distinct, but before long it wisps away and i must sip again. i am left with no bitterness or puerh mossiness…. just a memory of refined grace and surprise that this is in fact a puerh.

my cup has become a dark limpid pool of beauty. such a gracious gift from stephanie! thank you so much. most certainly the most evolved puerh i’ve ever tasted. so this is what the next level tastes like…..

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

That sounds lovely!

Sil

Cavo….it IS!

Garret

You just turned one of my favorite ripe teas into a poetic experience! Thank you for writing that up, my friend! Beautiful.

Stephanie

Yay! So glad you enjoyed it :)

JustJames

a beautiful tea deserves beautiful language.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank Cacao Mint Black by Teavana
390 tasting notes

i actually hit a sale!! i am renowned for missing them, lol.

exams begin next week. sounds like i may be having surgery done on at least one eye as early as tomorrow….. remember how i mentioned exams start next week? yeah. not too sure what happens if they decide to go after both eyes seeing as i have resistant infections in both. and yet, somehow, i just don’t have it in me to be stressed. studying, trying to make sense of christaller’s nonsense theory (trick is… to say that in an exam essay you have to fully understand it to be able to refute it and not get spanked, lol)…. and drinking tea. is the tea keeping me calm? because i really don’t see why i’m not more freaked out, lol.

this tea is nice and refreshing! caffeine that reminds me of an after eight! the first half of the cup is a dessert tea, but as it cools the mint evolves and the chocolate takes a back seat. the mint isn’t sweet or herbal as it cools, it becomes savory! not harsh, not overpowering. it in no way reminds me of tic tacs or toothpaste. ok, seriously…. it reminds me of mint culled from my garden after maybe 3 hours. a moderate peppermint, not a spearmint. paired with a dark chocolate. the hazelnuts are not obviously detectable, but add a nice creaminess to the base.

this is my first fall tea! very nice! must admit, teavana makes me smile. they know i’m picky and that i won’t be pushed. i found teas that were a good idea, but were incomplete. i have said this on occasion before and been met with blinks and crickets. what did we do after this tea? we made a custom blend. i had a lot of fun. maybe fun is why i’m not a wreck.

the teavana at mayfair rocks. and the manager, cedric, is very good at what he does.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
moraiwe

This is easily one of my favorite Teavana teas!

JustJames

it’s really good….. i find my scores are getting higher and higher as i figure out what i don’t like. i like to give high marks. this one was easy. i think this tea is very smartypants. (that’s a compliment)

momo

I just picked up some of this too. Well, I already had some but yeaaaah…sales…yeah.

JustJames

this is my first time with it….. i can see a lasting romance, lol.

momo

have you tried the white chocolate peppermint rooibos? my next plane of attack is to make a cup of them blended. PEPPERMINT BARK!

momo

or plan, I don’t have a plane.

JustJames

alas, even if i were on facebook i would not invite rooiboos to be my friend. i love the idea, but i don’t even like butiki’s rooiboos, and stacy’s stuff is always my exception.

i see this japanese zero fighter plane with momo written in kanji! it could be awesome!!! you could perform in airshows!!!

momo

it actually doesn’t taste like rooibos, I was shocked. I had to ask after I tasted it if it was in there.
Also now totally sold on having a plane.

JustJames

=0) let me know when you sell tickets!!!
i seem to have a bad reaction to rooiboos. the start of an allergy? it’s annoying. }=0|

Plunkybug

Cedric is pretty nice. Did you know he sings opera? Also, who is doing your eye surgery? I had surgery done a few years ago by Dr Pegado.

JustJames

i won’t know anything for sure until tomorrow. given the complication my illness provides i know they want to avoid cutting if at all possible. i have a neuro-opthomoligist on the mainland that will be watching over the process.

OMGsrsly

Fingers crossed for you, James!

JustJames

thank you…. still don’t know why i’m not more concerned? i guess what has to happen will happen is all…. vaguely concerned about exams being sticky though, lol.

OMGsrsly

Surgery is a good excuse to reschedule. :) I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Plunkybug

Good luck!

JustJames

thanks heather…..

i don’t want to reschedule. i want to do them and have them be done, lol!

OMGsrsly

I understand that feeling! Fingers crossed, etc. But if you have to take time to heal, then take the time!

JustJames

what you say is both true…. and wise…… and yet i am overcome with the need to argue against it, LOL!! how much more proof that i am lost in academia do you need? everything can be argued!!!!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Student. Recovering extreme volunteer social worker from Tent City Victoria BC. (

Location

everywhere

Website

https://www.instagram.com/m3t...

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer