47 Tasting Notes

96

Backlogging: circa 2 months ago. I had nice detailed reviews written out and misplaced them in the boyfriends room! This was before the introduction of a tea journal unfortunately. :S

A sample I received from ZenTea months ago, this was my very first Earl Grey and in retrospect was the best earl grey I have had! The bergamot and citrus are so strong and delicious, with cream and sugar this made the perfect morning blend! The leaves are beautiful and high quality, I have seldom seen a broken leaf from a ZenTea blend. They also resteep very very well- I think I steeped the same bit of this tea 4 times over the course of 3 days, keeping chilled in-between steepings.

I want more more more! I will be buying this tea when I get the chance to do so!

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77
drank Caramel & Rum by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

I searched my tea-bag (a medium sized paper department store bag that I’ve filled to the brim with loose leaf tea) to see what rooibos I had left that I hadn’t had in the last few days while convalescing. Tonight I am finishing the last bit of this tea I have with buttered rum seasonings. Yum!

The seasonings really do this delicious rum flavored rooibos justice! My only regret is these painkillers prevent me from adding cinnamon flavored 24K gold schnapps, which would really bring out the warm-and-fuzzies of this tea.

HistoryLaced gave me more tea at our tasting, particularly several packets of oolong (she just hasn’t found one she likes yet. I think my muscat oolong might be of some persuasion to her.) which required me to wash out the preserve (tiny mason jar) container that had that rancid Teavana Ayurvedic chai in it. I bought all these tiny mason jars to lock in my tea flavors, what I didnt expect was the lid to absorb the scent of that rancid tea so much that dousing it in rubbing alcohol did absolutely nothing! Well luckily, those lids come about a dime a dozen- I’ll just replace it. Seriously though, first experience with Teavana and it’s horrifying. :S

Now that I am drinking the last pot of this tea I have, I must ask myself: is this a tea to restock? I think as a cool weather drink, yes it is delicious and I love it; it’s definitely a blend that screams “Comfy!!!” but this is southern California. The weather is beginning to warm up, our rainy season seldom lasts a few weeks and school starts the first week of February. I think “comfy” may be going out of season.

Hopefully I will see this blend in-store next fall/winter right in time for another cool winter break spent indoors with my sweetie. :)

For now though, I think it’s time to stock something bold, spicy and packed with caffeine!

P.S.: I am feeling tons better and can’t wait to be 100% again! I only needed one painkiller at all today. Go me!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Claire

Glad to read that you’re feeling better! Rayn loves this tea.

Lady 0f Spaydes

My bf and friends seem alot fonder of it than I am. I like it for the novelty, but i dont think it is a “go-to” herbal for me. I think that’s just how holiday blends are alot of the time though…

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83
drank Orange Kidd by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

Had this earlier this afternoon. Just cuz I have to avoid caffeine doesnt mean I don’t like nice things!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Orange Kidd by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

Bought this tea over christmas and are tasting it again for the 3rd time. I am backlogging my initial tasting notes as well.

Observation 1: My boyfriend prepared this tea. It was steeped at boiling for 5 minutes as instructed. The liquor is a pretty rooibos red and I can smell a very sweet woodsy rooibos base.

Observation 2: Naked, this tea has a very smooth orange flavor reminiscent of dark chocolate orange candies. I am reminded of a citrus liquer like lemoncello and orange zest moreso than orange itself. I also notice a bridging flavor between the rooibos and orange that reminds me of olive oil perhaps? Either way it is a wonderful addition and blends these two flavores seamlessly.

Observation 3: With sugar, I am reminded of orange liquer and orange spice candies. Very delicious.

Observation 4: I chose not to add milk or cream for fear of the dairy taste being ridiculously overpowering.

Overall: My favorite rooibos yet, I think. I would love to try this mixed with a chocolate blend, I’ve not had a chocolate rooibos, but it might bode well with a chocolate black tea or something of the sort. Once my antibiotics are over and I can have caffeine again, I shall expeirment!

Boyfriend remarks: Uh… it’s good. I’m running out of stuff to write without more words.
Addendum: Tastes like Orangesickle, I guess. * pointless nervous chuckle *

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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73

Thank you to oOTeaOo for sending me this tea in our christmas swap!!!

