396 Tasting Notes

90

Wow, there are so many tasting notes already! And so many of them come from swaps that I’m starting to wonder whether only three people actually bought the tea and then it got passed around to everyone else. I too got this in a swap. Thanks moraiwe!

The dry leaves smell lovely, but the scent is so strong that they have to be sequestered in their own jar away from the other teas. The brewed tea is so dark that it looks like raw apple cider. It just straight up smells like bread. I can’t think of a more accurate description. Thick, warm, yeasty… I have no idea how they did it, but ATC made a tea that truly lives up to its name. It does get a little bitter as it cools, which I’m not too happy about, but I think the lesson here is to drink it right away!

I can’t usually drink black tea, so this won’t make it onto my shopping list. But I do highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good breakfast tea that makes it easier to skip your morning pastry. Or, if you’re the type of person who can still sleep after drinking black tea, this would make a great nightcap.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Green Tea Sage by Wissotzky Tea
396 tasting notes

The weather was finally nice enough to have a cuppa and I finally had a little time at work to write up a tasting note. Imagine my consternation when I discovered that the dilapidated old browser on my work computer isn’t capable of running the “write tasting note” feature. Bah!

So this is a somewhat belated tasting note, but I feel that I must write it or else Internet Explorer 1782 wins.

I quite enjoyed this tea though! I haven’t got a whole lot to add to my prior note. I drank it after only steeping for about 4 minutes, at which point it was still tasty but not as well balanced as when you really let it sit. The sage aroma and flavor are very strong and soothing. I really wanted to add some honey to it, though, to round it out a bit. Overall, good for a quick fix during a busy workday.

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85
drank Clouds and Mist by The Tea Spot
396 tasting notes

I was picking out a tea when the skies blessedly split open and gave us some rain to end this miserable heat wave. This tea seemed apt. Thanks to Shelley_Lorraine for the sample! The dry leaves have a vegetal smell with a hint of sweetness. The pale yellow brew is vegetal and smoky, with a dry mouthfeel. That’s about all I have to say – I’m out of the habit of writing detailed tasting notes, but I’ll get back into it eventually.

Addendum: The second brewing is very buttery and a little tangy, with a tart aftertaste. Yummy.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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86
drank Honey & Spice by Della Terra Teas
396 tasting notes

Mmm. I used more tea and brewed longer this time. Definitely an improvement. The flavor up front is spicy – black pepper and clove. The flavor on the back end is all honey and cinnamon. But the middle of the sip is somehow just watery. I still can’t find a good way to articulate it. There’s simultaneously an abundance of flavor and lack of depth. I’ve only got enough of this stuff left for one more cup… I swear, next time I’ll remember to make this with apple cider!

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91
drank Navajo Tea by Yanabah Tea
396 tasting notes

Steepster, I’ve missed you! The past few months have been pretty busy with travel and starting a new job, but it’s good to be back.

I needed a good, uncaffeinated tea for my return. After 20 minutes of ransacking my stash to find this tea, it mostly tastes like victory! A bittersweet victory, though, since this is a sipdown and I won’t be getting more any time soon. It’s still one of my favorite bedtime teas, grassy and soothing. I’m sad to see it go.

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96

This is another one of those evening teas that I take a while to actually write up. Don’t hold that against the tea though – this one is fantastic. I got it as a sample with my Extra Sleepy Bear and I actually like it better. This definitely deserves a spot in the regular rotation.

10 minutes is a long time to wait for such a yummy smelling tea! It’s like inhaling manuka honey. And you know what? It tastes like honey too! There’s a nice thick mouthfeel and it tastes like hot honey water with a hint of citrusy tartness. A touch of mintiness rounds out the sip and lingers on the tongue. This tea usually leaves a comforting touch of warmth in my chest, though that’s perhaps less comforting in the summer heat.

There is stevia in this, which I’m always wary of, but it’s deployed really well in this blend to support the other flavors without being overwhelming or cloying. I will say that it’s a bit too strong in the aftertaste, but the mintiness keeps it from being awful.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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75
drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
396 tasting notes

Mmm. Smells like spiced apple cider. Flavor is apple-cinnamony, with a hint of ginger. Creamy almond on the back end. I’m not picking up on the coconut per se, but I think the coconut is adding the creaminess. I really like the apple/cream combination. Another DavidsTea I like!

Thanks to whatshesaid for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Balade a Shanghai by Nina's Paris
396 tasting notes

Sample sipdown! This sample courtesy of Laurent at Nina’s Paris.

The dry leaves are so small they look like fannings. Some time in hot water, though, and the leaves unfurl, showing themselves to be a lovely green leaf. The tea has a delicate minty scent. There is a nice dry mouthfeel to this. As for the flavor, the mint is present but not overwhelming. Actually, it’s a bit light for my taste. I like this better cold – the coolness lends some oomph to the mint.

Overall, glad to have tried it but I wouldn’t buy it myself. It’s a good tea but there are other mint teas I like more.

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86
drank Sweet Strawberry by DAVIDsTEA
396 tasting notes

Sample sipdown! Thanks to whatshesaid for the sample.

The dry leaves smell just like dried strawberries. They make up a pretty strawberry-colored brew with a lovely natural strawberry smell. It tastes just like a strawberry too! Looks like I’ve found a DavidsTea I like! I’m especially surprised because I usually don’t like stevia in a tea blend. The aftertaste is all hibiscus, but I don’t mind that.

Chilled, it’s still sweet and juicy, but the stevia flavor really comes out and I really don’t like stevia. So the iced strawberry tea idea was a bust.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Casablanca by Alice's Tea Cup
396 tasting notes

Had this again as a wake-up tea today. It’s just consistently good and my hands-down favorite mint tea. Very well balanced, very refreshing. I hate when stores make you buy a minimum of two ounces, but honestly I’m glad to have this much of it on hand. It’s likely to be a tea cabinet staple.

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