300 Tasting Notes

I took this off of *TheLastDodo*’s hands.She was kind to sent the entire packet.

The dry leaf has an appealingly sweet, orange aroma. The infusion has a soft texture and is full with flavor. I can mostly taste the orange and the rooibos, which are strong. The aftertaste starts of with orange juice, but seconds later reveals light notes of hibiscus, rosehips, and then vanilla.

I was pleased to find an orange-flavored tea, since there aren’t many. For those wary of hibiscus, I don’t think you’d have to worry about it overpowering this herbal blend. I enjoyed this one.

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

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drank Peppermint by Zen Tea Life
300 tasting notes

Flyawabirdie included in her Christmas gift a whopping 50g rather than a sample. Wow! Thanks so much for introducing this to me.

By smelling the dry leaf beforehand I knew this would be a good one. This is one of the freshest – if not the freshest – peppermint teas I’ve ever had. It’s so strong, it’s as if I had been chewing a Dentyne Ice gum (which is my go-to gum for mint power). I even feel the cooling effect in the throat. I’m keeping this is mind for a re-stock when I run out.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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TheLastDodo included some of this in her swap. Thank you!

Brewing method: gongfu session with a ruyao easy gaiwan and cup set. Steeping times: 20, 15, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 3 min, 6 min.

I have only drunk yabao once, almost three years ago, when I was a very new to Chinese tea drinking. I wasn’t impressed. There was a spicy note I didn’t take to. I chose this yabao as the first to try from Dodo’s selection because of my faith in Whispering Pines.

This yabao reminds of evergreen trees. It has notes of needles and sap, and lengthy aftertaste of juniper berries, followed by cherries. I would say it is excellent to drink all year round, as evergreens keep their needles. It evokes the green seasons and provides a sense of green in the middle of winter. I am enamored with the beauty of pines, spruces, cedars, firs, yews, and so on. When I am bird-watching and come across a cluster of evergreens in a deciduous woods, something pulls me away from the birds and I must stop. (Well, also, there is always a chance of a Red-breasted Nuthatch or an owl in them during wintertime.) It is a different kind of atmosphere. The wind sounds different blowing between needles.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
rosebudmelissa

Lovely description!

KiwiDelight

Thank you!

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From the Herbal TTB.

The base tea is quite malty and bitter for my taste. With a splash of milk, this becomes creamy vanilla goodness. Worth the popularity.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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From the Herbal TTB.

I would steep two tea bags in an 8/10 ounce mug. With one bag, I can taste the flavors – vanilla, cinnamon – and the rooibos, but they are weak. This blend doesn’t pop out with uniqueness, but I think it’s alright.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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From the Herbal TTB. Amount taken is actually 1.5 tsp. There is some left for another 8oz cup if anyone was wants to try.

18 herbs?!? Wowee. Here they are from the website: Barley tea, job’s tears, sicklepod seeds, cat’s whiskers (herb), dokudami (herb), oolong tea, tumeric, guava leaves, biwa (loquat) leaves, mikan (Japanese mandarin) peels, brown rice, pine leaves, ohbako, benibana, persimmon leaves, amachazuru, sarunokoshikake (fungi), cinnamon.

Oolong. OK. This is not a purely herbal blend then. Considering the number of ingredients and that I’m taking them from a sample packet, there wouldn’t be much of each, including the oolong. Still. This is under the herbal section.

That aside, I have never tasted practically every single one of these ingredients. This blend is difficult to evaluate. I thought I smelled and tasted a solid note of juniper berries. No barley – it wasn’t something I grabbed a lot of. That may have been the sicklepod seeds.

Pleasant cup, but I’m not hooked. You might get something else out of this, so go for it. It is something I’ve never seen before.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Christina / BooksandTea

Frankly, that blend sounds kind of overwhelming.

KiwiDelight

Yeah. What one tastes is what one picks out for one cup, I guess.

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Brewed on the stove top. Added 2% milk to the second boiling round. No sugar.

As the leaf simmered, the house was filled with a deliciously fruit-filled rooibos aroma. Considering that almost half of the ingredients are fruits – apple, hibiscus, rosehip, pineapple – it’s not surprising. My mother thought I was burning a scented candle, ha ha.

The spice mix consists of ginger, cinnamon, and chili. That last one. Holy frickin’ cow! It’s incredibly strong. This is one of the most peppery spiced teas I’ve ever had, alongside Old 52Tea’s Spiced Chai. Even my throat felt spicy.

On the plus side, good on this blend for nice aroma and spice strength. However, the chili overpowers everything else. Coconut? Shrug. Not in even in the aroma. Too many fruits. Additionally, there are “natural flavors.” Is there a point? The are enough powerful ingredients as it is.

Give or take. You may want to try it or not.

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From the Herbal TTB.

This rooibos blend has a strong aroma and tastes of cinnamon, nuts, and slight vanilla. I can detect the added artificiality, but it doesn’t interfere that much.

Nice to drink once, but I wouldn’t have it again. It was OK.

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

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From the Herbal TTB. Off to a good start.

I was intrigued by the list of ingredients: “elderflower, German chamomile, peppermint, rose hip and heath flower.” The blend makes a sweet, flowery cup. The liquor is light, mild, and smooth. Chamomile tends to be overpowering for me, but it’s not at all strong. The amount of each ingredient is just right. The aftertaste is rose hips and peppermint, an interesting combo. Refreshing and relaxing.

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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 leafhopper oolongs and shou pu’erh, and my favorite herbal tisanes are spear/peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum. I’m currently exploring shou and sheng pu’erh, and any Chinese and Taiwanese teas in general. I’m not much into flavored/“un-pure” teas, though I adore masala chai. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. I do like hisbiscus, especially iced.

I like to write nature essays. I’m a birdwatcher as well as a tea enthusiast. The kiwi is one of my favorite birds. I also like Tolkien, Ancient Egypt, and exercising.

IMPORTANT NOTE, PLEASE READ: After two and a half years of having an account here, I will no longer will provide numerical ratings as an addition to the review because the American school system has skewed my thoughts on numbers out of a hundred and the colors throw me off. Curses! My words are more than sufficient. If I really like what I have, I will “recommend”, and if I don’t, “not recommended”.

Key for past ratings:

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 necessarily like to have in my stash (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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