4449 Tasting Notes

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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85
drank Cinnamon Bear by The NecessiTeas
4449 tasting notes

I received a bit of this in a package from Doulton today! Thank you Doulton!

This tea reminds me quite a bit of Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea from Harney & Sons, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea from Harney & Sons that’s being resold by this company.

So… you know those red hot candies? The little tiny red candies that are super cinnamon-y hot? Now, imagine them all liquefied (but not sticky!) and in a teacup! What you would have is this tea. YUM!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Do you have any H&S to do a SBS comparison?

LiberTEAS

I do have some, courtesy of Doulton! She sent me some of the Harney tea as well as this.

Cofftea

Funny you would possibly get the same tea just distributed by 2 different companies from the same person lol.

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50
drank Rooibos Jasmine by Adagio Teas
4449 tasting notes

I absolutely adore jasmine – I’ve had it in herbal blends, green teas (I love pearls especially), white teas, oolong teas, and black teas. But until this evening I hadn’t tried jasmine rooibos.

A very interesting aroma to the tea. The Jasmine seems a bit stronger than I’m used to – but that is a good thing!

A nice flavor – a pleasant balance between rooibos – naturally sweet and nutty with woodsy notes – and jasmine – sharp, floral, and amazing! Yeah I did mention that I love jasmine right?

So far… I’m liking it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
~lauren.

LiberTEAS, have you tried Andrews & Dunham DFT Jasmine Green yet? I only ask because I tried it yesterday (first time) and it was gorgeous (aroma, taste -1st infusion) but I’m a novice with Jasmine teas and you sound quite the expert. I’d love to read your review about it.

LiberTEAS

Lauren: I haven’t yet tried the Jasmine Green from Andrews & Dunham, but I did receive a sampling of it from Doulton today, so I will most likely be trying it a little later!

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84

My order from NecessiTeas finally came! This is the first tea I’m trying from NecessiTeas, and I’m glad it’s a good one.

As a fan of bread pudding, I find the aroma of this tea to be irresistible. So yummy.

I can taste the rum – Nice! The rum really accentuates the raisin flavor of this blend, which is a good thing as I find that very often with raisin flavored blends, the raisin flavor can be somewhat indistinguishable. The custard and cream flavor adds a sweet smoothness to the tea. YUM!

A very pleasant tasting tea. I like that the flavors are strong. This yum factor almost makes up for the long wait I had for the order… if the other teas I’ve ordered are as good, I’ll be willing to place another order in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

I suspect that this blend would be amazing “latte” style, so the next time I make this tea I will froth up some milk and see how well it fairs.

teabird

Ohh, that sounds delicious!

AmazonV

pssst what else did you get?

Jenn-cha

I’ll have to try this one on my next order. I should be getting my first order tomorrow or monday. I ordered it two weeks ago, wrote on wednesday to inquire what the status of my order was and the owner wrote back to say it was shipped and apologized for the delay…she had just had a baby! So that’s what caused the long wait :)

LiberTEAS

AmazonV: I also got the root beer rooibos, pineapple upside down cake, and coco la ven.

AmazonV

My two tins of root beer float arrived today, i can’t wait to see your notes on the others, i’m a little afraid of some of the flavors sounding great and tasting weak or not like they sound

LiberTEAS

This particular tea has a very strong flavor. And, the leaves are good for two infusions with the second one just a bit softer than the first – but still quite lovely.

__Morgana__

Hmm, I’m expecting a load o’ samples from them as well. Ordered on March 26. Should I worry?

LiberTEAS

I ordered my samples (that I received in this afternoon’s post) on March 21. So, I should think that yours are on their way…

Jenn-cha

I ordered mine on the 26th as well, Morgana, and she said they had been shipped so we should be getting them soon :)

Doulton

I put in and paid for an order on March 15 and received it on April 9th, after sending a prodding email.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Now I’m craving bread pudding! Tealogs have been making me want to eat certain things lately. I’m still wanting BBQ from that tealog. lol

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88
drank Ginger Matcha by Art of Tea
4449 tasting notes

Decided to take a break in my Oolong infusions (I’ll return to them in a bit) so that I could enjoy a chawan of Matcha. Two days in a row – not like me at all – Steepster is having an influence on me (not saying a bad or a good influence yet… LOL)

This is the first time I’ve tasted this ginger matcha from Art of Tea. This is not a matcha that I would recommend sifting because there are little itty bitty bits of ginger mixed into the matcha. The first time I saw one as I was whisking, I thought it was a bit of the bamboo that had come off of my whisk and I was disheartened… but, then I realized that it was ginger.

