4303 Tasting Notes

95

This is my first cup today. Earlier, I just wasn’t feeling very good so I went back to bed and slept a couple of hours and I feel much better now. I am one of those people that if they don’t get the required amount of sleep, I start feeling really sick with Flu-like symptoms. Achy, cold-sweats, and feeling nauseous… and that’s just exactly how I felt this morning. I hope my body gets accustomed soon to the change of sleep patterns due to school starting up again.

Anyway, on to tea! It’s been a while (at least a week!) since I’ve had a really good Assam, so when this sample arrived today from Zen Tea I jumped all over it, deciding this would be the tea to start my day.

And it’s AWESOME! Deliciously rich. Sweet with caramel-like undertones. Delicious malt notes and an amazing creaminess to it. One of the nicest Assam teas I have ever had. It isn’t bitter, but then, I did take precautions to avoid it by steeping it in 200°F water instead of a full boil and steeping for just 2 minutes in my Breville One-Touch. This rendered the perfect cup of tea. LOVE this!

gmathis

Sorry about the no-sleep wearies. (I crawl around with a wicked headache when I don’t get my usual ration.) Creamy and malt sounds beautiful.

LiberTEAS

@gmathis: that happens to me too, if it accumulates. Like if I go for a few days with not getting enough sleep each day … I get a horrible migraine. UGH! Fortunately though, I’ve come to recognize my symptoms, even if I don’t realize it right away. When I crawled back in bed, I mumbled to my husband who was getting ready for work that I didn’t feel well, and told him I thought I was getting the flu. Because that’s exactly what it feels like to me. And I think that somewhere in my head, I knew that it was actually that I needed some sleep, but, my brain wasn’t working so out came “flu”. Now after just a couple of hours of rest I feel like 100% better.

Azzrian

Yeah same here LiberTEAS I wonked myself out by not taking proper care of myself so have been lethargic and just feeling stupid for a few days now.
Hope you get better soon!

LiberTEAS

Thanks Azzrian… I really feel a lot better than I did this morning. I just could not sleep last night, I don’t know why. It wasn’t like I was “alert” or anything (like maybe I had too much caffeine), it was more like I just couldn’t get comfortable no matter how much I tried to.

looseTman

I very much enjoyed Assam Mangalam Second Flush FTGFOP1 by Zen Tea: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/164482#comments

What are the differences between Zen Tea’s Assam Mangalam Second Flush FTGFOP1 and No 49 Assam FTGFOP1 by SST?
http://steepster.com/LiberTEAS/posts/104708#comments

Which tea is your current King of Assam teas?

LiberTEAS

At this point, I would have to say that the Tiger Assam from A&D Damn Fine Teas is right up there with the finest Assam: http://steepster.com/LiberTEAS/posts/142885

It is difficult for me to compare the Zen Tea’s Assam and the SST Assam because it’s been a while since I’ve had the SST. I don’t usually keep the teas on hand for very long … I’m more of a taster than one who lingers over one tea for very long. I wish I could be of more help to you!

Terri HarpLady

I haven’t tried the Mangalam, but I LOVE Tiger AND #49 both!!

looseTman

Thank you both! Sounds like I’ll have to try both Tiger AND #49.

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85

Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this Oolong. It’s really nice.

Yesterday’s Oolong was also a Shui Xian and that was purely by coincidence. I did not even realize that this was a Shui Xian until I started to put it in my gaiwan. Sure, the label said Shui Xian but what I was really focusing on was the “Oolong” part.

And as I’m tasting this, I do note similarities between this and the tea that I had last evening. They possess similar honey-esque tones and fruit notes, as well as roasty, charcoal-ish, nutty flavors. I notice a little less creaminess with this cup than I remember from last night, but that would be the only real notable difference. Then again, I’m not drinking them side-by-side so I can’t do a very accurate comparison … this is all based on my memory of the tea that I had last night (although I will say that it WAS a memorable tea) versus what I’m sipping right now.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed both teas.

Arbor Tea is one of my favorite companies if for no other reason than the fact that they are very dedicated to preserving the environment and that is important to me. But on top of that, they also provide excellent quality, fair-trade, organic teas.

