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164 Tasting Notes

91

Free sample provided by Teavivre, thanks again to them. This is my first Keemun, hooray! I always love when I get to try something completely new to me. As far as aroma goes, I noticed similarities to my previous experiences with Chinese black teas, such as a malty aroma with hints of cocoa and a slight bit of honey. While the leaf was steeping, the cocoa aroma intensified and a small amount of smoke presented itself. Every tea has a tone or a feeling to it, and the tone that this tea was presenting was dark and haunting.

The taste followed suit with the aromas. Dark chocolate, lots of malt and a little smokiness. This tea has some real heft to it. It’s not bitter, but it’s intense. It’s not astringent, but it’s robust. It reminds me of some really high quality coffee in its intensity, but it lacks the acidity of coffee. The smokiness is almost like an illusion to me, you can’t smell it or taste it on nearly the same level as a lapsang souchong, you just kind of feel like it’s there.

This tea would make a great wake up cup as well as an awesome late night tea.

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97

Oh, jasmine. I’m not sure there’s a more intoxicating smell on this earth. It envelops you, comforts you and lets you know you’re in for a treat…it’s truly something special.

This one tastes very pure and natural. The jasmine does not smell or taste perfumey or over-the-top at all. As I sat and contemplated the imagery this tea was presenting to me, I noticed some of the same things that Bonnie identified. Pine forests and blue glacial water like in the Canadian wilderness. Then to a moonlit forest late at night, seeing the precious jasmine flower bloom before me. Wonderful. I absolutely love the imagery that tea can give me.

This is a very smooth and very sweet tea, probably the sweetest jasmine tea I’ve had. Absolutely marvelous, thank you for the sample Teavivre.

Bonnie

Hope your headaches are better!

Charles Thomas Draper

My bonsai jasmine is in bloom now. Nothing compares to the aroma

Invader Zim

I just received some of this and am very excited to try it!

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93

Azzrian, you’ve officially earned the title of the person who sent me the tastiest samples. I haven’t been let down yet. Nice oolong flavor with a light citrus flavor and a truly silky vanilla cream flavor. Awesome.

Kittenna

She does find fabulous ones, doesn’t she?!

Azzrian

Thank you :) Both of you. Don’t built me up too much though I am sure there will be a miss or two. :)

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97

This is another sample I received from Azzrian and I’ve been excited about trying it since I’ve never had a tea from Nepal before. First of all, I want to say that I’m a little puzzled as to how this qualifies as a black tea…it’s completely green and light brown. When brewing it emits an extremely fruity and somewhat floral smell, and the liquor it produces is a light amber. Overall, ot seems very much like an oolong to me. As for the flavor, to me it tastes like a combination of silver needle mixed with peach and apricot. It’s very “juicy” and a little tangy with the pleasing astringency and mellow nature that a white tea would possess. This one is definitely interesting, very unique and I like it a lot. Thanks Azz, I probably would’ve never tried this on my own.

Azzrian

You are most welcome.

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100

Wow. I might sound crazy but I’ve just had a full-blown religious tea experience. I started out drinking it casually watching Dr. Who honestly having no intention of picking apart the flavors but this tea commanded my full attention. It pulled me into a completely new space. I paused the tv, closed my eyes, and just spent about 15 minutes sipping the cup with my eyes closed making taste associations because boy, the flavors and images this tea presented to me were endless. I got everything from almond cookies, to dirt, to cranberries, and beyond.
I had visions in my mind of everything from sandy beaches to mountains and lush pastures.
And the moment I even just started smelling the wet leaf I felt a real, tangible rush of euphoria and exhilaration.

Honestly, I cannot fully explain just how significant and ethereal this experience was. It was a mental quest through life and all its sensory experiences. This is what great tea is all about, it is almost beyond this world. This tea has taught me to better appreciate tea and to surrender my senses to it fully when I consume it, because after experiences like these, I truly believe that in some way that is currently unknown to me, tea is a divine plant. Call me crazy if you wish… This tea rocked my world, thank you Azzrian, thank you Mandala and thank you to whoever is responsible for the production of this exquisute tea.

Bonnie

I know the feeling! You sound like you had a good dose of L-theanine to the brain which can feel great and produce euphoria. I’m asking my doctor about the effects with my anti seizure meds for migraine because I get a strong tea high. It’s supposed to be a healthy thing for you. Enjoy.

K S

I love teas that take you to a mountain top!

Garret

This is excellent, Kyle! I am so happy that you enjoy this gong ting. When I first tasted it in 2006, I bought every bit of it that I could from my main connection in Kunming. It is a special tea, no doubt. I am sad to see our stock of this tea dwindling. My partner, Sarah, is wanting to hoard the rest of it for us and stop selling it, but we will watch the stock and keep offering it for a little while. Great review. This tea definitely transports!!!

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94

Wow, I love this. Thanks Azzrian. I’ve been on a big white tea kick lately, it’s just so pure, refreshing and relaxing and this is the first flavored white that I’ve had and I think it’s fantastic. The kiwi and strawberry tastes very natural and combines well with the white tea and yes, I can taste a little tequila in there too! There is also a subtle natural sweetness, so no sugar needed! This is delicious, and it’s unfortunate that they don’t have it anymore because I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Bonnie

I want to know how the headache is doing? You had us so worried about you!

Scatterbrain

The headaches are still going strong every morning when I wake up. They keep me lying in bed for a couple hours every day. Still haven’t been able to see a doctor.

Bonnie

U have to go!

Scatterbrain

I know, it’s out of my hands right now.

