4391 Tasting Notes

76
drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
4391 tasting notes

Guess what arrived today! I was very surprised (happily so!) to receive my package from 52Teas!

The strawberry flavor is a bit tart. Or it could be that the slight bitterness from Matcha brings out the tart of the strawberry. The sweeter strawberry flavor arrives on the palate in the finish as sort of a low note. The strawberry flavor is a really nice addition to the flavor of the Matcha. I think I like the mandarin matcha a little better though. Overall a very pleasant Matcha.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
AmazonV

you post made me go tearing out of the apartment to go check my mail, sadly nothing from 52teas, but at least a swap was there so it wasn’t a total let down. hopefully it gets here soon!

Stephanie

Mine arrived today too! I’m just staring lovely at it right now—I’m almost hesistant to disturb its vacuum-packed glory!

Cofftea

No fair! I want mine! What matcha/water ratio did you use?

Ricky

Jealous!!! Mine won’t arrive till sometime next week!

SoccerMom

I’m jealous too! Who knows when mine will arrive.

LiberTEAS

Maybe Chelsea likes me better than the rest of you. (evil grin)

52teas

FYI, all of the initial Strawberry Matcha orders went out the same day, so it’s all up to the post office now, but I would bet that everyone in the US should have theirs Monday.

LiberTEAS

Maybe the postal service likes me better than the rest of you. After all, my father is a retired postmaster. (giggle)

LiberTEAS

By the way, Frank… how about a peach flavored Matcha? Yum… or… maybe do a Chelsea special to the matcha and make it chocolate covered banana matcha! Chelsea’s rooibos is still my favorite from 52Teas!

52teas

I actually think the next one might be a tuna melt matcha. :)

LiberTEAS

oh… yummy! Can’t wait for it.

Stephanie

lol!! :)))

AmazonV

i vote for plain tuna salad actually, celery, tuna, mayo ;)

LiberTEAS

onion too, please… I love onion in my tuna salad.

Cofftea

While I totally believe that 52teas is capable of tuna melt or tuna salad matcha, cheese and mayo flavors scare me. Can they be done w/o needing to be refrigerated like the real thing?

AmazonV

@Cofftea – yes! well at least the tuna http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/dried-tuna-flakes-3-52-oz haven’t found a dry mayo yet

AmazonV

waiwait not what i wanted: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/saladdressings/ss/mayonnaise.htm so mayo is eggs (comes dry powered) and oil….so i think it can be done flavor-wise

Geoffrey Norman

Man, I wish this was still on their site.

Cofftea

Yes, it’s sad it’s gone, but the other ones are equally as good!

Geoffrey Norman

I was eying the cranberry matcha.

LiberTEAS

@Geoffrey – the cranberry is probably my favorite of the three most recently released flavored matchas from 52Teas – I really like this one. Although, the other 2 are very good also.

Geoffrey Norman

Peer pressure really works on here.

Cofftea

Haha! Ooooh yeah.

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82
drank Vienna Green by Teany
4391 tasting notes

I had received my order from Teany a few weeks ago, but, I have been ordering tea like crazy (something just sort of came over me when I decided to switch over from being a tea business to a tea consumer and I started buying tea like mad!) that I hadn’t yet tried it until today!

My initial reactions to this tea: Well, first of all, the tea is really beautiful. I like Teany’s tins, they have a clear top so you can see the tea. Slivers of nuts and flower blossoms. Beautiful! When I opened the tin, I could smell the cocoa. It is a very prominent aroma in the dry leaf, and while the brewed tea smells a bit softer, it is still there – soft, yet delicious smelling!

I wish that the cocoa was a stronger flavor in the tea. Perhaps this is one that I will need to experiment a bit with as far as steeping time to see if I can extract more flavor from it. It’s a tasty tea. I think that the flavors have sort of melded together into one “new” flavor – and I am finding it difficult to discern the individual tastes. Definitely worthy of another attempt in the near future.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

The second infusion is also quite flavorful!

AmazonV

i visited teany in NYC a while back, and at that time there were no see through lids :( although sitting in the shop is very fun in the spring.

