400 Tasting Notes

99

Hanukkah tea for the eighth night of Hanukkah! Actually, I’ve been drinking it all holiday, but I was waiting to reach my 200th note to post about it. This tea was my 100th tasting note, too, so you can tell it’s really something special.

I have had so much trouble getting away from the apple-cinnamon aspect of this. I do love that flavor, but I’ve been wanting to tease out the brothy flavor too. Adding salt somehow wasn’t doing the trick. Finally I just added salt right into the steeper while I was brewing and boy howdy did that do it. Potato-y, savory goodness. Of course now that I’ve succeeded in my effort and thoroughly enjoyed a brothy cup, I want a sweet one! Mmm, with sufganiyot (fried jelly donuts). Yup, that’s totally what I’m having next.

Happy Hanukkah!

Lariel of Lórien

I want to try that on so much.

Stephanie

Tasty tea… happy Hanukkah!

Kaylee

Lariel – I meant it when I offered to send you a bit. Just PM me your address!

Stephanie – thank you!

Lariel of Lórien

Thank you! I think you need to follow me first. ;)

JustJames

=0) happy hannukha. did you make some latkes?

Kaylee

Thanks. Even better – I got other people to make them and all I had to do was eat. Being a terrible cook has its benefits :)

JustJames

LOLOLOLOLOLOL. that is even better!

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94
drank Anji Bai Cha by Butiki Teas
400 tasting notes

This. Is. Amazing. Stacy included this as a sample in my last order and it kind of languished in my cupboard for a while. I chose it tonight on a lark – I was initially planning to have an oolong. I’m SO glad that I had this instead. Ok, enough gushing. On to the actual tasting note.

This tea is so delicate and smooth. The first steep is sweet and sort of wet grassy. The end of the sip is definitely floral. I did not pick up on any of the tart cherry notes.

I did a second steep at 180 F. I didn’t time it but the steep was about 6 minutes. Fantastic. This bark note came out, in perfect balance with a green pea note. The finish is a little bit tart on this steep. The aftertaste builds to almost a maraschino cherry flavor. I’m not a huge fan of cherry anything, but this is really working for me.

I wish I had tried this sooner – now that I’ve placed my Black Friday orders, I won’t be placing any additional orders for quite some time. :-(

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

YAY! love this one :D

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94
drank Alice's Blend by Alice's Tea Cup
400 tasting notes

Alas, I both underleafed and oversteeped this morning. Not by much, but enough to be noticeable. It’s a bit weak and a bit astringent. I usually go for just under boiling temp, but tried 180° F today. It really brought out the rose flavor wonderfully. So not a total loss, just not perfect. Still one of my favorite teas!

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80

Thanks for the sample with my order, Stacy!

The long, fuzzy needles are so cool looking. I agree with tigress_al that this is a very light tasting tea. On the first steep, I picked up floral and green bean notes. It doesn’t taste weak per se, but it’s too light for my taste. The second steep is better for me – thicker mouthfeel, stronger green bean note that I’m strangely enjoying. I think I might just prefer more robust flavor in my straight teas – perhaps a longer initial steep would have been good.

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64

This came as a sample with the catalogue. It smells just exactly like caramel. The flavor definitely disappoints by comparison! It isn’t a total fail, just not as rich as the smell. This does taste like a caramel apple, with the caramel flavor at the beginning of the sip followed by a sweet apple taste. The apple flavor is somewhere between that of a naturally very sweet apple and candy. There’s a mildly spicy kick in the aftertaste that I’m quite enjoying. Overall, not a bad cuppa, but nothing I’d seek out.

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60
drank Moroccan Mist by Argo Tea
400 tasting notes

I got an ounce of this as part of the green tea sampler from Argo’s pre-Black Friday promotion. I used most of it to make tea for my family yesterday. They liked it well enough. But then they’ll drink just about anything minty I put in front of them, so I take their opinion with a grain of salt.

As for myself, I find it pretty mediocre. The mint is quite lovely and refreshing, but the base tea is meh. It just completely fades into the background in the first steep. The second steep is substantially better in that at least some dryness and woodsy notes come out to convince me that there even is any tea in here. The mint is very nice, but the base just cannot hold its own. Drinkable, but nothing I’m interested in seeking out again. Except maybe as a breath freshener – the mint really lingers!

Kaylee

Oh and the 1-oz bag isn’t resealable, which I find quite irritating.

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80

You know, I quite like this. The smell of the leaf is all cherry. The brew is a nice deep red. This tastes like warm cranberry juice with a cherry finish. It’s not as heavy as cranberry juice, but it doesn’t feel thin either. This would be a good winter evening tea for me. It just makes me think of curling up by a nice fireplace for some reason. I can see this being great as an iced tea, too.

Thanks for the taste, greenteafairy!

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78
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
400 tasting notes

Hard apple cider. That’s what this tastes like to me, down to the fizziness. Yummy! The resteep tastes the same as the first but weaker no matter how long you steep.

I have fickle tastes where DavidsTea is concerned. This one falls squarely in the “like” camp. I’m not picking up on anything pie-like, though, so “apple pie” seems like quite the misnomer.

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85

Nom nom nom. Finishing off the sample that Stephanie sent me (thanks!). I love the pumpkin/spice combination. I tried it with some brown crystal sugar this time and it definitely adds depth and a touch of creaminess to the tea. It also resteeps quite nicely. What I’d really love to see is a combination of this and the Pumpkin Milkshake. Like a really creamy pumpkin tea with a spicy kick. If I had more leaf I might experiment with a half creme brulee/half milkshake brew. I added a tsp of the Pumpkin Milkshake to the resteep at 185 F for 4 minutes. It worked out pretty well, but came in rather weak at the end of the sip. All in all, still a tasty cup.

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95
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
400 tasting notes

Hmm…

The first steep smells wonderfully of maple. Distinct but not overly sweet. The initial sips are quite maple-y. As it cools, more of the pecan flavor comes out.

I made the second steep with a few grains of brown crystal sugar. It tastes predominantly of pecan with a touch of sweetness at the end of the sip. The base tea has a bark-like quality that I’m enjoying. The maple aftertaste builds slowly, pleasantly. It also comes to dominate the sip as I hit the bottom of the cup – not sure if that’s because the tea has cooled or because sugar disproportionately settles at the bottom of the cup.

Mmm! I did the third steep at a higher temperature, around 204 F. It brought out a perfect balance of maple and pecan. No sugar needed! Is there a way to just skip straight to the third steep? The other two were ok but not quite hitting the spot. This one is juuuust right.

Thanks for the sample with my last order, Stacy! I’d like to play around with this tea a bit more, so I’ll probably be placing my Black Friday order on actual Black Friday in order to get the free ounce. I’m so excited!

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