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82

Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this tea.

I love Matcha infused/blended Genmaicha, so sweet and toasty. Mmm… this is so yummy and comforting. Nutty and yet very fresh tasting with the sweet green tea notes. A very refreshing cuppa.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
4303 tasting notes

Today’s bowl of Matcha is a combination of caramel Matcha and Hazelnut Matcha, both from Red Leaf Tea. I combined these at a 1:1 ratio, whisked with hot water, and then added a tiny splash of half & half just to up the creaminess a bit. And after I put the half & half back into it’s spot in the fridge I realized that I still had some Holy Kakow! Sauce still left in there… so I added a drizzle of that in the bowl too. Now, I have a Caramel-y, Hazelnut-y, creamy, chocolate-y drink that is absolutely amazing. It tastes a bit like a Hazelnut Turtle. YUM!

LiberTEAS

PS: check out the review that just published for my newest Matcha acquisition … my beautiful chawan! http://sororiteasisters.com/2012/09/20/product-review-oribe-style-chawan-from-guerrero-ceramics/

MissMylin

Just read it. Think I know where I’m getting my chawan now :)

LiberTEAS

I just edited that post to add the information about how well the chawan was wrapped as well. Mr. Guerrero took the time to wrap my chawan in a bright yellow fabric Japanese furoshiki style and then in bubble wrap, then he put that into a gift box which was layered with more bubble wrap and put into a postal box. No chance whatsoever of the chawan breaking unless Bruno at the post office is having a really REALLY bad day and starts drop kicking the packages.

DaisyChubb

Oh my gosh, it’s beautiful <3

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87

Mmmm! Cupcakes are one of my very favorite treats … probably only second to creme brulee. However, as I don’t own a blowtorch (and my husband seems very hesitant to get me one) nor do I have much patience for making custard, cupcakes are a more frequently enjoyed treat around here because they’re fun to bake, and I don’t require a blowtorch to apply the finishing touches on a cupcake.

This really does taste a whole lot like a strawberry chocolate cupcake. The strawberry comes through at the start, tasting fresh and authentic and sweet with just a hint of tartness that comes through at the finish, and lingering on into the aftertaste. After the first couple of sips, the chocolate begins to emerge and after a few more sips, the chocolate is just as strong as the strawberry. I even taste a creaminess to this (frosting!) and a bake-y, cake-y kind of taste.

So very yummy, this is a great way to enjoy the goodness of cupcakes for breakfast without the guilt of eating an actual cupcake.

momo

When I once showed interest in a kitchen blowtorch at World Market, my boyfriend told me I could just use the one in his garage. I want creme brûlée not a kitchen on fire!

Azzrian

I want one of those blow torches too! LOVE creme brulee! This sounds so yummy!

Nik

I’m not a fan of crème brûlée, but I still want the tiny blowtorch. [shifty eyes] What, no, I’m not a pyro, why do you ask…? =]

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93

Wow! OK… so this is AWESOME!

Normally, when I brew a pu-erh, I’m kind of … hesitant. I’m usually hesitant to even brew it. And after it’s brewed, I’m hesitant to taste it. I’m getting much better, because I’ve found so many wonderful pu-erh teas that I’ve not only enjoyed but even loved. But, those first few experiences when all I tasted was dirt and fish and just… yeah… all that still comes back to me when I smell that earthiness of the pu-erh.

Here, I do smell the pu-erh, so, yeah, I was hesitant… until I took that tentative first sip. and WOW! This tastes nothing at all like those first few experiences with pu-erh way back when. There is some earthiness to the flavor, but it sort of melds with the other flavors in such a way that it is not in the least bit off-putting.

What I’m trying to say here is that if you’ve tried pu-erh and did not like it because of the earthy/peaty/fishy kind of taste … TRY THIS. You’ll be amazed!

I taste a full-flavored tea, with notes of sweet cherry, warm cinnamon and clove, hints of soft vanilla, and even the faintest note of cocoa in the distance. This is where that earthiness sort of melds … into the cocoa, tasting more like a deep, rich chocolate note than anything. Amazing. So VERY amazing, at that.

