4366 Tasting Notes

85

Another gift from Doulton! Thank you!

And like Doulton, I too adore Earl Grey teas. There is just something so amazing about that bergamot – the aroma, the flavor, the way it lingers on the palate. Pure delight.

The aroma of this Earl Grey is strong, especially true of the dry leaf. No big surprise there, because most Earl Grey teas boast that same strength in aroma. Generally, if I find an Earl Grey that is lacking in it’s aroma, it’s been my experience that the tea is lackluster at best. Not always true, but, it is generally the case when it comes to Earl Grey.

The tea base is quite bold, with a slight bitter note to it – not distastefully bitter, though – so it surprised me to learn that this is a Ceylon base, as they tend to be much more mellow.

The bergamot is pleasant in this blend – not quite as floral in flavor as in other blends. No perfume-y flavor to it, just a very delightful, slightly sharp bergamot flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

I like the second infusion of this tea better than the first. The Ceylon is a bit softer, less astringent, and no more bitter note. Not that the bitter note was bad, but, I think I prefer this particular tea without it. I like how the bergamot is mingling with the Ceylon… it is a very cohesive taste – not perfume-ish. A nice citrus essence without being fruity – if that makes sense.

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91

I don’t have a lot of time for a real wordsy note here, I’m drinking this as I head out the door!

I am really falling in love with this tea. Buttery, smooth, delicious. An excellent Dragonwell – EXCELLENT! I’ve even given it a higher rating this time… it deserves it!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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85
drank Feng Huang Dan Cong by TeaSpring
4366 tasting notes

Today’s Oolong was sent to me by Doulton Thank you so very much! How I love Oolong!

The dry leaves are very long and dark, much longer than most Oolong teas that I’ve encountered. The aroma is floral and fruity.

The fragrance of the tea is a little earthy, a little flowery, and a bit fruity – almost like a plum, or perhaps a bowl of peaches and plums.

The flavor – I am picking up a little smokiness in the flavor. It is a rather soft, smooth note of smoke – not quite as bold as say a “red robe” Oolong. It’s more like the peaches and plums were smoked.

It is a very smooth tasting Oolong with a pleasant mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is not quite as thick as a green Oolong. The peachy notes linger in the aftertaste. And a very nice floral note that hits you as you continue to sip the tea.

A very pleasant Oolong!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

Infusing these leaves a second time. The dry leaves are very dark, but upon brewing, they reveal themselves to be green. The second infusion is, interestingly enough much more like a greener Oolong, as well. Not so much of a smoky taste to it now, much more floral, still a bit fruity, and a slightly leafy flavor. Not really grassy, but, a very faint vegetative essence.

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87

I love the roasted scent of this tea. But then, I do have a certain fondness for roasty-toasty teas. But… I don’t care for smoky teas. Which… seems pretty odd to me.

I brewed according to Den’s Preferred Brewing Method, except that after I brought the water to a boil, I first poured it into my ceramic mug so that it could take just a bit of the heat off of the water before I poured it into my smart brewer.

30 seconds to deliciousness!

The aroma of the brewed tea is caramel-y, like caramelized sugar. It also has a slight coffee-ish scent to it.

The flavor – sweet, caramel, woodsy, with a deep earthy note. Kind of like a Genmaicha but without the grassy-green-tea taste, although there is a very gentle, almost-barely-there note of vegetative taste that I can detect. Sort of like a roasted brown rice casserole with a few roasted, deeply caramelized, root vegetables. Now… if only I could actually create such a dish – I’d be quite happy!

YUM, yum, YUM this tea is good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

LOVE greens and LOVE oolongs… but not if their roasty toasty… about the only quality in those 2 teas I don’t like. Sad day.

Miss Sweet

Yum, this sounds delicious! A Genmaicha without the grassy taste sounds like my dream green

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97
drank Yunnan Golden Buds by Samovar
4366 tasting notes

As Lauren suggested, I decided to enjoy my sample of this tea that I received a few days ago… and I’m glad I am!

I love Yunnan tea. In fact, I think it may be my favorite black tea variety. But then, it’s hard for me to pinpoint a favorite right now, I’ve tasted so many outstanding black teas. This absolutely belongs in that category.

There is just something about this Yunnan’s complexity that draws me in. Earthy, sweet, and wine-like. Deep, intriguing notes of pepper and other spices that are hidden within the sweeter flavors of fruit and roasted nut. Caramel… and I am also detecting a deep, earthy cacao note. Delicious!

