400 Tasting Notes

95
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
400 tasting notes

So first let me say that I don’t have the supplies to brew this tea properly using the traditional guidelines. I did my best to approximate, using a heaping teaspoon in 8 oz of approximately 180 degree water, steeped for 90 seconds.

This smells FANTASTIC. Like toasted rice or savory popcorn. The color is a light greenish-yellow. Based on the color and short brew time, I was worried that it would taste weak. Not at all! It tastes like hay and toasted rice (in a good way, I promise). Spinachy. I’m not picking up on any sweetness or astringency. Just nice and savory and a great complement to dessert. Or after dessert. Or on a cold rainy day when you’ve come home late during a thunderstorm and your suit is soaked and you need something warm to relax.

This is the first of the green tea sampler that Den’s Tea sent me. I really hope the rest are as good as this one. If they are, I expect I’ll be making purchases from them soon.

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34

Blegh. Just blegh. I remember liking this tea. Clearly I have memory problems, because this is really truly terrible. I like other Wissotzky teas; I like their green tea; I like their regular mint tea. But this? No. No no no no no. It just tastes like drinking straight spearmint. Maybe it would be ok mixed with a nice green, but then I would have to be willing to risk ruining a good tea. I actively feel guilty now for sending this along to someone else (at least it was a giveaway and not a swap!). I don’t understand why I ever thought I liked it…

Luckily, my brother inexplicably likes this and I was able to pawn the rest of it off on him.

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85

Tried this again, brewing it for 5 minutes straight this time. Smells great! Just like a ginger snap. Tastes lovely, too, though still not like a cookie. I tried it with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla agave. Still tasty, still doesn’t taste like a cookie. Just tastes like ginger and vanilla. I still have enough of the sample to make another two cups (not counting resteeps), so I’ll try it with proper sugar next time.

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85

Thanks to JoonSusanna for sending this along. I love ginger snap cookies, so I was really excited about this tea. Ultimately, I think it’s pretty good, but doesn’t quite taste like ginger snaps.

The dry leaf smells like a very gingery cookie. Brewed, it still smells like a gingery cookie (in a good way!). The package says to steep for 2-4 minutes. I initially steeped for 2.5, but it came out kind of weak. It tasted like a good rooibos. I couldn’t make out any ginger though. So I steeped for another 2 minutes and it was better. Didn’t taste as thin and the ginger flavor came out more. Another minute of steeping and it was much, much better. The rooibos and ginger work together nicely. Still doesn’t taste like a cookie, but very nice. So 5-6 minutes is a good steeping time. I will say that this tea has a nice gingery aftertaste, exactly like a ginger snap.

This resteeps pretty well. I got distracted and ended up leaving the leaves in for 8 minutes. It actually worked out nicely! Super tasty. I will definitely be drinking this again. Will try it with sweetener next time, as suggested.

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34
drank White Cucumber by Adagio Teas
400 tasting notes

I love cucumbers. I love cucumber water. I have learned that I do not love cucumber tea. This tastes exactly like white tea with cucumber. Followed package directions and everything. Just not enjoying it. It might be good during the summer, brewed for a shorter period of time, iced, and with sugar… and possibly with fewer leaves than the 2 heaping teaspoons suggested on the package.

I agree with literally every other reviewer that the dry leaves smell like pickles. I quite like pickles, so it didn’t put me off. And ok the brewed tea smells briny too. And now that I think about it the tea also tastes vaguely briny… reading the other reviews has actually made me like this tea even less! At least it’s pretty – a nice pale yellow. Great thanks to TastyBrew for sending me the sample, but I don’t think I’ll be drinking this again any time soon.

TastyBrew

Now you see why i never even opened my sample :-)

Kaylee

Haha no wonder you were eager to get rid of it! I’m thinking it might be interesting to cook with…

Chiyo

Pickles? That’s really weird. And it’s kinda too bad that the tea sucked, because I like cucumbers too.
Was this sample a free one that came with the order? Because I have a peach oolong that I got as a free sample with my order from Adagio and it wasn’t very good either.

I’m wondering if those free samples from them are really low quality or something because it seems like they aren’t that good.

Kaylee

This was a sample that I’m assuming TastyBrew got free with an order. I feel bad for anyone who actually paid for it.

Chiyo

Haha yeah me too, it’s such a shame. I’m really glad I didn’t pay for my peach EWWlong sample either. But at the same time I think that if a company is going to provide a free sample it should be of good quality regardless. It makes me wonder why I would even want a free sample if it’s gonna suck.

Kaylee

Yeah a good free sample tends to end with me making a purchase. Why waste everyone’s time with a bad sample?

Chiyo

Totally agree~! bro fist You’d expect a bit more from Adagio.

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93

I don’t sleep well, so I am perennially on the hunt for a good bedtime tea. This tea was mentioned somewhere on the discussion boards and the name (and positive review) piqued my interest. I ordered on Saturday and it got here Monday – with free shipping! Plus it was reasonably priced, so the company has made a really positive first impression.

