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311 Tasting Notes

94
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
311 tasting notes

I am just plowing through this one today. Usually my travel mug tea lasts most of the morning. Today it lasted maybe an hour, despite my running around. I still love this tea. It’s just maple nutty goodness perfect for a chilly day. <3

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60

backlog

I really hated this one the first time around. The second time, I made the first steep at four minutes instead of two, which made it much more bearable to drink. The first taste is apple, followed quickly by sweet chamomile and honeysuckle. Then there’s the lingering flavor of goji berries on the back end. It’s really well blended, actually. The smell is strange and off-putting though. Like something you’d baste a turkey with. Maybe that’s the frankincense? I have absolutely no idea what frankincense smells like. But the weird savory note actually comes out in the flavor and gets stronger as the tea cools. It’s just not working for me. Happily, I am sending the rest of this off to someone who can enjoy it.

Stephanie

Verdant herbals are SO hit or miss. They make my favorite herbal of all time yet I hate most of the other ones.

Tea Pet

What is your favorite herbal, Stephanie?

Stephanie

Ginger Sage Winter Spa blend!

MissLena

^same as me haha, Ginger Sage is the best EVER.

Kaylee

What amuses me is that I just swapped with both of you for the Ginger Sage :)

Stephanie

High fives all around then!

Tea Pet

Hmm… wow… I have almost all of the ingredients to make my own Ginger Sage Winter Spa blend at home! Let the experiments begin!

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drank Cold 911 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
311 tasting notes

Thanks for sending me some of this Christina!

I was intrigued by this one after reading other people’s posts. Alas, all I’m really getting here is mint. I actually thought it was spearmint, but upon looking at the ingredients list I think what i’m picking up on is the peppermint + eucalyptus. I’m definitely not picking up any citrus here.

This is a tasty mint herbal. It doesn’t strike me as anything special though. It may be especially soothing when one actually has a cold, but I didn’t have the patience to wait. I did try this during a migraine a few days ago and it didn’t really help. So… meh. No rating because I didn’t drink it as ostensibly intended.

sipdown

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86

I have had Della Terra’s Upside Down Pineapple Cake. You, my friend, are no Upside Down Pineapple Cake. Nope. You are a sweet, creamy, vanilla blend with a touch of tartness. Now that others have mentioned it, I am also noticing a touch of maple syrup flavor. You have the same mouthfeel as Autumn Leaves. Sort of a sweet, pleasant film that builds on the roof of the mouth. But pineapple? Cherry? Cake? Nope nope nope. Which is both disappointing and just fine. You are delicious. You just have the wrong name. It’s ok. I like you anyway.

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95
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
311 tasting notes

Aah. This tea. It’s my forbidden love. So, so good and yet so, so bad for me. It’s not hurting my stomach so much today, possibly because I ate first. This is seriously delicious. It’s more nutty than creamy this time around. All four steeps are still very much like drinking a rich, indulgent dessert. For better or worse, this is a sad, sad sipdown. Thanks for the sample, Stacy!

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90

This comes to me courtesy of RogersCK. Thanks for sending me this pleasant and intriguing blend!

This is an orange brew that smells of green grapes. The taste really does remind me of white wine. Admittedly, I am by no means a wine connoisseur. Still, this tastes light, grapey, and almost sparkling. There’s a touch of sweetness during the sip and a gentle tartness at the end.

The apricot that everyone’s talking about comes out for me in the second steep. Juicy, with a more assertively tart finish than earlier. More lemon myrtle than lemon fruit. The third steep tastes about the same, only even juicier. Nom nom nom.

This is my first exposure to Vintage Tea Works. I’m impressed. I look forward to trying more of their teas in the future.

sipdown

steep 1: 167f, 3 mins 30 secs
steep 2: 182f, 5 mins
steep 3: 194f, 6 mins

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82
drank Snore & Peace by Clipper
311 tasting notes

adagio breeze sent this to me at least 6 months ago, but I’m just now getting through the last bag. I really like this blend. I’ve come around on the lemon balm in here. I used to think it was too much, but now I quite enjoy it. It tastes lemon-y without tasting like I could have just squeezed some fresh lemon into the cup for the same effect. Maybe it mellowed out with age? Anyway, bumping the rating a bit. Sad to say, this is a sipdown. Thanks adagio breeze!

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80
drank Silver Yin Zhen Pearls by Teavana
311 tasting notes

RogersCK sent this in my Secret Pumpkin/Turkey package. Thanks!

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I was expecting something sweet, but instead I got a savory, rice- and hay-inflected treat. I got three solid steeps out of this. The last one cooled before I got around to drinking it, so I shoved it in the fridge to see if this tea is any good iced. Turns out, it very much is. The flavor doesn’t change much other than a touch of sweetness coming out that wasn’t there before. It’s very refreshing. I would not restock this, both because of the price and because it’s from Teavana, but I’m glad to have tried it.

sipdown

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I got this from our swap at the Taste of France Festival, I think from greenteafairy. Thanks!

Alas, I think I let this one sit around too long. It’s beautiful – the dry leaf is interspersed with pink and yellow petals. The smell, both dry and brewed, is pleasantly floral. The floral aspect doesn’t translate much into the actual sip though. Mostly I’m getting a grassy flavor with a dry mouthfeel and just a hint of rose. Pleasant enough, but I don’t think this is at all what the tea was supposed to taste like. Shame. I’m not giving a rating, since it’s not the poor tea’s fault that I callously neglected it.

Hey by the way, another sipdown.

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96
drank Kabuse Sencha by Obubu Tea
311 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tea from Yunomius, an online marketplace that features small Japanese tea businesses. Thanks for the sample, Yunomius! Mine came months and months ago, so it’s from the 2013 harvest.

I brewed this tea using the company’s suggested “warm water” steeping technique (https://yunomi.us/716/warm-water-steeping-technique/). This was a totally different tea experience from anything I’ve had before.

I made the first steep at 160f for 2 mins in my gaiwan. The tea was thick, almost syrupy. The flavor was sweet, spinachy, and creamy. There was a slightly dry but thick aftertaste.

I made the second steep at 180f for 30 secs. This brew was smoooooth. Still thick, but not as syrupy. There was a vegetal sweetness to it and a slightly astringent aftertaste. It became more savory as it cooled to lukewarm – evocative of simple congee.

I made the third steep at 190f for 50 secs. This was the best yet. Sweet and savory in equal measure. The mouthfeel was absolutely perfect. Smooth and thick without being syrupy.

I made the fourth steep at 200f for 1 min. This one was more savory and vegetal with a slightly dry mouthfeel. What I’d normally expect from a good sencha, basically.

I made this in my gaiwan, but I would not advise it. It just couldn’t quite contain the leaves and bits got through into the tea. Maybe it just takes more finesse with the pour than I currently possess. If I had this tea again, I would brew it in my glass gong fu teapot.

The company suggests making a salad out of the used leaves. So I did! I mixed them up with some soy sauce and chowed down. It was decent. Just tasted like steamed spinach. I bet it would be good over rice.

Overall, this was a really special tea experience and a really special tea. I wouldn’t keep it in my regular rotation only because it’s rather pricey. I would definitely pick this up again as a special treat though. The Obubu website only sells it in 100g bags ($33 US), but yunomi.us has it in quantities as small as 10g ($4 US).

sipdown

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