47 Tasting Notes

56

Another tea I had with History Laced, either one of her Christmas swap or that she ordered herself, my memory fails me. I love these little tea tastings, I always end up taking home something new.

Observation 1: My lovely boyfriend prepared the tea for us. The tea was prepared as instructed at 93 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes. Leaves were placed loose in the teapot.

Observation 2: Naked, this tea is very sweet. There is a chocolatey taste with lots of icing.

Observation 3: With sugar, the flavor is very artificially cake-like, more like the dye on sprinkles than actual cake. I can taste the black tea base very strong and clear.

Observation 4: With milk the taste is akin to cream cheese.

Observation 5: with milk and sugar it tastes the closest to red velvet cake; not only am I tasting the chocolate cake, but also the cream cheese icing flavor. This tea clearly tastes the way it was intended.

Overall: A very fun blend for tea tastings. I am not a fan, but this tea was a decent representation of a red velvet cake. History Laced even noted there were sprinkles in the tea blend. :P I am not a big sweet eater and over the course of recent years cream cheese icing has made itself the bane of my existence; so I think that I would drink this tea on very rare occasions in very small doses. I seem to be having bad luck with David Teas, maybe because they use artificial flavoring that throws off the experience on my palate? I am not seeming to be a fan of Davids Teas. Such a shame; I want to like them.

Boyfriend Remarks: With milk and sugar, tastes like cake.

^^ He REALLY likes cake. I think he would dump me for a cake my size. (After reading this, he replied: “I would not dump you for a cake your size; it would go bad.”)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

Ah, that was probably from me! I felt terrible, since I sent down a scrawny amount of David’s Tea, and History Laced gave me these lovely, filled out Lupicia samples in return; I’ve enjoyed them a lot more than the DT samples I sent down. I owe her a nice fat package full of tea from various companies.

Lately, the DT blends tend to lean on the artificial side of things and, unfortunately, this one is the epitome of that. If either of you are still curious of certain blends from their website I’ll pick them up for you though. :)

Lady 0f Spaydes

Well don’t feel bad; it happens! She enjoyed them a lot more than I did and even Lupicia’s pastry teas aren’t my favorites. :) Perhaps we can swap something yummy sometime soon; ill let her know about your offer.

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35

Listening to: Amanda Palmer- Astronaut (A Short History of Nearly Nothing)

Had another tea tasting with History Laced and this was something she ordered online.

Observation 1: My boyfriend prepared this tea for me. This tea was steeped in boiling water loose for 5 minutes. The blend has an aroma that reminds me greatly of cinnamon.

Observation 2: Naked, this tea tastes just like cinnamon with a hint of sweetness.

Observation 3: Skimpily clad (with sugar) This tea gets very sweet and the cinnamon seems to stand out more. I don’t taste any marshmallow.

Observation 4: Robed (with milk) alot is taken away from the taste.

Observation 5: Fully dressed (with sugar and milk) the taste is again detracted from, but I get a better sense of where they were trying to get the marshmallow flavor from.

Overall: I don’t taste any marshmallow, but I imagine marshmallow is difficult to replicate. For what it is, I think its a very weakly flavored cinnamon tea for my preferences. If I’m looking for a cinnamon tea, I would go for Cinnamon Vanilla by Stash Teas instead.

Boyfriend remarks: It was okay; nothing to write home about.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Listening to : Regina Spektor- Ne Me Quitte Pas

I remember Lindsay Gaardens teas from my childhood! The boyfriend and I found this at the dollar store and it sounded interesting, so we had to get it!

Observation 1: Packaging is blagh. Inside the box is this thin plastic with perforations on one edge for easy oppening. The tea bags are square and flat, with two attached to each other and no string, making them useless (lets face it, no string =useless). I made the tea. Yes, I MADE TEA. Boyfriend was mowing the lawn. >.> I took boiling water, cut the bags open and put them in myinfuser and steeped for 5 minutes as instructed. This tea is super fine, dusty almost.