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drank Assam Custard by Custom
4391 tasting notes

This morning (well, technically, it’s afternoon, but I slept in so it’s morning for me), I decided to brew up a special treat. This is the very last of this tea that I had from a small “tester” batch that I made. Assam and custard go well together, I think.

The sweet, creamy custard flavor brings out some of the Assam’s malty characteristics. Very nice, just slightly bitter (but not in a bad way), very pleasant way to start the day!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
Doulton

Oh, that does sound good. I know someone who goes to England just for the custards! Also the puds in general, but custards in particular.

LiberTEAS

The second infusion was just as nice as the first… perhaps even a bit nicer! The Assam softened just a bit, which made it a smoother tasting custard in a teacup! Yum!

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86
drank Orange Dulce by Mighty Leaf Tea
4391 tasting notes

I have two favorites from Mighty Leaf, this one and Mayan Chocolate Truffle. However, somehow… some way… this tea is not as good as it used to be. Or at least as good as I remember. It was one of the first teas I remember trying out about eight years ago when I was contemplating opening a brick and mortar tea room. And I fell in love.

The orange flavor has what I would call a sharpness to it rather than a sweetness. It is very a very bergamot-ish orange flavor. The vanilla softens this flavor a bit, and the jasmine is very subtle but offers a pleasant floral tone to the finish.

Even though the information on this site about this tea doesn’t say it, this tea has green tea as well as black to it, so I steep it at a lower temperature so that it doesn’t become bitter.

A very nice, well-rounded cup.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank "Dude" Grey by Custom
4391 tasting notes

I created this blend a couple of months ago, I call it “dude” grey because it’s got a California feel to it (citrus-y flavors) but with a pleasant Earl Grey note.

I like inhaling this tea through my mouth just before I take a sip. The aroma wafts over my palate and yum! The black tea is smooth, not too robust, nice for afternoon or early evening. The Earl Grey is softer than in “straight up” earl grey teas (such as the one I enjoyed earlier this afternoon) as it is softened by the other citrus notes. I especially like the grapefruit in this blend.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Dude Grey! lol! Love the name! :)

~lauren.

Great name!

JacquelineM

I am imagining the Dude from the Big Lebowski drinking this when he is not enjoying his White Russians – he has a very uncanny ability to know when the tea is done steeping even though he never times it! ;)

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93
drank Pirate's Chai by Pirate's Chai
4391 tasting notes

I am so excited that my order for this arrived this afternoon. I love this chai! It’s available to the general public – I don’t know if it’s for a limited time or not, but what I do know is that when I contacted them back in October about purchasing a small amount they would not sell to me because I was not a coffee shop or similar. So I was happy when I happened across their website last week and noticed that they’re raising money for Haiti relief by selling smaller (personal size) portions of their tea to the public! woo hoo!

What makes this chai so unique is that it’s a MATCHA chai! I prepare it the same way I’d prepare matcha, except that I heat milk (yes… for this tea I’m even willing to heat milk) instead of water. It doesn’t need anything else… just milk and stirring — you can do this without a chasen, but I do use mine for it because I have one.

The flavor is chai-spicy with the natural sweetness of matcha – it’s creamy and thick and oh-so-good. You can read my review I wrote of it several months ago here:

http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=8088

Oh wow, this is so good I might make myself a second cup!

LiberTEAS

yes, I did indeed make myself another cup… and as I sit here sipping it (read: gulping it down hungrily) I am contemplating ordering more while the getting is good – I LOVE this chai!

LiberTEAS

Oh… and also, one significant difference between stirring it with a spoon (or a fork) and a chasen is that with the chasen, it stays blended longer. Or… it may be that I drink it so fast because it’s SO GOOD that I didn’t notice that the “sludge” had developed at the bottom of the chawan because there was no time for it.

Stephanie

Matcha chai?! A match made in heaven!!

LiberTEAS

So yum. I’m sitting here thinking about it… and wanting more. I’m going to be finished with my 8 ounces quickly! LOL

Cofftea

As much as I wish it was not sweetened, I must try this!

