388 Tasting Notes

91

This is a free sample provided for review by Angel at Teavivre. Thank you!

The dry leaves are so pretty – little pearls with streaks of white – that just putting them in my tea strainer feels like a special occasion! The pearls smell wonderfully like jasmine perfume.

I don’t have the equipment to make this perfectly, but I did my best. I brewed one serving in 8 oz of water at approx. 180 degrees for 1.5 mins. The first steep comes out a nice golden color and smells very intensely of jasmine. It’s actually almost too strong. The flavor is a beautiful, delicate green tea with a strong jasmine element. Again, the jasmine is very nearly overwhelming, but doesn’t actually cross the line. This tea is very smooth and leaves an almost minty aftertaste. So far, very enjoyable.

Second steep for 2 mins, approx. 180 degrees. The grassy green tea flavor comes forward, though the jasmine is still strong. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel. The slight dryness of the green tea base and sweetness of the jasmine balance each other nicely.

Third steep! 3 mins, approx. 180 degrees. Still quite a good cup. Tastes about the same as the second steep.

I actually got a good fourth steep out of this, too. It should be noted that this tea is very energizing – more than I have found most green teas to be. Which is awesome, unless you start drinking the tea at 8pm. So I stopped after the fourth cup, but I saved the leaves and will try to make more tea with them later.

If you like jasmine, this is the tea for you. If you don’t, this isn’t a tea that will ease you into it. Personally, I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to the rest of my sample.

update: I ultimately got SIX good cups out of this! Granted, the last one had to be steeped for a long time and was a tad weaker than the previous cups, but it was still quite good. Very impressive.

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78
drank Darjeeling by Nina's Paris
388 tasting notes

Finished off the sample today – thanks to Nina’s Teas for it! Today, the dry leaves have a pleasantly flowery smell. I really shouldn’t have black tea because it hurts me, so I brewed the tea fairly light – 1 tsp for 8 oz at approx. 180 degrees for 3 mins 15 secs. Tasty! Mildly astringent, with a touch of citrus – lemon, maybe? I’m not great at evaluating black teas (what with the fact that I rarely drink them), but this is nice. Glad to have tried it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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99

Made this last night as a bedtime tea, but fell asleep before drinking it. It was a cold night, so the tea was cold when I got up. I decided to give it a sip. It’s not undrinkable as an iced tea. It’s also not very good. The apple cinnamon flavor really comes out and is quite tasty. The buttery potato flavor is still very present, however, and it does not work at all. I am a little sad that this tea has gone to waste. Maybe I can microwave it when I get home…

Not changing my rating. The results of off-label use can’t be counted against a product.

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76

I needed something for the commute home, so I just tossed a bag of this into some hot water in my travel mug and left the bag in for the trip home. This tea holds up to a long steep pretty well. I agree that the green tea flavor is weak, but the ginger and lemongrass are strong and very well balanced. I quite enjoyed it. Very soothing.

Alas, can’t testify as to color or scent, since it was in a travel mug.

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85
drank Guayusa by Runa
388 tasting notes

I confess that this is about two years old. I bought a pound of it as a study aid back in grad school, hoping that it would work better than coffee or soda. Turns out I’m too distractable to actually finish an entire pound of tea in any reasonable amount of time.

That said, this is still quite tasty. I’ve had it as my morning travel mug tea for the past three days. The first time, I added a touch of honey, which made it fantastic. Since then, I haven’t added honey, but have (re)discovered that the guayusa flavor profile already includes a touch of honey. While the dry leaves don’t have much of a scent anymore, the brewed tea smells like honey water.

It’s possible that time has reduced the potency of the energizing effect. I just can’t tell if that’s the case – it’s hard to compare to a distant memory. Of course the solution is to buy some new guayusa for the sake of comparison…

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93

Thanks to Stacy at Butiki Teas for this sample with my order!