I have been SO impressed with everything that I’ve tried thus far from Vintage TeaWorks. I LOVE this company!

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81

I hot-brewed this and let it cool instead of cold-brewing it. I’m still not particularly keen on cold-brewing loose leaf because of the messiness factor. One of these days I’ll get over that. But for now, I’ll enjoy this hot-brewed!

And it is quite nice. I took a few sips of it while it was still hot, just to see what it was like, and I enjoyed it hot too, but, I do think this tea really excels as an iced tea. Hot, it tastes a bit like something you’d want to drink if you’re feeling under the weather … the spices are warming and soothing, and the citrus brightens the cup.

But as an iced tea … the flavors just come together in a totally different way. The spices taste … savory! This is not at all what I expected from this tea … when I read “spice tea” I think CHAI. But this is not a chai! The spices come together in a deliciously savory way which is so refreshing and unique for the palate that expects a sweet-spicy-hot flavor from a spiced tea.

I think I’m going to try this in my Steep & Go and see how it fairs… I’m really liking this!

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89

What a delightful Oolong!

The first two infusions start out so soft, very light… but do not remain light for long. Within a moment the flavor of vanilla blankets the palate like sweet, vanilla bean infused heavy cream. After the flavor of cream subsides a bit, I start to notice a smoky/roasty/toasty kind of flavor in the distance, honey-esque sweetness (somewhere between honey and pollen!) and a fruit flavor. The description from Verdant suggests mango, but, I find it to be more apricot than mango… perhaps a melding of these two fruits.

In the second two infusions, the apricot emerges. The smoky notes become more of a nutty flavor, still quite toasty but less charcoal-y now. The tea has lost the creaminess in texture, it is more mineral-y, but, the vanilla tones remain. A cinnamon note also comes through and I find the combination of the cinnamon taste and the mineral-like texture to be very compelling.

With my third and final cup (fifth and sixth infusions), I find that the flavors have become more unified, softer … but still very complex. The sweet honey-esque tones of the first cup have become more of a caramel tone … perhaps because the flavor of honey and smoke have melded together? It tastes sweet, fruity, and smooth. Less mineral-y now, it is more like a thin brothy texture, very soft and smooth as it glides over the palate.

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87

Oh wow… this one is GOOD! Sweet, light and crisp.

The vegetative tones are a little bit grassy … but not quite. They’re like steamed baby spinach, only grassier than that. Does that make sense? It isn’t quite grassy, but not quite spinach-y either… somewhere in between those two tastes… but the delivery is very delicate. It has a nice creamy texture and taste too, very smooth from beginning until a slight astringency at the end that is cleansing and refreshing.

A really nice tea, I like this one a lot!

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85
drank Lavender Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4303 tasting notes

I ordered the Lavender Matcha with a delicate level of flavoring, and it’s just right. It has a very pleasing level of Lavender. It isn’t too strong, but I can still taste the lavender. It’s really quite lovely!

At first, when I opened the pouch, the lavender seemed really STRONG to me, so I worried that maybe it was going to be too strong. And it IS strong, even at the delicate level of flavoring. But … it isn’t too strong, at least not for me because I love lavender. If you’re on the fence about lavender, though, you might find this to be a bit too much for you. If you love lavender … I’d recommend starting with the delicate level… don’t go too strong with this because I think that if the lavender was even just a tad stronger here it would be a bit too much for me.

As it is, though, I’m loving it.

It is very calming from the lavender, and yet I feel the invigorating energy coming from the Matcha. The matcha takes on a different kind of flavor with the lavender: it tastes more like a fresh, new, spring grass … sweet spring grass rather than a “vegetative, buttery” taste. The lavender has a sharpness to it which is very refreshing to the palate.

Very nice, I like this very much.

devvyleys

I noticed this one on the website just yesterday. I wonder if it could be a more natural “mega-cure” for migraines… Lavender and caffeine together! Worth a shot and sounds good too!

MissMylin

This sounds delicious!

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Bio

I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:
http://www.teareviewblog.com

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com

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My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.

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I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.

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Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.

Location

Vancouver, WA

Website

http://SororiTeaSisters.com

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