Observation 2: Naked, this tea steeps a murky brown. The particles are so fine that there were little bits in the bottom of my teacup. I taste black tea and citrus and the fragrance is primarily black tea and a hint of coconut. This tea is a bit bitter. Maybe the water was too hot???

Observation 3: With sugar (scantilly clad): I only taste black tea. There’s no real outstanding tropical notes.

Observation 4: With milk (robed): Tastes like bitter black tea.

Observation 5: With milk and sugar (fully dressed): I taste very little coconut. Best taste for this tea yet.

Overall: its the instant coffee of tea, what can I say? I ended up finishing the pot by drowning it in sugar. Its a low grade black tea, but it did bring a lot of memories for me. After all the teas I’ve been enjoying, I’m sad that this was a chore to finish. But c’est la vie. By the way, no boyfriend review this time. He really was mowing the lawn and now he’s in the shower.

dagmar1

The chamomile tea was unexpectingly pleasant. I love my chamomile. Ran out the other day and ran to a store I don’t normally go to to get my tea , thank you for the unexpected pleasure.

Debb1

I was pleasantly surprised by the fruity, tropical flavor of this tea. Weak so needs extra steeping and only one cup per bag but naked (without any dressing) this light and lovely tea suited my discriminating taste just fine, altho the plain packaging left me wanting.

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77
drank Caramel & Rum by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

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83
drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

Listening to: Crass- Bloody Revolutions

So I had this tea again today, aboout a week since my initial tasting. It is a tea I went halfsies on with History Laced, but she didn’t like it and gave me the entire packet.

It was prepared by my boyfriend again. This time we were at home, so we used an infuser. He also let the kettle cool a few minutes before steeping as usual.

Wow! What a big difference. I think the water was too hot during our initial test, which made the tea a bit astringent. This time it was very smooth with fruity and floral at the same time, I am in love. I’m not sure quite what I think about it as an oolong yet; I am still learning about oolongs, but definitely a very yummy tea. I will definitely be buying this again, but I have a good 50 g of it to myself so it may be a while! <3

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
47 tasting notes

Listening to: Crass- Banned From the Roxy

It’s one of those nights. Apparently I more than woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I kind of woke up nearly glued to the wall. So its been a blargh day. I have tried this tea twice so far, this first post will be my detailed review from the other day and then I will post another on my thoughts on this tea today. :)

Observation 1:
The boyfriend made the tea. He steeped loose leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water. The liquor is a very bright yellow and there is a fruity scent about the tea.
Observation 2:
Tea without additives: The tea has a very clean bright taste. Not like any other oolong I have tried thus far.
Observation 3:
Tea with sugar to taste: Its kind of nutty and fruity. This tea is very easy to sweeten. I am reminded of fruitcake.
Observation 4: I hate fruitcake.
Observation 5: Considering the delicateness of this blend, I decided that milk was absolutely out of the question.

Overall, a very bright fruity tasting tea that I would like to try as an iced tea, I think it would really shine in that spotlight.


Boyfriend remarks:
“Blardablarg.”

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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80

Before I get into my tasting notes, I would like to thank my good friend History Laced for going halfsies on tea with me! This is my first puer. It was a freebie given to us for making a purchase over $30 at the Lupicia tea store near us. I also want to publicly thank her for very cool journal she bought me for Christmas to write my tea notes in; I never get anything for Christmas, so I am super giddy about this. :D

Observation 1: As usual, I am at the kitchen table gossiping shamelessly as my boyfriend prepares the tea. He steeped the tea for 2 minutes in boiling water. The tea was not placed in an infuser, we used a tea strainer instead. It is a very pretty deep amber liquor.

Observation 2: The tea straight is very light flavor that I am assuming is the puer with the merest hints of a strawberry aftertaste. I do not taste any of the black tea in this blend, nor do I taste any chocolate.

Observation 3: With sugar to taste, I now begin to notice chocolate notes in the forefront. To me, it tastes as though I just had a cup of chocolate milk and followed it with a cup of strawberry milk.

Observation 4: With milk only, the chocolate and strawberry flavors are very muted; I only taste what I my brain is logically deducing as the puer.

