500 Tasting Notes

This was my favorite of the Ajiri teas that I tried at the Coffee & Tea Festival. The mango doesn’t taste at all artificial. The slight sweetness of the mango flavor works to highlight the maltiness of the base tea. I’m not even supposed to drink black teas but I want to drink this one. Lots.

Flavors: Malt, Mango

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I tried several Ajiri teas at the NYC Coffee & Tea Festival this year. This was one of them. I initially expected that I would end up choosing this blend, but it turned out to be my least favorite. The ginger flavor clearly comes from real ginger in the blend. It’s strong, but not overwhelming. The malty base tea holds its own. However, the flavors of the ginger and base tea just didn’t quite mesh for me. Ginger good. Base tea good. But they just didn’t play together at all. It’s like the flavor of each was hanging out in its own corner and refusing to interact. Possibly a shorter or longer steep time would fix this. Maybe I’ll get a box next year to play around with!

Flavors: Ginger, Malt

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This year’s NYC Coffee & Tea Festival was a bit disappointing, though I still managed to spend more than I did last year. The old venue was nicer – more centrally located and with fewer temperature control issues. They were giving out free (empty) totes this year but ran out before I even got there. In general, there were a lot fewer freebies than in previous years. When they’re charging $25 per ticket just to get in without a gift bag, one hopes for some perks. I used a discount code, but that was still $15 for the privilege of spending more money. I did sample a whole bunch of teas in the process. Some were better than others. I took notes. Now I’m going to share them with you :-) Prepare to have your dashboards flooded, folks!

Ajiri Tea does truly admirable work. They employ locals in the area where their teas are produced to make the labels for their boxes and donate profits to pay school fees for orphans. I like supporting socially useful companies, so I always make a point of buying something from Ajiri when I see them exhibiting. This year I tried several of their teas before settling on the mango-flavored black.

I sampled the lemon-flavored tea first. Apparently it’s award-winning. I liked it. The lemon flavor was very natural tasting, neither too sweet nor too tart, but more lemongrass than lemon. This was a very smooth blend. However, the lemoniness kind of drowned out the usually hearty base tea. Tasty, but not my top choice out of their offerings.

Flavors: Lemongrass

Sil

i wish i could have been…but your comments make me feel a bit better about not being there

Kaylee

Yeah, the Midwest Fest looks like it will be much better but of course I can’t make it to that one. The NYC Fest just didn’t feel like it was run by tea and/or coffee lovers this year.

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90

Tried this Western style for a change. 85c, first steep 1 minute, second steep ~ 2 minutes. I find the flavor is much stronger this way. It’s still honey up front, but a sweet sort of savoriness quickly follows. The brew is definitely heftier this way than gong fu style. It actually reminds me of camellia blossom tea. Not at all what I expected. Tasty, though. Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending this to me and Tea Ave for sending it to her!

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Free sample from the most recent ROT catalog. So, so yum. It tastes of creamy vanilla-hazelnut goodness. The flavor is almost coffee-like. I think this would be a great herbal substitute on the rare occasion that I crave some ridiculous Starbucks-style coffee concoction. I’m not going to order this right now, but I would definitely impulse buy if I see it at the store.

Flavors: Coffee, Hazelnut, Vanilla

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91
drank Root Beer Barrels by Butiki Teas
500 tasting notes

I decided to get a little creative and mix the last of my Mariage Freres Rouge Bourbon with some of Butiki’s Root Beer Barrels. I used about 1.5 tsps of each blend in 8oz of boiling water, steeped for 7 minutes. I’m digging the result. The Root Beer Barrels is definitely dominant. The Bourbon is adding a nice creaminess, though. Adding rice milk brings out the vanilla a bit. The root beer flavor still hits first, but it’s mellower. The creamy vanilla-ness lingers for a while after the sip. I like how well these blends work together! This is a sipdown of the Bourbon, which was really enjoyable both on its own and in combination with other blends, a cinnamon stick, or lavender & mint.

Thanks to Dustin for the Bourbon and rosebudmelissa for the Root Beer Barrels! I’m cross-posting, so apologies for the redundancy on your dashboards.

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91
drank Rouge Bourbon by Mariage Frères
500 tasting notes

I decided to get a little creative and mix the last of my Mariage Freres Rouge Bourbon with some of Butiki’s Root Beer Barrels. I used about 1.5 tsps of each blend in 8oz of boiling water, steeped for 7 minutes. I’m digging the result. The Root Beer Barrels is definitely dominant. The Bourbon is adding a nice creaminess, though. Adding rice milk brings out the vanilla a bit. The root beer flavor still hits first, but it’s mellower. The creamy vanilla-ness lingers for a while after the sip. I like how well these blends work together! This is a sipdown of the Bourbon, which was really enjoyable both on its own and in combination with other blends, a cinnamon stick, or lavender & mint.

Thanks to Dustin for the Bourbon and rosebudmelissa for the Root Beer Barrels! I’m cross-posting, so apologies for the redundancy on your dashboards.

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90

It’s the first day of spring, and it’s snowing. I reached for this in hopes of reminding myself that warmth will return one day. I can’t say the effort was a total success, but at least it was tasty. Plus, sipdown!

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91
drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
500 tasting notes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I borrowed a green cardigan from a colleague so I could get a free cup of tea at David’s. This blend smelled lovely in the tin and seemed suitably green. The steeped aroma is nutty and creamy. The flavor is macadamia, general nuttiness, cream, and maybe a hint of vanilla. I actually find it hard to believe there’s no sinensis in this blend, as it’s heftier than a lot of other herbals. It also resteeps decently. This blend might be my new substitute for Butiki’s Pistachio Ice Cream.

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85
drank Piccolo by Lupicia
500 tasting notes

Mmm. Sadly, another sipdown. I’m picking up strawberry, raspberry, and creamy vanilla. It’s annoying that Lupicia doesn’t clearly list blend ingredients. I don’t think there’s supposed to be any vanilla here – maybe my tastebuds are confusing the honey flavoring for vanilla. Some rice milk brings out the creaminess and amplifies the strawberry & raspberry flavors. I got a good second steep out of this final sachet, too.

This was part of my Lupicia happy bag. So far I’m quite pleased with their blends. However, the absence of a proper ingredients list is seriously off-putting. I will probably buy next year’s happy bag anyway though – the price is too good.

Flavors: Creamy, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla

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