4461 Tasting Notes

90

I haven’t had this tea in a while so I thought I’d have some for breakfast this morning. I really enjoy this tea and I also wanted to find out how my taste buds were doing. I figured with some of the more delicate flavors in this tea – I might be able to see if my taste buds were getting somewhere back to normal (what is normal?) so that I might be able to start trying some of the newer teas that I’ve recently received.

Unfortunately, my taste buds are not completely in check, but, they’re getting there. The smoky quality of the tea stands out in the first couple of sips, but it is not too smoky. I can taste the smooth buttery characteristic as well, and that makes me smile, as it is one of the aspects of this tea that I have always found so delightfully unusual. The raisin is quite delicate, as is the cinnamon. However, I do note a sweet cinnamon note in the finish that sort of rests upon the palate.

So, my palate isn’t quite up to par just yet, but it’s MUCH better than it was say two weeks ago. I won’t rate this tea numerically just yet, perhaps with the next cup (which, by the looks of it, just may be my last cup of this outstanding tea!)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

As I finish the cup, I notice that the flavors have really come together quite nicely, and it tastes a lot like I remember… that is to say, it tastes like buttered cinnamon raisin toast. The raisin flavor is still a bit more delicate than I remember it being, as is the cinnamon, and I attribute this to my taste buds’ current predicament rather than any fault of the tea, which even without my palate’s full abilities, is still quite enjoyable this morning.

Ricky

This was such a difficult cup for me to comprehend. All the flavors are there but like you said it’s so delicate!

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96

I’m enjoying this tea right now… I’ve posted at least a couple of tasting notes on this one, so I don’t know that I need to go into it again… Lovely bergamot flavor, the black tea blend is delightfully rich and brisk and smooth all at the same time. I love this tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
4461 tasting notes

Just a quick note – enjoying this at the moment, along with my favorite movie: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

As I’ve written before, it’s important to “rinse” or “awaken” these leaves. I pour enough boiling water over the leaves to cover them, let it sit for about 10 – 15 seconds, strain, and then steep them as usual for 2 1/2 minutes.

This tea is quite robust, with a smoky note which thankfully translates much stronger in the aroma than in the flavor. I like the tangy vinegar note to this tea, that sort of rests upon the palate much the same way as eating something vinegar-y might.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker
4461 tasting notes

I love Darjeeling.

Some years back, I received a beautiful tin that was filled with the tastiest Darjeeling. It was the first Darjeeling I ever experienced, and since that time, I’ve been trying to find a Darjeeling that compares. The tin has long since vanished in the “black hole” that is my art studio (don’t ask!) and the name of the company that distributed the tea has long since vanished from my memory. So I haven’t ever been able to restock my shelves with that exact brand.

However, I have found some suitable substitutes… that taste almost (if not just as) good as that first Darjeeling.

This is one such Darjeeling. It has a very pleasant muscatel essence to it – slightly spicy, musky/woodsy, with a pleasant, palate-cleansing astringency. Tannic, but not pushing the edge to bitter. Like a fine, dry wine.

Steven Smith rocks!

As I’ve noted before, until my senses return to full capacity, I won’t be offering a numeric rating to this tea – as it wouldn’t be fair. However, I do have enough of this tea to last me until I’m feeling better, at which time, I’ll rate it accordingly.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

Also… my review for this tea just published on the Tea Review Blog, if you’d be interested in checking it out:

http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=11492

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89
drank Chaud Les Marrons! by Lupicia
4461 tasting notes

This is a bit of a backlog – I had some of this tea yesterday afternoon. I kind of wish I hadn’t though – not that I didn’t enjoy it, it was fine. But, my taste buds being funky and out of whack, it just didn’t taste as good as I remember it… I didn’t get much of the more delicate notes of the chestnuts.

So, I will save what I have left of this tea for when I’m feeling better so that I can truly enjoy it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Crepe Faire by Stash Tea Company
4461 tasting notes

This is a bit of a backlog. I finished off the last of my stash of this Stash tisane. You can read my published review of it here:

http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=9532

I selected this tea because I had hoped it would be a strong tasting tea as I wanted to counteract the “buffered taste bud syndrome” from which I seem to be suffering. Unfortunately, the tea just wasn’t strong enough… I mean, I could taste the tea, but, I really had hoped for more flavor. It’s not really the tisane’s fault though, as much as it is my own palate at this point in time.

As a result, I’m not going to give it a numeric rating – it just doesn’t seem fair. When I did write the review for the Tea Review Blog, my taste buds were operating in full capacity, so hopefully you can extract my feelings about the tea from it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

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92
drank Dragonwell by Narien Teas
4461 tasting notes

This is one of my favorite Dragonwell Teas. I did not brew it “traditionally” – that is, I did not allow the tea leaves to become turgid. I have found that when I brew Dragonwell tea, if I brew the first infusion just 1 minute, I am able to get quite a few more infusions out of the leaves, and I prefer the flavor of the short steeped tea much more than that of the traditional method.