A very smooth, sweet flavor to the matcha, with just a bit of bitterness that reaches the tongue at the end of a sip. The ginger is not as pronounced as I might have expected it to be, and it is not a sharp, snappy ginger but, more of a warm, gentle ginger. I like it though. It offers an interesting taste along with the vegetative quality of the matcha.

As I near the bottom of the chawan, the ginger flavor becomes a bit stronger AND I can notice the matcha doing that familiar coating of the palate as the liquid gets a little thicker toward the end. And it’s a pleasant taste when you get a little bitty bit of the ginger and bite into it… YUM!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
LiberTEAS

As you get to the bottom, there are several bits of ginger… it’s sort of like a “surprise” treat. Oh… and yum – peppery heat from biting into the bitty bits of ginger. I’m loving it!

AmazonV

you make me want to try some, darn you and you delicious tasting note, no more tea for me! (well not for a while)

Cofftea

YUMMY IN THE TUMMY! I’ve made my own ginger matcha by adding matcha to ginger water (ginger tisane, but I call it ginger water since it has no liquor).

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95

YUM! Oolong!

The flavor of this Oolong is intense. Floral, buttery, divine! There are only a few tastes that can elevate me to this sense of divine feeling – a superb Oolong such as this, a vanilla bean chocolate truffle from Moonstruck, or a perfect carrot. :)

Smooth, rich, beautiful. I love this tea.

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

My second infusion of leaves is equally as delightful, although the flavors are a bit less intense. Of course, that could also be a side effect of biting into those bitty bits of ginger from my ginger matcha… after that intensity, the softer, sweeter flavors of flower and butter maybe are not quite as shocking.

TeaEqualsBliss

You know how I LOVE my Norbu! :P

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89
drank Chaud Les Marrons! by Lupicia
4449 tasting notes

Oh, this is lovely! The black tea is robust but not so much so that it overpowers the flavor of the roasted chestnuts. The flavor is nutty and a little sweet, toasty with just a hint of smoke and malt. Full-bodied and pungent. I am really enjoying this!

I am currently on my second infusion of these leaves. Both infusions have been very flavorful and delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

The exclamation point threw me off – I googled it and it means Hot Chestnuts! in French :) I didn’t know!

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87
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
4449 tasting notes

I love cherry flavored sencha teas, especially in the spring time.

The aroma is very vegetative but with a pleasing cherry note.

The flavor is very nice – the cherry sencha teas I’ve tasted in the past possess a stronger cherry flavoring, but are often on the verge of being too sweet or too much like cherry cough syrup. The fruit flavor here is lighter, but much more natural tasting.

The sencha leaves are very fresh tasting. Strong vegetative quality.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this flavored sencha.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

The second infusion of the leaves is even better than the first! The vegetative nature of the leaves softens a bit and unifies with the cherry flavor, which is much more pronounced (but still natural in flavor) in this infusion. I may just need to give my score on this tea an upgrade.

~lauren.

Did your sencha taste extremely buttery? I had this the other day and I couldn’t get over how buttery it was – ten minutes after I finished the tea, I still had the taste in my mouth, and an hour or so later with a totally different tea (prepared with a different set of teaware), I was still tasting butteryness in my mouth! Yours?

LiberTEAS

Yes, there is a distinct buttery note to this tea, although, it is not as strong to me as a green Oolong such as Ali Shan from Norbu (my favorite!) But, yes, the taste does – interestingly enough – stay with you after you’ve finished the cup. This was my last tea of the evening, so I can’t really comment on whether it affected my ability to properly taste another tea afterward, but, I will be sure to note that for future tastings.

Cherry senchas are among my favorites, though, there is something that is so very ‘spring’ about them, and spring doesn’t quite feel complete without drinking cherry sencha. This is the best cherry sencha I’ve tried, and I attribute that to both the flavoring which was incredibly natural as well as the tea which is very fresh, perhaps that is why it was so buttery. It was quite like buttered vegetables.

~lauren.

I think you nailed it – ‘buttered vegetables’, 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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