This is such a beautiful tea. The fuzzy leaves and hot pink flowers look so very nice together. The dry leaves smell like cherries. Brewed, this smells exactly like warm watermelon. And it tastes exactly like watermelon! I literally can’t think of another way to describe this. I am drinking this while eating some red grapes, and it is a great combination. This will be fantastic as an iced tea. Definitely adding it to my shopping list! Another win for Butiki Teas.

UPDATE: I fell asleep before finishing the tea, so it was nice and cold when I woke up this morning. Not nearly as good as an iced tea as I thought it would be. Warm, the flavors are seamless. Cold, however, the watermelon flavor and the tea flavor tease apart. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t nearly as tasty as when the tea is warm. Brewing this with some sugar might solve that problem, though.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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99

I won’t lie, half the reason I bought this is that there’s not a lot of really unique Hanukkah stuff out there. The other half is that I love potato pancakes and this seemed like a really interesting, experimental tea.

This brews up very very light. The color might be best described as ivory. The tea smells like spiced applesauce. Or maybe apple chips. The point is, cinnamon and apple.

The flavor profile in the description is dead on. Buttery, mashed potato taste up front, apple cinnamon throughout, and potato again on the back end. A touch of Manuka honey really brings out the apple. Basically tastes like a sweet apple. With butter. Probably a terrible combination of solids, but a very good combination in tea.

The blend looks so nice in my infuser that I want to eat it. Not the best idea unless you’re at least six minutes into a second steep – but at that point it becomes an excellent idea. Also, this does hold up nicely for a second steep, you just have to steep it for a long time. I think I ended up going for eight minutes. I added salt to the second steep to see what would happen, but I don’t think I added enough because it didn’t seem to make much difference… and last time I added too much and ended up with salty tea… maybe I’ll get it right next time around.

Overall, yum! Yummy yum yum! More of a winter drink, I think, but definitely a good example of a savory tea (pay attention, Numi!).

TheTeaFairy

This really works, doesn’t it? I was so unsure about trying this blend, but after I drank the sample Stacy sent me, I ended up ordering 2oz! Such a savoury broth!

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63
drank Green Tea with Coconut by T Salon
388 tasting notes

update on the iced tea experiment (hot brew method):
This is substantially better iced than hot. Still a little too sweet for my taste, but I think others would enjoy this level of sweetness. The coconut flavor is present but mild.

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78
drank Darjeeling by Nina's Paris
388 tasting notes

This is a solid tea. It’s fairly mild all around – slightly astringent and slightly dry with a slight honey flavor. It brews up a light amber color. I’m not picking up much of a scent, so I can’t comment on that. I can say that it goes well with eggs and toast. Not bad as a breakfast tea.

It also resteeps nicely. Sweeter, less dry. About the same astringency. I got distracted for a while and the second cup got cold (after I had removed the leaves). This is actually lovely as an iced tea. The dryness is somehow more pleasant when it’s cold.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I was quite pleased to receive a sample of this at the Coffee & Tea Festival. I am really intrigued by this new Savory Tea line. I don’t know what to expect. Will it basically be a light soup? A flavored tea with prominent notes of vegetable and spice?

It smells like minty tomato soup. The tomato smell is strong and spicy. It tastes like a very light tomato broth, with an aftertaste of mint. After a few sips, the aftertaste becomes more peppery. I originally brewed this in boiling water for 10 minutes, per package instructions. Putting the teabag back into the mug to see what happens if I brew it longer…

Brewed longer, pepper and lemon flavors come forward. This is an interesting drink. There is a black tea base, but I can’t taste it at all. I’m not sure this should properly be categorized as tea at all. Yet it’s too thin for a broth. I still don’t know what to make of it. This might be put to best use in cooking – I think rice especially would take kindly to it.

As a drink, I’m not really enjoying this. I am not going to rate it because I can’t even figure out what standards to apply. I doubt I’ll be drinking it again, though.

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