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63

Backlog… I figured after I just did a review on another red rooibos blend, I might as well just get this one over with. I’ve been doing a lot of drinking teas and not writing tasting notes on them because they were boring or disappointing. But anyways…

As I wrote in my review of Teavana’s rooibos chai, I generally don’t care for red rooibos (with one exception being Tazo’s full-leaf vanilla rooibos). This one is pretty much on the same level as the rooibos from Teavana, maybe a couple points lower. I can barely detect the spices in it, the rooibos is (as always) watery and flat, and I taste no chocolate whatsoever. I can see why you didn’t care for this one, Amanda. But I’ve got good news, I passed this one on to my brother who is far less picky with teas than I am, so it will not be wasted! Thanks Amanda.

momo

I’m really picky about chai to the point I just say I don’t like it. Glad someone can enjoy it though! It was weird to me that this one lacks in chocolate when I have a chocolate rooibos from the same shop that definitely has the flavor.

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49
drank Rooibos Chai by Teavana
164 tasting notes

My Bostonian relatives sent me home with a bit of this to try and I finally got around to it today, I just find it hard to get excited about rooibos blends. Like another reviewer said: “it looks good, smells good, and tastes okay but has no body whatsoever”. That’s the problem with red rooibos in my opinion; it lacks depth and body, it’s completely flat and boring. Green rooibos I enjoy, but the more I try red rooibos blends the more I realize I just don’t like them.

Scatterbrain

Speaking of Bostonion… note to self: buy a tin of Harney’s Boston Blend.

ashmanra

It is sooooooo good. If I had to whittle my stash down to just ten teas (from 100) this would be a keeper.

ashmanra

Oh, I am referring to Harney’s Boston, by the way! :)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Oh good! I’m not the only one to have an instant love for that. =)

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96

This is a mug of comfort, and that’s exactly what I need right now. Something has been going on with me lately that is very unpleasant, it started when I was in Boston and it’s been getting progressively worse with each day that goes by. They are headaches but the word “headache” doesn’t come close to describing how horrific they are. It starts when I get up out of bed in the morning, beginning with a feeling of extreme pressure in the front of my head that turns into throbbing, extreme pain. It gets so intense that I can do nothing but lay in bed because with each movement I make, every time I stand up straight or perform any task, I get jolts of crippling pain all throughout my head. Every noise, every little bit of light, every time I move my head or TOUCH anything, I’m hit with pain that hurts so bad it causes me to scream, it got so bad at one point that I was lying in my bed crying and I felt like my skull was simultaneously on fire and about to explode. I’m sorry to whine, it’s just that this is really worrying me. I looked up my symptoms and I’m not finding anything, does anybody have any insight that they could give me?

Azzrian

Good Lord get to the doctor! Could be migraines could be some kind of aneurism! I would not wait around on this sort of thing. I do NOT mean to scare the bejeesus out of you but really put it off.

Scatterbrain

My mom scheduled an appointment for me today.

Bonnie

Sounds like a splitting migraine. You do need to see a doctor though. I’m going to PM you and ask a couple questions and you know why!

TheTeaFairy

Kyle, based on what you are describing, you should go see a doctor… there are severe migraines that can give you similar symptoms, and if it’s that bad, please seek professional help, hope you feel better soon…

Scatterbrain

I will go see a doctor asap guys, thanks for the concern. Also, when this first started (while I was in Boston) I was also sleepwalking a couple of times which I’ve NEVER done in my life.

Scatterbrain

@Bonnie, okay.

Bonnie

One of the things that does help migraines is coffee (not tea folks) drink some coffee, even several cups. Really. I know this from my Neurologists and experience.

Scatterbrain

I actually tried that because I had heard that caffeine helped migraines, but I feel like it actually made it worse. I’ve also been taking tylenol AND ibuprofen and neither seem to do anything, I just usually have to wait for it to go away which takes 2-3 hours.

ashmanra

Sounds more like a cluster headache, could even be related to frequent use of a computer or tablet device believe it or not. They are HORRIBLE. Get to a doctor, and see if physical therapy and/or massage may help!

Azzrian

Is it “okay” to take both Ibuprofen and Tylenol? I know there are two type of headache medicine you are NOT supposed to take together but now I don’t know which two.

Scatterbrain

Tylenol and ibuprofen are fine to mix, I think most NSAIDS in general are okay…you’re probably thinking of narcotic painkillers which really shouldn’t be mixed.

Azzrian

Here is what I found with Google – not that google makes anyone a genius lol:
You can alternate the tylenol with the ibuprofen but not mix the ibuprofen/aspirin/aleve. They are all NSAIDS and you shouldn’t take them at the same time.

Bonnie

That’s right!

Kashyap

I’m no herbalist and it sounds like a problem that might need more medical insight, but the Chinese tout White Chrysanthmums as being good treatments for migrianes, headache, alergies, and in the traditional medicinal cannon…to expel ‘wind’ from the body. If you are having a hard time finding them let me know…and I will send you some

Scatterbrain

I’ll have to try that, they sell Chrysanthemums in bulk at a store near me.

Kashyap

make sure they are white….yellow are not the quality ones you want to use for those symptoms

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93

This is my very first Darjeeling, hooray! It’s good to know that it’s organic, fair trade AND produced on a biodynamic estate as well. The dry leaf smells like autumn leaves with a little bit of a fruity scent, overall the smell is reminiscent of a darker oolong. As for the flavor, there’s definitely a little bit of a roasty flavor but the flavor is predominantly fruity, specifically grape. On top of this, there is a little bit of a pleasant astringency. This is a second flush tea, so I’m sure there are better Darjeelings out there but my first impression of Darjeelings is a positive one, because this stuff is GOOOD. This would without a doubt make a fantastic cold-brewed iced tea.

Kashyap

Makaibari is a good estate…if you can find the Ambootia estate, it was the one that opened my eyes to Darjeeling.

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I’ll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide
No alarms and no surprises, please

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Bend, Oregon

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