Observation 1:My first honeybush! The boyfriend prepared this tea, he steeped it at boiling for 5 minutes. This liquuor steeps a pretty amber color. Was steeped loose in the teapot.

Observation 2: Naked, this tea has sweet notes with a prominent apple taste. Beneath that I can taste what I assume is the honeybush base followed by a light aftertaste of caramel.

Observation 3: With sugar to taste, I can mainly taste caramel, the bright apple flavor seems to get thrown to the background under sugar. The honeybush base is still prominently. best preparation for me

Observation 4: With milk, the honeybush runs the show with just a few drops of milk. Apple lingers above the flavors of the base.

Observation 5: With milk and sugar the honey bush and caramel are definitely prominent. I taste nuances indicative of apple.

Overall: I enjoyed this honeybush, I don’t think it will take precedence over rooibos for me, but it is very good and drawn my attention to 52Teas. I think the balance of the flavors needs to be adjusted a bit. It tastes like caramel and tastes like apple, but not at the same time. I would add more apple and maybe something nutty. Caramel apples are often covered in nuts and I think it would have been a nice touch.

Boyfriend review: Needs sugar, but very good with it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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64

Backlogging:

Thanks History Laced for letting me try this tea with you in another wonderful tea tasting.

I tried this tea 1/9/13. I have a little journal that I make tasting notes in and try to put one in every time I remember to do so. I have been in bed all day and finally mustered the strength to get up and grab my journal. I am unsure as to whether this is a sample or something that she ordered online. At this tasting, this was the only tea my boyfriend got to brew before having to leave and handle school matters and consequently the only boyfriend review. Sorry everyone!

Observation 1: My boyfriend prepared this tea, steeping at boiling for 6 minutes. The dry leaves have plum and peach notes with a small hint of floral-ness.

Observation 2: Naked this tea is a bit astringent, but I suspect the kettle was too hot. This tastes sweet and vegetal with jasmine and rose as an afterthought and the black tea base dominating on the palate.

Observation 3: With raw sugar, I am reminded of perfume. The rose water dominates this blend once sweetened. The bitterness of the green tea is more noticeable.

Observation 4: I did not try this with milk or creme due to the green tea in its base, I am not fond of green tea with milk.

Observation 5: After a little while of mulling over this blend, I suffered a perfume headache.

Overall,I just seem to not like black/green blends. It is very hard to steep at the right temperature and requires too much experimentation just to be palatable for me. I think this would be an excellent green tea or an excellent black tea, but not at the same time.

Boyfriend remarks: Tastes like a flowertastic flowerific explosion! wiggles hands wildly

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Becky

You had me at “flowertastic flowerific explosion.” Haha!

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Feeling like crap. Nauseous from vicodin. I’m drinking this and watching hamlet.

Just MJ

Feel better soon :)

Lady 0f Spaydes

Thanks a lot! Once the pain ebbs enough for me to not need the vicodin anymore, I’m sure I’ll be just chipper. I have no idea how people take this stuff recreationally. They’re crazy.

Claire

I agree about the vicodin – I had to take it once and it was awful.

Becky

Ohhh. You know, I had great luck taking half-doses of that stuff. Still gives you the painkiller without so much of the pukey bit.

Terri HarpLady

Here’s to being pain free!

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88

Sipping this while watching Louis C.K.‘s tv sitcom Louie. I love this show so much, its all awkward and I love Louis CK’s sense of humor. I’m watching this as my boyfriend makes a batch of muscato iced tea.

This is my favorite Jasmine tea, it packs such a lovely explosion of jasmine with a yummy vegetal green tea undertone. One of my favorites with and without sugar. One of the bags exploded, but that has never happened before, I think the water may have been a bit too hot and caused the teabag to break up.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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94
drank Muscat Oolong by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

Ran around working at a convention all weekend and this stayed in my cup! I ended up drinking it iced because I had a metal thermos and couldn’t warm it, but yum! It tastes soooo good iced, like grape drink mixes but better! I think this is my favorite tea yet!

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15

This is my first EVER teavana tea from my first EVER swap from oOTeaOo!!! First swap note. Yay! Thank you for giving me all these neat teas I can’t wait to try!