LENA

sounds absolutely delish!

AmazonV

i googled for it…and found a 1.5 gallon serving the smallest…am i missing something that’s a lot of chai!

LiberTEAS

AmazonV: No, that is the smallest… although it does come in a dry, powdered form, which equals 8 ounces of tea.

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97
drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
4391 tasting notes

I just got my order a few days ago from Lupicia, but this tea has been calling my name ever since receiving it. So I finally caved in and decided to try it.

Aroma – not surprising – it’s Earl Grey! It is a very strong fragrance, but that’s not a bad thing. I love the smell of bergamot in the morning! (Yeah, it’s 12:30 pm, but, for me, it’s still morning!) The dry leaves possess a stronger scent than the brewed liquor. The brewed tea is still pleasantly bergamot, but the Keemun tea can also be detected in the scent which adds a slightly earthy note to the aroma.

Initial sip – awesome! Lovely citrus notes, hint of floral. The Keemun base is pleasantly pungent. I love the way the bergamot and Keemun play together in this blend.

As I continue to drink, I note that this is a skillfully flavored Earl Grey tea. Speaking from the standpoint of one who flavored teas for many years, Earl Grey was one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult) flavors to create. This is because there is a fine line between not strong enough, just right, and too perfume-y when it comes to the bergamot. This one is planted firmly in the just right position! Well done!

I don’t know if it’s my favorite Earl Grey, but if it isn’t, I don’t know which one is better, either. It’s really, really good!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

The second steeping is just as flavorful as the first! I love it when that happens!

Meghann M

This is one of my favorite Earls as well…perhaps my favorite, they really blended it well!

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drank Breakfast Blend by Liber Teas
4391 tasting notes

Backlogging a bit: I started my morning (late morning!) with my breakfast blend. Lovely – as always. A good way to get the blood flowing!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Starry Night by Liber Teas
4391 tasting notes

Since it’s getting later, I figured I’d slow things down a little and drink something with a little (or no!) caffeine. I love my Starry Night blend. Green rooibos, which I prefer over the red, with delightful fruit flavors – peach and mango are the most prominent.

Delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91
drank Honeybee by The Simple Leaf
4391 tasting notes

Time for my daily Oolong! No… I don’t have Oolong every SINGLE day, but I do try to. It is my favorite tea, after all!

This is the first time I’m tasting this Oolong from The Simple Leaf, but I was so incredibly impressed with “Dawn” that I have high expectations. Also, it is an Oolong from Nepal, and I have had a couple of Oolongs from Nepal and have loved them. So… yeah… I expect big taste from this cup of Oolong.

And it delivers! Not my favorite Oolong, but it is really good. Distinct notes of honey in the aroma and the taste. Pleasant mouthfeel – not as thick and buttery as a greener Oolong would be, but, very smooth and silky. It also possesses a woodsy character and a fruit-like quality to it. It is quite a bit lighter in flavor than other Oolongs, so I think the next time I brew this tea I’ll steep a little longer.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

I have this one too! I really should sample it soon. But I have horrible allergies right now so I don’t think I could do it justice. What’s your favorite oolong?

LiberTEAS

Ali Shan High Mountain from Norbu:
http://steepster.com/teas/norbu/8063-ali-shan-high-mountain-oolong-fall-09

LOVE it.

I have pretty horrible allergies too, fortunately though, my Allergi-TEA and the local raw honey is doing it’s job and I’m experiencing fewer and fewer symptoms with each new day. A week ago… I was a mess!

Stephanie

Thanks! I have to check out Norbu! I waiting on some oolong samples from Teaspring. After them, Norbu’s Ali Shan is next!

I’m drinking pu-erh right now and it seems to be helping somehow. But I still feel blech.

LiberTEAS

I’m on to my second infusion of these leaves. The second infusion produces a much earthier taste. Honey notes still there although they are much softer. The woodsy characteristics I mentioned earlier are much more pronounced in the second steeping. Floral notes are more evident in this infusion as well.

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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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