754 Tasting Notes

67
drank Raspberry Iced Tea by Arizona
754 tasting notes

The other flavour I ended up getting at the liquidation sale. This one is ok. I still prefer the original lemon flavour though. This one is quite sweet, it is definitely raspberry tasting. I know it says it is all natural flavouring but it doesn’t taste like natural raspberry. That being said it is not a bad raspberry taste. It is definitely thirst quenching. The actual tea base is quite hidden by the raspberry flavour but it is still present, smooth and cold as always.

Fjellrev

I always try to snag the honey/ginseng and apple/ginseng whenever they went on sale, but it appears that they may not even carry the latter anymore. Oh well.

Maybe by natural raspberry they mean castoreum, because technically, I guess you can say the flavouring is “natural.” :/

Lala

Ha ha, so true about the “natural” flavouring. I have never tried the Arizona ginseng teas, but I am not a huge fan of the taste of ginseng so that is what keeps me avoiding them. I know you can buy crates of the honey ginseng at Costco (my local one anyway). I have never seen the apple ginseng one.

As a side note, there is a ridiculous new “reality” tv show called Appalachian Outlaws about people who (somewhat illegally) harvest ginseng in the US. HA!

Fjellrev

From memory, I don’t even think you can taste the ginseng in them, but I guess it depends on how sensitive you are to it. In both, I taste mostly the tea and the sweetness from the honey or apple.

Oh, I heard about that show! Sounds like a great way to waste time haha.

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96

SO GOOD!

I LOVE this tea. Not necessarily just the Harney version, but I love buckwheat tea in general.

I brewed up a big 2 L pitcher of hot tea. It is a bit light tasting because I didn’t use enough buckwheat. But it is still good. It is roasty and toasty. There is a sweet honey flavour without having to add anything.

I like to make a hot brew and half-puff the buckwheat, then I do a cold brew. I find it you try to do a cold brew straight away, it doesn’t steep as good.

Then I eat the evidence.

SO GOOD!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
caile

lol (eating the evidence)!

VariaTEA

I really need to try some of this buckwheat tea. It sounds so strange to me but I just keep reading reviews of how great it is.

Dexter

It’s AMAZING – if you want some VariaTEA just send me a PM – I have a tin and willing to share. :))

Roswell Strange

(Seconded about wanting to try it but thinking it sounds odd)

Dexter

It reminds me of puffed wheat cereal…..

__Morgana__

Agreed, it sounds strange and interesting and I love the idea that you can eat your steep!

Fjellrev

Buckwheat tea sounds mightily intriguing.

Sil

Love this one :)

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97
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
754 tasting notes

I wanted something bold and thick and strong this morning.

I brewed up a cup of this. Not sure how it managed to stay in a sealed packaged in my cupboard for so long.

The taste is smooth and thick, bold but not astringent. There is a silky quality to the liquor. I am getting hints of roast, maybe a touch of smoke but certainly not overpowering – like a roasted barley, and some kind of dark fruit, like purple plums maybe. There is a very slight sweetness to the tea but it is very natural tasting. I am getting hints of dark cocoa as well. Maybe a hint of sweet tobacco. My dad used to smoke grape cigarillos, a good black tea always reminds me of sitting on the deck in the evening beside my dad as he had a smoke at the end of the day (then my mom made him quit because my little sister starting pretending to smoke the left over cigarette butts – now the smell is just a distant but pleasant memory) :)

Thanks Verdant for the awesome taste-memory association today!

Edit: I did a second steep for 2 minutes. It tastes pretty much the same, not as thick. There are more mineral notes and a bit more sweetness in this steep.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Winterfylleth Brew by Handmade Tea
754 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure about this one at first. It smells strongly of cinnamon and apples. Sort of like an apple crisp. Brewed, it tastes like dull cinnamon with some apples. Slightly sweet. There is a weird taste on my tongue with the aftertaste. I want to say astringent but it is more bitter (?). I was expecting a bit more punch with this one. I was hoping for strong, spicey cinnamon, and tart apples. I would have liked there to be more sweetness as well. I am going to play around with the brewing parameters a bit. And add some rock sugar, maybe honey or maple syrup, next time. I think the rock sugar will help to bring out more of the apple. There is less bitterness as the tea cools quite a bit.

A long steeping time may help with the cinnamon as well. We will see…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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73

Met up with Roswell Strange at a tea room and decided to have a cup of this one. The description on the menu was something like lemon and orange flavours. It intrigued me as earl grey is basically orange flavoured (bergamot is a type of orange). I was expecting it to be a bit smokey because it was called Russian (thinking Russian Caravan), but it wasn’t. I would say it was a light to moderate strong Earl Grey. There was definitely a bit more lemon flavour, very distinctly lemon grass. I think the base was a Ceylon, but unsure. The tea came in a tea pot, it was loose tea in the water. So it did get a bit astringent once I got towards the end of the pot. I did get a refill of hot water into the pot. The second steep was definitely a lot lighter and thinner than the first steep, but I was expecting that. Not a too bad Earl Grey. It was great for our little get together. Its always fun meeting fellow steepsters in person.