Now for the tea itself. Dry and brewed, it has a fairly mild smell of chamomile, spearmint, and grass. It brews up a light yellow color that reminds me of sunflowers. The taste is like chamomile with a hint of lemon, and spearmint on the back end. I want to say that I can taste the valerian, but I’m not familiar enough with that flavor to say for sure.

This is easily one of the best chamomile teas that I have ever had; I would only put Harney and Sons chamomile on the same level. I don’t know yet whether this will actually help me sleep, so I’ll update tomorrow.

boiling water, 1 tsp for 8 oz, steeped 7 mins, per package instructions

Lindsey

Do let us know if helps with sleep! I’m curious as to how this one would stack up to Mother’s Little Helper, which has many of the same components.

Starfevre

Sounds pleasant, but I’m afraid of valerian.

Kaylee

Lindsey – I actually slept terribly last night, but I’m not ready to write off this tea. I’m going to try again tonight and have TWO cups (the only obvious solution). Will keep you posted.

Starfevre – Why are you afraid of valerian?

Starfevre

Taking too many psychotropic medications. Afraid of interactions with anything that has an active ingredient.

Lindsey

I’m sorry you had a rough night. Hopefully you were able to get some sleep last night, at least.

Kaylee

Thanks for the good wishes, Lindsey! I’m sure one day they will come true…

Starfevre – sorry to hear that! Boo for meds getting in the way, and here’s hoping that the meds at least help. Hey, on the up side, you can still have matcha :)

Starfevre

Yes indeed. Delicious delicious matcha.

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80

This has been sitting in my cabinet for over a year, so I didn’t have high expectations. I like it though! It’s sweet, but tangy enough that the sweetness isn’t cloying. Kind of tastes more like a thin juice than tea. I had it with garlic couscous and it went together quite nicely. This won’t make it into frequent rotation, but I’ll probably keep some around for iced tea in the summer.

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

This is one of only three teas I actually purchased from the Coffee & Tea Festival. I enjoyed the sample because it was delicately sweet and the coconut flavor wasn’t overwhelming.

Dry, the tea smells sweet, like apple Jolly Ranchers, with a hint of coconut. The package didn’t include steeping directions, so I used nearly boiling water and tasted it at three steeping intervals – 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 8 minutes. At 3 minutes, it was sweet but very weak. At 5 minutes, it was stronger but still very sweet. It basically smells and tastes like a Jolly Rancher. At 8 minutes, the green tea flavor came out more. At that point I gave up timing and just drank the tea, leaving the teabag in. It gets better the longer it steeps, but there’s never really any complexity to this tea. It might be good as an iced tea (no sweetener needed) or instead of dessert. Overall, I am not impressed. I don’t know why I liked it more at the tea festival than I do now, but I wouldn’t buy it again at this price point ($10 for 18 sachets, though the content of the sachets is the same quality as loose leaf).

This doesn’t resteep well. The flavor is better – much less sweet – but it is very weak.

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78

I got a sample of this from the Yogi website, and definitely needed something soothing after a stressful day at work. It smells great. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, hint of vanilla. I love cinnamon. This doesn’t actually taste very cinnamon-y, though. The flavor is overwhelmingly chamomile, with smooth vanilla on the back end. A hint of pepper as I’m reaching the bottom of the cup.

I like this as a bedtime tea. It really is soothing. It’s somewhat disturbing that it has so many ingredients, though – chamomile, rooibos, roasted chicory root, skullcap leaf, nutmeg kernel, caramel flavor, vanilla flavor, some kind of bark, stevia leaf, poppy extract, ginger root, L. Theanine Suntheanine, clove bud, black pepper, cinnamon bark, cardamom seed oil, ginger root oil… it seems a bit much.

I’m at the bottom now and still don’t know whether I would actually buy this. It’s tasty and soothing, but nothing outstanding, and the long ingredients list is off-putting.

Steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes, per package instructions.

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64
drank Macaroon Rooibos by Gaia Tea
400 tasting notes

Gaia is a small outfit, so I wanted to give this tea its best chance. Per the package instructions, I steeped for exactly 9 minutes in 12 ounces of boiling water. It turns out a lovely medium honey tone. I can’t quite describe the aroma – it’s woodsy and faintly sweet.

Having just spent 8 days eating macaroons, I can tell you with confidence that this tea’s flavor does not at all live up to that part of its name. The rooibos is good, but it is by far the dominant flavor. The tea has a bushy taste, with a smoky aftertaste that is pleasant at first but too strong by the end of the cup (I don’t actually smoke, for what help that gives in gauging the degree of smokiness). There is a hint of sweetness, almost like honeysuckle. I can also detect a touch of carob and coconut, but no cocoa or almonds at all.

The instructions suggest that this tea is best served with honey and milk. I still have another sample left. I’m willing to try this again at some point, albeit with rice milk instead of cow. Hopefully I will find it more enjoyable the second time around. The smokiness was just too much this time.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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