131 Tasting Notes

72

Swap from Cameron B aka Obligatory Tea #1.

I’m generally getting dried kiwi. Dry leaf aroma, wet leaf aroma… I can mostly taste dried grass and hay, but as I let the tea sit in my mouth, the kiwi and apple appear (mostly the kiwi), but they’re weak. The aftertaste is the best part – it’s like I’ve just eaten dried kiwi. Yummers! Funny how the flavoring works.

Not a keeper though it was nice to try.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

Prepared gongfu method with gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 5 sec, 5, 5, 5, 10, 10, 10, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60.

Dry leaf aroma: initially floral and mineral, then fresh fruit such as persimmons, clementines, and Asian pears.
Wet leaf aroma: Much simpler, though not any less lovely. Sweet, buttery, mostly floral.
Liquor: Light yellow, clear, full-bodied, and smooth. The leaves unfurl sooner than I expected – during the first infusion -, allowing to pour forth flavorful sweet, floral notes, which are consistent throughout the session.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Parsifal

Sounds lovely… I am on their website contemplating an order :) Thanks for the descriptive review!

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70

Swap from Cameron B.

Great aroma, reminds me of cider donuts. I love the smell of this apple/cinnamon. Then it gets weird. When the tea is piping hot, it tastes like hot apple cider. But when it cools down just a bit it becomes weaker. Then the apple/cinnamon flavor bounces back in the aftertaste. This is basically chamomile tea with something a little extra.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

This was one super bitter for me for some reason… :(

KiwiDelight

I didn’t get that at all. Too bad :{

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From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

Brewed Western-style. Steeping times: 30 sec, 45, 60, 90, 120.

The wet leaf aroma of has notes of earth, portobello mushrooms, and bread. The first infusion yields a reddish brown broth with a light earth note. In the subsequent infusions, the color changes to that of coffee, the earth is stronger (though not as strong as in other shu I’ve had), and a woody taste comes forth. Creamy and full-bodied in each cup.

Rich in spite of the lightness. Eat something substantial and not just an English muffin before you drink this, folks – it might briefly give you nausea.

I wish I could go beyond tasting earth and wood…at least I know I like it!

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Watermelon Mint by DAVIDsTEA
131 tasting notes

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

I don’t drink fruit tisanes because they’re not my thing (my last couple run-ins – both fig teas, one which was from DAVIDsTea – went into the sink), but “watermelon mint” sounded too appealing. I drank this hot-brewed because I didn’t feel like cold-brewing. Honestly, I was a little worried, but it was much better than I expected. The watermelon tastes good, though it is kind of on the light side for me, and it certainly goes well with mint, which takes over in the aftertaste. Good flavoring, too – not soapy or oily at all. I can guess that this one cold-brews well.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
albertocanfly

yum, yum…this tea is just so good. One of my favorites. It definitely has a dynamic flavor profile. And it cold brews wonderfully :D

KiwiDelight

I wanted to like this and I did! Gives me hope to try more fruit teas.

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70

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

This has a nice, pleasant apple-y aroma. I can taste both the black and rooibos easily and mostly just the apple flavor, which could be stronger. I don’t get much peach or cinnamon, though, and these could be much stronger as well.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. Steeping times: 20 sec, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60.

The leaf consists of twisty forest green leaves, whose color brightens when they are first infused. Even though they were picked from the bush long ago, they appear as if their life is retained. At first the aroma is generally sweet and buttery. But as the leaf cools, the notes change: kettlecorn and sweet potatoes with marshmallows (like the Thanksgiving dish), and then squash and zucchini. Each infusion produces a pale green liquor – almost neon – that is medium-bodied, creamy, vegetal and sweet.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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85

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. Steeping times: 3, 3, 3, 3, 6, 6, 6, 6.

I haven’t had many Tieguanyin’s, so picking out the complexities was difficult for me. Trying to go beyond “floral” here.

The leaf has a flora aroma, an early spring air filled with the delicate fragrances of purple, light blue, dark blue, pink, and yellow flowers. I imagine bumblebees and honeybees, dusted with pollen, flitting from flowerbed to flowerbed. The liquor is pale yellow, clear, and bright. Full-bodied yet light. The texture becomes creamier and more buttery with every infusion, and the taste changes to candy sweet, evocative of candied flowers.

The tightly rolled light green leaves quickly unfurl. Each one is surprisingly small and thin for a lightly oxidized oolong.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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95

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

“Wisdom begins in wonder,” says Socrates on the baggie I picked.

A malty, chocolatey aroma rises from the teapot when I take away the lid. The leaves even look like chocolate. The liquor – golden, full-bodied, thick – has the same notes as the aroma, only they are 10x stronger, bolder. It tastes a little aged. I ate Nutella on toasted bread with this and the two complement each other wonderfully. Freshest chocolate fudge, dark pure honey. With this pair, the tea overpowers the actual chocolate. That’s not something I find in a tea very often.

This is one heck of a cozy tea. Not hugging, but the kind that warms every inch and part of your being. For the darkest, coldest winter night, while a heavy snow falls.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

This is a lovely review. Thank you :-)

KiwiDelight

You’re welcome! A lovely review for a lovely tea :3

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m glad you got to try it!

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95

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

Brewed with shudei kyusu. Steeping times: 1 min, 30 sec, 1 min.

The wet leaf aroma is savory: buttery and sweet with pumpkin and squash. A pleasure to smell in the late afternoon. The first infusion is clear and light on the tongue, yet full-bodied and flavorful. Reminiscent of the sweet seaweed-like quality of kukicha. A graceful infusion.

The second is thicker, more like soup broth. It retains the sweetness form the first infusion, though it also has squash notes. I botched the third infusion: it’s much thicker, darker in color (too dark), and bitter (although I can still taste the tea’s essence). I should have let the leaf steep for a shorter a time.

This is a lovely Japanese green. Too bad there aren’t more in this box.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML
Cameron B.

Aww jelly, I want a kyusu! :D

KiwiDelight

GET ONE. Your life will improve vastly.

Cameron B.

I don’t drink a lot of sencha, but I suppose I could use it for other things!

KiwiDelight

I use mine for other Japanese teas. Great for genmaicha :3

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Profile

Bio

I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about its history, its manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

My favorite teas are Japanese greens, and my favorite herbal tisanes are peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum. I’m beginning to get into Wuyi oolongs and Chinese blacks, and am always open to exploring African teas. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. (Hibiscus, you’re alright if you’re cold.)

I’m an MFA graduate (nonfiction writing, specifically about nature), and an amateur birder as well as a tea enthusiast. I also like exercising, Tolkien, and Ancient Egypt (for the time being).

How I rate:

96-100 I adore absolutely everything about it. A permanent addition to my stash.

90-95 Superb quality and extremely enjoyable, but not something I’d like to have in my stash all the time, only occasionally (might have to do with personal tastes, depending on what I say in the tasting note).

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it. There are qualities that I find good, but there also are things that aren’t, hence a lower rating that I would have otherwise like to put.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good.

0-59 No.

If there is no rating: I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea just goes beyond rating (in a positive way).

Location

Westchester, NY

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