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96
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
754 tasting notes

Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity. Thanks Angel!

The brewed tea smells deliciously sweet. I immediately thought of wild honey.

The brewed tea tastes wonderful. First tastes that come to mind were clean, malty, wild honey flavours. As I get into the mid sip, I definitely get a sweet potatoe taste, like crispy sweet potatoe fries. There is definitely a lingering sweetness. This tea tastes full and bold. Slightly creamy taste and feel to the liquor. No astringency.

I love Fujian blacks, and this one is no exception. Next time I would like to brew for a but longer to get stronger flavours.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
K S

LOVE this one.

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67

I had to get an eye exam today where my eyes were dilated with eye drops. I still have quite blurry vision although it is improving. I still can’t read anything on my cellphone, but I can now watch TV. Computer is not too bad as long as I am not looking at it for too long. But I still feel quite nauseous and dizzy from having blurry vision.

So anyway, I decided to have some ginger tea. I am not sure if it will help my stomach because the problem is not really upset stomach but my eye problem, but anyway. I bought some dried ginger root, just to keep on hand for when I didn’t have fresh ginger root in the house. I mixed the ginger root and some honey, steeped that in boiling for 2 minutes, then added one of these teabags and steeped for another minute. I needed to use decaf tea because it is getting a little late in the day for caffeine for me.

It is actually quite good. The green tea and honey taste smooth and sweet. The ginger is moderately strong. Not as strong as I would like. All the ingredients are mixing well together. I quite like this. (It is doing nothing to help with my stomach, or my eyes, but my tongue likes it).

Fjellrev

Aww no! My mom had her dilated the other day too, and she nearly slipped on the icy sidewalks like a dozen times. Must be annoying.

Lala

I had severe motion sickness when I was a child (like throw up with just the car backing out of the driveway). Its gotten significantly better with age. I managed to do the kiddie tilt-a-whirl this summer, but needed to sit and take a break for a while after. After my eyes were dilated, I got that old sensation of motion sickness, felt like that for about 4 hours. Definitely hope it doesn’t have to happen too often, not pleasant.

Anna

I remember how that felt – it was extremely disorienting. I had to stay at the hospital while they processed some tests or something, so I went with my mom (I was just a kid) to the cafeteria. I still remember the weirdness of trying to force my eyes to see the green marzipan cake I was eating, but it just escaped into a blur every time I blinked. I hope the tea works – that motion sickness feeling is the worst.

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83
drank Mon Secret by Nina's Paris
754 tasting notes

Tried this one a few times today. To me, it tastes better with a bit of brown rock sugar added. It just enhances the fruit flavours in the tea. I definitely can tell the base is a keemun. It is sweet, and smooth, just the tiniest hint of smoke. I do get a taste of papaya and some melon flavour. I am not really getting any peach flavour in the tea, but there is a bit of peach in the aftertaste. The liquor is thick, reminiscent of a juicy slice of papaya.

I do like this tea, however, I think it would be a bit better with a different or lighter base. I think the keemun just overpowers the papaya and melon a bit.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Grapefruit Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
754 tasting notes

Based on a few other reviews of this tea, I made this one again, cold shaken without any sweetener. It was not good though. Hardly any taste. Some generic citrus overtop of the green matcha taste. It definitely tasted better to me with the addition of sweetener. I am thinking the distinctive level flavouring is not enough for me on this flavour.

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66
drank Lychee Coconut by Tea Forte
754 tasting notes

Made this one again because I was going through my tea cupboard(s) and was debating whether or not I should get rid of this one. I had only had it once before and to be honest, it was gross. So I thought I better try it again to see if I would keep it or not. I did end up sending half of this one out in the Canadian Travelling Tea Box, but that still leaves me with a lot. (Long story but I bought a 100g tin without trying it because I wanted it so bad based on the other Tea Fort Coconut teas I have tried).

I made sure to use a lower water temp and much shorter steep this time. It is actually not as horrible this time around. Still definitely more perfume/chemical tasting lychee flavour, but it is not terrible. I feel like I am getting much more coconut flavour and am getting a bit of cocoa flavour (even though that is not an ingredient). Will probably be able to finish this tea now that I found the right parameters.

Edit: You also have to drink it right away when it is hot, because it gets less desirable again when as it cools.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Anna

You reminded me I have three Tea Forte bags to sample, thank you. I think I’ll get right on that.

Tabby

I agree, this one does get a little weird when it’s room temp. It’s pretty good iced, though! I could take it off your hands, hehe.

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Profile

Bio

I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.

Location

Saskatchewan, CANADA

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