I am writing my review of this tea for the Tea Review Blog as I write this tasting note… This tea absolutely deserves high marks – it is incredible! I look forward to the infusions to follow…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Hmm, everyone seems to love this tea. Did I mess up with my steeping parameters? I thought it tasted like dawn, but a weaker version of it. I wasn’t too happy with this one.

LiberTEAS

Well, not every tea appeals to every palate… I personally love both Dawn and this tea. Dawn is a bit more robust than this tea and is more full-bodied. This one I would classify as a medium-bodied yet full-flavored tea.

LiberTEAS

I managed three very flavorful infusions out of the sample (the sample was just enough for my tea pot!). Each infusion was delicious, but each had it’s own unique differences. Most notable difference is in the third, which is almost Darjeeling-esque… not quite… but almost. Like maybe a Darjeeling with less astringency and a thicker mouthfeel.

Dan

Yunnan Rocks!

Ricky

Agreed, Yunnan rocks! And agreed with LiberTEAS comparison of Dawn + Yunnan Gold Buds. AHHH! The darjeeling aspect could explain why I don’t like it!

TeaEqualsBliss

Believe it or not…I have yet to try anything from this company!!!! :)

~lauren.

Wow – hard to believe, TeaEqualsBliss – you have 1678 tasting notes! Let me just saw WOW – that’s awesome!

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drank Breakfast Blend by Liber Teas
4366 tasting notes

This is what I’m drinking right now, because I woke up not too long ago. Sunday is one of my sleeping-in days and I take full advantage of it!

One of the best ways I can think of to wake up is with this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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72
drank ButterBeer by Custom-Adagio Teas
4366 tasting notes

Yep… I’m a Harry Potter fanatic. And… yep… that’s why I bought this tea.

Of the black teas that I’ve tasted from Adagio thus far, this is my favorite. The caramel, creme and vanilla work in synergy to create a beautiful flavor that is creamy, sweet, and delicious. If you don’t care for sweet teas, this is NOT the tea for you.

Interestingly enough, the one thing I think that this tea could use is a slight smoky flavor. Ha! Can you believe that I said that? (Well, actually I didn’t say it, I typed it, but, I actually thought it as I typed it, can you believe that?) The sweetness, while very lovely, could use an interesting contrast that would be provided by a smoky note. Perhaps that will give me something to do with the caravan…

Some ginger would also be interesting in this.

Overall, I like it though.

__Morgana__

Hehe, I’m a Harry fan too. I could never tell from the books whether ButterBeer was alcoholic or not. Seemed that it was, but also seemed strange that kids as young as twelve were drinking it…

Erin

I’m also a Harry Potter fan (or raving fanatic, more like it). From what I can gather, I think BB is just slightly alcoholic. If you remember in book 4 when Harry Ron and Hermione are down in the kitchens, Dobby explains to Harry that Winky’s been downing the BB a lot, and while it isn’t strong for humans, it’s really getting Winky messed up.

Wow. I sound like a total nerd.

LiberTEAS

Erin: I was just going to say that! Not the “total nerd” part, but the just slightly alcoholic part and how it affects the house elves more than humans.

Erin

It’s good to know I’m not alone! I know the specifics of certain beverages in the HP world, and yet I can’t memorize facts for my history exams. Figures.

And it’s okay, you can say it: I am a total nerd (and proud of it)!

LiberTEAS

My hubby calls me a “harry potter nerd” and a “tea nerd” and even an “art weirdo.” The one I take offense with the most is the “art weirdo” one… not because of the “art” but because of the “weirdo” – it just has always had a negative connotation to me. Call me strange, unique, unusual, or even odd… but not weird.

~lauren.

Love Harry & Ron & Hermione! Have you heard Jim Dale read the HP books on audiobook? Fantastic! I listen to it on my ipod while trying to get house things done. Too funny about this tea, though. We tried the jelly beans (bertie botts), too. LOL!

LiberTEAS

My daughter bought some of the every flavor beans way back when too… but I could never bring myself to try one… I was always afraid I’d end up with a dirt flavored one or something like that.

Erin

Yes! I was quite young when the first few books came out (1st and 2nd grade), so my mother used to play the cassette tapes in the car. Chamber of Secrets was the first chapter book I ever read by myself (in the 2nd grade). All together now: “Awwwww!

~lauren.