Observation 5: With milk and sugar, there is a very light taste of chocolate with a much stronger strawberry presence. It is very smooth with no bitterness detected.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. A fan of boisterous flavors, I am not sure whether or not the delicate notes of a puer is really my cup of tea. Next, I think I would like to try a puer without any extra bells and whistles and really figure out what puer itself tastes like. There’s still so much to learn and try and with my handy dandy journal, I should be belting these out like rapid fire, that is unless I end up turning it into a rant-book like I do every other miscellaneous scrap of paper that accidentally crosses my path. :)

Boyfriend review: Goes good with milk and sugar, it is very light otherwise.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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80

WARNING: another non-detailed review.

This is becoming a late night favorite in the small but growing world of herbal teas that I like. Get some scones, butter em up and add some jam, we’ll see how it goes. :D

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89
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
47 tasting notes

Tried to resteep a rose tea that I fogot to store properly. FAIL! Not wanting to waste perfectly good water I threw in what was left of my Bossa Nova Zen Tea sample and Oh My God everytime I drink this tea it is so delicious. I am an oolong fan for life. Its so nutty and vanillaliscious! Some might be wondering why this isn’t a technical review, well a few reasons:

1. I wrote one already and it’s at my boyfriend’s waiting to be posted, bf review and all!
2. It was a spur of the moment and I am just enjoying this the way I like it, no scientific tasting today!
3. Its finals week next week and I am giving my boyfriend the week to cram so I wouldnt/couldn’t pick up my notes if I wanted to.

Lady 0f Spaydes

Tasted remnants of the rose tea at the end of the cup. Very interesting!

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58
drank Raspberry by Ambiance
47 tasting notes

Im sitting here on my mom’s laptop trying to get into the zone to work on my novel and failing. I try to make a bit of ambiance by listening to a Pandora station I made inspired by Portishead but the obnoxiously loud television my dad is watching and the noise my brothers are making (they make music blargh!) manage to only foster an ambiance of environmental schizophrenia. Im also out of cigarettes and trying to keep it that way. Soooo I’m not in the greatest mood, but I will aim to be unbiased.

Observation 1: More borrowed tea. I am drinking this because I have a little tasting party to attend with my good friend and boyfriend on Saturday and I wan’t to not devour my tea samples and whats left of what I bought from Jupicia (50 grams does not go a long way… its like 3 or 4 days of tea; still cheaper than buying a pack of cigarettes every other day) so that I can bring them with me.

Observation 2: I did not notice a scent at all when I opened the package. I frowned a bit, I wanted a tea not an herbal, but you know the whole beggars and choosers… It was individually wrapped so yay freshness!

Observation 3: I steeped 2 teabags for 6 minutes in a 32oz teapot. The color is very pretty, a deep red orange, the kind of colors that make me long for the color changes of leaves that we don’t experience here in California. There is a heavy sweet scent with a light hint of raspberry. I wish there were more raspberry aroma.

Observation 4: I tried it first with sugar. There is an explosion of raspberry and then an aftertaste that I cannot describe as anything other than sucralose. That has always been a nuisance to me concerning fruity teas. I don’t know if it is something they put in them or what, but there’s always an artificial sugar aftertaste.

Observation 5: I tried it again without sugar. It tastes like not-quite-ripe raspberries; it is mildly tangy.

Overall, it’s not my cup of tea, but I am making due with what I’ve got. I have never been the biggest fan of fruity blends myself, but it tastes pretty standard. I probably would purchase this for tiny guests to have something to drink that isn’t a soda, but I doubt I would drink this again myself (unless I run out of tea again. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen).

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Shelby

Lady of Spaydes, where did you find Ambiance teas? I’ve had the Caffeine-Free Raspberry tea at a restaurant and loved it. Can’t find it anywhere. Might you know where to buy it?

Lady 0f Spaydes

I will ask my mom where she found it and get back to you!

Shelby

Thanks much!

Shelby

I heard that Smart & Final sell it.

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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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