I’d like to think that my relationship with Dragonwell has come a long way since I first tried it some 10 years ago. My first experience was not a positive one, to say the least, and since that time, I’ve learned more about myself as a tea drinker and my preferences, and have experimented a bit to find that Dragonwell is one of my favorite green teas!

The flavor is sweet, only slightly vegetative (not nearly as vegetative as most Japanese greens), and has a very pleasant floral note. It tastes … like spring!

Even though I had said I won’t be rating teas numerically while I am sick, I have chosen to do so with this tea, because… my stores in this tea are getting quite low and I don’t know how long I’ll be sick vs. how long I’ll have this tea to rate it when I’m well. Even if I weren’t sick though, I would rate this one very high, because it is so good and worthy of the high rating.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Ever since Radiance Tea House’s Dragonwell sampling, I’ve become more addicted to them. I realized I never made it with enough leaves so the flavors never stood out.

AmazonV

i made a batch with too many leaves (for me) i need a large supply to play with…after i dig out of all the teas i have now…for such a simple tea i can’t seem to get the leaf/water ratio right

AmazonV

Any hints on how much i should try out? (you seem to have found your leaf/water /time sweet spot!)

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97
drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
4461 tasting notes

I opted for an Earl Grey as my first cup of the day (yes, it’s my first cup, I took a rather long snooze after getting my youngest on the school bus this morning!) and decided to go with my favorite.

I am still kind of unsure though – I really love this blend, but I also really love Steven Smith’s… and they are both different enough from each other. One of these days I shall do a side by side comparison and decide which one is best.

I will say though, I really shouldn’t drink this tea while my taste buds are impaired. Yes, it’s still good, but it’s not as good as it is when my taste buds are fully functional. Today I think the bergamot tastes less “distinctive.”

It’s still very good, but, I think I’d rather enjoy it when I am 100% better.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

The second infusion – not unlike other “second infusions” of Earl Grey – is quite a bit smoother than the first. Tea and Bergamot meld together and are unified perfectly. The tea is still robust and definitely not “Ceylon-ish” by any stretch… and that pleases me. But there is a certain smoothness that has come with the second infusion, and the bergamot is much nicer in the second infusion.

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96

I feel like slowly… but surely… my taste buds are returning to normal. I’m not 100% yet otherwise, and I don’t even think that my tastebuds are quite at 100% yet either… but they’re getting there.

On to the tea! Nice and bold flavor. The Assam’s malty flavor really seems to be standing out today, which brings to mind Numi’s Aged Earl Grey but much, much better. The bergamot doesn’t seem quite as strong today, but I am sure that is because my taste buds are not quite as strong as they usually are.

Even with the impairment, this tea is still so good!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec
LENA

I’m glad that you are feeling better. Enjoy that Lord Voldermort tea!

LiberTEAS

I found the second infusion to be even more delightful… the bergamot comes through nicely. The tea is not as brisk as it was with the first cup, this one is very smooth but still very rich tasting. Very very nice!

__Morgana__

The Earl got promoted?

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97

There are very few teas (that I haven’t flavored/blended myself) that have earned a spot on my “permanent” tea shelf. This tea – which isn’t a tea at all – has earned that coveted spot. I love this tea… and I’ve been hoarding it until I knew for sure that I’d be able to get more. Fortunately, more is forthcoming!

Yummy. Chocolate. Yummy. Banana. Yummy!!!

And I’m not that big on bananas, nor am I big on rooibos. But this blend – as Randy Jackson might say – worked it out! Dawg!

Awesome. Absolutely my favorite blend from 52 Teas.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
LiberTEAS

Oh… I forgot to add – I made it “latte” style tonight, with steamed, frothed milk, and I didn’t think it was possible for this tea to be any better (well, possibly 2 points better) but, the latte makes this a lot like a chocolate banana milkshake! (which I love!)

AmazonV

wait, your getting more? it is going to be a reblend or perm. collection?

Meghann M

Love the Randy Jackson reference, DAWG! I have to get some of this when it’s back in stock. Such great reviews from some great reviewers, including you!

SoccerMom

Ditto Meghann.

LiberTEAS

Frank, err… um… let it slip under err… um… interrogation… err… no… no… not interrogation, nothing coercive or anything like that, no! But… yeah, he has a few of them left after the Samplers Festival. But their mine, you understand? Mine, all mine! Muahahahahaha!

AmazonV

i drool at you, DROOL i tell you (and you better find that threat so icky you lose taste for the tea and hence send it away ;-) ok well it was worth a try yes?)

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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.

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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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