Erin – as I was reading your post, I’m thinking ‘awwww’ to myself but you beat me to it! My Hubby and I read the books to our kids as night-time/bedtime stories, too. :)

__Morgana__

I don’t usually plug my own writing, particularly on my “blog” which isn’t updated enough or short enough postings to really fit the common definition of blog, but you Harry fans might find this interesting: http://morganasspot.blogspot.com/2008/09/was-dorothy-slytherin.html

Erin

I did find it interesting, although I must now admit that I’ve never seen The Wizard of Oz…!

~lauren.

Erin – I’ve read your comments and I know you hailed from NJ and moved to TX and that’s all in the USA – you must’ve seen the Wizard of Oz – on TV? On tape? On DVD? NO? I’m stumped! :) __ Morgana __ , nicely written – go ahead, plug your own writings!

__Morgana__

Actually, the comparison was with the book version which is different from the movie version — in the movie version Oz only appears as a large head. You can read the Wizard of Oz online, it is long out of copyright protection. I think I may have linked to it in that piece. It’s well worth the read if you haven’t read it before.

Erin

I honestly didn’t even know that it was a book first. I sincerely hope that in 50 years or so there won’t be kids who didn’t know that Harry Potter was a book first.

Cofftea

When I 1st saw the name of this I thought it was a 52teas blend!=D

LiberTEAS

I totally dislike Wizard of Oz. I guess because every year it was shown on TV, and guess what… every year, we had to watch it… UGH. It was like my stepmother’s favorite movie or something and we always had to watch it with her like some sort of cruel torture or something.

LiberTEAS

Hmmm… the review of this tea that I wrote for the Tea Review Blog just published: http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=11567
In it, I mention that the black tea is a pleasant tasting Ceylon base that isn’t too terribly strong. I must have steeped the tea for a much shorter time when I wrote that review than I have in subsequent tastings of Adagio’s black tea. Perhaps that is the key with their blacks… short brewing time.

LENA

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan as well. Funny enough, I didn’t start reading them until my 1st year of college when it was required for a class. The professor didn’t know what she started! :) Also, I have a slightly obsessive love affair with Alan Rickman…so the fact that he plays Professor Snape doesn’t hurt one bit.

Alannah

I’ve had really bad luck with Adagio but this sounds pretty awesome (and I love HP too)!

AmazonV

I listened to HP audiobooks (UK version is best) on long car trips, sometimes the 8 hour drive wasn’t long enough for me!

__Morgana__

I’m with you on the Alan Rickman love!

~lauren.

AmazonV – was Jim Dale reading on the UK version? I loved his reading/characterization of the HP series on the audiobooks that I have!

Too true about Alan Rickman – it’s his voice!

AmazonV

~lauren oh my I can’t remember but it was a wonderfully enthusiastic gentleman, must better than the lackluster US one

LiberTEAS

I love Alan Rickman too!

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90

Another sampling from Doulton! (Thank you Doulton!)

At first wiff – the aroma of the dry leaf is remarkable. Jasmine. (sigh) How I love Jasmine. Fragrance wise, this may be – perhaps – even more beautiful than jasmine pearls. That is very difficult for me to say, for my love affair with the pearls is a very passionate one, indeed. The aroma of the brewed tea is quite a bit softer.

Lovely! The green tea is very fresh and pleasantly vegetative – not a strong vegetative presence, but enough grassy flavor so that it melds nicely with the floral essence of the jasmine. This is perhaps why I prefer jasmine greens to other jasmine teas, because the fresh, grassy essence pairs so well with the jasmine.

I cannot say that I prefer this to pearls. But, I can say that this is probably the best jasmine green tea that is not pearls that I’ve tasted… certainly worthy of an order from me! I only wonder what I shall do with the caravan……

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

I haven’t developed a liking for the smoky side either, and I traded my Caravan for a Thomas Sampson :) I bet if you order and once you get it, you put the Caravan on “Discussions” you’ll get some trading interest :) I LOVE the Jasmine Green and the Earl Grey :) and did notice quite a few steepsterites saying they are going to be devistated once their tin of Caravan is finished…

Doulton

I love Caravan and Jackee Muntz best of all the A and D teas. I didn’t get a chance to try the New Year’s tea—or the tiger tea—whatever it was.

On the other hand, I am torn about falling in love with limited edition teas. Does one want to set oneself up for heart-break? Or are these limited editions some sort of Zen test for developing our lack of attachment?

~lauren.

Oh, so glad you got to taste the A&D DFT Jasmine Green tea. I just fell in love with the scent of the dry tea leaves, as well as the first infusion aroma and taste! Isn’t this one amazing?