Observation 1: I prepared this tea myself. This tea was steep at 150 degrees F for 2 minutes as instructed. The blend is very pretty and smells a lot like cinnamon. The liquor is a deep amber color and also smells of nothing but cinnamon.

Observation 2: Naked, I taste the cinnamonn and white tea. It is very spicy and clean tasting. I suspect I should steep slightly longer than instructed or perhaps add more tea.

Observation 3: With sugar, this tea is very light. Somehow, the sugar seems to detract from the spice. I cannot taste any of the green tea; still just white tea and cinnamon.

Observation 4: With milk, I don’t even knnow how to tastefully describe this. Its gross. It tastes like milk aand something funky… like blue cheese maybe?

Observation 5: With milk and sugar: Just don’t do it. Trust me. I thought my milk was stale, I went to the fridge to investigat and my milk doesn’t expire for 10 more days.

I resteeped this later in the afternoon. It cam out very light. The cinnamon scent was still very prominent, but the taste wasn’t. It now has an after-tase reminiscent of spoiled milk..

Overall, blegh. I never say that about a tea, not even that horrid raspberry herbal of doom deserved a “blegh.” Will not buy and do not want to drink. Shame to see a tea go to waste.

Boyfriend review: Interesting combination…

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Lady 0f Spaydes

Somehow this tea is only bested in worseness by the tea that gave me nightmares.

Uniquity

Milk and white tea usually don’t pair well. Well, milk is always blegh for me but it’s especially blegh in white. Or green. Or green oolongs. :) Sorry this one didn’t do it for you!

Lady 0f Spaydes

I figured as much, I’m not a fan of green and milk, but I thought: its a chai, so don’t they make the blends expecting you to add milk? Second time I had it was naked and only with sugar and the spoiled milk flavor was still a prominent aftertaste. Unfortunate. :C

Claire

I don’t like this one either! I’m a big chai fan but the white ayurvedic chai just doesn’t hit my chai spot.

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Profile

Bio

A casual tea drinker since my childhood; I recently began to truly explore international tea culture in my search for the perfect tea ritual in my extremely hectic lifestyle. I am a young pantheist college student pursuing the science of medicine with a minor in bioethics (philosophy) and I firmly believe that having a ritual for relaxation and meditation is crucial to physical and emotional wellbeing. I recently hosted my first afternoon tea party and hope to assemble a routine arsenal of tea and literature enthusiasts to share my teatime. My tastes are international and I embrace styles and ideas of different cultures across the centuries. I look forward to tea and literary recommendations from you all!

So I know there is no proper way to truly gauge teas as the best or the worst, but like with education, a standardized rubric system is very important to communicate certain aspects of a quality before one has a chance to read in-depth reviews.

It is with this in mind that I strive to follow the proceeding guidelines and rubric:

1. I shall not provide a grade based upon an improperly brewed tea. This includes: experimental blending, scalded leaves, oversteeping/understeeping and insufficient amounts of leaves provided.

2. All rated teas must initially be steeped in accordance to the guidelines provided by the tea company. Addendum/reevaluation may occur if properly documented.

3. I shall try my very best to leave personal preference out of the scope of grading. However, I shall endeavor to be very clear of my opinion of the teas that I rate.

Grading Rubric
100 point scale:

- Clearly and concisely conveys the flavors of the artist’s intent with no supplemental explanation if the flavors are within the taster’s experience (20 points)
- Requires menial ingredient adjustment (i.e.: milk, sugar, stevia, etc.) to achieve the flavors intended by the artist. (15 points)
- Is completely consistent in flavor and quality from batch to batch. (15 points)
- Requires little to no adjustment to preparation (sans accounting for regional differences in altitude, airpressure, etc…) for a full flavored steeping (10 points)
- has a very high quality tea base that compliments the blend (note: does NOT require whole leaves)(10 points)
- Re-steeps at least two to three times strongly if able. (if bagged, re-steeps twice well) (10 points)
- Stores very well (No flavor diminishment when stored in a dark, cool and airtight space for short periods of time). If bagged, is packaged promoting optimal infusion, ease of use and freshness. (10 points)
- has a clear explanation of ingredients, allergens and preparation instructions. (5 points?)
- Is very well priced in relation to the quality of ingredients and quantity provided. (5 points)

Location

Los Angeles, CA, USA

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