411 Tasting Notes

79
drank Purple Tea of Kenya by Butiki Teas
411 tasting notes

This was a sample with my last order. I was really excited to try it, admittedly in large part because of the novelty. I like it, but I’m not blown away – though that might be because I haven’t experimented with it enough.

The dry leaves smell fruity. The brewed tea also smells fruity, though I can’t quite articulate what fruit. This brews up a light pink-purple, very pretty. It tastes of toasted rice and a hint of jasmine. Like others have mentioned, this tastes similar to sencha, only sweeter and maybe not as dry. It has a light, smooth mouthfeel. Pleasant enough overall. Glad to have tried it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Sunshine by Della Terra Teas
411 tasting notes

Meh. Not feeling this today. The fruit is too strong, the green tea just completely gets lost. Just doesn’t quite taste like tea. Moving on to something else.

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93
drank Lemon Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
411 tasting notes

BACKLOG

This entry has been long delayed, mostly because I like this tea in the evenings and I am often too tired to write up coherent notes. I do, however, take shorthand notes.

I’ve had this tea three times now and thoroughly enjoyed it every time. The dry leaves have a lovely lemon cake smell. Brewed, the tea smells like citrus and cream (though I pick up more of a lime scent than lemon – I have the lime chiffon coming in my next sampler, so I can compare).

As for the taste… well, here’s the note I made right after I took my very first sip: “omg tastes exactly like lemon cake I love it must have more was skeptical despite all of the positive reviews but they are so dead on I love it thanks to the board for suggesting it!” Now you know why I don’t just post my preliminary notes. :) However, I don’t think anything but my first impression note can adequately convey how fantastic this tea is. Granted, I no longer feel the same level of awe every time I brew a cup, but nothing is ever the same as the first time. This is a solid and thoroughly enjoyable dessert tea. I’ve already ordered more!

This can be resteeped, but the flavor isn’t at all the same. The rooibos taste comes out, the lemon recedes, and the creaminess becomes very faint. I like rooibos, so I still find the second steep tasty, but it’s just not the same experience.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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
411 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
411 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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