LiberTEAS

lauren: Yes I was very impressed with this jasmine… VERY impressed.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Did you cave and get Series 3 from Selects today?

LiberTEAS

Yes, I did. LOL

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Yay! We should get a flood of Series 3 tealogs as everyone’s orders arrive at around the same time.

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85

Before Tasting: I must admit, this tea scares me. I purchased a tin of it a couple of weeks ago from my local Whole Foods Market, because Townshend’s is a local company and I wanted to support them, and I like chai tea, and this one is named after a street in Portland. But, I didn’t take a moment to read the description of the tea or the ingredients. This tea has Lapsang Souchong. I’m worried. I’m scared.

The aroma of the tea while brewing is very strong and smoky. Still scared. But I decided to make the most of it. I warmed some milk, got out my frother, and prepared myself for chai. I do like chai, after all. Maybe this can be my gateway into smoky tea… but I’m still skeptical.

OK… it’s not bad. The smoky flavor lends itself well to the spices. It has a caramel flavor to it that is quite pleasant. I can taste the nutmeg which is one of my favorite spices. The flavor is a bit earthier and smokier than I am accustomed to, but, I think that the spices help detract from some of the stronger notes that would normally be off-putting for me.

I’m glad I finally tasted it – it’s really quite good.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

As I continue to drink this… I find that the smokiness subsides a little and becomes smoother – and much more caramel-y. I don’t know that I would like this without the frothy milk… but, I definitely like it with!

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88

As suggested by Cofftea, I’m doing a side-by-side comparison of this tea (also courtesy of Doulton ~ thank you very much!!!) and the NecessiTeas Cinnamon Bear. The parameters are similar – same amount of tea (except that this one is in a tea pyramid as opposed to loose leaf, but I cut open the pyramid so that I could brew it the same as I did the tea from NecessiTeas), same temperature (boiling water) and same steep time (3 minutes). So, really, the only difference here before tasting is the pyramid. The NecessiTeas wins a couple of points for being loose leaf, on the other hand, Harney wins points for having excellent customer service (which is pretty darned important in my book). I added a tea spoon of raw sugar to each cup.

Honestly, I can’t notice any significant difference between the two. If I were to do a blind tasting, I don’t know that I could pick out one over the other. But this one has a higher score on it than the Cinnamon Bear only because well, I’ve never had to wait three weeks for an order from Harney before, and they always send me a free sample with my order.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Does this come in loose leaf? If it doesn’t then it may be different teas after all.

LiberTEAS

Cofftea: Yes, although it is called Hot Cinnamon Spice in loose leaf form. The sachets are called Hot Cinnamon Sunset.

Cofftea

Yeah, I saw a company sell an artichoke green tea… Chances are that’s almost definitely an Adagio tea. Our tea shop lists the brand right on the tins in the store. Unfortunately not on the packaging when you order it.

teabird

I did think that “three types of cinnamon” part was rather unusual to be duplicated in separate blends; thanks for doing the comparison! Now I’m wondering if H&S buy it from someone else or if they are the blender. Either way I’ll probably continue to buy from H&S, considering past good experiences with their tea and service.

LiberTEAS

Although I do not know first hand, because I know that Mr. Harney is a well-known as a blender – I can say with a good deal of confidence that Harney & Sons are original.

SoccerMom

I agree with LiberTEAS and from reading the H&S book I would also feel confident in saying that the Hot Cinnamon Spice and the other versions Sunset and Green Hot Cinnamon Spice were all blended by H&S. I had Hot Cinnamon Spice (the black version iced today) and it was excellent. :)

teabird

Y’know, for all my love of HCS I don’t think I’ve ever tried it iced O_O SoccerMom, you’re brilliant! And you’re right, the new cinnamon blends are strong evidence that they blend it themselves (which I should have been able to figure out for myself, just wasn’t thinking) which is great news – I like buying close to the source, when possible, and I definitely want to keep buying from H&S!

LiberTEAS

This tea is fabulous iced! Absolutely yummy!

AmazonV

really? iced? hmmm

SoccerMom

Yep, Iced. I found myself not able to guzzle it like most iced tea but I savored it slowly. My son stole a sip and said it was too spicy!
I have a huge tin of this so I have to be resourceful or I won’t finish it!

SoccerMom

Oh and it’s soo sweet it doesn’t need sugar AmazonV!!

AmazonV

gasp no sugar, that’s crazy talk!

Cofftea

LOL AmazonV- I never sweeten my iced tea or lemonade (i.e. lemon water)

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Profile

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.

*

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.

*

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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