394 Tasting Notes

85
drank Guayusa by Runa
394 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
394 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
394 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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68

Stash Co. kindly sent me samples of a few teas. This one is ok, but not great. It’s very straightforward. Tastes exactly like its name – no more, no less. So it’s a honeybush tea with a hint of vanilla. Nothing about the flavor profile is especially notable. I think this could benefit from a bit more vanilla, to add depth and compensate for the decent but unremarkable base. I would drink this if it were around and I wanted something caffeine-free and a little sweet, but I won’t be buying it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Sunshine by Della Terra Teas
394 tasting notes

Mmm. The dry leaves smell like real apricot and mango. Brewed, the tea has a light apricot scent. It has an equally light, smooth flavor. It’s very fruity and tart. Tastes like real fruit, not at all syrupy. I’m actually getting the inverse profile of what MissLena12 tasted. To me, the dominant flavor is definitely apricot. The mango comes through only a bit. I can’t taste the green tea base at all, except for a dryness at the end of each sip.

Overall, I quite like this and will happily finish what I have. Next time I might try it iced – I also think this tea would lend itself quite nicely to that.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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12
drank French Roast by Teeccino
394 tasting notes

Backlog – I keep scribbling notes as I go and then failing to type them up into coherent paragraphs.

I had a nice big Sunday breakfast yesterday and wanted a cup of coffee with my meal. I can’t really have coffee, so I thought I’d give this a shot instead.

I’d have done better drinking coffee. This just tastes like burnt chicory, with a hint of carob. I followed package instructions (brew 3-5 minutes using boiling water), so I don’t think the burnt taste can be attributed to user error. I found this thoroughly unenjoyable. I took a sip, was put off by the taste, ate until I forgot just how bad it was and decided to give it another shot, and was equally put off the second time. And the third. After that, I just poured out the rest.

Lucky this is a sample.

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95
drank Sencha Shin-ryoku by Den's Tea
394 tasting notes

Brewed a heaping teaspoon at 160 degrees in 8 oz of water for 90 seconds. This comes out a lovely, very pale green color. It smells like toasted rice, with a touch of hay. It has a savory, rice-like flavor. I love this, but I can’t really tell the difference between this and the Den’s Tea Sencha Fuka-midori. This one is maybe lighter and less spinachy. Yum.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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